another about amy

There are of course many reviews of the Amy story and movie. This is one by Ty Bur and the Boston Globe.


My point amongst all the reviews that talk of her pain is the way the film is presented. It follows almost some of the digital story values where the story and the telling take precedence over who is telling the story. I don’t mean that the teller is lost but I do mean that the focus becomes placed on the story.

I’m not sure throughout the story that I had a real understanding of who her manager “Nick” was but the story he told was resounding. But he does talk to us in the Kathryn Bronwich Observer interview. Amy’s best friend (is this she of “we’re best friends right?”) talks over images and videos but we never really see her. It’s a powerful way to tell a story.


one more story

This story – a conversation with Taku Parai – was a long time in coming. I’d been asking Taku to tell us about the suburb in which I live for some time and I finally got him to sit down and talk with me. The ending stops suddenly because his phone rang – he’s a busy man.

Because he really just talks it took a long time to edit, as do many of these local histories. But they are worth the effort for their value.

I spent quite a while looking online for images and was grateful for the Alexander Turnbull Library’s collection and their willingness to share. The local museum, Pataka also has a wealth of images and so it became difficult to decide which to use. When I failed to find appropriate old images I went out and about and took some of my own. On some I used the black and white option to make them fit with the other images a little more, but the piece where he talks about the long summer months seemed appropriate for colour and the shot of the Takapu Valley is so beautiful it deserved the same colour retention.

I was also aided by input from friends who looked closely at the story and made useful suggestions – for example contextualising the story with my own voice.

I’m hoping this works. I think it does.


wiresThe students in ds106 are expected to watch The Wire – and some of the assignments relate to this series.

I have watched – out of interest – several people tell me it’s great – the first 5 episodes.

At the moment I am having trouble with the ebonics. In the first few episodes some men were saying what they’d do and I had no idea what they intended to do. And I watch a reasonable amount of American TV. Thank god for visual clues. Maori New Zealanders have developed a kind of Maoribonics (not yet categorised I think) in which words like “churbro” and ‘makachilly’ feature – but much of it – like Ebonics – seems to feature body/facial clues like raised eyebrows, head flicks and an integration of Maori words – pinga, hui and tipi haere being some of the few. I’m sure there’s a study somewhere.

The Wire has become more engrossing. But. OK I have developed a kind of affinity with ‘D’ although he may be seriously deranged. And I worry about the young seller on the street (his name has not filtered through to me yet but he had nice corn rows).

Avon Barksdale doesn’t look as if he could string together a meal let alone a drug trafficking ring – and I’d quite like to see more of Idris Elba.

I have warmed to it all. And maybe, just maybe I’ll get to understand the undertones and nuances.

getting there being there


While I am keen to get going on this ds106 MOOC (for the uninitiated Massive Open Online Courses) I have a few things to finish (in my head at least).

About 3 months ago a local Councillor and myself talked with (interviewed is not the right word) a woman – Ngaire Metcalf – who was born a Windley. The Windleys are one of the big families here – having owned one the farms that now make up the suburbs of Porirua. The owners of these farms were: Windleys, Gears, Mungavins, Mexteds, Bothomleys and Sievers.

Many of them married into local Maori families ( Ngati Toa Rangatira) so the mix is very rich.

Ngaire’s audio is long and at times we wander off into other things – which is what happens when you have a connection with someone. I have edited 2 stories and made them into digital stories of a sort ( these are not true dst) and I need to finish another. While I am waiting on Ngaire to ok the first two I sort of wait, hang about. But tonight I will make a start on the final one – about her Paheka family.

In the meantime I have re-activiated a Flickr account ( I prefer Picassa) and tried to sort how to make animated gifs ( that’s new for me) and I’ll now share here one of the stories we did. I like it and I hope she does too.