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:

Werner Herzog MasterClass: Learn Filmmaking from a Legend

Most of what we’ve heard about Werner Herzog (for a FREE 90-minute masterclass see below) is untrue. The remarkable number of false rumors and outright lies disseminated about the man and his films is truly astonishing. Yet Herzog’s body of work is one of the most impressive and important in postwar European cinema.

At the ripe age 72, Werner Herzog remains as prolific and revolutionary as he was when he stole a camera and made his first movie at the age of 19.

Without a doubt, Herzog is a renegade, in the truest sense of the word. As a youngster, he taught himself how to make films. When no one would fund his movie-making habit, he started his own production company at age 17.

When he needed to get through the Peruvian jungle for filming Fitzcarraldo, he forged official-looking documents for safe passage (they worked).

For every film, he did a thousand things to get the shot. He once won a poetry contest four times by entering under five different names and directed major operas when he couldn’t read music.

Over the course of his career, the legendary filmmaker has done it all, both as a documentarian and a director of fiction films. He has built a reputation for himself for his ability to have a distinctive voice in each of his films.

French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog:

“The most important film director alive.”

American film critic Roger Ebert said that Herzog

“Werner has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons, or uninteresting.”

His international breakthrough came in 1973 with his film Aguirre, the Wrath of God, in which Klaus Kinski played a crazed Conquistador. For The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Herzog cast in the lead a man who had spent most of his life institutionalized (yes you read that correctly), and two years later he hypnotized his entire cast to make Heart of Glass.

He rushed to an explosive volcanic Caribbean island to film La Soufrière, paid homage to F. W. Murnau in a terrifying remake of Nosferatu, and in 1982 dragged a boat over a mountain in the Amazon jungle for Fitzcarraldo.

More recently, Herzog has made extraordinary “documentary” films, such as Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Werner Herzog said:

“Film School is way too expensive. You can learn the essentials of filmmaking, on your own, in two weeks.”

And with that, he started a frenzy among indie filmmakers everywhere. So when a legend like Werner Herzog holds a masterclass where he shares his knowledge of filmmaking and storytelling, it’s most definitely a class worth paying attention to.

Dissatisfied with the way film schools are run, Herzog decided to team up with Masterclass.com and teach an Online Filmmaking Masterclass.

For the students, Herzog has said,

“I prefer people who have worked as bouncers in a sex club, or have been wardens in the lunatic asylum. You must live life in its very elementary forms. The Mexicans have a very nice word for it: pura vida. It doesn’t mean just purity of life, but the raw, stark-naked quality of life. And that’s what makes young people more into a filmmaker than academia.”

Herzog has over 70 films and 50 awards to his credit and now he is teaching documentary and feature filmmaking.

You’ll learn storytelling, cinematography, locations, self-financing, documentary interview techniques, and how to bring your ideas to life. By the end, you’ll make uncompromising films.

Class is now in session: Werner Herzog’s Filmmaking MasterClass

A must read for any serious filmmaker is Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed: Conversations with Paul CroninThis edition of Herzog on Herzog presents a completely new set of interviews in which Werner Herzog discusses his career from its very beginnings to his most recent productions. 

Famous for his frequent collaborations with mercurial actor Klaus Kinski – including the epics Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, and the terrifying Nosferatu – and more recently with documentaries such as Grizzly ManCave of Forgotten Dreams and Into the Abyss, Herzog has built a body of work that is one of the most vital in post-war German cinema.

Below I’ve included over 9 hours of videos and interviews.

Werner Herzog’s Masterclass – TIFF

Martin Scorsese Masterclass: Learn Directing from the Master

Martin Scorsese Masterclass: Learn Directing from the Master

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 class, the Oscar winner teaches his approach to filmmaking, from storytelling to editing to working with actors. He deconstructs films and breaks down his craft, changing how you make—and watch—movies.

Click below to watch the trailer and pre-enroll in his class:

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

Martin Scorsese Masterclass: Learn Directing from the Master

  • Martin Scorsese teaches you directing, filmmaking, and storytelling across 20+ video lessons.
  • Interactive exercises
  • A  downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.
  • Lifetime access, with classes that never expires
  • Learning materials and workbooks
  • Accessible from any device
  • Watch, listen, and learn as Martin Scorsese Masterclass teaches his most comprehensive film directing class ever.
  • Office Hours: Upload work to get feedback from the class. Martin Scorsese will also critique select student work.

