Jim Milio is an Emmy nominated producer, director and writer of reality television with more than 30 years in the business. His credits include RESCUE 911 which ran for 7 seasons on CBS and starred William Shatner, DOG WHISPERER starring Cesar Millan, which ran for 9 seasons on National Geographic, TRUE DETECTIVES for CBS, DISCOVERY CHANNEL ECO-CHALLENGE for Discovery, ROSWELL: STARTLING NEW EVIDENCE for SyFy, and TAKEDOWN for TruTV, among many others. Milio is currently writing, directing and producing the new reality series OPERATION HIDDEN TREASURES that will air on Discovery later this year. Jim is also an author whose latest book Jim's Hollywood Finty Stones, describes how you can break into the industry, illuminated by true tales of his encounters with Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, Will Ferrell, Nia Vardalos, Liza Minelli, Robert DeNiro and dozens more. Full Bio »
Reality television is more popular than ever as more networks and streamers are greenlighting more reality than any time in history. New shows like Netflix’s INDIAN MATCHMAKING and SELLING SUNSET are finding huge audiences while classics like MILLION DOLLAR LISTING and DEALIEST CATCH continue to find success and spinoffs years later. But it is hard – perhaps harder than ever - to lock in the right on-camera talent sell a new reality concept. The early steps of creating a reality TV concept and finding and locking in the right talent are critical – not just for selling a project but making sure it will work once you get a green light. Yet if you’re able to find the right talent, the right concept, and the right vehicle for your unscripted series, you may have just found a hit that will not only make it to series on a streamer or network, but thrive in today’s landscape for years to come.
Creating the perfect new reality show often comes down to finding the right on-screen talent that will pop on camera and find an emotional connection with the millions watching at home. Yet it takes a delicate balance and lot of boxes that need to be checked in order to find this. It can also come down to how the directors and producers work with and treat the talent to ensure they come across well on screen. There are countless mistakes newcomers make when putting together their show, onboarding their talent, conducting interviews, and more, but avoiding the biggest mistakes and going in with a clear plan can make your show come to life and find success.
Jim Milio is an Emmy nominated producer, director and writer of reality television with more than 30 years in the business. His credits include RESCUE 911 which ran for 7 seasons on CBS and starred William Shatner, DOG WHISPERER starring Cesar Millan, which ran for 9 seasons on National Geographic, TRUE DETECTIVES for CBS, DISCOVERY CHANNEL ECO-CHALLENGE for Discovery, ROSWELL: STARTLING NEW EVIDENCE for SyFy, and TAKEDOWN for TruTV, among many others. Milio is currently writing, directing and producing the new reality series OPERATION HIDDEN TREASURES that will air on Discovery later this year. Jim is also an author whose latest book Jim's Hollywood Finty Stones, describes how you can break into the industry, illuminated by true tales of his encounters with Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, Will Ferrell, Nia Vardalos, Liza Minelli, Robert DeNiro and dozens more.
No one knows better than Jim how to find ordinary people and make a hit show with them, and he’s ready to share his secrets with you.
Over an in-depth 90-minute presentation, Jim will break down how you can create and develop a successful reality show by finding and working with the right on-screen talent. To do so, Jim will explain the reality show landscape today to give you a sense of where you can fit in, before diving deep into how you’re able to find and lock in the right talent for your show. He’ll discuss critical aspects like getting rights, interviewing people the right way and what it looks like to build a series around an existing company or business. He’ll even give you tools on how to protect yourself and your talent along the way, so when a network or streamer says yes, you can be sure you’re not fired off your own project.
If you have a great idea for a reality show or want to get into this lucrative business, it’s imperative you hear from an expert like Jim first.
