You’ve probably seen the ads. Popping out from your Facebook newsfeed, the Masterclass sales pitch immediately attracts the eye: beautifully backlit wooden models and silky hand sketching emphasized by orchestral swells are accompanied by an adorable pirouette by the one and only Frank Gehry. The combination of Gehry’s status and slick production has managed to amass over 1.6 million views for the trailer on Youtube. Even in the company of courses taught by Martin Scorsese, Deadmau5, and Samuel L Jackson, the lone architect impressively lays claim to the eighth most popular teaser in the Masterclass series. The production value alone is almost a convincing argument for the $90 USD price, a detail that is quietly left out of the trailer. The course has been reviewed by a critic, a practicing architect, and a curator—but what of its ostensible target audience, the architecture student? Has Masterclass managed to crack the online class conundrum with cinematography and celebrity?
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