3 things we know to be true about filmmaking.

Our values define us and our beliefs guide us forward. On our journey as filmmakers, it’s important for us to consider these values—our guiding principles—to keep us on track when we turn a corner in the road and keep us grounded in our stories with each plot twist. 

That’s what we’re doing today as we launch the Academy of Storytellers, a story-driven online film school we’ve designed to help you tell amazing stories and become a better filmmaker.

The Academy is different than any other education platform because it’s designed around collaboration; it’s a community using stories to challenge and encourage you. It's built to be the best resource out there for storytellers looking to learn about filmmaking.

Over the years, with our experience as storytellers, we’ve learned a number of truths that have informed how we’ve designed the Academy and why it’s different.

Here are three things we know to be true about filmmaking and how these principles make the Academy a place to grow, be encouraged and collaborate. 

1. Collaboration makes us better storytellers.

Storytelling is an ancient art. Think back to the days when our ancestors gathered around the fire, sharing their stories and weaving them into collective myths that helped make sense of their lives.

When you take a closer look at human history, it becomes clear that community has always driven storytelling. And that’s because we can tell better stories together. 

The same is certainly true of our craft. Filmmaking is a fundamentally collaborative art. And each film is the result of the experiences and ideas of different filmmakers unified by their shared belief in a story. 

Collaboration is how we make better films. It’s also how we become better filmmakers.

Still, not everyone takes this approach to learning. Tutorials and workshops are a crucial part of the learning process, but they often feel like hours spent listening to someone talking at you with little concern for engagement or the valuable insight of different perspectives.

We believe that the collaborative spirit that helps us make great films should be applied to education. And with the launch of the Academy, we’re doing just that—building a story-driven film school where we can learn from each other. The Academy gets to the root of why we Story & Heart exists: to create a space where filmmakers of all different backgrounds and experiences come together to teach and to learn from one another, a place where you can learn to tell better stories.

2. We all have something to learn, and we all have something to teach.

When you collaborate with other filmmakers, you’re not only asking them to help you; you’re admitting that the story will be better because of their involvement. Successful collaboration requires a shared vision—a belief in that story—and the humility to admit that you don’t know everything, that you value the experience and insight of others. 

The same principles apply to learning:

To grow in your craft, you not only ask for someone to share their knowledge; you must admit that their experience will help you become better. 

We believe that all filmmakers have something to learn, and the greatest filmmakers never stop learning. We’ve built the Academy  with the idea that each of us—no matter our experience level—have something to learn. And we also have something to teach. 

That’s why the Academy is much more than just a bunch of talking heads. This is a community where you’ll get to see filmmakers in action. You’ll interact with filmmakers who have won multiple Emmy Awards for storytelling and cinematography; filmmakers who have worked for clients like Apple, CBS, Nike and more; and filmmakers who have traveled the world over to tell a good story. And that means more than just tutorials: the Academy includes more than 40 beautiful films at launch (with two more added each week!) in addition to eBooks, cheat sheets, webinars and more.

And while you get the chance to learn from the best, the educators are also a part of the Academy: we want you to ask them questions, challenge their ideas and have meaningful discussions. That’s how we learn together as a community. 

3. Our community should encourage us to grow, wherever we’re at on our journey. 

Social scientists have long studied the link between individuals and their communities, and it’s a common fact that our community informs our worldview, our values and our dreams. In a lot of ways, the creative community that surrounds us serves a similar purpose, and the types of people in our community can have a big impact on who we are as filmmakers. 

That’s why it’s so important that we surround ourselves with filmmakers who can challenge us to grow. But they should also encourage us and inspire us to be better.

You need your community to believe in you, your vision and your story. They push you to be better, keep you on track and celebrate each milestone. 

We intend for Story & Heart to be that community, a community by storytellers, for storytellers. And that’s why the Academy brings together filmmakers of different backgrounds to learn from each other, collectively build our skills and encourage us to tell incredible stories. 

Whether you’re just getting started with video or are a seasoned storyteller, the Academy  is designed to give you the skills, tools and inspiration you need to take your craft to the next level.

We know you’re amazing with amazing stories to tell, and that’s why we seek to encourage you to become a better filmmaker.