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The landscape of distribution has shifted dramatically, forcing filmmakers, producers and foreign sales agents to adapt to those changes. With the rise of streaming, there are more ways than ever to get your project out to the viewing public, whether in theaters or right in their home. In the time of quarantine, more distributors are looking to acquire films to put in the marketplace, but how does the pricing look and how will that shift over time? We will examine the current distribution marketplace and how to best take advantage of the multiple avenues of distribution both domestically and internationally. While there are more places than ever to go to for distribution, there’s also more competition for your project to be noticed by distributors and, once distributed, for viewers to decide to watch your film over the other thousands at their fingertips. It can be difficult for filmmakers and producers to know what different distributors and paths of distribution are best for each project, and which deals are more likely to garner a profit. But with a working knowledge of both the domestic and the foreign distribution market, you can find the best home for your feature. Tiffany Boyle is the President of Packaging and Sales for Ramo Law. Tiffany has helped hundreds of films, TV shows and documentaries come to fruition. Tiffany served as a Co-Executive Producer and brought in financing for films SOMETHING ELSE (Tribeca 2019) and ARKANSAS starring Liam Hemsworth and Vince Vaughn. She led the sales and packaging for TRAGEDY GIRLS (SXSW 2017) and FREAKS (Toronto IFF 2018), she brought foreign financing to ASHES IN THE SNOW (Los Angeles FF 2018) starring Bel Powley, and she sold an autobiography to Hulu for development into a limited television series. Tiffany will go over different distribution avenues - theatrical, VOD, DVD, etc. and what distributors are looking for in general. She'll break down the difference between distributors and sales agents and what types of projects will fit their slate. You'll get a complete overview of the marketplace - both domestic and foreign and understand what it will take to get your film to the right distributor. You'll learn to harness the power of festival screenings, social media and other campaigns to put your film in the best position. You'll also learn how to make the deal in terms of territory, term, delivery, fees, rights, licensing vs. reserved and more. You'll also get insight into recoupment and profit. This is the most up-to-date guide on today's film and TV domestic and foreign distribution marketplace jammed packed with actionable information you can utilize right now. Praise for Tiffany's previous Stage 32 webinars: "Excellent discussion by Tiffany! It shows that she's right in the middle of the film business and understands what's happening now. Refreshing not to hear the same old basic information you hear everywhere. This was detailed and very much of the now." - Michael H. "Excellent presentation by a clearly passionate expert. More, more, more." - Alexis D. "Very clear and helpful - so much detail!" - Sil V. "Tiffany was gracious and helpful with good energy. Plus she offered so much encouragement, practical advice and incredible energy." - Cynthia D.
It's an undeniable fact, there is no hotter market right now than television. Over the last year, over 600 shows were broadcast on TV networks, basic cable, premium cable, and the streaming platforms. And this isn't even counting limited series, docu-series and other short form content. And with new platforms like Disney+, Apple, Facebook TV and others diving into original content, there is no peak in sight or end to this gold rush on the horizon. If anything, we may just be getting started. In fact, most streaming platforms like Netflix have made a pledge to have their entire libraries consist of over 50% original content in just a few years. Think about that! So how can you take advantage of this incredible buying and producing spree, get in a writers room, work your way up to an executive producing/showrunning position and run your own show? We're glad you asked. David Weddle has been at the television game for over 20 years. Over a prolific and well documented career, David has worked on some of the most highly acclaimed and longest running shows of all time including Battlestar Galactica, CSI, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Guillermo del Toro's award winning and ground-breaking series, The Strain. David has worked side-by-side with some of the top showrunners in the business including Cartlon Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel, Jack Ryan). Currently, David is a co-executive producer/showrunner and writer for the Apple TV hit For All Mankind. In this exclusive special event Stage 32 Masters of Craft Webinar, David will take you to what it takes to build a career from writer to showrunner. He will explain the entire landscape and give you a full understanding of who does what and why. He will explain how to get into a writer's room and what to do (and not to do) once you get in. He will show you how to play the political game, climb the ladder, and earn respect. He will teach you how to think and work like an EP until you become one. As if that wasn't enough, David will then take you through the world of showrunning. He will explain how writer's rooms are staffed. How seasons are laid out, how arcs are created and how episodes are broken down. He will explain budgets and scheduling, using real world examples from The Strain, Battlestar Galactica and CSI. He will talk hiring directors, getting your cast and making sure your show runs like a Swiss watch. And he will take you through the days and nights of being an EP and showrunner, so you know exactly what to expect and how to navigate the playing field. Joining David to moderate this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft webinar is our very own CEO, Richard Botto, a writer and producer himself with a television pilot in active development. The world of breaking in and staying in television doesn't need to be complicated. David will show you the tricks, tips and, most importantly, the facts you need to shorten your path to success. Praise for David "This truly was a masterclass. I learned so much." - Rebecca C. "I was in a writer's room for 9 weeks and then our show got cancelled. I learned more today than I did being in that room for those 9 weeks." Anthony P. "David, you're a rock star." - Pam J. "Rewatching. Rewatching. Rewatching. Thank you, David and Stage 32." - Annette F.
