A free storytelling workshop @ Filmschool Amsterdam

I was privileged that I could go to one of these free workshops, my second even. In a group of five people we went to work with one of the teachers of the Filmschool Amsterdam. First came a couple of notes on the theory of storytelling, especially when talking about film.

The hierarchy of scripts

I didn’t even know this, but you have a hierarchy in the writings in film. They have to be written before you start everything else.

  • Logline: this is the summary of the story in 1 to 3 sentences
  • synopsis: this is the sumary of te story in 1/2 to 4 pages
  • (mini) treatment: Summary which is 6 to 10 pages or 10 to 20 pages.
  •  The scenario: this is a description of the whole movie where is described in detail what can be seen or heard within the movie and what kind of shot it is.

Three Acts Paradigm and some other notes

After this we talked about the Three Acts Paradigm, which I already talked about in another workshop I did, read it here. The main characteristic that every protagonist in a movie has is that this is someone that wants something very deeply but has trouble to achieve that. You can have two variations of this. You can have an active person in a passive world or a passive person in an active world.

We watched the following video she recommended to watch especially since it was a subject I was working on

Conclusion

This was a fun workshop to do. Especially the part where we had to write our own piece of scenario. It since I had a couple of classes of this at the Saxion University I knew what to use in the way you describe a situation. The only thing I had a little trouble with was building up and playing with the tension within the scene. Although I learned a lot during this workshop I could not yet consciously apply the things that I had learned, because every movie that was made was almost without any form of preparation, so also no synopsis or script.

TED talks all around: Trigonis J. and Westcott V.

I’ve watched two interesting TED talks on crowdfunding that were brief, but nevertheless useful.

Crowdfunding today, tomorrow, together

trigonis1

John Trigonis is a movie maker and now also seen as somewhat of a crowdfunding expert. He says that engaging a crowd is an art. And I have to say from what I’ve heard and seen so far he is right.

“The pitch is the invitation, perks the incentives and promotion the interaction with your crowd.”
– John Trigonis

He tells that when you do a campaign video you should always tell the following to your crowd:

  • You should tell who you are
  • What your project is all about
  • Why your audience should fund you

You should speak to your audience like they are a friend. A very personal approach is needed to get your crowd enthused and willing to spend money on you and your project.

Crowdfunding 101

victoriawestcott

Victoria Westcott talks about crowdfunding in relation with her youth. She was a very entrepreneurial spirit and still is. Out of the experiences she had in her youth with selling all kinds of things, like lemonade in her street, she gives us 5 lessons. Five lessons to live by when you do a crowdfunding campaign.

  1. Make something awesome
  2. sell to your audience
  3. Don’t ask for charity
  4. Follow through
  5. They might just give you tips

In summary you should just make an awesome project that people want to be involved with. You need to grab them by the hair so to speak. You need to sell. Persuade them to buy the product from you. Let them see you want to improve something through the realisation of your project. Remember that it’s not charity that you do with your project. Stand behind it. Be persistent and be kind and be changeable in the way you present your product.

Conclusion

Two things that I see constantly with building a crowd and achieving your goal. Be persistent and be very personal in your approach. We tried this during our whole campaign and you can see the outcome of that: Success!

 

 

 

Workshop Montage video

This workshop, attended at the Filmschool of Amsterdam was a couple of months ago, luckily I’ve written down the notes for it. During the negotiations with our former moviemaker I had also a couple of workshops on the preproduction and postproduction of a movie.This workshop was particularly for montaging principles that you could use and why and when you should use them, also with a little help from some links I found.

During this workshop we talked about two types of cuts in a movie, sensible cuts and non-sensible cuts. But before we get into these there should be a small explanation or digression of movie theory. Let’s talk a little bit on how a movie can be dissected. 

Three Acts Paradigm

Three Acts Paradigm

Almost every movie can be divided into three main parts, derived from the theory that was created all the way back to the Greek philosopher Aristotle and is called the Three Acts Paradigm. This says that every story has in the basics three parts:

  1. Setup

    • During this act all the major characters get introduced, the setting of the movie will be shown and the confrontation or problem of the main character will be introduced. This act could also be called the introduction because it introduces all the main elements of the movie.
  2. Confrontation

    • The confrontation is by far the longest act. This is where the story gets unfolded. Here the stakes escalate. The last part of this act is mostly a situation where “all hope seems lost”. Just before going to the next act, which is the resolution act.
  3. Resolution

    • Mostly this is the shortest part. The part where the final confrontation with the villain is being played. The last fight of Bane and Batman in Dark Knight Rises for example.

