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

09.30.12 @ 10:00AM Tags : , ,

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]


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 185 COMMENTS

  • Disqus comments without pagination :)

  • A forum would be useful.

  • Peter kelly on 09.30.12 @ 10:12AM

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

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

  • We need a forum, for sure.

  • David J. Fulde on 09.30.12 @ 10:21AM

    Mobile site, no e-book pop up.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • A section with reviews would be nice

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

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

  • 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.

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

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

  • Andrzej Tokarski on 09.30.12 @ 11:02AM

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ‘clickable’ images that send you to the article

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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, 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.

    • Chad Hustlington on 09.30.12 @ 11:14PM

      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!

      • Chad Hustlington on 09.30.12 @ 11:21PM

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

  • Love the site. Evoked popup kills me.

  • Love the site. Ebook popup kills me.

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

  • 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.

  • Hi Ryan, I would firstly like to say thank you for creating this site and maintaining your news feed. 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.

  • 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.

  • What happened to E.M.?

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

  • 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.

      • 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.

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

  • Maybe categories such as “technology” “artistry” and “people”.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • +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.

  • 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 :)

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

          • 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.

        • 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.

  • Sam Thomson on 09.30.12 @ 12:50PM

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

  • A mobile smart phone friendly version of the site.

  • 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?!

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

  • featured project on 09.30.12 @ 1:25PM

    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.

  • 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.

  • Samuel Telles on 09.30.12 @ 2:38PM

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

  • 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.

    • 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”…

    • john jeffreys on 09.30.12 @ 4:53PM

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

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

        • Shots fired.

        • john jeffreys on 09.30.12 @ 7:40PM

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

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

          • john jeffreys on 09.30.12 @ 8:07PM

            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.

            • 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.

            • 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?

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

    • 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.

  • A mobile version would be nice :)

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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!

  • 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…)

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • john jeffreys on 09.30.12 @ 4:51PM

    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.

    • Gizmodo and The Verge have pretty different designs.

      • john jeffreys on 09.30.12 @ 7:43PM

        I’m not a web design guy, but what I’m trying to say is that the new trend of websites/blogs being organized into a hundred little boxes or columns or clumps of information are not as efficient as the classical style of scrolling down a list and bam bam bam you read every article and click on it to get more info. If it aint broke, dont fix it. The new style is just too much information all at once and could confuse and intimidate the reader, forcing him/her to just read briefly and not really fully appreciate the writing and content.

        • I agree with John on this. For instance, P. Bloom’s site is a nightmare, love his stuff, don’t get me wrong, his site is just too convoluted.

          • You just hit blog and you get everything in chronological order on his site – I’m not sure how it can get easier than that.

        • I agree with John too. Especially as this site is updated daily, I really enjoy simply scrolling down, reading one blog at a time.

      • Joe, why can’t I reply back to you? Everyone else has a “reply” after their comments, but you don’t, at least in this one.

        Anyway, I agree that P. Bloom’s blog link itself is laid out similar in style to NFS, it’s just the subsections like DSLR gear, etc, that spreads the information around that I’m not fond of. It’s nice to have all info in one area, like NFS does now, so you don’t feel like you’re missing anything, or if you need to go back, it’s easy to find info.

  • I strongly believe in simplicity and elegance when it comes to interface design so maybe just tweak the existing layout without anything too radical. Multiple columns can be distracting though it is the current trend. People have different sized screens after all so bear that in mind.

  • The site is great the way it is, so please don’t make radical changes.
    I also think the DSLR pop-up can go, if possible, and mobile friendly would be great.
    Thanks for all you work and tons of great content!

  • I’d like to see an updated DLSR Cinematography Guide, although with innovations like the BMCC, perhaps it could be expanded to a “Low-Budget Cinematography Guide”.

    I’d also like to see more posts about the craft of filmmaking; we get them occasionally, but especially recently the articles are more tool-centric rather than intent-centric. Posts about light theory as related to storytelling, or about how grips can add to the creative process, or even advice about what film crew role would suit your personality best would make this site even better than it already is.

  • I would like a better way to browse through the different articles. It’s a bit messy now.

    Also, a forum would be nice.

  • Would love to see some tutorials in a variety of filmmaking techniques (doesn’t matter if they originate from NoFilmSchool), but also opening it up to audience interaction and providing them the opportunity to practice and display their own efforts. You know, playing on the whole ‘school’ side of things, like Show and Tell.

