For over a decade, Chris Smith has built budgets and made film and television projects as a line producer, producer, producer, and production manager. He’s worked on over ten indie features, spent a few years being an Executive in Charge of Production for the Travel Channel, Cartoon Network, NatGeo, MTV, and more, and overseen commercials, infomercials, music videos, shorts, and plenty of other projects. He came up through production, so he knows every crew role and rental and why they each require a line item in the budget. His budgeting philosophy is simple: measure twice ‘cuz you only shoot once… hopefully. Full Bio »
Find out how the pros make big action stories happen on a limited budget from Chris Smith, a producer and production executive who has produced 10 indie films and built hundreds of budgets for films, TV, shorts, and more.
Just one look at this year’s box office wins and it’s easy to see that action films are bigger than ever.
But you don’t have to wait for $100 million and a green light to make your own action movie.
HARDCORE HENRY, MAD MAX, and GONE IN 60 SECONDS are just a few successful action films produced under $2 million.
With the right script and some creativity, you can produce your own action film for the big screen and audiences worldwide.
In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you’ll learn how to budget and produce a low-budget action film from Chris Smith, a producer and former production executive who knows how to make big movies happen without the big price tag.
Do you want to have a mercenary team show up armed to the teeth to gun down a hero? Did your badass heroine end up in a warehouse with the big bad henchman? Does the techy sidekick need to chase down a boat to stop a bomb? There’s a way to budget that and Chris will show you how.
Chris has been making film and television for over a decade, producing 10 indie films and working as the Executive in Charge of Production with networks including MTV, NatGeo, and many more. He’s built over a hundred budgets for films, television series, commercials, shorts, and music videos.
By the end of this webinar, you’ll know:
If you’re ready to see your action movie thrilling audiences on the big screen, take the first step in learning how the pros do it by learning from an industry veteran today.
Starting with the Budget
Setting up Your Team
Mission Impossible vs. Mission Possible: How to pull off big elements on a small budget
From Preproduction to Post!
Q&A with Chris
Q: How do I watch my webinar live?
A: If you received a confirmation that your webinar is on Go to Webinar, you will receive an email from Go to Webinar with further instructions for participating in the live webinar. You can also access your webinar link in your purchase history located under settings in the top right-hand corner of your Stage 32 profile.
If you received a confirmation that your webinar is on Zoom, you will receive a separate email from Zoom with further instructions for participating in the live webinar. Your login link will not be in your Stage 32 profile. If you did not receive your link via Zoom please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How do I watch my webinar on demand?
A: You will be able to watch your webinar on demand as many times as you’d like inside your Stage 32 profile. The recording is processed and posted between 24-48 hours after the webinar concludes. You can follow the instructions below.
YOU MUST HAVE A STAGE 32 PROFILE TO WATCH YOUR VIDEO – STAGE 32 IS FREE TO JOIN If You Already Have a Stage 32 Profile:
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute educational broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32. Your webinar will be taught by a working industry professional with in-depth teaching on a topic. If you are able to attend live you will be able to ask your Stage 32 Educator questions during Q&A.
Q: What are the system requirements to watch my webinar live?
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 10.9 (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 cannot attend a live webinar or 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 re-watch?
A: Yes! Like all Stage 32 education, after the purchase of a live or on demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording.
Q: How do I get a copy of the handouts provided?
A: If the webinar you take included handouts you can find them as downloads underneath your on demand video. You must be logged into your Stage 32 profile to view the video and get the handouts by clicking settings in the top right hand corner, then clicking purchase history.
Q: What if I need accessibility and accommodations?
A: Email email@example.com to request accommodations.
Thanks for your loyalty to Stage 32 Education. We value having you in the Stage 32 community.
