There are lots of helpful resources online for aspiring filmmakers, so we’ve put together a list of what we consider to be the best filmmaking blogs in 2021. The downside to having access to so much information online is that it can become difficult to find exactly what you want and separate the good info from the bad. To help you find what you need and save you some valuable time, we have broken our list down into nine essential categories. Our list covers everything you need to know to take your project from an idea to a premiere. So, get ready to start bookmarking now.
The nine essential categories are as follows.
- Scoring Your Film
- Filmmaking on a Budget
- Video Production
- General Filmmaking
- Post Production and Editing
- Release and Distribution
- Funding and Festivals
- Film and TV Industry/Networking
Most of the blogs that we have listed cover multiple areas and easily fit in several categories.
So, to keep things simple, we have placed them in the category where we think they have the most to offer.
Just keep in mind that they could all have valuable information to offer beyond the main category.
Scoring your film
Photo by Lucas Alexander on Unsplash
We like to think that we know a few things about music, so we are placing this category right at the top.
You might not add music to your film till you reach the post-production stage, but you should be thinking about it from day one.
The music you choose can make or break a scene just as quickly as the visuals.
So, it’s only right that we share our library of outstanding royalty-free music with you.
We are the place to find the best royalty-free music for your project.
It doesn’t matter what you need, we’ve got it.
The thing that sets us apart from the rest is that we are passionate about your project’s success.
We aren’t just here to sell music, we are here to help you find the perfect music, and that’s why we ALWAYS recommend using our exclusive video preview tool before you buy.
Our blog is packed with helpful guides and information on everything from choosing the right equipment to creating better social media content.
Don’t forget to subscribe for regular updates.
Film Scoring Tips
Film Scoring Tips is a must-visit site for anyone who wants to learn more about music for film.
It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a composer; the information that you find here will help you choose the right style of music for every scene.
The authors of this website are industry-leading, award-winning professionals who have been there and done it all.
It’s simply a fantastic resource for filmmakers and musicians alike.
Score It Magazine
Score It Magazine keeps you up to date with everything that’s going on in the world on music for film.
It covers award winners/nominees, upcoming projects and lists the best soundtracks of each year.
More importantly, they bring you interviews with industry insiders who talk about everything from their latest score to their daily workflow.
Soundtracks, Scores, and More
This website is somewhat unique because it’s run by a label that actually releases soundtrack albums; Lakeshore Records.
Lakeshore Records has released albums from composers like Christophe Beck and Trent Reznor.
What you get is a different perspective on music for film, and of course, the more you understand about the industry, the better.
You’ll find news, video interviews, podcasts, and more.
Photo by Pereanu Sebastian on Unsplash
Screenwriting is where it all starts, after you have a killer idea, of course.
But, it’s not as easy as just writing your idea down on paper.
A poor script can turn a great idea into something less than average very quickly.
Things don’t always translate well from paper to film, and you need to learn early on.
There are a lot of mistakes that you can make, and one of the worst is persisting with a terrible screenplay that’s never going to make a great film.
It will cost you more time and money than a good project should and completely shatter your creative motivation.
The good news is that these blogs will help you avoid doing that!
If you are asking yourself, who is John August, and why should I listen to him?
Here are a few of his screenwriting credits, Charlie’s Angels, Charlie and the chocolate factory, Titan A.E, Big Fish, and the list goes on.
That list of writing credentials also extends to Broadway musicals and books too.
If that’s not enough, he wrote and directed The Nines (2007) starring Ryan Reynolds.
This blog is John’s platform to share everything he knows about screenwriting and the film industry; do not miss it.
Go Into The Story
Go Into The Story is a blog that not only provides valuable information but does so in an actionable way.
Here you’ll find interviews, example scripts, and screenwriting guides from industry professionals.
You’ll also find tutorials and exercises that encourage you to be an active writer.
They even have their very own scriptwriting masterclass; check it out.
