The writers’ room is the beating heart of any scripted television show and the area where writers find their footing and voice within this world. Being a successful writer in the world of television is only possible if you’re successful in a writers’ room setting and breaking into a writers’ room as an assistant or coordinator is often the springboard needed for writers to build their career in the television space. For these reasons, it’s critical to understand how writers’ rooms work and how to best to perform and stand out in one to positively contribute and get noticed for the right reasons. While each show’s writers’ room has unique characteristics, there are specific expectations of a comedy show’s room in particular that differ from their counterparts. You’re not just breaking story in these rooms, but jokes too. This process brings with it a different rhythm and understanding. Finding success in a comedy room requires different skills than others. If you’re an aspiring comedy writer with hopes of breaking into a show’s writers’ room, it’s crucial you understand how exactly these rooms work and how you can best fit in and stay in. Jon Stahl is a writer, producer and script coordinator, who has served on HBO’s DGA, SAG, WGA and Emmy Award-winning comedy series VEEP. Jon began his career in production, working on projects like Jason Reitman’s YOUNG ADULT starring Charlize Theron, Showtime’s THE BIG C, and IFC’s MARON. He also produced Season 1 of the Emmy-nominated series EASTSIDERS, before getting his first high-profile writers’ room position on the NBC network sitcom MR. ROBINSON with Universal Television. Jon went on to work in the writers' room at Nickelodeon on their show GAME SHAKERS. He’s currently on the upcoming FOX animated series HOUSEBROKEN starring Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte. Working alongside the writers of television’s best comedy, Jon not only knows what it takes to write great comedy, but also what is needed to take a seat at the table with the rest of them. Jon will break down how a leading TV comedy writers’ room works and outline how you can break in and find success in one as a script coordinator. He will begin by going through the basics of how a writers’ room runs and the different key players. He’ll show you how to get a job in the writers’ office and delve into the culture of the room and you can navigate. Next Jon will break down the duties of a script coordinator in the room, including, taking notes, scriptwriting, distribution, investigating clearances, using the white board and more. He’ll also give tips on the technical side of the script coordinator, including typing etiquette and using specific software. He’ll go through the art of pitching in a room and how to handle “big personalities”. Finally Jon will give you tips on how to take next steps from the script coordinator position, how to put together writing samples and use your connections to move up. If you’ve always wanted to have a career in TV writing but don’t know where to start, start here.
John Burd, the producer of six Christmas movies including LOVE AT THE CHRISTMAS CONTEST, shares what it takes to write a producible holiday film that thrills execs exclusively through Stage 32. Holiday movies have always been popular with audiences, but in the past decade, the Christmas television marketplace has exploded with multiple networks and platforms building their winter programming around these made-for-TV movies. The demand is huge, making this the best time for you to write and sell your best Christmas movie idea. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you’ll learn what separates the holiday TV movie scripts that get produced from the ones that get passed over. Even with the marketplace growing, buyers look for a few key ingredients that you need to know. You’ll cover: How to write a big holiday production with a manageable budget How to write for a broad audience while standing out from the other scripts How to get your project in front of someone who can say “Yes!” Showing you exactly how to stand out to television executives is writer, director, and producer John Burd. John is the founder of Evenow Productions and has produced six Christmas movies for Gaumont Television US, including making his directorial debut in 2021 with his script LOVE AT THE CHRISTMAS CONTEST. He’s also worked with networks including Hallmark, Lifetime, Disney Channel, UpTV, and more. John knows what executives greenlight because he’s worked with them on those very projects. He’ll show you what your script needs to excite executives, how to write the perfect Christmas pitch, how much you can get paid for your work, who the buyers are, and so much more. This is a fantastic chance to hear from a successful Christmas movie filmmaker and get an insider view of making holiday favorites. Join us and learn how you can make your own script the next Christmas classic. PRAISE FROM PREVIOUS EDUCATION FROM ANNA: "John Burd is one of my favorite writers, and a Christmas connoisseur." - Crystal Holt, Vice President Series, 20th Television
