We hear you.
We’ve spent the last couple decades crafting films and training filmmakers from across the globe. Over that time, we’ve seen two universal frustrations emerge when it comes to filmmaking.
Two primary points of pain that regardless of your language, your background, or your skill - you’ll eventually need to find a solution for.
The first universal filmmaker pain point?
Knowing where to start.
Knowing what piece of the puzzle to work on. Knowing how many pieces are in the puzzle to begin with. And knowing what essential pieces didn’t even come with the box!
Filmmaking is a complicated and deep art form. Trying to break it down into individual parts is daunting even for filmmakers with decades of experience. Trust us, we know.
And even if you can break down the filmmaking process into its parts, how do you know which part of the process you need to focus on first?
How do you get an honest assessment of where you are and what you need to do next to improve?
If this wasn’t already hard enough, there’s another common filmmaker frustration we have seen emerge time and time again.
The second universal filmmaker pain point?
Filmmaking can be so freakin’ lonely.
So often, we’re left feeling stranded on an island. Abandoned to troubleshoot any issues with our stories, our clients, or our business by ourselves.
It can be isolating. Frustrating. Overwhelming.
This is doubly true when you are JUST getting started learning, growing, and getting your dreams off the ground.
These feelings of loneliness and isolation are usually the exact opposite reason most of us became storytellers.
We became storytellers to connect, share, collaborate and grow together alongside others.
We believe that, together, we can change the world with our stories.
We believe you can be profitable AND tell stories you actually care about. It’s not a choice. You CAN have both.
We've seen hundreds of filmmakers make the transition.
It’s possible, but you'll need support. You'll need the experience of a group that's been there and done that.
And that’s exactly why we created The Story First Collective.
The team here at Muse has completely revamped and repackaged our approach to education - and now it does what we've always done as filmmakers - put the community first.
We're calling it Story First (for short). And our entire goal is to solve the two universal filmmaker problems we outlined earlier:
We’ve created a 6-step process to filmmaking that breaks down our exact process of how we create remarkable films for our clients and our own passion projects.
We’ve done national commercial campaigns, branded content series, feature-length documentaries, and stories with a social message that have reached over 10M people organically.
Each step of the way, we’ve used the 6 steps in what we call The Filmmaker’s Delta (more on this in a bit).
We not only break down each of the steps, but we also help you find which step you need to work on in what order through a series of self-evaluations and challenges that provide a snapshot of where you are now.
So whether you are just picking up a camera or a storyboard for the first time - or you are an experienced filmmaker looking to take your films to the next level - we’ll be able to map out a game plan of learning and growing for you.
While education, a roadmap, honest assessments, and monthly challenges will help give you clarity and a vision for your films - that alone doesn’t address both our universal filmmaker “pain points.”
There are hundreds of filmmakers from across the globe that are sharing, interacting, questioning, filming, and learning together inside Story First.
This is a special, intimate place where we can all come together, share insights, support each other, and go after the pursuit of both creative and clients we care about.
A place where you can show up, live, and ask timely questions about production challenges, creative roadblocks, or share client issues you can’t ask anywhere else.
A place where you don't have to feel so alone on this journey.
A place where we share in each other's success. Where we can push and challenge each other to go after those things that each of us wants within our storytelling.
In addition to the collective wisdom of hundreds of filmmakers, you’ll also get unprecedented access to the entire Muse team.
We’ll share our real, behind-the-scenes details of our business, our clients, and our films. In fact, many of the clients we work with have given us permission to share stuff we could never share publicly with the private Story First community.
There’s no secret recipe, or special details we leave out.
You’ll get a sneak peek into our entire process, in real time, and be able to ask questions along the way to help immediately impact your creative and clients.
The Story First approach to filmmaking is broken down into 6 individual core parts that, when combined, help lead to our overarching goal:
Craft Remarkable Films.
This is not just a phrase for us. There’s deeper meaning behind the words we choose for this goal.
Craft because it's done by hand, with heart, and much more a piece of art versus a commodity.
Remarkable because, for most of us, we want people to react to our work, we want them to share, to take notice, to comment, and to watch again. We want them to be moved. And we want our work to matter. Remarkable helps encapsulate all of those goals.
