Just Google it!

I collaborated with John Brookhouse of 1o’Clock Multimedia on this “long winded” but amusing Google Search vignette which was part of Redacting Rosslyn v1.0 at The Depot Theatre in Westport, New York in August 2011. Although I concepted the content and story arc, and even most of the search queries, Brookhouse was the video maestro who morphed my vision into a far more creative story than I could have managed on my own.

Google Assisted Renovation

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Google as storytelling tool (Image via CrunchBase)

The idea of a digital story about the role the interwebs played in Rosslyn’s renovation had been with me for a while. Googleabove all others had been my constant companion, mentor, coach and materials source. I’m certain we couldn’t have successfully undertaken such an ambitious project with such limited experience, etc. in the pre-interwebs dark ages. Or even in the pre-Google days. Do you remember those days? Crinkly paper with sepia images locked up in libraries far away just when you need them most. Bleak.

Google Search Stories

Google Search Coupon: 1 FREE Google Search
Google Search Coupon: 1 FREE Google Search (Photo credit: Bramus!)

So the vision for the story had been composting in piles of typed words until I saw the inspired and inspiring “Parisian Love” video which was an instant viral sensation.

Finally I had a way to tell my story! I experimented with the Google Search Stories tool, creating a slew of clunky Rosslyn search videos. Soon I realized that I needed a collaborator with more sophisticated videography chops. Brookhouse was a patient and enjoyable collaborator. We’ll continue to work together in the future. Not only did he produce the clever video above for me to use in my performance, he helped educate me about video storytelling. At the time I was a video rote amateur. Now I’m just an amateur, in the French sense, a lover of video. Though I’m still a largely unskilled lover of video, I’ve begun to appreciate its nuances, limitations and unique storytelling potential.

Multimodal Storytelling

I’m especially intrigued with the interplay of traditional (oral) storytelling, print/text storytelling and digital storytelling. I believe we’re entering a time where we’ll see further and further blending of multimodal storytelling. This is especially exciting for me in the case of Rosslyn which includes years of photographs, drawings and a vast cast of engaging if somewhat eccentric characters. The opportunity to dilate this narrative beyond the limits of pages, books and oral storytelling is compelling. The opportunity for a more interactive storytelling matrix invites collaboration among many instead of one solitary writer scribbling away from the limited crow’s nest of his own head.

Thanks for diving into Rosslyn’s story. Together we’ll do her proud.

About virtualDavis

A writer, storyteller and unabashed flâneur, George Davis (aka virtualDavis or G.G. Davis, Jr.) is the author of Rosslyn Redux: Reawakening a home, a dream and ourselves, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks with his bride. He blogs about storytelling, poetry, doodling, marginalia, flânerie, publishing, and other creativity-inspired esoterica at virtualDavis.com; posts sometimes exhilarating, often unnerving, occasionally euphoric, and always pollyanna "midlife mashups" at 40x41.com; chronicles his sailing adventures (and misadventures) at Sailing Errant; and delves into matters of parenting, babylandia, and childfreedom at Why No Kids? George formerly taught and coached at Santa Fe Preparatory School and The American School of Paris, and he co-founded and launched Maison Margaux: "Paris à la parisienne" in Faubourg Saint-Germain. He currently owns and operates Adobe Oasis in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his bride. George meanders on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr.
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