In these strange times, here is a list of my favourite links and tutorials I have used over the years, making short films and editing videos. Please share if you think this could be useful, and let me know if you can recommend any more.
Ryan Connolly's Film Riot: This vlog was created by indie filmmaker Ryan Connolly precisely to teach amateurs and semi-pros how to build their skills from the ground up. Covering everything from camera reviews, to practical shooting advice and post production, it's a goldmine. What I love most about his approach is the 'trial and error' process. Connolly and his gang don't just preach at you, they try out their ideas in actual films and share the results. Connolly's enthusiasm is hard to resist, and the channel's exhaustive content is amazing.
Philip Bloom's Blog: Renowned camera operator, editor and director Philip Bloom possesses an impressive array of camera reviews, shooting tips and gear recommendations on his blog. He also offers advice on working with LUTs, grading footage from different cameras and shooting in actual locations. I like Bloom's straightforward style and in-depth videos that test out gear in real conditions.
Vashi Visuals: Hollywood film editor Vashi Nedomansky (Sharknado, Deadpool) has created a fantastic resource for editors. Focused on his Adobe workflow, he clarifies what larger projects can be like and even includes great tools such as the Premiere Pro project template he used to edit Deadpool. Nedomansky is so useful, he even includes a 'freebies' section on his website sharing exactly the kind of free downloads you might need. He is very dedicated to sharing tips and insights, and remains open in terms of showing his workflow to others.
Roger Deakins' Blog: Deakins needs no introduction. His blog adopts quite a different format to Bloom or Connolly's in the sense that it is a forum, with members asking questions about certain aspects of cinematography, in the context of shooting and production. What is great about this informal style is that you get real, practical advice from someone who has worked on some of the world's greatest movies. His writing style is frank, to the point and humble.
Celtx: We all know scriptwriting is often the most difficult part of the process. This isn't made any easier when professional software such as Final Draft often costs $99 and upwards. Celtx is a free tool that allows you to write scripts that are professionally formatted, and share your ideas and work with others. Features on the free plan are basic but they allow you to get the job done, i.e. write your script, share it with someone and export to PDF.
Studiobinder: Here is another great resource if you're looking to save time. Studiobinder contains a a vast array of resources such as Call Sheet or Script Treatment templates, all in a Google Docs format that is easy to use straight away. They are mostly industry-standard and can really help your production look more professional when working with a tiny budget or amateur crew.
Canva: This is a great, simple tool to create posters, flyers and invites on the go. Complex software such as Photoshop can often be overkill when all you need is a simple poster for your student film or a business card. The in-built templates are great and can save you a lot of time if you're left to create visual assets all by yourself.
Free Music Archive: You might not always have budget left to create a custom score for your personal video or short film. This online archive contains lots of royalty-free music you can use in your work, as long as it's non-commercial and you attribute the main artist. It's saved me more than once.
Petrucci Music Library: Similarly to the Free Music Archive, this library contains lots of public domain works performed by school bands, military orchestras or charities that don't require you to contribute financially, as long as your film is not for profit and you attribute them.