This Lab Has Been Filled. But! Thomas has opened a new lab due to popular demand, also starting on September 25th. Save Your Spot Here Write and complete your feature screenplay before the year ends—all under the mentorship of global executive Thomas Pemberton of Mind’s Eye Entertainment, who has already discovered four writers through Stage 32 and has their projects under option! For less than $100 a week you can finally get your passion project written and out there! Plus! Comes with a Free 6 hour On Demand Screenwriting Class Writing a screenplay is a HUGE undertaking that can often be overwhelming and isolating. But it doesn’t have to be. Finding your community to offer support, expert guidance and, perhaps most important of all, accountability to actually finish your script can make all the difference. Completing your screenplay is the first and often most daunting hurdle you need to face to get your work out there and create a name and career for yourself, but now is the time to do it. Let’s make sure you have the resources and expertise you need to face this challenge head on and finally get your passion project on paper. Thomas Pemberton is the Development Executive at the global production company Mind's Eye Entertainment, which has produced over 60 feature film and television projects. The company has been instrumental in establishing the Canadian film and television industry with exceptional, exportable projects that have sold to over 200 territories around the world. The company has produced over $400 million in production and has garnered over 50 national and international awards. Thomas is currently in post-production on Mel Gibson and Famke Janssen's latest action-thriller, DANGEROUS and previously worked on RECALL with Wesley Snipes, HUMANITY BUREAU with Oscar-winner Nicholas Cage, DISTORTED with Christina Ricci and John Cusack, DAUGHTER OF THE WOLF with Oscar-winner Richard Dreyfus, SCORE TO SETTLE again with Nicholas Cage, and a YA series based on the best selling books called AVALON. Thomas has a keen eye for great material and is quick to champion material he believes in. He discovered four writers through Stage 32 who now have their projects under option with Mind’s Eye Entertainment! You can read more here. Over 12 intensive weeks, Thomas will work closely with you and a small group of writers in outlining, writing, and actually completing your feature film screenplay. Each week, Thomas will lead an intimate group session where he will offer notes and guidance on specific portions of each writer’s screenplay or planning documents, incrementally and methodically working towards a complete and polished product. You will additionally have the benefit of getting support, feedback and perspective from the other members of the lab, as well as the opportunity to offer your own for their projects. Take control of your dream and creative career and give yourself the accountability and guidance you need to clear this obstacle and write something you can be proud of and that will get you noticed. Plus! Purchasing this exclusive lab also gives you free access to our popular 4-part on demand class on perfecting the basics of screenwriting, a $400 value!
Once you finish your screenplay and decide it’s time to reach out to producers and representatives, one of the most common responses you may receive is that your idea is not ‘high concept’ enough or your logline doesn’t have a ‘high concept hook’. This term is thrown around a lot in the movie business, but what does it actually mean? ‘High concept’ might be a buzz word, but it’s also a term that carries with it significant meaning as well as some lessons and perspective you can bring back to your own project if you know how best to approach it. Readers, producers and buyers see so many spec scripts that have no chance of becoming films not because the writing isn’t great, but because the writer did not spend enough time on concept. It is one thing to fall in love with a story idea. It is another to stick with it during the uncomfortable phase of working on that idea to make it more enticing to the world. So how can you ensure you consistently develop ideas that excite readers and push your script toward a sale? How do you know if your idea is “high concept” enough? What exactly does “high concept” even mean? Andrew Kersey is a literary manager and the head of Kersey Management whose clients are working on projects at all the major studios and streaming outlets including Netflix and Amazon, and the networks and cable channels ABC, Fox, NBC, CW, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon. Andrew recently just sold his client's sci-fi spec script to Universal with THE SOCIAL NETWORK and FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Oscar-nominated producer Mike De Luca, and his client’s comedy VACATION FRIENDS is in production at Broken Road for Hulu starring John Cena and Lil Rel. Andrew has helped his clients pitch countless projects and knows better than most what buyers are looking for and how a high concept approach can make all the difference in getting that script sold. Andrew will break down what makes a script ‘high concept’ and how you can write and sell your own high-concept screenplay. He’ll nail down exactly what a high concept story is and offer examples of high concept movies in different genres, explaining what makes them successful. He’ll then break down why high concept stories are so appealing, from the perspective of producers, studios, and audiences. Next Andrew will delve into how to actually write a high concept story and whether you can adjust your existing screenplay or write one from scratch. He will go through breaking down genre walls and other writing tips you can take with you. Andrew will then teach you how to sell your high concept story. He’ll talk about the importance of your logline and title and give you tips to pitch your high concept story to execs and buyers, including how to explain your world and use comps. Finally he will go over common mistakes writers make when creating high concept stories and will reveal where not to begin and whether size and budget matter. Expect to leave this webinar with a much clearer idea of what makes something “high concept” and a series of tips and ideas you can bring back to your own project to better sell it. "Throughout my time as a literary manager, the term "high concept" has come up more times than I can count. The writers that I work with that are most successful are the ones that understand what this term really means, what buyers are looking for, and how they can adjust to fit this idea. I'm excited to share these secrets with the Stage 32 community." -Andrew Kersey
During the Write Now Challenge, we turned the spotlight - and the microphones - back over to you during the Write Now Challenge Webcast! Using the "Breakdown Webcast: Writing True Stories" as a guide, your challenge was to find a true story or subject of a biopic that resonates with you! Write a short document that details the subject of the project - whether a historic event, historical figure, or a combination of both - including a "way into the story," principal character(s), basic synopsis, potential themes for exploration, and why it resonates with you as the writer. During the webcast, participants discussed true stories and historical figures that were either well-known or obscure, but all riveting! Participants described accounts from the US Civil War, Korean War, legal battles, pro-wrestling, and many more!