Click here to gain access

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

Screenwriting/Filmmaking MasterClasses:

Acting MasterClasses:

Martin Scorsese Teaches Us All

Known for movies depicting the harsh realities of American life and careful filmmaking style, renowned director and producer Martin Charles Scorsese was born on the 1st of November 1942, in Flushing New York.

He was raised by his Italian-American parents in the Little Italy district of Manhattan which is fondly remembered by him as a village in Sicily. Both of his parents Charles and Catherine worked part-time as actors and had a hand in setting the stage for their son at an early age.

Scorsese’s childhood activities were quite limited due to his severe case of asthma, and rather than playing sports his older brother, would take him to a movie theater or he would spend most of his time in front of the television.

This was the age when his love for cinema developed and gradually turned into his passion. He loved stories about Italian experiences and was especially besotted with the work of Michael Powell. At the age of eight years, he was already drawing his own storyboards and got seriously interested in filmmaking.

Although he was raised in a catholic environment and for a while also weighed the idea of entering priesthood before he decided to pursue filmmaking.

Scorsese knew that he was headed down the right path when he earned $500 scholarship to New York University with his 10-min comedy short.

Martin Scorsese attended the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University doing his B.A in English 1964 and M.F.A films in 1966. He made short films like What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1963) and It’s Not Just You, Murray! (1964). 

After completion of MFA, Scorsese worked as a film instructor briefly. In the year 1968, Scorsese made his first feature length film a black and white I Call First later retitled Who’s That Knocking at My Door? a close portrayal of life in the streets of Little Italy,with his fellow student actor Harvey Keitel and an editor Thelma Schoonmaker both of whom were to become part of his team for 40 years.

Another short film of note is The Big Shave. Watch below:

Mean Streets which was directed by Scorsese in 1973 was first of his films to be acknowledged and praised worldwide as a masterpiece.

Featuring the same characters from Who’s That Knocking at My Door?the film depicted the elements which had become the signature style of Scorsese’s films like unsympathetic lead characters, dark themes, the Mafia, religion and uncommon camera techniques combined with contemporary music.

Brian De Palma, who had introduced Scorsese to Robert De Niro, Mean Girls sparked the most dynamic filmmaking partnerships to have blossomed in Hollywood history.

Hard hitting films which aided in the redefinition of the generation of cinema were made by Scorsese in the 1970s and 1980s. Taxi Driver which is a realistic masterpiece of 1976 earned Scorsese the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival which fixed the status of De Niro as a living movie legend permanent.

Soon after Scorsese had made the documentary about this parents, Italianamerican (1974), he started on his first studio picture Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974).

An effective drama about a widow Alice (Ellen Burstyn) who sets off to California from Mexico, after the demise of her abusive husband and her teenaged son (Alfred Lutter). Ellen Burstyn won the Oscar for Best Actress which made a point about Scorsese disciplining his one of a kind talent.

After proving that a conventional film could come from him, Scorsese shocked the film viewers with Taxi Driver (1976) which was a cringing tour of a disturbed Vietnam veteran’s odd madness. Written by Paul Schrader and scored by Bernanrd Herrmann, it is a fascinating and horrifying watch.

De Niro gave a remarkable performance as Travis Bickle and Keitel did justice to his small but key role of the threatening and seductive pimp Sport, keeping the 12-year-old Iris (Jodie Foster) in slavery. Scorsese cast himself in a small cameo of a jealous husband.

It is known as the most disturbing and most controversial Oscar nominee for best picture till now. Taxi Driver won Oscar nominations for De Niro, Foster and Herrman. It was awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival and is considered to be the best work of Scorsese.

New York, New York (1977) was a rethought of the 1950s musical of Hollywood which was marked by its elaborate sets and unnatural lighting. It was made to look that way specially to arouse the triumphs of the past by George Cuker and Vincente Minnelli.

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Featuring De Niro as the cocky character of Jimmy Doyle who is a saxophone player working in a big band with lead singer is Francine Evans (Liza Minnelli).  Their love affair could not survive and this the self-destructive Jimmy drifts away from the domestic life and pregnant Francine.

De Niro performed very convincingly while Minelli was able to evoke her mother (Judy Garland) with staggering authority.  Though critical reviews were mixed, it was a commercial flop which later developed a cult following because of the obvious affection for Hollywood it depicted.

The 80s brought some really great films by Scorsese. In 1980, he made the brutal but brilliant Raging Bull which was a loose adaptation of Schrader and Mardik Martin about a former middleweight boxing champion Jake La Motta.

