This article on “Aaron Sorkin Masterclass Review” will provide you with the opportunity to read an in-depth evaluation of Aaron Sorkin’s Masterclass, including information on how the lessons are presented, who the course is best suited for, the cost, and what I liked about it, etc.
We’ll see if Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass of Screenwriting delivers on its promises and is worth your time and money in our Aaron Sorkin Masterclass Review 2022.
As the creator of “The West Wing,” Aaron Sorkin is a critically-acclaimed screenwriter. He teaches screenwriting for both television and feature films in his inaugural MasterClass.
I was curious about Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass because I knew he was one of the most accomplished screenwriters in the United States.
Here, I’ll answer these questions and give my honest assessment of the Aaron Sorkin MasterClass, with a focus on what I learned and how it could be better.
Aaron has a lot of material to cover, so this Aaron Sorkin Masterclass Review is going to be long! However, if you’re only interested in the highlights, I’ll give you these:
Who Is Aaron Sorkin?
Aaron Sorkin (Director, producer, writer, and playwright) has won numerous Oscars for his work on the big and small screens. Sorkin is to blame if you’ve seen A Few Good Men and found Jack Nicholson’s character, Jessup, repulsive.
Aside from The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin has worked on The Social Network, Moneyball, and more. Because of his extensive expertise as a screenwriter, he was the perfect choice for this assessment and for me to learn from.
If we want to keep our readers coming back for more, we all need to work on our discourse. For his work on The Social Network, he was awarded the 2010 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (one of my favorite films).
He won the Best Screenplay Golden Globe for his 2015 biopic, Steve Jobs. On The West Wing, he has won five Primetime Emmy Awards.
What Is MasterClass?
MasterClass was established in 2015 In order to provide students with access to quality online education. A wide range of disciplines, from physics to cooking, are covered in its video-based courses.
Teachers are what make this product stand out. There are over 150 classes available through MasterClass, all taught by well-known experts in their respective fields. Gordon Ramsay, Hans Zimmer, and James Patterson, to name a few.
MasterClass, on the other hand, goes a step further by allowing you to learn from household names rather than academics.
It’s possible that MasterClass isn’t for everyone, despite its unrivaled branding and production values. My goal is to help you decide if this course is right for you by highlighting its advantages and disadvantages.
In addition, MasterClass can be found on Twitter, where it has more than 82,000 fans and followers, and it regularly disseminates content that is both interesting and educational.
Course Overview – Aaron Sorkin Masterclass Review
The 35 videos of Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass range in length from five minutes to twenty minutes. This equates to roughly 8 hours of viewing time.
MasterClass also provides the following resources:
- A 33-page class manual.
- Some Good Men and The Social Network scripts.
- For Steve Jobs, a “Continuity and Spotting List”
Students are given a brief introduction before beginning:
1. Intention & Obstacle
Prior to writing, we must establish two things, according to Aaron: an objective and a stumbling block. We learn what he means by this, as well as how to test our own objectives and hurdles, from the get-go, in this insightful and actionable chapter.
I was surprised by how soon this course got started, which I had expected to be a slower-paced one. Aaron gives us questions to ponder while writing and explains what makes a good story in great detail.
His discussion of the distinctions between TV and cinema screenplays, and what we should do differently when approaching each, was a standout feature of this part.
This was a good approach to start the course because it showed that Aaron was open to trying out different formats. In fact, he goes into greater detail on the expectations audiences have of various genres and the best ways to use tempo to hold viewers’ attention.
2. Story Ideas
Having an idea is a two-step process, according to Aaron. As a result, he shows us how to tell if we’ve found something important and how to put it to good use.
He focuses on these subjects:
- Understanding and resolving conflict
- “Baseball pitches” as a metaphor
- Ideas for a feature film versus a television show
- How to begin a piece of work
- Exercising for screenwriting development
- What questions should you ask yourself before writing a screenplay?
