Take one of your favourite films and search for it in the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).
Find out the names of some of the people with key roles in the crew, such as production designer, director of photography or sound designer.
Pick someone to click on and find out other films on which they have worked
What do you notice about their careers?
Do they always work on the same kind of film or a range of different genres?
Are there any other names which keep coming up alongside them?
You can find lots of short films through a search on YouTube and Vimeo, though to save you having to take complete pot luck on what’s there, you might like to head straight for one of the following sites:
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, based in Piccadilly, London supports and develops the art forms of the moving image. The BAFTA awards each year are a major national and international event.
BAFTA Guru, BAFTA’s hub of inspirational content, including over 400 videos of interviews and masterclasses with film and television professionals, is available to everyone doing this course. You will find videos about everything from screenwriting to composing, including ‘60 second’ interviews, a series called ‘Big Questions’ and whole lectures.
Later in the course, you may like to refer back to the site for specific material useful to particular topics. Each week we will feature a video from Bafta Guru on the course as additional optional viewing.
Have an initial look around the site and report back to your fellow Explore Filmmaking students on what you found interesting and useful there.
It would be good to save the site in your favourites on your browser!
There is no need to buy any books for this course, but as a number of people have already asked about which books we might recommend, we decided to start a list here, with a little bit of information about each book to indicate how it might be useful.
Many of these books are available secondhand (used) online at quite cheap prices, so you may find you can pick up a bargain!
Bordwell, D and Thompson, K., Film Art, (McGraw 2012) the classic ‘bible’ of film grammar, now on its tenth edition- but any edition will be fine (and probably a lot cheaper!).
Brown, B. Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers, Directors and Videographers (Focal Press, 2002) a comprehensive guide to current professional practice which explains the theory behind the practice, so you understand how the rules came about and when it’s appropriate to break them.
Cousins, M., The Story of Film (Pavillion Books, 2011) An accessible and compelling history of cinema tracing how film-makers are influenced both by the historical events of their times, and by each other.
Figgis, M., Digital filmmaking (Faber 2007) a guerilla guide from the host of Week 3 of this course!
Katz, S., Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen(Michael Wiese Productions 2002) a really useful breakdown.
Lumet, S., Making Movies (Bloomsbury 1996) a great insider account of the practicalities of filmmaking.
Mackendrick, A. On Filmmaking (Faber and Faber, 2005) This is an invaluable analysis of director Alexander Mackendrick’s art and craft.
Murch, W., In The Blink of An Eye: A Perspective On Film Editing(Performing Arts Columbia University Press, 1994) one of the best books about editing from an acknowledged master.
Rodriguez, R., Rebel Without a Crew (Dutton 1996) a witty no-nonsense guide, but we wouldn’t recommend raising funding in the same way as the author!
Thurlow, C and Thurlow, M., Making Short Films: The Complete Guide from Script to Screen (Berg Publishers) how to shoot film without wasting any money.
Do you have any of these books already?
Which would you recommend and why?
Are there other books about films and filmmaking which you would want to recommend to other students on the course?