Podcasts & Reading Materials
We love reading and watching educational content about filmmaking! We made a list to share some of our favorites with you. Our staff has nominated these sources as the highest-quality content.
New blogs, podcasts, and forums are added on a rolling basis, so be sure to check back soon!
DAVE DONALDSON TEACHES FAST AND SOLID LESSONS
Dave Donaldson goes on an exploration of the grip and lighting world in short, 3-minute episodes. He picks a topic, digs into it, shows you the parts, how to assemble them, and a live demo of the day's tool in action on a set. His videos are always funny, simple-to-grasp, and great for beginners looking to learn new skills, one topic at a time.
WIDE RANGE OF CONTENT, EASY READING
Features a wide array of articles and videos, from reviews and analysis of movies, recently-released and classics alike, and shows (and trailers and commercials!) to interviews with industry professionals to news about the latest gear. As its name implies, this is for those without a background in film, so even articles about tech are brief and don’t use especially technical language.
THE MAN WHO MADE THE MOVIES YOU LOVE
Legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins’ website most-notably features lighting diagrams for his work on the Coen Brothers’s and Denis Villeneuve’s films and a forum on which you can ask Deakins himself questions about lighting and camera. There are also forums for other topics, but it doesn’t seem that Deakins is as active on these. There’s a search feature if you’re looking for something in particular (oftentimes, people are asking about how he approached a specific shot or scene ), otherwise you can browse at your leisure. Membership (which is free!) is required to view the diagrams and post on the forums, but anyone can read them.
THE HUSBAND & WIFE TEAM TALK PRODUCTION
If you haven’t gotten your fill of Deakins, The Team Deakins podcast is an ongoing conversation between Roger and his partner/Script Supervisor, James, about cinematography, the film business and whatever other questions are submitted. Their choice in guests emphasize all aspects of film production from camera, to wardrobe, to locations, and more— highlighting the many roles that come together to put an image on-screen. While the Deakins forum has been live for years, this podcast originated during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been a fascinating look further into the process of the Deakins team and film professionals from around the globe.
THE ASC TALKS SHOP WITH INDUSTRY PROS
American Cinematographer interviews cinematographers, directors and other filmmakers to take you behind the scenes on major studio movies, independent films and popular television series. The podcast is infrequently updated, but the conversations and guests are top notch. For listeners particularly interested in the nitty gritty of what lenses, lamps, and techniques were used on high-profile projects, this is a rare behind-the-scenes look into production. Check out the rest of the site and their print publication for further interviews and resources.
LUKE SEERVELD EXPLORES LIGHTING, GEAR, & THE INDUSTRY
Bay area Gaffer Luke Seerveld discusses a variety of grip and electric topics on his channel. Part tutorial, part interview series, and part gear demo-- he discusses lighting in an easy to understand and friendly way suitable for proffesionals and beginners.
WEBINARS AND TUTORIALS ON USING THE AsteraApp
This playlist on Astera's official YouTube channel walks you through how to use their free app, from basic to complex functions. Learn how to sync, program, and layer effects on your AX1, Titan, or Helios tubes. This is a great resource to add another skill to your toolbelt in this growing world of wireless LED lighting. Inquire within if you'd like an in-person demo of the Astera units we carry.
BEN AND ILLYA INTERVIEW FAMOUS DP'S, AUDIO PODCAST
Home of The Cinematography Podcast, a series of interviews with, you guessed it, cinematographers whose work ranges from feature films to reality TV and everything in between. Hosts Ben and Illya get right to interviewing their guests, who respond to stock questions about how they got their start in the camera department, who their influences, how they shot some of their most famous work, etc. in a conversational manner. The language is not too technical, making this as accessible and enjoyable for those who are just starting out in the industry as it is for seasoned veterans.
TUTORIALS MEETS FORUMS ON SPECIFIC TOPICS
Features video tutorials and articles primarily on post-production workflows, but what makes Creative Cow stand out from the crowd are its forums. If you’ve got a post-production problem neither you nor your usual go-tos can figure out, a Google search for the problem, including the words “creativecow,” often yields excellent results.
ART ADAMS SHINES AS A MASTERFUL ARTICLE WRITER
Also features articles, videos, and the occasional podcast from various industry professionals, but this one is for people who do have a background in film. Art Adams has a lot of great articles about lenses of course (he’s “a cinema lens specialist at ARRI, Inc.”), but be sure to check out his writing on monitors and color science, too, and Steven Hullfish’s “Art of the Cut,” a series of transcribed interviews with editors.
FRESH ADVICE FOR GEAR OWNERS & INDUSTRY UPDATES
If you’re not familiar with KitSplit, this site has been described as “the AirBnB of cameras” because of the way it’s democratized rentals. It’s also streamlined the process, facilitating communication between those looking to rent and gear owners, from owner/operators to rental houses. And there’s more than just cameras and lenses - equipment for sound and grip & electric are on offer, as well as specialty movement gear. KitSpit’s blog is Viewfinder, featuring articles written by KitSplit’s managers and rental agents (in addition to the usual guest industry professionals). While the blog features the equipment reviews, how-tos, and tips and tricks that are a staple of blogs about film and television, Viewfinder also has compilations of real resources for indie filmmakers, such as lists of festivals, grants and funding, fellowships and residencies, and much more, often-times highlighting opportunities for minorities in the industry.