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November 10, 2013

GuardianUS Interactive on the NSA

The Guardian US Interactive team is famous for their clever expositions of complex problems. So I was thrilled when Gabriel Dance, the Guardian Interactive editor called and asked if I could meet him about a project. “Could we chat on the phone?” I asked. “Rather not” he replied. “Can you give me an idea what it’s about?” I wrote back? His short reply:”NSA.”

Thus began my journey working on the Guardian US fantastic Interactive project NSA files decoded/ Edward Snowden’s surveillance revelations explained

I shot the videos and did the sound along with the help of the Guardian’s Interactive Editor Gabriel Dance (now at the NYTImes) and their ace designer, Greg Chen (now freelance) then cut these trailers, which they used both to promote the piece and as one of several introductions when you come to the page. (Always clever, the Interactive team crafted the site so you’ll find a different introduction every time you come to the page. )

The piece (and the video) received some great shout-outs including FastCompany and also from Dr Mario Garcia, my former graphics arts professor who now re-designs newspapers and online publications worldwide.

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Here are some screenshots of the pages.

This is the opening page. Scrolling down the page launches the intro, one of 4 different intros. Greg Chen did the cool AfterEffects graphics

Rolling down the page launches the videos. They’re all super short soundbites, most less than 20 seconds.


I love the way the site tracks you, the viewer, by relating the time you’ve been on the site to the amount of data the NSA has been downloading.

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