How To Hook Your Reader In The First 5 Pages

Taught by Regina Lee

$99 $189

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32
apply

- or -

$99.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

This Next Level Education class has a 91% user satisfaction rate.

Class hosted by: Regina Lee

Producer

About Your Instructor, Regina Lee: On the producing side, Regina Lee has teamed with showrunner Rob Thomas (creator of iZombie, Veronica Mars, Party Down), Owen Wilson, and This American Life to sell a pilot to HBO in a 4-network bidding war. She also teamed with Emmy-winning showrunner Rene Balcer (Law & Order) to sell a pilot to Starz. As a production company executive with a deal at CBS Network, she was on the team that sold multiple projects to CBS and The CW. She began her executive career at Universal Pictures, where she worked on films such as American Wedding, Curious George, The Good Shepherd (Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert DeNiro), The Fast & the Furious 3, Bridget Jones 2, The Cat in the Hat, Seabiscuit, and Red Dragon. Look for Regina’s comments in the Stage 32 Lounge. Full Bio »

Part 1 - Introduction: Who is Your Reader & What Are They Thinking

Regina will cover what readers are looking for when they read your material and what their considerations/criteria are as they evaluate the market viability of your project.

  • Regina will introduce herself to the class and talk about her experience in Film and TV.
  • She will go over who will be reading your script as you make your way into the major LA/NY studio and indie film systems and the Hollywood TV system.
  • The discussion will range from screenwriting contest readers, to managers and agents, to producers to financiers, to the actors and directors who bring value to a project.
  • You will learn what it’s like to sit on the other side of the table, which will help your own presentation and strategy.

Part 2 - Effective Paradigms of a Script’s Opening

Regina will go over effective paradigms typically used to open scripts, including teaser openings, openings which set up the protagonist, openings which convey the backstory and mythology of a new world, and openings which are set-pieces unto themselves.

  • Regina will explain these paradigms by referencing popular movies and TV shows for clarity.
  • She will discuss genre expectations, using the opening to fully set-up the protagonist, and using the opening to establish tone.
  • She will also cover how to use the opening to set up protagonists that audiences can relate to and root for.
  • Then she will offer tips on how to better execute the elements that have been discussed.
  • Regina will also go over the previous week’s homework in class and analyze some projects that volunteers put forward for discussion.

Part 3 - Analyzing Well-Executed Openings

Regina will lead the class in analyzing several well-executed openings in both Film and TV, ranging in genre and tone.

  • Students will be given sample scripts of the first 5 pages of successful movies such as The 40 Year-Old Virgin, American Pie, American Beauty, and hit TV show pilots such as The Strain and Grey’s Anatomy.
  • The class will discuss the first 5-10 minutes of movies/shows like Jaws, Jerry Maguire, and Friends.
  • Students will also be given the first 5 pages of a few well-written scripts that have sold to studios, but have not yet been produced.
  • Regina will go over the previous week’s homework in class, which will involve class members writing their own 5-page openings. Volunteers can put forward their own script openings for analysis and discussion.

Summary:

3-part previously recorded online class taught by Regina Lee, Producer and Former Studio Executive who’s developed and/or supervised movies and TV shows set up at Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, New Regency Productions, New Line Cinema, Summit Entertainment, MRC Film, HBO Series, Starz, CBS, The CW, Sony TV, and Paramount TV!

As you break into writing professionally, the one thing you’ll always need to do is to hook your reader from the get-go, within the first 5 pages of your project. Whether you’re submitting your script to a screenwriting contest, a manager, an agent, a non-writing producer, a series showrunner/producer, a financier, a star, or a director, you have to get through your reader’s initial skepticism and earn every single page that is read.

In fact, first impressions are cemented when reading page 1. And that goes for all scripts, whether you’re a beginner trying to place in your first contest, or you’re a professional, with scripts sold to major studios and networks. It’s a challenge that never goes away.

Stage 32 is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 3 part class: How To Hook Your Reader In Only 5 Pages, taught by producer and former studio executive Regina Lee! In this class, Regina covers what executives are looking for, the typical paradigms for a script’s opening, what an opening must deliver, and how you can give executives what they want to see. You will leave this class with a solid understanding of how to get your reader hooked in only 5 pages or less!

Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.
Although Regina is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.

 

Testimonials:

"Thanks for a wonderful class! Your efforts have been amazing." -Heather F.

"Great class, very helpful and useful information." -John R.

"Thank you for a great class filled with valuable info. I think the way you delivered the info seemed fresh and insightful. A few different slants to the way I see the same material made a difference. The point about ‘clean writing’ really resonated with me. I appreciate your ‘personal’ content in what to expect, your encouragement, etc. Thank you so very much." -Lynne L.

"I've just watched the recording in the UK and I have to say the content was brilliant! I learnt so much in that 2 hours, especially knowing you are the real deal. It makes the information so much more valuable to me." -David E.