The two types of Cuts

  • Sensible cuts
  • Non-sensible cuts

Montage is all about cuts. But why even cut? Well there are practical and dramatical reasons to do this. 

Practical reasons

There are a couple of practical reasons to cut. Cutting, montage or editing is what makes a movie come to live. The two practical reasons to cut are to:

  • Turn to another scene
  • Keeping moving persons and object in the view

Dramatical reasons

You want to make your audience feel a certain thing. Here you can also play with the montage of your movie. How you montage it is closely linked on what of an impression people get from it. A very quick edit you often see in action scenes and improves the feeling of excitement of the watcher. Here are the main two reasons that I got from the workshop that could help to dramatise your movie/plot.

  • Letting the audience show the imagery from another perspective (literally as figuratively)
  • Relation aspect plays a part

Kuleshov Effect

Kuleshov effect

The Kuleshov effect is a very interesting effect documented by Lev Kuleshov, a filmmaker in the early 20th century. This has everything to do with the editing of a movie. When a neutral face is been displayed and the next shot is food, we perceive the person as being hungry. When the next shot is a woman, we think the person is in love or when the next shot is a graveyard we tend to think that the person is sad. So we link the way of editing or the way the montage was done subconsciously to an emotional attribute we give the person on the screen.

Conclusion

Some of the principles of this workshop I knew already, but it was a good refreshing of my memory. I try to implement this in the movie we are going to make, so this might be a very handy refreshment to have. To see the movie I’ve made for the crowdfunding campaign click here.

 

Startup Event by ABN AMRO

 

This Friday was an exhilarating day. I had the chance to go to a startup event organised by the ABN AMRO bank. I didn’t know what this would entail, but after looking at the schedule It were a pentad of pitches from rising startups in the social enterprise scene with an introduction from professor Harry Hummels and Rutger Schuur.

Before I even arrived in the hall where the pitches would take place I met a man who also would go to this event. Ime Duyfjes, a friendly man who was himself inspired by entrepreneurship. He worked for years as a business consultant, but for the last one and a half year has been a teacher at the Hogeschool Windesheim in Almere. He’s a coach and inspirator for his students. We talked a bit about the pros and cons of entrepreneurship. Especially the mentality that is required for something as hard, dynamic and oftentimes frustrating of having your own business.

The introduction by …

First it started out by a small speech of Rutger Schuur. He is part of Stichting Jong Ondernemen. This NGO has partnered with ABN AMRO and some other ventures. When you look at it prudential we are at the edge of change when it comes down to the way we do business. The phrase: “money is the mean, impact the goal” is what this organisation has in mind. He said that Social entrepreneurs are the big companies of the future. The following speaker verifies these phrasings.

The talk Professor Hummels gave was interesting with a sparkle of an utopian world view. He talked on how you could see that the startups and companies in the social enterprise industry really are flourishing. And with good reason he adds.
According to him most social enterprises have problems with creating a business plan, but they have what most commercialised companies lack, a mission. Social enterprises are there to make a positive social impact. But this can only be sustainable if you have a good business plan to create revenue. This is also what came across with the startup talks that followed.

The five pitches

Granny’s Finest

logo-grannys-finest

The first pitch was given by Niek van Hengel. He talked about his startup called Grannies Finest. He began with a story of his own grandfather and we discovered through that story that over 1.2 million people in the Netherlands are lonely and from this group 200 thousand are extremely lonely. With his startup he wants to do something about this societal problem.

So he went to research and found out that a lot of old people, especially female elderly, are into knitting. Many have done this their whole life and it pleases them to continue this habit.

He combined two worlds with each other. He let the grannies knit a whole variety of knitwear that could be used by designers to make designer clothing. These cloths are now being used for retails stores like Bijenkorf, which, as you probably know, a pretty high class brand. This is a great example of a social enterprise that fulfills two necessary needs. A social impact, the people involved are evidently less lonely. And the second part is that the business has a very viable business model.

