Story Critique Week 3

For this story I took my inspiration from something Remi commented, “there’s nothing preventing you from creating anything in Spanish.”

After I graduated high school I chose to do a gap year in Mexico.  I loved Spanish and longed to be fluent, so I knew the best course of action would be to go live somewhere and really learn the language.  When I arrived the first day my father greeted me with a lot of words all slurred together, it was then I realized “I do not know Spanish.”  I vowed in that moment that I would do everything in my power to learn the language, trying to avoid English at all costs.  After 6 months in Mexico, spending time with my host families and friends I realized something- I could understand the radio.  If you have ever heard the radio in a Hispanic country you understand this statement.  They speak so fast and with almost no content or background knowledge, you need to be fluent just to begin to understand.  I lived a year in the life of a foreigner in a new country.  I attended high school, made friends, had struggles to understand and had to overcome homesickness.  While mine was only a year, I got a taste of what it may be like for an ELL in America.

I chose a digital story entitled Nuevo Progreso through a website of example digital stories.  I liked the website because it has a featured video and the rest are organized by theme.  I was able to quickly look through and find one that I connected with.

The story is about Soltero, a young boy from Mexico.  He was continually told he would amount to nothing, and despite his mother’s words “los cosas se ponen mejor con el tiempo,” he started to feel that his life would never amount to anything.  However, a move to Mexico brings a slight tinge of hope to Soltero.

I was really impressed with this video.  It was simple, yet complex.  I really connected with the story and shed a couple tears towards the end.  I will be rating it on the following:

Story How well did the story work? This trait can address structure, engagement, character transformation or any of the other qualities of story discussed in Part II. In fact, an entire rubric can be devoted to evaluating the quality
Project planning Is there evidence of solid planning, in the form of story maps, scripts, storyboards, etc.?
Media application Was the use of media appropriate, supportive of the story, balanced and well considered?

Story: The story was really well told.  It was a true story so that helped his case, but you could hear the pain and suffering in the beginning and the sense of hope and gratification for what he had accomplished.  His story was easy to relate to just as someone who has lived in another country.

Project Planning: It was obvious that Soltero took his time and planned out each shot for each sentence.  He chose pictures that corresponded with his story but we not so literal.  One of the shots was the shadow of a gate, this was signifying his new home.  At this point in the story he is talking about struggling and not feeling connected to Texas, longing for home.  The fact that he chose a fence, something keeping him in, as a symbol for his home was very touching.  The only critique I had for this is that some images looked like stock from google or elsewhere.  I would have responded better to a full range of photos taken in or around the area he grew up in Texas.

Media Application: Again, the photos corresponded well with the story.  He took images and simply moved the camera slightly, this is a feature on imovie, just to give the video texture.  He also had an underlying music track in the background.   That was measured well with his voice, you could hear him speaking each time.

Overall I loved this video.  I thought it was really well done and highly suggest it to any one looking for a story of struggle.


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