"It was a great educational experience taking your class!" -Heather P.

"Regina offers great insight, [this class] instantly made me a better writer.” - David L.

"I just re-wrote my first five pages based on this class and Regina's incredibly insightful feedback, and wow! What a difference it made. This class is a "must take" Stage 32'ers!" - Shari F.


About Your Instructor:

About Your Instructor, Regina Lee:

On the producing side, Regina Lee has teamed with showrunner Rob Thomas (creator of iZombie, Veronica Mars, Party Down), Owen Wilson, and This American Life to sell a pilot to HBO in a 4-network bidding war. She also teamed with Emmy-winning showrunner Rene Balcer (Law & Order) to sell a pilot to Starz. As a production company executive with a deal at CBS Network, she was on the team that sold multiple projects to CBS and The CW. She began her executive career at Universal Pictures, where she worked on films such as American Wedding, Curious George, The Good Shepherd (Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert DeNiro), The Fast & the Furious 3, Bridget Jones 2, The Cat in the Hat, Seabiscuit, and Red Dragon. Look for Regina’s comments in the Stage 32 Lounge.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 2 to 4 week ongoing broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the class software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The class software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you cannot attend a live class and purchase an On-Demand class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the class afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand class, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!


Testimonials:

Testimonials:

"Thanks for a wonderful class! Your efforts have been amazing." -Heather F.

"Great class, very helpful and useful information." -John R.

"Thank you for a great class filled with valuable info. I think the way you delivered the info seemed fresh and insightful. A few different slants to the way I see the same material made a difference. The point about ‘clean writing’ really resonated with me. I appreciate your ‘personal’ content in what to expect, your encouragement, etc. Thank you so very much." -Lynne L.

"I've just watched the recording in the UK and I have to say the content was brilliant! I learnt so much in that 2 hours, especially knowing you are the real deal. It makes the information so much more valuable to me." -David E.

"It was a great educational experience taking your class!" -Heather P.

"Regina offers great insight, [this class] instantly made me a better writer.” - David L.

"I just re-wrote my first five pages based on this class and Regina's incredibly insightful feedback, and wow! What a difference it made. This class is a "must take" Stage 32'ers!" - Shari F.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Intro To Using Social Media for Your Low to No Budget Film

Social media is essential for your film. If you want people to find out about it, watch it, like it, and tell their friends to watch it, you need to be on social media. If you have a small or no budget, knowing how social media works is going to be the best tool to market your film. So come prepared to learn! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, social media expert Jennifer Winberg (digital strategy for mini and major studios - Disney, Fox, Sony, Lionsgate, and Gravitas Ventures) will teach you how to create a social media campaign that is right for your film. She will walk you through the different channels of social media and how to decide which one is right for your film.  Your host, Jennifer will use her 10 years of branding and entertainment experience in digital strategy, social media, and integrated marketing to show you how to create a social campaign that will build an audience for your film. She'll outline a social media timeline for your film, when to start social media for your film and how to utilize interns to maintain your social media. You'll walk away knowing how to build a successful social media campaign including best tactics, tools and resources.   

Breaking Into the Industry - Creating and Maintaining a Screenwriting Career

4 part class taught by award winning screenwriting career coach and author Lee Jessup! AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! Finishing your script may be one of the hardest steps, but it's only the first! Now what? Despite its reputation, many writers are still surprised at how hard it is to not only break into the entertainment industry, but sustain a screenwriting career once inside. What you need is a proven mentor, someone who can give you the know-how to help you break into Hollywood with stunning success. Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4 part class: Breaking Into the Industry – Creating and Maintaining a Screenwriting Career taught by Lee Jessup, award winning Screenwriting Career Coach and author of the best-selling screenwriting book, Getting it Write. Learn everything you need to know to help jump-start your screenwriting career from a seasoned veteran who has coached WGA members, Golden Globe and Emmy nominated writers, best-selling authors, and contest winners. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Lee is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!

The Tools You Need To Attach “A” List Actors to Your Film

Anyone who has ever tried to produce and cast a feature film is aware of the quagmire that attaching “A” List level talent represents. On one hand, you need the star power of a “name” actor in order to acquire funding and on the other hand you need the money in order to acquire the name talent. It's enough to drive even the most seasoned filmmakers crazy. The reason why so many first and second time producers, writers and directors find themselves in this situation is simple. In most cases, they are attempting to approach “A” List celebrity talent to their film much too soon with the hopes of using that “name” to attract investors; a strategy that rarely works. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, The Tools You Need To Attach “A” List Actors to Your Film, Franco will outline specific steps and strategies that will ensure that the “A” Lister’s will at least read your script giving you an advantage over everyone else trying to secure talent but cannot. In this 90-minute online webinar you will learn specific tools you need - from LOIs to LOCs, Pay or Play, Deferred Payments, Back-End Point Deals, Credit Currency (and so much more!) in order to give your project the chance it deserves in A-list talent's hands. You will also learn negotiating perks that will help you stand out from the pack of scripts the talent may be considering. Some of the actors Franco has had in his films include: Gary Oldman (Oscar-Nominated, Dark Knight) Christian Slater (Golden Globe Winner) Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs) Chris Klein (American Pie) Christine Lahti (Oscar Award Winner) David Arquette (Scream) Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill) Dane Cook (Comedian) Your host, Franco Sama is a financing and producing expert who has produced over 25 profitable independent films ranging from micro-budget to $5M. Franco is bringing his years of experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community to help you get closer to understanding how you can attach A-List talent to your project.  To read more click "What You'll Learn" on the tab above!

