Online Film Director Courses and Classes Overview

Jul 18, 2018

Online courses for prospective film directors are rare, but a few schools offer them through departments of film, cinema, theatre, or television. They generally cover topics like script analysis and introductory screenwriting.

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Online Film Director Courses

Aspiring film directors can find a number of online film director courses offered at various colleges and universities as part of their film programs.

  • Acting and Directing Course: This course covers basics of directing, such as auditions, casting, callbacks, and rehearsals. Particular attention is paid to the directing process, including analyzing the script.
  • Directing Fundamentals Course: Students explore the role of film directors through this online course. They gain an understanding of the director's relationship to creative aspects of a film. Students often apply what they've learned through video assignments.
  • Analysis of the Script Course: This course deconstructs the storytelling process in film and teaches students to understand key elements, such as character, dialogue, and setting. Students learn to analyze screenplays, in part, by watching films.
  • Introduction to Screenwriting Course: Students learn the fundamentals of producing a screenplay while exploring the creative writing process. They gain an understanding of concepts like character development and visual elements.
  • Planning and Producing Independent Features Course: This course focuses on independent film production, with an emphasis on creativity, budgeting, and staying organized as an independent producer.
  • Great Directors Course: In this course, students learn about the work of critically acclaimed film directors. They analyze the style of each director, which may be helpful as they develop their own artistic approach to film directing. Directors covered may include Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, Akira Kurasawa, and Woody Allen.
  • Professional Practice Course: This course covers the business and legal concerns that must be considered when working as a film director. Relevant topics include project financing, intellectual property protections, contract negotiations, and relationships between cast and crew members.

Program Information

Prospective film directors can find majors like cinema, film production, or film and television helpful in learning the craft of film direction. However, the programs tend to be extremely hands-on and require the use of expensive equipment. Some schools do offer online stand-alone courses and certificate programs in film studies, as well as fully online degree programs at the associate, bachelor's, and master's degree levels. These programs are less about production, instead offering instruction on film history, screenwriting, genres, and motion picture theory, though some more technical courses will require purchasing software like Final Cut Pro, or hardware like video cameras and sound equipment.

To prepare for professional success as a film director, individuals can take online courses that cover key filmmaking topics, often within broader film studies programs. Undergraduate-level courses are available for beginners, but there are also graduate-level offerings for individuals with previous film education and experience.

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