First Week Digital Stories Critique

This week I watched a couple of productions developed as part of a initiative to create videos reinforcing identity. The traits I selected for my first critique are:

Story: I believe the core aspect of a digital storytelling project is to show a quality story that engage viewers during the whole production.
Originality, voice, and creativity: In my opinion an engaging story must focus in providing a fresh perspective to make a permanent mark in our memory.
Media application: The visuals and audio components are a key factor to support and add interest to a digital story.

First Production: Sofas

Sofas by Wayne Richard is one of the stories published by the Center for Digital Storytelling. The video is part of a project to create digital stories to empower disadvantage community social identity. I was intrigued by the production title and decided to watch it.
The story excelled at addressing the traits I chose to evaluate. I am very impressed with the video. Sofas is a very strong and powerful production presenting the perspective of life though a memories of a homeless man. The story has a well developed structure showing the life transformation with the life reflection linked to the meaning of belonging and stability the author was looking for during his whole life. The sofas symbolized all those personal needs from his particular perspective. The narrator voice added realism and interest to the piece. Finally the proper use of visuals and music provided the drama required to maintain the audience’s engagement with this touching video.

I found this a very complete and excellent project. I do not have knowledge about the specific production requirements such as academic goals or assessment criteria. The citations and permissions didn’t appear directly in the video but since it is part of a homeless collaboration, I presume all that is covered. I think the story is very well created, maybe it would be improved with a better title slide at the beginning and also including a picture or author story at the end of the presentation.

Second Production: Lost and Found

Lost and Found by Susan Becker is also part of the identity project. It is a very personal history of jewish immigrants narrated by a third generation member of the family. The story is engaging and has a progressing well developed flow of facts, each moment mentioned is connected with the author’s feelings and represented using a variety of visuals and audio.
The emotive music, beautiful narrator voice, and combination of quality images make this video engaging and remarkable. The addition of personal insights and adequate use of sentiment provides a sense of inclusion with the audience. I particularly enjoyed the final picture where the author dedicated the video to her parents.

I found this to be a quality project. Like in the previous video I do not have knowledge about the specific production requirements such as academic goals or assessment criteria. The citations and permissions don’t appear directly in the video but since it was part of a workshop facilitated by the Center for Digital Storytelling, I assume all that is covered. I do not think the story requires any modifications to improve.

I recommended watching both videos and learning more about this and other projects developed by the Center for Digital Storytelling.

2 responses to “First Week Digital Stories Critique”

  1. I watched the sofa video and I agree with most of your statements. For me, especially at the beginning, I couldn’t tell if the video was a joke or serious…. that was lost on me. I feel that a more clear title page and beginning (like you mentioned) would give the audience a better idea of what is coming. I also think that making the purpose clear in the beginning is very important as well.

    Where did you find these? What is your interest in these videos? What drew you to them?


  2. Hello Erin, sorry I didn’t reply before. I found the videos at My theme of interest is empowering positive identity in immigrant students so I was looking for this specific digital stories topic.


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