How do I get financing? How can I win over a financier? How can I stand out from other projects looking for funding? How can I create a pitch that blows financiers away? These are the questions on everyone's mind. And we have the answer. One of our favorite educators, Tribeca-winning producer Samm Haillay, is back again exclusively at Stage 32 and this time, he's bringing the goods to help you design the best pitch possible for your film. As an example, Samm will be showing you the 15 minute pitch which helped raise ALL the funding for the feature length film, BYPASS, which went on to be nominated for Best Film at the prestigious Venice Film Festival (among others) and continued Samm's incredible stretch of raising funds and winning awards.. This film was written, directed and produced by Duane Hopkins, who's experience prior to this was primarily in short films. In this 2 part online class, Samm will break down what it takes for any filmmaker, producer, screenwriter or other creative looking to raise funds and get their projects into development!
Writing is rewriting. All writers know this, but unfortunately too many writers waste valuable time and energy rewriting their scripts over and over without really making them better. Or they make some parts of their script better while weakening other parts -it's almost like an endless whack-a-mole game. The reason this happens is that often writers don't know the most effective ways to evaluate and rewrite their material. They rewrite without a clear focus or understanding of the fundamentals. Knowing how to effectively rewrite your script will lead to a dramatic improvement in your final product for both feature and TV scripts, and will be a game changer in your writing career! There's an art to the rewriting process that many successful writers embrace. It begins with letting go, relaxing, embracing, and, eventually, enjoying the process. Great writers know how to save time by quickly identifying issues with their scripts and how to fix the problems quickly and efficiently. They know how to receive notes, how to discuss those notes, and which notes are worth pushing back against and which are worth taking. They know a great script doesn't evolve all at once. It takes time, patience, awareness and constant molding. Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Julia Roberts, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures. Corey is also a distinguished instructor at UCLA, where he earned his MFA. His students have gone on to sell or option scripts to Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Disney, Fox, Fox 2000, MGM, Universal, Warner Brothers, Showtime, FX, USA Network, AMC and HBO. Others have been staffed on such shows as Community, Justifed, Bones, The Mentalist, The Fosters, Young and Hungry, Playing House, and Treme. Corey knows what it takes to write and rewrite a great script, and he has proven it time and time again. Corey will walk you through the entire rewrite process for feature and TV screenplays from first understanding how your story reads in other people's heads (and why that is important!) all the way to correcting structural weaknesses in your script. He will break down rewrite memos, notes, and narrative cohesion, leaving you with a comprehensive overview of how to do an effective rewrite and how to immediately apply it to your own work. He will teach you how to receive notes and how to find the note within the note, an overlooked and misunderstood practice that can save you major rewriting time and win you points with executives, producers and financiers. Corey will show you all the pitfalls and common mistakes writers make during the rewriting process so you can move forward with not only confidence in your writing, but confidence you can carry into any room. Praise for Corey's Stage 32 Webinar "Pure magic." - Alonzo G. "I always loved pumping out the first draft, but hated the rewrite. Now I know why. I had no idea what I was doing. I have 4 scripts that I can't wait to tear down and build back up bigger and stronger than ever." - Mark R. "This was so comprehensive and helpful. The entire webinar I was recognizing faults in my latest script. So happy I took this webinar!" - Mariana W. "I feel like I was just let into a secret club. The Rewrite Club. I know things other writers don't. Excited to put all this information into practice." - Jules P.
Filmmakers, producers, and financiers can really be held back by distribution contracts. If they don’t understand the language or terms, are passive or held hostage by a feeling that they may be getting ripped off, or simply do not have the support system to advise them or the knowledge to know what to fight for, they can find themselves at an extreme disadvantage. In many cases, the excitement of the "someone likes my movie/let's get it out there" mentality supersedes common sense. And that alone can lead you into giving away your rights, accepting horrendous percentages or agreeing to terms that lock you and your project up. Don't fall into these traps! You worked hard on your film. You sacrificed time and likely money to get to this point. While most might think this is time to hit the gas pedal, it's actually time to tap the brakes. You want to be sure you're doing everything humanly possible to not only protect yourself, your investors and your team, but maximizing your film's potential in the marketplace. Anna Darrah is an experienced film buyer, negotiating with and licensing over 800 films in her 12 years working for Gaiam and Spiritual Cinema Circle. She has been an active player on the festival circuit and currently advises filmmakers on custom distribution strategies. Anna is also a filmmaker who produced two documentaries that aired on The Sundance Channel, and directed a music video and the short film THE MATTER OF MAGIC. She also produced a feature-length documentary about Helen Schreider (www.THEHELENMOVIE.com) while also making short films for the ZILLOW.COM series, HOMEMAKERS. Anna has enjoyed jurying and participating in film festival panels and workshops here and abroad and is currently offering a Film Distribution Workshop co-taught with Jilann Spitzmiller. Now Anna brings her knowledge and teaching prowess to Stage 32. Anna will begin by breaking down theatrical and broadcast rights as well as exclusive and non-exclusive deals. She'll dive into breaking down deal points including term, territory, rights and compensation. She'll discuss standard terms and point out red flags within and speak to what you should negotiate to assure you get the best, and most fair, deal. She will even look at the negotiation process from the other side of the table so you can understand what a distributor truly wants out of a deal. Thinking outside the box, Anna will even discuss going the DIY distribution route or a hybrid DIY/traditional distribution path. All this and much more. It’s incredible how each contract is like a snowflake -- totally unique and yet similar in some very important ways. I will help you understand the entire distribution arena so you can sleep well knowing you've made the best deal for you, your partners and, most importantly, your film. - Anna Darrah Praise for Anna "Excellent overview of terms to be aware of when negotiating or reviewing a distribution agreement." - Valerie N. "Anna was great, the information she shared was so very useful!" - Christian C. "For a complex subject, Anna made it all so simple and easy to follow. Excellent webinar!" - Drea P. "A knockout." - Mana W.
