These links are provided as a starting-off point. Do not use these as your only source material.
For an excellent example of a short script, check out Beacon Calling by Chris Keaton.
The who’s, what’s, where’s, and when’s of film. A great resource with information about plot, actors, directors, box office results, and more.
- Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
Film ratings and policies.
- Film ratings
Also from the MPAA.
- 2:3 Pulldown Explained
Explains the process of converting film (@ 24fps) to video (@29.97 fps).
- Stanford Research Into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising
From the Stanford School of Medicine.
- Women in American Media: A Culture of Misperception
“This paper will address the tools used by media against women and will analyze the consequences of their use.”
- Women and Hollywood
“Women and Hollywood educates, advocates, and agitates for gender parity across the entertainment industry.”
- Gender Inequality in Popular Films
A six-year research study examining on-screen portrayals and behind-the-scenes employment statistics.
- The Celluloid Ceiling
Women on screen and behind the scenes.
- 2014 Hollywood Diversity Report
Explores “the relationship between diversity and the bottom line”.
- Race and Hollywood
Ongoing research and information from Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.
- Diversity in Hollywood
List of studio diversity initiatives
- The Hollywood Writers Report
“Commissioned by the Writers Guild of America, West, the Hollywood Writers Report provides an update on the progress of women, minority, and older writers on the employment and earnings fronts.”
- “Six Depressing Things About Diversity in Film”
A super-short overview of this report from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
- DGA Report Finds Director Diversity in Episodic Television Remains Static
An analysis of “the ethnicity and gender of directors hired to direct primetime episodic television across broadcast, basic cable and premium cable”.
- Directors Guild of America (DGA) diversity initiatives
“The DGA aims to increase and support diversity in the entertainment community through membership committees, networking opportunities and job training and mentoring programs. The Guild also regularly tracks and calls attention to the employment of women and minority directors on primetime drama and comedy television series.”
- Hollywood failing to keep up with rapidly increasing diversity, UCLA study warns
- Oscar voters overwhelmingly white, male
94% are white. 77% are male.
- Race/Ethnicity in 600 Popular Films: Examining On Screen Portrayals and Behind the Camera Diversity
- Why Are Female Directors Having (Relative) Success in Independent Film, but Not in Hollywood?
“The ratio of men and women who graduate from film school with a focus on directing is about 50/50 and has been for some time. This means that something is happening between the commencement ceremony and wrap party — so, what is it?”
- MPAA Theatrical Market Statistics 2013
Who buys the most tickets? Men? Women? How about Caucasians compared to minorities?
- YouTube must take down ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ film that sparked outrage: judge
What happened when this movie was released? And why was it taken down?
- Early Cinema
Has a great timeline of events.
- Film and Television Play Vital Role in Driving Innovation, Strengthening US Economy
Although this article appears in a legitimate news source, it is actually a blog post. This is an example of why it is important to analyze the writer’s credentials. That is not to say that the information in this piece is incorrect or misleading; however, the author has something at stake here, which increases the likelihood of bias.
- 5 Top Mistakes All Freelancers Should Avoid
Valuable insight for anyone looking to do freelance work.
- Factors That Contribute to the Success of a Business
Short and sweet info: Business plan, timing, location, and cost control
- How to Set Up Your Own Business
Lots of great information. Mentions UK resources that may not be applicable in the US.
- How Much Should I Charge for My Freelance Services?
Breaks it down into simple, logical steps.
- Which Legal Structure is Right for Your Business
Most indie companies and freelancers use an LLC model, but it is important to read through the various options to decide what is best for you.
- What Happens When Hollywood Film Production Meets Social Media?
Discusses “an important and interesting new genre of filmmaking that can be located within the much debated arena of social media. This genre, which can be classified as the social film, offers new Hollywood production practices as a result of social media technologies”.
- How Social Media is Changing the Way Movies Are Promoted
“From creating viral alternate reality campaigns to using social networks to build awareness, the movie industry is busy leveraging social media to connect with fans and promote its products.” Discusses large movie releases.
- How Social Media and the Web Helped Avatar Earn $1 Billion
“While smaller films have used social media to spread the word guerrilla-style, no other major blockbuster has employed a full-on social web marketing assault quite like Avatar.”
