Aspiring producers need hands-on experience with cameras and other equipment. That is why few television and media production degree programs are completely online. More often, universities offer online classes as part of their campus-based television production certificate or degree programs. Students not seeking degree credit may sometimes enroll in these classes.
Most fully-online programs focus on digital media. Graduates of those programs may find entry-level jobs in multimedia production, Web design or video editing and production.
Online Television and Digital Media Production Classes
Below are some of the common online courses in television and digital media production.
- Introduction to Multimedia Production Course: Generally one of the first classes in the program, this course covers the basic elements and techniques involved in filmmaking, video and radio broadcasting and digital media production. Topics include the editing process, basic production tools and aural and visual design. This class may be broken down into several specialized introductory courses. Students generally complete production projects to be graded by the instructor.
- Journalism and Communications Course: Because of the shift from newspapers and magazines to online media, this class is integral to digital and television production. Students learn all aspects of production for radio and online video newscasts, including allocation of budget money and production scheduling. The class may also cover post-production marketing. Real-world projects uploaded to the Internet give students hands-on experience.
- Screenwriting Course: In this class, students learn about the full screenwriting process from creative inspiration to screen adaptation. Generally offered in the middle of the program, this class may include writing workshops but focuses on the producer's approach to scripts. At the advanced level, students may write a full-length screenplay as a course-long project. The online course generally includes movie-watching and prerecorded lectures.
- Movie Production Course: This class is generally offered near the end of the program. Students learn the mechanics of producing either a full-length film or short episodes for the Internet. Emphasis is on the producer's perspective of the budgeting, creative design, casting, screenplay adaptation and ultimate distribution of the film. A collaborative project may supplement lectures.
- Senior Portfolio and Independent Project Course: Students complete an independent media production project to fulfill this course, which is usually the last offered in the program. Because most online courses focus on digital media, this project generally involves new media and Internet production. Instructors work with students to edit their highlight reel, which is the film and digital media industry's version of a resume. Graduates are equipped to begin applying for entry-level television and media production jobs.
- Digital Cinematography Course: Through readings and online lectures, student learn about visual storytelling tools and techniques. Digital cinematography principles are explained. Other topics include the specifics of production, including cameras, lenses, lighting and composition. Online screenings are used to illustrate several topics, including bluescreen, greenscreen and other special effects.