The magnitude to which the television landscape has changed over the past few years really can’t be overstated. Traditional models have been shattered and the dominance of network and cable television has given way to the streamers. Just look at this year’s Emmys—Netflix shows received 160 nominations, compared to NBC, which received only 47. With the way paved by Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video, the past few years have seen an explosion of streaming platforms and with it, new content and new opportunities for creatives to jump on board. The TV landscape has changed and continues to change, but most would agree: streaming is the place to be. Yet it’s not that simple, is it? With the world of television changing so quickly, it can feel like whiplash to keep up with everything. The world of streaming this year alone has seen new players (hello, Peacock) and others that have already fallen by the wayside (R.I.P., Quibi). Platforms continue to innovate and reinvent themselves to stay current and compete with their fellow networks, and as they change, so does what they’re looking for and how they look for it. If you’re a writer, producer, or creator working to get your television show on a streaming network, it’s hard to know where to start. There are always isolated articles in the trades as well as whatever you can find out through word of mouth, but what you might really need is for someone to lay it all out—what are the players right now, what content is performing well on their platforms, what are they looking for, and where are they headed? As luck would have it, Stage 32 has put this all together for you. Arielle Cohen is a Senior Manager in Strategy at NBCUniversal's streaming service Peacock, which launched this past July. In this role, Arielle works to grow and improve Peacock by researching what’s working and where the industry is headed. Arielle is also a Development Executive for Broadway Producer Eric Falkenstein's Spark Productions, whose Broadway credits include MOULIN ROUGE and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. She is on the board of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society Associates, a member of TEDx Young Professionals, Women in Cable Television and Ladies of Comedy Association (LOCA). Through her work, Arielle has become a veritable expert in the world of streaming television and has a clearer view than most of where it’s headed. Arielle will provide a comprehensive look at the world of streaming TV today, focusing on who the major players are and what kind of content they are focused on. She’ll begin with an overall look at the television industry and how it has changed. She’ll also explain what the current streaming landscape looks like today. She’ll lay out the major players and how the recent additions of streamers have altered the ecosystem. She’ll also explain the difference between premium and ad-supported streamers. She will then offer strategies for you to determine which streamers could be the right fit for your project. Arielle will offer a deep dive into the seven biggest streamers today, going over their top performing shows and where they’re headed. She’ll do this for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Peacock, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Disney +. She will next delve into where we are going from here, including new trends and developments we should expect to see and whether we can sustain so many streaming networks moving forward. Finally Arielle will offer suggestions of what streaming execs are looking for and suggestions for making your own project more interesting to them. You’ll leave with a much clearer and fuller picture of this quickly shifting industry.
Art/Work Entertainment Manager, Spencer Robinson joins our panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.
Stage 32 CEO, Producer, and Screenwriter Richard "RB" Botto joins our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.
Exclusive to Stage 32, Chris Lockhart, one of the most legendary and revered agency story editors in the business teaches for the community. Chris has read over 60,000 scripts in his career for WME and has the database to prove it! A logline is the way your screenplay is introduced to the world. It’s rare that anyone will read your script without knowing something about it first. A-List Actors, producers, directors, managers, agents, financiers and development execs will often lean on hearing a logline before ever asking for or agreeing to read a screenplay. If your logline doesn't sing, the script doesn't get opened. Even more important, if the logline doesn't work, it's a signal to those who read screenplays for a living that the script probably doesn't either. Delving into a logline can help you identify problematic elements of a screenplay, enabling solutions to fix them. Simply put, there is no one better to help teach this subject than Chris Lockhart. As Story Editor at William Morris Endeavor (WME), the world's largest diversified talent agency, Chris has curated projects for A-list actors such as Denzel Washington, Liam Neeson, Mel Gibson, Matt Damon, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, and countless others over the last 20+ years. He's accomplished this reading and exploring through piles of screenplays, magazines, books, old movies, TV shows, and pitches in search of potential film projects. If you've seen one of these actors in just about anything, chances are Chris was the first stop for the screenplay (of which he's read over 60,000), but only after he heard the logline and deemed it worth of a read! Chris began his career at International Creative Management (ICM), where he worked as script consultant to legendary talent agent Ed Limato, who represented industry giants such as Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Michelle Pfeiffer, Liam Neeson, and Robert Downey, Jr. Chris later moved to the venerable William Morris Agency, which eventually merged with Endeavor to form WME. Chris is the Story Editor for A-list talent such as Denzel