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Umeewarra Media runs Digital Storytelling Workshop for First Nation film makers.

Artist Marika Davies filming her own art practice.

Digital Storytelling includes so many varied types of media that creatives can participate in many art forms digitally. If you are wanting to develop your group or workplaces skills in the digital arena , remember that each art form may have connected and complimentary skills.

Many industries can benefit from their staff or members being more adept at working with telling their digital stories. It can benefit in raising awareness and forming understanding in your followers or clients.

Umeewarra Media is an Aboriginal run media company based in Port Augusta in South Australia. In this blog I will talk about a special workshop which they initiated with support of the Port Augusta Council , called 'Umee Stories : We all have yarns'.

The content that Umeewarra Media create and the stories they tell currently in the community are making a difference to the sense of connection for Aboriginal people in South Australia and promoting the importance and of Aboriginal culture.

What is a digital storytelling workshop?

Digital stories can be told through many mediums. Essentially they are any stories told digitally ( who would have thought it?).

In this case I focused on working with the staff and community members to create a workshop that would grow the film making aspects of their current skills. Umeewarra media were able to secure the publishing of the participants films on a First Nation publishing platform called IndigiTube. This was exciting for everyone.

Experienced digital creators Dre and Lavene Ngatokorua (Mother and Son) are passionate about helping other people tell their stories and I was happy to be a support to them in this process.

Umeewarra media not only has many members of their staff that are artists or creators but they are willing to enter into creative and professional development with community members as well.
Artist Marika Davies working on her film.

What was involved in the workshop?

A big part of this workshop was the planning and story boarding of a story before the filming began. This is a very important skill in forming a narrative that makes sense and is resolved within a short film or video piece.

The process of making the storyboard required each participant to establish a beginning , middle and end to their story. This means that each film had a flow that ended with a resolution.

What was covered in this workshop?

  • Choosing the story you want to tell strategically

  • Story boarding your short film with a planner

  • Setting up your own shots with small tripods.

  • Creating a variety of images for each section of the story

  • Creating a continuous narrative in your short film

  • Editing, music, titles and voice over of films

What cameras did we use to make the films?

All the films in this project were filmed using camera phones and cheap mini tripods ($10). Where possible the film maker set up and filmed every shot themselves in the film. The idea being that the workshop built the capacity of the film makers to self create beyond the workshop bounds.

A crowd of people sit viewing a bright screen in an outdoor venue.
Dre Ngatokorua hosts the film viewing event at Port Augusta
Dre, Lavene, Umeewarra Director Vince Coultard and Nat at the films screening.

Who saw the digital stories that were made?

The films were shown to a community film festival" at Port Augusta barracks which was also hosted by the Umeewarra Team and a panel was held to discuss the process with some of the participants. Many of the topics covered in the films were deeply meaningful and moving. Port Augusta and surrounds holds a wealth of stories.

Where can you see these films?

The films were published on IndigiTube and can be seen at this link under the whole project or you can watch this powerful digital story made by 18 year old Chevon McKenzie here.

It was such a privilege to work along side this community as they told their old, new and powerful person stories.

If you would like to create sharable, compelling digital stories and empower your team or group members, get in touch with Nat and she can work with you to find a way that is suited to your situation.

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