Conservation Filmmaking 101

Master how to make a film from start to finish.

Learn exactly how to craft powerfully moving films that create conservation impact – without the confusion of where to begin, frustration over what to capture, or overwhelm of how to put all the pieces together.

Before we dig into everything this in-depth online course has to offer, let’s talk about who this is really for…


You’re a photographer who understands that video skills are a must-have, and you’re eager to make the leap into filmmaking.

You know that mastery of video alongside your existing photography skills will make you orders of magnitude more desirable by clients and editors alike, opening up amazing opportunities you’re excited to pursue.

And you also know that video will breathe fresh life into your conservation visual storytelling projects, making them more dynamic and compelling.

You can’t wait to bring the one-two punch of stills and film to your next endeavor, and know you just need a solid how-to guide from an expert to get you where you want to go with filmmaking.


Whether you’re…

✔︎ a dedicated volunteer excited to make films that matter to the causes you care most about, boost what you can offer to the organizations you love to work with, and elevate your skills as a creative explorer

✔︎ a semi-professional ready to make the big leap into filmmaking so that you can make dynamic, visually compelling projects that truly move the needle on conservation all while shining a spotlight on your talents and building your portfolio

✔︎ a professional looking to branch out into a new creative realm so that you can make a far bigger impact for your clients, be more competitive for job opportunities, and bring in fresh revenue streams to your business

…you’re in the right place to learn filmmaking! Here’s how this course will give you the tools you need to craft festival-worthy films starting today.

By the end of this course, you will have…


Decided what kind of film

you’re creating and what kind of impact you want your film to have on audiences. Whether it’s a 1-minute awareness message, a 5-minute short, or even an ambitious feature-length film, you’ll know how to get all “big picture” decisions made up front.



Discovered a compelling idea

for a conservation-oriented film that you can begin right away. You’ll get the guidance to overcome the biggest stumbling block: honing your idea from a topic into a clear story, complete with a narrative arch and characters.



Mapped out your strategy

 to go from all those brilliant creative visions caught in your head to beautiful visuals captured in your camera. You’ll know exactly which steps to take and in what order to build your plan and move from concept to action.



Learned essential camera settings

 that help you capture the best possible clips for your film, including stable footage and high quality sound, so you have a professional look to your entire film. It doesn’t matter if you’re using your phone and a low-cost microphone, or a pro-level kit. You’ll learn the fundamentals for any camera you’re using.



Mastered Shooting techniques

for capturing beautiful clips in any situation. You’ll learn how to compose your frames, follow action, capture interviews, and more. Plus you’ll learn tricks for adding soul and extra oomph to your film, including setting a solid pace for your film and adding the finishing touches for that professional look.



Finished a film that you can show to the world

to show the world! Whether it is a motion reel to use on your website, a short film on a conservation topic, or even a feature length film, you’ll build something you’re proud to premiere. And most importantly, you’ll have all the skills (and motivation!) you need to dive into your next project, and next, and next…


But most importantly…


Conservation Filmmaking 101 gives you the confidence to finally make the leap from a sideline dreamer uncertain about how to get started with video, to a skilled visual storyteller who uses motion to capture the hearts and minds of people.


Whether crafting inspiring shorts for websites and social campaigns, or producing festival-worthy films that drive conservation movements forward, you’ll learn exactly how to make films that leave audiences changed for the better.

This self-paced online course is designed for your ongoing success.

Unlike most programs that have a start and end date, you get to choose your own pace.

And with lifetime access, this course keeps on going!!

Growing up on nature documentaries, you know that films are a powerful tool (dare we say the most powerful) to captivate audiences and create change.


From feature-length films that shake up our culture to 30-second shorts that dramatically influence purchasing habits, well-made films alter the path of human behavior.

You feel the creative call to craft films of your own.


