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Top 10 Screenwriting & Writing Masterclass

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Top 10 Screenwriting & Writing Masterclass

Over the years I’ve taken many of Masterclass’ remarkable online courses. They have had and continue to get remarkable filmmakers and storytellers to teach masterclass’. Just a few of the legends they have had are Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Spike Lee, Werner Herzog, Ken Burn, and Judd Apatow just to name a few. I decided to put together my Top 10 list for the best screenwriting and writing Masterclass has to offer.

Also, check out my Top 10 Filmmaking and Storytelling Masterclass.


10) Judy Blume Masterclass: Learn Writing from the Legend

Whether she’s writing for children or grown-ups, Judy Blume Masterclass is a master at creating timeless stories, including Blubber, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. And now, for the first time, you can learn how she does it. In her class, Judy shows how she finds inspiration, develops vivid characters, and writes realistic dialogue. Most importantly, she’ll help you craft stories that your readers will love.

You can ENROLL in the course now to this game-changing acting course. Click here to gain access


9) James Patterson MasterClass: Learn Writing from a Master Storyteller

Set out to write a best-selling book. James Patterson, the author of 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, reveals his tricks of the trade for the very first time. In this course, he guides you through every part of the book writing process.

In James Patterson Master Class you’ll get 22 lessons totaling 3+ hours of video from James covering everything from starting your outline to getting published. Each video lesson is paired with notes, reading materials, and assignments to make sure you get the most out of your class.

You can ENROLL in James Patterson Masterclass now and join this game-changing course. Click here to gain acces


8) Judd Apatow Masterclass: Learn Comedy Writing

In his first-ever online class, award-winning director, writer, producer, and comedian Judd Apatow teaches his process for creating great comedy. You’ll learn how to create hilarious storylines, write great stand-up, and direct comedies that leave audiences laughing.

Judd Apatow is one of the most successful, influential, and respected comedic minds of our time. He has spent his entire life in pursuit of comedy—starting with his first job washing dishes at a local comedy club, just so he could be close to the action. Since then, Apatow has built an empire of “funny” as a writer, director, producer, and stand-up act.

From Bridesmaids to Knocked Up to Freaks and Geeks, his work has been nominated for numerous awards and set box office records. In addition to his signature brand of comedy, which marries gut-busting raunchiness with relatable characters and heartfelt emotion, he is known for his uncanny ability to identify up-and-coming talent.

At his core, Apatow is a champion of the underdog and this is reflected in his work, as well as his activism and his philanthropy. Judd Apatow’s MasterClass teaches you a new way to think about comedy. Through case studies, scene breakdowns, and candid stories, you’ll learn everything he knows about the art of making people laugh.

You can ENROLL in the course now to this game-changing acting course. Click here to gain access


7) Margaret Atwood Masterclass: Learn Creative Writing from the Author The Handmaid’s Tale

In her first-ever online class, the author of the Handmaid’s Tale teaches you her approach to crafting vivid prose and hooking readers with her timeless approach to storytelling. Margaret Atwood Masterclass, arguably one of the world’s best fictional writers, is an award-winning and prolific author of more than fifty novels, books of poetry, and critical essays. Her 1985 dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, was adapted into the Emmy-winning TV series on Hulu, now in its second season, and was the best-selling book on Amazon in 2017.

You can ENROLL in the course now to this game-changing acting course. Click here to gain acces


6) Neil Gaiman MasterClass: The Art of Storytelling

Named one of the Dictionary of Literary Biography’s top ten living post-modern writers, Neil Gaiman may be one of the most awarded and prolific writers alive. He has received the Newbery and Carnegie Medals, and his writing has been awarded four Hugos, two Nebulas, one World Fantasy Award, and nine Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, among many other honors. Not constrained by genre or medium, Neil’s work includes poetry, short stories, journalism, novels, graphic novels, screenplays, and books for young readers.

In Neil Gaiman MasterClass, the author of Coraline, American Gods, Stardust, and The Sandman series teaches his approach to the art and craft of storytelling. In his MasterClass, Neil Gaiman will teach you his creative process for generating original ideas and building those ideas into stories, worlds, and characters that engage and fascinate. Using some of his most celebrated work as case studies, he’ll teach you how he crafts convincing characters and stories driven by essential truths.

