Martin Scorsese Masterclass Review

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Martin Scorsese Teaches Filmmaking

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Martin Scorsese is an Oscar-winning director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and film historian. He has been creating movies for more than 50 years. In the Masterclass, Martin shares his perspective on visual storytelling. He provides insights into all the major processes of film production. You will learn about everything from research and screenwriting to the very end of post-production.

Martin shares his secrets for creating great movies, but the only way to discover your style and workflows is to go out and make movies.


  • A conceptual framework of what cinematography is and how to create great movies from the Master’s perspective
  • A high-level overview of all major production processes
  • Practical tips on how to work on every step of the way when creating a movie
  • Director’s authenticity and passion in presenting of the content, rough stories


  • Not a step-by-step blueprint on how to create movies. According to Martin, there’s no right way to cinematography; you have to find your way
  • No strict recommendations on what to do or not to do. Martin is providing guidelines, not instructions
  • No recommendations about what cameras to buy, what angles to use. This course is not aimed to teach you how to start making movies, but rather how to find your style as a director.

The film industry is very hands on. Often you learn as you go, improving processes and workflows with every next production experience. As a content producer myself, I know how difficult it can be to find the time and resources to learn about every aspect of the movie-making process. And a small mistake during production can cause grand complications in post-production and cost a lot of money.

Luckily, today we can learn from the best. In his Masterclass, Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese shares over 50 years of experience and mastery with us. He invites to join his mastermind to learn invaluable insights about every aspect of film production.

Things to consider before buying this Masterclass

In his Masterclass, Martin is essentially offering you his mentorship. He is inviting you to ask questions, look at things through his eyes and reflect on his half-century production experience. He is openly sharing his wins and regrets and advising on how to make your filmmaking experience more smooth and enjoyable.

In Martin’s words, “If you are intrigued by a movie making as a career, this class is not for you, but if you need to make movies, this class might be for you.” You will enjoy this class if you are passionate about visuals, characters and telling stories.

According to Martin, Filmmaking is an art, supported by the science of technology.

If you are looking for a step-by-step checklist on how to start working on your first movie, what camera to buy and how to set up the lightning, you might want to look for a different program. In this class, Martin is not telling you what to do or how to do it; he is teaching you how to think to create your processes and workflows.

I recommend watching a few of Martin’s movies before starting the Masterclass. In this way, you can better understand his references and examples.

Presenting Martin Scorsese Masterclass

This Masterclass consists of 30 video lessons with over seven hours of content and a downloadable workbook. The program aims to provide insights into filmmaking from the Director’s perspective. Martin is sharing his philosophy of what cinematography is and his perspective on how to create great movies.

He shares many practical tips on how to approach every step of movie making. You will learn about the research and create scripts, storyboard, logistics, working with teams on set and ways of using visuals and audio during post-production.

This class is a conceptual presentation of cinematography as an art and a profession. It also provides a high-level overview of the production processes from the legendary director.

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Lesson 1 – Introduction – Martin shares his perspective on cinematography as a career. You will learn what kind of people can succeed in the industry. This lesson explains who this class is for, and what to expect from the program.

Lesson 2 – The beginnings – This class teaches us two valuable lessons:

Every one of us must do what we are called to do (you will know what it is by identifying what you care about the most).

It is essential to learn from the masters in the industry to identify your style.

Lesson 3 – Martin’s education – Martin is sharing how a great teacher can give you confidence and inspiration. Martin learned two invaluable lessons from his teacher: the importance of finding your voice and the value of the shot.

Lesson 4 – Discovering the process – Movie making for Martin is art; thus there’s no one process. There is no right process. That’s why it’s important to stay open to what’s happening around you while making your film.

Lesson 5 – Channeling your influences – Remember the second lesson where Martin was telling us to watch the old masters? In this lesson, he explains why that is important. Get impressed and express what hit you in your way.

Lesson 6 – Developing your style – In this lesson, Martin gives you permission and blessing not to try to be a certain way. Immerse yourself in the process, and see what comes up. Create, enjoy the workflow, and your style will reveal itself. Make sure to develop your visual literacy, experiment with other forms of filmmaking. Here he also explains how to do storyboarding on paper.

Lesson 7 – Directing and technology – Technology will not direct for you – it’s a tool, you are the storyteller. You can film anywhere with everything – all you need is a desire to say something. Don’t distract yourself with too many technological choices. Keep focusing on what you are trying to say.

Lesson 8 – Finding the story – You will be the most successful in telling the story that is close to you. Check in with your desire, passion and the need to express something, talk about and share something that is important to you.

Lesson 9 – Working with the script – Martin explains how research can enrich the writing. You will learn how to create characters during rehearsals and how to change characters while always sticking to the plot.

Lesson 10 – Casting actors – According to Martin, 90% of the movie production success comes from having the right actors. Make sure you conduct the castings well. In this lesson, you will learn how to do that: how to run the casts, how to find the right people for the proper roles, how to work with the team.

Lesson 11 – Directing actors – Martin explains how vital director’s guidance is for the actors, but you also have to give them space to try out and feel it. The space to fail and work through it.

