Unscripted Studio Review (2021) – Film Like Brandon Li

Learn filmmaking from 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, I’m here to say that his course is absolutely incredible. Here is one of my favorite films he’s done.

Unscripted Studio is the definitive film making course for those that want to make travel films that have a story. Yes, he does cover camera basics and if you like his videos and want to make videos like him, this will show you how to do it, step-by-step.

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.

Unscripted Studio Review Summary

Unscripted Studio by Brandon Li is the best course for those that want to make narrative travel films. Providing bootcamps on handheld movement, gimbal movement, storytelling, and also behind-the-scenes on his shoots, he gives you everything you need to be like Brandon Li. And that is a good thing.

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
New content comes out regularly

Wishlist of Unscripted Studio

Offline viewing
Member community costs extra to stay a member
Video titles could be labeled better to make finding certain theory or content easier
Courses built on Teachable or Kajabi are much easier to navigate and more user-friendly than the platform he uses

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 a 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 on 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.

Brandon Li’s Course is A Hidden Gem

I really don’t have much more to add to this review. It’s an amazing course, covering materials that other instructors haven’t really covered in detail. It feels like a hidden gem of a course to me. If you decide to take the next step, you can see an introduction video and see if it is a good fit for you. Just click the link below and it’ll take you to a quick form. After filling it out, you’ll get your invite to join. You won’t regret it.

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 expand 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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