The Jodie Foster Masterclass is yet another storytelling course offered by the popular online education platform.
An Actor/Director’s Perspective
Academy Award winner Jodie Foster shares her perspective on filmmaking as an actor in this Masterclass course. The site features a growing list of courses for filmmakers, including directors like David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Ron Howard, and Ken Burns, just to name a few. What’s new about Jodie Foster’s course is her perspective as an actor/director. One of the topics she addresses in the trailer is the misunderstandings that can occur between directors, who must focus on the “big picture”, and actors, who are primarily concerned with the moment in the scene.
Practical or Inspirational?
I have taken a few Masterclass courses, some for developing my professional skills and others just for exploration and discovery. The videos in these courses typically feature inspiring thoughts, anecdotes, and general advice about a given topic, but not much practical advice like you might find on YouTube tutorials. I found this to be true of Jodie Foster Teaches Filmmaking. Since I have an All-Access Pass, I added it to my list and watched a few lessons. Her conversations are inspirational and motivating, and they certainly are informative as she shares anecdotes from her decades of experience. It should be noted, however, that if you wish to get the most out of these courses you need to download the accompanying workbook and make an effort to complete the exercises. The practical advice comes from the workbook, not the videos.
Is It Worth It?
Masterclass has two options to purchase their courses. You can buy an individual course for $90, or you can get an all-access pass for $180. But is it worth it? In my case, after initially buying the Hans Zimmer class I decided to get an All-Access Pass. I am personally interested in other courses in addition to the filmmaking classes, so it made sense to me. I treat it as just another streaming service, something for me to listen to during my commutes.
But perhaps it isn’t for everyone. It is very easy to forget how many subscription services you have. So for those who are tracking their expenses closely, there are other options available online, if you’re old school like me, there’s always the library!
But whether you purchase the course or not, just remember… The only way to improve as a filmmaker is to make films. It is easy for any of us who love to learn – especially those who enjoy learning about new gear – to forget about honing our craft.
If you have the time and the money, Jodie Foster Teaches Filmmaking is a great option to learn and grow as a filmmaker. If money is a concern for you, then perhaps free YouTube content or library books is a better choice. But the best choice to improve is simple: to make more films.
What do you think of the Masterclass courses, have you tried one before? If yes, which one, and what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!