Jon Hersh is the Manager at Housefire Management, a boutique literary management company based in Los Angeles that represents writers and directors in film, television, and digital content. Housefire specializes in deep development, strong client relationships, and incendiary material that stands out like a house on fire. Jon's client list includes writers and writer/directors for film and TV including emerging writers Hayley Easton-Street, whose project THIS IS AFRICA is in development with Eclipse Films (FINDING YOUR FEET, URBAN HYMN); Casey Giltner, whose project FELIX is in development at Conquistador Entertainment (CAKE, RESCUE DAWN); and Marc Bloom, whose title RUNT is in development at the Traveling Picture Show Company (JOSIE, A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES). Jon is also working with a writer he discovered in a pitch session and is setting up his TV series with a major production company he's excited to announce soon! After graduating from USC's School of Cinematic Arts, Jon Hersh went on to become a full-time story analyst at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). During his tenure there, he evaluated thousands of screenplays, pilots, and books, and gave detailed story notes to high-level clients of the agency. After four years at CAA, Jon moved on to the fledgling mini-studio Broad Green Pictures (THE LOST CITY OF Z, JUST GETTING STARTED) where he helped found a new and innovative Story Department and had a hand in developing a slate of quality projects for the company. Full Bio »
Literary Manager Jon Hersh has read thousands – yes, thousands – of screenplays in his career. Starting at CAA he was a story analyst covering screenplays, manuscripts books and television pilots, which helped him get a crash course on effective structure for a project. He moved on to be a development executive at Broad Green Pictures and helped develop feature material for their slate.
Being around so much material Jon learned one thing – you MUST have solid screenplay structure to get past development and get your project greenlit. In this exclusive webinar Jon is going to show examples and break down beat by beat what needs to be in your outline, plus go in detail on the 13 steps you need to follow to nail your screenplay structure.
Step 1: Outline
Step 2: Cold Open
Step 3: Set-Up
Step 4: Catalyst
Step 5: Debate
Step 6: Act II Plunge
Step 7: Trailer Moments
Step 8: Midpoint
Step 9: Challenges
Step 10: Rock Bottom
Step 11: Act III Lightbulb
Step 12: Climax
Step 13: Epilogue
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-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 webinar.
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 webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer
Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.
Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
Learn directly from Conrad Sun, TV Lit Manager and Development Executive at Meridian Artists who represents TV writers in all genres for shows such as Blindspot, Two Broke Girls and Bojack Horseman. Conrad has also worked with Epix, Hasbro Studios, Gran Via Productions (Breaking Bad), New Wave Entertainment and Motion Theory Films! After months of development, research and writing, you’ve finally developed your TV series and maybe even written your pilot. You’ve practiced your pitch and are ready to present your show to the world. Now what? Do you call production companies? Hit up a studio? Perhaps reach out to a network? Do you need to attach a showrunner or an actor? How do you approach the next steps of trying to sell your show? Stage 32 Next Level Webinars is thrilled to bring back Conrad Sun to teach you exactly how to sell your TV series! Knowing how to pitch is only half the battle – in this webinar Conrad will explore exactly how the TV space works for both broadcast and cable networks. You will learn who all of the important players are, such as agents, producers, writers and executives, so you can know who to target and how to approach them. Lastly, Conrad will examine previous shows in order to gain an understanding of what it takes to create a successful TV series in the current marketplace, allowing you to make sure you're setting yourself up for success. Conrad currently represents writers on NBC’s Blindspot, CBS’ Two Broke Girls and Netflix’s Bojack Horseman and will ensure you leave this webinar knowing exactly what it takes to sell your TV series!
“What’s your story about?” Having a perfect logline ready to answer that question can help give you the best chance of seizing the opportunity when you are asked. Your logline is your most important asset. It's invaluable for keeping you focused on what makes your story unique and for always making sure that you nail the first impression when someone asks you about your work. Having the perfect elevator pitch ready to go can make or break you when the opportunity presents itself. But, why do so many creatives struggle with coming up with that one-sentence? How do you get better at honing your logline? Stage 32 is here to help you. We have brought in Emmy-award winning producer Lane Shefter Bishop who has sold 30 PROPERTIES in the last 5 years - all from pitching just a logline. Plus, she is the author of the book Sell your Story in a Single Sentence; Advice from the Front Lines of Hollywood Touted as “The Logline Whisperer” Lane Shefter Bishop has the specific tools you need to help you know how to sell what you write! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Lane will give you insider information on how you can best position your project to sell your work to agents, editors, publishers and producers. Lane has successfully sold projects to various networks and studios, including NBC/Universal, ABC/Disney, CBS, Lifetime, Sony and 20th Century Fox. All of these projects have one thing in common – they began with a single sentence, a top-notch logline. After all, you can have the best material in the world but, if you get on the phone or in a room, you need to know how to sell it with your logline!
