“I’m not writing something that’s meant to be read; I’m writing something that’s meant to be performed.”Aaron Sorkin
“Just having written a screenplay is no more satisfying to me than if a songwriter handed out pieces of sheet music.”
But, he admits, “Writing never comes easy. The difference between Page 2 and Page Nothing is the difference between life and death.”
From Inside Aaron Sorkin’s Writing Process 1/8/2011 by Christy Grosz, The Hollywood Reporter.
“The worst crime you can commit is telling the audience something they already know.”
Aaron Sorkin is a screenwriter, playwright and producer. His writing credits include the Broadway plays A Few Good Men and The Farnsworth Invention; the television series Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and The Newsroom.
His films include The American President, Malice, A Few Good Men, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network, Moneyball, and Steve Jobs.
Social Network director David Fincher says, “Part of what makes Sorkin is not just the tonnage of words but the fact that you’re watching a person navigate the jungle of their self-doubt, the jungle of their thought process.”
Sorkin was reportedly on set every day during the production of The Social Network.
The acclaimed Academy Award winner is teaching screenwriting through the Online Education Platform MasterClass.
The course page summarizes:
“You’ll learn his rules of storytelling, dialogue, character development, and what makes a script actually sell. By the end, you’ll write unforgettable screenplays.”
A testimonial from a class student, Mamta Valderrama, an author and entrepreneur:
“Aaron is incredibly bright and speaks in real terms/actionable steps for me as a screenwriter…not in the abstract. I enjoyed the real and actionable instruction.”
Sorkin has commented about his class:
“There’s a great tradition of writers from one generation giving a hand to the next group coming up—a tradition I got a lot of benefit from. I think new screenwriters will come away from the MasterClass with a new sense of confidence.”
“I’m in a constant state of writer’s block; that’s my default position.” Aaron Sorkin
In her review about the Aaron Sorkin MasterClass, Stephanie Palmer comments about being a student:
“Some of the best features of Sorkin’s class are the breakdowns of his own work, showing students scenes from his movies or television shows followed by a step-by-step deconstructions.
“Using scenes from movies such as Steve Jobs and The Social Network, Sorkin analyzes everything from character development to stakes to dialogue.
“It’s rare to get an illuminating play-by-play that perfectly describes a specific writing lesson, much less one taught by the writer himself.
“Students come away with a clear understanding of the principles of good writing.”
From post: Aaron Sorkin MasterClass Review, 08.12.2016.
Stephanie Palmer is a former MGM Pictures executive and best-selling author of the book “Good in a Room: How to Sell Yourself (and Your Ideas) and Win Over Any Audience.”
MasterClass programs currently available online include Dustin Hoffman (acting), James Patterson (writing), Usher (performance), Christina Aguilera (singing), Werner Herzog (filmmaking), Aaron Sorkin (screenwriting) and Kevin Spacey (acting).
Upcoming classes include Annie Leibovitz, Frank Gehry, Shonda Rhimes and others.