The 9+ Best Online Filmmaking Courses [in 2024]

best online filmmaking courses

Are you interested in learning how to create great films and videos?

Our list of the seven best online filmmaking courses contains excellent information to help you become a better filmmaker!

These courses will get you up to speed on all filmmaking-related areas, from pre-production planning tools, screenwriting techniques, cinematography tips, creative editing solutions, and sound design practices.

You’ll also be able to access valuable insider advice from instructors who have experience working in film and television productions. 

Check out these courses to improve your skills while leaning upon years of tried-and-tested expertise without enrolling in an expensive college program.

Take action on your filmmaking dreams by checking out this list of the top filmmaking courses!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Best Filmmaking Course overall

Martin Scorsese Masterclass

MasterClass logo

This Masterclass is a must-take course for aspiring filmmakers who want to learn from an industry icon.

Through anecdotes, stories, and footage from his films, Martin Scorsese shares 4.5 hours’ worth of critical lessons and insider tips on all aspects of filmmaking.

Best For on a Budget

Guerilla Filmmaking Course

Creative Live Logo

“Guerrilla Filmmaking” is great for indie filmmakers looking to bring their vision to life on a tight budget and limited equipment.

This 15-hour course teaches you how to script, storyboard, scout locations, cast actors, and more!

Most Comprehensive

The Art of Filmmaking

Udemy Logo

This is a comprehensive 5.5-hour course that provides insights into all aspects of filmmaking and video production.

It covers directing, screenwriting, cinematography, visual effects, and video editing.

best For Learning Film Funding

Getting Your Film Off the Ground

Coursera Logo

This course is ideal for indie filmmakers looking to learn how to fund and market their films.

The course covers various funding avenues, including grant writing, crowdfunding, and seeking investors.

best For Learning Cinematography

Cinematography Basics

Skillshare Logo

This course is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in cinematography.

In this 30-minute course, you’ll learn about what is cinematography and what makes a film look compelling and magical.

online filmmaking courses

What are Filmmaking Courses Online?

Many options are available depending on what kind of online filmmaking courses you’re looking for.

If you want to learn the basics of filmmaking, plenty of introductory courses can give you a broad overview of the industry. These courses usually cover story structure, camera techniques, and editing.

If you’re looking for something more specific, some courses focus on certain aspects of filmmaking, like screenwriting, producing, directing, or even CGI. Whichever route you choose, there are plenty of courses available to help you learn more about filmmaking.

online filmmaking courses

What are the Benefits of Taking Filmmaking Courses Online?

If you’re considering taking a filmmaking course online, you’re probably wondering what the benefits are. You may wonder if they are less effective than in-person film school courses.

But, there are several benefits to taking film industry courses online. Here are just a few of them: 

You can learn at your own pace.

One of the best things about online courses is that you can learn at your own pace.

This is especially beneficial if you’re trying to fit learning new filmmaking skills into a busy schedule. You can rewatch lectures and review materials as often as you need to until you feel confident in your understanding of the material. 

You can choose from a variety of courses.

When you take film courses online, you’re not limited to the courses offered at your local college or university. Instead, you can choose from various courses different schools and filmmakers offer. This allows you to find a course that’s right for your interests and experience level. 

You have access to expert instructors.

When you take an online course, you have access to some of the leading minds in the filmmaking industry.

Many instructors offer courses through online learning platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, and Masterclass. They can offer their expertise to a global audience, which means you can benefit from their knowledge and experience regardless of where you live!

The 9 Best Online Filmmaking Courses

1. Martin Scorsese Teaches Filmmaking Masterclass

Masterclass

The Martin Scorsese Teaches Filmmaking Masterclass is an invaluable learning experience for all aspiring filmmakers, providing deep insights into the art and craft of cinema from one of the most iconic directors in cinematic history.

Martin Scorsese brings his decades of experience to life by sharing anecdotes, stories, and footage from his films. The Masterclass offers critical lessons and insider tips from Martin Scorsese to help you become a better filmmaker and reach your creative goals.

From learning how to write powerful screenplays to exploring cinematography techniques, Martin Scorsese’s Masterclass covers all aspects of filmmaking in this comprehensive online course.

You can also check out the Masterclass options for screenwriting classes!

Scorsese Masterclass Pros

  • A comprehensive course on filmmaking from a legendary director.
  • Valuable insight into Martin Scorsese’s creative processes and techniques.
  • Learn essential fundamentals of production design, cinematography, editing, and sound design.
  • Get access to many other additional Masterclasses for the same subscription price.
  • Other film class teachers include James Cameron, Ron Howard, Spike Lee, and Jodie Foster.