Scorsese made this violent biopic which he called a Kamikaze method filmmaking. It was voted the greatest movies of the 1980s receiving eight Oscar nominations which included Best Actor (for De Niro), Best Picture and Best Director.

De Niro won and Thelma Schoonmaker for editing. Raging Bull was filmed in high contrast black and white and this is where Scorsese’s style reached its peak.

Scorsese’s fifth collaboration with Robert De Niro was his next project, The King of Comedy (1983). Again De-Niro gave a very original performance as a stand-up comedian Rupert Pupkin.  It is a mockery of the media world and celebrities and how a loner character becomes famous through a criminal act.

Rupert practices a lot but has no talent that is why he fails and ends up kidnapping a late-night TV star Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) in exchange for a 10 minutes time on his show. Failing at the box office, it has become increasingly well acclaimed and regarded by the critics in the years since the release.

The German director Wim Wenders counts it amongst his 15 favorite films.

After Hours (1985) happened to be a small but an amusing diversion of its kind which was made by Scorsese in an underground filmmaking style. Featuring Griffin Dunne as a mild New York word processor who is in endangered because of some lunatics he comes across on a long strange night.

Michael Ballhaus was the cinematographer of this low budgeted film which was shot on location in SoHo neighborhood. It is a rather unusual depiction of what Scorsese could do if he only wanted his viewers to have fun.

Along with the music video for Michael Jackson’s Bad in 1986, Scorsese made The Color of Money which was a sequel to a much appreciated and loved The Hustler (1961) of Robert Rossen. The movie starred Paul Newman with Tom Cruise co-starring. It was Scorsese’s first official attempt in to mainstream filmmaking.

Fast Eddie (Newman) now retired, smells new talent in the pool shark Vincent Lauria (Cruise) and taking him under his wing, shares all of this knowledge. But they part ways and face each other at an Atlantic City tournament.

The Color of Money earned Paul Newman his Oscar and also offered Scorsese the power to finally secure his backing for a project which had been a goal for him for a long time: The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). 

The Last Temptation of Christ was based on Schrader’s adaptation of an epic 1960 novel by Nikos Kazantzakis. The novel narrated the self-doubts of Jesus as he carried out his mission and told about Christ more in human terms rather than divine.

Willem Dafoe was well-casted in the role of Jesus but few critics were not too thrilled with the rest of the unusual cast of Hershey as Mary, Harry Stanton as Paul and Keitel as Judas. Scorsese made a major comeback to personal filmmaking with this movie.

Prior to its release, it was a low budget independent movie but the uproar it caused with worldwide protests, it became a media sensation. The variation on the Gospels in the form of this movie earned Scorsese his second Oscar nomination.

New York story which had fashioned Scorsese’s reputation, was the basis of the fame of GoodFellas (1990). Adapted from non-fiction Wiseguy of Nicholas Pileggi, the story is about a small-time Brooklyn mobster Henry Hill. Scorsese displayed his incredible mastery of the medium in unexpected ways innovatively.

Roger Ebert named it the best mob movie ever. It is considered as Scorsese’s best achievement and was nominated for six Academy Awards. Joe Pesci won an Academy for Best Supporting Actor. Scorsese was nominated for Best Director.

Film won many awards which included a Silver Lion, five BAFTA Awards and more. GoodFellas was put on No.2 on American Film Institute’s list of top 10 gangster films after The Godfather.

Cape Fear (1991) the remake of a cult 1962 film of the same name, was a commercial success. It was Scorsese’s 7th collaboration with De Niro.

A stylized thriller, Nolte starred as a southern lawyer Sam Bowden whose family is being terrorized by ex-con Max Cady (De Niro) whom Sam had gotten jailed and now he was seeking revenge.

It received mixed reviews but grossed $80 million domestically and as Scorcese’s most commercially successful film until The Aviator (2004) and The Departed (2006).

The success of Cape Fear enabled Scorsese to get the big budget he desired for his version of Edith Wharton’s novel The Age of Innocence (1993). It was lovingly completed and subtly portrayed the upper crust of New York City in the late 19th century.

The plot is about an unconsummated love affair between a sensitive lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Countess Ellen (Michelle Pfeiffer). Highly applauded by critics upon the original release it did not do well on box office.

Casino (1995) was set in a 1970s tale of Las Vegas that marked the comeback of the GoodFellas talent team. It centered on a male whose peaceful and well-ordered life was upset by the arrival of unpredictable forces. De Niro and Pesci pairing had great chemistry, as seen in GoodFellas.

