In this post, I have done a detailed review of the Filmmaking Masterclass course by Martin Scorsese But first, let me do a quick introduction to this Masterclass platform.
The masterclass is a course website where you get to learn about varied subjects.
What sets it apart from other educational websites out there is that masterclass is a curated course platform that is taught by the leading experts of the given industry. Which is really unique in my opinion.
It has two pricing structures.
If you are looking into taking only one particular course then you can pay 90$ and get lifetime access to that course or you can opt for an all-access pass where you can pay 180$ annually and access as many courses as you wish.
I would really advise you to go for the second option as the content on this platform is simply exceptional and is really hard to choose any one particular course.
Martin Scorsese Masterclass Review 2021
About Martin Scorsese Masterclass
Martin Scorsese is a legendary man.
He has blessed the industry with amazing movies like Taxi Driver, Good Fellas, Shutter Island, Gangs of New York and the list goes on and on. Every movie that Martin Scorsese has a unique perspective and an amazing storyline.
Martin has so many prestigious awards to his name! Be it the Globes, the Emmy we couldn’t count them all on your finger.
His love for New York can be seen in his movies, after all, he was born and brought up there.
Martin has his name as one of the best directors of all times and I doubt anyone else will ever reach the level of excellence that he has achieved.
Martin is one of those figures you have to look up to when you start your journey in Filmmaking. Let’s move forward and catch a glimpse of what you will learn in Martin Scorsese’s Masterclass.
About the Course
Martin Scorsese is giving all of his wisdom in this Masterclass.
Right from his personal experiences to the way he learned so much about life in general when it comes to filmmaking.
So what will you learn out of this course? This 6-hour course is going to take you through some major thought processes.
Martin is going to take you through all that there is to know about Filmmaking.
One major benefit you are going to get from this course is that you are going to learn about the more technical parts of Filmmaking here.
This section is something that you won’t find any teacher talking about often.
The camera angles or the way the sound has to react to your screen time.
Martin drives these minute details and talks about them so passionately that you have to wait and appreciate the intricacy of the whole process.
Further, you will also learn about in detail finding your story, choosing your actor, and even laying the storyline. Let’s dig in to find out.
Martin Scorsese Masterclass Course Overview
This course is divided into 30 video lessons which are stored in 9 sections.
The course runs for about 5 hours. And the five hours are more of a ride than taking a class. Let me break down the class in brief for you.
This section contains a single video of about 4 minutes.
In this video, Martin introduces himself and his vision for this class.
And he talks about how you have to be true to yourself and your story for starters when you become a filmmaker.
In this section, Martin gives a view into his early years and how and what he learned in his early years as a student of New York University, and how his teacher helped him develop his vision.
This section is divided into two videos and runs for 18 minutes.
He talks about how when he was a kid, movies were only watched in the theater and how it was a whole other experience.
He also explains how the surroundings he has grown up in, which is New York City, deeply impacted his stories.
Even in his movies, we can see how New York holds a huge place in his heart.
Being a Director
Running for 45 minutes in total, and a compilation of four videos, Martin answers all questions relating to how you can do the job.
He explains all the aspects that are related to directing your movie.
Here he goes in-depth about how you have to start working on your movie and how you have to make sure that the story you use is something that you are genuinely interested in.
He also explains how you can use direct references from other movies that you have liked.
He explains how using the correct voice-over is important and can add essence to your movie.
Experimenting with your gear is something that he believes in. He recalls his memories from The Raging Bulls and how he used a new instrument, and what it taught him.
One major thing that Martin taught us here is that due to the new technology, the work has become very easy and quick, but what you miss is a lot of thinking time.
Back in the days, when the film used a lot of time to develop, it gave him enough time to think and rethink his scene and could come up with a better alternative of enhancing the same shot.
Story and Script
The next section is about the most important aspect, the Story. Running for 25 minutes this section is divided into two videos. He mentions how most of the movies that he has directed had sparked interests in him, from the streets where he grew up or from the books that he read.
He also talks about how the evolution of some of his scenes unwrapped in front of him.
For example, Trevor (De Niro) observing the gun for the first time, was De Niro finding his character in reality.
These small changes and tricks sparked up the entire process of filming. This is an example of how you can make so many changes if you rehearse properly.
Working with Actors
A section of 19 minutes and two videos tells you how to choose your actors and how to work with them.
Since actors take up 80-90% of the screen. You have to make sure that you choose the best and not even consider the second best.
He explains how it is important that your actor portrays more of the natural acting and how you have to give him/her the space to make mistakes and learn from them because they are experiencing the character for the first time, just like you are.
You shall have a good relationship with your character, understand them emotionally, and how they will react to the scenes that you put them up with.
Martin also gives many teachings as to how you can build your confidence up as you see your actor brings the character you want to live.
This is the longest part of the course which has six videos and runs for an hour and 16 minutes.
Here, you will learn all about the production of the film, be it the sets, costumes, or how you should work with your crew.
Martin has given answers to all.
He explains how you should not compromise on location.
You should feel the space before you use it and observe the changing lights for your scenes and follow the craziest ideas because, in the end, all that matters is how it looks on the screen.
He also explains how production design is very important and how you can use it to your maximum advantage.
The way you use it shall also depend on your shot.
