"What we find is that, through educating, we become better photographers and filmmakers," she says. "It helps a lot of people, including us. In order to be able to teach something properly, you need to be able to really, really understand it. So whenever we're putting together course material, it forces us to not only make sure that we really understand how we're doing something, but also 'why' we're doing it. One of the biggest questions that has pushed us forward is that question 'Why?' We don't want to be doing something differently just because it's 'different.' We always want to have a purpose behind everything, whether it's a big reason or it's a small thing, like why are we choosing a lens for a particular shot, for example. We always want to have a deeper reason."
The style is a mixture of playfulness, experimentation and a disregard for the intellectualization of and within his images.The KNOW tour, as it's referred to, is a three-month touring instructional workshop (September 8 through November 20) in which the group hopes to accomplish several goals: reaching a wider audience than previous workshops while introducing their audience and peers to the unique Stillmotion story-making approach to photography and video. The central lesson is to show that the many choices you make as a filmmaker should rely heavily on the story that you're trying to tell, and the workshops also are designed to be a thorough and intensive introduction to gear and filmmaking.
"The KNOW tour will be talking about storytelling in terms of lighting, in terms of audio, in terms of camera movement and composition, editing, soundtrack and color," says Amina. "It's going to be a jam-packed day, but it's all going to surround the concept of story and pushing your storytelling potential forward. What we find is that there are a lot of brilliant artists out there who have really wonderful camera moves, and they color their footage well, and all of that good stuff, but a lot of people are not keeping the story in mind as they're doing that. Again, it goes back to that question of 'Why?' Why is your footage cross-processed? Is it because it looked cool and you wanted to add an effect? Or is it to push the emotional impact to the viewer so that they really feel the moment?"
Stillmotion also plans to offer a DVD with a workbook and the SMAPP application alongside a follow-up webinar of the KNOW tour after they've wrapped.
To see Stillmotion's work, visit www.stillmotion.ca. To keep up to date with their various projects, follow their blog at stillmotionblog.com or their Twitter @stillmotion.
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