Films because that is our medium of choice and the medium which is most effective for telling stories. Bringing sights and sounds together, warping time and space, and offering an experience unlike anything else.
And we not only want to be able to achieve this once (though that’s a great start). But we want a system and an approach that will allow us to achieve this goal consistently and repeatedly with both confidence and clarity.
We call this repeatable, 6-step process, The Filmmaker's Delta.
It looks like a triangle, much like what a story arc looks like. That's not an accident – at its core story is about growth and change. Conflict leads to growth and change, the story is the retelling of that journey.
So your Delta, your growth and change, comes in owning each of these changes.
And your Delta, what makes you different from everybody else in your area, is your ability to drive each one of these stages.
Once you achieve the Filmmaker's Delta, you're then able to focus on real growth and scaling. You can consider hiring a team, evolving your brand, branching into new genres...and so many other dreams.
And when you are ready for that, we’ll have you covered in Story First as well (more on that “phase” of growth later).
Before anything else, we need to know where to look, and how to identify, a great story.
We can't hope to win a client, make an amazing film, or create something that matters if we don't first know how to find a story worth telling.
It’s no surprise to us that one of the questions we get asked most often is “How did you find that story?”
The answer is that every great story starts with a great person.
As people, we connect to a single person more than we connect to a group.
Therefore, to find a great story, we start by trying to find a great person. This person should be related to the story space we’re in and be relevant to our story’s objective.
You’ll learn the ins and outs of how to actually find remarkable characters and develop them into what we call the “Heart” of your story.
Once you've found a great story, we need to know how to develop it into something ready to film.
This is where we get really clear on what we want to say before we go to speak. By doing intentional pre-production we can say way more with way less.
We can know exactly what we need, and what we don't, to slow down that whirlwind of filmmaking.
Throughout the courses and live events that focus on this step, we’re going to show you how to intentionally build your story on a solid foundation using the 4 Pillars of Story:
Using these 4 Pillars, you’ll be able to meet 3 milestones in your pre-production process: Characters, Keywords, and Storyboards.
These frameworks can give you clarity and confidence before you ever pick up a camera - and save enormous amounts of time, frustration, and money as you head into filming.
With a clear plan in place for our film, we need the ability to pull out a deep and emotional interview that really brings our story to life.
Average won't do.
What they said before, and how somebody else does an interview will only lead us to the same place they've been before.
We’re going to equip you with the skills and techniques needed to get deep, emotional interviews every single time - unlocking stronger, more remarkable stories.
These insights are built on years of experience interviewing hundreds of people from all walks of life, and are backed by our research in psych, sociology, and neuroscience.
It all comes down to creating the emotional bond that allows people to be really able and willing to go there with you—and to share those deep, thoughtful, and introspective things you would have never thought to ask—or they would have otherwise never thought to share.
The counterpart to a strong interview is the broll that goes beyond being just 'beautiful' and instead aims to be both strong and relevant.
The right broll fits this story and helps us show, rather than tell.
This is where we need to learn how to work with the light, how to break down a scene into a mini-story, and how to consistently create inspiring visuals.
We’ll deep dive into the final of our 4 storytelling pillars: Place.
We’ll talk about the 4 layers of Place (Environments, Situations, Objects, Time) and how you can leverage them in unexpected ways to show rather than tell, and bring authenticity to your story.
You’ll also get practical tips for gear, lighting, and leveling up your cinematography, plus behind-the-scenes breakdowns of some of our films.
With the clarity of how to find and tell a great story, we can now move into how to pitch these ideas to clients and get budgets that allow for the remarkable, allow for profit, and position us as the creative lead who can deliver strong results.
To do this, we need to know why each stage of creative development matters and how to draw a clear and straight line right back to the results the client is looking to achieve.
Changing your approach from pitching a film to pitching results is the key to attaining significantly higher budgets and films that are more fulfilling to you, and more impactful for your client.
We will give you a deeper understanding of this critical distinction and walk you through the phases of delivering a successful client pitch.
With the ability to lead clients within and through a project, we then ascend into a realm of needing to more generally lead clients between projects and how to attract them to us in the first place.
There’s a reason we focus on this area as the final step in our core six steps.
