The surge of television platforms, networks, and streamers in recent years has drastically opened up the world of television content production, spelling good news for aspiring content creators around the world. We’re not just talking Netflix and Amazon; countless other channels and streamers like Tubi, Roku, Snap, and many more are actively building their slates and looking for new content to buy outright. With these opportunities, it’s more than possible to create, sell and be profitable on your own independent TV series. Yet this does not mean it’s easy. Financing and recouping costs for independent television production requires a firm understanding of the constantly changing TV landscape and opportunities available to secure funding. With the rules and trends of television changing so frequently, it is difficult to be on top of where opportunities lie. Standard and subscription networks are losing revenue to streamers, and their acquisition budgets are decreasing. At the same time, streamers prefer buying all rights, and spend much less money on digital rights only, which disrupts the financial model. And many investors who are more used to funding films are resistant to TV shows without the splashy premiere and red carpets that they’re used to. These challenges and more stand in the way of fully financing your own television project, but they can all be overcome with the right approach and understanding. Over twenty-five years and working across three continents, Jeanette Milio has been involved in the production of over 500 hours of content for film and television, with a total production value of over $250 million, and including Academy Award® winning talent in front of and behind the camera. Recently, Jeanette has focused on the development, financing, and production of television series. She co-created, co-financed and executive produced the beauty competition series GLOBAL BEAUTY MASTERS on TLC and its spin-off series THE LOOK ALL-STARS on The CW. She further managed the renowned dog series TV series and brand DOG WHISPERER WITH CESAR MILLAN, which aired for 9 seasons on the National Geographic Channel and sold in over 180 countries. In 2020 Jeanette co-created, financed, and produced two seasons for the new series DOG MASTERS, starring Laura Nativo and Alex Rossi, which is being represented by The Gersh Agency for the U.S. and international distribution. Jeanette’s decades working and finding success in the TV industry has given her a unique and unrivaled perspective of how to finance television content and get it sold. Jeanette will lay out step-by-step how you can successfully finance your own content for television in today’s ever-changing ecosystem. She’ll begin by taking a look at the independent TV space today, what’s being produced, what’s selling and what opportunities are out there aside from Netflix. She will identify available funding sources and go through the rules of financing you need to understand. She’ll then go into what effective TV pitch documents need to include for investors and how to make your stand out. Next, Jeanette will give you tips on how to secure “free money” for your project by leaning into things like co-productions, subsidies, and tax incentives. She’ll explain how you can mitigate risks for yourself and your team and teach you how to create your own IP to attract audiences and therefore investors and distributors. Jeanette will explain distribution deals that are available today and help you understand how to determine which deal is right for you and your project. Finally, Jeanette will identify the biggest potential pitfalls for producers and investors that you need to avoid. It’s more possible than ever before to fund, produce, and sell your own independent TV content, especially if you can understand the rules to follow and the traps to avoid that Jeanette will thoroughly lay out.
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Joe Russo will take writers behind the scenes of 2 horror films and 1 horror pilot. This webinar will be an honest, unapologetic look at the successes and struggles during the development process for each case study so you can you learn what to mimic and what to avoid for your own project. You Will Leave the Webinar With: An understanding of how each film and TV project came to be. An understanding of the different strategies used to package each project and how they were introduced to decision makers. A comprehensive look into the notes process so you can learn what went right and, more importantly, what went wrong. Clear advice on how to apply these lessons to your own script or project. Learn directly from Joe Russo, producer who has helped steer writers' projects through the development process to land on The Young and Hungry List, Hit List and The Black List and sell to the Major Studios and Networks. Joe’s extensive production background includes working on productions for FOX, SyFy, A/E, Lionsgate Films and Universal Studios!
