If you're interested in making movies, or maybe just developing a better appreciation for them, then you will have to devote some time to reading up on the craft. The following resources, most offered both in print and online, will help you learn more about film making and the industry surrounding it.

On set.
Credit: By Tamara podolchak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


If there's one way to learn how to write a script and how the written word becomes an image on the screen, it's by reading the scripts themselves. Many scripts are now being made available for all to read, but some of the independent fair you'll be lucky to come across.

Dailyscript.com – A comprehensive database of movie scripts, some free, some not.

Your local library – Only within the last 10 years or so did it become fashionable and profitable to offer scripts for sale to the mass market. Some of the bigger movie scripts are released in trade paperback format for everyone to access. Libraries will often stock some of these titles and they're worth a look at.



First, in order to understand how movies are made you will want relevant examples drawn from contemporary movies. Magazines offer you just that by way of interviews with the latest and greatest and, often, special insight into how they did that special effect that caught your eye.

American Cinematographer – magazine of the American Cinematographers Society, an invite-only members club for the best and brightest in Hollywood and in America. The monthly magazine they publish is full of interviews with the director of photography (DOP) from the latest Hollywood and independent movies. Also offers gear reviews and some coverage of the independent scene.

Filmmaker Magazine – Dedicated to independent filmmaking, Filmmaker Magazine offers advice, articles, gear reviews and features to whet your filmmaking whistle and help you get better at your craft.

Creative Screenwriting – Articles and tips from Hollywood's latest and best screenwriters telling you how it is and dispesning useful advice as well as encouraging words to keep going despite the odds.

Cinefex – This quarterly magazine used to be the source of all things special effects but with the advent of so many digital art houses going at it independently this magazine has fallen in quality over the years. Still worth a look if only to see just how much of the scene you're looking at is really made in a computer.


The Trades

Film making magazines will take you only so far before you will need to develop a better understanding of the Big Money that controls so much of the movie industry. And that's where the so called “trades” come in. From North America to London to Asia, the trades offer an inside glimpse at the state of the film industry itself. Further, the price tag on these items means that you'll probably need to get them from your local library instead of purchasing your own copies. Just about all of them offer op-ed commentaries, box office figures, film and theatre (called “legit”) reviews and some times special features. These are the magazines that your daily newspaper get much of their entertainment news from.

Screen International – Published in London, this trade paper focuses on the European film industry. Like all trades, it has coverage of other areas

The Hollywood Reporter – Published in Hollywood with local variants all over the world, THR is one of the longest running and most respected trade paper in the industry.

Variety – The longest running trade paper is seen by some to have the best coverage of the industry. Offers both a daily and weekly version with some content for free online.

Playback – The Canadian trade paper of the film industry is similar to its international cousins except that it gives priority to Canadian films and participants.

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