An Ode to Masterclass

Imagine that you are a student who is relatively more interested in science than other subjects and you walk into your first class. The professor turns out to be Einstein! Could it possibly get any better?

A bunch of Einsteins, of their respective fields, are offering classes on Masterclass.com. I had previously done some online courses through Coursera, which was very good, but Masterclass is a class apart. These are not professors but professionals.

I completed three classes so far and can’t wait to go back for more. What you learn from a genius cannot be put into words but let me make an attempt. I feel enriched, empowered and enlightened. Since my latest interest is in screenwriting I went to Aaron Sorkin, Ron Howard and Steve Martin to show me their world. I learnt a lot more than I expected to.

Aaron Sorkin is not only very genuine, but a great teacher and such a gentleman.  He is not very fluent, though and I loved that because it made me see these are not perfect people churning out awesome stuff. He was very good with the teachable part of the craft and he generously pointed out the nuances. On the whole, you get to peek into  awesomeness and get valuable practical tips. If you want to rub shoulders with Hollywood’s talent but can’t, at least not yet, this comes a close second!

Ron Howard is a great director. He is extraordinarily fluent and connects with you in a deep way. He literally demonstrated how he works and covered a lot of material.  Whichever part of the film process you are interested in, this class will help you. You get to see a bird’s eye view of how the pieces fit into the puzzle.

Steve Martin’s was a class act! I obviously thought it will help me write better comedy but I also got to learn about writing in general. In fact, he was so good, that I began to feel that I could stand-up and not fall! I enjoyed taking notes. An example of what I loved was, how endings don’t have to be a gentle winding up but can be more upbeat and hint at a whole world unexplored.

So what’s next for me? I pre-enrolled for Malcolm Gladwell’s class and will be back before you blink!

 

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