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Martin Scorsese Masterclass

Lesson 12 – Locations – In this lesson, you will learn how to scout locations and how you can turn your limitations into advantages.

Lesson 13 – Production design – You will learn the importance of the set designs and why you always have to stay true to the time and the place of the scenes.

Lesson 14 – Costume design – Martin shares the many ways to find the right costumes for different productions. Always keeping in mind – costume has to come from the character. How would this character behave, what would they wear on the street, at home, and at the party?

Lesson 15 – Understanding cinematography – Cinematography will always make you learn something. Stay open and follow your vision and the movie itself, it will show you what’s the best thing to do in every moment.

Lesson 16 – Shooting low budget films – Creativity comes alive through limitations. Low budget films can be a challenge, but the important thing is to deliver the message.

Lesson 17 – Working with a crew – Being a director isn’t an easy job. Every day people will ask you a ton of different questions. And it’s your responsibility to know what to answer. When forming a team, remember this – find the people you trust, trust them to see the way.

Lesson 18 – Editing part 1 – Martin explains how a film comes alive during the edit and how crucial it is to find loyal editors. Here he also gives an example of how you can work with pacing during rehearsals to shorten the scenes.

Lesson 19 – Editing part 2 – The editing process takes a lot of experimentation. Make sure you work with an editor who maintains your vision of the final film. Most likely you will have to lose some scenes you love in the editing process. You will hate your first rough cut. You will feel like the editing process is never over and you can always improve something about the picture. Martin teaches you how to go through these situations.

Lesson 20 – Color – In this lesson, you will learn about the use of color in early cinema and the importance of designing color. Martin emphasizes the message he mentioned in the previous experiences – even if you can do it, it doesn’t mean you should do it.

Lesson 21 – Choosing black and white – Martin shares how excess usage of black and white colors in media made it meaningless. Always remember to be intentional with the visuals, with the colors as well. Always go back to the core of what you are trying to say and express.

Lesson 22 – The importance of sound design – Today with all the technological advancements, we have too many options to choose from. You don’t have to use all you can. Stay with that is necessary, peel off everything else. In this lesson Martin is teaching how to create a mood and atmosphere with the sound design and how can you use sound to solve problems.

Lesson 23 – The power of music – In this lesson, Martin explains why and how the music in the picture, has to reflect the spiritual life of a character. It has to represent who they are, where they came from, it has to reflect their feelings and emotions.

Lesson 24 – Promoting your film – In this lesson, you will learn about a few exciting examples of how directors promoted their films. The most important to remember – find your audience and let it know that the movie is out.

Lesson 25 – Scene Discussion: Barry Lyndon – Martin explains how visuals, costumes, and actors behavior express the message. In this case, transmitting withheld sexuality and how people related to each other in the 21st century.

Lesson 26 – Scene Discussion: Out of the Past – It’s interesting to observe how Martin perceives movies, as he can see so much more than an average person in this black and white movie scene. It’s all about the shadow and light here. That made all the difference.

Lesson 27 – Scene Discussion: Jules and Jim  – Martin explains how the rapid speech of the voice-over and the music influences the perception of the scenes and the main characters.

Lesson 28 – Scene Discussion: Vertigo – Martin dissects the influence of the background colors in the scene. He also explains how the specific angles are creating emotionally powerful shots.

Lesson 29 – Scene Discussion: 8 ½ – This lesson, unfortunately, doesn’t have the visuals coming with it. Martin describes a scene, but we cannot see anything on the screen. You will be lucky if you’ve seen this particular movie.

Lesson 30 – Finding Your Way – Martin sends you into the world with the simple message: Amidst all that machinery and other distractions, you have to trust yourself. It is you that is going to make the picture.

Cool Feature: Members of the Martin Scorsese Masterclass get to see his storyboards.  Here is how that looks…

I had such a fun and insightful time going through this masterclass. What do other people think about it? The comments and impressions I found are very similar to mine.

Here are some alternatives to Martin Scorsese Masterclass:

These course focus on teaching basic cinematography principles. You will get step-by-step instructions on how to create your first videos.

  • Lights films School Lights films School provides practical instructions from A to Z on how to create a movie. The curriculum consists of 6 chapters: introduction, screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, sound design. You will get step-by-step instructions on how to get started and become better in filmmaking. One-year access to the school starts from $499.
  • The Complete Video Production Bootcamp is a great course for beginner filmmakers. It will teach you how to create your first videos using basic video production techniques. You will learn how to:
    • choose the right type of video to tell a specific story
    • work with equipment
    • get more engagement for your videos online.

    You can get this 9-hour course for as little as $25.

  • Creative Cinematography course promises to teach you how to shoot a better video with any camera you have. Impress friends with your skills and creativity, and start earning by making videos! You can enroll in the course for $97.


Martin Scorsese’s Masterclass is an excellent program for someone who has a desire and a need to tell visual stories. Even if you are starting, it would be great to understand the bigger picture of things and philosophy behind the works of this great director. Those who are already working in production, this masterclass can inspire to create more art and have more fun in the process. It can encourage someone to build from the heart and remind why you started walking this path in the first place.

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