- 5 Indie Films That Couldn’t Have Been Made Without Social Media
“Five popular indie films that the world may never have seen without social media.”
- Dorito’s Time Machine Commercial
Local Arizona man creates Super Bowl contest commercial for $200. Wins $1 million. They won because it was a great commercial, but they effectively used social media to spread the word about their commercial and gain votes. Their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
- Social Media Play Big Role in Movies
“Comments posted by audience members on Twitter or online film sites such as Rotten Tomatoes can sway public opinion and ticket sales”
“Word-of-mouth has always been a very effective tool at either propelling or sinking movies,” said Karie Bible, a box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations Co. “Now, with social media, it travels at the speed of light.”
- Social Media Is a Major Game Changer for Independent Films
“For indendepents who tend to have limited financial resources, social media is the key to connecting with engaged audiences.”
How Social Media Impacts TV and Film Ratings
“It’s getting more and more difficult for content producers to get the audience attention that television shows and films need to stay afloat. Kay M. Madati, head of entertainment and media and global marketing solutions at Facebook, discussed this and the effect of social media on entertainment at Mashable’s Media Summit on Friday. The Media Summit explores how new forms of technology and innovative business models are transforming the media landscape.”
- 5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now
Video that talks about scientific research (in a fun way).
- Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings
Who’s Tweeting About TV? The Nielsen Group collects data on how many people tweet and how many tweets are sent during live shows.
- Social Media, Mobile, and YouTube Changing the Nature of “TV”
“Viewing habits are shifting dramatically in large part because of on-demand viewing and the availability of programming across screens.”
- 10 important factors to consider before starting your business
This is a slideshow that someone else created. The information is not unique to media production businesses, but the principles are sound for any industry.
- 7 Factors to Consider When Starting a Business
An analysis from someone who has failed and succeeded.
- Business Plans: A Step-By-Step Guide
- How to Successfully Market Your Indie Film
“Putting together a budget, a team and a plan for getting the word out about your film.”
- AMC Diversity and Inclusion
AMC Theaters stance on committing to diversity via film screenings and employments.
- Basic First Aid Training
- Hands Only CPR (American Heart Association)
- Safety on the Set (Warner Bros.)
- Pledge to Sarah (app and safety guidelines)
- Law and Technology Timeline
1888 – “Cinematographe” (first portable motion picture camera) invented
1912 – Motion pictures, previously registered as photographs, added to classes of protected works.
- Why Copyright Matters
The MPAA stance on copyright law.
- Understanding Copyright
Question Copyright wants to “free” content; they believe current copyright laws are antiquated and favor businesses over artists. What do you think?
- Fix Copyright
The curious case of copyright reform – and reversal.
- Sita Sings the Blues
Official website, which discusses her choice to switch the film from a CC license to the public domain.
- How Copyright Restrictions Suppress Art: An Interview With Nina Paley About “Sita Sings The Blues”
Nina discusses her experience and how her work became entangled in copyright laws.
- Fair Use Doctrine
- Understanding Copyright
Media Education Lab
- The Purpose of Copyright
“The core purpose of copyright law is not difficult to find; it is stated expressly in the Constitution. Article I, section 8, clause 8 of the United States Constitution provides that Congress shall have the power: “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
- Free Bieber
“A new bill in Congress makes posting a video containing any copyrighted work a felony– with up to 5 years in prison.
But wait… didn’t Justin Bieber get famous by posting YouTube videos of himself singing copyrighted R&B songs? Yep.
If this bill passes, he could get 5 years in jail.”
- Creative Commons
An alternative to the “all or nothing” philosophy of copyright.
- Copyright Laws Inhibit Creation of New Media
A perspective on copyright largely driven by sampling songs in the music industry.
- The Biggest Blunders in Music History
Number 1 used to be the Beatles; now, it’s the music industry reaction to Napster.
- Registering a trademark in Arizona
How to do it, direct from the source.
- 6 Consequences of Plagiarism
“The consequences of plagiarism can be personal, professional, ethical, and legal.”
