Your tag line, log line, or “elevator pitch.”

Whatever you want to call it, it’s important that you have one for your film — or even just for your idea for a film that hasn’t been made yet.

Last week we asked all of you to share your dream stories with us, and we got a ton of great submissions. Seriously, all great ideas!

However, there was one little problem…THEY WERE WAY TOO LONG!

Now, we certianly didn’t specify a length requirement, so we’ll give you that. BUT, it did get us thinking about the importance of having a one-sentence tagline for any film.

Something to the effect of: “It’s a film about…”

…only 100x less boring.

The best part: you can immediately start putting these tips to use, because we’re announcing a big contest for storytellers on January 1st (more on this below…)


“Why is this so important to have a go-to line for my film? Can’t I just speak from the heart and tell them all about my great story?”

There are a few major reasons why it’s essential that you have a brief go-to line about your story:
Continue Reading


Magic happens when we work together.

The combined wealth of knowledge and talent that we share as a community inspires us beyond belief. Currently, there’s nothing out there to facilitate this type of collaboration easily — to enable filmmakers to collaborate together, share ideas, and challenge each other.

For us, that’s frustrating.

So we’re building something. Together.

Story & Heart — a safe harbor for our captured moments and a place to see them become something more.

Story & Heart is one part filmmaking community, one part video licensing platform. We’re building this our own way — crafting a place that celebrates the unique individual, while supporting a community of like-minded filmmakers.

It’s a place to learn, collaborate and encourage.
A destination for authentic stories.
A new home.

And this is only the beginning.

One part filmmaking community.

We’ve honestly been wishing for a community like this for quite some time…it is just pure creative stimulation for me. It stimulates us to grow our own craft, and it gives so much of the footage that was just sitting on archive drives — a newly purposed life.

— Aaron at Film Lab Creative

Story & Heart is a platform that allows us to push our stories further. We’ll come together as a community, bounce ideas off of one another, and collaborate in a completely new way.

If you believe in this idea and want to be a part of a story-driven community, please visit the website and sign up with the Build With Us button.

One part video licensing platform.

Halt. Right there.

Story & Heart is the antithesis of the big box behemoths of the stock footage game…it is a downtown boutique store…complete with the friendly bell when you open the creaky, old-timey door to explore the digital goodies. Bohemian not Bohemoth. :)

- Dan at Gnarly Bay

Let’s be honest: previous stock footage companies are generic, greedy, giant abysses of largely unusable footage (piles of clips, virtually useless to a story-driven filmmaker).

The thought of our footage — the blood, sweat and tears that have been poured into it — being available on any of those stock video platforms has never sat well with us.

Story & Heart creates a viable platform to launch and sell your content without selling your soul.
Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


We’ve all been there…

Your client says:

“I’ve got a great idea for the video. Can you shoot me tossing my bouquet? It will be great!”

“Be sure to get some shots of us cutting the cake and smearing frosting on our noses!”

Your heart wants to say yes, because these are nice people. But your storyteller’s mind wants to say, “Not so fast, remember I’m the filmmaker, you’re the client… and I know the best ways to tell a story through film.”


Seriously, don’t say that. But the point is, that’s what you would like to say…

So what can you actually say to stay on good terms with your client while sticking to your guns and doing what’s best for your film?

How do you harness the power of saying no?

Denying ain’t easy, but there are a few things you can do to make yourself a better nay-sayer.

  • Know what you need (and don’t need) to show in your film.
  • Always have a reason (know the WHY).
  • Be confident in the WHY.

We’ll get into HOW to put those three pointers into action in a bit, but first we’re curious… why is it so hard for people to say no to each other at all?
Continue Reading


Just because wedding season is over doesn’t mean people aren’t getting married!

For this reason, in the “off season” you’ll see a lot of destination weddings, where couples travel to far more tropical/scenic locations with filmmakers (you!) in tow.

Now, if you’re a frequent reader of this blog you know that Stillmotion swears by the importance of pre-production (we even have this Vimeo Video School Series!)…

Destination weddings are no exception to our rigorous pre-production, but there are a few steps of preparation that we take extra time to focus on when traveling to film a wedding in a faraway place.

Specifically, there are 5 things we always want to know ahead of time…

1. Know Your Environment

What’s the weather like where you’re going? Is it dusty, sandy, humid?

Many destination weddings are in tropical locations, meaning you’ll need to keep a few things in mind when it comes to climate.

Lens condensation: In a humid environment you’ll find that lens condensation can become an issue if you don’t acclimate your lenses. The reason it happens is because your camera/lens is colder than the environment you’re in (because you’ve had it sitting in your air conditioned hotel room).

Our advice: Be sure to bring out your camera and lenses about 20 minutes before your shoot so that they can get used to the air and you won’t have to deal with lens condensation!

Dirty lens/sensor: Much like a long drive can lead to an increased level of dead bugs on your windshield, a weekend in Aruba can lead to dirtier-than-usual lenses and sensor issues. This is an obvious problem because it can destroy your image, and you’re really going to be screwed if you realize that in the middle of the wedding.

Our advice: Bring extra lens and sensor cleaners and prepare to use them!
Continue Reading