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The Best Online Filmmaking Courses In 2023 (Free and Paid)

The Best Online Filmmaking Courses In 2023 (Free and Paid)

When given the opportunity, deliver excellence and never quit.

-Robert Rodriguez

Want to learn new filmmaking skills while you have all of the time in the world? Well we have the article for you! This post is going to go through a bunch of hand picked, personal favourite courses of the FilmLocal team. This list will consist of many different filmmaking categories, such as cinematography, screenwriting, acting, etc. and we will order them from free to expensive. That way, you’ll be able to find the course that fits your needs right now! Oh and if you’re not a FilmLocal member yet, create your account today! 


If you’re only here for one specific category, click it in this list to skip right to it!

General Filmmaking Courses

 Creative Filmmaking: Crafting Your Vision for Music Videos

Skillshare | Free with Trial

Music videos are great for starting out in the film industry. They allow you to be as creative as you want, and there aren’t as many “rules” you have to follow compared to when you make a movie. This course will help you express your full potential to your videos!

DSLR Filmmaking: From Beginner to PRO!

Skillshare | Free with Trial

Learn how to master your DSLR! You don’t need a $100K camera package to make great films, all you have to do is watch this video and learn all of the tricks.

Martin Scorsese Teaches Filmmaking

MasterClass | $90 Single Course – $180 Site-Wide All Access

We’ve all heard of Martin Scorsese, so why not learn from him? He won’t just teach you about directing, but practically everything involved with making a movie!

Spike Lee Teaches Independent Filmmaking

MasterClass | $90 Single Course – $180 Site-Wide All Access

Who says you need a big budget to make a good film? Certainly not Spike Lee! Follow along as he tells you his process and how to get by independently. Where true creativity can flourish when a studio isn’t breathing down your neck.

Cinematography Courses

 Shoot Expert Video on Any Camera

Skillshare | Free with Trial

This course will teach you all that you need to know to start becoming the best cinematographer you can be! It’s quick and easy to digest, designed to get you shooting and creating as fast as possible.

DIY Cinematography: Make Your Video Look Like A Movie

Skillshare | Free with Trial

Make your next video look more expensive then ever before with this course by Ryan Booth! Who needs a big budget when you have tips like these?

Introduction to Lighting for Videographers

Skillshare | Free with Trial

Need a little help with lighting a scene? Check out this course by Jordy Vandeput! He teaches you how to properly light quickly and effectively, making your next video look amazing!

Cinematography Course: Shoot Better Video With Any Camera

Udemy | Free Trial or $20/mo

Learn the techniques used by Hollywood professionals taught by industry experts! Your image will never look the same after taking this course.

Documentary Filmmaking Courses

 Documentary Starter Kit

Desktop Documentaries | Free

This is the intro course that Desktop Documentaries offers. It’s not a very long course, but it’s completely free and will give you an idea about what you’re in for if you choose to go with their paid courses.

Creating a Modern, Cinematic Documentary with Soul

Skillshare | Free with Trial

Bringing your documentary into the modern age is important! Dandan Liu will teach you just that. From planning to editing, you’ll learn how to do it all!

Shooting a Character Documentary

Skillshare | Free with Trial

This documentary filmmaking course focuses on single character development. If you’re looking to shoot a doc that’s mainly focused on one person, this quick 45 minute class is perfect for you!

Ken Burns Teaches Documentary Filmmaking

MasterClass | $90 Single Course – $180 Site-Wide All Access

Have you you heard of what he’s done? I’m sure reading his Wikipedia page will be enough to convince you that this course is worth it for any aspiring documentary filmmaker!

7-Day Documentary Crash Course

Desktop Documentaries | $197

Desktop Documentaries offers tons of courses based around documentary filmmaking. So many in fact, that if we wanted to show them all, it would warrant it’s own list. We decided to only include the free one (see above) and their massive crash course. This course will make you a master at documentary filmmaking, I’d say it’s at least worth checking out! If it’s not for you, then you can browse around their other courses.

