Buying for a Team? Gift This Course
Wishlisted Wishlist

Please confirm that you want to add Cinematography Course: Shoot Better Video with Any Camera to your Wishlist.

Add to Wishlist

Cinematography Course: Shoot Better Video with Any Camera

Shoot better video by learning the video production techniques used by Hollywood filmmakers. And get paid to do it!
4.3 (564 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
8,755 students enrolled
Last updated 6/2016
English English
$20 $200 90% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 6 Articles
  • 4 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

You want to get better at shooting video, right?

This online Cinematography Course will teach you how to shoot beautiful videos with any camera.

This course is designed to teach you the ins and outs of professional cinematography - the art of making motion pictures. While there are plenty of video courses, it's hard to find a comprehensive course that teaches you everything you'd want to know about shooting video.

This is the course for you, taught by a professional Hollywood cinematographer.

  • Learn the basics of getting great shots with any camera
  • Use the manual settings on your camera to expose your shot properly
  • Learn how to use camera movement to get more impressive shots
  • Light your video sets with traditional filmmaking techniques and lighting setups
  • Become a professional director of photography (cinematographer) with tips on how to find work in the video/film industry
  • Make money shooting videos

Improve Your Video Creation with This Complete Course

What makes us qualified to teach you?

We are Will and Phil, professional cinematographers and video creators. Plus, we're the creator of some of the world's most popular video production courses - with over 150,000 students and thousands of 5-star reviews like these ones from this course:

Everything they are talking about is very clear and easy to understand. The instructors do make anything boring and have really good facts. To me everything about this course was just put together correctly. I would definitely recommend this course to others! - John Tyler Hardin

Great fundamentals, straight forward, professional - Steven Farmer

Excellent course because instructor is very knowledgeable and he explained everything in a very clear English. - Pawan Babbar

Regardless of the type of camera you are using - DSLR, Professional Cinema Camera, GoPro, iPhone, or Film - you can shoot beautiful video. Learn professional techniques that Hollywood filmmakers are using to capture powerful images.

If you want to learn how to shoot great videos and making money doing what you love, this is the course for you.

Our Promise to You

We'll be here for you every step of the way. If you have any questions about the course content or anything related to this topic, you can always post a question in the course or send me a direct message. 

We want to make this the best course on how to shoot better video. So if there is any way we can improve this course, just tell me and we'll make it happen.

Dive Right In

This course dives right into shooting better video with 5 tips for better cinematography. You'll learn the basics of cinematography including choosing the right camera, ISO, frame rate, shutter speed, f-stop/aperture, and lens options.

Learn how to expose your videos properly, including learning the different styles of exposure styles of commercial, TV, and narrative filmmaking.

Learn how camera movement with tripods, handheld, dollys, steadicam systems, and drones can help you take beautiful shots.

Learn how to light your video shots with different styles and lighting kits.

Learn how to work with the producer, director, camera team, grip and electric team, and other departments on a film set.

Learn how to find work as a cinematographer / videographer. Learn how to network, negotiate a good rate, and get jobs.

Start shooting better videos today!

With our 30-day 100% money back guarantee, there is nothing holding you back from jumping in right now and trying the course out.

Go ahead and click the enroll button, and I'll see you in lesson 1!


Phil & Will

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone wanting to shoot better videos with their camera
  • Anyone wanting to make money by shooting videos
  • Anyone wanting to work in the film industry as a cinematographer
  • Anyone wanting to use cameras like a professional cinematographer
  • This course is NOT for people who aren't interested in making better videos
What Will I Learn?
Shoot beautiful video with any camera - from professional cinema to your iPhone
Get paid to shoot video as a cinematographer / videographer
Expose properly with ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture
Light your set like a professional director of photography
Work and navigate a film set
Choose the right tools (camera, lights, stabilization)
View Curriculum
  • Students should know what types of videos they are interested in making.
  • Students do not need a fancy camera to follow along with this course.
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 80 Lectures Collapse All 80 Lectures 03:15:54
Getting Started
5 Lectures 08:08

Welcome to the best online cinematography course. In this video, you'll get to meet Will Carnahan, a professional Hollywood cinematographer with a number of music videos, narrative films, documentaries, commercials, and corporate videos under his belt. Learn what this course is all about!

