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the KNOW book – the SM guide to filmmaking

By August 14, 2012April 15th, 2015Uncategorized

this has become so much more than just the KNOW book, in many ways this is now just as big as the entire tour itself. we started off with a simple plan: author a book that looks at the different facets of filmmaking – break it down into something easy to understand and offer insight into why and how to make relevant, meaningful decisions. we got there, and then went way over. what was initially expected to be a 140 page book is now over 300 pages of informative, designed, insane awesomeness.

the book will have chapters on all the main pieces of a film such as story, light, composition, audio, lenses and such as well as more intangible topics like finding and knowing your voice as a storyteller. and in each there are three main areas we are focusing on:

1. concepts, theory and ideas behind each module
2. crafted worksheets that help you understand, build and apply the ideas
3. featured shoots where we break down everything from story to gear to lighting diagrams and production

we’ve incorporated both very technical things like charts, graphs and numbers to dive deep into the basis of each topic as well as carefully designed diagrams, screengrabs and workflows to help you easily understand the idea at hand. we’re also covering things like ideation, treatment and bids and story development. there are worksheets on lighting, samples of storyboards and flowcharts on how/where to start location scouting. there are recommended gear kits, deconstruction of projects and write ups to go with each. pretty neat, right?

check out a few of these spreads from the book. we may be overly excited about it but it’s been such an incredible experience authoring and designing this book. yes, we are so proud of it and can’t wait to get it in our hands 🙂

as we finish it this week we are just over the moon with how far its come. there are a ton of great filmmaking books published and they are very helpful but we’ve never seen anything like the KNOW book. as we write chapter after chapter and share, discuss and review with each other we get even more ideas on how to make it better.

we see the book as something that will not only find a place on your bookshelf at the studio or at home, but a resource you can bring with you on shoots, add your notes to it and share it with others.

there have been countless times where we’ve all said at some point “i wish i had a resources like this when i first started” – and we mean it. SMAPP is your new best friend in filmmaking (which we are just as excited about) and the KNOW book is its counterpart, your other best friend in filmmaking. through these tools, the blog and things like the webinar we look to provide a solid platform for us to learn, grow and share in our experiences together. education has always had a place in stillmotion and in many ways this is a culmination of what we’ve collectively experienced and learned over the years, just written down and printed on paper.

we are so excited and i can write about this for hours but i should probably get back to working on the book. as we finish up proofreading, making last minute tweaks and getting this sent to publish we are look forward to the first KNOW stop, starting early September, where we can get this in your hands to see what you think. ok, here’s one more spread for now – stay tuned for more information on how to a free chapter of the KNOW book!

to find out more about the book, sign up for KNOW or see where we’ll be touring near you visit


Joyce Tsang

About Joyce Tsang


  • Philip Lemoine says:

    I cant wait till Sept 15th!!!

  • Kyron Gray says:

    Stuck in Australia, but I’ve ordered the mail out pack! The book is looking great!

  • Jason says:

    Congrats with all the hard work. I am debating attending the workshop, but my question is if this is a class a working professional could benefit from? I wish I had as concise of a description of fstops when I was in school, but most working photographer / filmakers have this built in pretty deep. If you had to give a percentage to fundamentals for beginners over professional development, could you make that assessment? Having said that, your course is incredibly affordable…, I’ve paid more at photo plus to hear photo editors tell you about thier accomplishments. Best of luck.

  • Andrew Winchell says:

    So excited to have this amazing resource in my hands. I’ll see you all in Minneapolis!

  • Les Gaddis says:

    Really excited about this book and the tour. Thanks so much for sharing great information. See ya’ll in Dallas… Oct 6th feels like Christmas for me!!!

  • pooihoe says:

    cant see clearly in the 2nd pic, is that 24-70 f2,8; with IS???

  • Scott says:

    great read, can’t wait to see you in Houston!!!

  • Rodolfo Quevenco says:

    Think you’re missing a “get” or “download” in the second last sentence starting with “…how to ??? a free chapter of the KNOW book!”