Danny Manus is an in-demand script consultant and CEO of No BullScript Consulting (www.nobullscript.net), and was ranked in the Top 15 “Cream of the Crop” Script Consultants by Creative Screenwriting Magazine. He is the author of No BS for Screenwriters: Advice from the Executive Perspective and has taught seminars and workshops across the country at events and venues including Austin Film Festival, Great American Pitchfest, Screenwriting Expo, ShowBiz Expo, Santa Fe Screenwriting Conference, Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Las Vegas Writers Conference, The Writers Store, Writers League of Texas in Austin, Vancouver Pitchmart, Scriptwriters Network, Sherwood Oaks College, etc., and to groups in LA, NY, Chicago, Dallas, Idaho, Iowa, Florida, etc. He’s appeared on the Film Courage radio show, Triggerstreet’s Script Reporter podcast and the On the Page podcast. Danny was the Director of Development for Clifford Werber Productions (A CINDERELLA STORY) where he sold the family adventure project “To Oz” to United Artists, and was instrumental in developing numerous projects including SYDNEY WHITE starring Amanda Bynes and the dark comedy JUST ADD WATER, starring Dylan Walsh, Jonah Hill, Justin Long, Melissa McCarthy and Danny DeVito. He continues to work with the company as a producer on several projects. Before launching No BullScript, Danny also worked as a script analyst for companies such as ScriptShark and Script Coach. Previously, Daniel was a Development Consultant for Eclectic Pictures (LOVELACE), which has a deal with Millennium Films, and the Director of Development for Sandstorm Films, run by writer/director J.S. Cardone, which had a first look deal at Sony Screen Gems and a development deal with Top Cow Comics. He was instrumental in developing a number of films for the company including THE COVENANT, 8MM2 and SNIPER 3. Danny also interned at Columbia Tri-Star in the Television Development department and at 20th Century Fox in Feature Casting. Danny has taken over 3000 pitches, written over 230 articles on screenwriting for numerous websites and publications including Business of Show Institute and Script Magazine, and has been a judge for the PAGE Awards four years running. He is currently working on his next book. Raised on Long Island, NY, in an amusingly dysfunctional household, Danny holds a B.S. degree in Television with a concentration in Screenwriting from Ithaca College. You can follow him on Twitter @Dannymanus. Full Bio »
Learn directly from Danny Manus, an in-demand script consultant and CEO of No BullScript Consulting!
You’ve written a killer script. Great. But now you’ve got to get someone to read it.
Success in Hollywood is often about making great first impressions. Your loglines and query letters are the first and sometimes only things an executive or agent is going to read of your work. So it’s critical that your logline and query letter are attention grabbing, tell them something of substance, make you look good, and most of all—make them want to read more.
Have you sent out hundreds of queries but haven’t gotten many script requests? Are you the type of writer who has no problem writing 120 page script but gets totally stumped by writing a 30 word logline? Have no fear – I’m here to help!
As a development executive, producer, and script consultant, I have read thousands of query letters and countless loglines. I have taken over 3,000 pitches, and I’ve helped thousands of writers craft their project’s logline to help them standout and stand above the rest!
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, I will show you specific, proven, easy-to-use formulas and tips to construct tight, professional loglines, engaging query letters, and visual one-sheets. We will go over what to include and what not to include in each, the difference between loglines and taglines, words to use that will make your loglines pop, what executives are looking for, how to query for representation and TV, and how and where to send queries to actually get them read.
We’ll also go over loglines for some of Hollywood’s hottest movies, one-sheets that made me request the script, and I’ll share with you some of the best and worst queries I’ve ever received so you don’t make the same mistakes. Plus, Q&A.
And as a special BONUS, if you register for the LIVE Webinar, you will also be able to submit your logline to me for a critique and fix after the Webinar (details below).
If you’re trying to get professionals to notice your project, if you’re trying to submit your script anywhere, or even if you’ve posted or wanted to post your loglines in the Stage 32 Lounges and Forums, this Webinar is for you!
Whether you are a screenwriter, novelist, producer, director or exec, your project deserves to make the right first impression. Let me show how.
**Please note that the free logline critique Danny mentions in the webinar is not available for On-Demand. It was only available for members who attended the live webinar.**
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!
