This is a compilation of the best cinematography courses to take in 2021.
If you are looking to create the most visually aesthetic films and videos possible, what courses should you take? What courses are going to teach you the cinematic techniques that WOW your audience when they watch?
After going through a number of cinematography-focused courses and a number of premium online film schools, here are my top picks for what cinematography courses you should take so you can save time & money and go straight for the best options.
- Philip Bloom’s Cinematic Masterclass On MZed Pro – Best Overall Cinematography Class
- Cinematography: Mastering the Image by Shane Hurlbut on MZED Pro – Best for On-Set Cinematographers
- Full Time Filmmaker’s Online Film School – Best for Working Videographers
- Tomorrows Filmmakers’s Cinema Course – Best for Filmmakers On a Budget
- What To Look For When Buying A Cinematgraphy Course
- What to Do Next
Philip Bloom’s Cinematic Masterclass On MZed Pro – Best Overall Cinematography Class
Philip Bloom has worked on a number of incredible-looking documentaries and his YouTube videos are nothing short of mini movies. Philip’s Cinematic Masterclass takes you from absolute zero to learning the foundations of cinematography that can be applied across the spectrum regardless of what type of content you are wanting to produce.
From learning the basics, telling stories visually, capturing interviews, working with slow motion, time-lapses, drones, and post-prodution, you’ll get the essential pieces you need to capture beautiful, cinematic images.
Philip’s course is high on this list because he teaches universal cinematography principles that will serve cinematographers of all levels. If you are an aspiring videographer working for clients, a filmmakers making short films, or even a YouTuber wanting to upgrade your visuals, you will find amazing techniques to elevate your filmmaking to the next level here.
Cinematography: Mastering the Image by Shane Hurlbut on MZED Pro – Best for On-Set Cinematographers
Cinematography is summed up as the art of making motion pictures, according to Dictionary.com. For this recommendation, you will be learning the ins and outs of cinematography as it relates to filmmaking on-set. That means, if you want to learn the techniques that Hollywood-level filmmakers and cinematographers are using to make feature films, then this is the right course for you.
He covers how he approaches pre-production, what equipment he gets, how to power and light the set, and so much more.
This differentiates itself from others on the list because it shows a cinematographer that has worked on many movies that you have probably seen go through his process. If you want to learn Hollywood cinematography from someone working in the industry, then look no further. He also has a number of other cinematography-related courses on MZED Pro that I recommend if on-set filmmaking is something you want to learn.
Full Time Filmmaker’s Online Film School – Best for Working Videographers
Parker Walbeck and the team from Full Time Filmmaker have put together an entire online film school that will prepare you to become a full time filmmaker. If you have a desire to make a living making films and videos for clients, then this is the right course for you. Though, this is a list on cinematography, so why is Full Time Filmmaker here?
Inside of Full Time Filmmaker, there are a number of fantastic lessons that cover how to get more cinematic shots, including their incredible webinar that lists their secrets to achieving cinematic shots.
Full Time Filmmaker earns a spot on this list for those that want to elevate their filmmaking so they can better work on client work. If you are already interested in doing video for clients and haven’t enrolled in this, then you will be served very well with their curriculum and knowledge.
Tomorrows Filmmakers’s Cinema Course – Best for Filmmakers On a Budget
Tomorrow’s Filmmakers is the cheapest option on the list. For an incredibly low price, you get access to their full online film school as well as thier cinema courses, one of which is focused entirely on cinematography. This section of the course is taught by Kristopher Kimlin, who has an impressive list of movies that he’s worked on.
Kris covers a lot of ground in his course, ranging from the role of the cinematographer on set, set etiquette, pre-production, finding work, how to work the camera on set, and more. Similar to Shane’s Cinematgraphy course, you are getting knowledge that will serve you best on-set.
Tomorrow’s Filmmakers is one of the courses that is worth picking up because it has a ton of content for one low price. Though, don’t let the low price deter you – as a whole, the entire course is high quality.
What To Look For When Buying A Cinematgraphy Course
The first thing I would look at is what type of style you are most interested in learning. If you watch Philip Bloom’s, Shane Hurlbut’s, Parker Walbeck’s, or Kris’s content – which of them resonates with you the most? Naturally, the best way to learn the style you like the most is to learn from that instructor directly.
Secondly, I would consider your end goal for the course. Are you learning cinematography for use on short films, to prepare for feature films, or just to elevate your client projects? Although all of these courses will be great at teaching you new things to elevate your films, some of them will be better suited for specific goals.
What to Do Next
Overall, there are a number of great cinematography courses out there. If you are looking to get into upgrading your cinematography, my overall #1 pick would be to take a look at MZED Pro. Philip Bloom’s Cinematic Masterclass and Shane Hurlbut’s Cinematography course are both included in the subscription and there are a number of other courses by them and others that will upgrade your cinematography too.
I hope this was helpful in your cinematography journey and, if you find a course you think should be on here, drop me a note and I’ll take a look.