Given the remarkable advances in technology and accessibility of resources, it has never been easier to make a film. In this DIY, control your own material world, legions of filmmakers are turning to short films to have their voices heard. Further, with more and more film festivals adding short programs into their lineups and with so many filmmakers shooting short films as proof of concept to showcase their talents, short films are finally getting the attention they deserve.
We hear all the time from many of the 300+ executives we work with here at Stage 32 that short films have become a huge part of their recruitment model when searching for new talent or ideas which can be stretched to feature length. Take for example last year’s Oscar sensation WHIPLASH, written & directed by Damien Chazelle, which started as a short film and was then developed into a feature with the help of production company Bold Films. Or, consider SUNDAYS, which attracted manager Jairo Alvarado of Circle of Confusion and gave a first time writer & director, Mischa Rozema from Amsterdam, a calling card to a 7-figure deal at Warner Bros.
Over the last year, we’ve polled thousands of filmmakers who are members of the Stage 32 community and asked them what they most need to move the needle on their careers. Of course, the first answer was money! But the second answer was access/exposure/distribution. This, we can help with.
(To read more click the RULES and PRIZES tab at the top)
From now until August 12, the Stage 32 Short Film Contest will be accepting short film submissions which will be judged by industry talent. Films reaching the final round will be judged by industry executives (list below) who have all been involved in either signing filmmakers off a short or shepherding a short film into a feature. But wait, it gets better.
The top 8-10 films will be screened in a special Stage 32 theatrical Shorts Program Showcase at the 23rd Annual Raindance Film Festival in London this September 2015! The films will also be showcased in a special global online screening exclusively on Stage32.com (at the filmmaker's discretion). We will be inviting all of the executives (managers, agents, producers, directors of development, etc) we work with to view the films during this special global online premiere (the executives will also have private access to watch the films as many times as they like) and will facilitate meetings between interested parties and the filmmakers. How’s that for access and exposure?
Oh, and we'll be flying the Grand Prize winning director to London to be at the theatrical premiere of his or her film.
(To read more about the judges, click the JUDGES tab at the top)
Stephanie Wilcox (VP of Development at Rumble Films) has co-produced the Oscar and Sundance winner WHIPLASH, written and directed by Damien Chazelle. Stephanie was part of the team that took WHIPLASH from a short film and developed it into a feature, which was released by Sony Pictures Classics, winning multiple awards.
Andrew Beck (Production and Development Executive, The Weinstein Company) is a production and development executive at The Weinstein Company. Prior to TWC, he was an analyst in HBO’s Original Programming- Strategy, Planning & Operations department and a researcher at Columbia University’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. Beck is a graduate of NYU and Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts
Jennifer Breslow (VP Scripted Series at Lifetime), Jennifer was instrumental to finding short film SEQUIN RAZE at SXSW 2013 and later shepherding and developing it into the series UnREAL currently airing on Lifetime.
The Stage 32 Short Film Contest gives you the opportunity to show your chops and shine by providing access to some of the top executives in the business and exposure to film festival and worldwide online crowds. We wish all who enter the best of luck!
To find out more, click the RULES, JUDGES, PRIZES and WINNERS tabs above.
August 27: Finalists announced
September 11: Winners announced
Theatrical Screening at Special Stage 32 Shorts Program: The top 5-10 Short Films (depending on the time limits of the festival program) will be screened to a theatrical audience at the 23rd Annual Raindance Film Festival in London, England (takes place September 23, 2015 - October 4, 2015).
Special Global Online Screening: The top 10 Short Films will be screened online to a worldwide audience on Stage 32 in a special global event! (This is at the filmmaker's discretion.)
Exposure to over 300 Stage 32 Executives: The top 10 Short Films will be placed in a special private section on Stage 32 and sent to over 300 Stage 32 executives who will be able to view the films. Our executives will also receive information about the filmmakers and each project.
