Storytelling the @StillMotion way – new free training!

by Keith AlvendiaLeave a Comment

Patrick Moreau from @stillmotion sent me this over the weekend – they've just launched another very cool series of training videos on “Storytelling the stillMotion way” and I know you'll enjoy these! They're working with vimeo, with etiquette, and cinevate to produce these.

Storytelling the StillMotion way is a free, 4 part video tutorial series which goes into detail on how to discover and create a compelling story before you ever pick up a camera.

We start with an overview of the 4 P's of story – your People, Places, Plot, and Purpose. Next we talk about how to use this framework to conduct detailed research and to pick the characters, locations, and conflicts that best tell your story.

We then move on to storyboards, shot lists, and schedules to bring your new vision to life – and share it with others involved. Finally, we provide tips for how these choices will affect what gear you choose and how you operate on the day of the shoot.

We conclude the series with a challenge – go out and use this method of pre-production and planning to showcase the story of someone following their dreams and doing what they love. Not only that, but we share a step-by-step example of us doing just that.

Our goal is to change the way you approach every story from this point forward!

Storytelling the Stillmotion Way: Part 1

Good morning class! Settle down, take your seats.

Today I’d like to introduce a very special guest professor. Our friends from Stillmotion will be taking the reins for the next few weeks, using their experience as Emmy award-winning filmmakers to teach you a very special skill — the art of storytelling.

As filmmakers, storytelling is at the core of what we do. Whether you’re making a narrative, a documentary, or a commercial, short or long form, you are telling a story to your audience.

As a storyteller you have the opportunity to connect with your audience on a very deep level, to make people feel, think, and act — but only if you do it right! Storytelling may seem simple, and in a way it is. Some very basic principles are at the basis of it all. It’s remembering these principles and making every decision, from pre- to post-production, based on them, that is the key to great storytelling.

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Part 1 of this 4-part series discusses “The Four P's”

people1 1. People: Who is in the story?
Characters are what make us emotionally invested in a story. You’ll want your audience to root for your protagonists and against your antagonists.


 2. Place: Where does the story take place?

Location can add depth and intrigue to your characters and story, and can visually communicate a great amount of information in a short period of time.

plot1 3. Plot: What is the conflict and the journey?
Stillmotion believes that every piece, even a commercial, needs a conflict to drive the narrative.

Purpose1 4. Purpose: Why should anyone care about this?
The Stillmotion mantra here is “know what you need to say before you speak.” Throughout the production process it’s important to always be going back to this essential purpose, reminding yourself why you’re telling this story and why others will care about it.

To read the complete information on this 1st episode, visit Storytelling the Stillmotion Way: Part 1


Storytelling the Stillmotion Way: Part 2

Hello class! Welcome to part two of our storytelling workshop with Stillmotion. You all get gold stars for perfect attendance.

Today Patrick and his team will be discussing pre-production, and how they use research to develop keywords to guide the production. From conducting pre-interviews, to scouting locations, to developing conflict and story, these keywords will help you develop the four P’s of storytelling — People, Place, Plot, and Purpose — that we discussed in the last segment.

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In Part 2 of this series, the Stillmotion team always starts with the discovery process.

discovery1 -Research your topic, dig deep, find out what’s already been covered.


keywords1 -Choose five words or phrases that represent, to the best of your ability, the research you’ve done.

Your keywords serve as a reminder of your Purpose, so guess what! You’ve already got one of the four P’s down.

It’s time to use your keywords to guide choices about People, Place, and Plot:

people_70x51 People: Use pre-interviews to find characters that will best embody your keywords and purpose.



Place:Now it’s time to go back and re-evaluate your location options.


plot1 Plot: There are many different ways to approach the same story and there are factors to consider to develop your storyline.


To read the complete information on the 2nd Part of this Series, visit Storytelling the Stillmotion Way: Part 2

Watch out for Part 3 of this series where StillMotion discusses principles to action with advice on storyboards, gear selection, and tips for the actual shoot itself.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

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