Martin Scorsese Teaches His First Online Course on Filmmaking: Features 30 Video Lessons

FYI: If you sign up for a Mas­ter­Class course by click­ing on the affil­i­ate links in this post, Open Cul­ture will receive a small fee that helps sup­port our oper­a­tion.

Last Sep­tem­ber, online edu­ca­tion com­pa­ny Mas­ter­class announced that they’d soon launch Mar­tin Scors­ese’s very first online course, “Mar­tin Scors­ese Teach­es Film­mak­ing.” Now it has opened for enroll­ment, at the usu­al Mas­ter­class cost of $180 for an all-access pass to the 85 cours­es on the site, a list that also includes Spike Lee and Wern­er Her­zog’s takes on the same sub­ject. For a com­pa­ny that has quick­ly made its name by enlist­ing famous instruc­tors, they could hard­ly do bet­ter than Scors­ese, whose own name has become a byword for auteurism in late 20th- and ear­ly 21st-cen­tu­ry Amer­i­can cin­e­ma.

“If you’re intrigued by moviemak­ing as a career, this isn’t the class for you,” Scors­ese says in the class’ trail­er above. “But if you need to make movies, if you feel like you can’t rest until you’ve told this par­tic­u­lar sto­ry that you’re burn­ing to tell, then I could be speak­ing to you.” Its 30 lessons, which cov­er every­thing from his life and edu­ca­tion to devel­op­ing a style to cast­ing actors to shoot­ing on a low bud­get, might also appeal to those who sim­ply love Scors­ese’s movies.

He illus­trates his instruc­tion­al points by draw­ing on his own for­mi­da­ble fil­mog­ra­phy and the vast expe­ri­ence that has gone into it (includ­ing the phys­i­cal ill­ness that descends upon him before view­ing each rough cut), a process that no doubt pro­vides count­less insights into what makes his work so pow­er­ful.

But the cur­ricu­lum also goes well beyond Scors­ese-on-Scors­ese, as one might expect from a man unabashed­ly dri­ven by a pure love of cin­e­ma — of, seem­ing­ly, all of cin­e­ma. In the final sec­tion of the course, Scors­ese breaks down scenes from Stan­ley Kubrick­’s Bar­ry Lyn­don, Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past, François Truf­faut’s Jules and Jim, Alfred Hitch­cock­’s Ver­ti­go, and Fed­eri­co Fellini’s 8 1/2, exam­in­ing the tech­ni­cal ele­ments that fill them with their dis­tinc­tive mag­ic. His enthu­si­asm has sure­ly inspired almost as many of his fans to go into film­mak­ing as has his work itself, but even those who lack the burn­ing desire to tell cin­e­mat­ic sto­ries them­selves know that if there’s any view­ing expe­ri­ence as com­pelling as watch­ing a Scors­ese movie, it’s watch­ing Scors­ese talk about movies. Learn more about Scors­ese’s course here.

You can take this class by sign­ing up for a Mas­ter­Class’ All Access Pass. The All Access Pass will give you instant access to this course and 85 oth­ers for a 12-month peri­od.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Mar­tin Scors­ese Cre­ates a List of 39 Essen­tial For­eign Films for a Young Film­mak­er

Mar­tin Scors­ese Makes a List of 85 Films Every Aspir­ing Film­mak­er Needs to See

Spike Lee to Teach an Online Course on Film­mak­ing; Get Ready By Watch­ing His List of 95 Essen­tial Films

Aaron Sorkin, Cre­ator of The West Wing & The Social Net­work, Teach­es Screen­writ­ing in an Online Class

Great Film­mak­ers Offer Advice to Young Direc­tors: Taran­ti­no, Her­zog, Cop­po­la, Scors­ese, Ander­son, Felli­ni & More

Wern­er Her­zog Teach­es His First Online Course on Film­mak­ing

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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