Learn how you can begin your career as a screenwriter from the founder of Leigh Hill Management, a top literary management company with clients who have worked at AppleTV, Showtime, and more. It’s the dream of many to have a career as a writer for TV or film, to be able to make a living creating worlds and telling stories. However finding success as a writer is rarely easy, no matter how talented you are. Once you’re able to get your script into the hands of someone who can do something real with it, your script can speak for itself. But until then, you have to strive to get your work read and make sure it stands out from the others. This can be very tough. Without a professional, targeted approach, you could have the talent and the drive for a successful and sustained career as a writer but never get the opportunity. Once you’ve worked on your craft and put the finishing touches on a script you’re proud of, it’s important to remember your job as a writer is not yet done. You still need to get your script into the right hands and make sure you stand out from the crowd. There’s no singular blueprint to get discovered and find success as a writer. Every writer’s story is different and often involves a bit of luck and happenstance. That said, there are many paths available that working writers can take advantage of. Making use of opportunities like notes services, coverage and scores, competitions, script hosting services, festivals, networking, queries, and more, can help get you on the right track as a writer and help attract the attention of busy managers, agents, and producers. Ashley Berns is a long-time literary manager who worked at respected management company Circle of Confusion for 15 years before opening his own company, Leigh Hill Management. Ashley also serves as executive producer for the Showtime comedy series WORK IN PROGRESS. Over his career, Ashley has worked with a slew of talented writer and helped them find success and build their creative career, and will share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Ashley will go through the nuts and bolts and provide you with an introduction of how to build your own career in screenwriting. He will discuss what you should always have in your screenwriting “tool kit” including script formatting and other materials to have at your disposal. He’ll explain literary representation and the difference between a manager, an agent, and a lawyer and how they work together. He’ll also delve into whether you need representation in the first place. Next Ashley will talk about networking and how to come across professional when speaking with others. Finally Ashley will teach you how best to get noticed, including writing cold queries and using opportunities like festivals, competitions, script hosting, and script coverage to advance your career. Expect to leave with a much clearer idea of paths to take to better approach your writing career and strategies to better find clear success and get noticed. Praise for Ashley's Stage 32 Teaching “I've always dreamed of becoming a screenwriter but never really knew how to start until this webinar. Big, big thanks to Ashley for sharing his experience and wisdom." - Phil D. "As someone who has been at screenwriting for a couple of years, I found this webinar to be immensely rewarding and useful." - Chris B. "Everyone from professional screenwriters to anyone remotely interested in screenwriting should take this. Ashley is so full of information and knowledge, he's really a fantastic resource." - Patrick H.
In this exclusive 2 hour Stage 32 online webinar, here is just some of what you will learn from Robert McKee: Crafting believable and engaging dialogue. Why certain lines resonate and others fall flat Strategies and techniques for writing impactful dialogue The importance of showing vs. telling The three functions of dialogue: exposition, characterization and action. But that's not all! After Mr. McKee's lecture, Stage 32 Founder & CEO, Richard "RB" Botto, conducts an interview speaking further about the craft and opens it up to the Stage 32 community to ask questions. Now, no matter where you live in the world, this is an extremely rare opportunity to learn from Mr. McKee online! PRAISE FOR ROBERT'S TEACHNIGS: "You just don't get Robert McKee like this for this kind of price. Kudos to Stage 32 and thank you Mr. McKee" - Burton B. "Thank you RB and your awesome teem, and a big thanks to Robert McKee who is truly a Master of the craft! This webinar could be hard one to top in the writers field." - Scott W. "Just wanted you to know that McKee's webinar was fantastic. One of the best lectures I have heard on the craft. He was brilliant. And irascible." - Anthony R. "Amazing wisdom from a writing giant. Felt he was very giving and thoughtful in his replies which made it a fantastic experience." - Paul B. "Fantastic webinar - lots of great insights and ideas. Thanks!" - Ron H. "I will say it again - this was a great webinar. I am more inspired and motivated than ever to increase my skill as a writer and devote more time to doing so." - Christine D.
