Spencer Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles, and got his start in the film industry as a production assistant on glamorous productions like car commercial, cereal commercial, and other car commercial. He then landed a job in the mailroom at MBST Entertainment, where he learned about management from some of the legends of “old-school Hollywood.” Spencer then moved to an assistant desk at Cornice Entertainment, and eventually to Howard Entertainment. At Howard Ent, Spencer worked with actors, writers, and comedians. It was here that not only advanced his knowledge of talent and lit, but he also learned all about managing tour dates for nationally and internationally touring comics. After a 2-year stint at Howard Entertainment, Spencer spent 5 years as a musician touring in a rock ‘n’ roll band, playing for audiences across 15 countries. Once he returned from this adventure, he came back to the film industry, working as an assistant at Verve Entertainment, where he was eventually promoted to manager. When Verve merged with Art/Work, Spencer came along for the ride, and has been there ever since. Art/Work Entertainment is a boutique management company that represents actors, writers, and comedians. They have writers and performers from shows like Workaholics, Eastbound and Down, The Mick, Stevie TV, Will & Grace, The Goldbergs, and many more. They also have writers and actors working on features for major studios. The comedian clients tour nationally and internationally, and several are also hyphenates who act and write in addition to doing standup. Spencer has been a manager for 10 years. He loves to watch TV, and even sleeps sometimes. Full Bio »
Join literary manager Spencer Robinson from Art/Work Entertainment as he talks about the state of the comedy writing industry for film & TV and answers questions exclusively for the Stage 32 community!
You'll spend 60 minutes online with one of the top literary managers in the industry from Art/Work Entertainment, which represents actors, writers, and comedians. They have writers and performers from shows like Workaholics, Eastbound and Down, The Mick, Stevie TV, Will & Grace, The Goldbergs, and many more. They also have writers and actors working on features for major studios. The comedian clients tour nationally and internationally, and several are also hyphenates who act and write in addition to doing standup. Spencer has been a manager for 10 years. He loves to watch TV, and even sleeps sometimes.
Spencer Robinson - Comedy Literary Manager
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Learn how to professionally develop your television series with acclaimed television writer and producer Jess Kardos, who has written for the CW’s SUPERGIRL and the prequel to SUPERNATURAL, THE WINCHESTERS! PLUS! You will receive examples of a writer's room "board," story outlines, and a structure cheat sheet to help you in developing your series! Every award-winning, binge-worthy television show started out as the same thing… a great idea. So how does a show go from “great idea” to Emmy or BAFTA winning TV series? A pilot script that introduces the world and the characters in the most compelling and exciting way. Choosing what, and why, to put in your pilot is know as "breaking the pilot" - and it is the way professional TV writers start their process. But that's easier said, than done, right? Breaking the pilot for your series can be overwhelming. Knowing where to start (and where to end!), what to include, how to tell a complete story while leaving enough to act as a springboard for future episodes, making the audience care about your characters, their wants, their needs, their struggles…it’s a lot, even for the most experienced writers. You spend hours, days, weeks (sometimes years!) thinking about the plot, the characters, and the world before you write a single scene. And the pilot is just the tip of the iceberg. What lies under the surface is much larger than you could ever imagine. So how do you get there? In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you will learn how to take your kernel of an idea and turn it into an original one hour pilot that will garner the attention of agents, managers, and executives alike. Teaching you how to "break the pilot" for your one hour television series is TV writer and producer Jess Kardos. Jess has been a TV writer for ten years and has written for shows like the CW’s SUPERGIRL and the prequel to SUPERNATURAL, THE WINCHESTERS. Jess is also developing the Archie Comics property FRAN FRAZER and adapting the NYT’s bestselling series, SHANE SCULLY for television. Jess will walk you through her personal pilot-breaking-process and share tips she learned inside the writers’ room on how to most efficiently and effectively break an episode of television. You will walk away from this webinar with the necessary tools you need to effectively develop your pilot so you can get it on the air and in front of millions of people! PLUS! Jess will provide you exclusive handouts to help you develop your TV series and streamline the pilot breaking process to get your writing on the page and into the hands of Hollywood’s movers and shakers!. Downloads include: Examples of a writers' room “board” Examples of story outlines Structure Cheat Sheet "I am so excited to share with the Stage 32 community all the tips and tricks of breaking a TV pilot that have been shared with me over my ten years writing for television." -- Jess Kardos
After reading well over 1,000 screenplays over the course of my career, from both professionals and amateurs, I can tell you that I have a solid idea of what makes a good story. Also, as someone who has been a professional reader, I can show you through a reader’s eyes where a story becomes flawed, and how those stories can be improved to prevent you and your script from getting the dreaded PASS on coverage notes. The Dirty Secret of Story Structure will take a meticulous look at the art of building dramatic structure within your story by learning how to do it in individual scenes. Each and every scene in your script should serve as an opportunity to move the story forward. If it is not doing that, it’s not serving its correct purpose within the world of your story. Just as your overall screenplay has a beginning, a middle and an end, so too should each scene. Within each scene should be a character who wants something, and another character or entity that is trying to stop her. Developing a structure within each scene to determine how those events transpire is just as important to telling your story as making sure the Act I to Act II transition happens somewhere between pages 25 and 30. However, the notion of dramatic structure has been misinterpreted for years. Dramatic structure is not necessarily what you think it is, and when it is re-examined, the thought of fitting a story within the confines of dramatic structure becomes less daunting. This webinar will provide detailed examples on how to build solid dramatic structure within your scenes, as well as within your overall screenplay.
