You can be a tripod... or you can be a storyteller
You're a filmmaker.
It's in your blood.
Story. Character. That deep desire to make films that move people, get them to think, maybe even change the world.
You sign a client—congrats!—and you dive right in, camera in hand. Maybe the client has already picked a character for you, and you go with it. You hope that the story will find you along the way, and you string a plot together in post.
You make films, the clients pay you, and that's the last you hear of them—and your film.
Your stories are fine, but they're not great.
And fine doesn't make a difference.
So how do you make that change, that one key step in your process, that will take you from a decent filmmaker to a great one?
We at Muse discovered that the best stories start with the best characters.
Characters who have desire, motivation, and uniqueness. The more they have of each of those things, the more the audience cares too.
This may sound familiar. But where do you even start finding those people?
How do you get them to let you into their lives, on film?
That's the process of Storyfinding. And we'd love to make you a Storyfinding Hero.
Find the stories others can't. See what others don't. Because remember, your perspective will always be the strongest lens you attach to a camera.
Tired of yet another online course...? We are too.
So we decided to do something about it. To make this course WAY more entertaining (and therefore effective), we tried something different.
Really different. We blindfolded our producer, asked her to throw a dart at a US map, and wherever it landed, we gave ourselves just 3 days to find a story and make it into the film.
This course gives you all access to that adventure. The ultimate way to see how the Muse team finds stories live in the field.
MUSE teachers and students create a community that is completely built on how to create a story but their seems to be no judgement on skill, only on how to create a story that will speak to the audience.
- Anthony Ngo
"The only effective method for demonstrating purpose, values and vision in action, is through storytelling-stories that are true and authentic and that hit people in the gut, the heart and the head-stories that turn organizations into movements. There is only one company that I have seen do this relentlessly and with such conviction-that's Stillmotion and their Muse Storytelling process. They are the best at uncovering and telling intentional stories that absolutely must be told. Can't recommend them highly enough."
- Carolyn Tate
“MUSE is incredible! Right out of the gate I am already making an impact on not only the way I construct my stories but also how I pitch my own product to my clients -- and the price is a bargain compared to how much I'd spend at a local university trying to capture this same information. Thank you!”
- Jeremy Scherer
REALLY enjoyed this in the moment approach. The good, the bad and everything in between. Extremely easy to watch (30 minutes flew by) and PACKED with so many learning opportunities. AND eager to see Karissa (and her moms) film.
- Mark VanderSys
I really really really really really really really really liked this one. Really!
- Facundo Rodrigo Campos, Director
OH WOW, GUYS! You are truly fantastic! What an amazing approach and execution in under 60 hrs. Cudos! I love the takeaway of sharing your own vulnerability to build a stronger connection to people. There is a quote by Trinh T. Minh-ha, the Vietnamese filmmaker and writer, that captures the essence of this really well. She says: "The deeper we into ourselves, the wider we go into society!"
- Till Trojer - Filmmaker
This was delightful and inspiring! Your commitment to find the BEST story vs just stopping at good enough. The way you handled things that didn’t pan out. Unfiltered presentation of your process vs glamorization of it. I so appreciate this and the half hour flew by. Thank you!
- Paige, Filmmaker
Here's How Storyfinding Helps You Become a More Profitable Filmmaker
Storyfinding is 100% billable and it’s an easy investment for first-time clients.
Storyfinding is a process and you don't have to do it for free. You can sign a low-risk scope for storyfinding; if you find what the client wants, you'll make the film. If not, the client is only out the storyfinding fee.
It's a strong way to develop better stories and build trust for first-time clients because it costs them less.
You'll be able to close more projects because you've got storyfinding on your side.
When you find the perfect character who fits the story you want to tell, and you can passionately pitch them to your client, it shows. The client might just fall in love with your character too, because they will feel the specificity of the story.
Rather than a general pitch about what you might do, you'll be able to use story to get funded.
How to become a
We made this course crazy affordable so you can give us a try with next to no risk. We think you may just fall in love and want to learn more from Muse down the road.
Here's what you'll get when you choose to become a Storyfinding Hero
The Storyfinding Documentary
In this 30-minute documentary, you get to experience the raw, unfiltered journey of our high-pressure storyfinding challenge and see exactly how the storyfinding process works in the real world...not on a Powerpoint slide.
- Research and find emotionally engaging story leads
- Verify leads and vet stories quickly to save on production time
- Get people on board and willing to step in front of the camera
- Grade the strength of a story so you know precisely what signs to look for that make it clear you've found the story for your project (and you should stop looking)
- Bring the story to life through interviews and a 4-pillar storytelling framework
The Story Structure Brainstorm Session
In this training video, we give you an over-the-shoulder view of a 15-minute Storybuilding session where we took our story idea and crafted it into a clear, compelling narrative before shooting a single frame.
- Construct plot points from scratch
- Check your story for clarity (so you never have to "find it in post" again)
- Avoid the story development mistakes that lead to overshooting, wasted time, and uninspired, unemotional films
The Full, Uncut Final Interview
As a nonprofit, commercial, or documentary filmmaker, you need to know how to conduct effective, emotional interviews to bring your story to life.
You'll get unrestricted access to the entire 70-minute interview, so you can see our unique, science-based interview techniques in action — and we'll explain exactly what we're doing and why.
- Put interviewees at ease, build their trust, and get them willing to be vulnerable enough to share their story
- Direct a conversation without controlling it
- Use questions to naturally draw out the character’s authentic story and capture those emotional moments
- Go beyond surface-level interviews and dig into the deeper, more profound layers of the story without feeling (or being) intrusive
Use these templates to schedule, find, and track everything you need for your next great story. Plus, the email we use to pitch storyfinding to clients and explain how it leads to greater results.
- Get people to submit their own stories, and even recruit volunteers who will help you find your next great story
- Keep track of all of your characters in a spreadsheet with a color-coded rating system that identifies the strongest candidates
- Send an email that helps encourage clients to step back, giving you the time and budget to do Storyfinding
Based on science, rooted in passion.
At Muse Storytelling, we've found and told some pretty remarkable stories over the years.
We've used these ideas to win Emmys.
We've used them in our work with global brands like FujiFilm, Four Seasons, and the NFL.
We've used them to rack up tens of millions of views for our original web series.
And we've taught our methods in closed-door sessions at Apple, Nike, and the United Nations.
It's not luck; it's our process.
Our storyfinding method works—consistently.
Put in the work, learn a few fundamental ideas, and take your stories to new heights.