The following are some resources for schools and community groups interested in incorporating digital cinema, art and story into their work. This list will be updated on an ongoing basis.
Amazing scriptwriting software. For free or cheap.
Handbrake is an open-source video transcoder — software that transforms video and audio files from one format to another.
MPEGStreamClip is another transcoder.
Audacity is a free audio recording and mixing software.
Davinci Resolve is an industry-standard colouring suite that also has an integrated video editor. It’s principally used to adjust colour levels in video, but the editor is an option for users on a shoestring budget. The fully-featured Lite v
Dynamic Storytelling Platforms
Twine is a simple web-based tool that allows you to create dynamic stories, sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure story. It’s quite versatile in that you can build straight text-only games or dress them up a little with graphics. The most famous Twine game is DepressionQuest, which offers a painful glimpse into the life of a young adult battling depression.
Scratch is a free resource from MIT that gives youth a platform to develop software (read: mostly games) on. Pretty cool stuff.
Stupeflix is an online program that creates movies out of still images. Think slideshow, only cooler.
We have put together a Digital Cinema Production Kit page which outlines some basic production kits that schools can buy.
Tutorials, Presentations, Podcasts, Websites
If you’re wondering how to do something, the best thing to do is search for tutorials. Here are a few that I use when doing residencies and professional development.
Ask First, Shoot Later
This is a presentation that I have given at a number of educational conferences. Click here to open it in Google Slides.
Overview of the Process
- The Robert Rodriguez 10 Minute Film School (Part 1) (Part 2)
Robert Rodriguez gives an insightful overview of his no-budget approach to creating his film El Mariachi. A must-watch for anyone starting out — this documentary really shows the creativity and improvisational skills needed to pull off quality cinema on a shoestring budget.
Camera, Lighting, Composition
- Cinematography Techniques (text)
- Video Lighting Techniques (text)
- Shot Types (video)
- Angles (video)
- Composition (video)
- The Moving Camera (video)
- Focal Length (video)
- The 180-degree Rule (video)
- The Wandering DP (website)
A growing collection of insight, by working cinematographer Patrick O’Sullivan. This site has tutorials, explanations of lighting setups, and a very informative podcast that you can listen to on the website or through iTunes and Stitcher, or any other podcast management app you might prefer.
- Film Captures (website)
Screen captures from a number of movies. Useful for creating or honing a look for your lighting/composition.
A listing of films and the cameras and lenses used to produce them.
- Editing Techniques (video)
- The Cutting Edge: The Magic of of Movie Editing (feature-length documentary)
Compositing & Special Effects
- Video Co-Pilot
I really can’t say enough about this site. Andrew Kramer, the site’s creator and chief effects editor, is both a skilled compositor and teacher. The site content is free, with some premium content that users can buy. An amazingly helpful resource.