MasterClass Review: It’s Like Udemy on STEROIDS… (And It’s 100% Worth The Fee)
MasterClass Review – Quick Verdict & Key Points
Are you an aspiring screenwriter, director, chef, EDM producer, or novelist? Millions of people have aspirations at becoming the next big thing in these creative fields and with MasterClass you can learn from “masters” like Martin Scorsese, Aron Sorkin, DeadMau5, Malcolm Gladwell, Ron Howard, Gordon Ramsey, and many more besides.
How much would you pay for a sit down with Martin Scorsese or Gordon Ramsey? What about learning the ins and outs of plotting a screenplay with Aron Sorkin? You can’t really put a price on something like that, right? I mean, even if you could – say, like meeting them privately at an expo, or something – it’d cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars…
Well, this is EXACTLY what MasterClass has done. For just $90, you can download a MasterClass course with your chosen Master. And for this, you get hours of exclusive content that can access on your phone and on your PC. The production quality, as you’d expect is immense, and the information is invaluable.
MasterClass Course Breakdown (What You Get)
- 20-40 Video-Based Lessons (3-14 Minutes Each) With Your Chosen Master.
- Ability To Pause & Pick-Up Where You Left Off
- High-Quality “Hollywood-Grade” Video Production
- Exclusive Information That is Not Available Anywhere Else
- You’ll Learn Your Chosen Master’s Innermost Secrets & Thought Processes
- You Can Take Out All-Access Pass For $180 – This Gets You Access To ALL Content on MasterClass.
Is MasterClass Worth It?
I have always been passionate about writing; short stories, fiction, crafting stories. I’ve read books and spent hours pouring over my favorite films and TV Shows in an attempt to glean information on the craft. A process that took years. So when I heard that Aron Sorkin had done a MasterClass, I was massively intrigued and had to check it out…
I paid the $90 for the course, watched it several times, and took pages of notes, as Mr. Sorkin regaled me with knowledge of plotting, how to make dialogue sound realistic, character arcs, and everything else in between. Within the first 60 minutes, I was blown away by the detail and breadth of information conveyed.
By the end of the course, I felt like I knew more about screenwriting than I did from my previous 10-years of research. And for $90, I’d say this was money well spent. You cut straight to the heart of the matter; there’s no fluff – it’s just solid information from someone that not only does this for a living but is also more successful than 99.9% of his peers.
Hell, that’s cheaper than a dinner ticket to an event with a “guest speaker” – and you get access to the course for life, meaning you can watch and re-watch it again and again. Is it better than Udemy? I think so, but not in the way you think…
The reason I prefer MasterClass is that it is a mainline into the minds of some of the greatest living artists and creators on the planet right now. And as a USPs go, this one is pretty much unbeatable – even when compared to Udemy, which is great in its own right but it does not get you access to freakin’ Martin Scorsese!
In this respect, MasterClass is truly unique in its proposition. No other online learning resource has this kind of proposition behind it. No other online learning course has information straight from the mouth of the world’s #1 artists and creators.
Bottom line: if you’re serious about your craft, the $90 fee for access to a single MasterClass course is a total no-brainer.
Full MasterClass Review – A Detailed Look At The Service
What Is MasterClass?
There are a wealth of tools online for learning new skills and honing your existing ones. Udemy is perhaps one of the most well known, thanks to its explosive growth during the past several years. I’ve used Udemy multiple times over the years to brush up on my SEO, PhotoShop, HTML, and Marketing skills.
In this respect, Udemy is an invaluable tool in any “digital persons” arsenal of tools. But MasterClass is a completely different kettle of fish. Udemy and MasterClass are both online learning portals. But that’s where the similarities end because MasterClass differentiates itself by ONLY using the #1 leaders in each specialist subject.
Want to know more about EDM? Take the DeadMau5 course. Interested in cooking? Get Gordon Ramsey’s MasterClass. If like me you’re interested in constructing fiction and the craft of screenwriting, you’re best off with Aron Sorkin, Malcolm Gladwell, or Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass. Even Hans Zimmer, probably the greatest film composer of all time, has a MasterClass course.
You can view ALL the courses here.
What’s It Like Taking A MasterClass Course?
In a word: awesome. As noted earlier, the production quality on these videos is phenomenal. You can watch them in crystal-clear HD quality and the UX for moving around between lectures is simple and straight-forward.
Each course segment is designed to be easy to watch; each segment lasts anywhere from 3-14 minutes, meaning the information is delivered in bite-sized chunks which makes it easy to digest – especially if you’re watching it all in one go like I did! You can watch the courses on your phone, tablet, HDTV, or PC – it works on all formats and has built in screen-casting support.
Each segment is accompanied by “course notes” produced by the Master. These are invaluable, as they offer a nice recap of what’s covered as well as more detailed information and/or steps on certain things you need to master on your way to better understanding your chosen craft.
