In the context of creativity, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many at times going by creativities especially in the Nigerian market I tend to ask myself; what is the universal standard for rating creativity that is objective? But most of us still bask in naiveity. Nofilm School undoubtedly is the world’s largest forum for indie film makers, bloggers and beginners trying to get into the murky waters of videography or cinematography however wherever you find success, you find hate.

A user on NFS by the name mark Miller decided to express his reservation about Ryan Connolly’s Film Riot and DSLR GUIDE, what he got was unexpected.

​by Mark Miller on September 10, 2016 at 4:11AM

FilmRiot and DSLR Guide are a disgrace? Why hate CinematographyDatabase? (Rant)
Is it just me or it is really painful to watch FilmRiot’s and DSLR Guide’s content?

Before you jump with words like “and what have you filmed? try doing it yourself”, let me remind you that every each of you, including me, has no problem criticizing and destroying awful directors for their awful movies, so why not be straight about youtube content?

FilmRiot is just a parody, a youtube channel is there to remind them they they are “filmmakers” and praise of uneducated beginners only make them stay on the same level they were 5 years ago. They increased production value, but everything is still on the level of “Losses”, their shortfilm that makes me wanna claw my eyes out. They give advice and speak with such a tone, I have never seen any interview where a real director would speak in that manner. They VFX tutorials are just unbearable, everything in there videos from color grading to story is just a disgrace for a channel so big.

DSLR Guide is somewhat different, a hipster doing his thing, but still awful as hell. Giving advice on cinema whereas he himself shot one shortfilm which is so bad I swear I’ve seen shortfilms with under 500 views better than his. And his “behind the scenes” and his “thought process” as if he shot a Sundance winner is a cringe fest.

Now moving onto even more unpopular opinion. Why hate CinematographyDatabase? I have not seen anyone dislike him personally, but it is said he is hated, especially on this website. And his channel doesn’t grow so fast as well. Yes, I agree he has somewhat basic knowledge of the movies, even the amazing ones, which came out recently, yes he may not understand the “art” part of the movies when he discusses them, but he has A-level insight on the production sets, he has inside info from backstage of the movies and he knows how everything works on a higher level than of the the indie shortfilm/youtube tutorials level. So give him some love at least for that.


Wait. I must have missed the place where you contribute to the filmmaking community, youtube channel or something. “I have not seen anyone dislike him personally, but it is said he is hated.” I do not understand the point of trying to tear others down. Does it make people like you feel better? I honestly don’t get it.

September 10, 2016 at 8:06Am



Filmmaker & Vlogger


Derek Armitage

The fist sentence you produced is exactly what I asked not to do. By your logic, ANYONE who has not contributed to Hollywood has no rights to criticize movies? By your logic, I must have missed where you contributed to my life to criticize my opinion. Why not say what I think and in addition to that reveal a good source for filmmakers, which is actually useful.

P.S.: I understand I might seem aggressive here, but I am tired of false flattering and pretenses. “Oh, and what have YOU done?”, Let’s then just sit back and relax and hold everything inside. Even though it’s edgy theoretics, by withholding what we think we only make the content worse.

September 10, 2016 at 9:33AM


Mark Miller

LOL, you just picked a quote the OP uses to express his surprise about the fact that people say he is hated. That was not meant as a tear down at all.

Read more carefully next time ;

Did it make you feel better to ask what the OP contributed to ‘the filmmaking community’?

September 13, 2016 at 2:42PM


Share Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer



Okay…but it’s free content that no one is forcing you to watch. I mean you can criticize or review it if you like but if you don’t find it valuable or entertaining why do you care? Why do you continue watching? Why does it bother you that other people watch and seemingly enjoy it, or at least not criticize it the way you do?

With a YouTube channel the most valuable thing is views. If you really want it to disappear, ignore it.

September 10, 2016 at 1:59PM, Edited September 10, 2:01PM




Josh Zytkiewicz

Unfortunately, the platform of YouTube is focused mainly on the personality of the creator and entertainment they provide, not necessarily on the knowledge/advice they give. I respect both Ryan Connolly and Simon Cade, but basically whatever gets views, they will make more of.

Also, “Losses” was created when they were still new to filmmaking, so it’s not fair to compare it to other short films.

And I recommend watching “Proximity”. It’s not bad, but it’s done well for a short film and shows what Film Riot is really capable of… besides the dialogue could use alittle work.