It becomes considerably easier to attract and manage more clients once you are comfortable with the basics of crafting remarkable films from start to finish.
By this time though, you’ll have the fundamentals down - and be ready to grow and expand by working and managing even more clients.
Every interaction with your clients should involve the four core concepts we refer to as REPS:
Be the Expert
Perceived Value is Real Value
Through this course and live webinars on this topic, we’ll define each of these concepts and teach you how to apply them to your business and client interactions.
We’ll also walk you through a simple system that has been the number one most effective way we’ve attracted new clients at Muse (with real examples, numbers, and results from the field).
What good are all the courses, assessments, live webinars, and community access - if you can’t get to it when you need it?
You can access Story First from an app on Apple or Android, or the web.
Nothing like having a global community of passionate storytellers at your fingertips should the proverbial shit hit the fan while you’re in the field.
Using any device, you’ll be able to quickly:
Join and post to various group discussion threads.
Ask questions (for the Muse team or other community members).
View fellow member profiles, including being able to sort by location (for those that choose to share).
Message other community members directly.
Attend live webinars and events hosted throughout the week (more on this later).
Access and watch all included educational courses in full, on the go.
So whether you're on a shoot, on the road, or just in the comfort of your own home - you’ll be able to access all the benefits of Story First from any device.
We’ve already covered the six core courses that make up the segments of The Filmmaker’s Delta. That you’ll use repeatedly to craft remarkable films going forward.
But once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of crafting remarkable films, there’s a whole new world that emerges for many filmmakers.
Business strategy, building your team, branding, crafting a company vision, evaluating risk, maintaining gross margins, earning a profit…
When you are ready for that (or if you are ALREADY way past due to get some help in this area), Profitable Filmmaking will be waiting for you.
Our old flagship business and branding course Profitable Filmmaking ($1,997) is no longer available for sale for it’s one time purchase cost.
Instead of having to buy this individually (as many, many filmmakers did in the last few years), we’re now including full access to this content inside of the Story First community.
That’s right, the entire course is accessible in full. When your business is ready to go to the next level, we’ll be there to help you.
Profitable Filmmaking is a comprehensive course designed to revolutionize your business - so you make more money, have less stress, and get way more freedom:
Master the four core concepts that underlie every business and client decision we make here at Muse (to unlock more creative and financial freedom).
Craft a powerful company vision that will not only help YOU stay committed to it, but will also help align your future clients (the ones you actually want).
How to create a magnetic brand (including worksheets and scripts for introducing and talking about your work and business).
Bringing together your vision and your brand to help actually acquire clients you LOVE working with. Includes Pitch Deck, RFPs, cheat sheets, and email templates.
The nuts and bolts of increasing the dreaded “P” word… profits. How to determine which projects are truly profitable, budget appropriately, and tie your profits to a purpose.
How to evaluate risk (man, I wish someone would’ve shown us this earlier), including strategies for annoying stuff like legal templates, insurance, and accounting practices.
Know exactly when to hire, when to fire, and how to recruit the right team members so you’ll actually LOVE the team you build.
Creating 90-day and 1-year strategic plans that bring all the components together into a clear road map (for 2021 and beyond).
Over the last 5 years, we've sold:
But for this, we wanted to package the all the benefits we've described above into a single, affordable recurring subscription.
We're combining the education of our courses, the community and behind-the-scenes training from our masterminds, and the transparent deconstruction of our films and how we pitch clients... all into an active, living community.
And most of all, we want this is be accessible.
We want this to be the single best investment you make in your craft, your business, and yourself - anywhere on the internet.
How many tweaks - big or small - to the stories you tell, the way you interact with clients, and the way you approach your business, do you need to recoup your investment?
The community, the education, the access, the network, the feedback... imagine where you could be a year from now with a powerful team and community behind you.
We'd love to have you join us in one of two ways:
And just like everything we do, Story First has a 100% money-back guarantee.
We do this with a completely, full access 7 day trial that you can cancel at any time. If this isn't the most valuable community you've ever been a part of, we'll make sure you can focus your investment in a better way.
Both our monthly AND our annual plans have this 7-day free trial, so you can be sure this is the right fit for you.
Click "try for free" below.
We'd love for you to join us today.