Short Film Master Class - Learn To Take Your Idea From Concept To Post-Production

Taught by Jason Mirch

$249

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

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$249.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Who Should Attend:

  • First-time directors developing short film ideas
  • Student filmmakers producing short films
  • Writers looking to transition into directing
  • Anyone looking to produce their short film

Stage 32 Next Level Education has a 97% user satisfaction rate.

Class hosted by: Jason Mirch

Producer & Director of Script Services at Stage 32

Jason Mirch is a feature film and television producer and consultant based in Los Angeles, California. Most recently, Mirch founded Destructo Productions and is currently producing a feature film based on the New York Time best selling memoir Odd Man Outby Matt McCarthy. Previously, Mirch was the head of feature and television development and production at Image Nation Abu Dhabi, a finance and production company based in The United Arab Emirates. There, Mirch was directly involved in developing Image Nation’s 5-year strategic plan with the CEO, Michael Garin. Mirch worked closely with producers, Ashok Amritraj (Hyde Park Entertainment), Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald (Parkes+MacDonald), as well as Jonathan King (Participant Media), in the development, financing and production of a slate of international motion pictures, while supervising the content division for Image Nation International. There, he supervised the Image Nation contributions in the development of Flight, The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion, Life of Crime, Ghost Rider 2, Midnight Sun, and 100 Foot Journey, among others. Locally, Mirch supervised a team of executives to manage a slate of over 20 feature film and television projects in active development. Prior to his work at Image Nation, Mirch was Co-Head of Development at Zadan/Meron Productions (Chicago, Footloose, The Bucket List) where he was actively involved in the development and sale of television series and mini-series to CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and Lifetime. He was also developed a slate of feature film projects for New Line, Paramount, Summit Ent., and CBS/Paramount. Mirch has worked with partners based in the Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and India. He has sold programming to the OSN Network, the largest satellite provider in the MENA region, as well as MBC, the largest network in the region. Additionally, Mirch has worked with Gulf Film and Empire, two of the largest theatrical distribution companies in the MENA region. Mirch has worked with firms based in New York, London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Korea, and the Philippines to develop, produce, and distribute international content. Mirch has also consulted a number of international firms on the Middle East market, advising companies such as the BBC, Creative Artists Agency, and Burberry. Full Bio »

Summary

In this 5-session online master class, learn from leading producer Jason Mirch, and his special industry guests on how to take an idea for a short film from concept all the way to post-production.

Every successful filmmaker has, at some point in their career, written, directed, and/or produced a short film. For filmmakers who are just starting out, a short film is the best calling card to showcase their unique talent and vision. It is important to remember that short filmmaking is different from feature filmmaking, with challenges unique to the process. Even so, producing a short film may seem daunting, but there are several key secrets to getting the most out of your project.

This intensive 5-week course will give students the tools and techniques necessary to produce a world class short film. Each week will be dedicated to a different aspect of the short filmmaking process, including, concept development and writing of your short, budgeting and scheduling, understanding and drafting production agreements, pro-tips on directing actors, and how to get the most out of the post production process. You are strongly encouraged to come with ideas for a short film, which will be developed over the course of the 5 weeks, so by the conclusion of the class, you should have a screenplay ready for production!

Every week your host, Jason Mirch, will be bringing in special guests to help teach you, including:

  • Christina Snider - Casting Associate, Susan Edelman Casting (Melrose Place, Malcolm in the Middle, Drop Dead Diva, Wonder Years)
  • Michael Carney - Director (Same Kind of Different As Me)
  • Brian Swanson - editor and sound designer 
  • Abeer Abu Schmeiss - Marketing Director, Image Nation (He Named Me Malala, Flight,The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)

What You'll Learn

In this 5-session online master class, learn from leading producer Jason Mirch, and his special industry guests on how to take an idea for a short film from concept all the way to post-production.

Every week your host, Jason Mirch, will be bringing in special guests to help teach you, including:

  • Christina Snider - Casting Associate, Susan Edelman Casting (Melrose Place, Malcolm in the Middle, Drop Dead Diva, Wonder Years)
  • Michael Carney - Director (Same Kind of Different As Me)
  • Brian Swanson - editor and sound designer
  • Abeer Abu Schmeiss - Marketing Director, Image Nation (He Named Me Malala, Flight,The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)

Week One:

  • Writing Your Short Film - It’s All About Story
  • Structure: Rules for Writing Short Films
  • Storylines to Avoid and Why
  • Specificity: Writing what you know
  • How to Craft Meaningful Dialogue
  • Homework: Write outline for short film project

Week Two:

