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8 Best Cinematography Courses, Classes and Training Online [Updated 2020]

 

“Cinematography is writing with images in movement and with sounds.” – Robert Bresson

 

Cinematography, termed as the art and science of creating motion pictures, involves choosing the on-screen visual elements for a film, also known as the mise-en-scène. It includes establishing the frame, composition and camera movement for each shot, setting up the lighting, and aligning every element of a scene with the director’s vision.

 

If you love films and are intrigued to learn all the processes that go into creating a visual story, you need not necessarily go to a film school or invest in a costly camera. While taking a full-time course does help to pursue a career in film-making, if you first wish to explore what cinematography entails, it is better to explore a few cinematography classes online. Even if you wish to learn cinematography as a hobby to create better videos, enrolling for some of the best cinematography courses online can provide top-notch training to learn cinematography online.

 

To help you in this pursuit, TrumpLearning, along with 16 experts, went through some of the popular courses and has selected the best cinematography courses online for you.

 

8 Best Cinematography Courses Online

  1. Cinematography Course: Shoot Better Video with Any Camera [Udemy]
  2. Cinematography for 2D Animation Essentials [Udemy]
  3. Cinematography Masterclass: The Complete Videography Guide [Udemy]
  4. Cinematography Course | Shoot Expert Video on Any Camera [SkillShare]
  5. Cinematography Basics: Understanding Filmmaking Style [SkillShare]
  6. Filmmaking Program [Lights Film School]
  7. Making a Short Film: Start to Finish [Lynda]
  8. Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen by NFTS [Future Learn]

 

1. Cinematography Course: Shoot Better Video with Any Camera [Udemy]

 

About the Course

The first one of the best cinematography courses online on our list is a comprehensive course that will cover all the basics of video production techniques that you must be aware of to shoot professional-quality videos.  Taught by a Hollywood cinematographer, under this course you will learn the fundamentals for capturing great shots with any camera; so you need not shell out big bucks to learn cinematography online. This is one of the beginners ’cinematography courses online that will teach you how to set up a camera to expose a shot efficiently, the different camera movements, and the right lighting technique.

 

We have included this course in our list of best courses to study cinematography online since you will also get exposure to finding work in the film industry as a Director of Photography and how to package your videos well to get paid for them.

 

The duration of this course is 3 hours and 14 minutes. The cinematography classes online here consist of 80 lectures divided under 12 sections. Besides the on-demand videos, this best cinematography training also consists of six articles and eight downloadable resources to aid your learning. The instructors of this course are Phil Ebiner, the founder of Video School Online Inc., and William Carnahan, a photographer and cinematographer. The is one of the top cinematography courses online with a rating of 4.2 on 5 and 94,187 students already enrolled here to study cinematography online. You can purchase this cinematography course on Udemy with a one-off fee that is also secured with a 30-days money-back guarantee. You will also have lifetime access to the content which you can view on your mobile or TV as well. This course will also award you with a certificate of completion at the end.

 

What Will You Learn?

The fundamentals of visual photography covered in this cinematography course include:

 

  • Top 5 tips for better cinematography
  • The basics of a camera – choosing the right camera and lens, video resolution, and frame rate
  • Getting the right exposure – ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and ND filters
  • How to shoot with color profiles and LUTs; shooting in RAW mode
  • Types of shots
  • Creating a composition for commercial video and documentary
  • Adding movement to the shots – using a tripod, handheld camera, dolly, Steadicam system, jib, or drone
  • Video lighting hardware, techniques, and tips
  • How to make money working as a cinematographer
  • Order of occurrence on a set – light, camera, and action
  • Color correction using Adobe Premier Pro

 

Who is this Course For?

This course is the best option for someone who wants to:

 

  • Shoot better videos with any kind of camera and make money out of it
  • Handle camera like a professional cinematographer and work in the film industry

 

Prerequisites for these cinematography classes online

  • Since you will be learning how to shoot videos professionally, you must come to the class with some ideas on the type of videos you want to shoot.
  • No sophisticated or pricy camera is required to attend such cinematography courses online.

