The Ultimate TV Pitch Class (January 2023)

Payment plans available - contact edu@stage32.com for details
Taught by Sam Sokolow

$399

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

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$399.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

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

Class hosted by: Sam Sokolow

2-time Emmy Award-nominated Executive Producer at National Geogaphic's GENIUS

Sam Sokolow is a two-time Emmy-nominated producer, perhaps best known for his work in developing and producing the Emmy nominated limited series GENIUS for National Geographic Channel and Disney+, one of the first prestige limited series to find a wide audience. In his career, Sam has executive produced 18 original TV series and set up dozens of television and film projects at major studios and distributors in Hollywood and is well-versed at finding success developing, pitching, and selling his projects. Previously, he co-wrote, produced, and directed the award-winning independent feature film THE DEFINITE MAYBE, starring Josh Lucas, Roy Scheider, and Bob Balaban. Sam is currently the Head of Education at Stage 32. Full Bio »

Summary

A New Exclusive Class!

Learn everything you need to craft a world-class pitch for your television series from an Emmy-nominated producer who's crafted over 300 pitches for distributors worldwide!

Plus! Receive exclusive handouts, including real pitch deck used to sell to networks and streaming platforms. 

The difference between your project happening and not happening is usually your pitch. Pitching is where the rubber meets the road in your creative career, and you had better be ready to give your project its very best chance when the moment presents itself.

Sam Sokolow has put almost 20 original shows onto TV, including the 20- time Emmy-nominated limited series GENIUS for National Geographic Channel and Disney+. To accomplish this goal, he has set up close to 75 projects in his career. And to do that, he has crafted over 300 pitches that have been heard by every major streamer, network, and distributor in the world.

Sam has certain principles that he brings to every pitch, a format that he has found consistent success with, and a spirit that he feels makes all the difference. He believes anyone can craft a great pitch and do it in their own style.

In this exclusive Stage 32 4-session class, Sam is going to share everything he knows about pitching and put you in a position to build your best pitches for your own projects.

You'll cover all the materials you need to pitch a television series in today's market, how to determine who to pitch to, how to craft a fantastic pitch, and more!

You'll also review multiple pitches and pitch decks Sam has done and be provided with a REAL pitch deck used to sell to networks and streaming platforms and a pitch preparation checklist from the instructor. 

Sam has pitched TV series and films to small and large rooms of executives, at conferences, and in every virtual format that exists. He will teach you all of his principles for crafting your best pitch for any project and share insights that have allowed him to build a career through pitching at a consistently high level... his philosophy has always been "we may not always get a sale, but we will always have a great pitch."

What You'll Learn

You will receive handouts over the course of the class, including:

  • A pitch deck that have been used in actual pitches to networks and streamers
  • A pitch preparation checklist

Session 1 – The Pitch Essentials

A great pitch starts with a great understanding of your project, the marketplace, and, most importantly, a strategy that gets the people you are pitching - the buyers and prospective partners - excited to be involved. They need to see how your project will work for their audience and also be a feather in their cap as an executive or partner. In this class, we explore those key fundamentals so you can begin crafting a pitch that gets noticed.

  • What really is a pitch
  • Crafting an idea that sells
  • Building the pillars of your project & pitch
  • Identifying the right kind of pitch for your project

Q&A with Sam

Assignment: Write your own original logline for an existing show that is currently on air to share with the class

Session 2 – Building your pitch

What should your pitch look like? What materials should you have? Who should be involved? What do you need to be prepared? In this session, you will learn how to set your project and pitch up for success.

  • Building your Pitch
  • The pitch Materials
  • The Pitching Materials timeline
  • Who should be a part of your pitch, and what are their roles
  • Rehearsing your pitch for success

Q&A with Sam

Assignment: Pick one of your own ideas and write down TWO current shows that you think are good comparisons for a pitch and tell me WHY they are strong "comps" together

Session 3 – The Pitch logistics

Finding the right company and then person to pitch to and setting up the meeting can be hard to navigate, but there is a way. Then deciding the best way to approach the pitch, the best medium, and getting clear on your goals are super key. Sam breaks it down so you can prepare to nail the pitch.

