Western Digital Story Telling Project

What is Digital Story Telling Project about?

The Digital Story Telling Project (DSTP) is about providing our Western students with innovative learning and teaching experiences that support the development of their professional portfolios.

Hepatitis NSW is a not-for-profit charity organisation that provides information, support, referral, and advocacy for people affected by viral hepatitis in NSW. In the 2017-2018 financial year Hepatitis NSW received funding to support youth to develop digital health promotion collateral promoting prevention, testing and treatment for Hepatitis B in Sydney’s migrant population. From this funding Western Sydney University (Western) has partnered with Hepatitis NSW to deliver the Digital Story Telling Project (DSTP).

The DSTP aims to provide students with a crash course in basic do it yourself (DIY) filmmaking using smart phone technology and a low budget DIY approach.  Part of this will involve developing the ability to make creative content that responds to the brief by the major sponsor, Hepatitis NSW. Another major focus is creating content that enables social change.

Leveraging of this opportunity, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotions Team in partnership with the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and the School of Science and Health, will lead this project, providing an original and invaluable opportunity to engage our Western students and recent graduates in professional development and the development of their creative portfolios and to learn how to be activist in social change.

In March 2018 students will be provided an opportunity to learn basic DIY film making over a 6-week course, with specific Hepatitis B learning and key preventative health messaging interwoven into the developed content. Throughout the six-week course, students will be asked to apply their new learning to develop a digital storyboard promoting prevention, testing or treatment of Hepatitis B, targeting one of three populations, with the all developed collateral being submitted into a closed competition. Three identified populations are:

  • New Migrant – Youth and young adults
  • New Migrant – Mature and older adults
  • New Migrant – Chinese

The winning video of each category (three winners in total) will be awarded $1000 in prize money each and their video will be used as part of the Hepatitis NSW (state-wide) social media communication strategy.

How many participant places are there?

With this being a pilot initiative, we have 35 positions for students to attend a face to face delivery of the course. Given this upper limit of 35 participants for the face-to-face sessions, we have made an additional 25 places available to participate using online content to inform video productions. This will allow the participant to take part in the video competition, i.e. be eligible to submit a video for the chance to win $1000 prize money. However, please note that content covered in sessions will be available online, but this is NOT a fully online course.

Who is delivering the DSTP?

The Digital Story Telling Project (DSTP) is a collaboration between the Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotions Team, School of Humanities and Communication, School of Science and Health and our Industry partners, Hepatitis NSW.

When and where will the sessions be held?

Registered students will be asked to attend 6 face to face or online (or a mixture) session, each 1.5 hours in length. A comprehensive vUWS site will also be available to access by all registered students.

Sessions will be delivered on the Parramatta South campus, building EA (location to be finalised) on Wednesdays from 4.00 pm to 5.30 pm on the following dates:

  • Session 1:                     28th March
  • Session 2:                     4th April
  • Session 3:                     11th April
  • Session 4:                     18th April
  • Session 5:                     25th April

Break week for mid-session – Students provided with online support

  • Session 6:                     9th May

In the following two weeks (14th of May to 25th of May), students will be provided time to edit and finalise video submission.  Students will also be provided online support and additional support via appointments during this time.

Final productions are due the 28th May; with round 1 shortlisting being completed by the 1st June and finalisation of winners being completed by 15th June. All shortlisted students will be invited to attend a presentation evening on the 25th June, with winners being awarded their prize money and certificated on this day.

What are the benefits in participating?

In addition to building their professional portfolios, with the ‘winning’ students’ work being a part of a national campaign, the initiative supports a number of other benefits to all participating students, such as:

  • learning film making skills, including idea conceptualisation, storyboarding, script, filming, editing and audio;
  • developing creative communication strategies;
  • learning a new digital skill i.e. creating digital storyboards;
  • developing media content with an awareness of social issues; and e) the opportunity to participate in experiential learning.

What will we be co-creating in the sessions?

Workshop 1: Ideas

  • Sussing out different ways of telling stories.
  • Thrifty DIY approaches to film-making
  • Why social change videos work... or not?
  • Meet the client and brief:  Hepatitis NSW & the HEP B project

Workshop 2: Storyboarding

  • Getting your ideas on paper
  • Shot composition
  • Turning your ideas into storyboards

Workshop 3: Shooting fundamentals

  • Playing with video: Making your shots creative and interesting
  • Camera Shots
  • Getting good sound
  • Lighting

Workshop 4: Fundamentals of Editing

  • Cutting your footage
  • Text on screen
  • Soundtracks (what you can and can’t use)
  • Voiceovers

Workshop 5: This is the real deal

  • Lock in your final creative ideas
  • Refine ideas with help and feedback
  • Storyboard final idea
  • Shoot schedule & locations

Workshop 6: Final consultations

  • Consultations with Holly to polish your creative work

To Enrol into the Digital Story Telling Project Workshops

Given the small numbers for participation, participants will be randomly selected into the course and notified via email. To register your interest, please complete the following expression of interest form:

Contact details

For more information on the DSTP please review FAQs

For questions relating to DSTP processes and requirements please contact Rowena Saheb, Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotions Coordinator.

For questions relating to the content covered in the sessions, please contact Holly Kay-Smith, Session Provider

For questions relating to the research associated with this project, please contact Dr. Arianne Reis Lead Researcher