Filmmaking Resources from Annie


Celtx – free screenwriting program

This is what I always use when screenwriting. Completely free, all you have to do is download it and begin writing. It’s easy to use and ridiculously easy to learn, making the somewhat cumbersome formatting of screenplays natural without breaking your thought flow.

Visit the Celtx website


Behind the Scenes for The Lord of the Rings – DVD

Although over 24 hours long, these are by far one of the best recourses we can recommend. Not only going into depth for each movie of the trilogy, but also getting deep into departments that are usually skipped over by movie special features. This set of behind-the-scenes offers an amazing window into what it takes to make a professional film. Walking through every single step of the process from the moment the rights to the book were obtained to the moment that it was shown on the screen for the first time, this is totally worth all of the time needed to watch it.

You can find the behind the scenes for The Fellowship of the Ring on YouTube here, but the others come with the Extended Special Edition dvds. The whole set is really expensive, so see if you might be able to borrow them from a friend or the library.


Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling Analyzed – Free eBook

Besides being well know for their amazing skills and advances in 3D animation, Pixar has enchanted audiences worldwide with their touching stories and incredible characters. Every single one of their movies is worth watching. If you’re not familiar with Pixar’s 22 rules, I highly recommend you go and take a look at those right now (http://imgur.com/a/fPLnM). This set of rules has been around for several years and recently has been expanded into a book that is completely free to download. I cannot recommend this book enough as an incredible way to craft and create your own stories. These rules and the analysis of them provide full, solid ideas and thoughts that are easily applicable to any writing.

Read the eBook here


Film Riot – YouTube channel

This channel is run by Ryan Connelly, an independent filmmaker with a passion for sci-fi and action movies. The whole FilmRiot channel is devoted to taking the mystery out of the effects and techniques that go into some of your favorite hollywood films. He has a lot of good advice to offer and a ton of examples with his own filmmaking sprinkled throughout the episodes.

Film Riot YouTube Channel

Warning: Throughout most of the show, the humor is dark and and somewhat violent. And though all of the swearing is bleeped out, it’s still there and they joke and laugh about it a lot.


How-To Film School – Website

This blog can seem extremely overwhelming at first, but there are tons of great nuggets just waiting to be found. It’s geared towards low-budget professionals with lots of articles and videos, stories from different movie sets, thoughts and things learned by filmmakers all over the country. Also, if you’re just starting to run a professional set, check out the ‘Free Film Documents’ tab. They have paperwork in there for just about anything you can think of. Though geared toward a professional level, I still recommend this as a resource simply because of the amount of great information and tips and trick available to learn from.

Visit howtofilmschool.com

Warning: There’s nothing particular about the website that deserves a real warning, but just a little bit of an informative approach to browsing the site. Though generally clean and I’ve never come across anything explicit, they do talk about and reference movies that have language, inappropriate behavior and scenes. Just use your best judgment before you read any articles or watch any videos that you’re not sure about.


Filmmaking for Teens, Pulling Off Your Shorts – book

This book was extremely helpful for offering a realistic picture for what a group of teenagers with no influence and no money could accomplish in making a movie. It’s a little outdated in the section pertaining to equipment, and it’s not too detailed in it’s overview of post-production. I didn’t end up using a lot of the ideas and suggestions as it’s written for public school juniors and seniors who can drive themselves around and have access to a large selection of potential cast and crew, but it’s an awesome book that offers a deeper look into the process of no-budget filmmaking.

Find this book on Amazon


Master Shots – book

Another book that’s a great introduction to filmmaking. Completely focused on Cinematography, it depicts well-done, interesting cinematography using stills from movies and complete, clear descriptions. A great resource for ideas (especially while shot listing), it’s a great book to have lying around.

Find this book on Amazon

Warning: At the end of the book, there is a sections devoted to Love Scenes with inappropriate pictures. We solved the problem by cutting that section out with scissors.


45 Master Characters – Book

This book is great for inspiration on 3 dimensional characters that are the driving force of your movie. Using examples not only from well known movies, the author also brings in examples from books, classic literature, and also ancient mythology, showing that these character types have been around since the beginning of time and still continue to enchant audiences.

Find this book on Amazon

Warning: We recently purchased this book and have not finished reading it, so we don’t know if there is any objectionable content, as yet.


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