I have developed a big interest in film making recently (I hope it isn't a fad). I am interested more in the technical side like cinematography, editing, lighting etc than acting, direction etc.

I am in look out for sites that do a "review" of sorts (more) of the film making techniques than the story, acting etc. I didn't get much help googling. Could you good people on this board lead me to some sites online that discuss these aspects of movies?

  • 1
    Really good question! I am going to need this pretty soon. Thanks for asking.
    – daviesgeek
    Oct 19, 2011 at 16:20
  • You might wanna join the filmmaking proposal
    – Roy
    Jan 14, 2013 at 21:46

6 Answers 6


Remember its all about the story. How to tell the story. And the tools you use to tell it.

Editing, lighting, special effects and sound (are the tools used to tell your story.)

Remember: story, story, story.

Starting out:

A good entry level camera to start filming with by Tom Antos.

(Note: The Sony Nex-5 is discontinued, Sony a6000 is its replacement, I have one and I love it.)

Shot design:

Tom Antos again, explaining framing, coloring.

101 Exposure and Lighting Effects:

Andrew Devis of creative cow using premiere pro to relight scenes in your movie clips.

Another great trainer is Maxim Jago of Lynda.com for premiere pro (this would require a monthly subscription to access the lessons) http://www.lynda.com/Premiere-Pro-tutorials/Premiere-Pro-CS6-Effects-Workshop/123547-2.html

Special Effects:

Post production work might be required and using tools like adobe after effects becomes a must. Evan Abrams is a great help to get you started. Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF5pdu3Z2Hk8bouDB_C3zFg


For budding filmmakers

I know I am missing a ton of other resources, but this is just off the cuff to help you get started.

Good Luck.

  • 1
    Nice set of example videos. It would be even better if you could summarize some of the key points of each video when introducing them.
    – AJ Henderson
    Jun 27, 2014 at 14:37

Directing actors is a technical part of film making. It's not easy, and if your actors don't give good performances, chances are you won't have a good film. People can usually forgive bland cinematography and clunky editing – but if they don't believe the characters then you're going to have no chance in engaging the audience.

I go to a film school myself and so I haven't really done a lot of research online. I suspect that you wouldn't be able to find everything you need to know just by looking online. If you're serious about filmmaking then I'd suggest you take some courses. If you just want to take it up as a hobby then the best way to learn is to practice. Buy a camera (a good DSLR if you can afford it), get editing software on your computer (would recommend Final Cut Pro 7 if you own a Mac or Adobe Premiere Pro if you've got a PC) and shoot outdoors in natural lighting (cheaper and looks better if you can't light well). Also, best way to study films is to watch films. Watch a lot of different kinds of cinema. If you like a certain director try and watch all their films, especially their early shorts if they have any.

Just did a quick google search and found this site about filmmaking in general: http://digital-filmmaking.blogspot.com/

Not sure if it's any good though, sorry mate.

If you're keen on getting a DSLR, this stackexchange site is perfect for information. https://photo.stackexchange.com/

  • +1 Great answer! This really helps. And thanks for mentioning a DSLR for filming!
    – daviesgeek
    Oct 19, 2011 at 16:21
  • 1
    While I approve of Chard's answer, I would like to point out that not all films need actors to be great films or even have to have actors to engage the viewer. Consider the countless documentaries on nature, science, and art not to mention art films that exploit this principal "motion is the defining characteristic of life".
    – filzilla
    Jan 26, 2012 at 23:34

Better than sites are the extras on DVDs. Often, you've got people talking about how and why certain things were done. Watch enough of these different perspectives, and you'll get good info. It's ALL aspects of filmmaking, from the technical to the artistic, but since they're all part of the same collaborative team, it's good to at least understand how the director and actor think so the technician can effectively communicate with them.


Find some people IRL who share your interest and enthusiasm for filmmaking. They don't have to be professionals, and you don't have to pay for a fancy film school, but opening a discussion with real people about technique is the best way to start learning. Watch movies with these people, press the pause button when something grabs your attention, and talk about it. How would you achieve something similar? How would they go about it? What could be done better, and how? That's step one.

Step two is the hard part. Actually go out and film stuff. Use your cell phone if that's all you got. Actively try to emulate the shots, looks, edits, sounds and techniques that caught your interest in step 1. Develop an audio/visual vocabulary. Make up words if you have to. Once you start to have more conversations with more people who have similar interests, your terminology and your expertise will begin to converge. You'll know what a c-47 is, and how to use one, in no time.

In your "spare" time, the internet is a great place to supplement your knowledge. Sites like this one are a great place to ask questions. Bulletin boards, video hosting sites, and social media are great places to get feedback on your work. Search engines are wonderful for fact-checking your intuitions. But nothing beats real-world interaction with people who share your interests.

  • Chat rooms can also be a great resource if you aren't even sure what to ask. We actually have a chat room. Right now it isn't used very often, but there are a few people that monitor it and can meet up with you if you need help forming a question or want to talk about something that doesn't really fit a question and answer site format.
    – AJ Henderson
    Jun 30, 2014 at 15:04

There is one Youtube channel with tons of tutorials on simple, affordable filming techniques. I get most of my inspirations from there:



For editing, the best book I've read on the subject is "In The Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch. It's nothing at all to do with shortcut keys, premiere tips etc.. It's all about the ideas of film making, how cuts work, what your eye perceives. Highly recommended (and short).


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