You can ENROLL in the course now to this game-changing acting course. Click here to gain access


5) R.L. Stine Masterclass: Learn Writing For Young Audiences

In R.L. Stine Masterclass, the best-selling children’s author of Goosebumps and Fear Street breaks down his complete process for crafting page-turning thrillers. A master of the horror genre, R.L. Stine is a prolific author of more than 300 books for middle graders and young adults, which have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide and have garnered numerous awards. In his first-ever online class, Stine teaches his approach to write for young audiences and dives into how he creates the thrills in his page-turner books, which he compares to a roller coaster ride—fast-paced, exciting, and full of twists and turns, but always with a happy ending.

R.L. Stine Masterclass is rooted in his belief that breaking the process down into manageable steps is the key to making writing achievable and fun. Students will learn the nuances of writing for different age groups, how to create terrifying monsters and build suspense, and how to surprise readers and keep them engaged—all while bringing his distinct sense of humor to his lessons.

“I have written a lot of scary books, but the process of writing those books wasn’t scary,” said R.L. Stine. “You can create your own universe, and control people in that universe—you can make them funny or you can scare them. In my MasterClass, I hope to show students that writing doesn’t have to be scary; and in fact, it can be a lot of fun.”

In R.L. Stine Masterclass, you’ll learn about:

  • Generating Ideas
  • Creating Monsters
  • Conquering Writer’s Block
  • Outlining: Surprise Endings and Cliffhangers
  • Outlining: Plot Twists and Tricks
  • Writing for Different Age Levels Dialogue
  • Prose Style Mixing Horror and Humor
  • Creating Middle-Grade Characters
  • Creating YA Characters
  • Revising and Getting Feedback
  • Developing a Book Series
  • Writing as a Career

You can ENROLL in R.L. Stine Masterclass now and join this game-changing creative writing course. Click here to gain access


4) Malcolm Gladwell Masterclass: Learn Writing from the Best Selling Author

In his first-ever online class, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell teaches you how to transform big ideas into simple, powerful narratives. Known for his nonfiction writing that captivates readers, Malcolm has been a staff writer at the New Yorker for over two decades and has authored five New York Times Best Sellers: The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath.

Malcolm’s unique style of making unexpected connections across ordinary ideas has compelled millions of readers to devour complex topics like behavioral economics and performance prediction. In his MasterClass, Malcolm shares the research and writing techniques that have made him a prolific nonfiction writer and master storyteller.

You’ll learn his approach to finding ideas in unusual places, structuring compelling narratives, and keeping readers engaged through every detail—including the art of the title and the role of semicolons. He also shares career tips for writers amassed over years in the industry—dealing with bad reviews, differentiating yourself as a writer, and identifying your own strengths and weaknesses as a writer.

“Writing has a higher purpose. It’s part of the way in which we fulfill ourselves as human beings, both in the words that we write and the words that we read,” says Malcolm. “This class is a chance for me to reflect on my career and share the insights I’ve gleaned in a form that my students can use.”

In this online writing class, you’ll learn about:

  • Research
  • Developing the story
  • Titles Drafts and revisions
  • Writing about big ideas
  • Profiles and interview subjects
  • Crafting compelling characters
  • Presenting data to readers in an interesting way
  • Differentiating yourself as a professional writer

You can ENROLL in Malcolm Gladwell Masterclass now and join this game-changing writing course. Click here to gain access

 


3) David Mamet Masterclass: Learn Dramatic Writing from Pulitzer Prize Winning Master

David Mamet sat in on a poker game full of thieves and left with the inspiration for American Buffalo. Now, the Pulitzer Prize winner of Glengarry Glen Ross takes you through his process for turning life’s strangest moments into dramatic art. He’ll teach you the rules of drama, the nuances of dialogue, and the skills to develop your own voice and create your masterpiece.

40 years of writing experience condensed into 5+ hours of video lessons on dramatic writing. Learn from the Pulitzer Prize winner in his first-ever online class.

You can ENROLL to the course now to this game-changing dramatic writing course. Click here to gain access


2) Shonda Rhimes Masterclass: Learn Television Writing from the Creator of Scandal

When Shonda Rhimes pitched Grey’s Anatomy she was so nervous she had to start over, twice. Since then Shonda has created and produced television’s biggest hits. In this class, Shonda teaches you how to create compelling characters, write a pilot, pitch your idea, be a showrunner, and build your career. You’ll also get her pilot scripts, pitch notes, and story bibles. Welcome to Shondaland.