- To write with an open mind
The usefulness of this lecture was one of its highlights for me. We were shown a case study of The American President, however, most of Aaron’s advice was factual and he provided us with writing exercises to do on our own.
Aaron’s conviction that we may write before having a fully developed idea was one of the most valuable lessons in this session; he explains to us how this worked for him when writing Steve Jobs.
3. Developing Characters
When it comes to reinforcing knowledge gained in earlier classes, Aaron does an excellent job. Here, he uses The Social Network and The West Wing as examples of how he brings character intention and obstacles to bear.
To make his characters stand out, Aaron demonstrates how he uses a variety of strategies. In addition, he evaluates the dynamic that exists between the actor and the character, and how that dynamic might be utilized to the benefit of both.
As Aaron explains, there are two forms of research, and each has its own unique set of challenges. His emphasis on the importance of connecting with others in order to build a story network was intriguing. Malcolm Gladwell’s MasterClass also introduced me to the concept.
Aaron talks about his study for Steve Jobs and how he approached meetings with Steve’s daughter, Lisa… An interesting comparison was made between nonfiction character development and fiction character development in this informative look at writing nonfiction.
When it comes to research, how do you incorporate it? this topic is addressed throughout the rest of the chapter with reference to:
- Why The West Wing is so popular now?
- Writing discourse based on research
- In the Writers’ Workroom, research is put into practice.
- For non-fiction works, creating storylines
- Flicking from reality to freedom of expression
5. Lesson 8: Audience
George Seurat’s artwork, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, serves as the point of reference for this section. To better connect with his audience, he draws parallels between Seurat’s and his own methods.
- The following are also covered in this section:
- Please be kind to the people that are watching.
- To keep things clear, keep things simple
- Consider the results of a screening
- Make a choice on what to display and what to explain.
To put it another way, Aaron explains how we can assist audience participation. He also takes into account the length of time a viewer is willing to devote to a show or film before abandoning it.
6. Rules of Story
For Aaron, there are a few tried-and-true strategies for uncovering the common threads that run across the best screenplays.
According to him, this text contains the universal rules of theatre, from which no decent work strays. To diagnose our work and find out what isn’t functioning, Aaron says, we need to know these guidelines. To aid with this, he provides an exercise.
A weakness in our writing may be due to a divergence from the rules of drama, according to Aaron in the conclusion. This was a stunningly straightforward answer to a problem that many writers struggle with.
Even though I doubt Aaron’s strategy will be a one-size-fits-all solution for reworking our scripts, it was a useful perspective to keep in mind.
7. Film Story Arc
Aaron explains how the rules of drama apply to the structure and narrative of a story. This was the chapter that stood out the most to me among the others in the class. Using page numbers as anchor points for our tale, Aaron goes into great detail about the mechanics of creating a play.
Despite the fact that Aaron’s counsel isn’t conclusive, it’s nonetheless helpful. Furthermore, it simplifies a complicated procedure into an understandable formula. Among the topics he addresses are:
- a story vs a dramatic event
- The three-act format has its own set of rules.
- How to make the situation more serious
- Arousing a response
- Building a Bait
The laws of drama were laid out in this chapter, as well as how page numbers might be used as “road signs” to guarantee that specific boxes are checked.
8. Writing Habits
When it comes to his writing process, Aaron isn’t afraid to be open and honest. Preparation is key before we begin writing, and he provides us with some pointers on where to begin.
He goes on to say:
- The program he employs
- How he keeps track of things
- In this article, I will explain how he overcomes writer’s block
His discussion of how to write in a positive state of mind came to a finish by suggesting strategies to keep moving forward. There are many ways to keep track of everything from index cards to checklists to napkins. The ability to feel a feeling of accomplishment as we work through these issues is critical, according to him, for our mental well-being.
9. Group Workshops
About two-thirds of the course is covered through Aaron’s group workshops. This includes “Writers’ Room”-style table readings with a group of four pupils.