  • VINCEGORTHO on 09.30.12 @ 7:00PM

    Turorials section on filmmaking. But something beyond how to set your shutter speed. Categorized filmmaking sections for directing tips. How to work with actors. How to place your camera.

    Tech is cool. But It’s not filmmaking.

  • Usernames so that we can makes our own avatars and give mods the ability to conTROLL spammers.

    Also, I like someone’s idea of allowing more writers and people to post tutorials, etc. Can we somehow get paid per clicks or something for this, though, so your writers now don’t become obsolete?

  • An RSS feed and/or weekly newsletter.

    As a busy person, I don’t exactly have the luxury of constantly re-visiting NFS to check for updates. There are times when I’ve read everything, and have read nothing. I would love to get all the news composited in one weekly email or something of the sort. I’m not sure if it’s something everyone can appreciate, but it’s just an idea. It’s nobody’s fault that I don’t get to come here often as I’d like :P

  • I would really love to see an archive of pasts posts broken down by year and month. It is fairly difficult to track down old posts. For example, I think you did a post on some $100 color grading video tutorial about a year ago which I have been trying to find but can’t when I search your site for posts related to “color.”

  • Maybe a Social network noting big just for ppl showing off there work something like twitter but for film makers

  • thadon calico on 09.30.12 @ 10:37PM


    No but seriously! the mobile version of NFS is loooooooooooong Overdue

  • Plugin links, website links, and categories for helpful info. Right now I feel like I have to search for everything…so maybe two/three clicks away from helpful info.

  • A more sophisticated comments system with voting and notifications.

    • Agreed although with the current site you’ll probably never even see this reply!

      I thing a forum is not a great idea only because I have seen them crash and burn a la philip bloom and unless it works it can just end up being the same 10 people discussing the same things.

  • More about writing, directing actors and tools to help you tell the best story.

    • Agree with brett
      we and NFS really need That o-)
      There are lots of post about new Gear , good but i think more post like ” The Visual Anatomy of a Scene” and stuff like that is really needed’
      Thanks Guys

    • Raoni Franco on 10.1.12 @ 8:25PM

      I agree with Dana and with some other comments here. I feel that NFS has become too focused on gear, tech detalis and so on. Once in a while you post something about writing but I wish it were more often. What about art direction in a film? Colors, objects, composition, building mood and atmosphere with the study of set design. Another thing that has already been sugested here is the “how to” posts. I think it’s a very interesting way to develop knowledge exchange. One good example I think of to inspire you is the Vimeo Film School. Behind the casual tone they use in their videos, thare is a massive amount of very important concepts and tricks. Good luck Koo!!!

    • I agree though this site is great this would help

  • How to section. How to have this look. How to d this effect. Using the latest and greatest newly announced tools.

  • The most coherent articles on other sites in my opinion (philip bloom and andrew on eoshd) are reviews and opinions reflecting their own work. I would love to see the the articles and discussions put into practice with content posted by the admins of the site. Then assessment of these films and techniques can be alot more personal

  • I like reading gear reviews, but I feel over the last year that it has dominated the posts. Which is not to say that other things haven’t being written and there has being a lot of cameras released so I can understand how this has come about.

    But I think it would be better to have more posts on the craft of filmmaking as opposed to just technical specs which I can just go and look at a press release. Some of my favourite posts have being guest posts by someone who has experience in a particular area and them talking about their own projects.

    Perhaps ways people can submit guest posts which would add more to nfs and also give the writer exposure as well.

    A couple of things I would like more posts on would be low budget documentary filmmaking and social media engagement stuff especially around things like crowd funding and building online audiences.

    And lets create more space for Women to be involved.

  • I came here years ago because of the dslr cinematography guide. The web version. I would personally love to see it updated. Otherwise the site is fine for me. One of my most regularly checked blogs for camera and film news and discussion.

  • Swinefever on 10.1.12 @ 7:00AM

    I’d also like to see more ‘how to..’ articles but I’d like to see them in the context of interviews with people who are actually making independent features. I think real world stories about “we had this problem and we did this to overcome it” or “we wanted this look so we shot using this kit and these settings” would not only be be really interesting, but become a really valuable resource to return to over again.

    With enough material there’s even book there to sell at a later date.

  • I’ve contemplated writing this for the past 4 months, but never did, although it has been something I’ve wanted to throw out there, as it bothers me sometimes. I guess this post is the best place for it. (even though now I’m still hesitant to click “submit Comment.”)