The internationally respected Shonda Rhimes, whose TV credits include ABC Studios’ Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice, How to Get Away with Murder, and The Catch

In 5+ hours of video lessons, Shonda teaches you her playbook for writing and creating hit television. Watch, listen and learn as Shonda teaches you how to write, pitch, and create a hit TV show.

You can ENROLL to the course now to this game-changing television writing course. Click here to gain FREE access


1) Aaron Sorkin MasterClass: Learn Screenwriting from an Oscar Winner

Learn how to write incredible screenplays from Aaron Sorkin in the most comprehensive screenwriting course he’s ever taught. In addition to both improving your storytelling skills and outlining what it takes to write incredible scripts, Aaron invites you into his writer’s room for an eight-part screenwriting case study where he and his team will script, rewrite, and break down a new Season 5 premiere of The West Wing.

Aaron Sorkin first broke out with his Broadway play (and the film adaptation of) “A Few Good Men” starring Tom Cruise before creating “The West Wing” and the remarkable HBO show “Newsroom“. He won an Oscar for writing “The Social Network” and was nominated again for “Moneyball”; more recently, he wrote “Steve Jobs.”

Diving deep into screenwriting fundamentals, Aaron offers detailed lessons on narrative structure, character development, generating new ideas, and his signature style of dialogue. Aaron knows that great screenwriting requires intention and obstacle. He dedicates several lessons to explaining how to create conflict, raise dramatic stakes, and keep audiences watching.

Designed to offer useful lessons to seasoned and emerging screenwriters, Aaron’s class can be enjoyed by writers of all skill levels.

Over the course of 25 video lessons spanning five hours, as well as a 30-page workbook and interactive assignments. His workbook includes an entire lecture devoted exclusively to the walk-and-talk. Sorkin is going to share “his rules of storytelling, dialogue, [and] character development,” critique select student submissions, and work with real-world examples from the decades he’s spent writing movies, TV shows, and plays.

You can ENROLL in the course now to this game-changing screenwriting course. Click here to gain access


BONUS: James Cameron Masterclass: Learn Filmmaking for the Legend

From The Terminator and Titanic to Avatar, James Cameron has directed some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. Now, for the first time in his 40-year career, he opens up about his process. Through behind-the-scenes breakdowns, James shares his approach to developing ideas, storylines, and characters; harnessing technology; and worldbuilding on any budget. Explore the innovation and imagination behind epic moviemaking.

Using specific scene breakdowns from his renowned films, including Aliens, The Terminator, Titanic and Avatar, Cameron teaches members how to identify stories that demand telling, build tension, create compelling characters—whether man, machine or alien—and harness technology to fully immerse audiences in imagined worlds. Cameron also offers practical advice that applies to all levels of film production, no matter the budget, big or small. Interlaced with intimate insights from his storied career, from how dreams inspire his work to lessons on leadership, Cameron’s class will leave members inspired to share the insider knowledge they’ve learned with others and empowered to make their own movies.

You can ENROLL in James Cameron’s Masterclass now and join this game-changing course. Click here to gain access

Cameron then surpassed his own record with the 2009 sci-fi blockbuster hit Avatar, which blended live-action sequences with digitally captured performances in a 3D-generated world that blazed a trail for innovation in film technology and visual effects. As a three-time Academy Award winner and a six-time nominee, he’s earned the rare achievement of having directed the first two of the five films in history to gross more than $2 billion worldwide.

Cameron most recently executive-produced the National Geographic docu-series Secrets of the Whales, and will release the long-awaited sequel Avatar 2 in December 2022.


BONUS: Steve Martin Masterclass – Learn Comedy Writing from the Legend

One of Steve Martin’s first gigs was at the drive-in movies. When the audience liked a joke, they honked. In this class, Steve shares insights from performing for cars and humans over a 50-year career spanning sold-out arenas and blockbuster films. Learn how to find your voice, gather material, develop an act, and take your comedy to the next level.

As the saying goes,

“Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.”

But it’s about to get a little easier thanks to Steve Martin. In his first-ever online Masterclass course, the 15 time SNL host will distill comedy lessons he’s learned during five decades of making millions of people laugh in hit movies (Father of the BrideCheaper By the Dozen), concerts, and stand-up shows.

You’ll learn how to find your comic voice, build hilarious characters, perform confidently in front of crowds, and even deal with the occasional bomb.

Learn from the legendary comedian, actor, and writer in his first-ever online class. Click here to gain access


If this class is anything like past Masterclass’ you are in for a treat.

