This is a compilation of the best filmmaking courses available online. There are so many online courses centered around filmmaking that it’s difficult to know which ones are worth buying. In this article, I want to highlight the best 4 paid courses you should take in 2021 to level up your filmmaking that I have personally taken and recommend.
As someone who has graduated from college with a degree in Video Production, I’m very impressed with what is offered online and how they can in many ways surpass what is offered now in person.
In short, I hope with my combined years in learning about video and taking 50+ filmmaking courses that I am able to help you cut through the clutter and get right to the best content available on the web.
I have also compiled other articles that focus on specific types of filmmaking and video production – you can find those below.
I’ve included a Table of Contents for this article for convenience if you want to jump around to different points. Let’s get started!
- 1. Full Time Filmmaker – The Ultimate Online Filmmaking Class
- 2. Best Cinematography Courses – Philip Bloom’s Cinematic Masterclass with MZed Pro
- Don’t Miss Out – MZed Black Friday Special
- 3. Product Video Course by Austen Paul – Make a Living From Home as a Filmmaker
- 4. That Audio Guy – The Filmmaker’s Guide to Audio
- Mastering YouTube Course – Honorable Mention As Best For Aspiring Full-Time YouTubers
- Honorable Mention: The Real Deal Video Strategist Club for Filmmakers Looking to Become Video Strategists
- So, Which of These Should I Take?
- Final Thoughts
Their tagline is The Ultimate Online Film School and, frankly, that pretty much nails it.
Parker Walbeck and his team at Full Time Filmmaker have managed to take all the different aspects of filmmaking, including equipment, camera basics, creative, lighting, etc., and package it into easily digestible pieces that will truly turn you from a complete beginner to being able to take the leap to becoming a full time filmmaker.
Prepare to Go Full Time
As mentioned, Full Time Filmmaker covers all the foundations necessary for filmmaking, technically and creatively-speaking. The part that I really like that they have done is expanded their curriculum to prepare you for specific jobs and shoots. For example, one of their many mini-courses is Wedding Video Pro, which shows you the ins and outs of becoming a full time wedding videographer. They do the same thing with music videos, real estate, travel videos, and more.
The Ultimate Value
Full Time Filmmaker continues to add tremendous value to their course. They recently released a Davinci Resolve editing course, a mobile videography course is in the works, with a photography course also soon to be bundled in. Truthfully, Full Time Filmmaker is the gift that keeps on giving because it feels like the team truly tries (and succeeds) at coming up with content that serves the community of people enrolled in their courses.
Huge Discounts on Necessary Software
To make things even sweeter, enrolling in Full Time Filmmaker gives you exclusive access to big discounts, like being eligible for a student membership of Creative Cloud. This is hundreds of dollars in savings per year and essentially pays for the price of the course itself and is something I personally have used and enjoy as a FTF student.
The Verdict for Full Time Filmmaker – Is it Worth it?
For those that are absolute beginners learning filmmaking for the first time, anyone that wants to elevate all aspects of filmmaking, and/or want to make money with filmmaking, this is the ultimate course. It covers everything you need, is constantly improving and releasing new content, and has no true weak points. I recommend this to every aspiring filmmaker/videographer.
And, they have a money-back guarantee. So, there’s truly no reason not to give them a try and, if it’s not a good fit, you can request a refund. But, like many others (including myself), I think you’ll find it to be well worth the investment.
I’ve been watching Philip Bloom on YouTube for what seems like years now. I learned a lot from him in my early days of video production from when he did some training videos with Vimeo. He’s now gone all-in on a masterclass on making cinematic images and it’s just as epic as his YouTube videos are.
A Cinematic Masterpiece that You Could Watch For Fun
Philip Bloom did something really special by essentially creating a super engaging, interesting, and informative 9-episode series. Seriously, if you put this on Netflix, it would 100% blend in. It’s well thought out, extremely useful, and entertaining.
While you are enjoying the awesome visuals and picking up tricks of the trade from a veteran of the industry, you are also arming yourselves with the knowledge to properly set your exposure for time-lapses and drone shots. One of my favorite aspects of this masterclass is how much Philip talks through his thought process as he explains why he did/does certain things on a shoot.
The Verdict for Philip Bloom’s Cinematic Masterclass – Is it Worth it?
If you are looking to make your videos look more cinematic, look no further. Or, if you are a fan of Philip Bloom, this is a no-brainer. This is a great expansion on what is covered in Full Time Filmmaker and can help provide an additional angle to your filmmaking toolkit.
