Nick Phillips is the Producer and Director at the production company PBR Streetgang. A former studio executive with over 20 years experience in both creative development and physical production, Nick has done extensive location work all over the world and recently expanded into directing. Nick started his career in New York with a nine year stint under the Dimension Films label. While there, he was involved in franchises including SCREAM, HALLOWEEN, HELLRAISER, THE CROW, and HIGHLANDER. He moved to the Dimension LA office in 2003, during which time he appeared on Season 3 of "Project Greenlight", which aired on Bravo, helping shepherd the film FEAST through production and launching a new franchise in the process. By the time he left Dimension, he had risen to the post of Vice President of Production. In 2005, Nick went to work for Sony Pictures Entertainment where he helped create the micro budget genre division Stage 6 Films, under Peter Schlesell. While there he worked on successful sequels to 30 DAYS OF NIGHT and VACANCY, among others. He soon after moved into a position at Sony Screen Gems, working under Clint Culpepper, where he was involved with franchises including UNDERWORLD and RESIDENT EVIL.Nick then went on to serve as EVP of Revolver Picture Company, a fully financed independent genre label he co-founded in 2012 with veteran casting director Kelly Wagner (THE GRUDGE, HOSTEL). During his time there, they produced the genre features PET, HAUNT, BENEATH, and DEVIL'S BACKBONE, TEXAS and co-financed and produced the horror reality TV pilot "Fight of the Living Dead" with Alpine Labs and Blackbox TV. Full Bio »
Low budget horror films have never been hotter or more in demand. More and more companies are looking to follow the Blumhouse model of making horror films on the cheap and then raking it in at the box office and VOD. Even the streaming platforms have jumped in with both feet. But make no mistake, just because many of these production companies and filmmakers are keeping their costs down, they are not skimping on quality. Quite the opposite in fact. Horror film aficionados demand great stories, memorable characters and scares that are earned. They want fresh ideas, a unique vision, and an experience they can return to again and again. To stand out from the crowd, you need to be prepared not only to find or produce great material, but to understand how to navigate the landscape.
More people produce and shoot horror than just about any other genre. And in such a crowded field, it can be hard to stand out. Go to any film market or horror trade show and you are instantly inundated with posters for dozens if not hundreds of horror features, short films, television shows and digital content looking for a home. After a while, everything seems to look the same. But there is a way to break out of that crowded field and assure that your work gets seen, bought, distributed and/or screened. And we have just the guy to show you how to get it done.
Nick Phillips knows horror. In his 20 years in the business, Nick has worked, developed and produced films for Miramax and Sony Screen Gems. In 2012, Nick co-founded his own production company specializing in genre films, the Revolver Picture Company. Just some of the films Nick has worked on include Scream, Halloween, Hellraiser, the Crow, Vacancy, Feast and The Roommate. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Nick will share his knowledge on how to create terrifying films at not-so-terrifying costs. Films the industry wants to have a piece of and horror fans won't be able to get enough of.
Nick will start by teaching you one of the most common failings of producers and filmmakers within the horror space, namely what you should look for in a horror script. From there, he will talk development and the production process during this all important period of the project's evolution. Nick will show you how to stretch your budget dollar, by minimizing locations (but maximizing how you use them), making the right hires, keeping the shoot moving and staying on schedule. He will teach you his tricks on working with actors during the most intense scenes and keeping them motivated. Speaking of actors, he will discuss whether name talent matters or whether choosing the best actor for the part is a better approach. He will show you how to get the best production value throughout the film. And everyone knows, a great horror movie demands a sequel! Nick will show you how to set yourself up so that your project is franchise ready.
This is a fully comprehensive overview of how to immerse yourself in the horror genre as a producer and/or filmmaker.
PRAISE FOR NICK'S TEACHINGS:
"I have no desire to work in any other genre outside of horror. I've been frustrated that my vision always seems to be too expensive for the money I have available. Thank you, Nick, for showing me the path to seeing my vision through while keeping my costs down. I'm inspired again!" - Matt H.
"There is nothing scary about this webinar. It's fantastic." - Devon M.
"Man, was this eye opening. I have seen the light and now know how to keep my costs in check. Let the blood flow!" - Francisco D.
"My all female slasher grindhouse project is back on my production slate thanks to you, Nick. I don't know how that makes you feel, but I feel fantastic!" - Marissa G.
