How to Respond to Anyone Who Asks You How to Get Started Filmmaking – Johnny Martyr Thought & Photography

By Johnny Martyr

Yesterday in one of the film photography groups on Facebook, someone asked, as they often do, about learning to use the film camera they just bought. The first response boils down to “watch YouTube” without any special links.

I think this is frank nonsense.

Maybe it’s because I’m old but I actually took photography classes in college and learned by working with an instructor in real life. YouTube is fun and useful, but I think it’s better used as a supplement. And if you’re going to recommend YouTube College, at least provide the link you recommended, don’t just send someone asking for help Into The Wild!

I put together a quick, simple response that would keep the original poster busy for months if taken seriously. And more importantly, it takes very little effort on my part to provide them with a world of education.

I will post my response as a blog as I fully intend to copy and pass this response on to others asking this question. This 1-saves me time in responding to these frequently asked questions and 2-provides, what I feel, definite and useful answers every time.

Here he is!

“Hey! It’s great that you’re interested in studying film! To learn to use any camera, you’ll need a camera manual and a photography manual.

Most film camera manuals can be found for free on this website, see yours:

And here’s a cheap, recent and good basic 35mm photography manual:

Two things you need to know right away are where to buy film and where to process it.

If you are on the US East Coast I recommend and if you are on the West Coast

As for processing, having a local spot is great, so have a look in your area first. If you need to send mail I suggest

And here are some general guidelines too:…/

Good luck and feel free to DM me anytime for assistance!”

How do you respond to these questions? Feel free to plagiarize my response if you like it. We may disagree on how to get people started with movies, but as long as we offer friendly, thoughtful, enthusiastic advice, not just a “see for yourself” type of response, I think we can all benefit.

Thanks for reading, tracing, and teaching others! Happy shooting!

Follow, Favorite, Like, Add, Disgrace, Contact Johnny Martyr

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