When it comes to choosing a career path, filmmaking hasn't always been one of the first options that come to one's mind let alone in the 'Top 10' list. Naturally, not a lot of importance has been given to getting institutional education for filmmaking. However, our generation tends to get attracted more towards creative careers and today, every other person wants to make a career in filmmaking.
Sadly, those who wish to get educated in this field are stuck at home due to the pandemic, with very few learning options and even lesser work opportunities in the film field available to them. While it's true that a subject like filmmaking can be best understood and learned on-ground, with hands-on experience, it is always a great option to invest your free time (if a pandemic allows you to) in acquiring skills that may help escalate your career, especially when some online resources available are as good as an undergraduate, postgraduate or diploma course in filmmaking.
Some great people on the internet realise this and offer a pool of filmmaking courses online to choose from. Although these online courses have been surfacing around for long, with the number of options available today, the process of choosing the best ones out of them can be overwhelming.
To help you filter out the best from the rest, we have created a list of value-adding online filmmaking courses that can help you set foot in the industry like a pro! Let's begin scrolling.
The New York Film Academy offers a number of online filmmaking courses, with both full-time and part-time options. The course module is centred around various aspects of filmmaking such as writing, direction, cinematography, short filmmaking and much more. The intensity, however, depends on which course you opt for. They offer options of 1-week course, 2-week, 4-week, 8-week and 15-week online filmmaking courses. Although, it is always a good option to learn from one of the best and most popular filmmaking schools in the world, the only drawback is that the cost of these courses may be too high for a lot of us.
Cost: $450 - $3600 (USD)
Sundance Institute offers a variety of self-paced as well as live online filmmaking courses through their website - Sundance Collab. These courses are modestly priced and are centred around anything and everything film-related, such as Film Direction, TV writing, Film Producing, etc. Taught by industry professionals and prestigious awards winners, courses offered by Sundance can prove to be very helpful in learning the basics and finding your way around in the film industry.
Cost: $295 onwards (USD)
The Indian Film Institute offers its very own set of creative online courses including an all-in-one filmmaking course, which is extremely budget-friendly and is definitely a great learning experience. This basic-level filmmaking course covers all the aspects from Screenplay to Direction, Cinematography to Editing, Short Film making to Festivals! Hosted by top professionals from the Indian Film Industry, the course offers a unique structure with a mix of live and recorded sessions, giving the students the convenience of completing the course at their own pace. Features like live interactions, real-time feedback, assignments, quizzes and tips make this course one of a kind. What's more? Students not only get a certificate upon completion, they also get IFI membership giving them access to industry updates, workshops, career guidance and support, and much more!
With discounts being offered every now and then, choosing this course can prove to be of great value to your filmmaking journey.
Cost: ₹9,999 (The course is currently offering a 50% discount on their upcoming batch and is priced at ₹4,999 only)
MasterClass is a great option for not just filmmaking courses but courses for various other fields too. Hosted by industry experts, MasterClass offers a range of filmmaking and other Arts and Entertainment courses such as Aaron Sorkin teaches Screenwriting, Ron Howard teaches Directing, Martin Scorsese teaches Filmmaking, Natalie Portman teaches Acting, among many others, and all by renowned names in their respective industries. Although a little pricey, you can subscribe to MasterClass if you wish to learn from some Hollywood biggies.
Cost: ₹1,295.83/month (billed annually)
This course has been created to equip you with a roadmap for tackling your initial draft and guide you to the next steps on the scriptwriting journey. In this course, Hal Ackerman, a faculty member of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television since 1985 and currently the co-chair of the Screenwriting Program, teaches you how to organize your ideas into scenes and acts, approach character development and dialogue and take the next steps after the first draft is complete. With class content of over 5 hours, lifetime and easy access, this course is surely a good option for those wanting to start off as screenwriters.
Cost: $29 (USD)
Much like its online filmmaking workshops, NYFA offers a range of options to learn screenwriting through its online workshops. With a flexible curriculum of seven 15-week online screenwriting courses/workshops, whether you are interested in feature-length film scripts, television, or comic book writing, each of the Online Screenwriting School’s 15-week workshops is structured to deliver intensely focused and challenging lessons to help students improve their arsenal of skills and develop projects of which they can be proud. The only drawback is the expensive aspect of the course which can be a major deciding factor for you if you have a limited budget.
