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Q: How do you stay motivated?

A: Being able to have ownership of what we’re doing and creative control, that’s why I got into filmmaking. That’s the motivation. I want to make movies. And I’m not making them for anyone else besides myself and my friends. You don’t need any other motivation than that.

YouTube Star Freddie Wong On What’s Next For Online Video Stars

The actor-director has used his star power on YouTube to galvanize his fans and fund the largest crowdfunding campaign in web series history. Now he wants to use that model to take over Hollywood. More>

Two Hollywood startups announced a partnership today designed to bring new voices to entertainment. The Black List, a community of unrepresented screenwriters, is partnering with WIGS, the Fox-affiliated YouTube TV network, which has committed to producing a drama pilot by a yet-to-be-chosen Black List writer.
For as long as Hollywood has been Hollywood, it’s been dominated by a clubby atmosphere that sometimes seems designed to frustrate the dreams of new writers. The Black List, founded by Franklin Leonard (one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 1000), began as a list of high-quality unproduced feature film scripts. Since 2012, though, Leonard has grown the brand into a website for the hosting and evaluation of unproduced screenplays and teleplays, with some users of the site going on to receive professional representation and optioning of their work.

Two Hollywood startups announced a partnership today designed to bring new voices to entertainment. The Black List, a community of unrepresented screenwriters, is partnering with WIGS, the Fox-affiliated YouTube TV network, which has committed to producing a drama pilot by a yet-to-be-chosen Black List writer.

For as long as Hollywood has been Hollywood, it’s been dominated by a clubby atmosphere that sometimes seems designed to frustrate the dreams of new writers. The Black List, founded by Franklin Leonard (one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 1000), began as a list of high-quality unproduced feature film scripts. Since 2012, though, Leonard has grown the brand into a website for the hosting and evaluation of unproduced screenplays and teleplays, with some users of the site going on to receive professional representation and optioning of their work.

The founders of YouTube have released a new video app called MixBit. On first glance, it might seem MixBit is in direct competition with Vine or Instagram Video, but if it’s actually very different. 

Instead of merely being able to share, view, and comment on videos from the stream or from people you follow on the service, MixBit allows you to add to and remix content uploaded by other users or yourself. Remixed videos can be up to an hour long.

Here’s more info about MixBit

Daily Fast Feed Roundup

Good morning Tumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today: 
Google will tap into its inner nerd during the upcoming Geek Week (Aug 4-10), which is meant to promote its original content.
The new Nexus 7 tablet has gone on pre-order before Google even had a chance to reveal it.
BBC Researchers have come up with a concept for how to send astronauts to Mars, and then bring them back.
Would you hand over your personal data to the TSA if it got you through airport security faster? 
Heads up all you hopeless e-romantics, a security flaw within the dating app Tinder exposed users’ locations and Facebook IDs for two hours last weekend.
Hmm, is your data safe with Citibike? A glitch exposed the credit card info of more than 1,000 users in April.
Get ready to see lots of promoted tweets during your favorite TV shows, because Twitter is giving a big push to its TV ad targeting feature for brands. 
Apple’s third-quarter earnings show record-setting iPhone sales but declining numbers for the iPad. 
NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s sexting alter-ego has a name, and it is Carlos Danger.
Edward Snowden has been given permission to leave the Sheremetyevo airport, as long as he stays in Russia. 
A Kickstarter campaign has been launched for a Superteddy bear that would be able to chat naturally using Siri-like technology.
Have a great day!
—M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger

Daily Fast Feed Roundup

Good morning Tumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today: 

  • Google will tap into its inner nerd during the upcoming Geek Week (Aug 4-10), which is meant to promote its original content.
  • BBC Researchers have come up with a concept for how to send astronauts to Mars, and then bring them back.

Have a great day!

M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger

This Guy Became An Expert On Syrian Arms Trafficking, Just By Watching YouTube

Last October, Eliot Higgins, a 34-year-old resident of Leicester, England, lost his job. With time to waste, he turned to YouTube. Now, he’s one of the world’s foremost experts on the flow of illegal weapons into war-torn Syria. Huh?
Higgins’s unlikely story was covered recently in the Guardian. “Before the Arab spring I knew no more about weapons than the average Xbox owner,” he told the paper.

Now, thanks to a steady stream of videos that have leaked out of the country and onto the web, he knows more than just about anyone without a security clearance, keeping a blog under the alias Brown Moses that has served as a vital resource for reporters and human rights activists alike.

The idea of an armchair weapons expert is an incredible one, but it’s the type of thing that will only become more common in the future. With the decline of print media, newsroom staffs are leaner than ever. Add a deluge of crowdsourced reporting, and it’s not surprising that there’s important stuff out there waiting to be processed—be it YouTube videos of trafficked weapons or secret bases on Bing Maps.
Find out more here.
What do you think of the idea of an ‘armchair weapons expert’?

This Guy Became An Expert On Syrian Arms Trafficking, Just By Watching YouTube

Last October, Eliot Higgins, a 34-year-old resident of Leicester, England, lost his job. With time to waste, he turned to YouTube. Now, he’s one of the world’s foremost experts on the flow of illegal weapons into war-torn Syria. Huh?

Higgins’s unlikely story was covered recently in the Guardian. “Before the Arab spring I knew no more about weapons than the average Xbox owner,” he told the paper.

Now, thanks to a steady stream of videos that have leaked out of the country and onto the web, he knows more than just about anyone without a security clearance, keeping a blog under the alias Brown Moses that has served as a vital resource for reporters and human rights activists alike.

