November 18, 2015 at 9:04AM


Is Shane's Inner Circle worth the money?

Hey guys,

I am thinking about a subscription to his blog as I like his blog a lot and his style of teaching.
Does any of you pay for the Inner Circle and can you recommend it?



And if not, is there anything else you would recommend like it?

November 18, 2015 at 9:44AM


Hi! I've never seen the videos, but I was on set for a few of his lighting tutorials, shooting setup breakdowns, and camera tests. Tons of good basic information, occasionally a few gems, and it's all vetted by his years of experience. If you're new and want to learn, it's a good resource. I'm partial to some of his write ups.

November 20, 2015 at 12:13AM

Zack Wallnau
Cinematographer & Tinkerer

I've been on Shane's Inner Circle for about 3 months after getting 2 months for free from a filmmaking workshop. Although Shane's insights and videos are fantastic on their on, the Facebook group is where I've learned the most. There are thousands of cinematographers posting their set ups, questions, answers and more. Any questions you have will be answered by the group or Shane himself, plus the podcast is fantastic. I say investing in your craft is a must, and Shane is a great way to start. Good luck!

November 20, 2015 at 8:45PM

You voted '-1'.
Ciprian Dumitrascu
Director / DP / Editor

For a free alternative, Roger Deakins has a thriving forum where many DP's seek advice and share knowledge. Roger himself is also quite active on there, answering most things directed directly at him in a concise, relaxed way. The discussion on lighting is particularly in-depth. There are no tutorials per se, but often detailed breakdowns of set-up's, both technical and how they are artistically motivated.

November 23, 2015 at 7:37AM


Thanks guys! I think I will go both ways :-)

November 23, 2015 at 9:29AM


I paid for Shane's inner circle for several months, but I found it is geared for professional Hollywood work and found for me is not worth it. I also thought the $1000 Dvd not worth it either of his seminar. To make the distinction clearer, if you are trying to break into Hollywood as a camera operator, or in lighting this is a fantastic opportunity to learn everything from outside hollywood. If you are a guy with a $10k camera or less that wants to shoot their own films and maybe provide a little video services to a community, this is way over kill. Shane's inner circle is about how they spend the multi millions in Hollywood and is the best insight I know, but if you are a little guy with less than $100k in equipment probably not worth the money, or I feel is not worth the money for me, however belonging to the secret inner circle group you can get cool real advice without Moron trolls trying to start arguments.

November 23, 2015 at 8:43PM


I think of the monthly subscription cost as about what I'd pay to buy Shane a couple of beers and tell me about his latest goings on. For me, some weeks have been sort of worth it, some weeks totally worth it, some weeks absolutely not.

One thing I do not like about it: how they dole out the information on a weekly basis, and they decide the order in which the information is presented. That's kinda crappy for me, because I like to splurge on information in bursts, and as a working Hollywood professional, so much of what he's got in the master curriculum's early weeks is baby review stuff.

Back to what I love about it: Shane's cool. And he's fun to learn from. The tidbits I've gained so far have been worth the price of admission, even though I wish I could binge view the articles and content in my own time.

January 2, 2016 at 6:35AM

Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.

SIC is an incredible resource. I've found the facebook group an infinite source of information, inspiration and knowledge that has progressed my cinematography more than any other resource (other than trial and error).

The actual website resources are really informative. Contrary to previous posts I really don't think it's only aimed at Hollywood cinematographers. Far from it. Some of the setups he uses in his feature films are low budget solutions that work. And the knowledge is adaptable to various budgets. With a bit of ingenuity you can adapt any of it to suit whatever you're working on, or at least see what to aim for (kit that works, kit that doesn't, ways to bounce and diffuse light... and most importantly, why).

What I will say is this... I personally am not a fan of his cinematography. Totally personal choice, but it's not my cup of tea. Not what I'm aiming for. Far too clean, crisp and 'Hollywood'. Not my style. That's personal, and means some of the videos are a bit useless to me, but that's part and parcel of doing a craft like this. I work out what I can use and not use from his knowledge. The other thing is that he doesn't release videos very often, and as someone else said, sometimes in an odd order that is a bit frustrating.

I think it's slightly expensive some months for the amount of video he releases.

BUT, overall, joining SIC pushed my career ahead leaps and bounds. Mostly from the community it let me become a part of. My confidence, my technical knowledge, and my work has progressed. That's what we're all aiming for, so do it.

January 23, 2017 at 3:28PM, Edited January 23, 3:28PM

Lee Burnett
Director of Photography

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