MasterClass, a startup that offers specialized instruction from celebrities in various industries, has now added Martin Scorsese to its roster.
For $90 you can take a general filmmaking class with one of the most critically and commercially successful directors of the last 40 years. Or, as MasterClass CEO David Rogier boasts in a press release, “Scorsese is one of the most influential filmmakers of all-time... This is a once in a generation opportunity.” That’s some pitch.
Scorsese isn’t the first high-profile filmmaker to teach a course on MasterClass. Werner Herzog taught a “principles of filmmaking class,” Aaron Sorkin led a screenwriting class, and Hans Zimmer put together a course on scoring films. Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, and Steve Martin have also taught acting classes.
“If you’re thinking of movie-making as a career, this isn’t the class for you.”
The courses consist of video tutorials, homework assignments, and varying amounts of personalized feedback from the instructors. (There’s no indication of how much Scorsese will provide.) In the trailer for his course, which is open for enrollment today, Scorsese says, “If you’re thinking of movie-making as a career, this isn’t the class for you. But if you need to make movies, you feel like you can’t rest until you’ve told this particular story that you’ve been burning to tell, then I could be speaking to you.” Okay! The trailer pulls out clips from Scorsese’s most acclaimed work, including Taxi Driver, Casino, and Hugo. There’s a lot of Leonardo DiCaprio, too, and good for him.
In a press release, Scorsese further explained the draw of teaching an online class, saying, "I was excited by this project because it gave me a chance to pass down my own inspirations and experiences and practices and evolutions, not as a blueprint for how to make movies, but as a guidepost, an offering to young people attempting to find their own way.” From the trailer, it looks like he’ll be talking about directing as well as production design, writing, and editing.