By Lydia Hurlbut
Patrick Moreau and the STILLMOTION team are passionate and dedicated Storytellers. Shane and Patrick became fast friends when they both spoke on behalf of Canon a few years ago. What is exciting to us about their team is that through passionate collaboration, they constantly raise the bar and challenge themselves in a similar way to how we do it at Hurlbut Visuals.
MUSE is their newly released eight step patent pending storytelling process that helps filmmakers find and build their videos in a more moving and intentional way. What Shane and I personally love is the fact that this process has been psychologically researched and is rooted in theory combined with first-hand experience. Excellent listening is a key component to great storytelling. Methodical action is another key ingredient. Artistry and ideas combined with a great method produce extraordinary results.
What made me first fall in love with Shane was his ability to transform a mundane situation and turn it into the funniest story imaginable at the age of fifteen years old. Shane has always been an innately gifted and natural storyteller, which makes him a great cinematographer because he is viewing everything from the eyes of the characters, their emotions and the story arc. Shane then translates that process into phenomenal visuals.
Patrick Moreau has always understood the power of a great story since he was a little boy, but didn’t necessarily view himself as being a master storyteller. However, he has devoted over 10,000 hours in researching storytelling and the same amount of effort into shooting powerful stories (along with the STILLMOTION team) and the result is MUSE.
MUSE is being launched as a Pilot Program, available today, June 1st, until midnight on June 7th PST ONLY in this bundled format. Anyone who registers during that time will get everything MUSE at one quarter of the price at $497 (though the value is in the range of $2,000). MUSE has a number of components such as: a Story coach, a rich online course with tutorials and helpful film examples, Story Blueprints, and workbooks. The Pilot Program is in place to help the StillMotion team learn what helps filmmakers most and then focus on making those better.
MUSE will then be released in the following months in smaller bundles with everything else being available as an additional purchase. This is the one and only time to get everything at one low cost. So if this is of interest to you, don’t wait to purchase because this bundled format will not be available after June 7.
Freddie Ochoa, from our HV team, was the person we chose to give you his honest assessment of this product because he is currently an independent filmmaker who ultimately wants to write and direct.
Take it away Freddie…
Some of you may know me as Danger, others as Frackman (you know who you are), others simply as Freddie. Like a lot my brothers and sisters in Photography, Video and Digital Film, I’m an independent freelancer with sometimes miniscule budgets. I am constantly tasked with making something big out of something little, which means I’m always on the lookout for new inspiration and tools to help me up my game. So when I first heard about MUSE, I wanted in.
On the Illumination Experience Tour, one of the questions I heard being asked of Shane, and one that constantly pops up in my own head when I see a great shot is…”How did you shoot that?”
“What demon of inspiration possessed you to get on your back and dutch that in such a way that the whole world seems more alive?” Ooh, ahh!!!
Of course, I’m exaggerating a little, but you know the feeling. These are valid questions. We want to understand what makes great Art.
And yes, while there are enough technical factors and bits of gold hidden in those complex shots, the thing that moves us to ask and that inspires us to one day capture it, is that magical moment, that image that evokes an avalanche of emotion or rush of excitement. What is IT?
IT is the STORY.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no expert by any stretch, but once you have that AHA moment, it’s brutally obvious. Story has the ability to transcend even the lowest budgets or the cheapest gear. It’s the reason why even terrible camera work and bad sound can go viral, or why celebrity worship is a thing.
It’s not always how carefully crafted the image is. It’s what it represents. Images, movies, good ones anyway, tell people’s stories. People care about other people’s stories. It’s one of the Four Pillars.
I had a few days to sit down with MUSE this past week to figure out what MUSE was all about. I got these blueprint themed story booklets, a canvas map, some inspirational buttons as mental cues, and a link. It reminded me of what it’s like to open a new vinyl album or a new toy you had to save for. It just felt special and looked like a lot of TLC went into making this stuff. I had to ask, “Who are these people?” I’ll tell you who they are, clever little storyteller elves.
“What is MUSE?” I asked. It’s not a program, or an online educational course, or an attentive, inspirational nymph that sits on your shoulder telling you exactly what the world wants or needs. It’s all of the above.
Admittedly, I was skeptical but hopeful, so I dared MUSE to teach me something new. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I’ve read the books, done the seminars, learned the formulas, ignored the formulas, applied my ass to zee chair to write, write, write, and put in the time. And all it took was just one story to break down my wall of doubt. The team at STILLMOTION told me their story, and it inspired me to tell mine.
No, really. I followed the link, signed in, and there I was, sitting around the digital campfire, watching this intro Video of the founders and creators telling their story. Full transparency. Just spilling their secret sauce.
And lo and behold, I was moved. I identified. I felt myself wanting them to succeed, wanting myself to succeed, understanding how to succeed, being taught the pathways to success in storytelling.
One hour turned into many, one session to two, and two to three. Don’t be fooled. This isn’t some magic pill you swallow or some color by numbers kit.
MUSE is a journey of discovery.
Okay, it may sound like I drank the Kool-Aid, but it’s really that disarmingly simple. That’s why I’ve got my pitcher and krazy straw next to me while I write this.
I can go on and on about the eight steps of storytelling and the four pillars. I can tell you all about the interactive content, the Personal Story Coach, the lessons, the examples, and the tremendous amount of thoughtfulness and care that went into creating MUSE, but what I can’t convey enough is, how in less than a weekend, how much more tuned in I am to story, to my own story, and to the kinds of stories I want to tell. MUSE taught me about myself.
I’d say that’s a pretty solid ROI. And bonus, I get a great feeling knowing that my investment in MUSE will fund a week’s curriculum for a girl in Sierra Leone through the ONE GIRL project. Talk about Purpose, another one of the Four Pillars. Still Motion and MUSE walk the walk.
That’s something to get behind. It’s the same reason why I love being a part of Hurlbut Visuals and Shane and Lydia’s story, and their monumental effort to pay it forward, be it education, charitable giving, scholarships, or a nudge in the right direction. Giving back is the ultimate purpose. It’s the reason for telling stories.
Now I’m going to be busy with my new MUSE for a while. No, nope, no, Shane, you can’t have it back!
Until next time,
P.S. Early adopters of MUSE also get to submit their work for a chance to be one of three filmmakers to go to Uganda for a once-in-a-lifetime filmmaking experience. The gauntlet has been dropped.
To find out more about MUSE, visit LearnStory.org.