The best YouTube channels for filmmakers

As one of the biggest (i.e. most popular) search engines ever, YouTube is not only a big player in the silly goat videos realm, but in the education and information worlds as well. Some of the best content on YouTube is there to show us how to do something ourselves, walk us through a scenario we might encounter, or explain a topic we’re interested in. Here are some of our favorite YouTube channels (in no particular order) that deal with video production, filmmaking, movies and films, and content creation in general.

YouTube channels

  • FilmRiot - Equal parts short films, filmmaking tutorials, and goofy antics, Film Riot is spearheaded by the insanely talented Ryan Connolly, and provides an approachable, in-depth, and first hand look at every aspect of filmmaking.

  • The Basic Filmmaker - Kevin from TBF provides a fun, quirky, and educational look at video production - from basic video skills for beginners to higher end techniques for seasoned pros, and everything in between.

  • DSLR VideoShooter - Fellow Illinoisan Caleb Pike has a very passionate following, and for good reason. His DIY projects, filmmaking tutorials, and gear reviews are all incredibly well produced. With a massive library of videos that stretches back several years and his more recent live-streams Caleb is on a mission to shed light on every nook and cranny of video production and filmmaking.

  • Mr. CheesyCam - There’s nothing cheesy about CheesyCam’s channel - he somehow balances making gear reviews, how-to videos, and behind-the-scenes vignettes for his YouTube channel AND producing actual client work. Tons of videos, all of them helpful for anyone interested in filmmaking and video production.

  • Tony and Chelsea Northrup - Tony and Chelsea have a great channel chock-full of photo and video knowledge from their decades of combined experience. While they focus primarily on photography and gear, their videos are sure to be helpful for anyone interested in creating beautiful images. Plus, hosting a YouTube channel with your spouse? #couplegoals

  • Sonduck Films - Josh from Sonduck Films has been creating killer filmmaking tutorials for several years now. More recently they’ve been focused on creating awesome motion graphics tutorials using After Effects, but there are Premiere Pro tutorials in there as well, and even some short films he creates. He’s got a laid back, approachable way of teaching that’s perfect for newbies and veterans alike.

  • EC Abrams - Evan is a goofy After Effects guru from Canada, and as such you can expect to see him drink beer or say “boobies” during a tutorial. Seriously. But silliness aside his tutorials are insanely helpful and super easy to digest. Geared towards those starting out I still find myself going back to his tutorials when I need to brush up on fundamentals.

  • NerdWriter - Another Evan, but this one makes absolutely amazing video essays on topics from ranging from the cinematography of the fight scenes in Lord of the Rings to how Super Nintendo Music was created to why there are so few cell phones in movies. This is hands down one of my favorite channels.

  • Atola Visuals - Kitty from Atola produces tons of content with a fun, colorful style. Lots of gear reviews pepper her channel, but in between those you’ll find vlogs and interviews with other creators. Check out her Instagram as well - the color scheme alone will show you that this woman knows how to create killer visuals.

  • Lessons From the Screenplay - Michael breaks down movie scripts into engaging, digestible video essays. These videos are made to help us understand even the most complex of movies, villains, or heroes, and in turn, make us better storytellers. He’s got a smaller library of videos than some of the other YouTubers out there, but once you watch even one of his videos I’m sure you’ll agree with me that he’s got a big future ahead of him.

  • Tested - Helmed by former MythBuster and famed DIYer Adam Savage, Tested is a haven for makers, film buffs, nerds, gamers, and pretty much anyone with a pulse. With a podcast, one-day-builds, TONS of amazing tutorials, and plenty of other informative content this is a one-stop shop for makers of any kind.

  • Aputure - While their primary function might be making some of the best reviewed lighting equipment on the market, the A-Team over at Aputure also has a phenomenal YouTube channel. In-depth lighting tutorials, scene breakdowns, and cinematography tips are just a few of the many things you’ll find on this channel to help with your creative vision.

  • Matt Price from Soundrolling.com - Matt focuses on sound recording for film and video. With gear reviews, a live weekly Q&A, and tutorials all aimed at helping you record better audio, Matt’s channel is one of those you’ll check out once and start coming back regularly.

  • Cinematography Database - Matt Workman of CDB produces an absolute buttload (yeah, that’s the official term) content ranging from gear reviews to cinematography tutorials to goofy Cinema4D scenes. Incredibly talented and very helpful (he’s super responsive on social media), Matt is one of those people who loves producing beautiful images and sharing how he does it.

  • Christopher Frost Photography - THE channel for lens reviews, Christopher Frost has a unique presentation style and a massive library of videos (and likely an equally massive collection of lenses). His reviews are conversational and practical with tons of real-world examples. If you’re thinking about buying a lens, check out this channel first and see what he’s got to say about it.

  • Griffin Hammond - A good friend of ours and the documentary filmmaker behind “Sriracha” Griffin produces videos for clients all over the world and shares how he does it, what gear he uses, and even hosts a (video) podcast with his long-time friend Nick where he answers other freelance, low-budget, and indie filmmaking questions.

  • The Film Look - Rob and Rich are two blokes from across the pond whose videos are all about pursuing the film look. Cinematography, gear reviews, producing small and no budget films from the ground up, and pretty much every other topic you could hope for. This is a channel for filmmakers by filmmakers.

  • Kai W. - Kai does a ton of practical, real world camera and gear reviews. He’s funny as hell, and while he doesn’t take himself too seriously, he’s serious about producing incredibly helpful content for video producers and filmmakers.

  • D4Darious - Darious Britt produces a ton of great content that’s aimed at HOW to produce great content. With his signature ring-light, filming at various angles, quirky cuts in his videos, and charismatic personality, his channel is one you’re going to go back to again and again.

  • Curtis Judd - One of the best audio focused YouTubers, Curtis produces in-depth reviews on almost every mic, recorder, or audio-related piece of gear imaginable. If you’re looking at recording better audio for your videos (and you should be) you need to check this channel out.

  • Casey Neistat - The OG YouTuber, Casey is one of the best known personalities on the whole damn internet. While he doesn’t produce content specifically for filmmakers and video producers per se, he does produce video gear reviews and how-to videos. His style, storytelling, and work ethic alone are a masterclass in content creation (in a daily vlog format), and he’s super dedicated to helping other YouTubers start their video careers.

  • Peter McKinnon - Peter has a completely unique style and delivery, and is a great storyteller. His channel is crazy popular (he’s gotten nearly 3 million subs in just a couple years), and he produces videos literally all over the world. Besides jealousy-inducing travel vlogs, he has a TON of tutorials on creating better photos and videos.

  • Sarah Dietschy - Her name rhymes with peachy but don’t let that sweet idiom fool you - this woman is on a road to the top. With an infectious personality, the ability to tell relatable stories, a vlog, and a podcast, you’ll have plenty of reasons to watch her stuff again and again.

  • Philip Bloom - Philip is one of the OGs that ushered in the DSLR revolution several years ago. With a couple decades of industry experience under his belt he produces a lot of helpful gear reviews for other industry folks. His videos are in-depth, practical, and beautifully shot. Plus, he posts a bunch of pictures of his cute cats on his social media.

Honorable Mention:

  • Every Frame a Painting - The sole entry in the HM category, the Every Frame A Painting guys sadly stopped creating video essays in late 2017, but their work still lives on. Topics range from Akira Kurosawa to Michael Bay and Action Comedy to The Art of Silence, and everything in between. Binge watching a few of these is as good as a film degree.