We have released our newest iPad app, a collaboratively animated spoken word poem by Shane Koyczan. The To This Day App is based on a viral video of the same name, that has had over nine million views.
Get it on the App Store.
The To This Day iPad App is based on a powerful anti-bullying themed spoken word poem, written and performed by Shane Koyczan, and animated by dozens of different animators. Every viewing and experience of the poem in this free app is unique thanks to randomly selected animated clip variations for most of the poem’s stanzas. Other features include the option to record your own version of the poem to be played with the animation, share your favorite stanzas with your friends via Facebook, Twitter and Email, enjoy the text in English, Spanish and French, link directly to the ToThisDay project web site from within the app, and much more. … Read More »
I love the inherent flexibility of an oral story – it means it can be improvised, allowing for each telling to be shaped to its audience and the environment where it is being told. With oral delivery, tellers can bring their own personalities to the story, and listeners get to experience what it means to be part of the creative process. There are many different kinds of oral story; I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at some of them. (These are in no particular order).
anecdote – this is usually a short account of a real incident or event, often interesting or amusing though sometimes biographical. Example: You’re in a cooking class and are about to learn how to make a souffle and the chef prefaces the lesson by telling you about the first time he made a souffle and it was a disaster. Anecdotes are used to lighten the mood, to reminisce, to caution or to inspire. … Read More »
The fabliau is a short, usually anonymous and often funny tale made popular by traveling troubadours, or ‘jongleurs’ in medieval France (13th Century). Most fabliaux are up to 400 lines in length, and many were composed in octosyllabic rhymed couplets that were the standard narrative form of the period, but the form could vary – from simple linguistic playfulness and dirty jokes to complex comic developments and irreverent anecdotes. For the most part, a fabliau dealt with deception and revenge visited on the avaricious. They were enjoyed by peasants and nobles alike. Their reputation for being coarse and bawdy grew out of their excessive use of sexual and scatological obscenity and their anticlericalism. Anyone interested in social history will find fabliaux fascinating reflections of daily life in the middle ages. … Read More »
Threes figure prominently in storytelling. This may be because humans remember things most effectively through patterns and three is the smallest number of elements required to create a pattern. A series of three often creates a progression in which the tension is created, built up, and finally released.
Back in the days when stories were chiefly passed along in an oral tradition, saying a thing three times or using a structure three times might have been the easiest way to recall the story and to teach it to the next generation. … Read More »
There’s a fair bit of crossover between folk and fairy tales; the latter don’t always have fairies in them, nor do they all end happily ever after. Loosely speaking, fairy tales are a sub-genre of folk tales and differ mostly in that they often include magical elements and/or fantastic creatures. They are commonly set in the real world, but unlike legends for instance, they are neither time nor site specific. Everything happens long ago and far away and is designed to drive the plot forward by the swiftest of means, including the characters who possess little in the way of inner lives. In fairy tales, pretty much anything is possible – the wind counsels, rivers sing, animals speak, and people and objects frequently undergo transformations.
Moving Tales Were Inspired by the iPad
When we started making digital content for mobile devices, we were inspired by the innovative iPad in particular. This was and remains a fantastic device – for me it crystallized many of the promises of the earlier technology of CD-ROM multi-media into a device that, crucially, actually worked! Like something from the future, this was the first digital device anybody could use – including my ancient mum – and in my opinion was the introduction of a new digital paradigm.
One of the reasons that the iOS devices are so successful is that Apple controls the complete user experience – hardware, iOS and the distribution mechanism of iTunes/App store/iBookstore. For the kind of rich media content we produce – with cutting edge interactivity, animation, soundscapes, multi-lingual narration and text – Apple remain ahead of their competitors (Amazon/Kindle and Google/Android) in the implementation of such capabilities in this crucial mobile space. … Read More »
We’re excited to announce the launch of “Elly’s Lost & Found Sounds” as a free browser based interactive story.
Based on the interactive iBook of the same name, anyone with a laptop or desktop web browser can read “Elly’s Lost and Found Sounds” for free online by visiting moving-tales.com/ellyonline.
