Film & TV

Introduction

Aaron Sorkin

Lesson time 4:30 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.

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

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. Match.com 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.



Reviews

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

I am beginning my very first screenplay. I'm motivated, encouraged and excited. I feel I've been given good resources, tips and lessons to begin something I've talked about for a long time but finally have the courage to do it.

I'm a film critic, and this class was incredibly helpful in giving me a language and framework to think about film, story, and characters.

Aaron is so amazing and inspirational. I finished all of the lessons in one weekend, I couldn't stop watching them! I will be going back through them slowly, as he provides such a passion to writing.

This has been the best class I've ever taken on screenwriting and I have a degree in screenwriting! Aaron is SO REAL and tells you how he feels. THX!


Comments

Jess J.

Hi everyone! Message from the MC Community team -- make sure you join Aaron Sorkin's Class Community! There you can discuss writing techniques and other class material, network with other students, trade tips and reviews, and stay up to date on class contests & activities. Link here: https://community.masterclass.com/c/film-tv/as-workbook Also, FYI! We recently launched a contest to win 2 tix to Sorkin's latest screenplay adaptation on Broadway, To Kill A Mockingbird. Learn more and enter here: https://community.masterclass.com/t/contest-win-tix-to-aaron-sorkin-s-latest-broadway-show-to-kill-a-mockingbird/35249 Contest closes this Sunday, Nov 24 at 10pm PT. Can't wait to see your submissions!

Kim F.

I'm very excited to be taking this class. I am a fan of Aaron's work and I love the way he unapologetically speaks about the art of writing. He is very straightforward and brutally honest. I am eager to learn and write my brilliant script in the near future.

A fellow student

WoW ! This put has something really deep inside his voice, his way of speaking and articulate things. Very cool honesty too

Carmel A.

It’s interesting how he says that he expresses himself much better through writing than speaking. It happens to me that everything goes through my mind in such a velocity and understanding that putting it into eloquent phrases is most of the times extremely difficult for me.

Keniw

To be honest, I love everything about this man. From the way he talks, to the brutal honesty... looking forward to everything this class has to offer.

A fellow student

This first glimpse at the course that I'm heading for right now already has me hooked. I've wanted to deepen my understanding of this field, and it looks like this course will enable me to do exactly that, moving on from a more beginner level of screenwriting via the input of a master in his work. Looking forward to continuing this course!

A fellow student

I thought this lesson was simple and informing. After this lesson I am hooked and I want to know more about screen writing. I look forward to submitting assignments to Aaron Sorkin, and obtaining the knowledge to becoming a screen writer.

Harry H.

Aaron talked about tension. Did he say that not all scenes require tension?

Coach T.

As a recently retired teacher, I finally have time to write and this is something I want to do for me. Like the approach as it fits my limited skill set.

Aaron J.

Underwhelming. Like his work. Amazing how little it takes to be a celebrated genius.