David Landau has over thirty years of professional lighting experience working on feature films, TV shows, sit-coms, game shows, commercials, documentaries, industrial films, music videos and direct-to-consumer DVDs. For the past 12 years Landau has been teaching lighting and cinematography at Fairleigh Dickinson University, US, where he also created the Cinematography track of study, but continues to work in the lighting industry, shooting low budget features, festival shorts and corporate videos, designing lights for theatre and working summers as one of the gaffers on the TV series Project Runway. A five-time Telly Award winner for lighting and cinematography, Landau is a member of IATSE Local 52, the University Film & Video Association and Media Communications Association International. He is also the author of the new book Lighting for Cinematography: A Practical Guide To The Art And Craft Of Lighting For The Moving Image from Bloomsbury Press, which has gained a five star rating on Amazon. Full Bio »
The story could be the greatest in the world, but if the lighting is poor viewers will assume it’s amateurish and not take it seriously. Good lighting makes things look real, while real lighting often makes things look fake. Good lighting supports the emotional moment of the scene, contributes to the atmosphere of the story and can augment an artistic style. So, no matter how good a script, how good a director, how good the actors – the lighting needs to be as good if not better.
The fact is, we can’t usually make good pictures without good lighting, no matter how good the newest cameras are. Yes, we can sometimes get lucky. But while shooting under available light gives exposure, it often lacks depth, contrast, contour, atmosphere and often separation. Well-crafted lighting helps establish the illusion of reality that is necessary for the viewer to forget they are watching a screen and get lost in the story.
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host David Landau will go over the ten things all filmmakers need to know about lighting, sharing some of the techniques to artistic and effective lighting that he has learned both from working with a wide range of cinematographers and through his own career as a Lighting Director and Director of Photography. David will demonstrate live from the Fairleigh Dickinson University sound stage lighting techniques that will make your images shine like a Hollywood feature without a big Hollywood budget.
David Landau has over thirty years of professional lighting experience working on feature films, TV shows, sit-coms, game shows, commercials, documentaries, industrial films, music videos and direct-to-consumer DVDs. David worked as one of the gaffers on the TV series Project Runway and is a five-time Telly Award winner for lighting and cinematography. He is a member of IATSE Local 52 (gaffer) and the University Film & Video Association and Media Communications Association International. He also is the author of the new book Lighting for Cinematography: A Practical Guide To The Art And Craft Of Lighting For The Moving Image from Bloomsbury Press.
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We’ve brought in the CEO of Bondit Media Captial, Matthew Helderman, one of the leaders in film financing today with over 200 financed films over the last several years. Matthew will be sharing the basics of film finance all the way through high level packaging tips, plus going over case studies on projects he’s financed and best practices to learn. As today’s film financing structures continue to be a labyrinth-like maze of confusion for most producers, this webinar will help break down that barrier through understanding how best to put a film together you can avoid pitfalls that plague the financing process.
