A peek inside the Academy of Storytellers.

This week we launched the Academy of Storytellers, a story-driven online film school to help you become a better filmmaker. The Academy gives you instant online access to 40 video tutorials, with 2 new ones added every week, webinars and e-books, discussions, exclusive gear discounts and more—all designed to give you the skills and tools you need to tell amazing stories.

All of this sounds great on paper, right? But what does it actually look like? How does it work? We can talk all day about why we decided to reinvent the online film school through collaboration and stories. But today we wanted to take the chance to take you behind the scenes and give you an exclusive look at what really makes the Academy different by exploring a couple of the tutorials that are available and giving you a sneak peek at the first webinar.

Let’s take a closer look at the Academy of Storytellers.


“The academy is exactly what I have been waiting for! A place where I can learn new skills from pros and discuss topics with other community members. I'm no longer alone in the vast world of story telling!”
Matt Dringenberg

Instant access to interactive lessons from the best

Filmmaking is a team sport, and the best films come from creative collaboration.

We’ve applied a collaborative spirit to film education and have brought in some of the best filmmakers to help you get to the next level in your craft. 

Do you want to make a Vimeo Staff Pick-worthy film? We’ve brought in Gnarly Bay to show you how it’s done. What about brushing up on your slow motion skills? Learn from experts like Mike Sutton at Frozen Prosperity. Did someone say speed ramping? Learn some truly incredible editing tricks from Joe Simon. Want to find out how to foster a creative studio culture? We talk to 31 Films about creating an environment where a team of expert storytellers can thrive.


“If I had this type of resource when I first started out four years ago, I would have saved a ton of money and time and reduced my learning curve. The tutorials are fantastic, there is something to learn for everyone here regardless of where they are in their career. Great Job!”
—Scott Clark

It doesn’t matter what level you’re at; the Academy is for filmmakers of different backgrounds and experiences. We’ve created a community where all kinds of filmmakers can be challenged, stay inspired and thrive creatively.

The Academy is a film school driven by story. That means we apply time-tested storytelling techniques to learning, helping you grasp technical details and digest complex topics. 

Does this sound good to you? Well, we’re just getting started—there are 40 brand new and exclusive videos accessible right now, and we’re adding two more each week. Scroll down and let’s take a look at one tutorial on how to light an interview. 


“As a 30 year veteran National Geographic still shooter and workshop instructor, I know good teaching when I see it. When the offer to join the Academy of Storytellers came to my inbox, I didn't hesitate a second. And I haven't been disappointed. The tutorials are terrific and the feedback and interaction with Justin, Patrick, and the crew are invaluable. These guys are the real deal, and I'm so looking forward to digging further into the material. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but this 62 year old newly-minted video storyteller is learning a whole lot from the team at Stillmotion and Story & Heart, and that's saying something!”
—Bob Krist

Webinar: From Weddings to Commercial Filmmaking

Video tutorials are just one resource you get access to with the Academy. Each month, we’ll host live webinars featuring a diverse selection of topics, expert filmmakers and real-time discussions. And they’re recorded, too, so you can access them wherever you’re at and whenever you have time. 

We’ll be hosting a panel discussion with filmmakers about what it’s like to make the transition from weddings to commercial work.

Joining us live will be Patrick Moreau from Stillmotion, Matt Brue from Capture, and Joey from 31Films.

The webinar will give you everything you need to know about making the jump to full-time commercial work or just incorporating commercial work into your wedding business.

We’ll be discussing important things like:

  • Why wedding filmmakers have a HUGE advantage in the commercial world;
  • 5 Tips to transition from commercial work;
  • Commercial day rates;
  • Set rules and dynamics;
  • Common mistakes newbies make;
  • Tips for setting yourself up for success; and
  • A bunch of other important topics related to making the jump to commercial work.

Plus, when you’re in the Academy, you can tell us what you want to hear more about, and we’ll cover that, too. Mark your calendars, and sign up now. This is a webinar you won’t want to miss. 


