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On Feb 1st, 1865 Abraham Lincoln signed what eventually became the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery from the United States. One hundred and forty-eight years later a remarkable 9-year old girl saw a photo of two enslaved Nepali boys and realized it still exists, and decided to take a stand for something she believes in – a world without slavery.

And much like little Vivienne, we too believe in standing for the world we want to live in. Lincoln used a pen, Vivienne used lemons, and us – we are using a story.

See this Saturday – February 1st – is National Freedom Day and we invite you to join us in meetups all across the world where you can #standwithme for freedom. All the details are on www.Swm.do/feb1.


Confirmed meets up in San Francisco, Brooklyn, Hong Kong, Toronto, Vienna and Stockholm!

Plus, many more. Check www.Swm.do/feb1 for the latest confirmed meet-ups.


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At each meet up there will be:

- a host Instagrammer to coordinate activities
- a Street Team Volunteer with fun resources to photograph + film
- a filmmaker to document the event

That is where you can help – We need filmmakers!

We need a filmmaker at each city to film the fun, the joy, and the laughter. We can join together around the world to help create a collaborative film that tells the story of what happens when communities stand together. Collaboration, building something together, and telling stories guided by heart is why we founded Story & Heart. We are excited to work with the Story & Heart team to put this film together and bring it to the world.

In SF – Spoken Word Poetry, Top Instagrammers, Vivienne & Her Family, & A Free Midnight Screening to Sold-Out #standwithme

The Stillmotion team will be in San Francisco with Vivienne and her family to have fun at the SF meet-up. Marshall Davis Jones is going to perform an original spoken word piece specifically written for National Freedom Day. Top Instagrammers like @Moneal and @JayZombie caught wind about what we are doing and will personally be at the meetup to host their communities that they invited to join in making this a worldwide event. Oh and we’re hosting a midnight screening at the Balboa Theater in San Fran of the #standwithme film – free to everyone who comes out to our San Fran meet! The first two screenings are sold out – so this midnight screening is an awesome chance to come and join in the fun and share the film.

Pretty neat right? Now imagine this extending to say Tokyo, Egypt, Germany, South Africa and all across the globe. And at each location we, this community of filmmakers, bring the heart and resources to document the powerful movement of people coming together to stand against slavery. What a film that could become.

Right now we have confirmed Instameets in these cities. We need filmmakers in:

- Brooklyn, NY USA
- Washington DC, USA
- Hong Kong, China
- Seattle, WA USA
- Toronto, ON Canada
- Des Moines, IA USA
- Denver, CO USA
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Raleigh, NC USA
- Lafayette, TX US
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Los Angeles, CA USA
- Ventura, CA USA
- Vienna, Austria


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If you are a filmmaker in any of the above cities and want to be the Official Filmmaker at a particular InstaMeet to film on Feb 1st, please get in contact with Michelle at michele.blackwell@stillmotion.ca for more details.

  • What if you are not in one of those cities but interested in hosting an Instameet meet up in your city?
  • What if you want to film in your city and just need someone to help connect you with an Instagrammer?

Email Michelle and she will help coordinate details to get you started.

Don’t forget to check back at the website www.Swm.do/feb1 to get the latest scoop on all the details on what to do, where to meet and when to show up.

Once you sign up and confirm you’ll be the lead filmmaker, the webpage will be updated with your name and profile!


Let’s stand together and show the world what a group of passionate storytellers can do together.



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These stories have a ton of heart. Vote now to Green Light one of these films. We have a band of awesome companies who will help bring one of them to life.

Until February 4th at midnight, cast your vote for the film you’d like to see Green Lit.

We have taken over 100 entries and narrowed them to 10 dream films (pitches). Now you choose the top two finalists. From there, five awesome companies each get one vote to determine which film gets Green lit.

YOU decide the two finalists.

February 7th at 9am we’ll announce the Green Lit film. From there, we’ll all get started in helping bring it to life.

Here is a recap of how all of these awesome companies will help bring the chosen film to life.

$5,000 credit from Stillmotion to be used for a mentorship throughout the production process.e will collaborate with you to help develop your story. Build out the story arc, brainstorm the conflict, and get help planning for production. We are here to help brainstorm and guide you to ensure that your dream film is more than brought to life, it’s also as effective as possible.

A rental credit of $2,500 so you have all the gear you need. Whether it be a Canon C300, Freefly Movi, or a collection of sweet lenses, the team at LPTG has provided an awesome credit to ensure your are geared up throughout the production process. More than that, they are an incredible resource to help make sure you are choosing the right gear to bring your story to life.

$5,000 credit for music services to ensure your story sounds as good as it looks. An amazing part of having Marmoset involved is that you’ll get a dedicated music supervisor, somebody who will listen to what your story is about and what you want to achieve, and help suggest tracks that add to your story. You’ll also have the option to use your credit towards custom composition for your film!

$2,500 licensing credit for footage that is made from the heart and crafted with story in mind. We hope you’ll dream big with your story, and often that means needing footage beyond your local reach. With Story & Heart you’ll have access to amazing footage and an incredible community from around the world to help make your story even stronger.

Front page coverage of your film when it’s ready to launch. Bringing your story to life is only half the battle – you also need to be creative in how you get people to see it. In partnering with FStoppers, you’ll know that when your film is ready it can debut to a large audience and thousands of views.

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When you tell a remarkable story, the world opens up.

