Like a lot of people these days, I have drunk the Adobe CC kool-aid. I love the way Premiere, just works. As far as workflow, the dynamic link library is a godsend: the way you can embed After Effects clips, and jump out to Audition, Speedgrade and Prelude just makes my professional life that much simpler and well worth the price of admission. I do understand that $60 a month is a bit rich for some and there are now some great options if you don’t want to spend a dime/penny.
When I was starting out your choices were pretty limited (I struggled with Microsoft Movie Maker for more time than I care to remember) but now there are some great, fully-featured options. Some are free versions (cut down versions) of NLEs you can buy (the freemium model); some are standard freeware offerings. All of the following will get you up and editing your footage for no money. These are my top 5 recommendations: Click for more
If you’re interested in filmmaking there are lots of movies worth watching for inspiration on Hulu but what if you’re looking for inspiration more directly concerned with filmmaking? The pickings aren’t quite so thick but there are still several hours worth of material to keep you busy.
Here are 7 of my favorites:
- Project Greenlight: Looking a little dated now (the first of two seasons was released in 2001) but still interesting to see a contest winner given the chance to make their first movie through Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore’s production house. As filmmakers I’m sure we all think we could do better but it does demonstrate a lot of the pitfalls of trying to make a low-budget feature within the Hollywood system.
- 5 Broken Cameras: Amazing Oscar nominated documentary that describes what it is like to live in a West Bank village on the Israeli boarder from a local’s perspective. You’ll never complain about your camera again after seeing how this filmmaker makes do with whatever SD camera he can beg or borrow.
- American Grindhouse – a history of American exploitation film
- RiP! A Remix Manifesto – the complexities of intellectual property in the era of peer-to-peer file sharing
- Bergman Island – Ingmar Bergman discusses his work, his fears, his regrets, and his ongoing artistic passion
- Touch The Sound – challenges the way we think about sound
- Poultry In Motion: Truth Is Stranger Than Chicken – hilarious documentary that follows cult director Lloyd Kaufman as he tries to make a feature with no money.
If you search for Filmmaking podcasts there seems to be so many to choose from. The problem is, it’s much easier to start a podcast than it is to keep it going so there are many remnants of abandoned podcasts out there so finding podcasts worth listening to that are still active is harder than it first seems. I’m just talking about audio podcasts: I know there are quite a few great video podcasts out there but we’ll get to those another day. I’m just talking about podcasts you can throw on while your driving your commute to help kill that time and to learn something or be entertained in the process.
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If you’re a filmmaker at any level from just starting out to an industry expert you know that, in the edit process you always find a few sound effects, foley or ambient noises that you’re missing. If you’ve been in that situation you’ve probably been to freesound.org. Freesound is a constantly growing library of Creative Commons licensed sounds. If you’re looking for something their search engine usually returns a few hits of sounds that might be useful and it is often quicker and much more convenient than digging out your field recording equipment and hunting down the sound for yourself.
That said, I’m sure lots of us have a few eclectic sound recording languishing on our hard drives that we recorded for one project or another. If you have something you’re willing to share the process of uploading them is a little geeky (ftp) but they do have a web interface too and it is a simple way of uploading a bunch of files at once. You simply upload your files, then describe and tag them and then wait a couple of days for them to be approved. What’s in it for you? What goes around comes around and what good are those files you’re hoarding especially if you’re not going to use them again. I just uploaded some of the sounds I’ve collected in recent months and it felt good to share. I hope other filmmakers will consider doing the same and freesound will become an even more comprehensive and useful resource for everyone.