Has anyone used MasterClass? Worth it?

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  • Has anyone used MasterClass? Worth it?

    I saw that Aaron Sorkin does a class on screenwriting but the class that really has my interest is the Neil Gaiman one as I am a huge fan of his work. For those of you who have used MasterClass, is it worth it or is it just a cash grab by these people? I don’t wanna believe that Neil would be one of those kinda people but you never know.
    Last edited by Done Deal Pro; 01-12-2022, 02:35 PM. Reason: Added Tags

  • #2
    James Patterson started MC. His class was worthless. So he brought in experts in other fields. If you want insights into the psychology of champions The cost is in line with the benefits

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    • #3
      I have full access on all classes and love it. I listen to classes on the way to work and on the way home. I think there is a wealth of information that can help a writer. I've had it for two years. Started with Sorkin when it first hit the street.

      Worth every dollar.

      Gordon Ramsey, Thomas Keller and Wolfgang Puck are just amazing bonuses!
      "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
      Hollywood producer

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      • #4
        Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
        I Started with Sorkin when it first hit the street.!
        Aaron Sorkin shares his secrets of writing success. Hmmm

        Give me an elevator pitch of an Aaron Sorkin.. well, anything they taught you in the class, anything that inspired you to create the next.... the next What?

        Aaron made a movie out of a big-stakes poker game and the woman who ran it... The west Wing...

        Were you inspired to write a political character piece where a woman is the smartest person in the room?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by VoltarReturns View Post

          Aaron Sorkin shares his secrets of writing success. Hmmm

          Give me an elevator pitch of an Aaron Sorkin.. well, anything they taught you in the class, anything that inspired you to create the next.... the next What?

          Aaron made a movie out of a big-stakes poker game and the woman who ran it... The west Wing...

          Were you inspired to write a political character piece where a woman is the smartest person in the room?
          I'm not going to give you anything. What I get out of it isn't the point. Nor do I have to justify its worth to you or anyone else. I found value in it. Period.

          What inspires me is people who are successful. People who work hard. I respect their work. Sorkin is undeniably successful. You didn't learn anything? Well, you do you, boo.

          You think you can write something as good as The West Wing, A Few Good Men, Social Network, Newsroom, Molly's Game, Steve Jobs, The American President, Moneyball... and that's just off the top of my head. You think you can have a career like that? Then, I'll be happy to listen YOUR MasterClass when they ask you to do one.

          Yeah, so your condescending tone has struck me the wrong way.

          To anyone else who is interested, it's up to you whether you get value out of it. If you're interested try the free trial. If it bores you, don't sign up. No one is forcing anyone sign up.

          For $180 it's worth my money and time to listen to what they have to say about their own career, what they've learned, what they know. I found most worth my time. Not everything, but 98% of it. I've listened to almost all of the film and writing ones. My favs are below...

          Shonda Rhimes
          James Cameron
          Davud Baldacci
          Dan Brown
          James Patterson
          Hans Zimmer
          David Mamet
          Ron Howard (intense and detailed directing)
          Judd Apatow
          Werner Herzog
          Jodi Foster (great for independent director)
          Neil Gaiman
          David Lynch (meh)

          Some I just listen to over and over again in the car.

          There are amazing other Masterclasses in many categories that, if you can afford it, are just amazing.
          Last edited by finalact4; 01-13-2022, 07:02 PM.
          "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
          Hollywood producer

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          • #6
            Not a big fan of Shonda Rhimes, but James Patterson has gathered a list of highly successful in many fields

            Looking at that list of Sorkin movies, did he talk about picking bigger than life personalities, focus on a person worth two hours of our time

            Mark Zuckerberg in Social Network
            Caffey/tom cruise as representing lawyers, military
            Steve Jobs in Apple

            so, my question, a successful woman who considers herself the smartest person in the room, that was a line by Holly Hunter…in Broadcast News by James Brooks

            The classic Sorkin is a male politician. Michael Douglas and Michael Douglas as presidents

            The obvious next step is Kamala Harris or a Sorkin version…
            come to think of it, shonda rhimes did Scandal, an affair with a male President
            Last edited by VoltarReturns; 01-13-2022, 08:54 PM.