  • Pre-Production: Getting Prepared
  • Budgeting: Where to spend money and Where to Save It
  • Understanding the Most Important Production Agreements
  • How to approach “name” talent: Pro-Tips from a Casting Associate
  • Review and critique short film treatments
  • Homework: Write First Draft of Screenplay

Week Three:

  • Production: Executing Your Vision
  • Art Direction: How to shoot on a budget without looking “cheap”
  • Cinematography: Tips for creating memorable shots, scenes, and sequences
  • Shot-by-Shot: Constructing your Shot list and Storyboards
  • Getting the most out of your actors: Pro-Tips from a Director
  • Review and critique First Draft of Screenplay
  • Homework: Create a Shot List and Storyboard 1 Scene from your Script

Week Four:

  • Post Production: Putting the Pieces Together
  • Establishing the rhythm of your film with Picture Editing
  • Filling out your project with a great Sound Design
  • Music makes all the difference: Pro-Tips from a Film Composer
  • Review and critique Shot List and Storyboards
  • Homework: Continue revising screenplay

Week Five:

  • Marketing
  • Distributing your Film
  • Utilizing Social Media for your film: Pro-Tips from a Marketing Director
  • How to create an Electronic Press Kit that gets noticed
  • How to decide between Online vs. Festivals
  • Understanding Distribution Agreements
  • “Be a Factory, not a warehouse”
  • How to capitalize off your short film
  • Review and Critique Draft of Screenplay
  • Homework: Write a Filmmaker Biography

About Your Instructor

Jason Mirch is a feature film and television producer and consultant based in Los Angeles, California. Most recently, Mirch founded Destructo Productions and is currently producing a feature film based on the New York Time best selling memoir Odd Man Outby Matt McCarthy.

Previously, Mirch was the head of feature and television development and production at Image Nation Abu Dhabi, a finance and production company based in The United Arab Emirates. There, Mirch was directly involved in developing Image Nation’s 5-year strategic plan with the CEO, Michael Garin.

Mirch worked closely with producers, Ashok Amritraj (Hyde Park Entertainment), Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald (Parkes+MacDonald), as well as Jonathan King (Participant Media), in the development, financing and production of a slate of international motion pictures, while supervising the content division for Image Nation International. There, he supervised the Image Nation contributions in the development of Flight, The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion, Life of Crime, Ghost Rider 2, Midnight Sun, and 100 Foot Journey, among others.

Locally, Mirch supervised a team of executives to manage a slate of over 20 feature film and television projects in active development.

Prior to his work at Image Nation, Mirch was Co-Head of Development at Zadan/Meron Productions (Chicago, Footloose, The Bucket List) where he was actively involved in the development and sale of television series and mini-series to CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and Lifetime. He was also developed a slate of feature film projects for New Line, Paramount, Summit Ent., and CBS/Paramount.

Mirch has worked with partners based in the Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and India. He has sold programming to the OSN Network, the largest satellite provider in the MENA region, as well as MBC, the largest network in the region. Additionally, Mirch has worked with Gulf Film and Empire, two of the largest theatrical distribution companies in the MENA region.

Mirch has worked with firms based in New York, London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Korea, and the Philippines to develop, produce, and distribute international content.

Mirch has also consulted a number of international firms on the Middle East market, advising companies such as the BBC, Creative Artists Agency, and Burberry.

Schedule

Session One:

  • Writing Your Short Film - It’s All About Story
  • Structure: Rules for Writing Short Films
  • Storylines to Avoid and Why
  • Specificity: Writing what you know
  • How to Craft Meaningful Dialogue
  • Homework: Write outline for short film project

Session Two:

  • Pre-Production: Getting Prepared
  • Budgeting: Where to spend money and Where to Save It
  • Understanding the Most Important Production Agreements
  • How to approach “name” talent: Pro-Tips from a Casting Associate
  • Review and critique short film treatments
  • Homework: Write First Draft of Screenplay

Session Three:

  • Production: Executing Your Vision
  • Art Direction: How to shoot on a budget without looking “cheap”
  • Cinematography: Tips for creating memorable shots, scenes, and sequences
  • Shot-by-Shot: Constructing your Shot list and Storyboards
  • Getting the most out of your actors: Pro-Tips from a Director
  • Review and critique First Draft of Screenplay
  • Homework: Create a Shot List and Storyboard 1 Scene from your Script

Session Four:

  • Post Production: Putting the Pieces Together
  • Establishing the rhythm of your film with Picture Editing
  • Filling out your project with a great Sound Design
  • Music makes all the difference: Pro-Tips from a Film Composer
  • Review and critique Shot List and Storyboards
  • Homework: Continue revising screenplay

Session Five:

  • Marketing
  • Distributing your Film
  • Utilizing Social Media for your film: Pro-Tips from a Marketing Director
  • How to create an Electronic Press Kit that gets noticed
  • How to decide between Online vs. Festivals
  • Understanding Distribution Agreements
  • “Be a Factory, not a warehouse”
  • How to capitalize off your short film
  • Review and Critique Draft of Screenplay
  • Homework: Write a Filmmaker Biography

 

FAQs

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!

