Film & TV

Discovering Your Process

Martin Scorsese

Lesson time 12:51 min

There is no set process for filmmaking, but in this lesson Martin offers you a glimpse of what his own process looks like. Learn to let your film take on its own life and always remain open to unexpected changes that could add value to a scene.

Martin Scorsese
Teaches Filmmaking
In 30 lessons, learn the art of film from the director of Goodfellas, The Departed, and Taxi Driver.
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I don't think there's anything that could be deemed a process which covers all the bases, so to speak. I mean, look, yes, there's a process. In order to start shooting it, you put the camera on some sort of device or you want to hand hold it. You have to make a choice there. There are some basic things that are more logistical than anything else-- the use of equipment, knowing what equipment could do, knowing which tool to use. But natural process, you know there are many people who just work it out. And many people who kind of write as they go along. The script for [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH],, the Voyage Through Italy, Rosselini, I saw it framed on a wall in an apartment in Rome. It was one page, A paragraph. Not saying everybody does that. Fellini, when he would shoot, I was on his set a number of times, but in 1980, '81 doing City of Women, he had five different sets on the same stage. And there was constant talking and shouting and yelling and he was running up and down and people laughing, people arguing. In the meantime, he was shooting. He was shooting. I remember people saying, what's going on. Well, he's shooting over here. It was a very different way of shooting. Of course in Italy, they don't use sync sound. So every body is used to talking loudly, you know. And as it was shooting, we were guests on the set, he would come over and talk to us, and he'd go back to the shot. So it's a very different way of working, a very different process. There are filmmakers who have an editor whom they trust who knows their style and knows what they are, and has worked with them a long time, editing while they're shooting. The film could be put together two weeks after the picture is finished wrapping shooting. I like to wait until I finish shooting and work with my editor, you know. And so what I'm saying is that there is no process. And when people talk to you about a process you might as well open a textbook. Textbook'll give you some basic facts, logistics, facts, that sort of thing. But whether good or bad, it's art. Meaning the quality of it, I don't know, it depends on the person. The quality of your own work, I don't know. You just know you have to do it. So in that doing of it, you are making judgments. Whether the quality of the judgment is something that's going to last to mean something to people 50 years from now, who knows. You know? Do you feel good about it? Very often people feel terrible about some of it and it's quite good to many people. So there really is no process. I mean, yes, to a certain extent, it would be good to talk to the costume person before shooting. OK? I mean, it's common sense. Preparation seems to be good, especially for narrative cinema, that sort of thing. Seems to be, which means you should talk to your director of photography, talk to your locations peopl...

Study with Scorsese

Martin Scorsese drew his first storyboard when he was eight. Today he’s a legendary director whose films from Mean Streets to The Wolf of Wall Street have shaped movie history. In his first-ever online film class, the Oscar winner teaches his approach, from storytelling to editing to working with actors. He deconstructs films and breaks down his craft, changing how you make and watch movies.


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

From a directors point of view every aspect of film has been showed in one form or another. and taught in a way that is relatable with complete understanding of the craft with love and wisdom! Thanks Martin.

Love every second of it! Martin's lessons help me through a lot of struggle and doubt I have had as a filmmaker. He also has a way of teaching that puts you into his mind and how he envisions certain aspects of filmmaking. He is a legend and truly inspirational. I can't wait to make my next film with the knowledge I have gained from this masterclass!

I found Martin's class very inspiring. He reminds me of a wonderful music teacher that I had around 1973-74, Professor Kelsey Jones. How he looked me straight in the eyes one day and said "It's not impossible!", after explaining that we would be writing 2-part counterpoint or fugues. Mr. Scorsese has that same balance of greatness along with enough humility to reach those who are just learning.

It helps me to understand things they are in my mind but sometimes I don't have the skills to explain I love to hear him Thanks so much


A fellow student

i would like to see a masterclass on how they shoot masterclass.. the lighting is amazing

Teddy W.

Making film is journey find something new. Human always want to find the shortcut, the easy to success. But filmmaking is an art although shooting it need a lot of money, need a lot a people work together. Making a film not like making a car or something like that, film is more personality. So open mind is really important to a director, you will find new way to tell your story on set or on post. Always try to find the best way to tell story use the elements of the film. Filmmaking have basic elments, but don't have the process. Because everyone have a different brain, use it.

Pétainguy M.

Incredible how great masters like Martin confer us a clear vision of work, full of humanity, truth and respect. Less ego possible for more efficiency !

David C.

This was a very insightful lesson giving a lot of information needed with your process of filmmaking, being open to other ideas and letting certain aspects just flow within a scene and in doing so you can create brilliant moments that work perfectly in context of the story, showing that without a process you can still create and craft a film in an compelling way.

Lanny W.

I would have loved to hear what his process is rather than a long winded way of telling me to be creative. I appreciate his efforts though


Humbly sense Martin explosively shares his earned expertise on developing a project. Certain elements must be in factored in within the readied script as the blueprint. Anomalous in constructing a physical structure, Unified staff in each section in place focused on one goal. A successful, profitable production each and everyone can be proud of. Doing so each team player initializes their postie energy a style and tone only generated from within.

Alexis J.

Very in depth video on how film gets put together. I enjoyed him exposing and dissecting some of his films’ scenes and how editing music and sound complements editing the actual picture (e.g., film).

Dinar D.

A theme that I thought was about using elements taught in followed lessons - using voice overs & their importance. Now based on this I have drafted a script that has a combination of voice-over leading expression of blindness and a style that would give a cinematic feel to the matter in the film.

A fellow student

I love his philosophy of, "allow the edit to reveal itself." It is a director's job to control the flow of the film, but a true master (like Marty) knows when to allow the film to speak for itself. I'd had this mindset for a few years now but hearing it from the mouth of Scorsese amplifies it ten times louder in my mind.

Gene B.

Great lesson! I agree that there's no set process in filmmaking and that we should take chances and unexpected things that happen during the process of filmmaking! Something that happens in the process could also enhance new value to the film.