    I’ve been a faithful daily reader of NFS since 2010. I was always impressed with Ryan Koo and how he handled comments and feedback and how he moderated the site. Still today, when Koo pops his head in, his tone and the way he responds, brings me back to earlier days of NFS.

    This is all meant to be constructive and respectful. I have to imagine, out of all the folks who read this blog, I can’t be the only one who feels this way, but my point is, I feel that Joe Marine’s “tone” and the way he handles comments is way too argumentative and subtly condescending. I’m sure not purposefully, but nonetheless, it’s there.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Joe’s knowledge is incredible when it comes to filmmaking and the like, it’s amazing, it’s just that there is a humbleness if you will, that was exhibited in the past with Koo, that is missing today. It’s hard really to articulate, but I have to say it is an ongoing “tone.” and it was what really set this site apart.

    In fact, I even believe this “tone” has a lot to do with how others comment and share information (the leader usually sets the tone). It seems that there is a lot more negative and hijacked comments and discussions now, than in the past when Koo was moderating. People seem angrier. Koo didn’t have to be always “right”, just for the sake of being right, nor did he mind not having the answer always. Like I said, this is more of a “feel” and “tone” thing then anything else. It’s also just my opinion.

    I’m not trying to sweat Koo or bash Joe. But I feel there is a fine line to walk between “holding down the fort” while at the same time projecting a “hey, I’m no better than you” attitude, that was once very apparent on the NFS site, which today is not as apparent.

    I know there will be many folks who’ll come to Joe’s rescue on this (in fact I can name you) and other’s who may want to bash (I can name you also). But this is only meant as a constructive criticism and observance, and no one needs to be rescued or hi-fived.

    I do love you guys, and this site. Thanks

    • Thanks for the comment Jeff. Here I was thinking I’d actually gotten a bit more prickly with time…

      I think the reason there are more negative and hijacked comment threads is simply we have a lot more readers than we did in the early days. Percentage-wise, very few people actually comment — most folks just read a post. So it follows that the more readers you have the more chance you have of receiving negative comments — and it only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch, as they say.

      I feel Joe has done a tremendous job at managing comments — it is not easy. You have to have thick skin. We always strive to take a stance that’s not one of authority but rather that of a member of the community, and I haven’t seen any example of any of our writers stepping over that line. Quite frankly I think it’s an adjustment for anyone to come here and see the comments that their posts receive, and oftentimes the best solution is not to get in the trenches and mix it up but rather just let some comments go and focus on the useful ones.

      Ultimately I think this will get better with the redesign as we move to a superior commenting system.

      • Ahhh, there it is… that fine line you walk ever so gracefully. Seriously. I’m sending you a copy of Man on Wire!. Thanks for allowing me to comment, and thanks for your response Koo. Can’t wait to see the redesign!

        • Joe Marine on 10.1.12 @ 2:50PM

          Thanks for the comment Jeff. It does seem like I jumped on you a little about the Philip Bloom site, I apologize, but it’s never with any malice. I’m often very matter-of-fact, so even if I’m not being argumentative (which happens, of course), I can definitely see how it can be taken that way. It’s difficult to appreciate tone within online text.

          After over 1,000 comments and 200,000 written words since I began working here, I have learned a lot, and I know I can do better. Whatever the criticisms might be, I try to take them all in stride, but I’m far more responsive to any comment that is well-reasoned and well-written, and you certainly managed to do both. This site is a team effort, and we’re all working very hard behind-the-scenes to make the site as good as it can be, but you’re right, I can and should do better, and we as a site will continue to do better to make this a solid and positive community for filmmakers.

          • OK, you get a copy of Man on Wire too! :)
            Joe, it wasn’t so much your response to me earlier, just more in general, but I can only imagine what it must be like to continually “be at this”, writing and such. I certainly haven’t walked in your shoes as it relates to blogging, I’m sure it gets very trying and crazy. But thanks so much for your awesome response, it means a lot.

  • All that blank space on the left, fill it up with 480px videos…

  • Get rid of the irritating pop-up for your e-book. If I dismissed it I obviously already read it or don’t want to. It’s obnoxious.

    • I’m guessing you clear your cache and cookies a lot.
      The plugin that calls that popup is supposed to only show it the first time you come to the site. It then sets a cookie and flags you as already seeing it. If you delete that cookie it has no way of knowing that you have been here before and thus you get it… over and over.

      I get it on my mobile all the time. Which is frustrating because it’s a pain to scroll to the ‘X’ and close it out.

