Filmmaker Resources

We’ve put together a list of useful links to assist you in your short filmmaking endeavors.

If there are any useful links you can recommend, which aren’t included below, please send them through to us by email to with subject “Add to Additional Resources”.

7 Top Tips for your Entry

With the help of past Tropfest Winner, Jason van Genderen, we have put together the top tips for a successful entry into Tropfest New York covering camera settings, aspect ratio, resolution and compression, audio quality, copyright, backup and more. You can download the Top Tips document HERE.


The U.S. Copyright Office ( contains lots of information about the basics of copyright as well as tools for searching existing works and documents that have been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office since 1978. You can also register your own work through the online system.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website ( gives you a comprehensive run-down of the processes for obtaining patents and trademarks. It also has searchable databases allowing you to see the types of patents/trademarks that have been registered to date, and their current status.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars!) at has everything you need to know about the industry’s “night of nights”. As well as a history of the organization, lists of previous nominees and winners, the website also has a great resources and databases section, which includes catalogs of award acceptance speeches, scripts and credits.

American Film Institute – - The AFI is a national arts organization that is committed to both preserving the history of film and educating the next generation of storytellers.

Directors Guild of America – - The DGA is an entertainment labor union representing the interests of film and television directors in the United States.

Motion Picture Association of America – - MPAA champions creative and artistic freedom for filmmakers and also works to protect intellectual property rights of motion picture creators. The Blog section contains lots of information regarding current topics in film, copyright and creative innovation.

Screen Actors Guild – - The SAG is an American labor union representing the interests of actors (both principal and background performers) in film and television.

Writers Guild of America – - The WGA represents film and television writers across America.


Backstage – - A fantastic resource for actors offering information on auditions and casting calls, tips and tools for job-searching and a Message Board covering a wide variety of topics concerning actors. – - This is a great community website featuring bulletin boards with a variety of discussion topics, interviews with industry experts and a chat room for fellow filmmakers. – - The Stock Footage search engine caters to your footage research needs and allows you instant access to 30 databases within which to search for news, stock and archival footage. These databases include: F.I.L.M Archives, CNN ImageSource, Sony Pictures Stock Footage and more.

Independent Film Project –  - The Independent Film project is a non-profit service for independent filmmakers. Check out the website for film news, blogs, resources for filmmakers and much more.

The Independent – - Claiming to be “obsessed with independent film since 1978”, this website is a great resource containing advice on topics such as screenwriting, film financing and technology. There is also a “Classifieds” feed.

Independent Film and Television Alliance – - IFTA is a global trade association for the independent film and television industry. It represents more than 150 companies across 23 companies.

Indie Producer – - A good resource covering a broad range of issues affecting film producers, including financing, legal issues and a glossary of useful terms. It also has an excellent blog which contains a host of different topics relevant to filmmakers.


Mark Litwak’s Entertainment Law Resources website at is a fantastic website which includes valuable information covering the legal aspects of filmmaking. Be sure to also check out the associated Blog ( which contains news of recent cases as well as definitions of important legal terms and phrases and explanations of legal documents, such as, for example, why it is necessary to get a crowd release when shooting in a scene that’s open to the public.