Creating Memories in a Digital Space

The role of technology in film is often framed in terms of functionality.

New cameras with higher resolutions make for clearer images; only certain lighting equipment can naturally brighten even the darkest of spaces; there are audio recorders in existence which have such crystal clear quality that anyone listening would think they were the sound itself. While these new tools undoubtedly make the production process easier and more efficient, using technology creatively and innovatively to enhance viewer’s experiences is often much more rewarding.

At TheStoryBoxes we pride ourselves on our ability to use creative and innovative methods to tell the unique stories of extraordinary individuals. We give people a platform through which they can speak, people who may otherwise go unheard. By intertwining personal narratives with a specific cinematographic style and a globally-accessible digital platform we extend the ways our viewers can gather meaning and knowledge. Ultimately, we thrive on telling and sharing experiences, rather than just stories.

Our foray into the use of new digital technologies as a means of storytelling was put to the test for the production of “Our Lands, Our Heads, Our Hearts”. This visual installation was created for the new digital learning centre at Southern Cross University [SCU]; an experiential space where users would be able to engage with a large video wall, key location finders, and a welcome screen that featured real-time news and weather updates.

Our motivation was to take organic themes and place them, digitally, into a modern space. It gave us an opportunity to take our focus on immersion and experience to the next level. The capacity of technology to embed the user into any place or time, transcendental of the physical body, adds a dimension to storytelling that makes it more sensual, more likely to be remembered. After all, technology is irrelevant without human experience. Instead, its role is to engage, inspire, evoke and create experiences that carry meaning outside of a particular place and time.

We hoped that by connecting technology with human experience, the SCU digital learning space would promote collaboration and ideas-lead conversation between individuals and groups, be they students, researchers, practitioners, or the public. The natural landscape surrounding the university is a rich and diverse environment, and we wanted to translate this into an space where a similarly rich and diverse community discussion could take place.

Gathering the footage we needed to turn our aspiration into a reality was a mammoth effort: in an 11 day period, we travelled more than 700 kilometres.

But we knew that taking that beautiful footage and placing it in a digital landscape of personalised and unrestrained designs, would motivate users to become ambitious and forward-thinking citizens of the world.

The potential for technology to have a wide-reaching social impact and to cultivate a collaborative cultural environment is already become apparent in the overwhelming influence online media has on our lives. Through moving image and digital storytelling, we can promote creative and innovative engagement, creating an environment of social integration and interconnectivity.

Through this, we can hope that the community will do the same.