      • Some guy who's opinion doesn't matter on 10.2.12 @ 7:55AM

        Well, that’s certainly not the case on Pulse for the iphone for example. I don’t even click on links because of it.

  • The only thing whats missing in Nofilmschool is FORUM! :) It cant be so hard to create.

  • My suggestions. I like the original `alternative to film school` concept. I think it´s worth continuing. Otherwise, it´s just another new gear site. I´d like it if people were encouraged to link to their work to help make sense of where some of the comments are coming from. Joe is probably right about anonymous posting: some people abuse it or pick fights, and it´s a turn-off. Few people are going to share their work in an environment of mean or petty commenting. About format, I like it when it feels like a cosy little blog. I hope it doesn´t turn into a complex, partitioned site breaking the readership into segments and empty rooms. And at what point does ´community´ or forums just become a diversion from real work? By the way, Joe had a hard act to follow and I think he´s done an admirable job. I appreciate it so I took the time to comment. (For the record I´m a DSLR hobbyist doing mostly music and live performances.)

  • Better commenting platform that can link members to the conversation and makes it easy to follow in real time.

  • I really enjoy the camera tech stuff, as well as the indie filmmaker how-we-did-this stuff. I think if you went after more no and low budget filmmakers with movies that are circulating, case studies are always really helpful.

    It continues to be a great site! Congrats!

  • trackofalljades on 10.1.12 @ 1:20PM

    I’ll pile on with folks asking for non-paginated comments and a better mobile experience.

    It would also be nice to have a forum, but first we should all ask ourselves…what specifically are we looking for that isn’t satisfied by all the other forums out there? It’s not a bad idea, but there should be some clarity around what would make it unique. It is, after all, not so great an effort to implement a forum but it is a GREAT undertaking to keep a forum maintained and moderated. So we shouldn’t take the idea lightly.

    • This is the main question I’ve been focusing on. I think we have some tricks up our sleeves. :)

    • I think forum is mostly about the community. This is widely read blog with specific community and those people want to talk to each other. The main topic should be filmmaking. I would love to know some place on the internet where I could talk about my own projects, about my scripts. For example – I have a script, but I cant figure out the right ending for it and I would like talk about it with other filmmakers. Most of the discussions on the internet are just about the gear.

  • Martin Calvi on 10.1.12 @ 6:21PM

    Job/Employment Section around the US or the World?
    It might be cool if people looking for a job get some sort of leads or directions.

  • Maybe RSS feeds, and job postings?

    Also, NFS is my favorite indy film blog. Thank you so much for providing independent filmmakers with access to all of this information.

  • More more more posts about the art of cinematography PLEASE

  • Aaron Radcliffe on 10.1.12 @ 8:36PM

    Please. Please. Please.
    Can we get some updates on Man Child.

    I started following this site because
    A) It’s a great site, with thorough articles relevant to independent filmmaking
    B) Much more important is the fact that I was drawn to (and ultimately obsessed) with this site becuase it’s creator was an aspiring filmmaker himself, and was embarking upon his first feature film.

    I remember during the kickstarter campaign, I was checking the site by the hour, seeing the progress, vicariously living through Koo as he attempted to raise more money than I ever thought possible.
    And then he exceeded expectations.

    That is why I love this site. I can get tech-specs from anywhere online. This site entices me because of Koo’s ambitions and accomplishments. I have followed him, and am equally (nothing creepy) proud of him and what he is embarking upon.

    I think a lot of your readers feel similarily.
    Constant and regular updates on the production of Man Child would allow your readers to further connect with you and your first feature, while concurrently giving us critical insight to the step by step procedures involved in everything this website embodies… the creation of an independent film.

    Just a thought

  • A few thoughts…

    1) Guest posts re: critical studies, film theory, and the philosophy of film. These are extremely important things for filmmakers to learn that could potentially lead to new ways of thinking about film and assessing one’s own work. Frankfurt school, feminist, fandom, semiotics, post-colonialism, transnational cinema, postmodern critique — these are the things one learns in film school/liberal arts programs that really aid with creating beautiful, original work.

    2) Book reviews of film books. There are so many books on the market asserting that THIS is the ONLY way to make a film. How much of this is total bs? A lot of it. It’d be nice for someone to read these books and review them. Perhaps a point-counterpoint type of thing.

    3) Film rules, how they’re upheld, how they’re broken successfully. We all learn about matching-on-action, 180 degree rule, etc. It’d be great to see examples of films that successfully break the established rules/ *successfully do interesting things with the rules.

