Behind the Scenes
33. Making Of
I’ve featured a video from Making Of (Sterling Wiggins, 2nd AC) on The Black and Blue before. The site, formed by Natalie Portman, is an entire library of behind-the-scenes goodies. And not just the normal fluff. Making Of actually interviews gaffers, grips, best boys, and tries to find the real work being done to make movies — or at least the work you rarely get to see.
Kodak tries very hard to remind us film is not dying. In doing so, they’ve gotten in touch with some of the biggest names to have “ASC” attached at the end of them — Michael Goi, Shane Hurlbut — as well as names that need no introduction — Christopher Nolan, Matthew Wiener — and asked them questions. Their answers are both revealing and informative.
When I discovered that practical FX wizard Steve Johnson (Ghostsbusters, The Abyss, Spiderman 2) was spilling his treasure chest of secrets on YouTube, I was glued to my screen for hours. He tells stories, gives advice, and shows exclusive behind-the-scenes videos from some of the biggest blockbusters of our time.
36. The Hobbit Blog
Peter Jackson is famous for his revealing production diaries. They are one of the reasons Lord of the Rings fans soaked up the extended editions of the movies. I was one of those fans. Now I’m happy to see new videos for The Hobbit as Jackson and crew wrangle dwarfs, wizards, and Gollum with a cavalry of RED Epic’s.
37. Film Riot
Ryan Connolly hosts Film Riot, a surprisingly entertaining yet extremely informative take on DIY filmmaking. In the few episodes I watched before writing this, there were some great sketches with some effect in it that Ryan then teaches you how to replicate. You definitely need to go through the backlog here as there’s tons of info to absorb.
Astray Productions is run by Joe Carabeo and provides an inside look at his various projects. As a filmmaker, Joe is talented. As a crew member, he is gracious, helpful, and funny. I know this because I’ve worked with him. He also has a great weekly podcast you should check out.
39. SoundWorks Collection Film Sound Profiles
“The sound guy is like the bassist in a band,” a film professor once told me, “nobody wants to be one, but everybody needs a good one.” Encapsulated in that sentence is the thought that sound somehow plays second fiddle to visuals, but audio is much more important than we willingly give credit. Watching the SoundWorks film sound profiles on movies like Tron: Legacy, Drive, and Cars 2 only further cement that truth.
If you don’t already know what TED is, you’re about to get sucked into a black hole of fascination. TED is an institute that hosts speakers who give presentations on a variety of subjects, including filmmaking. Start with “J.J. Abrams’ Mystery Box” then try not to watch everything that intrigues you — don’t say I didn’t warn you!
41. Charlie Rose
I find Charlie Rose to be, at times, abrasive and arrogant, but he still lands some of the biggest names in entertainment for interviews. John Lasseter, Ben Stiller, Michael Caine — they’re all up there ready for you to watch and find out their secrets.
Bitch and moan all you want about the price hikes, but Netflix is still one of the greatest things to happen to cinephiles. Having access to thousands of hours of movies has never been easier than it is today. Watch, study, learn, rinse, repeat.