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An Essential Guide for /Filmmaking/

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Jul 29th, 2017
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  1. /filmmaking/ pastebin
  3. These are useful learning tools I've gathered from extensive research over the course of years and links posted by other anons on previous threads on this issue. A general guide of information I considered useful.
  4. Becoming a filmmaker involves a lot of study, patience and practice, especially if you want And although you won't get things right at first, and you'll make a lot of mistakes regardless of how much you study, you have to learn from it and push through.
  5. I hope these can help you. I'll try to cover as many bases as I can.
  7. Generally useful blogs and sites
  11. cinematography mailing list
  12. dvxuser
  16. mystery man on film
  19. r/screenwriting (actual industry pros are constantly posting here)
  20. donedealpro
  21. creativecow
  22. post magazine
  23. & american cinematographer
  24. cinefex
  26. And if you are in need you might want to go on /photography/ every now and then, there's a lot you can learn there about shot composition and video.
  27. Be sure to check out the /vid/ sticky for information regarding cameras
  29. Books and Links
  31. Cinematography
  32. -Cinematography: Theory and Practice - Blain Brown
  33. -The Five C's of Cinematography
  34. -The Camera Assistant's Manual -- David Elkins
  35. -Practical Cinematography -- Paul Wheeler
  36. -Painting With Light - John Alton
  37. -Motion Picture and Video Lighting -- Blain Brown
  38. -Set Lighting Technician's Handbook: Film Lighting - Harry C.Box
  39. -The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction - Steve Hullfish
  40. Check out the works of Freddie Young, James Wong Howe, Vittorio Storato, Nestor Almendros and Leo Braudy.
  42. Filmmaking
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  54. Books on sound:
  55. -Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound - Davis Yewdall
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  61. -
  63. Editing:
  64. -Technique of Film Editing -- Karl Reisz
  65. -Everything by or about Walter Murch and Slavko Vorkapich
  66. -Cut to the Chase: Forty-Five Years of Editing America's Favourite Movies - Sam O'Steen,
  67. -When the Shooting Stops - Ralph Rosenblum
  68. -Technique of Editing -- Ken Dancyger
  70. Visual Effects
  71. -Filming the Fantastic -- Mike Sawiki
  72. Any "Behind the Scenes" or "Director's Commentary" should also prove useful. If you don't already, you might want to start paying attention to those.
  74. Acting:
  75. -Jean Benedetti's translations of Stanislavski
  76. -Technique of Acting -- Michael Chekhov
  77. And everything by Robert Cohen
  79. Storyboarding & Visual Language:
  80. -Directing the Story - Francis Glebas
  81. -The Master Shots series by Christopher Kenworthy
  82. -Cinematic Storytelling -- Jennifer Van Sijill
  83. -The Cinema as a Graphic Art - Vladimir Nilsen
  85. Production Design/Art Direction
  86. -Filmmaker's Guide To Production Design -- Lobrutto
  87. -The Art Direction Handbook For Film -- Michael Rizzo
  89. Directing & Production:
  90. -Rebel Without A Crew
  91. -Making Movies -- Sidney Lumet
  92. -The Total Filmmaker -- Jerry Lewis
  93. -Film Directing Fundamentals -- Proferes
  94. -Lloyd Kaufman's Your Own Damn Movie Series
  95. -The Jaws and Evil Dead 2 commentary
  96. -Producer's Business Handbook -- Lee & Gillen
  97. -Kurosawa's Something Like An Autobiography
  98. -Getting Away With It -- Soderbergh
  99. -So You Want To Be A Producer -- Turman
  100. -Kazan On Directing
  101. -Stanislavski Directs -- Gorchakov
  102. -Ready When You Are -- Ziesmer
  104. Theory, Criticism, History:
  105. -Film Technique And Film Acting -- Pudovkin
  106. -On Filmmaking -- Mackendrick
  107. -Sculpting In Time - Andrei Tarkovsky (this one is practically mandatory reading)
  108. -Notes On The Cinematographer - Robert Bresson
  109. -The Innocence Of The Eye - Edward Spiegel
  110. -The Dramatic Imagination -- Robert Edmund Jones
  111. -The Visual Story -- Bruce Block
  112. And everything By David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Hitchcock, Truffaut, Cocteau and J.Dudley Andrew
  114. Writing:
  115. -Adventures In The Screen Trade
  116. -Which Lie Did I Tell
  117. -Monster -- John Gregory Dunne
  118. -Art Of Dramatic Writing -- Lajos Egiri
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  120. -
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  122. -
  124. Free Screenwriting Software
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  132. Now to the Q&A
  134. Q: Should I go to Film School ?
  135. A: The answer depends on what exactly do you want to get out of it.
  136. Depending on the school it can be very useful if you can't just start making your own shorts and hope to be lucky enough to be recognized. You go from not knowing where to begin, to knowing all the steps and procedures necessary, and depending on the school you can even learn how to do a lot of jobs and you get the freedom to film your own project and show it to film festivals. Most film schools also have frequent visits and lectures from industry professionals, and, depending on what courses you can take, you can get a handle at almost every job in the industry.
