So, you want to be a filmmaker or involved in filmmaking in some way. Maybe as a scriptwriter, editor, or cinematographer. Besides brick and mortar schools or interning on a production, the best online filmmaking courses, schools and tutorials can help you achieve that goal!
Disadvantages are that the face to face interaction between instructor and student may be lacking. Or that there isn’t a lot of hands on training available. In most cases, those concerns are alleviated or outright eliminated in the current online instruction available.
Top 15 Best Online Filmmaking courses, schools & Tutorials!
A lot of the best online filmmaking courses have personal attention given to students, assignments turned in for review and guidance, real hands on work to do. In short, the online world of instruction has options for learning and improving skills and knowledge that just might fulfill what you need.
An online school will be the choice for some people. They usually have a comprehensive variety of subjects to study. Some offer diplomas, certificates, or even degrees.
Tutorials are shorter, often presented as video guidance. Some may be structured similar to a course.
Top 5 Best Online Filmmaking Courses
Course studies include lecture notes, projects, and assignments. How much you get out of the courses depends on how deep into the course you want to get. About the only thing missing is real time instructor feedback, but even that is sort of covered by online discussion groups you can join.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology makes available at no cost a whole lot of courses on many topics in their Open Courseware program.
Originally established in 1861, MIT has long been known and esteemed for its excellent engineering and science research and education programs. Besides science and engineering, MIT is also a leader in quality education in a wide range of fields from business to medicine.
To have their education courses available for free to whoever wants to take the time to go through them is really a big deal. We’re not just talking about a synopsis or review of topics. These are actual full courses of study.
Under the Visual Arts menu in the Fine Arts section of the courseware, you will find Graphic Design, Photography, and Film and Video. The courses are both in graduate and undergraduate level. A few of the topics are Understanding Television, Shakespeare in Film and Media, Modern Science Fiction, and other courses designed to teach theory and methods for educational presentations of other topics.
Here is an example of the deep subjects covered by MIT, “Understanding Television”
Some of the subjects currently on Udemy are DSLR Filmmaking, Video Editing, Shooting 16mm Film, Making iPhone Documentaries, and Screenwriting & Storytelling.
Udemy is not a school or university. Since 2007 it has been an online learning program geared towards professionals and interested parties wanting to further their knowledge and skills in all sorts of areas.
Courses are created by a variety of professionals who are leaders in their fields. Each course is available for purchase and completion on your own time. Some courses are video presentations of lectures, others are downloadable multi media presentations, and a few are actually live classes.
The costs of most courses is quite reasonable and the course may last anywhere from 3 to 10 or hours each, usually split up into smaller, manageable parts.
With Skillshare courses, you learn by doing. Students practice what they learn by completing the project included in each class. Part of the this model of education requires every Skillshare class to have a project that lets you practice and get feedback.
Skillshare is an online community, active since 2010, that enables qualified instructors to share their expertise in their particular field of interest or their business.
Skillshare is offered on a monthly subscription basis and also has free, though limited, options for courses.
It’s different from many of the online courses in that it isn’t videos of lectures, but tends to focus more on interaction. You connect with peers by sharing work and insights with a community of over 3 million members.
For filmmaking, areas of study can be found in cinematography, directing, acting, screenwriting, and in the various business aspects such as raising capital, producing, and marketing films.
Coursera is an online learning platform founded by Stanford professors that offers courses, specializations, and even some degrees.
Courses usually last from four to ten weeks, with one to two hours of video lectures a week. The courses provide quizzes, weekly exercises, peer-graded assignments, and sometimes a final project or exam.
You can join Coursera for free, but the courses have fees, and if a certification certificate is offered, you will need to purchase it. You have access to may universities, colleges, and businesses worldwide that provide education in your chosen field.
Lesson plan and course material were designed by Louis La Volpe, production supervisor for New York University’s Institute of Film and Television. It’s a great option for those wanting to learn about filmmaking but who are on a tight budget.
Though the name makes you think of an actual school, this is a series of courses that you purchase separately or together. It uses the open source Moodle platform for course study and presentation.
Its complete online filmmaking program covers all the vital areas of filmmaking from script to screen, including film, video, and digital media. Purchase allows you to cover the courses at your leisure within a two year access window for course material.
