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.
Over the past few decades as the media landscape has changed, so have methods for reporting and information gathering. Your Stage 32 Next Level educator, award-winning director, James Kicklighter, has personally learned this while directing his new documentary film, Digital Edition, profiling the digital tools changing media as we know it. In “Deconstructing Oscar-Winning Films: Spotlight, Network & All The President’s Men,” we will evaluate and deconstruct common methods deployed in these three groundbreaking films to tell stories about journalism and media. Through this process, we will identify the successful techniques from these masterpieces for directing and writing movies about the media we consume. While filmmaking isn’t typically thought about as “investigative,” to create a film about journalism and media, it requires extended research that goes beyond writing the fictional screenplay. We will evaluate the preparation process of interviewing industry professionals, utilizing research to inform the written narrative, and how to visually manifest the themes on screen. You will walk away learning techniques to help your directing, writing, acting and producing to help you improve your projects! As an added bonus - ***Get 3 FREE Oscar-Winning Scripts: Spotlight, All The President's Men & Network***
Learn directly from award winning playwright, screenwriter and writing coach Corey Mandell, (Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Disney, Showtime, AMC and HBO)! Writing is rewriting. All writers know this, but unfortunately too many writers waste valuable time and energy rewriting their scripts over and over without really making them better. Or they make some parts of their script better while weakening other parts -it's almost like an endless whack-a-mole game. The reason this happens is that often writers don't know the most effective ways to evaluate and rewrite their material. They rewrite without a clear focus or understanding of the fundamentals. Knowing how to effectively rewrite your script will lead to a dramatic improvement in your final product for both feature and TV scripts, and will be a game changer in your writing career! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Corey Mandell will walk you through the entire rewrite process – from first understanding how your story reads in other people’s heads (and why that is important!) all the way to correcting structural weaknesses in your script. He will break down rewrite memos, notes, and narrative cohesion, leaving you with a comprehensive overview of how to do an effective rewrite and how to immediately apply it to your own work. Having had the opportunity to work closely with some of the smartest and most successful writers, directors and producers in the business, Corey has seen firsthand how they go about revising their scripts and is here to pass on that information to you! Your host Corey Mandell is a screenwriter and screenwriting coach who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and Walt Disney Pictures – just to name a few. Corey’s students have gone on to sell or option scripts to large studios such as Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Disney, MGM, and networks such as Showtime, FX, USA Network, AMC, MTV and HBO. Other students of his have been staffed on such shows as Community, Justified, Bones, The Mentalist, The Fosters, and Young and Hungry. As you can see, Corey knows what it takes to write and rewrite a great script, and he has proven it time and time again.
If you’re reading this and you’re an aspiring storyteller, you’re probably well aware that no path in this business follows a straight line. There’s no recognizable ladder to climb. No standardized “five-year” plan. There are so many questions – How do I get my start? How do I tell stories that inspire me? What’s the right story to tell? How do I find an audience? How do I get recognized? So many questions and no hard and fast “right” answer. With the rise of digital technology, storytellers now have access to a new and incredibly valuable set of tools to help sell their ideas. Shooting a compelling short film, web series, or proof of concept has never been easier – and it is one of the most effective ways to practice your craft, showcase your voice and set your work apart from the rest of the pack. But there’s a catch – the increased accessibility of these tools has lead to a dramatic increase in the amount of content created and it has become much harder to cut through the noise and really stand out. We've brought in studio director, writer & producer Tyler Gillet to share his own path and how utilizing these tools helped him move from directing zero-budget digital shorts to directing and producing feature films and TV. Along the way, we’ll discuss how to conceptualize and create low-budget, high-quality short-form content that will wow financiers and producers and help you sell yourself and your ideas to a larger audience.
