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Reading is one of the simplest ways to immediately improve your life in every regard, even your filmmaking. A while back we reached out to some of our friends in filmmaking to see what they would recommend for some summer reading and they had some incredibly thoughtful responses. So, we thought we’d go for round two because we’re sure as hell not running out of books to read.

There are a lot of conversations surrounding the Vimeo Staff Pick, but no one in the indie film community can question its importance. For many creatives that elusive badge has been the starting point for their career, the moment when they get noticed.

For this edition of Musicbed Top 5, we’re going to show you sample films as inspiration for you to get started on your own journey. Each film is a great example of creativity under fire, showcasing creatives’ abilities to use their limitations and make them an advantage.

It’s hard to rank films for so many reasons. First and foremost, the true value of a film lies solely with the viewer — what did you take away from it? The only metric that truly counts in our book is how a film affects someone. That’s the mindset we had going into the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. There were hundreds of great films by great filmmakers debuting and we only had the chance to see a small percentage of them. So, instead of going for “best” or “worst”, we’re going for impact. This article is an effort to shed some light on notable films that struck us at the festival — not an end-all, be-all film review.

Passion projects operate within their own economy. One where financial gain is beside the point, investments are expected to be lost, and purity of vision is valued above all else. Passion projects are pieces of art. They exist to exist. Getting them to exist can be the problem, too.

Animation has been with us for a very long time now. People have been drawing sequential, motion-mimicking frames for thousands of years. (Go look at some ancient Egyptian burial murals when you get a chance.) And for the past few hundred years, we’ve been figuring out ways to bring those frames to life ⎯ through spinning discs, flipbooks, and, ultimately, online video streaming services. You might say animation was the earliest form of filmmaking. It’s the medium that first taught us the power of moving pictures. And it continues to be one of the most innovative forms of filmmaking today.

We’ve compiled a list of eight books every filmmaker should read this summer. Some are directly related to the craft. Others are simply examples of great craftsmanship themselves. But all of them will make fantastic companions whether you’re unwinding on the beach or head-down inside your latest project. These suggestions were compiled from our own reading and from the reading of some of our talented filmmaking friends. We hope you find one that, in the words of J. D. Salinger, “Really knocks you out.”