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

It's Introduce Yourself Weekend at Stage 32! Head over to the Introduce Yourself section of the Stage 32 Lounge and let everyone know who you are, what you're working on, your dreams and aspirations. And be sure to peruse other member's threads. You never know when you're going to make a connection that changes your life!

Hosted by James Kicklighter

$49

On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32
apply

- or -

$49.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

This Next Level Education webinar has a 100% user satisfaction rate.

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 »

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.”


Frequently Asked Questions:

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!


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

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Writing, Directing & Distributing Your Short Film

Part 1 - Writing, Budgeting & Pre-Production How to write an effective short script The brainstorming process Utilizing real life experiences, what are memorable moments in your life that stick out to you? Moments in a friend’s life? Creating characters: What topics do you uniquely understand? What jobs have you held? What did your parents do for a living? Where did you grow up? Writing in proper format What is the difference between writing “is working” and “works” in a screenplay and why does verbiage matter when writing action? Should I put my WGA and copyright notices on the title page? The business of making a short film What do I need to do to protect myself? Creating an LLC and lawyering up for the right reasons. How much is this really going to cost? Evaluating SAG Short Film Agreements, cost of renting equipment, everything from lighting to locations, and looking forward to release and distributions, what are the costs beyond the actual production of a film? Logistically, how will I be able to execute all the elements? How do I handle room and board for out of town talent? Is there a local film commission I can work with, and if so, what exactly is their role in helping me execute my vision? Part 2 - Directing, Marketing & Distributing Your Film Preparing to direct and the production process What do I need to do before I get to set? What is the purpose of having location walkthroughs? When and how to I make the shot list and how many shots do I really need? How do I make my vision clear to crewmembers while still being collaborative in the process? How do I work with an actor for the first time? How much say should they have in the script and changing the character? Should I allow an actor to change my lines? How do I follow their emotional journey over the course of shooting a film that is totally out of order so it makes sense in the final product? When problems arise on set, how do I respond? What are best practices to maintaining authority without creating conflict? How do I ensure that everyone is getting the proper attention they need so I can avoid problems? What happens if I find out we didn’t shoot something we needed? How do I work with footage or sound that didn’t come out the way I expected? How long should my final product be so I can be successful at film festivals? Marketing your film What can I do to promote my film before we ever start filming? When is the appropriate time to start promoting? What kind of promotion looks and feels professional versus amateur? Is there such a thing as oversharing information on social networks? During production, how can I use my cast and crew to promote the project? What parameters should I set to not give away plot points? What is the role of a still photographer on set and how can I leverage the still photographer for publicity? How do I reach out to press outlets to promote my film? How do I find out what press outlets are the right ones for my film, and how do I even get a journalist interested in covering it? What makes an effective versus ineffective pitch letter? Releasing your film What makes an effective trailer? How can I best prepare and present the trailer and still photos for promotional purposes? Should I create a Facebook page for my film and a website and a Twitter and an Instagram, etc.? How do I get into Sundance? If I don’t get into Sundance, is my career finished? There are entirely too many film festivals, how do I begin to figure out which ones are good and which ones are bad? What are effective ways of meeting, then following up, with producers and gatekeepers that I meet at these events? What kind of communication does an executive find annoying? Should I sell my film or give it away for free? If I give it away for free, how will I be able to pay myself back? How do I quantify if my film was a success? How do I use the short film to get myself ready for my next project? What if the film didn’t come out the way I wanted, am I completely done as a filmmaker? How do I use the lessons I learned to make my next project better? Now that I’ve made my first short film and loved it, how do I make this my full time job and become a professional filmmaker?

Writing the Producible, Low-Budget Script

Writers, producers and directors often complain that they can’t get their projects made, usually because the budget is too large. But what if the problem wasn’t the concept, but the way the script approaches the material? Have you had trouble selling your script? Do you constantly hit a wall when writing because you know it's 'too big' or 'too expensive' to make on a small budget? In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar James Kicklighter will teach you how to develop a film that can be made without large budgets and resources. James will arm you with the knowledge to create a scene that shows the narrative arc without telling it. He will also go through simple elements that often drive up budgets, elements that have been forgotten or unconsidered by filmmakers of all experience levels.  You will learn how to optimize your script to show and not tell the story with nominal resources, providing valuable guidance for the novice and a refresher for the experienced veteran. You will leave this webinar knowing exactly how to write a producible, low-budget script!

