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          10 stories we've enjoyed this week      

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Hi All,

We're really chuffed to announce First Draft, our new pro bono consultancy offer to UK groups who create change by working with under-represented communities. Is this you? Or do you know someone who might benefit from it? If so please share. 

For those of you who don't know, we produce a quarterly publication for HR and payroll company ADP. The ReThink Quarterly tells the human stories about what happens before the paycheck and after the paycheck. The second issue is out now and features some fascinating stories about the experimentation around pay that took place during the pandemic. 

Finally, Episode 5 of Very Necessary, the podcast we make with WaterAid, is now out. AJ Odudu talks to Melissa Hemsley about the object she can't live without. This episode has some fascinating stories about the historic trend for black and rotting teeth - it's a Very Necessary listen. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks this week go to Katie Moffatt, Amy McNichol, and the Handmade Cyclist. Show some love to them by subscribing to their newsletters or buying their stuff.

Have a great, sunny, weekend. 
Hugh
The Short Story
Formats Unpacked: Yacht Rock
(4 min read)

Super Human: Channel 4's Awesome Paralympic Games Advert 
(3 min watch)

Copy Someone's Work and Pick It Apart
(1 min read)

YouTube Voice is Coming For Us All
(5 min Read)

Has An Old Soviet Mystery Been Solved At Last?
(20 min read)


Jerry Seinfeld: How to Write a Joke
(5 min watch)

Retro Modern Movie Posters 
(1 min read) 

A Brilliant Guide to Understanding User Needs
(5 min read)

Better Call Saul's Bob Oderkirk Breaks Down His Most Iconic Character
(5 min watch)

Unbelievable Video Tricks By a Stop Motion Animator
(30 sec watch)
A man. wearing shorts and a dressing gown is walking. Above his head is a crown and his body casts a long shadow. An abstract shape above him has a blue sky and palm tree contained within it.

How can we help you?

Storythings is a strategy and content company based in Brighton and London. We'd love to help you with some creative and bold ideas.

Here's 3 reasons to get in touch

1. You want to talk to us about content production: podcasts, videos, animations, illustrations, editorial. 

2. You want to talk to us about content strategy or format development.

3. You want to create a brand or an identity that makes it easier to communicate your message.


We do other things too. We're very friendly and always enjoy meeting people, so get in touch

 
The Full Story
Formats Unpacked: Yacht Rock
A long time ago there was a music genre that had no name, and that those young-internet-kids of the mid-noughties wouldn't be seen dead listening to.  Then a comedy web series came along, gave it a name and changed everything. Yacht Rock breathed new life to the careers of the artists that shaped the genre. This unpacking, which was so much fun to write, looks at how using a parody is a great tool for getting people into complex stories quickly. 
(4 min read)

Super Human: Channel 4's Awesome Paralympic Games Advert 
This moving and upbeat film by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young shows a real human side to Britain's elite athletes competing in Tokyo this summer. Top marks for featuring a Bugsy Malone song as a soundtrack and the line "To be a Paralympian there's gotta be something wrong with you."
(3 min watch)

Copy Someone's Work and Pick It Apart

For anyone stuck for something to write, this is a great writing tip from Austin Kleon. When I pondered the question “What is it you do to train that is comparable to a pianist practicing scales?” a few years ago, the only answer I could come up with was writing this newsletter, simply because it sharpened my sense of what stories people like on a weekly basis. When I launched Formats Unpacked, and started deconstructing stories, it gave me a much better understanding of why people like particular stories. 
(6 min read)

YouTube Voice is Coming For Us All 
Vox takes a close look at the different voices used by influencers across platforms such as YouTube, and how we are all starting to adopt the influencer tone in our own personal videos. Whilst the article mostly cites TikTok and Instagram, I'm beginning to worry about how I sound on Zoom: "If you listen closely to enough people’s front-facing camera videos, you’ll hear a voice that sounds somewhere between a TED Talk and sponsored content, perhaps even within your own social circles. Is this a sign that as influencer culture bleeds into our everyday lives, many of the quirks that professionals use will become normal for us too? Maybe! Is it a sign that social platforms are turning us all into salespeople?"
(5 min Read)

Has An Old Soviet Mystery Been Solved At Last?
This is your long read for the weekend. In 1958 a group of Russian students went on a skiing exhibition and never returned. Their bodies were found in multiple locations, some naked, and all with multiple brutal injuries. For years their deaths have remained a mystery, but researchers now believe they have the answers.
(20 min read)


Retro Modern Movie Posters  
Yes, I am a sucker for things like this. But they are beautiful, aren't they?  
(1 min read) 

Jerry Seinfeld: How to Write a Joke

Stand-up comedy is almost never finished. It's continual work in progress. Here Jerry Seinfeld takes us through his process for writing his Pop-Tart joke, and explains why comedy writing is all about spending an inappropriate amount of time on undeserving subjects. 
(5 min watch)

A Brilliant Guide to Understanding User Needs
Designer, Paul Smith, has pulled together this User Needs 101 guide from the work of some of the smartest thinkers. If you work in digital you may want to bookmark it. It will really help non-digital stakeholders understand the process and value of the work. 
(5 min read)

Better Call Saul's Bob Oderkirk Breaks Down His Most Iconic Character 
Breaking Bad's Saul Goodman is one of my favourite TV characters ever. Better Call Saul is one of my favourite TV shows ever. So naturally, I loved hearing Bob speaking so humbly about his role and how lucky he feels to have it. He also talks about how the writers came up with the backstory for Saul following Breaking Bad and the one thing they really wanted him to be.
(5 min watch)

Unbelievable Video Tricks By a Stop Motion Animator
This wizardry is outrageously good. 
(30 sec watch)
We hope you've enjoyed this week's newsletter. I'm sure some of your friends would love to read it. Sharing it would be really appreciated. If you've received this from a friend you can subscribe here and get it direct to your inbox every Friday.

Thanks for reading and see you all next week,

Hugh, Matt, Anjali and the team at Storythings
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