September 30, 2012

What Do You Want to See in the Next Version of No Film School? (Open Thread)

It's been almost three years since I launched this site in its present form; the design as it is now is the same as it was then. Aesthetically I don't mind it, but there are a lot of functions and features we could have that we don't. A year ago I ran a poll about what should be in the next version, but I never ended up having the bandwidth to design it myself (I'm trying to make my first feature at the same time, after all), and so we'll be working with a design firm to take the site to the next level. I've been preparing a design spec, and I have a good idea of what I want to see in the next iteration (and the next, and the next). However, above all else this site is here for you guys -- so please let us know what you'd like to see in the relaunch and we will consider everything!

Thanks for being part of one of the fastest-growing film sites in the world. In the scheme of things, we're just getting started.

[speech bubble image by Marc Wathieu]

Your Comment

181 Comments

Disqus comments without pagination :)

September 30, 2012

1
Reply
Matrox

Anyone use Livefyre? Disqus vs. Livefyre?

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

A forum would be useful.

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply

forum would be great, it's a great site, I've learned a lot from it. don't change it too much!

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Peter kelly

No eBook pop-up (or a better way to know that you already signed up or opted out) and better mobile site

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply

We need a forum, for sure.

September 30, 2012

1
Reply
Nav

Mobile site, no e-book pop up.

September 30, 2012

4
Reply
David J. Fulde

I love the site but I feel as if there isn't a community on here. I guess that would be resolved with the forum and maybe a better comment section (one with likes).

Also a better "older entries" platform would be really useful!

September 30, 2012

-2
Reply

Totally. Community is the main thing for the next version!

September 30, 2012

1
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I would say Discus comments should be added like @Matrox mentioned, and that's about it Ryan. Could use a minor UI makeover but it's not necessary. Great site for filmmakers overall!

September 30, 2012

0
Reply

its already perfect for me.
I read this site everyday.
what i asking for is more useful articles everyday..
I am always upset when there're only few articles uploaded in one day.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
gordon

Me too! Will be putting out another call for writers soon.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

A section with reviews would be nice

September 30, 2012

2
Reply
Vince

Some sort of search system for archived articles on the site. (hate looking for a post from a year ago that had useful tips)

September 30, 2012

1
Reply

No more ebook pop up. Full feeds. Overall growth has been good.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Ajit

The site is great, i visit daily since you guys provide such great content. I read almost all of the articles and love to see the reactions in the comments. But the number one thing that needs to change is that ridiculous e-book pop up. It honestly makes the site feel cheap. Not to mention that it is incredibly annoying, and is a real pain to close out of from a mobile browser. It's a turn off, and its almost always the first thing a friend will mention to me when I share an article with them.

September 30, 2012

1
Reply

A vlog or a podcast would be great! (Just an idea)

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Max

Yup!

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Forums would be very useful, along with some area for viewer created content (tutorials, demonstrations, test shots, that kind of thing).

September 30, 2012

2
Reply
John

It would be nice to have normal account, where I can change my avatar, view my comments etc.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Andrzej Tokarski

Well, I like the website the way it is now, don't mind about the forum, visually it's pleasing, however I think it's missing few tools to find old posts, maybe a better way to categorize them so we could surf more efficiently to find something older faster. Usually tech driven posts get obsolete way faster and get mixed up with some interesting articles that from time to time people might want to re read. My two cents.

September 30, 2012

1
Reply
Marcus

I know some people complain that there are too many camera reviews here (it's supposed to be filmmaking in general, right?) - but I honestly love the gear reviews. This is already my go-to place for new gear reviews, and I only wish there were more. Every day, I hope to see a new toy for me to drool over - and the discussions that follow are sometimes more insightful than the articles themselves.

So maybe a second section dedicated to new hardware and reviews. Maybe you'd get to a point where companies are sending you gear to test before it's even available to the public.