Serialized dramas produced in the streaming and premium cable spaces may be garnering more awards recognition and chatter on social media, but their often-ignored cousins – the procedural dramas that present closed-ended stories within each episode – should not be underestimated. Procedurals continue to not only draw huge crowds, but can stay on the air for many more seasons than their streaming counterparts (can you believe GREY’S ANATOMY has had 17 seasons??). Current ratings for shows like CBS’s EQUALIZER, FOX’s 9-1-1 and NBC’s CHICAGO P.D., CHICAGO FIRE and CHICAGO MED demonstrate just how wildly successful procedural dramas continue to be. The fact is writing and producing the successful procedural remains a highly marketable skill that can offer longevity to a writer's career, though it requires both technical knowledge and an understanding of the current marketplace for these enduring shows. For something that seemingly sticks closely to a formula, the professional TV procedural script can be deceptively hard to write, and there is little if any published literature addressing this subject. Over the years, many “rules” for writing the procedural or mystery have developed in rooms across Hollywood, and expectations for what such a script must include have grown. But how can up-and-coming writers or writers of other genres learn these rules? What actually constitutes an effective procedural pilot script and how can writers demonstrate this skill in order to find their way into a writers’ room? Barry Schkolnick is a long-time writer and producer in Hollywood who has written on over 20 procedural TV dramas including LAW & ORDER, UNFORGETTABLE, THE GUARDIAN, THE DIVISION, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, and IN JUSTICE. Barry also served as co-executive producer on USA Network’s IN PLAIN SIGHT and consulting producer for CBS’s Emmy-nominated and critically acclaimed THE GOOD WIFE. Barry’s work on LAW & ORDER was honored with a nomination for a Writer’s Guild of America award for Best Episode, Dramatic Series and a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association. In addition, he was a member of the writing staff of LAW & ORDER’s Emmy and Peabody Award winning season. Barry has an incredibly deep experience in the world of procedural drama television and will be sharing what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Barry will walk you through procedural drama television, how it fits in to today’s market and to best write in this genre in order to break into the space and create compelling television. After breaking down the actual difference between serialized and procedural dramas, Barry will give an honest appraisal of the market today and the pros and cons of writing procedural television within it. He’ll walk you through the main types of procedural series currently on air and will then lay out some of the main elements any procedural pilot needs. He’ll provide tips and strategies to best write in this space, including choosing the right lead character, how to best outline, and what the Golden Rule of procedurals is. Barry will conclude the webinar with a case study of the pilot script of THE GOOD WIFE, which he served as a consulting producer on. Using the lessons he taught, he’ll explain why this pilot was so successful and how you can use the script as inspiration for your own procedural project. Praise for Barry's Stage 32 Webinar: "Barry presented information that I needed to know whether I was aware of that or not before the webinar. I like that Barry used a script that was available to us ahead of time and knew where he was going to in that script to show us what he wanted us to learn. It was one of the best webinars I have taken." - Bev I. "Barry gave great examples to distinguish the different types of procedural drama from serialized drama. They were easy to understand especially since Barry focused in on the key elements of the procedural drama. I did like the fact that Barry broke the pilot into "chunks" and talked about each one separately." - Susan S. "Barry spoke very personally and also gave good examples and applied his experience to today. Also he was very focused on what to do to succeed but he also was honest that you have to love writing. He came across as smart and no nonsense but also very warm and kind, which seems like a great combination for a writer. Maybe that's why he has been so successful!" - Deborah B. "Barry was very likable, down to earth, forthright. I felt that he really cared about helping writers." - Elise M.
Getting ahead is hard in Hollywood, and taking the next step in your career can be difficult when it feels like the expectation is for you to stay in your own lane. Being a cinematographer is such an exciting, rewarding, and important role on any project, but that doesn’t mean it’s where your journey has to stop. If you have aspirations to move into directing and make your own film, that path is more possible than you might think. In fact, your background as a cinematographer might even catapult you to this position, since, in an effort to save film funds, it’s becoming more common for producers to hire cinematographers who can also direct. Many people believe that the roles of the director and cinematographer are separate, but actually they are partners in the storytelling process. This means that making the leap from cinematographer to director is not as hard as you might think. However, whether you want to exclusively direct or be a DP / director combo, you have to adhere to a certain mode of operation, master the art of collaboration, and hone your ability to speak clearly to your cast and crew in order to maximize your time on set. So how do you get that first directing job? Can you effectively direct and shoot at the same time, and if so, how do you divide your precious time between your cast and crew? With careful planning and a solid understanding of how to manage your responsibilities on set you can become the perfect “double threat” that producers love, while putting extra cash in your pocket and achieving more of your creative goals. Ryan Little is a director, producer, and cinematographer with over 20 years of experience in the industry. His first feature SAINTS AND SOLDIERS, for which he took on the dual roles of DP and director, won 16 “Best Picture” awards and two nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards including Best First Feature and Best Cinematography. Since then, Ryan has served as cinematographer and director on a slew of projects and has directed actors like Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Sean Astin, Neal McDonagh, Gary Cole, Dolph Lundgren, and Mickey Rourke. Most recently Ryan has worked with Producer Dean Devlin on the TNT pilot BLANK SLATE and has directed TV episodes of shows like GRANITE FLATS and EXTINCT. Ryan has built a storied background and deep well of knowledge in both cinematography and directing, and is ready to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Using his own experience as well as his deep understanding of the industry today, Ryan will teach you how you can make the transition from cinematographer to director and use your photography background to your advantage. He will begin by broadly discussing the prospect of switching from cinematographer to director and explaining why it’s possible. He will go over how he made the transition himself as well how other notable directors made a similar shift. He will demonstrate why your background as a DP will actually make you a better director yourself. Ryan will then delve more deeply into how best to land your first job as a director, including “planting seeds” for future opportunities, playing to your strengths as a practiced cinematographer, using the connections you’ve already built, and how to create sample work to help show your value. He will also discuss the possibility of serving as a Director/DP combo on set as a way to break in, what that looks like, and how to do both roles effectively at the same time. Next, Ryan will give you the rundown of how to best tackle your first directing gig. He’ll go over the aspects of directing you can expect to come naturally and the aspects that might be more of a challenge because of your background, as well as how to let the DP role go when directing. Ryan will teach you how to best prep for your first directing gig before going on set. He’ll talk about how to create your “style guide” for the project, finding your story moments ahead of time, making a useful shot list, and how best to use storyboards. He will then talk about how to spend your time on set as a director, including how to manage your time and break up your day and how to tell the story in your coverage. He will reveal three mistakes commonly made by directors during rehearsal and will discuss when the right and wrong times to operate the camera yourself are. He will also go over finding the balance between assertive and collaborative on set and how to set the right tone. Finally Ryan will focus on working with actors from the mindset of a cinematographer, including how to speak the actor’s language, how to hold the essential one-on-one actor preproduction meeting, and what you can do to become an “Actor’s Director”. Through all of this, Ryan will give you the tools and confidence to make the switch you might have been contemplating for a while and take the next important steps on your journey to become a bona fide film director. "I attribute a lot of my success to my background as a cinematographer. It's given me so many great opportunities and the skills to advance in my career in exciting ways. I want other cinematographers to better understand their value and potential as filmmakers, and am so excited to share what I know to empower the current DPs and future directors that are part of the Stage 32 community." -Ryan Little
