Pro Tips For Producing A Winning Short Film

Taught by Jason Mirch

$499

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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

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.

What You'll Learn

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 - May 16th:

  • 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 - May 23rd:

  • 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 - June 6th:

  • 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 - June 13th:

  • 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 - June 20th:

  • 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:

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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.

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