Video inspiration resources

In the digital age of video, there are more videos being created and shared with the world than ever before. According to Wyzowl, about 3.7 million videos are uploaded to YouTube every day, averaging at around 271,330 hours of videos. That’s a lot of videos, so much so it makes you wonder if there are any new ideas left. However, while there’s a massive number of videos uploaded every day, there are always new ideas to be thought of. In fact, the digital age has brought us more content to draw inspiration from than ever before. There are plenty of resources for video inspiration out there for you to use.

But how can you determine “inspiration” when everybody gets “inspired” differently? This article will explore various inspiration resources, including shooting, camera angles, composition, post-production editing styles, color grading and visual effects, to help you find your muse.

What is inspiration?

Inspiration can mean a few different things. One definition tells us it’s the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Another definition says it’s the process of being overcome by a spontaneous urge to do something creative. Or it can describe the act of inspiring others through your words and actions.

It’s often said that inspiration strikes out of nowhere, as though a lightbulb turns on over your head with the idea just coming in at full force. The thing about this “lightbulb moment” is that you can set out to find it and turn it on rather than waiting for it to pop into your head naturally. 

By unlocking the ability to get inspired with certain activities, you will notice that your day-to-day life will be more creative, increasing your productivity and even your happiness.

How do video producers and filmmakers get inspired?

Inspiration hits differently for everybody. Therefore, exploring the personality traits that define you as a person is important. If you are a video producer or filmmaker, you are most likely artistic and investigative.

Let’s explore a few of these character traits to better understand what video inspiration resources might ressonate best with you:

  • Artistic type: An artistic person likes to use their mind and hands to create things. They enjoy using their creativity and imagination and thrive in settings that allow self-expression.
  • Investigative type: An investigative person lives in their mind. They solve problems by reading and studying books and carefully analyzing situations. As independent thinkers, they’re curious, often spending time alone with their thoughts.
  • Openness type: A highly open person enjoys big abstract ideas with a desire for variety, curiosity and an active imagination. They are always searching for new ideas.
  • Extroversion type: People with high extroversion are happy when they receive external stimuli from people or exciting surroundings. They surround themselves with others and try new experiences. Compared to introverts — who satisfy themselves from within — an extrovert is less independent.

Although these personality traits are a global representation of where most filmmakers and video producers could fall into, they may not be accurate to your personality. If you want to know your personality traits to understand how you get inspired, try a Big Five Personality Assessment.

Finding inspiration outside: Explore your immediate world

In the digital age, it’s easy to find video inspiration resources online. However, one resource not explored nearly as much is the outside world. To help get your creative juices flowing, we challenge you to go outside and visit real places in your immediate area. The goal is to use your camera (preferably a smartphone for convenience) to capture notable moments in your adventure. You can also take a notebook (or notes app on your phone) to write your ideas so you can review them later.

If you have any friends who are video producers and filmmakers, you can invite them as well. This exercise shouldn’t be like capturing a family vacation video. Rather, try to look at the world through the eyes of the director, camera operator and video editor. Study subjects and objects of interest. Once you see a few, let your creativity run wild and capture them at various angles and with various camera movements. This exercise will help your brain start thinking of new, interesting ways to go about making videos. Don’t worry about capturing anything usable. Instead, focus on training your brain to play and find inspiration from your environment.

Visit a museum

What better way to get inspired by our ancestors than visiting a museum?

Many great pieces of cinema are inspired by our past. Impact videos require research, and a museum is a great place to start. As you learn more about the lives and experiences of people from the past, you will likely come across subjects that spark your interests. Videos are often based on some sense of reality, so drawing inspiration from the real world will help you think of relatable ideas. For example, while you may want to make a film about aliens attacking New York, learning about numerous societies and how they were structured could help you come up with a unique spin on your alien’s society.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (located in Los Angeles, California) is the world’s premier institution dedicated to the art and science of movies. Image courtesy: Downtowngal. (License)

People say to write about what you know because the work will come more organically. If you have elements of your video that you don’t know too much about, it would be good to attend an event or class on it. Let’s say you have an idea for a video or film about a character fighting with a bow and arrow, but you have never fired an arrow in your life. So, to gain the inspiration you are looking for, you go out and take an introductory class on how to shoot a bow. After going through the class, you will now have personal experience and a deeper understanding of the bow and arrow than you did before.

The classes and events you attend should be unrelated to making videos or films because you want to gain a different perspective from these resources and get video inspiration from a different point of view. Here are a few websites and resources that can help you find events in your area:

Inspiration from classic films, short films and foreign movies

Now, let’s venture back to digital inspiration resources for video producers. To start, you can study the classics of cinema. Cinema has gone through numerous eras and all offer unique perspectives on filmmaking. Additionally, classic films offer a different filmmaking perspective since, back then, technology was less advanced, and filmmakers needed to rely on practical ingenuity to make scenes believable. Also, camera angles and editing techniques were slightly different from today.

