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Brad & Phil’s Information R/evolution 25 November, 2007

Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, education, film review, Half-Life 2, Humor, ICT in Education, Internet, Life, My Thoughts, technology, Web 2.0.

In early 2007, I discovered an amazingly-constructed video on YouTube by Dr Michael Wesch, an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. The title of his video is “The Machine is Us/ing Us” and in under 5 minutes he managed to grab my attention like nothing else in recent times.  If you’ve never seen this video, you really must- but you also must concentrate on it for full effect.

Hopefully, you would have noticed that the video techniques he used were perfect for the message being carried. It is for this reason that I included his video in various Web 2.0 seminars I presented during the year.  It’s amazing to think that this video was not professionally produced – rather Dr Wesch created it alone at home using a couple of off-the-shelf Windows programs.

Well, the great thing is that Dr Wesch has been at it again, using similar, but sometimes unique techniques to tell another story – “The Information R/evolution“. It appears the play on words he uses effectively in his titles are becoming part of a series, and his titles, like the entire videos are designed to make the viewer think – something I try to promote through all of the articles I post here at Parallel Divergence.

Now, while Dr Wesch’s new video is very good, I have found it’s not as accessible at his first video. The reason is probably the more restricted range of the subject matter being addressed in comparison. You also really have to focus on this new video a lot more to obtain its desired effect. So while I wanted to feature his new video as well in this article, I thought it could use some context.

To this end, I decided to create a “wrapper” story around “The Information R/evolution” using the Brad & Phil characters that have become so popular through their regular comics at Parallel Divergence and at Happydevil Comics. In this debut for Brad & Phil as video stars, they help to set a context for Dr Wesch’s video, which is included in its entirety.

With school education being my particular focus when it comes to Information & Communications Technologies, I’ve made Brad & Phil set the scene before this powerful video takes over. They then return at the end to close it off. Of course, unlike Dr Wesch, I did not make this alone, my teenage son made all of the separate images for me using Garry’s Mod and Comic Life Deluxe and I put together the video using Memories on TV (Home Edition).

I hope you enjoy “Brad & Phil’s Information R/evolution“.  Please add your comments below.



1. Roger - 25 November, 2007

Hi Stu

I especially like the point you have made about the product being a result of a collaborative process. It is certainly this opportunity which a web 2.0 world creates to allow people to connect, then collaborate,and then to create, which is so powerful in terms of looking at new ways to manage and manipulate information to become rich knowledge.

Thanks for the link. I’m also experimenting with a mix of content, having just posted a short video made with a mobile phone and which incorporates some powerpoint slides. It’s online at http://edutube.eduleader.org

2. paralleldivergence - 25 November, 2007

Thanks Roger. You’re right, Web 2.0 really promotes collaboration, which makes it perfect for use in school environments. Problem is, most school systems tend to block Web 2.0 sites because they have no idea how to manage them. But as I’ve said before, instead of managing the posts, we should be managing the people who post!

3. Art - 25 November, 2007

What a cool video you made to wrap around “Information R/evolution”. I think you’re right, it does need some context and by adding humor, you certainly do make it more accessible. It’s also not really a technique I’ve seen before – a comic, complete with speech bubbles turned into a video. Doing it this way also keeps you focussed for the Wesch video. Good job. Well done to your son too. He has some great talent there with the posing of the G-Mod characters. Some of the Brad & Phil comics here are excellent. Thanks for your blog, but you should post more often.

4. paralleldivergence - 25 November, 2007

Hey Art, thanks for the great comments. I actually thought pretty hard about how I could embellish what was already a brilliant video and that’s when I thought of using Brad & Phil. I actually wrote most of the “script” on this one because I knew what I was trying to make out of it. I then described to my son exactly how I wanted each shot to look. I hope I did the two characters justice. Usually my son reads my articles and then makes up his own mind what the single frame comic should be about. And yes, he certainly is talented using GMod and Comic Life. You should check out his full-blown comics site. It’s quite impressive and he has built a really strong body of work – all on his spare time.

As for me posting more often, I’d really love to, but I always seem to have one project after another. While I love this blog and thoroughly enjoy the discussions it generates, there just isn’t enough time in the day. If only we didn’t have to sleep… 🙂

5. mark collinson - 26 November, 2007

welcome back PD.!

6. paralleldivergence - 26 November, 2007

Mark! 21C Skills has been a bit quiet lately too! 🙂

7. Vanessa - 28 November, 2007

Love the humor of this one. I see Memories on TV is not free. Couldn’t you have made the same thing with MS Photo Story for free?

8. Vanessa - 29 November, 2007

Also, where did you get that funky carnival music? It’s excellent.

9. paralleldivergence - 29 November, 2007

Hi Vanessa. Yes, I’ve played with PhotoStory, but I prefer Memories On TV as a product. It burns DVDs with menus, lets you include videos as I’ve done and has better control over music. Plus I’m not restricted to WMV format.

As for the music, it’s called “Jumping” and I got it at http://www.freeplaymusic.com

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