Best Online Filmmaking Classes

With the availability of online filmmaking courses nowadays, there is little or no need to go to a costly film school. Therefore, as a scriptwriter, editor or cinematographer, you can improve your skill in film making at the comfort of your home and at your own time by enrolling for an online filmmaking class.

These online courses are also a good choice for you if you are just starting at learning filmmaking. This review is provided to inform you of the best online filmmaking classes you can join to either learn filmmaking or hone your skills and knowledge of filmmaking.

1-MasterClass: Martin Scorsese Teaching Filmmaking

Masterclass Martin Scorsese Teaching Filmmaking

The Masterclass: Martin Scorsese Teaching Filmmaking is an incredible online filmmaking course that you can join as a budding filmmaker. This fact that this online course is taught by one of the most successful and critically acclaimed filmmakers of today makes it an excellent course for anyone looking to start filmmaking on a good note.

PROS

  • A flexible and comprehensive course
  • Lessons cover every aspect of directing
  • Video of HD quality
  • The one-time purchase gives lifetime access to the course
  • Allows for interaction with the instructor and other students

CONS

  • The visuals and sound of the video lessons tend to be a bit repetitive

This excellent filmmaking course is taught by Martin Scorsese, a legendary film director. You get to learn from the instructor’s experience as he shares with you all the lessons he has learnt in his lifetime.

The topics covered in this course include discovering your process, channelling your influences, developing your style, directing and technology, among other important and exciting topics. Moreover, from this course, you will learn cinematography, casting, editing colour, how to work with a crew and some other things.

Apart from the teachings, towards the end of the course, the instructor analyses a few select scenes from different movies. This analysis of scenes of movies teaches you how to watch movies, and this ultimately enables you to make movies that are a hit.
This course on Masterclass comes with Office Hours sessions, a feature which allows you to ask the instructor a question directly as well as receive feedback on course assignments. Thus, enabling you to learn more from the instructor.

Course highlights:

  • A very high4.7-star rating
  • 30 video lessons
  • 4 hours 35 minutes on-demand video
  • Taught by a professional and award-winning filmmaker
  • Suitable for both beginner and professional filmmakers

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2-MasterClass: Ron Howard Teaches Directing

Masterclass Ron Howard Teaches Directing

Do you desire to know how to work with the various elements and roles involved in making a film? If you answered in affirmative to this question, then the Masterclass: Ron Howard Teaches Directing is the ideal class to join. From this course, you learn about directing, editing and storytelling. 

PROS

  • An informative and inspiring class
  • Serves as a practical and insightful guide to directing a film from the beginning to the end
  • Comes with excellent case studies
  • You gain insight into working relationships
  • Enable you to understand the importance of story

CONS

  • Some lessons are unnecessarily long
  • Some occasional, unexplained jargon

In this course, Ron Howard, an award-winning director, actor and producer, teaches you his directing process. You also get to learn about evaluating a script, production design, casting, research, developing a film, working with cinematographers and actors.

Moreover, the instructor teaches you how to stage a scene with his focus on the Frost/Nixon case study. Office Hours sessions of this Masterclass course allows you to ask the instructor a question directly as well as receive feedback on course assignments. Thus, allowing you to learn more from the instructor. 

Course highlights:

  • A very high 4.7-star rating
  • 31 video lessons with a downloadable 40-page PDF workbook
  • 7 hours 48minutes on-demand video
  • Taught by an acclaimed expert with excellent teaching skills
  • Best suited for beginner filmmakers

3-MasterClass: David Lynch Teaches Creativity and Film

Masterclass David Lynch Teaches Creativity And Film

The MasterClass: David Lunch Teaches Creativity and Film is one of the best online filmmaking courses .The instructor introduces to his unconventional process of translating visionary ideas into film and other art forms.

PROS

  • Enhances your creativity
  • Offers a lifetime access
  • Accessible from any device

CONS

  • Lacks practical tips and tools
  • Some discussions are abstract

This online course is taught by David Lynch, an American filmmaker, musician, actor, photographer and painter. He is regarded as one of the greatest creative minds of our generation. By joining this course, you learn from the vast knowledge the instructor has about filmmaking, and you also gain an insight into the creative process behind filmmaking.

The lessons in this course cover the generating ideas, creativity and the writing process; production design; cinematography, casting, working with actors and more.