Find out what streamers REALLY look for when evaluating films It seems like it is all about the streamers these days. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max--they have become the Holy Grail for screenwriters and emerging talent. And yet as prominent as these platforms have become, the process behind how a film actually finds its way into their library is opaque and enigmatic. With so little information on the inner workings of the streamers, it can seem confusing, maybe even impossible to get your own proverbial foot into the portal and get your screenplay noticed. You may wonder if there is any actual human element involved in considering your project. Understanding more about how streamers find and select films can help you understand how best to get your work noticed and walk into the murky streaming waters with more confidence. So what actually happens to a submission behind-closed-doors at one of the streamers? Who is reading it and what are they looking for? The professional readers employed by streamers are trained to use very specific criteria to assess material. They do not use the same methodology as agents, managers, or producers who may be more willing to develop material and incubate projects. It’s helpful to know that there are certain types of projects and styles of writing that are more likely to get these readers’ attention and prompt them to escalate your submission to actual decision-makers. Let’s dive in. Michael Schulman is a Feature Story Analyst for Netflix as part of its Independent Original Film Division, and his job revolves around evaluating feature screenplay submissions and deciding which ones to pass up to the executives to consider. Prior to his role at Netflix, Michael spent nearly a decade in the story department at CAA where he found projects for CAA clients. Over his storied career, Michael also served as an agent at ICM’s Motion Picture Literary Department and held numerous studio creative executive positions at Orion, TriStar, and Disney where he worked to develop film and television projects with some of the top talent in the industry. Michael is very familiar with what it takes for a script to find its way to decisionmakers since this has been a key feature of his job for over a decade. Exclusively for Stage 32, Michael will reveal how streamers evaluate and identify feature film submissions and specifically what the initial readers look for before sending a script along to decisionmakers. He will give you an overall look at the steps a film takes to getting greenlit at a streamer and lay out who exactly these readers are that will be evaluating your script at the beginning. He’ll also show you what these readers are trained to look for and how they know “it” when they see it. Michael will also explain the importance of packaging during this phase and how streamers’ “algorithms” really work. Through Michael’s honest, comprehensive, and in-depth discussion of this often-secretive side of streaming platforms, you’ll be able to leave with a much clearer idea of how to get your own script the best shot of being selected at Netflix or other streamers. Note: This webinar focuses on streamers' reading and evaluation process after a screenplay has been submitted, and focuses less on the actual submission process. Keep in mind that submitting your project to Netflix and other streaming giants is, by design, difficult and often requires an agent or manager that is already connected with the platform, or to go through production companies or studios that already have a development deal in place. For more information on how to reach managers or production companies, check out some of the on demand webinars below! How to Get Pitch Meetings For Your Project How to Find and Choose the Right Screenwriting Manager for Your Career How to Identify, Secure and Build a Relationship with a Great Producer for Your Film Project - with Case Studies How to Capture the Attention of a Showrunner or Manager with your TV Writing Samples
We love to hate them...or hate to love them! We're kicking off another month of a packed Writers' Room schedule with the Breakdown Webcast: Antagonists! During one of our character building webcasts, we noted that many of our examples of great characters, were characters who we traditionally see as antagonists! So let's dig in and really explore what makes these baddies so good. Stories need conflict, certainly, but conflict doesn't have to come at the hands of a cackling, mustache-twirling supervillain. There's more than one way to shape your story's antagonist! During this webcast we'll discuss 4 types of antagonists, 6 ways in which to develop a well-rounded and authentic antagonist, how to intrude your antagonists and explore our favorite antagonists from film and television, and a whole lot more!
Learn directly from leading creative executive at Mandalay Pictures, Patrick Raymond! Every screenwriter has a goal they set out to accomplish. The mark of a great screenplay usually depends on whether or not this goal was achieved. Aside from being a visually arresting film, 'Ex Machina' stands apart as one of the great recent screenplays and finds its success in bringing forth engaging ideas, strong characterization and lofty goals. What is it about this intriguing and unsettling piece that resonates with audiences across the globe? What makes this ambitious screenplay cinematic as opposed to something we can watch on television or other formats? We are going to dig deep into the pages to identify the mechanisms and components that are utilized by Writer/Director Alex Garland the really bring the pages to life. I'm excited to take this journey with you and look forward to our discussion.