Want to make awesome videos but don’t have the time, patience, or cashola to go to film school? No problem! Thanks to the plethora of online filmmaking for beginners tutorials, you can learn everything you need to know from the cruisy comfort of your sofa.
And to make things even easier, we’ve compiled this list of the top 10 tutorials all you fledgling filmmakers absolutely must watch!
Top Beginner Tutorials for Aspiring Filmmakers
1. Cinematic Film Look on a Budget
As a newbie filmmaker, chances are you’ll be working with little-to-no lights, which will make trying to achieve that cinematic look kinda tricky… but not entirely impossible.
This six-minute tutorial shows you how to make use of your set locations and scene emotions to create a crisp cinematic feel with nothing but natural light.
2. Quick Tips: Understanding the 180 Degree Rule!
By Film Riot
Another skill to brush up on before hitting the set is the 180 degree rule, an age-old cinematic rule that dictates where to position your characters and camera in such a way that the viewer always remains oriented as to where everything in a scene is.
As basic as the 180 degree rule may seem, knowing how to follow it is an absolute must. Before you even think about hitting that red record button, make sure you’ve done your homework!
3. How to Create a 3-Point Lighting Setup
by Motion Array
Now that you know where to position your actors, it’s time to learn how to light them! This quick, easy tutorial (brought to by yours truly) walks you through the basic principles of the three-point lighting setup, explaining how to wield your key, fill, and hair lights to strike the perfect level of luminosity in your videos.
4. How To Record Better Audio For Your Films
When it comes to filmmaking, there are a lot of things you can correct in post-production. Unfortunately, audio is not one of them. Which is a damn shame given how important it is. While viewers will typically forgive grainy footage and poor acting, bad sound is a veritable deal breaker.
For this reason, you should spend however many hours, days, months(!) it takes for you to fully master your audio game. Oh, and you might also want to watch the next tutorial too.
5. Top 15 Mistakes Beginner Filmmakers Make
Okay, so you’re almost ready to roll. But before shoot day, there’s one very important tutorial you’re going to want to watch and it’s this one right here.
In under 20-minutes, D4Darious walks you through the top 15 mistakes newbie filmmakers make (think poor shot composition, unnecessary scenes, awkward pacing) and serves up a bunch of wicked-good tips on how to avoid them.
6. 5 Ways to Instantly Make Better Videos!
by Peter McKinnon
Once you’ve made it past your first couple of film shoots, it’s time to step up your filmmaking savvy with a little help from Peter McKinnon.
His video about how to make better videos is less of a tutorial, and more of a super-helpful-things-to-know checklist covering everything from location and music choice, to how to integrate more motion into your shots.
7. How To Film Yourself By Yourself
by Motion Array
A lot of the time when filmmakers try to film themselves, the quality of their videos takes a nosedive. And it’s easy to see why. Trying to direct, shoot, act, and ensure that your lighting and audio are spot-on is no stroll in the park.
If you ever find yourself in the situation of having to film yourself sans assistance, do yourself a favor and give this video a watch first.
8. How To Direct New Actors
by Film Riot
When you’re first starting out, most of your actors are probably going to be amateurs plucked from your family, friendship group, maybe even a Craigslist ad. Directing these non-actors can be tricky. Compared to professionals, they’ll need a lot more attention and guidance which, when you’re trying to juggle a million other balls, can get stressful.
In the video above, writer and director Ricky Staub shares the tips he used for overcoming this hurdle while on the set of The Cage, a short film exclusively featuring the residents from the neighborhood in which it was shot. As you’ll see, the results are pretty incredible!
9. 5 Beginner Video Editing Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)
by Justin Odisho
If you plan to edit your videos yourself, then we recommend watching this quick video by Justin Odisho explaining what NOT to do. Cheesy transitions, generic titles, disjointed slow-mo all make the hit-list, plus a few more.
While some of these mistakes may seem super obvious, you still see first-time editors falling for them all the time. So we say, do yourself a favor and hit the play button on this puppy.
10. My Top 10 Favorite Video Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
by Justin Odisho
To finish up we’ve got one more nugget of tutorial gold from Justin Odisho. This one runs through each of the video effects you’ll need to master in order to earn your Premiere Pro blue belt.
Getting each of these core effects down pat won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. And once it does, you’ll be in a prime position to start branching out into the REAL fun stuff…a.k.a motion graphics!
When it comes to filmmaking for beginners, there’s quite literally a tutorial for everything — it’s just a matter of finding the right one. And as you kickstart your filmmaking career, we hope that the videos above serve as exactly that.