Yet, does any of this sound familiar…

🙁  Every time I switch my camera to video mode, all I can focus on is everything I’m doing wrong

😩   I love grabbing video footage of what’s going on around me, but I have no idea how to put it all into an actual story with, like, a plot and everything

 😳   I see behind-the-scenes pictures of filmmakers, and it all looks so complicated and expensive. I just want to find a way to start simple… and I worry that doesn’t exist.

 😖   I know there’s so much I don’t know about what goes into making a film, and that thought keeps me from ever bothering to get started… but I really do want to make films

If you want to expand your skills into the wide world of moving images and create beautiful, conversation-provoking films, then you likely already know that a program that walks you step-by-step through the filmmaking process will fast-track your progress.


Here’s what you might not know…


Even if you already have the know-how for capturing video footage, those clips just don’t cut it. Understanding how to tell stories through the medium of filmmaking will…


>> Put you in high demand for projects and assignments

Anyone can press record. Not just anyone knows what to record, why it needs to be part of the story, and how to piece footage together into a powerful whole.

That’s what visual storytellers accomplish, and that’s what editors, producers and clients alike want when they’re looking for the perfect person to work with.

Knowing the skills of both still photography and filmmaking makes you orders of magnitude more attractive as a creative collaborator.


>> Bring a greater level of attention and buzz to any conservation story or project

Filmmaking isn’t just about making stand-alone movies. The skills come into play in many exciting ways for storytelling and creating multiple ways for people to understand and connect with your project.

From micro-films and mini-stories made for social media, to engaging reels that draw viewers into and through informative websites for science communication or advocacy, filmmaking skills open up new avenues to reach wider audiences and make more substantial impacts for conservation with your project.


>> Push you to think bigger and bolder when it comes to your own conservation projects

Once you add the art of filmmaking to your toolkit, you’ll say goodbye to old limitations of project deliverables. Now you’ll go beyond – way, way beyond – a simple portfolio of still images and dream big.

Perhaps your latest project is best told as a feature-length film that runs alongside a gallery exhibit. Or, could your project use an interactive website with short videos guiding viewers through a choose-your-own-adventure learning experience? Maybe an urgent issue needs an engaging social media campaign encouraging people to act, thanks to a series of mini-movies.

The sky is the limit, and the skills of filmmaking allow you to break down barriers and explore the possibilities of being a powerfully creative visual storyteller.

If you’re ready to go beyond snagging some B-roll that sits in purgatory on your hard drives, and start creating world-changing films and documentaries (all while avoiding the time-suck of half-answers dug up in Google searches and YouTube streams…)


Here’s how we’ll get you there… 



Conservation Filmmaking 101

Module 1

Begin the adventure! This module is all about crafting the foundations of your film project.

You’ll learn:

✅ How to shift your creative thinking from still photography into moving-images mode

✅ Which photography habits you need to break, and which you need to bolster

✅ Types of films you can make – and which you’ll create for your first film!

✅ How to create and set goals for your film’s impact

✅ The time-tested strategy for organizing your film, from idea to final cut

Module 2

Find your solid story idea and develop the characters who will drive the plot forward.

You’ll Learn

✅ How to go from the big idea of a topic, to a clear, focused story

✅ The art of crafting your film’s premise and honing an amazing hook

✅ Strategies to identify and develop your film’s characters

✅ How to create a story arch that keeps viewers riveted to the screen

Module 3

Get ready for filming! Gather your tools, your gear, and set your logistics.

You’ll Learn

✅ How to plan out shot lists for the different types of visuals needed

✅ Top strategies for essential preparation, including pre-interviews and scouting

✅ Putting together a great kit, whether it is super simple and streamlined or pro-level gear with some bells and whistles

✅ How to plan your logistics so that you capture everything you need in the time you have available

Module 4

Start rolling! Get behind the camera and capture the frames and clips you need to build your film.