Scorsese Masterclass Cons

  • Expensive cost for access to Masterclass content compared to other online film courses.
  • You can’t buy access to just this one course.
  • No way to interact with other filmmakers or ask questions directly from the instructor.
Martin-Scorsese-Teaches-Filmmaking (1)

Martin Scorsese Filmmaking Masterclass

30 lessons

4 hours, 35 minutes of content

Martin Scorsese Filmmaking Masterclass

$10 per month

For access to all Masterclasses (paid yearly)

Martin Scorsese Filmmaking Masterclass

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone, computer, Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV, or download it to watch on the go!


2. Guerilla Filmmaking Course – Creative Live

Guerilla-Filmmaking-Class-with-Ryan-Connolly-CreativeLive

Are you an indie filmmaker bursting with ideas for your next project but feeling limited by your budget and equipment? Check out “Guerilla Filmmaking” with Ryan Connolly!

You can join the founder of Film Riot on an immersive journey into envisioning, shooting, and producing films – no matter what gear or budget you have.

In this course, you’ll discover the step-by-step process of bringing your film to life from start to finish. Learn how to script, storyboard, scout locations, and cast actors. Ryan will share tips on how to work collaboratively with your crew while maintaining a professional environment on set.

You’ll also delve into doable lighting techniques with DIY structures or available light sources. And because the sound is equally important in creating a pro-level production, you’ll gain production and post-production audio skills.

This course provides the tools to create high-quality indie films showcasing your unique artistic vision! Creative Live has many quality courses that target different aspects of the filmmaking journey, making them the ultimate online film school!

Guerilla Filmmaking Pros

  • In-depth exploration of the entire filmmaking process, from scripting to post-production.
  • Insights from Ryan Connolly, an experienced filmmaker and founder of Film Riot.
  • Tips on how to work collaboratively with a crew to create a professional environment on set.
  • Emphasis on working within a limited budget and equipment, making it ideal for indie filmmakers.
  • Over 15 hours of course content!

Guerilla Filmmaking Cons

  • It may not be suitable for those already well-versed in the basics of filmmaking.
  • Limited interaction with Ryan Connolly beyond pre-recorded content.
Guerilla-Filmmaking-Class-with-Ryan-Connolly-CreativeLive

Guerilla Filmmaking from Creative Live

41 lessons

15 hours, 28 minutes of content

Guerilla Filmmaking from Creative Live

$49

Or, pay less than $13 monthly for this class and 2000 more classes!

Guerilla Filmmaking from Creative Live

Type of Access

Streaming access on mobile browsers and desktops or download with class purchase.


3. The Art of Filmmaking: Film Directing & Video Production – Udemy

The-Art-of-Filmmaking-Film-Directing-Video-Production-Udemy

This Art of Filmmaking course provides a comprehensive overview of the art of filmmaking and video production.

Students will learn about directing, screenwriting, scriptwriting, cinematography, visual effects, and video editing. The course covers the classic structure of a 3-act story to turn an idea into a compelling story. Students will develop scene creation skills by selecting actors, choosing shot types and camera movements, and sound design.

The course also covers the roles of various production crew members, such as producers, assistant directors, sound technicians, and costume designers. Post-production topics include editing and visual effects supervision.

Students will learn how to work with cinematographers to achieve excellence in visual quality while communicating effectively with a professional film production team.

The Art of Filmmaking Pros

  • Comprehensive coverage of all aspects of film production, from pre-production to post-production.
  • Inclusion of real projects that students can work on to develop their own portfolios.
  • Includes a certificate of completion.

The Art of Filmmaking Cons

  • No structured feedback or graded assignments are included with the material.
  • Limited availability of one-on-one support from instructors.
The-Art-of-Filmmaking-Film-Directing-Video-Production-Udemy

The Art of Filmmaking

23 lessons

5 hours, 29 minutes of content

The Art of Filmmaking

$99.99

This course is often on sale for new Udemy students – check for current price!

The Art of Filmmaking

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone, computer, or TV. Lifetime access is included.


4. Getting Your Film off the Ground – Coursera

Getting-Your-Film-off-the-Ground-Coursera

The Getting Your Film Off the Ground Coursera filmmaking course is one of the best filmmaking courses for indie filmmakers who want to learn how to fund and market their films.