In this world of DIY filmmaking, it has become easier than ever to just pick up a camera and start making your project. You don’t always need much money, a big crew, corporate backing, or other resources; you can just get up and go. But this certainly doesn’t mean your project is automatically going to look good. Even on a budget, even as a guerrilla filmmaker, it’s critical to have the tools you need to make something look professional and of high quality. You don’t necessarily need the top-of-the-line camera and all of the expensive specialty equipment found on a massive set, but there are things you’re always going to need with you, a kit that will have you covered in any situation. The challenge is determining what exactly this kit should look like. If you’re a DP, director, or a one-person-band doing all of the jobs at once, preparation is key. But if you go to any camera or equipment store or website you’ll notice just how many options there are. Tools for every occasion. Every type of lens. Every type of stand. Every type of light. Every type of microphone. It can be overwhelming to even look at. How can you distill all of these options into exactly what you need, a collection of tools that you can get on a budget and pack into one bag? Is that even possible? Your instructor Barry Andersson knows that it is. There are just some important things you need to know first. Barry Andersson is an award-winning director and cinematographer. He has directed 5 feature films, many of which were released in theaters—his most recent film is being distributed by Lionsgate. Barry’s career as a cinematographer includes several television pilots, acclaimed short films, numerous commercials, and countless commercials and corporate videos. Barry is also the author of the DSLR Filmmakers Handbook. Through his extensive experience, Barry has figured out the best and most cost effective equipment you need to make great content. Barry will share with you his time-tested soup-to-nuts equipment list and will show you, piece by piece on camera, what he uses and why. He’ll begin by walking you through the strategy of putting together your own kit and aspects you need to keep in mind when assembling the perfect collection of equipment. He’ll discuss the types of lenses to carry with you and what to get even if you don’t know anything about lenses. He’ll also delve into choosing the right case and strategies to efficiently pack everything you need. For filmmakers on the go, Barry will share how he packs everything he needs for travel without spending extra on baggage fees. Barry will share exactly what gear is essential for every type of project, including standard filming, talking heads, and B-roll. He will next discuss audio and the types of microphones, stands, poles, and extras you need to effectively capture audio on the go. Barry will walk you through the life-saving essentials he takes with him wherever he goes—seemingly miscellaneous items that no one ever says you should have. He’ll also tell you what things you don’t really need, even if people say you do. Barry will give you a resource list of 11 must-have items for your equipment kit and where you can find the best deal to purchase them. Praise for Barry’s Webinar: “Great insight. Very practical and actionable advice.” -Martin R. “This was so straightforward and practical. No theory, no filler, just exactly what I needed to know. Thank you” -Harold B. “Barry’s advice was so helpful. I feel a lot less overwhelmed about buying new equipment now” -Sandy C. “I NEVER find webinars that are this straightforward and useful. This was such a gem.” -Roger F.
You have an idea for a screenplay. Something burning inside of you to get on the page. Or perhaps you have a screenplay (or 20) sitting in your desk draw in need of a home. Of course you know to make sure that material is primed, ready, and locked and loaded to give yourself the best chance of being read from FADE IN to FADE OUT. But you also need to make sure it's market ready. And further still, you'll want to identify where the best home is for this material and how to pitch them in a manner in which gives you the best shot to be optioned or sold. Most writers understand that taking your idea from a good concept to an excellent screenplay takes many rewrites and much polishing. In today's ultra-competitive landscape, it's more important than ever to fully flesh out your characters, locales, and plot. But thinking about the business side of things as it relates to your screenplay - understanding budget constraints, for example - is something that can give you power in a room. But first you need to get in that room. And to do that, you need to identify the proper (and realistic) homes for your material and understand what they are looking for. Further, you'll need to craft an effective pitch which may just change from one production company (or producer, financier or rep) to another. Rachel Crouch is the Director of Development for Cold Iron Pictures, Miranda Bailey's financing and production company. She's worked on films such as Sundance's Swiss Army Man starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, the Independent Spirt Award-winning The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Don't Think Twice starring Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs, Norma staring Richard Gere and Steve Buscemi and many more. Prior to Cold Iron Pictures she worked as a producer's assistant raising film financing and helping bring films into production. Rachel will take her experience on over a dozen films and give you a behind-the-scenes look at what production companies look for when considering material. Rachel will teach you how to develop your idea from a good concept to a strong story that will grab the attention of financiers and production companies. She'll help you break down your story to figure out your project's main audience and lead you through the tropes you'll want to exploit in order to leave that audience satisfied. You'll find out how to determine your story's budget range and see how letting go of those HBO dreams might help you find a better home for your project. She'll teach you how to hone your pitch including information you must include when pitching production companies. She'll even discuss rejection and finding the power within so that your next pitch is even better and more productive than the last. In short, Rachel will put you in a position to get the read, get in the room, and get the sale or job! PRAISE FOR RACHEL'S TEACHINGS: "I appreciate Rachel's openness and willingness to share her knowledge and experience with us." - Susan S. "Very practical advice that I can apply right away." - Brian G. "I thought it was very professional and informative." - Chris R.
It seems like every day another film festival launches or expands. Specialty festivals are becoming all the rage and major, established festivals have been expanding to accept shorts, digital shorts, documentaries, television pilots, specialty genre content and content focused on diversity. With the market growing, so are the number of submissions to any given festival, especially those which are producing results for the connections of the accepted films. You want to make sure your screenplay is on point, that the story is a fit for the style of the festival you are entering and that the film grabs a judge's attention from the get go. Part of assuring you have a festival darling film is understanding the festival landscape, knowing the right players and making connections that assure your film is being viewed by the decision makers. But this all starts, as it always does, with the script. A majority of screenwriters do not write big budget tentpole blockbusters. They tell more intimate, character driven stories. And these are the kind of stories that most festivals adore. But why do some of these scripts attract financing, producers, and, ultimately, the attention of festival directors while others fall through the cracks? As a writer and/or producer, how can you identify the aspects of your screenplay that might be killing your chances of festival success and fix them before filming begins? And how can filmmakers and producers assure, even if they have a winning film based on a fantastic script in place, that they are entering the right festivals and navigating the circuit correctly? There is a chemistry to all of it. A mixture of the creative and the business side of things. It's imperative that you have an understanding of both. Maren Olson has represented domestic and/or worldwide distribution rights to over 70 finished films, including Academy Award winner The Secret in Their Eyes, festival favorites such as An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Natural Selection and Red Flag, and Sundance Audience Award winners This is Martin Bonner, Valley of Saints and Kinyarwanda. As a producer, she was responsible for critically lauded Short Term 12, which premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. The film went on to win 19 other awards including the Gotham Award for Best Actress and Independent Spirit Award for Best Editing. Maren currently works in the film finance division of CAA, and was formerly the President of Traction Media, where she was responsible for the creative development, packaging, production, financing and sale of independent films. To say she understands all the ins and outs of the festival circuit, what festivals look for and how they operate would be a massive understatement. Maren will teach you what kind of independent film project goes on to become a “Festival Darling” and what you can do to better position your independent film for festival success, from script to screen. She will deconstruct both the writing stage- from the major components of a festival-friendly story idea, to what to consider regarding location and characters, all the way to how to incorporate thinking about the budget when writing your script- as well as the production stage – from how to make sure your film gets properly considered by the right people, to which festivals you should submit to and when, all the way to the common ways festival friendly scripts turn into a film that no festival wants to play. She will teach you the 3 components of a festival-friendly story idea and why you must answer yes to each. She will talk budget, shooting locations and when the proper time is to bring on a producer. She will explain the mistakes people make and demystify the myths people believe when navigating the festival circuit. She will go over common pitfalls screenwriters, filmmakers and producers make that can be fatal when submitting to festivals. Maren will give you the tools to get traction on your project. She will lay out, in clear, precise terms, how to assure your project is given the best opportunity to become a "Festival Darling." PRAISE FOR MAREN'S TEACHINGS: "Excellent - informative. Maren brought facts and experience to a very nuanced subject about "Film Festival Darlings - offering an extremely in-depth analysis to the elements of what a writer or producer should consider when moving forward in the Indie film world. My fav Stage 32 webinar so far. Thanks." - Robert G. "Fantastic seminar. Like a good filmmaker, you kept us engaged from opening to close. Thanks again!" - Bob B. "Maren had a lot of practical information and road trap warning for indies. I appreciated the components of a festival face, comps, and specific advice that is useful." - Betty S.
