March 30, 2020
Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting | Official Trailer | MasterClass

Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting | Official Trailer | MasterClass

Dammit, how could
this have happened? Here’s something important
to remember about dialogue, no one ever in life starts
a sentence with dammit. I’m in a constant state
of writer’s block. That is my default position. Dialog is pretty much
where the art comes in. Taking some words that
someone has just said, holding them in
your hand, and then punching them in
the face with it. I left The West
Wing after Season 4. I have not seen an episode
from Seasons 5, 6, and 7. Together, we are going to
break the teaser and first act of Episode 501 of The West Wing. You don’t have an idea
until you can use the words but, except, and then. I just want to hear
your bad ideas. Very bad. Love it. Very bad. By the way, it wasn’t that bad. But– It’s a White House conspiracy. [LAUGHING] Look at this cork board. This is two hours that
needs to be filled. The worst crime you can
commit is telling the audience something they already
know, you should be evangelical about
Aristotle’s Poetics. If there is something
wrong with your script, that is because you
broke one of those rules. It’s not just that dialogue
sounds like music to me. It actually is music. Then you have much less common
days where you did write and you wrote something good. And you see it on a
screen, I promise you, you feel like you can fly. I’m Aaron Sorkin, and
this is my master class.

100 thoughts on “Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting | Official Trailer | MasterClass

  1. I was considering applying to this masterclass.. Can someone give me some advise please?
    – i'm a beginner, so i'm not sure this is what i'm looking for: to learn a to z how to write my this suitable as a solid base for beginners in the field?
    – it looks to me like you are basically watching other people attendig the course. does one get mentoring, homeworks, tests and the interaction needed? and guidance as far as course's phases in order for it not be only something you watch if you have time/interest but a work where teachers push you to do your part, be on time, learn ect?
    Thank you very much!

  2. I've always wondered why many of the classic movies and TV shows were of such high caliber. Whenever I see these masterclasses, I realize that these people are actually Really Talented Individuals!

  3. Dammit! less than 2 minutes and I've already received a ton of insightful ideas from this man!! So much that I feel like I owe money to MC already!

  4. If people started a sentence with "damn it" in movies, and now people in real life have started doing it, well then there you go, now it's realistic!! What makes you think that people don't start sentences with "damn it" in real life? Depending on the situation and character it is most certainly possible that one would do that! Why is this more strange to you than any other word? WHY is "damn it" so special, that this rule applies only to it? What is so different about "damn it"? I need a reason. I seek to understand your words, not simply know them. I am very against memorization without understanding, it is not a way to learn. I don't call such a thing "learning", unless I actually "learn" why it is. And, you need not worry about forgetting something when you truly understand it, because even if you do forget it, you'll have the brains now to figure it out again. So tell me, why do you say this thing?

  5. This ad was on SW movie Last Jedi criticism video. Hope employees of Lucasfilm sees this ad and maybe hire this guy to consult them on movie making! 😀

  6. I've heard loads of real people start sentences with, "Damnit," or some other expletive. Sorkin's primary skill is writing masturbatory dialog.

  7. Twenty-Five was my favorite episode of The West Wing. Everyone of the cast brought an A-Game that I don't think could ever be repeated.

  8. so you know 'dammit, man.' is a complete sentence, right?
    hell, dammit is itself a contraction of a sentence that only lacks ending punctuation and where the subject is implied (dam[n ]it).
    otherwise the rest of this video is pretty accurate when it comes to writing.

  9. I always wondered who those people are sitting with the masterclass teacher? Rich students from Harvard? Contest Winners? Masterclass Staff? How did they get to be there and I have to watch a video? 😀

  10. I'm pretty sure there are people who start sentences with "dammit" especially when that sentence consists of "Dammit!"

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  13. Masterclass seems awesome. I learn so much just from the trailers. I don't skip the ads. I'd love to sign up, but cannot spare $180. It seems like a high-class version of Skillshare, which is cheaper, but I still don't want to pay for.

  14. "Something they already know" or that simply doesn't push

    the story forward, i.e. something that is irrelevant to the story.

    Think to yourself, "how can I tell what I want to tell, in the shortest and most direct way possible".

    And if by cutting it down a certain way, you endup with a weaker point, less impressive, a less powerful story, etc. then you've clearly missed the first half of that equation right there. Which was to "tell what I want to tell…" and in such a case it wouldn't quite be what you had wanted to tell, now would it? Basically, just use your brain, if it's important then you show it, and if not, then you don't. It's pretty simple.