The Bitter Script reader
The Bitter Script reader is a low-key blog that aims to help aspiring scriptwriters avoid common mistakes.
It’s a simple blog that helps you understand what it takes to get past the dreaded gatekeeper; or the first person who reads your script.
If you don’t want your script to fall at the first hurdle, this blog is an interesting read.
The Black List
The Black List has a blog that deals with the film industry in general and not just screenwriting.
It covers everything from the latest Hollywood news to must-see films for aspiring filmmakers.
The reason that we decided to list it in our screenwriting section is that it’s also a networking platform for writers of all levels.
Both professional and aspiring screenwriters can share views, content, and advice on every aspect of screenwriting.
If you haven’t joined yet, do it now.
Lessons From The Screenplay
Lessons From The Screenplay was created by Michael Tucker, a screenwriter turned editor, who decided to return to his roots.
Returning to screenwriting and filmmaking made Michael want to share the vast knowledge that he has learned along the way.
Michael now has a team of creative and passionate people who contribute to the blog.
Each writer brings something different from their individual experiences in the film industry.
Filmmaking on a Budget
Photo by Robbie Down on Unsplash
An aspiring filmmaker who doesn’t need to worry about their budget would be a rare thing.
Everything costs money, from camera equipment to editing software to lighting, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Shooting high-quality video is far more accessible these days, thanks to advancements in technology.
Some visually stunning films have been shot on smartphones with some clever editing.
However, just because it’s possible to do things a little cheaper than before, it doesn’t mean you can be careless with your budget.
Good planning is critical, and to get you started; you can check out our guide to the best budget cameras for filmmaking.
Indie Film Hustle
The name says it all for this blog; if you are trying to hustle your way through the film industry, it’s for you.
Indie Film Hustle covers a wide range of topics from education through to industry news and filmmaking guides.
One of the things that we love most about it is that they often give away valuable resources.
Things like filmmaking eBooks, and at the time of writing, they are offering a free sound FX library with over 200 sounds.
This blog’s header describes it as a new kind of filmmaking website for a new generation of filmmakers.
We couldn’t sum it up better ourselves.
Filmmaking has changed, technology has changed, and there are far fewer limitations than ever.
With that in mind, Filmmakers Freedom is the perfect blog to help you make the most of everything currently available to aspiring filmmakers.
If you want to stay on-trend, you need to stay tuned.
Lights Film School
Despite the name, this blog isn’t advocating a film school education.
Instead, it’s offering an alternative.
Lights Film School is run by graduates of some of the worlds leading film schools, who want to let you know that you can be a success without a degree.
As well as offering online tuition, they have a blog that discusses things like the basics of scriptwriting to daily routines to help become more productive.
So, this isn’t a blog as such, but you should never discount Reddit.
We could have easily added this to our networking section because it can be a great way to find like-minded people.
But, what we like most about the Reddit community is that it can be a great place to pick up hints and tips when you are in a creative block.
Video Production and Directing
Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash
Whatever you do, it’s best to know as much as you can about every aspect of a project.
It helps you understand other people’s roles and create a better workflow.
When you’re an aspiring filmmaker, you will likely have to wear many hats.
You will likely assume the role of the writer, the producer, director, editor, promotor, coffee-go-getter, and motivator (amongst other things, I’m sure).
The following blogs are amazing and will help you get through the basics of production and directing on your way to becoming a pro.
Phillip Bloom is a world-renowned filmmaker who has a passion for capturing the perfect image.
Through his blog, he shares his experiences in filmmaking and different cultures.
In the blog, you’ll find plenty of tips on how to get the best out of your equipment and surroundings.
You’ll also find equipment reviews and comparisons.
Mathew Scott Cinematography Blog
Mathew Scott is a cinematographer who shares his knowledge on everything that his job entails.
It starts from the beginning, detailing what it means to be a cinematographer.
He has created a series of tutorials to help you go from a complete beginner to making your first film.
The tutorials do get highly technical, so stick with them, and you’ll go a long way.