Cost: $1870 (USD)
Starting with breaking down your script and learning how to develop the film’s visual language and choose the right aspect ratio, this course is everything cinematography! Taught by Hollywood Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, this course includes over 7 hours of instructional videos divided into 39 lessons, detailed written Breakdowns, Top Down Lighting Schematics, Top Down Blocking Schematics, Top down Sun Paths and Power distribution maps and Side by Side Comparisons.
Cost: $599 (USD)
In Shooting The Scene, renowned cinematographer Jim Denault teaches you how to take a production plan and shoot efficiently, economically, and artistically. The course offers over 5 hours of class content, with easy, accessible and mobile streaming options, and is aimed at helping all cinematographers, camera operators, and filmmakers develop a more systematic approach to planning a shoot.
Cost: $49 (USD)
Whether you are preparing a television audition, playing Shakespeare or just starting out, this course offers a simple way to break open your characters and bring out your best performance. One of Hollywood's most successful professional, Jeffrey Meek teaches this course which is structured in a way that each lecture addresses a specific requirement in breaking open a character. The course offers 2 hours of on-demand video, full lifetime access and a certificate upon completion. With quizzes and other useful resources, this course can be useful to all budding actors.
Most acting workshops and classes teach how to act, adapt a character and among other lessons, but hardly any classes are dedicated to the auditioning process, which is an equally important factor to being a good actor. This course is designed to provide a clear perspective of acting and auditioning from the business end to the creative side and includes lessons based on 'Audition techniques that will make them remember you', 'Re-framing your perspective to book more jobs', 'On-camera technique to show that you're a pro' and much more. The course offers 1 hour of on-demand video, articles and downloadable resources, plus you get a certificate on completion.
DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING COURSES
This course is taught by Award-winning documentarians and photojournalists Ed Kashi and Julie Winokur. For all those looking to make a career in documentary filmmaking, the course offers insights into how to 'Identify a great subject and define your vision', 'Research your subject thoroughly and find other work that’s been done on it', 'Choose and gather the equipment you’ll need', 'Prepare for your interview, including formulating the right questions', and everything one needs to know to make a good documentary film. With over 10 hours of class content, 35 video lessons, bonus content, downloadable resources, etc, this course will definitely help you get a grasp on the foundations of documentary filmmaking.
Cost: $99 (USD)
This 7-day crash course on documentary filmmaking is designed for complete beginners and first-time independent filmmakers. What this course provides is an easy-to-understand blueprint of the documentary filmmaking process and immediate access to the core information you need to get started. This relatively economical course offers daily assignments, quizzes, worksheets and other downloadable resources in addition to the certificate of completion and two-year access pass to the course.
Cost: $197 (USD)
FILM DISTRIBUTION AND FESTIVALS COURSES
Filmmaking is generally considered a three-stage process, i.e., pre-production, production and post-production. We generally forget (and often neglect) the fourth, equally important stage, i.e, Film Distribution, which if not given importance to, there is no point in making a film in the first place. Indie filmmakers often struggle with this aspect of filmmaking which is why it is best to take a course like this and learn from industry experts how to ace at it. This course covers topics like 'How to distribute your film online', 'The benefits of online distribution', and 'How to monetize filmmaking'. With over 3 hours of content, 16 video lessons, download options, etc, it is a really great option for independent filmmakers wanting to learn more about film distribution.
Cost: $30 (USD)
If you are a filmmaker, or someone who wants to understand the process, do's and don'ts of film distribution, this masterclass is for you. It offers 3.5 hours of on-demand video, full lifetime access and covers topics such as 'How to make sure your film will sell before you make it', 'What is the best option for your film's launch', 'Why Netflix should be your last stop', among others. The best aspect of it is its value for money - it is a great option, which is fairly priced for content like that!
It can be quite a task for independent filmmakers to get their films selected in various film festivals. The course offers insights into what festivals look for in a film, how to position your film to have a fighting chance of being accepted, why is it important to submit to film festivals, among many other festival-related conversations. The most unique feature of this course is its living nature, which means that the course keeps getting updated very often. Since it offers lifetime access, students of this course get real-time updates as and when something is added to the course. So, if you wish to clear your film festival basics, this course is for you.
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