How to learn about film making

April 9, 2020
If you have an ambition to learn about film making, your first thought may be to enrol in a film making school. There are many from which to choose. In the conventional, bricks and mortar world, there are schools like the London Film Academy. For more suggestions check out careersinfilm.com.

There are also many online film making schools and websites. Prices vary from expensive to easily affordable, and in some cases, free. Take a quick peek at udemy.com for courses and 9mousai.com for general information.

You will draw your own conclusions about the type of film making school you think is most suitable for you, but there are other options that you should consider before you make your mind up.

It is worth bearing in mind however, that going to a film school, no matter how good its reputation, will not guarantee that you will become a great filmmaker. So, another path to consider in terms of how to learn about film making, is going down the self-taught route, and it’s on this particular option that we are going to give you some helpful tip.

Learn from books and magazines

Books are not as fashionable as they once were, but nonetheless, they are a great source of information and learning on any subject, including film making. There is one publication, in particular, at which you ought to take a look. It’s called “Master Shots.”

There are three volumes, and each is illustrated with samples from great feature films to highlight the various techniques that are explained. They also contain computer-generated diagrams providing the reader with absolute clarity.  You can find out more about this book series on bookdepository.com.

This is just one of many excellent books on the subject of how learn about film making. If you visit lightsfilmschool.com, you’ll find a listing of the ten best books on film making for beginners.

There are some excellent magazines around too, like the American or British Cinematographer. These are among the top journals discussing motion picture film and digital production techniques.

Research YouTube for learning how to make films

YouTube is more than just a super social networking tool; it also has some excellent tutorials on just about any subject under the sun and learning how to make films is one of them. You’ll find a wide range of channels to choose from on various filmmaking categories, including audio, editing, colour grading, visual effects and many more.

To help you to find the best film making channels on YouTube, take a quick look at the studiobinder.com website and “The 45 Best Filmmaking YouTube Channels of 2020” in particular.

Practice makes perfect

One of the best ways of learning something is to actually do it yourself. Yes, you will make plenty of mistakes. You’ll only find out what works and what doesn’t when you get back and start editing your footage. But when all is said and done, it is only by making and correcting mistakes that you will learn.

If you can join another filmmaker or crew, you will find this to be invaluable. The fact that they are probably better than you is exactly what it is all about. Soak up whatever you can. By offering these guys your services, you will learn a heck of a lot.

Listen to podcasts

Listening to podcasts is another excellent aid when it comes to learning to make films. When you are out and about – travelling to and from work or whatever – make sure you’ve got your mobile device with you so you can take in podcasts on the move.

We steered you towards the studiobinder.com website for YouTube channels on film making, and you can use the same resource to find the best podcasts.  If you click here, you’ll be taken to a report on their website entitled “The 12 best filmmaking and screenwriting podcasts of 2020.”

Check out film making websites

Independent filmmakers like to share their chosen niche with their peers. The result is that there is a superb source of free information out there on the internet from which anyone interested in film making can learn. This not only applies to wannabe filmmakers, but young writers, directors and producers at all levels too.

To point you in the right direction raindance.org has compiled a list of their top 13 websites for independent filmmakers.

Comb through social media

Social media is another element that you ought to include as part of learning more about film making. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It’s not just idle chit-chat and product marketing you’ll come across.

The majority of people in the film making industry like to post things on social media too. They post comments concerning behind the scenes; they chat about screengrabs, and they even give their views of the technical equipment they are using.

To someone who wants to learn all they can about the film making industry, social media can be an excellent source of information.

Become a sponge

Watching great movies and classics is something that most of us like to do as a norm. But as someone who wants to learn how to make films, it is an absolute necessity. Of course, it’s no good just sitting back and enjoying the movie. You need to be analysing everything you see and hear.

If you think about it, you have the best ever opportunity to learn when you study what the Greats of the industry bring to the screen. It’s all there, just waiting for you to soak it up.

Casual learning

We mentioned at the beginning of this piece that we were going to give you tips on how to teach yourself about film making without going to film school. But putting “official” film school aside for a moment, there are plenty of other learning opportunities at local community colleges.

Signing up for a course on photography, or visual effects or even graphic design – anything related to film making – can be very helpful too.

To round things off, there is a very helpful video on YouTube called “How to learn film making without film school.” It covers a lot of the topics we have already discussed above. Nonetheless, it is well worth a watch. Good luck! We wish you every success.

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