Alright, I am back from summer vacation. Episode #3 – Learning the Process of Filmmaking is officially out the box. This is Part 1 of a two-parter.
This is a topic I haven’t really come across much discussion on, so I thought I’d give you my take. Essentially, I wanted to just relay a list of all the different ways that that you can go about furthering your filmmaking education.
If you combine all of these different types of resources, you can program your own personal film school curriculum and pick an choose the resources that work best for your learning style. In this episode I duscuss Filmmaking Podcasts and Documentaries and DVD's about filmmaking.
Keep in mind that these are by no means exhaustive lists, but rather starting points and suggestions based on what I personally recommend and have seen work for others.
More comprehensive lists will be included in the upcoming release of my book, Down and Dirty DV: Vol. 1 - Documentaries.
Probably the most comprehensive collection of free filmmaking video tutorials out there. When I just checked, there were more than 40 different video tutorials on core subjects such as 3-point lighting, shoting green screen, and editing techniques. These are at the hobbyist/beginner level and I highly recommend them if you’re just starting out. How he keeps these coming for free with a day job and a family I don’t know, but thank you, Izzy, and more power to you. It’s a great service.
The DV Show
Get your technical questions answered here. Codecs? What type of tape to use? Sync issues? Listen or ask the DV Show, because God knows I can’t answer all your technical questions!
KCRW’s The Business
My favorite Hollywood news show. Not Entertainment Tonight, but rather in-depth discussions and interviews with industry movers and shakers about current news and trends in the entertainment industry that affect filmmakers, actors, audience and studios alike.
KCRW’s Martini Shot
Amusing anecdotes of Hollywood culture and kookiness. Short, insightful and funny.
Four Eyed Monsters
I’ve ranted about these guys before and they’ll be in an upcoming video podcast, so I’m not gonna spend too much time here. But I will say that I think that this is the prevailing model for using the power of podcasting to promote your film. Watch them all from Episode One and do a Google search and look at what any of you out there could do if you free your mind, take advantage of new technologies and make wise use of your resources.
I won’t lie, some of this stuff goes over my head (I’m only 5’5”), but these mac video nerds provide some great technical info, especially with regards to video/filmmaking technology on the Mac. (And "nerds" is not a derogatory term here... these guys are very smart and on the cutting edge.)
Another informative podcast dealing with technical and production issues.
Excellent model for the power of podcasting to promote and distribute social-issue / activist docs. If you are a documentary-maker you can’t afford not to study these guys and their promotional/fundraising model. They take full advantage of online media from communication to fundraising to marketing and distribution. I believe this is a model for the bright new future of documentary film.
Hearts of Darkness Article
This is an article about the doc Hearts of Darkness from a Cinema Studies standpoint. FilmEducation.org also has many resources for film educators such as study guides and discussion questions for various films, new and old.
Documentaries and DVD’s About Filmmaking
American Movie Official Site
This documentary is probably hands down my favorite film about filmmaking (doc or narrative). It is drop-dead funny, heart-breakingly tragic and totally inspirational all at once. It’s about the daily struggles of Milwaukee low-budget filmmaker named Mark Borschardt to get his projects made despite the lack of local filmmaking resources, shortage of professional talent, overwhelming debt, and his own personal demons. While you may find Mark’s actual filmmaking a little rough around the edges, this man’s persistence, belief in his vision, unwaivering enthusiasm and ability to push through no matter what is an awe-inspiring example of the difficulties of realizing a low-budget project and still coping with all the complications of everyday life.
Robert Rodriguez’s 10 Minute Film School
What more can I say? While some of you younger filmmaker’s may only know Robert Rodriguez from his big-budget Hollywood fare such as Spy Kids, his roots are pure Down and Dirty guerrilla. As legend has it, his first feature film, El Mariachi, was shot in Mexico for $7000.00 which he’d largely earned as a medical test patient. El Mariachi went on to became a huge indie hit and launch his career as a major player in Hollywood. His book, “Rebel Without a Crew” is a guerrilla film classic and his essay/DVD extra, “Robert Rodriguez’s 10-Minute Film School” is his simple advice for guerrilla rebels. While I disagree with his assertion that when it comes to cameras the crappier the better, I largely follow a lot of this advice for squeezing out production value an keeping things moving when shooting when shooting. This is a link to the essay, but definitely check out the video version of “10-Minute Film School” on the “EL Mariachi” DVD extras.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for Episode 4 - part 2 of Learning the Process of Filmmaking, which I will drop as soon as I have a chance to “enhance” it with pics and links. (Probably in a week or two.) In Episode 4 I will cover Film School, DVD Extras, Workshops, Crewing, Tv Shows and a few more learning resources.
And seriously, give a brotha some feedback, leave a comment below, send an email, or better yet, leave a comment on iTunes if you’re feeling the podcast, because I haven’t gotten much feedback yet and I’m trying to hone the show to best serve YOU the Down and Dirty Digital Posse.
A lot of work goes into putting together each episode and I just want to know if this is an effective resource for you or if I should spend my nights and weekends doing normal things like relaxing and spending time with friends and family. Holla back, y’all.
Peace, Love and Video,