If you have any further questions, we are always happy to help. Please contact Stage 32 support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your film requires a unique budget based on the scale of the story, special effects, stunts, visual aesthetic, insurance, and so much more. But how much is that going to cost you? If you're looking for financing, how do you explain the dollar amount you need to investors? You need a budget. Do you know what budget tier your film is? How to create a production schedule? How to "guesstimate" your costs? How to do a budget display for investors? Well, you're about to find out! Creating a budget is not in your everyday skills, and that's okay! Most writers and directors have never created a budget, making it vital to get the correct information to know what your production needs. Quality budgets are the job of line producers, but they take time to create and are typically expensive. A line producer knows all the crewmembers, equipment, and unique additives that your script requires, as well as where you can save money. But you need this information long before you hire a line producer because you have to create an estimated budget to draw investors. This exclusive Stage 32 webinar shows you how to create an estimated budget for your film, including a Q&A with a professional line producer so that you can receive direct expert knowledge regarding your script. For over a decade, Chris Smith has built budgets working on over ten indie features and has worked as an Executive in Charge of Production, creating reality content for Travel Channel, Cartoon Network, NatGeo, MTV, and more. Having moved through the production ranks, he knows every crew role and rental and why they each require a line item in the budget. He’s also built over a hundred budgets for every type of project you can think of. His budgeting philosophy is simple: measure twice ‘cuz you only shoot once… hopefully. By the end of this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, you will be able to create an accurate budget estimate and have the confidence to talk about that estimate with any potential investors and professionals that are as excited to get moving on your project as you. You will also: Break down your script for the schedule and budget Understand budget tiers Know what causes unexpected cost increases Looking at "comps" (comparable examples) Learn how to communicate your budget effectively to investors and more! Praise for Chris's Teaching: "Chris is truly a master. I'm appreciative he took the time to be as thorough as he was in this webinar." - Phil M. "I've never done an estimated budget before and Chris included so many things that never occurred to me! After doing my 'guesstimate,' I locked a producer and am about to start my first production ever." - Terry D. "I thought it was very well done. Chris was very straightforward and a pleasure to listen to." - Michael W. "Chris is wonderful! Wealth of knowledge & seems like a really cool, standup guy."- Melissa L. "Chris was great, very clear, knowledgeable and charismatic. As someone who has shot multiple films in the past, some of the first half content was aimed at beginners, but I got my money's worth with his case studies and strategies in the second half. Thank you." - Javier B. "it was great to hear from an LP to walk us through guesstimating a budget. Very useful info. I thoroughly enjoyed it" -Yvette S.
Maximize your creativity with the guidance of a professional filmmaker with over 40 years of experience in this directing intensive, covering everything from development through post-production. You’ll take a deep dive into everything expected of you as a director and how to achieve your vision. Do you dream of directing your own feature but worry that you don’t have the training or experience to make it happen? Whether you want to establish yourself as an independent filmmaker, build a career within the traditional system, or become an accomplished television director, all it takes is one project to set your career in motion. But directing is more than supervising a crew and telling actors how to emote. Directing starts months before cameras start rolling, as you lock the script, determine your vision, and set a production plan to execute it. It’s an enormous task and one that you need to know what it entails before jumping in. This Stage 32 exclusive course teaches you just that. Starting with how to break down a script and design a visual story, through pre-production with scouting and casting, to the actual production and managing your cast and crew, and through post-production, where you have the last chance to create your vision. You’ll learn time-management skills and tools to collaborate with your crew and actors so that everyone is as excited and invested in the project as you. You’ll even see how directors get hired in the industry for directing jobs, so you can hit the ground running in your career. Taking you through these invaluable tools is feature film and television director Bobby Roth, who has over 40 years as a director in the business and whose films have been honored at over 70 international film festivals. He’s worked with top-tier talent, including Academy Award-winner Rita Moreno on the film THE BOSS’ SON, who won Best Supporting Actress at the Miami International Film Festival. He’s been nominated and won several awards for his work in features, including the films HEARTBREAKERS, BAJA OKLAHOMA, DEAD SOLID PERFECT, MANHOOD, and BERKELEY. He’s also directed countless hours of television on popular shows, such as GREY’S ANATOMY, MACGYVER, and AGENTS OF SHIELD. Using his decades of experience, Bobby will show you how a director learns all the filmmaking skills, such as screenwriting, casting, editing, and composing, in order to build great partnerships with every member of production and create a beautifully cohesive story. After this intensive, you will have access to this incredible resource on-demand. You will also walk away with confidence that you know everything being a director entails and how to achieve a fantastic film with your team.
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.
