This video was filmed and produced by Jessica Albina, a senior in Avila University’s Visual Communications program.  Jessica served as a summer intern and supported our summer workshops.  Jessica is a talented digital storyteller with creative ideas and an eye for great camera shots.  Jessica was a great partner during our summer workshops.  She was great at working with children and brought great mentoring and guidance to our summer workshop program.  Thanks, Jessica for your great work this summer.  I hope you will enjoy learning about digiSTORY KC as you view Jessica’s video.

How Michael Hauge Helped Hallmark with Scriptwriting

It’s 2010 and a skunkworks team of Hallmark managers and directors have started to meet in the Hallmark Café to thwart an imminent talent gap. Except for Hallmark’s editors in their book division, most writers had very little experience writing stories. Their stock in trade had been the creation of expressive sentiments reflecting the emotional needs of people sending greeting cards for a wide range of occasions and sending situations. Now e-greetings were catching on big-time and story development became much more important to the skill sets required of Hallmark writers and editors. Hallmark Licensing was also jumping into the story development fray by launching network television specials such as Hoops & YoYo Ruin Christmas and Jingle All the Way.

Writing and Editorial Managers recognized that they needed to provide some quality training in story development. Who did they turn to? Michael Hauge, a seasoned Hollywood script consultant who had worked as a script consultant to Will Smith and who had consulted on scores of Hollywood movie hits–movies like The Karate Kid, Masters of the Universe, I Am Legend, Hancock, and many more. So they hired Michael to come in and offer workshops to the writers on story structure and development. The result for the writers was superb. Though most had some story development training, Michael gave them a solid story structure model, the Michael Hauge Six Stage Plot Structure model, which helped them understand the key story stages and turning points that make stories compelling.

The KCdigiSTORY Center is making an updated version of this story development workshop available to those in the Kansas City area who want to improve their story development skills. What’s great about Michael’s workshop is that it gives writers what they need to know about story structure and development whether they are writing a movie script or a 30-second video story for social media. Michael Hauge’s Story Mastery Workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 28th from 9:00 – 5:00 in the Google Fiber Space at 1814 Westport Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64111. Registration is available at this link:


The cost for the one-day workshop is $220 plus EventBrite fees. Discounts are available to members of Kansas City professional organizations such as the ASBPE, Kansas City Women in Film & Television, KC-Independent Filmmakers Coalition, Cinema KC, and the Kansas City Film Society.

Popular Resources from Maker Faire Booth

The KCdigiSTORY Center offered several hands-on experiences in their booth at Kansas City’s Maker Faire on June 27 & 28. Many enjoyed working with the stop-motion animation resources.  Others enjoyed new 3D VR apps available for their devices.  Below is a list of some of the more interesting stop-motion animation and new apps.  Included is a list of 3D VR apps that can be used with Google Cardboard viewers.

Stop-Motion & Animation

Zu3D Stop Motion Animation

This software has all of the features of HUE Animation, but it has the added feature of having full green screen capability. If the objects are photographed with a green screen background, Zu3D allows you to replace the green background with whatever photo, video or scanned artwork you want to use.


Single user license for Windows or Mac: $54.60

Single user for iPad: (price not given)

Tutorials: http://www.zu3d.com/gallery/tutorials


HUE Animation (also called MyCreate)

This software has all of the features most amateur stop-motion artists need except for green screen capability.


Single user license for Windows or Mac: $19.99

Single user for iPad (Brand name for this is MyCreate):

Tutorials: http://www.hueanimation.com/tutorials/


Scratch Animation

A free coding program that makes animating characters and objects easy while learning the basic elements of coding.



3D Virtual Reality Resources

Google Story Spheres

360 VR sites and scenes that have zones that activate with voice over narration, music and/or sound effects.


Google Photo Sphere

A Google app that guides you and your smart phone through the process of taking a 360 degree photo of a scene, room or setting. The software in the app automatically stitches your progressive photos into a seamless 3D interactive photo.


