Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stillmotion: A Fairy-Tale Ending

By David Willis, Photography By Stillmotion Published in Photographer Profiles
Amina Moreau of Stillmotion explains who they are: "Sometimes we call ourselves the Stillmotion team, more often we call ourselves the Stillmotion family because that's what we are to each other." Moreau is one of three partners who have taken the Stillmotion group from inauspicious beginnings as wedding photographers all the way, literally, to the Super Bowl. "We all agree a good amount, but we also disagree a good amount, and what that does is, it pushes us and pushes our business forward because we all have different perspectives."
Amina Moreau of Stillmotion explains who they are: "Sometimes we call ourselves the Stillmotion team, more often we call ourselves the Stillmotion family because that's what we are to each other." Moreau is one of three partners who have taken the Stillmotion group from inauspicious beginnings as wedding photographers all the way, literally, to the Super Bowl. "We all agree a good amount, but we also disagree a good amount, and what that does is, it pushes us and pushes our business forward because we all have different perspectives."
Whether shooting a wedding video or a high-profile, yearlong campaign, the Stillmotion collective's concentration has always been on what matters the most: telling the story. Owned by three of its members, Amina Moreau and her husband, Patrick, and then later their partner, Justin DeMers, the group started merely as two budding documentarists who enjoyed working on wedding videos together while looking for a way to afford equipment as struggling students. Now, a few short years later, they have completed commercial projects for Apple, Callaway and Canon, and their ranks include 13 professional creatives with a diverse skill set that ranges from cinematography to editing to programming and even to engineering and psychology. Stillmotion has their own tip-laden iOS smartphone app (www.getsmapp.com), more than 9,000 Twitter followers and an impressively seamless website and blog (stillmotionblog.com) that glues all of it together, not to mention several corporate sponsorships and a national workshop tour (www.knowbystillmotion.com) that the team is embarked on through November 20. They even offer an in-house music licensing site (www.withetiquette.com) for weddings and films.


"You are not cattle" is a fairly nonconventional way to refer potential newlyweds to your wedding portfolio, but that's the Stillmotion group for you. They approach wedding videos not in the typical churn-and-burn, one-event-a-night fashion, but rather shoot each event and piece it together in editing as if it were a short film. Ironically, it was one of these tearjerkers, "jc plus esther," which had been posted on their Vimeo page (vimeo.com/6496808), that first attracted the interest of the NFL. "jc plus esther" was the very first wedding video that Stillmotion had completed using the brand-new (at the time) Canon EOS 7D, and the company was interested to see what the team could do with football players if they could make such an engaging, touching film about a random couple's wedding.

"The line that stayed with us," says Amina, "was 'If they can make a wedding interesting, they can make anything interesting.'"

The documentary they completed for the NFL, The Season: Super Bowl XLV, brought attention from CBS and Showtime, who asked them to put together a webisode series and a two-hour documentary called A Game of Honor. A Game of Honor followed a year in the life of Army and Navy cadets as they studied for a career in the military alongside training for the Army-Navy football game, one of the fiercest rivalries in all of sports. The documentary won three Emmys®.


Not bad for a group of wedding photographers, but it hasn't all been happenstance. They're extremely dedicated to their craft, looking to produce the very best work that they can, whether shooting a one-night wedding video or spending a year on a full-blown documentary production as they did with A Game of Honor. They say that when they have any downtime, they often use it to streamline the site or work on the blog. They know the capabilities of their equipment through and through. Even when they're not shooting, they're exploring other options available to the team and its diverse talents. When asked how they're balancing such a tremendous workload with such a tight crew, Amina's answer is that they just don't sleep very much.

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