Living Frames Recommend-ucation Series: YouTube Channels

Author: Living Frames | | Categories: aspiring filmmakers , film education , Film Recommendations , YouTube Channels


Man, there’s really been some crazy stuff going on this month hasn’t there? Because of Coronavirus, people around the world have had to adjust their entire way of living and with that came the phrase of the year, social distancing. While these are definitely challenging times and it can be overwhelming, one bright spot is seeing how much of an impact the arts have had on society’s ability to cope. When being forced to stay at home in order to protect others, the masses have turned to movies, tv shows, online museum tours, anything to provide some comfort and distraction. And if these visuals can help our minds wander even for just a few hours into completely different realms filled with action, adventure, romance, and laughter, then we think that’s a pretty powerful tool during moments like these. 

I know all of us at Team LF have caught up on many films and shows we’ve been meaning to see, but sometimes we need a break from watching completed projects and are looking for something a bit more educational. So, we decided to put together a list of our favorite filmmaking Youtube channels for anyone who enjoys film and wants to learn more about how they are made, or how to make a movie themselves!

- Film Riot - Of course this one has to go on the list. It’s 10 years strong, and I’ve been with them about 9 of those years. This channel taught me as much, if not more, than film school. I’ve grown as they’ve grown, and it’s great to watch Ryan Connolly and friends break into bigger budget projects, showing us the ins-and-outs along the way.

- Indy Mogul - The original Indy Mogul was a big deal to the YouTube filmmaking community back in the day. Now that’s it’s been revived by Aputure’s Ted Sim, it’s a whole new kind of animal. Instead of DIY special effects and guerrilla filmmaking, this new Indy Mogul focuses on in-depth conversations with renowned cinematographers and how to make your small budget projects look like theirs. They also have a podcast that interviews guests more traditionally, but it’s more of a companion piece to the visual breakdowns featured on the YouTube channel.

- StudioBinder - I’m genuinely surprised a company such as StudioBinder has chosen to take the time and effort to create these incredibly informative breakdowns. Whether the episode focuses on a director, a scene, or an idea, they knock it out of the park with each video, and they’ve become a must-watch for anyone who wants a deeper dive into decisions made on set.

- Every Frame A Painting - While Tony Zhou’s channel hung up its hat years ago, it remains the best example of how (and why) to do a video essay. He focuses on things in film that you would never notice, but once it’s placed in front of you, it makes total sense. There’s a reason this YouTube channel still has almost 2 million followers even though they finished posting in 2016, and now is the perfect time to (re)discover and binge the entire channel (about 28 videos). Just be prepared to get your mind blown.

- ponysmasher - David F Sandberg has never been shy about sharing his process. He went from making small budget shorts on YouTube to making Hollywood blockbusters over the course of a few short years, but he hasn’t stopped (occasionally) dropping his knowledge on his YouTube channel. Not only do his videos let us have a peek into the Hollywood process, the channel itself is a perfect study guide on how to hopefully end up where he is one day.

- The Closer Look - This video essay format page has fantastic insights for screenwriters on how to accomplish certain goals in your story. Whether it’s how to create Tarantino-like dialogue, how to draw a specific emotion from your audience, or how to avoid certain writing faux pas, this narrator has some really helpful tips!