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply

'clickable' images that send you to the article

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
danile

NFS is a fantastic site with a wealth of very useful information. While having community would make it more sticky and add value to users and to NFS for revenue, reorganizing top level categories would eliminate having to page through to find specific post(s). Currently top level is more about conversion. It should be based on content. Stats would help inform logical groupings of content. This with a few bucket tests and you'll have something that gives users quick/easy access to known and unknown content. Repeat visits will occur more frequently, subscription will increase, advertisers would see more value and other properties would be less relevant.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Bubba

I would like to see a vendor section by field, location, etc. for example, a firm like Reandevou Software that does mobile distribution for indie films can be found in this database, you should charge a SMALL fee for this to generate more support revenue. A visitor from Philadelphia can find resources local to him or her.

September 30, 2012

1
Reply
Ron

I'd like to see less of John Jeffreys and his "comments" - this is a place for strong, developed discussions. He acts just fine over on RedUser.net, so I don't understand why he has to bring negativity here. i.e., when things get off-topic or are just plain rude, those comments should be deleted.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Jared

Personally, I think John adds to the site. A contrarian voice is refreshing and stimulating, and means the comments section isn't just questions and single posts. We get actual discussions. Likewise, I don't think there should be upvoting or downvoting in the comments section for this reason; we'd get people burying unpopular views and simultaneously worshiping the easier ones. I've also found on such sites that sharp burns and zings get upvoted, which just adds to the tribalism.

I'll add my $0.02: a forum would be great. More community options would be wonderful too. More posts about the artistry and theory would be nice - I find that things can get a little too technical here. Deal more with the Why rather than the How. And more posts from Mar Belle!

My favorite articles are actually the ones from the writers' personal experiences. Koo's ones from 2 years ago are incredibly enlightening, and without wanting to sound too grovelling: inspiring. I'd love the site to have more of these.

Keep up the good work guys! I've been coming here for two years and learned a staggering amount. NFS has a bright future!

September 30, 2012

4
Reply
Chad Hustlington

Also, a female voice would be nice; the site seems to be almost entirely composed of males. An odd phenomenon.

September 30, 2012

2
Reply
Chad Hustlington

Love the site. Evoked popup kills me.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Chris

Love the site. Ebook popup kills me.

September 30, 2012

-2
Reply
Chris

This site is already great. One thing I would want though could be a job post/board?

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply
Seth

Hire guest filmmakers/ who have made features and can share info. Hire guest filmmakers/writers who have a real appreciation for film history and can teach nofilmschoolers not only how to be more film literate but use that to make better films.

September 30, 2012

1
Reply
dan

Hi Ryan, I would firstly like to say thank you for creating this site and maintaining your news feed. nofilmschool.com has become my number 1 source for industry news involving products. The interviews with DP's, Directors, etc., I consider them an extra. I just wanted to tell you that first before I continue.

If I could have one thing that currently isn't in your site, it would be an archive of each product posted so that I could read every posting on a particular product.

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply
John

Smaller header. Smaller sidebar area. More area dedicated to content/articles. I feel like the current design has a lot of margin space and framing that could be done away with in favor of a more streamlined layout that focuses on getting more content on the page.

A forum would be nice, but I prefer seeing comments specific to each article. It would also be nice to be able to upvote/downvote comments.

Visually, the colors could be a bit less gray/mauve. Nothing too flashy, but maybe add a background image or some kind of color scheme that doesn't remind me of Bill Cosby in a sweater circa 1987.

Footer menu. Keep it small and simple.

Ever since your team has expanded, the content has been coming a good pace. I really like reading the insight that Joe and the other contributors have brought to the table. It's a great site, and I look forward to seeing the makeover.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Derik

What happened to E.M.?

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Idol-Maker

It's been virtually ALL product reviews since you (Koo) moved on...

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Idol-Maker

I disagree, but yes -- we will be bringing on more writers and expanding into more topics.

