Time is money. And in the world of indie film, this is undeniably true. The number one expense filmmakers face today isn’t equipment rentals or crew wages. Nor is it crafty or actor day rates. It’s a DAY. And once a day is lost, it’s extremely difficult to get back. Often referred to as “the single biggest budget multiplier,” loss of days while shooting can sink your film if not kept under control. Falling behind just one day quickly leads to losing another and then another, and before you know it you have a runaway production. If you’re contemplating pre-production and production for your independent film or project, carefully managing your days is a priority. Many filmmakers avoid too much pre-planning for fear of losing the creativity and spontaneity that can make their project special, but it doesn’t need to be one or the other. There’s a proven method to keep you on track, while still allowing for inspiration and experimentation on set. It also happens to be the industry standard, and applies to any level of filmmaking - from student short to studio feature. You don’t have to toss the creative baby out with the budgetary bathwater. It comes down to identifying what to plan and what to improvise. The truth is the more you plan, the more you’re free to experiment while filming - provided you optimize your time and focus on the right elements. Clay Liford is an award winning independent filmmaker and director of photography whose projects have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Munich, AFI Film fest and more. As a director of photography, Clay has shot over twenty-five features, including the SXSW award-winning films ST. NICK and GAYBY. His film credits also include WUSS, EARTHLING, SLASH, and MY MOM SMOKES WEED, a Sundance Film Festival favorite. As an indie filmmaker, editor, and writer, Clay has mastered the art of pre-production and production so that his projects move like clockwork. And as a film production instructor at the University of Texas, Clay has become proficient at teaching his methods for efficiency and artistic self-sufficiency. Now he’s sharing what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Clay will lay out how you can save time and money as a filmmaker by employing strategies and practices to make your day and keep your project moving. Not only will Clay address where to place emphasis in your pre-production process, but he’ll also lay out a specific method for planning shots and scenes, which includes shot lists and top-down lighting plots. These methods are optimized so that you make your day without losing a beat or turning it into a budgetary bean-counter. He’ll then round out the webinar with a “trouble-shooting” guide that’s easy to understand, and applicable to the vast majority of scheduling issues that often arise on set. Clay's guide will give you confidence when it comes to time management so you can focus on what really matters in putting together a project you can be proud of.
You may be surprised by JUST how many successful filmmakers today began their career by writing short films. Everyone from Christopher Nolan to Ryan Coogler to Chloe Zhao to Justin Lin have short film writing credits to their name and used those projects to springboard their career. This is how new and untested creatives can prove their mettle, get their name out there and actually get their foot in the door. And you can do this as well. Whether you’re building up your filmmaking career, itching to write the next festival darling or award-worthy short film, or just love the short form format, you too, can master the art of short film writing. There are many reasons and inspirations for writing a short, but shorter doesn’t mean easier to write. One of the great challenges is that many people go into writing a short with the mindset of creating a proof of concept for a feature. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, this mindset tends to encourage a few logical fallacies, and in a strange way actually devalues the work. Short films require a fine balance of elegance and story economy. They require an innovative storytelling technique that usually takes years of practice and feedback to master. With the right guidance though, you’ll be able to master this in no time. Clay Liford is an award-winning independent filmmaker and director of photography whose many shorts include the Sundance hit MY MOM SMOKES WEED. His projects have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Munich, AFI Film fest and more. As a director of photography, Clay has shot over twenty-five features, including the SXSW award-winning films ST. NICK and GAYBY. His film credits also include WUSS, EARTHLING, SLASH, and MY MOM SMOKES WEED, a Sundance Film Festival favorite. As an indie filmmaker, editor, and writer, Clay has mastered the art of writing and making both feature length and short films. He is also a film production instructor at the University of Texas, who has become proficient at teaching his methods for efficiency and artistic self-sufficiency. Now he’s sharing what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Clay will take you through his proven and effective approach to writing an effective short films that get you noticed and advance your career. He’ll go over the REAL differences between shorts and features, what every short film needs to succeed, how to think like a director (even if you’re not one), and how to maximize your festival strategy. Most importantly, he’s going to introduce you to the concept of Iconography. You’ll have the opportunity to ask him questions, and by the end of this webinar, you’ll fall in love with this format and walk away with a new perspective and appreciation for the short film format. Clay's guidance will give you confidence to develop your short film and help you succeed in the short film market. PLUS! Clay provides you with the following handouts: Overview of How to Write a Short Film - Things to Consider & What to Watch Out For Story Structure Diagram Breakdown of Film Roles on a Set Elements of a Lookbook Duties of a Director Suggested Reading List Testimonials for Clay's Webinar: "Clay had great energy and pace. He was able to explain things in different ways and with excellent examples." -Magi A. "Clay didn't sugar coat anything - keeping the short within a tight budget and length is smart strategy & practical. I appreciated his honesty." - Shaan D.
Kate provides you a downloadable list of of management companies! If you’re an aspiring writer, a good literary manager is often a vital ingredient for your success and continuing career. They’re with you on every step of your journey. They give you notes on your projects, help you strategize and prioritize, keep you motivated, and get you in front of execs, producers, and other players to get that next job. It’s a crucial and ongoing relationship that can make or break your career. The manager/client relationship is an intimate and important one that should be based on trust and communication, as well as on personalities. Because of this, it’s worth taking the time to think about what kind of working relationship you want to have with your rep. Managers and by extension management companies have different strengths and approaches to working with clients. From the bigger players like Anonymous Content, 3 Arts and Circle of Confusion, to the more boutique companies like Bellevue Productions, MXN Entertainment, and Lit Entertainment, each manager or management company has a different working philosophy and mandate for building a client’s career—from development to career strategy to producing policies to staffing and more. Understanding these differences and knowing what to be aware of and what questions to ask when looking for representation is essential. Kate Sharp is a producer and literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Kate was the VP of Development and Production at Occupant Entertainment, producing short-form content for Showtime, MTV, Verizon, Facebook, and U2, and was an Executive Producer on the Hulu original, Emmy-nominated TV series BEHIND THE MASK. Her film credits include PEEP WORLD, BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY, MADAME BOVARY and THE HALLOW. Kate is currently producing THE BURNING SEASON (recipient of a Film Independent Producing Fellowship, a 2016 Tribeca Sloan grant, a 2018 Fast Track Sloan grant, a 2015 Athena List winner and on the 2016 Black List), as well as AT RISK (recipient of a Film Independent Writing Fellowship and on the 2018 Black List). Kate’s extensive experience as a manager, producer, and executive of projects big and small has made her an expert on representation, and she’s excited to share her expertise exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Kate will start with the basics of the management landscape, describing the role of a literary manager and illustrating what a good manager/client relationship could look like. She’ll go over the different approaches managers have when working with clients and teach you the major players and the different types of management companies, including the larger companies, and the smaller more boutique ones. She’ll then delve into how a writer should pick a manger by helping you understand what personal needs and wants you should consider when looking, what questions you should ask during the interview process, and what red flags you should be aware of when meeting with potential managers. Next, Kate will go over the relationship between managing and producing and what goes into a manager producing your project. She’ll talk about what you should consider when talking to your manager about serving as a producer. Finally Kate will delve into the ins and outs of a beneficial manager/client relationship, including how to get the ball rolling once you sign, how to work well with them day-to-day, week-to-week, and what expectations you should both have for each other. Kate will leave you with an understanding of the literary representation landscape and a clear idea of what to consider and what questions to ask when finding your own manager. Praise for Kate's Stage 32 Webinar "Kate was fantastic, clear and succinct about what she's looking for, what she's not looking for and a general overview of what managers do." -Gail B. " Kate Sharp was incredible. She laid out the road map for where a screenwriter goes after completing screenplays. She made it clear on what to look for in a manager and how it differs from having an agent. She's a great instructor, and also looks like a very special person to have as a manager, who loves what she does and would be a great partner for a writer! Thank you for sharing her gifts with us!" -Ricki L. "The information was straightforward and practical. I made loads of notes to go back over. Thanks!" -Gillian R. "BRAVO, KATE!!! She provided a wonderful presentation fueled by stellar "real world" facts and scenarios." -Bill B.