Washington, Michelle Williams, Richard Gere and more! As an educator and consultant, Chris has lectured around the world on the craft and business of screenwriting, and he has advised on countless feature films. Chris graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in dramatic writing and was awarded the school's Public Service Prize for his dedication to public education. He is an adjunct professor at National University's Professional Screenwriting Program. He has also taught at LA Valley College and UCLA. His writing workshop The Inside Pitch was filmed for Los Angeles television, earning him an Emmy Award nomination. Chris's creative counsel has been used on hundreds of hit films Chris is a member of the Writers Guild, the Producers Guild, and the Television Academy. In a jammed packed and often hilarious webinar (trust us, Chris is a character and a half), Chris will not only teach you how to write a logline, but how to tailor it in such a way that it is appealing to talent, representation and the money. He'll break down the mechanics of a logline to determine what makes one work. He'll show you what aspects A-List actors, directors, managers, agents, producers, financiers and development execs look for in a logline that makes them want to take the next step and read your script. Chris will then take you on a broader discussion of the elements of successful screenwriting and how your logline can betray what you've written or reveal the shortcomings in your script. As a bonus, Chris will then play a recording of an interactive logline pitch shop he recently held where he broke down several loglines to show what worked and what didn't. All this followed by a fun and informative Q&A filled with even more actionable information. "Chris, without question, is not only one of my favorite people in the industry, but one of my favorite people on the planet. His knowledge of screenwriting is beyond compare and his ability to break down every aspect of the writing process beginning with the logline is something to behold. He's smart, engaging, and funny as hell. And he's right about everything...Just ask him!" - Richard Botto, CEO (and screenwriter), Stage 32 "Amazing seminar loved it. It was the best I have ever watched or ordered!" - Robert M. "Chris was clear, concise, helpful, and focused. Loved his enthusiasm and humor." - Lori H. "Oh my god, I was laughing all the way through. In between writing about 10 pages of notes. SO much fun and a wealth of knowledge." - Denise G. "I went into this thinking it was going to be yet another of those dry logline classes. I was upended. This wasn't just the best thing ever regarding loglines, but the best screenwriting class I've ever taken." - Robert S. "Excellent! Very practical and useful!" - Kathi W.
Learn how to pitch remotely from the writer of JIGSAW and SPIRAL (Number one movie at the box office this year) Includes a live pitch demonstration and an exclusive pitch workshop where YOU can practice your Zoom pitch and receive notes! Pitching films and series has changed DRASTICALLY over the past year, as we’ve moved from traditional in-person pitches between writers and producers to remote ones. And even as we continue on our path to a stronger semblance of “normal”, all signs point to Zoom pitches sticking around and remaining a consistent aspect of the industry. Zoom has become the norm for eager writers, and if you’ve never pitched before, having the right tools, tips, and materials at your fingertips can really make your pitch shine. If you’ve never pitched to an executive or showrunner before, you may not know what it takes to deliver. Now, more than ever, you must be quick, concise, and clear. To avoid aimless rambling or unnecessary detail and conversation, structure is key. And once that structure is in place, your well-developed pitch can take you to the next level. What are the elements you need to pitch to a development executive or producer to get you to that next level? If you don’t know how to pitch efficiently while keeping your concept clear, the virtual call you’ve waited weeks to have could come to an abrupt end. Those who don’t take the time to practice and think they can roll through on the fly quickly, discover they’ve missed out on an incredible opportunity. But armed with the right tools, conversation, and materials, your chances are as good as anyone else’s. Pete Goldfinger knows what those tools are. Pete is an incredibly successful feature and television writer in Hollywood, perhaps best known for penning the two newest features in the SAW horror universe, including JIGSAW, which grossed over $100 million, and SPIRAL, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock, which debuted at number one at the box office this year. Other credits of Peter’s include SORORITY ROW, PIRANHA 3D and TV shows like TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. When he’s not writing for the screen, Pete is running and hosting his own screenwriting retreats, in-person workshops, and Zoom classes. Students of Pete’s classes learn how to turn their projects into marketable, saleable products, and he’s going to deliver these same principles to Stage 32’s community. During this timely and much-needed webinar, Pete will show you how to deliver the most valuable and authentic pitch possible by discussing the elements that need to go into a pitch so that you hook producers and showrunners quickly. From handling (sometimes) awkward small talk to delivering strong loglines with pitch decks, Pete will share his years of experience so that you leave feeling confident about your next (or first!) virtual pitch. After passing on his golden nuggets of wisdom, Pete will deliver a live pitch demonstration, who will take attendees’ ideas on what to pitch and then deliver his pitch on the spot to give you a feel of what Zoom pitching and thinking on your feet is really like. Pete will even offer an invaluable pitch workshop after his presentation, opening the floor to volunteers who will practice giving pitches and then receive valuable notes from Pete!