Acting Courses

 Acting Techniques Masterclass – Learn 9 Different Techniques From 9 Master Teachers

Skillshare | Free with Trial

This is a great way to learn many new acting techniques. Each technique is taught by someone who is an expert at implementing them, allowing you to get as much out of the course as possible. Start filling your acting toolbox today!

Acting 101 for Adults

Udemy | $90

A low price for a great online course about acting! It gives you various tools that allow you to become the best actor that you can be in any given situation.

Samuel L. Jackson Teaches Acting

MasterClass | $90 Single Course – $180 Site-Wide All Access

Samuel L. Jackson has roles in over 100 films. I think it’s safe to say he knows a little bit about acting! He brings you through every aspect of acting; from nailing auditions to figuring out how to play your character. He even goes through how to analyze a script!

Natalie Portman Teaches Acting

MasterClass | $90 Single Course – $180 Site-Wide All Access

Natalie Portman never went to acting school, she is completely self taught. Learn her techniques and how she developed them. This is her first-ever acting class and it’s definitely worth checking out!

Post-Production Courses

 Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro for Beginners

Skillshare | Free with Trial

If you’re looking to get into editing, then this is the perfect course for you! The instructor, Jordy Vandeput, has over 10 years of production experience. This is the most popular film production course on Skillshare!

Learn Adobe After Effects CC for Beginners

Skillshare | Free with Trial

Another editing course from Jordy Vandeput, this one focuses on After Effects. It differs from other courses by not bogging you down with dry technical stuff but gives you practical real world examples that you can use directly on your films.

Color Grading for Filmmaking: The Vision, Art, and Science

Skillshare | Free with Trial

This course will teach you the fundementals of color correction allowing you to transfer these skills to Adobe Premiere Pro Lumetri Color. Not only does it teach you the science behind colouring, but also how to get the right emotion out of your audience.

Inside the Edit

Inside the Edit | Various Subscription Levels

Use coupon code “FilmLocal” for 25% off!

This is a subscription based course/editing resource. It teaches you the art of editing so that you can apply this skill to whatever piece of software you like the most. This course leans more towards the creative side of editing rather than the technical. You’ll learn how to get the right emotions out of your audience. You’re learning how to edit a film, not how to use a program.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC Video Editor for Beginners

Udemy | $95

If you want to do a deep dive into Premiere Pro and are willing to spend a bit of money, then this course is for you! Being the most popular course on Udemy for video editing with over 366,000 students enrolled, you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth.

Screenwriting Courses

 Learn to Write Movies: Screenwriting Step by Step

Skillshare | Free with Trial

Learn how to write a screenplay properly! Instructor John Watts will guide you in the right direction so that you can end up with a great script!

Micro-Budget Filmmaking: Screenwriting

Skillshare | Free with Trial

Another course on screenwriting if you’re looking for a different angle. This one is a bit longer though, as it is a part of a 4 course series. However, this should prove to be more in-depth if that’s what you’re looking for!

Script Hackr Screenwriting Course

Script Reader Pro | $299 $99 (Limited Time Discount)

They summed up this course pretty well on the explainer page:

It’s time to take a stand. That’s why we want to teach you everything we know about how to master the fundamentals in one, simple, practical, online screenwriting course.

This course is loaded with all you’ll ever need. It’s best if you just check it out for yourself. Plus, if you’re skeptical, they offer a full refund within 30 days!

Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting

MasterClass | $90 Single Course – $180 Site-Wide All Access

Aaron Sorkin is a bit of a legend when it comes to screenwriting. Follow along with this Oscar award-winning actor as he teaches you how to research, develop story ideas, and of course, write a scene.

Shonda Rhimes Teaches  Writing for Television

MasterClass | $90 Single Course – $180 Site-Wide All Access

Are you looking to write for the small screen? Look no further. Shonda Rhimes will teach you exactly how to do it. Let her guide you through her process, teach you how to pitch, and even breakdown some of her own creations. Including Grey’s Anatomy.

Did We Miss Any?

I hope you were able to find a course that suits you! If you have any courses you think should be on this list, comment below and we’ll check it out.

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