Branding and Selling Yourself as a Writer In Hollywood

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Hosted by Tiegen Kosiak

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Tiegen Kosiak

Webinar hosted by: Tiegen Kosiak

Producer

Tiegen Kosiak was the former Director of Development for Cinestar Pictures, which produces TV, feature, digital, scripted & unscripted content. The partners/producers are Cisely, Mariel & Zoe Saldana. Previously, Tiegen worked with the President of Production & Literary Management at Untitled Entertainment. Prior to that, Tiegen worked in commercial production in West Los Angeles, video production in New York City & live show production in Las Vegas. She also spent two years in the AmeriCorps VISTA program.  Tiegen has a MFA in Poetry from Minnesota Statue University Moorhead & a BA in Communications from Marymount Manhattan College. She is a member of Scriptwriters Network, the Junior Hollywood Radio & Television Society (JHRTS) & Film Independent as well as the co-founder of the Young Hollywood Mafia (YHM). Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Branding yourself as a writer is integral to your success in the entertainment industry. Your brand is equal parts preferred medium, chosen genre(s), and personal voice/style. Once this is developed, it becomes easier to for you, your representation team, and/or your production company to sell and produce your material. 

The entertainment industry is filled with writers, but with so much talent vying for limited opportunities, it’s important to find a way to stand out from the crowd. And because there are very few new stories, only fresh takes on proven formulas, a writer’s unique voice and style are paramount when creating and selling content. This voice/style combined with preferred genres and mediums make up a writer’s brand, and cultivating that brand is instrumental in selling yourself and your material in Hollywood. And you don’t need representation or a production company behind you to do it! Developing your brand as a writer starts and ends with you, but once you have command of this brand, you’ll find that many more representatives, producers, and other buyers are willing to jump on your bandwagon.

In this Stage 32 webinar, development executive Tiegen Kosiak will teach you the importance of branding yourself as a screenwriter and how that brand is helpful in procuring representation, building relationships in the entertainment industry, and ultimately selling and producing your projects in the ever-changing Hollywood marketplace.

Beginning her career in literary management and working with, among others, the Academy Award-winning writers of BIRDMAN and the creator of STEP UP and SAVE THE LAST DANCE, Tiegen recognized how integral a writer’s brand was in submitting material, setting meetings, and pitching clients for open writing assignments. Formerly, Tiegen worked for Cinestar Pictures, movie star Zoe Saldana’s production company. In this role Tiegen used branding every day to option material, sell screenplays, and attach writers to projects.

This webinar will provide you with the tools needed to craft your brand as a writer and how to use that brand to sell yourself and your material to representatives, producers, and other content buyers in the entertainment marketplace. You will walk away with a better understanding of the Hollywood hierarchy and how to cultivate relationships within each tier. Remember, it all begins with you, the writer!

What You'll Learn

Understand the Hollywood landscape and its players

  • Creatives – actors, writers, directors, others who create/shape content
  • Sellers – managers, agents, production companies without capital
  • Buyers – networks, studios, production companies with financing

PART I: CREATION – this is the part where you have the most control!

  • Questions to ask before you write and/or when accessing your work: What are your strengths? What do you love? What are you trying to say?
  • Consistency vs. variety
    • Do you write many different things or focus on one thing?
    • Genre/tone/theme/etc.
    • “Your lane” – this is what you’re best at: You need to KNOW it, then CRUSH IT, then TRY A NEW LANE!
  • Branding
    • Think of it as a logline for your writing style
    • Can include medium, genre, style, etc.
    • Ex. Shonda Rimes, Tina Fey, John Hughes

PART II: REPRESENTATION – not necessary for finding your brand, but definitely helpful!

  • Differences between agents/managers/lawyers
  • How to effectively utilize your representation. 
  • All problems are not solved once you get representation
  • How to choose the right representation
    • What is their brand? Ex. Untitled, 3Arts, CAA
    • What kind of work should they do for you?
  • Build knowledge
  • Build relationships

PART III: PRODUCTION AND YOUR BRAND– what gets made and why!

  • Production company/studio/network differences
    • What is their brand? Ex. AnnaPurna, RatPac, HBO
  • Overall vs. first look deals
  • Where is the money? Who sells what to who?
  • “Development hell”
  • You MUST sell yourself in the room
  • General meetings – one-on-one with an executive(s)
  • Pitches – your “take” on a particular project
  • Networking – mixers, seminars, panels, etc.
  • Balancing the brand – matching your style to theirs

Plus, live and in-depth Q&A with Tiegen!

About Your Instructor

Tiegen Kosiak was the former Director of Development for Cinestar Pictures, which produces TV, feature, digital, scripted & unscripted content. The partners/producers are Cisely, Mariel & Zoe Saldana.

Previously, Tiegen worked with the President of Production & Literary Management at Untitled Entertainment. Prior to that, Tiegen worked in commercial production in West Los Angeles, video production in New York City & live show production in Las Vegas. She also spent two years in the AmeriCorps VISTA program. 

Tiegen has a MFA in Poetry from Minnesota Statue University Moorhead & a BA in Communications from Marymount Manhattan College. She is a member of Scriptwriters Network, the Junior Hollywood Radio & Television Society (JHRTS) & Film Independent as well as the co-founder of the Young Hollywood Mafia (YHM).

FAQs

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!

Testimonials

Great webinar - lots of great useful info - Thanks! ~Ron H.

Very informative. ~Vicki V.

I think Tiegen was absolutely wonderful. I would love the opportunity to have coffee with her one day. I learned a great deal from a really appealing and knowledgeable woman. ~Simone Y.

I found it very helpful and entertaining. I was shocked at how fast the time went. Tiegen packed a lot of great information into the 90 minutes. I know this is a seminar I will listen to again. ~Cam Clark

This was an EXCELLENT webinar! Useful, unique information.Tiegen generously shared an enormous amount of information. Writing is a strenuous, though rewarding endeavor, and her detailed observations and vigorous, yet concise, genotype theories, as it were, have inspired my work ethic. And triple thank you for mentioning there are management companies with offices in NYC, not far. I don't live in LA, and have been worried for ages about that geographic block. Thank you Tiegen, and Stage 32. ~Gerri George

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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