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.

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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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Preview

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.



Reviews

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

I think with all the classes, I walked away feeling that there's nothing they did that I can't do. I wished for more practical teaching but Martin gave a few good tips that I will carry forward in my career.

Another master class that changed my life because the instructor taught from the heart. Thank you Martin. You are definable one of the best teachers I’ve ever listened to. Infinitas gracias

that rigid formula isn't the key to success bu rather using our knowledge and skills in tune with our instincts, vision and our visual literacy is the key to evocative filmmaking.

I've always loved your work. Thank you for the great master class.


Comments

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

Lee

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.

Pete

I like this idea a lot, Life like Art never usually happens as planned, plans being many times created in insecurity. Its good to have pans, nothing wrong there, but to be open to the spontaneous moments life brings your way and adjust to them, that is not only the key to a good life, but makes sense that it would be the key to good Art.

Dinar D.

Many a time, after working on different projects, we find that some things, we do in common. As presentation and the process can vary every time, if this happens, should we say that the common things are somewhat our process trend... to achieve the result...? Or should we try to overcome those commonalities, since every process needs to be different as per the requirement of the scene and situation...?