Preview 01:13

Let's dive right into learning to be a better cinematographer - how to shoot better video. This video tutorial shows you the top five tips for better cinematography. Right off the bat, you'll learn some very crucial tips to shooting better videos.

Preview 01:46

In this cinematography tutorial, let's cover the basics of what a cinematographer (also known as a director of photography) is and does.

Preview 01:05

Here's a quick message from Phil about leaving a review for this course.

Is This a 5-Star Course?

The philosophy of a cinematographer is a great one. This is what Will shares with you in this cinematography course lesson.

Why Should You Become a Cinematographer?
The Camera - Understanding The Basics
11 Lectures 40:23

Welcome to a new section on understanding the basics of the camera. Phil will introduce what you'll be learning in this section.

Intro to Section

Here is a list of equipment that we use every day to make our own videos. Take it as suggested equipment that we love and trust. Of course there are other options out there, but we want to provide some direction to you.

Equipment Suggestions: Camera and Lenses

In this video, Will covers the basics of choosing a camera in terms of film versus digital. While most people will be using digital cameras, it is important to understand the history of film because so much of what we do with digital cameras comes from how we used film cameras.

Choosing a Camera: Digital vs. Film

In this cinematography tutorial, we talk about the difference between DSLR, cinema, and mirrorless cameras. While DSLR cameras like the Canon 5D, Canon 7D, Nikon D800, and others changed the game in terms of taking digital video quality to the next level, now cameras made by Arri, RED, and Sony show the full capabilities of digital cinematography. The new kid on the block is the mirrorless camera like the Sony A7S, which makes shooting in low light possible unlike before.

Choosing a Digital Camera: DSLR vs. Cinema Camera

This cinematography tutorial, we cover video resolution. As cameras get more and more powerful, the resolution of video gets better and better. But better resolution comes with more data and isn't always necessary. After watching this video, you'll know what resolution to choose and why.

What is Video Resolution?

In this cinematography tutorial, we talk about frame rate in the film and digital age. Understanding frame rate will help you get the cinematic quality you want or shoot for slow motion.

What is Frame Rate?

The lens is a very important part of your camera. Using a camera that allows interchangeable lenses like DSLR, cinema, and mirrorless cameras, gives you high quality cinematography with whatever camera you are using. Do you want a prime or a zoom? How does a lens speed affect depth of field? this is all covered in this video.

Choosing a Lens

Since most of us don't shoot on film anymore, we need something to record the digital data that our camera reads. We use memory cards to do this. Memory card type - like SD and CF - and speed is important. We'll cover these topics in this video.

Memory Cards

Throughout this course, we use the term latitude frequently. We'll explain what this means in this video.

What is Latitude?

Welcome to a new exercise lesson. We ask you to take action, which will help you learn. In this exercise, we ask you to put together your camera kit. It doesn't have to be expensive. It just has to be available for you to use for future challenges.

Exercise - Put Together Your Camera Kit

In this bonus lecture, Will goes over a typical cinema digital camera (the Sony FS7) with our friend Caleb who will be using it on a documentary/commercial shoot in Italy. Will goes over the main functions of the camera including all of the manual buttons Caleb will need to know. Now, we know this is a specific camera that most of you will not be using. But we thought it would be interesting for you to see an in depth camera overview. Most of the functions and buttons on this camera will appear on your camera in some shape or form. So try to understand the concepts behind the buttons, rather than just focusing on where the buttons are and if your camera is exactly the same or not. Hope you enjoy!

Bonus Lesson - In Depth Camera Overview with Caleb
Getting the Right Exposure
14 Lectures 35:13
Welcome to a new section on how to expose better video shot manually with any camera. Phil will introduce what you'll be learning in this section.
Intro to Section

This cinematography tutorial covers the basics of exposure. Exposing your footage properly is one of the very first and most important things you'll need to do. So this is a hugely important lesson and section to understand.
How Does Exposure Work?

This cinematography tutorial we continue understanding exposure by learning how choosing a frame rate affects exposure.
How Does Frame Rate Affect Exposure?

In this cinematography tutorial, we learn what ISO is and how it affects your exposure.

What is ISO?

In this cinematography tutorial, we learn what shutter speed is and how it affects exposure.
What is shutter speed?

In this cinematography tutorial, we learn what the aperture is (also known as f-stop and iris), and how this affects exposure.

What is Aperture (aka F-Stop)?

Please take a little break to leave a review for this course. Even though you are still in the middle of the course, we would appreciate a review so that other students can get your initial impressions. You can always change it later! Thanks!

Class Break

Here is a downloadable guide to aperture sizes.

Aperture Chart
2 pages

In this cinematography tutorial, we learn about neutral density (ND) filters, and how you can use them to properly expose in bright situations.
Using Neutral Density (ND) Filters to Cut Down Light

Now you know what ISO, shutter speed, and aperture are, we need to understand how to use your camera to adjust the exposure. In this video, we'll talk about using the waveform and exposure meters.

Reading Exposure with Your Camera: Understanding the Histogram and Light Meters

When you walk onto a set (or anywhere you film), how do you go about adjusting exposure. Here is how!

Putting It All Together: How to Exposure Properly

In this cinematography tutorial, we learn about shooting with color profiles and LUTs - look up tables.
Shooting with Color Profiles and LUTs

In this cinematography tutorial, we talk about shooting RAW video for better color correction.

Shooting in RAW Mode for Best Color Correction

Welcome to a new exercise lesson. We ask you to take action, and practice shooting video in two different situations.

Exercise - Practice Shooting in Two Lighting Scenarios
Composition - Shoot Better Looking Video
7 Lectures 18:40

Welcome to a new section on how to compose a better video shot. Phil will introduce what you'll be learning in this section.

Intro to Section

In this cinematography tutorial, Will teaches you about what composition is. Composition is another key skill for all video creators to have. Let's first learn what composition is.

What is Composition?

In this cinematography tutorial, we show you the different types of shots you can get. It is important to understand the differences, so that you can fully cover a scene with enough footage - whether you are shooting a documentary, wedding, commercial, or narrative.

Types of Shots You Need to Know

In this cinematography tutorial, you'll learn how to get better rack focuses.

Getting Great Rack Focuses

In this cinematography tutorial, Will gives advice on how to get better shots for narrative and commercial videos.

Composing Better Shots for Narrative and Commercial Video

In this cinematography tutorial, Will gives advice on how to get better shots for documentary and event videos.

Composing Better Shots for Documentaries

Here's a little bonus lesson that we shot with a good friend Caleb, a professional film producer who is learning how to be a cinematographer himself. In this video, we get to see Caleb ask Will about a project that he will be working on in the near future.

Bonus Lesson - Tips for Shooting with Caleb
Adding Movement to Your Shots
10 Lectures 18:49
Welcome to a new section on how to add movement to your video shots. Phil will introduce what you'll be learning in this section.
Intro to Section

Here is a list of equipment that we use every day to make our own videos. Take it as suggested equipment that we love and trust. Of course there are other options out there, but we want to provide some direction to you.

Equipment Suggestions: Tripods and Movement

Taking your cinematography skills to the next level includes adding movement to your shots. In this video, Will will share the reasons why this will improve your videos.

Why Should You Add Movement to Your Shots?

In this video lesson, see some great examples of tripod shots to learn how to get better shots with your tripod.

Using a Tripod for Better Video

In this video lesson, see some great examples of handheld shots, and learn how to get better shots of your own.
Better Handheld Shooting

In this video lesson, see some great examples of dolly shots and how to shoot your own.

Using a Dolly for Better Video

In this video lesson, see some great examples of steadicam shots. Systems like the Movi help add high-production value at a cheaper rate.
Stabilizing Your Shots with a Steadicam System Like the Movi

In this video lesson, see some great examples of jib shots, which will make your cinematography top-notch.

Shooting with a Jib

In this video, we'll cover how we use drones as a cinematographer to really boost the quality of your video.

Shooting with a Drone

Welcome to a new exercise lesson. We ask you to take action, practice shooting video with a tripod.
Exercise - Practice Your Camera Moves
Video Lights - The Hardware
10 Lectures 14:39

Welcome to a new section on how video lighting. Phil will introduce what you'll be learning in this section.

Intro to Section

Here is a list of equipment that we use every day to make our own videos. Take it as suggested equipment that we love and trust. Of course there are other options out there, but we want to provide some direction to you.

Equipment Suggestions: Lighting

Lighting is an important part of cinematography. This video shows you why lighting can truly affect your videos.

What is Lighting?

In this cinematography tutorial, we learn about the different types of lights out there in terms of lighting temperatures.

Understanding Color Temperature

Here's a downloadable light temperature chart, so that you can reference what types of lights you are using.

Light Color Temperature Chart
1 page

In this cinematography tutorial, we learn how to set white balance manually and automatically with any camera.
Setting White Balance on Your Camera

Here's a downloadable white balance symbol chart.

White Balance Symbol Chart
1 page

In this cinematography tutorial, we talk about how to power your lights. Wattage, amps, volts - this is all important to understand for cinematographers working on a film set.

Powering Your Lights

In this cinematography tutorial, we look at different types of stands for lights.

Light Stands 101

In this cinematography tutorial, we talk about how to handle lights safely.

Lighting Safety: How to Handle Lights
Video Lighting Techniques and Tips
7 Lectures 15:02

Welcome to a new section on video lighting. Phil will introduce what you'll be learning in this section.

Intro to Section

Now that you've learned about the different types of lights, it's important to learn about why we light.

Why Do We Light?

In this cinematography tutorial, we give you a lighting demonstration that shows you how by just changing the lighting setup of your scene, you can dramatically change the mood of your video. We show you basic three-point lighting for an interview scenario, warm lighting for a commercial or romantic comedy scene, and a darker lighting set up for a scary tension-filled scene.
Lighting Demonstration - What can lighting say?

Here's a downloadable guide to help you remember how to shoot with the 3-point lighting style.

How to Set Up 3-Point Lighting

In this cinematography tutorial, we cover a quick trick to make interviews and any shot of a person look better.
Making Eyes Pop with Lighting

In this cinematography tutorial, Will gives you his top tips for shooting outdoors with natural light.
Tips for Shooting with Natural Light

Welcome to a new exercise lesson. We ask you to take action, practice setting up a 3-point lighting setup.
Exercise - Set Up Three Point Lighting
How to Make Money as a Cinematographer/Videographer
6 Lectures 13:58

Welcome to a new section on how to make money as a cinematographer. Phil will introduce what you'll be learning in this section.

Intro to Section

In this cinematography tutorial, Will Carnahan dives into the top ways that he finds work. These are exact ways that he is doing today to be a successful filmmaker, so listen up and take action!

The Top Ways to Find Cinematography Work

In this cinematography tutorial, we give you advice on how to negotiate a rate. Choosing a rate, especially when starting out as a videographer or cinematographer can be really tough. So use these tips to get started!

How to Negotiate Your Rate

This cinematography tutorial shows you how to get paid with an invoice. We've also included a sample invoice that you can use as a template when starting out.

How to Get Paid with an Invoice

This cinematography tutorial, we talk about taxes - and how important it is to save for taxes as a freelancer.

Understanding Taxes as a Freelancer

This cinematography tutorial covers how to charge as a freelancer - fixed price or hourly?

Preview 04:36
Being On Set
3 Lectures 05:47
This cinematography tutorial, Will talks about what it is like to be on set. What will you be doing? Who will you interact with?
Guide to Being on Set

This cinematography tutorial explains the order of things that happens on set from walking on to rolling camera.
Lights, Camera, Action! Order of Occurrences on Set

This cinematography tutorial gives you tips on how to act on set.
Set Etiquette: How to Act on Set
Taking It to the Next Level
3 Lectures 04:03

It is so important to have your own website and reel to get work. Will and Phil have found the most success by constantly creating videos and posting them online to share with the world. When someone is thinking about hiring you, they should ask for your website and/or video reel. So please take the time to create a beautiful website and reel of your own.

Creating an Amazing Website and Reel

This cinematography tutorial, we talk about why networking is key. And speaking of networking, going to film festivals is a big part of networking as a cinematographer because that is where you will find directors and producers to work with.

Going to Film Festivals

Working for free might be the best way to kickstart your cinematography/videography career. But there are a few things to keep in mind if you do so. Learn more in this tutorial.

Doing Work for Free
2 More Sections
About the Instructor
4.5 Average rating
16,387 Reviews
219,958 Students
68 Courses
Best Selling Instructor, 215,000+ Students

My passion is inspiring people through online courses. I love learning new skills, and since 2012 have been teaching people like you everything I know. Through my online learning business, Video School Online, I create courses that teach you how to become the better version of yourself with all kinds of skills.

What would you like to learn?

Would you like to make money teaching online courses?

Would you like to build your own 6-figure business?

Would you like to learn motion graphics in After Effects?

Would you like to learn how to shoot & edit videos like a pro?

Would you like to take better photographs?

Would you like to design better presentations, create a great resume, colorize black & white photographs, brew beer, adopt a cat, edit photos in Lightroom, launch a freelance career?

If you want to do any of these things, just enroll in the course. You have a 30-day money back guarantee if you don't like it. And I'm always improving my courses so that they stay up to date and the best that they can be. Check them out, and enroll today!


I've always tried to live life presently and to the fullest. Some of the things I love to do in my spare time include mountain biking, nerding out on personal finance, traveling to new places, watching sports (huge baseball fan here!), and sharing meals with friends and family. Most days you can find me spending quality time with my lovely wife and our cat.

In 2011, I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television Production at Loyola Marymount University - one of the top 10 film schools in the country. While there, I was fortunate to make documentaries in Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, and India. After graduating, I worked at Participant Media shooting and editing short-form documentaries for their website TakePart. I followed that stint with a contract at Stanbridge College where I discovered online learning. I helped pioneer their online school there. Most recently, I spent 2 years working at University of California Berkeley with the media team. Throughout this time I built my Video School Online brand to teach others the skills that I have. In May of 2015, I left the 9-5 world to make my own path. Since then, I've made more money, worked fewer hours, and only have done the things I love each day.

I want to show you how to be a better creator, make money from your creations, and live the life you dreamed of.

4.4 Average rating
1,197 Reviews
17,777 Students
5 Courses
Photographer/ Cinematographer

Will Carnahan grew up in Southern California. After spending every hour he could in the darkroom at Highschool playing with film, Will went on to earn a B.A. from The University of California Riverside in Film and Visual culture. At UCR he became a staff photographer for the schools newspaper, covering sporting events, concerts, and local news. In late 2006 Will and his friend Ryan started a photography company focusing on weddings, events, and their love for photography.

In 2007 Will continued on to Loyola Marymount University, earning an M.F.A. in Film and Telivision Production. While still shooting headshots, weddings, and events on the side, he focused on Cinematography. The years between 2007-2010 were an exciting time for film makers as it saw the first heavy transition from emulsion to digital. Having a base education in film exposure and a practical education in digital media allowed Will to excel as a cinematographer while in grad school. He went on to earn LMUs Panavision Cinematography award in 2008 and 2010.

Graduating in 2010, Will started freelancing as a Cinematographer, camera operator, and photographer. With heavy expirence in 16mm and 35mm film will transitioned into 4k cinema and up using REDs, Arri systems, and other cameras to take on Hollywood. The first few years of freelance saw Will shooting Music videos, short films, 2nd unit features, commercials, and web content.

Late in 2011 Will got a job shooting a web commercial for Disney Interactive. Since then he has been shooting consistently for Disney, shooting commercials for the parks and resorts as well as Disney channel, ESPN, and the Muppets.

Will Call Cinematic was established in 2013 as Will and his business partner and friend built a Production company to accommodate their freelance work along with some notable corporate clients. Through Will Call Will and Sam direct and produce video content for companies like Ghirardelli Chocolate, Diesel films and Nike, Whitney Eve Clothing, PredPol, and many others. With Sam and Will being cinematographers, Will Call gives them a hub for equipment rentals, music video production, and photography.

Today Will continues to freelance as a cinematographer and photographer, shooting and directing mostly commercial content and weddings.

Report Abuse