    4) Lessons from filmmakers. An online masterclass of sorts that culls information from essays, articles, books, and interviews with master filmmakers talking about their craft.

    Just my two cents. That being said, this is one of the few websites I check everyday and I think you guys are doing a great job! Also, if you’re looking for a writer for some of the columns mentioned above, feel free to get in touch! :-)

    • We’ll be doing a call for more writers soon. Stay tuned!

    • Chad Hustlington on 10.2.12 @ 6:31AM

      I’d be so happy if any of these got implemented. It’s really hard finding any filmmaking sites that tackle the conceptual dimensions of cinema that aren’t just fart-sniffing review sites.

  • I find it interesting how people can criticize so strongly a site that is free and offers so many great articles in regards to every aspect of filmmaking. You guys are great I’ev been reading since the early days and although I wish koo posted more Joe and the rest have been a welcome addition. I check this site every day (every hour more like it). Keep it up.

    Funny thing is people always ask for more posts about filmmaking process, short films, interviews etc. and yet these posts get the least comments. Its always the gear that gets multiple pages of comments. Just a thought.

  • Eric Ferguson on 10.2.12 @ 12:22AM

    I’d really appreciate it if there was an “advanced” search function that allowed you to filter posts by date range, author, etc. NFS is gettng BIG with a lot of content in the archives, it’s getting tough to direct a friend to a half-remembered post that was made a long time ago.

    • How about a search box that actually works? WordPress’s default search is pretty terrible, which is why our search is bad. The next one will be way more useful!

  • Some guy who's opinion doesn't matter on 10.2.12 @ 7:53AM

    I’d like to see that stupid pop-up go away. I don’t visit this website on my smartphone because it’s pretty hard/annoying to click out of it. It makes this website seem cheap and less credible.

  • A facebook “like” button for the comments!

  • I’d like to see more frequent polling… discovering that the majority of NFS’s community picked the GH2 in the Shootout was a surprise, but a fun one. Really, I’d often like to know more about this community as a whole… what NLE’s are used, what grading software, if anyone does 3D work or motion graphics, etc.

    I’m looking forward to whatever changes and new things you guys add.

  • How about more articles about the process of filmmaking itself (ie directing, writing a script, lighting a set, etc.)

  • Andrew.Hariz on 10.3.12 @ 1:12PM

    I think you should have a mobile application of this website to facilitate access to the most awesome news on everything film related.
    And to divide all past articles into categories that would help us research any pas topics by specialization if needed: Scriptwriting ; Short films ; Camera and Equipment …

    Thank you again for this website. It has taught me a lot.

  • Where does one go to see all the latest posts? How about a simple News button…

  • I’d like to see a section which is a curated collection of the best how to and tutorial filmmaking videos on the Web. I’ve seen a lot on different websites. Would love to see in one place.

  • A new version with less biased articles

    • Very helpful! I’m curious, which direction are we biased?

      • Peter Kelly on 10.10.12 @ 5:18PM

        I do think some of the BMCC articles have been a little bias when you compare them to say the C100 article announcing that particular camera, which had quite a negative slant (which I felt was unjustified and probably because it was a Canon camera) but thats just what I think.

    • Less biased? Since when are Koo’s articles biased at all? This seems completely out of left field…

  • I agree with Chris P about the How To/Tutorial vids. More specifically, I’d love to see segmental clips from complete (or near complete) projects joined with clips of how scenes were accomplished. Also, info on equipment used, post production techniques, i.e. film craft development would be helpful.

  • captainkirk on 10.4.12 @ 6:48PM

    I agree about having tutorial videos, but I think that there should be some simple way of downloading them. I can’t load large files at home due to bandwidth limitations and at the internet cafe I go to Youtube is blocked. So it would be convenient for me and I’m sure lots of other people if it was possible to download videos.

  • Michaelanknz on 10.4.12 @ 8:09PM


    No Film School is terrific as it is, it’s fast to grip and read, it’s simple to follow, it’s functional and relative to the DSLR audience,

    Why does this world continuously wanted to change what is fantastic and screw it until it fails..

    Several people that I know that are on the site. All say ” in one page, it’s the most relevant update to the DSLR are community that they have without trolling through several websites getting into conflict with the manufacturer the PR company that is running the press release and just not believing what you’re reading..

    K. I. S. S

  • I think with this posting you have surpassed other film schools
    because you are more practically oriented.
    I wish to see some posts or links to ‘live action/animation’
    techniques. Keep up the articles with practical tips and good
    luck with your film. How about some posts on it’s making?

