Filmmakers, producers, and financiers can really be held back by distribution contracts. If they don’t understand the language or terms, are passive or held hostage by a feeling that they may be getting ripped off, or simply do not have the support system to advise them or the knowledge to know what to fight for, they can find themselves at an extreme disadvantage. In many cases, the excitement of the "someone likes my movie/let's get it out there" mentality supersedes common sense. And that alone can lead you into giving away your rights, accepting horrendous percentages or agreeing to terms that lock you and your project up. Don't fall into these traps! You worked hard on your film. You sacrificed time and likely money to get to this point. While most might think this is time to hit the gas pedal, it's actually time to tap the brakes. You want to be sure you're doing everything humanly possible to not only protect yourself, your investors and your team, but maximizing your film's potential in the marketplace. Anna Darrah is an experienced film buyer, negotiating with and licensing over 800 films in her 12 years working for Gaiam and Spiritual Cinema Circle. She has been an active player on the festival circuit and currently advises filmmakers on custom distribution strategies. Anna is also a filmmaker who produced two documentaries that aired on The Sundance Channel, and directed a music video and the short film THE MATTER OF MAGIC. She also produced a feature-length documentary about Helen Schreider (www.THEHELENMOVIE.com) while also making short films for the ZILLOW.COM series, HOMEMAKERS. Anna has enjoyed jurying and participating in film festival panels and workshops here and abroad and is currently offering a Film Distribution Workshop co-taught with Jilann Spitzmiller. Now Anna brings her knowledge and teaching prowess to Stage 32. Anna will begin by breaking down theatrical and broadcast rights as well as exclusive and non-exclusive deals. She'll dive into breaking down deal points including term, territory, rights and compensation. She'll discuss standard terms and point out red flags within and speak to what you should negotiate to assure you get the best, and most fair, deal. She will even look at the negotiation process from the other side of the table so you can understand what a distributor truly wants out of a deal. Thinking outside the box, Anna will even discuss going the DIY distribution route or a hybrid DIY/traditional distribution path. All this and much more. It’s incredible how each contract is like a snowflake -- totally unique and yet similar in some very important ways. I will help you understand the entire distribution arena so you can sleep well knowing you've made the best deal for you, your partners and, most importantly, your film. - Anna Darrah Praise for Anna "Excellent overview of terms to be aware of when negotiating or reviewing a distribution agreement." - Valerie N. "Anna was great, the information she shared was so very useful!" - Christian C. "For a complex subject, Anna made it all so simple and easy to follow. Excellent webinar!" - Drea P. "A knockout." - Mana W.
Join veteran screenwriter Brian Herskowitz and receive sample feature script outlines and scenes while learning how and why professional outlining can set your work above the rest! Are you ready to learn how to write a professional outline for your feature screenplay? A professional outline for your script is the roadmap you follow to write your first draft and it will save you time, effort and some unnecessary rewriting. It helps you work out the kinks early and feel confident about where you’re headed. And the outline isn't just for you. An outline helps any reps, producers, and executives your working with see what you’re going to do with a story before giving you the go-ahead to write the feature film. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you’ll learn how you can increase your earning power by knowing how to craft a strong outline so your work stands out from the competition. Along the way, you’ll receive sample scenes and outlines from the feature films discussed in class that you can take with you for future reference. Taking you through this vital skill is acclaimed screenwriter Brian Herskowitz, who has completed over a dozen feature films and has been staffed on popular shows like HERCULES and TOUR OF DUTY. He’s worked with top-tier talent, including Academy Award winner Jason Alexander, with whom Brian co-wrote the FOX pilot MANTIC. He’s also the author of the essential screenwriting resource PROCESS TO PRODUCT: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR THE SCREENWRITER. Brian will teach you the 12 guideposts he developed that you can use to keep from getting lost as you write which ultimately allows you more creative freedom. You’ll cover premise, theme, concept, characters, and structure. All of the elements you need to pen a successful feature screenplay. And he’ll also show you the many real-world uses that your outline will deliver for you. Don’t miss out on this chance to work with an accomplished screenwriter with decades of experience and walk away with a practical process that you can use to up your screenwriting game today. Testimonials for Brian's Teaching and Stage 32 Education “As a collaborator with Brian and a guest in his class, I am hugely impressed with his screenwriting knowledge. I heartily recommend him and his course.” - Jason Alexander (Seinfeld, Pretty Woman, Listen Up) "I have a master's degree and a doctorate, Brian is by far the most caring and best teacher I have ever had." "The course was everything I needed and then some. An excellent course." "Mr. Herskowitz is very knowledgeable, patient, and superb at discerning problems and helping us solve them." "A solid course in which I felt I had learned a LOT by the time it was over."