4-PART IN-DEPTH CLASS (OVER 8 HOURS OF EDUCATION) Learn from an executive who's worked with Lionsgate, Millennium Films, Bold Films, and more. Equity, GAP, debt financing... there are many different financing options available to get your movie made, and our financing expert has the solution for you. In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand class, you'll learn the difference between these film financing structures, the tax break incentives, how you'll get your money back in distribution and sales, and more. You're not just getting simple definitions of these big terms. Instead, you'll dive deep over four intensive sessions, receiving assignments and exclusive handouts from your instructor, Viviana Zarragoitia. Viviana is the Vice President of Three Point Capital, a boutique firm specializing in lending on film and television projects. She previously worked within Lionsgate, Millennium Films, and Bold Films and has received over a dozen executive producer credits on titles she's financed. She's also worked with top-tier producers, including Cassian Elwes (MUDBOUND), Rob Barnum (ALL IS LOST), Anthony Bregman (DO REVENGE), James Schamus (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Aaron Gilbert (LICORICE PIZZA), Kimberly Steward (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), Nicholas Chartier (THE HURT LOCKER), Kevin Frakes (HEREDITARY), and more. By looking at today's market through Viviana's knowledge, you'll see how the current producing challenges, the pitfalls to avoid when producing projects for under $5 million, and how to make debt financing and tax incentives work for you. You'll also cover budgeting for Covid-related overages, monitoring tax credit spending, budgeting delivering schedules, and working with third-party lenders. Where else can you learn directly from the Vice President at a financing firm? This is your chance to learn from Viviana and find the perfect way to finance and sell your film from someone who has helped finance over 100 independent films. PRAISE FOR VIVIANA'S PREVIOUS STAGE 32 EDUCATION: "As an experienced film and television producer and writer, Viviana's class was just the refresher - and inspiration - that I needed! Having been a completion producer for a bond company, I have seen too many producers who were let down in the producing process by so-called-professionals who offered support at the on-set of a production, but then failed to deliver when needed. Viviana and her company Three Point Capital have an excellent reputation, and her counsel provided in the class solidified that. I highly recommend both Viviana and Stage 32 Education!" -- Patricia C. "Viviana was personable, professional, interesting, interested, and a wealth of knowledge and useful information. I will take every opportunity to learn from her. She was patient and polite with every question and always clear with what she knew, what she thought, what she believed, and what she didn't know. She painted pictures and delivered facts, outlining the paths she has seen successful producers take while still encouraging all to pursue their art with a greater knowledge of the business and understanding of the challenges and potential pitfalls." -- Randy G. "As someone who was totally new to the world of film financing, trying to learn about the process by myself was intimidating to put it lightly. Viviana clearly explains the film financing process step-by-step and demystifies the complex, bespoke nature of pre-sales, tax credits, sales agents, and so much more. I feel infinitely more confident in my ability to produce a film thanks to this class. I give it the highest possible recommendation for any independent filmmaker looking to finance their film and take their projects to the next level." -- Sean R.
One of the most useful things a writer can do is to team up with a mentor to help them on their journey. Too many writers try to navigate through the script writing process without guidance. Wouldn't you want a mentor that develops and sells material for a living to help you take the mystery work out of your journey? The most successful writers in the industry have their own mentors to make sure they are going in the right direction - do the same for yourself. Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring back our 8 Week Working Writer's Lab. This is one of our most hands on, prestigious and talked about labs and we only offer it a few times a year. To find the perfect teacher we go through our rolodex of 400 executives and hand pick an executive that is one of the most raved about from our writers. Your teacher for this lab will be Patrick Raymond, creative executive at Mandalay Pictures! Patrick has assisted a number of our writers on strengthening their scripts and he is excited to help you bring your concept to life. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards bringing your concept to life, PLUS ongoing contact with Patrick in between classes, your experience writing has never been easier. Under The Guidance of Patrick Raymond you will: Pick a unique and commercially viable concept. Craft engaging, unique characters that pop off the page. A solid structural skeleton that successfully carries your concept. Cinematic set pieces that will give your story that much-wanted theatrical feel. A fully realized outline highlighting every major plot point in your script. The Objective of the Lab is: To take the mystery work out of picking a concept that can sell. To match you with an executive that will assist you with making sure all your script's elements is as strong as possible. Give you an experience on how development executives develop projects that are now on their company's slate. Class ScheduleWEEK #1 – The Story of Me; Your Questions; Your Stories General class overview. Patrick's history and experiences. What Patrick loves writing about and why. What he looks for in a good story/screenplay. Any initial queries raised in the pre-class questionnaire. NOTE: Given the online format, Patrick will use this week’s “office hours” to more personally respond to/discuss the ideas you are contemplating working on during the Lab. WEEK #2 – Character Creating strong, unique memorable characters. How to have them best serve your story, the genre, themes, etc. Dialogue and voice. Patrick will cover some examples, including personal experience. WEEK #3 – Act I; Premise into Story How to make the leap from basic premise/concept and characters into a full-blooded story. Where to start. What to include in Act 1. Where does Act 1 end and Act 2 begin? Creating a world and setting a tone. Patrick will discuss examples of strong (attention-grabbing and/or smartly-chosen) and weak (meandering, overstuffed, unfocused, etc.) beginnings. WEEK #4 – The Story So Far (Consultation) No on-line class this week. Instead, you will submit premise, Character Bio(s), and Act I outline for review; Patrick will discuss the materials individually in 30 minute phone calls and advise any changes/concerns. WEEK #5 – Act II; Structure and Plotting Plotting and development of your story across Act 2. Examples of structure (midpoints, end of Act 2, Internal/external conflict, etc. WEEK #6 – Theme; What’s it All About? How to ensure that your script isn’t just an escalation of events, but is a rich narrative experience that is hopefully actually about something. Topics to include Theme, Topicality, Relatability, Universality. WEEK #7 – Act III; Sticking the Landing Why 'when and how' to achieve a strong finish is arguably one of the most difficult parts of writing a screenplay. Examples of scripts/films that have accomplished this, as well as those that have not (and why). WEEK #8 – The Completed Outline (Consultation) No on-line class this week. Instead, you will turn in your completed outline for review; Patrick will then discuss with you over a 30-minute consultation. About Your Instructor, Patrick RaymondPatrick Raymond is a Creative Executive at Mandalay Pictures, Peter Gruber’s decades-old production company responsible for films such Sleepy Hollow, The Score, The Jacket, Into the Blue, When the Game Stands Tall and Horns. At Mandalay, Patrick gets to work on his passion every day: cultivating amazing stories and working with great writers.Prior to joining Mandalay, Patrick studied business and film production at the University of Southern California. He worked in the financial services industry for four years before transitioning to entertainment, where he worked as a production assistant in television for four years.After that he transitioned to working at Gersh in the production department but he also gained exposure to the literary world, working with writers and story. He then moved over to LD Entertainment for three years, where he was a Creative Executive, working with writers and helping build scripts and acquire ideas for new projects. Here he had the opportunity to work for Tate Taylor on a James Brown biopic entitled, Get On Up, and learned about assembling large studio films. He has since transitioned to the Creative Executive position at Mandalay Pictures. Patrick was born in Alaska and raised in Seattle prior to moving to LA.
