Blogs and Websites
What can I say about Phillip Bloom that hasn’t already been said? He’s a gear head to the max and will write endlessly about the newest tech in filmmaking, but he also understands that those products are tools and the real excitement comes from getting creative with them. This is one of the most glaring omissions from the original list so I’m happy to fix it at the top of this one.
Another hyphenated blogger-filmmaker, Vincent Laforet likes to take his readers on journeys to discover new cameras, tools, and techniques as he unearths them himself. He shares a wealth of information that comes from real-world practical experience and updates with admirable regularity.
An electrician is a juicer in industry lingo and Michael Taylor has earned that title wholeheartedly after his thirty-plus year career. His “Confessions of a Hollywood Juicer” read almost as movies themselves with poignant storytelling and charismatic charm — qualities we all wish the studios Taylor works for would recognize more often.
The dolly grip might be one of the most underrated positions on set so it’s no surprise that “D,” the author of Dollygrippery, is often humble yet always useful. His posts are split between practical advice and interesting stories, both which I find important to read and understand. Dollygrippery opens your eyes to a crew position you rarely give second thought to, but definitely should.
The first time I contacted 1st Assistant Director Michelle of this site, I had to stop myself from gushing too much about her stellar blog. I didn’t want her to think I was a groupie or anything — even if I was! The result ended up being a guest post I wrote for her site, but strip that away and there’s still tons of cool stories, pictures, and great articles up there. If you’re a producer, please give her a job so she can have more material to post with!
“Assistant Director” is a more descriptive title than you’d think for this blog. If you’re uninterested in the chaotic workings of the production team, don’t even bother reading. But if that fast-paced and (sometimes) brutal world excites you, dive into it head on and you won’t be disappointed.
Though the original writer has long since retired from the Anonymous PA blog, their feisty spirit in the ruthless film production world lives on through the snarky articles, blunt advice, and peeved annoyances that make up the articles on the site — and the successor of it. When I was first starting out in the industry, I latched onto this site like a leech and was fascinated by the crazy world with which I wanted to pursue a career.
“…because art direction matters,” is the tagline of Art Departmental and the greatest reason you should start reading this site. It’s chock full of interviews, case studies (called “production design porn”), and generic industry advice. But you don’t need me to tell you that — once you go visit and see the pretty pictures yourself, you’ll get sucked in.
Wide Open Camera covers a little bit of everything: editing, camera, producing and gear. If you can’t find an article you like in one category, there’s bound to be one you do in another. I like WOC because they try to cover topics no one else seems to think about. Exhibit A: How to Pack Your Video Gear for Travel on the Cheap
11. John August
I don’t care what job you do on set now, you most likely got into this industry because you care about stories. And even though John August is a screenwriter, his musings on story and the industry as a whole are applicable to anybody that’s tried to scratch the creative itch.
On the sidebar of his site, Mike Jones’ bio states, “All opinions on this site are those of Mike Jones…”And that’s just the way I like it. His opinion is exactly why I like to read his articles. In particular, when he gets in your face about things — like being an amateur — is when he’s at his best.
13. Filmmaker IQ
After stumbling across Filmmaker IQ, I was admittedly skeptical. I couldn’t figure out who wrote it. Then I found out it’s a community driven site with multiple writers and I accepted it. Not all of the posts are home-runs, but many are and there’s tons of “popcorn content” — heavy on flavor, light on nutrition.
So maybe their website could go for a facelift, but their advice is more useful now than it was ever before. With even further democratization of cinematic tools, every day we march further into the future and the DIY attitude that Microfilmmaker embodies and emboldens is indispensable.