  138. And while it's true that almost all the knowledge about making films could be easily obtained on the Internet (like this pastebin), it is still a lot to learn (especially about writing and acting/dealing with actors), it's not something you can learn in a week as many people imagine.
  139. Most people expect film school to magically grant them careers, and when it doesn't, they complain that the school was worthless and a scam. This should go without saying, but DO NOT expect to get a job the moment you get out of school, they cannot magic a career out of thin air for you. That's not what it is for. You don't have to go to film school to be a filmmaker, but it gives you at least some sort of grounding and it's good for having access to equipment and to meet people (and this is extremely important in the industry).
  141. All and all, chances are you are going to fail at least once. But if you are afraid of failure, you are afraid of success. Don't be.
  142. If you are curious as to whether or not you really want to, or need to, go to film school, I'd start by making a few films by yourself just to figure if you realistically want to do this. You don't want to go through 1-4 years of school just to realize you dont have the ambition it takes to actually make a movie. It takes a lot of energy, time and money to get anything made. Especially now that it has become so easy to make films. It now has become so much harder to actually make money off of it because of this factor so you need to consider if your interests are high enough to go that extra mile.
  145. Q: Should I go to a top tier film school to learn about film ?
  146. Before thinking about film school, first try to learn as much as you can on your own. That's the purpose of this pastebin. No reason to burn all of your money when you're not mentally ready yet. Nowadays there are so many books and online tutorials that you can learn the fundamentals and beyond without relying on film school to teach them to you. In addition to self-studying, you should try and look for film classes at your local art center. Art centers are much cheaper and better places to learn fundamentals compared to 4-year universities that rob your money for teaching the same thing.
  147. You might also want to consider branching into every aspect of film to get a better idea of how it all works before you focus on becoming a "Director". Have you directed anything before? How the hell will you know if that is what you enjoy or are good at?
  148. Schools and companies love it when you don't stick to your comfort zone, so best get into that habit now.
  151. Q: Isn't it better to just stick to self-studying and not go to film school?
  152. A: Depends on how far you want your skill level to go. If you just want to reach a level where you can make decent looking independent short films, then sure. However, if you want to reach the level where major companies want to hire you on the spot, you need to learn from the best, and the best are teaching at film schools. In terms of getting a job though, it's not 100% necessary to go to film school, but it's still highly recommended.
  155. Q: Any other reason why I should go to film school besides learning from the best ?
  156. A: Yes. Networking.
  157. Film school is great for making connections with people your age who are going to work in the industry. There are usually no job listing anywhere, people generally get people they know and get them for jobs and stuff. Connections and collaborations are everything in film. Even if you want to do writer/director feature indie movies, experience on set is priceless, you see how different crews and directors work, both cheap and expensive projects. Make friends with everyone and don't underestimate your classmates; statistically at least 10% of them will make it into the film industry and these fine dudes will be your foot on the door.
  158. The greatest benefit of going to school for film making is that you will be surrounded by people with the same interest as you who want to make films. As long as you all realize that film is a collaborative medium and you have to work together to get anything made, then you might have a chance to enter the industry.
  160. Additionally, major film and TV companies pay extra attention to students that attend these schools, and often have experienced artists such as Glen Keane come and give special guest lectures. However, it's still your responsibility to create those social connections between companies and people in the industry in order to get your first job. There are many film students who haven't tried hard enough to make those connections and graduated without getting anywhere. It's one of the biggest reasons why you shouldn't go to film school until your mentally ready and socially mature. Yes, you can blame your terrible advisers, but in the end the student is responsible for their education and career goals, not the school. When you attend film school, the door to your future is often right in front of you, so don't waste that opportunity while you're there!
  163. Q: What if I just can't go to film school because I lack money and other circumstances?
  164. A: There are many people who haven't gone to film school and still succeeded in getting in the industry. Most of these people have done more than self-studying. They have created short films and entered them at film festivals, made connections with every artist they met, and went out of state/country to go to film festivals and networking meetups for a weekend. They admittedly have a lot more mold to break through than art students, but it's possible.
