Chapter 16 of 35 from Aaron Sorkin

Group Workshop: From Here to Alli by Corey Wright

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After workshopping Corey's script and learning about his background, Aaron discusses the importance of having confidence as a writer, and shares his own origin story, starting with his days as a struggling New York actor.

Topics include: Table read • Script feedback

After workshopping Corey's script and learning about his background, Aaron discusses the importance of having confidence as a writer, and shares his own origin story, starting with his days as a struggling New York actor.

Topics include: Table read • Script feedback

Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting

Aaron Sorkin teaches you the craft of film and television screenwriting in 35 exclusive video lessons.

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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. You’ll learn his rules of storytelling, dialogue, character development, and what makes a script actually sell. By the end, you'll write unforgettable screenplays.

Watch, listen, and learn as Aaron teaches the essentials of writing for television and film.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Aaron will also critique select student work.

Reviews

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

I have learned too much to describe in a single comment box. This was an excellent experience and exactly what I needed at this time in my life. Aaron was extremely open and forthcoming with his knowlwedge and I am grateful that you guys have given me the opportunity to learn from the best. Thank you.

I'd like to know more about "broken already plots." "The plot has already been broken?" Can you say more about this? Thank you.

The dynamic workings of a team of writers. Know your characters, bring them to life by feeling them. Research, prepare, focus. Do study Aristotle's Poetics for a Screenwriter - I do have a copy. :) Thank you, Arron Sorkin. It has been an inspiring joy to follow your Masterclass. Karmen

I think the content was pretty good. Aaron gives some great advice. the lack of interaction from the classmates and comments are pretty disappointing. No real conversation take place in the comments and it seems the trolls come out in full force.

Comments

Judith M.

For some reason that script read in my head more like comedy than drama, and I could see it's potential as a possible sitcom. I have to say that the R-L mispronunciation joke, only works for me in a comedic situation, but that may be because of the difference between Brits and Americans. Otherwise it feels a bit too laboured, and would be better replaced by something that actually made me want to watch the show. I want to be drawn into their world. Sadly after 10 pages I couldn't relate to any of the characters, yet what Corey described as his core theme sounded like something that I'd enjoy. It left me with the feeling that he'd opened too early in the story or could cut some of the dialogue that wasn't essential to the plot.

Maros M.

I enjoyed hearing Corey's story and the way he clinked to writing and kept on and on, despite the missing opportunities. I take this also as an example of persistence and determination which is crucial and always good to hear and remind one self as H.C.Bresson said keep on, on, on...

A fellow student

Gary Thomas, WA Corey Wright has written the pilot to an hour show. It is the story of a few families who are intertwined by vocation and personnel. In the reading of the manuscript there is a joke that Corey has written that he sustains long enough to show his confidence in, and thereby seems to a be a seasoned writer. Aaron identifies enough in Corey's work that he , Sorkin, shares his beginnings. how that in spite of beginning as an actor, discovers his joy to write.

Jennifer

Sorry to disagree with Mr. Sorkin but as others have pointed out, the Lynn- Rinn joke IS racist, and it’s super, super tired. As an Asian American who is always aware of the scant screen time Asians have gotten, I can attest that a high percentage of that time has been taken up by the R v. L thing and mispronunciations in general. Let’s move on people, do your research and create something fresh.

GERALD D.

Not sure HOW to make the action in the script match the time it will take on the screen. For example, if there is a fight scene, do you describe every punch and jab and the reaction of the fighters to each punch and jab or do you write a paragraph saying two characters are fighting then leave half the page blank because you believe it will take 30 seconds of screen time show it?

Abril L.

I just finished reading the script and I have to say that as a native Spanish speaker I'm a little concerned about the catastrophic mistakes that Corey made on the Spanish dialogue. Research is important, people. If you are writing dialogue in a foreign language you're not familar with, find someone who knows. Google translate is not a reliable source. I hope my advice can help you guys in the future.

Lisa

Fear of failure will crush our dreams. Thank you Aaron for reminding me to hold my head up and plow through.

David (.

I may not have sold anything, I may not have produced anything, I may not have been optioned, but I am a writer. Thank you Mr. Sorkin.

Jake H.

Aaron is such a kind person. With so many stories about the cutthroat world of show biz, it's nice to see somebody who is so compassionate and thoughtful being so successful.

Günter B.

"The most gentle colonic I ever had." Best line I ever heard (during this session.) - two small gripes and another take-away for me: firmly establish the character's physical appearance right away, "middle aged" is just too vague, i got a mental picture of this lady after the initial description, a fifty-ish divorceé, rich and spoiled. But i had to re-adjust this later when her fifteen year old twins popped up. The joke doesn't cut it for me, it's almost painful to listen to and it makes a point we already know about the character: her casual racism. Maybe leave it in and end it with Mary-"Rinn" leaving and the cashier picking up a phone-call and talking flawless english with another customer or a friend?! Didn't Aaron talk about "the TV running in the background and the anchor-man talking about the incident relating to our story? ("probable but not plausible" was the lesson, if i remember correctly?!) this is exactly what we get here and i wouldn't miss it if it was cut.

Transcript

Corey? Yes. You're up. Already? "From Here to Alli," is that how it's pronounced? Ah-ee. Ah-ee? Yes. So that's not at all how it's pronounced. At all. So I couldn't have missed any more than I did. "From Here to Alli." Let's read the first couple of pages of it. And then I have some questions I want to ask. I think it's fantastic. I think it's terrific. As you know, I was hoping that you'd tank, but just out of spite, you know? I hear you. But let's read the first couple pages. Go ahead, it's all yours. "Interior nail salon, day. Maddie Lynn Hollingsworth, a middle-aged Caucasian woman who hasn't worked a day in her married life is sitting in a chair in a spa. She's wearing yoga pants with a matching top and sporting a ring that could fund a small business. Chance, a male nail worker is firmly filling away at her toes. Maddie Lynn is on the phone sipping a kale juice. No, Olivia, I'm telling you. It's the absolute best. It was the most gentle colonic I've ever had. It was like he wasn't even there. It was like I wasn't even there. Wait, hold on. She taps Chance on the shoulder. Hola. Um, you're digging into my pinkie toe-y, mucho hurt. Mucho, OK? I'm Asian, and I speak English. Sound good. You just keep it up. Keep at it down there. Big tip-o. Big tip. Yeah. Chance rolls his eyes. Olivia, sweetie? What are you doing over there? Well, it sounds like you're trying to push a car out of your vagina. A what? Honey, a master cleanse on Monday is never something to explore, especially with the way you drink. You're all done. Thank you. Muy [? zapatos. ?] Olivia, honey, I got to go. She slurps down the rest of the kale juice and hobbles out of her chair. She goes up to pay. Over her shoulder on the television screen-- --could be the biggest embezzlement and Ponzi scheme to hit America in the last 100 years. All employees are being indicted and will be brought in for questioning. Meanwhile, Cromwell says it's not his fault. So who's right? More details coming up. But first, Janice with the weather. Such a shame. Thanks, Tom. Well, today's going to be another hot one here in Los Angeles with temperatures ranging in the high 90s. So if you're thinking about hitting the pool-- Meanwhile-- Your card no working. Your machine no working. Swipe it again, please. She does. The machine beeps and seals her fate. Nope. The salon cashier, Hannah, an older Asian lady in a muumuu, holds out her card. Maddie Lynn snatches it back and starts to dig in her purse. This is obviously a mistake. And I can't believe that as a loyal customer who pretty much keeps you in business, you can't figure this out. I'm sorry. Well, me too. Here, try this one. She hands her another card. It works....