Our online lecturer today was Dr Daniel Meadows who started life as a photograph journalist and now specialises in digital narratives.
Or as he describes himself he is a bit of a hippy with a powerful need to question authority.
One of his projects a digital story telling program for WAles has recently been nominated for an innovation award. For me personally it was very interesting to listen to him because his appreciation of smaller stories made me look at some of my old work in a new light.
Video Nation Experiment
When I was 19 I was fortunate enough to be given a HD ready camera by the BBC in Southampton as part of my BBC Blast placement. The producer told me to go and “play with it” so I could learn how it worked and all its clever features.
I took it to Southampton Common and proceeded to film flowers, birds, people walking their dogs and generally all the things that make up a nice sunnie day in Southampton.
I then did a free style piece to camera, no script, just some verbal blah blah blah about what I thought of living in Southampton, particularly because it was the first city I had ever lived in!
I returned the content to the producer and promptly forgot all about it.
A few months past and I heard nothing, although I did get to work with the same producer on some other projects involving morris men and top hats stuffed with pheasant feathers.
Right at the very end of my placement the producer emailed me the link to my new video nation film. Without my knowledge he had kindly put all my shots into a logical order and made a film of me showing people the common.
In this film I look…well like a country bumpkin
I was hoping that this film would be buried for all time, since when it was finished I found it very embarrassing. But after watching Daniel Meadows clips today I realise that it is just an alternative method of story telling.
Yes I sound like a bit of a yokel but that doesn’t make my story less important or less relevant to a Southampton audience.
Unfortunately the Daily Telegraph didn’t agree me about the importance of my story. They listed it on their front page as one of the random things that the licence fee is being spent on, when they were attacking the BBC for having total control of the licence fee.
My grandparents bought 4 copies when they saw my name on the front page, I still have the clipping somewhere, and all my ex housemates used the opportunity to make jokes at my expense for wanting to be a journalist.
The point of telling you this fairly personal story is that my lecture today showed me that regionalism is relevant, and that individual stories are of as much importance as major national items. If they are told well they will develop a life of their own.