Catching Back Up

07Jun11

Hello friends. Sorry about not posting last week. Been working a lot; two weeks of 14-16 hour days, with no break between them, and more of it to come. By the time I get home, I just want to sit on the couch and veg. But, the show must go on, and I am going to play a bit of catch up here. I thought a good way to ease back into things (also because I have no new gear or tutorials) would be to post about the sites and blogs that I follow. You can take a look on the right and see my blogroll of people I follow, but let me tell you why I follow them. *Note: I am not writing these in order of which I view the most, I’m simply clumping similar sites together.

Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials:

This first group of sites is where I learn most of my DIY filmmaking tricks. I follow them because the information is good, they are easy to understand, and in some cases are entertaining to watch. The first site I started following was The Frugal Filmmaker (thefrugalfilmmaker.com). I’m glad this is where I started. On top of posting his own reviews and tutorials, he also aggregates the content of a few other sites. One of which, I’ve really gotten into following. The DSLR Film Noob (dslrfilmnoob.com) has a ton of tricks up his sleeves; and because he approaches it from a techy standpoint it makes it much easier for me to watch. These are my go to places for DIY stuff. But, like many others, I also follow Cheesy Cam (cheesycam.com). They are an amazing source of pure information and homegrown gear. I also follow Jem Schofield at The C47 (thec47.com). He hosts a daily video podcast called Gearbox and posts about new tools, old tools, and projects he’s working on. I love his style, and I usually tune into Gearbox three or four times a week. Plus he looks like someone I went to high school with. And that amuses me.

DSLR Centric:

This next group I’ve clumped together merely because they are DSLR based sites. These are where I go to learn anything and everything about shooting with DSLRs. The Canon Filmmakers (canonfilmmakers.com) are comprised of Jon Connor (@jonconnorfilms) and Cristina Valdivieso (@cristinavaldivi). They hosted a tour earlier this year with Philip Bloom (@PhilipBloom) that was all about shooting with Canon DSLRs. I went to the San Francisco leg, and got completely immersed with the information. In fact, it was my first post of the relaunch. So, a big thanks to them. The two other DSLR based sites I follow are Cinema 5D (cinema5d.com) and Planet 5D (planet5d.com), which are both user-generated forums. If I’ve got a question about DSLRs, this is the place I go. Because if my questions hasn’t already been asked and answered, then I can post it and get a really quick response.

News:

I get new information about the industry from all the sites I follow, but a few of them I go to specifically for news and updates. Pretty much my first stop every day is at the Pro Video Coalition (provideocoalition.com). This is the best place I’ve found for news, reviews, updates, and all things related to film. It’s basically a site that aggregates content from outside blogs and sources, packages them according to specific details (general info, HDSLR, audio, graphics, etc), and allows me to find the information I’m looking for really quickly. Fresh DV (freshdv.com) and Next Wave DV (nextwavedv.com) are sites that I go to a lot during conventions (Like NAB and CineGear). They always cover events, they post reviews, and are great for getting a good handle on what’s new.I’m also going to put Tomasso Roberts of TR Studios (trstudios.tumblr.com) on this list. He hosts a podcast where he interviews filmmakers. It’s more “soft” news, but it’s great information.

Icons:

This fourth group is a group of filmmakers that I’ve started following because they are what I’d like to become. They’re great shooters with years of experience, and a wealth of knowledge about the industry. I’m starting with Philip Bloom (philipbloom.net) because he was the first of this list that I found. He’s a UK-based shooter that has been a big influence in the world of DSLR filmmaking. His work is stunning, and he is the reason why I decided to go to the Canon Filmmakers Live event (once again, this was a part of my first post of the relaunch, so a big thank you to Phil). Shane Hurlbut (hurlbutvisuals.com) is an ASC member who has gone far out of his way to help educate people like me. He creates amazing work and is willing to share his knowledge with the world. He also worked in conjunction with B&H Photo to host a video series all about filmmaking (hdslrhub.bhphotovideo.com). The third “icon” I have on my blogroll is Vincent Laforet. Vince is an award-winning cinematographer who is as much a techy gadget-head as he is an awe-inspiring filmmaker. His work has left me speechless, and I could only hope to become half as good as he is with a camera.

Hybrids:

Looking through my list, I’ve realized that there are a couple of sites that fit all four of the above categories. I found No Film School (nofilmschool.com) from a post on twitter and instantly became hooked. The writing is concise, clear, and worthy of reading; the information that is put out is everything I actually care about; it’s the perfect combination of gear reviews, industry news, and tutorials. Ryan Koo (@ryanbkoo) also wrote The DSLR Cinematography Guide, a digital book that reads well and is a pretty in-depth primer about shooting with DSLRs. I think the site that I aggregate and tweet the most about is probably Wide Open Camera (wideopencamera.com). WOC is my one stop shot for all things film. The post reviews, new work, their own thoughts about the industry; plus, during all the major conventions, they post like crazy; which is good, because it keeps me in the loop. It’s comprised of five guys: Jared Abrams (@goforjared), Chris Collins (@c2camera), Chris Marino (@ChrisMarino_DP), Robin Schmidt “El Skid” (@elskidblog), and Ilya Polyakov (@ilyalucid); who are all great at what they do, and have enough experience to where I actually care what they have to say. Jared (and occasionally Chris Collins) host a video series called Quick Take that is all about gear. They highlight the piece(s) of equipment in roughly a minute, and it’s usually enough to make me want to either buy the piece outright, or go looking for more information.

There are so many filmmakers and blogs that I follow that it’s hard to list them all. These are just the ones that I frequent most often. I’ve found that by following, reading, and watching other people’s work that it both influences my work, and inspires me to do more. These sites are great sources of information on filmmaking, that without, I wouldn’t be able to stay connected. I hope you take a look at their sites and get as much from them as I do. Also, please post your favorite sites in the comments. I’m always looking for new sources to feed upon.

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