Loglines and pitches are also discussed among the members of the group. Additionally, Aaron pitches his own film idea in a bonus chapter. Students receive individual feedback from Sorkin after the group read-through, emphasizing their strengths and weaknesses.
In addition to reinforcing the fundamentals of the dramatic arts, Aaron engages his students by posing a series of thought-provoking questions. On top of that, he shared some wise words of wisdom that we may all benefit from.
10. Writing Scenes
In this video, Aaron explains the importance of writing scenes with a specific aim in mind. He highlights the significance of transitions between scenes, as well as the best methods for getting from one to the next.
A welcome change from prior writing courses, Aaron’s approach to scene transitions was interesting to contemplate. He uses The West Wing as an example to show us how he employs these strategies.
the transition between scenes, as well as how to:
- To reward your patience, write.
- The finale of a scene should be powerful.
- Take off with your writing from the start.
- Characters should be introduced.
- Comedy is a great way to get your point across
- Grab the attention of the viewers
We learned a lot about the newsroom and the social network in this chapter. We also learned a lot about President Obama and his administration. I appreciated being able to see and hear Aaron’s ideas and put them into context. Using this method to explain the lesson and demonstrate how effective writing looks in practice was a great way to do so.
Who Should Take This Course?
As many have remarked, Aaron’s MasterClass appears to be best suited for novices in the realm of screenwriting. Some people stated that Aaron’s instruction was comparable to that of Film School or any beginner screenwriting course.
Nevertheless, Aaron’s MasterClass addresses a challenging and format-specific writing style. Therefore, the course may not be appropriate for those with no prior writing experience.
If you enroll in this MasterClass, you may anticipate learning the following:
- The norms of narration
- How to generate tension
- Considerations while tackling diverse formats
- How to identify character conflicts
- Methods for presenting character motivation and difficulties
- What to retain and eliminate when rewriting draughts
- How to compose characters as opposed to persons
Plans & Pricing – Aaron Sorkin Masterclass Review
You have three choices if you want to take Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass:
- The fee is $25 per month.
- $60 for three months of service (saves you 20 percent )
- $180 per year for membership (saves you 40 percent )
The price may seem high, but if you sign up for a subscription, you can watch all 90+ MasterClass courses, including those by David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, and Neil Gaiman.
When you think about it, one MasterClass is someone’s entire body of professional work presented in well-organized and educational video content. Also, if you sign up for MasterClass, you can access more than 80 of these courses.
Also, if the Aaron Sorkin MasterClass doesn’t work for you, you’re likely to find other MasterClasses that do.
Bearing in mind that these classes are taught by global leaders in their fields the value is unbeatable. You can pay over $100 for an online course taught by someone you’ve never even heard of, never mind an academy award-winning screenwriter!
What’s more, MasterClass also offers a 30-day refund if you’re unhappy with your purchase. You can also buy MasterClass as a gift.
Aaron Sorkin Masterclass Review: What I’ve Taken Away?
One of the most important things I learned is that nothing on-screen exists without a purpose and impediments. It’s also stated in the class booklet that:
In order to write a successful screenplay, you need to focus on developing your story’s purpose and obstacles.
Build everything else around the goal and difficulty you’ve established (and make them plausible) by establishing them early.
- Ideas for tales
- Development of a character
- The story’s ground rules
- The plot arc
Highlights Of Aaron Sorkin MasterClass For Me
I’ll go over everything I liked and didn’t like about Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass in the next two sections.
To begin, Sorkin has a solid reputation as a screenwriter. He’s written for a slew of well-known films and stage productions, so his familiarity with the medium is immediately apparent.
Second, a wide variety of resources are available to suit the needs of all students. For example, because I enjoy learning about how things work, I found the first dozen or so classes to be the most beneficial. Some pupils, on the other hand, like the small-group sessions.
As a third and last step in our lesson plan, we used real-life examples of Aaron Sorkin’s work. As a fan of Sorkin’s work, I found it fascinating to see him dissect a scenario that he’d written over a decade ago.