This webinar has a 100% satisfaction rating! Acquiring the rights to a literary property with an eye towards turning it into a movie or television series is one of your primary responsibilities as a filmmaker or producer. Or, if you’re a writer with a screenplay or someone who owns IP that can be made into a film or TV series, how do you know you’re signing the right contract with a producer? Whether you are looking to acquire a screenplay, article, book, graphic novel or comic book series you need an option/purchase agreement — or is it shopping agreement? Or is it an attachment agreement? Trying to understand which agreement is right for you can make your head spin. But, it’s important to make sure you come to the table with the right agreement to protect yourself upfront and secure all the necessary rights to the amazing property you’re after. At a glance, it seems that there is overlap between the holy trinity of rights agreements: shopping, option/purchase and attachment. Unfortunately, many people confuse the terms and as a result people often end up coming to the bargaining table with very different ideas on what kind of agreement they are — resulting in the creation of Frankensteined-together versions of these three types of contracts. The wrong drafting can leave the writer stripped of their copyrights or producers and filmmakers unable to secure financing because they don’t have the rights they thought they paid for. There are key distinctions between these three agreements and any producer or filmmaker(or on the flipside, writer)must know the difference between them. Experienced entertainment attorney Thomas A. Crowell, Esq. is here to help. Thomas A. Crowell, Esq. counsels clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues, including clients who have had deals with TLC, Elsevier Publishing, Starz, Discovery Communications, Focal Press, the Smithsonian Network, WE: The Women's Entertainment Network, The Science Technology Network, IDW Publishing, and Sony Entertainment. His clients' work is seen in the pages of Marvel and DC comics and on movie, TV, computer, and mobile screens across the world. A former television producer and director of development for STN, Thomas has spent the better part of the last two decades creating ways to make difficult legal concepts accessible to creatives. Thomas will give you a solid foundation of the legal issues involved in the acquisition of film rights, as well as a rubric for understanding, negotiating, and drafting key provisions in the option/purchase, shopping agreement, and attachment deals. He will walk you through the basics of copyright law and the legal steps necessary in transferring rights. Next he will discuss common pitfalls writers and producers make when it comes to breaks in the chain of title, joint authorship, and work for hire. Critically, Thomas will spell out the differences between shopping, option/purchase, and attachment agreements and will give invaluable tips on how to negotiate and draft these agreements to ensure you’re getting what you need and not being taken advantage of. You will have the tools you'll need to navigate the murky waters of copyright law and to land the rights to your dream literary property. Plus! Thomas provides you with a 32 page detailed resource guide to help you navigate the nuances of various agreements Praise for Thomas' Stage 32 Webinar “I would wholeheartedly recommend this webinar not only to producers and writers, but to anyone in the business, even if you think you know what you're doing. It's mandatory viewing if you call yourself a professional." - Anna H. "Very informative. Liked how he emphasized applying for copyright. I still thought registering with WGA was enough. Liked how organized his lecture was. I'll watch it again." - Joanne E. "The best I've heard this explained." - Patricia C. "The best webinar I have taken here so far. Great visuals, clear explanations, relevant topic." - Maritere Y. "Thomas was excellent. Articulate, helpful diagrams, and I liked his delivery and vast experience as a producer and lawyer." - Virginia K
Free webcast exclusively for Stage 32 members with Ivory Coast/American actor Bambadjan Bamba (BLACK PANTHER, SUICIDE SQUAD, THE GOOD PLACE) - bring your questions! No matter who you are or where you’re from, the journey to becoming a full-time and successful actor in America is a difficult one. Yet if you’re from a different country and are contemplating moving to America, or if you’ve already moved here and are dealing with one of a variety of immigration statuses, your path is that much harder. You have to figure out how to legally live in America with this profession and work with studios and networks when payment might be more complicated than for actors that are American citizens. And that’s on top of the everyday struggle of finding and landing roles, which can also be harder if you do not have an American accent. There is no question that there are serious obstacles to overcome as an immigrant actor, but it’s still a path that can be achieved, and has been achieved many times before. For as much emphasis that is often put on the sheer luck of breaking through as an actor and finding success, there is another element that is often underemphasized, which is the strategy and planning necessary for actors to build their career. Luck certainly can play a part, but these lucky breaks are much more likely to come to actors who do the work ahead of time to have a game plan and can better put themselves in the right place and the right time Whether fair or not, this goes double for immigrant actors and actors planning on moving to America. There is a large amount of strategy and planning necessary to find success, including how to get a visa, find sponsorship, get representation, use support networks and initiatives available to you and building your career piece