 

Reviews by Shaunqui

Great explanation and detailed breakdown so far. Unfortunately the video is a year or two behind the current technology it seems in regards to 4k. But the basic instruction is still applicable.

 

2. Cinematography for 2D Animation Essentials [Udemy]

 

About the Course

If you are a 2D animator and wish to create characters that come to life, this course can be one of the best cinematography courses online that you can undertake to enhance your shots and make your audience feel connected with the characters. This is a beginners’ course to learn cinematography online that will cover the basics of cinematography and the terminology that amateur animators must be aware of. The skills acquired through this course will help you make dramatic scenes more dramatic or portray strong or weak characters using the right camera angles, lighting, and other visual techniques.

 

This is one of the short cinematography courses online that you can undertake as an animator to study cinematography online since you can complete this course in just 30 minutes. This course consists of 16 on-demand video lectures divided under three modules. Besides the cinematography classes online, this course also includes quizzes to test your knowledge in each section and three downloadable resources for your perusal.

 

This best cinematography training has been created by 2D Animation 101 Courses that is a group of animators who teach pre-production, animation, and post-production. This course comes under the bestseller courses on Udemy with a rating of 4.5 on 5 and 15,317 students on board. You can enroll for theses cinematography classes online with a one-time fee that comes with 30-days money-back guarantee. You will have full lifetime access to the course content and will also bag a certification of completion at the end.

 

What Will You Learn?

The topics covered in this course to study cinematography online are:

 

  • Types of shots
  • Types of frame compositions
  • Rule Of Thirds and its usage
  • Different camera angles
  • Blocking and posing
  • Depicting dialogue between two characters
  • Panning and tilting for 2D animation
  • Different camera movements
  • Importance of parallax

 

Who is this Course For?

Amateur or intermediate animators who want to learn cinematography online to take their animations to the next level.

 

Prerequisites for this Course

This is one of the beginner cinematography courses online that require no prior-knowledge of videography.

 

Reviews by Elaine-Kaitlyn Wong

Great course overall for beginner level. It will be nice to learn a more advanced level learning of cinematography/animation course to add even more depth to the speaking points that you have laid out from your foundation course, and tailored for intermediate and advanced level learners. Thanks so much, great work!

 

3. Cinematography Masterclass: The Complete Videography Guide [Udemy]

 

About the Course

This beginner course is another top-rated course that we wanted to include in our list of top cinematography courses online. Whether you want to shoot your Instagram reels, create videos for your YouTube channel, direct a short film or documentary, this is an inclusive cinematography course that will cover it all. Under nine steps you will learn how to set up, light, record, and shoot like a pro regardless of your equipment and budget. The cinematography classes online here will begin with the key filmmaking fundamentals and concepts. You will learn everything about setting up your camera, its functions, settings, etc. You will also learn how to use natural and artificial lights to light up your shot. This is the best cinematography training that will cover the different types of microphones, audio hacks, camera movements, creating a montage, and the advanced techniques used by professional cinematographers to create cinematic videos.

 

The duration of this course to study cinematography online is 5 hours and 40 minutes and it consists of 80 on-demand video lectures. Another reason why we consider this course amongst the best cinematography courses online is that this course also contains detailed case studies, supporting articles, hands-on lessons, bonus videos, interactive assignments, and insights from three expert speakers. The instructor of this course is Julian Melanson, a film director and teacher with more than 10 years of industry experience. This course has an excellent rating of 4.9 and 129 students have enrolled here to learn cinematography online. This course is available on Udemy with a one-time fee, also secured with a money-back guarantee. You will be awarded a certificate of completion for this course.

 

What Will You Learn?

The concepts covered in the cinematography classes online here include:

 

  • Setting up your shot and selecting the best way to shoot
  • Fundamentals of cinematography and composition
  • Different functions and settings in a camera
  • Understanding ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to get the perfect exposure
  • Using white balance and frame rate to create a great looking image
  • Understanding latitude and dynamic range of a camera
  • Types of lighting – 2point, 3 point, high key and low key lighting, rim light, and  natural light
  • Getting rid of echoes and distortions
  • The top audio recording techniques
  • Understanding frame balancing, the 180-degree rule, and the Rule of Thirds
  • Different types of camera movement
  • Learning in-camera transitions
  • How to choose your video gear – lens choice, equipment, etc.

