Wes Ambrecht is a bleeding-heart romantic and a self-proclaimed Renaissance Man. Recently, Wes has served as the Director of Development for Viewfinder Pictures where he helped set up projects at FX, HBO and Amazon. Wes has worked closely with James Franco's Rabbit Bandini Productions, producing both the upcoming feature film "Killing Animals" and the digital project "Departure.” He also worked in the Motion Picture Literary department at the Gersh Agency. The eldest of 3 children, Wes originally hails from the small Long Island suburb of Bellmore. His well-documented love of pop culture initially drove him towards entertainment journalism, and a BS in Communication from Cornell University. But, his desire to create content quickly got the better of him. Wes enrolled in UCLA's prestigious MFA Producer's Program. One year later, he produced the university's first sanctioned television pilot, "doubleblind," which went on to win the Caucus Award for Best Television/New Media Program. Not long after, his branded entertainment spot, “No Doubt About,” was named a finalist in the Sprite Young Filmmaker Series. Full Bio »
Your host, Wes Ambrecht, has helped sell projects to FX, HBO and Amazon and previously worked with Gersh!
So you’ve finished your pilot, congratulations! The first step is out of the way. Now, it’s time to get things into shape. Very rarely does a first draft come out like a golden egg. In fact, by the time you actually see something on TV, it’s probably been through upwards of twenty drafts. From initial notes and revisions to producer notes, studio notes, network notes and maybe even a note or two from an actor who thinks there’s a better way to word that one line.
In this webinar, Wes Ambrecht will walk you through the process of getting your pilot to a place where it’s ready to be looked at by representation and producers. A writer, producer and former development exec, Wes has been on both sides of the table. This class will offer an unabashed look at the development process and help students see their pilot not just for its story but also its component parts.
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.
"I know of few others who have "been there, done that" as well as Chris has over the years. His willingness to share his experiences with the future generations is a gift that few can give." - Quincy Jones Learn directly from Chris Boardman, 6 time Emmy Award winner and Academy Award nominated composer. Whether you are an actor looking to find the inspiration to perform, a writer looking to develop an authentic idea, or a cinematographer looking to shape your canvas, this webinar will help you get unstuck and into the creative zone for that process. Or, as a filmmaker looking to tell your story or a gaffer looking to light the beauty of the story you are about to shoot, take time to learn from Chris the tools to be effectively in that creative zone. All professions in the creative industry can benefit from this webinar. The only chance we have to connect with an audience as a storyteller is to be brutally honest and vulnerable. And, during that process sometimes it's hard to stay focused and determine a clear path to get there. All of us in the creative arts deal with these issues. Those who have sustaining careers learn how to turn on their creative engine at will. It’s not an accident. It’s predictable. It’s practiced. It’s what separates the amateurs from the professionals. It’s time for you to develop your own streamlined creative process and become more productive than ever before. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, 6 time Emmy Award winner Chris Boardman will take you through the 6 steps of unblocking creative roadblocks, understanding your own personal creative process and using it as effectively as you can. You’ll learn why you aren’t as productive as you can be, and how to get yourself unstuck and deliver creative yet consistent results. No matter how trivial your creative blocks may seem, or how self-conscious you may feel, you are not alone...you are in great company.
You know what you like to write, but do you know your personal brand as a writer? Branding yourself as a writer is an integral part of your strategy toward getting read, securing representation, attracting development executives and producers, and, ultimately, securing a long and successful career in the entertainment industry. Should you write in a variety of different formats or stick to one? Should you settle in on a tone or style or show your versatility? All of these questions (and many more) will factor in to how you brand yourself as a writer. Your brand is equal parts preferred medium, chosen genre(s), and personal voice/style. Once all of this is determined and developed, it will become easier to for you, your representation team, and/or your production company to sell/produce/finance your material. There are more screenwriters than ever looking to secure and maintain a career writing for film, television, and now, digital content. 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. Once you fully understand, determine and develop your brand with confidence, you’ll find that many more representatives, producers, and other buyers will be willing to jump on your bandwagon. Tiegen Kosiak began her career working with, among others, the Academy Award-winning writers of BIRDMAN and the creator of STEP UP and SAVE THE LAST DANCE. While working in management and development Tiegen recognized how integral a writer’s brand was in submitting material, setting meetings, and pitching clients for open writing assignments. Prior to her new role working with an A-list actress who has a producing deal with Netflix, Tiegen worked for Cinestar Pictures, Zoe Saldana’s production company. In these roles Tiegen uses branding every day to option material, sell screenplays, and attach writers to projects. She'll help you understand how you can stand out, get read and get sold! Tiegen will teach you 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. No matter if you're writing for features or television, Tiegen will show you how to rise above the competition by finding your lane and using this focused strategy to get reads and get you in rooms that matter. Whether you're looking for representation or searching for new representation, Tiegen will teach you 9 invaluable tips on approach that won't make you "just another writer" in the eyes of a rep. She will teach you how to choose the right representation (so important). She will explain and help you navigate where to find work, how to handle, general, pitch and network meetings, and how best to approach producers. In short, she will give you all the tools to help brand you and your writing so executives, reps, and decision makers want to read you and work with you from the jump! 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 webinar I will listen to again. - Cam C. 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 G.
