Filmmakers today can instantly access a wealth of film-related resources online. For many aspiring filmmakers, the need to attend film school has been supplanted by the insights and instructions provided by these blogs, channels, and podcasts. However, with so many options at your fingertips, it might be difficult to choose from among these.
We at Flickside scoured through the internet and picked up the most credible resources for filmmakers, many recommended by industry insiders themselves. This carefully curated list of filmmaking resources is ideal for both cinephiles and those looking to advance their film knowledge. By the end of this piece, you’ll have something to take away, whether you’re a film student or an aspiring filmmaker. Very quickly then, here are the 50 most useful channels/blogs/podcasts on the internet for filmmakers, in no particular order. Don’t forget to bookmark this page!
1. Anatomy of a Scene
Anatomy of a Scene is an intriguing New York Times feature which gives us the perspective of a creator. Directors walk us through a particular scene from their film in these series of short clips and in the process, talk about their intention behind the use of each element in a scene.
2. Art of the Guillotine
Art of the Guillotine is an online community around post-production knowledge and information between editors, also offering emerging trends and industry news. In ‘The Cutting Room’ section, you can listen to and learn from podcast interviews of a great number of post-production professionals.
3. BAFTA’s Soundcloud
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts gives you access to their expansive library of interviews, reviews, and masterclasses through Soundcloud. The masterclass podcasts in particular cover different topics ranging from costume design and production design to screenwriting.
4. Bright Lights
One of the most widely read film journals that began as a print publication in 1974, Bright Lights is an extraordinary resource for both filmmakers and cinephiles. It offers incisive reviews and analysis of films across genres and comprehensive interviews with folks from the industry. A must-visit for budding filmmakers to learn the craft from the best in the business.
CineD is a great resource for filmmakers to update themselves on the latest gear and filmmaking technologies. Besides equipment, the site also recommends software and apps to enhance editing, audio, and colour. There are also some great tutorial articles and videos which distinguish it from other tech news-only sites.
6. Cinephilia and Beyond
Cinephilia and Beyond is a treasure trove for film-lovers and filmmakers. It has a remarkably detailed and incisive collection of articles around screenwriting and cinematography. Be sure to check out some very interesting short films streaming on the site.
7. David Bordwell
David Bordwell is one of the most influential film scholars and film historians, and is best known for his 1988 book ‘Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema’. Bordwell also wrote the canonical film textbook Film Art: An Introduction with his wife and fellow film theorist Kristin Thompson. Their blog, Observations on Film Art, which features a wide range of essays analysing international cinema and film theories.
8. Film Freedonia
Roderick Heath’s film essays and analysis are a treat to read lending a rare peek into the erudite film historian. Roderick previously wrote for the now-defunct Ferdy on Films. In Film Freedonia, he continues with his exhaustively detailed articles that will broaden your cinematic experience.
9. Filmmaker IQ
Founded by the popular YouTuber John Hess, Filmmaker IQ is a goldmine of diverse resources for filmmakers and film enthusiasts. With videos and articles covering every aspect of filmmaking, this site is your foundation course in film education. Besides, it offers valuable insights into the history and science of cinema.
10. Filmmaker Magazine
Filmmaker Magazine started as a quarterly print magazine in 1992 and is a perfect guide for indie filmmakers. Its wide range of articles cover everything about filmmaking including film financing and distribution. Subscribers have access to archived previous issues dating back to 1992.
11. Film Riot
Film Riot is a popular web show created by American filmmaker Ryan Connolly in 2006. The YouTube channel, podcast and Film Riot blog cover all aspects of filmmaking. It’s top quality content aimed at helping independent film artists.
Filmspotting is a podcast hosted by film critics Josh Larsen and Adam Kempenaar. In each episode or show they talk in detail about films, earnestly dissecting every aspect of filmmaking. There are also interviews and insightful top five lists.
13. Film Studies for Free
This is a great free resource for anyone remotely interested in films or filmmaking. The site hasn’t been active for a while but its archival content is a great value add for the filmmaking community. Founded by Catherine Grant, a professor of Digital Media and Screen Studies, the site also features informative video essays.
14. Flying Wrestler
This uniquely titled site is a valuable resource for screenwriters and offers a course. It was created by Emmy and Golden Globe award winning screenwriter Erik Bork. He’s also taught screenwriting and works as a script consultant. For those looking for free information, the blog covers a great deal of topics, ideally presenting screenwriting tips through analysis of popular films.
15. FX Guide
FX Guide is the perfect avenue for filmmakers to understand the nuances and possibilities of VFX. Apart from ‘behind-the-scenes’ articles, the vast library of podcasts serves as a wonderful educational tool detailing discussions with visual effects supervisors.
16. Go Into The Story
This very popular screenwriting blog created by Scott Myers offers invaluably insightful content for screenwriters across the globe. The reader Q&A section and concise podcasts dive deep into the craft.