Mentoring in a virtual class setting with Tiffany Boyle, President of Packaging at Ramo Law PC - exclusively through Stage 32! Learn how to attach producers, actors, directors and financing to your project, and get access to exclusive handouts including sample pitch decks, one-sheets and email templates. The art of packaging—and it is an art—requires juggling many elements at the same time, but it usually comes down to three major factors—attaching a producer or production company, attaching talent (actors and director), and attaching financing. Each is its own unique process, yet at the same time, all are invariably tied to one another—your success with one will usually aid your success with the others. Beyond these three elements, understanding how to pitch your project is vital. No matter how many producers, talent, and other attachable elements you approach, none of it will come to fruition if you don’t have a good pitch and the right materials to send. So how do successfully producer or filmmaker package their project? How can you navigate politics, relationships, and the industry as a whole to secure the elements you need for success? We have you covered. Since joining Ramo Law in 2009, Tiffany Boyle has leveraged her business-oriented sales and packaging skills to bring hundreds of films and documentaries to fruition. Since 2018 alone, Tiffany has optimized clients’ financial and business positions on more than 35 films and documentaries. Through her critical review of content and strategic use of Ramo Law resources, Tiffany creates successful content packaging that bridges the needs of both client and industry demands. In addition to all these skills, Tiffany also served as a co-executive producer and brought in financing for films like SOMETHING ELSE (Tribeca 2019) and ARKANSAS starring Liam Hemsworth and Vince Vaughn. She led the sales and packaging for TRAGEDY GIRLS (SXSW 2017) and FREAKS (Toronto IFF 2018), she brought foreign financing to ASHES IN THE SNOW (Los Angeles FF 2018) starring Bel Powley, and she sold an autobiography to Hulu for development into a limited television series. Tiffany has seen it all when it comes to film and TV packaging and understands what filmmakers need to do to find success with this tricky process. In this advanced level and intensive 4-session class, Tiffany will break down the best practices and the steps you should take in securing attachments in order to give your project a strong, marketable package. In her first session she will focus on the initial step you should take of attaching a producer/production company to help shepherd your project forward. Next Tiffany will walk you through how to get both significant actors and directors to pay attention and get attached to your project. In her third session she will delve into financing and teach you everything you need before you approach financiers, the different types of financing there are, and who to approach to secure funding. Finally, Tiffany will walk you how to present your project by explaining what you should pitch, how you should pitch it, and, when you get that bite of interest, what materials you should send next. Along the way, Tiffany will provide exclusive and valuable handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including: Sample Pitch Deck One Sheets Sample Outreach Email Templates for Agents, Financiers and Others
Learn how you can have great success at international film markets all around the world from international film producer Olga Lesnova, who was a co-producer on Jon Favreau's CHEF as well as a producer on numerous international co-productions! PLUS! You'll receive an exclusive guide on film markets that you can use at your next film market If you work in the film industry, whether making independent films or projects for studios or streamers, attending film markets around the world is a must. Film markets are cultural events that focus on the sale and promotion of all types of films. Film markets can be local, national, or international and can be critical when it comes to selling your film, building relationships with distributors and producers, and making connections for your next project. However, while film markets can be an invaluable resource for people across the industry, there are numerous misconceptions about how film markets really work and how you, as a filmmaker, can get the most value out of your experience. Critical decisions like how you should schedule your time at a film market, if you should attend a market if you don’t have a film to sell at that moment and to properly approach distributors, producers, and other industry professionals with a business proposition have to be carefully considered. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you will learn everything you need to know about international film markets and how to approach them so you can best plan your film market strategy and achieve your goals. You will not only learn what specific film markets specialize in, but how you can effectively network, sell your film, and make long-term relationships with industry leaders you can work with on your future projects. Guiding you through an extensive overview and strategic approach to film markets is international film producer Olga Lesnova. Olga was a producer on the film CHEF, directed by and starring Jon Favreau, and has worked on a number of international co-productions. Olga has extensive experience in this space and has had success selling films and working with distributors at multiple film markets around the world. Each film market is a little different from the next and should be approached with a unique strategy. It is important you not only know which markets are out there, but also what differentiates them so you can properly prepare to maximize your exposure and results. PLUS! Olga will provide you with an exclusive handout to help you navigate national and international film markets. Downloads include: Film Markets Guide - How Major Markets Work Whether you are currently selling a finished film, seeking financing for your next film or looking to create long term working relationships with producers and distributors by properly utilizing film markets, this webinar is a must!