And if that wasn’t enough, you even get a recommended reading list from each master, detailing the books they used to learn and evolve their specific skills-set. For me, this element alone was worth the $90 fee. I now have tons of specific books to read. And best of all, they’ve all been vetted and reviewed by Aron Sorkin!
MasterClass limits what you can show in review content like this, for obvious reasons, but I can honestly say this is perhaps the most polished online video learning course on the planet right now. And unlike Udemy, the courses don’t have to be undertaken in a linear fashion; you can jump around and consume it in whatever order you like.
Is MasterClass All-Access Worth It?
This kind of depends on you. For $180, you get access to the ENTIRE repository of online video courses. And there is A LOT of content available from some of the greatest artists, thinkers, and musicians of our times. I mean, just look at this roster of Masters that have courses on MasterClass:
- James Patterson Teaches Writing
- Serena Williams Teaches Tennis
- Dustin Hoffman Teaches Acting
- Usher Teaches The Art of Performance
- Christina Aguilera Teaches Singing
- Werner Herzog Teaches Filmmaking
- Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting
- Reba McEntire Teaches Country Music
- deadmau5 Teaches Electronic Music Production
- Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking
- Hans Zimmer Teaches Film Scoring
- Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television
- Steve Martin Teaches Comedy
- David Mamet Teaches Dramatic Writing
- Dr. Jane Goodall Teaches Conservation
- Herbie Hancock Teaches Jazz
- Judy Blume Teaches Writing
- Frank Gehry Teaches Design and Architecture
- Diane Von Furstenberg Teaches Building a Fashion Brand
- Garry Kasparov Teaches Chess
- Samuel L. Jackson Teaches Acting
- Wolfgang Puck Teaches Cooking
- Marc Jacobs Teaches Fashion Design
- Stephen Curry Teaches Shooting Ball Handling and Scoring
- Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography
If you’re not on a budget, and you can spare $180 for 12 months’ access to MasterClass, I would 100% recommend the All-Access Package. The learning potential here is enormous. You could do one course a week, learn a ton of new skills and techniques, maybe even find something new that you’re passionate about?
Put in this context, it makes a lot of sense. Especially if you’re evening usually consists of re-watching episodes of Rick and Morty. But $180 isn’t cheap, so it definitely won’t be for everyone. However, I am confident that anyone who takes a single course will be left hungry for more. And in this respect, $180 for access to the entire MasterClass course list starts to look like a very small sum of money indeed!
The Best Way To Use MasterClass
MasterClass isn’t cheap. I mean, $90 courses are outside the budget of many people. And $180 for All-Access will almost certainly be too much for those on limited budgets. But if you’re passionate about your craft, I honestly don’t believe there is a better video leaning course service out there.
Sure, Udemy and YouTube are great for finding out information on new skills and how to do things. But NO ONE on YouTube, save for a very select few YouTubers, are what you’d call “masters” – none have won Pulitzer Prizes or Oscars, for instance. And this, alongside the amazing video quality, is where MasterClass really comes into its own.
It’s a premium online learning service designed for people that want access to the minds of the greatest living artists and creators on the planet. This is a bold offering. It wasn’t cheap to do, either. MasterClass has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in its platform and content. And when you watch your first MasterClass course, you’ll see exactly where all that cash went.
I like to come home from work, eat some food, and then put on a course. Doing this for a few months, I have learnt untold amounts of information. I’m not a musician, but one of my all-time favorite MasterClass courses was Hans Zimmer’s. I love his compositions, but to have him show you how he does it all!? I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that…
You have to think of MasterClass as just another tool in your learning arsenal. You have Audible for audiobooks, YouTube for quick and easy guides on everything from coding to software, and services like MasterClass which will teach you the true secrets of the craft.
It’s like YouTube, just with Oscar/Pulitzer/Grammy/Michelin Star award-winning instructors. No other online video learning resource gets you this kind of access or information. And for the asking price, $90 for a single course and $180 for ALL-ACCESS, I think MasterClass has hit the nail firmly on the head with respect to valuing its service.
To be honest, I thought it’d be A LOT more when I first started looking into it. I mean, how much does several hours of Gordon Ramsey’s time cost? It’s definitely more than $90! And while price is always divisive, MasterClass it is one of those rare services where the cost of access is actually a lot lower than it should be. And that is very rare indeed.
As some one that considers themselves a MEGA information junkie, MasterClass is now one of my all-time favorite things. It is completely unique in its proposition, provides invaluable information on a wealth of subjects from true-experts and leaders, and it does it all for a very good price.
Interested? Take a course today, it’s $90 – and I 100% guarantee you will not regret it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get hooked and immediately sign-up for the All-Access Account, so you can spend your evenings learning from the greatest living artists and creators working today.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.