Academy of Storytellers

Learn filmmaking the easy way. Together

Immediately actionable filmmaking and storytelling education from Joe Simon, Gnarly Bay, Matty Brown, Stillmotion, Elaine McMillion Sheldon, 31Films and more.

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“I just landed one of the biggest commercial shoots of my career thanks to the Academy!”—Malia Campbell
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Who should join the Academy?

Whether you’re a team of one or a team of many, just getting started with video or a seasoned storyteller, join the Academy of Storytellers to build your skills, grow your business, and stay inspired.

  • Photographers getting into video

    Learn how to translate your technical skills from photo to video, while also adding essential filmmaking skills to your toolbag.

  • Wedding and event filmmakers

    Learn how to tell deeper stories, find great clients, and build a profitable wedding and event production business.

  • Documentary filmmakers

    Learn how to create impactful films, find sources of funding, and inspire your audience into action.

  • Commercial filmmakers

    Learn how to create films with a high production value and great story regardless of your budget.

  • In-house video producers

    Learn how to create engaging, entertaining, and motivating videos for your organization and clients.

  • Creatives interested in video

    Learn how to take your creative ideas and realize them with video as your medium.


Your Academy membership includes

Full Courses (New for 2016)

Go on set with Joe Simon and The Delivery Men, travel to Uganda with Stillmotion, get inside the mind of 16-time Vimeo Staff Pick filmmaker Matty Brown, learn the ins and outs of Team of One Filmmaking with Story & Heart, and many more full courses await you.

Tutorial Vault

From pre-production to post-production, and everything in between. Watch over 206 exclusive video tutorials on all things filmmaking—art, business, and technical—in the Academy tutorial vault. Binge away, friend. Binge away.

Weekly Content

New and immediately actionable educational content gets added to the Academy weekly. Get the inspiration, motivation, and resources that you need to keep growing as an artist and business owner.

Exclusive Community

At the center of the Academy is a community of wonderful humans who, like you, want to create amazing videos. Participate in private discussions, ask questions, and get personalized help—from fellow members and Academy educators alike.

Interactive Webinars

Take part in live webinars featuring diverse panels of Academy educators and filmmaking experts. These aren’t your typical boring webinars or panels, they’re lively discussions that are chock full of super helpful information and presented in a fun and conversational manner.

Downloadable Resources

Not sure what other filmmakers use to present their ideas or their budgets to clients? Wonder no more. Download template and resources from Gnarly Bay, 31Films, Stillmotion, and more. Plus, with each Academy tutorial, download a Summary & Worksheet to help you achieve your goals.

Learn everything it takes to create amazing videos and build a lasting filmmaking business.

Topics covered in the Academy

  • Connecting with People

  • Stabilization and Movement

  • Cinematography

  • Storytelling and Story Structure

  • Lighting

  • Technology and Hardware

  • Color Grading

  • Producing and Logistics

  • Field Audio

  • Editing

  • Business

  • Art Direction and Set Design

  • Directing

  • Sound Design and Mixing
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Why go it alone? You don’t have to be on your own creative island.

Join the Academy for the support to get you where you want to be as a filmmaker, storyteller, and business owner. The entire community is excited to help you succeed.

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What Filmmakers Are Saying


“My favorite thing about the Academy of Storytellers is that it is answering questions that I’ve always had about filmmaking and storytelling and conveniently collecting them into one central location. No more Googling or asking questions in sketchy online forums… now I have one place to go to get the relevant info I need. It’s what I imagine film school being like, but without going into debt.”

— Jonathan Powell, Orange Beard Films

“I’ve felt stuck in a video rut for a few months now, and it has been really hard to find resources that were both affordable, inspiring, and non-sleep-inducing. The Academy of Storytellers fills that void beautifully—with the added element of community, which, come think of it, is probably the best part of the whole thing. I’m super pumped to see where this adventure will lead me.”

— Luca Giupponi

“The Academy of Storytellers is one of those resources you come across which light you up with delight. Thoughtful practical lessons. Engaging teachers. Links to templates and resources online to help you take action. What a wonderful opportunity to expand your storytelling vocabulary and weave it into the fabric of your everyday life.”

— Jai Punjabi

“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

“It’s so great being able to get inside the heads of these storytellers! It’s not that often people share their stories and their insight on things that made them successful especially in such a competitive industry. Thank you Story and Heart peeps for creating an environment for us to go back to the basics or to learn more difficult techniques of storytelling!”

— Brady Cannon

“Great first webinar! Just wanted to let you know that what I learned about pricing and budgeting in that first webinar more than paid for the membership fee for the Academy. Keep up great good work. Excited to keep learning!”

— Eric Correia

“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

“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.”

— Scott Clark

“There’s been a rather large hole of a very specific shape and colour in the global filmmaking community’s online resources for a long time now. Story & Heart appear to have crafted something with the correct form, scale and hue to fill it. All it needs now is the expanding myriad of dedicated, ambitious and very positive filmmakers that is sure to follow to settle it firmly in place and make sure it flourishes. It’s an impressive start—I look forward to watching it grow. Exciting times!”