Don’t Miss Out – MZed Black Friday Special
MZed has officially launched their Black Friday special and it’ll give you a TON of goodies, with the biggest discount being a whopping $150 off access to their platform. This is the lowest price I’ve seen for MZed and would definitely pick it up if you have been waiting for the right time.
MZED is a Great Resource for Filmmakers at One Affordable Price (Includes Philip Bloom’s Cinematic Masterclass)
MZED, the platform that hosts Philip Bloom’s masterclass, has an all-access membership that gives you access to TONS of other courses that are related to filmmaking. I have enrolled myself and will be reviewing my favorites of those. A few that have caught my eye include Philip Bloom’s Filmmaking for Photographers, Short Films 101 by Seth Worley, and Alex Buono’s Visual Storytelling 2, to name a few.
MZed also offers a money-back guarantee so you can always give them a try and get a refund if it’s not a good fit.
Wow. I was not prepared to be this impressed by a course about filming product videos but here I am adding it to the best courses to take in 2021 for filmmakers.
If you have ever wanted to film amazing product videos like Daniel Schiffer, Peter McKinnon, or Austen Paul (the instructor who has an impressive library of incredible product videos), look no further. And, perhaps more valuable, if you want to learn the step-by-step process to landing product video clients, the steps to pitch ideas, how to come up with creative briefs, and actually film product videos that wow, then this is the course for you.
With a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee, there’s no risk to seeing if this course is right for you.
And, there is a special Black Friday discount going on right now for $150 off lifetime access.
You may be wondering – do I need this course if I am already enrolled in Full Time Filmmaker or 90 Day Filmmaker? The answer to that is yes if you want to do product video.
Full Time Filmmaker and other similar courses are stellar options to learn the foundations of everything needed to become a full time filmmaker. But, as of right now, FTF does not have a section this in-depth on shooting product videos.
In this course, you will get the following modules related to Product Videos:
- Product Preparation
- *Access to a FB Community
Amazing Insight on the Business Side
One of my favorite aspects of this course was how in-depth the section on the business side of product video shooting was. I was always curious how to land clients, how to communicate, how to send over creative briefs, and how to communicate ideas – and Austen covers all of this. He shows in-depth his process to landing, getting ideas approved, and sending over the final video.
Incredible Quality – All From Home
Austen is an amazing instructor for this course. His teaching style is clear and concise and he clearly is highly skilled as a product video shooter. Most impressive, he shoots everything from the comfort of his home with gear that I believe all intermediate filmmakers will easily be able to get. His emphasis on being creative and just shooting makes this course feel less about gear and more about being creative with what you have and capturing Hollywood-level shorts all from home.
The Verdict for the Product Video Course – Is it Worth it?
The Product Video Course is an easy recommendation. Austen Paul is a highly skilled filmmaker with an enjoyable teaching style. He shows you everything you need to make a full-time living shooting product videos and goes in incredible detail to make sure you get extreme value out of his course.
If you have ever wanted to start shooting product videos and get paid to do it, this is hands-down the course you have been looking for.
With his 30-day money-back guarantee, you have zero risk in giving it a try and seeing if you can elevate your game by learning from the product video master.
There are so many courses on learning the filming part of making videos, but what about the audio part? Is there a course to learn the ins and outs of audio?
The Filmmaker’s Guide to Audio is the definitive course to learn everything that a filmmaker needs to know to elevate his audio to the next level. Brenden Bytheway, the instructor, brings a delightfully-fun tone to an otherwise boring topic and makes learning about audio probably the most fun I’ve had learning in a long time.
Brenden has a number of courses, including:
- Filmmaker’s Guide to Audio
- Filmmaker’s Guide to Sound Design
- Lav Microphone Mini Course
- Music Producer’s Suite
An In-Depth Look at Audio
Brenden takes a deep dive into all things audio while keeping it highly actionable and relevant to filmmakers. One of the best things about this course is just how focused it is on practical tips to improve your audio. Instead of learning scattered tidbits of audio tools, you will be learning specfiic skills and techniques to elevate your work today.
