Inspirational Filmmaking Craft Round Up

Inspirational Filmmaking Craft Round Up

Every now and then, you just need to see something inspirational about the craft of filmmaking that leaves you wanting to get up and make better films, tell better stories and excel at your chosen profession. Here is a quick round up of some inspirational filmmaking treats from a variety of craftsmen and women.

Two items in this round up come from, an excellent website and source of a great deal of brilliant information on the art, craft, business and technique of filmmaking. You’d be wise to sign up to the free newsletter to never miss a post! The first is this excellent discussion about storytelling from Ira Glass, and as with any Mentorless reference you see online it’s always essential to head back to the source as Natalie (the site’s author) always puts a great deal of effort into drawing out the very best quotes, insights and points from the resources she shares.

The second Mentorless HatTip belongs to this excellent shot by shot scene breakdown of Spielberg’s directorial work in Jaws.

American Sniper Colour Grading Breakdown

Maxine Gervais, the lead colorist at Warner Bros Motion Picture Imaging (MPI), shares a veritable feast of info, workflow tips and insights into the craft of colour grading in this packed 18 minute colour grading breakdown of her work on American Sniper. She talks pretty fast, so you’d do well to pause the video and take in what she’s sharing and the power of subtle nuances. Well worth a watch and a re-watch.

Although no-where near as detailed nor interesting, this little montage from Slate Magazine of the cinematography/set-design/colour grading at play in House of Cards, highlights how effective a simple creative choice can be.

Two Editors Talking – Interview from Inside The Edit

Paddy Bird, from online editorial masterclass (in the truest sense of the word!) Inside The Edit, shared a fantastic hour long interview with fellow editor Mark Everson, who most recently completed 13 months of work on visual effects heavy children’s favourite – Paddington. What’s great about this interview is not only that it remains constantly interesting over the entire duration, but that because Paddy is a highly experienced editor too, he asks all the right questions.

They cover many more topics than this, but the two editors discuss: Getting started in the industry, working your way up, working with directors, temp music, editing comedy, editing visual effects, career progression, running an editorial department, advice for new editors and much more… Listen to the interview here.

For more on Inside The Edit check out my in-depth review, featuring a ton of excellent, must-watch freebies.

Filmmaking Video Essays – The Best of Tony Zhou

If you’re anything like me then you’ll already be a firm fan of Tony Zhou’s Every Frame A Painting – a series of insightful, articulate and entertaining video essays that zero in on a particular aspect of a filmmakers mastery of the craft. Here are a selection of my favourites, which are more often than not, Vimeo Staff Picks too. A double whammy of praise!

For even more Fincher treats along these lines check out this previous post over on

Composition in Filmmaking

Another aspect to filmmaking that pleases and inspires is that of composition. There’s an art, science and technique to it that makes it all the more enjoyable when it’s crafted masterfully. The first video swiftly breaks down the symmetry in Wes Anderson’s editing, the second (again from Tony Zhou) showcases the excellent ‘Quadrant’ composition in Drive and the third comes from a motion graphics point of view but also provides a great education in compositional elements.

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