  • Finding the Right companies to pitch
  • Identifying the right person to reach out to
  • Setting up the pitch
  • Beyond just selling - your greater pitch goals
  • The best pitch medium for your project

Q&A with Sam

Assignment: Prepare a one-minute pitch of an original idea to share with the class

Session 4 – Rocking the Pitch and Follow Up

Our final class focuses on rocking your pitch. Filled with tips and tricks on what to do and how to avoid common pitfalls. The differences between pitching in person versus zoom, how to deal with feedback, creating a personal connection, and the importance of the follow-up. We will also wrap up the pitch process with your final questions.

  • Conducting yourself with grace
  • Tips to Nailing the pitch
  • The keys to pitching in person
  • The keys to pitching via zoom
  • The art of following up

Q&A with Sam

 

About Your Instructor

Sam Sokolow is a two-time Emmy-nominated producer, perhaps best known for his work in developing and producing the Emmy nominated limited series GENIUS for National Geographic Channel and Disney+, one of the first prestige limited series to find a wide audience. In his career, Sam has executive produced 18 original TV series and set up dozens of television and film projects at major studios and distributors in Hollywood and is well-versed at finding success developing, pitching, and selling his projects. Previously, he co-wrote, produced, and directed the award-winning independent feature film THE DEFINITE MAYBE, starring Josh Lucas, Roy Scheider, and Bob Balaban. Sam is currently the Head of Education at Stage 32.

Schedule

Monday January 30th – 4pm-6pm PST

Monday February 6th – 4pm-6pm PST

Monday February 13th – 4pm-6pm PST

Monday February 20th – 4pm-6pm PST

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a lab?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 90-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 lab 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.

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 as many times as you'd like!

Relevant Tags

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 Write Historical Fiction Television that Will Get You Noticed

  "It was amazing, enlightening - completely. I learned soooo much - especially as a feature writer who's been asked to turn a feature script into a pilot!! Thank you soooooo much." -Kristin G. The market for historical dramas is hot. Shows like The Crown, American Crime Story: The Assassination of Giani Versace, The Great, Babylon Berlin, Call the Midwife and more are dominating with controversial plot lines and riveting characters. But to sell a historical drama, you first need to know the specifics of writing this specialized genre. You need to understand what type of intellectual property makes for a compelling story and then have the skills necessary to turn this historical piece into a modern, binge-worthy series that speaks to today's audiences. Industry veteran Anna Henry who has worked as a development executive and producer and has shepherded numerous projects through networks and streamers is here to show you how. Anna Henry is a Producer and Development Executive who has worked at CBS, ABC, Nickelodeon, and multiple production companies, as well as a manager at Andrea Simon Entertainment. Her clients have worked on shows such as THE DEUCE, POWER, IN CONTEMPT, TOMMY, VIDA, SEVEN SECONDS, HUNG, CHICAGO FIRE, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, THIS IS US, and THE FLASH, and have set up projects at AMC, Amazon, Starz, HBO, Sony, Fox, EOne, and more.  Anna has projects currently in development around the world and is incredibly familiar with what goes into a great television pilot.   Praise for Anna's Stage 32 webinar:   "The webinar was fantastic. I am writing my first one hour drama pilot so this webinar was packed with the exact information that I will be immediately putting to use in my rewrite. The slides were clear, concise and informative. The speaker was excellent at conveying the information I needed." -Bobby C.   "It was really great information. Anna was a terrific host, very knowledgeable and shared a lot of information and tips." -Marla H.   "Comprehensive, insightful. Combined a lot of material I had heard snippets of on character, world dev, etc. but artfully stitched together in one presentation." -James F.      

