Learn directly from award-winning Line Producer and former EVP of Production for Indigenous Media, Maura Anderson (Winter’s Bone, Suit Up, Would You Rather)! Webinar will include live examples of schedules, budgets, wrap binders, etc. from films she's worked on! Every project, whether it’s a movie, a TV show or web series, or even reality TV works off the same basic blueprint. You need a script, a schedule, a budget, and lastly someone with a plan to manage all of the elements you need to shoot, from cast and crew to locations and equipment. This person is the Line Producer. Most people don’t know the scope of what a Line Producer actually does. How does one make a budget? What goes into it? How do you devise a realistic plan to shoot a movie and how do you seamlessly make it happen? Maybe you’ve managed to finish one movie, but how do you repeat that over and over? Do I really need a budget for my $100k film? (Hint: the answer is Yes!) Maura Anderson is an award winning Line Producer who has worked on films and TV series such as Academy Award nominated Winter’s Bone, Would You Rather, and Suit Up. She's the former EVP of Production for Indigenous Media, a next generation digital studio focused on producing original content for digital and emerging platforms worldwide. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Maura will take an in depth look at all the steps a line producer takes from script stage to years after the film is made. Using materials from actual films, she’ll discuss how a script is turned into a schedule and a budget. You’ll learn how to build out your team and how you can create long lasting relationships. You’ll also learn the basics of setting up a film’s infrastructure. Lastly she’ll look at enacting the brilliant plan that you came up with and what that looks like in terms of prep, shooting and wrap. Having filmed in many places and situations, from the Ozark Mountains to the Alaskan Tundra, and with budgets ranging from $30k to $10M, Maura discusses everything from the minuscule details to the broader strokes of making a film.
As a television maker, one of the most difficult aspects of your job is creating and managing the budget for your project. Budgeting a feature or a short can be complicated enough, but at least you have all of the information at your fingertips. You have a script, schedule, rates—all of these things are at your disposal. However what happens when you need to budget a TV show? You don’t have all the scripts, there’s seemingly no way to create a schedule and, on the surface, no way to generate a budget. And once that budget is established, how do you handle decision making and cost tracking over a many, many months long process? These seemingly unsolved issues do have answers, and ones that may be simpler than you think. Successfully producing a TV show to get on screen requires that you understand not just how to build a TV budget, but also how to operate it. Knowing the ins and outs of Movie Magic and the various tools within as it relates to television is key. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and drown in the details of creating and managing the budget of a series. Through thorough research of the software, what it does and how it affects your project, you will be able to create TV budgets with ease. Presenting a solid TV budget will help you gain the confidence of those who can ultimately invite you into the inner circle of TV producing and allow you to advance your career to new heights. Rami Rank is a producer with credits on shows including Amazon's GOLIATH, DEXTER for Showtime, SWINGTOWN for CBS, HELP ME and HELP YOU for ABC, as well as features such as the remake of APRIL FOOL'S DAY. Rami began his career working on indie features as a Production Coordinator, Production Manager and Line Producer. After joining the union and coordinating the third season of DEXTER, Rami joined Universal Studios where in addition to helping manage the Backlot and Stage Operations he also ran UVS-1, Universal’s Virtual Production business until 2013, when he came back to production. Through his storied career, Rami has produced and budgeted for all types of television shows, including some of the biggest ones out there. He knows intimately what goes into the vital aspect of creating a budget for these projects and is ready to share all he’s learned exclusively with the Stage 32 community. In this 3-session class, Rami will offer detailed, practical, and exhaustive guide to creating and managing a successful TV budget. In session one he will review the basic starting point of a TV budget: where the information comes from and how to utilize it. He will review some basic concepts like Budgeting and Scheduling Software, Rate Guides and the two types of budgets you’ll be creating – Patterns and Amorts. Session 2 will be a deep dive into the Amort budget. Students will receive a copy of an Amort budget to use as reference as we walk through all of the departments, positions and costs to consider in preparing the Amort. In the final session you will receive copies of a pattern budget to use as reference as he teaches how this budget is transformed into an episodic budget and then tracked using hot costs and cost reports. You will leave these three classes with the knowledge base and confidence to tackle any TV budget. WHAT TO EXPECT This class is designed for beginner and intermediate students looking to learn the ins and outs of creating a budget for a television show. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more than a standard 90-minute webinar. You will be given guides and walk throughs of software and procedures and will receive handouts and resources that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the class ends. This class will consist of three sessions, each roughly 90 minutes in duration and spaced one week apart from one another. In addition to the lessons where Rami will be sharing his screen and walking you through section by section of television budgeting software, you will have the opportunity to ask Rami questions during each session. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the budgeting process. To see the full budgeting class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". "As a long time producer, I know how important a solid budget is for any television show, and I know just how challenging it is to create one successfully—much harder than for features and shorts. I’m excited to empower producers and creatives in the Stage 32 community to do the same. Get ready to learn more about TV budgets than you ever have before!" -Rami Rank
