Unscripted Studio Review (2022) – Film Like Brandon Li

Learn filmmaking from Brandon Li

This is a review of Brandon Li’s film school Unscripted Studio.

  • Is Unscripted Studio worth it?
  • Is it better than Full Time Filmmaker?
  • What exactly is covered in Unscripted Studio?
  • Will it help me film like Brandon Li?

I had never heard of Brandon Li before. In fact, I’m not even entirely sure how I ended up buying his course. I think I probably clicked around, found a video he made, and I guess clicked on a link he had that revealed he had an online course?

At any rate, I guess what I’m getting at is that, a few months ago, I had no idea who this guy was. But, if you are wanting to film like him, there’s no better way than to learn from Brandon himself.

Unscripted Studio: Verdict

Solid Travel Filmmaking School

Brandon Li’s film school shows you everything you need to film like him. He’s a skilled instructor, covers a ton of ground, and teaches storytelling in a unique & refreshing way with content I haven’t seen in other courses. I wish his course used a different learning platform and had a more transparent sales page, but despite these, it’s still a strong course.

However, for the money and skills learned, Full Time Filmmaker is a better choice.

Pros of Unscripted Studio

Unprecedented detail on storytelling and its relevance to travel films
In-depth detail on handheld filmmaking
Incredible detail on filmmaking with a gimbal
Brandon is a very strong presenter and a great teacher

Cons of Unscripted Studio

No offline viewing
Member community costs extra to stay a member
Purchasing the course is confusing
Video titles could be labeled better to make finding certain theories or content easier
Courses built on Teachable or Kajabi are much easier to navigate and more user-friendly than the platform he uses

Unscripted Studio VS Full-Time Filmmaker – Which One Should I Choose?

I’ve received a number of messages asking me which one they should invest in if they could only choose one.

It definitely depends on your goals and who’s filming style/teaching style you like more (and I highly recommend you check out their YouTube channels so you can get a taste of what kind of content they produce).

But, generally speaking, I would recommend Full-Time Filmmaker. It is more content, is constantly being updated with new material, the community is extremely active, and the skills learned themselves are incredible. I feel as though Full Time Filmmaker is an all-in-one option that does everything really well whereas Unscripted Studio is a very strong course in travel narrative work.

If you are like me and already had Full Time Filmmaker and wanted to up your game from a storytelling perspective and film more like Brandon does, then Unscripted is a great choice.

In this review, I will evaluate Unscripted Studio so you can see if it is a good fit for you.

Now, let’s take a deeper look into Unscripted Studio and see what they have to offer and if it is the right solution for you. For your convenience, use the table of contents to navigate to different sections of the review.

What is Unscripted Studio?

Unscripted Studio is the name of the course Brandon Li created to, as I heard him say in his announcement video, teach people how to make travel films. More specifically, it will teach you how to make travel films like Brandon makes travel films. That is to say that you will be ditching those unmotivated, slow-mo shots of tourist destinations for motivated, real-time gimbal shots.

Okay, not all the time. But, it is clear that Brandon has a distinct style that, I think, is the bees knees.

Here are the benefits you can expect by taking Brandon’s course:

Mastery of handheld filmmaking
Confidence in improvising a story when traveling
Mastery of gimbal movements
Proficiency in Final Cut Pro X
In-depth knowledge of different narrative structures

Courses Offered by Unscripted Studio

As of 2020, Brandon has released a number of courses/sections in Unscripted Studio. They are bundled together when you purchase Unscripted Studio. The ones currently released include:

  • Camera Basics
  • Gear Recommendations
  • Planning & Pre-Production
  • Improvised Storytelling Bootcamp
  • Handheld Shooting Bootcamp
  • Gimbal Bootcamp
  • Gimbal Masterclass
  • Editing Bootcamp
  • Making a Travel Film from Concept to Completion
  • & Building Your Video Business Bootcamp

Brandon Li’s Course Content Style

Brandon is a strong teacher. The production quality of the videos is very high, the videos are well thought out and clearly outlined, and are engaging throughout.

I really enjoy that Brandon not only teaches you the technical “how to” of what he is teaching, but explains the aesthetics and how those choices affect the mood and story of your piece.

For example, he may teach about natural lighting and expand upon it by explaining how different natural lights can set different moods. He may teach about story arcs and beats, and explain how this type of story arc may be more relevant to a particular story. For someone that wants to take their storytelling to a whole new level, Brandon is the one that can take you there.

I also liked that each of the lessons have little chapter markers that let you navigate to what he will cover for each of the different sections. It made it pretty useful to quickly jump to a certain section, especially if I was reviewing a video I’d already seen and wanted to jump right into where my question is answered.

Story is king to Make Travel Films

Brandon’s big differentiator from the competition is his understanding of narrative and aesthetics.

It’s clear that he not only has read up on many filmmaking books and studied the techniques, but he also knows how to use them to move the audience. Even upon writing this review, I hope that you don’t think you are going to be lectured at by some dude about film aesthetics.

It is seriously engaging and cool and fun and nerdy and awesome – all combined. It’s the kind of stuff you want to learn because it helps you become a better filmmaker and it’s entertaining to see him passionately teach about this stuff that I personally geek out about.

The verdict for Unscripted Studio

Rating: 5 out of 5.

For admirers of Brandon’s style of filmmaking, there is no one better to learn from than Brandon himself. If you are interested in making travel films or expanding your understanding of narrative storytelling, this is a no-brainer. I highly recommend this course and consider it to be a great companion to Full-Time Filmmaker and even an expansion to it in the storytelling and travel sections.

Happy learning and I hope this review was helpful for you!

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