Online filmmaking classes

by Tom Barrance | Updated October 2023

This page includes affiliate links.

You can take online filmmaking courses from training providers like Masterclass, CreativeLive, Skillshare and Udemy. What’s the difference between them?

  • Masterclass courses give you insights from famous filmmakers, actors and writers.
  • CreativeLive has in-depth courses on filmmaking techniques, editing programs and cameras.
  • SkillShare also has courses on filmmaking techniques; in general they’re shorter and more inexpensive.

Looking for free training? Skillshare has a range of free courses, and offers a month’s trial of the premium subscription. CreativeLive streams a few free live courses every week.


Ken Burns MasterClass screenshot
Ken Burns Teaches Documentary Filmmaking on MasterClass

MasterClass courses are made to a very high standard. Each MasterClass film course is presented by an A-list director, actor or screenwriter: you can learn from David Lynch, Spike Lee, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese and many more. They give you an insight into their individual approach, philosophy and working methods. The courses are very well filmed and structured and come with useful supporting materials. And they’re substantial, with an average of 24 lessons per course.  I learnt a lot from Ken Burns’ excellent documentary course (review).

MasterClass memberships start at $10/$10 a month, billed annually. They offer a 30-day money back guarantee.



CreativeLive has a wide range of courses from experienced filmmakers and trainers. Most of their courses are based on video lectures recorded in front of a live audience. If you check out their schedule, you can watch upcoming live courses online for free.

The filmmaking classes range from camera guides (covering many SLRs and mirrorless cameras) to in-depth courses on programs like Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro and others, and courses on documentary, iPhone filmmaking and more. Most of the courses are substantial, but unfortunately some of them appear to be out of date.

Costs of individual courses vary. Membership, which gives access to almost all their classes, is $29 a month, or $129 annually.

Filmmaking classes on CreativeLive


Skillshare has thousands of free classes. To access premium classes, get teacher support and watch offline you need to pay a monthly subscription. The standard of teaching is variable: some classes look great, others less so. In general the classes are shorter than CreativeLive courses, ranging from under half an hour to two or three hours.  Skillshare offers a free trial, which gives you a month’s unlimited access to their premium classes.

A premium subscription costs $32 monthly /$168 annually.

Buying safely

I recommend that you always check out the most recent student reviews, and watch a sample lesson, before you buy a course.  Masterclass and CreativeLive offer a 30-day money back guarantee. Skillshare offers a 7-day refund on annual subscriptions.