You've put in months, maybe years of effort planning, raising funds and shooting your film. You're incredibly proud of your efforts. Now all that remains is getting the film seen and returning some profits to your investors. But what's the best path? Should you enter festivals? Hire a sales agent? Go for theatrical distribution? Attempt to navigate the streaming and VOD platforms? In short, how do you know what's the best route for your film in 2017? Deciding on how to monetize your project can be very complex. With so many options out there it’s sometimes hard to know what is important and what you can skip. This Stage 32 Next Level Webinar will be your one-stop crash course on how to navigate the marketplace! Your host Bradley Gallo, Chief Creative Officer at Amasia Entertainment (known for The Call, Fear, Inc., Mr. Right, Careful What You Wish For, and the award-winning indie The Road Within) will discuss what options are available for your project once it's complete and help you decide if VOD, theatrical, a festival circuit run or hybrid strategy is best for your film. After giving you the lowdown on options, Bradley will quickly discuss the benefits of each and provide you with a gameplan depending on the path you decide to pursue. Whether you’re selling the film yourself, looking for independent representatives to bring on board, or trying to get into a festival, it’s important to know the steps involved in selling a film, no matter your role in the filmmaking process. Indie films are getting produced and distributed every day! It’s time to learn how to take your film to the marketplace and show it to the world! Your host, Bradley has produced a wide variety of films independently, guided some through the festival markets and sold directly to distributors. He will share his knowledge and real-life experiences exclusively with the Stage 32 community! You will walk away with a sense of the marketplace of today including an overview of how to approach the festival circuit, who should/should not rep your film, how to deal with distributors, VOD vs theatrical and so much more!
It’s no secret how profoundly the visual effects industry has taken over Hollywood. What was once relegated to only the biggest summer blockbusters and studio tentpoles has spread to virtually every wide release film, scores of TV shows, even web series and short form content. And with more avenues for VFX to be incorporated into projects, there is also a need for more VFX artists. A LOT more. As VFX continues to grow, innovate, and evolve, there hasn’t been a better time to venture into this field. Even still, this doesn’t mean breaking into VFX is ever easy. The truth is it has always been a challenge to break into VFX as a career. Being successful in this industry requires both artistic and technical wizardry, a combination that is hard for anyone to master. Not to mention the ever-present and ever-difficult obstacle of 'getting noticed.' With today's entertainment landscape so severely altered, there are additional challenges, but also new opportunities. Understanding how the VFX industry works today and how best to put yourself out there in a way that will make people take notice will aid you in taking the first step into this exciting, explosive field. Geoffrey Mark is a 25-year veteran of VFX who has worked on films and TV shows like SPIDERMAN 3, Joss Whedon’s fan favorite SERENITY, CW’s science fiction breakout THE 100 and the cultural phenomenon that is SHARKNADO. Now a frequent VFX team lead and supervisor on set, Geoffrey began his career on the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES cartoon in the 90s and broke into visual effects as a graphic designer and animator for the classic sci-fi cult hit BABYLON 5. Geoffrey has been hiring, training and supervising new VFX artists for decades, and is ready to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Using his deep knowledge and wealth of experience on this topic, Geoffrey will walk you through the pitfalls and opportunities that exist in the VFX industry today and give you tips and ideas on how to position yourself for success and make your dream of working in visual effects a reality. He will begin with a brief overview of VFX in film and television today and will give you a rundown of the two main branches within the industry. He’ll then break down the skills you need to begin a career in this field. Since it’s such a big and diverse field, Geoffrey will spend time outlining the many sub-fields and specialties within the VFX landscape and will give you strategies to help you figure out which of these will be the best fit for you. He will give you tips on how to find free education to continue learning and honing your craft and will show you how tutorials can sometimes be helpful, and at other times insufficient. Next Geoffrey will explain how to create your own reel as a tool to get noticed and hired in the industry. He’ll walk through how long the reel should be, what kind of content stands out the most, what content you should never include and how best to incorporate music. He’ll also give you tips on updating your reel as you go and how to alter your reel to better fit different job opportunities. He will also talk about how to actually get your reel out there once it’s complete, where the opportunities and listings can be found and the best ways to approach employers. He will then walk you through how to actually get the VFX job you’re after, including how to come across as hirable in a job interview. He’ll explain the three generally accepted skill levels employers are looking for and will show you how to determine which level you are currently at. Finally, Geoffrey will delve into how to actually deliver when you get the job. He’ll walk you through the overall landscape and pipeline, how to best work with the schedules you’re given, and strategies to work most successfully with both your lead and your supervisor. Through this webinar, you will gain a clear understanding of what the journey looks like to become successful in the field of VFX and learn strategies to better get you to that point.