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
Only 3 Spots Still Available - Grab Your Spot Now Write your high concept franchise-launching feature film screenplay in 8 weeks with the writer behind the SHARKNADO franchise! PLUS! You will be connected with your instructor via email for the duration of the lab. Payment plans available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details “High Concept” movies - movies that launch the franchises the industry is built on - have been a mainstay of the feature film business for decades. From ALIEN to GHOSTBUSTERS to SNAKES ON A PLANE to SHARKNADO, if you’ve been to the movies in the past fifty years, the odds are good that you’ve seen a lot of high concept films that dream of launching a franchise. High concept stories are those where the premise can be easily pitched in once sentence and that premise is simple and instantly appealing. Ideally, the concept is obviously conveyed by the title alone. “Snakes On A Plane” tells you everything you need to know about that film, and makes a significant portion of the audience want to see it. The famous “Schwarzenegger. DeVito. Twins.” pitch is the kind of thing to make a movie studio drool. But there’s more to a high concept movie than simply the title and pitch. Your easily understandable idea then has to be translated into a screenplay that will hold an audience’s attention for two hours, with characters that the audience can get emotionally invested in and that you may want to reinvest in for years to come. In this exclusive Stage 32 8-session lab, you will write and workshop your high concept franchise launching feature or made-for-TV movie script of your own to take out to the marketplace. Mentoring you while you are writing your high concept script is accomplished screenwriter Thunder Levin. Thunder is best known as the writer behind the Syfy Channel’s cult hit franchise, SHARKNADO (he's credited on all 6 Sharknado films). He’s also written such high concept movies as ZOMBIE TIDALWAVE and MUTANT VAMPIRE ZOMBIES FROM THE ‘HOOD!, as well as directing the latter. He’s pitched to all major studios and independent production companies and has over a dozen produced writing credits while also directed a handful of feature films. Over eight weeks of lectures, workshop sessions, and one-on-one meetings with Thunder, you’ll cover the crucial elements you need when crafting a high concept movie from the all-important logline to finished script, including developing plot structure and engaging characters to keep producers, directors, execs, and audiences entertained not just by the idea, but the execution. By the end of this lab, you’ll have a finished script in hand to add to your writing portfolio, and a handle on how to pitch the holy grail of movie development. You’ll also learn how Syfy Channel movies and similar films are developed and structured from pitch to treatment to outline to script to shooting script, and how the made-for-TV movie eight act script structure works. Additionally, through workshopping sessions and one-on-one meetings with Thunder, you’ll learn how to constructively evaluate another’s writing, give notes to elevate the work of your peers, and get crucial feedback in an encouraging setting to take your own skillset to the next level. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to work with the writer behind one of the biggest original franchises of the past decade and walk away with your finished "high concept" feature script in hand.
The Stage 32 Writers’ Room has just surpassed a milestone achievement - 100 webcasts! For the last year and a half it has been the honor of Director of Script Services Jason Mirch to act as the humble host, guiding webcasts that include script and screenwriting breakdowns, virtual pitch sessions to industry professionals, one-on-one conversations with some of the biggest names in the business, and writing exercises that challenge our imaginations and sharpen our skills. The goal of the Writers’ Room has always been to give writers all over the world the support, access, and education to thrive in their craft and career. Our recent Writers' Room guests have included Oscar-nominated Pixar writer Meg LeFauve, Billion Dollar Producer Amy Baer, AKEELAH AND THE BEE Filmmaker Doug Atchison, Universal Pictures Executive Ken Korba, A QUIET PLACE development executive Linsday Schwartz, GREEN HORNET producer Bradley Gallo, and many more - all of whom spoke and interacted directly with our members. Several of our members have connected with each other and have swapped scripts, collaborated on projects, produced projects they have written, and writers have even been optioned by producers largely because of the Writers’ Room! The Writers' Room is strong because of the incredible members who are serious about their craft and advancing their careers. So we are turning the spotlight over to some of our talented Writers' Room members who will tell us how they broke out in a highly competitive industry and achieved success during this Stage 32 Writers' Room Member Success Spotlight webcast! During this webcast, Writer, Producer, Actor & Stage 32 CEO Rich "RB" Botto and Writer, Producer, and Director of Script Services Jason Mirch shine some light on members who have utilized the power of Stage 32 and the Writers' Room to achieve tremendous success in the industry and learn the secrets they have discovered for breaking out! During this webcast the panel includes: Screenwriter, Martin Reese, who received a $5,000 option agreement from Glass House Distribution and Trick Candle Productions for a script he developed with the help of the Writers' Room! Screenwriter, Chris Torres, who landed representation with Manager Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment after being a part of the Writers' Room and being connected for a meeting by Stage 32! Author and Screenwriter, Christi Corbett, who developed one of her novels into a screenplay which was then optioned by producer Brad Wilson of Higher Purpose Entertainment!Screenwriter and Filmmaker, Chaun Lee, who used the power of Stage 32 and the Writers' Room to develop a short film which she then produced using local crew and cast in Atlanta just prior to lockdown!
There has never been a better time than right now to for women and people from underrepresented backgrounds to break into Hollywood. That's not to say the door is wide open; it's still a jungle out there and it's critical you understand the steps you should take to find your way in. Hear from the incredible Julianna Medina-Politsky, who was at Legendary Entertainment for nine years and helped produce films like GODZILLA, 42, PACIFIC RIM, and the hotly anticipated and upcoming DUNE before moving to the independent space where she now helps produce exciting new films from up-and-coming filmmakers. Julianna is a fierce advocate for finding space and opportunities for women as well as anyone from underrepresented communities and is going to break down how YOU can best find your path forward to break into film or television. You won't want to miss the instructive, inspiring, and motivating presentation Julianna has in store!