Having received mixed views from critics, Casino was quite a box office success. It’s excessive violence bought it the reputation of the most violent American gangster film to date. Film had incredible supporting performances. Best Actress Academy Award nomination was earned by Sharon Stone for her work in this film.

Return to a familiar territory, the director Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader manifested a pitch-black comic intake quite similar to Tax Driver in Bringing Out the Dead (1999). 

Starring Nicholas Cage as a New York paramedic who is about to crack under his stressful job, similar to earlier Scorsese-Schrader teamwork, the final scenes of spiritual restoration clearly were reminiscent of Robert Bresson films.

Among other cast were Ving Rhames, Tom Sizemore, John Goodman and Patricia Arquette. Receiving positive reviews generally, it did not gain much critical acclaim like former Scorsese films.

Gangs of New York was a project which Scorsese had been meaning to do since the late 1970s. With a production budget in excess of $100 million, it was the biggest and most conventional film to date.

It was set in the 19th century New York like The Age of Innocence but it centered on the other end of the social scale. Marking the first collaboration between Leonardo DiCaprio and Scorsese who later on became a must in Scorsese films. Starring as an Amsterdam Vallon he was seeking revenge for the murder of his father by Bill the Butcher (Day-Lewis who was like a godfather figure to the rowdy Five Points mob.

Gangs of New York got nominations for 10 Oscar awards which included nominations for Best Actor, Best Picture, and Best Director it also earned Scorsese his first Golden Globe for Best Director.

The Aviator (2004) was a lavish and large-scale biopic of a film mogul and eccentric aviation pioneer, Howard Hughes which again reunited DiCaprio and Scorsese. It was a lavish re-creation of the Hollywood of 1930s and 1940s.

DiCaprio gave the appropriately intense explanation of a man who was driven by his own passion, intellect as well as acute case of his obsessive-compulsive disorder. Receiving high appraise, The Aviator garnered 11 Oscar nominations as well as massive success at the box office with Academy Award recognition.

It was also nominated for six Golden Globe Awards which included Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Screenplay. It won Best Motion Picture-Drama, Best Actor. The film ended with five Oscars for Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography.

The Departed (2006) was Scorsese’s return to the crime genre which was a Boston-set thriller and based on a Hong Kong police drama Infernal Affairs, 2002.

This film earned Scorsese his second Golden Globe for Critic’s Choice Award and for Best Director, first DGA Award and Academy Awards both for Best Motion Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Director.

It again starred DiCaprio along with Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg.  Matt Damon and DiCaprio starred as doubles living on opposite ends of the law. Colin (Damon) played the role of a Boson detective who was raised by Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), a crime lord since childhood so he could become his mole.

And Billy (DiCaprio) was an undercover cop who was assigned with the dangerous task of getting into the organization of Frank Costello whose character was found on the psychopathic mastermind Boston mobster, Whitey Bulger. Being Scorsese’s biggest box-office hit after Shutter Island, Scorsese finally earned his Best Director Oscar for this.

Scorsese also directed a couple of musical documentaries. The concert film Shine a Light (2008) starring The Rolling Stones and No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005) was a wide survey of the iconic singer/songwriter.

It does not cover his entire career but focuses more of his impact on American pop industry, his beginnings, and his transformations. Scorsese earned an Emmy nomination and won a Peabody Award as well as a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video.

2010 brought Shutter Island starring Leonardo DiCaprio the fourth time in a Scorsese film. The cast included Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo, Max von Sydow and Ben Kingsley which were first-timers with Scorsese.

Based on a novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane it starred DiCaprio as a U.S marshal who travels to search for a missing patient in a psychiatric facility deserted in the Boston Harbor. And soon the detective story becomes closer to a horror film. Film was a box office smash and became Scorsese’s highest grossing film.

The year 2011 brought Hugo which was based a novel The Invention of Hugo Carbet by Brian Selznick. Hugo was a 3D adventure drama film and the most expensive production of Scorsese. It started Chloe Grace Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfied, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, Ray Winstone and Christopher Lee.

The story is about a once celebrated filmmaker who runs a toy store Georges Melies (Kingsley) who has become bitter about the destruction of so much of his world and his niece and 12-year old orphan Hugo (Asa Butterfield) manages to bring him back to the world.

Meeting critical acclaim, Hugo was nominated for 11 Oscars and Scorsese won his third Golden Globe Award for Best Director. Nominated for 11 and winning five Academy Awards, Hugo also won two BAFTA awards.