Screenwriting/Filmmaking MasterClasses:

Acting MasterClasses:

Writing MasterClasses:

Music / Performing MasterClasses:

Cooking Masterclasses:

Other MasterClasses:

Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Masterclass

Who is Aaron Sorkin?

One of the most acclaimed, both hated and loved and a prominent screenwriter of modern times who has made a name for himself in the industry is Aaron Sorkin. Claim to fame The West Wing, Sorkin’s signature style can be recognized and is matchless. His screenplay is unmistakable with witty and rapid dialogue or monolog, morality tales and sharp, intelligent male protagonists.

His dialogues often hint liberal political messages, and he is renowned for his smart stories of politics and the government. Aaron Sorkin has written both on the media industry and television especially.

Though the style gets diverging at times, Sorkin undoubtedly happens to be a brilliant writer who’s credited with the creation of modern classics like A Few Good Men including recent successes like The Social Network. Sorkin has won several Emmys, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe and carries on still to be a powerhouse both in television and Hollywood.

Born in Manhattan New York City to a Jewish family, Sorkin was raised in the suburb of Scarsdale. His father was a copyright lawyer who had battled in WWII and had put himself through college on the G.I Bill. His mother was a school teacher and both of his siblings, a brother, and sister went on to become lawyers.

Aaron Sorkin took quite an early interest in acting and before he had become a teenager, he loved shows like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? And That Championship Season. Scarsdale High School was where Sorkin got involved in drama and the theater club.

When he was in 8th grade, he played the role of General Bullmoose in the musical, Li’l Abner. In the senior class production of Scarsdale High called Once Upon a Mattress, he played Sir Harry. Sorkin also acted as the vice president both in his junior and senior year at Scarsdale High School and in 1979, he graduated.

Sorkin got himself enrolled in the Syracuse University, and in his freshman year bad luck struck, and he flunked a class which was a core requirement. It was a very devastating setback as Sorkin had aspirations to take up acting and become an actor but the drama department did not permit the students to come up on the stage unless they had passed all the core freshman classes.

Resolute to do better, he returned again in his sophomore year and then graduated in 1983. According to Sorkin, his drama teacher Arthur Storch had a great influence on him back in college and his reputation as a director and being under the tutelage of Lee Strasberg was the primary reason why so many students aspiring to do something in theater and film industry chose Syracuse. And it was always Storch that pushed him to do better and encouraged him on his capacity to do better. Sorkin earned his bachelor degree from Syracuse University in musical theater in 1983.

Shortly after graduation, Sorkin moved to New York City. Most of his time in the 80s was spent struggling as an occasionally employed actor with lots of odd jobs like delivering singing telegrams, touring Alabama with children’s theater company Travelling Playhouse and handing out fliers that marketed the hunting and fishing show, driving limousine and bartending at Broadway’s Palace Theatre.

While housesitting for a friend one weekend, he came across an IBM Selectric typewriter and according to Sorkin, he felt such joy and phenomenal confidence that he had never felt before in his life.

Reflecting his experiences that he had with the touring theater company, Sorkin wrote Removing All Doubt which he sent to his theater teacher at Syracuse University, Arthur Storch. Impressed, Storch staged Removing All Doubt for the drama students at his alma mater.

Sorkin made quite a professional leap when he wrote his second play Hidden in This Picture which was debuted Off-off Broadway (which are smaller than standard Broadway and Off-Broadway productions,) at the West Bank Café Downstairs Theatre Bar which belonged to Steve Olsen, in 1988. The content of this first two plays ended up with him having a theatrical agent.

While having a conversation with his sister Deborah, Sorkin got inspiration for his next play. A courtroom drama called A Few Good Men. Deborah told him how she was going to defend a group of Marines who were about to kill a fellow Marine in a hazing which was a direct order by a senior. Sorkin was working as a bartender at the Palace Theatre, and he wrote all that information on cocktail napkins.

He returned home and typed all in Macintosh 512K which was purchased by his roommates.

SHORTCODE - SCREENPLAYS

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Sorkin sold the rights to David Brown before its premiere who produced it at the Music Box Theatre. Starring Tom Hulce, it was directed by Don Scardino. It ran for 497 performances, and by the time it hit the big screens, with Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise, Sorkin had become a major Hollywood team player.

In 1993, Sorkin co-wrote Malice, a dramatic thriller. It starred Nicole Kidman and Alec Baldwin but still got mixed reviews. In 1995, Sorkin came up with The American President which took him few years to write. With the presence of Michael Douglas and Annette Benning striking up romance, it was critically acclaimed.

