Film & TV

Closing Thoughts

Aaron Sorkin

Lesson time 14:46 min

In the final lesson, Aaron offers his parting wisdom and leaves you with one more assignment that will last the rest of your life.

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Aaron Sorkin
Teaches Screenwriting
Aaron Sorkin teaches you the craft of film and television screenwriting.
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So the good news is that you, none of you, none of the five of you are fooling yourselves. You are all professional writers. You're very good. Even better news is, is that as a writer you get, it's the opposite of being an athlete, you get better as you get older. Not just because you've lived more, but it's practice. You've done it a lot, and you've found your voice. You've found your stride. And you know what works for you and what doesn't. Now, you have to get used to tuning out other voices. OK, as a writer, whether you're writing a 30-minute TV show, a 60-minute TV show, or a screenplay, in this day and age, and I mean because of social media, you're going to hear from a lot of people. And what you don't want to do is to try to write in order to change someone's mind. OK? Let's say this show is on the air, or your show is on the air, and three or four episodes in. And you're reading a critic, whether it's the New York Times or Dumbo at dumbo.com, has a problem with your script. There is a very human instinct to write the next episode trying to address that person's concerns. It's going to be a fool's errand. First of all, it is impossible to try to-- it's impossible to make everybody happy who is watching your thing. Second of all, Dumbo at dumbo.com doesn't know what they're talking about, OK? That's why they write a blog and you write what you write. You've got to have Corey-level of confidence in yourself. Now, that's not to say that you should tune our voices of people you trust. Hopefully, you're working with a director who's a real partner, or a producer who's a real partner. Hopefully, you have friends in your life. You just need one, two, three who you can show the pages to and they'll be encouraging and honest. When you're doing that, it's helpful if you ask them questions, rather than just giving pages and saying, well, what did you think? OK. Ask questions like, did you get it? Did you understand this and this and this? Did you feel anything when this happened? And then the final piece of wisdom I want to impart to you. I know that you guys are living in a tricky area that exists between-- listen. I'm Basically, you guys want to be professional writers, right? You want to pay your bills writing. That is your goal right now. I caught a lucky break. I never had to write anything for someone else. I never had to be a staff writer on a television show I didn't really like. But I could do the work and get a paycheck. And I was a professional writer. My first play was A Few Good Men. Like I said, it was a fluke. It opened on Broadway. I was brought out to Los Angeles to turn it into a movie. That was a hit, and from then on I just got paid to write what I wanted to write. Careers generally don't happen like that. So I don't blame you for if you have-- for tryi...


Your script starts here.

Aaron Sorkin wrote his first movie on cocktail napkins. Those napkins turned into A Few Good Men, starring Jack Nicholson. Now, the Academy Award-winning writer of The West Wing and The Social Network is teaching screenwriting. In this class, you’ll learn his rules of storytelling, dialogue, character development, and what makes a script actually sell. By the end, you’ll write screenplays that capture your audience’s attention.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I left this class feeling like I could really do this. His advice wasn't just on story but also personal advice on ways to not give up as a writer .

I liked the structure and the way Mr Sorkin with his true feeling tried to pass the info. Personally learnt a lot. Thank You

Aaron Sorkin is a master at his craft and at the same time an amazing teacher. This course has enriched my writing and has given me the confidence to write and write in my own voice. I would recommend this class to anyone own wants to be a screenwriter or who is already a screenwriter.

I like many, love Aarons Sorkin's works and I have been inspired by this class. Now that I have watched the entire class I will go back to the beginning and start over to write my screenplay​.


Comments

Tiffany H.

I really did enjoy the advice that Mr. Sorkin gave us in this webinar. 1. "There will be many days of not writing." 2. "Write like yourself." 3. "Be mindful of who you listen to." These are just a few things that I took from this and will be applying for future reference.

A fellow student

I've noticed that the numbers at the start of videos have been jumping. This one is 35, yet there are only 13 lessons? I am wondering where the other lessons are.

Joey C.

I'm either really tired or there are no videos of Aaron with the group of young writers. I can't find them anywhere. Can someone help me? Are there videos in his lesson of Aaron teaching the group of five writers?

Susan P.

Loved it! Susan Purvis, author of Go Find. I'm working on a screenplay from book to motion picture for Go Find. I need Aaron's help.

A fellow student

Very disappointed the scenes from the trailer, where Sorkin was working with the students were not in the actual class. I think that breaks a cardinal rule of movie making - if it's in the trailer it had better be in the movie dammit!!!

A fellow student

This entire Masterclass was full of tips and tricks that writers can utilize to set themself up for success. To reflect on my biggest take away was when Aaron spoke about being physical when writing scenes and dialogue. I think it is easy to play out things in your head but actually taking the time to act them out yourself, say the lines, experience what you are creating is such a powerful tool to truly create a compelling script. I look forward to utilizing this lesson moving forward and the many others I have taken from Aaron. I will absolutely revisit this Masterclass in the future. Thank you, Aaron, for sharing your knowledge with us.

Katrina V.

This was an amazing and very informative masterclass. The in-depth knowledge gained from Mr. Aaron Sorkin really helped me to better understand the technicalities of screenplay writing. To see how everything unfolds in the writer's room and the examples given were very insightful. This is a class that I will be sure to revisit.

A fellow student

I found Aaron Sorkin to be tremendously informative, insightful and inspiring. I wish I had him for a teacher in school! I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to hear him explain his work on "The West Wing," taking us from his head and onto the screen. The segments in the "writers' room" were excellent examples and a real lesson in brainstorming ideas. His passion for the craft is truly contagious. I will surely be watching this class again!

Praytell P.

I loved it and totally agree with the comments below. Thanks for keeping it real.

Pete T.

Aaron Sorkin's Masterclass was one of the best learning experiences of my life. I was genuinely emotional when I got to the end and want to watch it all over again straight away. Such a warm, funny, inspiring, humble and supremely talented writer, it was an honour to spend some time in Aaron’s (virtual) company and to learn from his wisdom, knowledge and experience.