I honestly can’t remember specifically how Story & Heart and I came across each other, but when they started quoting me and tweeting lines from my blog posts I kind of fell in love with them. They made me feel like what I was writing had some worth to it. As a writer, not professional by any means, I appreciate the time they take to read my posts and the extra mile they go to share my words with the twitter world.
When they kept sharing my posts and so called “wisdom” I knew I had to get in touch with them and find out more about them. Beyond their website. So I sent out an email and asked who I could talk to and get an interview with for my blog. Justin DeMers kindly responded and we threw messages back in forth for a while. I knew he was busy, but he was so thankful for my genuine interest in what they were up to. I finally got some questions answered and I am happy to share them with you right now in this post.
Before digging into the interview. Check out their awesome video below. It’s pretty gnarly.
Before we dive into Story & Heart, what’s YOUR STORY Justin?… Where are you from and what has your life journey been filled with?
Well, quite literally I’m from Canada, and my life journey has been filled with furry friends, pre-dawn birding excursions, and continuous encouragement, advice and education from photographers and filmmakers since my first step into the art world.
My entire journey since the beginning has been the pursuit of telling a better story. Not settling for ok or expected, but instead taking risks and breaking the norm to explore what a story really can be, whether it’s a wedding film, a documentary, a commercial spot, or my own vacations with my family.
Where did the idea for Story & Heart come from? What’s the “story” of Story & Heart?
I’ve found that it’s pretty common at all stages and experience levels that in the creative industry you’ll find yourself either on an island or outright pitted against others in your field.
But, over the last 9 years at Stillmotion, the parent company of Story & Heart of which I’m also part of, we’ve found there is a tremendous power in community—in coming together to collaborate, learn andencourage one another. And it’s in these experiences that Story & Heart was born.
What if we could share in our collective knowledge? What if we have a network of passionate and talented filmmakers that were all eager to jump on board and help each other? What if? What if?
And then the idea grew even more, as most ideas tend to around here. What if it wasn’t just a community, but also a way for these filmmakers to perhaps trade one less paycheck for one more passion project? We all had years of footage—stories captured with our sweat, tears, all-nighters and high fives. Not shot for stock, but shot with heart, with purpose, with intent. Resoundingly high quality content that folks often reached out to ask for permission to use.
Which is how Story & Heart became what it is today: a community of global filmmakers supported by a sustainable licensing platform of story-driven content shot with heart.
What is Story & Heart all about? What is it’s mission? How is it different?
One part story-driven video licensing platform and one part filmmaking community, our mission is to help storytellers tell amazing stories.
With that, I’d say our two largest differentiators are:
1. We’re driven by story. Every story you see on our site for licensing is just that, a story, and not a collection of disparate clips, as is the case on other stock footage platforms. Deeper than that, everything on our platform—from our search algorithm to our pricing model—is story-driven and designed to help you tell the stories that matter most to you.
2. We’re guided by heart. And not just at Story & Heart, but all of our filmmakers too. With an application process for our filmmakers that gets to the heart of who they are, our platform is designed to foster real relationships and bonds between the different types of storytellers the world over. Whether you’re an agency looking for existing footage, a filmmaker looking for a collaborator, or a budding hobbyist just getting into the field looking for learn, we are here to help you bring amazing stories to life.
Who is all involved with Story & Heart? Who makes it all happen?
Those of us inside the Story & Heart and Stillmotion studio walls help to build, harmonize, and lead the entire endeavor, but our global community of filmmakers are the ones who really help make this all happen. Whether it’s education, storytelling, coming together for help and support—you name it—our filmmakers are there for each other, and for those we haven’t even met yet.
What are your hopes for the future of Story & Heart?
Our hopes and goals all revolve around our mission of helping storytellers tell amazing stories. The list is extensive—including everything from changing the perception of licensing footage to enabling storytellers to connect and collaborate with each other the world over—but with each day that passes we are one step closer.
Where do you find inspiration to keep yourself moving?
Keeping still has just never been in my repertoire. There is always so much going on, so many opportunities to connect with other, so much life happening around me. It’s putting the brakes on that tends to be more of a challenge. And that perhaps is a weakness of many of us in the creative world. It’s not a 9-5 job, but rather a driving passion for how we view the world. You can’t just turn that off.
Random question! Any favorite music that you have been listening to lately?
Looking through my Rdio history, it’s a mix of The Antlers, Lullatone, Port St Willow, Delta Spirit and the soundtrack to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. And my wife keeps adding Sleeping At Last so that pops up occasionally. A strange mix, indeed.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Justin. I wish you and the whole team the best of luck with all you guys are doing.