From Aaron Sorkin's MasterClass

Closing Thoughts

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

Topics include: Aaron's final advice

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

Topics include: Aaron's final advice

Aaron Sorkin

Teaches 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.

The course gave me deeper knowledge of drama, biographical stories and some pretty valuable finger-work. It also gave me emotional support which proved for me that I'm not alone with my doubts of myself, my talent and my writing process.

The class had lots of helpful content. I admire the West Wing but there are so many great scenes I wish he had not kept using the same examples. For example, the scene with the candidate and President in the theatre .

I have learned collaboration outweighs pride. If Aaron can collaborate with a writing team then I should also take in the feedback and advice of others too!

Compelling insight on how one executes an idea

Comments

A fellow student

Everything was helpful and good. Its informative and its a thing of practice and dedication

Percival I.

Great stuff! Very informative perspective on the creative aspect of story telling from the vantage point of the writers.

Francine B.

Just listen was exceptional! After just finishing my first screenwriting course this all rang so true, and I wish I had our brilliant writer/ extraordinary expert in my back pocket when I was writing my first screenplay! But, now I feel like I do... So thank you so very, very, very much, and continued phenomenal success to you, Mr.Sorkin... Or should I call you Professor Sorkin?

Ariana K.

Powerful and practical insights into so many areas of filming as well as scriptwriting. Write for yourself is so encouraging....The temptation to pander can cloud a good story. Thank you.

Keny L.

Thank you Aaron and thanks to Mastesclass for this opportunity. I really learned a lot from you.

Jerry B.

Great class; by an incredible writer with great vision and vast industry wisdom. I Learned many things; and thought provoking- and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

glenn B.

My bad idea: A vote is taken to launch a strike(against whomever). It's unaminous. An agent walk in an whispers in the interim presidents ear. Seems a couple of loser hoods got lucky and kidnapped the daughter and held her in the back of a muffler shop. Figured they could make an easy 25 million ransom. A jailhouse snitch gave them up for a get out of hsil free card.

glenn B.

Best class I've taken so far. The effort put into this is obvious. I see why he's successful. Glenn

Keiran G.

Excellent class. He took the time to teach, as if he actually cares about us - the faceless students- learning new skills, and to show his concepts in real world application at the writing table. I learned and I enjoyed it! Thank you Aaron Sorkin.

Jorge B.

Just amazing class, Aaron is a really good teacher ,loved the class, the tips, all the info and the worth in failure. He gives you the confidence to try and do things outside the box, don´t do what is easy, don´t do only the things you think are your safe zone. Get out, go out, don´t try to impress do your stuff your style. Really motivated and thankful! bravo!!!