The television landscape is constantly changing, with new technology, new networks, new trends, and new players. Yet a constant throughout the years has been the popularity of the situational comedy. From I LOVE LUCY all the way to MODERN FAMILY and THE GOOD PLACE, there has always been an appetite for new sitcoms, funny stories and beloved characters to come back to week after week (or binge all at once). As a result, if you have great idea for a sitcom and a great pilot script to go with it, networks are always going to be interested. But first you have to write that pilot. But you can't build a house without a blueprint. That's why it's so important to understand the sitcom pilot script on a fundamental level. A written TV pilot is not something physically tangible. You're selling the network an idea, an episode, and, really, an entire series without ever shooting a single frame. That alone is an overwhelmingly huge task. This is why people often struggle writing a pilot script. Putting too much into the script, or not enough. Properly setting up the world. Getting your audience attached to your characters. Including enough jokes and still having a prominent story. All of these elements make crafting your sitcom pilot difficult and the overall process intimidating. Yet shining a light on the pilot process can help reduce the fear and better equip you when writing. David Shecter has has been working in the television industry in production, development, and as a writer for over a decade. He has written on many shows, including season 5 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. His experience and success on that show landed David on the pilot of the CBS smash hit 2 Broke Girls, where he worked his way up as a staff writer on the 6th and final season of the show. Since 2 BROKE GIRLS, David has served on the FOX sitcom OUTMATCHED starring Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson and was named a WGA TV Writer Access Honoree for his script For Worse. David’s continued work in the sitcom TV world has lent him a keen understanding of what makes these shows successful and how to make the most of your sitcom pilot. David will break down how to write a great sitcom pilot that can build your world, show your style, and appeal to both executives and audiences. He’ll give you tips on how to find your sitcom’s tone and decide where it lies on the comedy spectrum between comedy and drama. He’ll discuss the differences between premise-based and character-based sitcoms and teach you how to find the balance between jokes and story. Next David will delve into the proper structure of a sitcom pilot, looking at length, episodic vs. serialized and if commercial breaks are still a thing. He’ll give you tips on how to start writing your sitcom pilot and break down the anatomy of a sitcom scene. He’ll share tips on how to build effective sitcom characters and will finally teach you how to best establish your world through the pilot and how to pack everything neatly into your script. David will even offer a deep dive of the pilot script for HBO's Emmy-nominated sitcom BARRY, analyzing why this script works. Everyone who signs up will receive a free download of this script. David is excited to show you the proper tools so you can start building the world of your sitcom from the ground up with complete confidence and create a product that can help you find the success you’re looking for.
As you know, independent film is enjoying a resurgence. Whereas a few years back, it seemed as if getting a low budget indie off the ground was a Herculean task, now, especially with the rise of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+ and other streaming platforms not only purchasing indie fare, but producing it on their own, lower budget independent films are back in high demand. However, to take advantage of the current gold rush, you must understand what makes an independent script attractive to managers, agents, producers, development execs, financiers and others in a position to greenlight your screenplay. For most writers focused strictly on the craft, the disconnect between a script that gets high marks for the writing, yet still has a problem drawing attention of managers and agents or finding a buyer, is a lack of knowledge as to the current marketplace. It is vital that you understand the creative and commercial realities of the business. Everything else streams from there including all the aspects that you will need in your screenplay to make it a no brainer for the aforementioned gatekeepers and decision makers to want to get involved with the project. With so many screenplays flooding the market, reps, producers, filmmakers, financiers want to choose those screenplays that already have the heavy lifting toward getting the script into production already figured out. James Kicklighter is a multi-award winning writer/director whose work has been recognized by the world’s press, including The Hollywood Reporter, The Times of India, Film Courage and FilmInk Australia. James began his career raising funds for numerous small budget short films, which allowed him to move into award-winning feature films. Most recently he directed The Sound of Identity about the first transgender woman ever to perform as Don Giovanni in a professional opera. The film is produced by Emmy Award-winning producers Russ Kirkpatrick & Andy Kinslow and executive producer Josh Bachove (Lizzie, Yoga Hosers, The Little Hours). James will teach you the ins and outs of writing a producible, low budget independent feature that will draw the right attention. He'll start by diving into the marketplace and how you can research, review, and understand the current landscape. He will then discuss how to choose material, create compelling, deep, and unique characters, and how to write using accessible locations. He will teach you how to optimize the screenplay for production, including some tips and tricks to help a filmmaker and/or producer understand how they can schedule efficiently just by reading the script. If you are looking to control your own material, James will even dive into how to attach talent and modify the script while in production. "James has style and class to spare. I've taken over 20 Stage 32 webinars and this was one of my favorites." - Theo K. "So much detail and so much information. Makes me look at my scripts in a whole new light." - Amanda D. "I've had so many screenplays that have received Consider or Recommend coverage from executives in this business, but I've never been able to get one of these screenplays launched and I could never understand why. Now I do. The writing is there, but the awareness to a producer's needs can be better. I'm on it. Thanks, James." - David V. "I learned something today. I want to produce my own work. Actually two things. I CAN produce my own work. This webinar was worth its weight in gold." - Martina S. "There’s nothing like listening to one who is passionate and educated on the craft of Filmmaking. James is a voice for aspiring filmmaker's ears. Thank you for the well outlined course.“ - Emeka M.