  • Do more stuff on fundamental skills/tips for cinematography or editing …something like that

  • As an independent film maker (or aspiring to be) the most important things which concern my mind is what are the essential tools for making a sound budget for a film? How do we market for festivals, distributors and end consumer. If there can be a section detailing this it could be really help full… all would agree the biggest thing on stake is MONEY!!!!

  • Would love to see a link for the tutorials something where all post production work(editing, Music, color correction, Vfx and animation from amatuers to getting to the next level)
    Also some more insight or videos on production. Obstacles faced by filmmakers and how they over came them.(indie filmmakers where the main obstacle is money and state of the art equipment, how they overcame all these obstacles).
    Also if there would be a link where writers could post synopsis of their stories, so that directors and producers could look them up.

  • Id like to see it on Google Currents.

  • Tommy Hill on 10.5.12 @ 2:32PM

    Your blog has been very informative and entertaining. My only comment concerns the email list of articles. It would be helpful to me if you used markers like “Gear”, “Software”, “Tutorials”, “Directing” ,”Acting ” My favorite sites are: Andrew Kramers’ Video Co-pilot, Stu’s Prolost, Philup Bloom, and Vincent Laforet.

  • I’m all for a forum/community if usernames are abolished and we’re required to use our real names. Networking is a large part of filmmaking and it helps to know who’s comment I’m reading. User “JoShmo” (just grabbing a name at random) may be the best DP in the world, but we wouldn’t know it.

    I’m also tired of trolls hiding behind uncreative monikers.

  • Your articles are very informative and enriching. A great resource for starting film makers like me. It helped me save a ton of money during my first few shorts. I know that this website is focused on the tools and equipment but I think a little more articles on film theory/acting/directing essentials will be great. Not that I’m complaining to the current roster of articles but mixing it up a bit won’t do much harm

  • I low medium-high end camera reviews, and solutions to modern production value, as well as approach to cinematography and directing information.

  • I would like help and guidance with zoom-ing on DSRLs for newbies.

  • More camera-phone articles. Not just iPhones, but more capable devices such as the Nokia 808 and even Lumia 920.

  • A search bar. It takes me FOREVER to locate a past article if it hasn’t been highlighted at the top.

  • we need Arabic content or translation to make benefiting all Arab people ………………. i can write Arabic content for you :)

  • Personally, i loved the “is filmschool worth it in 2011″ debate, and would love to hear another, but other than that i like the site, maybe too much bashing Dslr’s, on if wheather people should use them or not, alot of filmmakers made great first features with just a 7d and turned out great.. i just think people love the whats new too much, when there’s honestly nothing wrong with the cam they have.

  • it would be nice to be able to sign in and favorite certain articles incase i wanted to come back and not have to deal with scrolling through pages and pages of things

  • Great site. I like looking for particular things, like camera releases, or some other subject. It would be good if I could click on “New Cameras” in the menu, and see all cameras tagged “new camera”.

    I have seen sites set up, so that if you click on the head menu item, you go to a listing of articles associated with that menu item, or can go down the drop down menu to another item, or sub items off of that etc. You can make a hierarchy of menu categories to list any group of tags, like model updates. Each item would just send it’s group of tags to the listing page.

    In interface design, they ussually teach to divide things by 7 items or less. You start with several of the most popular on top, with at least one being a general hierarchy, with each subcategory having up to several items. So, you can have items like “camera updates”, “equipment”, “training” or “law” etc. You will probably only have 20 or so general tags plus models and names. Not like engadget, that has every variation of combo tags possible, that causes things to be missed if tags are forgotten, but somebody tries to search one of them by the clicking on it.

  • I know I’ve mentioned this before, but since you asked…my favorite NFS articles are the ones where you analyze what you’re doing (for example: 1) Film work: where you put your time/energy (writing/promotion/conferences/etc.) 2) Kickstarter campaign: what worked, what didn’t, what you’ll do differently next time, etc. 3) Website: traffic, advertising, hiring/firing, testing, growth/expansion 4) Lifestyle: balancing life and work, figuring out how to carve out free time for film, etc.) I know these types of articles take the longest to write since they require soul searching, analysis, etc. For me, though, they’re what distinguished NFS from other film sites. Unfortunately, they seem to be nearly non-existent these days. (The upside to this type of article is that it is totally unique and lends itself to compilation and eventual sale as a book.)
    I think your About page does a great job detailing what you hoped to do with the site…I’m wondering, though, if it has been skewing in more one direction than the other?