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.
**Learn the art of TV joke writing from long time TV comedy writer Kirill Baru and participate in an actual episode punch up room, working to improve scenes from a notable TV comedy.** Jokes don’t just come out of nowhere, and their success is completely reliant on the medium. Things that are funny in conversation or in front of an audience might not be funny on a television show. This is why being “naturally funny” just isn’t enough to make a funny series with great jokes. It takes an understanding of the medium and insight into the types of jokes that work on television. It also usually takes a team of people in a punch up room setting, utilizing multiple perspectives and senses of humor to arrive at the best joke for each situation. Understanding how to find the best jokes in an episode script and learning how to operate successfully in a punch up room setting will help make your own comedy pilot funnier and can give you the tools to be a more desirable member of any TV comedy writers room. Kirill Baru is a sitcom writer and executive producer who has staffed on and sold a variety of live-action and animated comedy shows like Freeform’s BABY DADDY and the critically acclaimed animated show DAN VS. on the HUB. He’s also written and produced several comedies in the kids space, from Disney’s SYDNEY TO THE MAX to Cartoon Network’s MAD: THE ANIMATED SERIES. When Kirill isn’t staffing on shows, he’s developing projects with networks such as Disney and Netflix. He attributes his career to writing comedy that finds a way to have a lot of edge without ever losing any of its heart. Kirill is very familiar with punching up TV scripts, finding ways to make them funnier and finding success in a TV punch up room. In this special extended workshop, Kirill will teach you how to craft effective jokes for any TV comedy. He’ll break down where good jokes come from and the elements needed to make a joke work. Kirill will also lay out the main types of TV jokes you can draw from and walk you through important comedy terminology that’s used in every writers’ room and punch up room. He’ll also go through how to make jokes work with an eye towards scene construction and explain what makes a great punch up room for any TV comedy. Kirill will then lead a TV comedy punch up room, similar to how real TV comedies run them. Everyone who signs up will be able to participate in this room and work with the group to add jokes, fill in pitches, and create alt docs for two scenes of an episode of an actual notable TV comedy. Kirill will provide feedback and analysis or all of the joke pitches. If you’re interested in breaking into TV comedy, it’s so important that you know how to craft great jokes in this specific medium. This workshop is the perfect way to help you get there. Praise for Kirill's Previous Workshop "The workshop was awesome! Going through this workshop and seeing the end result produced by our team of writers (classmates), not only shed light into how the sausage is made, but also showed me that this is something I can actually do. Well worth the investment!" -Kane B. "Kirill's workshop was a great experience. He's a natural teacher, professional, insightful, and encouraging. It was not only educational but practical, allowing the attendees to punch up an actual script as if in the writer's room, followed by him, putting on his showrunner hat and reviewing what had been created by the group. I would highly recommend anyone interested in working as a professional writer, with dreams of being in the writer's room to attend one of his classes." -Dave W. "This was the best online class tv writing class I’ve ever taken. There is only so much the brain can grasp and retain in a lecture format. Kirill did an amazing job structuring the class and providing an in the moment experience — the best way to learn. Thank you." -Barbara G.
SEE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BELOW Netflix and Stage 32 have partnered on an exclusive global education series in an effort to democratize the worldwide entertainment industry. Together, over the course of 5 webcasts Stage 32's world class educators will bring their knowledge of what it takes to write, develop and produce today's television for the Stage 32 and Netflix creator community. These global webcasts have been seen by hundreds of thousands of creatives worldwide with a 100% satisfaction rate! In our fourth webinar in this exclusive "Creating Television Content for a Global Marketplace" series, we are going to give you the ins and outs on how you can effectively write science fiction scripts for streaming television. Do you have a great sci-fi idea that deserves to be seen? Television is exploding right now with sci-fi shows that infiltrate our minds like Dark, Squid Game, Yellow Jackets and Stranger Things. Writers with fantastical minds are drawing us into some of the most creative worlds we have ever seen right now, as well as producing some of the most memorable characters. Great shows like Game of Thrones, Extant and Reverie paved the way for the hits we see today and streaming platforms are looking for the next great sci-fi scripts to bring to the world. In order to tap into this incredible sci-fi landscape you have to be armed with the tools to write a solid pilot and be able to sustain your idea for multiple seasons. It takes a refined approach to understand the nuances of science fiction writing. Stage 32 and Netflix are going to give you the tools to make sure your script is in top shape. To guide you on your way is producer and writer Mickey Fisher. Mickey broke out onto the scene when his contest-winning TV script Extant caught the attention of Steven Spielberg and later became the science fiction series on CBS starring Halle Berry. Mickey has since firmly implanted himself in the world of science fiction television, creating the NBC series Reverie and National Geographic’s Mars. He has also served as a consulting producer on Amazon’s Jack Ryan and a writer and co-executive producer on Guillermo Del Toro’s acclaimed FX horror series The Strain. In an exciting FREE webcast Mickey will go into more detail on choosing a sci-fi series concept, core elements of your sci-fi series, planning character journeys, your pilot, season one and beyond, thinking international and believing in your project for the marketplace. To see the full webinar overview, see below. Some of the case studies Mickey is going to go over in the webinar are: Extant Reverie Stranger Things Dark Game of Thrones Squid Game Money Heist Yellow Jackets The Mandalorian Peacemaker Note: You will receive the Zoom link to login by the morning of the webinar. If you are not yet a member of the Stage 32 community, we encourage you to join the community today at www.stage32.com, it is FREE! You will instantly connect with over 800,000 creatives and professionals in the entertainment industry from all over the world who use Stage 32 to network, find work, learn and develop their projects. YOU MUST HAVE A STAGE 32 PROFILE TO WATCH YOUR VIDEO.
