Watch & Learn

Everything you need to know to produce great video drama for learning, in one short volume.

The learning sector produces a good deal of drama, but its knowledge of the form is patchy. As a result, video drama for learning does not have the best reputation. In this volume, Tom sets out to change this, distilling his years of experience into a concise reference aimed at people at the frontline of L&D. The book covers everything from the role of drama in the workplace to tools for storytelling, character design and writing dialogue. Whether you are a learning designer who wishes to raise their game or an L&D manager who wants to know just what drama can do for you, this book will help. With each chapter summarised in handy learning points, it’s easy to jump around and join up the learning to suit yourself.

Tom introduces the book

Real-world case studies

Watch & Learn includes a review of the relevant learning theory and research, plus real-world case studies.

Handy chapter summaries

Each chapter is summarised in a list of learning points, making Watch & Learn a flexible tool that's easy to use.

Supported by free online videos

This volume is supported by the author's free online videos including the series What Can TV Teach L&D?

What people think

‘In some respects corporate video, especially for training, is seen as the poor relation of video production and has therefore been neglected when it comes to insight and guidance as to how to get the most out of it. Until ‘Watch & Learn’ that is, which has to be a first a real-world guide to video drama for workplace learning -written by one of the most experienced video makers in the business, and in such a way as to be relevant to all-comers whether commissioning, designing, writing or managing an L&D project with a video in it. This book is also unusual in that, despite being written from the video producer’s perspective about a niche genre, it doesn’t talk down to us in any way. In fact you really couldn’t wish for a more grounded and creative guide than Tom Hickmore whose unrivalled knowhow and wry humour shines through on every page underpinned by a steely resolve to ring every last drop of screen gold out of any and every budget! The standout chapters for me are the ones on character building technique and writing dialogue and description, including interactive scenarios. But there’s also the nitty gritty of formatting, reviewing scripts and later, what to expect on the day of the shoot. All this is balanced nicely with some of the film theory thatunderpins the creativity. When you’ve read the chapter on dialectical storytelling you feel quite an expert! So there really is something for everyone here and it all reads very easily, more of a memoire than a manual, with Tom able to draw on loads of real-life examples and case studies from video dramas produced for all sorts of private and public sector organisations. You sense with this book this is Tom’s way of putting some jam back into the corporate L&D space that’s been his bread and butter for solong now, and to read this book is proof that sometimes the best things are worth waiting for.’
James Cory-Wright
‘Tom Hickmore shares a wealth of practical experience and applied learning theory. From concept to edit and everything in between, this is a mini bible for instructional designers, script writers, producers and anyone commissioning video for learning.’
Anita Sullivan
Playwright & Instructional Designer
‘Watch & Learn” is an excellent and concise guide to creating video drama for workplace learning. Tom has shared his considerable experience, with useful tips on everything from character and dialogue to the anthropology of storytelling. The case studies pack a punch too. Recommended.’
John Webb
Learning Director, SUB-10
‘Drama, when used for learning, is often a bit wooden and the script a bit laboured OR it goes in theother direction and is too gimmicky. This is written by someone, with the experience and background in learning videos, to stop you making the rookie errors. Tons of stuff on process but it’s the advice on dialectical storytelling, building character and scripting that pay back dividends. Best book I’ve read on this subject.’
Book Bloke
Amazon reviewer
‘This was a very easy to read book with lots of great advice on what the basics are for filming a drama specifically to be used for learning. I wasn’t looking to make a film with actors but looking to understand a little more about creating dramas in different formats for learning. It has giving me lots to think about.’
Amazon reviewer
‘Tom has effectively captured his craft and distilled his deep experience of drama in learning to give the L&D community a taste of what is possible. His book is well structured allowing you to dive in start to finish or dip into the areas you need most. It’s a fantastic resource for learning designers, scriptwriters and producers, as well as marketers in L&D needing to better understand video drama for learning and how powerful it can be to enable behaviour change.’
Hayley Maisey
Hayley Maisey Marketing Consultant
‘As much as our learners like to relax with a box set or blockbuster, drama can also be an impactful way for them to learn. Tom’s guide is the perfect tool for learning designers hoping to use this medium to its fullest potential.’
Charlotte Iwanejko

Ready to learn


Watch & Learn is available in Hardback and Digital versions from Amazon. Click on the button below to get your copy now.

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