The television landscape has changed dramatically over the years and continues to evolve, seemingly on a weekly basis. Yet through all of it, an undeniable constant has been late night TV. In fact, with their up-to-the-minute spoofs of our fast-changing news cycle and cultural landscape, late night shows like THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON, THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH, LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER, and FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE have never been more relevant. The appetite is high, but writing for this rapid-turnaround genre is its own skill set, separate from others used throughout TV and film. Furthermore, getting hired for such a show can be particularly challenging. Yet it’s still possible. So how can you prepare yourself with for when late night writing opportunities present themselves, and can you find these opportunities in the first place? For as ever-present as late night TV is, the industry itself can seem hard-to-know and enigmatic. It’s certainly less covered in media than other types of television. Yet if you’re interested in writing for a late night program, it’s critical to have a basic understanding of how these shows work--both the media ecosystem they exist in, and more specifically, how they are produced day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour. It’s also crucial to put together a strong, standout Late-Night Writers’ Packet, which combines a number of different elements that decision makers are looking for when hiring. If you want to pursue a career in late night writing, it’s time to learn everything you need to know to find success. Rob Kutner is an Emmy, Peabody, and Grammy Award-winning late night television staff writer who has worked on shows like CONAN and THE DAILY SHOW. Starting out as a writers’ assistant on DENNIS MILLER LIVE, Rob is also the author of the satirical end-of-times bestseller Apocalypse How: Turn the End Times into the Best of Times! and has written material for the Oscars, Emmys, Writers’ Guild Awards, MTV Movie Awards, Guys’ Choice Awards, and two White House Correspondents’ Dinners. Rob has spent the majority of his storied career operating and thriving in the world of late night television and is ready to tell you how you can do the same. Rob will teach you how late night television works and how you can best position yourself to find opportunities as a writer within it. He’ll begin by going over an introduction to late night television, including a brief history and overview, an examination of how late night is different than other genres, how a late night show generally works, and what a typical day on a program like this looks like. Next Rob will go through his own experiences with late night and extract the biggest lessons he’s learned from his own journey. He’ll discuss his early steps, his work as a production assistant and a writers’ assistant, and how he got his first writing gig. He’ll also go into the differences between the shows he’s worked on, including CONAN and THE DAILY SHOW. He’ll explain how he continues to find work in this space. He will then go through five ways you can find a late night writing job of your own. He will also teach you strategies you should use to better get noticed as a writer. He’ll explain the difference between “hiring” and “reading”, how to be gently persistent, and what a late night writing packet is as well as why it’s crucial. Rob will dive deep into how to put together your own late night packet and share with you the 8 different pieces you’ll need to build a packet that will get producers’ attention. He’ll explain how to make your packet look good and noticeable. Rob will even offer a live demonstration, showing how to put together a packet live. Next he will talk about how to keep your writing job once you’re staffed. He’ll explain the differences between late night and episodic production cultures and go through what the day-to-day requirements of a late night writer are. He’ll explain what the etiquette of the writers’ room is, how best to pitch your ideas, and how to take and move forward with notes that you’re given. He’ll also talk about how best to navigate the quick turnarounds that are notorious in jobs like this. Finally, Rob will go through further opportunities in the world of late night that you can explore, including finding producing opportunities and chances to actually perform on your show. Let Rob help you walk into the world of late night with your eyes open and with a collection of strategies to best find the writing opportunity you’re after. Praise for Rob's Stage 32 Webinar "Very informative, told with kindness." -Zara Q. "Rob's webinar was uber insightful and detailed. I learned more about breaking into the industry than several UCLA extension classes." -Jamie T. "Wonderful insider POV, super helpful tips on the package/sample work" -Laura D. "Very on point. Speaker was knowledgeable and had lots of real world experience. He seemed very relatable, too." -Jeff E.
Rene Veilleux and Donald Roman Lopez talk about how they built Verite Entertainment from the ground up, how they develop original IP, what it means to be "Glocal" and the time we worked with comedy legend Mel Brooks!
One of the great myths about the entertainment industry is that the older you are, the harder it is to break in. The truth of the matter is, there are Baby Boomers working in the industry in all capacities. In fact, with the abundance of film, television and digital content being creative, the opportunities for Baby Boomers has never been greater. Whether you're writing or filming content, looking to produce or work on the business side of the industry, or have an interest in being an actor, crew member, or other on set talent or staff, it's time to get moving and let yourself be seen and heard! Ageism is a word that gets thrown around often when people talk about the entertainment industry. But at the end of the day, those working in the industry want to hire talented, dependable, and dedicated people to help them elevate their personal and professional goals. So much of getting hired has less to do with your age and how you present and handle yourself. Jessica Sitomer has been has worked in the entertainment industry for twenty years as a writer, an independent producer, a development associate, a director, and an actress. She's produced three television shows, had her writing produced by an Emmy award winning producer, and while working in development had the pleasure of being a part of Crazy in Alabama, Antonio Banderas' directorial debut (and yes, Jessica says, he's as charming in real life as he is on screen). Simultaneously, for seventeen of those years Jessica has been a career coach for Entertainment Industry Professionals. Within that period, she served for seven years as the in-house career coach for the International Cinematographers Guild. There she coached over 1000 people one-on-one, created over 40 seminar topics, ran over 30 mastermind groups, and developed a successful mentor program. No one knows this topic better. Jessica will teach all Baby Boomers how to create a relevant career that squashes the myths and stereotypes. She will identify and explain key strategies to circumvent the occasional ageism that historically have turned older generations off to pursuing their entertainment career. You will receive “ageless” tips for making a first impression either in person, by phone or via email. Jessica will also provide marketing tips on how Boomers can market online (social media and websites) to stay current. Further she will show you the advantages you have being a boomer as well as 3 strategies for using them! She will help you identify your strengths and assets to understand what makes YOU stand out so you can parlay those traits into more work. And, through templates (which you can download), she will show you how to simplify your plan of action so you can start down your path toward success. Age does NOT need to be a factor in pursuing a career in film, television and digital. Jessica will give you the tools, the motivation, the strategies, and the confidence to build the career you wish for! "Jesica is an inspirational ball of fire. I came in with doubts and fears and left ready to knock down the intimidating gates of the industry. Can I get an Amen? Thank you Jessica!" - Roberta K. "Coming from a sales background, there are 2 things I know you need to be successful: Information and confidence. This webinar provided so much information, and it was delivered in such a clear and motivating way, I left with all the confidence in the world." - Frank I.