September 11, 2016 at 7:56PM, Edited September 11, 8:02PM


Share 148

Bryan Pham

Yeah, Proximity is the only one you can feel had been shot my somebody who knows stuff, but still it has so many rookie mistakes, which Ryan himself speaks of. Anyway, It’s one of the better ones.

September 12, 2016 at 7:40AM


Mark Miller

An interesting angle. I’m sure that their are multiple “tiers” of people who watch YouTube videos though. As stated above, some people like the personality aspect and some people (who may be starting out or are just interested in the information) will find the lighter style of the people you mention useful. I think we have to remember that it is their jobs to be content creators as well, you wouldn’t see Roger Deakins setting up a YouTube channel and Vlogging his methods for instance as obviously he’s a working professional.

I guess in summary, I take your point that its often more show than content but i guess that’s the nature of their jobs and it’s useful to some people. I’d guess if it’s not useful to you then you’ve moved past the level that they’re aiming at.

September 12, 2016 at 6:09AM


Share Film Educator & Cinematographer


Matt Robinson

> you wouldn’t see Roger Deakins setting up a YouTube channel and Vlogging…

No, but he does have a forum where he answers questions:


That’s amazing.

September 12, 2016 at 4:39PM, Edited September 12, 4:39PM


Share 21

Mei Lewis

Dude, why must you be such a tool? Humble yourself. Many people, like myself, appreciate these types of platforms because they offer filmmaking skills and tips in a very simple dumb down fashion. I like that these people you mention are making video about what they’re learning and showing us their take on film/tv etc. I think they are designed to help those who want/need free information for the exchange of one youtube view. I learn alot from these platforms. Yes, film riot’s satire is cheesy and a little annoying, but I’d rather have it than nothing at all.

Lastly, it’s very hypocritical to make such a post on a site called No Film School.

Maybe you’re just having a bad day?

September 12, 2016 at 8:57AM


Share 97


Film Riot I like. I like their delivery and it’s rarely meant to be a detailed explanation. It’s mostly all basics. At least they’re working.

Simon Cade OTOH, even though he presents what he says in an effective manner, he speaks as if it’s all personal experience and a kid(yes he’s a kid) shouldn’t be giving advice about making films when he never produced anything. He talks like a professor teaching theory with a PHD in film, but he makes home movies with a consumer camera you pick up in BestBuy. I don’t “believe” him and how can you? None of the advice is his. But I can understand how his audience, which are all his age, can glean theory he regurgitates from books and everyone else who actually works for a living. Repackaging is what Youtube is about anyway. Most on there aren’t providing anything original. So I’ll give him props for effort and he will in all likelihood be working professionally sooner or later. His job is his channel until someone wants to pay him=)

September 12, 2016 at 9:07AM


Share Motion Designer/Predator



Why the Bitterness Bruh? if it’s not for you, its not for you. Leave it alone. Its like someone at Film Riot stole something from you…. did they? (Gonna have to Talk to Ryan about stealing stuff from people!) Criticism is only Valid when you present a solution. Otherwise, you are just a noise maker

September 12, 2016 at 10:52AM



Director of Photography/Colorist/Drone Op


Wentworth Kelly

Critism is NOT only valid if you offer a solution.

The girl screaming ‘the emperor is naked!’ didn’t offer a solution but opened people’s eyes.

You surely need to offer a solution when you want to have the job.

So, in politics critism is not enough. Wanting to replace someone? Just criticism s not enough.

In most areas offering more than just critism is very appreciated (and I agree: adding why you have an opinion should be added), but not an indication for the validity of that critism. However, detailed constructive critism that has been thought over often indicates a solition as well. A quote like: “They increased production value, but everything is still on the level of “Losses”” indicates that the OP thinks the lack of production value more or less makes their content less believable.

So this critique is not just yelling “I don’t like it!”, but states why and implies how they can solve that issue.

So: yes: explaining an opinion is the way to go, but having no solution doesn’t automaticly disqualify criticism. That would be too easy. :-p

September 13, 2016 at 11:53AM


Share Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer



The Nature of the criticism would warrant a solution or just leave it alone and don’t say anything. I teach University kids. They tore some UX and website design to shreds. I told them that since they have done that, they should come back to the class the following week with some solutions and working examples. We think its okay to take a dump on people who are helping. So if you have a problem, then suggest a way for the educational content to be delivered. That’s my Belief.

September 14, 2016 at 1:23AM



Director of Photography/Colorist/Drone Op


Wentworth Kelly

And I don’t disagree with your belief here.

