When it comes to technical applications, many of us fall somewhere on a continuum. Some avoid learning new technology as much as possible, while others seem to rush toward every new thing - think of that cousin who can’t wait for the iPhone 27 to come out. I’m a late implementer. I generally wait until the early implementers have made their purchases and held forth on what’s useful and what isn’t before I enter the picture. So it took me a little while to warm up to the idea of learning a new application for the purpose of digital storytelling. And longer still to practice it and to get it to work for me.
I remember a vivid setback in my filmmaking journey. Between my first and second digital storytelling workshop, I saw The Last Jedi, the most recent film in the Star Wars franchise. It was a great film, but what really struck me was the credits at the end. I lost count of the sheer number of names of talented contributors, but it had to have been more than 4,000 people. All of them working on one big, elaborate film. Then I thought of my upcoming workshop. It was going to be just me and not 4,000+ well-paid professionals. Who was I to think I could do this?
Fortunately the WeVideo software is well-designed and easy to figure out with a little help. It’s an online, collaborative video editing program that makes it fairly simple to create original films from inputs all around us, things like images on our phones, narratives we can write and record ourselves, and music clips that serve as the soundtrack. And the stories it helps us create are meaningful and fun, not necessarily sophisticated. While nobody will ever mistake my work for a blockbuster movie, I’m okay with that because it was never the point. All I ever wanted to do was experiment with DIY filmmaking and this environment makes it easy, even for someone like me.