Second only to on-set experience, filmmaking blogs are arguably the best way to learn the craft of filmmaking and to be inspired creatively. I have personally learned so much over the years online (as I never went to film school), and always recommend to filmmakers at every level that they consume as much information as they can from credible blogs and resources online in order to continually further their knowledge base. For that reason, I’ve gone ahead and made my list of the top 7 filmmaking blogs that you should be following today!
Here we go, in no particular order:
John Brawley is an amazingly accomplished DP based out of Australia, with a list of credits far too large to outline here. As a cinematographer, naturally his blog is oriented towards camera reviews, technical advice, lighting setups and other key topics that provide filmmakers with a wealth of information to learn from. If you are a Blackmagic shooter, you should be paying especially close attention to this site, as Brawley was one of the pioneers of Blackmagic’s Cinema Cameras having utilized them on professional/broadcast level projects very early on.
Vincent Laforet’s personal blog was one of the first highly relevant filmmaking blogs that truly offered readers valuable and insightful information on the film industry. Updates on his site don’t come as frequently as some of the other blogs on this list, but Laforet takes a quality over quantity approach and as such every article that he puts out has a lot of substance to it. He covers a wide range of topics from technical know-how to business advice, and all of it comes from real world experience.
Nofilmschool has become the single best news-oriented filmmaking site out there. With multiple articles added every day, this site (founded by Ryan Koo) provides readers with an exceptionally wide-spectrum of filmmaking material every day. Chances are, if you’re reading this list you are already following Nofilmschool, but if you’re not – be sure to check in daily for updates on camera tech, business advice, visual inspiration, reviews, and much more. Nofilmschool curates content from across the web so they are able to deliver to you some of the best material found online on any given day.
The ‘Hurl Blog’ was founded by acclaimed cinematographer Shane Hurlbut in 2009, and has since become an incredibly rich camera based blog dedicated to emerging filmmakers. While you might expect that an ASC level cinematographer who has been working at the top of his game for years would only focus on the highest end of the filmmaking spectrum, Shane makes a concerted effort to make his site accessible to filmmakers of all shapes and sizes. His articles will touch on prosumer level cameras (like the 5D), professional gear (such as the Canon C500), lighting techniques, production tips and everything in between.
Premium Beat’s blog (titled ‘The Beat) is an amazing online filmmaking resource that is contributed to monthly by filmmakers, industry pros, and writers. The site covers a wide array of topics, but places a special emphasis on the technical end of production and post-production, while also delivering relevant industry news on a daily basis. Like Nofilmschool, this is a site that you will likely want to visit daily in order to get up to speed on it all!
Unlike many of the sites on this list which are mainly technically oriented, IndieWIRE provides filmmakers (and fans) with bigger picture industry-centric news, reviews, advice and more. They cover the independent film scene much in the same way that Variety covers the Hollywood scene, and ultimately tap into the heart of what is going on in the independent film world today. They have nearly every corner of the indie-film scene covered and are updating constantly with enough fresh content to keep you coming back daily.
Filmmaker IQ is another great filmmaking site that covers a very wide range of topics. While many blogs focus primarily on camera tech, post-techniques, or industry news, this website covers it all. Recent topics have covered: camera movement, lighting setups, writing advice, and other fun facts (such as the history of popcorn at the movies) – all of which are written by filmmakers. It’s refreshing that Filmmaker IQ covers not only the most current industry related topics, but also historical filmmaking info, allowing for readers to dig deeper into the history of filmmaking as a craft.
If you’re not a regular reader of this site – my goal is to provide filmmakers with a well rounded resource for truly independent filmmaking by sharing camera/gear reviews, inspiration, post-production techniques and much more from real world projects. What makes my blog different from many of the other film blogs out there (written primarily by cinematographers or editors) is that I am first and foremost a director, and as such write articles from that point of view. Many directors today are like myself in that they often write, shoot and edit their own work, and this website is dedicated to helping filmmakers of all types gain a vast spectrum of knowledge in each aspect of the craft, so that they can become better storytellers.
There are countless amazing resources online for filmmaking, and I have limited my selection to just a few of the websites and blogs that I wanted to feature here. That said, I would love to continue to update this list as time goes on so feel free to comment below if you have any suggestions for additions to this list.
Also, be sure to subscribe to this site using the form on the right panel of this page for updates on future articles, gear reviews, and much more!
Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!