The OP does imply solutions.

And I still believe that there are cases that critism is valid even if there is no solution offered (yet).

Teaching kids at university means they need to learn to think for themselves and come up with solutions through analysis (and criticism): you are right to let them present solutions. You gave them a week to do so, so the question is: was their criticism unvalid untill a week later?

September 14, 2016 at 8:20AM



Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer



Oof. This post kind of side-swiped me. I’ll forego the “what have you done to contribute” bit (and not because it was requested; who posts an online criticism and demands no one criticizes their critique?) as well as the “It’s free information. Take it or leave it at your will” (Indeed, no one is forcing you to watch free content).

Your entire post, in a nutshell, says: “DSLR Guide knows nothing because he’s done very little and FilmRiot don’t present themselves, nor produce the content, that I feel befit a youtube filmmaking personality. We praise them even though they’re unworthy and I, personally, don’t like their content.” Did I get that right?

My immediate reaction was, “Wow. This guy has a piss-poor attitude and low self-esteem if said youtube channels get under his skin enough to spew negativity in a NoFilmSchool thread (or any thread, for that matter).”

Then I reached the part about CinematographyDatabase, of which I have no knowledge of, causing me to ponder if this was your intent all along. Does your ‘team’ not get enough attention as other ‘teams’? Are you a content producer associated with the latter and hoping to convert DSLR Guide / FilmRiot patrons to your camp?

What’s your intention? (That’s a legit question, by the way. I’m curious.)

If the praise of others annoys you this much it’s likely that it is because you aren’t getting the praise you feel you deserve. Every filmmaker feels this — I, certainly, am no different. And yes, I’ll admit, Simon Cade’s channel has a few moments that more experienced filmmakers may roll their eyes at, but he’s a young guy doing more than 90% of ‘experienced’ and ‘educated’ people are doing: producing content and sharing it with the world. That, in and of itself, is commendable and negates any ‘moments’ he may have for someone so early in their career.

Ask yourself what prompted your initial post. I think the answer will serve you better than contending any reply you may read in this thread.

September 12, 2016 at 12:04PM


Share 439

Braden Croft

Well, the reason I asked to drop the “what have you done to criticize them” is because this is the only type of answers people get when this subject it touched don’t you agree? I asked not to criticize my criticism because it will begun a never ending discussion over who, what and how criticizes things rather than focus on the discussion itself.

Secondly, NoFilmSchool is the only platform where this can be discussed, where people are interested in filmmaking more, I believe, than people who’s interests end on the youtube search “after effects lightsaber tutorial”. And I believe, Film Riot is the channel who is targeted exactly at that segment. The problem is that there is no counterpart, no one who actually knows cinema and does tutorials and channels like FilmRiot are the ultimate Spielbergs of the community. “Do it yourself then, huh?” Well, that’s another topic, but I wanted somebody to actually see that they are not the level people should be aiming.

The question which bothers you, the answer is “no”. I do not have any connections to the channel, and I understand after all the hate bringing up another channel seems very convenient but it was just after I saw two latest videos from film riot and dslr guide and then one of CD’s videos I thought what is wrong with the community. People bashing CD where he actually gives insightful real industrial level tips and people screaming how they praise Ryan for his work.

Also you can remember the videos where Ryan criticizes some short films. And at least half of them were just on another level better, and Ryan gives them shits for something he never could achieve. So you have that

September 12, 2016 at 1:54PM





Mark Miller

I agree, NoFilmSchool is definitely the place where interested filmmakers and non-filmmakers come to learn, but usually the discussion is how to further one’s craft, not to put people in their rightful place at someone’s subjective discretion.

I think you’re confused with what FilmRiot and DSLR Guide set out to accomplish. You said yourself it’s where people go for ‘tutorials on after effects ‘ and the like, so where’s the disconnect? They’re operating, and thriving, in their respective audiences. I take it you’re asking for a channel with top-rung talent walking you through the how-to’s of their roles? That would be awesome, but when you’re truly world class “Spielberg Level” what knowledge are you going to dispense on a weekly youtube channel? “Okay, so to make your film look like 40 million bucks take your 1st million and hire a DP and camera crew that can make it look awesome. The only thing you gotta’ do is explain what you want it to look like and presto!” If you’re pro-level you’re not going to A. be keeping a youtube channel to help other pro’s do what you do and better, and B. If you’re a pro and demanding youtube channels teach you how to do your job then something is amiss.