Another of his musical documentaries, George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011) won Scorsese an Emmy Award. The three and half hour documentary explored the life of former Beatle.

Branching out further into television, Scorsese executively produced the Boardwalk Empire (2010-14) which was an HBO drama series about gangsters in Atlantic City at Prohibition period. He also received an Emmy Award (2011) for directing the show’s first episode.

The too-real and somewhat harsh portrayal of New York City was Scorsese’s claim to fame initially. Returning to his familiar haunts of the Big Apple, Scorsese brought The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) which was a deterrent tale based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir making it into a biographic black comedy.

Marking the fifth collaboration with DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street starred DiCaprio as the stock trader Belfort who engages himself in a huge securities fraud case which involved corruption on Wall Street, manipulation of stock and the practice commonly called as “pump and dump” and the corporate banking world.

The screenplay was written by Terence Winter. Among the other cast included Jonah Hill and Mathew McConaughey. Belfort fell afoul of the rules and of course the law but not before training himself and his associates in immense wealth.

Leonardo DiCaprio won an award at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor- Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The film also earned a nomination for the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

The Wolf of Wall Street was nominated for five Academy Awards which included Best Picture, Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Director (Martin Scorsese), Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill) and Best Adapted Screenplay for the work of Terence Winter.

Martin Scorsese received his 8th Oscar nomination for Best Director and the film also was nominated for Best Picture. Scorsese is to direct The Irishman which shall star Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. He has also informed that his long-planned biopic about Frank Sinatra shall be coming soon.

Scorsese’s next documentary will be about former president Bill Clinton for HBO. According to an announcement Scorsese will be directing a biopic on Mike Tyson which shall star Oscar-winning Jamie Foxx as Tyson.

The Scorsese List

The story I’m about to tell is any film students dream. Back in 2006, a young film student by the name of  Colin Levy met with Martin Scorsese after winning an NYC-based short film festival.

When Levy met with Scorsese the young film student had not yet had the privilege of watching some of Scorsese’s most celebrated masterpieces (including Taxi Driver and Goodfellas). Ever the film teacher Martin Scorsese gifted the young Levy with a magical list of foreign films he should watch. The list in itself is a film school.

Levy said,

“I labored over a thank-you card, in which I expressed the overwhelming impression I had gotten that I don’t know enough about anything. I especially don’t know enough about film history and foreign cinema. I asked if he had any suggestions for where to start.”

He received the following note from Martin Scorsese in response:

Courtesy of www.colinlevy.com

If you are a film student or cinema buff this is a remarkable list of films to watch. So what are you waiting for…get to watching. Professor Scorsese’s orders!


 2016 Vinyl (TV Series)
 2014 The 50 Year Argument (Documentary)
 2011 Hugo
 2010 Public Speaking (Documentary)
 2010 Boardwalk Empire (TV Series)
 2010 A Letter to Elia (Documentary)
 2008 Shine a Light (Documentary)
 2007 The Key to Reserva (Short)
 2006 The Departed
 2005 No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (TV Series documentary)
 2004 The Aviator
 2004 Lady by the Sea: The Statue of Liberty (TV Movie documentary)
 2003 The Blues (TV Series documentary)
 2001 The Neighborhood (Short)
 2001 The Concert for New York City (TV Special documentary) (segment “The Neighborhood”)
 2001 My Voyage to Italy (Documentary)
 1997 Kundun
 1995 Casino
 1991 Cape Fear
 1991 The King of Ads (Documentary)
 1990 Made in Milan (Short documentary)
 1990 Goodfellas
 1989 New York Stories (segment “Life Lessons”)
 1987 Michael Jackson: Bad (Video short)
 1986 Amazing Stories (TV Series)
 1985 After Hours
 1980 Raging Bull
 1978 The Last Waltz (Documentary)
 1976 Taxi Driver
 1974 Italianamerican (Documentary)
 1973 Mean Streets
 1970 Street Scenes (Documentary)
 1968 The Big Shave (Short)
 1966 New York City… Melting Point (Documentary)
 1959 Vesuvius VI (Short)

Martin Scorsese’s Favorite Films

Here is Martin Scorsese’s Top Ten list of greatest films of all time:

Martin Scorsese Film School – A Personal Journey Through American Movies Pt1

Martin Scorsese is a master craftsman in the art of cinema with an encyclopedic knowledge of Movies. It is a pleasure to hear his views on early American cinema where his love of the silver screen was awakened and “colored his dreams”. I am sure he could talk about cinema from any country in the world just as intelligently and passionately.

Martin Scorsese Film School – Director’s Dilemma – A Personal Journey Through American Movies Pt2

Martin Scorsese Film School – Storyteller – A Personal Journey Through American Movies Pt3

“The American film maker has always been more interested in making fiction than revealing reality.” Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese Film School – The Western – A Personal Journey Through American Movies Pt4

For the rest of videos in A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies click here.


BONUS: TOP TEN Online Filmmaking Courses

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Stanley Kubrick – Breaking Down the Master’s Directing Style

STANLEY KUBRICK, indie film, filmmaking, indie film hustle, Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut, Lolita, The Killing, The Shinning

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IFH 275: Indie Film Hustle TV is LIVE! It’s NETFLIX for Filmmakers & Screenwriters

Right-click here to download the MP3

Today is the day. IFHTV is LIVE! Go check it out at www.indiefilmhustle.tv. It’s taken me months getting this ready for you and I hope you love it as much as I do. It has been a dream of mine to have a place where filmmakers, screenwriters and content creators could go to get their “fix” of filmmaking behind the scenes, interviews, documentaries, online education, and feature films. This has truly been a labor of love. Here’s what you can expect from Indie Film Hustle TV.

IFHTV will be the world’s first Netflix meets Masterclass style streaming services dedicated to filmmakers, screenwriters and content creators. Thousands of videos to help you on your filmmaking and screenwriting journey.  On IFHTV you’ll find:

  • Filmmaking, Screenwriting and Content Creation Documentaries
  • Exclusive interviews with film industry leaders
  • Exclusive Workshops
  • Behind the scene docs/materials
  • Feature and Short films with filmmaking as a theme
  • Online Educational Courses taught by some of the film industries greatest minds
  • Screenwriting Workshops
  • Inspirational Films
  • IFHTV Arthouse Indie
  • Director Commentaries and much more

IFHTV, Indie Film Huslte TV, Indie Film Huslte Television, Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Netflix

IFHTV is available worldwide and will be accessible on over 1000 devices including, Macs, PCs, streaming media boxes such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Nexus Player. Coming soon iOS devices and Android devices Apps.

Take a look at some of the films and series streaming now on IFHTV.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to Indie Film Hustle TVkick the tires and let me know what you think. Please send feedback to [email protected] I really want to make IFHTV the best it can be and I need your feedback.

Price is $99.95 / year so if you are interested sign up now to get that limited-time price for the life of your subscription. Go to  Indie Film Hustle TV.

Thanks again for all the support and happy streaming!