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.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Stage 32 Writer Hangout Webcast

Hey screenwriters and creatives! Mark your calendars and come hang out online with Stage 32 Director of Script Services, Jason Mirch on Tuesday, November 12th at 1pm (Pacific).    If you're a screenwriter and looking for support for your writing or your career, this is the online hangout for you!   What is a Stage 32 Writer Hangout? This is an online webcast where screenwriters and creatives gather to share what you're working on, things that are inspiring you and give you a forum to ask questions you have about your craft, the business or the industry.    For over a decade, your host, Jason Mirch, has worked in nearly every aspect of the business, including representation, development, production, and film finance. He has worked with Academy and Emmy Award winners on studio and independent projects.  

An Inside Look of the Stage 32 Writers' Room: Writing Romantic Comedies

A Vice President of Development at an A-List production company recently said,"Every studio executive is asking me for Rom Coms!" If you look at recent trends, it is clear they are on a come back. With the tremendous box office success of CRAZY RICH ASIANS, BOOK CLUB and THE BIG SICK and the streaming successes of SET IT UP, SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER, and TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE, romantic comedies are making a huge comeback for all types of audiences. Variety called Rom-Com's the "Hottest genre". If you have been sitting on a Rom-Com script or been thinking about writing one, now's the time to learn about the current marketplace for romantic comedies. So how do you as a writer approach writing a Romantic Comedy without falling into the trap of tired cliches? Or, how do you take the storytelling conventions and turn them on their head?  Jason Mirch is a 10+ industry veteran who's worked in development on films for Image Nation such as THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, FLIGHT, CONTAGION, as well as in management, financing and producing. Jason is Stage 32's Director of Script Services and has helped dozens of writers in the Stage 32 community springboard their careers. He's the host of the Stage 32 Writers' Room which is a weekly online writers' group that meets online with writing challenges and one-on-one access to top industry professionals who serve as mentors and provide advice on the group's projects.  During this 90-minute look inside the Writers' Room Breakdown Webcast, Jason will go over the history of romantic comedy as well as the anatomy of a romantic comedy. He'll teach you the 7 essential story beats in a romantic comedy and you will learn to develop your romcom with a theme or dramatic question. Plus, Jason will break down scripts including WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, THE APARTMENT, KNOCKED UP, WHAT WOMEN WANT and more.  Jason will discuss what makes these projects work and how we can apply those same principles to our writing! Plus! Jason will be taking ANY of your writing questions! Like what you heard from Jason during this webcast? Send him your screenplay and speak with him privately for an hour by clicking here!     Praise for This Writers' Room Webcast "Thanks for this summary! Loved the rundown ad the clips!" - Bethany B. "Such an insightful breakdown, thanks so much." - Crispin "Jason, you always overdeliver! THANKS so much!" - Petula "This was an amazing breakdown. Wow." - Ricki L. "Great breakdown as always, Jason, with superb choice of clips." - Stephen P.

Pro Tips For Producing A Winning Short Film

Every successful filmmaker has, at some point in their career, written, directed, and/or produced a short film. For filmmakers who are just starting out, a short film is the best calling card to showcase their unique talent and vision. It is important to remember that short filmmaking is different from feature filmmaking, with challenges unique to the process. Even so, producing a short film may seem daunting, but there are several key secrets to getting the most out of your project. This intensive 5-week course will give students the tools and techniques necessary to produce a world class short film. Each week will be dedicated to a different aspect of the short filmmaking process, including, concept development and writing of your short, budgeting and scheduling, understanding and drafting production agreements, pro-tips on directing actors, and how to get the most out of the post production process. Students are strongly encouraged to come with ideas for a short film, which will be developed over the course of the 4 weeks, so by the conclusion of the class, the should have a screenplay ready for production.

Finance Your Independent Film & Break Even Before Its Release

Learn directly from Jason Mirch, a 10-year film and TV producer and former Head of Feature and Television Development and Production at Image Nation Abu Dhabi (The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion and 100 Foot Journey)! Raising financing for a feature film project can be one of the most daunting aspects of independent filmmaking. Many independent writers, directors, and producers simply do not know where to begin when seeking funding for their projects. With studios producing and releasing fewer films every year, independent filmmakers must rely on non-traditional financing models to fund projects. Where can you find the funds to get your project made? How can you best mitigate downside risk while maximizing upside potential? What options are available in terms of equity, soft money and pre-sales to get you to your financing goal? In this On-Demand Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Jason Mirch navigates you through the Risk Mitigation Model of independent film financing, which utilizes foreign pre-sales, soft money, and equity to finance feature film projects. Drawing from his 10 years of experience financing both independent and studio films, Jason teaches you some traditional and non-traditional financing models so you can choose the right model for your specific project and gives you strategies to put these models into action. He then covers what international sales companies look for when evaluating potential projects and gives advice on how to position your projects when pitching to these companies. You will leave this on-demand webinar with a comprehensive understanding of not only the world of independent film financing, but how to get your project funded and breaking even before its release!