As you are aware, unscripted television is BOOMING. All the streamers have jumped into the mix and now more and more networks, premium cable channels and even short form platforms like Quibi are diving in with both feet. Creating compelling non-fiction TV requires more than just vision. It involves a gameplan. And it can't hurt to have multiple ideas in reserve or even multiple paths for the same show. This will allow you to not only launch one show, but perhaps lay the groundwork for many shows, essentially building brand recognition for you and for your production company. There is a path to building a scalable business in reality and unscripted and that path is wider than ever. And there's no better person to send you on that path than a guy who has built an empire with his company through producing such shows as Netflix's CHEER and CHEF'S TABLE and many others for streamers and networks around the world. We all have a desire to tell stories. In an era when technology is rapidly developing and there are increasingly lower barriers to actually creating unscripted content. But an idea is just the start. Often times what we fail to do is understand how to get from an idea, or a series of ideas, to having viable content that a more commercial marketplace is actually looking for. By doing a deep dive into the history, shows and business of the prolific reality production company Boardwalk Pictures, we can better understand how to establish our creative voice and brand in a crowded landscape and determine how best to bring our value to a variety of projects and partners. Andrew Fried is the Founder and President of Boardwalk Pictures, producers of premium non-fiction content for multiple networks and distributors including Netflix, Showtime, Quibi, YouTube and many others. A recipient of multiple awards and 3 Emmy nominations, Fried and Boardwalk strive to elevate and expand the idea of documentary television across an ever-growing unscripted landscape. Boardwalk has been responsible for some of the most prestigious unscripted series of the last few years. CHEF'S TABLE, now entering its 7th season, has received 8 Emmy nominations, has won 3 James Beard Awards and the IDA Award for Best Documentary Series. CHEER, also on Netflix, has proven to be one of the platform's biggest successes. Other huge commercial hits include Gwyneth Paltrow's THE GOOP LAB, 7 DAYS OUT, STREET FOOD and LAST CHANCE U (now in it’s 4th season), the Showtime series ACTION and YouTube’s BEST SHOT. Andrew will teach you how to stake your claim in the unscripted marketplace and also how to build an empire in the space. By diving into his journey and the paths Boardwalk Picture shows have taken from concept to screen, Andrew will show you the do's and don'ts of unscripted from the creative and business sides to assure you shorten your path to success. He will speak to the companies origin stories and how Chef's Table became Netflix's first unscripted original series. He will explain how to judge quantity vs. quality, explain the "8th Grade Assembly" test, describe what it means to be storyteller led, and how to identify a void that needs to be filled. He will dive into how to develop your creative brand, define what stories it is you want to tell, and how to approach meetings and networking opportunities to help get your vision to air. He will describe how to add value to just about every situation - so important in unscripted where you're likely to have partners and how to best position yourself to where people not only want to work with you, but will be anxious to hear your next idea and the one after that. Praise for Andrew's Stage 32 Webinar "Fabulous, authentic insights into what makes a successful producer of premium unscripted content!" -John P. "Loved it! I especially appreciated his positivity! I’m feeling inspired and I know I’m on the “write” track to creating something wonderful!" -Edie F. "Andrew was really great - a total professional who gave a lot of insight into "the business" and what attracts the green light." -Pooky A. "Excellent. Honest. Thoughtful. Insightful." -Tim O.
