Open Letter to Adam Winrich: Good guys do sometimes wear black

Back in the day my family was one of the first to do slow motion and dramatic set photography with bullwhips. But as I’ve said in an article titled the Class of 2005 of the young people coming up through the bullwhip community at the time, nobody really catapulted bullwhip work as brilliantly as Adam Winrich did. He has since broken nine Guinness Book of World Records in the field of whip cracking and makes his living exclusively doing shows as a bullwhip artist. And when it comes to photographing bullwhip work Adam has excelled there as well. In the beginning he watched a lot of my videos to find ways to improve on them. Now, these days, I watch his, because he does so many unique things with bullwhips. It was because of him that I learned how to cut a soda can in half with a whip. He has for the last decade been the premier whip cracker of our time, and I’m proud of him.

It was at Christmas dinner that I heard my son-in-law had received a new Go Pro camera from my daughter. The conversation migrated to what could be done with a Go Pro camera which of course ended up into a bullwhip conversation. Upon that, my brother let me know that the number one video on the Go Pro website broadcast over the Xbox network was a whip cracker by the name of Adam Winrich who had made a fantastic video using a Go Pro Hero3 camera combining slow motion and very well set up camera shots.

The video is quite beautiful to look at, the firewhip work was very well done, and the ability to show perspective of how the whips work from the view of the whip cracker is extremely unique, and admirable. Adam’s Go Pro work takes much of the excitement of being a whip cracker and puts regular people into position to enjoy it, which is marvelous. It is a very useful tool in advancing the sport.

 

So this next part is not intended for my normal readers here, but for Adam himself. Things like this are so hard to explain in an email. So pardon the deviation. If there was an opportunity to work for a film studio owned by a controversial conservative pundit deeply in love with traditional American values—is that something that would be attractive? The project I’m currently working on, which heavily involves bullwhip work could use a nine time record holder who is nice and young and can handle the innovations that this particular studio is looking for.

This particular individual is uniquely placed into the heart of the entertainment industry because of his success as a political pundit and even those from the political left are seeking refuge among his growing stable of stars. Within the next five years, his particular studio will be poised to directly compete with the Hollywood product model, and within ten to surpass it. Let’s see, that would put Adam Winrich right around 43 years old about that time and likely still in good shape to teach a new generation all the fantastic skills of bullwhip work.

 

I’ve been working on this Cliffhanger character for the last ten years refining things so that it’s a unique enough concept that can hold water for a new generation, but the goal has always been to popularize again an appreciation for the western arts the way westerns used to. But young people can’t identify with westerns any longer, so a new way to present that type of value based material has to be utilized. I’ve done a few bullwhip gigs for the Hollywood crowd and they just don’t get it. That’s why they are going out of business. They certainly aren’t poised to do anything positive for the western arts. But this one guy is–the catch is that he’s political.

The last film festival that I participated in was in 2009, since then I have used my skills to help real causes in the real world, but I don’t do bullwhip work professionally, so I don’t have to worry about not getting bookings because of my political beliefs. So it can be risky to embark on these kinds of adventures. But it can also be worth it. So it’s kind of a loose offer. There are a lot of things up in the air that has to be settled, but the first criterion has to be of interest. We live in an exciting time, and opportunities are certainly there for people who can see easily over the horizon.

There are opportunities with camera systems like the Go Pro to really change the way dramatic stories are told. I’d personally like to see something like Lash LaRue re-emerge without the camera tricks to cheat the stunts. Whip work has for the first time in history an opportunity to be done in a way that can stun audiences so long as there is a narrative justification for the suspense—and there is no better way of achieving that than with real stunts captured by camera systems like Go Pro.

So what does the schedule for Adam Winrich look like over the next ten years? Interested? These days, I’m busy writing, I still do a lot of whip work, and likely always will, but for this proposed project, I can’t think of anybody more committed to the art, and nobody more poised to bring a wow factor to further innovations. So before I make a pitch, I’d need to know some basic fundamentals. Could be a lot of fun, because in this case the hero does wear black—black as night.

 

Rich Hoffman

Visit Cliffhanger Research and Development

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