The idea of an armchair weapons expert is an incredible one, but it’s the type of thing that will only become more common in the future. With the decline of print media, newsroom staffs are leaner than ever. Add a deluge of crowdsourced reporting, and it’s not surprising that there’s important stuff out there waiting to be processed—be it YouTube videos of trafficked weapons or secret bases on Bing Maps.

Find out more here.

What do you think of the idea of an ‘armchair weapons expert’?

Here are some excerpts from the April issue cover story"Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Ben Stiller, And The Rebels Saving Hollywood"
Determined not to repeat the mistakes of the music business, a cadre of digital pioneers is rebooting the entertainment industry.

"These pioneers seem to have learned from the mistakes of the music and newspaper businesses, which have been decimated by technological change. Rather than be reactionary and afraid, the New Hollywood crowd is proactive and creative. They’re rethinking their business and adopting some of the tech world’s culture, attitudes, and practices.  



"While its financial bets are iffy, there’s no question that Hollywood culture is, in fact, changing—and fast. It’s something that’s forced on the industry as the line between digital and traditional content blurs more and more. When you combine web series such as H+, an apocalyptic sci-fi tale produced by X-Men director Bryan Singer; programming likeHouse of Cards and Battleground from Netflix and Hulu, respectively; and all the professional programming on YouTube’s Original Channels, you get a redefinition of what Hollywood content can look like and how it’s made.”

Here is the full story.
And here are a few more stories from our Digital Hollywood series:
The Secret (Tech) Life of Ben Stiller
The Innovators of Hollywood

Here are some excerpts from the April issue cover story"Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Ben Stiller, And The Rebels Saving Hollywood"

Determined not to repeat the mistakes of the music business, a cadre of digital pioneers is rebooting the entertainment industry.

"These pioneers seem to have learned from the mistakes of the music and newspaper businesses, which have been decimated by technological change. Rather than be reactionary and afraid, the New Hollywood crowd is proactive and creative. They’re rethinking their business and adopting some of the tech world’s culture, attitudes, and practices.  


"While its financial bets are iffy, there’s no question that Hollywood culture is, in fact, changing—and fast. It’s something that’s forced on the industry as the line between digital and traditional content blurs more and more. When you combine web series such as H+, an apocalyptic sci-fi tale produced by X-Men director Bryan Singer; programming likeHouse of Cards and Battleground from Netflix and Hulu, respectively; and all the professional programming on YouTube’s Original Channels, you get a redefinition of what Hollywood content can look like and how it’s made.”

Here is the full story.

And here are a few more stories from our Digital Hollywood series:



The lastest in Ken Block’s driftastic series earned over 20 million views in its first week.

In the hands of director Ben Conrad and veteran rally driver Ken Block, any drab stretch of concrete can be transformed into a vehicular playground. Block, who is also the founder of DC Shoes, became an Internet sensation in 2008, when he uploaded a video of himself practicing a little known motorsport called gymkhana, in which a skilled driver maneuvers a vehicle through an obstacle course. Watching Block’s gymkhana was a little like watching a floor exercise in Olympic gymnastics, but instead of sporting a leotard and bounding across a spring floor, he was strapped into a tricked-out, 650-horsepower rally car and let loose on an abandoned air field. The video went viral overnight.

How To Create A Viral Blockbuster The Gymkhana Way

The lastest in Ken Block’s driftastic series earned over 20 million views in its first week.

In the hands of director Ben Conrad and veteran rally driver Ken Block, any drab stretch of concrete can be transformed into a vehicular playground. Block, who is also the founder of DC Shoes, became an Internet sensation in 2008, when he uploaded a video of himself practicing a little known motorsport called gymkhana, in which a skilled driver maneuvers a vehicle through an obstacle course. Watching Block’s gymkhana was a little like watching a floor exercise in Olympic gymnastics, but instead of sporting a leotard and bounding across a spring floor, he was strapped into a tricked-out, 650-horsepower rally car and let loose on an abandoned air field. The video went viral overnight.

How To Create A Viral Blockbuster The Gymkhana Way


YouTube Introduces Face-Blurring Tool
YouTube has now launched a new tool for users in dangerous environments—a facial obscurer that digitizes faces in videos uploaded to YouTube. The algorithm-driven feature allows authors to automatically blur the faces in any video, public or private, on YouTube. A post on YouTube’s official blog also indicates the feature is aimed towards parents who do not want their children identified in publicly available video clips.
The facial obscurer is based on existing technology from Witness, a New York-based human rights video organization cofounded by musician Peter Gabriel. YouTube and Witness have had an ongoing relationship; the two collaborated (along with Storyful) on the recent launch of YouTube’s Human Rights Channel, which curates citizen journalism and news from unfree societies in a one-stop shop for activists, politicians, journalists, and interested members of the public.
Read more->

YouTube Introduces Face-Blurring Tool

YouTube has now launched a new tool for users in dangerous environments—a facial obscurer that digitizes faces in videos uploaded to YouTube. The algorithm-driven feature allows authors to automatically blur the faces in any video, public or private, on YouTube. A post on YouTube’s official blog also indicates the feature is aimed towards parents who do not want their children identified in publicly available video clips.

The facial obscurer is based on existing technology from Witness, a New York-based human rights video organization cofounded by musician Peter Gabriel. YouTube and Witness have had an ongoing relationship; the two collaborated (along with Storyful) on the recent launch of YouTube’s Human Rights Channel, which curates citizen journalism and news from unfree societies in a one-stop shop for activists, politicians, journalists, and interested members of the public.

Read more->