Online Cinematography Course Information

Due to the technical nature of the field, fully online cinematography courses are rare; more common are hybrid formats offered as part of graduate and undergraduate film and video programs.

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Online Courses in Cinematography

The following is a sample online courses in cinematography commonly offered by film degree programs.

  • Digital Cinematography Course: Students are trained in the techniques used in digital filmmaking, digital technology and special effects. Additional topics include formatting, composition, manipulation and video editing tools. Students need video capabilities to view film clips and pre-recorded demonstrations.
  • Cinematography Course: This cinematography course introduces students to the tools used in standard cinematography including 16mm and 35mm cameras, as well as lighting equipment. Students are trained in the proper techniques for shooting film including current trends in camera systems, lenses, negatives, lab procedures and filters. This course may require on-campus participation to complete group projects.
  • Filmmaking Techniques Course: A filmmaking techniques course introduces students to all the aspects of surrounding the creation of films. This includes cinematography, visual design, editing and sound. Students hone analytical development of technical and artistic filmmaking through online assignments and discussions. This course also instructs students on the business aspects of filmmaking such as finance, advertising and distribution.
  • Cinematographic Lighting Course: In this course students will gain an introductory understanding of the basic principles of lighting for film. Topics may range from light placement to contrast and light diffusion. Students may experiment through hands-on experience filming in black and white. Courses will also cover important industry safety practices for using high heat lighting and electrical equipment.
  • Screenwriting Course: This course will teach students about the necessary skills for writing a successful screenplay. Topics include character development, dialogue, story structure and narrative style.
  • Directing Course: In this course, students will examine various responsibilities for directors, such as casting and film production. Additional areas of study include camera angles, communication skills, and teamwork.

Program Information

Hybrid cinematography programs allow students to view lectures and complete assignments online; however, they will come to the school for video labs and/or projects. Some courses, like screenwriting courses and introductory film editing software workshops, may be available in fully online formats. In addition to an Internet connection and computer, some programs require students to have access to specific technical equipment and software to complete coursework, such as video cameras. Students taking online courses should check with the school to find out if they need any specific equipment. Certificate programs are available online, as well as bachelor's degrees.

Online courses in cinematography are available via certificates, bachelor's degrees and standalone classes. Students will study screenwriting, techniques in filmmaking and digital cinematography, among other topics.

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