 

Who is this Course For?

  • Artists, photographers, aspiring filmmakers, and online content creators who want to shoot impressive videos.
  • Anyone who wants to learn professional-level cinematography without attending a film school can enroll for such cinematography courses online.

 

Prerequisites for this Course

  • All that you require to learn cinematography online is a smartphone or a camera to film and complete the assignments in this course.

 

Reviews by Jill Nielsen-Farrell

Julian is a magnetic, innovative and inspiring instructor!! TAKE THIS COURSE!! I will apply what I learned to create short videos and longer classes as well as to promote my small business on my website and social media. It has EVERYTHING in there to not only make videos but make them relevant, creative and authentic. Highly recommend!

 

4. Cinematography Course | Shoot Expert Video on Any Camera [SkillShare]

 

About the Course

This is another short course joining our league of best cinematography courses online.  In approx. one hour, the cinematography classes online in this course will give you all the basic knowledge, the techniques, and skills to shoot your videos like a seasoned cinematographer. This course in the shortest period will provide the best cinematography training on how to utilize shot composition, optimize camera settings, use movie-like camera movements, and set up lighting professionally for any scene. Under this beginner course to study cinematography online, you will learn how to film people, landscapes, architecture, and adjusting the visual settings accordingly. If you are an online content creator, you will also learn how to document your travel and shoot short films to boost your online content.

 

This best cinematography training comprises of 30 on-demand video lessons to learn cinematography online. The instructor of this course is Dale McManus, who is a professional photographer and videographer and is also an award-winning YouTuber. In addition to the video lectures, the instructor has also included a class project to learn different camera movements and perspectives. He has attached the class notes in a PDF for you to download and use and provided useful links to purchase gears. This course has already been enrolled by 17,347 students and 54% of them say that this course exceeded their expectations. You can enroll for the cinematography courses online on SkillShare by subscribing to premium membership that also offers a 7-days free trial. However, this course will not provide any certificate of completion.

 

What Will You Learn?

The fundamentals of cinematography covered in this one of the best cinematography courses online are:

 

  • Understanding video resolution, aspect ratio, and frame rate
  • The different lenses and Depth of Field
  • Changing resolution and frame rate in a DSLR and iPhone
  • Introduction to exposure
  • Understanding the right aperture and shutter speed
  • Shot compositions
  • Perspective and storytelling
  • Types of vantage points, Rule of Thirds, and the180 degree rule
  • Lead room and headroom
  • Types of camera movements: handheld vs. stabilized footage
  • Lighting techniques; natural and controlled light
  • Color temperature and visualizing the scene

 

Who is this Course For?

  • Anyone interested in creating great videos and improving their social media content
  • Anyone who wants to gear up with the right knowledge and skills to enter the film industry as a professional cinematographer

 

Prerequisites for this Course

No pre-requisites have been mentioned for this course to study cinematography online.

 

Reviews by Mici Bob

A very funny and engaging teacher who is great at transferring knowledge. His examples were intelligent, easy to understand and succinct. Takes true knowledge to be able to explain with simplicity that anyone can understand. I also found that his class touches on points I haven’t heard anywhere else so far. Truly a great job!

 

5. Cinematography Basics: Understanding Filmmaking Style [SkillShare]

 

About the Course

Next up in our list of best cinematography courses online is a short-spanned course that will lay the foundation for understanding different filmmaking styles. This is one of the unique cinematography courses online that does not aim at providing tutorials on film-making, rather itserves as a guide and an inspiration for beginners interested in film-making. The cinematography classes online in this course will take you step-by-step through a process of making a shot list and breaking down a script. Since a cinematographer is responsible for the look and feel of a scene, this technique will help you in understanding how a scene is constructed. The instructor has used a scene from his short film to explain the visual language of a film, and the concepts explained here will apply to any kind of film that you wish to shoot.