“As my wedding and event studio expands into video and cinematography, there are many bumps and hills we have to overcome. But I think we just found the expressway with The Academy because these simple, short and well-crafted videos are giving us the tools we need to make our studio grow. Thanks Story and Heart!”
—Joe Gidjunis

Finally, we’d like to thank all of the Story & Heart filmmakers for the love they’ve shown us since the Academy went live. Our virtual inboxes have been filling up with love letters, and we thought we’d share them with you so you can see what other filmmakers have to say. Check them out below.

"Dear Story & Heart Crew,
Thank y'all so much for how much heart you put into the Academy—I can feel the heart beating. 
I love that the tutorials are short, super informative, fun to watch and show so many examples! The most amazing thing is how you bring together the rock star instructors. It's so nice to hear the expertise and philosophy of such an amazing group of filmmakers.
I love how the academy has tutorials on not only the technical parts of filming but also the philosophies behind interviewing and building a strong team. It's all really helpful and exciting! Thank y'all for making it a fun place to hangout.
Mucho corazón."
—Cimela Kidonakis

“One of the things I'm most excited about is the type of information you're presenting. So many people that are willing to share their experience focus on the technical aspects of what we do - how the latest camera performs under candle light, or why you should use 8-bit, 10-bit, or raw, etc. Those are all good and important things to learn, but there's a lack of good material that focuses on how to use all of the tools we have at our disposal to tell great stories and create compelling messages. That focus, along with the community aspect that the Academy is hoping to build is what our organization has been looking to get involved with for quite a while.”
—Tj Lewis

For the tens of thousands we happily spend on our cameras and gear, $279 is nothing when it comes to actually learning the art of filmmaking. The S&H Academy teach you how to use your gear, interact with your subject and truly make powerful films people will be drawn in to watch. Learning the skill of filmmaking will do far more than just another gear purchase. Totally worth the investment in my books. :-)
—Jared Brandon

If I had this type of resource when I first started out four years ago, I would have saved a ton of money and time and reduced my learning curve. The tutorials are fantastic, there is something to learn for everyone here regardless of where they are in their career. Great Job!”—Scott Clark

As a Producer and Director for commercial projects I’m always looking for ways to get stronger at my craft. I’m a huge fan of the Story & Heart Academy. After signing up I immediately starting watching the tutorials and taking notes. I am looking forward to all the lessons and tutorials that S&H will be posting on the site. It won’t be long until I’m a story telling ninja thanks to this incredible community.

“I feel like yesterday's launch was the start of something special. I asked a question after watching the "mistakes most beginners make" video and there were several replies within 10 hours. Really looking forward to delving further into the tutorials. I find that, even though I like to work independently, feeling like I'm part of a responsive and supportive community comprised of beginners, experts and everyone in between gives me the confidence that I can reach my multimedia goals and even surpass them.”
—Brian Burk

“I'm really excited about this academy. I don't have any schooling in film. I've learned on the field and from mistakes, so something like this is a huge help for me.”—Alex Martinez
I really like getting perspective from different filmmakers across the country. It seems like there is a great mix of practical / technical tutorials along with topics I would have never though of yet are so helpful like pitching a client, assembling a team or biggest mistakes beginners make. Lots of great content and I'm already learning things that I know will make my films better.
—Eric Correia
“First of all let me congratulate you guys for the academy. It's very well done and a breeze of fresh air on the tutorial world. I love the cinematography of the tutorial videos. Just the look and feel and the editing is inspiring. No matter how advanced you think you are, you always learn a thing or two from even the most basic tutorials. The take on the various subjects from seasoned pros is just invaluable. Again, you are awesome.”
—Rafael Linares
"The Academy of Storytellers is an inspiring and very practical collection of tips for anyone wanting to improve their shooting, editing, and of course, storytelling skills. All the content is super high quality and entertaining to watch. In fact, it's really easy to become engrossed in a series of videos and later realize, wow, I've just learned SO much while being entertained!"
—Emmy Wu