adam-westbrook

vimeo

A well made - and absolutely terrifying - short film raising awareness about webcam hackers. 

Watch right to the end - I guarantee you’ll head straight to your firewall settings!

vimeo

The Causes and Effects That Led to World War I

100 summers ago the countries of Europe collapsed quickly into war: it was sudden but also strangely inevitable. Countless books have been written since about the causes of The Great War, but in this video essay, delve.tv offers an alternative history. By tracing the story backwards in time, they stumble upon a very unexpected cause and discover that sometimes the most harmless of things can have terrible consequences.

Story Design & Direction: Adam Westbrook
Additional Photography: Brett Walsh
Animation: Adam Westbrook

vine

My Invisible Girlfriend by Esa Fungtastic on Vine

Vine is a great platform for pure visual storytelling - and this is a prime example.

A clever, funny and original story conveyed in just six seconds. How? Through the juxtaposition of images.

Each shot alone does not convey the idea of an invisible girlfriend, it is their particular combination and juxtaposition that generates the story.

Six seconds is a long time if you understand the essential nature of the medium.

What’s interesting is that these Vine power users have probably never been taught montage. They have figured it out by experimenting with the tools they have. A whole new generation of storytellers who instinctively ‘get’ juxtaposition without going to Film School. 

adamwestbrook.wordpress.com
10 common video storytelling mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Five years after Youtube’s birth there’s probably not a newsroom in the land that isn’t trying to do video journalism in some way or another.

I say ‘trying’ because, as you’ll probably have seen, the vast amount of online video produced just doesn’t cut it. It’s long, boring, technically poor – and amateurish. This is a big shame because online video – done well – has the power to be an art form, to touch people, to make them understand something, to make them care.

vimeo

All of history’s greatest figures achieved success in almost exactly the same way. But rather than celebrating this part of the creative process we ignore it.

This missing chapter in the story of success reveals the secret to doing meaningful work. But in the modern world, full of distraction, do we have what it takes to do great things?

The second in a two-part series about creativity.

Part One: Why Leonardo daVinci was no genius (and what means for the rest of us)

vimeo

Adam Westbrook publicizes his top media predictions for 2011(and looks at his past performance from 2010). 

Why I'm quitting Facebook

So I’ve decided to give up Facebook in 2012.

After 6 fun years of liking, poking, and checking out my friends’ hot sisters, I feel like it’s time to hang up the big blue F once and for all.

I put up the message today and got some nice supportive likes. A few good friends even sent me messages to check I was OK. Most people are asking why, so I thought I’d put down my reasons here. I’m not saying I’m right or wrong: these are just my reasons.

1. The supermarket theory

I’ve tumbled this one before, and it’s been playing on my mind more and more in the last year. What does Facebook sell? It sells us, and I’m don’t think I’m happy with my identity, personality and social life being a product.

It’s hardly black and white though. When I talked about this with some journalists in Barcelona over Tapas recently they argued that it’s the same with newspapers and all media content: the product is us, the audience, and the mass media sell access to us to advertisers. 

Everyone has their own views on this. I don’t think Zuckerburg is evil or anything - quite the opposite.

2. The algorithm

Because Facebook wants to maximise its deliveries to external websites (in other words, how many hits to websites come from Facebook) experts believe it prioritises people in your feed who post links to articles, Youtube videos and the like.

It means my feed is full of the people who talk the most, not the ones I’m most interested in. While on Facebook I’ve regularly posted funny videos and links, so no doubt I repeatedly bother the feeds of people who I haven’t spoken to in years. I’m sure they’ll be glad to be rid of me. 

3. The experiment

After 6 years on Facebook (I joined as a student back in early 2006) I’m really curious to see what will happen when I leave. With all my friends, current and old on there, what will I miss out on? Its big use is organising events - so will I stop getting invited to houseparties and nights out? 

4. The television theory

About two years ago I drastically cut back on the amount of television I watch. These days there is perhaps one or two shows a week I watch regularly and a few shows I get online. But in total it must be about 3 hours a week - a lot less than the 28 hours a week the average Brit consumes.

The result? I got my life back. I’ve had time to write more, work more, read more and think more. I’m hoping quitting Facebook will do the same.

5. The time

And so the real reason I’m giving up Facebook is time. It’s just too much of a distraction and I’m not strong enough to not check it, at least 3 or 4 times a day. It doesn’t suck up that much time in real terms, but it’s the mental distraction that’s most disruptive.

I want to do big things in 2012 so it’s time to bring out the A-game and that means focus and hard work. I hope quitting Facebook will make a difference.

You might say, well why not quit Twitter as well? And LinkedIn while you’re at it? Well, both of those are still important to me professionally. Facebook has always been a place for just people I know in real life. In the future I might maintain a Facebook page, but again it’ll be for work reasons.

So that’s it. It’s been a blast, honest is has. :)

  • If you were hoping to connect with me on Facebook - it’s probably best to follow me on Twitter instead. @AdamWestbrook
youtube

I’m very happy to share a brand new video essay that I have been working on in collaboration with Fusion

It’s a short history of love, from ancient Greece to the modern rom-com and asks if it’s time to invent a new kind of love for the 21st century. 

It’s packed with some bizarre stories about how people thought of love in the past, including the french sexist who invented romance, and the book that sparked the first ever case of copycat suicides.

Do you believe in soul mates?

vimeo

A great video essay by Delve (Adam Westbrook) to remind us that succes (whatever you consider that to be) can take years to achieve…and that’s completely ok. You can find part 2 below:

fastcompany.com
The four year career

More of people are saying goodbye to the convention of a job for life, instead moving from field to field every few years.  Nice piece by Fast Company

“Shorter job tenure is associated with a new era of insecurity, volatility, and risk. It’s part of the same employment picture as the increase in part-time, freelance, and contract work; mass layoffs and buyouts; and "creative destruction” within industries.“

Watch on multimediajournalist.tumblr.com

10 tips for recording better multimedia interviews by Adam Westbrook

The purpose of technique is to free the unconscious. If you follow the rules ploddingly, they will allow your unconscious to be free. That’s true creativity. If not, you will be fettered by your conscious mind. Because the conscious mind always wants to be liked and wants to be interesting. The conscious mind is going to suggest the obvious, the cliché, because these things offer the security of having succeeded in the past. Only the mind that has been taken off itself and put on a task is allowed true creativity.
—  David Mamet - On Directing Film 
storygrid.com
Want and Need in Nonfiction
We’re moving down our Foolscap Global Story Grid for The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and we’ve reached Objects of Desire. Which reminds me of that great line from Bob Dylan in “Stuck inside o...

It’s great to see more people writing about storytelling technique in reference to nonfiction. 

I’ve just finished Shawn Coyne’s book on storytelling which although aimed at authors is still useful for the nonfiction storyteller. Here he discusses how a fiction requirement - character wants and needs - can be transferred to nonfiction stories.