Skip to content

Chickens Star in Haiku Video!

The visual haiku is a video art form that follows the rules of haiku poetry: three short scenes, each a few seconds in length, that illuminate a moment in time. Traditional haiku finds its subject in the human experience of nature, but poets have written haiku about many other topics.

At Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest, our students will learn how to create their own visual haiku. It’s an easy, fun and endlessly creative way to make lots of beautiful, short videos.

Using a watercolor I made a few years ago and a couple of scenes of my backyard chickens, I made this haiku video last weekend. I used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit and color-correct.

OUR STORY, MISSION, VALUES, AND COMMUNITY

Girl making a picture with an old camera

Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest is the daughter of Media Poetry Studio, an arts-based educational program for teen girls that started in 2014. Here’s the story of how Media Poetry Studio came to be:

In the Spring of 2014, California Bay Area Poets Laureate Erica Goss, Jennifer Swanton Brown and David Perez had an epiphany while discussing their plans as community poets. We wanted to reach out to young people, to involve them in creative writing, and make opportunities for them in the literary arts. Over several discussions, we developed a two-week summer camp for teen girls, one where they learned how to make short films based on their own poems. We called it Media Poetry Studio, and our students’ work can be viewed here.

In 2017, Erica moved to Eugene, Oregon, and began Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest. We offer a summer camp and workshops throughout the school year. Our first Fall Workshop for Teen Girls begins on Tuesday, September 25, 2018.

Our mission: We empower young women to find their voices though filmmaking and literary art.

Our values and community focus: We value each student’s unique voice, talents, and abilities. Our workshop is a safe, supportive community for girls to experiment with creative writing and technology. We give students the opportunity to tell their stories and show us what they think and feel.

You can sign your daughter up here.

Please contact Erica Goss, Director, if you have any questions.

THREE SPLIT-SCREEN VIDEO EFFECTS

The split-screen effect is an easy way to add interest to a video. Below, we’ve created three sample videos using this technique.

NOTE: we used iMovie to make these samples.

 

Sample 1. Basic Split-Screen effect. Screen pushes from left to right.

 

Sample 2. Split-Screen with right clip reversed, using “vintage” and “blast” filters.

 

Sample 3. Picture-in-picture effect using “silent era” filter.

 

THREE SIMPLE VIDEO TECHNIQUES

At Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest’s Fall Workshop, students will learn tips and techniques that will add interest and appeal to their videos. Three of my favorites are the mirror shot, overlays and see-through animated masks. I’ve added samples of these techniques for your review below.

NOTE: I used iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro to make these samples. During the Fall Workshop, students will learn how to use both programs.

Sample 1. The mirror shot. I added music and a fade at the end.

Sample 2. Overlay. Light leaks give this clip a unique look. I added ocean and seagull sound.

Sample 3. See-through animated mask. I added ocean sounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The making of The Fairy House

 

Telling stories and craft-making are two healthy, creative activities that benefit teen girls, helping them gain confidence in their abilities and encouraging them to try new things. One of the options we offer our students at Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest is instruction in making the how-to or demonstration video.

My video “The Fairy House” is an example of a how-to, story-telling video. The inspiration came from a newspaper story about Theresa Ojibway, a woman from New Jersey who makes fairy houses. She makes tiny beds, chairs, ladders, and doors from natural materials, and leaves them in parks for children to find.

Theresa Ojibway’s story inspired me to create a video about a woman who makes fairy furniture. Over a two-week period in the summer of 2016, I did the following:

  • researched photographs of Ms. Ojibway’s creations,
  • made my own versions with twigs, glue, twine, fabric, and craft-store items,
  • wrote the screenplay,
  • filmed myself in my backyard.

It was an extremely enjoyable project, as it allowed me to fulfill the roles of screenwriter, actor (just my hands!), set designer, prop builder, videographer, editor, and producer. The only task I gave to someone else was that of narrator. A former student of mine allowed me to record her telling the story of the Fairy House. (My son painted the fairy-mobile.)

I filmed the scenes with redwood trees in a park near my house, and since it was summer, I had to deal the hard bright light. I used various settings in Adobe Premiere’s Lumetri Color to get the dreamy, brownish look of an old book or postcard. For the furniture-building scenes, I covered a plastic table with brown postal paper and shot some of the scenes through pots of flowers.

I have lots of “blooper” video, times when the wind scattered my carefully arranged twigs, or the fragile, twiggy furniture kept falling over, or when my dog, who appears at the end, refused to stay on camera. I’ve often thought of making a video of just those scenes!

Enrollment is open.

Warmly,

Erica

Erica Goss

Founder and Director

Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest

Your Questions Answered

Almah_Shoot 2Parents deciding on a summer enrichment activity for their teen girls naturally have many questions. Below, I have listed answers to the most common questions I’ve received about Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What will my daughter learn?

A: She will engage in creative writing, storyboarding, video production, setting up scenes, set design, directing, filming, videography, editing, special effects, and animation.

Q: What is the student-teacher ratio?

