This is a compilation of the best smartphone filmmaking courses to take in 2021.
If you are looking to level up your filmmaking ability with your smartphone, what is the best course to take? You may be a beginner that only has a smartphone to work with currently, a seasoned filmmaker that enjoys the portability and ease of use of a phone, or even just someone that wants to become more educated on using phones as a filmmaking tool depending on the situation.
I’ve taken a number of mobile filmmaking courses and below are the ones that I think are worth your time and money.
Mobile Filmmaking: Learn to Shoot Cinematic Videos with Andy To – Best Overall for Smartphone Filmmaking
Andy To is the best person to lead a course on mobile filmmaking because he actually creates films with his phones that are worth replicating. In his course, he shows you in-depth how to set up your camera, how to get coverage while on location, and also how to think through the edit to create compelling stories.
After completing this course, you will walk away with a ton of useful tips on how to capture footage confidently using your mobile rig. Honestly, the tips Andy covers in this course were very impressive, and was surprised at just how much I learned from this course, even after taking amazing courses like Full Time Filmmaker.
Andy’s course is my best overall choice because, in my opinion, has the most impressive results from smartphone shoots. He is the person who I would want to replicate most. As an added bonus, he is a chill and easy to watch instructor and goes in-depth on storytelling tips and practical guides that will serve you whether you are using a phone or a cinema camera.
Smartphone Video Pro by Full Time Filmmaker – Best Value
Smartphone Video Pro by the Full Time Filmmaker team is a concise up & running guide to go from knowing absolutely nothing about how to use a smartphone to become a smartphone video pro. You will learn how to set up your phone, what equipment you need, how to film, how to edit, and finally how to deliver.
After going through this course, you’ll be able to confidently capture footage using your smartphone and is a great primer for those that want to get into mobile filmmaking.
Smartphone Video Pro lands the spot at “best value” because it is a relatively inexpensive course that covers a lot of ground in a high-quality way. Andy’s course succeeds at going more in-depth and providing on-location examples and job shadows, but this course does a lot right and is a great choice for those that just want to learn how to better use their smartphone.
One added bonus of going this route is that, if you are already a Full Time Filmmaker member, you have access to this course. And, if you aren’t a FTF member yet and you enjoy this course, you will love the full film school experience Full Time Filmmaker has to offer.
Brandon Li’s Film School – Best for Storytelling
Brandon Li’s film school actually does not cover mobile filmmaking in the sense of using your phone for filmmaking. But, for those that do want to go from filmmaking to their phone to a traveling rig that gets similar yet elevated results, Brandon Li’s Unscripted Studio film school is hands-down the best option for that.
In his film school, Brandon will show you everything to get you up and running with a camera and provide in-depth tutorials and behind-the-scenes so you can see exactly how he does everything he does.
Brandon lands himself on this list because of his huge emphasis on storytelling. Even if you are using your phone, you wil find tremendous value in this course because of the storytelling segments. I have never seen someone explain difficult storytelling concepts in such a simple way that makes it feel very actionable. If you have ever wanted to film like Brandon Li, there is no better course than this one.
What to Look for When Buying a Mobile Filmmaking Course
The first thing I would look at is the style you are trying to replicate. Do you like Full Time Filmmaker’s videos, Andy To’s, or Brandon’s? Obviously, the budget will come into play here as well, with Brandon Li’s film school being the most premium option on this list.
Secondly, I would really take a look at what skills you feel you are lacking. Are you unsure of how to technically use a phone? Do you want to learn how a specific person pulls off an aesthetic? Do you lack storytelling in your films? If you can pinpoint your weak point, you can better connect to the best choice for you.
Enroll in a Mobile Filmmaking Course
Overall, it’s an awesome time to be a filmmaker as you can truly make amazing content with the phone in your pocket. You can’t go wrong with anyone on this list, but Andy To’s course is an amazing value that will serve you very well as you use your phone and will serve you as you use other cameras too.
I hope this was helpful in your mobile filmmaking journey – best of luck to you!