Usenet Newsgroups

A newsgroup is a discussion forum - a kind of massive electronic message board. When we refer to newsgroups on the Internet, we are generally talking about the Usenet (aka Network News). Usenet is a massive network containing more than 50,000 different groups, covering millions of topics.

To access Usenet newsgroups you need a news browser. Wikipedia has an extensive list of news browsers (news readers), or alternatively, you can use a web-based service such as Google Groups.

If you use a local application, you will also need access to a news server. Most of the time your ISP will provide this service as part of your Internet access deal. You can also connect to one of the many public access news servers around the world. Public access servers come and go all the time. Finding a server is pretty easy - simply search for "Public Access Usenet Sites" on Google or Yahoo.

It's worth noting that not all news servers will carry every newsgroup - there is just too many of them. Check with your provider to see that they carry the groups you want, and request them if they don't. A good news service should however carry somewhere between 30,000 - 50,000 groups.

film-related usenet newsgroups

rec.arts.movies.production
rec.arts.movies.tech
rec.arts.movies.prod.sound
rec.arts.video.production
rec.video.desktop
alt.movies.independent
alt.movies.cinematography
alt.movies.visual-effects
misc.writing.screenplays

other discussion forums

The Internet contains a wealth of information and community for the new and independent filmmaker. In addition to the discussion forums found at filmmaking.net, other forums worth a look at include:

web communities
» DV.com Forums
» Indiewire

email discussion lists
» The Cinematography Mailing List (CML)
» Shooting People (UK and USA)