  167. Q: How many short films do you make before you're ready to make a feature?
  168. A: As many as you need to feel a true sense of ease and understanding with film.
  169. No one can make a truly great work unless they feel in tune with the work they need to put in. So many amateur films feel like the director just wanted to make a film and so they did. Like a gimbal shot of a forest is why people watch films, like they can buy their way into Lubezki fame. Learning how to compose a shot or connect two together is like learning how to place a comma in a sentence. Even so, there’s a huge difference between cinematic grammar and the cinematic language. We’re learning a language here, not throwing darts in a pitch black room waiting to hit bullseye. The point is to convey.
  171. No one needs to see our first attempts. But we should be sure to make the attempts. And every attempt should be made with the goal of learning at something about the plasticity of film. Amateur ventures should be as personally risky and evocative as possible, since they give us total agency to fuck up before we work on our features. I mean, thank fucking God we’re alive now when technology is so cheap, and the history of cinema has evolved to a point where we can learn everything we need with a $10 streaming subscription. All we’re left with is a fear of failure, but we have to fail, don’t we?
  174. Q: All this gear talk is confusing and expensive, and I have little money and no friends.
  175. A: As it's been said before, it's not the equipment you have, but how you use it. David Lynch made a film on a consumer grade SD digital camera, and it was still more than tolerable.
  176. You don't need expensive equipment to make a decent short film. Expensive equipment should be the last thing on your mind when making a student film. Feature films have been shot on iphones. You can be ingenuitive with lighting. A cheap ass DSLR with a few prime lenses can give you great shots. Good audio equipment is cheaper than a camera.
  178. Just learn the limitations of that cam and shoot something based on what you can achieve.
  179. Get a pair of prime lenses and a tripod and that's all you need (for camera). If you have to rely on something is an audio recorder/mic or you can get a cheap one for your iphone (smartlav+) and repeat the scenes a lot just for the audio/video sync, or just record a voice over or do a silent film and use free sound effects.
  180. It is a necessity to have a digital recorder and boom mic. There are film hubs and equipment rental places that rent these out and it's usually fuck all to have them for a weekend. You might still have to record audio separately.
  181. Learn about lighting; nice lighting is the best thing that can make your movie ''look like a movie''. You can buy strong LED bulbs for your lamps at home and see how it looks in cam. And if you can't, then use natural lighting. I recommend shooting in the early morning and late evening because it is when things look better. Films like Days of Heaven were shot almost exclusive with natural lighting at that time (it requires many more days because it just last half an hour everytime). Remember to shoot on a neutral profile and learn basic grading with Davinci Resolve (it's free).
  182. And about getting actors, if you don't have friends to call, contact acting schools and get them to set up auditions for you.
  183. Just say you're shooting a student film for film school and they'll generally do it for free.
  185. Q: I tried achieving my dream, but the teachers I had were arrogant pricks, I can't find a job, I'm in debt, and overall I feel some people are just lucky and I'm wasting my time. Is film really for me? Why should I even try?
  186. A: You only truly fail if you give up and stop trying. I'm not going to act like the typical optimist who believes anyone can achieve their dreams if they just try hard enough, because that's not true. But that also doesn't mean I'm going to act like the typical cynic who also immaturely thinks there is no opportunity at all. All I can share is my advice on passion again.
  187. If you feel the urge to work on this career goal everyday no matter how bad you feel, like a habit, then this is the career for you. People who want to get into film for financial success are doing it for the wrong reasons. All careers in art don't pay as well as other careers do and film is not an exception. If you're going into film, or any art career really, they say you're already a delusional optimist because it's an incredibly risky career. But we all know we do it because we're passionate about it, and that drive makes us work consistently to create something, even if the pay isn't incredibly amazing.
  189. Q: I still feel like film school would be too much of a waste of time and money.
  190. A: If you truly are going to take an autodidactic approach, you need the self discipline and assurance that the power comes from the attempt. Every failure will show you the variables that led you there. No one ever learned to speak a language without fucking up a few conjugations. We need to test our ability to materialize our work, and see where we’ve been led astray. Rinse and repeat to success.
  191. If you truly think you can learn entirely by yourself and become an acclaimed filmmaker on your own, all the more power to you. Take what money you've got and make films
  193. Q: What's the top advice you can give me?
  194. A: Practicing, researching, networking, and getting out of your comfort zone every day is the top advice I can give. Turning your passion into consistency is key.
  196. Regardless of anything don't expect to be a filmmakers just to make money, at some point you'll even need a side job to fuel your film passion. Never stop making films and accept constructive criticism, participate in as much film festivals as possible and, perhaps, you might make it.
  197. Study hard and work hard. You might try and you will fail. You might fail a hundred times over. But if you are truly passionate about it, you'll keep trying again. The important thing is to at least start. And if you utilize the information compiled in this pastebin and the sources given, I believe you can.
  199. I hope this was useful.
  200. Good luck to all your future endeavors.
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