Top 5 Best Online Filmmaking Schools
Opened in 1979 and online since 2007, Full Sail University is a true university, offering degrees as Associates, Bachelors, and Masters. Degree programs are in Art & Design, Business, Film & Television, Games, Media & Communications, Music & Recording, Sports, and Technology.
Degree programs are offered at an accelerated pace. According to Full Sail, this allows you to graduate in approximately half the time of a traditional bachelor’s program.
Programs are designed as close to a real world experience as possible, often times with on the job experience that goes beyond mere classroom teaching.
Start classes when you’re ready, instead of dealing with semester schedules. After graduation, students can come back to update skills and knowledge as the entertainment industry continues to evolve.
A full art school, established in 1929, this school has programs in many art fields, with Animation and Motion Picture and Television being among the programs.
Full degrees are available online and on campus. Online courses allow you to complete your studies on your own time. There are degree specializations in Producing, Directing, Digital Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, and Screen Writing.
Study with professionals working in the entertainment industry, including Academy and Emmy Award winners. By the time students graduate from the School of Motion Pictures & Television, they have created a thesis film, reel, or portfolio that showcases their talents. Academy of Art also offers career and entrepreneurial services for students and in filmmaking positions.
In New York City since 1992, NYFA also has branches in Los Angeles, Miami, and smaller campuses around the world.
NYFA offers master, bachelor, and associate degrees, as well as shorter courses and programs in filmmaking, acting for film, photography, fashion photography, documentary filmmaking, 3D animation and visual effects, game design, producing, screenwriting, digital filmmaking, cinematography, broadcast journalism, musical theatre, music video, digital editing, graphic design, and virtual reality.
Many of these are available online. Learning by doing, or hands on experience, is at the core of the education from NYFA.
What better place to have a film school than right next door to Hollywood? UCLA has a great fine arts degree program that includes specialization in digital and film media. Since 1919, UCLA has been the southern branch of the University of California.
If you want to increase your filmmaking skills but don’t have the time to commit to a semester long course, UCLA offers online extension courses. Even students still in high school can enroll in some of these online course programs.
Courses include: Introduction to Art and Technique of Filmmaking, Digital Cinematography, Screenwriting Fundamentals, Advanced Screenwriting Workshop, Art and Practice of Motion Picture Producing, Planning Independent Feature Production, and Overview of Contemporary Film Industry.
More well known as a liberal arts college, ASU also has a complete online degree program in film and media studies. Established in 1885, Arizona State University is a research and education facility with a lot of options for students.
Taught as a more traditional class with lectures and assignments, ASU online can provide aspiring directors, cinematographers, writers, and even actors with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the world of motion picture and TV entertainment.
Top 5 Best Online Filmmaking Video Tutorials
Unlike a course or a school, video tutorials can guide you through one or more important things in a short time. A series of tutorials can give you a pretty good handle on what is needed for filmmaking. There is not any one best tutorial, and that’s one of the best things about tutorials.
Several of these listed are one video in a series or group of helpful tutorials.
Here is a sample of what is out there:
Film Riot has a full series of videos on subjects related to filmmaking. This one on lighting is an introduction to proper lighting techniques from inexpensive equipment. Not everyone can afford all the brand name stuff, but you can get the same results with what you have on hand if you just knew how.
Motion Array is another portal with many video tutorials. This one has tips and guidance for using Premier Pro, a film editing and enhancing program. It takes you beyond the instructions and shows how to create high quality effects yourself.
Adobe After Effects is another industry accepted program useful for filmmaking. It isn’t always clearly evident how to use the tools the program has or exactly what they do. A tutorial like this one gives you a jump start in how to make a quick change effect for transitions.
Another great source of tutorials is Cinecom. In this one, a low budget is used to best advantage by creative use of available resources. Lighting is essential for creating a beautiful scene. If you have bad lighting you scene will look dull and uninteresting. This tutorial has tips to take your scenes to the next level.
5. Filmmaker IQ
This YouTube channels has tutorials for filmmakers on subjects such as Exposure, Dynamic Range, Depth of Field, Audio Recording, Sound Engineering, and how to properly use credits among the list. Many fine tips and guides for beginners and experienced film makers.
We live in a digital world. Digital cameras have become the go to medium for many photographers and film makers. We are constantly connected to the world by means of smartphones, tablets, the internet, and other technologies. It is not a surprise that schooling for photographic and cinematographic skills can be found online.