Aaron Sorkin Masterclass Review: Is It Worth It?
It’s a full MasterClass, with case studies, group workshops, writing spaces, and plenty of instruction from Sorkin. Here’s a recap of MasterClass’s promises:
- Become familiar with the fundamentals of story structure, dialogue, and the creation of memorable characters.
- Find out what it is about a script that makes it a success.
- Finally, craft screenplays that pique the interest of your intended audience.
I had high expectations going into this because these promises are so enormous. My hopes were realized, and I’m pleased to report that they were exceeded. In this MasterClass, I learned how to structure a plot so that it makes sense from beginning to end, which has greatly improved my ability to write scripts.
If you complete this MasterClass, you will be able to write your first screenplay as well as learn how to receive and respond to feedback on your work. Lastly, you will have the ability to sell a script.
Aaron Sorkin Masterclass Review: The Workbooks
An accompanying workbook is included in the Aaron Sorkin MasterClass as well.
- Sorkin’s distinct perspective on screenwriting is reflected in the exercises in this workbook.
- This teaches you the ins and outs of narrative and gives you the ability to design and pitch your next script…
You can print the workbook after downloading it as a PDF.
- The workbook includes an introduction, a key quotation, two homework assignments, and a notes page for each session.
- As a matter of fact, it is a basic yet effective method for learning to screenwrite, making the process much more efficient.
Aaron Sorkin Masterclass Review: What I Didn’t Like
My dislikes for the course were few and far between. The community section was the only thing that bothered me about it. It wasn’t as easy to use as I had hoped. It was difficult to interact with the other students because the atmosphere was strict.
If possible, I’d have liked to see something more like a Facebook or Slack group. Aside from that, it’s a small gripe.
Although there is a community where you may exchange ideas, it’s in the form of a forum. It wasn’t terrible, but it was the one part of this course that I didn’t appreciate as much as the rest.
Conclusion On Aaron Sorkin Masterclass Review
I think we’re all done here. After witnessing the Aaron Sorkin MasterClass on Screenwriting, am I more enthused or depleted?
For Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass, I had great hopes. He met and exceeded them. In other words, he took a craft that I was unfamiliar with and broke it down into a technique that I could understand.
Even if Sorkin does not profess to know everything, there are some things that cannot be taught. He does, however, provide you with enough to get you started.
As I indicated at the outset of this MasterClass, I was skeptical that I would be able to create a screenplay by the conclusion of it. My assumptions were incorrect. Writing my first 15 pages of a new screenplay was inspired by this Master Class.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is Aaron Sorkin MasterClass?
Each of the platform’s 150+ lessons is included in a $180 annual MasterClass individual subscription.
How long is the Aaron Sorkin MasterClass?
It has a total running time of 7 hours and 58 minutes, broken down into 35 lessons.
Can you get the Aaron Sorkin MasterClass Free?
Aaron’s MasterClass isn’t available for free in any way. If you’d like to see if this course is right for you, MasterClass provides a preview video.
Does MasterClass offer refunds?
If you buy the course directly from MasterClass, they provide a 30-day money-back guarantee. Return policies may differ depending on where you purchased from.
Is Aaron Sorkins MasterClass worth it?
The Aaron Sorkin MasterClass is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who has ever entertained the thought of writing a screenplay and wants some guidance getting started. The entire time I found him to be inspiring, and I like that he incorporated both case studies and workshops.
How long does it take Aaron Sorkin to write a script?
On average, it takes me between 18 and 24 months to complete a screenplay from the time I announce that I will begin writing it to the time I hand it in. However, the majority of that time is spent struggling to think about it and feeling down about it.
How much does Aaron Sorkin make?
Aaron Sorkin net worth: $90 Million
Aaron Sorkin movies
Aaron Sorkin is well-known for his work as a writer on The West Wing (1999–2006), as well as for his work on Being the Ricardos (2021) and as an actor. Aaron Sorkin was the producer of the 2011 series 30 Rock. A Special from the West Wing