How to Write and Format a Made for TV Screenplay

Writing a film for television has a ‘unique set of skills’ which are different from writing a traditional screenplay. If you never learn how to write for the BOOM!, act break structure, number of locations, and characters, you’ll get stuck in re-writing hell or worse yet, never have your script read. Understanding script structure, outlining, and deliverables for television films prior to writing will give you a leg up on the competition. Additionally, each network has its own set of rules and you want to ask the right questions prior to typing ‘Fade In’. With more television networks producing their own content and films, the need for content is higher than ever. However, TV films have their own structure and layout, especially when dealing with networks that have commercial breaks. Additionally, working with producers and executives is a different animal than working with producers and executives in the independent world. Courtney Miller Jr. is a 5-time award winning director who has worked with the biggest names in entertainment including Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Usher, and Britney Spears. He's a staff writer for the hit show Saints & Sinners on Bounce TV and recently completed his first feature film A Stone Cold Christmas for Bounce TV, where he served as the co-writer and director. Courtney has development deals with TBS, Lionsgate, MGM, Legendary, Weed Road, Viola Davis' company Juvee, Bounce TV, and Will Packer. His award winning short film REPAIRations! - The Musical, received the Director's Choice Diversity in Cannes Best Musical. He has directed commercials for Nike, Apple & Hewlett Packard. He knows the television writing and directing landscape inside and out and he's ready to share his knowledge with you. Courtney will dive in by explaining all the differences between writing a TV and a traditional film screenplay. He will discuss how to format acts, how to be sensitive to the shooting schedule, what you can expect regarding deadlines and delivery dates and how to navigate dealing with the network. From there, Courtney will take you to the greenlit phase where you'll need to know what deliverables you are responsible for, how much time you'll be given to deliver your rewrite, and how to handle network notes (there will be plenty). Courtney will then jump into the writing process including how to write for the BOOM!, how many acts you need to have in your script (and if that varies) and the importance of writing a compelling and attention grabbing Act 1. Going even deeper, Courtney will discuss beat sheets, how many beats you need to add, and what your overall beat sheet should look like. And finally, Courtney will explain how to write an outline that keeps the execs happy and off your back so you can go do what you do best...write!   "Another winner for Stage 32. I have many scripts I thought would be a better fit for television and now I know how to get it done!" - Fiona C.   "I'm ready to write for the BOOM! Thanks, Courtney!" - Miguel P.   "It's always been a dream of mine to have something on the Hallmark channel. Now I have the framework and I'm ready to start writing." Melissa H.   "Couldn't have been any better. Great detail!" - Ida W.

How to Write a Professional TV Pitch Document/Treatment - with Downloads

This was by far the best webinar on pitch documents that I have experienced. I've seen others where they give certain advice that she warned not to do! - Tiffany C.     This is the age of peak TV and you have an incredible, original idea for a show! You have it all planned out: the setting, the characters, what the show will be about... maybe you've even written the pilot script. Now it's time to pitch! Perhaps you have a meeting with a manager or a producer, or someone is already interested in your idea and has asked you to send some "pages." Or you've signed up for a Stage 32 pitch session with the perfect exec who's looking for a show just like yours. You will learn how to write a professional pitch document that can serve as the outline for your in-person pitch to a manager, producer or studio executive, or be sent after your meeting - using the template and requirements the big agencies and studios use. You will also learn how to translate that into a shorter version for Stage 32 pitch sessions, contests, or just to be able to briefly pitch your idea as you're networking. PLUS! Anna will include these handouts for you to download: Stranger Things Pitch Document New Girl Pitch Document New Girl Short Pitch Document Example Lookbook Example This was my first Stage32 webinar, and it exceeded my expectations, both in terms of quality (and quantity) of information and overall value. Anna was personable, knowledgeable, and organized. The slide deck was helpful, and her overall presentation hit all the key topics. Anna and Stage3 2 delivered the goods. - John R. What a thoughtful, thorough and inspiring webinar. It's clear that Anna Henry put an enormous amount of work into this presentation. Not only was the content there, but the structure was also superb. I feel educated and inspired to go back to my own work and do better than what I thought was my best. What could possibly be better than that! Thank you Anna for your genius and your generosity. - Crispin L. See more testimonials below!  

