Digital storytelling has changed everything I am doing. Recently, I got to sit down virtually with Mike Lang of Common Language DST and pick his brain about all things digital storytelling. Mike is a digital storytelling facilitator, a health researcher and a filmmaker, among many other things. In April of 2021 I took his Level 1 Facilitator Training and I cannot wait until the Level 2 training in February. Plus, look what he put on his website!
What is a Digital Story?
In our conversation Mike describes a digital story like this, “It’s a short 2-5 minute film that people create using their own photos and videos and a voice over they write and then they actually put it all together with some music. It’s a short film they make themselves. People are often surprised to think that they can do that. It’s possible that’s why we’re here to help them from start to finish.”
But I think my favourite line was when he said, “It’s like making a film without any filming.”
If you are interested in learning more about the methodology behind digital storytelling I included a link to one of Mike’s articles below. I’m actually quite nerdy excited to read his entire PhD dissertation on digital storytelling.
What We Both Love About Digital Storytelling
Mike put it best when he said, “The best part of digital storytelling is the way it creates conversations. There is the conversation between the facilitator and the storyteller. And then you show the story to friends and family and they talk to you about it. Show it to an organization and you have a conversation. It’s the way that stories start these meaningful conversations. I think that’s what really needed, now more than ever, a way to enter into meaningful conversation with others. A story is the best way to do that.”
“Fact’s bring us to knowledge, but stories lead to wisdom.”Dr Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom
I enjoyed every part of our conversation but one of Mike’s comments that really resonated with me was the idea that people often think the film is the end product. But what’s really important is the process.
I would love if you joined us for the whole conversation, but I recognize time is precious so you may want to skip ahead to what resonates with you. Every link we talk about is accessible through the shownotes below the video in YouTube. And you will also able to access other digital stories from there.
In this Conversation…
0:30 Who is Mike Lang?
1:40 What is a Digital Story?
3:00 Mike’s Origin Story
7:00 Our Favourite Parts
7:35 Why we Need DST Facilitators
10:00 Ethics of Storytelling
12:30 How Common Language DST Started
15:30 Community of Trained Storytellers
18:30 Begin with Foundational Principles
23:00 Final Thoughts
“We don’t think about our life as a story. That’s where facilitators come in. They bring this storytelling mindset to your life.”Mike Lang
October is going to be the first Kitchen Table Night, a public online screening night and discussion. The evening will showcase 3-4 stories and includes group discussions and interviews with the storytellers. So, grab some food, a drink, and come meet us at the kitchen table for a dose of wisdom. And by the way to my storytellers, let me know if you would be interested in showcasing your story!