Monthly Archives: August 2016

Experts Talk Storytelling

Storytelling is hard. I’ve been studying it for some time, and I’m always learning. One book that I’ve enjoyed reading is Notes to Screenwriters by Peterson & Nicolosi.

Below are some of the best videos I’ve seen on the art of storytelling. All of these resources, the book and the videos have one idea in common – be respectful of the intelligence of the audience.  Give the reader/viewer something for the mind to work on without explicitly stating it. In other words show, don’t tell. This is easier said than done.

Anyway, here are the videos:

George Saunders on Storytelling (Coarse language alert)

Ken Burns on Storytelling

Ken Burns: On Story from Redglass Pictures on Vimeo.

Ira Glass on Storytelling

Kurt Vonnegut on Storytelling

Daily Create: It’s just like riding a bicycle

This semester in my Digital Media 2 class, we are collaborating with the open course DS106 started at the University of Mary Washington. One important part of that experience is the Daily Create exercise. Each day, a new creativity assignment is posted and we are invited to respond, sharing our work online.

Today’s Daily Create was called It’s Just Like Riding A Bicycle. We were asked to post a picture of our bike, or of anything related to bicycles. Well, my bike is at home, and I’m at work, and while I found this old photo of my kid riding her bike, when she & I took a 15 mile ride over to the next town, I thought that sharing an old photo would be too easy.


So I searched for a picture of one of the most notable bicycle owners of all time, Pee Wee Herman. I found this:

Then I made a sketch in my sketchbook. I used my iPad to make a photo, and posted it on Flickr. Then I used the embed code to share it here with you for today’s Daily Create:


Clyde 150th Celebration

KSU Digital Media Students

In our first week of class, the KSU Digital Media team (KSUDigMe for short) recorded a history of Clyde, Kansas to help celebrate the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of its founding. This coming Labor Day weekend, several thousand people from all over will attend the annual Clyde Watermelon Festival and hear this recording.

We spent over an hour taking turns reading the various nuggets of Clyde’s history. Then I spent the weekend editing the recordings down into a half hour recording using Adobe Audition. I also added some instrumental background music I found online. What a great way to start a semester!

Here is the track that is currently playing in downtown Clyde:

We received the following message from the Clyde 150th celebration planning committee:

Thank you so much to all of you involved in our recording of business histories for Clyde’s 150th Birthday!  We are seeing people randomly sitting on our city benches just listening to your recording!  They are enjoying it very much.  We also invite any of you who would like to join us for our celebration
to come to Clyde, Kansas this week and weekend!  It would be wonderful to meet you in person, but if we don’t, you have touched our community with your voices!

Thanks again.

Brenda Koch and the 150th Planning Committee


C-64 8 Bit Graphics

I was perusing through past “Daily Create” exercises that I missed this summer, and one that caught my eye was titled C64 Yourself. I remember those early days of personal computers well, when if you could see a picture of any kind, you were doing well. The 64yourself website is a really fun simulation of what it was like to use a Commodore 64. computer.

I uploaded a photo of my daughter Emily playing softball. I reckoned that for an 8-bit photo to work well, it shouldn’t have a lot of fine detail, and should depict a recognizable scene. That’s why I thought softball might be a good candidate. I sent her the following tweet:

When we talked about it this morning before school, she said it was ok, but she likes pictures that look more realistic. Like actual copies of reality. To me, this has a more stylized, artistic feel to it. Actual copies of reality are everywhere. What is more, this is an actual copy of the reality that was back in the 1980’s. Guess I need to send her the hi-rez version now. She wanted that one.

First Daily Create for Fall 16

I haven’t been very good about making regular blog posts for a long time. I aim to work on that this semester. We have a good bunch of students in Digital Media Technology this year. My 2nd year students are studying digital storytelling with me and the DS106 community. This semester’s theme is “This Is The Internet” and we are looking at various aspects of internet and computer history over time. And just to add to the fun, we are connecting all of this to the years ending in the number “6” as in 2016, 1996, 1966 and so on. I’ve challenged students to put a “6” easter egg in their work this semester. We’ll see how that goes.

So to kick things off personally, I took a few minutes to complete today’s Daily Create exercise. Each day, a new creative exercise is posted at Today’s challenge was:

Show us in a photo something in your life, home, that moved from a state of order to disorder or the other way, from disorder to order. What is the energy state?

Others today are typically showing messes that they afterwards straightened up. I didn’t have time for that so here was my solution: