Michael Schulman is a Feature Story Analyst for Netflix as part of its Independent Original Film Division, and his job revolves around evaluating feature screenplay submissions and deciding which ones to pass up to the executives to consider. Prior to his role at Netflix, Michael spent nearly a decade in the story department at CAA where he found projects for CAA clients. Over his storied career, Michael also served as an agent at ICM’s Motion Picture Literary Department and held numerous studio creative executive positions at Orion, TriStar, and Disney where he worked to develop film and television projects with some of the top talent in the industry. Michael is very familiar with what it takes for a script to find its way to decisionmakers since this has been a key feature of his job for over a decade. Full Bio »
Streamers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO Max have quickly become the holy grail for many filmmakers hoping to get their film produced and find success. And it’s no mystery why. With a subscriber base in the tens of millions (Netflix has 74 million subscribers alone!), there might not be a better place for your film to be seen and enjoyed across the globe. And streamers ARE picking up a lot of content, a staggering amount even. Netflix recently announced it is releasing 40 more films this year—that’s twice what most major traditional studios make in a whole year, all in just a few months. That said, even with this huge volume of new content Netflix and the other streamers continue to pick up and produce, it is not easy to get your film noticed or considered at these platforms, especially if you’re not already an established filmmaker. This is not to say it’s impossible, but it does require finesse, strategy, luck, and an understanding of how exactly streamers find their original films.
For as prominent as streaming platforms have become, the process behind how a film actually finds its way into their libraries is opaque and enigmatic. With so little information on the inner workings of the streamers, it can seem confusing, maybe even impossible to get your own proverbial foot into the portal and get your project noticed. After all, there isn’t exactly a submission platform to upload your script for Amazon to review. The truth is, unless you’re already established or have that ‘in’ with a streamer, it’s very unlikely to get straight through and have them consider your work blind. There IS another way though, a way to get your project to a streamer, not by going through but by going around.
Michael Schulman is a Feature Story Analyst for Netflix as part of its Independent Original Film Division, and his job revolves around evaluating feature screenplay submissions and deciding which ones to pass up to the executives to consider. Prior to his role at Netflix, Michael spent nearly a decade in the story department at CAA where he found projects for CAA clients. Over his storied career, Michael also served as an agent at ICM’s Motion Picture Literary Department and held numerous studio creative executive positions at Orion, TriStar, and Disney where he worked to develop film and television projects with some of the top talent in the industry. Michael is very familiar with what it takes for a script to find its way to decisionmakers since this has been a key feature of his job for over a decade.
As a companion piece to his previous webinar that details the script evaluation process at Netflix and other streamers, Michael will teach you a smarter and more viable way to get your own feature film considered by streaming platforms, not by targeting the streamers themselves, but instead focusing on their content suppliers. He’ll begin by laying out how the normal streamer system works and go over specific reasons why your script might NOT be as good of a fit for them as you think. Michael will then delve into how “outsiders” can get in the streaming game by taking advantage of resources along the way and better understanding the content pipeline. He’ll explain what streamer “originals” actually are and show how streamers rely on production companies to fill their slate. Michael will show you how you can use this to your advantage by finding your way in with specific production companies and what you can do to make them want to produce your film with you.
Michael will even offer a live demonstration, showing how to find the right production companies for your own project and the best contacts within them.
Getting your work on Netflix and other streamers will never be easy, but you will leave this webinar with a better understanding of the best way forward.
Praise for Michael's Previous Stage 32 Webinar
"I loved Michaels honestly. His advice is invaluable."
"Very genuine, authentic, knowledgeable."
"Michael was highly competent, extremely knowledgeable about his subject, and not afraid to share hard truths about the industry that many just won't be upfront about."
"Michael did not sugarcoat anything. He gave honest information that clarified a lot of questions I had."
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 recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
Find out what streamers REALLY look for when evaluating films It seems like it is all about the streamers these days. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max--they have become the Holy Grail for screenwriters and emerging talent. And yet as prominent as these platforms have become, the process behind how a film actually finds its way into their library is opaque and enigmatic. With so little information on the inner workings of the streamers, it can seem confusing, maybe even impossible to get your own proverbial foot into the portal and get your screenplay noticed. You may wonder if there is any actual human element involved in considering your project. Understanding more about how streamers find and select films can help you understand how best to get your work noticed and walk into the murky streaming waters with more confidence. So what actually happens to a submission behind-closed-doors at one of the streamers? Who is reading it and what are they looking for? The professional readers employed by streamers are trained to use very specific criteria to assess material. They do not use the same methodology as agents, managers, or producers who may be more willing to develop material and incubate projects. It’s helpful to know that there are certain types of projects and styles of writing that are more likely to get these readers’ attention and prompt them to escalate your submission to actual decision-makers. Let’s dive in. Michael Schulman is a Feature Story Analyst for Netflix as part of its Independent Original Film Division, and his job revolves around evaluating feature screenplay submissions and deciding which ones to pass up to the executives to consider. Prior to his role at Netflix, Michael spent nearly a decade in the story department at CAA where he found projects for CAA clients. Over his storied career, Michael also served as an agent at ICM’s Motion Picture Literary Department and held numerous studio creative executive positions at Orion, TriStar, and Disney where he worked to develop film and television projects with some of the top talent in the industry. Michael is very familiar with what it takes for a script to find its way to decisionmakers since this has been a key feature of his job for over a decade. Exclusively for Stage 32, Michael will reveal how streamers evaluate and identify feature film submissions and specifically what the initial readers look for before sending a script along to decisionmakers. He will give you an overall look at the steps a film takes to getting greenlit at a streamer and lay out who exactly these readers are that will be evaluating your script at the beginning. He’ll also show you what these readers are trained to look for and how they know “it” when they see it. Michael will also explain the importance of packaging during this phase and how streamers’ “algorithms” really work. Through Michael’s honest, comprehensive, and in-depth discussion of this often-secretive side of streaming platforms, you’ll be able to leave with a much clearer idea of how to get your own script the best shot of being selected at Netflix or other streamers. Note: This webinar focuses on streamers' reading and evaluation process after a screenplay has been submitted, and focuses less on the actual submission process. Keep in mind that submitting your project to Netflix and other streaming giants is, by design, difficult and often requires an agent or manager that is already connected with the platform, or to go through production companies or studios that already have a development deal in place. For more information on how to reach managers or production companies, check out some of the on demand webinars below! How to Get Pitch Meetings For Your Project How to Find and Choose the Right Screenwriting Manager for Your Career How to Identify, Secure and Build a Relationship with a Great Producer for Your Film Project - with Case Studies How to Capture the Attention of a Showrunner or Manager with your TV Writing Samples
Great Characters should have Great Introductions. Join us as we breakdown how characters are introduced in features and TV scripts including Star Wars, Fargo, The Good Place, Mad Men, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Arrested Development.
Learn the impact of film editing from international director/editor Max Leonida whose films have been screened and awarded at a range of festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the International Salerno Film Festival, the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival and the L.A. Short Films Festival, to name a few. “I love editing. I think I like it more than any other phase of filmmaking. If I wanted to be frivolous, I might say that everything that precedes editing is merely a way of producing film to edit.” (Stanley Kubrick) Some of the greatest, most iconic filmmakers of all times (like Scorsese, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Tarantino, Coppola, Lynch, Fellini, Gilliam and many others) used to spend hours, days and sometimes months into the dark secrecy of the editing room, sitting next to their faithful editor, enjoying the guilty pleasure of reshaping – over and over again – a world of their own. The post-production phase is the most critical one throughout the entire film production process… and editing, in particular, is a pivotal moment where as a filmmaker you should be able to understand that you are writing the final version and destiny of your movie. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, international director/editor, Max Leonida will use his years of experience to give you a more profound knowledge of the artistic nature of the editing process, together with a clear, up-to-date and technical expertise about the most important digital editing systems on the market. Max's most recent films include Run (winner at 2013 MIFF and double winner at the 3D International Festival) and the feature film “What Separates Us”, Best Feature at the Machetanz Film Festival. Editing is not just a simple matter of pace, rhythm, and mere image composition: editing pertains to the core of storytelling itself. Every professional filmmaker knows that a closeup placed in the right place, at the right moment, can definitely chance the course of a narrative process. Editing includes re-defining the story, reconstructing the characters, reshaping the very structure to the point of even changing and re-dubbing the dialogue in a totally different way from the original script… all for the sake of beauty. And this webinar aims to give you these tools.
This is a private, virtual group for only 15 people - This will fill up so get your spot now! Payment plans available - contact email@example.com for more info! From THE GODFATHER to THE SHAWSHANK REDEPTION to WESTWORLD, book adaptations have been a Hollywood staple. Studios, streamers, and networks are always looking to bring great IP to the screen. For writers, adaptations can be a way to break in and get noticed. Is there a book you’ve been dying to adapt? Or maybe you’re intimidated by adapting a book or graphic novel? Many screen and TV writers don’t know how to get into the adaptation game; they don’t know where to begin, and how to attain exclusive rights to a book or a graphic novel. Some consider adaptations daunting or out of reach. In the lab, we’ll learn the basics of the adaptation process, from start to finish, and we’ll come to discover that adaptations are a viable choice for writers of all levels. Micky Levy caught the eye of Alison Eastwood and Warner Bros. with a script she wrote entitled RAILS & TIES. Directed by Eastwood, the film starred Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden. It premiered in the U.S. in the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Since then, Micky has completed several book adaptations, including AMISH GRACE for which she received a Humanitas Prize nomination. Other adaptations include: NOBODY from the award-winning book by Caryl Phillips, Dancing in the Dark, THE COINCIDENCE MAKERS from a best-selling novel by Israeli author Yuav Blum, and STOLEN WATERS from the Romanian short story collection by Ada Shauluv. Micky knows exactly what it takes to adapt IP since she has done it time and time again and she's bringing her extensive knowledge to the Stage 32 community. Micky is going to take you through every step of the process for adapting IP to the screen in private virtual class settings, plus one-on-one consultations with you. In this exclusive 8-week private, virtual lab you will: Have a private virtual group that you will interact with over the course of 8 weeks under the guidance of your Stage 32 Educator Have your Stage 32 Educator available on email in between classes to help you with any questions you have about your own projects. Learn the overview of the adaptation process Learn why it's important for you to get the exclusive rights to the IP you want to turn into a screenplay Learn how to secure the rights to IP Learn what to to do once you have the rights - to pitch it or spec it Learn how to break it down into a relevant screenplay, package it and market it. By the end of this 8 week virtual lab, you are going to be ready to secure the rights to the next big Hollywood adaptation of a book, short story, or graphic novel. PLUS! As an added bonus, you will receive: Sample Option Agreement Sample Shopping Agreement Sample Adaptation: Script and Long Form Treatment. You will be given the option to purchase the book on which the Sample Adaptation is based. Short Form Treatment Adaptation Pitch
It makes sense why more creatives than ever before want to make the jump from film to television, ESPECIALLY writers. As a TV writer you can dive into longer form storytelling and explore characters more fully. And with the massive popularity of streamers like Netflix and Hulu, your work can likely reach more people in the TV space. And that’s not to mention the fact that TV writing usually provides a much more stable and long-running form of income. All this to say: the pilgrimage from movie writing to TV writing is no longer uncommon and can be an exciting or lucrative development for any working writer. This a switch that is more than possible to undertake, but you need to know how best to accomplish it first. The path from film writing to TV writing is absolutely doable, but that doesn’t mean the door is wide open. No matter who you are, breaking into television is no easy feat and your background in film can serve as an advantage OR disadvantage, depending on how you approach it. Instead of waiting for HBO or Netflix to roll out the red carpet for you, it’s important you tackle this transition with realistic expectations and an understanding of how best you can fit in. Tripper Clancy is a working writer that has found success in both film and, more recently, television. Earlier in his career, Tripper wrote the screenplay for the Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista action comedy STUBER before deciding to make the switch to television. Since then, Tripper served as staff writer for the Netflix hit I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS and VARSITY BLUES, a modern day reimagining of the original movie. Tripper also created and wrote the action-comedy series DIE HART, starring Kevin Hart and John Travolta. Tripper has found longevity and deeper success for his writing career by making the jump from film to television and will share exclusively with Stage 32 what goes into this transition. Tripper will teach you how you can expand your writing career by making the switch from film to television. He’ll go over his own journey from film to TV and then break down what writing for both features and TV actually looks like, including the advantages and disadvantages of each. He’ll discuss using your reps to make the jump and whether you can do so without a manager or agent and will give you advice on how you can sell your film experience to stand out when pursuing TV opportunities. Tripper will give you a sense of what expectations are realistic when making this shift and where you can expect to start out. He’ll discuss how you can find currency from your film background and what sort of unique challenges film writers might face in television. Expect to leave with a hopeful but realistic idea of what you need to do to find your next opportunity on a TV show. Praise for Tripper's Stage 32 Webinar "Tripper Clancy was an awesome presenter who cut to the chase in a clear, understandable webinar." -Mark D. "Tripper's webinar was terrific - he's a great conversationalist and his open, candid, honest, accessible and very knowledgeable presentation & Q&A were very empowering." -Fran B. "Tripper was really engaging. The conversational tone was enjoyable. Sometimes a seminar can feel like a stranger reading me their powerpoint, just slower than I would read it myself. That wasn't the case here." -Nicholas G. "Tripper was phenomenal. Within 1 hour he gave us a whole course in something I knew nothing about before. Another Stage 32 phenomenal webinar." -Ricki L.
Flashbacks Make sure your flashback scenes drive the plot forward, are not more dramatic than the present, reveal information about your character or situation, have a specific point of view.