Magic happens in 5 days. Tell Amazing Stories Update.

In less than one week—only 5 days actually—we kick off our first ever 4 week collaborative learning adventure: Tell Amazing Stories!

To say that our excitement has leapt into high gear would be to put it very lightly. 

While we’re geeked that so many incredible filmmakers will be on board to serve as the best professors for whom any storyteller could ask, and though we can’t wait to see what kind of collaborative films we’ll build together, there is one thing about which we are tremendously stoked:

Tell Amazing Stories will teach you everything you could ever need to discover the stories you love, lift them to unimaginable heights, and carry them away all on your own terms.

As we’ve described before, each of the 4 weeks is designed with particular educational goals in mind—to teach through experience by providing specific, actionable prompts, challenges, and topics, we call explorations.

What's an exploration?

Without giving too much away, one of the weeks we’re introducing an Exploration we call “An Artistry.”

Some people are unexpectedly talented: there are big, beautiful lives of people doing things they love right under your nose. They can bake, build bikes, paint landscapes with watercolors, or weld life-sized angels out of scrap metal. Whether they work with wine or paper, wire or plastic, wood or plaster, we want you to seek them out and show us what they can do.

So on the week you set out to show us, through your filmmaking voice, what your artist of choice is up to, you will in turn be, whether you are totally aware of it or not—and really, isn’t a storyteller’s best skill his or her ability to go unnoticed?—learning some very essential skills, approaches, and techniques about telling an amazing story of your own.

In the case of “An Artistry”, this will include everything from business tips to technical tricks to overall attitude, and everything in between:

  • How to find and tell amazing stories

  • How to develop a close, accessible relationship with your subject

  • How to get your talent excited and expressive

  • How to make effective gear choices

  • How to capture better on-camera audio

  • How to shoot with intent and purpose

  • How to approach strangers or work with a creative talent you don’t know well

  • How to find, build, and encourage authenticity

What's the course format?

Every Monday we’ll issue the Exploration. Your week now has its theme!

Your inboxes will be overflowing with educational content specifically tailored to not only that week’s Exploration but prepped to give you all the know-how you’ll need to head past the 4 weeks and tell some amazing stories all fueled on your own.

But then comes the best part about all of this: once per week, Patrick from Stillmotion and a guest educator will have filmed the Explorations. During the webinar each Tuesday they’ll share their own stories—the challenges they overcame, the successes they excitedly stumbled upon, and the film they came up with.

When each of our educators talks all about lessons learned during the Exploration, you’ll have in turn learn all the prep you’ll need for the Exploration on which you’ll embark.

Afterwards, we’ll open up the proverbial floor to a live chat on all things storytelling—we mean it: no subject is taboo when it comes to helping you give you a friendly shove down your storytelling path—to make sure that you’re as confident and geared to go as you can be with the storytelling challenge before you.

Oh hey: we’ve extended Tuesday’s webinar by 30 minutes. That’s 90 full minutes of elaborated experiential education each week!

And if that weren’t enough, here’s something we’re especially on fire about:

Once we receive all of the submissions you’ve filmed by Sunday night, we’ll edit everything into a huge collaborative film that will tell the story of all of your course-mates engaging in that week’s Exploration.

Every single course attendee will receive personalized, one-of-a-kind feedback on his or her footage from one of our filmmaking educators.

Just as storytelling requires collaboration, so does learning how to be a better storyteller require the passion of a community united on the same journey.

Oh, there’s more.

In addition to every filmmaker attempting an Exploration, our very special educators will provide in-depth, honest, and totally open commentary on one of their films: how they were made, their methods, their motivations, and the overall plan that led from inception to execution.

More than an up-close-and-personal Behind the Scenes story, think about it like your own unique interactive "Blu-Ray" commentary: what do you really want to know about the films these storytellers love?

#standwithme by Stillmotion

As Patrick and the team at Stillmotion describe the year that went into creating their first feature-length documentary, you’ll get the inside scoop on such story-first lessons as building the arc of your story; focusing the heart of your story; engaging with talent on their own terms; and moving the camera with purpose and intent.

Johnnyswim – “Home” by Ryan Booth

A master of “ambient light” (though he’ll be the first person to claim such a thing doesn’t exist), join Ryan Booth as he describes how he found a story within a simple ditty and turned a concept into an intimate reality.

Through Ryan’s journey you’ll learn how to make the most of naturally found elements; how to work within constraints; how to plan and create a whole story from start to finish; how to realize the potential for amazing stories right under your nose; and even how to build relationships with your talent.

“Chase Hawk X Oakley // Austin, Texas” by Joe Simon

Leave it to Joe Simon to capture a viral sensation by simply doing what comes naturally: having fun.

As Joe dissects the process behind what makes for both a great Oakley spot and an even greater testament to the freedom of a BMX spree, you’ll get a taste for how to work with talent authentically (make them act and feel real); how to shoot proactively (and not scurry after a getaway bike); how to make budget and gear decisions based on story, and yet keep it looking stellar; and how to find the arc of your story no matter what it is.

“Heritage Story” by Capture Studios

You may know Matt Brue from Capture as a creator’s creator: a guy who knows how to use his chosen artistic calling to expose the care and passion of fellow artists.

With Matt’s short film about the tradition and painstaking love that goes into each pair of Red Wing Shoes, you’ll find some insight in getting access to talent; making purposeful gear choices; capturing immersive in-camera audio; and approaching unfamiliar folks to get them geeked about your shoot.

“CHOICE.” by Gnarly Bay

While each of our storytellers are certifiable adventurers, Gnarly Bay pretty much takes the international cake, and if “CHOICE.” is anything, it’s an irresistible travelogue of how a filmmaker can find beauty in pretty much any corner of the globe.

Care of Gnarly Bay, you’ll find out how to not only tell a great story, to build its structure while seemingly in the midst of it, but also how to find a story that even a stranger would want to watch. Think of engaging your audience on a universal level: finding those stories that connect us all.

And last but not least, if there’s anything you’re looking forward to learning during Tell Amazing Stories, let us know in the comments below! We want to make this the educational adventure of a lifetime.