The Duffer brothers are going to take aspiring TV creators behind the scenes in the Upside Down.
Matt and Ross Duffer, who are the creators, writers and executive producers of Netflix smash hit “Stranger Things,” launched a class on celeb-focused online learning platform MasterClass about how to develop an original TV series. The debut of their class comes on the eve of the July 1 premiere of “Stranger Things 4” Volume 2 — the final two episodes of the season.
The Duffer brothers’ class comprises 18 video lessons, totaling 5 hours and 18 minutes of instruction. Students can access the class — and more than 150 others — via an annual membership to MasterClass, which is priced starting at $180/year. (Visit this link for more info.)
In the course, the Duffer brothers will reveal how they plotted “Stranger Things” from beginning to end, discussing how to develop ideas, plan narrative arcs, create unforgettable characters — like Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Hopper (David Harbour) — and assemble it together into a pitch-ready pilot. MasterClass says the Duffers’ class includes “never-before-seen documents including initial brainstorms and plot outlines for ‘Stranger Things.”
“Our class is for anyone who dreams of telling stories for a living,” Matt Duffer said in a statement. “Writing can be a blast, but at times it can feel overwhelming, even impossible. We have spent months staring at a blank page, with no idea how or where to begin. But after years of struggle, we finally developed a writing process that works for us, a process that we now use every single day on ‘Stranger Things.'”
Ross Duffer added, “Finding an effective writing process is a huge step in your journey, but not the only one. What if, like us, you grew up far away from Hollywood, with no connections? How do you get anyone to read — much less buy — your script? In our class, we’ll cover that too. We’ll show you how to get your foot in the door — and how to get that idea off the page and onto the screen.”
After growing up in Durham, N.C., the Duffer brothers attended Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts in Orange County, Calif. Their first feature was psychological thriller “Hidden,” which got the attention of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, who hired them to script several episodes of his series “Wayward Pines.” Matt and Ross Duffer then developed a show set in the 1980s that paid homage to the many genre films they grew up loving. A dozen studios turned down “Stranger Things” — before Netflix greenlit the supernatural horror story straight to series a day after hearing the pitch.
Launched in 2015, MasterClass provides access to more than 150 online courses led by experts and celebs including James Cameron, Shonda Rhimes, Ken Burns, Jodie Foster, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Nas, Gordon Ramsay, Bob Iger, Metallica, Issa Rae, RuPaul, and Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
MasterClass, which had a reported valuation of $2.75 billion after its most recent round of funding, laid off 120 employees last week.