This week we welcome playwright and TV writer who is the author of over forty plays! His television credits include Executive Story Editor on Season 2 of the Starz drama "MAGIC CITY", and serving as Executive Story Editor on two seasons of the HBO television show "HUNG". He wrote and directed the film EXILES IN New York, which played at the A.F.I Film Festival, South by South West, The Santa Barbara Film Festival and The Latin American International Film Festival in Havana, Cuba. He has also has sold his original television projects to Starz, Amazon and AMC, among others. During this incredible Executive Hour, Eduardo talks about working with Oscar-winner Al Pacino on the film SCARFACE in his early 20's, how to write compelling characters for stage and screen, what it is like being in a writers room for HBO, and offers a exercise in breaking character and story that brought one of our members to tears!
If there has been one genre that has stood the test of time throughout the history of the film industry, it's the biopic. True stories about interesting people and events are always in vogue. Studios, indie production companies and the streamers love them because they draw big audiences and awards recognition. Actors love them because it gives them something meaty to chew on and increases their odds for awards success. Many a writer has broken through by writing a screenplay based on true events. And right now, especially with the streamers upping their game, the genre has never been hotter. But to write a killer, non-rote biopic, you need to understand where to find your material, how to secure it, and then how to best tell your version of the story so that it attracts representatives, producers, financiers, and talent. The last 10 years has seen a biopic renaissance. The Social Network, Wolf of Wall Street, The Imitation Game, 12 Years a Slave, The Theory of Everything, Bohemian Rhapsody, American Sniper, The Two Popes, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The King's Speech, Dolemite is My Name, The Irishman and Ford Vs. Ferrari all have been nominated or won major awards. And those are just a handful of the biopics that have been distributed either theatrically or digitally over the last decade. And with the streamers going full force, the studios looking for the sure thing, and the independent community looking for smaller, unknown stories, the desire for biopic and true story screenplays is only going to grow. Even short form biopics are booming with TV series and limited series based on real people and events all the rage. Tyler Ruggeri is a screenwriter, story consultant, and former literary manager with over a decade of experience on both sides of the entertainment industry. His biopic script The Making of Rock Hudson sold to veteran producers Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler of Maven Pictures. He also adapted the acclaimed non-fiction book Trapped Under the Sea, which led to a series of writing assignments on both original projects and rewrites. He is currently working on a feature for a major studio and developing a limited series. Tyler began his career as a manager at Exile Entertainment, where he represented screenwriters and directors in addition to developing the company’s film/TV slate – among his clients were Academy Award winner Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash). Other projects he developed with clients sold to A-list producers/financiers. With his vast experience, Tyler not only knows the world of writing biopics, but how to find and secure material as well. He will teach you resources to help you find the right material and how to find the right story for you to tell. He'll show you how to secure intellectual property. He will instruct you on the benefits of wiring an original screenplay vs. an adaptation. He will dig deep into the process of how to shape your story, including how to find your way into the story before you start writing so that your opening is an attention grabber. He will teach you how to do research and how you can do the extra legwork to go deeper into the world of your story. He will dive into 4 tips to join fact with fiction and 4 tips on dramatic license and when and how to use it. Tyler will show you how to creative the best character arcs possible including character motivation, behavior, stakes, and how the characters exist in time and place. He will help you uncover themes and make sure those themes are fleshed out to attract the widest audience possible. He will then discuss the market, how to sell, how to cover yourself legally and much, much more. If you've ever had a passion to tell a story based on a real person or events, Tyler will take you through everything you need to know to secure the IP, protect yourself legally, develop the story, write the screenplay and put yourself in a position to get the material massive attention. "Legitimately one of the best classes I've ever taken. I've had a story based on a book I've been eyeing forever and didn't know how to go about it. Now I do. What an incredible blueprint to securing, writing, and selling biopics." - Amanda P. "Outstanding in every way." - Marco G. "I'm overcome with gratitude. The best." - Danny C. "I don't think I could be any more inspired." Patricia S.
Learn directly from Jessica Sitomer, who has had her writing produced by an Emmy Award Winner, produced TV herself and has coached thousands of professionals who work in the entertainment industry. So you have chosen to pursue one of the most sought out industries on the planet: film, television or theater. People come and go, jobs come and go; this is not like becoming a teacher and once you have tenure, you’ve almost guaranteed your job security. This is an unstable industry. You’ve heard of the corporate ladder? The bad news is in our industry there isn’t one clear ladder to climb. The good news is you can build your own ladder. But before you build it, give yourself a reality check in regards to the nature of the industry you are pursuing. Understand its cycles so they don’t scare you and you’re prepared for them when they come. Take a moment to remember why you’re passionate about what you do… you’ve been given a gift, and you need emotional, financial, and physical stability so you can share it with the world. People have asked me, ‘Can I really have a career in the entertainment industry that I love, make money at it, and still have time for friends, family, self care, health, spirituality, and fun?’ And my answer… YES! Once you understand the nature of the industry and take some steps to plan for the instability, you can build your life any way you want.