Here are a few of our favorites:

In addition, you can learn a lot from short films. Often, these films are made with a low budget, so they have to get creative to get the film made. Additionally, short films operate differently than longer media. Their plots have to operate quicker and wrap up in a much shorter period of time. You can more closely observe their narrative as it’s more condensed than a full-length movie or series.

These short films are worth viewing:

You can also draw inspiration from foreign films. You will gain a unique perspective that you can implement into your video and film productions.

Here are a few to check out:

Going behind the scenes

You can also watch behind-the-scenes footage of famous movies to get inspired. You will learn about the filmmakers’ struggles and the actors and see how they made the film. However, we recommend watching the movie first before checking out behind the scenes. This way, you will have more added context to what the crew will ultimately make. When viewing, take notes on how you think the filmmakers accomplished the tasks.

These are a few YouTube channels for behind-the-scene footage for popular media:

  • CineMagna: specializes in film behind the scenes, premiere videos and celebrity red carpet footage (b-roll and soundbite interviews) for broadcast TV/online and worldwide use
  • FilmIsNow Movie Bloopers & Extras: focuses on bloopers and gag reels, featurettes, deleted and alternative scenes, making of and behind-the-scenes videos
  • CinemaScope: explores filmmaking’s art and craft, with behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and documentaries

Film analysis YouTube channels

Watching film analysis videos on popular media can also help you dive deeper into the craft of filmmaking. These YouTube channels have many film analysis videos:

  • Thomas Flight: explores the visual media landscape that surrounds us through questions like, why do movies feel different now and why are David Lynch movies so weird?
  • The Film Theorists: dives into various film theories, such as finding how to survive the scariest film monsters, exploring iconic superhero lore and diving into the creepiest indie-horror series
  • Like Stories of Old: looks at film and visual media through personal yet philosphical lens
  • Every Frame a Painting: dissects classic movies and explains what makes these masterpieces unique 

Inspired by music

Music has always been a powerful source of inspiration. Start by creating playlists that mirror the emotional arc of your video. Then analyze how film music heightens tension, drives the narrative and evokes specific emotions. Listen to these film scores from the following films to get you started:

Getting inspiration by improving your film and video techniques

Video production is an ongoing journey; you must keep improving your skills and learning. Here’s a list of resources for your continuous education on creating videos.


Reading original film scripts

  • IMSDB: The Internet Movie Screenplay Database has the most extensive collection of movie scripts available online. It lets you read or download movie scripts for free and is available in HTML so you can read them in your web browser.
  • StudioBinder Screenplay Library: Here, you can read, download and analyze the best movie scripts online. The collection contains all the feature-length screenplays from the StudioBinder database and scripts broken down by plot, character, ending, quotes and more.
  • houses thousands of screenplays for movies and TV shows. It’s a helpful educational resource for screenwriters and a way to look at your favorite movies and TV shows’ scripts.

Improve scriptwriting

  • Lessons from the Screenplay: This YouTube channel analyzes movie scripts and examines how and why they are so good at telling their stories.
  • Scriptnotes Podcast: Screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and related topics in the film and television industry — everything from getting stuff written to the vagaries of copyright and work-for-hire law.
  • Michael Arndt: This YouTube channel for the screenwriter of “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006), “Toy Story 3” (2010) and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015).


  • Peter McKinnon: A YouTuber that teaches all things about photography and cinematography
  • Indy Mogul: A YouTube channel for independent filmmakers
  • Wolfcrow: An online film school for serious filmmakers 
  • Shooting: Videomaker’s resource for all you need to know about shooting videos


  • Cinecom: a YouTube tutorial channel with videos about VFX, editing and filmmaking using Adobe Premiere Pro/Adobe After Effects
  • This Guy Edits: an ACE Award-nominated editor who cut for James Cameron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Sundance filmmaker Mark Webber
  • Premiere Gal: A YouTuber who creates tutorials and resources to help make your journey smoother and more fun
  • Justin Odisho: A channel featuring videos that explore Premiere Pro and After Effects and how to use common transitions
  • Editing – Videomaker’s resource for all you need to know about video editing

Additional video inspiration resources

  • Vimeo Staff Picks: The best films hand-selected by the Vimeo curation team
  • YouTube Originals: Offers original series and movies from today’s hottest talent.
  • Ads of the World: A curated library of the top video ads worldwide
  • Motionographer: A resource for visual storytellers to hone their craft, showcase their triumphs and navigate the unique nature of the industry
  • Short of the Week: Weekly curated showcase of the best short films worldwide — perfect for quick bursts of inspiration and diverse storytelling styles

Go find your muse

Everyone gets inspiration from different sources. If none of these video inspiration resources seem to spark your lightbulb moment, then do some exploring and find new things that will. After all, inspiration comes from things that push us out of our comfort zones. Good luck, and remember to always let your creativity flourish.

Contributing author: Luis Maymi Lopez