Join Richard Koci Hernandez for an in-depth discussion in this video Golden age of storytelling, part of Creative Inspirations: Richard Koci Hernandez, Multimedia Journalist.
Richard: After Uprooted, one of the exciting things that really happened was not only this idea of how storytelling could change for us; technology changed. I mean really, the web changed. It really emerged. Laptops got smaller, cheaper. Cameras, we were able to do things with technology that we weren't able to do before. For me, this time while newspapers were suffering, to me, was, and we still continue to be in, like this golden age of storytelling, and for us it was the beginning. It's right there. Uprooted moved right from that point. Then we took technology that we were able to own and buy ourselves and sit in a cafe, sit outside, and produce something on a laptop.
Where before this time you really couldn't do it. The point of entry was thousands and thousands of dollars and all this kind of equipment. But now I could sit on this laptop, connected to the Internet, decide I wanted to learn After Effects, and I have a question, boom, somebody answered. That was very, very powerful for me. There are people out there who have no idea that they're part of any success that I've had. Any success I've had is not just me. It's some guy in the Netherlands at 2 am, or some woman in L.A. who decided to answer my question and help my story get this much better because I wanted to learn that technique.
MultimediaShooter, the blog that I created, was a no-brainer. It's my passion. I love it. I love the idea of giving back. I love the idea of thinking that maybe there is a storyteller out there somewhere where I was who needs to know one thing about something they don't know, and maybe they'll find it on my blog. I love to do tutorials on the blog. I love to do whatever I can to give. It's really kind of a simple thing. It's a give-back. I am going to start right here with the latest post on my blog, which is why you need to learn After Effects now.
It's just a thought. It's just something that I'm putting out there for people to ponder, think about. But what I really do love is, as I go through this, I'll curate, I'll say, hey! Look at this kind of storytelling. Look at what After Effects and motion graphics are doing to storytelling, how they are elevating storytelling. Look at these videos that I saw. Take a look at them. Then hey! Here's where you can go learn it. And I put that stuff out there. And then what's really valuable to me is you get in conversations like--that are on the blog right now. Here is a student always looking for new ways to make videos more memorable.
I was definitely inspired. I love-- and now all of a sudden there is this conversation between whoever this person is, wherever they are, about a new way of storytelling. Right at the beginning, right when you see it, it's boom! It's text. It's text moving and flowing. Imagine your friend being tortured, killed, sexually assaulted, daughter, son, killed, boom, for their beliefs, ideas. All of these things are something that motion graphics and After Effects bring to this story-- not a narrator, not a voice of God.
I was fortunate enough to be involved with a project that wanted to look back at what had happened with the student protest after the elections in Iran. And the story wasn't an immediate story. I couldn't go there. The story had already happened. I had all of these assets, but I wanted to create and be true to the power and truth of what happened there. And at that point, it was a wonderful convergence of knowing a tool now that I taught myself and putting it into practice, and that kind of culminated into this story that we called Interrupted Lives.
(Music playing.) People are doing the most amazing creative things, and it always makes me think like, have we been this creative the whole time, I wonder.
Has that person always been that creative just sitting there on the other side of the world, and I'm only finding out about it? Or now, because of technology they can be creative and be expressive. I don't know. It's a wonderful time to be a storyteller, to be alive, to be--all the tools and access and potential that we have to tell a story, and anybody in the world has the potential to see it. Have we ever been able to do that? I don't think so. I don't think you can argue that a storyteller has had the potential to be that powerful.
In Bonus Features, Koci is interviewed by Graduate School of Journalism colleague Jeremy Rue at the Pacific Film Archive Theatre, University of California, Berkeley.