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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State of the industry Why the majority of TV/Film comes from pre-existing IP "The Executive Bias" Pre-existing Fan Base/Fleshed Out World Adapting Books/Articles Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study: Game of Thrones, Sex and The City Case Study: The Wedding Sting in the Atlantic, now going to be a film at Paramount Adapting Comic Books / Video Games Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study (Comics): Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel/Disney, lesser known/less successful comic became a blockbuster) Case Study: Jessica Jones (Marvel / Netflix) Case Study (Video Games): Assassin's Creed (FOX, to be released this December) Making it your own Most say DO NOT adapt your own material (leads to being too protective of your work/not as open to change) Fun thing about IP, when you build a world, it can keep being adapted into other mediums (Example: Orphan Black the comic book was one of the best-selling comics last year, adapted from TV show. Goes in both directions) The heart of this, however, is making sure the new versions are different enough from the old, AND have your voice in them. LIVE Q&A with Maggie!
**One of Stage 32's most popular programs - Get one-on-one mentoring and guidance from an accomplished producer on getting your own project made!** In today’s film market independently producing a film is a great way to get your project made. There are thousands of independent films that are developed, made and distributed every year that started from a script. But how? Now, more than ever, the need for a major studio to get your project into production becomes less and less, while more control is put into your own hands. Whether you're a filmmaker, producer, writer or actor, you have the ability to produce and shepherd a film project if you know the right steps to take to get it done. In order to do this, though, you will need to get your project market-ready and make it attractive to co-producers, financiers, actors, directors, distributors and more. Looking professional when going out to the market with a film project is key and separates the professionals from the amateurs. Figuring out who and how to get your script into the right hands and get the ball rolling on a project can feel overwhelming, almost impossible for a newer creator. Knowing the right way to strategize, present, and partner with the perfect collaborators is key to success. A good producer is always in action, looking at ways to make her project the best it can be. As intimidating and bewildering as this might feel to creators, it’s absolutely within your reach. And, there are strategies you can learn to put you on the right track to turn your passion project into a reality, especially if you have guidance to help you get there. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and has produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, 9 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Aimee’s extensive experience has made her intimately familiar with how to successfully get a project off the ground and build a team to get a script made. In this advanced level and exclusive four-session lab (no more than 15 students will be admitted), Aimee will work directly with you in an intimate class setting to help you make your script marketable and put the pieces together to get the film ready to go. To do so Aimee will begin by working with you on your script and concept. She will help you understand what shape your script is currently in and how marketable your story is. Next she will help you strategize and give you the tools to find the partners you’ll need for your project, including other producers and executive producers, directors, writers, actors, and more. Then Aimee will work with you on your project’s pitch deck, including perfecting your logline and synopsis. Finally Aimee will guide you through forming your own specific plan of attack moving forward, including building the list of people to reach out to and getting your foot in the door with organizations. Aimee will even work with you on practicing your pitch, cold calls, and email messages. Expect to leave this lab with a better handle on the potential for your script, a working pitch deck, and a plan of attack to find your own team and get your film moving towards the finish line. Plus! Aimee will also provide you exclusive, confidential and helpful documents for you to download and use for your own projects including: Up-to-date list of in-demand writers and directors to reach out to Pitch Deck examples Free access to Variety Insight for one month ($200 value) Outreach email templates WHAT TO EXPECT (FOR THE SESSION BREAKDOWN, SEE BELOW) This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate creators looking to get their film project ready to pitch and put together. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***This lab is limited to 15 people*** You will be given exclusive and confidential handouts that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the lab ends. This lab will consist of four weekly sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. In addition to the lessons where Aimee teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with her directly about your specific project. 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 TV project development process. To see the full lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 15 people and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a veteran producer and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Harrison at email@example.com for more information Praise for Aimee's Stage 32 Producing Lab: I really loved Aimee’s lab. She’s such a delight and so full of useful information that pertains to everyone’s individual projects, and she's so encouraging! I highly recommend this class and/or working with Aimee in general. I came out with loads of actionable steps to take my project further. -Patricia S. Aimee was wonderful. She was so amazingly personable and unassuming and so willing to give of herself for our benefit. -Steven H. “I feel ready and inspired to set out on my own and make some great movies after listening to Aimee!” -Hannah W.
