Why You Should Watch ‘Every Frame a Painting’ Video Essays

In a previous blog post entitled “How To Become An Advocate for Awesome, ” I declared that from time to time I would be recommending things that I think are awesome and that you should check out.


My first recommendation is to check out “Every Frame A Painting” on YouTube. They are video essays about filmmaking by Tony Zhou. Zhou is a filmmaker and freelance editor who creates these videos in his spare time.

Each video ranges from 5-10 minutes in length and has a central theme. The videos focus on a specific aspect of filmmaking (How Does an Editor Think and Feel?) or highlight how one filmmaker does something well (Martin Scoresese – The Art of Silence)  or draw your attention to something (In Praise of Chairs).

WARNING! After watching these videos, it will cause you to look at future movies in a new way. This is a side effect of going to film school as well.

Zhou does a great job breaking down what he is talking about on two levels; as a viewer and as a filmmaker. As a viewer, he helps educate you on technical or psychological maneuvers that you may be unfamiliar with. It will add to your vocabulary when someone asks you why you liked or didn’t like a movie. As a filmmaker, he points out things to keep in mind when you are planning your production.

I am a huge fan and I show these videos to people all the time. Then, I get yelled at when they have fallen down this YouTube hole and have watched them all.

Besides the videos linked above, here are a few I recommend starting with:

The Good: David Fincher – And the Other Way is Wrong

The Bad: Michael Bay – What is Bayhem?

The Funny: Edgar Wright – How to Do Visual Comedy

A Quickie: The Silence of the Lambs – Who Wins the Scene?

WARNING! You may not agree with his assessment of something. And that is okay and encouraged because it causes you to think about it for yourself. Recently, he posted a video about the music scoring of the Marvel Universe which caused another YouTuber (Dan Golding) to make a response video, A Theory of Film Music. Zhou even posted a link to it in the original video and talked about how it was a good criticism. This is the kind of Advocating for Awesome that we want; discussing ideas and sharing knowledge.

If you check these out and come to the same conclusion I have, then here is a list of ways that you can be supportive:

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