Judith Downie
Humanities Librarian
CSUSM Library
KEL 3424

Back to Film Resources Index

Films are constantly adapting new technologies and techniques, but the older methods can still be of value, especially to the low-budget film maker. Here are some tips on finding a variety of resources.

Internet Sources


To find materials, you can look through these catalogs:

  • CSUSM Library Catalog is what you can find in the Kellogg Library

  • Circuit is the joint catalog for CSUSM, SDSU, UCSD, and USD with delivery in 1-3 days for CSUSM users.

  • Melvyl searches the entire University of California catalog system and delivers in 5-10 days through Interlibrary Loan for CSUSM.

  • WorldCat searches a 'universe' of library catalogs and delivers in 5-10 days through Interlibrary Loan for CSUSM.

Useful Subject Terms
Can't think of terms to accurately describe your topic?  Library catalogs use specific subject headings to group related books together. 'Film', "motion picture' and 'technique' are such large topics and can be defined in multiple ways, you will want to think of ways to narrow it down, by type of technique or aspect, etc. Ask a librarian to help, or here are some examples to consider:

Looking for films that have been adapted from books?
Search the CSUSM catalog using the genre/form search field (instead of the usual keyword or subject search). Type in FILM ADAPTATIONS to see the current list of films in our collection. Or, type title of either the book (or movie) in the keyword field and add the word adaptation to limit to any possible adaptations.


The Research Databases at CSUSM will offer both articles on filming techniques in general and discussion of a specific techniques. Try to be specific when constructing your search query as otherwise, you will spend a lot of time searching through unnecessary hits. Some databases do not offer full text of the articles. Use the Check SFX for Availability button to check our other resources for full text.

ABI Inform Trade & Industry
Abstracts and full-text articles from more than 1,000 leading business and management publications, with full-text for most popular sources. This addresses the 'business' side of film making

Academic Search Premier
Covers a wide array of subjects with full text for nearly 1,850 scholarly journals, including more than 1,250 peer-reviewed titles.

Communication & Mass Media Complete
Provides abstracts and full text for more than 200 communication journals.

Contains complete full-text back files (EXCEPT for the latest five years) of core scholarly journals in such areas as sociology, history, economics, political science, mathematics, African-American studies, Asian studies and others

Includes abstracts of articles from critical literary and language journals. This is primarily concerned with the original work of literature, but you will find plenty of articles on adaptations here.

Project Muse
Full-text coverage for hundreds of scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics

RILM Music Abstracts
Abstracts from scholarly journals on international music and related disciplines.


Internet Sources
These may not be as scholarly as published journal reviews, so be aware of the credentials of the reviewer. Keep in mind when searching the internet that not all material will be scholarly and other search terms will be 'cinema' or 'film' rather than 'movie'.

A resource for independent filmmakers including information on production and networking.

Filmmaking.com: The Filmmaking Portal
For the independent as well as Hollywood-based filmmaker, this site offers information on a wide range of technical and business aspects.

Along with some useful reference sources, there is a directory of film schools and classified for equipment.

iEarn MovingVoices: The Filmmaking Process: Plan on Paper
A guide to plotting the film before getting behind the camera.

Nuts and Bolts Filmmaking
For the "guerilla filmmaker", articles, tips, and downloads.

Resources assembled by the University of Alabama for film students and teachers.

The Art and Science of Film and Motion Picture Production
A list of sites collected by an individual, this offers a lot of links to various aspects of film technique and technology.

Traditional Film Camera Techniques
General explanations of various film effects, including angle and depth of field.