Learn directly from Melissa Daykin Cassill, VP of Development and Production at State Street Pictures (Faster, Beauty Shop, Barbershop, Notorious, Nothing Like The Holidays)! You hear it again and again: “We’re looking for character driven drama/comedy/action/name your genre.” You may have a great plot, amazing action sequences, or the most hilarious idea for a comedy set piece but without great characters, you’ll be dead in the water. Why? Because everything should be motivated by your characters. What would The Godfather be without Michael’s change from the good man who served his country to a vengeful and tyrannical ruler? What would Star Wars be without the father son drama? Creating memorable characters is such an essential aspect of creating a compelling, sellable story, yet so many writers struggle with doing it correctly and fail to avoid the trap of stock characters that leave their scripts lifeless and weak. The Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring you a 3-week online course Avoid Stock Characters: How To Create Memorable, Compelling Characters so you can learn how to create the memorable characters your story deserves. This class is taught by Melissa Daykin Cassill, VP of Development and Production at State Street Pictures, a production company with a first look deal at Fox 2000 Pictures. What Melissa loves most about her job is working with writers and developing exciting, compelling projects and she’s excited to be here teaching with Stage 32 to help you develop compelling characters in your story! In this class, you will learn how to set up a character arc so the character’s change is compelling, how to develop supporting characters who support the story and compliment your protagonists, how to avoid stock characters and scenes and how to adjust what you already have to make your work better. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared toward strengthening your characters, you will leave this class knowing exactly how to create memorable characters for your stories.
As a television writer, staffing season is a high-intensity, high-stakes time. You not only need to show your chops with your writing talent, but you also need to show what you will be like in a writing room. Many writers are vying for the same spots, so how do you stand out? How do you make an impression in front of the executives and producers hiring? We've brought in Marla White, the former development executive for Emmy-Award Winner Peter Tolan's Fedora Entertainment who has sat in on hundreds of writer meetings from the executive side of the table. She's worked with writers who have sold pitches to Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and have been staffed on premium cable dramas. Marla will take you through the thought process of what executives are looking for when you walk in the room. She'll walk you through the difference between a general meeting and a staffing meeting and arm you with all the tools necessary to be "good in the room" for each case. Plus, she'll also talk about "do's and don'ts" and how you can get invited back for the all important pitch meeting. This webinar will be useful for every level of writer, whether you’re just starting out in your writing career as preparation to talk to agents or managers, or if you are a working writer on a show looking to move to a new show and need tips on playing the networking game. You don't want to miss out on learning from one of the industry's top executives!
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.
Literary Manager Jon Hersh has read thousands – yes, thousands – of screenplays in his career. Starting at CAA he was a story analyst covering screenplays, manuscripts books and television pilots, which helped him get a crash course on effective structure for a project. He moved on to be a development executive at Broad Green Pictures and helped develop feature material for their slate. Being around so much material Jon learned one thing – you MUST have solid screenplay structure to get past development and get your project greenlit. In this exclusive webinar Jon is going to show examples and break down beat by beat what needs to be in your outline, plus go in detail on the 13 steps you need to follow to nail your screenplay structure.
Branding yourself as a writer is integral to your success in the entertainment industry. Your brand is equal parts preferred medium, chosen genre(s), and personal voice/style. Once this is developed, it becomes easier to for you, your representation team, and/or your production company to sell and produce your material. The entertainment industry is filled with writers, but with so much talent vying for limited opportunities, it’s important to find a way to stand out from the crowd. And because there are very few new stories, only fresh takes on proven formulas, a writer’s unique voice and style are paramount when creating and selling content. This voice/style combined with preferred genres and mediums make up a writer’s brand, and cultivating that brand is instrumental in selling yourself and your material in Hollywood. And you don’t need representation or a production company behind you to do it! Developing your brand as a writer starts and ends with you, but once you have command of this brand, you’ll find that many more representatives, producers, and other buyers are willing to jump on your bandwagon. In this Stage 32 webinar, development executive Tiegen Kosiak will teach you the importance of branding yourself as a screenwriter and how that brand is helpful in procuring representation, building relationships in the entertainment industry, and ultimately selling and producing your projects in the ever-changing Hollywood marketplace. Beginning her career in literary management and working with, among others, the Academy Award-winning writers of BIRDMAN and the creator of STEP UP and SAVE THE LAST DANCE, Tiegen recognized how integral a writer’s brand was in submitting material, setting meetings, and pitching clients for open writing assignments. Formerly, Tiegen worked for Cinestar Pictures, movie star Zoe Saldana’s production company. In this role Tiegen used branding every day to option material, sell screenplays, and attach writers to projects. This webinar will provide you with the tools needed to craft your brand as a writer and how to use that brand to sell yourself and your material to representatives, producers, and other content buyers in the entertainment marketplace. You will walk away with a better understanding of the Hollywood hierarchy and how to cultivate relationships within each tier. Remember, it all begins with you, the writer!
Producer Development Exec Anna Henry 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.