In this 5-session online master class, learn from leading producer Jason Mirch, and his special industry guests on how to take an idea for a short film from concept all the way to post-production. Every successful filmmaker has, at some point in their career, written, directed, and/or produced a short film. For filmmakers who are just starting out, a short film is the best calling card to showcase their unique talent and vision. It is important to remember that short filmmaking is different from feature filmmaking, with challenges unique to the process. Even so, producing a short film may seem daunting, but there are several key secrets to getting the most out of your project. This intensive 5-week course will give students the tools and techniques necessary to produce a world class short film. Each week will be dedicated to a different aspect of the short filmmaking process, including, concept development and writing of your short, budgeting and scheduling, understanding and drafting production agreements, pro-tips on directing actors, and how to get the most out of the post production process. You are strongly encouraged to come with ideas for a short film, which will be developed over the course of the 5 weeks, so by the conclusion of the class, you should have a screenplay ready for production! Every week your host, Jason Mirch, will be bringing in special guests to help teach you, including: Christina Snider - Casting Associate, Susan Edelman Casting (Melrose Place, Malcolm in the Middle, Drop Dead Diva, Wonder Years) Michael Carney - Director (Same Kind of Different As Me) Brian Swanson - editor and sound designer Abeer Abu Schmeiss - Marketing Director, Image Nation (He Named Me Malala, Flight,The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Learn how to pitch remotely from the writer of JIGSAW and SPIRAL (Number one movie at the box office this year) Includes a live pitch demonstration and an exclusive pitch workshop with 5 volunteers! As Zoom pitches continue to be our “new norm,” it’s important to know how to deliver the most effective virtual pitches, because let’s face it, it’s not the same as pitching in person. The energy is different, and you need to make sure you keep the energy high and engaging. How do you keep producers interested through a computer screen? Now, more than ever, you have to be quick, clear, and concise. Structure is key, but so is knowing how to handle small talk. Pitching is as much about selling your project as it is about selling yourself. Armed with the right tools, conversation, and materials, your chances are as good as anyone else’s. Pete Goldfinger is an incredibly successful feature and television writer in Hollywood, perhaps best known for penning the two newest features in the SAW horror universe, including JIGSAW, which grossed over $100 million, and SPIRAL, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock, which debuted at number one at the box office this year. He’s going to teach you how to quickly hook producers and showrunners with the most valuable and authentic pitch. Pete will share his years of experience handling everything from small talk to delivering strong loglines with pitch decks so that you’ll have all the tools to feel confident in your next virtual pitch. To demonstrate a live Zoom pitch and being quick on your feet with your pitches, Pete will deliver one of his own pitches, and then give you the opportunity to practice your own one-minute pitches and provide you with feedback. This is an amazing opportunity to fine tune and get advice on nailing your pitch from someone who knows just how to do that.
Learn everything you need to know to produce your feature film from an acclaimed producer who has worked with Legendary, Lakeshore Entertainment, Netflix, and IFC Films and more! PLUS! You will receive a budget and call sheet template to use on your own projects! Are you planning to produce a feature film anytime soon? If so, this exclusive Stage 32 4-part on-demand class is for you! Producers wear multiple hats at all times. From spearheading development on the script and casting to ensuring things run smoothly on set during production and maintaining quality control in post-production, a good producer is a leader for the film from both a creative and business perspective. There are countless things a producer should prepare for before, during, and after making a film. However, there is a steep learning curve for producing. Almost all first time producers have no way of knowing what to prepare for until they are deep in the trenches of making their film and putting out fires left and right. This inevitably leads to problems on set and in post-production that cost the production more money and results in a lesser quality film. That's where Stage 32 comes in. This interactive 4-part class will teach you everything you need to know before producing your film so you can avoid all the mistakes and pitfalls that producers fall into when making a film. Here to guide you through the ins and outs of producing is veteran producer Michael Wormser, co-founder and producer at Cinemand Films. Michael has produced over 70 projects in his career and has made features for Legendary, Lakeshore Entertainment, Netflix, and IFC Films, as well as series for Fox Television Studios, Hulu, FreeForm, Netflix, and 20th Century Digital. Instead of going into your film with limited experience, you’ll be armed with all the lessons Michael has learned on the many projects he has produced and he'll share the warnings of what to look out for! This will put you much further along in the process, meaning your first film will be the very best experience it can be and get the results you want. The first challenge to producing your film is starting off in pre-production by planning the right steps. The next challenge is effective leadership and execution in production through the delivery of the film. These fundamentals collectively make up the craft of filmmaking. Learning the functions and rules of each step will be essential to a successful film. You'll walk away from this 4-part class with the skillset to effectively produce your feature film and an understanding of how to lead a production, what common producing mistakes to avoid, and how to put your project in the best position possible (both creatively and financially) to succeed! PLUS! Michael will provide you with exclude handouts to help you produce your film! Downloads include: Call Sheet Template Feature Film Budget Template Praise For Michael's Teaching on Stage 32: "I'm so glad I got to work with Michael. I thought I knew everything there was before making my first film but boy was I wrong. He really helped me get my production in shape before we started shooting. Thank you!" -- Caroline R. "Michael's expertise and knowledge really comes out in his class. If only all producers can be as resourceful as him!" -- Mark H.