AMC's Adam Bryant Talks Storytelling
In the most recent installment of the Center for Social Media’s guest speaker series, Adam Bryant, AMC Network’s Director of Digital Media, spoke to the School of Communications and the Arts and members of the community about the importance of storytelling before having lunch with select students and faculty members.
The lecture focused on creating engaging digital content using storytelling, a skill Bryant has crafted through his years as a journalist for Maxim Magazine and TV Guide prior to working at AMC. He divulges that a captivating story should appeal with the viewer on an emotional level in order to form a relatable and compelling connection that makes them want more. Also, when executing ongoing digital media efforts, the clarity and consistency of the main message throughout the campaign is essential. Lastly, he shares that the visuals that accompany that message should compliment each other in order for them to have the optimal effect.
Bryant put all of these elements together when he and his team produced a series of short form videos for the award-winning series, Better Call Saul, for which they won an Emmy. The ten short videos were originally produced to drive engagement online due to the increased competition between traditional television networks and online streaming services. The videos became so popular that they were later used as promotional videos for the new season.
About ten of us gathered for lunch following the lecture with Adam Bryant where we had the opportunity to have casual conversations and ask any questions we had for him.
Question: When you’re coming up with creative ideas what are your tips and tricks?
Answer: For me, the first ideas are not the best. The creative idea process is about going from the most obvious process to the least/less obvious process. The best way to formulate creative ideas is with the collaboration of others.
Question: As developing professionals in the School of Communications and the Arts here at Marist College, what are some tips for when students intern?
Answer: My best advice as an intern is “as an intern never say no” as this opens up opportunities and trust amongst the company and organization you’re working for.
Question: From your experience with digital media with reaching, retaining and growing audience and fan bases, what are some tips and tricks that you’ve found?
Answer: My advice that I’ve found is being responsive and proactive by planning ahead. This includes using on the set/inside clips and highlight clips and if the clip works using it and if it doesn’t work changing the content.
Question: In today’s society, media success is measured using data and being data forward driven. Do you find this method of measuring success reliable?
Answer: To me data is data, what’s written is what matters. Storytelling is the balance between knowing what you’re trying to say and how it’s executed. I find quality over quantity a better success metric.
Question: What’s your favorite AMC show of all time?
Answer: My favorite AMC show of all time is Mad Men, and my favorite current show that just ended was Halt and Catch Fire. I also prefer working on Better Call Saul versus Breaking Bad.
-Lindsay Wells and David Zambuto, Publicity Team