You’ll Learn

✅ The essential camera settings you need to know to capture professional-quality footage (and how to avoid the big oopsies that leave you with unusable clips)

✅ How to capture high quality sound to pair with your visuals

✅ The essential skills for shooting so you capture those must-have moments with smoothness (and the lesser known tricks for filming that’ll make editing easier)

✅ Top strategies for high-quality video interviews with characters

✅ How to stay on track in the field so you wrap up on time and with everything you need in the can

Module 5

Put it all together into one beautiful finished film.

You’ll learn:

✅ How to organize allllllllll that footage so that you can actually find what you need when you need it, now and in the future

✅ The art of scripting so that your film has a narrative flow

✅ How to lay out the visuals with creativity and originality so that your script comes to life

✅ The process of building drafts of your film, and fine tuning the details

✅ How to add finishing touches that turn the awesome dial up to 11

✅ Exporting your film so that you can <GASP!> premiere it to the world!

When you enroll now, you’ll also receive these value-packed bonuses

Lifetime Course Access

Once you enroll, the course materials are yours for life. And, every time this course is revised, expanded or improved, you will get those updates free of charge for as long as this courses exists.

Academy Access

Once you’re a student, you’re part of the Academy family. You’ll be invited to special student-only events, pop-up workshops and other exclusive learning experiences.

Value: $197

Bonus Course: How to Make a Pitch Video

Build buzz and gain support for your visual storytelling project before you’ve even gotten past the idea stage.

Making a pitch video to explain your film project to audiences can help you gain the attention and support of major editors, stakeholders and supporters. Basically, your project can get lift-off before you even begin making frames.

The simple yet incredibly powerful pitch video helps you open professional and creative doors like no other tool can do.

And in this BONUS training, Morgan walks you through how to accomplish a pitch video for your project.

You’ll learn:

  • Why a pitch video is a tool to consider crafting (even if it is a bit time-intensive to build)
  • How to dream up what goes into your pitch video
  • How to put the pieces together to engage audiences
  • And exactly how to put your video to work for you at every opportunity

Value: $197

Bonus Course: Film Distribution Basics

After your film is finished, there’s so many options for how to get it out into the world. From websites to film festivals, from social media launches to premiere events. There’s a cornucopia of possibility. You need a guide that lays out those possibilities and provides insights for navigating them. This course walks you through ways you can distribute your film, and what materials you need to have in place no matter what your launch plan may be. 

This bonus training guides you through:

  • How to evaluate different ways to show your film (and decide which makes the most sense for your particular film)
  • What essential goodies you need to make ahead of time (like movie posters!) so that you have an organized, low-stress experience
  • The fastest way to submit your film to festivals (plus some important etiquette tips!)
  • How to build a festival kit so you are never left scrambling at the last second
  • How to strategize a launch, including planning premieres, generating social media buzz, and making it onto the news junket

Learn from an Award-Winning Conservation Filmmaker

Morgan (Mo) Heim is a full-time professional conservation filmmaker with over 15 years of experience in the field, and many awards and accolades under her belt.

From crafting powerful short films that reach millions of viewers, to feature-length films that set the bar for bringing creativity and joy into conservation films, Morgan knows exactly what it takes to combine the craft of camera work with the skills of storytelling to make something exceptional.

Her film collaborations have appeared in Banff Mountain Film Festival, Adventure Film, Telluride and the International Wildlife Film Festival. In 2016, The Snow Guardian, (which she made while a Producer at Day’s Edge Productions), received second place in the Film4Climate Competition in associate with COP22 and has since gone viral with over 10 million views on National Geographic.

And she is bringing all that experience and knowledge to you through her engaging teaching style and step-by-step video lessons.


14-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Conservation Filmmaking 101 is a course designed specifically with you in mind.

The system has been crafted out of Morgan’s on-the-ground experience as an award-winning full-time professional conservation filmmaker and her years of experience in teaching conservation visual storytelling.

We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’ll get results from this course. But it doesn’t come magically – it requires effort on your part and truly putting in the work that leads to results.

