My digital essay, A Tale of Mother & Son, can be found in its keynote format (the format I would like anyone who has keynote to view it in) here, and in its Quicktime format (for those of you who do not have Keynote), here. A Tale of Mother & Son is a humorous story about a mother, Harriet, who happens to be a dog (mine, actually), and her son, Rollo, who is also a dog, and also mine, and the change in their relationship over time.
The story is about how Harriet and Rollo have a very human, and a very humanly dysfunctional, relationship. Harriet is a selfish mother who neglects her only son, Rollo, and pursues pheasants and runs in the park all day without a care in the world for her son, Rollo. To cope with his terrible relationship with his mother, Rollo sees a therapist every Tuesday (Mrs. Smith to be precise). The turning point in the story is when Harriet has a mid-life crisis (as we humans often do), and “sees the light.” She realises that pheasant-chasing and running through Hyde Park offer her no joy when she knows her only son Rollo is feeling rejected. Harriet, very sensibly, seeks peace with Rollo but by this time, Rollo is very serious, and does not believe his mother could turn a new leaf so soon and so genuinely! In the end, Harriet gives Rollo a tummy rub (his very first), and Rollo succumbs to his Mother’s apology, and after this particularly expert tummy rub, Rollo and Harriet are not just mother and son…they are friends.
I knew from the start of my project that I wanted to form some sort of spoofy story centred on my dogs: Harriet and Rollo (they are so cute after all). I originally thought about doing the project in powerpoint because I like how the slides and their timings can tell a story, just like a book might. I switched to Keynote when I fiddled around with it and saw how many more options there were for effects. After my first draft was finished, I played around with the project to add more of a “second voice” to it (the text written on the slide provides a humorous sub-text to the voiceover of each slide). To do this, I made all the font for the second voice in the same style and in italics, so that the reader would pick up the pattern. I also workshopped the presentation so that the slides transitioned more smoothly, so the story was easier to follow.
The most frustrating part of my project was exporting the keynote to a quicktime movie (Apple does not make it easy). Every time I exported it, the music would get lost. I hope that most of my classmates view the project in its Keynote format since this format has music… but for those of you without it, the Quicktime version is exactly the same, just without music.