Bringing a story to life is like rock-climbing. You know where you are and you can visualize where you want to go, but their are many paths that connect the two and the ‘right’ one is often not so clear. With that climb comes great uncertainty, constant challenges, and the need for a solid approach that will take you to the top.

A climber needs rope, shoes, and carabiner’s but they don’t climb the rock any more then the pen and paper will write a great story for you. Cameras don’t tell stories, people do. Yet so often we focus on the gear as our way of making an impact, taking that next step, and telling a powerful story.

I’m reminded of a famous line from Fight Club – we are not our khakis nor are we our cameras.

This short film is our attempt to share what we feel lies at the heart of a remarkable story. If this moves you, it is the foundation of our Storytelling With Heart workshop starting Feb 1st.


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Our New Year’s Resolution is an anti-resolution – don’t wait for a special day of the year to set your goals, take that next step, and chase your dreams.

Our anti-resolution is to live every day as if it is New Year’s day, as if every step has the inspiration of an entire year to propel you forward.

Our dreams happen when we stand up and take them, not when we wait for the clock to strike twelve, that special day of the year, or permission from anybody else.

After all, while many of us will make New Year’s resolutions, statistically less than 10% actually keep and achieve those. It reminds me of the famous Mark Twain quote

“I don’t know why people say it’s so hard to quit smoking. I’ve done it hundreds of times myself!”

The trick? Commit to what you want to do. Write it down. Break it down. Make it concrete. Take that next step. That may sound easy to say, but not so hard to live, right? So let us help make it happen.

A few weeks ago we asked, right here on the SMblog, what story you dream to tell? We were inspired by the honesty and depth that so many of you went to in sharing your ideas. With the New Year upon us, we wanted to take that a step further and we asked…how could we bring one of these ideas to life?

We knew that Stillmotion could help brainstorm the concept, we could help storyboard, as well as plan pre-production. That could certainly help take your story much further, and much deeper, but it’s not enough to bring it to life. And so we started brainstorming the other parts you might need to really make it happen.

As we got in touch with some friends in the industry that could help bring this to life, we were so inspired by their support. And with that, we couldn’t be more excited to bring you the chance to Green Light your dream film.

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You know that awkward moment when you need help… but don’t really want to ask for it?

Sure, we all do… but you know what?

Screw that!

When you have a great idea – a vision you KNOW is going to be absolutely amazing – you’ve gotta put your pride aside and ask for help.

That’s the advice we always give filmmakers… And that’s exactly what we’re doing today.

You see, we have a vision for an essential part of our documentary (#standwithme) that needs YOUR help to become a reality.

Towards the end of the film, we are building out a montage of unique and creative ways to display #standwithme. This is a silent, but powerful declaration taking a stand against child slavery. We’ve got a couple dozen submissions from Stillmotion team members and past students – and are excited to build it out even further.

Imagine 50+ short sequences from across the world, all ages, all demographics… ALL coming together to make a stand. It’s a lofty goal, but we’ve got a good start.

And we need your help to fill this out!

The more submissions we get, the more impact this montage ends up having!  Watch the video above and you can see several examples – and get a feel for what it could end up looking like in the movie.

***We NEED your submissions by Friday, September 20th @ 4pm PST***

We’re giving away some prizes (for your help)…

We understand this will take you a few minutes this week – and we want to help do some giveaways to help!

First off, everyone who submits we get an early release (signed by the team) of the #standwithme DVD. That’s everyone – regardless whether we use it in the movie or not. Just a thank you!

Second, we’ll also be selecting three submissions at random to award some sweet prizes! We’ll be giving away one KNOW Field Guide to Filmmaking, one Making The Most of Short Form Edits DVD, and one Deconstructing DVD Bundle.

So once we get all the submissions, we’ll randomize the submissions – and email you if you win any of the extra bundles and prizes.

Regardless of any prizes, we hope you believe in the work we do – and can spend a little time helping!

How to submit (step-by-step):

1. Think of a creative way to display or create a sign for #standwithme.

Pick something crazy, unique, or simple – we don’t care. If you’re stuck, do something that reflects YOU, your family, or your friends, country, or hobbies. :)

2. Film the process. (Using the 3 Over 1 technique we teach is a good start).

Shoot your process of making, displaying, or creating the #standwithme. Think about shooting a sequence in a (Wide – Medium – Tight) or a (Beginning – Middle – and End). It doesn’t have to be exactly 3 shots – this is just a guide!

Submit whatever style and clips you shoot!

3. Submit your raw video files to Airdropper using the passcode “stand”.

You don’t even have to edit the sequence together. How cool!

Pick your clips you want to submit, and upload the raw files to:

Lastly, to qualify for the contest (and so we can credit you in the film), email CIMELA(at)Stillmotion.ca.

Send cimela(at)stillmotion.ca an email letting us know you submitted (and which clips are yours).

You’ll get credit – and if you win – we’ll know where to send the bonus prizes!

***We NEED your submissions by Friday, September 20th @ 4pm PST***

Sundance, here we come…

As we burn the midnight oil on the road to Sundance (we’re submitting in less than a week!), we can’t thank our community for supporting us throughout the #standwithme journey.

Our hearts, sweat, tears, and many sleepless nights have gone into this project, and now we’re ready to invite everyone who sees it to stand with us.

Can’t wait to show off our hard work to you.

And hope you have time this week to be in our final film! :)