yesterday we posted the BEST OF category winners, and today, here we are proud to announce the Hobbyist category winners!

for those who are just finding out about Big Shorts, here’s some background: the challenge had two categories, one for hobbyists and one for pros.

hobbyists were to use the song “Honey” by Sunbeam, the theme of family, and only ambient / nat sounds to create a 55 – 60 second film.

pros were to use the song “Building Houses” by Wesley Jensen, the theme of home, ambient / natural sounds and voice over or dialogue, including the line “my heart is” to create a 115 – 120 second film.

tonight at our livecast, in conjunction with the official release of SMAPP, we announced the winners! and we’re doing that here on the blog as well…

yesterday:  we announced the BEST OF category winners.
today:  hobbyist winners
monday:  pro winners

so onto the HOBBYIST winners… Continue Reading

we created the Big Shorts challenge because we wanted to push other storytellers to get out there and create. it can be scary at times, but taking that extra step is often followed by another, and another, and before you know it, you’re off to the races. it’s inspiring to see so many entries and so many valuable stories told and we’re honoured to have been a part of something so incredible.

the challenge had two categories, one for hobbyists and one for pros.

hobbyists were to use the song “Honey” by Sunbeam, the theme of family, and only ambient / nat sounds to create a 55 – 60 second film.

pros were to use the song “Building Houses” by Wesley Jensen, the theme of home, ambient / natural sounds and voice over or dialogue, including the line “my heart is” to create a 115 – 120 second film.

tonight at our livecast, in conjunction with the official release of SMAPP, we announced the winners! and we’re doing that here on the blog as well… Continue Reading

it’s official! SMAPP is launched and in the app store available for download right now. yes right now, as in load up the app store and get it on your iOS device now. you can find it here at getsmapp.com – it’s okay, we’ll wait.

okay, got it?

exciting isn’t it? two years ago Patrick, Ray, Justin and I were chatting at a hotel bar somewhere in California and right then and there the idea for SMAPP was born. since then we’ve been brainstorming, developing, refining, testing and building this app to be something that will help you in the field and help you grow as a filmmaker. we took all our years of experience, our mistakes, our collective efforts and made SMAPP to be something we ourselves would use.

that being said, it’s not done. we have a lot of other ideas we are looking to incorporate and build upon so we would love for you to give it a whirl and send us your feedback on what you like, what you don’t like, what you would like to see in the future and any technical blips and errors that may have come up. we don’t rigorous testing but if something isn’t right, we want to know and get it corrected for you so that you can have the same experience we’re having in the field making the most out of SMAPP. Continue Reading

this has become so much more than just the KNOW book, in many ways this is now just as big as the entire tour itself. we started off with a simple plan: author a book that looks at the different facets of filmmaking – break it down into something easy to understand and offer insight into why and how to make relevant, meaningful decisions. we got there, and then went way over. what was initially expected to be a 140 page book is now over 300 pages of informative, designed, insane awesomeness.

the book will have chapters on all the main pieces of a film such as story, light, composition, audio, lenses and such as well as more intangible topics like finding and knowing your voice as a storyteller. and in each there are three main areas we are focusing on:

1. concepts, theory and ideas behind each module
2. crafted worksheets that help you understand, build and apply the ideas
3. featured shoots where we break down everything from story to gear to lighting diagrams and production

we’ve incorporated both very technical things like charts, graphs and numbers to dive deep into the basis of each topic as well as carefully designed diagrams, screengrabs and workflows to help you easily understand the idea at hand. we’re also covering things like ideation, treatment and bids and story development. there are worksheets on lighting, samples of storyboards and flowcharts on how/where to start location scouting. there are recommended gear kits, deconstruction of projects and write ups to go with each. pretty neat, right?

check out a few of these spreads from the book. we may be overly excited about it but it’s been such an incredible experience authoring and designing this book. yes, we are so proud of it and can’t wait to get it in our hands :)

Continue Reading

Hey guys! So I have a question about your business.  I run a small videography company in Nashville TN and employee 4 people on a regular basis (4 – 6 weddings a month).  I am in partnership with one of these people but the others are just shooters.  All are friends.  My question is how do you decide how much each person makes from a wedding?  I do all the editing, branding, and find most of the weddings but will send teams out to shoot weddings.  I find myself in awkward conversations often with shooters that think they should get more than $200 for a 9 hour shoot.  We are working our way up in pricing and its working but I still cant afford to pay the bills and pay more for my shooters.  How did you guys start? – Kappel

hey Kappel,

first and foremost your business needs to be profitable, if it isn’t then it won’t grow and can’t be sustainable. profitable means that you are paying for the time involved (including yours), a pro-rated portion for the gear needed, and there is still something left. the challenge with a wedding is that the post involved is often quite lengthy and that can bring a cost that rivals the production. even though you do it in this case, it needs to have a value assigned and that would be something that goes to you with profit again being in addition to all of this.

we can make a basic formula to give you a rough idea of how to break things down as your rates change. let’s assume you have 2 shooters for a wedding. post is less stressful and needs less gear but it also requires more time than production, so let’s add that in at twice the value as the shooting. we need to have some room for gear (consider renting from our friends at lensprotogo to get great tools when you need them without going into debt early on) as well as the overhead needed, let’s put that in as a quarter of shooting rate.these are guesstimates based on your just started out, and not having as much gear and overhead but please adjust as you see fit. lastly, let’s leave some room for profit so you can continue to grow and be sustainable. Continue Reading