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Learn directly from Nick Phillips, studio & independent film producer for nearly 20 years, who has worked with Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Sony Pictures Classics, Revolver Picture Company & more! You finally have the money to make a film. You’ve chosen a start date, you’ve found your locations. You’ve hired the crew and cast your actors. Now what? On any movie set, there are two major obstacles: time and money. They can be your friends or they can be your enemies. As a producer, it is your job to make sure that you utilize both in the most effective way possible and not go one second or one cent over. And while you do this, you must walk the tightrope between staying within that budget and schedule while simultaneously producing a film that is creatively satisfying and interesting, with production values that give the film the best chance at succeeding in a highly competitive marketplace. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Nick Phillips will walk you through the arduous, challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience of managing a film set. Having worked on sets for almost two decades, Nick has seen the process from every angle and worked with budgets and schedules that range from manageable to ambitious to completely insane. A working film set is a living, breathing thing, an eco-system with a myriad of moving parts. The days (and nights) are long, exhausting and will prey on your every last nerve. But if you’re armed with the right tools and the proper knowledge, you can sharpen your skill set to the point where producing becomes second nature and actually enjoyable! From location scouting to hiring to shooting days to the wrap party, this webinar will be all encompassing and you will leave confident and ready to manage your set! PRAISE FOR NICK'S TEACHINGS: “Nick was fantastically generous with his information, experience and time. I got more practical information out of these 90 min than any film book. Please have him on again.” – Annelise P. “Man, you were fantastic! I love your depth of knowledge and you dedication to the genre. Both really came through in your presentation. I benefited hugely from you experience and presentation. Thanks for making yourself available!” – Larry W. “Awesome. Very educational. Thank you for your time.” – Joseph O. “It's obvious Nick is full of experience and is a great resource.” – Clifford D. “Seminar was mapped out well for different levels of attendee knowledge + good mix of examples from his own films mixed with other classics.” - Roland H. “Please do more webinars, I learned a lot and like your energy!” – Dominika P. “Very well done. Covered the material very well.” – Glenn C.
ANNOUNCING A NEW EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR Your chance to learn from a documentary filmmaker who's worked with Questlove, Mick Jagger, Vice President Kamala Harris, and more! Plus! Receive exclusive handouts to asses partnerships from Deborah! Did you know that brands big and small often subsidize the making or distribution of documentary films of all genres and lengths? They do. It's an incredibly valuable opportunity for you, as a filmmaker, to get what you need to complete your project and share it with the world. These brand partnerships can generate valuable resources for documentary production, including publicity, funding, and access to people. So how do you create a partnership with a brand or an organization? How do you choose which brands makes this right partners? What should a brand partnership even look like for your film? Stage 32 is here to teach you all about it. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you’ll identify the impact you hope your film will make and dive into discovering how to tie your mission to a brand, partner, or organization to help bring your documentary to life. Marketing leaders and brand teams seek innovative partnerships to reach their audiences. This means that brands are increasingly becoming interested in activations that align their mission with content that can positively impact the communities they serve. And this brand interest is your project’s opportunity. Your host, Deborah Riley Draper, is a compelling and award-winning filmmaker who is currently directing the A&E four-part James Brown docu-series SAY IT LOUD, produced by Academy Award-winner Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Mick Jagger. Riley previously made the docu-series THE LEGACY OF BLACK WALL STREET, which earned her a third NAACP Image Award nomination. She also released TWENTY PEARLS, a documentary featuring Vice President Kamala Harris, OLYMPIC PRIDE AMERICAN JUSTICE, and VERSAILLES ‘73: AMERICAN RUNWAY REVOLUTION, which opened New York Fashion Week in 2012. Deborah’s success is tied to her ability to know her message, determine what partnerships best align with that message, and lock those partnerships down by knowing your documentary’s potential return on investment, even if that return isn't financially motivated. In addition to providing you with exclusive handouts to asses potential partnerships, Deborah will show you how to find like-minded partners, how to create a blueprint for your partnership, and the legal aspects of these relationships. With such an incredible background, Deborah provides invaluable information for filmmakers like yourself. Don’t miss out on learning how a partnership can support your message in this exclusive webinar. Praise for Deborah's Talent & Knowledge: "I have had the pleasure of working with Deborah and must say that she's one of the most talented, innovative, multifaceted people I've ever known. She has a ravenous appetite for understanding a challenge from every angle, but also the rare ability to discern exactly what (and where) to focus on to solve it. She is not bound by channels, attitudes, dogmas or barriers--she finds a way to break through it all, always with a human perspective, and weave a compelling story that people can't help jumping into with both feet." -- Laura Davis Taylor, Brand Marketer
As the world becomes flatter and technology brings us closer together, opportunities for international cooperation continue to abound. For producers or creatives looking to find or bolster their next indie project, there is a huge amount of potential in joining forces with companies or teams from other countries and pooling your resources together, creating something larger than the sum of its parts. Forming an international co-production can give you access to more funding and financing opportunities, more access to locations, actors and crew, and more sales and distribution opportunities after the film is finished. But while international co-productions can reap great rewards, they also present unique financial challenges. Navigating this transnational world requires a set of skills and wherewithal that can be hard earned but is hugely valuable. Financing any film or project is tricky, but international co-production can be especially complicated, particularly when it comes to revenue management. After all, revenues generated by the project will need to be split amongst several producers and usually their financiers and talent as well. Not only are you dealing with more stakeholders, but also more countries, each with their own systems and regulations. Complicated though it might be, it’s your responsibility as the film’s producer to know how to navigate these waters and ensure the revenue is shared correctly and efficiently. Doing so will not only ensure that your current project is a success, but also allow you to hold on to your foreign relationship, boost your international reputation, and give you the ability to have partners to work with for future projects to come. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will teach you how revenue management and revenue sharing on international co-productions work and how you can be prepared to handle this tricky subject effectively. He will first delve into how international co-productions work and will also outline the way distribution rights and sales are generally handled for these projects. Next David will talk about the relationship between co-producers on a film and how they can best share ownership, including co-producers that are financiers or talent. He will then teach you how to handle revenue management for an international co-production, diving into both domestic and international revenues, sharing revenue amongst co-producers and how financiers and talent are paid. David will explain collection accounts and how they work on international projects. Finally, David will share an in-depth case study of a real international co-production and show the contracts, recoupment schedules and revenue splits to explain how the project came together and how the revenue was ultimately shared. Through this advanced level webinar, David will ensure you can walk into an international co-production knowing how to handle the financing correctly. Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars: "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
The script is finally ready…now, how do you prepare for your first day on set? There are a lot of factors that go into preparing for your film shoot. We’ve brought in producer, Samm Haillay, to talk about the process from script to set. Samm is an eight-time feature film producer, whose films have premiered at Cannes, Venice, Sundance, SXSW and who’s film Island of the Hungry Ghosts won best Feature documentary at 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. He’ll be going over everything from schedule, budget, casting, locations and more to get you prepared for day one. He’ll be sharing his decades of experience and helping you avoid common mistakes made, as you get ready to shoot your film.