Thuisafgehaald.nl

thuisafgehaald

Thuisafgehaald.nl is another social enterprise. The talk was given by Jasmijn Vreeburg, which is the communication specialist at this venture. She began by explaining what the platform is all about. The idea was to reconnect people in neighbourhoods through exchanging food. A large problem within urban regions is that neighbours lose more and more connection. To provide a solution for this problem, people can invite other people to buy a meal from someone that lives in the neighbourhood. And so far with success: there are already 100.000 users on this platform.

Within this venture there has been made a division that has the same target group as the first pitch, bijzonder afgehaald.nl. This site is especially for the elderly. The idea was that neighbours could come and cook for these people. Research on this has shown that this is beneficial for both parties. The elderly don’t have to do the cooking and have therefor more rest and interaction with people, aversion of loneliness. And the people contribute their time to make food, and in the case of thuisafgehaald do a lot more choirs, get a good feeling from doing this. This has shown time and time again.

Voor je buurt

voorjebuurt_logo

Voor je buurt is a crowdfunding platform set up to help people with projects in their neighbourhood. This venture launched it business in 2012. The pitch was given by Aster van Tilburg. The venture is a cowdfunding platform for small projects for the neighbourhood. A couple of examples that she gave were the “bruisplaats” in Gouda and “de deelkelder” in Utrecht.

Wij de Wijk

Wijdewijk logo

This is a organisation that is very similar to thuisafgehaald.nl. Only it provides care in stead of food. Neighbours or family members can easily divide tasks that need to be done for the elderly/family. In this app you can put in activities that need to be done and arrange and divide them up among the people that want to be involved in the help for these elderly people.

SYR

syr

This was actually a very interesting talk. Especially since I’ve been working with refugees myself. They have build a restaurant with a Syrian kitchen and with the help of Syrian Refugees. Many refugees, and I know this from my own experience, can’t do anything without a permit and are often locked away in camps without sufficient guidance. SYR is an very interesting place because people can work or volunteer here even if they don’t have a permit. A very interesting pitch given by Hester van Eerten.

Conclusion

The experience of the event overall was a very nice event. I’ve learned a bit about the pitches, although most of them I didn’t find particularly intriguing the overall trend of social entrepreneurship was both appealing and satisfying. I don’t know yet what this will entail for me, because I’m not sure yet what I want to do. But I do know that I want to help build on an enterprise that tries to improve one or more societal problems. So in a way it was very enlightening for me to be at this interesting event.

References

MKB Service Desk (z.d.). Stichting Jong Ondernemen. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, http://www.mkbservicedesk.nl/6571/stichting-jong-ondernemen.htm

Hummels, H. (z.d.). Linkedin profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van,https://www.linkedin.com/in/harry-hummels-50a8547

Schuur, R. (z.d.) Linkedin Profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/rutger-schuur-2275854

v. Eergen, H. (z.d.). LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van,https://www.linkedin.com/in/hester-van-eerten-62bb5522

Duifjes, I. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/ime-duyfjes-243a97

Jong Ondernemen (z.d.). ‘Jongeren inspireren en uitdagen te bouwen aan een ondernemende toekomst’. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, http://www.jongondernemen.nl/missie

van Hengel, N. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van,https://www.linkedin.com/in/nvhengel

Vreeburg, J. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasmijnvreeburg

van Tilburg, A. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/astervantilburg

De Deelkelder (z.d.) Eerste spullen bibliotheek van Nederland en misschien wel de hele wereld. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, http://www.dedeelkelder.nl

De Bruisplaats (z.d.). Homepage website. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.voorjebuurt.nl/campaigns/bruisplaats/

Voor je buurt (z.d.). Over voor je buurt. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.voorjebuurt.nl/over-voor-je-buurt/

An evening on story telling

The power of storytelling is a big one, definitely when I look at the entrepreneurs that I follow on youtube and their success. Names like Sam Ovens, Casey Neistat, Shaun Mcbride, Tai Lopez, Emilie Wapnick and many others who earn their bread with this inspiring skill. To make our course as compelling as possible Michaela Krömer went to a storytelling workshop and asked if I could come as well. Of course I decided yes. Being able to tell a good story is one of the things I could use big time in the campaign and I’d love being able to tell my stories in a more inspiring way. So off we went.