Moreover, you will learn how the instructor creatively breaks the conventional rules of cinema to push the boundaries of your work. The content of this course makes it suitable for anyone looking to capture and nourish their unique creative style.

Course highlights:

  • 13 lessons
  • 2 hours 52 minutes on-demand video
  • Learning materials and workbooks
  • Taught by a creative and experienced filmmaker

4-MasterClass: Jodie Foster Teaches Filmmaking

Masterclass Jodie Foster Teaches Filmmaking

The Masterclass: Jodie Foster Teaches Filmmaking is a fantastic online filmmaking class which covers essential aspects of making a film. Thus, it is a suitable course for you if you are into both acting and directing.

PROS

  • Great emphasis on how writers and directors collaborate
  • Comes with extra class materials
  • The actor-director background of the instructor produces a unique perspective
  • Students can interact in their community

CONS

  • Lessons center more on people skills and collaboration, rather than the technical aspect of filmmaking

This incredible course is taught by Jodie Foster, an American Actress, director and producer. Her insight in filmmaking gives her a unique overview of the filmmaking process. Thus, this class is put together, putting these different skills in mind.

This course gives you the knowledge of exploring big ideas in the film, making a vision, shooting, casting, music, editing and many more. Also, this course explores some concepts that not usually part of other filmmaking courses, this include, scheduling, prepping as well as a focus on the acting process. Besides, you get an insight into an active collaboration when creating for a film.

Course highlights:

  • 4.7-star rating
  • 4 hours 3 minutes
  • 18 video lessons
  • Taught by a professional and a 2-times Oscar-winning filmmaker.

5-MasterClass: Werner Herzog Teaches Filmmaking

Masterclass Werner Herzog Teaches Filmmaking

Are you looking for a unique and engaging online filmmaking class that focuses on documentary making, career strategy, sound and filmmaker’s relationship with actors? If yes, the Masterclass: Werner Herzog Teaches Filmmaking is the right course for you.

PROS

  • Provides you with great insight into the creative process of filmmaking
  • Comes with many examples and suggested viewing
  • Teaches you how to develop your skills in storytelling
  • Offers an exciting and unique look at filmmaking

CONS

  • Some of the lessons are not clearly defined
  • Inadequate coverage of technicalities
  • Covers a niche style of filmmaking

Werner Herzog takes this class, a multi-award winning German filmmaker, producer and screenwriter, actor, opera director and author. This instructor shares with you everything he learnt over a lifetime of self-taught filmmaking in both documentaries and feature films. In this course, you learn about cinematography, camera techniques, sound, editing, how to work with actors and some other critical aspects of filmmaking.

This course also comes with some unexpected but exceptionally useful lessons on negotiation and financing skills within the film industry. Also, you are taught Herzog’s signature techniques to create fantastic documentaries; these include learning

Course highlights:

  • 26 video lessons
  • 5 hours 57 minutes
  • Comes with a helpful workbook and question and answer document
  • An engaging community hub
  • Taught by a professional and respected filmmaker

6-MasterClass: Spike Lee Teaches Independent Filmmaking

Masterclass Spike Lee Teaches Independent Filmmaking

Another great online filmmaking class for independent filmmakers is the Masterclass: Spike Lee Teaches Independent Filmmaking. From this class, you will learn how to tell a convincing story with anything you have at hand.

PROS

  • Comes with high-quality videos and audio
  • Comes with strong case studies and examples
  • Easy to use and reliable
  • Instructions are in-depth and interesting
  • Offers much practical advice

CONS

  • The course is less theory-based
  • Unsuitable for beginners
  • Emphasizes socio-political filmmaking

This course is taught by Spike Lee, an Oscar-winning American film director, a writer, actor and producer. This instructor takes you through his technical and creative process for independent filmmaking.

In this course, you learn about the instructor’s techniques, and you get writing advice on scriptwriting, storytelling with the use of different camera techniques, collaboration and improvisation with actors. You also learn editing, music and many other aspects of filmmaking.

Moreover, Spike offers a lesson on establishing tone quickly in your movies with the use of the titles sequence. Another exciting thing about this course is that by the end, you would have learnt how best to finance your independent film projects.

Course highlights:

  • 4.7-star rating
  • 3 hours 12 minutes
  • 19 video lessons
  • Comes with a workbook
  • Taught by a legendary film director

7-MasterClass: Mira Nair Teaches Independent Filmmaking

Masterclass Mira Nair Teaches Independent Filmmaking

The Masterclass: Mira Nair Teaches Independent Filmmaking is a great online filmmaking class where you learn the instructor’s unique approach to independent filmmaking.

