The Only Online Documentary Filmmaking Courses You Need

Looking for documentary filmmaking courses? While most of the documentary film schools will stretch the studies for three or four years, here are two documentary filmmaking courses, that will teach everything you need to know. If you want to master documentary filmmaking, you should learn documentary filmmaking from the masters of the genre. In these courses, not only you learn from those who really “made it”, but you’ll also be able to do it in your own time. These courses are teaching everything you need to know to start working in the documentary industry. You’ll learn stuff like:

  • choosing the right story
  • writing treatments and pitches
  • getting funds for your films
  • Building a strong structure for your story
  • working with archives
  • Writing a documentary script
  • the art of conducting an interview
  • creating a shooting strategy
  • using the visual techniques
  • Recording on set
  • video Editing for the documentary
  • and really to understand what it takes to become a documentary filmmaker

So here are the only documentary filmmaking courses you need to learn:

Werner Herzog Teaches Filmmaking

Werner Herzog is known for films like Fitzcarraldo, Even Dwarfs Started Small, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and many more. This course is an inspiring peek into his head and the process of bringing ideas to life through every step of filmmaking: storytelling, cinematography, location scouting, and documentary interview techniques. He also talks about self-financing, which I know is important to many of you. 

Ken Burns Teaches Documentary Filmmaking

Ken Burns is mostly known for his archive film (Apple even named their Pn & Zoom effect in their editing software after him). This course is an excellent opportunity to get to know this special director closely. Still, this course will teach you everything from how to find exciting stories, how to build a narrative, how to work with an archive, and how to turn your filmed subjects into exciting characters on a narrative level and more practical stuff like how to track an interviewee and matters of lighting, music, sound design, editing, sound and more. T
his is a course of 26 lessons (five hours of video). Who work in combination with a 156-page illustrated workbook.

I do have to say that I earn an affiliate commission from MasterClass (that’s the only way I can make some money to write more free lessons), but I promise you I wouldn’t recommend anything on this website, that won’t be perfect for you. If you are serious about becomming a documentarist filmmaker, these courses are a must.

Also Check out our Free Documentary Filmmaking Lessons

The first movies ever made are considered documentary films since all they did was capturing short snippets of real-life events. For example, there were movies about a boat pulling up to the dock, workers leaving a factory.  This free online documentary filmmaking course’s mission is to help young aspiring filmmakers to actually build careers in filmmaking without having a big-budget film.

The Documentary genre has involved dramatically over the last 10 years and they are considered as the most powerful art forms of this century. In today’s world, documentary films have been much more commercially promising. Filmmakers like Michael Moore, Morgan Spurlock, and others changed the way we all view the documentary field. In addition, documentary filmmakers have many more platforms to show their films.  

Although the documentary deals with the real world and not an imagined one like in fiction films, the separation between fiction and the documentary is becoming less obvious. there are more and more documentaries that use scripts, staging, and even acting. Still, the documentary’s job is to convey they are dealing with real-life snd it gets that by using all kinds of documentary convections such as using non-actors,  voice-overs, shooting in real locations.  In this documentary filmmaking course, you will learn the production process of documentary filmmaking, the language of documentary films, how to make a documentary film script, the history of the genre, and more. 

Our Online Documentary Filmmaking Course

Documentary Filmmaking: – Introduction

This is my first lesson in the documentary film course. I’m going to give you some basic guidelines and tips that will help you get started with the world of documentary filmmaking.

How To Find Your Inner Voice?

Every documentary film needs to have his own truly unique and original voice. Before you’ll find your documentary’s voice, you need to first find your own true voice. Your voice is something you can’t be copied from anyone else and no one can copy it from you. In this documentary lesson, I will tell you how to do just that

Documentary Interview Techniques

The interview is not just to bring some facts into the subject, but also a perspective and a point of view. In this lesson, I’ll bring you a complete guide to everything you need to consider when shooting a documentary interview

shooting documentary

4 Tips You Must Know About Documentary Filmmaking

In this documentary filmmaking lesson, I will give a few tips every documentary filmmaker in the digital age should take into consideration. We are going to talk about, what does it take to become a documentary filmmaker, basic ideas on distribution, how to communicate with your audience and more

book reading

Documentary Storytelling

Every documentary film has to have a good story. Not only an interesting one but one that will move your audience. In this free documentary lesson, I will give you a few key points to do that.

doing a research

Documentary Research

The documentary research is the shield that the documentary film is based on. In this article, I will teach you all the method for a documentary research you need to know

Documentary Filmmaking History – Part I

To develop the documentary filmmaker’s mindset, it is important to know the evolution of documentary filmmaking and how it affected society. This is the first part of 2 parts documentary lessons on the history of the documentary genre.

comedy scene

Documentary Filmmaking History – Part II

This is the second part lesson about the history of documentary films. No one can finish a documentary filmmaking course without knowing the Cinema Verite and the Direct Cinema- two of the most important genres in the documentary field.