Aaron Sorkin is one of my favourite screenwriters and someone whos writing really inspires me and I admire. He has written some great films and television shows over the years and doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon!
Sorkin is known for his fast paced, quick fire dialogue. Character’s words are snappy and purposeful. Often times they express themselves through long speeches, a trait clearly brought over by his play-writing past. Characters really express themselves, often speaking their minds and you can really get a sense of who they are from what they say. They’re not just spouting exposition like a fountain, they’re revealing things about themselves also. Take ‘The Social Network‘ for example. The opening scene alone is about 7 or so pages of two characters chatting about various different topics. Not much is revealed about the plot, but through their seemingly meaningless conversation we get a real sense of the characters.
Another classic trait of Sorkin’s is the ‘walk and talk’. It’s a handy way of getting characters from one place to another but making it interesting at the same time, something ‘The American President‘ and, in particular, ‘The West Wing’ made great use of. Plots and characters can be explored whilst changing locations and keeping things moving and, most importantly, interesting. It’s something ‘Steve Jobs‘ uses too, walking through seemingly dull hallways and changing between plain backstage areas would usually be very boring, but with fast paced dialogue and unfolding problems and story it makes everything seem much more interesting.
Interesting seems to be a word I’m using quite a lot. And for a good reason: Aaron Sorkin’s films are interesting. ‘A Few Good Men‘ is one of his best. A courtroom thriller that manages to keep the audience on the edge of their seat all the way up to that epic confrontation at the stand near the end. Man, what a movie! The dialogue is somehow so melodramatic and yet so real at the same time. I recently took Sorkin’s screenwriting class over at Masterclass and just hearing him talk about his processes and methods was fascinating. I would definitely recommend it.
Aaron Sorkin is a great writer. A real actor’s writer as they really sell his lines and get some great dialogue to say at the same time. His dialogue is amazing, his stories are exciting and emotional, and his characters are real. He manages to find humour and emotion in each and every scene and deliver plot and exposition without you even knowing it. This is why he is one of my favourite screenwriters. I could watch his films many times over and still be just as interested. How interesting!