It’s easy to disappear down the YouTube rabbit hole and re-emerge hours later with nothing to show for it. There goes another afternoon wasted. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five YouTube channels you can binge-play guilt free; every minute spent watching the videos on these channels will make you smarter as a filmmaker.
#1 Every Frame A Painting
My personal favorite. Every Frame A Painting is like the class you wish you had in film school. It’s a triumphantly unpredictable bastard of a film analysis class and the rantings of your favorite, passionate teacher. By analyzing certain scenes, director trademarks, genre-specific filmmaking tools or something else you would have never thought to analyze, host Tony Zhou and his expertly edited videos will leave you not only smarter, but inspired and amazed.
#2 Film Riot
Fast-talking host, independent filmmaker and DIY handy-man Ryan Connolly and his rag-tag team of film aficionados deliver tutorials, DIY builds, real-life examples and How-To’s on just about everything you could ever think of related to filmmaking. The beauty of this channel is not so much the hyper-active presentation (though that’ll certainly keep you focused), as it is the way in which these guys manage to take the mystery out of Hollywood filmmaking, while preserving all the magic. Specifically targeting independent, DIY or super low-budget filmmakers, the channel abounds with videos on how to make your film look and sound like a million $ without breaking the bank.
#3 Filmmaker IQ
With a somewhat more technical and perhaps film school-like approach, Filmmaker IQ is an immensely valuable resource. Think of it as a ‘How Stuff Works’ for filmmakers; some topics are highly technical, borderline scientific, while other topics are pure entertainment. Wanna know how a camera sensor works? No problem. Wanna brush up on the origins of auteur theory? Why not. Wanna learn how to light a film noir? You should. And all of that can be done in the same place. Filmmaker IQ.
#4 Indy Mogul
With roughly 1250 videos on their channel, Indy Mogul is almost like a Discovery Channel of the Internet. Before Discovery Channel became all about reality TV, of course. Indy Mogul is an impressive library of engaging video tutorials, hands-on reviews of cameras and equipment, Q&A’s with filmmakers and a whole lot of tips and tricks to up your indy filmmaking game. Now, Indy Mogul hasn’t been active in years, so don’t expect new videos about the latest in gear or software. But do expect to get lost in a massive library of goodies that are equally helpful today as they were 6 years ago.
#5 Now You See It
Similar in style to Every Frame A Painting, Now You See It is sort of a hybrid between film analysis and geeky musings on what makes movies great. Though not always entirely on point, mostly the videos from Now You See It will give you lots of a ha! moments and insightful takes on movies, scenes or techniques you already thought you knew everything about.