The Secret to Cracking Your Script's Second Act

Ask any executive where most screenplays go wrong and they'll tell you it's in the 2nd act. That's because many screenwriters type FADE IN knowing their opening (Act I) and closing (Act III) inside out, but haven't thought through how to bridge the gap (Act II). How many times have you watched a film and thought that it dragged in the middle? It happens more often than you think. Introducing a great concept and fantastic, deeply drawn characters is, of course, a staple of Act I, but the Second Act is where the heart of the narrative happens and where momentum must be found. Your Second Act must propel you through to the climatic Third Act. If your Second Act stalls, anyone reading your material will likely quit right there and then. As a 10+ year executive and producer, Jason Mirch has read (or partially read, when things go bad) thousands of screenplays. He's also been involved in some of the most successful films of the last 10 years including THE HELP, THE BEST MARIGOLD HOTEL, FLIGHT and more. Jason has taught for Stage 32 for 6 years and now serves as our Director of Script Services. There are few that know story and story structure better.  In this webinar, Jason will explain the common pitfalls and why so many Second Acts fail. You will learn techniques for crafting dialogue that moves the narrative forward, while exposing their characters’ flaws. You will learn how to carefully order their scenes in such a way that it creates a series of authentic and escalating obstacles for their characters to overcome. He will identify and explain key plot points that typically exist in a well-written Second Act, and explain how you can use these as guidelines for their own projects.   Jason will be citing specific examples from films in several different genres as well as providing you tools to apply to your own writing.

How to Build a Global Career: Bridging the US and EU Film Industry for Actors and Filmmakers

Rich and diverse talent exists all over the world. We see it in stories like Netflix hits THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT and UNORTHODOX, both produced in Germany, and LUPIN, the hit Netflix series that originated in France and has exploded to the global audience. Or even SUBURRA, the Netflix hit which launched Italian lead actor Alessandro Borghi into the global series DEVILS.  It is no surprise that multi-cultural, multi-national stories are here to stay. And, now with film and television productions taking place in every country, more and more filmmakers and actors have opportunity to work. The exciting part about this global storytelling is that it opens the door for creatives all over the world to work internationally - as long as you do the research and put in the work to find opportunities.  It's time to stop thinking locally and start thinking globally for your career. Who you are, where you've lived, your heritage, your background makes you unique in the global industry. There are key differences between the US and EU film and television markets, and at the same time there are unique needs within both. By educating yourself on the different type of structures in each region you will open up the possibility to understand how your own personal background can play a key role in an international production's need. Whether you have a strong family heritage that allows you to speak multiple languages, or you are German or Portuguese and moved around to different countries, or a Texan that now lives in the Netherlands, or Emily who lives in Paris ;) - all of that is valuable in today's global filmmaking industry. How can you take these unique characteristics that you have and apply them to help you get more work?  Alex Surer is a producer and manager who leads the Berlin division of the global talent management company Bohemia Group. Through this position, Alex links multi-lingual actors, writers and filmmakers from Europe with the US film and TV industries. Born in San Francisco to Swiss parents, Alex grew up in Vancouver and Basel, Switzerland, and was shipped off to Houston as an exchange student, returning to graduate in Zurich, adding proper German, French and Latin to her native Swiss-German and English. Alex has used her deep multilingual, multicultural and multinational background to help actors bridge these gaps and has helped countless performers find roles and long-lasting careers in other countries. Alex will teach you how European creatives can find success in America and how American creatives can find success in Europe. She’ll first go through the differences between European and US acting communities, how opportunities are found on stage and on screen for each region and how unions work. She’ll then compare how European filmmakers work compared to US filmmakers, and how this informs casting. She will also explain how film festival can be the key to expanding your sights and the resources you can be using aside from just IMDB.  Alex will even bring in a few special guests--actors and filmmakers who have found success by moving to different countries--to dive into their journeys. ***And, even if you are based outside of the US or EU, there are key things you can learn from this webinar which you can apply to your own region.   If you’ve been contained to your own region or country in looking for creative opportunities, prepare to have your mind permanently expanded by Alex’s deep experience and global perspective

register for stage 32 Register / Log In