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26 August, 2015

Design thinking with Robb Montgomery

Design thinking can empower your business.

In this hands-on workshop, Robb Montgomery leads teams through a challenge where they have to create a thesis and paper prototype that will either solve a problem or seize an opportunity.

Design thinking is a process that uses a human-centered approach to guide teams to quickly produce actionable ideas that have clear goals.

At the end of the day, each team pitches their solution.

This is a typical result from a team that has applied the principles.

Team 5 (One editor, one designer, one manager, and one coder)

Design challenge: How to encourage users to take action with the stories they view. Our user said that he would like to engage with local issues, but is turned off by polarizing comment threads.

Prototype / pitch / solution: Our solution is to develop an EMPOWR! widget that pops up at the end of a selected article with a simple button prompt: “This issue affects me.”

If a user taps that button, they are provided with two or three simple choices based on their level of interest. For example, Keep me Updated, Connect with others who care, or Offer my help.

The paper prototype and thesis can be used to guide the development of the new product or service.
Comments from participants of a workshop Robb recently conducted for Poynter.
"Why don't we do this more often? This is a great way to solve problems.""I like the team-based approach to problem solving.""I like that we can take the ownership of establishing a new direction.""Inspiring to have the time focus on these issues and this method will help me in other projects."

And from their boss (who also participated . . .)
"I am happy to see the team dedicated time and energy and their skills to help reinvent our portal. I didn't expect this workshop to be so productive.”

Invite Robb to run a Design Thinking Workshop with your team. 

12 August, 2015

Filmmaking with your iPhone

MASTERCLASS: Filmmaking with your iPhone 
– How to make professional video with the camera you always have with you.

Serious filmmakers, broadcasters and agencies are now using iPhones to produce professional cinema, journalism and social video for mobile audiences. 

According to, “The shift to mobile and social video is revolutionary.”

Smart Film School founder, Robb Montgomery, introduces the gear, the apps and the techniques for making stunning video projects with a smartphone camera.

Request more information.

Yes, you can edit GoPro video on your iPhone

You can use your GoPro with your iPhone and make amazing videos with ever opening up a laptop.

Did you know it is possible to edit your GoPro footage on your iPhone while still in the field?  No laptop is required.

The quick tip is to set your GoPro to 1080-50 in wide mode to be able to beam over footage that works on iPhone.

This technique unlocks a lot of filmmaking power to filmmakers and video journalists.

I have assembled 12 new videos in this playlist where you can see GoPro and iPhone footage edited together.

The videos shown above are daily mobile film 'sketches' made over two weeks hiking through the Alps.

All footage was edited and uploaded each day using just an iPhone.

I am currently producing new lessons for the Smart Film School based on these examples so that you can learn exactly how to make video stories like these.

07 August, 2015

10 types of mobile stories that reach social and mobile audiences

A video story for a mobile user consuming your video content on Facebook has to be produced and edited very differently than for a broadcast news package to be viewed on television.

In my research and practice as a mobile video consultant I am constantly researching and testing the latest apps and techniques trends for producing mobile stories.

These are 10 emerging story forms that I am finding at the intersection of Social + Video + Mobile.

  1. Live Streaming 
  2. Video collages 
  3. Story cards 
  4. Graphics packages 
  5. Long form multimedia 
  6. Cinematic shorts 
  7. Real people pop-ups 
  8. Kinograms 
  9. The walkthrough 
  10. A quick hit 

I now produce nearly all of my video stories, short films, documentaries, training videos, and workshops using nothing but my mobile device.

The results compare favorably to materials I used to make using bigger cameras and expensive video editing programs.

Broadcast quality mobile video has arrived with the iPhone 6 Plus.

The Smartphone is the perfect tool to be used to grow a knowledge base about mobile video for you and your teams.

This is one reason I made sure all of my video training courses at the Smart Film School can be viewed on mobile phones. With this mobile-centric approach, the lessons are always available to your staff.

Having fresh training content with you at all times is a huge advantage when you are leading a culture change that will allow your teams to take advantage of the emerging trends and profitable opportunities that exist for video content.


Robb Montgomery has been lecturing on emerging trends for mobile storytelling since 2010 and these are some excerpts from the latest version of his talk that was presented in London at NewsRewired.

01 July, 2015

How do we make stories that mobile users will love?

"How do we make stories that mobile users will love?" is a great question to ask these days as the intersection of mobile+social+video continues to grow stronger and more profound.

This topic creates a number of exciting possibilities and opportunities for mobile storytellers and story builders.

This topic is something that I have been researching and presenting on since 2010, when I built the pitch deck for what became the world's first mobile-first newsroom and journalism school.

There have been so many developments in this space since that time that I find myself constantly updating the presentation and challenging the themes they reveal. 

I have given this talk in several venues over the last four months (Singapore, Warsaw, Hamburg, Perugia, Dublin, and Vienna) and each time it has to be refreshed because of the speed of innovation happening with mobile+social+video.

I''ll be presenting the latest version at the sold out News:Rewired event in London on July 16.

There is a standby wait list for the conference, but the mobile video workshop I will be leading on July 17 is completely sold out.