Digital Story: Independence Hall

For my Communications Theory & Practice class, we had to choose one site in Philadelphia to which we had never been, research it, go there and collect data (photos, sounds, etc.), and create a digital story out of what we gathered.

I had never been to Independence Hall, and I felt that was kind of a shame. It is incredibly important to the USA historically. I love history (although my past history professors probably wouldn’t be able to tell you that) and I love my country, so I chose Independence Hall as my location.

The reason it popped into my head is actually kind of funny. Recently, there was a marathon of the National Treasure movies on TV. My roommates and I would watch them and make fun of Nicholas Cage and the whacky things he says. However, one of his lines struck me. He is being chased because he has stolen the Declaration of Independence, so he runs into Independence Hall to hide. Talking about the Declaration he remarks,”…the last time this was here, it was being signed.” I thought that was such a cool idea, and it made me want to experience such a historically significant place.

When I went there, I brought with me pictures of historic paintings and tried to take photos from the same angles. Using these photos, I contrasted the past with the present. In the past, there were men in wigs and stockings. There were horse-drawn carriages and cobblestone streets. In the present, there are people wearing Nikes. There are public transit buses and traffic lights.

This gave me the idea to have my video serve as a reminder of the past. That is, I wanted my video to inspire a sense of patriotism and pride in the viewer, and to remind the viewer of the things for which our forefathers stood.

We have come so far as a world and, specifically, as a country. We have grown in technologies, tools, abilities, ideas, and knowledge. This progress is certainly not a bad thing intrinsically. However, I hope that my video will admonish its viewers against letting our original values and freedoms become eclipsed by the bright lights and loud noise of the modern-day United States of America.

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