Inclusivity is not a checklist you run through to avoid a negative media attention or a lawsuit, though many productions may treat it this way. Inclusivity and accessibility are vital for creating more jobs and reaching the widest audience. This ultimately gives you the highest possible return on investment as the more people there are who can enjoy your film, the more money you stand to make. The longer you wait to consider inclusivity and accessibility in your production, the more it will cost and stress you out later. Do you know how to identify tax incentives so that your production is accessible? Or the legal requirements to make an inclusive film? How do you even begin to discuss these topics while being sensitive and constructive? Whether you want more creative storytelling, opportunities to better engage audiences, or are looking for new money sources, with this webinar, you'll immediately have everything you need to put the information into action in your project. Independent producer of Tuck and Roll Productions, Amanda Upson, guides you through how she does it all! Using her own experiences making the timely-themed project RENEGADES: KITTY O'REILLY for PBS's AMERICAN MASTERS, and the social justice documentary, A LONG MARCH, no one better understands diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity better than Amanda. She'll show you how to navigate this expanding aspect of filmmaking through her experiences as someone hard of hearing, as a producer, and as a lawyer admitted to the US Supreme Court bar, who advocates for others. She also includes exclusive resources that you can use for your productions: Budgeting considerations How to discuss disability and accessibility Resources for legal requirements This isn’t a list of helpful resources, but rather, an in-depth look at how to create fantastic opportunities by being an ally, and you’ll be amazed at how simple it can be. This shift in your mindset, guided by someone with first-hand knowledge, creates awareness that ripples through the creative process, from development to assembling a diverse cast and crew to your marketing strategy. "Amanda Upson is an exceptional producer. Increasingly, accessibility and inclusion are a necessary part of productions. Beyond her expertise as a producer, her knowledge and experience ensured that our production not only met the technical requirements for accessibility, which was important to our distributor, but also ensured that we created an inclusive space for a diverse cast and crew. Her understanding of these concepts helped us to provide more nuanced storytelling, and support long term success." Day Al-Mohamed, Series Creator/Writer/Director RENEGADES: KITTY O’NEIL
Not only are more and more film festivals accepting short films, but festivals dedicated to nothing but short films have become more popular than ever. Additionally, more managers, agents, and producers are looking to short films to find untapped talent and new ideas. So many successful filmmakers today, from Christopher Nolan to Damien Chazelle, have used short films as a calling card to showcase their skills and show the world that they were ready for the big time. But shooting a quality short film means raising some financing. And for many, this can be challenging. One thing that many creatives avoid when putting together a short film is everything that goes into the business end. From determining and compiling a true and realistic budget, to being able to tell your creative and financial story within a pitch deck, to thinking about a distribution strategy and recoupment plan well before shooting, there is so much to think about toward getting investors in your corner beyond the creative. Allow us to help you by showing you everything you need to know so that you can attract investors looking to get behind you, your unique vision and your work. ABOUT YOUR STAGE 32 EDUCATOR JT Molner knows a thing or two about raising funds for shorts and feature films. Although JT is a writer and director, he's been deep in the trenches in raising funds for his projects leaving no stoned unturned and nothing to chance. After raising financing for many successful shorts which caught the eyes of producers and talent, JT rolled up his sleeves and helped his producers raise financing for his first feature film, Outlaws and Angels, which was originally shot as a short film as proof of concept. The feature became an Official Selection at Sundance and was sold to Orion Films. He will teach you everything he's learned from his decade of raising financing for his short films and other projects. And, as an added Bonus you'll receive a pitch deck from JT's film OUTLAWS AND ANGELS which started as a short film proof of concept, and went on to be made as a feature, being selected as an Official Selection at Sundance and selling to Orion films! Holy clarity! I've made so many mistakes along the way. Every short film has seemed like a struggle not worth reliving and now I understand why. These wounds were self inflicted. Thank you, JT, for not only (kindly) setting things straight, but for opening my eyes. I can't wait to get started on my next project. - Manford C.