PROS

  • Offers a unique perspective to filmmaking
  • Focuses on how writers and directors collaborate
  • Comes with additional class materials

CONS

  • Inadequate technical approach as lessons focus more on collaboration and people skills

This fantastic course is taught by Mira Nair, an Oscar-nominated Indian American filmmaker. Mira introduces you to her approach on how to cast, direct actors, utilize sound, budget and other essential aspects of filmmaking. Also, you are taught on-set direction and how to work with cinematographers to make you scene align with your vision.

In addition to the teachings is an exceptionally useful scene-workshop in which the instructor shows you how to direct actors as well as how to help them get the most out of their performances. This course offers you tons of actionable advice as an independent filmmaker, and thus, with it, you’re equipped to get out there and film confidently.

This course helps you identify your voice and story pattern, thereby enabling you to tell your unique story in films. You also learn the effect of sound and music to add emotions to your scenes as well as make them dramatic. The instructor also shares with you her tips for maximizing budgets while filling original stories with life.

Course highlights:

  • 17 video lessons
  • 4 hours 31 minutes
  • A very high 4.7-star rating
  • Taught by a legendary independent filmmaker
  • A downloadable customized workbook for each chapter

8-MasterClass: Ken Burns Teaches Documentary Filmmaking

Masterclass Ken Burns Teaches Documentary Filmmaking

The Masterclass: Ken Burns Teaches Documentary Filmmaking is a great online filmmaking class where you get advice on navigating the filmmaking process and also get to learn from the highs and lows of the instructor’s first film.

PROS

  • Comes with useful and educational information
  • The course is inspirational
  • The lessons are filmed and edited to a high standard.

CONS

  • The online class community of this course is not very active

This course is taught by Ken Burns, a professional and teacher of documentary filmmaking. This 15-time Emmy Award winner teaches you how he navigates research and uses visual and audio storytelling methods to bring history to life. 

You gain insight into the instructor’s approach to filmmaking rather than a detailed how-to guide. Thus, with this course, you learn about how the instructor, Ken, finds stories, his ethical approach, as well as how he puts together proposals and treatments for his movies. 

In this class, the instructor demonstrates how documentaries can match and altogether exceed the depth of the fictional narrative. He also gets to deconstruct scenes from some of his most notable works to give more explanations to filmmaking. The latter part of this course covers sound design, music, editing, voiceovers, lighting and cinematography.

Course highlights:

  • A very high 4.7-star rating
  • 4 hours 56 minutes
  • 28 video lessons
  • 156-page workbook
  • Taught by a professional and experienced filmmaker

9-Udemy: Complete Filmmaker Guide: Become an Incredible Video Creator

Udemy Complete Filmmaker Guide Become An Incredible Video Creator

The Udemy course, Complete Filmmaker Guide: Become an Incredible Video Creator is one of the most unique online filmmaking courses. You get to learn everything about filmmaking from pre-production to editing. This course covers all the creative aspects of planning, shooting and editing an incredible video.

PROS

  • Instructions are well explained
  • A clear and concise course with an effective teaching method
  • Offers full lifetime access
  • Comes with excellent visual examples
  • Accessible on mobile and TV

CONS

  • Too essential for some people
  • Offers no practical approach to filmmaking
  • Information is repeated

This course is taught by Julian Melanson, a film director and teacher. The instructor offers you a brand new understanding of filmmaking which is useful for creating your incredible videos. From this course, you can completely master lenses, lighting, cinematography, sound recording and editing.  You also learn how to convert an idea into your unique style of video fully.

Moreover, in this course, you gain a film school level understanding of conceptualizing, shooting and editing a project. The knowledge of the essential filmmaking theories, principles and ideas that you gain from this course enables you to expand your creativity.  It allows you to produce great content without expensive equipment.

Over 43,000 students have taken this course. To join this course, you are required to have a beginning or average understanding of shooting and editing. You need to have access to a camera and video editing software.

Course highlights:

  • A high 4.3-star rating
  • 5 ½ hours on-demand video
  • 1 article and 9 downloadable resources
  • Certificate of completion

10-Udemy: Documentary Filmmaking with Soul

Udemy Documentary Filmmaking With Soul

Do you desire to learn how to create a modern, cinematic, story-driven documentary from the beginning to the end? If you answered in affirmative to this question, then you should check out the Udemy course, Documentary Filmmaking with Soul.