How The Pros Rewrite: Essential Rewriting Tools and Techniques

Learn directly from award winning playwright, screenwriter and writing coach Corey Mandell, (Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Disney, Showtime, AMC and HBO)! Writing is rewriting. All writers know this, but unfortunately too many writers waste valuable time and energy rewriting their scripts over and over without really making them better. Or they make some parts of their script better while weakening other parts -it's almost like an endless whack-a-mole game. The reason this happens is that often writers don't know the most effective ways to evaluate and rewrite their material. They rewrite without a clear focus or understanding of the fundamentals. Knowing how to effectively rewrite your script will lead to a dramatic improvement in your final product for both feature and TV scripts, and will be a game changer in your writing career! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Corey Mandell will walk you through the entire rewrite process – from first understanding how your story reads in other people’s heads (and why that is important!) all the way to correcting structural weaknesses in your script. He will break down rewrite memos, notes, and narrative cohesion, leaving you with a comprehensive overview of how to do an effective rewrite and how to immediately apply it to your own work. Having had the opportunity to work closely with some of the smartest and most successful writers, directors and producers in the business, Corey has seen firsthand how they go about revising their scripts and is here to pass on that information to you! Your host Corey Mandell is a screenwriter and screenwriting coach who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and Walt Disney Pictures – just to name a few. Corey’s students have gone on to sell or option scripts to large studios such as Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Disney, MGM, and networks such as Showtime, FX, USA Network, AMC, MTV and HBO. Other students of his have been staffed on such shows as Community, Justified, Bones, The Mentalist, The Fosters, and Young and Hungry. As you can see, Corey knows what it takes to write and rewrite a great script, and he has proven it time and time again.

The Do's and Don'ts of Landing a Manager or Agent

Learn directly from Lee Jessup, a career coach for screenwriters with an exclusive focus on the screenwriter's professional development. Her clients include WGA members, Golden Globe and Emmy nominated screenwriters, writers who sold screenplays and pitches to major studios, best-selling authors, contest winners, as well as novice and emerging screenwriters! Everyone wants to find representation but... What are reps actually looking for? Strong specs? TV pilots? The million dollar idea? The industry has changed rapidly over the past 5 years, and so has the representation game. Discover how to create a winning brand, develop both creatively and professionally, identify the representation that would be right for you and become the writer agents want to sign, managers want to develop, and executives want to hire. Stage 32 Next Level Webinars is honored to have brought in Lee Jessup, one of the leading screenwriting consultants, with an exclusive focus on the screenwriter's professional development. Her clients include WGA members, Golden Globe and Emmy nominated screenwriters, writers who sold screenplays and pitches to major studios, best-selling authors, contest winners, as well as novice and emerging screenwriters.

Crash Course: High Concept Writing

Learn directly from acclaimed author and screenwriter Max Adams who has worked with companies such as Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Tri-Star Pictures and Max’s students have won three Academy Nicholl Fellowships, two Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Awards, a Stage 32 Happy Writers Award and more! We continuously hear from the executives that we work with that concept is the most common mistake in spec scripts today. Readers see so many spec scripts that have no chance of becoming films not because the writing isn’t great, but because the writer did not spend enough time on concept. It is one thing to fall in love with a story idea. It is another to stick with it during the uncomfortable phase of working on that idea to make it bigger, badder, better and more enticing to the world. How can you ensure you consistently develop ideas that excite readers and push your script toward a sale? How do you know if your idea is “high concept” enough? What exactly does “high concept” even mean? Stage 32 Next Level Webinars is thrilled to bring you acclaimed screenwriter and writing coach Max Adams to teach you how to create compelling concepts and re-craft existing concepts so that they garner instant attention through one sentence descriptions alone. Dubbed “Red Hot Adams” by Daily Variety for selling three pitches over a Christmas holiday, she will teach you how to pull a story out of the “been there seen that no thanks” file and into the “I have got to read that” file. You’ll learn how to break your story into individual components to find its strengths and weaknesses, which gives you tools to analyze your future writing projects and raise stories’ impact. This will be your complete crash course in high concept writing, and you will leave this webinar knowing how to make your stories more interesting and enticing for readers, buyers, producers, editors, representatives, cast and industry players!

register for stage 32 Register / Log In