What is the most important element toward your film to landing a distributor? The script? The director? You may be surprised. For many distributors, the choice of one film over another often comes down to whether your film features an actor that audiences recognize. Actors’ performances breathe life into a film, and their fame gives a film its marketing power. Whether you're shooting a student or short film, ultra low budget, low budget or new media, it's important to sign talent that will help move the needle on your project. As important, you must know how to navigate the wide, varied landscape of actor agreements to assure that you are buttoned up legally so that distributors and sales agents are attracted to your project. Because performers realize the hold they have over a film project, negotiating talent services agreement can be a nail-biting experience. Virtually every recognizable performer has a team of agents, managers, and attorneys ready to protect the actor’s interests and negotiate the best deal they can for their client. For producers, knowing how to negotiate an actor’s contract is critical for the success of their films. Making sure that you have your film set up properly from the legal perspective at the get-go will help put you in the best position to negotiate. And, making sure you know the clauses to look out for during negotiation and how to handle them is crucial. Thomas A. Crowell, Esq. is an entertainment and intellectual property attorney and partner with the New York law firm of LaneCrowell, LLP. Mr. Crowell counsels clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues, including 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. Throughout his career he's helped hundreds of producers and actors protect themselves when signing the Talent Services Agreement. Thomas will walk you through labor and employment issues to consider when hiring key cast for your production, as well as give you payroll company resources you can use. You'll learn how to sign you production up as a signatory with SAG-AFTRA and how to be compliant. He will help you determine which union agreement your film will fall under and discuss the differences to consider between a student/short film, ultra low budget, low budget or new media project. Once you understand how to set up your film correctly, he will teach you how you can negotiate with agents, managers and other actor's representatives. Finally, Thomas will go over the key elements of a legal actor/talent services agreement. This is an all encompassing look at the broad landscape of actor's agreements taught with an easy to understand and comprehensive delivery. Whether you are making student films, short films, feature films, or new media projects with ultra low, low, medium or big budgets, you will learn EXACTLY what you need to get your actor's agreements buttoned up and protected. "One of the best yet! All are informative and I have learned from each, but this one topped the charts. Definitely want Thomas back. Thanks!" Jessica R. "This was incredibly detailed. I appreciated that Thomas took a lot of time showing real life examples and included easy to understand descriptions of all the clauses that would make my spin. Well worth the time." Paul P.
The world of podcasts has been exploding over recent years. Over 100 million Americans listen to podcasts on a regular basis, and individual shows can have tens of millions of fans. We’re not just talking about nonfiction works like THE DAILY or SERIAL; fiction podcasts are also having a moment as more writers are turning to the audio medium to tell incredible stories. Forebearers like HOMECOMING, LIMETOWN, THE BRIGHT SESSIONS, and WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE have opened the door for a cavalcade of new, exciting, innovative, and truly great audio storytelling. And as the number of fiction podcasts increases, so does this medium’s fan base as millions of people consistently tune in to their favorite fiction programs. Even as film and television production has slowed down or come to a halt, the doors are still wide open for recording podcasts since they can easily be produced remotely and from the comfort of one’s own home. The water’s warm when it comes to creating your own podcast and joining this vibrant community, but it’s still important you make something that’s not only written well but sounds great. The prospect of sound design and audio quality can be daunting for those considering venturing into podcasts. It’s not unusual to believe that you’ll be unable to make a high quality and sharp sounding podcast without expensive equipment and a state-of-the-art recording studio. How good can a podcast sound if it’s being recorded in your closet or kitchen, after all? As it turns out, it can sound pretty good, and it can sound good without you needing to break the bank. But it’s not something you can just put together willy nilly. There’s a delicate, precise science to sound design and it’s something that requires a good amount of wherewithal, and forethought. Yet with this understanding in place, it is absolutely possible to create a professional sounding podcast wherever you are and under any budget. Mischa Stanton is an award-winning and sought after podcast sound designer & producer who has created immersive soundscapes for some of the biggest and most popular podcasts of all time, including LEVAR BURTON READS, Marvel Entertainment’s blockbuster podcast MARVELS, and celebrated science fiction podcast cult hit THE BRIGHT SESSIONS, which is currently in development to be adapted as a television show. Their work has been featured by Wired, Vox, Polygon, Popular Science, The AV Club, and The New York Times, and has garnered 10 Audio Verse Awards for Podcast Sound Design in just 4 years. Mischa has quickly become one of the foremost experts on podcast audio and is prepared to share what they know exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Mischa will walk you through what you need to know to make your own podcast sound professional on a limited budget, from preparation all the way through editing and finalizing. They will begin with a quick introduction of the human ear and a rundown of what psychoacoustics is and why you should consider it moving forward. They will teach you how to build your own home studio, including finding the right place in your home, the inexpensive but effective ways to sound proof your space, and additional purchases you can make to improve acoustics. Next Mischa will give you a rundown of the recording equipment you will need and smart purchases that can work with your budget. This will include microphones, interfaces, mixers, and headphones. Then they will delve into actual techniques to use while recording your podcast, including near/far and mono/binaural techniques and how to effectively record your podcast remotely. They will provide tips on directing your podcast from an audio perspective, including how to properly cast