Grand Prize Winning Director: The grand prize winning Director will be flown to London, England for the Raindance Film Festival and Stage 32 will host a Q&A with the Director after the film. In addition, we will feature a Q&A with the Director and some of the filmmakers after the online screening on Stage 32.
ANDREW BECK is a production and development executive at The Weinstein Company. Prior to TWC, he was an analyst in HBO’s Original Programming- Strategy, Planning & Operations department and a researcher at Columbia University’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. Beck is a graduate of NYU and Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts
Jairo Alvarado is a Literary Manager at Circle of a Confusion, a leading management and production company with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Circle and their clients have worked on some of the biggest releases in film, television and online including Oscar-winners and Nominees THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE OF EBBING, MISSOURI, THE FLORIDA PROJECT, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, THE MATRIX, COCO, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, MUDBOUND, and ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY; as well as commercial hits including BLACK PANTHER, "The Walking Dead", THE BOOK OF ELI, "Alias Grace", THE SHALLOWS, "Sense8", V FOR VENDETTA, JOHN WICK, "Outcast", and THE CONJURING.
Jairo Alvarado's eye to develop high concepts and genre work is what led him to Circle of Confusion. As a manager, Jairo is responsible for discovering Amsterdam-based filmmaker Mischa Rozema and developing his short film Sundays which sparked a multi-studio bidding war and was eventually acquired by Warner Bros. for a 7-figure development deal.
Prior to joining Circle of Confusion, Jairo built a reputation for finding up and coming talent working as a Manager at 3 Arts Entertainment and as a Creative Executive at Warner Bros., where in 2009 he was credited for spotting Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez and his short Panic Attack! Alvarez would go on to direct EVIL DEAD and DON'T BREATHE.
Jairo Specializes in Big Action Features and High-Concept Horror/Suspense in the vein of THE OTHERS or LIGHTS OUT.
Company and client credits include:
Within 15 minutes of your scheduled pitch, the exec will reach out by Skype or Phone. Your pitch session will last approximately 8 minutes.
Written Pitches will be no more than 2 pages submitted as a PDF or WORD document. Any written pitch uploaded past the deadline will not be shown to the executive and will result in a non-refundable forfeiture of your pitch.
Within 3-4 weeks of your pitch session, you will receive a Pitch Scorecard on which the exec you pitched will provide pitch feedback and note if they are PASSing, or would like to REQUEST your material.
Stephanie joined RUMBLE FILMS as the VP of Development and Production in July 2014. Previously, she was the Director of Development at Bold Films. During her six-year stint at Bold, she served as an executive on Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. In addition, she co-produced the Oscar and Sundance winner Whiplash, written and directed by Damien Chazelle. Stephanie was part of the team that took Whiplash from a short film and developed it into a feature which was released by Sony Pictures Classics, winning multiple awards.
She also co-produced the ABC limited series Black Box, created by Amy Holden Jones and starring Kelly Reilly. As an associate producer, she worked on Nightcrawler written and directed by Dan Gilroy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, released by Open Road; Lost River, written and directed by Ryan Gosling, was released by Warner Brothers; and No Escape, starring Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, and Pierce Brosnan, being released by the Weinstein Company. Stephanie hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, which is where cut her creative teeth, producing and directing theatre. She holds a BA in Dramatic Art from UC Davis.
Projects Stephanie has been involved with:
Jennifer Breslow was named Vice President of Scripted Series at Lifetime Networks in June 2011. In this role she is responsible for overseeing the development and production of pilots and series programs for the network. Jennifer was instrumental to finding short film SEQUIN RAZE at SXSW 2013 and later sheperding and developing it into the series UnREAL currently airing on Lifetime.
Prior to joining Lifetime, Breslow was Vice President of Drama Development and Current Programming at ABC, where she worked closely with show producers, writers and cast to steer the creative direction of some of the networks top shows including Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Before then she served as Vice President of Drama Development at the CW. While there she was responsible for the creation of cult favorites The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and 90210.