The more production savvy we are, the better filmmakers we become. As directors, it is our job to know every heartbeat of our story; the preparation needed for executing our vision; and the intricacies of bringing it to its final conclusion, in a way that will illicit an emotional response from our audience. That means that we must not take our foot off the pedal once we wrap. Being present, aware, in control, and maintaining our focus during post-production is vital. Sometimes our film is made (or lost) in the edit. The technical steps of post production can seem overwhelming, especially coming off the heights (or lows) of wrapping a picture. But if we don’t have a good understanding of the post production steps, it could be challenging to bring our vision to a strong finish, and ultimately to a wider audience. Stacia Crawford is a Director/Producer/Writer/Actress who, last year alone, directed two feature films which premiered on Netflix and Lifetime. As a producer she has helmed five feature films with Mar Vista Entertainment (premieres on Hallmark, Lifetime, CMT), in addition to several independent feature films. In television, Stacia co-directed/produced various unscripted series for NBC/Esquire, The History Channel, A&E, AMC, Spike, Logo, Pivot, Blaze TV, MTV. She also produced several web content shows, most notably for My Space. Prior to directing/producing, Stacia started her career as an actress/writer and can be seen in several feature films, including cameo roles in films that she’s directed. As a writer, she has written two novels (KIT TEN, THE SPACE BETWEEN) and co-created four original dramatic television series, (DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, WILDCATTERS, AMERICAN CAESAR, and SENESCENT) all currently in development. In a clear, expansive, yet easy to digest presentation, Stacia will help all filmmakers understand exactly how to handle and navigate the post-production process. She will begin by teaching you what to look for when hiring your entire post-production team. From there, she'll discuss the difference between all the post production positions - some sound quite similar, but do completely different jobs - and...do you need them all? Stacia will then dive into scheduling including the level of cuts for the film, and how long each part of the process (sound, coloring, etc) should take. She will discuss pick up shoots, fixing lighting and audio mistakes, and how to protect for footage errors. She'll even get into key art and what to include in your trailer! This is a comprehensive webinar designed to keep you deeply immersed in the post-production process carrying with you the knowledge that will keep your team on board with finalizing your vision. Praise for Stacia from her previous Stage 32 Next Level Webinar: She explained what is the Director's job was very very well and broke it down step by step! -Sharlene R. Stacia did a great job. She was great! -Tracey A If you are thinking of going into the industry it was amazing, hit all the points, and she went above and beyond when she expanded on a lot of her points...like making sure you get your insert shots (which I've been a victim of.). Overall she was great, clear and to the point. -Ryan H. Stacia was great. A lot of good information in a clear and concise manner. -Angel N. Great information! -Liz H. It was interesting to hear from other filmmakers' perspective. I learned a lot about the Director's position, as it relates to Film & TV. I came into this webinar because of my interest in knowing more about the producing/directing side of the industry, and man Stacia really did go in and cover a lot. My mind was soaking up information left and right. Another great webinar! -Shayne W.
Founded in 2011 by Richard "RB" Botto, Stage 32 is the world's largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV and new media creatives and professionals worldwide. Stage 32 works with over five hundred industry professionals and executives who provide education, instruction and professional opportunities for members of the platform. Stage 32 currently has over 1,200 hours of exclusive film, television and digital craft and business education in its library. Stage 32 members use the platform daily to build their network, take online webinars, classes and labs, find work and cast and crew their projects. Stage 32 members range from students to Emmy, BAFTA and Academy Award Winners. We work tirelessly to ensure that you know that Stage 32 is your online home to stay connected with over 600,000 creatives and professionals from across the globe. Now, we are excited to present a virtual panel featuring some of the top minds in the Stage 32 community to discuss the current state of television, as the industry adapts to a new development and production landscape after the COVID-19 pandemic and a continuing battle between the WGA & ATA. In this roundtable discussion you will hear the point of view of a production company (Tracy Mercer, Senior Vice President, Television at Amasia Entertainment), a television packager (Stuart Arbury, Director of TV & Episodic Content at Ramo Law), a literary manager (Raquelle David of Elevate Entertainment), a writer, producer, Stage 32 CEO (Rich “RB” Botto), all moderated by producer, writer, and the Stage 32 Director of Script Services (Jason Mirch). Stage 32 is proud to be putting the "social" in #SocialDistancing. Please share this event on your social media and tag @stage32 on Twitter and @stage32online on Instagram.