to ensure everyone sounds different and finding the balance between stage and screen styles. They will then walk you through actually running a recording session, how to make the most of your rehearsals, and documents and spreadsheets you should follow. Mischa will also explain how to edit pacing and feel the flow while directing your sessions. Next they will teach you about sound design, including where to get sounds and effects and how to actually lay out a session. They will run down specific techniques you can use to improve your podcast’s soundscape, including EQ, reverb sends, and accessibility. They will also explain the best and worst editing software to use. With Mischa’s knowledge under your belt, you’ll be able to create your own podcast with a sound quality that can stand toe-to-toe with the best of them. “I’ve staked my entire career many times over on the fact that you can make a brilliant, moving, polished story from your own home without going broke. The audience is hungry for new stories from new voices, especially right now! But so many podcasts fail to reach a larger audience due to simple audio mistakes anyone can avoid with the right tools. It is my pleasure to share what I know with the Stage 32 community, and I hope it leads to my next favorite podcast!” -Mischa Stanton
Learn directly from Rachel Chervin, former Development Department at Broadway Video (Saturday Night Live, Portlandia, Man Seeking Woman), Gersh Agency and Imagine Entertainment! A screenwriting journey of a thousand miles begins with a single page, to paraphrase an old saying. Well, more accurately, ten pages - that's the amount of space a typical writer has to grab the attention of the anonymous, overworked reader that picked their script off a pile for evaluation. If a writer's sample script is excellent enough, the pieces start to fall into place: an entire script read, the writer recommended, the agent's decision to represent, the long and fruitful thousand-mile career. None of it happens, though, if the script never makes it to the agent's desk. But who are these mysterious readers? Who decides which scripts go on to consideration or representation - and maybe one day fame and fortune - while others get a stone-cold pass? It's not exactly who you might think: while the agents and managers of Hollywood excel at their jobs, they only have so much time in the day and most of it is not spent seeking out new talent. That job falls to the Gatekeepers, the assistants and pro readers who tackle stacks of scripts every week hoping to find the diamond in the rough: a script they can confidently recommend. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Rachel Chervin will bring you an insider's perspective on agency submissions and what you can do to maximize the impact of your writing on the unsung decision makers of Hollywood. Rachel will discuss fun and informative strategies for giving yourself the best chance possible to make a lasting impression on everyone who reads your script. There are so many ways that writers can take themselves out of the running with easily avoidable mistakes, but fortunately, there are just as many ways to stand out from the pack and deliver a calling card script that demands recognition. The key, besides great writing, is knowing the Gatekeepers' game plan - and then blowing it out of the water. Rachel Chervin has been on both the buying and selling sides of the business and has extensive experience with what industry executives are really looking for and the language they use to talk about scripts under consideration. She has worked in development for Broadway Video (Saturday Night Live, Portlandia, Man Seeking Woman) in both features and television, working to find and promote up-and-coming comedic voices in the industry. She has previously worked for several years at Imagine Entertainment and the Gersh Agency on several feature films including The Rite (2011) and Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012).
You’re a writer. Your work is entertaining, informative, thought provoking — heck, it’s even clever. You dream of tapping away on your lap-top in a cabin, sending off your material to a publisher or a producer, and collecting your check from the mail-box in the evening before pouring yourself a glass of Malbec red wine and walking your dog by a river. It’s a beautiful dream. But the reality is, no matter how good your writing is, no matter how brilliant your ideas are — if you’re ever going to have that cabin, not to mention enough cash to cover dog food every month, you have to know how to pitch well. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, TV Writer/Producer Charlie Charbonneau (CW shows: The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and its spin-off The Originals) will teach you how to successfully pitch your ideas as a writer. You’ll learn about the many different scenarios where you’ll have to translate that spectacular idea in your brain to someone who’s never heard it before. This webinar will lay out the rudimentary yet vital skills used by the pros to win over the show-runners, buyers, and agents. You’ll hear about the nitty gritty do’s and don’ts of pitching in places like the TV Writers Room, a studio or network executive’s office, and at lunch with the agent or manager you’ve been dying to meet with. Also, Charlie will be giving you tips on how to nail your 8-minute pitch so you can take advantage of the Stage 32 Script Services pitch sessions offered every week. He'll guide you through how to start, cultivate interest and leave the executives wanting more. He'll not only cover live pitching but how to deliver a superb written pitch! You will get to examine the biggest enemies to a great pitch — fear and anxiety — and strategies to neutralize them so you can keep your cool. And, of course, those who tune in will get to catch some horrific pitch fails from the trenches of TV staff writing. Writers in any medium and at every experience level will benefit from this webinar — from novices to experts. And anyone else looking to hone their sales tactics in the entertainment industry or elsewhere will walk away with strategies to bring their pitch games to the next level. "The pitching webinar was fantastic. Every I was dotted every T crossed. It helped me to really understand the process than to be afraid of it. I still have lots more work and practicing to do, but it was great. Thank you." - Mindy G "Great real life examples - much appreciated!" - Paul B. "Charlie put a lot of heart in his presentation... that's everything!" - Matthew R. "This was exactly what I need. I'm totally new to the industry and I wanted insight into how to best prepare for pitching my projects. Charlie, thanks for doing such an excellent job of providing that insight." - Cam C.