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.
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 Flight)! When writing a screenplay, the area most writers struggle with is the dreaded Second Act. The Second Act is the heart of the narrative and where most screenplays crash and burn, leaving the screenwriters wondering where it all went wrong. When constructing your screenplay, it is essential to craft a tight Second Act that will power the narrative through to the climactic Third Act. What many writers don’t realize, is that the Second Act should actually be divided into 2 parts. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will get an in depth look into how to successfully navigate the structure of the Second Act. 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. The webinar 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.
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!
Exclusive to Stage 32! Oscar & BAFTA-winning teacher! We are bringing in Oscar & BAFTA-winner Christopher M. Anthony, the Senior Technical Director of Kayfabe Films, who has worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men franchise, Harry Potter and who won an Oscar & a BAFTA for his work on Disney's The Jungle Book. Chris will teach an exclusive Stage 32 Next Level webinar to teach you everything you need to know about why you can't just fix it in post. He's worked not just in the studio realm, but also in the short film & indie feature realm and brings two decades of experience on post-production visual effects. Read more about your host Christopher in The Guardian Life Magazine and see his VFX showreel here.
Session 1: Initial Contact: Where do producers look for material? If you’re a producer, selecting the right writer for your story. Should you really sign up for those websites that claim to get your stuff read? What makes a producer decide to read your material? How to get past the measures designed to keep you on the outside. Repped vs unrepped. How many projects is a producer developing at any one time? How To Write To Get Read. What hooks a producer, development exec or reader and are those things different at different budget levels? Should you go ahead and write your $100 million dollar summer blockbuster? Writing to get it made now. Pre-existing material. Where you find it, how to get it. Coverage. Who’s reading? What are they looking for? How do they judge? Recorded Q&A with Shaun! Session 2: What is “development” really and how long can it take? From big budget films to indies, the time period can vary wildly. What are the factors? Is there a way to “beat the system” and ensure your film gets going? Building your relationship: Working with a producer or development exec. can be a stressful process. Learn how to navigate this so that you end up with the best version of your project. Fighting/Making up/Moving on. So you’ve hit a wall. They want more changes and you’re not willing to go there. How to move past the inevitable speed bumps and get going again. Is being replaced inevitable? You’ve been optioned/hired… Now what? Beginning to understand the dynamics of your new relationship. If you’re a writer, how to work with your new producer/partner to create the best result. If you’re a producer, how to navigate the process with your screenwriter. Differences between indie/big budget in terms of development Thinking in terms of production: While certainly not a “must” for writers, having some sense of what may go into crafting a single scene from a practical perspective can be of enormous value. Recorded Q&A with Shaun!
We will examine ways in which screenwriters tackle one of the most complex and difficult concepts in narrative storytelling, looking at projects like Edge of Tomorrow to discuss rules that are created, bent, and broken by writers.