So you want to direct. You've been bitten by the filmmaking bug and now all you can think about is making a film. You've got a script (or the concept for one) and have envisioned exactly how you want to see it on the screen. And, now more than ever, with equipment more accessible, the costs of shooting affordable, the barrier of entry lower than it's every been, and the options for distribution growing seemingly by the minute, you know the path from script to screen has never been more viable. We get it. As a director you are the lynchpin of a production and the commander of a creative army in service of your vision. But, in order to truly realize that vision, you have to know everything there is about development, pre-production, physical production, and post production. Even though you can clearly see the film in your mind that's only a small part of the process of being a director. It takes hard work, discipline, and wearing many hats to be able to execute every aspect of developing and filming a movie - and to do it in a way that holds the entire production together. What you do (or don't do) in pre-production will set the tone for the entire shoot, good or bad. How you command the set on the first day will determine whether your cast and crew put forth their best effort or zone out. You have to be cognizant of shooting time/days, your budget, and assuring that your are delivering on every promise. But you're not done when you shout "That's a wrap!" There's still more to do when you get to post-production, working hand in hand with your editor, colorist, sound designer and more. It sounds overwhelming, but we're here to tell you it's not only a manageable environment, but one you can thrive in. Stacia Crawford started as an actress, but had the overwhelming desire to manage and film projects. So, she moved into producing and directing. Last year alone, she had two feature films that premiered on Netflix and Lifetime. With the success of those films, she has been hired to direct two more features this year. Stacia has worked with NBC, The History Channel, A&E, AMC, Spike and more, and has used her experience to make sure she runs a tight and efficient set. She's a pro at managing a project from the script phase through seeing her work on screen and beyond. Stacia will guide you through the entire directing process so you can understand what your responsibilities will be through pre-production, physical production and post-production. She will help you understand what to look for in your contract before you even get hired. She will teach you best casting strategies, how to find and enlist the help of your creative departments, and how to choose the right DP and AD (beyond important!) You'll also learn how to prepare your shot list and how to confidently run your set by learning how to work with actors, producers and your crew and keep them all happy. She'll teach you about your dailies and picking up scenes if the schedule shifts. Finally, she'll take you through post-production and how to work seamlessly and diplomatically with your editor, composer and your color and audio team. You'll be well-armed with all the pertinent and vital information you need to manage every aspect of being a film director. Stacia will remove your anxiety and fears by giving you the tools to succeed, thrive and have your cast and crew looking to work with you again and again. "If you are thinking of going into the industry it was amazing, hit all the points, and she went above and beyond when she expanded on a lot of her points...like making sure you get your insert shots (which I've been a victim of.). Overall she was great, clear and to the point." - Ryan H. I'm a screenwriter and always wanted to direct, but found the idea of it daunting. Stacia not only lifted my fears, but gave me so many "I can do that!" moments that I'm already kicking myself for not doing it sooner. She's a marvel. - Monica R.
In a short period of time, the world of podcasts has exploded and become an industry to be reckoned with. Over 100 million Americans listen to podcasts on at least a monthly basis, and individual shows can have millions of fans. We’re not just talking about nonfiction works like THE DAILY or SERIAL; fiction podcasts are also having a moment as more writers are turning to the audio medium to tell incredible stories. An art form in its own right, podcasts have also become a proving ground for stories to be adapted for television or movies. Shows like HOMECOMING, DIRTY JOHN, and LIMETOWN would never have been greenlit or aired if they didn’t first find success and a fan base in podcast form. Now with many more podcast adaptations like CRIMETOWN, THE BRIGHT SESSIONS and ALICE ISN’T DEAD currently in development, this route is becoming much more common and achievable. There might not be a better time than now to adapt your feature screenplay to the podcast medium. If you've had difficulty gaining attention for your screenplay, turning it into a podcast and attracting an audience may provide proof of concept for your story to move it to a show or feature. This type of intellectual property is golden. Adapting your screenplay, of course, easier said than done. Writing for audio is a very different process than writing for a film or TV. Podcasts are written to be experienced as real time events, which is entirely different from a feature or TV script. A good podcast must paint a picture with only words and sounds and be paced to pull a listener in despite any distractions around them. It must also be structured into short episodes that defy traditional film or TV act structure. So, how do you turn 100 pages of a script into a multi-episode podcast? How does writing character or story arcs change when adapting your feature script to multiple episodes? Having a better understanding of what goes into a great comedy, drama, or genre podcast and the rules and expectations that come with this unique format can position you for success in telling your story and finding an audience. Mike Disa is currently the director of the highly praised Netflix show Paradise PD and has been working in the industry, both in television and features, for two decades. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success and has worked with studios such as Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. Always an innovator, Mike recognized the interesting time right now for developing material based off of IP and took it upon himself to adapt his feature script SENTINELS: POINT OF NO RETURN into a 12-part podcast series, which is now produced. Having recently gone through the experience Mike is excited to share his approach and his lessons learned writing the adaptation exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Mike will walk you through the nuts and bolts of writing a fiction podcast and give you the tools you’ll need to adapt your long form script into this new medium. He’ll begin by discussing what the state of podcasts looks like today, including what kinds of podcasts are possible and the different formats of fiction podcasts that people are writing and which ones are currently popular. He’ll then delve into how to approach your podcast adaptation and which things you should decide on from the outset. This includes deciding on the format that will work best for your story, how to adapt your writing style to short form when you’re used to writing features or television, and whether you will use a narrator or go full “radio play”. He’ll also give you tips on how to plan for sound while starting to write. Mike will next go into detail on breaking your long form story into multiple short form episodes. He’ll give you tips on extending your story and show you where to put episode breaks within it. He’ll go over building tension between episodes between episodes and what goes into good cliffhangers on podcasts. He’ll also talk about how to avoid needing recaps between episodes. Next Mike will spend time talking about other writing challenges that come with this format, including how to paint a picture in audio form without creating awkward dialogue, the process of holding on to your subplots without your storytelling getting choppy, and how to use your first episode to grab your audience. He’ll also offer tips of how to give your characters separate voices. Finally, Mike will use his own podcast SENTINELS: POINT OF NO RETURN, which was originally written as a feature, to illustrate the process of adapting for podcasts. He’ll even share samples of both the feature and podcast versions of the SENTINELS script. If you’re excited about podcasts, curious about writing your own or adapting your feature script into one and don’t even know where to begin, start here. Praise for Mike's Stage 32 Webinar FIVE STARS FOR MIKE!!! He is super-awesome! Can't wait for the next session. -Robert S. "Mike Disa is definitely one of the best. He provided advice that is actionable." -Martin R. "I loved how engaging Mike was. It felt like he was genuine and addressing each of us almost individually. I have honestly never had a better Stage32 experience!" -Elle C. "It was great to hear from Mike. What a professional and what great advice from someone who knows the business and the craft of writing for podcasts." -Mary S.
Learn directly from Heather Hale, an Independent Film and Television Producer, Director and Screenwriter! The entertainment industry is changing dramatically all over the globe. Now, more than ever, there are major opportunities for people who work behind the scenes on set on all types of crew positions. Below-the-line positions are crucial to the success of any film or television. This includes everything from camera operators to gaffers, craft services to costume designers, composers to editors, production assistants to script supervisors – and everything in between! No matter where you live or where you are at in your career, this webinar will help you strategize how to find the best opportunities and points of entry for you to break into the crew business; shift horizontally into new locales or formats; or move up laterally into the higher echelons of professional caliber, marquis value and budgets. Discover an empowered approach to networking to help you get on the right people’s radars, get noticed, gain momentum - and get hired. Learn time-proven techniques and new resources to proactively brainstorm where the opportunities of the moment – and future - might be, who’s doing the hiring – and trace any connections you might have to the decision makers or key players. Learn how to identify, research and prioritize a finely honed hit list of Producers Line Producers, Department Heads, Directors and Below-the-Line Agents who might be accessible to you. Figure out how to track them down, strategize the best approaches to communicate with them and how to develop the kind of track record, resume and interview skills they would most likely respond to. Learn the key words you should be using in your profiles in the online communities that might be worth your time. Below-the-line team members are the lifeblood of any production and an exciting way to work in film and television. Heather uses in-the-trenches humor, candor and real world examples to illuminate the many paths to getting hired - again and again!