Learning Made Fun
Brenden has the most unique teaching style I’ve seen in years. He is wacky, goofy, witty, professional, concise, and attention-holding. If you want to get a taste of his style, check out his free masterclass on the Top 6 Mistakes Filmmakers Make With Their Audio. Brenden’s approach to teaching made going through a sometimes-boring topic like Audio extremely fun & engaging. You’ll find yourself laughing while also learning extremely valuable concepts that will improve your craft.
The Verdict for That Audio Guy Premium Membership – Is it Worth It?
This is the best course to learn and master audio for filmmaking and audio in general. For those that are enrolled in Full-Time Filmmaker already, you will find Brenden’s teaching to go above and beyond that to deliver next-level techniques that aren’t covered there.
If you have been waiting for the audio-focused version of Full Time Filmmaker, you have found it. And, with their 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s no risk in seeing if it’s the right choice for you.
For those that want to become a full-time YouTuber, this is the best course available, hands-down. This course contains everything you need to go from 0 subscribers to making a full-time income and is even better than the pricier Video Ranking Academy by Sean Cannell & Think Media and the Mastering YouTube offering from Matt D’Avella.
If you want to learn more about this course, read my full review here.
Erika has also created a free YouTube guide that shows how she went from $0 to making over $100,000 on YouTube in less than a year. If you want to download that guide, you can click here.
Honorable Mention: The Real Deal Video Strategist Club for Filmmakers Looking to Become Video Strategists
Have you ever wanted to learn how to build a video marketing campaign, land retainer clients, become more confident in pricing your services, get better results for your clients, and get paid more? If so, then you have been looking for the Real Deal Video Strategist Club.
Filmmakers Become Video Strategists
Businesses nowadays don’t just need video – they need videos that move the needle. They need focused tactics that drive conversions, get more employees, spread their brand’s message, and so much more. As filmmakers, we have one of the most valuable marketing tools under our belt: video. But, how do we leverage that in a strategic way for our clients?
David Bibiano and the Real Deal Video Strategist Club are here to help you land these clients, strategize a marketing plan, and give you the confidence to price effectively.
A Community to Keep You Accountable
The Real Deal Video Strategist Club is called a club because the community plays a huge part in the learning process for this course. The course content itself is extremely valuable, don’t get me wrong, and worth the price of admission – but the private group is a real gold mine to talk to the course creators and other talented trategists to stay accountable for your business goals and even get feedback on how to sell a video package.
The Verdict for the Real Deal Video Strategist Club – Is it Worth it?
If you want to learn how to fuse marketing and videos, this is the best course to learn how to do just that. You’ll become more confident in your pricing, become an expert on finding solutions to real business problems, and drive more success for your clients – all while getting paid more.
And, with their money-back guarantee, there’s no risk in seeing if it’s right for you.
So, Which of These Should I Take?
In some ways, you can search for videos that each of those have made and go with the pathway that best represents the style that you initially would like to build towards. I’ve taken all four and can honestly say that they all are worth taking. If I had to make specific recommendations, though, I’d say:
- Full Time Filmmaker is probably the best all-around course for someone who wants to learn filmmaking and make money with it. It truly does give you everything you need to become a full time filmmaker.
- Philip Bloom’s Cinematic Masterclass is a great fit for someone who knows the basics and wants to shadow a professional and pick up some different techniques and ways to get cinematic shots.
- Masterclass has an ever-growing library of incredible instructors teaching on a wide-range of filmmaking topics. This is a great fit for passionate filmmakers that want to learn tips & tricks straight from the experts themselves.
- Unscripted Studio is an amazing fit for someone that wants to film like Brandon. In some ways, it can be viewed as the “advanced” version, or an expansion upon, the storytelling and travel sections that are covered in Full Time Filmmaker.
- Andy To’s Mobile Filmmaking Course is perfect for the mobile filmmaker or travel filmmaker that wants to shoot like Andy and learn some tricks from the travel filmmaker pro himself.
- NEW! The Real Deal Video Strategist is perfect for videographers that want to learn how to become a video strategist. You will become more confident in sales meeting, learn how to get results for your clients, master marketing for video professionals, and more. You can read my full review here.
There are so many online filmmaking courses out and there seems to be more popping up every day. So far, of the many I’ve taken, these four have my highest recommendation. Whether you are a beginner, know your way around a camera, or a veteran, you are going to pick up some cool tips and tricks to elevate your filmmaking. If you have some courses you think I should look into or review, send them my way – I’m always looking for new resources to elevate my filmmaking with.
Thank you for your time in reading and I hope that this was helpful to you! Happy learning!