Writing Effective Action With Meaning for Your Film or Series - With a Case Study of THE BOURNE IDENTITY

Have you ever sat through a movie that was filled with fights, car chases, gun battles, and explosions and yet it was all you could do to keep from falling asleep in spite of the noise? This is because good action movies aren’t just about kicks, punches, and car crashes. Celebrated recent action films like EXTRACTION or Mile 22 or classics like BOURNE IDENTITY and ENTER THE DRAGON pop off the screen because of strong writing that lends itself to the story. Action writing is an art. And to write it, you’ve got to understand how to make your story matter to the audience. Action movies need to sustain the attention of viewers not just with suspense but with emotional appeal. It needs to have meaning. Explosive scenes are great, but action without a substantive story can only take you so far. Characters still need to have wants and desires, even if they’re armed and dangerous. The stakes need to be high and the flaws of each character apparent. If you are able to master this important balance of storytelling, your script will be a hit to those in the industry who are on the hunt for exciting action stories. Joshua Todd James is a well-established screenwriter, playwright, and WGA member, who wrote the action feature POUND OF FLESH, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and currently has multiple projects in development with action stars like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Alain Moussi, Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White and former UFC champion Micheal Bisping, among others. He also adapted Peter Biskind’s best selling book Down & Dirty Pictures into a feature screenplay and Matthew Polly’s New York Times bestseller American Shaolin into a television pilot. Joshua has spent much of his life writing and learning the art of action writing and is excited to share his experience with the Stage 32 community. Joshua will teach you how to write effective action with meaning for your film or series. After discussing why action doesn’t always work on screen, he’ll break down what can make action effective. Joshua will dive deep into defining character objectives, establishing stakes and crafting identity in each scene. Joshua will also spend time focusing on the elements that action must reveal and walk you through the three primary revelations of story. You’ll walk away with the resources to improve your current script, or fire off a new one. Joshua will be using the action classic THE BOURNE IDENTITY as a case study to illustrate the elements of effective action writing that he will lay out. Everyone who signs up for this webinar, will receive the BOURNE IDENTITY script for free.  

8-Week TV Series Pitch Document Writing Lab (Get One on One Mentoring)

Only 10 Spots Available (3 spots remain!) Exclusive TV Lab including One-on-One Mentoring with a Veteran TV Executive Develop a Polished TV Pitch Document for Your Own Project in 8 Weeks   This is the golden age of television and the appetite for content has never been greater. What does every network and streamer want? Fresh, unique, authentic voices with never-been-told stories. While the door is open to new writers, the competition is fierce. Of course you need a very strong finished script, but before that will be read, you need to be able to communicate what makes your show stand out from the crowd, what will make people want to watch it, and why you are passionate about writing it. You need a blueprint of what the series will be beyond one episode. That's where a pitch deck comes in. Whether you are selling your show verbally, sending the pitch to a potential producer, or applying for a fellowship, a pitch deck carries the weight of your imagined world with all its inhabitants and stories. That's a tall order! So where do you begin? In this lab we will delve deep into writing an effective pitch deck for your scripted television idea - one that will clearly communicate your intentions, excite the reader, and convey your voice and your passion. World class pitch deck creator Ewan Dunbar from Disrupting Influence, who has developed scripts and pitch decks with writers and creators that have gone on to secure development deals at various broadcast partners, distributors, and streamers, including Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon, will take you on this journey. In this lab, you will be working directly with Ewan in a virtual class setting and also during one-on-one online sessions to put together a great TV pitch deck to help you communicate your show and get execs and buyers interested. Whether you have a comedy or drama series, 30 minute or 60 minute, Ewan is here to help. Ewan will walk you through communicating your show's world, creating your characters, and how best to convey your story within the bounds of a TV pitch deck.  After two months of intense work on your pitch deck, you’ll have the vital pitch materials you need to take your project to the next level and the skills to market any new project you put your passion behind with a pitch deck.   Throughout the course of this exclusive online lab, you will have direct access to Ewan as a mentor by email and via video conferencing as you develop your pitch deck.     "Ewan’s presentation was excellent I learned so much from him and now feel 100% confident in creating a pitch deck. He is truly an expert." -Margaret M. "I've taken many years of webinars, gone to many conferences, and taken many courses on feature script writing... Ewan Dunbar's webinar was one of the best I have ever taken! Organized, filled with useful information, he sounded like he really cared about helping the audience be better at what they want to do." -Roberta P.