17. Handcraft Films
There is no shortage of sites giving away tips and tricks for amateur filmmakers. Handcraft Films, however, is unique for its in-depth, free video tutorials that break down methods with examples. It’s a fantastic online resource for cinematographers and filmmakers alike.
18. Filmmakers Academy
Filmmakers Academy is a one-stop destination for filmmakers trying to learn the craft. Apart from free lessons, it offers immersive online courses for members taught by industry professionals. The academy courses largely cover cinematography, lighting and other aspects of the camera department.
Incompetech was founded by American musician and composer Kevin MacLeod. Kevin has composed a huge database of royalty-free music which he made available for everyone to use under a Creative Commons license. The site is a great resource for independent film artists.
20. Indie Film Hustle
Indie Film Hustle is a source of guidance to media artists and filmmakers. The IFH podcast and online tutorials cover a great number of topics that are otherwise exclusively taught in film schools. The site’s simple yet insightful articles will especially benefit those wanting to work on film distribution and post-production side of cinema.
IndieWire is a major resource for independent filmmakers as well as indie fans. Apart from keeping track of new indie releases and entertainment news, the site has launched a digital magazine series. Each of the quarterly editions introduce us to cinema’s expanding art form and emerging innovators.
22. International Cinematographers Guild Magazine
The print version of ICG magazine is a most desired resource amongst cinematographers. The website not only offers a digital edition of the magazine, but also contains a lot of other vital information. The videos and web exclusives give in-depth insights into cinematography, and the Q&A section features elaborate interviews with filmmakers.
23. International Documentary Association (IDA)
IDA is the perfect networking site for documentarians looking to showcase their works and apply for funds. IDA also advocates for protecting and defending the rights of documentary artists and activists. Its online magazine offers a glimpse into emerging trends and the history of documentary filmmaking.
24. John August
John August is an American screenwriter & novelist, renowned for writing the scripts of Go (1999) and Big Fish (2003). His site is a treasure trove of information addressing different challenges of screenwriters and his podcast has 500 plus episodes which cover every imaginable topic on screenwriting.
25. Lessons from the Screenplay
With more than one million subscribers, Lessons from the Screenplay educates even amateur movie-goers on the importance of screenplay. Created by Michael Tucker, the analytical examination of storytelling takes a look at different types of techniques employed by screenwriters. Tucker’s video essays also explain how good filmmaking can enhance a script.
Letterboxd is a popular community for film-lovers and emerging filmmakers. It started as a cast-crew database like the famous IMDb but eventually turned into a social network for film enthusiasts and writers. Each user can log the films they watched using a diary. A growing number of filmmakers have started using Letterboxd. Its wide editorial coverage of indie films is also a captivating feature.
27. Lindsay Ellis
Popular Youtuber and film critic Lindsay Ellis’ brilliantly edited video essays are an art form on their own. Ellis’ unbelievably detailed explanations, laced with dry humour, are a testament to her supreme knowledge of filmmaking. The multi-part video essays exploring the basics of film studies through Bay’s Transformers is a must-watch.
28. MicroFilmmaker Magazine
MicroFilmmaker is a huge source for low-budget filmmakers and indie distributors across the world. Apart from offering professional advice and reviews on equipment, the site invites people to showcase their work. Under ‘publicize your creation’ one can submit their work to receive proper critique. Filmmakers can also pen articles about their filmmaking experiences.
29. Mobile Moviemaking
When it comes to filmmaking often the question is where do I start? The technology, process, and technical jargon might seem overwhelming to newcomers. The online magazine Mobile Moviemaking offers simple DIY ideas for shooting films with smartphones or tablets. It offers how to tutorials as well as introductions to different genres of short films made using smartphones.
30. Noam Kroll
Noam Kroll is a filmmaker and colourist based out of Los Angeles. His decade old site features easy-to-read articles on filmmaking tools and post-production. Kroll also shares his perceptive personal experiences of working as an independent filmmaker.
31. No-Budget Filmmaking
No-Budget Filmmaking is a podcast hosted by filmmakers Trevor L. Nelson and Alex Darke. Every week they talk about filmmaking techniques, latest gear and various other topics within the world of cinema. They provide tips on how to avoid mistakes and achieve a high budget cinematic look within budget constraints. Minimal budget doesn’t mean that the movie needs to look cheap.
32. No Film School
Founded by Ryan Koo, No Film School is one of the most popular aggregators of filmmaking content. From tutorials that teach making DIY gear, to achieving specific visual effects, its a great resource for independent filmmakers. Apart from educational content, the site also holds contests that offer opportunities for aspiring filmmakers.
