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Learning filmmaking can be a great way to improve your ability to tell stories. The art of filmmaking is all about communicating a story through the medium of film.
You can develop your unique style and voice by learning the basics of filmmaking. In addition, learning filmmaking can also be a great way to meet new people and collaborate with others.
But how can you actually learn this art form? Do you have to pay an arm and a leg to enroll in film school?
Fortunately, there are many ways to get started learning filmmaking quickly and affordably.
Any aspiring filmmakers can learn the basics of the craft online.
There are thousands of courses, video tutorials, guides, online forums, and other resources available online to help you learn everything from the basics to more advanced filmmaking techniques.
And on top of that, there are also plenty of other things you can do to improve your skills, such as attending film festivals and workshops, reading books about filmmaking, networking with other filmmakers, and more
In the guide below, we’ll look at the many different ways to learn filmmaking and get you started on your journey to becoming a great filmmaker. Let’s dive in!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.
Why Learn Filmmaking?
There are many reasons why someone might want to learn filmmaking.
For some, it is a way to create art, telling stories they feel need to be told.
Others see it as a way to communicate their ideas and thoughts, using the medium of film to reach a wider audience. And for others still, it is simply a fascinating and enjoyable hobby. Whatever the reason, there are many benefits to learning filmmaking.
One benefit is that it can be a very creative outlet. Filmmaking allows you to express your ideas and thoughts uniquely. You can control every aspect of the film, from the story to the cinematography, which can be very satisfying. It can also be a great way to tell stories you feel need to be told. If you have something important that you want to say, then filmmaking can be an excellent way to do so.
Another benefit of learning filmmaking is that it can be very technical. Filmmaking can be a great hobby if you enjoy working with technology and equipment. A lot of technical knowledge is required to make a good film, and this can be very challenging and rewarding. You will need to learn about lighting, sound, and editing, which can be very satisfying.
Finally, learning filmmaking can be a great way to meet new people. If you are interested in making films, you will probably want to meet other people interested in the same thing.
This can be a great way to make new friends and contacts and help you learn more about the industry. There are many film festivals and other events that you can attend, and this can be a great way to network and meet new people.
So, these are just a few of the benefits of learning filmmaking. If you are considering taking up this hobby, many great resources are available to help you get started.
Can You Learn Filmmaking On Your Own?
In the past, the only way to learn the basics of filmmaking was to attend a film school or take local classes. Needless to say, not only was this very expensive, but it was also time-consuming and inconvenient.
But thanks to the growth of the internet and other resources, it is now possible to learn filmmaking on your own.
There are tons of online tutorials, guides, and even video courses that can help aspiring filmmakers get started. Additionally, there are also forums and communities online dedicated to helping people learn more about filmmaking.
By taking advantage of great resources and practicing consistently, you can become a better filmmaker without going to an expensive film school.
Online Courses Offer the Best Way to Learn Filmmaking Skills
Whether you want to be the next Spielberg or just be able to make better home movies, there’s no denying that filmmaking is a complex and rewarding art form.
And while there are many different ways to learn the basics of filmmaking, taking an online course is often the best option.
- Flexible Learning Schedule: For one thing, online videography courses offer a flexible learning schedule. You can watch lectures and complete assignments on your own time without worrying about attending class at a certain time or location. This is especially convenient for busy adults or anyone who doesn’t live near a film school.
- Affordable Courses: Another advantage of online courses is that they tend to be more affordable than traditional classroom-based courses. You’ll save money on things like travel and child care, and you won’t have to pay for expensive textbooks or other materials.
- Learn at your own pace: A major advantage of online courses is that they offer students the opportunity to learn at their own pace. For instance, if you want to go over a particular concept multiple times, you can simply rewatch the relevant lecture or section of the course. This flexibility is not always possible with in-person courses, which often move at a set pace.
- Wide Range of Courses: In addition, online courses usually provide a range of resources that can be accessed at any time, such as lectures, readings, and forums. This means that you can refer back to these materials as often as you need to fully understand the concepts covered.
So, an online course is often the best option if you’re looking for the best way to learn filmmaking skills. With its flexible scheduling, affordable pricing, and hands-on learning experience, an online course is a perfect way to start filmmaking.
Where to Learn Filmmaking Online
Here are some of the most popular sites for learning filmmaking online.
With MasterClass, you can learn from some of the world's most recognized experts and celebrities. Classes include business, cooking, photography, acting, design, and so much more.
Imagine being able to learn all about the filmmaking process from the likes of James Cameron, Martin Scorcese, David Lynch, Jodie Foster, Spike Lee, Werner Herzog, and other legends of the craft.
That’s what Masterclass offers.
Masterclass is an online course platform that boasts a world-class library of video classes in a wide range of subjects taught by A-list celebrities like those mentioned above along with Natalie Portman, Steph Curry, Metallica, Gordon Ramsay, Bill Clinton, Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, and countless others.
Masterclass offers over 180 online courses all taught by recognized industry leaders and celebrities, and you can access them all with a subscription that starts at only $15 a month, billed annually.
As filmmaking goes, Masterclass has a great selection of online filmmaking courses to choose from, including the following:
In this MasterClass from legendary filmmaker David Lynch, you'll learn everything from how to craft a great narrative to sound design to cinematography and more.