Breaking Down the Casting Process: How An Actor Wins the Role

There are a wide array of audition classes, books, and online resources that provide important actor insight and audition technique and etiquette. However, very few actors or industry professionals have an understanding of how the entire casting process works. If you're an actor, you may focused on winning the room. If you're a filmmaker, you may be focused on finding the best performance the quickest way possible. If you're a producer you may be focused on getting the best talent to bring audition to your package. Either way, every person involved with the project controls an important piece of the overall puzzle. If you're an actor it's important that you understand how the entire casting process works so you can build champions, win the room and book more work. If you're a filmmaker or producer, it's important that you understand the casting timeline to prepare for pre-production. Have you ever wondered what happens behind closed casting office doors, both before and after an audition? This is crucial information that helps you determine how you can best contribute to the overall casting puzzle. You need to understand project breakdowns, actor submissions, audition scheduling and director callbacks. You will need insight as to why one actor may be selected to audition over another and you’ll also need to know about the many factors that determine which actors advance in the casting process and ultimately book the role. Marin Hope, CSA is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director, who won the 2020 Artios Award for Casting. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Marin has cast hundreds of actors in film, TV, theatre and commercial projects and is back exclusively on Stage 32 to detail the casting director’s process, beginning to end. Marin will walk through the entire casting process from her perspective as an accomplished casting director. She’ll begin by discussing project and character breakdowns, how they’re composed, what details are included, and the various forums and databases these breakdowns are posted. She’ll go over what details actors should not before submitting to a role and how to know ahead of time if you’re right for the role. She’ll teach you how to submit yourself for a role or how to get your agent or manager to do so. Marin will give you an inside look into how casting directors sort through actor submissions to choose who to audition and what elements will help a casting director notice and choose you. Next, Marin will discuss how casting directors schedule actor auditions, how many actors are generally schedule in a single day and what you should do as an actor if you’re unavailable for your audition date or time. She will delve into the process of 1st call auditions, who is typically in the room, what you should expect, how you should prepare, and what the casting director’s process is after a day of 1st call auditions. She will also give you a peek into who views your 1st call audition tapes. Marin will then similarly outline callback auditions, how they work, how they differ from 1st call auditions, and how decisions are made at this stage. Next she will talk about 2nd callbacks, chemistry reads, and test shoots, including how best to prepare for these, how decisions are made at this stage, and what to expect for a test shoot. She’ll delve into what it means to be “put on avail” and how to navigate when you’re “on avail” and when to know if you are “released” or have been booked for the job. Finally Marin will discuss the ultimate step of booking talent, including how you will know if you booked the job, what the process looks like from the casting director’s perspective after getting the green light to book talent, and how you should communicate with the casting office throughout. You’ll learn all of this from an esteemed casting director's perspective, which will give you a unique and valuable understanding of how projects are cast.   Praise for Marin’s Past Stage 32 Webinar:    Well, done. There are several things I learned which I will incorporate in future auditions. Thanks so much, Marin. -Joseph H.   I thought I was just going to revisit what I already know, but Marin brought forth valuable new information. -Michele C.   Clear, professional, informative presentation. Thank you!! -Pamela F.   I think Marin's webinar is excellent and covered everything that an actor would want or need. I like her no nonsense approach. Takes a lot of the fear factor away. -Sondra C.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In