By Tim Donovan
By Tim Donovan
Each morning I wake up, get out of bed, make a cup of coffee, and spend 10-15 minutes reading before getting ready to leave for work. I use that sacred time to comb through my favorite video blogs; searching for everything from new camera reviews and color-grading tutorials to inspirational video pieces that can influence my work. Listed below are my top 5 favorite video blogs of all time.
Please note that neither Figmints nor myself have been paid by the blogs mentioned below to promote them. We are sharing them because they have had a huge impact on our work, and we hope you will find them just as useful. Also keep in mind that the rankings below are based on which blogs have been the most useful to me personally – You may find a different blog to take up your own #1 spot!
Without further ado, here is our list of the top 5 video blogs:
Founded by Shane Hurlbut, ASC Hurlbut Visuals is a blog for filmmakers and video production professionals at any point in their career. The blog covers camera, cinematography, lenses, lighting, production and sound topics, as well as Shane’s own personal and professional projects. Each category has a variety of content that spans theory, reviews, etiquette, workflows and pure inspiration.
I’m not as active in the forums as I used to be, but almost every time I’ve posted a question in the past, Shane has been kind enough to take the time out of his busy schedule to respond – not just to me, but to most people who post questions. There is also a member’s area where you can pay a monthly fee to join an exclusive group to receive even more invaluable content. I can’t speak highly enough about Shane, his team and his blog as it has changed my profession for the better.
“Philip Bloom is a world-renowned filmmaker who, for the past 7 years, has specialized in creating incredible film-like images with low-budget video.” That quote is an understatement. Philip has produced some of the most beautiful and inspiring work I have personally ever seen.
Each time I consider upgrading my cameras or lenses, I check Philip’s review videos to see what he has to say about them. Not because I’m incapable of making that choice myself, but because I trust him. And the reason I trust him is that he is a very ethical professional (if it wasn’t obvious by the strong ethics statements on his website & blog.)
If I can spend 15 – 30 minutes watching a full-camera review instead of spending hundreds of dollars to rent the same camera for a single day just to regret it later, that is an opportunity I will never let pass. Check out Philip’s blog if you haven’t already, you won’t regret it!
Video Copilot, founded by Andrew Kramer, is a company that creates tools and training for people who love motion design and visual effects. They’re not lying. I’ve learned more motion graphics techniques in a few hours watching their tutorial than I learned in an entire semester back in college. All you need to get started is a Mac or PC computer with Adobe After Effects. These videos are FREE. Don’t know a single thing about motion graphics? Watch this tutorial from them.
Are you an intermediate or advanced motion graphics artist? That’s fine, they have plenty of content to help you further flex your motion graphics muscles. Video Copilot has continued to be a fantastic resource for us, and I’m sure your motion graphics designers will agree.
Planet5D, founded by Mitch Aunger, aka “PlanetMitch” is all about DSLR cameras that shoot video, which are also known as HDSLRs. The site is more of a wiki than just a blog, Mitch realized the gap between professionals and informational resources, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. As a result, Planet5d was born.
He has been recognized as one of the top resources in the industry. This is not surprising, as he provides users with a constantly updated blog, news, video log (a place to watch movies shot entirely with HDSLRs, that you can later rate) and forums. Mitch has continuously grown Planet5D over the years, and has never disappointed. He’s also a really cool guy – I messaged him once, and he was more than happy to sit back and chat with me. Definitely check out his site and give him a shout.
Cine Summit isn’t a blog per se, it the world’s largest and FREE cinematography event. For just 48 hours, anyone can attend Cine Summit by creating a free online account. You will have access to presentations from the best cinematographers in the industry. If you’d like to reference the event later, you can pay to have unlimited access to the specific event you missed through the archive of HD presentations. Some of the incredible topics this event covers include, “How to Get the Best Results with ANY Crew”, The 3 Keys to Getting Shots Like Top Cinematographers”, and “How to MacGyver Inexpensive Gear and STILL Get High-End Images.” And that’s just the beginning. Do yourself a favor and check them out.
So there you go, we just gave away our secret recipe for creating compelling, content-driven resources. Now that you have the resources to create your own amazing videos, get out there! If you’d like more information about our video production services, or want to ask me a question about video production, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me directly at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you.
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