This semester I've been teaching an interdisciplinary studio course at the California College of Art. The course digs into narrative and production techniques for telling stories about landmarks around the city. By landmarks we are talking old/new, built/human, visible/psychological. It was pretty broad. The way I approached teaching the course was progressively through various media forms: from text to audio to video. You can see the results of student work here: https://findery.com/tags/CCA.
Possibly my biggest takeaway from the course was how mobile media can really inhabit the headspace of a narrator. From a prostitute, to a tripping art student, to ghost hunters, the best projects infused narrators with a strong sense of purpose in how they moved through the urban landscape. I also got a chance to look deeper at the concept of a truly "cinematic" story told in the streets via mobile devices. I challenged students to--even in short 15 minute productions--present us with a protagonist who is being tugged through two different values (money/family, truth/happiness, etc.) and get the audience involved in this struggle. This was harder for them. I think it's partly their lack of experience developing such characters, but it may also be the format that is more like a guided tour, and strong emotional needs don't feel native to this format...yet!
I will teach the course again in Fall 2015. Stay tuned for particular projects of interest to come from the course.