If you enroll in the course, put in the work, and still don’t feel more confident and structured in your filmmaking skills within the first 14 days, we’ll refund you in full. Simply reach out to us with an email, show us the required coursework you’ve completed, and we’ll refund your investment. 

See the risk-free refund details here.


You might be wondering…

How long will it take me to finish the course?

This course is completely self-paced. If you’re super ambitious, you can complete the video trainings in a weekend. Or, you can move through the course more slowly, implementing the exercises as you complete each lesson.

The great thing is you have this course for life, and there’s no such thing as falling behind.

If you’re wondering, “Do I really have time to do this?” here’s what I can tell you….

It’s a whole lot easier to accomplish big things when you aren’t wasting that beautiful, precious time trying to piece-meal together a DIY how-to plan for your filmmaking goals.

​This course is built to fit into ANY schedule.

You have 24/7 lifetime access to the training videos and exercises, which you can complete at your own pace.

If it’s possible to carve out 1-2 hours per week to dedicate to your film journey, then it’s possible to complete this course and get your films into the world. 

Do I need a fancy camera or special gear?

Nope! You’re a photographer, so you already own a camera of some kind. That’s the main thing you need to get started. YAY!

Inside the course, Morgan outlines several levels of “kit” you can work with, including if you simply have a smart phone with video capabilities.

Nothing fancy is required to take this course and be successful in making a film.

But, if you want to kick it up a notch, this course outlines several types of kits – from simple and streamlined (and very affordable) so you can get started right away, all the way up to a pro’s go-to kit that includes a few bells and whistles.

It’s up to you what type of kit you want to use, how fancy you want to make it. and how much you want to spend on equipment.

No matter what, you’ll be able to get started implementing what you learn in this course using a few simple tools (including the camera you already own).

I've never used a camera before. Does this course teach me how?

Nope, it doesn’t. This course is designed for photographers who have a basic knowledge of using their camera. If you haven’t used a camera before, we suggest checking out some of the many wonderful tutorials available online. You can absolutely use those to learn foundational camera skills alongside the storytelling and filmmaking skills we delve into in this course.

Does this course show me how to navigate camera video settings and editing software programs?

Yes, it does! While it’s beyond (like, way beyond) the scope of this course to dig into all the nitty gritty details of various software programs for editing, Morgan does indeed walk you step-by-step through the basics of camera settings for filmmaking, and the basics of editing in Premiere Pro, which will get your film to the finish line. Follow along, and you’ll learn all you need to edit and export your film!

What if I don't have any ideas for what I want to make a film about?

That is A-OK! You don’t need to come into this course with a set idea for a film. There are tons of examples of inspiring films sprinkled throughout the course that will help guide your creative mind toward possibilities of what you’d like to create. Plus, Morgan walks you through types of films you can make, as well as how to go from topic to story. You’ll likely find you have dozens of ideas for films you want to make by the time you finish Module 1 !

How is this different from other filmmaking courses?

So glad you asked! This is the only online education course that is designed for aspiring filmmakers who want to focus on conservation storytelling.

It also is the only online course that is this jam packed with information that guides you from idea to finished film.

No other program focuses on our niche in this way, let alone has the high level of detail into it.

What if I can’t afford it right now?

Figuring out your budget and knowing if you have the funds to buy this or anything else you want is super important.

We never want anyone to go into debt by buying our courses and programs. If you genuinely can’t afford the cost of the course, then please hold off and save up for it. We’ll be here when you’re ready.

But perhaps it’s something else – not money – holding you back…

Often, the resistance to invest in yourself is based in fear. Fear that you won’t learn the material and use it. Fear that you will learn the material and still suck at this. Fear that you’ll learn the material, be really good at it, but never actually create something and feel like a failure. The list goes on.

We understand those fears (’cause we get them too!). That’s why we’ve built this course to maximize your success.

From how the lessons are structured to be step-by-step, to the extra exercises to help you implement the training, to the self-paced nature of the training, right down to the extra bonuses we’re offering that keep you motivated and moving forward…

… we built it this way because we genuinely want you to be successful.

