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Arts & Entertainment


Aaron Sorkin

Lesson time 04:52 min

Meet Aaron. He's an Oscar winner, a TV hitmaker, and the writer of some of the smartest dramas ever to hit the screen. And now, he's your instructor.

Aaron Sorkin
Teaches Screenwriting
Aaron Sorkin teaches you the craft of film and television screenwriting.


You wouldn't be Sidney Ellen Wade by any chance, would you? There's always bit of concern about the two Bartlets. You want answers. I think I'm entitled to it. You want answers? I want the truth. You can't handle the truth. This is the voice demo. The voice demo is flaky. I've been telling you that. This thing is overbuilt. It worked last night. It worked the night before that. It worked three hours ago. It's not working now, so just skip over the voice demo. Fuck you! Everything else is working. In future, if you're wondering, crime, boy, I don't know is when I decided to kick your ass. for hard luck guys. May I continue with my deposition? You know, you really don't need a forensics team to get to the bottom of this? If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you'd have invented Facebook. Writing, like any other artform, there are chunks of it that can be taught, and there are chunks of it that can't be taught. So we're here for the parts that can be taught. The way you're going to be taught these things is, there are teachers. You can be a playwriting major or screenwriting major. There are books of varying quality that you can read. You can listen to schmucks like me talking. Every writer is different, so it's entirely possible that the way I work and the way I approach it, another person would not be able to relate to at all, and they're going to do their thing. But my hope is that I'm able to say something in here that will be meaningful to some writer, and will allow them to do what they want to do and get better. Here's what we're going to talk about. Unfortunately, and I apologize for this in advance, when I'm speaking out loud as opposed to writing, I swerve all over the road. I can't go in a straight line from the beginning of the sentence to the end of the sentence. And I would much rather communicate with the world on paper, where I have an opportunity just to be alone in my room and get it right. I communicate much better on paper than I do when I open my mouth. So I apologize in advance. But we're going to talk about intention and obstacle, which is the most important thing in drama. Without that, you're screwed blue. Without a strong, clear intention and a formidable obstacle, you don't have drama. We're going to talk about success and failure and the importance of failure. I'm going to try to give some examples from things that I've written that you might be familiar with. There are mechanics. And then there's, as a golfer would say, there is the grip it and rip it part. What golfers mean by that is, a golf swing has a zillion different components. And if you're learning how to play golf, you're going to be told, well, your hips have to be here, and your left arm has to turn here, but this has to swivel through first. This has to go to-- it's...

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.


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

Knowledgeable with helpful information presented

extremely helpful, giving me more knowledge and confidence to start on my own script !

A pleasure to hear his process. Will use the "what your character had for breakfast when he was 6" story against directors forever.

Concise, insightful, clear, generous, and warmhearted. A terrific lecture series, thank you.



Quick update, you should now be able to access the full class - so sorry for that inconvenience!

A fellow student

Like others have written here Aaron does address the insecurities that a lot of us have. It's wonderful to know that a stalwart like him can be so personal while teaching. Looking forward to the rest of his class!

A fellow student

Excited, thanks Aaron. I verbally swerve too - I've been told continuously. I feel I'm in good company!


I have written and directed my own shorts. I am attempting to write my first feature length screen play. Nervous about it, and decided to purchase Sorkin's masterclass. Just watched the intro, and I am excited (and still nervous), but looking forward to learning a lot from one of the masters in this craft.

David C.

Super excited for this class. I don't mind when people go on tangents in conversation. It's an opportunity to better learn something — let's go!

Chloe R.

He described the way I speak perfectly! I think a lot of writers can relate to that.. not being able to speak in a straight line and feeling more comfortable on paper. I appreciated that part so much and I am so excited to dive into the class!

Tommie J.

I love his transparency and honesty in this introduction. I struggle the same way of communicating out loud vs. writing. A lot of it comes from being nervous when talking or presenting in front of crowd. Which is a lot of my job and I am working to improve that. This introduction really resonates with me. I am looking forward to this class.

Shan C.

Going all over the place is a sign of his brilliant brain working so fast that his mouth couldn't catch up, I'm so looking forward to this class!

Brandon S.

Awesome intro. I too go off the rails when i'm talking. Looking forward to this!

Aria D.

I can't say that I'm much better in the talking and swerving department, but I am very excited for his lessons and believe he set the stage well . His writing is brilliant and I look forward to it immensely.