The Arab Spring demonstrated the increasing importance of amateur content to document global events. The existing solutions to improve the low quality of amateur content all focus on adding filters or easing postproduction. StoryMaker solves these problems before users have created low quality content. StoryMaker approaches storytelling as a structured, task-based process, simplifying a complex process.
StoryMaker provides users specific templates for audio, video, and photo stories. These templates employ overlays, suggested time limits for each clip, and brief, clear instructions to indicate key aspects of each element of the story. Creating stories with a structured template dramatically reduces editing time, speeding delivery of finished stories. By reducing technical hurdles, StoryMaker allows users to focus on finding a compelling story and strong characters, the foundation of good journalism and storytelling.
StoryMaker presents users experiencing mass violence with clear, task-based instruction in documenting such events. Increasingly, the availability of smartphones, and a variety of methods for publishing online, as well as the portability of storage media, are ensuring images surface from some of the hardest to reach conflicts. What we are not seeing is an increase in the quality of this content, either for purposes of journalism or use on an evidentiary basis.
StoryMaker was developed as a tool to help anyone create great multimedia stories. It is based on one fundamental notion: the technical elements of story are inherently formulaic. These difficulty presented by these technical elements can be reduced by providing a structured approach to storytelling.
This structured approach can be further refined, aimed at the specific circumstances of an event of mass violence. News agencies, human rights monitors, and even the International Criminal Court could develop specific assignments and push those to users. These assignments can be structured to leverage all manner of data from the users mobile device. An assignment may have a very specific location, composition instructions, or even preset lengths for each clip. The resulting assignment can be set to publish via a secure means, and closed so that it can only be submitted directly to the organization providing the assignment.
We need your feedback to improve the app, so please let us know what you think and what works, and what doesn't.
StoryMaker is currently available in Arabic and English, but you can help us translate it into many more languages by joining our translation team at http://transifex.com/