Learn how to create a terrifying horror movie villain with a top horror expert who has worked on countless horror films including Rob Zombie's THE LORDS OF SALEM, 13 SINS Starring Ron Perlman, SKYLINE starring Donald Faison, and more. PLUS! Receive an exclusive handout that will help you develop your horror movie villains and monsters! Horror movies are all about the main threat - the monster lurching off the screen and into our nightmares. Ever since 1931, when Bela Lugosi swirled his opera cloak and made Dracula a movie icon, horror movie audiences have been more thrilled by the bad guys than the good. And this makes sense, as the villain is usually the catalyst in the story. The major horror franchises revolve around the villain, not the hero. A horror villain can be a slasher killer like FRIDAY THE 13th's Jason, a ghost like NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET's Freddie, an object come to life like CHILD'S PLAY's Chucky or monsters like the creatures in A QUIET PLACE. So, how do you as a screenwriter make your monster or villain come to life - and wreak havoc - on the page? How can you create a monster that stands out from the rest, while also building off of the horror villain icons that have come before? And how can you craft an engaging story around your monster that will terrify audiences and maybe even lead to sequels? In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, horror specialist Karina Wilson will guide you through everything you need to know to create a compelling horror movie villain for your horror project. Karina is an independent story and development consultant with a focus in horror who has worked on many films including SECRET IN THEIR EYES with Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts, 13 SINS with Ron Perlman, and THE CIRCLE with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. Previously the in-house story consultant at IM Global, she is considered an expert in the horror genre and her analysis of horror trends through the decades has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, on NPR, in medical textbooks and in documentaries alongside luminaries such as Jason Blum, Joe Dante, and Andy Muschietti. Karina is also the lead screenplay judge for the indie horror festival Shriekfest. Along with Rob Zombie, John Carpenter, Sid Haig, Tom Savini and many others, Karina can currently be seen on screen discussing horror in the documentary THE HISTORY OF METAL AND HORROR and in the Blumhouse TV series COMPENDIUM OF HORROR. In this webinar, you will learn the essential monster/villain categories and how to shape your story around the type of monster you are working with. Karina will assess the ways in which your villain can put your protagonist through the fire (both metaphorically and literally), while simultaneously terrifying your audience. You will learn how to put a fresh spin on classic villains, tapping into fears specific to the 2020s where successful horror movie antagonists are often nuanced with complex character arcs. Whether you’re tapping into psychological evil in the form of a serial killer, exploring a traditional haunted house, crafting a creature feature, or working with a monster from outer space, this webinar will provide you with everything you need to elevate your horror movie villain or monster to the next level! PLUS! Karina will provide you with an exclusive handout that will help you develop your horror movie monsters in your own screenplays. If you're working on a horror project or simply interested in learning more about the genre and how to craft terrifying horror villains that keep audiences coming back time and time again, Karina's webinar is a must! Praise from Karina's Previous Stage 32 Webinars: "Her presentation was well organized, her slides contained the right amount of information to digest and takes notes from. Her delivery was excellent." - Martha C. "I was so impressed!" - Loretta C. "Karina is a master of all things horror and story! She knows more about crafting an effective horror story - from the plot to the villain and the scares - than anyone I've ever worked with or learned from. I can see why she's in high demand in the industry!" -- Mark L.
Can you believe this is the last Writers' Room Pitch Tank of 2020? And we couldn't have asked for a better guest than Producer, Actress, and Writer, Rachel Paulson! Rachel is a multi-hyphenate who is the younger sister of Sarah Paulson of “AMERICAN HORROR STORY”and Liz Paulson, the SVP of casting at Fox. Rachel is the star of the series "DATING ZOE", the host of the video series Drink Responsibly with Rachel Paulson, and the co-host of the podcast Gay vs. Straight Bitches with "ONE TREE HILL" alum, Lindsey McKeon. Rachel currently has a YA television series in development based on a true story, with Sarah Paulson attached to produce. During the webcast, Rachel and Jason critiqued pitches including epic Sci-Fi features and series, Drama, Comedy, Family, and more! Listen to their feedback and be sure to take their suggestions in for your own pitches!