No one is saying DSLR Guide and FilmRiot are the pinnacle of the community nor are they the level everyone is aiming for. They’re a group of like-minded filmmakers that are sharing tips, tricks and tutorials to achieve something that other like-minded filmmakers are trying to achieve. And, frankly, I think they’re doing a pretty decent job doing it. Would you disagree?

Again, I can’t say I’ve even heard of CD until now, which I thank you for, by the way. So I can’t say I’ve read any criticism for CD… nor anything else for that matter. And I couldn’t care less what Ryan said about someone else’s short films — I simply frequent his channel if there’s some bit of knowledge I can use to enhance my own projects. Whether he’s worshiped is the furthest thing from my mind.

I appreciate any filmmaker that shares their experience and knowledge by whatever means they choose. Their tone, hipster-haircuts, thoughts on other films and anything else is not of my concern — only their content matters and I rarely see Ryan or Simon fail to deliver.

September 12, 2016 at 4:17PM




Braden Croft

All three channels put out a lot of useful info. If you don’t like them, don’t watch.

September 12, 2016 at 4:45PM


Share 21

Mei Lewis

I think it’s a matter of perspective. I personally love Film Riot, and send my friends there who are beginning to learn about film. But the perspective comes in that I absolutely love the humor they provide, the energy they bring, and how they can compel and amuse their audience (a.k.a. me) Do I expect them to show me on set with their world class professionals at their side, and their $200,000,000 production? Of course not! Their entire goal is for their audience to grow with them. They never claim to be professionals, only offering what they know on a weekly basis. I think that is nothing to scoff at. In my opinion, their show and product continues to grow!

To be 100% honest, I don’t watch much of Simon Cade’s work. I watch sparsely, and am not a fan of his tutorials, just on personal preference, but at the same time, I highly respect him! He takes time, to give back, feeding what he’s learned, and creating a community, using and targeting the entry level of video: DSLR. Is his work going to be on HBO? Not yet, but that’s not why he’s popular. He’s popular because he feeds into the next generation, who have never entered video before.

Matt is great, but his work is very pointed, focusing primarily on DP/Camera department work, and not the overall production from start to finish, which is what I am interested in learning right now. I may watch one or two videos, but there isn’t that constant flow of teaching new techniques, as much as giving ideas, thoughts, opinions, etc. And nothing wrong with that!

In a nutshell, I think they each have their place, but Simon and Ryan have been doing this longer, built a bigger base, post more content, and have a much wider view on film, which is why the younger filmmakers, who make up most of the Youtube audience, flock to them. Once you ‘graduate’ from them (which I don’t think I ever will) you should have enough knowledge to get onto a small set, and work your way up with personal mentors. I believe their work is great, and honest. They never claim to be the best, and admit it often, but they share what they know. All 3 of these channels are admirable.

September 12, 2016 at 6:33Pm



Writer/ Director/ Editor/ Videographer


Craig Douglas

These channels are geared towards entry level filmmakers. Just because you feel you’re past that point doesn’t mean everyone is.

September 12, 2016 at 6:39PM



Director / Commercial Producer


Michael Militscher

I started getting into video about the same time that Film Riot started producing their podcast. It was a great tool for learning new things and getting a different perspective. I was mostly impressed by how they were able to get paid to make a podcast that was basically them trying out new techniques and improving their production skills. The podcast was also entertaining. For whatever reason, I haven’t watched it much recently but I am glad they are still making it work for them. I think they deserve their success and I hope that they continue to grow their business and get new opportunities.

September 12, 2016 at 9:10PM





Casey Preston

Cinematography Database is the best resource indie filmmakers and camera operators have had in years.

He’s the only person discussing RATES and how to actually get work as a shooter.

Sounds simple but there is *zero* information out there about how much cinematographers should charge, other than disingenuous “formulas” where you add in your mortgage and other expenses to determine your day rate.

Matt tells it like it is, and we’re lucky to have him talking shop with us for free.

DSLR Guide….isn’t that kid like 20 years old and self-taught? He appeals to lots of other young and beginner filmmakers, because he talks about craft more than gear. His approach is refreshing and I admire his hustle and his attitude.

If you want to hate on someone, how about Devin Supertramp? Good god that kid is annoying 😉

September 13, 2016 at 11:02AM,

…this raw uncut chat thread was truncated.

Do you feel Mark Miller was right or wrong drop us a comment in the box below.

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