by piece. It can be overwhelming, but the good news is you never have to be alone in this journey. There are communities and organizations that offer support as well as fellow immigrant actors who have gone down the path you’re on and can give you tips and strategies to help you achieve your dreams. Bambadjan Bamba is an award-winning actor, filmmaker, and activist from the Ivory Coast who has worked in prominent roles on numerous hit television shows like THE GOOD PLACE and GREY’S ANATOMY, and in blockbuster films like BLACK PANTHER and SUICIDE SQUAD. He was recently featured in Will Smith’s Netflix series AMEND: THE FIGHT FOR AMERICA. His writing has been published in Variety, the Washington Post, NBC, and CNN to name a few, and he is a contributor in the New York Times bestseller "American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures" by award winning actress America Ferrera. In 2017 Bambadjan publicly disclosed that he was a recipient of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) that is in danger of being terminated. Ever since, Bambadjan has used his inspirational story to advocate for immigrant rights. Bambadjan is also the recipient of the Courageous Advocate Award from the ACLU and the Courageous Luminary award from the National Immigration Law Center. In this free Stage 32 webcast, Bambadjan will give you some insight of how to strategically prepare for your move, maneuver around common obstacles that international actors face, and find your community and representation to give yourself the best shot to be successful. He’ll first explain the pros and cons of moving to America to pursue acting as well as when the right time to move is. He’ll then go through the legal roads you can pursue and how to navigate different immigration statuses you may have. Bambadjan will lay out different organizations and initiatives that you can take advantage of as you get started and will give you advice on how to find representation and sponsors from abroad and how to work legally as an undocumented immigrant. He will also lay out how to work even if you do not have an American accent, as well as how to work on improving your American accent. Finally, Bambadjan will give you tips and strategies on dealing with the emotional challenges associated with being an immigrant. In partnership with The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute
The world is changing quickly and the phrase “new normal” is being bandied about with abandon. Even though filming is limited (at best), development continues to move forward and that means producers are busier than ever. In the entertainment industry, scripts continue to be optioned, projects continue to get developed, talent continues to find representation, and production is slowly starting to resume in LA and more so all over the world. So what does producing look like in this "new normal"? It’s definitely time for a check-in. So let's delve into the state of the industry today with Oscar-nominated producer Chris Moore and our fearless leader, and fellow producer, Richard "RB" Botto. Chris Moore has done and seen it all. During a career spanning over 30 years, Chris has produced films that have had multiple Oscar nominations and wins such as Good Will Hunting and Manchester by the Sea, to studio blockbusters like American Pie andThe Adjustment Bureau, to independent darlings such as Waiting, to creating and starring in the critically acclaimed industry television shows Project Greenlight alongside Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and The Chair. One of the secrets of Chris' longevity in the business is a full understanding of the business. He's as plugged in as they come and he knows how to adjust quickly, swiftly, and successfully as the landscape changes - which seems to happen on a daily basis these days. Most importantly, Chris is known in the industry as a take-no-prisoners, no bullshit guy. He tells it like it is and pulls no punches, which, in this business, is welcome and refreshing. Richard “RB” Botto is a producer whose films have played at dozens of festivals including the Sundance award-winning feature, Another Happy Day, starring Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore and Kate Bosworth, written & directed by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, What Lies Ahead, starring Rumer Willis & Emma Dumont, the documentary Crutch and the upcoming Rain-Beau’s End starring Ed Asner and Sean Young. He is the Executive Producer on Vagic with Amy Baer at Gidden Media and My Clone’s an A-Hole with National Lampoon. He is also in active production on 3 more projects in various mediums. RB is also the Founder and CEO of Stage 32 (stage32.com). Stage 32 is the world’s largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV & digital creatives and executives worldwide. Through Stage 32 he has helped incubate Chick Fight, starring Malin Akerman and Alec Baldwin, produced by Yale Productions and Ramo Law, and 10-31, produced by Eli Roth and Orion Pictures. Additionally, RB’s book Crowdsourcing For Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd, was published by Focal Press/Routledge under the American Film Market Presents banner and quickly became one of their best-selling titles. The paperback, kindle edition and audiobook have all hit #1 in 6 different film and business related categories on Amazon and Audible and the title has received over 100 5-star reviews across all platforms. In another FREE Stage 32 COVID-19 webinar, Chris and RB team up for an exclusive Q&A session where they’ll answer questions from the Stage 32 community about the state of the industry today and where they believe things are headed. Bring your questions about the craft and business. If you know anything about Chris and RB, you know you're in for a candid, no bullshit, straight through the heart conversation!