It’s Ron Howard’s birthday today so I thought I’d take a minute to tell you about his gift to storytellers and filmmakers everywhere.

His Masterclass (affiliate) recently launched and it is nothing short of film school in a box.

While he comes at it from a director’s standpoint, he takes you through his process in every aspect of what goes into a creative endeavor and he does so with the charm and grace that we all have seen in his own portrayals of characters we know and love.

Perhaps it is his unique perspective from having been on the other side of the camera from a very young age. But the fact that so many young actors grow up to be somewhat scarred from the experience, one can’t help but thing that Ron Howard does have something special to offer us.

For writers one thing that really stood out to me was how he goes about getting coverage for a scene, (and he spends a lot of time on this for both indie budgets and tentpole), this is the best example I have ever seen that definitively speaks to the argument of why writers should NOT put camera direction in their scripts.

The scene he uses for example is a simple scene from FROST vs. NIXON and for writers, it is also a PERFECT example of what it means to put a “button” at the end of a scene.

He covers such things as why simpler is always better (even in a complex story)




And again for screenwriters, the importance of “business” in action.

And of course directing and camera. Check out his intro video HERE.

I often advise aspiring screenwriters to find a way to get on a set to see what happens to the written material, it’s an invaluable insight to how to ultimately get your work made. But I also realize that it may not be possible, especially if you are not in an area that has a lot of production going on.

Ron Howard’s Masterclass is the answer to this – truly film school in a box.

Happy Birthday, Opie, and thank you for the gift!