Interview with Founders Courtney Salamone and Joe Snider
What is Stories Lived?
Stories Lived is a website hosting video shorts that move and inspire us to be the best version of ourselves we can be. It is a unique site in which one can see, learn and in turn, draw upon that grace that others show in their lives and hopefully use it in our own to be a blessing to others.
Can you describe what motivated you to begin this platform?
It actually stemmed from Joe’s (co-founder) 40th birthday party where he asked everyone to come for a game night to our house and bring $20 and a charity that they would be playing for. After everyone arrived and before we started playing the game we asked everyone to go around the room and talk about their charity. It was so unbelievably moving hearing the how and why people aligned with their chosen charity. This moved and inspired us and Joe followed up writing a blog post about our evening calling it Philanthroday Stories Lived has organically grown from that night and now four years later it has manifested!
Can you discuss contests held and those still open?
Our contest has 3 categories: Environmental, Personal Passion, and Personal Triumph. The Environmental shorts are stories about people doing something positive for the environment. The Personal Passion category highlights stories about people who have found a passion in life and how that passion has shaped their lives. Finally, the Personal Triumph shorts are stories that show perseverance and grace in dealing with life’s bumpy road. Currently Environmental and Passion are closed, but Triumph is still open for submissions until September 17th.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback has been incredibly positive. We have limited our communications to just filmmakers for now as we grow our video content and go “live” to the general public on September 18th when a portion of our contest goes to popular vote. Filmmakers have sent us the nicest notes already expressing their appreciation for this platform. We have so many already that we are considering a testimonials page!
One filmmaker who participates in many contests said that is was one of the most professionally run contest he had ever participated in. We also take great pride in the fact that our two winners so far were India and South Africa and they received their prize money within days of the announcement of the winners.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
So far the feedback has just been confirmation that what we are doing is being well received and that we are on the right track. We know people want to watch videos that move and inspire them, but is has been utterly beautiful to see how much filmmakers want to create this kind of work. We have found filmmakers thanking us for challenging them to create this sort of content, and in doing so, reminding them of why they have chosen this profession in the first place.
I think we have been most surprised by the global nature and connection of our platform as well. We have had submissions from 12 different countries and we have had views to our site from 90 countries and remember, we are just currently marketing to filmmakers! We had no idea that the reach would be that global. Just goes to show that inspiration is truly global.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
In general, what we hope to achieve is sharing more positivity in the world with as wide of an audience as possible.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like Stories Lived to have?
Ideally, we would like someone to see one of our videos and have it motivate them into action. That action could range from changing a poisonous thought pattern to creating and living their dream to being of service in this world.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Since we are a hosting site, what we envision is: “What inspired you from this short?” “How and why does it stir your soul?” And probably most importantly, “So what’s next? How are you going to use what you saw and change your life or draw strength in your life?”
Would you like to add anything else?
Our media feeds us a constant diet of the worst in life. Stories Lived was created as a community to celebrate the best. It is our sincere hope that these stories will go out into the world and be a channel of blessings for us all.
Interview: August 2016
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela