5 Online Classes To Take If You Want To Get Into The Movie Business

masterclass deal best online class samuel
Image courtesy of Masterclass

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

* Learn from the best, from the comfort of your own home
* Flexible online classes offering video and peer feedback
* Learn techniques and practical tips for breaking into the business

When asked how to get somewhere in Hollywood, Bette Davis famously replied “take Fountain.” For those dreamers out there looking to make it in metaphorical Hollywood, though, you don’t even have to start local these days. Sure, you might eventually do your career some favors by frequenting LA hot spots, taking meetings with some of Century City’s many talent agents, and working on your screenplay in a Larchmont coffee house, but the first step may be to polish up your skills so your schmoozing has a chance to pay off.

With MasterClass, you can learn online from actual masters of their craft, and develop your ability to deliver a line or an elevator pitch, craft a compelling narrative, frame a shot, and even how to compose a score. MasterClass delivers instruction from some of the most respected luminaries in the business.

The best part? All of these classes can be taken at your own pace, from the comfort of home. And it’s significantly cheaper than signing up for classes IRL. Here are five of the best Masterclass online courses that should be on the short list for Hollywood hopefuls.


1. Filmmaking with Werner Herzog

If you’re a film buff, Herzog needs no introduction. With seventy films to his credit, ranging from philosophical documentaries about prehistoric cave people to the epic Fitzcarraldo , he is uniquely experienced to teach a class focused on maverick independent filmmaking. The class covers topics including cinematography, location scouting, and even financing.

Werner Herzog teaches Filmmaking Courtesy MasterClass


2. Comedy with Judd Apatow

Not only is he a renowned comic and comedy scriptwriter, Judd Apatow has helped launch the careers of seemingly just about everyone making brilliant comedy today, from Lesley Arfin and Gillian Jacobs to Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer. This MasterClass lets you get some online insight from Apatow’s amazing ability to help people find their truest comedy voice.

Judd Apatow teaches Comedy Courtesy MasterClass


3. Writing for Television with Shonda Rhimes

Perhaps best known as the creator of <em>Grey’s Anatomy</em>, Shonda Rhimes is one of the most accomplished show runners in the business. This class helps you learn how to develop your ideas into pitch-ready material. Topics covered range from concepting to research to effective scriptwriting habits.

Shonda Rhimes teaches TV Writing Courtesy MasterClass


4. Acting with Samuel L. Jackson

As a chronic procrastinator, this writer was once told to imagine Samuel L. Jackson appearing and asking you why you’re not working. Are you going to open up social media, stare into space, or are you going to get to work? MasterClass brings that bracing, highly-motivating scenario one step closer to reality. Learn from a true master how to inhabit a character. The class features highly practical exercises as well as theory and inspiration.

Samuel L. Jackson teaches Acting Courtesy MasterClass


5. Film Scoring with Hans Zimmer

The Academy Award-winning composer, Hans Zimmer, known for the unforgettable scores to The Lion King , The Dark Knight  and many more, may have been self-taught, but in this MasterClass, he has much to teach others when it comes to the art of making music for film.

Hans Zimmer teaches Film Scoring Courtesy MasterClass

The Best Online Courses To Try This Month