Academy Award-winning director James Cameron teaches you the secrets of directing in his exclusive filmmaking masterclass. Learn from James Cameron’s insightful lectures and exercises as he takes you through the fundamentals of storytelling, cinematography, editing, and more on any budget.
Learn the art of directing and storytelling from the Oscar-winning director behind Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind.
Learn all about Werner Herzog's unique, uncompromising approach to shooting documentaries and feature films in this online class.
In this powerful online course, Jodie Foster shows you everything you need to know to bring a story from the page to the screen with emotion and confidence.
Click here to get started with Masterclass today.
Skillshare is the ultimate website for learning just about anything imaginable. You can explore 30,000+ online classes across countless categories, from business to hobbies and more.
With so many options for learning filmmaking online, it can be hard to know where to start. However, Skillshare is a great option for those looking to get started in the industry.
With over 30,000 courses available, there’s sure to be something for everyone. And with new courses added regularly, you’ll never get bored.
Whether you’re interested in learning about cinematography, directing, or screenwriting, Skillshare is a great resource for filmmakers of all levels.
Plus, Skillshare offers a free one-month trial, so you can try it before you buy.
Our Skillshare review includes all the details you need to know about the platform.
Click here to try Skillshare free for one month.
Coursera Plus gives you unlimited access to over 7,000 courses from the world's top universities and organizations.
If you’re interested in learning filmmaking, Coursera Plus is a great option.
With Coursera Plus, you have access to over 7,000 courses on various topics, including filmmaking.
Experts teach the courses in the field, and you can learn at your own pace. You also can also get a Certificate when you finish your courses, which can be used to bolster your resume.
And best of all, Coursera Plus is affordable and they offer a 7-day free trial as well. So if you’re looking to learn filmmaking online, Coursera Plus is a great option.
Our Coursera Plus review includes more info about this popular online learning platform.
Click here to try Coursera Plus free for 7 days.
LinkedIn Learning offers over 18,000 online courses in a wide range of subjects, and it's a great platform for professionals looking to gain valuable new skills.
Whether you want to learn the basics of filmmaking or brush up on your skills, LinkedIn Learning offers a comprehensive selection of online courses.
Taught by industry experts, these courses cover a wide range of topics, from screenwriting and directing to cinematography and editing.
With bite-sized lessons and real-world examples, you’ll be able to quickly improve your filmmaking skills.
Best of all, LinkedIn Learning is available anytime, anywhere.
So whether you’re at home or on the go, you can always access the courses you need to hone your craft.
Read our LinkedIn Learning pricing guide for our overview of the different plans and features offered.
Click here to try LinkedIn Learning free for 30 days.
More Tips for Learning Filmmaking
While online courses will help you get started with the basics of making films, there are a few more tips that can help take you on your journey to becoming an expert filmmaker.
- Get familiar with your equipment–You need to spend time learning all about the specific equipment you’re using, from the camera to the microphones to the lights and more. Read the manuals. Watch YouTube videos about the specific models you have. Play around and see what all the different features can do.
- Watch movies with a critical eye–Chances are that you’re already watching movies regularly if you’re passionate enough to want to become a filmmaker. But it’s not enough to passively watch movies; if you really want to learn filmmaking, you need to start watching movies with a critical eye. Think about what the director is doing and why he or she might be making certain choices. Try to break down all of the elements that make up a good film.
- Attend workshops from professionals–There are a wealth of workshops, seminars and classes out there that teach all sorts of filmmaking skills and techniques. From shooting to editing, you can learn from professionals who have done it before. If you don’t have the money to spend on these kinds of classes, look for free or low-cost options in your area.
- Volunteer to work on local film sets–Being a volunteer on a film set might not be glamorous, but it’s a great way to get your feet wet in the filmmaking world and help you gain valuable experience. You can observe how a production is run and pick up on certain techniques or tips. Plus, you may make some useful contacts that could come in handy later on.
- Join a film group–Film groups provide a great way to stay connected with fellow filmmakers and like-minded people who are passionate about film. They can offer advice, support, feedback, resources, and even collaborations on projects. Look for groups in your area or join online forums devoted to filmmaking.
- Learn about film theory–While learning the practical skills of filmmaking is certainly important, it is also helpful to understand the theories behind what makes a good movie. Studying film theory can help you develop your own unique style and enhance your understanding of film as an art form.
- Read scripts–Reading scripts gives you insight into how stories are told on screen, even if you don’t plan on writing one yourself. Pay attention to the structure, dialogue, and other elements that help bring the story to life.
- Practice, practice, practice–At the end of the day, you can take all the courses you want, but if you don’t actually start filming and put what you’ve learned into practice, it won’t do you much good. Find ways to make films with your friends or take on small projects for yourself. Just start filming! By practicing, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t, and build the skills you need to make better films.
Final Thoughts on How to Learn Filmmaking
So, you want to be a filmmaker? It’s an exciting and challenging field that can take you all over the world – or keep you right at home in your own backyard.
There are a lot of different ways to learn filmmaking, and the best option for you depends on your goals, budget, and available time.
Many online learning websites offer free trials, giving you a chance to check out some courses at no cost.
Have any additional questions about how to learn filmmaking? Just leave a comment below and we’ll try our best to help you out.