Alex Ferrari 1:58
Now guys, this has been a dream of mine for a long time I really wanted to create this world, a place where filmmakers, screenwriters and content creators can go and get their fix, not only to just sit down in bed and watch amazing documentaries about the filmmaking process, but also a place where you could take top and online education courses about every aspect of the filmmaking process. Also television series about filmmaking feature films that are based around the filmmaking process, or actors or the Creative Arts in one way, shape, or form. And I've always wanted to do that. Back in the days when I was in my video store days, I would hunt I mean hunt for making of DVDs. And before that VHS is of you know Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark and all of those kind of movies to show me a little bit about how the process was made. And nowadays, there is so much information out there. But it's scattered everywhere and some of its lost, some of it is just not available anymore. And there's still some amazing stuff on those making of videos and documentaries. And you might only have to buy a blu ray or something like that to get access to it. And nowadays, with all the streaming, there's not a lot of those special features even being made are available to to the average film goer, or filmmaker or screenwriter. So I wanted to kind of go after all of those, those things. And I would sit there and vege out watching documentaries about making of movies and and just all different aspects about the film business. And also just a place where you can get interviews with some of the biggest screenwriters like in the dialogue series that we have, which has 27 of the top screenwriters in Hollywood, talking for about an hour an hour and a half about their process. We've got the first two seasons up right now and we'll be releasing seasons every month going forward. And you know, you know, interviews with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, Spike Lee, so many amazing filmmakers with these exclusive interviews that you can't get anywhere else, not for this price, at least. And I really, really hope that you guys get a lot out of this. I've worked extremely, extremely hard on just curating and talking to independent, independent filmmakers and getting their movies in and I'm going to go over A bunch of the content that we have in the platform in a little bit. But, you know, I, it's just taken me months. And that's why it's been a little bit rough for me to stay on a consistent schedule with the podcast. But I still get out at least two podcasts out every week. And then every other week, we get three podcasts out with the bulletproof screenplay podcast as well. So it's just you know, I've been doing this pretty much all myself, guys. So it's, it's not easy doing this. But I really wanted to do this for you guys. I really wanted to take indie film hustle up a notch, and really kind of break through because there is nothing else out there like this. Unfortunately, they just shut down filmstruck, which was criterion collections, amazing service, that was a, for whatever reason taken down. And even that service did not have what we're offering. We're offering a completely different kind of service. But the closest thing I can think about it was the Criterion Collection, stuff that they had going on, they didn't have nearly as much behind the scenes stuff as we do. But it's still you know, a filmmakers having so I'm very sad about that. streaming service going down, but now you have ifH TV. So let's talk a little bit about what we have on the platform right now. If you guys follow me on YouTube, or on Facebook or Twitter, Instagram, you know that I've been putting out trailers for a lot of the the movies and shows that we have on ifH. tv. So let's first talk about documentaries. Some of the amazing documentaries that we have on ifH TV first ones we have are on earth and untold the path to pet cemetery, which is an amazing documentary about the inner workings of how that movie got made, if you can, if you guys love that movie, and I know I do. It's a Stephen King. Book was great, wonderful insight on how that movie was made. Another great great documentary dreams on spec, which follows some up and coming screenwriters as they go through their journey through Hollywood to get their films produced. And then they intercut it with interviews of some of the best screenwriters ever on there like Nora Ephron and James L. Brooks, and so many others, as well. So that's a great documentary. Now, we also have an awesome little film called off the tracks, which is a documentary about Final Cut Pro X. And what the hell happened to Final Cut Pro. I know that I was a Final Cut Pro editor for many, many years. And when Final Cut, Pro X came out, people lost their minds. And this is a documentary going through the complete breakdown and horrible mishaps of Final Cut Pro when I got a Final Cut Pro X when I got released, but then it talks about how powerful that software has become, and where the future is and how it's kind of changing things as well. It's a wonderful, wonderful documentary. If you're a post guy, you've got to watch it. Another one we got is out of print, which is a great documentary about the new Beverly cinema the movie theater that is owned by Quentin Tarantino, and only shows 35 millimeter prints and just talks about the the need to hold on to 35 millimeter projections and, and things like that. And it's a wonderful if you're ever in LA you got to go to the new Beverly it is an amazing experience. We also have another documentary called character which is a raw and candid dialogue on the life and career of actors by people like Dabney Coleman, Peter fall, Charles Grodin, Harry D. Anderson and Sydney Pollack. It is a great, great documentary on the insights of the acting process. And another one is light and shadow which interviews some of the best cinematographers in the world and discusses how they do what they do. It's a great wonderful documentary. Now let's get into some series we have and I'm so so proud because I went after these guys to get it and to get this for you guys because it's always been very very expensive to get a hold of these guys this content but the legendary Kodak cinematography masterclass series, some of the world's best cinematographers ASC cinematographers talk about, like some of the episodes are how Dean Semler, the cinematographer of Dances with Wolves Academy Award winning director, cinematographer of dancers, the wolves did what they did, he did, how you shot Dead Poets Society with john seal, shooting for black and white shooting for fantasy shooting for drama of shooting for realism, shooting within a studio setting and even location lighting. All this is part of the master class taught by some of the world's best cinematographers. Another great series is the dialogue, learning from the Masters which I talked about earlier 27 of the world's best screenwriters talk about their life and craft and what they do. And how they do it. It is eye opening. I saw it when it first came out on DVD years ago. And now it is on ifH. tv. We also have the masters of terror. If you're into horror filmmaking, definitely check that series out. It's like 1819 episodes on the craft of horror filmmaking from Danny Draven, a horror filmmaker extraordinaire. We also have directors life behind the camera where you will get four and a half hours of interviews with some of the legendary icons of cinema, Spielberg, Cameron Scorsese, and so on such an amazing program. Definitely watch it if you guys jump on. Now let's talk a little bit about the courses that we have on the platform. First up is VFX green screen shooting for directors and cinematographers an amazing course if you ever want to shoot green screen. Next is filmmaking in a box, this is a 19 hour course, taking you through the making of an independent film from every single aspect of it, it is eye opening, just remarkable. We have the art of screenwriting. We also have critics the first seasons of critics the first seasons of film feliz, which is an amazing kind of sit down talking show where you get four or five directors and photographers people to talk about the business. And for all of you tribe members who have not seen it yet. This is Meg is going to be available on ifH. TV, it is available now, I'm going to be working on a director's commentary this next month. So on December release, we'll have a new commentary hopefully. And of course, on the corner of ego and desire will be premiering here, probably sometime after the new year. We also have exclusive workshops that I was able to give over at slam dance, talking about DaVinci Resolve talking about camera to camera to post workflow exclusively on the platform, not to mention the full ask Alec show, which has been piecemealed out little by little over over the year. But now I've got every episode up there in its full entirety, which is a great way for you just to see how I consult with filmmakers. And they ask me questions and I work through what their needs are. And it's a wonderful kind of like fly on the wall content. And if you need any help in marketing, we have Facebook, Instagram, Facebook ads, Twitter courses, anything you need to know about social media, and helping you get your film out there. We have courses about that as well. And we have a new show called the indie film, hustle TV video podcast, which is going to be interviews that I will release eventually on the podcast, but they will first make their debut on ifH. tv. Now this is great, because you can see me actually talking to the guests, how we interact and so on. And it's really great. We have a few episodes up right now, things that we have not released yet on the podcast. So very exciting. Of course, all my interviews from Sundance, even new ones have never been released before. And just so so so much more guys, crowdfunding, distribution, anything you need to know about. We have a lot of information on there. And of course, the podcast archives for indie film hustle for bulletproof screenplay, and for the film festival, hacks, podcast, all of them are on IFHTV. And also guys, every month, I'm going to be putting up brand new content, new movies, new courses, new series, new interviews, new everything, we're going to be putting them out every month. So this is going to stay fresh for you Even though right now there is about I want to say over 400 hours now of content on IFHTV at the launch. And my goal is to get that up to a lot more moving forward. But there's a lot of stuff on there right now that will keep you busy for months if you watch everything. But I will continue to build out the library, build out everything, start creating brand new content for IFHTV, and I'm going to be creating new originals, like new feature films, shorts, series and things like that, that I'll be producing. Moving on in the future as well. So so much stuff coming to IFHTV. Guys, again, if you're interested to sign up today is the day it is $10.99 a month or if you want to go for a full year you get a free month and it's just 120. And that's going to only last until February 1 after February 1 it goes up to its normal price, which will be $13.99 and $150 a year. So if you want to sign up for it, sign up for it now you'll be grandfathered in for ever as long as we keep this thing going. But thank you so so so much. Head over to www.md Film hustle.tv. Or if you want to something a little simpler, i f h tv.com will get you there as well guys, I'm going to be honest with you, I would not have been able to do this without all of you without all of the support from the tribe. Over the years, it's taken me over three and a half years since I launched indie film hustle to get to a point where I can do something like this for the filmmaking community, I really hope it continues to grow. People who got early access have been giant going in, I've been looking on the back end, people been watching movies, and courses and videos left and right. It is, it's so nice. And it's so wonderful. And I am so happy by the emails and messages that I'm getting from all of you guys who are on the platform. Thank you again, so, so much. And for all of my international listeners, this is available to everybody world wide. If you have an internet connection, and you've got a website and you can get on the web, you will be able to have access to ifH. TV, those other apps, if you have access to those stores, like the App Store, or Google or Apple TV, or fire TV or any of those kind of places, you'll be able to get access to it as well. But it will be world wide. Thank you again for all the support guys. And I will of course continue to create other content podcasts, everything will go as normal. I've just now thrown IFHTV on my plates to deal with, not to mention the book that I'm finishing writing right now, which hopefully will be out soon. That will be a whole other podcast for another day. We will talk about that very, very soon. I'm excited to talk to you about that. And some other things I've got cooking on for you guys. But again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support and I really hope this is of service to you guys on your journey to to your dreams and to get into where you want to be in life. There is no excuse. There is no reason why you're not doing what you want to do in your life. Okay, if you have struggles, if you have things in front of you that the obstacles that you need to get out, figure it out, figure out how you can get over those struggles, get over those obstacles, go around them dig, dig a tunnel underneath it, you know, do whatever you need to do, but get it done. I've hopefully given you a lot of tools over the years with indie film hustle all the content I've created there. And now with IFHTV, there are tools, there's information, there is knowledge, there is resources, there is no fn excuse. Go out there, follow your dreams. And thank you again for all your support guys. Once again, if you want to sign up, head over to IFHTV.com or www.indiefilmhustle.tv. As always, keep that also going. Keep that effing dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.




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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.


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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