Sebastian is currently a partner in Circus Road Films after working in development at Paramount, and at Touchstone, the TV division of Disney and ABC.We'll discuss the business + a live Q&A!
**Payment plans are available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details*** **If you have to miss a class, don't worry. Each class is recorded and you can watch on-demand** PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your comedy pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch. WEEK #1 – Introduction, Character, World This week we will cover the syllabus, your instructor's background and experience, your goals for this eight-week lab and launch into a discussion on creating strong characters for your pilot. We will discuss the types of comedy pilots and how they differ from network to network. This will include a discussion about Single-Camera and Multi-Camera comedies. We will go over how to create effective loglines and pitch documents. Then we will delve into character – what makes for strong characters and weak ones. Also knowing the world your show takes place in. We will also discuss other kinds of TV comedy writing (late-night talk shows, sketch, political comedy talk shows, etc.) The assignment for this week will be to create a document with a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters, and an explanation of the world. WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline, Pitch Document This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of comedy pilot (single-camera or multi-camera) and the network (broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, etc.) We will identify what kind of network to target for your story idea and structure the pilot accordingly. We will also discuss the function of your series bible and what it needs to include to support your pilot. The assignment for the week is to complete a pitch document with characters, pilot outline, and future episode ideas. WEEK #3 – Pilot Outline (One on One Consultations – No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding pilot structure. Each writer will send in their pilot outline in advance and will have a 10-minute call to discuss what works and what doesn’t. The assignment for the week is to address any notes given on the outline and pitch document before proceeding with next week’s class. WEEK #4– Structure, Scenes, Dialogue, We will discuss both the Single-Camera and Multi-Camera structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. We will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, dialogue, and jokes. The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the cold open, a scene introducing your main character(s), and a scene with strong jokes. WEEK #5– Pilot Structure This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in a comedy pilot, including traditional page count, act breaks, tags, etc. The assignment this week will be to complete a first draft of your pilot WEEK #6– After You Write Your Pilot Last online class. We will discuss what happens when you take meetings with managers, agents, and showrunners, and how to pitch a comedy pilot. The assignment for the week is come up with a pitch for your pilot WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Each writer will have a 10-minute call to pitch your pilot. WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes on the pitch and script. Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given.
Mentoring in a private class setting with top financier Viviana Zarragoitia, VP of Three Point Capital - exclusively through Stage 32! Get access to exclusive handouts including sample budgets, packages and collection account management statement, sales sheets, sales agent contracts and distribution agreements One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a creative is finding financiers and raising funds for your film. You may have a great script, a great cast and crew, but at the end of the day, no money means no project. For many creatives, the world of financing can seem overwhelming and impenetrable. Collection account management? Waterfalls? Gap financing? It can be hard to understand what these concepts even mean, much less how to navigate them successfully. But it's within your grasp to master these elements, find success for your project and allow financiers to recoup their investments. First you must understand the ins and outs of what goes into financing an independent film so you can ultimately find success. Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films can be your calling card toward making a life working in independent film. Simply put, if you understand the strategies and methods to help your investors see a return, you get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring more investors with them if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, it's not impossible, and in fact can be well within your power, especially with the right guidance and education. Viviana Zarragoitia is the Vice President of Three Point Capital, one of the entertainment industry's top financiers that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. Through Three Point, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in. She has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Rob Barnum (MARGIN CALL), Anthony Bregman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), James Schamus (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Aaron Gilbert (JOKER), Kimberly Steward (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), Nicolas Chartier (THE HURT LOCKER) and Kevin Frakes (HEREDITARY), among others. Before Three Point Capital, Viviana worked in accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films, as well as in the finance division of Lionsgate, where