Writers, producers and directors often complain that they can’t get their projects made, usually because the budget is too large. But what if the problem wasn’t the concept, but the way the script approaches the material? Have you had trouble selling your script? Do you constantly hit a wall when writing because you know it's 'too big' or 'too expensive' to make on a small budget? In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar James Kicklighter will teach you how to develop a film that can be made without large budgets and resources. James will arm you with the knowledge to create a scene that shows the narrative arc without telling it. He will also go through simple elements that often drive up budgets, elements that have been forgotten or unconsidered by filmmakers of all experience levels. You will learn how to optimize your script to show and not tell the story with nominal resources, providing valuable guidance for the novice and a refresher for the experienced veteran. You will leave this webinar knowing exactly how to write a producible, low-budget script!
Learn directly from Melissa Daykin Cassill, VP of Development and Production at State Street Pictures (Faster, Beauty Shop, Barbershop, Notorious, Nothing Like The Holidays)! You hear it again and again: “We’re looking for character driven drama/comedy/action/name your genre.” You may have a great plot, amazing action sequences, or the most hilarious idea for a comedy set piece but without great characters, you’ll be dead in the water. Why? Because everything should be motivated by your characters. What would The Godfather be without Michael’s change from the good man who served his country to a vengeful and tyrannical ruler? What would Star Wars be without the father son drama? Creating memorable characters is such an essential aspect of creating a compelling, sellable story, yet so many writers struggle with doing it correctly and fail to avoid the trap of stock characters that leave their scripts lifeless and weak. The Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring you a 3-week online course Avoid Stock Characters: How To Create Memorable, Compelling Characters so you can learn how to create the memorable characters your story deserves. This class is taught by Melissa Daykin Cassill, VP of Development and Production at State Street Pictures, a production company with a first look deal at Fox 2000 Pictures. What Melissa loves most about her job is working with writers and developing exciting, compelling projects and she’s excited to be here teaching with Stage 32 to help you develop compelling characters in your story! In this class, you will learn how to set up a character arc so the character’s change is compelling, how to develop supporting characters who support the story and compliment your protagonists, how to avoid stock characters and scenes and how to adjust what you already have to make your work better. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared toward strengthening your characters, you will leave this class knowing exactly how to create memorable characters for your stories.
Learn directly from Danny Manus, an in-demand script consultant and CEO of No BullScript Consulting! You’ve written a killer script. Great. But now you’ve got to get someone to read it. Success in Hollywood is often about making great first impressions. Your loglines and query letters are the first and sometimes only things an executive or agent is going to read of your work. So it’s critical that your logline and query letter are attention grabbing, tell them something of substance, make you look good, and most of all—make them want to read more. Have you sent out hundreds of queries but haven’t gotten many script requests? Are you the type of writer who has no problem writing 120 page script but gets totally stumped by writing a 30 word logline? Have no fear – I’m here to help! As a development executive, producer, and script consultant, I have read thousands of query letters and countless loglines. I have taken over 3,000 pitches, and I’ve helped thousands of writers craft their project’s logline to help them standout and stand above the rest! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, I will show you specific, proven, easy-to-use formulas and tips to construct tight, professional loglines, engaging query letters, and visual one-sheets. We will go over what to include and what not to include in each, the difference between loglines and taglines, words to use that will make your loglines pop, what executives are looking for, how to query for representation and TV, and how and where to send queries to actually get them read. We’ll also go over loglines for some of Hollywood’s hottest movies, one-sheets that made me request the script, and I’ll share with you some of the best and worst queries I’ve ever received so you don’t make the same mistakes. Plus, Q&A. And as a special BONUS, if you register for the LIVE Webinar, you will also be able to submit your logline to me for a critique and fix after the Webinar (details below). If you’re trying to get professionals to notice your project, if you’re trying to submit your script anywhere, or even if you’ve posted or wanted to post your loglines in the Stage 32 Lounges and Forums, this Webinar is for you! Whether you are a screenwriter, novelist, producer, director or exec, your project deserves to make the right first impression. Let me show how. **Please note that the free logline critique Danny mentions in the webinar is not available for On-Demand. It was only available for members who attended the live webinar.**
Week 1: Introduction & Concept/Theme – Every script begins with an idea. I’ll give an intro to the workshop process and discuss the basics of crafting a script with a strong central premise. Week 2: Character – Great scripts revolve around great characters. In this session, we’ll explore how to create compelling, three-dimensional characters that jump off the page and attract talent. Week 3: Plot/Structure – Plotting and structure are among the most difficult elements for any writer to master. We’ll dive into examples and determine how it’s best to craft a strong (but not necessarily conventional) storyline. Week 4: Dialogue & Where to Go From Here – Truthful and natural-sounding dialogue is the secret weapon of any screenplay. We’ll end the workshop by discussing the subtle ways dialogue can improve any script, and writers will determine their plans moving forward. In addition to the scheduled topics, I’ll also speak on general dos and don’ts in the industry, advice on getting representation, and other issues creatives commonly face. Writers are encouraged to participate and ask any questions that would be helpful for their projects or overall career goals.