The internet is full of fantastic filmmaking resources. So full, in fact, that it's nearly impossible to keep track of them all.
That's why I've compiled a list of my absolute favorite resources for you. These are all things that I've used personally, things have helped me in my filmmaking journey in some way or another. Regardless of where you are in your journey, there's a good chance that something on this list can help you as well.
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So without any further ado, here's the Filmmaker's Process list of filmmaking resources. I hope you enjoy them and find as much value in them as I have.
Best Of The Filmmaker's Process
Hall Of Fame
These are my most recommended resources, the ones that I would want with me if I were marooned on a desert island. I mean, I have no idea why I would want filmmaking resources in that particular scenario, but still.
Inside the Edit is hands down the best course for aspiring editors on the entirety of the internet. Paddy Bird, the course's creator (and an extremely experienced editor), designed the course in such a way that it teaches you the creative aspects of editing, not just which buttons to press. In addition to the top notch educational content you get when you subscribe, you'll also get access to 35 hours of raw footage, and you'll be able to cut along with Paddy as he crafts an hour-long documentary from scratch. It's truly invaluable, and I can't recommend his course highly enough.
Plus, you can save 10% off any subscription when you use the promo code TFPCREATIVE at checkout.
Justin DeMers and the good people at Story & Heart have built one of the most comprehensive educational platforms out there. The Academy of Storytellers is a collection of over 125 in-depth tutorials covering all aspects of filmmaking, from preproduction and cinematography, to editing, story structure, and distribution. These tutorials are created in conjunction with working filmmakers like Joe Simon from The Delivery Men and the Emmy-winning team at Stillmotion. They add two fresh pieces of content every week, and do in-depth webinars covering a wide range of topics.
Two years ago, if someone had told me about a "framework" that was guaranteed to help filmmakers repeatably tell incredible stories, I would have been skeptical. But here we are. Patrick Moreau and the Emmy-winning team of filmmakers at Stillmotion have cracked the code.
MUSE is the name of both the patented process that Stillmotion uses to tell their stories, and the course that they've built to share it with the world. The entire process is backed by years of research in psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and sociology. Plus the course itself and the supplementary materials are fantastic. If telling stories is important to you (and it definitely should be), you owe it to yourself to give MUSE a shot.
Founded by photographer and filmmaker extraordinaire Chase Jarvis, CreativeLive runs live workshops with creative professionals at the top of their field.
The best part is, the live workshops are completely free to watch! You only pay if you want to buy the courses and watch them at your own pace. For that reason, I highly recommend keeping an eye on their Upcoming Courses page.
Here are a few of their classes that I've found tremendous value in:
Great cinematography is all about the work you put in before the camera rolls. In this class with ASC cinematographer Jim Denault, you get an inside look at exactly how a professional DP prepares for a shoot. This class has been absolutely invaluable to me in my development as a cinematographer.
In part 2 of Jim Denault's masterclass, he takes the script that he prepared in "The Cinematographer Prepares" and he shoots it, showing you all of his camera and lighting techniques, as well as helpful tidbits about how to work efficiently on set. If you've ever wondered exactly how a professional set runs, this should give you a good idea.
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Here's what you can expect from The Filmmaker's Process Newsletter every single week:
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More Online Filmmaking Education
MZed runs live workshops with some of the best working filmmakers in the world. My favorites thus far have been the cinematography workshops with Shane Hurlbut ASC and Alex Buono, the DP of Saturday Night Live's film unit. If you get the chance, definitely check out these workshops while they're on tour. If not, the HD downloads are great too. The content is so, so, so valuable.
If you're serious about editing and knowing your tools inside and out, Larry Jordan's training is a must-have. Sure, there are thousands of videos on YouTube for any piece of software, but with Larry's material, you actually learn everything because he is clear, concise, and just an all-around fantastic teacher. For $20/month, a subscription to Larry's site is an investment that pays for itself very quickly.
With upwards of 600 courses in the "Video" category alone (and nearly 22,000 individual tutorials), there is literally nothing you cannot learn about filmmaking on Lynda. And that doesn't even take into consideration the Animation and Audio categories, which account for another 20,000 tutorials.
And if you're like me, you'll use Lynda for way more than just filmmaking knowledge. In the past two months, I've taken courses to learn HTML and CSS, several business and marketing courses, and several more courses around recording and mixing music (because jazz guitar is another passion of mine). All of this is to say, Lynda is the best.
Ryan Walters and Tim Park have built the ultimate program for filmmakers who need to understand lighting and camera fundamentals. Their lighting series is unparalleled for how comprehensive it is, and they add new material all of the time.
GetFilming is one of the newer filmmaking education sites on the scene, but their content is well made, easy to follow, and very affordable compared to some of the other options. If you're in the beginning stages of learning how to make films, I highly recommend checking them out. Also, to sweeten the deal, Matt at GetFilming gave a sweet discount code for Filmmaker's Process readers. To save 25% on any order, just enter the code "TFPLEARN" at checkout.
