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MasterClass has emerged as a formidable source for online screenwriting eduction.
Currently priced at $90 per class, it allows you to watch hours of lecture and classes from a master of the craft (Aaron Sorkin, David Mamet) as well as interact with other classmates through an online forum.
If you think you'll take more than one class per year, you'll want to use the All-Access Pass, which gives you access to every MasterClass for $180/year.
Where to Start
There are currently 6 writing courses at MasterClass.
Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting is a solid place to start. The course is comprised of lectures and a class setting with four student writers that emulates a television writers room.
Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television takes you behind the scenes into the process used to develop Gray's Anatomy and Scandal.
David Mamet Teached Dramatic Writing is comprised of lectures from the screenwriter and playwright. He explains his outlook on drama and plot, and exposes the thought process that went into the plot structures for American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross.
Other Writing Courses
None of these courses cover screenwriting per se, but each is helpful from a standpoint of pursuing the craft, establishing a writing habit, finding inspiration, and much more.
- James Patterson Teaches Writing
- Judy Blume Teaches Writing
- R.L. Stine Teaches Writing for Young Audiences
- Malcolm Gladwell Teaches Writing
- Bob Woodward Teaches Investigative Journalism
- Steve Martin Teaches Comedy
- Judd Apatow Teaches Comedy
Other Film Courses
Actors, directors and composers have all created MasterClass courses that further explore the filmmaking world.
“Screenplays are structure, and that's all they are. The quality of writing - which is crucial in almost every other form of literature - is not what makes a screenplay work.”
“The first draft, the first structure is really important. Do it fast, don't get stuck.”
“The first draft is nothing more than a starting point, so be wrong as fast as you can.”
“Breaking story, writing pages, or revising anything, Logline helps me keep my head in the clouds, my imagination running strong.”
“Every story, in a sense, is a mystery. It asks a question in the setup that will be answered at the climax.”
“Act One defines the conflict. Act Two elaborates that conflict to a Point of No Return. Act Three resolves that conflict, for good or ill.”