Deconstructing Oscar-Winning Films: Spotlight, Network & All The President's Men

Hosted by James Kicklighter

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James Kicklighter

Webinar hosted by: James Kicklighter

Multi-Award Winning Writer and Director

James Kicklighter is a multi-award winning writer/director whose work has been recognized by the world’s press, including The Hollywood Reporter, The Times of India, Film Courage and FilmInk Australia. His first feature film, Desires of the Heart, was released theatrically across India in November 2015. The film was an official selection of numerous festivals across the United States and around the world, including the Cannes Marché du Film and was the winner of Best Foreign Film at the Los Angeles Femme Film Festival.  In May 2016, James completed Digital Edition, a documentary about the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s transition from print to digital as they operate in a new media environment. Additionally, he is revising his first book, the biography of famed entertainment publicist Bobby Zarem, and shopping the coming-of-age screenplay Escaping Bellview, featured on The Black List, SpecScout, Slated and most recently, named to the Top 50 in the 2016 International Screenwriters’ Association Fast Track Fellowship. James is developing several films with a southern voice for producers Richard Saperstein (The Mist, Se7en), M. Elizabeth Hughes (Short Term 12, Girlfriend’s Day) and Beau Turpin (Beneath the Leaves, Counterpunch), including The Perpetual State of Georgia from Casey Nelson and Kate Murdoch (The Last Treasure Hunt) and Erk, a biopic about legendary college football coach Erk Russell.  He serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Communication Arts at Georgia Southern University, his alma mater, where he was recently chosen out of over 30,000 living graduates to be listed on the inaugural “40 Under 40 Alumni” for “impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors.” Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

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***

What You'll Learn

  • The role of research in preparing the narrative: To crack the world of journalism and media, it takes a mixture of inside and outside knowledge. We will examine how the makers of these films used research to identify the narrative.
  • The role of journalism and media as an institution: Throughout Network, All The President’s Men and Spotlight, the journalists are struggling with institutional problems that lead them through the story. We will evaluate the role of internal conflict as a way to inform external conflicts.
  • “Peeling the Onion”: In traditional investigations, we have to start with a big idea and then come into the core. But with these classic films, the more you peel, the bigger the onion becomes. We will evaluate how these films expand the story while also directing us to a conclusion.
  • Dissenting voices: In each of these films, we have characters representing different viewpoints. We will explore how different voices help us to symbolize different themes.
  • Creating an Ensemble: The ensemble cast typifies journalism and media films. We will explore how to effectively use an ensemble cast as framed through these three classics.
  • Visual storytelling: Journalism and media films can easily become boring if we were just watching a reporter write or prepare. We will examine the blocking and framing devices used in these three films to effectively tell the story.

Live Q&A with James!

About Your Instructor

James Kicklighter is a multi-award winning writer/director whose work has been recognized by the world’s press, including The Hollywood Reporter, The Times of India, Film Courage and FilmInk Australia.

His first feature film, Desires of the Heart, was released theatrically across India in November 2015. The film was an official selection of numerous festivals across the United States and around the world, including the Cannes Marché du Film and was the winner of Best Foreign Film at the Los Angeles Femme Film Festival. 

In May 2016, James completed Digital Edition, a documentary about the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s transition from print to digital as they operate in a new media environment. Additionally, he is revising his first book, the biography of famed entertainment publicist Bobby Zarem, and shopping the coming-of-age screenplay Escaping Bellview, featured on The Black List, SpecScout, Slated and most recently, named to the Top 50 in the 2016 International Screenwriters’ Association Fast Track Fellowship.

James is developing several films with a southern voice for producers Richard Saperstein (The Mist, Se7en), M. Elizabeth Hughes (Short Term 12, Girlfriend’s Day) and Beau Turpin (Beneath the Leaves, Counterpunch), including The Perpetual State of Georgia from Casey Nelson and Kate Murdoch (The Last Treasure Hunt) and Erk, a biopic about legendary college football coach Erk Russell. 

He serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Communication Arts at Georgia Southern University, his alma mater, where he was recently chosen out of over 30,000 living graduates to be listed on the inaugural “40 Under 40 Alumni” for “impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors.”

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Testimonials

There's nothing like listening to one who is passionate and educated on the craft of Filmmaking. James is a voice for aspiring filmmaker's ears. Thank you for the well outlined course. - Emeka Mbadiwe

I have been recommending the Short Film Master Class to film makers since I completed it. It is entertaining and contains so much information. Not only does he cover "how", but includes the "why". James is phenomenal. - John Garrett

Insightful, informative and entertaining! A must for the rookie and the pro alike. James hands you tools to utilize in today's viral distribution market. After the course, you'll feel empowered and prepared to shoot, distribute and publicize your next project. - Jaye Lowe

This was a great class! James effectively takes you into his journey of becoming a filmmaker. He shares his experiences of what to do and what not to do. Taking his class has put me on the right track as I start my film making career. Thanks James! - Cecilio Chopper Martinez

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Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

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