 

The duration of this course to learn cinematography online is 29 minutes. This course includes a project to practice creating a shot list and breaking down scripts and a sample shot list has also been attached for your perusal. This course also includes links to other cinematography courses online on SkillShare that will help to develop your knowledge further. The instructor of this course isZak Mulligan who is an American cinematographer with some outstanding work in his credentials. This best cinematography training has already been undertaken by 20,236 students and 51 % of these students say that this course did meet their expectations. You can enroll for this course to study cinematography online by taking a premium subscription of SkillShare. If you are looking for certificate cinematography courses online, this one does not provide any certificate of completion.

 

What Will You Learn?

The concepts covered in the cinematography classes online in this course are:

 

  • Cinema’s visual language toolkit for manipulating mood, tone, and feel
  • How to make a shot list
  • Breaking down a scene with a shot list
  • Using commentary narration

 

Who is this Course For?

  • Anyone who wants to understand what is the visual language of a film
  • Anyone who wants to bolster his/her production value
  • Anyone who wants to understand what goes behind the scene for creating the look and feel of a film

 

Prerequisites for this Course

No prerequisites have been mentioned to learn cinematography online through this course.

 

Reviews by Teo Uratadze

Great tutorial! I got a very detailed information about the shot list. Couldn’t find any better 🙂 Just a clear example of the actual shot list was best then all the words been said in other videos I’ve found. Thank you !

 

6. Filmmaking Program [Lights Film School]

 

About the Course

If you are passionate about cinema and always wanted to attend a film school but your pocket stopped you from doing so, there is still hope. This comprehensive filmmaking program offered by the Lights Film School can be your best bet amongst the best cinematography courses online. You can enroll for this program to learn cinematography online as well as to understand the complete filmmaking process that too at the fraction of cost. The cinematography classes online in this course will help you create a solid base in the fundamentals of screenwriting, direction, cinematography, editing, and sound design. This course will help you develop a new perspective and will mold your creative voice for sharing your big ideas with the world through filmmaking.

 

Since this is a completely self-paced course to study cinematography online, there are no time limits to complete this best cinematography training. If you can give dedicated study hours every week, you can complete this course in approx. three months. The cinematography classes online in his course consist of six modules that comprise of video tutorials, images, hands-on exercises, workbooks, a screenplay library, and more than 150 downloadable audio tracks. You will also be awarded a digital certificate of completion and a hand-signed copy on request. You can enroll for this one of the best cinematography courses online with a single payment that also comes with a 15-days money-back guarantee. Purchasing this course will also give lifetime access to the course as well as the latest course updates.

 

What Will You Learn?

The modules and topics covered under each are mentioned below:

 

Module 1: Screenwriting

  • Story and character development
  • Structuring a story
  • The writing process
  • Documentary writing

 

Module 2: Directing

  • Script analysis
  • Mise-en-Scène
  • Directing actors
  • Blocking

 

Module 3: Cinematography

  • Composition and framing
  • Lighting
  • Camera movement
  • Tonal range
  • Continuity and shot flow

 

Module 4: Editing

  • Basics of editing
  • Production value
  • Color grading
  • Titles

 

Module 5: Sound Design

  • Basic concepts
  • Sound capturing
  • Sound editing and mixing

 

Who is this Course For?

  • Anyone who wants to pursue filmmaking and wants to attend a filmmaking school
  • Anyone who has a story in mind and wants to share it with the world through filmmaking

 

Pre-requisites for this Course

A passion for cinema and filmmaking is all you need to enroll for this course.

 

7. Making a Short Film: Start to Finish [Lynda]

 

About the Course

While the previous course was a full-fledged program to learn cinematography online, if you are looking for short cinematography courses online that cover screenwriting, production, and directing, you should check out this best cinematography training on Lynda. This course will teach you the theory and skills for writing good scripts, handling a camera, working with actors, and managing lighting and sound. This is one of the best cinematography courses online that will teach you how to efficiently plan your production to keep your set and crew up and running.

