What does it mean to tell a meaningful story?…
And by “what does it mean,” we mean…
How much work really goes into it?
What kinds of decisions have to be made along the way?
How do we get funding?
And most importantly… at what moment do you know that a story HAS meaning, and what does it really mean to go all in and commit to telling it?
These and about one million other questions have had to be answered in the last 8 months of telling the #standwithme story. We put together this making of film together (shout out to Joyce for her direction on the piece) to talk about what it has meant for us to tell this story. Where our minds have been, what we feared (and currently fear) going into this, and why this story matters so much to us (and hopefully to you too).
The best stories reach far and wide to bring back something bigger. That is what this piece is when we watch it – a much bigger picture of what we’ve done together.
This BTS piece debuted on No Film School last week, and we wanted to bring it to our blog today to ask all of you a question:
What’s a story YOU really want to tell? Something you’ve always wanted to explore with your camera in hand — a story you would tell not only because it’s good, but because it actually means something to you? We want to hear from you, and we are offering our KNOW Field Guide as a thank you to several people who get involved in the conversation.
“We just made our first movie…”
…to say those words feels absolutely crazy.
To be honest, we still feel like we don’t know what we’re doing half the time… but somehow it’s all managed to come together. And after a very long night of last-minute tweaks, we’re ready to show our trailer to the world.
This project has massively changed our lives as both filmmakers and everyday people. While we do feel excited, proud, and exhausted after finishing this film… we know that this is just the beginning of another journey. Making a film is one thing, but getting it out there and showing it to the world is another.
We’re scared, to say the least. But stepping outside of the ol’ comfort zone is pretty much a job requirement so… here we go.
We now present to you, our friends and fellow filmmakers, the official trailer for #standwithme — a stand against one of the world’s darkest evils.
Our hope with this trailer is not that you’ll come out to see this film because it looks like a good movie. Our hope is that 30 million human beings is something you can’t turn away from, and that this trailer will leave you wanting to know more about the issue and how we can all do our part to truly put an end to this suffering.
This has been a huge undertaking for a small production studio like ours — from funding this project almost entirely by ourselves, to putting in long hours and sacrificing much of our personal lives — it hasn’t been easy.
For this reason, you might be wondering…
What made us want to do this?
Well, in the beginning we didn’t even know what we were getting into. We heard a story about a 9-year-old girl named Vivienne Harr in California, who set up her lemonade stand with the goal of raising $100,000 and freeing 500 children. She asked customers to “pay whats in their heart,” and after 173 days straight of selling lemonade she met her goal, but decided to keep going. The spark that lit Vivienne’s fire was a gorgeous photo by Lisa Kristine, who takes a stand herself by traveling around the world photographing modern day slaves.
When you’re filming an interview, the audio recording of the interviewee’s voice is the most important element of your production.
That’s right, the MOST important element.
It’s so common for filmmakers to spend hours on set design and lighting and only a few minutes on audio. Without sound, all you’re left with is a talking head that does not transmit any message to the viewer.
Having a standard process in how you set up your sound recording and a standard kit of tools you will use, gives you piece of mind that the most essential element of your interview production does not effect the interview’s conversation.
While our audio setup may change depending on the environment we are in, whenever we know that we will be conducting a single person interview, we always carry a standard kit of audio tools that ensure we can record the interviewee’s dialogue in a high quality way.
Keep reading on to learn about the setup we recommend for most interviews…
There are countless reasons why having a standard system for how you organize your files is going to save your life.
Whether you are the editor, producer, or shooter on a project, you should always keep your assets neatly organized… because there’s nothing scarier than aimlessly searching for files while on a tight deadline.
Knowing where your files are is something that will save your editor tons of time and it’ll be a huge lifesaver for your archiving process. A standard folder structure also allows you to work in editing teams efficiently, and will drastically reduce the risk of technical errors — which are ultimately going to hurt your story.
While there are certainly more exciting topics in this world than “folder structure” — this is something that we’ve found saves us hours of time in post, and many headaches.
Having a working folder structure is invaluable!
And what’s more important: having a folder structure that works for you and your team. We’re sharing ours with you because we know how helpful an example is when figuring this stuff out — but we’re not saying you have to copy our exact structure. Find what works for best for you and stick to the plan!
Here we go…
In the documentary and television world, we see interviews all the time.
While there is a huge variety of choices to be made when recording an interview, there is one choice you commonly see happening about 80% of the time…
Can you guess what it is?
It’s the long sided interview!
While the long sided interview is what you will see most frequently in documentaries, you will also see filmmakers (especially when first starting out) choose to do a short sided interview without really thinking about how it relates to the content and how it makes the viewer feel.
So… what exactly is the long sided interview, how do you set it up, and why is it often the best way to go?
Let’s talk about it…