The first example I looked at was a piece in The Guardian entitled Wimbledon’s pride and joy: the ball boys and girls trained to perfection (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/video/2016/jun/28/wimbledon-pride-and-joy-the-ball-boys-and-girls-trained-to-perfection-tennis-video). I was a big fan in the way this piece lived as a video online but could quite easily function without. Although, if I were to critique the technical specifications of this story, I’d say that in order to function without visuals, the background noise level would have to be reduced to below that of the interviewees as they currently sound a bit too quiet. Despite this, the video follows a clear narrative and works well online, potentially drawing in a multitude of viewers who otherwise wouldn’t read or listen to a story about it. The juxtaposition of the sound with cutaways has a striking effect on the viewer, one that I feel wouldn’t work on a singular medium. As I discussed in my previous blog post, a good story will lead people to moments of wonder, something that I feel this piece does when discussing the training that the ball boys and ball girls embark on. They also maintain the “pleasant illusion” of simply having a chat, subconsciously allowing the viewer to maintain a connection with the story.
My second example was The Pier by Adam Allinson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygje2n56WBc). This was an apt choice as it’s a project produced by someone studying the same module (in its previous incarnation as Audio Features), but appropriately has accompanied it with a visual slideshow telling the story alongside the audio. Adam has clearly taken pictures as he’s gone along as they accompany his interviews superbly. The use of music such as the fairground songs evokes feelings of nostalgia for any listener that has been to Southend, or indeed any other British sea side town, as they’re prevalent. This links in with my quotation of Jad Abumrad in a previous blog post, wherein he explains that the best stories “have a sense of something universal that’s shared, human to human” – nostalgia is one of the feelings that can do that unlike any other, and Adam has tapped in to it perfectly with The Pier. Adam also doesn’t overuse sound, which as Abumrad detailed, can actively damage a piece.
In conclusion, the fact that digital stories exist as opposed to the traditional viewpoints of purely audio or televisual (obviously, with audio) pieces enable a storyteller to be a lot more creative and reach out to listeners/viewers in ways that simply didn’t exist in the past. As a content creator in 2016, this excites me as it means – away from university coursework, as well as with it – I can enable my own creativity to be displayed in a multitude of ways. I look forward to pushing the boundaries with the way my stories live online in the very near future.