Looking for some filmmaking inspiration? Check out these YouTube channels for all the vlogs, tutorials, and video essays you need.
YouTube is a truly underrated asset for filmmakers. It offers an unimaginable volume of content, all with the intention of teaching and inspiring young filmmakers. Even if you just picked up the art as a hobby, you can find advice for all experience levels, from “never having picked up a camera” to “mastering Adobe After Effects.” Instead of including big-time YouTubers like Peter McKinnon or Film Riot in this round-up, I’ll be showcasing some of the truly underrated channels that are really helping the filmmaking community.
Chrystopher Rhodes brings you actionable tips while also showcasing his finished products, so you can see the advice in action. Creating everything from vlogs to editing tutorials to product reviews, YC Imaging is an excellent resource for all things camera, lenses, or lighting. Offering about four videos a week, this channel does not let up with the helpful videos and tips. His finished music videos are very inspiring, and they’re done in a style that aspiring YouTubers should learn.
Ted and the team from lighting company Aputure have built one of the most consistently helpful and interesting YouTube channels in the past couple years. Demonstrating lighting setups and ways you can shoot your project, the skills and know-how they share is priceless - direct from the people that literally make the lights you’re using.
Speaking of lighting, cinemaK brings us some of the best demonstrations of how to light scenes - while keeping costs down. His DIY mentality is perfect for creators helping other creators solve problems resourcefully. Plus, who doesn’t love DIY videos? He hasn’t been uploading as much lately, but the channel is still around, proving its sticking power as an effective resource for anyone who needs info on the power of good lighting.
CookeOpticsTV is one of the most professional channels out there. Frankly, it should be on TV, given the quality of the production and the video professionals involved. Whether it’s interviews or in-depth tutorials on why movies feel the way they do, the channel is highly entertaining and continues to put out incredible content.
One of the most energetic voices rising in the film community right now is Zach Ramelan. He does it all: shoots music videos, edits and creates vlogs, and shows his viewers how filmmaking is done. His vlogging helps filmmakers by offering insight into how the modern videographer and producer earns a living - and what they can expect from their careers. His tutorials are often thorough and passionate. Keep an eye out for his name - you’ll see it everywhere in the not-too-distant future.
So, as you might expect, Grip Tips targets grips, production assistants, DPs, and DIY aficionados. As you can see from the video above, most of the videos focus on how to build, assemble, and manage the production gear you’ll find on a big set - while also considering safety. There are several videos on their channels devoted to working with C-stands and lighting stands in general. Even if you’re not working on a big set, this type of information will come in handy on your own productions.
If you’re looking for music video recreations, or just awesome VFX work, Cinecom.net is your channel. Jordy and company work out of their DIY studio building impressive rigs and sets. The channel is a lot of fun, and it’s perfect for anybody exhausted with filmmakers who take themselves too seriously. They’re having a lot of fun and creating some pretty incredible tutorials.
The least actionable, but certainly one of the most authoritative, channels on this list is Wolfcrow. Diving into cinematographers’ work in the most specific, detailed way gives us an inside look at how movies get made today. The format for this channel is video essay; however, if you watch this channel instead of spending thousands upon thousands of dollars in tuition at film school, you’ll be just fine.
One of the most recent creators on the scene, Brandon Washington offers a fresh channel that is gaining momentum. Contributing a perfect blend of inspiration, editing, photography, and hands-on gear reviews, Washington will blow up in the next year, most likely creating and producing content you’ll see on fstoppers, No Film School, PremiumBeat, etc. This channel is perfect for anybody interested in photography and videography.
Well, I have to plug our channel, obviously! The Shutterstock Tutorials YouTube channel is just getting started, and we’ve got tons of fresh material in the works. Offering actionable tips on editing, shooting, and lighting, the channel is here to help new filmmakers find their voices while teaching them a few things along the way. Make sure to subscribe as the channel gets into product reviews and more advanced tutorials.
PremiumBeat is a perfect resource for all things filmmaking. Whether it’s After Effects, Premiere Pro, or DaVinci Resolve, the tutorials cover all ground - basic, advanced, and everything in between. They also have stellar cinematography, inspiration, and DIY build tutorials as well. There’s something for everybody, and occasionally they’ll give away some free assets with their videos.