The workshop

The workshop storytelling took three hours, but there was never a dull moment. The way it was presented was entirely in the style of storytelling. It intrigued me, especially the amount of interaction Eldridge, the lecturer, had with the audience. You could stop the lecture whenever you had a burning question and this gave a great sense involvement. This gave a aura of freedom in the room. Many theories, examples and tools were discussed during the course. To name a few.

In this post we will take a look at the Drama and Winners Triangle. The other methods and theories will be explained in other posts. If you want to read them you can click on the link and you can read on what it is all about.

Drama & Winner’s Triangle

These two concepts are actually very interesting to look over and are in most forms of communication very handy to use. It is a framework on which rol you can play or to get insight in the rolls that you play unnoticed. There is a positive side and a negative side in this. Obviously the Drama Triangle is the negative counterpart of the Winner’s Triangle. I’ll start with the drama triangle.

Drama Triangle

Drama Triangle

The Drama Triangle is shown in the picture above. The Drama Triangle is a model that shows the relations between the three rolls Persecutor, Rescuer and Victim.You can see these rolls for example in movies, You have a Hero an Villain and a Victim, someone who has to be saved. But if we examine our communication and that of others we see that we also apply these rolls ourselves.

What are those roles entail?

To give an example in the Batman Series you have Batman as the Hero, The Joker as the villain or persecutor and Gotham or Rachel as the Victim that has to be saved. This model is being used in a lot of movies and therefor we see it too often as truthful. The reality is that this is most of the time a destructive way of communication for at least one of the two parties. Batman has to hide his true identity and has many problems in his social life because of this. The Joker is a crazy person and won’t be any help for the world, because he wants to watch it burn. Lastly the Victim, Gotham city, will be always dependant of his Hero, Batman.

So when something happens to him Gotham is helpless. The theory says and I think most people would agree, that these rolls are all undesirable to play. The way to solve this is to look at the Winner’s Triangle. See below.

Winner’s Triangle

WinnersTriangleThe Winner’s Triangle is the positive counterpart of the Drama Triangle. It is the realistic roll you can play that is constructive for both parties. The three parties of this Triangle are The Coach, the Challenger and the Creator. The Rescuer becomes the Coach, the Persecutor becomes the Challenger and the Victim becomes the Creator.

Coach, Challenger and Creator, what are those?

The Winner Triangle twists the negative points that the three rolls, Victim, Rescuer and Persecutor, have into positives. The Victim becomes the Creator and becomes his own rescuer by dealing and solving their own problems. They ignore the scoldings or remarks of the Persecutor. The Persecutor becomes the Challenger that instead of putting people down by their negative exclamations challenge people to make healthy choices. The Rescuer becomes the coach. Preferably they coach proactively before the people whom being coached head for trouble.

These triangles can also be very helpful in your communication. On stage, during a meeting, on social media or on your website. With this framework you can pinpoint where you stand yourself in different relationships you have or how you communicated on the web so far and see how it can be beneficially be changed in the future.

How you communicate and a pitch

For me this was an epiphany. The whole lecture was a great way to learn a bit more on how I communicate and what could be different about it, on or off stage. One thing I’m particularly proud of was when asked if anyone would give a pitch I was one of the few who would raise their hand. Actually to my own surprise, because in reality I was pretty scared to actually do it. After the break we would start with the pitches. I actually practised a couple of times on a pitch about “having a mentor to excel”, but when I got called to the stage I changed my mind. I didn’t feel the things I was going to say so I quickly came up with the subject I had absolutely my heart for: Delitelabs. The way we help people who need it most. I felt like a badass and it actually was a pretty good pitch I heard afterwords. So good that we got a couple of people interjected us afterwords. They asked if it was a real endeavour I talked about. When I said yes they immediately wanted to help. Great how things can work out when you do something you’re afraid off.

Conclusion

We can use many things that I have learned in this lecture. We can implement these learnings in the posts that we are going to put out before, during and after the crowdfunding campaign. This kind of storytelling I’d love to implement in the posts we are going to put out on Facebook, Twitter, instagram and hopefully on our blog. This lecture will only be the beginning, because in one lecture I’m not yet a storyteller. At least not a professional one at that. So a long way to go, but the beginning has been set.

Hope to talk to you guys soon. Leave a comment if you have a question or have something to share.

– Bas