    Obviously, there are other important rules like "be realistic", and "stick to the rules of your world that you've created". I never said that was the only rule for storytelling, did I now? But anyways, talking about being realistic, if superman can fly in your movies universe, then hey, superman can fly, there is no problem there. But if you've established that Lois Lane is a regular person, then you've failed at the realism of your own world when her body doesn't get split into three by being caught by Superman as she falls at high speed slamming into his arms. (I'm just trying to give an example here, I think you get my point. Maybe you're right, maybe she wasn't falling fast enough yet, maybe there were other factors that would explain it, but my point is the same whether or not we can use this specific example. If you don't like it, then go make up
    your own example, but the point is still the point: Stay true to the realism of your story!) I'm just trying to show you that "realism" doesn't mean "our" realism, it just means sticking with the rules of the world that you've set up for yourself. Anyways, do forgive me for going on this tangent here.

    Of course, you don't have to follow anything, as you can surely just do what you want. But unless you actually know better, I'd say to think of all these "rules" (given by experts in the field) as good suggestions, to say the least, if you want to make good stories.

  15. This class is fucking awesome, this dude drops gems throughout. There's table reads of people's pilots, it's like seeing a writers room in action.
    all sccess pass costs as much as a year of netflix plus ten mochas. It's worth it. Single classes don't seem as worth it.

  16. I think the "damnit' comment is regional.
    I've heard all my life (growing up in Alabama) "Damnit, they cut me off!" "Damnit, I forgot to take the food out the oven" "Damnit, I don't want to go to work"…. I can go on lol

  17. I start a sentence with "damn it" all the time, I see where he's coming from but it's a fools error to assume no one in existence would do something, I would never in life… start a sentence with "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" so does that make Shakespeare a horrible writer!

  18. Master Class, Fuck you. Seeing your ad 100 times a day, really drive me mad and certainly dissuaded me from ever buying your bull.

  19. Thank you for more proof that these masterclasses are full of deluded instructors who attribute nothing to luck. There are countless hardworking, talented screenwriters who will never be successful due to sheer competition, and Aaron has the egotistical and ignorant nerve to lecture them on how to write a sentence. I hate this planet.

  20. The students in the workshop are SO cringey. Especially when one of them tells Aaron whilst he's in the middle of pitching Mission to Mars that he should instead write a show about an ex-president.

  21. I would NEVER trust Sorkin's opinion of how people speak. He writes lines that are very entertaining to listen to, but not very realistic. People DO start phrases with curse words, like when I spill things/ or mess up I typically go SHIT! or "Shit, I broke the yolk" (I like my eggs over easy). People have their favorite curse words, I'm sure someones is damn it. Some grammar people would insistent on writing it "Shit. I broke the yolk" which would make him only technically right and wrong in common practice. However, the real people almost NEVER SPEAK IN METER!

    This is something Sorkin characters do, even "lampshades" it for in season 2

    Ainsley Hayes: Mr. Tribbey? I’d like to do well on this, my first assignment. Any advice you could give me that might point me the way of success would be, by me, appreciated.

    Lionel Tribbey: Well, not speaking in iambic pentameter might be a step in the right direction.

  22. No one ever in life starts a sentence with dammit

    Leonard McCoy: Dammit Aaron, I’m a doctor not a ‘no one ever in life’

  23. the fact that he started a sentence with Damnit and states that no one ever in life starts off a sentence with damnit proves he's incorrect. SN TONS OF PEOPLE start sentences with damnit… I HATE when people try to put rules on what someone can, should or cant/shouldn't do when creating something. particularly when it comes to art….it really….grinds my gears.

  24. How I know that I don't belong in this universe? Because I have, on multiple occasions, started a sentence with 'Damnit.' Usually to myself ("Damnit, where is my phone?", "Damnit! I'm going to be late.") and sometimes to a movie screen ("Damnit, Janet, you're a slut!")

  25. I remember watching Thomas Ridgewell watch this and then write a script starting as many sentences with damn it as he could

  26. Character "Terry Hoitz" (Mark Wahlberg) from the 2010 movie, "The Other Guys" began a sentence thus: "DAMN IT, Bob! Let me ask you something…" – So Aaron Sorkin is wrong – screenwriters DO (at times) begin sentences with the phrase "damn it". So I'd take everything else he says (about writing) with a grain of salt.
    🟪 "The Towers of Eden"- America 2075: the day robots put millions permanently out of work – an amazon novel

  27. Damn it! is it MINE?
    Damn it! I cant go NOW!
    Damn it! RACECAR Spelled Backwards is the Same!
    Damn it! I Need my BIG break in writing!

  28. DAMMIT! STFU ! I Am sick of hearing these fuckin arseholes being advertised all over the vids on youtube. People start dialogues off with dammit all the itme. Sometimes its the one thing they say in a given instance. SO SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU DUNCE!

  29. I wanna take the class but I can't take the class bc I'm broke so I just gonna keep rewatching the trailer till I die

  30. Hearing this overblown, overrated clown discussing dialog in a "master class" is one of the great absurdities of all time. If you gave Sorkin a million years, he wouldn't be able to write one believable (or even listenable) two minute conversation.

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