 

The duration of this beginner course is 4 hours and 52 minutes and it consists of 39 on-demand cinematography classes online divided under the following five modules.

 

  • Script
  • Camera, Lighting, and Sound
  • Preparing Your Production
  • Working with Actors and Preproduction
  • Production

 

This course has been created by Creator Up and the instructor of this best cinematography training is Avi Glijansky, who is a writer, director, and producer. You can access this course by taking a LinkedIn subscription. Subscribing to the premium membership will also give you access to the other best cinematography courses online on Lynda. You can also practice with exercise files and quizzes and can even access the course offline. You will also earn a certificate of completion under the premium membership. This course has already had 7214 views so far.

 

What Will You Learn?

The topics covered in this course to study cinematography online are:

 

  • Mapping the script structure
  • Writing the screenplay and screenplay format
  • Understanding visual storytelling
  • Elements of a shot composition
  • Camera movements
  • Lighting and sound
  • Preparing for production
  • Creative and technical challenges
  • Budgeting, locations, and scheduling
  • Casting of actors
  • Planning for post-production

 

Who is this Course For?

This is one of the best cinematography training for anyone who has good ideas in mind and wants to share it with the world through visual storytelling.

 

Pre-requisites for this Course

There are no prerequisites for you to learn cinematography online through this course.

 

8. Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen by NFTS [Future Learn]

 

About the Course

Our last listing in the best cinematography courses online is a film production course being offered by the National Film and Television School, supported by the British Film Institute. In the cinematography classes online of this course, you will learn everything that goes into creating a film, starting from the script to the film going on-screen. This best cinematography training will help you develop and deepen your knowledge in different film-making specializations including writing, directing, composing, cinematography, and editing. You will also learn about the difference between the story and the theme of a film, the different people involved in a shoot, the importance of a camera in storytelling, and the impact that sound and music can make on a film.

 

The duration of this course to learn cinematography online is six weeks provided that you dedicate three hours daily to these cinematography classes online.  The instructors of this one of the best cinematography courses online are Jon Wardle, Director of the National Film and Television School, and Tom Woodcock, a film education specialist and freelance filmmaker. This course to study cinematography online has a rating of 4.9 and 126,765 students have already enrolled for this best cinematography training.  While you can access the classes for free for up to eight weeks, upgrading this course will give lifetime access to the course content and you will also be eligible to earn a digital Certificate of Achievement.

 

What Will You Learn?

The concepts taught in this course to learn cinematography online are:

 

  • Understanding different roles in film production
  • What is a ‘short film’?
  • The difference between plot and theme
  • Using characters and action to bring themes to life
  • Different sources for film stories and how they are adapted for the big screen
  • The difficulties of film funding
  • Visualizing a location
  • The range of equipment needed
  • Processes involved in the detailed planning of a shoot
  • Role of a cinematographer
  • Exploring the different aspects of editing including time and space
  • Challenges faced by editors
  • How each film is structured differently
  • Use of sound to provide a sense of realism
  • The work of music composer of a film

 

Who is this Course For?

Armature filmmakers, movie buffs, or anyone interested in filmmaking can take this course to study cinematography online.

 

Pre-requisites for this Course

No prior skillsets are required to undertake the classes of this one of the top cinematography courses online.

 

Reviews by Zaher B.

The entire course is well structured. It addresses all facets of the cinematographic universe although it does not include certain themes such as the directing itself, the direction of actors among others. But in the end, the course was beyond my expectations for a mooc. Big thanks !

 

Conclusion

Enrolling for courses and degrees to study cinematography online can open up several career paths. You can start in the industry as an assistant camera operator, assistant editors, cue selector, studio camera operator, etc. Once you have the required skillsets, experience, and vision,the sky is the limit. With that, we conclude our list of the best cinematography courses online. Trump Learning wishes you all the best for this creative pursuit.

 

Best Cinematography Courses, Classes and Training Online Reviewed by 16 Professional Cinematographers 4.6
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