Learn how to pitch your work so you can build a profitable career in film and television with the Vice President of the company behind Finding Ohana (Netflix), Saving Private Ryan, Transformers: The Last Knight, Almost Famous, The Boys (Amazon), Preacher (AMC), and more! Do you ever feel like your great ideas go unnoticed by producers, directors, agents, and managers alike, and that you don’t get the shot you're looking for as a result? This isn’t because these decision makers don’t care; it’s because you may not have pitched or sold your ideas the right way. The reality is, successful screenwriters are as much storysellers as they are storytellers. Whether you like it or not, your primary goal as a writer must be to stand out in a sea of competing projects. The bottom line: Whether you're a screenwriter, filmmaker, producer, or any creative or industry professional looking to gain representation, sell their material, attract talent, raise financing, or simply looking to find work, you will have to pitch. Further, you will be in competition with others pitching as well. You've put so much time and effort into your work and building your reputation, you don't want to have it all undermined with a terrible pitch. And the truth of the matter is that most people that pitch make the same fatal mistakes over and over. They don't know how to tell a concise, riveting story. They don't know what to put in, what to leave out, and what elements really and truly sell someone on their story. This webinar will give you insight and tools to pitch better and get ahead of the pack. Will McCance is the Vice President of Production for Ian Bryce, producer of blockbusters like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, ALMOST FAMOUS, the TRANSFORMERS franchise, and most recently Michael Bay's SIX UNDERGROUND for Netflix. At Ian Bryce Productions, Will oversees the company's entire development slate. Before working with Ian Bryce, Will worked in development at Original Film's TV department, working on hit shows such as THE BOYS (Amazon) and PREACHER (AMC), as well as on SWAT (CBS) and HAPPY! (Syfy). Independently, Will has produced films such as the upcoming LOLA JAMES, starring Nicola Peltz and Oscar-Nominee Virginia Madsen, BERNARD AND HUEY, starring Jim Rash, David Koechner, and Mae Whitman, as well as Belarus's 2018 Oscar selection for Best Foreign Film, CRYSTAL SWAN, along with Vice. Through his years working as an executive, Will has deep experience with working with writers and choosing to work with them or not based on their pitch, and is prepared to share what he’s learned with the Stage 32 community. In this exclusive on-demand Stage 32 webinar, Will will equip you with all the tools you'll need to elevate your next script to the top of the reading stack. He will discuss the various techniques of pitching, from finding the right words and unique style, to understanding which type of pitch to use and when. He will also analyze sample TV and feature film pitches and break down the hidden power of the perfectly-worded logline. He will teach you tactics, strategies, and even books that will make you a stronger storyseller, and in turn, a stronger storyteller. Will will even deliver a pitch of his own to use as an example and will share other film and TV pitches to analyze what works and what doesn’t. Through Will’s presentation, you will not only learn how to better understand and explain your story, but to also instill a newfound sense of confidence that you can take with you to your next meeting or pitch session. PRAISE FROM WILL'S PREVIOUS STAGE 32 TEACHING: "I would not have been able to advance in my writing career without Will McCance and the pitching lab. I highly recommend Will as an instructor and the pitching lab itself for Stage 32 writers. Thank you." -- Sean M. "Will's credentials speak for themself. He is an incredibly knowledgable executive with the passion to help writers get their projects moving forward. Thank you for all your help on my pitching for my feature!" -- Morgan M. "Will has been hands down the best teacher for pitching I've ever had!" -- Chase R.
Every successful filmmaker has, at some point in their career, written, directed, and/or produced a short film. For filmmakers who are just starting out, a short film is the best calling card to showcase their unique talent and vision. It is important to remember that short filmmaking is different from feature filmmaking, with challenges unique to the process. Even so, producing a short film may seem daunting, but there are several key secrets to getting the most out of your project. This intensive 5-week course will give students the tools and techniques necessary to produce a world class short film. Each week will be dedicated to a different aspect of the short filmmaking process, including, concept development and writing of your short, budgeting and scheduling, understanding and drafting production agreements, pro-tips on directing actors, and how to get the most out of the post production process. Students are strongly encouraged to come with ideas for a short film, which will be developed over the course of the 4 weeks, so by the conclusion of the class, the should have a screenplay ready for production.