Just going to film school doesn’t prepare you for the endless obstacles you’ll face trying to make it as a filmmaker. You learn that pieces that come together to make a movie in school but this is the film industry and it's totally different. From studios to independents, your host Aaron Wolf has learned some secrets of the trade....come on the journey! You can’t find this stuff in school or in a book. You have to live it. And Aaron has. From being a student at NYU to being a part of The Groundlings, to working with FOX, Warner Bros. and Disney and dealing with film festivals and independent distributors, Aaron has seen it all in a short time. He wants to share the secrets with you. Just going to film school doesn’t prepare you for the endless obstacles you’ll face trying to make it as a filmmaker. Just getting a job in LA doesn’t prepare you. Creativity comes in many forms. One form is creatively navigating the business so that YOU can live your dreams. With his recent film, Restoring Tomorrow, being acquired by Seventh Art and featured in Variety, Aaron has learned through trial and error on how to make a living as a filmmaker. Join him in this exclusive Stage 32 webinar as he discusses what he's learned, and what you need to know for your own journey! Twitter: @TheAaronWolf Instagram: @TheAaronWolf Facebook: Aaron Wolf
Spain attracts filmmakers from all over the world and has, especially, for the last decade, because of its popularity as a country for film production. Movies like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II and FAST AND FURIOUS, as well as the series GAME OF THRONES and THE WITCHER, are just a few examples of productions shot in and around Spain. Not only is it brimming with talented actors and crew members, but the countryside alone is a candy store for creatives looking for beautiful locations and backdrops. Thanks to equally attractive tax incentives, a strong distribution base, and the presence of HBO and Netflix in the country, Spain is now on the map as an international film production hub. If filming abroad has been on your mind, producing in Spain may be more cost effective than you initially thought. But if you’re not familiar with the production territory, tax incentives, or how to go about preparing for a production in a foreign country, you could be missing out on collaborative opportunities that can take your film further both financially and globally. Navigating requirements, rebates, and the foreign market can be intimidating. But international film production doesn’t have to be overwhelming when you have the right information at your fingertips. David Zannoni is an international business specialist and consultant for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories, and knows what it takes to produce or co-produce in Spain. Fintage House is the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David makes deals and speaks at international film markets, festivals, and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will enlighten you on the many benefits of shooting and distributing your film in Spain. David will kick off the 90 minute webinar by sharing his knowledge on the industry there, then moving attendees into the many benefits of shooting and distributing your product in Spain. Smaller, Independent films upwards to larger productions can benefit from foreign production shares. There are regional requirements and national requirements, and David will break those down with ease. He’ll also explain what co-producing in Spain means, and how it just might be the secret ingredient your production needs to be seen by other producers and distributors. Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
So you want to shoot a low budget feature film. You've heard everyone tell you how difficult it will be to raise the funds, secure talent, get through production and post, and most of all, what a pain in the ass time you'll have securing distribution and finding a path to profitability. But what if we told you that that's all BS? What if we told you there was not only a path to profitability, but that you could already be making money before you started shooting? Let 'em all say it's impossible. We're here to tell you show you how to get it done. Low budget filmmaking has changed drastically over the last few years. From finding investors to attaching talent to having your pick of distribution channels, the landscape looks markedly different than at any time before. And in many ways, these shifts have proven to be quite advantageous to filmmakers, screenwriters, producers and financiers - if you know where to look and how to navigate. Zach Ward has done just about everything in the film industry. Zach is a veteran producer, director, screenwriter and actor. You may remember him as Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story, but that was just the beginning. Zach has acted in over 100 films and been involved in dozens of others. Over his 3 decades in the industry, Zach experiences have allowed him to become an expert on the world of indie film. Over the last few years, Zach has produced 3 independent films and directed one more. His films Restoration and Ubiquity which he wrote, directed, acted in and produced are currently available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Hulu, and for rental through Redbox. Ubiquity was made for only $75,000, was shot in 14 days - and - here's the kicker - was making money before he ever yelled "ACTION!" How did Zach get it done? Well that's exactly what he's going to teach you. Zach will start by setting up some indie film guidelines including the 4 "P's" every filmmaker needs to live by in order to make a successful independent film. He will then discuss the triangle and the trinity which includes 3 more "P's" designed to help you hold the production together. From there, Zach will get into that subject everyone wants to know about - the money - including what to do if you have money and what to do if you don't. Then, Zach will dive into the script and what legal steps you need to take to protect yourself and keep your money in house and ready to be put to its proper use. At that point, you're ready to rock and Zach will show you how to prep, from table reading, script rewrites, location scouting, hiring cast & crew and everything that goes along with this process. During the production portion, Zach will cover production partner expectations, hiring decisions and how to keep the whole production on time and on budget (or even under budget). Zach will also lead you through the all important (and often misunderstood) world of post-production where films often go over budget. Finally, Zach will help you navigate the world of distribution deals and how to make sure you pick the right path so your project gets the widest audience and the largest profitability channels possible. "Zack was great and was enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge. Loved every second." -Jonah A. "Zach was phenomenal. This was such rich information. He is the real deal." -Debra S. "Best, most practically informative webinar I have taken on Stage 32. So good to have someone walk through the process giving so much valuable insights. Good to hear Zack talk about the importance of looking at a project from the business side. Thought this was most informative webinar yet. Zack was fantastic in detailing through various stages of film little things that had to be done." -Andy S. "This was easily one of the most approachable How To sessions I've seen here. Advice given was rooted, did not include things only obtainable from within the system or resources that are unreasonable or unmanageable for starting/indie filmmakers." -Shane W. "Zack was fantastic. Honest, open, helpful, informative. Loved the content and Zack!" - Dave P.