Maximize your creativity with the guidance of a professional filmmaker with over 40 years of experience in this directing intensive, covering everything from development through post-production. You’ll take a deep dive into everything expected of you as a director and how to achieve your vision. Do you dream of directing your own feature but worry that you don’t have the training or experience to make it happen? Whether you want to establish yourself as an independent filmmaker, build a career within the traditional system, or become an accomplished television director, all it takes is one project to set your career in motion. But directing is more than supervising a crew and telling actors how to emote. Directing starts months before cameras start rolling, as you lock the script, determine your vision, and set a production plan to execute it. It’s an enormous task and one that you need to know what it entails before jumping in. This Stage 32 exclusive course teaches you just that. Starting with how to break down a script and design a visual story, through pre-production with scouting and casting, to the actual production and managing your cast and crew, and through post-production, where you have the last chance to create your vision. You’ll learn time-management skills and tools to collaborate with your crew and actors so that everyone is as excited and invested in the project as you. You’ll even see how directors get hired in the industry for directing jobs, so you can hit the ground running in your career. Taking you through these invaluable tools is feature film and television director Bobby Roth, who has over 40 years as a director in the business and whose films have been honored at over 70 international film festivals. He’s worked with top-tier talent, including Academy Award-winner Rita Moreno on the film THE BOSS’ SON, who won Best Supporting Actress at the Miami International Film Festival. He’s been nominated and won several awards for his work in features, including the films HEARTBREAKERS, BAJA OKLAHOMA, DEAD SOLID PERFECT, MANHOOD, and BERKELEY. He’s also directed countless hours of television on popular shows, such as GREY’S ANATOMY, MACGYVER, and AGENTS OF SHIELD. Using his decades of experience, Bobby will show you how a director learns all the filmmaking skills, such as screenwriting, casting, editing, and composing, in order to build great partnerships with every member of production and create a beautifully cohesive story. After this intensive, you will have access to this incredible resource on-demand. You will also walk away with confidence that you know everything being a director entails and how to achieve a fantastic film with your team.
While our industry is changing rapidly in response to world events, so is the conversation around STORY. As you know, regardless of the setting or the protagonists, the attraction of the most highly regarded films lies in a commonality - how people think, empathize, and react. How will story evolve and adapt to the world as it changes? And how will you write these stories in an authentic way with themes that attract and are relatable to a global audience? This webinar will look at STORY as a cultural phenomenon and ourselves as narrative designers with a goal toward making us all better writers and filmmakers. When we look at the research and analysis of our industry, there is great disparagement in representation, gender parity, and cultural, ethnic and international voices. In other words, we’re telling an inauthentic story about our world. How do we change this? Should we care? The trends in what is being bought, distributed produced and screened by film festivals around the world, the streaming platforms and the international marketplace says YES! You can take a more active role in creating responsible and compelling content for the global audience. Heather Rae is a film and television producer and narrative change activist. As a former programmer for Sundance, she has alos produced such films as Academy Award nominated FROZEN RIVER Netflix Originals TALLULAH with Ellen Page and Allison Janney and Dude with Lucy Hale. She was named as one of Variety's top producers to watch and for six years ran the Native Program at the Sundance Institute and was a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. She is currently in post-production on BULL starring MUDBOUND'S Rob Morgan. She has also produced and directed a number of documentaries including recent film PAULETTE, executive produced by Davis Guggenheim, that tells the story of Paulette Jordan, the first Native American to win a gubernatorial primary in the country’s history. As a speaker and social critic, Rae is working to deepen the dialogue of reconciliation and responsibility in the Americas for storytelling in film. Heather will begin by making a very compelling argument the global audience for film, TV and new media is not only growing, but is hungry for more content. She will dive into the disparagement in gender, cultural, ethnic and international representation and how we can create content that levels the playing field. Heather will then dive into a conversation centered around story and narrative design. Are we presenting a singular, authentic voice, or are we simply contributing to the collective narrative impact culture? The difference is extremely important and will help you recognize how to tell your story and not have it influenced by pre-existing material. From here, it's time to discuss how to create responsible and compelling stories for a global audience - so important in today's marketplace where regional buying has been replaced by regional stories for a worldwide audience. And finally, Heather will discuss how to challenge ourselves to make sure that we are finding the true story during the development process. For those who are looking to tell stories of the under-represented or people and worlds unseen, misunderstood or marginalized, Heather will show you how to make those stories universal and attractive to a global audience. Praise for Heather's Stage 32 Webinar "Heather is amazing. Exactly what I needed!" -Sakura R. "Heather is so genuine. It’s exhilarating to know there are people in Hollywood who think and talk about ending neo-colonialism and white privilege in such an honest, loving-of-all, brave, humane way." -Sarah B. "Heather was engaging, relevant, and motivating concerning the topic." -Valerie O. "I love how much Stage 32 thinks outside the box with webinars and opportunities -- Heather is a fine example of that. She is refreshingly different in her approach, her experience and her advice. She is a kindred spirit, and one with whom I would love to connect. Thank you!" -Anna E.
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!