The course introduces various funding options and avenues, including grant researching and writing for fiction films and documentaries, crowdfunding, and seeking investors. Students will also learn about creating impactful film websites and the best social media practices for filmmakers.

Through these experiences, students will be prepared to seek funding for their film projects and build a digital audience. This course is a great starting point for turning film dreams into reality. Offered by Michigan State University.

Getting Your Film Off the Ground Pros

  • Provides a comprehensive overview of funding options for indie filmmakers, including grant researching and writing, crowdfunding, and seeking investors.
  • It covers strategies for developing impactful film websites and best social media practices for filmmakers.
  • Offers practical advice on marketing and building an audience for your film project.

Getting Your Film Off the Ground Cons

  • Limited focus on other essential aspects of filmmaking, such as directing, cinematography, and editing.
  • It may not offer advanced-level information or techniques for more experienced filmmakers.

Getting Your Film Off the Ground

This is a 5-week course

approx. 25 hours of content

Getting Your Film Off the Ground

Free!

You can enroll in this class for free (“audit” the course). You will need to pay if you want a certificate.

Getting Your Film Off the Ground

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone or computer.


5. Cinematography Basics: Understanding Filmmaking Style – SkillShare

Cinematography-Basics-Understanding-Filmmaking-Style-Zak-Mulligan-Skillshare

If you’re interested in learning cinematography or looking to enhance your production value, the “Cinematography Basics: Understanding Filmmaking Style” course by Skillshare, taught by cinematographer Zak Mulligan is an excellent place to start.

This 30-minute course explores the fundamental concepts of cinematography and the various tools and choices that make a film look compelling and magical. You’ll learn about key considerations for cinematography, such as tactics for manipulating mood, tone, and feel, as well as tips for creating a shot list to organize cinematic details.

The exclusive “commentary” narration of a scene from the feature film Obselidia also helps you demystify the “visual language” behind film, empowering you to experiment with effects and techniques in your own projects.

Overall, this course provides an excellent foundation for understanding style and communicating your vision through your own film and photography.

Cinematography Basics Pros

  • This course is great for filmmakers who already know the basics of making a movie.
  • Focuses directly on the concept of cinematography and how to increase the impact of visual storytelling in your movie.
  • Includes a hands-on class project assignment so you can practice what you’ve learned.
  • Includes a great shot list form that you can use on your own film project!

Cinematography Basics Cons

  • Not designed to teach general strategies for shooting your first movie.
  • The course is only 30 minutes long!

Cinematography Basics

Thirty minutes of content, in 7 lessons.

Cinematography Basics

Free trial for 7 days.

You can enroll in SkillShare if you enjoy the class. Pricing will vary by region.

Cinematography Basics

Type of Access

Watch on a smartphone or computer.


6. Visual Effects For Directors – Hollywood Camera Work

Main-VFX-For-Directors-Hollywood-Camera-Work

Visual Effects for Directors by Hollywood Camera Work is an invaluable filmmaking course for indie filmmakers. In this course, aspiring directors gain the tools to achieve a professional level of visual effects through in-depth tutorials and demonstrations from experienced Hollywood professionals.

From keyframing, keying, rotoscoping, and compositing, to color correcting, green screen techniques, and 3D animations, this course provides the foundation for anyone looking to create stunning visuals for film or video marketing.

Visual Effects for Directors Pros

  • Comprehensive coverage of visual effects techniques used in film and television production.
  • Clear, step-by-step instructions on how to create various visual effects shots.
  • Training videos available for purchase within a reasonable price range.
  • Includes membership in a user group.

Visual Effects for Directors Cons

  • Some topics could be more detailed or organized differently.
  • Possibly not as updated as other courses.

Visual Effects for Directors

7 Volumes

Visual Effects for Directors

$329 for 7 DVDs and digital downloads.

$47 for individual volumes as a download.

$9.99 for a 7-day rental of each volume.

Visual Effects for Directors

Type of Access

1. Buy the 7-DVD set with digital downloads.

2. Download individual volumes.

3. Rent each volume separately.


7. Storyboarding for Film or Animation – Skillshare

Storyboarding-for-Film-or-Animation-Siobhan-Twomey-Skillshare

The “Storyboarding for Film or Animation” course is an excellent resource for those interested in learning the art of drawing storyboards.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to storyboarding for film, television, or animation, covering everything from drawing characters and perspective to camera angles and shots.