It was at Kevin Williamson’s Outerbanks Entertainment where Breslow climbed the ranks of the executive ladder, starting as an Executive Assistant before being promoted to Creative Executive and subsequently to Vice President.Her career isn’t limited to the small screen however, as she’s also produced features including Wes Craven’s “Cursed” and Jim Gillespie’s “Venom”.She began her career working as a production assistant on Michael Jacob’s much beloved series “Boy Meets World”.
Breslow graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arizona, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts.
Amanda is a producer, filmmaker & writer based in Brooklyn. She currently works as a writer for transmedia production company Full Fathom Five, lead by James Frey which is responsible for the YA series The Lorien Legacies in which the first book I Am Number Four was made into a feature film by DreamWorks Studios. She previously worked in development and production, helping to found production company Animal Kingdom. There, she co-produced Destin Daniel Cretton’s SHORT TERM 12. SHORT TERM 12 started as a critically acclaimed short film in which Animal Kingdom helped develop into a feature indie darling, winning over 37 awards including the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at SXSW and was released by Cinedigm in 2013. She was also an incremental in seeing films like David Robert Mitchell's IT FOLLOWS, Justin Tipping's KICKS, and Joachim Trier's LOUDER THAN BOMBS move into production - and optioned David Carr’s THE NIGHT OF THE GUN. Amanda has also worked with Luca Guadagnino (I AM LOVE) on his short film “Here” for Starwood hotels. Prior to working at Animal Kingdom, Amanda was Director of Development at Locomotive, where she worked closely on Jennifer Westfeldt’s FRIENDS WITH KIDS starring Jon Hamm, Adam Scott, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph..
In his seventh year working in representation, Nate Matteson manages the careers of some of the most exciting emerging filmmakers and television creators at The Gotham Group, one of the top management and production firms in Los Angeles. Named by Variety Magazine as one of their “Hollywood’s New Leaders” in 2010, he has found his calling discovering and cultivating young talent in a selection of storytelling mediums. Matteson specializes in transitioning and supporting filmmakers from the independent, documentary, and short film worlds. Some of the short filmmakers Nate has helped transition into features include:
In addition, Matteson recently wrapped production on his first feature as a producer, STEPHANIE, with Academy Award winner Akiva Goldsman directing, Frank Grillo starring and Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, Insidious) attached to co-produce. Last year alone Matteson has sold projects to Paramount, Lionsgate, Disney, Netflix, Sony TV, Europacorp, FOX TV Studios, ABC Family, Relativity, CW, and Cartoon Network. After getting his professional start working for renowned television director David Nutter and creator Josh Friedman, Matteson cut his teeth in representation as an agent-trainee at Paradigm. He is a graduate of the University Of Wisconsin.
Elliot Grove founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007.
He has produced over 150 short films, and 5 feature films. His first feature film, TABLE 5 was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of £278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe. Japan and America.
He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008), RAINDANCE PRODUCERS LAB (Focal Press 2004) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009).
Open University awarded Elliot and Honourary Doctorate for services to film education in 2009.
Scott Stoops is a manager at Good Fear Film + Management.
Scott recently sold a pilot to CBS and was instrumental in signing the comic book publisher Aspen Comics. Scott reps emerging writers and filmmakers whose films have played in festivals across the world. Scott has sold projects in both television and features and is always looking fresh writers, directors and filmmakers with strong voices to develop.
Good Fear's clients include Jennifer Weiner (In Her Shoes), Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures), Billy Brown (How to Get Away With Murder), Eddie Jemison (Oceans 11, Hung), Matt Gerald (Netflix’s Daredevil), Adam Busch (Colony), Tiffany Dupont (Murder in the First), Jordan Ross (Cruel Intentions), Ashleigh Powell (The Nutcracker and the Four Realms), Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen), Evan Daugherty (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Tripper Clancy (Stuber), Joe Greenberg (Man Alive) and Barnett Brettler (Monolith).
Company client credits include:
Company and client credits include:
Tips for pitching to Scott: