Any film production company will tell you that the first step to filmmaking is writing. Screenplays use very particular formatting to help tell the story, and if you’re serious about sitting down to write a screenplay, you’ll want a program more powerful than Microsoft Word. You could shell out $180 for Final Draft, or you can get a program with the exact same functionality for free.
Celtx is a free download that lets anyone write a movie. It automatically formats your script to industry standards and keeps you organized so you can write the next Social Network.
Roger Deakins is one of the most respected cinematographers in the world. You’ve undoubtedly seen his work and if you haven’t then you have no business making films. When he’s not making Oscar-winning films, you can find him on his personal website where he’s always answering questions about cinematography. You can ask about almost anything light or camera related and you’ll almost always get an answer, if not from him then from dozens of other professionals that frequent the forum.
Nick Campbell’s creative blog is one of the best resources for film makers online. It started as a simple photoblog, then morphed when he started doing Photoshop, After Effects and Cinema4D tutorials. The tutorials are great, but the section of his site dedicated to being a creative professional is invaluable. He’s always posting his thoughts on doing freelance work, or how to boost your creativity, as well as sharing awesome links to other pages.
The crap you can do with After Effects is just absurd. This site is Mecca for anyone looking to get into motion graphics, Video Copilot is a comprehensive guide to Adobe After Effects. It’s incredible that a site this good is free. You learn something new with every tutorial, and you learn to problem solve in After Effects so you can do almost anything.
As messy and ugly as it is, YouTube is still the best place on the internet to learn how to do something. If you’re stumped with a problem, chances are you can go to YouTube, type in “_____ tutorial”, you’re going to probably going to find a solution.
15 years ago talking to an Oscar-nominated Director of Photography was impossible for most of us, now it’s just a few clicks away. The internet is an amazing place. Today we can basically carry almost all of human knowledge in our pocket; we can get the answer to almost anything instantaneously. It’s leveling the playing field so that anyone with ambition and an internet connection can make a film.