PROS

  • Requires minimal equipment to join
  • Lessons are applicable and straightforward
  • The content of the course is easy to understand
  • An in-depth introductory cinematic videography course
  • Comes with concise explanations and examples
  • Offers a full lifetime access
  • Accessible on mobile and TV

CONS

  • Too basic for some people
  • Limited information about practical things

This excellent course is taught by Dandan Liu, a documentary & commercial filmmaker and a creative educator. The instructor teaches you how to plan, shoot and edit a strong cinematic documentary with deep storytelling roots. You are also taught how to conduct powerful, story-driven interviews as well as how to compose and light for cinematic images.

Moreover, you learn how to use audio recording equipment to get high-quality sound and the use of Adobe Premiere Pro to edit and refine your footage. By the end of this course, you would have developed an eye for location scouting.

From this course, you will get all the knowledge and a complete roadmap you need to make your first documentary shoot. Over 2,000 people have enrolled in this course. To join this class, you need to have access to a DLSR camera, a tripod, a basic audio recording equipment and an Adobe Premiere Pro free trial.

Course highlights:

  • A high 4.5-star rating
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 2 downloadable resources
  • Certificate of completion
  • Best suited for beginners

11-Skillshare: iPhone Filmmaking: Create Cinematic Video with Your Phone

Skillshare Iphone Filmmaking Create Cinematic Video With Your Phone

The Skillshare course, iPhone Filmmaking: Create Cinematic Video with Your Phone is a great and exciting online filmmaking class from which you learn to iPhone for filmmaking.

PROS

  • The teachers are engaging and relatable
  • A simple but descriptive course
  • An informative course with clear instructions
  • Good quality of video and audio
  • Comes with helpful examples
  • Gives beginners a good starting point

CONS

  • Too short and not comprehensive enough, thus, unsuitable for professional filmmakers

This fantastic course is taught by Caleb Babcock and Niles Grey, who are both filmmakers. These instructors with their great senses of humor and approachable teaching style teach you the fundamental principles that you can apply to every level of filmmaking that you might want to try, whether, short travel videos or longer narrative film. 

The topics covered in this course include the apps and gears you need to get the most cinematic footage possible, how to use the significant gear like tripods, lenses and gimbals. Also, you get to know the methods of filming core shots and experimental ones, plus an understanding of the basics of transferring and editing your footage.    Over 16,000 students have taken this course. 

Course highlights:

  • 44 minutes on-demand video
  • 8 lessons and 16 projects
  • Perfect for beginners

12-Skillshare: DSLR Filmmaking: From Beginning to Pro

Skillshare Dslr Filmmaking From Beginning To Pro

The Skillshare course, DSLR Filmmaking: From Beginning to Pro is an excellent online filmmaking course, and you can join to start learning how to make a film. This course does not just focus on starting as a filmmaker but offers techniques which help to take your skills to the next level.

PROS

  • The teacher is engaging
  • An interesting course that is easy to follow and understand
  • The instructions are clear
  • An informative course that is straight to the point
  • Comes with quizzes for better understanding of the course content
  • Lessons are well-organized
  • Comes with helpful examples

CONS

  • Lacks some scenes of real-world scenarios

This course is taken by Jordy Vandeput, a filmmaker and YouTuber. In this course, you’re taught the techniques which professional filmmakers use to craft their videos. The instructor teaches you how to use DSLR in full manual mode to achieve great creative freedom.
Moreover, you will learn the essentials of visual storytelling with composition, motion and lighting.
Over 19,000 students have enrolled for this course. You do not need expensive equipment to join this class but only your DSLR or SLR camera and the knowledge of visual storytelling.

Course highlights:

  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 29 lessons and 4 projects
  • Best suited for beginners

conclusion

Out of all the great online filmmaking courses reviewed above, the Masterclass course, Martin Scorsese Teaching Filmmaking stands to be the overall best. This course is exceptional because it is taught by a renowned filmmaker who shares his experience in filmmaking with you during the class. 

With the heaps of tips, skills and strategies possessed by this instructor, you get to learn a lot from this course as an aspiring or pro filmmaker. Also, this course comes with incredible lessons on the crucial aspects of filmmaking. 

Therefore, with this fantastic course, you will significantly improve in your creativity, dynamism and flexibility as a filmmaker.

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