A good book takes the reader to another world. A good film or series does the same. Today, it’s not unusual to turn on the tube and take in films like THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, HILLBILLY ELEGY, and BLACKkKLANSMAN, or series like OUTLANDER, THE HANDMAID’S TALE, and MINDHUNTER, all of which are based on fiction and non-fiction books. Writers of all levels are seeing the potential with adapting a good story from the pages of a book. However, not knowing exactly how to go about structuring the story or what elements to highlight and pull from a novel could be a proverbial brick wall for some. But it doesn’t have to be. A large part of the battle for many creatives is determining whether or not a book or article is worthy of adaptation. Once that determination is made, deciding what part of the story is high concept and what isn’t is also a challenge for some. With so many facts, timelines, and stories happening all at once, you may not be sure what direction to go in. Do you adapt the story from cradle to grave? Or do you choose a particular point in time to focus on? What characters should be in your story? And how should their arcs be developed? Understanding the writing process when it comes to novel adaptation is a crucial (and often overlooked) step in developing your story. Liz Sczudlo is an experienced TV and film writer who is often hired by networks and studios like the CW, Hulu, Lifetime, Hallmark and more to adapt popular novels for the screen. Some of the novels she has adapted include#1 New York Times Bestseller THE DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD, THE ARCHIVED by bestselling novelist V.E. Schwab, Aimee Friedman's SEA CHANGE, and Dani Cubides' MI HERMANASTRO. A seasoned television writer and producer, Liz has written for shows like CW's JANE THE VIRGIN, FOX's THE FOLLOWING starring Kevin Bacon, ABC Family's SWITCHED AT BIRTH, MTV's AWKWARD and CW's 90210. In addition to developing her own pilots for Hulu, TBS, CW, CBS and Village Roadshow, Liz is currently serving as writer and co-executive producer for the CW's reboot of DYNASTY, where she helps run the room. Liz's deep experience with writing and adapting has given her unique skills and understanding of the novel adaptation process, and she's excited to bring what she knows exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Liz will take you through the process of adapting a book for a film or series from start to finish. From learning how to determine what types of IP to adapt to organizing ideas and materials, Liz will help you boil down your concept so you can get started. What’s more, she’ll dig into how you should best develop the story world, the importance of building strong characters, and how to choose the most notable moments to give your story momentum. Tips on how to reach out to the author are also part of this informative webinar. Liz will even offer a case study of HBO's adaptation of Liane Moriarty's novel BIG LITTLE LIES, breaking down the choices that were made to turn the popular book into the wildly successful series that it became.
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.
Love is in the air in the Writers' Room! We are kicking off a brand new month this week with the Breakdown Webcast: Writing Romantic Comedies! Jason was speaking with a Senior Vice President of Development at an A-List production company who said, "Every studio executive is asking me for Rom Coms!" If you look at recent trends, it is clear they are on a come back. We will break down the beats of a Romantic Comedy so that you as a writer approach writing without falling into the trap of tired cliches. We will also explore how to take the storytelling conventions and turn them on their head. We will examine films and series including When Harry Met Sally, 500 Days of Summer, The Apartment, Knocked Up, What Women Want and more to find out what makes these projects work and how we can apply those same principles to our writing!
CCO Bradley Gallo and Story Editor Nat Topping from Amasia Entertainment join our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.
Comes with invaluable handouts and downloads including example pitch documents, structure diagrams, and up-to-date information on production companies and studios to reach out to Writers looking to break into the industry often don’t know where to begin. Because of this, they sometimes take the wrong approach when it comes to looking for a job writing for TV or film. With so many fresh shows emerging on television and various streaming networks, more and more writers' rooms are looking to be staffed. Films are also emerging on different platforms, opening up the demand for polished writers to produce solid content for producers and directors. The opportunity to start a career in writing is more attainable than ever, but if an emerging writer attempts to navigate the writing industry without understanding best practices, they may find themselves at a loss, and ultimately give up. This may be where you find yourself. Uncertain and unconnected. The good news is, uncertainty is temporary. With the right strategy and the proper written tools, you’re just a few steps away from finding work writing for television or film. The one thing you’re missing is guidance. Landing a writing job takes more than just passing along great writing samples. It also requires strong communication skills, a hunger to succeed, and a willingness to do the work. It's absolutely within your grasp to accomplish all of these skills and more and set yourself up for a rewarding and long-lasting career writing for film and TV. Literary manager Spencer Robinson can help you get there. Spencer is literary manager at respected management company Art/Work Entertainment who has been selling and staffing his clients on the industry's leading series for years, including shows on Amazon, HBO Max and Jason Bateman's production company Aggregate just this year. He's also had clients work for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, and TBS, to name a few. Spencer is one of the most sought-after literary managers in the business for nearly two decades and is one of Stage 32's most popular and in-demand educators. In this 4-week intensive class, Spencer will go in-depth on the steps you should be taking to find work as a writer in film or TV. Whether you're interested in selling your own TV show or film, or if you want to join a writers' room, there are specific steps you need to be taking aside from simply writing well, and Spencer will break it all down for you. Spencer will provide you with the proper approach when it comes to talking with reps, managers, agents, attorneys, showrunners and execs. What’s more, he’ll share his powerful pitching knowledge for writers looking to sell their show idea or screenplay. You’ll leave this four week class understanding what it takes to write on assignment, what kinds of written tools you should have prepared prior to meetings, and the general etiquette you should come to the table with so you can land a job as a writer in the industry. Plus! Along the way Spencer will provide exclusive and helpful downloads and resources you can take back to your own projects including: The real STRANGER THINGS pitch deck The real ADVENTURE TIME pitch deck Story Structure Diagrams Sitcom Chart 2021 Facts on Pacts TV 2021 Facts on Pacts Film Praise for Spencer's Previous Stage 32 Classes "Spencer was amazing!" - Summer K. "I had a great time learning and progressing my knowledge of the craft of writing and working directly with a mentor who is a professional in the industry. Spencer was fantastic to be taught by! Thank you!" - Natalie A. "Spencer's teaching style is the best! His patience and easygoing approach is ideal and unique to him. Kudos to Stage 32 and to Spencer!" - Armando O.
Most Execs will toss a script if they aren't hooked in the first 5 pages. We challenged you to create or polish a teaser or opening sequence that builds a world, characters, and plot that leave us begging to read more!