"The presentation today by Danny Manus was excellent and very valuable!!! Glad to see this info will continue to be available and all the rest that you do is fantastic for all of us working on all levels." - Stevanne Auerbach
"I’ve been to a lot of script doctors with a lot of scripts and by far, Danny Manus is the best! He has a real command of the requirements of the craft and the needs of a script, regardless of genre, without injecting sophomoric, antiquated or clichéd opinions. You can’t go wrong with him!" - Kevin Grevioux, Screenwriter of I, Frankenstein and Underworld
"Danny was an invaluable asset and collaborator in both the production and creative elements of the films we produced. His knowledge was critical to the development of our scripts and his original ideas and approaches were a major factor in our development and decision making process. I have only the greatest respect for his talents, which is why I continue you to work with him on my own material." - J.S. Cardone, Screenwriter/Director (Prom Night, The Covenant, Stepfather, The Forsaken, etc)
"Danny’s got some of the best story instincts around and the enviable ability to enhance every script he works on. As an exec, he knows the business, the players and the marketplace and is able to bring this knowledge to his work as a script consultant. We’ve worked on many projects together and he’s still the person I ask for story and casting input." - Clifford Werber, Producer (Cinderella Story, Sydney White, Just Add Water)
"Danny’s worked with studios and independents and knows how to handle writers at every level. He loves discovering and working with new writers and making their material shine as best it can… He cuts through the crap and at the end of the day, any writer or producer would be lucky to have him in their corner." - Scott Einbinder, Producer, (Killer Joe, Bad Country, The Covenant, Sniper 2 & 3)
"My comedy spec was a perennial quarter finalist screenplay until it landed with Danny Manus. Over several drafts and pages of notes, he managed to turn it into a true contender. His knowledge of the craft, experience in the industry, and attention to details can ready any screenplay for today’s market. I’m proud to say that my script is now making its rounds through Hollywood’s elite!" - Richard Dane Scott, Screenwriter (My Dog the Champion, My BFF)
"Wow, GREAT notes! Absolutely everything you say makes sense. This is literally my first draft and normally I wouldn’t let anyone see anything at this early stage, but I know there’s potential, and coming to you was the smartest thing I could have done – a huge help. THANK YOU!!!" - Margaret Riseley, Optioned Screenwriter of "Kissing Dynamite" and ScreenwritingU 2013 Most Recommend Writers
Learn directly from Danny Manus, an in-demand script consultant and CEO of No BullScript Consulting. He will cover the 10 lessons you can learn from one of the best films of 2014. Everyone wants to write that Academy Award-winning original screenplay, right? The best ways to learn how to write great scripts of that caliber is to READ great scripts of that caliber, study those movies, and learn the lessons these projects can teach. Nominated for 5 Oscars, one of the most acclaimed films of 2013 is HER, written and directed by Spike Jonze, who has already won the Golden Globe and WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay, and is a frontrunner for the Academy Award. In this Webinar, we will go deeper into many different aspects of the film and I will break down the script and go through 10 lessons you can learn from one of the best, most original films of the year that will help you improve your own writing and scripts, no matter what genre you write. Note: If you haven’t seen the movie already, there will be spoilers throughout the class.
Learn directly from Adam Matalon, award winning executive producer, show runner, director and creator who's worked on over 20 projects on cable and network television. The unscripted and reality genres are becoming more and more fragmented and producers are forced into more and more niche areas of expertise. This is creating a vacuum in which producers wanting to step into showrunner roles are unable to do so because they lack the overview expertise. In this Next Level Webinar, Adam Matalon challenges that notion and investigates the role of the showrunner in today's current climate of television. As more and more networks and production companies are struggling with staffing their leader, there are fewer and fewer opportunities. We will discuss the reasons for this and how storytellers, producers, writers, and directors can best prepare themselves for leadership roles in the fast evolving television and digital space. Adam will break down the process of taking a project from presentation, through production and on to delivery to the network; something that is vital for all aspiring showrunners both in the reality and unscripted space as well as a scripted space. Adam will also touch on the best ways for building an environment that will make you more employable, how ‘storytelling’ is utilized in a reality show and the various documents needed to accomplish the task of getting the 'greenlight.' This webinar includes a packet of supplemental materials such as templates and example production documents!
There’s only one way to get your audience to sit still for the story you want to tell: create compelling characters. As human beings, we are endlessly fascinated with ourselves and our interactions. When we find a character to whom we can relate, we lock in. Constructing relatable, entertaining and realistic characters is essential to a successful screenplay, not to mention critical to our own enjoyment of the writing process. But what separates the memorable personalities on the screen from the “which-one-was-that-again” types? I’ve discovered answers that work for me, and created some guidelines. Follow them and you stand a better chance of producing characters who not only engage your audience, but do the heavy lifting for your story and themes. Miss out and you’ve got page after page of shoulder shrugs. For almost thirty years I’ve had the privilege of creating and nurturing characters for the big and small screens. From running or co-creating sitcoms like “Living Single” and “JONAS” to writing or co-writing movies like “Balto,” “Mulan II” and Shrek,” I’ve accumulated scores of characters who now sit around my brain, eating my food, drinking my liquor and playing mind games. When you’re done with my webinar, you’ll know a lot more about what makes good characters tick, what makes bad characters just sit there, and just maybe a little bit more about yourself. And you’ll come away with a tool chest from which you can pick and choose the techniques you prefer to build unique characters so remarkable that sometimes they’ll write their dialog for you.
