Where Can I Find Free Online Cinematography Courses?

Online cinematography courses are available at universities such as Yale University and the University of North Carolina's School of the Arts. The information provided from these resources is always available. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Cinematography is more than on-screen magic. It's the combination of lighting techniques, video manipulation, set design, sound editing and much more. If you're interested in learning about the methods used to capture your favorite film scenes, these universities offer free online tutorials and guides on the many aspects of cinematography. To complete these courses and tutorials, you'll typically need a PDF reader, Microsoft Word and a media player.


Yale University

Yale offers a film analysis via its own website. This free tutorial discusses cinematography and film studies on a series of Web page chapters with embedded photos and media files.

What Topics Are Included?

The main categories include basic film studies terms, editing, sound and general cinematography. The mise-en-scene category includes sections on décor, lighting and costume considerations. The sound category discusses sound editing, source and quality.

What Materials Will I Need?

You will need an updated Web browser capable of displaying the tutorial's embedded film stills. You will also need a browser plug-in, such as Windows Media Player, to view the downloadable film clips. Access to the movies listed as examples may be helpful, but is not required to use the tutorial.

How Will These Materials Help Me?

The tutorial's film clips allow you to review a specific cinematography technique or method. The materials also cover film studies concerns, allowing you to broaden your knowledge of the subject.

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

The University of North Carolina's School of Filmmaking provides course materials on the fundamentals of cinematography. Offered in both Portable Document Format (PDF) and Microsoft Word files, these materials discuss a wide range of cinematography topics.

What Topics Are Included?

These free course materials cover the fundamentals of cinematography in addition to professional production and camera equipment training. You can read about basic film studies terminology, lighting basics, camera components and more. A handbook of production safety protocols is also included.

What Materials Will I Need?

The materials are available in two formats, so you will need a program capable of displaying either PDF files or Microsoft Word documents. You will also need an updated Web browser to view lessons with embedded image files.

How Will These Materials Help Me?

Both of the available file formats combine information, step-by-step instructions and illustrations to help you understand, memorize and apply the cinematography techniques described during the course. You could use the materials as a reference or study guide if you are a student, or as a means of exploring the field for free, without committing to a degree program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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