- 15 Years After Napster: How the Music Service Changed the Industry
“Fifteen years ago, two teenagers revolutionized the way we share and listen to music. At the time, Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker were just amateur developers with a simple idea: an online platform where users could easily swap songs, no strings attached. They called it Napster.”
- Writing Effective Loglines
“A LOGLINE must present:
who the story is about (protagonist)
what he strives for (goal)
what stands in his way (antagonist).”
- How to Write the Perfect Logline: And Why It’s As Important as Your Screenplay
“The logline is an art form of its own.”
- The Logline: What It Is, Why You Need It, How To Write It.
“A logline is a one-sentence summary of your script. It’s the short blurb in TV guides that tells you what a movie is about and helps you decide if you’re interested in seeing it. It’s the grabber that excites your interest.”
- 10 Tips for Writing Loglines
“The difference between a logline and a tagline: A logline is a one (or occasionally two) sentence description that boils the script down to its essential dramatic narrative in as succinct a manner as possible. A tagline is a piece of marketing copy designed to go on posters to sell the film”
- How to Write a Logline
Includes a short video.
- Tips on Loglines
The Effects of Media on Society (1.1)
Diversity in Hollywood (1.1)
Film History (1.2)
Industry Success (1.3)
Freelance Success (1.3)
Social Media and the Media Industry (1.4)
Key Factors to Consider in Launching a Media Business (1.5)
Marketing, Sales, and Production (1.6)
Diversity and the Selection of Projects and Programs(1.9)
Industry Safety Standards (1.11)
Copyright Law (2.1-2.7)
Be sure to check out my post on the basics of copyright.
Writing and Proposals (7.2-7.3)
Camera Techniques (8.1)
- Microphone Directional Properties
“Every microphone has a property known as directionality. This describes the microphone’s sensitivity to sound from various directions. Some microphones pick up sound equally from all directions, others pick up sound only from one direction or a particular combination of directions.”
OSHA Standards (8.6)
“Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.”
- About OSHA
- Workplace Injury and Fatality Statistics
- Hazard Identification Safety Tool
- Motor Vehicle Safety
- Electrical Safety Standards
- Construction Industry
- Young Workers
- Workplace Violence
- Student Worker Killed While Filming Football Practice from a Scissor Lift
- Fall Protection
- Midnight Rider: Train collision at the Doctortown railroad trestle (Wikipedia)
“On February 20, 2014, director/producer Randall Miller, and other crew members, were filming a dream sequence on a CSX mainline railroad trestle in Doctortown, Georgia, when a train unexpectedly crossed the bridge and struck and killed second camera assistant Sarah Jones. William Hurt was able to evade the oncoming train before it hit the heavy, metal hospital bed he was on and shattered it, creating flying debris. Several other crew members were injured and were taken to hospital. The railroad trestle, that the film crew was directed to set up a shot on, is a historic bridge crossing the Altamaha River in Wayne County, Georgia at the location of the civil war Battle of Altamaha Bridge. According to the NTSB preliminary report the train was traveling at 58 mph and the speed limit for this section of track was 70 mph. On February 21, sheriff’s deputies identified the deceased as Sarah Elizabeth Jones, and confirmed that seven others were injured in the incident. Executive Producer Nick Gant, creative director and principal of Meddin Studios, denied any wrongdoing or negligence in the incident, and told Variety that the crew was extremely qualified, and blamed the railway company for the mishap. On February 24, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office released an incident report, in which it was stated that the production company had previously been denied permission by CSX to film on the train trestle. The investigation was later expanded to include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, treating Jones’ death as a negligent homicide.”
- Charges could prompt film industry to take crew safety more seriously
- Production company for “Midnight Rider” film cited for willful and serious safety violations following worker fatality and injuries
- ‘Midnight Rider’ Filmmakers To Challenge Safety Charges
Editing Techniques (9.4)
An overview of how film budgeting works.
- Hollywood On the Lake
Has budgeting, scheduling, call sheets, production reports, script breakdowns, release forms, and more.
- Final Cut Resources
Lots of downloads.
My site. All about screenwriting.
Arizona Student Film Festival
The White House Student Film Festival (Yes, President Obama might watch your film!)
International Student Film Festival Hollywood