And a single filmmaking gig – just one gig at the average day rate for a filmmaker – will more than pay for this investment in your training and education.

That goes a long way in putting fear to rest.

So, what if you can’t afford it right now? Well… we believe the real question is: Can you afford NOT to get started on a skill you’re so passionate about learning? We hope the answer to that is no.

Will I get lost in confusing jargon and complicated photography concepts?

We check jargon and intimidation at the door! I’m all about providing actionable information that anyone, at any experience level, can understand and implement. This course is designed to ensure you grasp the information as quickly as possible so you can get out there and do big things.

What if I don't get results?

Conservation Filmmaking 101 is a course that has been designed specifically with you in mind. The system has been crafted out of Morgan’s on-the-ground experience as a full-time conservation photographer AND her experience in teaching conservation visual storytelling. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’ll get results from this course. But results aren’t magical – it takes effort on your part.

If you enroll in the course and put in the required course work, but don’t feel more confident and structured in your filmmaking skills within the first 14 days, we’ll refund you in full. Simply reach out with an email, show the required coursework you’ve completed, and we’ll refund your investment. The details of the risk-free refund is outlined in our Terms of Service.

Sounds amazing - can you remind me what all I get when I enroll?

Absolutely! When you enroll in Conservation Filmmaking 101, you’ll receive 5 modules of training videos and a whole treasure trove of downloadable supplemental resources that go along with each module.

The moment you enroll, you’ll have access to the training platform where a welcome guide is waiting for you so we can get the party started!

But of course there’s a whole lot more that you’ll get alongside this course right now …. Let’s peruse those bonuses again!

Conservation Filmmaking 101 Includes

Full Signature Course with 5 modules of video lessons & a full suite of supplemental materials. Each module includes PDF checklists, worksheets, editable templates, guides, swipe files, and more to keep you on track while offline.

Bonus #1: Lifetime access to the course, including ALL future updates. 

(Value: $799)

Bonus #2: Academy Access for special events and learning experiences 

(Value: $597)

Bonus #3: Film Distribution Mastery course

(Value: $197)

Bonus #4: How to Make a Pitch Video course

(Value: $197)


Total value of what you receive when you enroll is over $1,700

Your investment is less than half of that.

What this course REALLY means for you

Rather than getting excited about an idea only to have the joy fizzle out when you get to the hard parts, you’ll know how to structure your ideas, and your actions, to shoot a story confidently from start to finish. That consistency means momentum.

You’ll pitch film ideas with confidence because you’ll know exactly what it takes to pull off an amazing visual story. No more blank spots in your knowledge bank that hold you back.

You’ll become not just a better filmmaker, but a better visual storyteller, recognizing the most important elements or moments you need and knowing exactly how to capture them on camera.

This course is perfect for you if…

➡︎  You are new to the world of conservation filmmaking and want to start off on the right path 

➡︎  You’ve been dabbling in conservation filmmaking for awhile but haven’t made much progress, and you want to gain traction in how to shoot a complete film from start to finish 

➡︎  You’re ready and willing to put in the time and do the tough work, and you’re game to tackle any hiccups you encounter on the journey 

➡︎  You’ve decided you’re finally ready to stop tinkering and get serious about making a genuine impact with your creative talents, and you know getting serious about filmmaking is the way to do that

➡︎  You’ve worked on making films, but haphazardly and still feel a bit lost in the process. You want to finally get laser focused on how you find, approach and organize your ideas so you finish a film you’re proud of (and can repeat the process again and again) 

➡︎  You’re ready and excited to embrace the title of conservation filmmaker, to lay aside some previously held beliefs or habits in favor of new ones that will help you do the hard yet rewarding work of completing a conservation film you’re proud of

Imagine what it will feel like to hit the play button on a film you dreamed up and crafted piece by piece and your audience sits captivated by the story you care so deeply about telling.


It’s time to make that happen.