Template for Making Your Own Google Cardboard


YouTube Tutorial on Assembling Your Google Cardboard


3D VR Apps

Rating Name of App Vendor Price Devices
★★★★ Visions of California Jaunt, Inc.* Free iPhone
★★★★ Paul McCartney Jaunt, Inc. Free iPhone & Android
★★★★★ The North Face Jaunt, Inc. Free Android
★★★★ Jack White: THIRD Jaunt, Inc. Free
★★★ Other Space Jaunt, Inc. Free
★★★★ Revolt: Big Sean, Blessing Jaunt, Inc. Free
★★★★ Kaiju Fury: Sundance Jaunt, Inc. Free
★★ Dreamizer Dreamizer Free iPhone
★★★★ Google Cardboard Google Cardboard Free iPhone & Android
★★★★ Roller Coaster VR Fibrum Free iPhone
★★★★★ Orbulus for Cardboard VR VRCraftworks, Ltd. Free iPhone
★★★★ Zombie Shooter VR Fibrum Free iPhone
★★★ Dive City Roller Coaster Durovis Free iPhone
★★★★ Jet Sprint FabulousPixel Free Android (Samsung)
★★★★ Tuscany Drive FabulousPixel Free Android (Samsung)
★★★★ 3D Virtual Reality FPS-Demo Unity Asset Free Android
★★★★ Insurgent VR Lions Gate Films Free iPhone
★★★★ Insidious VR Focus Features** Free iPhone
★★★★ Walking New York VRSE Free iPhone & Android
★★★★★ Evolution of Verse VRSE Free iPhone & Android
★★★★ Clouds Over Sidra VRSE Free iPhone & Android

Many of the above apps can be downloaded directly from Google Cardboard. *Download Jaunt Player for Jaunt 3D VR apps

**May not be appropriate for young children

Digital Storytelling an Emerging Industry Sector in Kansas City

The Mid-America Regional Council recently published a report on Digital Storytelling in the Kansas City Metro that reveals digital storytelling as a growing industry sector in our metropolitan area.  The study reports that 34,743 digital storytelling jobs are already in place in the metropolitan area.  That total is expected to grow by 15.2 percent by 2022.  The study defines digital storytelling as “…the use of computer, digital and web technologies to create narrative solutions that are enhanced by their creative use of media.”

The report provides information that clarifies what digital storytelling means in terms of its business results.  Key disciplines include video and photography, media production, multimedia animation, scriptwriting and story editing, sound and sound editing, web development and computer graphics engineering.  It identifies common products such as story-based ads, e-cards, smartphone and tablet apps, animated features, stop-motion video, motion graphics and story-based computer games.

The report provides a list of Kansas City businesses that rely on digital storytelling solutions for their success.  Some businesses such as VML, Barkley and Global Prairie rely on digital storytelling to support their advertising and promotion businesses.  Others such as Hallmark Cards, T2 Studios and Propaganda3 use digital storytelling solutions to support their multimedia production businesses.  Other subsectors identified for digital storytelling businesses included educational media, new media technology, news and entertainment, video production and web and social media.

With funding from the KC Accelerator report, MARC developed the report to raise awareness of the digital storytelling industry to Kansas City’s growing information technology sector. Victoria Ogier, Workforce Development Project Manager for MARC, states that “Thanks to labor market information, MARC is able to share this valuable information that helps the region identify real-time workforce needs and support partnerships that can implement programs and increase employment and training opportunities in order to meet the talent demand and workforce needs of local creative IT companies”.  Ryan Weber, President of KCNext points out that “text to be added here”.”

To explore further opportunities for digital storytelling in Kansas City, the Mid-America Regional Council is partnering with KCNext, the Kansas City Area Development Council and the University of Missouri to apply for an Economic Development Administration Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance Program grant. If awarded, this grant would provide funding to create a regional economic development strategy for growing a stronger digital storytelling industry cluster in Kansas City.