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
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:

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.

The Secret to Cracking Your Script's Second Act

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.

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!

Understanding Visual Effects For Low Budget Films

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.  

Film Development Process: Defining The Producer-Writer Relationship

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!  

Breakdown Webcast - Time Travel

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.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In