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            • #7
              Do they have a Masterclass in how to use a message board?

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              • #8
                It helps if you’re sitting at a computer instead of an iPhone

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by finalact4 View Post

                  I'm not going to give you anything. What I get out of it isn't the point. Nor do I have to justify its worth to you or anyone else. I found value in it. Period.

                  Some I just listen to over and over again in the car.

                  Yeah, so your condescending tone has struck me the wrong way.

                  .
                  According to the MasterClass site, each class consists of 20 videos and a workbook for each video. Sorkin has 30.

                  https://www.masterclass.com/find-my-...s?categories=7

                  I'm thinking you never did any of the exercises in the Workbook for Sorkin's class.

                  From the Sorkin page: In this class, you’ll learn his rules of storytelling, dialogue, character development, and what makes a script actually sell By the end, you’ll write screenplays that capture your audience’s attention.

                  Video 1: Intention and Obstacle.

                  The Fundamentals Of a Good Story

                  "You don't show the audience who a character is - you show the audience what a character wants. Characters are defined by their actions in the face of obstacles." - Aaron Sorkin

                  A good story involves drama. Drama means conflict. If you want to tell a good story, there must be:
                  1. Intention — the strong urge or pull of your protagonist (or you) to do something.
                  2. Obstacle — something formidable has to stand in the way.
                  How many times were you watching a movie and said, “Geez, why didn’t the main character just open the door and escaped?”

                  That was probably a bad movie.

                  Both the Intention and Obstacle have to be strong enough for a story to make sense.

                  Example From ‘The Social Network’

                  Mark Zuckerberg is a 19-year-old kid. He’s weird. He’s anti-social. He’s a geek nobody wants to date.

                  His Intention? He desperately wants to become like all of those other kids at Harvard. He wants to date girls, go to parties, feel included, and be a member of prestigious Harvard clubs. All of that is clear within the first 5 minutes of the movie.

                  To do that — he creates his own world, a virtual “city” called Facebook, which he can be a “mayor” of.

                  His Obstacle? Everything that has to do with building a billion-dollar social network. Lawsuits, competition, fundraising, and company management.

                  Characters Are Not People

                  Most writers think they have to make their characters look real. The more human traits they give their characters, writers think, the better.

                  In The Social Network, Mark is not a person. He’s a character. We never learn anything about his parents. All of that is irrelevant because characters are not people.

                  You don’t need to write down a character persona and their traits before you write a story. Story is about transformation. Story isn't about plot. It's about how events change people.

                  The tactics of dealing with the Intention vs. Obstacle conflict — is how characters manifest themselves. Each character will have their own tactic. Mark’s biggest Obstacle throughout the movie is the Winkelvoss brothers’ lawsuit. And we all see how he deals with it — by neglecting it.

                  The Drive Shaft of the Story.

                  External Intentions:
                  To win to stop to escape to get somewhere

                  Readers love a worthy Internal Intention:
                  Love Atonement Justice Duty Redemption Self-Respect

                  Your protagonist doesn't have to win, she has to try.
                  Intentions evolve as obstacles mount and the journey unfolds.
                  Risk must be perceived
                  Tension must be relentless
                  Antagonists strengthen the conflict

                  With a partner, brainstorm Intention and Obstacle with one of these:
                  You've Got Mail, Toy Story, The Martian,

                  Solution must require everything the protagonist has (Not exactly followed in The American President) (end of Workbook)

                  You get a Workbook for each video. This one asks us to "brainstorm" how each character faces obstacles in "You've Got Mail" and "Toy Story." With a partner.
                  Last edited by VoltarReturns; 01-13-2022, 11:56 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Don’t give VoltarReturns the time of day. He is a troll who likes to pop into threads and be as negative as possible. Thank you finalact4 and anyone else who responded. Don’t feed the troll.

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                    • #11
                      Fun fact for ALL you can add people to the IGNORE LIST too if you don't even want to see their posts. I just IGNORE most of you in my head. But I love you all, even the trolls and bots.



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                      • #12
                        My friend gave me his login at one point and I watched the Sorkin Masterclass and I love hearing his voice. I'm blown away at how they get every single famous person. The business model is insane. I never watched any others. But I will say they are great at marketing. The trailers for each class makes you want to watch them.

