Nov 6, 2007

Free Film School Class: Hitchcock 101

For the beginning filmmaker or the seasoned professional, there is one film course that is mandatory. It's as fun as it is educational. It's as visual as it is intellectual. It's arty, it's commercial, and there's one way to take a film class taught by two of the best filmmakers ever to have lived, even though they are deceased.

There are two requirements for the class. The course text will be "Hitchcock, by Truffaut". You can get it at Amazon or at a used book store for cheap. The second requirement is a membership with Net Flix or a well-stocked video store with an extensive Alfred Hitchcock section.

As you read the book, you will see it is divided up into sections, based on each of Hitchcock's films. I would suggest cracking open the book and reading, and then when you come to a film that sounds interesting, rent it. Having read hundreds of filmmaking books over the years, I can guarantee this book is one of the best. Filled with photos, descriptions of techniques (both in writing and production), anecdotes, etc., the book is a real treasure. I'm betting it will remain on your shelf for the rest of your filmmaking career.

BOOK: Hitchcock, by Truffaut

How To Download YouTube Videos To Your Computer

When it comes to building your free film school library, you may have been scratching your head as to how to download the videos from YouTube. There are some classic clips and famous scenes that are great to analyze on the website, but when you watch them, you are forced to use their viewer and watch the video at the speed of your computer and/or modem.

There are now a number of free websites that have a simple window in which you can paste the url of the video you wish to download, and they will convert that address into a "source target" address and download it to your desktop. In short, you will be able to watch the videos on your computer without the YouTube viewer and without being connected to the web.

Two examples are: