The Ultimate Guide to Casting Your Independent Project

Payment plans available - contact Harrison at h.glaser@stage32.com for details
Taught by Shane Stanley

$399

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

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Stage 32 Next Level Education has a 97% user satisfaction rate.

Class hosted by: Shane Stanley

Emmy Award Winning Producer and Director (GRIDIRON GANG, BREAK EVEN)

Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in nearly every capacity on and off set of hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD, as well as films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG, a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, and just wrapped production on his latest action thriller, BREAK EVEN. Full Bio »

Summary

Get personal guidance from Emmy Award-winning producer and filmmaker Shane Stanley.

Comes with exclusive downloads

 

Building out the cast for your upcoming film or series? Looking to bring on the high-level actor or actress that can help secure your project funding and distribution? Trying to find the diamonds in the rough?

But putting together your dream cast that will elevate your project is HARD. Between the outreach, auditions, negotiations, and politics, the casting process is tricky to navigate no matter who you are. Don't worry though; it's something you can find success with, even as a first time filmmaker, as long as you have the right guidance

That's why we've brought in multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley, one of our most popular instructors, to go deep into how you can fully cast your project. Shane continues to produce and cast films with in-demand actors like Dwayne Johnson, Jane Seymour, Matthew Lawrence, Steve Guttenberg, Nia Peeples, and many more and knows what it takes to bring the talent you're looking for into your project.

Shane will work closely with you over four weeks to share with you every trick in the book to build a stand-out cast for whatever project you're working on.

 

Just some of what Shane will touch on:

  • Building Your Wish List
  • Working With a Casting Director (or Not)
  • Bringing On Higher Level Talent
  • Cast Postings and Running Your Own Auditions
  • Negotiating Talent Contracts

 

Plus! Shane will be providing a slew of helpful documents and handouts along the way including sample actor agreements, letters of intent, and example cast postings.

If anyone is going to make the casting process for your independent film easy, it’s Shane.
 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • **Shane will be available on email during the 4 class sessions to answer questions you have**
  • This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar.
  • This class will consist of four weekly sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. In addition to the presentation-style lessons where Shane will be walking you through various elements of casting, you will have the opportunity to ask him questions during each session.
  • Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the process.
  • To see the full class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".

 

Payment plans are available - contact Harrison at h.glaser@stage32.com for more information

 

 

Praise for Shane's Previous Stage 32 Class

 

"Shane exceeded my expectations. He covered a vast amount of real world material and brought all of it to life with personal and engaging stories. He remained incredibly generous with his time every week and always demonstrated a deep commitment to making sure everyone’s questions were answered. It was inspiring. Bravo!"

-Michele R.

 

"I can't say enough great things about Shane Stanley and his class. I had no idea how much I didn't know until I took Shane's class. He was very congenial but generous with his time, his insight and he actually shared documents that we can study in preparation for our own productions. This class is worth it for anybody who calls themselves a producer, whether you're mounting big budget projects or small indies, Shane Stanley's class is win-win experience. He also made every single person feel welcome and values. Thanks again Shane!"

-LaRita S.

 

"Shane had a great way of engaging the whole audience and no one missed out on being brought into the presentation in some way or another. Shane was quick, easy to understand, sharp and concise. I can honestly say that he never went off track with the subject being discussed and had many examples to bring to the table which made his presentation even more easier to understand."

-Graeme C.

What You'll Learn

Session 1: Building Your List and Working With a Casting Director (or Not)

  • Putting Together Your Wish List of Actors
  • How to Research to Find Ideas and Understand Who is Possible
    • And how to identify less well-known actors that can add value to your project in supporting roles
    • Considering international markets
  • Working with Your Team and Coming to an Agreement with Stakeholders
  • How Ambitious Should You Be With Your Wish List?
  • How Many Options Do You Want for Each Character?
  • Working with Casting Directors
    • Do you need a casting director in the first place?
    • Pros and cons of bringing on a casting director
    • How to find the right casting director for your project
  • Q&A with Shane

 

Session 2: Bringing On Higher Level Talent For Your Independent Project

  • What high-level actors and their team need to see to consider working with you
  • The best way to reach out to begin the conversation
    • And who you should actually start the conversation with
  • What kinds of offers might higher level talent actually consider for a small production?
  • How to pitch your project to a higher level actor and their team to peak their interest
    • And why timing is everything
  • Letters of Intent
  • Navigating around not having a distributor yet
  • Red flags to watch out for when starting the conversation
  • Q&A with Shane

 

Session 3: Postings and Running Your Own Auditions

  • Where to post to get the actors you’re looking for
  • How to post to attract better talent
  • A rundown of how to run a successful audition
  • How to hold yourself in the audition room
  • Ensure you’re making actors feel comfortable and safe
  • Pros and cons of self-tape auditions
  • What to look for when evaluating actors
  • Holding multiple rounds
  • Red flags to watch out for when auditioning actors
  • Q&A with Shane

 

Session 4: Negotiation Talent Deals

  • A rundown of the elements of a talent deal
  • Working with a lawyer vs. doing it yourself
  • Whoever reaches out first loses
  • The power of billing
  • Implementing ‘points’ to make the offer more enticing
    • And other ways to sweeten the deal
  • Follow up conversations with agents
  • Getting agents on your side
    • And the advantages of boutique agencies
  • The art of going back and forth
  • Contract requests you should anticipate
  • Tips on closing the deal
  • Working with Deadlines
  • When to Walk Away
  • Thinking Forward
  • Q&A with Shane

About Your Instructor

Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in nearly every capacity on and off set of hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD, as well as films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG, a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, and just wrapped production on his latest action thriller, BREAK EVEN.

Schedule

Session 1: Building Your List and Working With a Casting Director (or Not)- Friday June 4, 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 2: Bringing On Higher Level Talent For Your Independent Project- Friday June 11 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 3: Postings and Running Your Own Auditions - Friday June 18, 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 4: Negotiation Talent Deals – Friday, June 25, 4pm-6pm PDT

If you can't make a live virtual class, don't worry. It will be recorded and you can watch it at your leisure on demand.

 

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 120-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I 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 webinar, 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 webinar 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 webinar 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 attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class. If you cannot attend a live class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. Plus, your instructor will be available via email throughout the lab.

Q: Will I have access to the lab afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of the lab, you will have on-demand access to the video recording, which you can view after the class is complete.

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:

How to Make Your Script Appeal to Producers During COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine have changed the film and television industry profoundly. Like it or not, we’re thinking about movies differently now, we’re making them differently, we’re selling them differently, and we’re watching them differently. Studios, buyers, and producers are keenly aware of this shift and are applying this to how they are choosing their next projects. As a writer, understanding how the industry is changing and what people are now looking for can make all the difference in being able to take the next steps in your career. With so many new obstacles and challenges now involved in making a film, producers have to weigh a lot more factors when choosing their next projects, including which movies will be safest to put together. Small details in scripts—scenes or moments that might have been no big deal to include as recently as a year ago—might now be all it takes for a producer or financier to reject. So how does production during COVID look like and how can you make your script work and come across as more attractive within these constraints? Let’s take a closer look. Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, including the action thriller BREAK EVEN and action comedy DOUBLE THREAT, currently in production. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce films during COVID and is well versed on what it takes to put a film together in this unique time. Shane will dive deep into how producers are operating in the time of COVID-19 and how you can make your script “COVID-friendly” and more attractive for producers to work on. He will begin by outlining how production has changed since COVID, including the biggest new hurdles, new guild requirements, and what’s keeping talent from signing on. He’ll explain what’s making movies more expensive to produce and what locations are now ideal or no longer easy to shoot in. He will next delve into what a COVID-friendly script looks like to a producer. He’ll talk about what kind of stories producers and buyers are seeking out, what red flags in your script will keep producers from signing on and how many characters are too many now. He will also discuss locations as well as the genres and themes that buyers are now gravitating towards. Shane will then discuss how to adjust your script to fit this new era, including deciding whether it’s worth adjusting or saving until things are safer and how to find compromise and middle ground when making changes. Finally, Shane will give you tips on how to get a producer on board during this time. This is a tricky time for everyone, but Shane will give you the lowdown to be smarter and more strategic in finding opportunities and success.  