3-part previously recorded online class taught by Regina Lee, Producer and Former Studio Executive who’s developed and/or supervised movies and TV shows set up at Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, New Regency Productions, New Line Cinema, Summit Entertainment, MRC Film, HBO Series, Starz, CBS, The CW, Sony TV, and Paramount TV! As you break into writing professionally, the one thing you’ll always need to do is to hook your reader from the get-go, within the first 5 pages of your project. Whether you’re submitting your script to a screenwriting contest, a manager, an agent, a non-writing producer, a series showrunner/producer, a financier, a star, or a director, you have to get through your reader’s initial skepticism and earn every single page that is read. In fact, first impressions are cemented when reading page 1. And that goes for all scripts, whether you’re a beginner trying to place in your first contest, or you’re a professional, with scripts sold to major studios and networks. It’s a challenge that never goes away. Stage 32 is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 3 part class: How To Hook Your Reader In Only 5 Pages, taught by producer and former studio executive Regina Lee! In this class, Regina covers what executives are looking for, the typical paradigms for a script’s opening, what an opening must deliver, and how you can give executives what they want to see. You will leave this class with a solid understanding of how to get your reader hooked in only 5 pages or less! Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Regina is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate. Testimonials: "Thanks for a wonderful class! Your efforts have been amazing." -Heather F. "Great class, very helpful and useful information." -John R. "Thank you for a great class filled with valuable info. I think the way you delivered the info seemed fresh and insightful. A few different slants to the way I see the same material made a difference. The point about ‘clean writing’ really resonated with me. I appreciate your ‘personal’ content in what to expect, your encouragement, etc. Thank you so very much." -Lynne L. "I've just watched the recording in the UK and I have to say the content was brilliant! I learnt so much in that 2 hours, especially knowing you are the real deal. It makes the information so much more valuable to me." -David E. "It was a great educational experience taking your class!" -Heather P. "Regina offers great insight, [this class] instantly made me a better writer.” - David L. "I just re-wrote my first five pages based on this class and Regina's incredibly insightful feedback, and wow! What a difference it made. This class is a "must take" Stage 32'ers!" - Shari F.
ONE DAY ONLY! Live Online Webinar - September 12, 2017 In a rare online appearance and for the 2nd time Stage 32 is proud to bring back the award winning author and teacher Quincy Jones calls "Aristotle of our time" Robert McKee. Now, for the first time online with Stage 32 he'll be going over concepts from his latest book, STORYNOMICS! "You just don't get Robert McKee like this for this kind of price. Kudos to Stage 32 and thank you Mr. McKee" - Burton B.
Learn directly from acclaimed author and screenwriter Max Adams who has worked with companies such as Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Tri-Star Pictures and Max’s students have won three Academy Nicholl Fellowships, two Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Awards, a Stage 32 Happy Writers Award and more! We continuously hear from the executives that we work with that concept is the most common mistake in spec scripts today. Readers see so many spec scripts that have no chance of becoming films not because the writing isn’t great, but because the writer did not spend enough time on concept. It is one thing to fall in love with a story idea. It is another to stick with it during the uncomfortable phase of working on that idea to make it bigger, badder, better and more enticing to the world. How can you ensure you consistently develop ideas that excite readers and push your script toward a sale? How do you know if your idea is “high concept” enough? What exactly does “high concept” even mean? Stage 32 Next Level Webinars is thrilled to bring you acclaimed screenwriter and writing coach Max Adams to teach you how to create compelling concepts and re-craft existing concepts so that they garner instant attention through one sentence descriptions alone. Dubbed “Red Hot Adams” by Daily Variety for selling three pitches over a Christmas holiday, she will teach you how to pull a story out of the “been there seen that no thanks” file and into the “I have got to read that” file. You’ll learn how to break your story into individual components to find its strengths and weaknesses, which gives you tools to analyze your future writing projects and raise stories’ impact. This will be your complete crash course in high concept writing, and you will leave this webinar knowing how to make your stories more interesting and enticing for readers, buyers, producers, editors, representatives, cast and industry players!