This summary will be short and sweet.
Cine D is the ultimate resource to find out everything you need to know about cameras and new technology.
The title general filmmaking isn’t very inspiring, we know!
However, these blogs are some of the best on our entire list.
They are so good and so diverse, we couldn’t throw them in any other category.
Filmmaker Magazine is one of the largest online publications for filmmakers and movie fans.
When it comes to the film industry, there isn’t much that you can’t find here.
The site is divided into various sections, each with multiple sub-sections.
In the filmmaking section, it covers pretty much everything on our entire list, so it’s a vast source of information.
Filmmaker IQ is another blog that covers just about every aspect of filmmaking.
Topics include cameras, productions, editing, sound, business, and more.
They have a section of videos that address frequently asked questions for filmmakers.
So, if there’s something you aren’t sure how to do but don’t know who to ask, you’ll likely find the answer here.
No Film School
No Film School is one of the most popular filmmaking websites on the internet.
No Film School is a kind of education of its own.
It features gear guides, tutorials on mobile filmmaking, and more.
It’s also another site that often provides free eBooks and downloadable content.
Film Riot is one of the most entertaining blogs on our list.
They bring the perfect blend of technical information and humor.
One of the things we love about Film Riot is that they break down special effects from hit movies and teach you how to recreate them.
You can find most of that content on their YouTube channel, which has over 1.76M followers.
The Criterion Collection is a collection of films that are sure to inspire your creativity.
OK, so it’s not exactly a blog, but we couldn’t leave it out.
It’s packed with hidden gems that showcase outstanding filmmaking.
The Film is a modern blog that covers the latest news and releases from the film industry.
As well as featured articles covering a range of interesting topics, The Film publishes in-depth reviews of major releases.
As a filmmaker, it’s good to read and analyze reviews to understand your potential audience better.
Post Production and Video Editing
Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash
Once the filming stops, the job’s only half done (or less).
What you do at this stage will shape the final cut that your audience will either love or hate.
When you plan your schedule (you should have a schedule), it’s important to allow enough time for post-production work.
It’s not just about adding crazy special effects; there’s an endless list of far less exciting things to be done.
Think about everything from digitally enhancing colors to creating start and end credits.
If you plan to use Adobe Premiere for any of that, don’t forget to have a look at our beginners’ guide.
A common mistake is to set a date for your premiere that leaves only a very short time to edit after filming.
In which case, you’d be left with two choices; postpone your premiere or rush and make mistakes.
Don’t let it happen to you.
Rocketstock by Shutterstock – The Blast
Rocketstock offers a wealth of tutorials for Adobe After Effects and video editing in general.
It goes from basics like the best resolution settings for VFX artists to tutorials on NFT Crypto art.
With over 100 pages of content, it’s a resource you don’t want to miss.
Digitalfilms is a blog by Oliver Peters, an independent video editor and post-production supervisor.
Oliver has over 50 years of experience in the film industry, which is a lot of knowledge to share.
As well as regularly updating his own blog, he also contributes to several TV/technology publications.
His blog is a treasure trove of simple but effective techniques that will help you get the best results every time.
Video Copilot makes some awesome plugins for After Effects, but you probably already know that.
What you might not already know is that they also have a blog full of excellent tips and tutorials.
The blog doesn’t just feature tutorials; it also provides lots of downloadable content to help you create amazing special effects.
Jonny Elywn is a professional video editor based in the UK.
His blog is where he shares his latest work, information on the gear he uses, and tutorials on many aspects of video editing.
We like this blog because it covers both broad and very specific topics within video editing.
Everything from color grading to choosing how and where to cut scenes.
Release and Distribution
Photo by Felix Mooneeram on Unsplash
So, the hardest part is over, and now it’s time for the nerve-racking part; finding out if people like your film.
Even though this step comes at the end of the process, you need to think about it early and plan ahead.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a physical venue premiere or a YouTube release; you have to maximize exposure.
