It’s a new year, and a time when we are typically reminded of all the things we aspire to. A fresh year feels like a blank slate, and its exciting to map out new projects and get started on the creative and planning processes.
So often, you start out at full steam, but tend to lose momentum as the year progresses, and a part of the reason can be making your work unnecessarily hard for yourself by not having the right resources of theoretical and hands-on knowledge of the craft at your disposal, and, very importantly, an exchange with peers and film-makers you look up to, to keep you inspired! So, as food for thought, here are some of thy favourite resources to help you on your way.
For the craft of filmmaking:
1- Shane’s Inner Circle. This is a platform developed by ASC cinematographer Shane Hurlbut and his wife Lydia, and offers a great deal of information, know-how and behind-the-scenes insights, for cinematographers and directors. They go into feature film and commercial, offer articles, videos, podcasts and a closed facebook group, which offer a great opportunity to exchange information with and learn from your peers all over the world. And many of those peers are working professionals with answers to all sorts of very specific questions. The Inner Circle is a paid by monthly subscription, but if you want to avoid the financial commitment, you can also download single articles, videos and how-to’s for a one-off payment. I am personally very picky when it comes to subscriptions, because theres nothing like a handful of mediocre ones to drain your monthly budget, but I have found this tho be well worth every penny. For more information, check out thehurlblog.com and do not be deterred, the headline may read “Sharing the Art of Cinematography”, but there are some great resources for gaffers, camera assistants and directors in there too!
2- The “Masterclass” series. On a more general level, this series of heavily advertised classes, could also be an interesting option. I have not tried it any of them myself, but have heard and read opinions from people I know personally which have made me curious. Classes include: - Filmmaking with Werner Herzog- Filmmaking with Martin Scorsese- Directing with Ron Howard- Writing for Television with Shonda Rhimes- Screenwriting with Aaron Sorkin- Photography with Annie Leibowitz
At $90 per class or $180 for an all-acces pass for one year (which puts classes from various other fields at your disposal), it is once again not cheap, but may be what gets you through those times when inspiration is low and you just don't seem to be able to move forward.
3- The Wandering DP. This commercial cinematography blog and podcast is now in its 4th year and the website is a great resource at various levels of skill. There are some great articles on basics, if you want to give yourself some grounding before you brush up your lighting skills or workflow knowledge, and countless reports from shoots, about specific shooting situations, or a particular cinematographer’s style. The Wandering DP podcast is powered by Patreon, where you can access public articles for free, or choose to support the podcast starting at $1 per creation. $5 or more get you access to further content made exclusively for Patreon Supporters. This website lets you extend your knowledge for free or very little money, making it open to all, including those on a very tight budget. If you use this resource and do have a little money for learning at your disposal, maybe consider becoming a patron.
We also have some exciting things planned this year, starting off with a glance behind the scenes of the prep and shooting of a commercial using one of our slider and motion control setups, which will hopefully give you some ideas or inspiration for your own projects. Watch this space and happy filmmaking in 2018!