For example, if you are shooting Las Vegas with all the glamour, you can contrast these scenes with two people having coffee in a small cafe along the street. You shall be truthful to the time and space of the era you are working in.
The costumes that your actors wear have to do justice to the characters.
So you have to make sure that you think like the character when you go shopping.
Make your actor try on different clothes as to what suits them and how their mustache and hair can be trimmed to make them look more in character.
Later Martin talks about cinematography and how very important it is and how you shall learn from experience and not be afraid of its technicalities.
You must have a good cinematographer with vision.
And how every shot has to be checked and rechecked if the light is good enough, the angle of the shot, or the size of the shot.
He talks about how you should have a good relationship with your cinematographer to learn as well as excel in the shot section.
When you shoot a low-budget film, you have to pre-plan to save up on your money and resources.
You must be smart and attentive and take quick decisions when you are shooting a small budget film.
You feel that the current set will look good for the scene which you have planned for later.
Use it. Know your story and study your shots and scenes to achieve this kind of sense.
When it comes to directing a crew you must have a balance of your vision of the movie and their expertise at hand.
Crew members are the lifeline of the making of your movie. You shall have a good bond with your crew members as even they are artists and can give you amazing ideas to enhance your movie.
This section covers more or less all that you have to take care of before shooting your shot.
Martin also gives an insight as to how setting up the entire set and costumes can take hours, but if the actor has the vision that you have, you can get done with the shooting part of it in under an hour.
Post – Production
This section is again a six video long section that runs for an hour and five minutes.
Editing is as important as shooting a film.
Martin showcases his admiration for his trusted colleague Thelma Schoonmaker.
He tells you how he sits with the editor and edits the film as a team.
Even there he takes his responsibility as the director, checking the lighting, adding the shits he might not need, or abandoning the golden pieces to bring more sense in a shot or to discard all of that and start anew.
Editing is as much a process as is the filming itself.
Colour in a film is important and Martin tells you about his admiration of Technicolour as well as black and white and how you could use them.
But he gives ideas as to how black and white could turn to light and shadow in a shot and still give the same effect.
Next in line is Sound.
Martin explains how creating a mood and atmosphere shall be your main concern when it comes to sound design.
He suggests not to overdo the sound and how keeping it simple, will give you more positive results rather than adding multiple layers of sound.
And how music is another important element when it comes to sound.
You have to make sure that you pick a tune or create one which suits your storyline and the area that it is shot in.
Understanding this can make a huge difference for the audience and create the exact mood that you want.
Breaking Don a Scene
In this section, Martin breaks down five scenes in 14 minutes for you and explains how you have to take care of light and sounds when you film the shots.
How the actor’s positions are and how you can compose your scenes and use the emotional effects to your advantage.
Promoting Your Film
Martin further explains how promotion plays an important part.
As the filmmaker, you have to make sure that you are present to promote your film and snake it to reach the maximum number of people. Martin explains how posters can be effective when it comes to promotion.
Engage your actors in promotional activities as they are the face of your movie.
This is just a glimpse of what the course is really about.
Once you take the course you will realize the depths that Martin has reached to explain his point.
The course takes you to the depths of every aspect there is in filmmaking and I am sure you are going to enjoy every bit of it.
Who Should Take The Course?
Anyone and everyone interested in films must take this course.
If you are related to films in any way. You might be an actor, director, assistant, or editor.
You must take this course as it explains to you the fundamentals of filmmaking.
The last part of this course is that you get to learn from the best in the field.
You get to understand Martin’s vision and get clues as to how you can develop your vision as well.
In the end, you will understand why Martin Scorsese is the filmmaker that he is and why he is so good at what he does.
Along with this course, you will receive a 74 pages booklet which is a compilation of all that Martin has spoken about in the video lessons. It is more of a summary-based text.
The workbook also has many assignments for you at the end of every chapter.
No, don’t worry the assignments are not about stressing, but sure are of great help to create your vision and develop your observation skills.
It also provides a Learn More box after every chapter where you will find more sources of learning on that particular subject.
Be it movies, books, or even websites.
You are encouraged to post your assignment online on The Hub, where you can chat with your colleagues or sub-instructors and get feedback or have a discussion.
Martin Scorsese Masterclass Pricing
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Martin Scorsese Masterclass Review Testimonials
Conclusion: Martin Scorsese Masterclass Review 2021
To be honest, I enjoyed the course. Although I did take a couple of breaks when the course got overwhelming.
There is so much to learn that you need to keep up with Martin’s pace.
The best thing that Martin Scorsese teaches is that you learn the most with your experience.
The way he makes you brave by encouraging you to do what you have to do is what I cherish.
The technicalities have been explained in non-technical words which makes them easy to understand.
It makes you want more tips about the subject.
The camera angle and shots have been explained beautifully.
Moreover, the best part that I liked about this course was how Martin has broken down and explained some of his favorite shots.
Right there I understood that even every ten seconds in a film are planned and executed so meticulously.
I hope all of you enjoy this course and make the most out of it like I did, after all, you will be learning from a legendary director!
So, I hope you guys enjoyed the review, We would love to hear your thoughts on the same in the comment section below.
Also, I highly recommend the Filmmaking Masterclass course by Martin Scorsese and if you wish to pursue please go-ahead with no second thought.
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