That means having a suitable schedule, as we said already, and using the build-up to let people know when and where they can see your film.
The best film ever made will debut in an empty cinema if no one knows about it.
The Film Collaborative
The Film Collaborative is the first non-profit organization specializing in fil distribution education.
They offer a range of advice and services that any first-time filmmaker will need.
If you are planning to release a film, you shouldn’t do so without checking them out.
They also take donations, if you are able.
One of the most challenging parts of releasing and distributing a film is finding the right information.
Filmsourcing is a blog that aims to put everything you need to know about distributing your first film in one place.
It’s a real A-Z, and it even has tutorials on things that you might forget, like making a great film poster.
Rev is a provider that offers various transcription services.
But, they also have a blog that discusses everything about film distribution.
As well as general distribution articles, much of the content focuses on releasing with international subtitles.
Funding and Festivals
Photo by Yong Chuan Tan on Unsplash
We firmly believe that you can make a great film on a shoestring budget.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take any financial help if it’s available to you.
Everything you need to know about funding for filmmakers, who is eligible, and how to apply is in the following blogs.
Film festivals are often a great indication of what’s going to be the next big thing.
Not just in terms of a hit movie, but also trends in filmmaking/production styles.
Festivals can also prove to be a great launching pad for any up-and-coming filmmaker.
We have picked out some blogs that tell you everything you need to know about film festivals and how you might be able to have your film shown.
The Film Fund
The Film Fund is a website that features a blog for aspiring filmmakers.
The blog details some things that are sometimes ignored in other blogs.
Things like how to set up your production team and who you need to include.
However, the main aspect of The Film Fund is its one-sentence contests.
For a $25 entry fee, you can submit a one-sentence proposal to gain up to $10,000 in funding.
Film Proposals Financing Blog
This blog is an absolute gem.
It provides essential information on where to find funding and how to apply for people who have been there.
It’s not just about applying; it’s about successful applications.
To help you be successful, they even offer some business plan tools.
Film Festivals is a simple portal listing upcoming festivals of any value and detailing how to attend/enter.
A straightforward and effective tool.
Film Independent Blog
Film Independent is more of an all-rounder.
It talks about festivals and opportunities for independent filmmakers.
It also covers its own awards and job opportunities.
Film Festival Circuit Blog
If you have never submitted to a film festival before, the FFCB is for you.
They have reviewed thousands of submissions and help filmmakers get from a no to a yes.
They offer a fantastic Festival Submitter’s Handbook for $9.99.
What can you say about this one; if you haven’t heard of the Raindance Film Festival, where have you been?
As well as information on the festival, you’ll also find lots of educational material on the website.
Film and TV Industry/Networking
Photo by HIVAN ARVIZU @soyhivan on Unsplash
The following blogs are more business-like; they cover film and TV industry news, keeping you up to date with any important information.
They can also be a great source of networking opportunities, and that’s what creative industries are all about.
Whether it’s job listings, Q&A sessions, or networking events, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to put yourself out there.
Independent Magazine has been around since 1976, and that says a lot in the film industry.
They have published a guide to film distribution and are a reliable source of how-to articles, honest reviews, and networking opportunities.
Student Filmmakers Website
Student Filmmakers Website is a resource that turns all visitors into students.
Their motto is never stop learning, never stop networking.
So, whether you are a student or not, you come here to learn and meet other creatives.
Indie Talk is an old-school forum-like community of filmmakers.
This lighthearted community is serious about film, and it’s a great place to ask questions, share advice, and even find suitable collaborators.
Well, that’s quite a list to get through; you might want to cancel any plans for the next few days!
It’s a daunting task to make and release a film, especially your first film.
Once the creative process is over, you are faced with the possibility of sharing your idea, your art, and your personality with the world, which can be a scary thought.
The good news is that you aren’t alone, as you can see, and there are people and resources that can help you.
Our advice is to make use of them all and never be scared to share your artistic vision; dare to be great; if you don’t, someone else will.