Creating a movie is more than just a labor of love: it's also an investment of time and money. But while countless hours are spent raising money, putting the project together, setting up shots, and editing footage, many producers and filmmakers spend too little time or have little understanding of how to take care of the legal aspects of their productions. As a result, producers and filmmakers often learn the difficult lesson that no matter how good their films may be, a distributor can't sell a movie unless all of the necessary rights and permissions have been secured. In fact, without the correct agreements in place, filmmakers may be surprised to find out that they may not even own their own films! Thomas A. Crowell, Esq. counsels clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues, including clients who have had deals with TLC, Elsevier Publishing, Starz, Discovery Communications, Focal Press, the Smithsonian Network, WE: The Women's Entertainment Network, The Science Technology Network, IDW Publishing, and Sony Entertainment. His clients' work is seen in the pages of Marvel and DC comics and on movie, TV, computer, and mobile screens across the world. A former television producer and director of development for STN, Thomas has spent the better part of the last two decades creating ways to make difficult legal concepts accessible to creatives. Thomas will outline how to spot the top 10 major legal problems that filmmakers and producers face. He'll go through aspects of copyright law and a deep dive of a filmmaker's ownership of the film to make sure you keep your rights. He'll go over critical deal points for option and purchase agreements and talk about fundraising "sand traps" and how to avoid them. Finally Thomas will teach you tips and tricks for negotiating with agents. Whether you have a finished film, a script, or the beginnings of an idea for a television program, you will leave this webinar with a set of tools you can use to tackle legal problems that may come your way. "One of the best webinars yet! All are informative and I have learned from each, but this one topped the charts. Calmly and clearly explained every pitfall I fear. Definitely want him back. Thanks!" - J. Rose
Get the lowdown on how to save your film even in the worst case scenario with a veteran producer with over 35 films under her belt. Comes with example Letters of Intent Try as hard as you might, even when you dot every ‘i‘ and cross every ‘t’, the production of your film is never going to go perfectly. Things invariably come up or go wrong that are outside your control. Ask any producer—it is a certainty. As a result, it’s not the mark of a good producer to prevent unexpected problems from coming up, but instead to be able to address these issues when they do inevitably arise. You’ll never know what might come up during the course of your film’s production, but two of the biggest and scariest issues are when your money or your talent fall through. Even with everything else set to go, a full team intact, your locations booked, and your equipment prepped, if you lose either of these two crucial elements, it can bring your entire film to a grinding halt. Losing your film’s money or top-level talent just before production begins is a more common issue than you might think, and while it’s certainly a difficult situation to navigate, it doesn’t need to derail your project. There are strategies you can use as a producer to soften the blow, move forward, and bring the money or actors back on board. It comes down to attitude, knowing your options, always having contingency plans, and being smart and measured in how you communicate with financiers, agents, and actors. So how do experienced producers deal with losing these elements last minute? How can they convince financiers to stay on board? How do they renegotiate with actors without going over-budget? And how do they know when to re-approach and when it’s time to part ways? Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and a veteran film producer with 35 features under her belt. Of those 35, 9 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Through her career, Aimee has had to navigate losing money and losing talent many times and has developed valuable strategies she will share with the Stage 32 community that has kept her projects moving and allowed them to find success. Aimee will walk you through what exactly you should do for your film if either your funding or your talent fall through during the course of pre-production or production. She’ll lay out the first steps you should always take when you first find out you’re about to lose either of these elements. She’ll then spend time discussing financing specifically and strategies you should employ. She’ll talk about how to figure out what really went wrong and how to renegotiate with the financier, including how to offer points or credits. Aimee will also talk about how you can move forward anyway by paring down expenses and altering your schedule. She’ll also tell you how to reapproach investors or partners that said no in the past. Aimee will also spend time discussing strategies specifically for losing talent. She’ll tell you how to gauge if the talent can be recovered, and offer actor-specific tips on how to renegotiate. She’ll talk about communication tips for both actors and their reps and advise you on when it’s worth it to reschedule your shoot. She’ll also go through how to find new acting choices and use leverage to get a last minute replacement. Finally, Aimee will show you how you can best recover when things fall through and how to move forward with your plan B without sacrificing the quality of your film. Along the way, Aimee will share personal stories of her own past and even show you specific emails and language she used to renegotiate or find new funding or actors. You’ll never be able to fully prepare for problems that come up last second, but Aimee will give you the tools and confidence you can use to navigate these problems and keep your project afloat. Praise for Aimee’s Previous Stage 32 Webinars "I've taken many Stage 32 webinars and they've all been wonderful, but Aimee's had me ready to run through a wall! So much thoughtful and intelligent information!" - Debra S. "This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you!" -Brian D. "Grounded and Practical" -Jennifer S. “Aimee was able to take these big ideas and make them feel totally accessible and easy to understand. I really enjoyed hearing from her” -Howard F.