September 30, 2012

2
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Categories tab so all the articles for one category are listed eg. shorts / techn news / writing / funding ....

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Tony

Absolutely. For now we have a "Hot Topics" sidebary area where you can sort by tag, i.e:

http://nofilmschool.com/tag/screenwriting

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Oh yeah guess I never saw that because of all the flashing advertisements on the right side ...
I understand you need them but maybe there is a way to make them more subtle

October 1, 2012

0
Reply
Tony

Perhaps as a sub-forum, it would be cool to post a project, and detail various needs (actors, crew, locations), so that local resources could find each other and network.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
James

this

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
carlos

I agree. I think it would be great if there was a NFS forum for us to post projects, but also a place for us to just discuss anything related to film making. I feel like this site has a great group of readers and a discussion forum here would be of great value.

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply
Julian

Scenios and WreckaMovie.com (the former was covered a week ago on here).

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply

Maybe categories such as "technology" "artistry" and "people".

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply

Perhaps organize the site into different sections, like, education/tutorials, products/reviews, news, business development, website building, computer hardware, software, opinion/lifestyle...stuff like that.

September 30, 2012

1
Reply

love the idea of a mobile site. (NFS always crashes my blackberry!)

Sorry for being slightly off topic, but would love an update for the hackintosh too.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Juls

+1. When I view on an iPhone, that pop-up advertisement (for some sort of DSLR training or something?) is a serious pain in the behind.

September 30, 2012

-1
Reply

didn't see the first page of comments...but anyway, perhaps also offer a way for readers to rate articles? In addition, maybe a way for registered member to post their work and receive constructive feedback from others? And last, more contests and giveaways :)

September 30, 2012

2
Reply

It's been my experience that when sites or forums get all super organized just for the sake of being organized, it sort of deadens the experience. I personally love scrolling down and jumping from DIY projects to a post on creativity to what new glass is out there. I feel that's what draws me to this site. What I would love to see however is a forum, so aye to that.

September 30, 2012

1
Reply
Nicolás

I mean it in response to the people who said to separate content into different sections. And also, let's face it, it's a blog, in the sense that it doesn't produce posts like every minute that would justify the need to organize it into sections.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Nicolás

I think we could have our cake and eat it too -- a homepage that includes all stories but with filters that allow for drilling down into specific categories.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

this is why you have founded one of the greatest websites on the net today

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
James

The main page look is fine. Don't mess with it.
There are if anything too many articles
and as a result too little depth in them.

Almost total non-existance of people selling films for
actual money. Must be because no-one does.
All about gear and spending money.
Not making money.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
sammy

Agreed. Keep the current theme - because it's great. but just make it easy to navigate into sub genres if you need to try and track down an article a month/year later.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply

I would like to see more quick, one or two sentence tips.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Sam Thomson

A mobile smart phone friendly version of the site.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Matt

Long overdue!

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

THIS. Or perhaps an app for iOS and Android, like the Engadget app.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply

Looks like the main blog doesn't need but a few tweaks, it was born beautiful after all. The main thing the posters want is a way to contribute back, and who could ask for a better audience than that?!

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Matt

I am not sure if there is already a twitter, but if not, make one simply for quick tips, or little known facts.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Ethan

have a featured video/film.

yes, there is vimeo and youtube and all the rest. but having one weekly, daily monthly featured movie at the top or the bottom or the side of the screen would be aspirational for the audience.

motionographer is a pretty big deal in the motion graphics industry. it's home grown with lots and lots of examples and showpieces.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
featured project

I certainly second all the comments about having forums, taking off (or a better way of reducing) the ebook pop-up, and a mobile version of the site. I think it would be helpful for users to have accounts, too. That would allow for email notifications, like if you are following a specific conversation in the comments or a forum, or even building profiles so we can see each other's work easier, and maybe even find nearby filmmakers for collaboration.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
David

A more complete section of tutorials, and more cover by some softwares like lightworks. Are two things I

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Samuel Telles

I would love to see a more robust commenting / forum structure. Comment editing would be great.