Sorkin made a comeback to the small screen in 1998 with Sports Night which was a comedy regarding the behind-the-scenes production of sports news program. It was filled with quick wit and snappy dialogues and garnered Sorkin a nomination in the Emmy Awards for outstanding writing. It lasted only two seasons though. This cult hit was loved by many fans and critics and won many awards too.

Unwavering, Sorkin’s next project earned him the repute of one of the best American television writers in the history being pure Sorkin-ey. When he was writing The American President, the screenplay was huge which was cut down, and that ended up in creating West Wing which was an hour-long primetime drama revolving around the staff of a fictional Democratic President, Jed Bartlet which was incredibly played by Martin Sheen. The show ran for seven seasons and Sorkin left after the fourth with his production partner in 2003.

The West Wing was a huge hit and got Sorkin one of the record nine Emmy awards that were awarded to the show in 2000. The show is regarded as one of the best television dramas of all time. It featured a dazzling cast of Bradley Whitford, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, Alan Alda with Stockard Channing.

The West Wing was where Sorkin earned his reputation for a particular writing style which was witty, quick and sarcastic at time. The walk and talk are the best portrayals of his style in which the characters would be briskly walking together in hallways and fired sharp line at each other with brilliant speed. It also earned him a repute for having quite a heavy-handed political opinion which was hated by conservatives.

The Bartlet Administration depicted the ideal progressive administration of Sorkin, and the characters would often comment in detail delivering lengthy monologs on current controversies and events. None could stop the show, and it still has a very respectable place in television history.

The follow-up series by Sorkin Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, died out just after one season. He made a comeback to the theater with The Farnsworth which failed to impress. But Sorkin found success again with a political comedy-drama which was an adaptation of Charlie Wilson’s War (2007). It starred Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

Sorkin then centered his focus on the origins and the following legal battles behind the upheaval of the social media giant, Facebook. Starring Jesse Eisenberg as the Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, it was adapted from a book by Ben Mezrich. The Social Network (2010) it happened to be a rewarding achievement for Sorkin and he won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for this screenplay.

Garnering Oscar buzz, Sorkin followed with another adaptation and co-writing the script for a baseball movie, Moneyball (2011). The Newsroom (2012) was Sorkin’s another return to television. It combined elements from his last projects, and it emphasized on the excited behind-the-scenes production this time, at a cable news channel. The cast did an excellent job of witty banter and passionate speeches.

By the end of the show in December (2014) Sorkin had completed the screenplay for a biopic of the co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. It was released the next year and starred Michael Fassbender as the lead. This earned Sorkin his second Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. As of January 2016, Sorkin announced he would be making his directorial debut with an adaptation, Molly’s Game a chronicle by an underground poker organizer, Molly Bloom.

Aaron Sorkin would be working with Bartlett Sher this time for an adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, for the stage. In March 2016, A Few Good Men would go into production on NBC and will be aired in 2017.


Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Masterclass

Learn how to write incredible screenplays from Aaron Sorkin in the most comprehensive screenwriting course he’s ever taught. In addition to both improving your storytelling skills and outlining what it takes to write incredible scripts, Aaron invites you into his writer’s room for an eight-part screenwriting case study where he and his team will script, rewrite, and break down a new Season 5 premiere of The West Wing.

Aaron Sorkin first broke out with his Broadway play (and the film adaptation of) “A Few Good Men” starring Tom Cruise before creating “The West Wing” and the remarkable HBO show “Newsroom“. He won an Oscar for writing “The Social Network” and was nominated again for “Moneyball”; more recently, he wrote “Steve Jobs.”

Diving deep into screenwriting fundamentals, Aaron offers detailed lessons on narrative structure, character development, generating new ideas, and his signature style of dialogue. Aaron knows that great screenwriting requires intention and obstacle. He dedicates several lessons to explain how to create conflict, raise dramatic stakes, and keep audiences watching.

Designed to offer useful lessons to seasoned and emerging screenwriters, Aaron’s class can be enjoyed by writers of all skill levels.

Over the course of 25 video lessons spanning five hours, as well as a 30-page workbook and interactive assignments. His workbook includes an entire lecture devoted exclusively to the walk-and-talk. Sorkin is going to share “his rules of storytelling, dialogue, [and] character development,” critique select student submissions, and work with real-world examples from the decades he’s spent writing movies, TV shows, and plays.

You can ENROLL in the course now to this game-changing screenwriting course. Click here to gain access