In recent years, the content of the internet has transformed itself from a controlled and manufactured environment to a vast expanse of user generated content. Internet users can log on and create their own subjects, themes, and arguments to the sites they frequent. This idea gave birth to sites like Facebook, and Twitter; as well as creating tools like wikis, forums, and blogs. This new type of social media forged specific online communities where people with similar interests could share and collaborate freely on ideas.
Independent filmmakers have an ever-growing presence on social media sites such as twitter, facebook, youtube, and various blogs. This presence has resulted in a wealth of shared knowledge for filmmakers worldwide. These sites have become a hub for the independent filmmaking community, and are a vital resource many young writers, directors, and producers alike.
Here’s a list of thirteen sites that are excellent resources for independent filmmakers in no particular order.
Filmmakers on a tight budget know perfectly well how difficult it is to stay on that budget. Filmmaker.com’s blog contains helpful articles regarding a wide array of topics from industry news, to new software updates, and to helpful tips. Members of the site can post on the forums and exchange information on filmmaking as well as their own projects. The forum is an ideal place for independent filmmakers to seek knowledge from their peers.
Film Riot is a video tutorial site with a comedic twist. Host Ryan Connolly covers every subject from how to make a music video, to using CGI, to how to cast your film. This site is a delightful departure from the typical monotonous tutorials usually found on the net as the humorous videos take a narrative structure making them actually enjoyable to watch.
Go Into The Story
Good screenwriters know how important it is to know every trick of the trade there is (even if they do not use them all). Go Into The Story ditches all the fancy graphics and cluttering advertisements and opts for the bare essentials of screenwriting. Blogger Scott Myers, a screenwriting professor at the University of North Carolina, posts advice and how-to-guides daily to aid young writers in the creative process. The blog also sports an extensive list of other great websites and blogs that serve as great resource as well.
Hope For Film
Hope for Film is the brainchild of the American independent film producer Ted Hope. His credits include 21 Grams (2003), American Splendor (2003), and Adventureland (2009) to name a few. Everyday Hope and various guest bloggers post advice and opinions concerning independent film. Like johnaugust.com this blog is a great opportunity for beginner filmmakers to seek and discuss insight of an industry professional.
Similar to Filmmaker.com, IndieTalk is filmmaking community in which filmmakers share and exchange ideas in a forum. The forums are broken down into categories such as Cameras & Lenses, Screenwriting, Cinematography and Lighting, and Post Production. The members on the forum typically offer advice on how to get around problems in filmmaking while not doing damage to your wallet.
Similar to Twitch Film, IndieWire is convergence point filmmakers and film lovers alike. Fans of independent cinema receive information of films and festivals, as well as reviews and blogs. Filmmakers can read articles covering topics such as production, distribution, exhibition, and festival strategy.
John August is an accomplished screenwriter whose credits most notably include Tim Burton’s films Big Fish (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and Corpse Bride (2005). He started his blog back in 2003 as an encyclopedia of information about screenwriting. Since then it has expanded into a wealth of information ranging from career advice to the state of the film industry itself. Many of the blog posts are responses to reader-submitted questions, making it a great way for independent writers to get feedback from a working professional.
Besides being one of Britain’s largest independent film festivals, Raindance also offers a treasure trove of information and how-to-tips for independent filmmakers worldwide. Under the resources section of the site there are links to articles written by members of the Raindance team and industry professionals. These articles detail the tricks and traps for filmmaking on little to no budget at all. Raindance also runs a film school with am innovative postgraduate film degree in association with Staffordshire University and the Independent Film Trust. They also have 7 regional offices in six countries which gives them an unusual and valuable perspective on new trends in independent film.
Shooting People is a network for filmmakers based out of London. It serves as a means for independent filmmakers to connect with each other by using blogs, databases, newsletters, and podcasts. Members of the site have premiered at Sundance, been nominated at BAFTA and the Oscars, and screened at Cannes.
Working in the film industry, it can often be hard to keep yourself and your crew organised. Thanks to Studio Binder, photo and video companies can now better manage their productions all on one platform. These companies can do everything from creating shooting schedules, call sheets, script breakdowns, and more that can be sent out to their entire team for easier communication. With more opportunities to keep everyone on the same page, your production is sure to be running seamlessly and efficiently.
Philip Bloom has travelled the world as a successful maker of short films, documentaries. adverts and much more. He is part of the new breed of digital cinematographers, using DLSRs to achieve that film look. On his website you can see his wide range of work, from his adverts with Kevin Spacey to his 5D Cinematography on the WWII Lucasfilm Red Tails.
No Film School is a site for DIY filmmakers and independent creatives run by Brooklyn based filmmaker Ryan Koo. It offers solutions to how to get the most out of the things you create in order to sustain a long career as a filmmaker, writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographers and much more.
Film Maker IQ
Film Maker IQ is a group of filmmakers who discuss a range of topics. With articles on things such as Make-Up Tutorials to Camera comparisons, they answer both the whys and hows of filmmaking and help us understand the new media wave, without forgetting the old.
Filmmaking Lifestyle is a filmmaking and video production education site. They have all sorts of helpful resources and they’ve built up a solid audience of filmmakers and videographers.
Who did we miss?
Add your favourite filmmaking website in the comments box below.