StillMotion on How To Approach Videos You Are Hired to Shoot: an A to Z Masterclass
If you are a filmmaker making a living (or trying to make a living) out of your craft, get excited, this article is going to give you a massive amount of tools and information to tackle every jobs with a fresh perspective as a storyteller, all the while being as technically prepared as you can possibly be before your shooting day.
StillMotion, a passionate gang of filmmakers and storytellers, has made four spectacular videos explaining their process from A to Z to work on any videos, whether it be a commercial, a documentary, a wedding video etc. What got me so excited about these videos when I discovered them is that StillMotion is fully dedicated to tell a story and, as you know by now, storytelling is what drives me to write and share on mentorless. What you are going to watch is a series of videos showing how to better tell a story, not how to rack focus or do your camera settings.
After many years of expertise and growth, StillMotion has built a system to breakdown any new projects coming their way, no matter the genre. They shared it in 3 of the videos you can watch below, not only explaining the steps they go through, but showing how they applied it on different videos. In the fourth video, they go over each point again through a single example, also showing the final result.
If you have some experience shooting videos (as opposed to narrative films), you have probably noticed that to achieve the best result possible, a lot of work needs to be done before the shooting day. What makes StillMotion’s videos invaluable is they go through all the steps that should ideally be done to avoid rushing it on the shooting day and saving it in post-production, a situation that can happen if we rely too much on the capturing-moments-as-they-come-and-finding-what-we-want-to-say-in-post attitude.
You might be surprised to discover that StillMotion does 80% of the work in pre-production and goes into great details into breaking their story beforehand. If you work solo, the list of things to do might feel overwhelming but even if you can only apply 3 or 4 of their tips, and build from there as it becomes a second nature, I think it can help any filmmaker to secure better videos showcasing their strength as storytellers.
Here is an overview of the four videos. They all deserve to be watched at least once, if not several times.
Storytelling the StillMotion Way
- Part 1: is dedicated to the 4 Ps, the four elements you need to think about and find to be able to work on your story and make a great story.
- Part 2: is dedicated to find the 5 keywords that will embody your story and how they influence your 4Ps + how to conduct pre-interviews, pick your location and define your plot.
- Part 3: is dedicated to the final preparation (storyboard, shortlist, call sheet) + how to select your gear + how to handle what goes inevitably wrong on the shooting day.
- Part 4: all the points put into practice through a promotional video. StillMotion made their preparatory worksheets available and free for you to download here.
Last but not least, you can download SMAPP, StillMotion free app for filmmakers here.
What do you think of StillMotion’s system? Is there anything you do differently and that works for you? Share your workflow or anecdotes, it always helps!