How to Shoot Your Project Safely During COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic brought film production to a standstill last year. The risk of holding close gatherings required everyone to profoundly change how a film is produced in order to keep everyone safe. Yet we’ve luckily found a way to create new projects, on both a major studio and independent level. This doesn’t mean it’s easy, though. The preparation and process for producing a film have changed drastically, as have the rules and guidelines a crew needs to follow. There are ways to safely put your own film together even under these extreme circumstances, but doing so will require a new understanding of how to move forward. As a producer or filmmaker of any level, it’s your job not just to make sure a film comes together, but that the team you assembled stays safe in the process. This is extra difficult due to the pandemic, but it’s not impossible. In fact, independent productions have been finding a ways to do this successfully for a while now and you can as well. But this won’t be accomplished through business-as-usual approaches. Every aspect of the filmmaking process needs to be examined, altered, or even turned on its head in order to comply with new regulations, make the team feel comfortable, and most importantly to keep everyone virus-free. This is a big undertaking, but other independent outfits have figured this out, and learning how they did it can be instrumental in you finding success for your own project. Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen.. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, and just wrapped production on his latest action thriller BREAK EVEN, which was safely shot over December and January during the peak of COVID-19. Shane learned how to find success in the midst of a pandemic and is ready to share the lessons he picked up. Shane will teach you what you need to do to successfully and safely plan and produce a film during the COVID-19 pandemic. He’ll delve into the new rules you need to follow, issued by guilds, government agencies and film/permit offices. He’ll also discuss how location scouting works now and what sort of locations can be safely shot in. He’ll go through the changes in production insurance and how to hire and work with a COVID Compliance Officer during production. Shane will also discuss how to conduct COVID tests with your crew and how to work with guilds along the way. He will then go over how to work with actors during this time and will share with you the biggest tips and must-dos he learned to keep your crew safe. Finally, Shane will share the details of how he produced his own recent film DOUBLE THREAT and wrapped his 6 week production without a single COVID positive test. Even in times as tough as this, there’s a way forward and a way to create your art, and Shane will show you how to do so smartly, effectively, and while keeping yourself and everyone on your team safe.   Praise for Shane's Previous Stage 32 Webinar    "Shane was thorough, gave me a realistic view into the market as it is now, yet encouraging. Easy to listen to and follow. I'll be signing up for other classes he teaches in the future." -Karena K.   Just straight-forward, real, the kind of producer most of us would kill to work alongside. -Clark R.   "Shane was relevant, knew what was happening, and could walk the walk." -Chuck R.   "I loved the inside look from someone in the industry that is dealing with Covid restrictions on a daily basis." -Marven L.

The Art of Pre-Production - Plan Your Project The Right Way Before Starting Production

It might not be the most glamorous, but pre-production is arguably the most important aspect of putting together a film. The crucial decisions you make and the team you build during this phase will determine the success of your production and ultimately, your film. But no matter what experience level you are at, pre-production can quickly become an overwhelming process. From hiring to budgeting to location scouting to scheduling there are always going to be a lot of plates you have to keep spinning. Yet approaching pre-production with a plan, with discipline, and with the appropriate knowledge will keep your film on track and even elevate it to a level you might not have previously thought possible. Whether you're filming a project for $1 million or $1,000, pre-production is the foundation to make sure your production goes smoothly. But with so many I’s to dot and T’s to cross, there are A LOT of traps and pitfalls you can fall into as a producer. That’s why it’s imperative you have a clear understanding of the work and challenges you have ahead of you and what you need to be aware of to ensure you can ultimately get your film made. So what exactly do you need to ensure gets done during this critical phase of your project? How can you build the best team possible and put together the resources you need without going over budget? Let’s dig in. Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, and just wrapped production on his latest action thriller BREAK EVEN. Over the countless films he has produced, Shane has gotten pre-production down to a science and knows what it takes to prepare a film of any level. Shane will dig into his deep producing knowledge to break down the pre-production process and outline how you can best prepare for your own project. Shane will explain how to define your budget, including where you should put most of your money towards and will dive into crewing up, focusing on the five most important members of your team and how to find the right fits for your project. He will next discuss the challenge of finding locations, how to do so for cheap, and how to best communicate with property owners and take care of permits. Then Shane will give tips on how to schedule, how many shooting days you should plan for and how to adjust when things inevitably change. Lastly, he will talk about the final steps producers should take before moving to production and when you should feel ready.     Praise for Shane's Previous Stage 32 Webinar   "Shane was thorough, gave me a realistic view into the market as it is now, yet encouraging. Easy to listen to and follow. I'll be signing up for other classes he teaches in the future." -Karena K.   Just straight-forward, real, the kind of producer most of us would kill to work alongside. -Clark R.   "Shane was relevant, knew what was happening, and could walk the walk." -Chuck R.  

Understanding the UK Film and Television Marketplace and How You Can Succeed Within It

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She’ll begin with a general introduction of the UK market including what makes it unique, key facts and figures you should know, and how to understand the overall structure. She’ll then teach you about their main sources of funding, both public and private, and how funding works with international co-productions. She’ll also discuss the funding opportunities available for new talent. Rowan will then outline the key film institutions of the area and what they do. She’ll then discuss the support structures in place for producers and will delve into the key players in the sales agent space and how to determine which sales agent is right for your project. Rowan will go over the key distributors in the region and what the exhibition landscape looks like in general. She will also talk about the role of online platforms today and how the UK box office operates. She will then discuss the role of critics in this ecosystem and the key critical voices. 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A Definitive Guide to the Role of the Unit Production Manager: The UPM Process, Practical Tips & Case Studies

It might often be the first name listed on a movie’s end credits, but a Unit Production Manager isn’t exactly the most known or celebrated role on a film’s crew. However the UPM is one of the most critical and valued jobs throughout a movie’s journey. It’s the UPM that holds everything down, that keeps all of the parts moving and makes sure the business elements are taken care of so the director and other creatives have the support and the space they need to carry out their vision. The skills needed to carry out the responsibilities of a UPM are not only crucial, but can also be lucrative for someone looking to succeed within the film industry. Once you start listing it out, the jobs and expectations of a unit production manager are expansive and seemingly never ending: Building a production bible, creating a budget, drafting a schedule, hiring the team, working with unions, insurance, paperwork, payments, even feeding the cast and crew. To be a good UPM you kind of have to be good at everything. So where to start? What exactly does a UPM do and what separates a good UPM from a bad one? Rosi Acosta is a Unit Production Manager, DGA, who has worked on over 75 TV and Film projects and over 100 commercials. She is a valued name in Hollywood as a top UPM who's worked on films such as DRIVEN, SPEED KILLS, IMPRISONED and many more. With over three decades of experience, Rosi has worked internationally with production companies from the US, Europe, Russia and Latin America. Rosi began as a casting director 32 years ago in Puerto Rico working for director Marcos Zurinaga at Zaga Films where she became one of the top casting directors in the Island. After working as such for a few years, she wanted to expand her horizons in production moving on to work with the most important TV producer in the Island, Gabriel Suau, in Telemundo-Puerto Rico, where she worked for several years in various TV shows and telenovelas. Throughout her expansive career and extensive experience Rosi has become one of the most sought-after UPMs in the world. Rosi will delve into the nuts and bolts of the role of the unit production manager and all of the tasks and responsibilities that go along with it. She’ll begin by going over the production management process from a bird’s eye view, from development through production. Rosi will discuss the business elements behind filmmaking and the ways the UPM is responsible for finding the balance between the creative and the financial. She will go over the four major skills needed to be a great UPM as well as the tenuous relationship between the project’s script, budget, and shooting schedule. Rosi will then teach what goes into a production bible and how to create a script breakdown to prepare for production. She will then delve into creating production budgets as well as preliminary shooting schedules. A huge responsibility of the UPM is to plan for contingencies and the unexpected, and Rosi will offer tips and advice on how to make sure you’re covered for everything that might come your way and will illustrate this with examples from her own experiences. She will then teach you about working with the four major unions—SAG-AFTRA, DGA, IATSE, and WGA, and how to obtain insurance packages to cover your team and your production. Rosi will then discuss how hiring works on set, strategies to bring on the right team, and common pitfalls to avoid while doing so. Finally, Rosi will go over the common aspects that will make a movie expensive, and what warning signs to look for to prevent your project from going over budget. Consider this a definitive breakdown of what the underappreciated but critical unit production manager actually does. Plus! This is a bonus extended webinar with over 2 hours of information!     Praise for Rosi's Webinar   “Super informative; Rosi was very helpful.” -Adam G.   “Rosi Acosta was awesome. She is a treasure of knowledge. I definitely got my money's worth.” -Lawrence W.   “This was so helpful. I loved hearing from Rosi” -Dana B.   “This felt like a Masterclass on the ins and outs of a UPM. I’m leaving this webinar knowing way more than I thought I would. Thanks!” -Jerry C.

Castable Types® in Acting

Learn directly from Cynthia White, an actor, director, writer and producer who has coached hundreds of professional actors and acting students! Why do so many wonderful actors never get the chance to use their talent? Why do well-trained actors fail to convince casting directors to book them for jobs and agents to take them on as clients? Why do so many actors find they're chasing after any career opportunity as opposed to creating a career they love? The simple answer is most actors have no understanding of their Castable Types® and without that crucial knowledge and insight, a majority of actors will fail at their creative career goals. Understanding your Castable Types® is more than saying "I'm this or that type". It's having a thorough, in-your-bones knowledge of what is unique about your talent, how that can set you apart from the competition, giving you a recognizable identity as an actor. It builds demand for your talent. It becomes your area of acting expertise in the market. Strengthening and then using the unique and essential qualities that make up your CastableType® allows actors to take their work to Performance Level by bringing specificity, energy, relatability and nuance to every role. That is what casting directors look for in actors. That is what gets you to the final callback. That is what persuades a director to take a risk on a fresh face or an actor who differs from the breakdown and give him or her a chance. That is what tells an agent your talent is worth the investment. By understanding your Castable Type®, using the right techniques to achieve Performance Level work and having a clearer, current grasp of the industry, actors can finally make a successful and sustaining acting career a reality.

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