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.

Aaron is such a genius with his craft and the way he taught this class was amazing. He carefully went through each step of screenwriting and dove into character development as if it were the ultimate rule. I really enjoy him as an instructor. I wish the class can had more add ons.

Sorkin's class helped me a lot to develop basic structure and create more dramatic tension within my screenplay. I found his methods useful.

I really feel this is going to open up the conversation for change in not just LA/NY, but the world... Let's change how we watch entertainment.

Aaron presented a great doorway into the adventure of Writing. A reminder that cooking with water is the main ingredient of every meal.


Comments

Śmigły .

Hello - After informing my son that I was writing a stage play, and sent him an early copy to review, he generously enrolled me in this class. Over time, I will be listening and re-listening to each of these classes.

tuphr

Hi guys! As someone who's been writing prior to taking this class, I understand how sometimes keeping one's thinking focused on the thread of a story is tough. Screenwriting is hard work, I find the story construction being the hardest part. I hope to learn how to go about it more comfortably from Aaron!

Alejandra L.

Hi there, 'The hub' link is not working or doesn't exist. I would appreciate if someone can share the right link or update me on this. Thanks,

Adam H.

Hi there! - So I paid for this class about 3 years ago, tried my hand at the first 5-6 lessons but I didn't take the classwork or the community of other writers very seriously. Now I am back, and I hope to build strong relationships with my fellow writers through the coursework. Looking forward to hearing from any and all of you, remember, no one is an island! Cheers, Adam

Paul D.

Just started and looking forward to more. I am not expecting to become a writer: I am "handicapped" in two ways - English is not my mother tongue, and I write science (Biology), the hard-core, dry reporting on discoveries while hiding all excitement about the discovery. But I see these "handicaps" as an interesting perspective on screenwriting, a different angle if you want. And of course, secretly i hope to use this in my science, although i have no idea how - discoveries.

Franny Alicia R.

I have had an overwhelming sense to write, write, write for last 6 months! I'm an actress and haven't really written since having to write a play for my play writing class in college. Recently I have been writing and performing my own poetry which has been successful. But now, I feel like I'm on fire and want to take a stab at my first screenplay and I can't wait to learn from Aaron, I'm an open book!

Jess

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.