2.1 Amateur Film School — Links of people to learn from
My back ground is acting. Its what I did since I was a child. I had some training and time on a stage or two. Beyond the regular school play. Then onto working the extra’s scene in NYC. This led to an understanding that good work was far and few between. I wanted to play with characters and stories and images. Which made me more than an actor.
I don’t know your journey but if you are here I no doubt know you want to know something beside that you like movies and want to make images. I started here. I searched and found some things. This began my ever expanding thirst to learn to create images. I changed my job searches from cast to crew. I got jobs, I worked them. I’m still learning. Always learning and I cant stop.
This list is a nuts and bolts of how to be you with no experience and just a want to make things. If you go through the entirety of these creators videos and blog posts you will get into their creative flow and how their mind assembles stories. With everything notice the perseverance over the quality, lasting over time and improving. Even those that have taken a dead stop (sometimes come back), over time they played the game. This is a disclaimer, even if you supply good content and work hard on your product it can still fail, will most likely fail. But have fun, sink with the ship and have a blast doing it. Make something and show it. No matter how you feel about it.
Here goes, in no particular order:
- The Frugal Filmmaker — Scott Eggleston is someone I’ve learned a great deal from. It might be because I grew up around plumbers and by relation PVC pipe/fittings. Most of the ideas are genius and definitely can help your journey to learn to make prettier images. Definitely go through the website and youtube channel end to end. Even some of the episodes just answering questions can lead you to a different understanding of what you might need to pull off a shoot or career. The facebook group is also quite rich with ideas, Ive been a member for years and years.
- Cheesycam — I can easily say that another person I’ve learned a great deal from is this guy. He tries out alot of gear. Always has a wealth of knowledge and humbly listens to his fan base. You can go through the site and the youtube and cherry pick. Some of the posts/episodes wont totally help a novice but some are absolute gems.
- Film Riot — You probably knew this name already. If you don’t then go and search them down. Watching these guys progress has been a blast. Some definitely great episodes and good info. Some of their DIY’s are a bit ridiculous but all in all their process is amazing. How much they put out in the time they do is a testament to how dedicated these guys are. They are also a lesson in what the future holds for content. Having watched them on “Revision 3" a while ago and their strong brand relationships shows that commercial “success” while still staying true to doing what they set out to do, which is make moving images. Older episodes will put you on par with equipment you can easily acquire but the current episodes show you where you can go after learning that equipment.
- Nofilmschool — I find articles and board posts on here all the time from its many years of history. Nofilmschool is probably the resource for up to date and legacy information. Even some old articles help. I even found a board post linked here about how to get practice and work through learning your technicals while still vying for a paycheck. Between this site and Cheesycam its an everyday check to see if something new has come about.
- DVXuser — This forum is extremely rich but terribly configured. Theres good threads and looking at it again while writing this I see they’ve improved but its a forum. Also if you want to know why its called “DVXUser” just search DVX-100B, I was in love with this camera. I’d still make things with it if I had owned one. I have a pack of tapes from my DCRVX-1000 days that I’m itching to use on a project. If you can love the equipment you have then do it, if not then get the equipment you know will work til you can get what you love. This forum is not about that on its own, its all filmmaking aspects. Tons of info and inspiration.
- RedUser — Id do myself a disservice not putting this on the list. Recently my partner if film crime has purchased a Red One package. Which today is rather easy. But the camera is still a beast and like the DVX I had wanted deeply to work more with these cameras, the image they can create. Pay attention to this forum just for the reason that you’ll get good look into larger scale productions, how the pro end lives. Maybe one day if the weapon comes down to a reasonable price you’ll be ready or a job comes up where you’ll need to know a RED system. Its more than a camera, its part of filmmaking lifestyle. Its an ideology almost. I cant wait to work with it, both on set and in the edit room.
- Magiclanter.fm — I’m a canon user, I would never spec one below a C100 for a project unless it was absolute bare bones but Id use them to make what is rolling around in my head. This is because of magic lantern. I add this to the list because it has a dedicated user base and following. Lots of users who make some pretty wonderful stuff. I had simply owned a canon before I stumbled on this, I loved my canon after I did.
- Nobudge.com — This isn’t a site where you’ll find tutorials. You’ll find movies, movies done for very little money. This is a place to aspire to for any beginner. They take in alot of films but its curated, has its own film festival with its own awards. The write up they do for your film goes to a nice network. Id say this would be the blue belt in the karate of film.
- Indy Mogul — So this is the one I was talking about when I said have died and come back to life. I have always loved Indy Mogul and the channels associated. There are other channels that have done the same but few have hit home. Since their return they’ve upped their game quite a bit but still deliver the same value as before. Go through the history of this channel, its well worth it.
- Cinematography Database — This is a new one for me. Matt Workman is a working DoP. He also has a pretty awesome ability to explain his work but also tell you that its your instincts and visual flavor that matter more. He also uses some great tools that would be lovely to own but also work to learn from. The channel is fairly young but very rich in content.
- DSLRGuide — Simon Cade is a young man who is doing what I should have been doing from his age. What you all should be doing right now. Hes learning his craft by doing and connecting with everyone along the way. This channel can be quite informative but witnessing his journey probably will teach you more. If you can make it through the whole channel go for it, you can see someone deeply trying to hone in on their flavor of visuals. Trying to figure out how this whole thing works, its pretty meta when you think about it. Cade is the new generation of creator and is pretty entertaining as a youtube personality.
- Shanks FX — This guy is awesome. I am a fond lover of SFX that are practical. Shanks is the man when it comes to this. He makes some absolutely beautiful visuals from stuff he does in his garage. I also love his work on actual film (I just saw he had a 35mm video come out and Im giddy to watch it). He is not an expert as the comments and videos show he is experimenting all the time but his experiments come out pretty sweet. Keep alot of his tricks in your back pocket for when you need them.
- DSLR Video Shooter — Caleb Pike has been at this a while, he goes back pretty far when you consider video tutorials have been around. I like that he breaks down his own setup so you can see how to compose what he does or something different. Great resource for gear and mods to gear.
- DSLR Film Noob — This is a channel you should look to the history to find the meat. I loved the older format when it was straight tutorials and gear overviews. Its alot more of a video chat between pro’s now. Still has alot of value but not the format I gravitate to. Alot of the equipment from the old episodes can help someone starting out.
Use all resources available. Reddit can work too although there is alot of shit on reddit. Understand that rules are meant to be broken, but respected. Philosophy of what you are doing and why are the end goals, the technical aspect is just the skin layer of this idea. If you’re like me you might sit for several weeks and just absorb it all. There is no right way, what is wrong is doing it and not learning anything. Not improving your process. Learn about artists, not just film and tv but painters etc. Not once did someone making true art ever did it the same way twice. I learned a ton learning about Leonardo Davinci, painting the same image hundreds of times. Sometimes plastering over finished work, masterful work, to create something for a better paying gig. Most well known painter, had to destroy work, to live.