                        I was looking for a free trial, but I saw 15 buck per month to get all the masterclasses right? So I assume you can sign up and cancel anytime -- I wonder if for 15 bucks -- you can take a spin.

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                        • #13
                          I wish I could find the ignore button but alas, I can’t find it. Maybe it’s not on the mobile version of the website since that’s what I’m using?

                          Anyway, Bono, it’s $15/month but I believe it is billed annually so you have to shell out for the first year up front, not just a month’s worth. I think that’s what I read anyway.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Acooljt View Post
                            Don’t give VoltarReturns the time of day. He is a troll who likes to pop into threads and be as negative as possible. Thank you finalact4 and anyone else who responded. Don’t feed the troll.
                            I think you are mistaken about the nature of screenwriting.

                            This is a place to help each other. Not accuse other posters of being trolls

                            You asked a question about MasterClass. I took the James Patterson course. I know what the workbooks are. If you only listen to the courses, you're only getting 30%. I actually recommended the Aaron Sorkin course when it first appeared on the site. Now there are lots more writers.

                            I thought the James Patterson course was a waste. It is aimed at someone who has never taken a writing course. The kind of person who sees MasterClass ads on TV and thinks, "I don't know anything about writing but maybe I could write best-selling crime novels with the right help." James Patterson held a contest. He said he would allow the winner to co-write a book with their name next to Patterson's on the cover.

                            Patterson appeared with the winner on TV. 29 years old, working for a newspaper in a small town, who thought it would be really cool to move from journalism to writing novels.

                            https://michaelcavacini.com/2017/11/...ner-kecia-bal/

                            Kecia Bal: I hadn’t done fiction since I was a child. I’m a single Mom with two little kids. I had made no time for it, although I always wanted to. Every writer secretly dreams about writing a hit book one day. But I hadn’t been pursuing that. When I saw that James Patterson was offering this class, I thought of it as a way to improve my non-fiction writing. Clearly, he’s doing something right. And, oddly enough, I learned about the class because I was reading a blog post that was critical of James Patterson, saying “he’s a commercial fiction writer.” I read that and thought that James Patterson is clearly doing something that’s getting people hooked, and that’s what I want to do with my writing, no matter what kind of writing it is. I thought there had to be something I could learn from it. So, I thought about taking the class but I was crazy busy with work. Then I read about the contest to co-author a book with him. I thought that sounded great, so I registered and took the class. I did all of this in the middle of the night.

                            Months later, I saw the book in stores. It was a "read in 5 minutes" mini-book that Patterson thought would expand his fan base to include illiterates. Title is "The Dolls" with the slug line "Looks can kill." A fashion model thought she had a stalker and turned out, she was right.

                            https://www.tribdem.com/news/tribune...dad83ab76.html

                            LINK: To enter the competition hosted by Patterson, Bal submitted a short pitch or “hook” for a murder mystery novel set in Boston, along with a single-page summary and sample chapter. (end)

                            I entered the contest thinking it would be a "murder mystery novel". Would have written a different concept if I had know it was a mini-book. My sample chapter was longer than Kecai's book.

                            Isn't she just the cutest thing? She's the ideal person to take MasterClass according to Patterson. The prize wasn't a real book but her name was on the cover, in a little font right below Patterson (cover at the first link)

                            Yes, I took Patterson's course in 2016. Not yesterday.
                            Last edited by VoltarReturns; 01-14-2022, 10:28 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Acooljt View Post
                              I wish I could find the ignore button but alas, I can’t find it. Maybe it’s not on the mobile version of the website since that’s what I’m using?

                              Anyway, Bono, it’s $15/month but I believe it is billed annually so you have to shell out for the first year up front, not just a month’s worth. I think that’s what I read anyway.
                              Top right corner, your handle ACCOLJT sould be in the corner, underneath that is a drop down menu if you click on it are USER SETTINGS. Go to ACCOUNT and way down is an IGNORE LIST to add USER NAMES. I've added people on and off for years. I'm sure on a few lists myself. It's just better for some people NOT to see my dumb posts, then I hope they do it and vice versa.

                              Mine is currently empty as I enjoy the pain.

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