33. Philip Bloom
Filmmaker and YouTuber Philip Bloom’s personal website is a perfect spot for beginners to learn about cameras and filming gear. Besides offering workshops and tutorials, Philip’s blog covers everything from lighting and sound to editing. If you are looking forward to expand your creative reach with an indie budget then this is the best source.
Prolost is the brainchild of filmmaker and visual effects artist Stu Maschwitz. He is a renowned innovator and creator of powerful tools that facilitate filmmakers. In Prolost, the blogs and tutorials focus on helping both novices and professionals understand post-production visual effects.
35. Pro Video Coalition
Pro Video Coalition is a collection of blogs and podcasts, written and hosted by various industry specialists. The reviews and articles cover everything a video professional may need to know about the pre and post-production and reveal fresh approaches to complex production problems.
Raindance is one of Britain’s largest independent film festivals. While it offers different professional courses in filmmaking, it also hosts rich film related information for independent filmmakers. Written by industry insiders and professionals, the articles enumerate tips and tricks to manage film production as well as interesting screenwriting information.
This is a vastly informative and insightful site for aspiring writers. Featuring a simple web user interface, the site houses answers to a diverse range of screenwriting topics. From how to present montages to how to incorporate text messages in a screenplay, the site offers simple answers to countless screenwriting queries.
38. Script Mag
ScriptMag hosts abundant information about developing methods and craft of screenwriting. It has detailed interviews of screenwriters and helps comprehend the basics of screenplay structure. Moreover, the site also features effective tips on script research.
39. Senses of Cinema
Senses of Cinema is a preeminent quarterly online magazine which was first launched in 1999. All of its 99 issues – till July 2021 – are readily available online. What distinguishes Senses of Cinema from other quarterly online magazines is the breadth of its coverage, critical analysis and overview of filmmakers’ careers.
40. Shooting People
Shooting People is an online network for independent filmmakers to share resources and various opportunities in the field. This includes information about funding and competitions. The site also helps to recruit film crew and host film jobs.
41. Shutterstock Tutorials
This is a phenomenal YouTube channel that helps filmmakers and videographers learn new skills in the industry. From lighting and video editing to graphic design, their tutorials offer easy solutions to seemingly complex challenges. A lot of their fixes don’t need the most sophisticated equipment.
42. Student Filmmakers
This is a community for both aspiring and established filmmakers. The site hosts various online workshops and provides gear reviews, screenwriting and production tips. It has a forum and network that helps keeping in touch with each other.
43. Studio Binder
Studio Binder is a very useful platform for filmmakers looking to manage their production calendars. From creating call sheets to shooting schedules, the app facilitates smoother communication between your crew. Studio Binder’s blog is a handy resource for learning basic filmmaking terms and techniques.
44. The Beat
The Beat houses a wide range of information on the video production and editing process. Full of thought-provoking articles and tutorials, The Beat introduces fresh ways to tackle issues in filmmaking. The site also offers a lot of material to download, from templates, animated fonts to sound effects.
45. The Cinematography Podcast
Hosted by camera experts Ilya Friedman and Ben Rock, each episode of this podcast offers an interesting perspective into the various crafts of filmmaking. The podcast invites all sorts of film professionals from sound designers, storyboard artists to actors and writers and not just cinematographers.
46. The Nerdwriter
The YouTube channel Nerdwriter1 offers well thought out video essays whose diverse topics cover everything from film, paintings to politics. Created by Evan Puschak, the channel’s holistic views on interesting subjects are a treat for storytellers as well as art connoisseurs. Puschak studied film production at Boston University and has been solely making these video essays since 2011.
47. Video and Filmmaker Magazine
Video and Filmmaker can help filmmakers choose gear to plan post-production. The site contains a tutorials archive page which offers simple tricks to alleviate different kinds of troubles encountered during post-production. The review page covers everything from camera accessories to software.
48. Visual Effects Society
Visual Effects Society is a global society for VFX artists and producers. Members of the site are introduced to a vast network of opportunities and workshops, and gain access to members-only events. A prolific online library of video tutorials is also readily available.
Launched in 2012, Videvo offers high-quality stock music and footage for free. Its massive video archive is a blessing for both video professionals and budding filmmakers. Videvo’s premium segment is accessible through subscription and offers more royalty-free stock videos plus audio tracks.
If you are looking to find the perfect sound effects for your film, Zapsplat is your destination. It’s valuable particularly when your movie budget is too limited to hire Foley artists. The site has a vast library of commonplace sound effects that can be used for a wide range of projects.
And that concludes the best 50 websites for filmmakers on the internet today. We hope you enjoyed this assorted catalogue of screenplays, cinematography, directing and everything else it takes to put together a movie. Let us know in the comments below if we missed a website and don’t forget to bookmark this page.
An ardent cinephile, who truly believes in the transformative power and shared-dream experience of cinema. He blogs at ‘Passion for Movies.’