Like most creative fields, the independent filmmaking landscape is always changing. New filmmakers have a bounty of online resources at their fingertips, but finding the right resources for your needs can be tricky. For that reason, it’s a good idea to connect with other successful professionals that may be able to offer guidance, advice and tips. The following list includes some recommended tools that will help indie filmmakers tap into the wisdom of seasoned professionals.
In no particular order:
1. Stage 32
Stage 32 is the largest social network for film professionals—and it’s free! Over 400,000 users engage in networking, blogs, job postings, meet ups, podcasts and more on a daily basis. Members even have the opportunity of starting or joining a Stage 32 meet up in their local areas. For an extra fee, members can access valuable learning resources through Stage 32’s education hub. One offered class, “The Art of Indie Producing” with Tatiana Kelly and Jim Young is a three week intensive detailing the finer details of producing, including screenplay development all the way through the final production phase. Forbes’ review of Stage 32 is fitting: “Stage 32 is Lynda.com Meets LinkedIn For Film, Television And Theater Creatives.”
KWIPPED favorite: Stage 32 Next Level Education. See the class listings here.
2. No Film School
No Film School is a community-based blog. NFS features a “board” area that allows film enthusiasts to post questions about gear, techniques, or anything indie production related. The featured articles are truly on point and the most popular content is always featured at the beginning.
Have a question to ask? No Film School is a great place to start and their master list of resources is a treasure chest of contact information for getting films made and promoted.
KWIPPED favorite: The Boards –ask anything and passionate, like-minded people will answer sincerely!
3. Indie Film Academy Podcast
Jason Buff, podcast host and founder of Indie Film Academy, typically includes engaging interviews with leading film industry experts in his podcast. Topics are often related to the business side of film making—marketing, promoting, and financing indie projects. Not only is he an excellent interviewer and personality, but as a film business expert himself, he lends valuable insight and advice to the podcast.
KWIPPED favorite: Episode #21 – Interview with Mad Max Fury Road co-writer Brendan McCarthy. Who doesn’t love Mad Max?
4. Dave Dugdale YouTube Channel
Dave Dugdale is a master teacher. His YouTube channel, which has nearly 150,000 subscribers, has videos dedicated to product reviews, tutorials, and even a “What I Learned” series. Dugdale, a self-proclaimed advanced amateur, captures learning in process through video, all at no cost to new and indie filmmakers. Getting a snapshot into new gear is valuable to anyone deciding what to rent or buy, especially with limited funds.
KWIPPED favorite: Dugdale’s manifesto: “because no matter how good I get, I’ll always be learning.”
5. MIT’s Free Online Film Courses
MIT’s open online courses are a great resource for beginning filmmakers. Though the courses aren’t necessarily skills-oriented, having a good understanding of great literature or film experience gives context to your creative work. MIT’s open courseware platform offers dozens of free self-paced courses for self-motivated filmmakers. As an added bonus, you can tell people you were educated by MIT!
KWIPPED favorite: Still up for debate. Any suggestions from readers are greatly appreciated.
6. The Frugal Filmmaker’s YouTube Channel
New filmmakers with a limited budget (which is almost all new filmmakers) must have this site bookmarked. New videos are uploaded every week about a range of topics – many dealing with ways to keep production costs down. Videos include DIY tips for specific gear, filmmaking tips, and product reviews.
KWIPPED favorite: Video: Alien Blood Makeup for $1
7. DSLR Guide’s video “50 Tips for Filmmakers”
This 7 minute video offers soft and hard skills delivered by the channel’s founder, Simon Cade. The channel is a gem in itself. Cade’s knack for narrative extends through his short tutorials into his personal short films. Read the comments – there’s good feedback there too!
KWIPPED favorite: The tip presented at minute 2:13