Budgets, Cash Flows and Cost Reports, oh my! Have you ever looked at one of these documents and just seen numbers? Have you ever tried to fill out tax incentive pre-qualification form and been overwhelmed? All of these things can be confusing for any filmmaker, whether you're a seasoned veteran or doing them for the first time. They are documents every project uses but most people don’t know how to read them, never mind make them. We're here to help make this easier for you as a filmmaker. Stage 32 is thrilled to bring you the previously-recorded 2 part class: Navigating a Film's Financials: Budget, Cash Flows & Cost Reports taught by award-winning line producer, Maura Anderson. Maura takes you in depth on the financial side of a film; learn how to create a budget and cash flow, navigate cost reports, accounting, tax incentives and more! Maura Anderson production managed Academy Award nominated Winter’s Bone, Sundance nominated On The Ice, Max Winkler's Ceremony starring Uma Thurman, Night Catches Us in competition at Sundance, produced The Innocent Man and Ada Twist, Scientist on Netflix and The Most Dangerous Animal of All on Netflix. PRAISE FOR MAURA'S TEACHINGS: "It's obvious that she is an experienced and working UPM/Producer. She is a great blend of knowledge and approachability! I really appreciated that she always presented with honesty and sincerity without ever once "bs-ing" Thanks Stage 32, you provided a real pro!” – Michael S. "Terrific! Very informative. Could never have learned this from reading a book. Thanks so much! Will recommend this to others.” – Sherrie S. "Clear and pointed information. A great validation for all the line producers out there. I loved your comment about being a working member of the team and setting the tone for being approachable and a solution-oriented individual. Thank you so much. – Vicky B. "Thanks for a very interesting presentation. It was clearly quite comprehensive and pointed me to things I would likely have forgotten (to my peril). – Daz K.
PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch. WEEK #1 – Introduction, Pitch Docs, Character This week we will cover the syllabus, your instructor's background and experience, your goals for this eight-week lab and launch into a discussion on creating strong characters for your pilot. We will discuss the types of drama pilots and how they differ from network to network. We will go over how to create effective loglines and pitch documents. Then we will delve into character – what makes for strong characters and weak ones. The assignment for this week will be to create a pitch document and write a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters. WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline and Series Bible This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of drama pilot (procedural or serial) and the network (broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, etc.) We will identify what kind of network to target for your story idea and structure the pilot accordingly. We will also discuss the function of your series bible and what it needs to include to support your pilot. The assignment for the week is to complete a pilot outline and start work on your bible. WEEK #3 – Pilot Outline (One on One Consultations – No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding pilot structure. Each writer will send in their pilot outline in advance and will have a 10-minute call to discuss what works and what doesn’t. The assignment for the week is to address any notes given on the outline before proceeding with next week’s class and to continue working on your series bible. WEEK #4– Scenes, Beats, Dialogue, This week we will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, story beats, and dialogue. The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the teaser/opening scene, a scene with heavy dialogue, and a strong character scene. WEEK #5– Acts 1 and 2 We will discuss both the four-act and five-act structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in acts 1 and 2 of a drama pilot, including exposition, number of scenes per act, traditional page count, inciting incidents, acts 1 and 2 breaks, etc. The assignment this week will be to complete Acts 1 and 2 of your pilot. WEEK #6– Acts 3, 4 and 5 Similarly to last week, we will cover the necessary story beats that traditionally exist in acts 3 and 4 of a drama pilot. If your pilot structure has five or more, as some broadcast network shows do, there will be time allotted for further instruction on how to proceed. The assignment this week is to complete the first draft of the entire pilot and to turn in your series bible. WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Please turn in your pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call, and each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes. Your assignment this week is to address any notes. WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (No Online Class) This week will consist of 10-minute one-on-one phone calls as well. Please submit your revised pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call. Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given. Payment plans are available - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.