Do you want to make a horror movie? Horror movies have never been more in demand in the global marketplace. Horror movies don't need big name actors so their budgets tend to be lower. Scary movies translate into every language where comedies can be hard to travel across borders. A career making horror movies can be lucrative and long-lasting for you if you know the tricks of the trade. And who better for you to learn this craft from than an Academy Award nominated filmmaker who has made multiple horror movies? This exclusive Stage 32 webinar will show you how to make a scary movie from scratch - from your initial idea through prep, production and post-production. Knowing how to take your film on this journey to completion can put you in the rarified air of being a proven filmmaker and can open doors throughout the industry. Your host, Jonathan Heap, will show you how to use every aspect of the filmmaking process to tell a gripping and fresh horror tale from scratch that doesn’t rely on imitating past films, unrealized characters, or illogical stories. Jonathan is an Academy Award-nominated director, writer, and producer with a dozen feature, television, and short credits, including an award-winning horror film now playing on Amazon and Tubi. He’s also worked with major studios like Warner Bros., where he developed a project for Sydney Pollack that became the Coen Brothers’ SUBURBICON, directed by George Clooney. In this webinar, Jonathan will show you how to: Utilize the five kinds of horror films to develop your material Reinvent and generate new horror ideas we haven’t seen before Find great creative and production partners Use lighting and special effects to your advantage Up the scares in post-production By the end of your time with Jonathan, you’ll have the tools to take your scary movie idea to the next level and actually get it made! Testimonials for John's webinar: I liked Jonathan and his presentation. He offered very practical and sound advice, which is always appreciated. - John G. Very meticulous & methodical. Great instructor! - Jefferson Covered all aspects of production. I found his homemade film very suspenseful. Horror with dread and a supernatural disappearing figure plus the music and lighting. - Arthur B.
Have you ever wanted the inside scoop on what it’s really like to work in a TV writers’ room? Get full access through the eyes of a working television writer with over a decade of experience on some of your favorite TV franchises. Most writers experience initiation by fire when joining their first writers’ room. Since there’s no manual or list of rules to follow, navigating your way through your role can feel like a minefield. You might be afraid of talking too much and upsetting the room or too scared to speak up and be shut down. It’s not just about getting the staffing job, it’s about putting yourself in the best position to be a part of the team, impress the right people, and most importantly, keep your job. Stage 32 is here to give you an insider look at the inner workings of a television writers’ room in this exclusive webinar, hosted by CASTLE, CSI CYBER, and NCIS NOLA scribe Kate Sargeant. Kate has over 12 years of experience, working on some of the most recognizable television franchises, and was most recently staffed on the upcoming series OBLITERATED from the creator of COBRA KAI. she is here to share her mistakes and triumphs so that you can avoid her pitfalls and become a valuable staff writer. From breaking the story through the final mix and everything in between, Kate has you covered as she walks you through: What you’ll see on your first day The differences between working on a new show and an established one Navigating meetings What are the unwritten rules of the writers’ room Understanding how rooms break the story together The day-to-day writing process Learning how to take notes and handle rewrites Who the major players are What are the most common pitfalls Kate wants to unlock the secrets of these exclusive jobs as she provides the nuts and bolts of what your future will become when you’re staffed. Instead of entering the room scared that one wrong move will end your dream, why not set yourself up for success? PRAISE FOR KATE'S TEACHINGS: "There was a lot of great information given as to what to expect when staffed in a writers room." -Louisa B. "The webinar was great! I really enjoyed the way everything was organized and laid out. I do wish there was a little more time for the Q&A session as my questions didn't get answered. But overall it was excellent and very helpful." -Kathleen A. "I had to leave the seminar before it was done so am very happy its recorded for later access. I was very impressed with Kate and her seminar. I thought she was an absolute powerhouse and came forward with an awesome structure and insightful information." -Sharon P.