Academy of Storytellers: Pearls of Filmmaking Wisdom via Web Shorts

by Hugh BrownstoneLeave a Comment

We interviewed two of the principals of Story & Heart last year and came away convinced that they were nice, smart, creative, thoughtful,  nice, knowledgeable, low-key, nice, entrepreneurial, and, uh… nice. In the six months since we last spoke, they’ve evolved their model beyond the stock footage business we spoke of to include their Academy of Storytellers, an on-line learning resource which is precisely everything we’ve come to expect from them.

There are so many ways for filmmakers to be parted from their hard-earned cash – I guess just like the rest of us in all things – that it can be overwhelming.

One of the things many new filmmakers DON’T allocate sufficient funds for is training.

In what seems like an infinitely crowded, noisy and expensive educational landscape, what’s a newbie – or even an experienced pro who wants to get his mojo back — to do?

Well, there are excellent day-long conferences put on by Mzed with such working pros as Shane Hurlbut, Vincent LaForet, Adam Epstein, and Alex BuonoTime-lapse Moab 2015, with time-lapse expert Ron Risman; and multi-day events with director Den Lennie — to name just a few. We've covered the aforementioned specifically, and can heartily recommend all of them.

But when cash flow, time commitment, or travel constraints make these infeasible – and/or you have an incredibly short attention span (who doesn’t these days?), Story & Heart’s Academy of Storytellers is a lovely, more convenient and more affordable (though of course less in-depth) option.

Priced at $379/year, the primary benefit for members at this point is 24/7 access to a growing catalog of 2-5 minute tutorials categorized by skillset (e.g., cinematography, editing, audio, and business) and difficulty level (1-3 scale). You put one on, and it feels like you’ve got an incredibly knowledgeable, happy, friend and working professional on the other end of a Skype chat who’s figured out how to take complexity and boil it down to the essentials.

Well done. [bctt tweet=”Academy of Storytellers: pearls of filmmaking wisdom delivered via web shorts”]

You can also see they’ve put in infrastructure and have the ambition to do more, from downloadable worksheets and threaded discussions to special deals for their members. I expect that these ancillary benefits will grow and be enhanced over time.

The team is still building out their library (“Color Grading,” for example, contained only one tutorial and it had nothing to do with the color wheels, curves or scopes I was expecting, but instead was about mixing color temperatures when lighting an interview), but it’s early days and they are adding new tutorials at the rate of two per week.

The vibe on every tutorial I watched is – and I sampled half a dozen — accessible, friendly, authoritative, and pragmatic. They actually got me excited about renting equipment.

That’s hard to do.

Story & Heart seems to have struck a delicate balance between creativity and commerce, and it works because the value is there.

To Justin and the team: congrats. You’re definitely doing your part to grow and improve the filmmaking community, just as you intended – and we’re all a little richer for it.

Story & Heart – Academy of Storytellers

Via Story & Heart:

Learn everything there is to know about interviewing from Stillmotion, creating a Vimeo Staff Pick worthy film from Gnarly Bay, speed ramping and other editing tricks from Joe Simon, fostering a team that everyone wants to be a part of from 31Films, and much more!

Academy of Storytellers

Who should join the Academy?

Whether you’re just getting started with video or are a seasoned storyteller, the Academy of Storytellers is designed to help you build your skills, grow your business, and tell amazing stories.

Academy of Storytellers


Every membership Includes

* Instant access to 48 brand new, exclusive video tutorials, with 2 new ones added every week.

* Private discussions with the Academy of Storytelling students and all of the educators.

* 15% off Story & Heart footage and the Academy of Storytellers courses.

* Ongoing monthly live webinars featuring a diverse selection of topics and speakers.

* Downloadable eBooks, cheat sheets and additional filmmaking resources.

* Exclusive promos from our Foundational Partners: B&H Photo Video, LensProToGo, Kessler, Marmoset, and Stillmotion.

Learn more about Story & Heart – Academy of Storytellers.

(cover photo credit: snap from Story & Heart)

Leave a Comment