YouTube is one of the best free resources for people wanting to learn about films and filmmaking. There’s a variety of channels to help you learn about analyzing films, learn about how to make films, and learn what equipment to use. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite YouTube channels that I personally watch to work towards becoming a better filmmaker.
Patrick (H) Willems
Patrick blurs the line between video essays and narrative. His videos are usually deep dives into series, genres, or individual movies. But they also include an ongoing story about Patrick and his friends. It’s really interesting how he manages to combine them, and I always appreciate his insights into the topic he’s discussing. Personally, I love his videos about the limitations of the MCU and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
Lessons from the Screenplay
This is a great YouTube channel for anyone looking to get into screenwriting. Michael Tucker examines scripts to teach his viewers about how to craft a great movie. LFTS is great for learning how to create a great scene or learning about tone or style. My favorite video is his one about the first ten pages and The Devil Wears Prada. He has a podcast too!
Just Write by Sage Hyden isn’t strictly about movies, but he discusses movies a lot. This is another great YouTube channel for filmmakers wanting to improve their writing or just learn about movies in general. I like most of his videos. My current favorite is actually about Hollow Knight, which is one of my favorite video games. But you could always start with his one about The Rise of Skywalker.
I love Dan Olsen. He talks about a variety of topics, but mostly movies. He examines movies in an interesting way and usually goes way in depth. His videos tend to talk about why movies failed, which is always fun. My favorite series of his is his Lukewarm Defense of Fifty Shades of Grey, but he has a lot of smaller videos, like this one about basic cuts, to help you learn about filmmaking.
Lindsay Ellis is great, and her deep dives into films and their history are always well-done. Some of my favorite videos of hers are her examination of The Hobbit movies, which are both fun and depressing. They’re definitely worth watching if you want to make movies though. If you’re looking to get started with film studies, she has this great series where she explains it using the Transformers movies.
Maggie Mae Fish
Maggie Mae Fish is just fun to watch. She explores movies, but she tends to do it in a more interesting and funny way. Her topics are also pretty unique for a YouTuber, and she loves breaking down the different themes movies are exploring. One of her more recent videos is about the myth of the auteur, and it is excellent.
Every Frame a Painting
Every Frame a Painting actually stopped uploading back in 2016, but it’s still like the standard for video essays about movies. Written by Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou, these videos explore different films and the things that made them great. They’re an excellent way to learn to appreciate films and a great resource for any filmmaker. I like their video about Edgar Wright.
Parker Walbeck – Full Time Filmmaker
Parker Walbeck’s channel is simply a YouTube channel for teaching filmmakers. It’s all about different filmmaking techniques, how to use your camera, and the different careers you can have as a filmmaker. Their most recent video about how to make money as a filmmaker is great and kind of inspiring to watch.
StudioBinder is another YouTube channel all about teaching filmmakers but also screenwriters. They have tons of tutorials regarding directing, production, and screenwriting.
Mark Bone is a documentarian, and I’ve found him to be super helpful for learning about film. He gives you practical tips for making your films and recommends equipment. His editing videos are super helpful too. His video on using window lighting was great.
FilmJoy is really just a channel for people who appreciate films and want to learn more about them and their history. They also have Deep Dives in which a bunch of friends sit around and watch bad movies with the intention of finding good things in them. It’s just fun.
Personally, I watch an absurd amount of YouTube. It’s fun to watch, and I enjoy learning that way. All of these YouTube channels will make you a better filmmaker and give you more tools with which to analyze films.
Do you have any YouTube channels to recommend? Comment below and let me know!