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.
One of the great myths about the entertainment industry is that the older you are, the harder it is to break in. The truth of the matter is, there are Baby Boomers working in the industry in all capacities. In fact, with the abundance of film, television and digital content being creative, the opportunities for Baby Boomers has never been greater. Whether you're writing or filming content, looking to produce or work on the business side of the industry, or have an interest in being an actor, crew member, or other on set talent or staff, it's time to get moving and let yourself be seen and heard! Ageism is a word that gets thrown around often when people talk about the entertainment industry. But at the end of the day, those working in the industry want to hire talented, dependable, and dedicated people to help them elevate their personal and professional goals. So much of getting hired has less to do with your age and how you present and handle yourself. Jessica Sitomer has been has worked in the entertainment industry for twenty years as a writer, an independent producer, a development associate, a director, and an actress. She's produced three television shows, had her writing produced by an Emmy award winning producer, and while working in development had the pleasure of being a part of Crazy in Alabama, Antonio Banderas' directorial debut (and yes, Jessica says, he's as charming in real life as he is on screen). Simultaneously, for seventeen of those years Jessica has been a career coach for Entertainment Industry Professionals. Within that period, she served for seven years as the in-house career coach for the International Cinematographers Guild. There she coached over 1000 people one-on-one, created over 40 seminar topics, ran over 30 mastermind groups, and developed a successful mentor program. No one knows this topic better. Jessica will teach all Baby Boomers how to create a relevant career that squashes the myths and stereotypes. She will identify and explain key strategies to circumvent the occasional ageism that historically have turned older generations off to pursuing their entertainment career. You will receive “ageless” tips for making a first impression either in person, by phone or via email. Jessica will also provide marketing tips on how Boomers can market online (social media and websites) to stay current. Further she will show you the advantages you have being a boomer as well as 3 strategies for using them! She will help you identify your strengths and assets to understand what makes YOU stand out so you can parlay those traits into more work. And, through templates (which you can download), she will show you how to simplify your plan of action so you can start down your path toward success. Age does NOT need to be a factor in pursuing a career in film, television and digital. Jessica will give you the tools, the motivation, the strategies, and the confidence to build the career you wish for! "Jesica is an inspirational ball of fire. I came in with doubts and fears and left ready to knock down the intimidating gates of the industry. Can I get an Amen? Thank you Jessica!" - Roberta K. "Coming from a sales background, there are 2 things I know you need to be successful: Information and confidence. This webinar provided so much information, and it was delivered in such a clear and motivating way, I left with all the confidence in the world." - Frank I.
Science Fiction (Sci-fi) is a multi-billion dollar a year film & TV industry with film classics such as Alien, Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyessy paving the way, as well at TV classics such as Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica also blazing a trail. When done correctly, sci-fi can be a storyteller’s dream - taking an audience on a fictional journey through space and time with no boundaries. Writing science fiction is an art that is perfected by a few key leaders in the industry, including our Stage 32 Next Level educator Marc Zicree. Marc has written for such classics as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space 9 and Babylon 5. Plus, he is also currently writing, directing and producing the multi-part Space Command - an epic science fiction drama film starring Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Falling Skies, The Strain), Armin Shimerman (Deep Space 9, Buffy), Mira Furlan (Babylon 5, LOST), Bill Mumy (Lost In Space, Babylon 5), Robert Picardo (Star Trek Voyager), Faran Tahir (J.J. Abram’s Star Trek, Iron Man), James Hong (Blade Runner, Big Trouble In Little China) and Mike Harney (Orange is the New Black). We are honored that Marc has brought his extensive knowledge to the Stage 32 community. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Marc will be teaching you the keys to delivering exceptional sci-fi writing. You will learn the tools necessary to apply to your writing that will help improve the essence and marketability of your script. You will walk away with a clear path to identifying your story and incorporating writing elements to strengthen your characters, story and dialogue.
Producer Tiegen Kosiak joins our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.