— Matt Smith, Lintel Films

“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, Perspectives Photos + Cinema

“Academy of Storytellers is exactly what I have been waiting for. I love the quick, informative lessons from a variety of instructors. I love the layout and structure of the site. Most importantly, I love the community aspect of the discussion boards under each lesson. Even just a short time into launch there is already good engagement there. So cool to connect with other filmmakers. Thanks, Stillmotion and Story with Heart team for always anticipating what my next need will be.”

— Anna Mayer

“I am relatively new to filmmaking and have enjoyed any of the training I’ve received from Story & Heart. This academy is just the kind of thing that I’ve been hoping for and I am so excited to learn more. The tutorials I’ve watched are entertaining, interesting, informative and practical. I’m already putting into practice information from a tutorial I just watched this afternoon. I’m also excited about the discussion section as I do have lots of questions. Thank-you for the opportunity to be a part of this.”

— Sarah Montes

“The Academy for Storytellers is an incredibly powerful resource and it’s just getting started! I didn’t expect it to have such a strong impact on my filmmaking so quickly and I am so excited to dive in deeper. I love the vast amount of tutorials and how they range from simple tips to in-depth techniques. I’m amazed at how open, respectful, and engaging the community is. Whenever I have a question or a comment, I am able to find other like minded filmmakers in the community to discuss with which allows us all to go deeper into the topic. The discussion and collaboration portion of the site is something I feel will truly make me a better filmmaker and storyteller in ways I can’t predict. Everyone who is a part of the community has such a genuine interest in and love for storytelling which helps motivate each others passion. Having gone to Film School, I can honestly say that for me, the Academy of Storytellers is a more valuable way to learn.”

— Maclean Carlson, Hello Tomorrow Films

“Just like when you reference an article online, you want to know, who is the author? Do they know what they are talking about or will you leave misinformed? I lost time and only found a fun slow motion dance tutorial. While in the academy, I watched Mike Sutton’s “camera settings for slow motion” and saw how he clearly broke down the relationship between frame rate to shutter, aperture, resolution, and image quality and used examples. Thanks Mike Sutton, I get it now! :) I look forward to getting to know the community better through the Academy and meeting more inspiring folks! Dana and Dan, from Gnarly Bay, say the last quality they look for in building a strong team is skill because you can teach someone that. 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.”

— Cimela Kidonakis, Optix Studios LLC

“The Academy of Storytellers is exactly what I have been looking for, I left university in 2013 having studied in business but don’t believe I had ever really found my true passion and about a year ago I stumbled into a job where I began editing clips together to make some interesting marketing material and fell in love with filmmaking. It has become an obsession, it’s given me one single direction to my life. I have been looking for ways to develop my skills, improve and learn from true professionals in the hope that I will one day get to that level, Story and Heart is the perfect platform to do that. It’s great to be able to interact with a community that really wants to help one another. I don’t think I’ve closed the tab on my mac since I signed up! Probably the best investment I have made so far! Thank you, and I look forward to continuing my journey alongside you.”

— Ben Radley

“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, Monarch Media Studios

“We are excited and humbled to be a part of S&H’s Academy of Storytellers. We love passing on simple advice to other filmmakers, and even if it feels simple to us… it might be an important lesson to someone starting out. On the flip side, we still have so much to learn, so it's great to finally have a place where we can learn from people that do work that we really respect. It makes their advice that much more valuable. If I were a filmmaker starting out… this would be one of my first investments. It costs about as much as a monopod, but it gives you the keys to a world that is chock-full of useful information… and will be increasingly helpful as the community evolves.”

— Dan Riordan, Gnarly Bay

“I have had a couple of days to digest the content in the academy I have two words to say… mind blown! I feel as excited as a kid in a candy store :) I have used several online tutorial/teaching sites to learn about cinematography and filmmaking. While they were useful, they do not compare to the content at the academy. The information is presented in such a concise and captivating way—i just want to drink it all up! The engagement from everyone involved is amazing, I really feel like I am a part of a community here. I am so excited about what this year is going to bring and what this is gong to do to my storytelling skills!”

— Jeremy Cayton

“As a 30 year veteran National Geographic still shooter and workshop instructor, I know good teaching when I see it. 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 Story & Heart and Stillmotion, and that’s saying something!”

— Bob Krist

“What originally got me excited about Story & Heart was their passion for empowering the filmmaking community to make stronger stories. Academy of Storytellers is amazing because it covers so many areas in the filmmaking process and has multiple filmmakers talk about their experiences and their work flow. It’s exciting to be part of a community that genuinely wants to share knowledge and make each other better. I’m excited to use the knowledge from the tutorials not only in how I film my stories, but better understand why putting the story first can make such an impact in the end product.”

— Tim Kroll, Grain & Compass

Start learning filmmaking the easy way with an Academy of Storytellers membership.

$120 Quarterly

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$375 Annually

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