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 :)

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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

we’re almost there guys, it’s so incredibly close now. we are submitting SMAPP to Apple this week and expect to have it approved soon after. based on our experience with the submission process we are now anticipating a live launch of SMAPP in the App Store on Wednesday, August 22nd. that means you can have SMAPP in your hands just a short couple weeks from now.

it’s been a long time coming and with so many changes and improvements we want to share the launch with you with a live webinar on Thursday August 23rd. all KNOW attendees who receive a free copy of SMAPP, anyone who purchases SMAPP and all those who’ve signed up for the With Etiquette, SMAPP and stillmotion newsletters will be invited to join the entire sm team for an hour long webinar for all the deets on everything we have going on this fall.

we’ll be doing a live demo of SMAPP to walk you through all the neat features we’ve designed, tested and built from the ground up. from there we will share with you the future direction of SMAPP, the latest updates on the iPad app, Android development and new tools we have in store for the next version.
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yes! today’s the day we can start talking about this! (we’ve been holding it in for a while and it feels so good to let it out!). today, stillmotion is announcing Big Shorts, a filmmaking challenge meant to make you look at storytelling from a different perspective. rather, to hear it differently…

the aim:

to harness the fierce power of audio, whether it be natural (nat) sound, dialogue, or your soundtrack. we’ve found that audio is one of the most overlooked elements in filmmaking, so we’re challenging you to make it your focus! we hope it’ll give your approach a swift kick in the <bleep> and get you thinking in a different way – one that will pull your viewer in deep and make them even more captivated by your visuals.

assignment deets:

we’ve got two categories: hobbyist and pro. you be the judge of which group you belong to and which of the two challenges is best suited to your skill level.

hobbyist:  create a 55-60 second film
use the theme of “family”
use the song “Honey” by Sunbeam
put an emphasis on nat sound in the piece

pro:  create a 115 to 120 second film
use the theme of “home”
use the song “Building Houses” by Wesley Jensen
put an emphasis on nat sound as well as dialogue in the piece
include the line “my heart is” somewhere in the dialogue, either spoken on camera or as a voice over

both categories have until August 21st, 2012 to create their film. pieces under or over the intended length will be disqualified, so time things right! we’ve given you 5 seconds of buffer room so no excuses! you can use any section of your group’s song for your piece, but please use only that song. work alone or with a friend. got more than one friend? that works too. we like social folk. Continue Reading

a few months ago we started working on a series of films with several US athletes about their journey to the Olympics. the pieces revolved around the idea of showing the training, trials, triumphs and emotions that they go through before they step on stage in London. part of that story was told through archival footage and the rest of it we filmed on a rather tight schedule.

much like the Callaway series we DP’d a couple years back, this one features a series of athletes with spots that all tied into one campaign, but unlike that series where all the athletes played the same sport we had the challenge of filming all different sports. while this certainly kept things fresh it also made pre-production and production all the more intense as we had to prepare for swimming, soccer, gymnastics, track& field, beach volleyball and even tae kwon do, all within a couple months time.

one of my favorites is our shoot with Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte. for Lochte’s film we had all hands on deck. after all, this is Ryan Lochte, Continue Reading