There are plenty of places to go for budding filmmakers to learn more about their craft on the web. Naturally some places are better than others and forums often take on the atmosphere of a biker bar. Here are some of my top suggestions (in no particular order) for getting a better handle on the art of filmmaking, especially when it comes to editing.
Tony Zhou does a great job of film analysis – breaking down scene construction and finding similarities in a director’s signature style(s) or a particular technique. This Vimeo page puts these all in one handy spot.
This Guy Edits tackles similar videos to Zhou’s, with the additional angle of actually watching him go through his thought process of editing an indie film. The brainchild of film editor Sven Pape, these videos have had significant traction. In addition, he’s been doing this with Final Cut Pro X, so I’m sure that’s added even more interest.
Vashi Visuals is the site for editor Vashi Nedomansky. His blogs covers a lot of film analysis without relying on videos like the first two I’ve mentioned. Nevertheless there are a number of insights, ranging from film aspect ratio changes to the workflow he’s followed on such large-scale films as “6 Below”.
While I’m partial to my own interview articles, it’s hard to beat Steve Hullfish’s Art of the Cut interview series for sheer depth and volume. Hullfish is an editor, colorist, trainer, and author with several books to his credit, including a curated version of some of these interviews. It’s a great place to go to understand what the leading editors go through in cutting films.
If you are more partial to cinematography than editing, you’ve got to check out the site and forum of renowned director of photography Roger Deakins. It’s free to sign up to the forum, where you can learn a ton about film production. Deakins also chimes in at times, schedule permitting.
Another cinematographer gracious with his time is David Mullen. The “Ask David Mullen ANYTHING” thread was started on one of the forums at RedUser a few years ago and at present has spawned nearly 600 pages. In this thread, Mullen responds to user questions about cinematography with answers from his personal experience and study of the art.
Like Hullfish, another ProVideo Coalition contributor is Brian Hallett, with his Art of the Shot series. He’s adapted the interview concept to talk with leading cinematographers about their art, choice of gear, and more.
Of course, there’s more to filmmaking than editing and cinematography. It all starts with the word, so let me include Scott Smith’s blog. Smith is a writer/director whose Screenwriting from Iowa blog covers a wide range of topics – from film, writing, and TV analysis to his own experiences and travels.
I’ll wrap this up with some “honorable mentions”. Plenty of companies have blogs on their websites, but some invite collaborators to submit guest posts, so it’s not just content related to that company’s product. Of course, some, like Avid, focus on product-centric posts. Here are a few sites worth reading:
Note: Some of these links load better in Chrome than in Safari.
©2017 Oliver Peters