So first off, there is still an expense to be had with video production. But for a quarter of what one might spend on a semester of college, they could have a full set of gear and a library of education to use on their own productions. But first I'm going to break down the educational section of video.
Why spend $70 plus on a bunch a books your teacher told you to buy at school for the class? Sites like Amazon have tons a books on video, cameras, editing, animation, special effects, and more for under $10 or $20 used. Whenever I want to learn more on a subject, I go and purchase a few books, spend maybe $30, and I'm greeted with a wealth of knowledge from the artists. Use the reviews on Amazon to help pick the right book for you and make sure to get a few from different authors to get a versatile take on the subject. Then just read the books from cover to cover and absorb all the information. Soon, you'll have a foundation on the subject.
The Second, but really the biggest educational resource, is the internet. Sites like Vimeo, e-how, and Youtube provide tutorials and step by step guides, with pictures and video to make it clear and easy. Now with any internet information, some times you got to check out 2 or 3 sources to find exactly what one is looking for. But hey it's free and all you gotta do is type your question into the search engine.
The 3rd great view into the film making world, is the DVD and Blu Ray special features. Some better than others but many different techniques can be acquired from the audio commentary tracks, behind the scenes footage, and some will even give you a how to guide on special effects, camera placements, and faking certain shots. Robert Rodriquez is especially good at this, with his 10 minute film school features on almost everyone of his flicks. So if a movie you like has special features, check them out and see what you can learn from it. Also look for the 2 to 4 plus disc versions of some films for even more educational wisdom.
Well next your going to need some equipment. The basics being a camcorder, a microphone(not the one on the camera), computer, editing software, and a few work lights. Now there's a 1000 plus accessories and more that one can add to their arsenal but the basics should do just fine to start. Now this section could go on for a many pages, so I'll stop here and let the books explained all this in great detail before I guide you further. Just keep in mind that you don't always need the most expensive equipment or software out there. Just do your research and look at the reviews.
The plan of action from here will be a circle of life, in the trial and error of movie making. Each video will be an educational process and through each one you'll learn what to do and what not to do for the next project. So here's the circle,
1. Watch! Observe movies and videos - Blockbusters, independent, television, commercials, short films, Youtube shorts, animation, and more. And don't forget about the special features.
2. Read! There's always another book to indulge in and an old book provides new thoughts when read again. Plus all the tutorials on the internet!
3. Create! Go out and make it. Write a script, shoot it, edit it, and learn from it.
Now just keep repeating the cycle. This cycle can be used for every creative project, like comics, photography, animation, video game creation, writing, art, and more. Use it!
Though there are many great books here are a few I recommend to get you started,
1. Rebel Without A Crew - Robert Rodriquez
2. The DV's Rebel Guide - Stu Maschwitz
3. Filmmaking For Dummies - Bryan Michael Stoller
4. The DC Comics Guide To Writing - Dennis O'Neil
5. The Animator's Survival Kit - Richard Williams