Make Your TV Script's First Ten Pages Count

We've brought in veteran development executive Marla White to give you an ultimate guide on dissecting the first 10 pages of a TV script. Marla has worked with writers who have sold pitches to Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and have been staffed on premium cable dramas. By looking at specific examples from great scripts like “Justified,” “Weeds,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Modern Family” and more, she's going to break it down for you why and how those pilots succeed where others failed.

The Perfect Pitch: The Secret To Becoming A Pitching Ace

Learn directly from Jared Iacino, VP Film and Television Development at Panay Films, a leading film & television production company with a production deal at Relativity Media – Panay Films credits include: Earth To Echo, Wedding Crashers, Serendipity, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, She’s All That and Van Wilder. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Jared Iacino will demystify the pitching process by showing you how to form and outline your pitch in practical, repeatable and memorable terms. As a film and television executive who has heard literally thousands of pitches himself, Jared will identify, from the studio/network/producers perspective, the common missteps and mistakes writers, filmmakers, producers and other film creatives make when pitching their projects and reveal the secret formula he's used when selling projects to independent film companies, studios and networks at the highest level. Whether you're pitching for television or film, Jared will give you all the tools and confidence to make your pitches sing! You Will Leave This Webinar Knowing: The most common (and most fatal) mistakes people make when pitching. How to properly structure a pitch. What to include, and most importantly, what NOT to include in your pitch. How to cater your pitch to the audience you’re pitching to. The 3 most important elements EVERY pitch should have. How to identify projects worthy of pitching. The secret ingredient in every great pitch. Whether you are brand new to pitching, have pitched a few times but have yet to get a request, or have gotten a few requests but can't seem to seal the deal, this webinar will help you hone in on your pitching technique and learn from an executive what an executive is looking for in a winning pitch.

PITCH PERFECT: Tips To Making Your TV Pitch Sing

Learn directly from Kat Walsh, Director of Development for Edyson Entertainment and former Agent Trainee at CAA where she worked on such films as 12 Years A Slave, Looper, Drive, The Great Gatsby and many others!  In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Kat Walsh will teach you tips, offer advice, and share the buzz around town on what makes a television pitch truly stand out amongst the crowd. She will primarily focus on both what producers are looking for when it comes to verbal and written pitches, as well as general industry insight. Although verbal pitches are incredibly powerful, following it up with a stellar pitch document is equally important in catching a producer’s eye. Kat will be focusing on pitch document formats, character development, world building and that extra little “something” that may just turn a “no” into a “yes.” You will leave the webinar knowing: An understanding of the current television landscape. How to get to the “Do you have pitch pages” stage of your verbal pitch. Producer-friendly written pitch formats. How to make sure your pilot and pitch pages are a perfect complement to each other. What the various networks are looking for. How to best position yourself for producers and executives. Industry Buzz - what executives are talking about these days. Your host Kat Walsh brings with her wisdom from both areas of the business – the selling side and the buying side. While Kat has worked alongside top agents in the entertainment business during her time at CAA, she has ultimately had the time of her life working with Edyson Entertainment in the producing and development game. Edyson is a new TV production company with offices based in LA, Toronto and London and holds a first-look deal with international distribution company, Content Media. Edyson currently has two fully-financed shows in network development and a third on its way.

Writing the Producible, Low-Budget Script

Writers, producers and directors often complain that they can’t get their projects made, usually because the budget is too large. But what if the problem wasn’t the concept, but the way the script approaches the material? Have you had trouble selling your script? Do you constantly hit a wall when writing because you know it's 'too big' or 'too expensive' to make on a small budget? In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar James Kicklighter will teach you how to develop a film that can be made without large budgets and resources. James will arm you with the knowledge to create a scene that shows the narrative arc without telling it. He will also go through simple elements that often drive up budgets, elements that have been forgotten or unconsidered by filmmakers of all experience levels.  You will learn how to optimize your script to show and not tell the story with nominal resources, providing valuable guidance for the novice and a refresher for the experienced veteran. You will leave this webinar knowing exactly how to write a producible, low-budget script!

register for stage 32 Register / Log In