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Arts & Entertainment

Working With Crew

Martin Scorsese

Lesson time 10:25 min

Learn the differences between working with a small, core crew and a big one, and how to empower individual members of your crew.

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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It's really good if you have people around you that you trust, which is a basic element in the filmmaking process, or anything really. And goes for any film you're making. The trust is important between your director of photography, you, your assistant, director, co-producers, that sort of thing. What I mean is that, if it's a passion project, and everyone's invested in it the way you are, that's really rewarding. That's something very special. You feel you've gone through some sort of experience together. It's happened, luckily over the years, that I've had a few of those, just recently, with Silence, for example, Mean Streets to a certain extent. Although, a lot of the crew on Mean Streets, I learned how to put a film together through Roger Corman's crew. But they felt the energy of the whole thing, and they knew, somehow, because my enthusiasm and just passion for making the picture, they kind of were infected by it in a way. But I think, primarily, it's great when the crew is tight enough, and like a real working unit, that feels that they're creating something special with you. There's an alternative, of course, and that is that it becomes something impersonal. It's a bigger set, a bigger situation. But still, even there, people are doing very, very hard work, whether it's making sure the rain machine works perfectly, or that sort of thing. But as long as you have your inner core of key people sharing that desire to make this film, sharing it, and, ideally, not necessarily overdoing their role, so to speak, but pulling it all together, to help you get what you want, or what you think you want, because very often, as I say, when you get into the set, or when you get into a location, and you've designed something, and you're working with the actors, and things start changing, sometimes you lose your sense of exactly what the shot should be. [MUSIC PLAYING] If the people around you, your keep people, understand what you want based on conversations before you started shooting, reading the script, designs, all kinds of-- especially if you are on location, where people are working together, eating together, and that sort of thing, you begin to get a sense of who you could depend on, and they would be able to tell you and help you through the hard times, really. So, this is something that's really a key factor. It's a core unit. Now, when I say a passion project, that core unit could be the whole crew, because it's a smaller crew, usually it's a lower budget, it's a different thing. But when you're on a bigger picture, that small core is really your life core, your lifeline. I come from a time, too, when there was a lot of experimenting with movie making, where we actually thought, at times-- although, I don't know, I didn't try it-- but that in the 60s, there were experiments in making-- or they're called collective decisions, collective filmmaking. As the director, yo...

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.

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!

What I have confirmed here is that it is up to me to make it great and to trust my instincts I'm more right that wrong I'll take those odds thank you Mr Scorsese for your time and craftmanship

This class as very enjoyable and insightful, great class!!!

The Art of drawing you in within the first 5 seconds....presented by the Master of story telling!


Antonia T.

Wonderful lesson. Thanks, Mr Scorsese! Such a pleasure to listen to these lessons!

Ms Katherine M.

I'm really enjoying Mr Martin Scorsese's film making class. I consider it a privilege to being learning film making from him albeit online. :) I've been listening to him when he teaches and I'm learning so much. :) Even though he says he "doesn't know" a lot - he is knowledge as a filmmaker. I'm very grateful to be participating in his film making class. Merry Christmas Martin Scorsese. I appreciate the time and effort you placed into making these educational videos for our class. Have a good holiday week. :) Respect and Awe Katherine Marsh - Founder/Artistic Director Barefoot Marsh Productions Actor/Screenwriter/Author/Artist/Musician/Dancer/Indie Filmmaker/Good listener :)/Film buff

C A H.

HOW OR WHY? I Love how nutty film people are. We believe in a reality that does not exist, so we can make a reality that is more real than real life, while ignoring the reality of everything typhoons.

Teddy W.

Every department of filmmaking is to help the director to get what he want. He is the core the company. When I didn't get what the director want I felt very bad on set. I always try my best to get what he want. Once it's an overtime shooting day, maybe the last two shots, the director didn't like the lighting, but if change it's need 30 mins, so he said, ok, let's shoot, I correct it on post. I felt very embarrassed. Camera crew like brotherhood. Sometimes I will buy some drinks or food for them. And open mind on set, gaffer and 1AC all will give you the good ideas.

Troy B.

Great lesson by Mr. Scorsese. this lesson was very powerful, learning to put together a core group of teammates that want to active the same goals just as bad as you do on the set of whatever film you are putting together is the best advice you could give someone like myself. That story he told about the typhoon really hit home for me.


The show must go on no matter what !! Mr Scorese refers to a production filmed in Thailand. and a Typhoon rolled in. Looking back to mu Marine Corps days, Mission must be executed to positive completion,

Jo E.

Great Lesson…! I understand the concept that everyone has to be on the same page and feel strongly about the film project. Trust goes a long way when everyone is working together for the same goal in mind.

Avery D.

The crew is critical to a film! I really understood and agreed with the point about how every crew member must have a motivation to make the project. Off to find myself a passionate and trustworthy crew!

Robert A.

Yeah I agree you cant let todays technology stop you from expressing yourself the way you want in film. It's also important to trust your crew, because just because you feel it won't get done the way you expect, doesn't mean it cant be done. Your crew will figure something out. Awesome lesson!!!. Thank you again martin!!!. Onward!!!.

Gene B.

Being passionate and have people who understand and know what you want in a film/ or what you visualize for a film certainly helps in creating a film or shooting scene you ideally want and visualize for. Plus, having a core group also helps the crew to understand what you want better, as the people in your core group could have other core groups of people that will help you in your film and the process of it that allows the work process to be faster and accurate, as well as getting what you want precisely! Plus, without a crew, or a single member of the crew or even actors, the film that the director/filmmaker visualize won't become true or ideal to what the director has pictured and the process will be much harder. Within hard work, it is important to recognize the dedication and the commitment everyone has put in making the film come true. It establishes trust, as well as wanting the crew members to work with you in the future again. It can be seen in Silence, where Scorsese mentions that even though the weather conditions are bad. The crew and the actors are prepared and ready on set to do their job. These people are willing to work for Scorsese despite the weather conditions because he has established​ trust and has shown enthusiasm and passion through his film and the process of filmmaking. Trust is crucial indeed.