A: We accept a maximum of 24 students, or 8 students per teacher.

Q: Your camp seems expensive. Why is it priced at $589?

A: Our camp is two weeks in length. Camp days are six hours long. That’s sixty hours of high-quality instruction in a supportive, small-class setting at less than ten dollars per hour. Considering what our students learn, it’s a bargain!

Q: Is this a new camp? Have you run this camp in the past?

A: Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest is new to Eugene. I co-ran two similar camps in the California Bay Area, in 2015 and 2016. For more information on those camps, please visit Media Poetry Studio’s website.

Q: During the summer, I’d like my daughter to spend some time outdoors. Your camp seems mostly indoors.

A: We will spend approximately ¼ of our time outdoors. We have photography and filming field trips planned for Skinner Butte Lookout and Skinner Butte Park.

Q: What will my daughter have to show for her time at your camp?

A: Your daughter will have several short videos she made herself. She will have had the experience of working in a small, supportive group, of increased self-esteem, and the feeling of empowerment that comes from learning and working in a team-oriented environment.

Enrollment is open.

Warmly,

Erica

 

Erica Goss

Founder and Director

Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest

V is for Values

activity-adult-adventure-346705

Every teen girl needs encouragement to take on new challenges, handle stress, set goals, and develop a healthy sense of self.

At Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest, we celebrate and respect teen girls. We understand their need for acceptance and their growing independence. Our core values reflect our beliefs in the potential of every girl:

  • Teamwork. Each girl is a valued part of a creative team.
  • Trust. Our students learn to trust themselves and their intuitions.
  • Courage. We create a safe space for our students to explore what interests them.
  • Creativity. We believe that every girl has talent.
  • It’s ok to make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn, grow, and discover new things.

Our list of core values reflects our motto, which is “A supportive community for girls.” We truly believe that the creative potential of teen girls is a major force for good in the world.

Enrollment is open.

Warmly,

Erica

 

Erica Goss

Founder and Director

Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest

15 Female-directed Films

woman-with-camera-1439892

Here’s a list of fifteen feature films directed by women, debuting in 2018. Some are already out, and some are still coming:

  1. The Strange Ones
  2. The Party
  3. A Wrinkle in Time
  4. What They Had
  5. Blockers
  6. The Rider
  7. Zama
  8. I Feel Pretty
  9. The Spy Who Dumped Me
  10. Barbie
  11. The Nightingale
  12. The Darkest Minds
  13. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  14. Mulan (live action version)
  15. Mary, Queen of Scots

I’m going to see them all!

If You Give a Girl a Camera

girl-in-black-white-1192719

 

I’ve always loved the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, which I read to my children when they were little. In the book, a boy gives a delicious chocolate chip cookie to a mouse. The mouse loves the cookie, which leads him to ask for things to go with it: a glass of milk, a straw to drink the milk with, a mirror to see if he has a milk moustache, etc. Soon the mouse is asking for a story, a nap, and eventually, another cookie.

When I discovered video poetry in 2012, I was just like the mouse: my curiosity led me in a number of directions. First I watched hundreds of videos. Soon I reached out to video artists, interviewing them for my column The Third Form. A year or so later, I began to experiment with making my own video poems, and soon after, ran Media Poetry Studio, a summer camp dedicated to teaching the art to teen girls. Now that I live in Eugene, Oregon, I’ve created Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest, a summer program dedicated to teaching teen girls how to make their own short videos.

photographer-1440279

My “cookie” was a chance encounter at a writers’ conference in the winter of 2012. I wandered into a conference titled “Poetry Video in the Shadow of Music Video – Performance, Document, and Film.” When I entered Boulevard Room A at the Chicago Hilton and took a seat at the back of the room, I had no idea that my life would change. Now video-making is an important and growing part of my artistic practice.

 

If you give a girl a camera, what will she do next? Imagine the possibilities!

 

Enrollment is open.

Warmly,

Erica

 

Erica Goss

Founder and Director

Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest

A Supportive Community For Girls

beautiful-camera-cute-139829

At Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest, we believe in girls: their potential, their intelligence, and their creativity. We believe that giving a girl the tools to express herself is one of the most powerful things anyone can do.

Girls aged 11-17 are particularly vulnerable. Messages leap out at them everywhere, telling them how to look, how to think, and how to be. At Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest, we give the tools of image-making to girls, allowing them to tell us how they think and feel. This act of expression empowers girls in so many ways.

As an educator, I’ve worked with teen girls for many years. I’ve listened to them tell me about their lives, their stresses, the expectations placed on them, and their plans for the future. The passion of these girls to make the world a better place never ceases to impress me.

Our goal is to foster a supportive community for girls. We listen to them. We help them access their creativity. These are our future teachers, doctors, poets, and filmmakers. What are their dreams, hopes, fears and ambitions? How do they see the world?

Our mission is to help girls answer those questions for themselves.

Enrollment is open.

Warmly,

Erica

 

Erica Goss

Founder and Director

Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest