The 10 Best YouTube Channels to Follow for Filmmakers in 2021
From cinematographer to editor, here are ten YouTube channels worthy of your subscription that will help you learn more about your craft.
It’s no secret that the amount of jobs and productions actually running since last March have slowed way down, sometimes to a standstill. But, things will get better, things will go back to normal, and when they do, I plan on having used this time to study up and learn from some of the best minds creating right now. So, whether you’re a cinematographer, director, editor, or anything in-between, here are ten YouTube channels worthy of your subscription.
(Note that I didn’t include the standard big channels that you always see like Film Riot, Peter McKinnon, etc., on purpose. I tried to focus on some slightly smaller channels.)
1. The Wandering DP
What might be the single greatest contribution to the cinematography-focused genre on the platform, The Wandering DP started as a podcast, providing stills from movies and commercials as we break down the lighting setups and composition observations.
Think of it as the continuation of what Cinematography Database used to be, but with commercial work. The knowledge is infinite and so is the amount of information within each video.
Flick is an amazing reference to have handy as the information is timeless and crucial. No matter if you’re operating the camera, a PA, grip, or just generally interested in filmmaking, there’s a lot to love here as there are videos covering almost everything. One common thread you’ll see with the channels I’ve listed is that the content isn’t limited to just one style. You’ll find gear reviews, cinematography deep dives, and inspirational advice. A perfect blend of information and entertainment.
I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this channel one or two times, but David F. Sandberg, the director of Shazam! and Lights Out, continues to improve upon his already amazing catalogue of videos. Just when you think a channel has to be one thing, the creator makes it into something else. It’s kind of made me fall in love with YouTube again, as I find myself actually super excited when I see he’s uploaded.
4. Sydney Baker-Green
Sydney Baker-Green is also doing exactly what he wants. His channel has videos ranging from color grading tutorials, short films, and cinematography setups. For the aspiring filmmaker or colorist, this channel is superior in the fact that the information is one-of-a-kind and his presentation is immaculate. I originally found his channel while searching for DaVinci Resolve color grading tutorials, and subscribed because it was clear his content gets better with every upload.
5. Becki and Chris
Becki and Chris’ channel is a perfect example of how good, clean, honest content can inspire other creators. Whether you’re shooting product, real estate, are into photography, or just into making a YouTube channel, you’ll find everything you need here. If you’re using mirrorless or DSLRs, this channel is your go-to resource for gear, cinematography, and how you should approach the post-production process.
6. Of Two Lands
No matter the scale or scope of your project, you’re always going to want to have the smoothest shoot possible. Efficiency is something Of Two Lands excels at. Their videos are clean, precise, and totally informative. The structure of the channel is pretty simple—they shoot mind-blowingly beautiful mini docs or cinematography showcase reels, then break it down in following videos, explaining their process for shooting, grading, and lighting. We need more channels with this kind of transparency and I think they benefit creators in a huge way.
7. Rob Ellis
This channel should have more subscribers. I don’t know why it doesn’t, but it’s certainly catching on as I’ve seen it grow exponentially in the past year. The videos are just so good, it’s ridiculous. I honestly think you’d learn more about lighting and cinematography in these videos than I certainly ever did at my three years in film school. No matter the budget you’re working with or the gear you have, Rob masterfully shows you how to approach lighting and how light can affect the emotions in your scene.
8. Indy Mogul
Now, I know I said I was only going to include smaller, relatively unknown channels on this list, but when Indy Mogul stops putting out helpful, informative content, then I’ll stop adding them to these lists. What used to be the go-to resource for filmmaking is still just that. No matter your experience or interest, there’s something to find from this absolutely expansive channel that never seems to let up.
Did you think I wasn’t going to include our own channel?? The videos we put out are also covering a wide variety of topics and genres. If you’re a video editor or motion graphics artist you’re in luck, as we always try to publish something about every NLE available. We’re also always posting FREE assets available to every editor.
10. Shutterstock Tutorials
In a similar fashion, our sister channel, Shutterstock Tutorials, takes a lighter, more beginner-friendly approach to editors, filmmakers, and photography. We try to make sure that the content is informative, without being boring. Just like PremiumBeat, there are topics on all programs, gear, and styles of filmmaking. Expect to find freebies there, as well!
Cover image via bodnar.photo.
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