Where should you dig in and start reading & watching to really get a grasp on making a movie?
I'm obviously biased and think you should read Movies in the Black blog, but we're just getting started.
This is an ever-growing list that I use to learn more about filmmaking (other than actually making films):
Jim Cummings is a heroic case study for making films in today's environment.
He also shares EVERYTHING he learned so far. Follow him on Twitter to get a constant feed of inspiration and real actionable advice.
My favorite are his Medium posts that are incredibly detailed. Check out The Short to Feature Lab Curriculum.
No Film School is a HUGE resource for filmmakers. It's name says it all.
The biggest issue (for me) is that it gets very gear-focused, BUT you can bookmark a specific topic and get a ton of value.
I check the Distribution & Marketing thread often.
Alex Ferari's blog and podcast are a great jumping off point to really dive into indie filmmaking.
Alex has a specific vantage point in the industry that won't apply to everyone but I often find a lot of value in his podcast episodes.
He also just started IFHTV which hosts all kinds of filmmaker specific video content.
Rob Hardy has been going strong for years now writing articles and releasing a podcast about filmmaking under Filmmaker Freedom.
He tries hard to take a unique perspective towards indie filmmaking that hasn't been beaten to death by all the other blogs out there.
His most recent podcast season focused on the psychology of being a successful filmmaker.
The site also has tons of contributed articles from filmmakers about making their films and the lessons they learned. That includes one from me about paying your cast and crew!
This website and blog by Jason Brubaker has been around for a long time. This is the most "producer-focused" site I know about.
The content used to be pretty shallow and always pushing towards his premium paid content before providing any real value.
Recently, however, the articles are starting to be more useful without having to pay for the good stuff.
In addition to having a cool community of creators, Shooting People has a spot-on blog with a range of content about filmmaking.
7. IndieWire Toolkit
The Toolkit section of IndieWire doesn't get updated very often, but when it does it's great content. If you haven't read the articles already on there, go check it out!
These are all related to the bigger indie film industry. It may not be what you're looking for when you're just starting out but it's good to understand how the industry as a whole works.
The Story & Heart brand has a lot of interesting resources for creators including a storytellers academy. As a good intro (that is free) check out their blog. There's a lot to sink your teeth into.
9. Zacuto How-to Tutorials
Sort of like No Film School, Zacuto has a ton of content related to the technical side of filmmaking. They also have a few jems, though related to distribution and the business of filmmaking.
I LOVE the Seed & Spark blog. The only reason they're so low on this list is that most of their posts are related to their distribution platform now, but there's still a lot of great info on there.
The absolute best is their free crowdfunding course. Even if you're not crowdfunding, it's a masterclass in building an audience and marketing your project.
11. Articles on Tribeca
Tribeca has made a lot of content peaking behind the curtain of the films that premiere at the festival, come out of the institute, or just general filmmaking info. It's another good source to bookmark.
We take this serious. The Movies in the Black Show has been interviewing some really interesting filmmakers and creators that you can learn a lot from. Our blog posts based on producing low budget films is also a great place to start understanding the business side of filmmaking.
As indie film producers, it's wise to watch trends in media consumption.
Facebook IQ has a huge amount of data analysis to dig into. They have a great recurring article called "Topics to Watch" that helps me keep track of what's trending objectively.
In the October 2018 version, something particular caught my eye.
Inspirational fiction is exploding in popularity. There's lots of possible reasons for this, but the data is there regardless.
That is a huge growth spike, with older audiences again leading the way.
Maybe it is an antidote to increasingly divisive media coverage, more people are looking to creative outlets.
Either way, it's an interesting trend. I am paying closer attention to inspirational fiction on a genre of content and actively looking for opportunities.
Google Trends doesn't seem to agree. This is specifically "inspirational" and related terms in YouTube over the last five years.
While not a perfect comparison, it could be telling that the content trends on Facebook vary greatly from YouTube.
What are your thoughts on this data? Do you use trend data to help decide which projects to work on or just go with your gut?