Thinking about Multimodality
Because of my background as a writing teacher, and my interest in document design, I like to work at the intersection of text and images. Some of the most interesting work, I think, happening at this intersection is called “moving type” or “kinetic type.”
This is a digital art form where composers take culturally powerful quips and clips and typographically design them, working across color, text, space, movement, time, and more. A few of the best I’ve found are:
Zoolander Typography: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLyGaqdf69c&feature=related
“Yeah Hi,” from Office Space: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Pyw5TeP00&feature=related
“Nick the Greek,” from Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mnvvVi4HaI
“Let the Drummer Kick,” by Citizen Cope: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAuQmJzt_q0&feature=fvw
Starwars Pub Scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NeD3mN5eOc&feature=related
“Size Matters Not,” Yoda: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCxK7AhurQg
An example of exciting multimodal work in the classroom, specifically digital movie work, comes from Clifford Lee and Yumi Matsui. Both teachers are consultants for the Bay Area Writing Project; Lee works with English language learners in teaching language arts and Matsui teaches social studies. Students create, script, write, and produce a cross-curricular digital story.
Clifford Lee has also made available some fantastic reflections and advice on the project, included in the “Best Practices” and “Recommendations” links from the write-up.
A full write-up is available on the NWP site: http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/2790, and the video is linked from the write-up or available directly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hrw66BL-Izo&feature=player_embedded.