Online Courses in Film Production: Course Descriptions

Film production begins with a story idea and continues through many preproduction, production and post production tasks. Because varied facilities and equipment are required, fully online programs in film production are rare. Still, some introductory and film history courses are offered in distance learning format.

Essential Information

The technical and artistic nature of film production requires in-person training; however, students interested in earning certificates or degrees in the field can enroll in distance learning film studies courses, which are available through a limited number of institutions. Course content is typically available at all times for enrolled students to access. Through various forums and online message boards, students discuss course content with other students and faculty, complete assignments and take exams via the Web. Through online film classes, students can familiarize themselves with the theories and fundamental artistic concepts necessary for careers in film production.

Film Production Courses Offered Online

The summaries below highlight the typical curriculum of some common online film courses.

  • Introduction to Film Course: Introductory film courses provide students with a survey of films that demonstrates the diversity and history of the art. Students analyze the use of sound and images in classic and contemporary films of different styles and genres.
  • Film History Course: Through film history classes, students examine the aesthetic, historical, social and technical milestones of film throughout the world. Writing assignments and discussions allow for the analysis of the films' content and the manners in which these films have influenced society.
  • Film Analysis Course: Film analysis courses develop students' abilities to interpret and write about films. Students develop the vocabulary used in film analysis and the theories behind film interpretation. Film critique writing assignments strengthen students' understandings of a film's intended message and the director's style.
  • Fundamentals of Screenwriting Course: Screenwriting courses explore the process of storytelling for film. Students are responsible for analyzing scripts and creating short scripts of their own. The course materials typically emphasize the technical writing elements of plot, subplot, character development and dialogue. Some online screenwriting courses focus on one specific genre, such as biopics, romantic comedies and documentaries.
  • Digital Cinematography Course: Students view online examples that demonstrate tools and techniques of digital cinematography. They learn about different formats and aspect ratios, and where each is best used. Other topics explain how lighting, composition and multi-camera shooting can impact a visual story.

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