In the current, competitive TV landscape of serialized dramas, complex comedies, and sprawling genre epics, series bibles are becoming important selling tools to help writers illustrate their visions. A dynamic and intriguing bible can create interest in your project, and push your pitch or spec script over the edge to a sale. It’s your chance to lay out the larger arc of your story, list examples of future episodes, and explain the broad themes your show will explore. It conveys confidence to producers and executives by saying: “I've thought about this in the long run, and I have a slew of awesome ideas to explore in series.” Because there is no standard industry way to format your bible, they can be extremely confusing to create. Executives receive bibles as small as 4 pages (a mini-bible, really) and as long as 27 pages. Should it include your personal connection to the material? In-depth character bios? Visual motifs? Artist’s renderings of the setting and characters? Although bibles can vary greatly from project to project, there are some general rules and strategies to follow to make sure yours stands out from the pack as professional, polished, and powerful. Michael Poisson's career is one that has been filled with incredible ambitious drive and creative passion. He is a veteran television executive and is currently a writer on the hit Netflix series Raising Dion, as well as Adult Swim's Robot Chicken. But Michael’s story begins with his first industry job at CAA where he broke the glass ceiling for men everywhere and became their first ever male receptionist (before then, CAA had segregated based on sex: guys in the mailroom and girls in reception). From there he worked his way up to Rick Lefitz’s desk at CAA in TV Packaging, before jumping to Ryan Reynolds and Allan Loeb’s TV pod, DarkFire TV, for two years. He moved on to work as the Director of Development at Krysten Ritter’s company, Silent Machine Entertainment, where he worked closely with writers to develop their ideas to pitch to studios and networks. Michael has also had numerous successes as a screenwriter. In what has become an ultra-competitive environment, Michael will teach you the ins and outs of creating a compelling and willing TV bible. Starting with the proper formatting, how to introduce dynamic characters, and moving through how to include active and engaging episode examples, Michael will show you what grabs and keeps an executive's attention. Michael will also discuss artwork, articles and visual aids and whether your bible truly needs them or if they should be left out entirely. He will show you how to create and present carefully crafted, season long arcs that include strong and relatable themes. Always a challenge for writers, producers, and filmmakers putting together a series bible, Michael will teach you how to be clear and concise in explaining your direction for the series. He will spend quality time explaining and teaching the importance of a strong wrap up and closing beat and how to nail both. Michael will even teach you how to identify and decide which network or platform may be best for your show. "Answered so many of my questions about bible writing. Took away my fears as well! I can't wait to get started." - Mia L. "Demystification complete." Lorraine R. "Michael has energy and knowledge to spare. Best investment I've made in years." - Regina K. "There is so much mixed information on bible writing out there. It's confusing and, honestly, maddening. I appreciated Michael slowly, concisely, and thoroughly explaining what works, what doesn't and how to bring a winning series bible to life. Bravo." Angelo D.