He has won many awards including an academy award for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ for his film ‘The Social Network’. Some of his notable works for theatre are ‘The Farnsworth Invention’ and ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, both of which are Broadway plays. As mentioned above, he has also worked for television and has famous series like ‘The Newsroom’ and ‘Sports Night’ under his name. Sorkin's talents are varied from plays to television to cinema. He has challenged his writing capabilities according to different mediums.
Aaron has launched his online classes on MasterClass where he teaches his audience screenwriting and the art of writing a gripping story.
It is an online class program where successful celebrities, skilled professionals and experienced recognized people from different fields come forward to share some insight about their related field. These classes are a series of prerecorded video lessons which are facilitated with online workbooks and engaging assignments. Though it is not mandatory to finish these assignments and workbooks with the lessons, but it is recommended to do so if you want the best learning experience and command.
MasterClass offers classes for a variety of fields that are photography, filmmaking, acting, singing, performing, business and many more. There are more 35+ instructors' classes available on MasterClass including names like Natalie Portman, David Lynch, Usher and others.
Through this class, Aaron aims to teach his pupils the craft if writing a good story. He elaborates that every story begins with predetermined intentions and goes through many hurdles before coming together in the end.
During all this, it is important to know the driving force that pushes your plot forward. A story without intention and purpose is good for nothing and its struggles are the elements that keep it going.
Sorkin’s intention with this class is clear from the start. He tells you the rules he follows while writing a script, how he develops his characters and create engaging conversations through dialogues. He doesn’t forget to share all the necessary details he knows about scriptwriting.
The Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass is extensive with 35 lessons that can last for hours. In his introductory lesson, Aaron introduces himself as your instructor and mentions some of his notable work. His conversation style is yet he retains the flexibility that is essential for an online class.
Later in his lessons, he talks about knowing which one of your story ideas have the potential to be a great script that guarantees praises from movie audience. In addition to this he also talks about how he created some of his most impressive characters like The Social Network's Mark Zuckerbergand Steve Jobs.
As we move forward, Sorkin emphasizes the significance of research in the scriptwriting process. A through research will give your script the depth and background it needs while a bad research will leave loopholes in your script. Not only is the process of research but knowing how to use this research just as important. You don’t want to make your script look like just a load of information that has no use in your script.
While explaining the process of research, Sorkin yet again visits his own works, Malice and The Social Network as an example. Throughout this one trait in the class remains constant. He takes examples from his own work dissect it to give his viewers better understanding of what he wants to convey.
Aaron further talks about the rules of story that have not changed over the years and are the same from Aristotle’s days. He highlights the importance of knowing your audience and what they expect from you. Admittedly, it is important to write what you want but most of the times it is better if your thoughts are aligned with the audience's expectations.
No matter how well you write and how impressive your idea is, writer’s block is a problem that every writer faces once in a while. Sorkin shares his tips on how to get move pass it. He further explains how he tracks his film's ‘act structure’ and pacing by page numbers.
His lessons include workshops in which he dissects different plays and explains the pacing of selected scenes such as action. There are six group workshops; each workshop focuses on a different aspect of screenwriting. In one of his lessons, he explains how to make sense of off-beat characters and scene and in another workshop the art of writing a gripping opening scene is explained.
Not only through these workshops, Aaron challenges his students by creating an imaginary writer’s room. Lastly he asks them to write with him to give them ideas and in the end asks them to come up with their own story idea.
MasterClass is easy to access compared to other online classes. You just need to sign up and choose between the two access passes offered by the site. One of these pass is single access pass worth $90 that allows you to access only one of the instructor's class. The other one is an all-access pass that lets you access all the classes available on MasterClass and costs $180 per year.
The answer is a big time yes. It is no ordinary class as it is taught by the most skilled and experienced professional instructor from the screenwriters' faculty. If you sign up for a filmmaking class, you’ll be paying more and even then, you won’t learn from the best.
So, if you want to learn from an expert who can share real insights from the work he has done so far as well as push to your boundaries with the assignments then signing up for Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass is the best decision you’ll ever make for your career as a screenwriter.