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Old 05-05-2020, 02:52 PM
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Johnny Bravo is online now
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Masterclass- anyone have it?

They're running a two-for-one special right now and I'm thinking about getting it and giving the other away as a birthday present.

So has anyone tried it out? I have no expectation that any of the 'masterclasses' have much education value, but are they entertaining? Are the instructors taking it seriously (maybe better to say 'approaching it honestly') or is just kind of a hackey moneygrab?
Old 05-06-2020, 12:42 PM
Driver8 is offline
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Location: Bellevue, WA
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I can't answer your question because I have no intention of signing up and my exposure so far has just been a deluge of ads. They seem to have gotten some very high profile folks involved.

But I'm curious to see the answers in this thread. My instinct is to be extremely skeptical of the whole premise. It looks like it's been pitched as a class. But I'm not sure having a "master" teaching the general public is an efficient teaching tool. In my experience watching lets say directors that I love talk about their projects and process I've noticed that they often don't really have that much insightful to say. They do amazing work, but it seems like it comes from hard won experience and instinct ... and they might not even understand just how they're able to come up with the "right" decision so often, they just do because they're wired that way.

I don't think there is a magic bullet for getting really good at anything. You just have to start at the beginning and slog your way through hard won experiences. If you're lucky and have some raw talent you'll do well. But the whole idea of starting right at the top (i.e. a master class from an established "genius" in the field) seems like it'd encourage thinking you can short circuit all of this. The celebrity and success you see is seductive, and leads you away from the unpleasant truth: there's a long road to getting there and a lot of it is unglamorous and perhaps involves taking classes from the way less alluring community college, working as an intern, etc.

If they sold this more as entertainment I wouldn't be as skeptical, and might even be tempted to sign up for a few. But as it stands I'm definitely getting an "appeal to instant gratification" vibe from it.
Old 05-13-2020, 08:41 AM
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Johnny Bravo is online now
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Other than the sheer quantity of ads I've been bombarded with I couldn't find any reliable information about the actual quality of the classes. I ended up buying a gift subscription to Curiosity Stream for a tiny fraction of the price.

I related the story to the recipient and told me he'd actually beta tested one of the poker courses for free and had been singularly unimpressed. This is good because the inclusion of poker stuff was one of the reasons I'd been considering the subscription for him.
Old 05-13-2020, 11:29 AM
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They have Dan Brown teaching writing... 'Nuff said.
Old 05-14-2020, 08:57 AM
spifflog is offline
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I have it, and I'm pleased.

As someone said, they have a two from one. So another couple and my wife and I split the $180 bill. So we will effectively spend $90 for the year. We figure instead of TV for two hours a night, we'd steam these every other night on the big screen and get something out of the time. So far very pleased. There are also so manuals/books that go with some of the classes.

Here is just one example. Even if you're not into listening to Dorris Kerns Goodwin talk about presidential leadership for 4 hours (I am a history nerd so I'm in), my wife loves TV. We watched the screen writing class, the TV directing class, two acting classes, and a filming class. With this, even for plain old TV shows, we get a deeper appreciation of what goes into it, what they are trying to accomplish etc.

Hell I piss away $2 a week on a candy bar or a cup of coffee. Why not on hearing experts trying to get me more knowledgeable?
Old 05-14-2020, 09:37 AM
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ThelmaLou is offline
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I signed up for it, but I haven't watched it all that much.

A better online education/lecture opportunity is the Great Courses. They've been around forever. It's $20/month (there's a channel on my Roku) and the courses cover every conceivable topic-- history, literature, philosophy, music, food, travel. I learned to improve my knitting from one of the courses. I started watching a course on the Black Death before all of this hit the fan, but I had to bail on it. Too scary and depressing in the present context.
ďAll you have to do every day is eat, drink and move forward in some capacity.Ē --Mary Ann Thomas who cycled 6,000 miles solo over six months across the US and Canada.
Old 05-14-2020, 10:13 AM
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I've listened to a BUNCH of Great Courses through my Audible account. Great stuff.
Old 05-14-2020, 10:18 AM
Isamu is offline
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Fuck that shit. If it was free I'd listen, but I'm not paying for it.
Old 05-14-2020, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Isamu View Post
Fuck that shit. If it was free I'd listen, but I'm not paying for it.
I donít get the negativity on display here. I understand that their service may not appeal to you at any price, but are you suggesting that the the expertise, production value and distribution network ought to be free in that no one that participated should be compensated at all?

I have a subscription to Masterclass, or I should say that my wife signed up. She split the cost with a friend during that 2 for 1 deal. I canít speak to the quality of the classes yet as I havenít watched anything yet nor has she.

I suspect that just like the majority of these subscription services, weíll never get full value out of it because thereís simply too much to watch and too little time and motivation. Itís easy to get excited about the potential, and signing up is a simple enough process. The hard part these days seems to be devoting the time and focusing.

I wonder if the more successful use case is someone that is on fire to learn a particular subject, and likely to ignore all the other classes, vs someone like my wife who thought the half a dozen of the classes seemed interesting but not urgently compelling and relevant to some interest sheís already studying.

Similarly, through my work, I have unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning and Thereís so much interesting stuff in there, and Iíve built a long syllabus of classes to take. Plus Iíve bought a piano lesson course from another vendor. And guitar instruction. Over the course of an average week, I spend zero minutes actually working through the material.
Old 05-14-2020, 11:01 AM
spifflog is offline
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Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
I donít get the negativity on display here.
I don't get it either.

As I noted previously it's less than 2 bucks a week. It has a very diverse range of topics. If it's not your thing fine. But there are at least 30 or more easily recognizable experts in there field there. We'll get them to sit down for free?
Old Yesterday, 12:34 PM
Snooooopy is online now
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The promo for Martin Scorsese's class stood out because it was oddly intense. All of the other instructors seemed to get that this was a site where an interested amateur could go to pick up a few handy tips and hear some neat stories from somebody at the top of their game. But his vibe was all "IF MOVIEMAKING IS NOT IN YOUR BLOOD AND YOUR SOUL, THEN FORGET MY CLASS!" Well, fine. If I were to sign up for this, I would most certainly skip you. Or maybe I would watch you first in the hopes that, wherever you are right now, you might be irked by the idea that a complete dilettante was partaking of your wisdom! Har har har!


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