That said, do NOT make the "forum" like dvxuser, reduser, or any of the "user" sites. We don't need more forums like that. I think a more reddit-like commenting model would be great, not to mention the most social.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
dv

This is what I've been spending the most time on. A "next generation" forum solution with community moderation; absolutely. I don't even know if I want to call it a "forum"...

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

God no. Upvoting/downvoting is the best way to create a massive hivemind problem for your website.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
john jeffreys

As opposed to hijacking a comment section with nonsense and antagonizing people?

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Shots fired.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Edge

Just saying, its going to make the website really unappealing to people with voices.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
john jeffreys

Respectful voices still find their way through in a system like that.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Not always. I occasionally observe reddit-style community systems, and I notice that it ends up being a breeding ground for the sanctimonious, the self-righteous, and the unprogressive. God help us if NFS goes that way. True anonymity and complete freedom is the key to an intelligent and forward thinking online community.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
john jeffreys

I don't see how anonymity helps a community grow, in fact, the behavior you're speaking of, is more or less directly related to anonymity.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

October 1, 2012

0
Reply
john jeffreys

Literally none of that is related to NoFilmSchool. This is a place of learning and hopefully a place where we are helping to make the entire community more knowledgeable -- and ultimately the hope is that better films are made. It was never designed as a place to vent or talk about anything and everything (at least in its current form). There are other places for that. I'm not sure as an independent filmmaker why you would want to remain anonymous online. On the indie side, remaining anonymous means it's that much harder to get yourself or your name out there.

More to your point, you alone have discouraged people from commenting because of some of the comment threads that you've hijacked (I've been told this multiple times). Often they just don't even bother. That's not to say that you don't also contribute positively, but does that sound like a case for anonymity?

October 1, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

User submitted articles (moderater approved) and featured videos made by viewers.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Gareth

One thing that I think is missing from the online filmmaking community as a whole is a place where users can submit their work and get honest feedback/criticism about it. If a community-moderated place like this existed, I think professionals and amateurs alike could identify the strengths and weaknesses of their work, which is something we all could benefit from.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Dan

Definitely. Part of the community features.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

A mobile version would be nice :)

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Chris

A "Featured Tutorials" section. Or something of the sorts. This site is great to come to to hear about all the news in the filmmaking world. But originally I came here because I thought there would be a lot of technical "learning" resources.
Maybe people could have a place to submit their own tutorials or BTS on shoots they've done. A place dedicated to "schooling."
If its called NoFilmSchool, it seems like there should be something here that could theoretically, replace Film School.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply

tap into that Open Community power. Create a Win-Win scenario for NoFilmSchool users. Maybe anyone could submit a tutorial or BTS video that they produce, and then arrange a way to let those producers make a small cut off of advertising revenue made from the page that their content is featured on.
I think you could generate a massive amount of awesome content that way, and become a really valuable resource for learning REAL applicable filmmaking techniques.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply

Yup. Believe me the list of things I'd like in the site is incredibly long. But it helps to hear from you guys what you want!

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I have no improvements to suggest for this site. I think it's just about right in all ways. And I'm sure you know how hard that is for me to say! =p

(Though yes the ebook popover could safely disperse...)

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
Peter

I would encourage you to have a designer make a better masthead and clean up the layout. The masthead is a bit rough. But the content is outstanding!

September 30, 2012

0
Reply

The whole thing's being redesigned, not just the masthead. I was a Senior Designer at MTV for three years so, yes.... I'm aware. Did this design in a week myself. I'm looking more for functionality and feature feedback; thanks!

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Keep it like a classic blog, where you keep scrolling down and you see all the articles. Please dont turn it into a gizmodo/verge/gawker style categorically organized ADD fuckfest.

And make a forum.

September 30, 2012

0
Reply
john jeffreys

Pages