As you may or may not know, “Elly Online” is written and illustrated by our own Jacqueline O Rogers. Like the original iBook, “Elly Online” is an enchanting story with original sounds, music, animation, and magical interactivity. By visiting moving-tales.com/elly anyone with a laptop or desktop web browser can read “Elly’s Lost and Found Sounds” for free. … Read More »
Folktales are stories rooted in oral traditions among common people, most of whom were illiterate. They reflect universal experience, and similar tales are ubiquitous the world over. One imagines many stories circulating throughout history yet it is only a select few, those that contained polished nuggets of wisdom, that managed to be passed down through generations until they were eventually collected and published by individuals like Charles Perrault and the brothers Grimm.
Who Were the Brothers Grimm?
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, who died in 1863 and 1859 respectively, were German scholars with an interest in culture who studied linguistics and collected folklore. Their first volume of tales published in 1812 was widely translated and had a profound
influence on other European scholars who set out to do similar work collecting folktales from their home countries. This soon gave rise to folklore societies whose interests expanded into collecting songs, poems, proverbs, games, traditional lore and folk medicine.
We can easily misconstrue that technology is synonymous with machinery or automation. Of course, technology is not just machinery. One might say more accurately, that technology is the application of knowledge to solve a problem or improve a pre-existing condition. In this sense, wheels, forks and books are not just technologies, but each are fantastic technologies. … Read More »
I recently heard an interview with writer Colum McCann (clip below). He wrote a book called Let the Great World Spin. In the interview he said “one of the great privileges about being a writer is that you become alive in a body that is not your own.” … Read More »
‘To This Day’ Video has Gone Viral
Wow. Have a look at this
Many many animators donated their time and worked in collaboration with the volunteer efforts of Vancouver design group Giant Ant over a mere 20 days to create an impressive variety of multiple animation segments which were strung together to produce the incredibly successful and poignant To This Day video. The animation went viral and is now approaching 5 million views in barely a week. … Read More »
How We Build Stories at Moving Tales
Conventional spoken storytelling is collaborative in that the tales are handed along and developed over time. Every telling is unique and requires a listening audience to become meaningful. We believe that digital stories are no exception: they too develop over time, and are created through the collaborative efforts and disparate skills of many individuals, each of whom brings his or her own perspective and creative signature to the projects.
At Moving Tales, all aspects of production, from the written narrative, to the creation of images and ambient sound form part of a collaborative call and response process as the stories are developed. The written narrative is seldom fixed from the start, but rather expands and contracts in the call and response process as the images and sounds are developed around it and woven through it over time. This method is unique as opposed to writing in isolation. … Read More »
The Technology of Sticks and Pigment
You could say the relationship between storytelling and technology goes back a long time – that the first stories were told in caves and in the sand, and the first ‘technologies’ were the sticks and the pigments used to draw them.
There is clearly a shift taking place towards a multi media approach to exploring, developing, sharing and preserving stories, both age old and modern tales. These intersections present all sorts of possibilities which challenge us to question the nature of what constitutes narrative storytelling in its many manifestations as it evolves in the digital age. … Read More »
Exploring Narrative Through Technology
At Moving Tales we are continually exploring innovative ways to create dynamic content for our interactive digital publications. Part of this endeavour is to keep pace with evolving technologies. It is no coincidence that most of what we do and dream of doing seems to circle around our deep rooted love of stories. After all, we find it impossible to imagine a world without them. … Read More »
Last week we had a very rare critically misrepresentative review of our “Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross” app. In the article “How Interactive Ebooks Engage Readers and Enhance Learning”, the writer attempts to characterize “The Pedlar Lady” as not offering “any real value through interactivity”. Not only does this statement ignore the substantive interactivity in our apps, the authour chooses to ignore any educational merits in the app. (Just one example: as in all of our apps, with “The Pedlar Lady” app, a user can record their own voice to be heard alongside the provided music, sound effects and animation.) Needless to say, I find this kind of unsubstantiated journalistic “criticism” frustrating. But we can’t win – if we let the misrepresentation slip by unchallenged, it may compromise our critical presence in the digi-sphere. Yet if we respond to point out the error, we can come across as defensive and thin skinned.
With so many of the available “interactive ebooks”, the interactivity jarringly interrupts the user’s immersion in the story. Sometimes less is more. Just because one can add a gratuitous interactive moment in an app, doesn’t mean one should. We are not interested in prioritizing mindless interactive stimuli over the potential immersive qualities of the exciting new kind of storytelling experience offered by devices like the iPad. From our point of view, it’s about intention, about having the technology serve the narrative opportunity, not overwhelm it. It’s about balance, selection, editing. It’s about substance and presence. It’s about presenting a rich and resonant experience for those who give it time. … Read More »
We hope you will explore with us a fun and slightly paradoxical new experimental project – what we are calling “The Slow Twitter Project”.
We love words, traditional & slow culture. We like to play. We asked ourselves how should we engage with Twitter which, given its impulse-driven fast moving nature, seemingly stands in contrast to much of what we aspire to. We started to think about how we might subvert this instantaneity. We wanted to reconsider Twitter as a playful and poetic medium in its own right. We also decided to try and play out the concept of slowness into the Twittersphere. Maybe we can reclaim a fragment of the impulse-driven site as a place for slowly revealed well thought-out and playful one-liners, two-liners and four-liners.
Further, as we just came through a municipal election where there were a few “Burma-Shave” style signs deployed, we started to think that one way to look at the postings to the Twitterverse might be to frame them as being analogous to the handmade Burma-Shave billboards by the sides of the road throughout rural American in the middle of the last century. Putting these intentions together, we came up with “Slow Tweeting” – where witty rhymes are revealed incrementally and slowly through the immediacy of Twitter.
This is an experiment, so its form and specifics may change. Here are the “rules” to Moving Tales ‘Burma Shave’ inspired Slow Tweeting so far – reveal the rhymes, one line (“billboard”) at a time, in reverse order, over a set increment of time.
Moving Tales’ wordsmith Jacqueline O Rogers, has written a few Slow Tweets for us that praise the virtues of going slow. We will be sharing them over the next weeks with you. Look in the sidebar to the right to see them come together.
We will post our Slow Tweets from @tweet_slow.
As lovers and advocates of well considered words, traditional culture, and playful slow media, we asked ourselves how should we engage with Twitter which, on the face of it, given its impulse-driven fast moving nature, seemingly stands in contrast to much of what we aspire to. At the same time as these ruminations, we rediscovered this wise twitter guide initially published in an edition of Tricycle last year by @TinyBuddha.
This much I know is true:
What a blog is NOT
waves, at South Beach Co. Wicklow
a stiff creak in the hip
a velvet curtained stage
a dog chasing a passing cyclist
dirt under my finger nails after transplanting raspberry canes
salty sea wind on my face
the half hour ahead of us
What a blog IS
the world as it looks through a series of broken mirrors
a dark undulating plain, in which certain moments are spotlit
part of the story I put down, that cannot fade
a digital loom, for words and images
a way to describe loose ends of thought
like a sound, just for the sake of it, in a public stairwell
a white sky full of zeros and ones
holding a pose, in text
‘ memory’s furious land ‘
What a blog COULD be
up for consideration
a new way to think about your dog
bewildering cubist constructions and biomorphic shapes
a way to shake up internal composure
something to read at an airport
We often lose the power of the moment, because we are so rarely in it. Yet the most meaningful and rewarding aspects of living require time, and presence.
The invention of the printing press in the middle of the 15th century gave rise to a period of
information proliferation which scholars of the time bemoaned for a variety of reasons.
They lamented that, as mass production increased, the quality of printed texts diminished, but they also expressed concern that the supply of new information was ‘distracting and difficult to manage’.
Does this sound a little like 15th century information overload?
Fast forward to the age of the internet, to a world where, thanks to rapid advances in computer technology, distracting and unmanageable information overload has become a blessed curse, and is now a way of life for most of us.
I feel a keen sense of metaphysical vertigo when I try to imagine the world in another fifty or even twenty five years as information and access to information continues to grow exponentially. This is not unlike the feeling I get when I gaze up at the sky on a cloudless night – a visceral sense of seductive and paralyzing wonder as I feebly attempt to measure the significance of my life against the profusion of possibilities inherent in an ever expanding universe. Looking out from my half lit 21st century cave, the milky way of information and social networking looks and feels similarly overwhelming.
The challenge for me, fortunate enough to have been born into this fascinating and frustrating time, is to learn to live in ways that are outwardly simple, but inwardly rich.
As I aspire to live more mindfully in a complex world driven increasingly by technology,
what I am learning from the age of information overload is that breadth of knowledge is not the same as depth of knowledge, and that being good at multitasking is not the same as being able to engage meaningfully with complexity.
Although I can be as inclined as the next curious person to enjoy falling down the virtual rabbit hole of the internet, I am also learning that setting priorities and simplifying my life helps a great deal when it comes to determining what constitutes personal, meaningful engagement.