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What we will get in this course?
You’ll learn Aaron Sorkin’s rules of storytelling, dialogue, character development, and what makes a script actually sell. By the end, you’ll write unforgettable screenplays.
- Introduction – Meet Aaron. He’s an Oscar winner, a TV hitmaker, and the writer of the some of the smartest dramas ever to hit the screen. And now, he’s your instructor.
- Intention & Obstacle – Every great story is born from intentions and obstacles. Learn how to build the “drive shaft” that will set your script in motion.
- Story Ideas – How do you know if your idea is good enough to turn into a script? Aaron walks you through the steps every writer should take to test an idea—and decide whether it will work best in TV or film.
- Developing Characters: Part 1 – Aaron shares some of the decisions he made to develop some of his most unforgettable characters—like The Social Network’s Mark Zuckerberg and The West Wing’s Toby and Leo.
- Developing Characters: Part 2 – Your characters don’t have to be like you—or even likeable. Drawing on examples from A Few Good Men and Steve Jobs, Aaron explains why he always empathizes with his characters even if he disagrees with them.
- Research – Good research is the key to a great script. Bad research is a waste of time. How can you tell the difference? Aaron shares lessons from Malice and The Social Network to help you gather the information you really need.
- Incorporating Research – You have pages of research—now what? Avoid clunky exposition and learn how to seamlessly weave research into your story.
- The Audience – Aaron knows that the audience isn’t just watching his work. They’re participating in it, too. Learn how to write stories that will keep them engaged and entertained.
- Rules of Story – The rules of great drama aren’t new. Here, Aaron explains how most of them were laid out more than 2,000 years ago by Aristotle in his Poetics, and how to use those lessons to become a diagnostician for your own story ideas.
- Film Story Arc – Page numbers don’t sound exciting, but they’re a great tool for tracking the act-structure and pacing of your story.
- Writing Habits – Even Aaron gets writer’s block. Learn how he gets unstuck and what writing tools he uses to make sure he’s ready when inspiration strikes.
- Group Workshop: Untitled by JJ Braider – While workshopping J.J.’s script, Aaron shares his tips on writing action scenes that move as fast on the page as they will on the screen.
- Group Workshop: E is for Edie by Jeanie Bergen – The offbeat characters in Jeanie’s script are a hit with Aaron, who warns about the dangers of getting feedback from close-minded studio execs. (Warning: explicit content).
- And much more.