With almost 2 hours of relevant and detailed material, students will learn how to make their shots and scenes flow together to create a professional standard portfolio. Overall, this course serves as a fantastic starting point for those looking to pursue a full-time career in gaming, animation, sketching, comic books, or filmmaking.

Storyboarding for Film Pros

  • Skillshare offers a free 7-day trial of their courses.
  • Students love the detailed, action-oriented teaching style of the teacher.
  • The course includes a hands-on storyboarding class project, so you can practice what you learn.

Storyboarding for Film Cons

  • It may not be a great course for advanced filmmakers or animators.

Number of Lessons

23 lessons

Almost two hours of content.

Pricing

7 day free trial

You can enroll in SkillShare if you enjoy the class. Pricing will vary by region.

Type of Access

Watch on your smartphone or computer.


8. Pixar In A Box – Khan Academy

Pixar-in-a-Box-Computing-Khan-Academy

Pixar In a Box, created by Khan Academy in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios, is an online resource for independent filmmakers and aspiring animators.

It offers video tutorials and interactive activities that give insight into the principles of animation, animation styles, the art of storytelling, and the technical aspects of producing animated films. The tutorials are crafted using Pixar’s own creative processes and expertise so that users can learn from the same techniques used by professional full-time animators.

In addition to tutorials, interactive exercises allow users to create their own animated scenes as part of the learning experience. With Pixar in a Box, independent filmmakers and aspiring animators can now access high-level animation knowledge at no cost!

Pixar In a Box Pros

  • Comprehensive coverage of the Pixar production process and animation techniques.
  • Free access to all Khan Academy materials, including tutorials and lectures from experts at Pixar.
  • Various interactive activities can help filmmakers apply their skills in real-world scenarios.

Pixar In a Box Cons

  • Some lessons may be too easy for experienced filmmakers, as Khan Academy courses have some lessons directed toward grade-school students.
  • Knowledge of basic software such as Adobe Photoshop is required for some activities within this program.

Number of Lessons

14 lessons

Including the art of storytelling, animation, character modeling, and rendering.

Pricing

Free!

Khan Academy is a non-profit organization.

Type of Access

Watch on your smartphone or computer.

9. Production Concept Art – Learn Squared

Production-Concept-Art-Course-3D-Design-Course-Concept-Design

Are you interested in designing stunning worlds for films and games?

Learn Squared’s Production Concept Art course can help take your concept art to the next level. Led by industry veteran Jan Urschel, this course will teach you how to build major production assets following a professional brief.

From covering architecture and design to visualization, you’ll learn to approach your concept art from a theoretical and technical standpoint.

With Jan’s guidance, you’ll even learn how to be a DOP of your own creations. Get ready to elevate your skills and create breathtaking concept art like never before!

Production Concept Art Pros

  • Comprehensive overview of the production art process.
  • Learn from experienced industry professionals.
  • Get feedback and support on projects.
  • Watch the first lesson for free to ensure this is the course for you!

Production Concept Art Cons

  • This course is a much more specialized, advanced course for advanced CGI filmmakers, not a complete beginner.
  • Courses don’t guarantee job placement after completion (although their graduates have gone on to work at places like Marvel Studios, Weta Workshop, and Google!).

Production Concept Art

4 lessons

7 hours of course content, plus 22 hours of bonus content

Production Concept Art

$124

Lifetime access to course. Membership community included, and mentorship archives.

Production Concept Art

Type of Access

Watch immediately via streaming; download project files.


Final Thoughts on the Best Online Filmmaking Courses

With the rise of accessible filmmaking equipment, editing software (including artificial intelligence editing software options!), and VFX software, there’s no better time to learn how to create beautiful films.

Whether your focus is on improving your existing technical know-how or expanding your creative vision, with any of these courses, you’ll be able to dive into an exciting world of cinematic magic.

As an indie filmmaker myself, I know how amazing it feels to see your work on the big screen after years of struggle! These courses can help you get there too.

From learning the essential framework of cinematography (as noted in this article from Studiobinder) to creating an agile production pipeline, one of these classes can get you started building your dream projects in no time.

By investing in yourself and taking advantage of one of these online filmmaking classes, you’re positioning yourself to land great jobs in filmmaking and bring your stories to life! 

Best Film-Making Courses

Interested in learning more about filmmaking? Check out these other fantastic articles!

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The 15 Best Filmmaking Books to Read This Year

The 45+ Best Gifts for Filmmakers: Reviewed

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