You could spend a few months watching every Film Riot episode that Ryan Connolly and his team have ever made, and you would get a world-class filmmaking education that will serve you for the rest of your life. Plus, you will be wildly entertained the entire time. It's a win-win.
Also, check this out: a list of filmmaking resources from one of my favorite filmmaking resources inside another list of filmmaking resources. That's right, you just got Inceptioned.
Simon Cade may be young, but the wisdom in his videos is that of a veteran filmmaker. I can't recommend this channel highly enough, especially if you're just starting out.
I'm not sure if Craft Truck is still producing videos, but if you dig through the channel's old videos, you will find extremely enlightening interviews with some of the greatest cinematographers and editors the world has ever known. For example, here's a quickie with the one and only Gordon Willis, the man who singlehandedly turned the cinematography world on its head with his work on The Godfather.
Darious seems to polarize. People either love him or hate him. I happen to be in the "love him" category because, like Simon Cade, he's a great example of a young filmmaker who "gets it" and actively does everything he can to share his filmmaking wisdom with the world.
If RocketJump Film School keeps going as they are, their channel is going to be one of the funniest, most original, and most informative education resources for filmmakers on the internet.
Tony Zhou is a master video-essayist, and if you're intrigued by what makes certain filmmakers so unique, he makes videos that will blow your mind.
Music For Filmmakers
Art-list is a yearly subscription service that offers unlimited access to their entire catalogue of music. So, whether you download 10 songs per year or 100, the price is the same. For those of us who work on many projects and don't have the budgets for licensing tons of songs individually, Art-list is a no-brainer.
The folks at Marmoset have perfected the art of searching for music in terms that filmmakers actually understand. Their story and character-driven search algorithms are truly a fantastic and useful alternative to searching by mood or genre. Plus their small, handpicked roster of independent bands and musicians means that finding unique tracks is a breeze and the quality of the music is outstanding.
Music Vine is among the newest licensing platforms out there, but it sets itself apart with its curated selection of music from artists and composers around the world, and it makes that music available for more affordable prices than you'd find elsewhere. Plus the interface is beautiful and intuitive, making it easy to find songs that match the mood and style you're looking for.
If you love Moby's music and you want to use it in your independent, no-budget films, this is your lucky day.
Archive.org is WAY more than a music resource. It can also be used for stock footage, vintage newsreels and educational films, old books, and so much more. And all of it is licensed through Creative Commons, so you can use it in your work in a variety of way (depending on the specific license) completely free!
Filmmaking Websites That I Love
This one is a no-brainer. I might be a bit biased because I used to write for NFS, but it's seriously one of the best filmmaking sites in existence, and it just continues getting better.
Mentorless is the online home of Nathalie Sejean, an indie filmmaker with a knack for curating great content. She's also in the process of producing a feature right now, and she's sharing every step of the journey in her weekly vlog.
Another relative newcomer, ShoHawk is one of the many direct inspirations for this site. Michael and Christopher put out some of the best long-form filmmaking content on the web today, and I can't wait to watch them grow and spread their influence. The filmmaking world is ready for what they have to say.
Shitty Rigs is what you get when you cross no-budget filmmaking with MacGyver. It brings home the title of "Sketchiest, Yet Most Strangely Inspiring" resource on this list, and on it, you will find a curated selection of the crazy, oftentimes ill-advised things filmmakers in order to get the shot.
These guys could go under the music section (they're largely built around a music licensing platform), but my absolute favorite part of PremiumBeat is their blog. They attract lots of top talent to write for them, and they put out incredibly helpful articles in a range of categories from cinematography to post-production.
"Cinematography Design is the process of using 3D animation software to plan and communicate camerawork and lighting for a live-action shoot." My friend Matt Workman is on the cutting edge of this, and his site is one of the most fascinating, useful places on the internet for DPs looking to strengthen their craft.
FilmmakerIQ is just great. John P. Hess creates some of the best filmmaking video lessons around.
Miscellaneous Filmmaking Resources
A well-organized production is a happy production, and few tools are better for keeping everyone on the same page as the call sheet. While emailed PDFs still work for many, StudioBinder is bringing call sheets and production management into the 21st Century, with a slick web app and tons of useful features. Plus, if you're interested in going beyond the free plan, you can enter the code FILMPROCESS25 to receive 25% off any plan for 1-month.
The North American Independent Film Technicians Alliance (NAIFTA for short) is an enormous database of potential crew members for your independent film. It's also a place where people interested in being crewed can have their resumé, contact information, and a link to a portfolio site listed for free. So whether you're crewing up your next indie or looking to be on a crew, definitely check NAIFTA out.
If you need a poster, custom artwork, DVD designs, or anything related to graphic design, this is the place to start. You just upload your creative brief, and designers from around the world will bid for your project by submitting a proposal. You pick the proposal you like best and go from there.
Did We Miss Anything?
This list probably only accounts for 1% of the internet's filmmaking resources. So if you know of any valuable resources that should be here, fill out the form below and let us know about them! If they're good, we'll add them to the list and we'll include a shout out with a link to your portfolio or latest film. Hooray for free promotion!