she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. Viviana has seen it all when it comes to film financing and knows intimately well how films find success at all budget levels. In this advanced level and intensive 6-session class, Viviana will comprehensively teach you how you can finance your own independent film, whether it's microbudget ($500,000 or less), more than $10 million, or anything in between. In Session 1 she will provide an overview of the different types of film financing available to you. In Session 2 she will focus on microbudget films specifically and dig in to how films with these budgets can find success. Session 3 will center on using tax credits, soft money, and grants to help fund your project. In session 4, Viviana will bring in a notable film producer she has worked with in the past and discuss with them the principles of finding and approaching financiers and convincing them to contribute to your project. Session 5 will delve into equity, pre-sales, gap, and sales agents. Finally Session 6 will look at waterfalls, recoupment and navigating collection accounts. Along the way, Viviana will provide exclusive and valuable handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including: Sample Budgets and Packages Sales Sheets Sales Agent Contracts Sample Collection Account Statement Example Distribution Agreements Praise for Viviana's Past Stage 32 Financing Classes: "Viviana inspired me to learn more about the business side of filmmaking. I had an idea of how to finance a movie, but after our first class, I realized I had a lot to learn. I'm learning more to this day! I highly recommend her class to any film creative with little, to no understanding on how to finance an independent film. What she has to say is priceless!" -Steven K. "As an experienced film and television producer and writer, Viviana's class was just the refresher - and inspiration - that I needed! Having been a completion producer for a bond company, I have seen too many producers who were let down in the producing process by so-called-professionals who offered support at the on-set of a production, but then failed to deliver when needed. Viviana and her company Three Point Capital have an excellent reputation, and her counsel provided in the class solidified that. I highly recommend both Viviana and Stage 32 Education!" -Patricia C. "Viviana was personable, professional, interesting, interested, and a wealth of knowledge and useful information. I will take every opportunity to learn from her. She was patient and polite with every question and always clear with what she knew, what she thought, what she believed, and what she didn't know. She painted pictures and delivered facts, outlining the paths she has seen successful producers take while still encouraging all to pursue their art with a greater knowledge of the business and understanding of the challenges and potential pitfalls." -Randy G. "As someone who was totally new to the world of film financing, trying to learn about the process by myself was intimidating to put it lightly. Viviana clearly explains the film financing process step-by-step and demystifies the complex, bespoke nature of pre-sales, tax credits, sales agents, and so much more. I feel infinitely more confident in my ability to produce a film thanks to this class. I give it the highest possible recommendation for any independent filmmaker looking to finance their film and take their projects to the next level." -Sean R. "Viviana has a tremendous depth and range of knowledge about film financing and she was happy to share everything she knew. Thanks to her loose, attentive style for the class, it ranged far and wide, and she answered a lot of people’s questions whether they were general or specific to their own projects. And I feel like there was value for all of us in even the most project-specific questions." -Randy V.
Over the past few years, studios, independent production companies, networks and streamers have been turning to stories based on IP (Intellectual Property). Often times screenwriters, filmmakers and producers find great source material based on a book, article, life or public domain and the next part is struggling to figure out how to adapt it. You want to make sure that you are able to tell your story in the best possible way. Could it make a good movie? Or, do you have more elements that could make it extend longer into a full TV show? Or, what about creating a podcast that could sell? Making this crucial decision on how to adapt your story can help accelerate your path toward success. When embarking on a strategy to figure out how to adapt your IP, it's important to understand the potential and the limitations within the material. This includes considering many variables including the genre, budget, and story beats. Although you may have begun with a specific format in mind, sometimes you may find that your material may inherently lend itself to one format or another. So, how do you truncate a story into a 110 page script? Should you include more characters and write a pilot that can serve multiple seasons? Could you write a podcast to help your characters come to life? Understanding your audience and where that audience consumes content today might alter your thinking. And, most importantly, you must be paying attention to the marketplace - what's selling, who it sold to, where it will live - so that you don't waste time and navigate the landscape in a productive, more successful manner. Jim Young of Animus Films is a leading independent non-fiction producer, with almost two dozen films under his belt. Jim has created a successful career producing true-story films such as THE CATCHER WAS A SPY with Paul Rudd, LIFE OF A KING with Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr., THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY with Oscar-nominee Dev Patel, LOVELACE with Oscar-nominee James Franco and Amanda Seyfried, and the upcoming film, THE PEOPLE VS. VEGAS DAVE. Jim has a long history of producing critically acclaimed features and documentaries including YEAR OF THE BULL at Showtime, THE WORDS with Oscar-nominee Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. Almost all of Jim's projects are based off of IP and he has a clear grip on what adapts best to what medium and what the marketplace is currently looking for. Jim will go over how determine your objective for your project whether you're a director, writer, actor or a hybrid. He'll go over what is important to you in the overall process in order to help you be clear on what you want to get out of adapting your IP into a film, television pilot or podcast - whether it be creative satisfaction, financial gain or proof of concept. He'll go over what the flow of your story is - open ended or single climax, event vs. character driven and visual vs. storytelling. He'll help you determine your writing style to help cater to which format will work best for your project, discussing comparisons between X-FILES, DIE HARD, STAR WARS and STAR TREK. You'll learn how different genres and budgets play into a project based off of IP. And, most helpful, Jim will go over the current marketplace in terms of popularity of projects based on IP, and break down the pros and cons of working in each medium - film, television and podcast. You will have a clear direction on which format will work best for your project. Like what you heard from Jim from during this webcast? Send your script to Jim and speak with him for an hour by clicking here. Praise for Jim's Stage 32 Webinars: "This was my first webinar and I learned so much. I thought Jim was thorough in his descriptions of what each medium has to offer regarding IP" -Marietta K. "Jim opened up new avenues for our IP that I didn't realize existed. He was a great presenter and shared his own experience with relevant info. It was really motivating." -Ricki L. "Thoughtful way of exploring options. Using podcasts was inspirational." -JoAnne E. "Tons of new information. Thanks!" -Jacqueline L.
Looking to develop your first pitch? Want to improve the pitch you already have? Join Stage 32's Nick & Allen and learn what turns a pitch into a request or meeting! We see over 200 projects pitched on Stage 32 each week and review the feedback execs give on all of them. We see the good, the bad, and everything in between. We see what gets read and what gets the dreaded pass. What lands on the top of the pile and what gets buried under everything else. And we see the questions about pitching that get asked week in and week out. So we at Stage 32 have decided to put our experience together in a FREE Webinar on Pitching through Stage 32! On Monday, March 12th at 1PM Pacific, Stage 32 Writing Service's Allen James Roughton and Nick Assunto will take a deep dive into sharing what they’ve learned over hundreds of pitch sessions and thousands of pitches. Have a question about pitching you've always wanted to ask us? Join us live and participate in the Q&A!
This is an interactive virtual 2-part class with Jeff and a small group of sketch comedy writers 10 spots available - 6 spots remain! Short form comedy sketch content has helped propel the careers of some of the top creatives we see in film and TV today like Amy Poehler, Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrel and many more. A quick laugh is one of the best ways for you to endear yourself to a fellow creative or a decision maker looking to produce or buy your work. Having a quick-wit shows that you have the comedic chops to entertain an audience in long form, which is why you see so many people trying their hand at sketch comedy on You Tube, Instagram, Tik Tok, in comedy troops and more. The opportunities are plentiful! But, how do you know if a sketch you write is funny? How do you know if the joke you envision will hit the right mark? It takes a lot of practice - and within that practice there will be some good and some bad sketches. Not every joke is going to hit, but the more you get the hang of how to write sketches the funnier they will become. And, as you know, sometimes writing can be insular so it's important that you get feedback from fellow comedy lovers to help you improve your work and get it to hit. We are here to help you with that support. We are giving you the opportunity to work directly with one of the top sketch comedy artists in the game right now, Jeff Galante. Jeff is an actor/comedian/writer is based out of the Groundlings Theater where he is a senior performer and teacher. He has sold pilots to NBC, A&E and has worked with SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, WARNER BROS., WANDA SYKES', NATIONAL LAMPOON, 2 BROKE GIRLS and many more. In an exclusive 2-part interactive class Jeff will teach you all the fundamentals about writing sketch comedy. After your first class you will be assigned to write your own sketch based off of what you've learned. Then, in the next class, Jeff and your group will table read each other's sketches and you will get invaluable insight on how you can continually improve your sketch! You will not find access like this anywhere else except through Stage 32! This class is limited so make sure to sign up today! Some Praise About Jeff's Previous Class "Great host, great info, long time interest in the topic with no practical knowledge so this was so much fun!"- Jeremy S. "I loved everything about it. I wish it was longer." - Gayle R. "Excellent information, excellent presenter - authentic and hard-working" -Scott T. "I liked the specificity and the real world, scenarios and brutally honest information about the business." - Roger C.