Your Ultimate Guide to Succeeding at Pre-Production

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

$399
Class Schedule (4 sessions):
Friday, Aug 6TH 4 - 6PM PDT
Friday, Aug 13TH 4 - 6PM PDT
Friday, Aug 20TH 4 - 6PM PDT
Friday, Aug 27TH 4 - 6PM PDT
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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 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. Full Bio »

Summary

Get one-on-one guidance on all of the steps you need to take during pre-production with Emmy Award-winning producer and filmmaker Shane Stanley.

Comes with exclusive downloads, resources, sample documents, and more

 

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 must 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.

 

Over an intensive, interactive and advanced 4 weeks, multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley will guide you through the entire process of pre-production and give you crucial tips he's developed over decades working as a successful independent producer.

 

Shane will go through every aspect of prepping a film or project including:

  • Script clearances
  • Building a budget
  • Working with agents and managers
  • Building your crew
  • Casting
  • Production Schedules and Call Sheets
  • Location Scouting
  • Production insurance
  • Workers Comp and payroll
  • Working with guilds
  • Registering your film
  • much more

 

Along the way, Shane will provide exclusive and valuable documents and handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including:

  • Sample Budgets
  • Sample Schedules
  • Sample Call Sheets
  • SAG-AFTRA contracts
  • Crew Agreements
  • Sample Offers to Principal Talent
  • Location Agreements

 

 

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: Clearing the Script and Budgeting Building the Team

  • The Script Clearance Process
    • Working with Chain of Titles
  • What Do You Pay Yourself?
  • Stretching Every Dollar
  • What Should You Put Most of Your Money Towards?

 

Session 2: Crewing Up, Casting, and Scheduling

  • Working with Agents/Managers
  • How to handle deal memos
  • Are actors independent contractors or are they on payroll?
  • Finding Your Core Crew
    • Cinematographer
    • Sound
    • Camera team
    • Rules for hire
  • Editors and Post Team
    • Finding the right editor
    • A look at other post members
      • Mixers
      • Composers
      • VFX
  • Petitioning Schools for Interns
  • Working with Vendors
    • The importance of transpo
  • What Roles Can You Get By Without?
    • Or can you find people who can wear multiple hats?
  • How to Build a Schedule
    • And how to alter it due to actor and location availability
  • How Many Shooting Days Should You Allocate?
  • Creating Call Sheets

 

Session 3: Locations and Logistics

  • How to Find Places for Cheap
  • Communicating with Property Owners
  • What You Need Before You Scout
  • What You Need After You Scout
  • Agreements and Permit Processing
  • The Importance of Picture Cars and How to Handle

 

Session 4: Other Important Steps and Putting It All Together

  • Production Insurance
  • Workers Comp
  • Payroll
  • Working with Sales Agents Early
  • Using the Film Markets to Your Advantage
  • Working with the Guilds
  • Registering your Film with the Library of Congress
  • Final Checklist Before You Move to Production

 

 

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 film pre-production, 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".

About Your Instructor

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.

Schedule

Session 1: Building Your Team- Friday August 6, 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 2: Locations - Friday August 13, 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 3: Budgeting and Scheduling - Friday August 20, 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 4: Waterfalls, Recoupment, Collection Accounts – Friday, August 20, 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 Write Your Script for Budget and Schedule so Producers Will Actually Want to Make It

People often say the most important thing when writing is just to write something that's good, but it needs to be more than good; it needs to be producible. Meaning if a producer reads your script and likes it, they also need to feel comfortable that they can help you make your movie for a budget that's smaller than THE AVENGERS. Writers don't always realize that what they write on the page directly translates to how much money it will cost and how long it will take to shoot. Things like locations, genre, number of scenes and number of characters can absolutely make or break whether your movie can get produced and whether you can get the partner you're looking for to sign on. It's important for writers to understand how producers think when reading scripts and how you can adjust your own script without sacrificing your voice or quality to make the project more achievable to actually put together. 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 demonstrate to you how to craft your ideal script to overcome the hurdles of budget and schedule and to attract the eye of producers. Shane will discuss how writers, producers, actors, and execs will read your script, the biggest red flags producers will look for when reading a script, and what aspects of a script will cost the most money in production particularly in regards to genre. He will also touch on how to strategically write for locations and how to maximize the space you have to help producers and how to know how long it will take to make your script and provide quality advice on how to adjust it to better fit your schedule. Shane will even offer a valuable case study where he will break down the pages of his own script and demonstrate how he would view it as a producer and where concerns and warning signs might be.     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.

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 Ultimate Guide to Casting Your Independent Project

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.         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.

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.  

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.  

OK, You Made Your Film, So Now What?

You've put in months, maybe years of effort planning, raising funds and shooting your film. You're incredibly proud of your efforts. Now all that remains is getting the film seen and returning some profits to your investors. But what's the best path? Should you enter festivals? Hire a sales agent? Go for theatrical distribution? Attempt to navigate the streaming and VOD platforms? In short, how do you know what's the best route for your film in 2017?   Deciding on how to monetize your project can be very complex. With so many options out there it’s sometimes hard to know what is important and what you can skip. This Stage 32 Next Level Webinar will be your one-stop crash course on how to navigate the marketplace! Your host Bradley Gallo, Chief Creative Officer at Amasia Entertainment (known for The Call, Fear, Inc., Mr. Right, Careful What You Wish For, and the award-winning indie The Road Within) will discuss what options are available for your project once it's complete and help you decide if VOD, theatrical, a festival circuit run or hybrid strategy is best for your film. After giving you the lowdown on options, Bradley will quickly discuss the benefits of each and provide you with a gameplan depending on the path you decide to pursue. Whether you’re selling the film yourself, looking for independent representatives to bring on board, or trying to get into a festival, it’s important to know the steps involved in selling a film, no matter your role in the filmmaking process. Indie films are getting produced and distributed every day! It’s time to learn how to take your film to the marketplace and show it to the world! Your host, Bradley has produced a wide variety of films independently, guided some through the festival markets and sold directly to distributors. He will share his knowledge and real-life experiences exclusively with the Stage 32 community! You will walk away with a sense of the marketplace of today including an overview of how to approach the festival circuit, who should/should not rep your film, how to deal with distributors, VOD vs theatrical and so much more!

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