Nearly every executive that has come in to hear pitches through Stage 32 is looking for thriller features. It's one of the few genres that can translate internationally. Having a solid, unique thriller in your portfolio is something any manager or agent will appreciate. Thrillers like Gone Girl, Taken, The Boy Next Door and Non-Stop have profited more than quadrupled what their respective shooting budgets were. But writing thrillers comes with its own challenges. A writer has to make sure the characterization is strong throughout the story without letting the action sequences overshadow it. But those action sequences must be thrilling enough to fuel the story forward and the pacing must be thriving and building in every scene. Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you our exclusive 3-week online intensive class How to Write a Compelling, Commercially Viable Thriller taught by the creative executive of Mandalay Pictures, Patrick Raymond! In this hands-on course, you will learn what it takes to write a compelling, fast-paced thriller and how to successfully pitch it to production companies. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards strengthening your pages, this class will help you craft your writing into a thriller that will stand out. The objective of this course is: To learn the rules of writing a page-turner thriller with a unique hook. To prepare you on how to pitch your completed thriller. To elevate your writing and story to a more marketable level. You will leave the course knowing: Tropes used in thrillers to avoid and tropes to embrace. How to commit to tone from page 1. How to option a book or article to establish an IP. The difference between the subgenres of a thriller (including blockbusters, psychological, erotic and art-house). How to prepare your pitch document for your completed thriller. About Your Teacher Patrick Raymond, Creative Executive at Mandalay Pictures Patrick started his career working as an assistant at Gersh, where he was able to learn the business from the ground up as well as make solid connection in the town. He worked primarily in the production department but gained lots of exposure to the literary world, working with writers and story. He utilized his experience and passion as leverage in a transition to work as a producer’s assistant. LD Entertainment became his home the next three years, where he was eventually promoted to a creative executive, working with writers and helping build scripts and acquire ideas for new projects. After three years, he had the opportunity to work for Tate Taylor on a James Brown biopic entitled, Get On Up. He learned a lot about assembling large studio films. He has transitioned back into more of a creative executive position at Mandalay Pictures, where he gets to go back to my passion: cultivate amazing stories and working with great writers. Class Schedule ( 6/20, 6/27, 711) Week #1 (6/20): This is an all inclusive look into the world of thrillers. This will offer you a behind-the-scenes look on what executives look for when reading thrillers and some common mistakes writers make that disrupt the reading process. This class will also cover: Concepts that sell and concepts that don’t. Market trends (i.e. female driven thrillers, the state of erotic thrillers after movies like The Boy Next Door). Tips on making sure your first 10-15 pages pop and hook the executive. Stereotypical tropes/cliches writers use to set up their characters that turn off an executive. Tips on creating and layering your antagonist. How to make sure your protagonist is relatable and engaging. How to create a stand out catalyst and a sharp break into act two. Week #2 (6/27): This week will focus entirely on the engine of your story. This week will cover outlining and writing act 2 and act 3. Topics that this will cover include: How to write a thrilling action sequence. Description to dialogue ratio. Making sure you are incorporating set pieces that complement your sub-genre (i.e. what specific set pieces would you include in your second act if you are writing an erotic thriller). Tips on how to outline your heightened set pieces to make sure the emotional crescendo of your story is always escalating smoothly. How to make sure your characterization is strong throughout act two and three while keeping the tension hight. Overall tips on how to outline your script. Week #3 (7/11): This week will cover tips on how to end your script with a lasting final image and what happens after your first draft is completed. This week will include: Some of the most common elements that are rewritten after getting picked up by a production company. How to avoid development hell. Tips on how to pitch your thriller. Typical elements that can be found in a pitch package. How to decipher which companies are looking for what.
Whether it’s epic battles between giant robots, a street fight, or someone chasing after the love of their life at the airport, the vast majority of movies and television use at least a bit of action writing. So we are challenged you to write an original or polish a scene with action, and really focus on making those moments of movement pop!
Network TV is dead, right? All good shows are on cable and streaming! Not so fast! Network TV is alive and well, as demonstrated by the critical success and healthy ratings of new shows such as This is Us, Designated Survivor and Speechless, as well as powerhouse veterans such as Big Bang Theory, Empire, Modern Family, Scandal, and NCIS. Broadcast networks are increasingly having to compete for top talent and ideas in a crowded marketplace. While landing a series order from ABC or FOX is no easy feat, the networks’ deep coffers mean they can buy and develop a high volume of shows, season after season. Producers of course enjoy the prestige of developing ideas for HBO or Amazon, but they are equally eager to find the next network hit, which can yield huge financial dividends with multiple season orders. What’s more, agents and managers judge prospective clients based on their original pilot scripts, and the right network pilot can demonstrate to a potential representative that you are ready to staff and ready to sell. As a manager, I always recommend writers have at least two or three finished scripts ready to go, and a mix of cable and network samples increases the number of producers and executives who may be interested in your work. In this webinar, you will learn about the brands and programming models of broadcast networks, how to know what ideas they will find appealing, what you need to include in your network pitch, and the do’s and don’ts of writing your network spec pilot.