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

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!

What Makes Me Interested In Your Script? A Development Executive's Perspective

Agustine’s day-to-day role at RatPac is to help develop screenplays and projects. Whether it’s shaping the story of a script in order to attract a director or actor, breaking down a script in an effort to maximize its marketability, or simply working with the writer to ensure that the script has the best chance of success, Augustine is hands on in every step of the creative process. But before Augustine, or any other creative executive, can get to work, he has to love and see the potential of the material. And that raises the question: What makes someone like Agustine interested in a script? Understanding every aspect of how and why a film goes from the page to the screen is crucial to being a professional in the film industry. It truly can make the difference between a “Pass” or a “Yes”. If you are a writer looking to learn what exactly gets a Development Executive interested in your material or if you are a producer and want to understand the mindset of a Development Executive as it relates to developing your project, look no further – you will learn the entire truth straight from someone working in the trenches every single day. This is material designed to give you a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace! And as if that wasn’t enough, Agustine will hosted a Q&A session as well!  

Writing & Producing Compelling Television in Today's Market | Masters of Craft

There is no hotter market right now than television. More content is being ordered than ever before. And with streaming networks such as Netflix planning to have 50% original content in their libraries within the next few years, the demand for quality television scripts, products and minds isn't going away anytime soon. But what makes a television show work? What elements are networks, premium channels and streaming platforms looking for? How do you navigate what has quickly become a very crowded market? By learning from the best, of course. Stage 32 is beyond proud to introduce a new, timely, important and exclusive Masters of Craft webinar: Writing & Producing Compelling Television in Today’s Market.   Your teacher is 20+ year television veteran, the one and only David Weddle. Over his prolific career, David has been an award winning producer on some of the most famous shows of all time (Battlestar Galactica, CSI, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, The Twilight Zone). Currently, David is an Executive Producer and Writer for The Strain – the highly acclaimed television series created by writer/director Guillermo del Toro, based on his series of best-selling novels, co-written with Chuck Hogan. David is working alongside one of the most famous and in demand showrunners in the business, Carlton Cuse (showrunner for Lost, Bates Motel, Colony and the upcoming Amazon Studios' show Jack Ryan starring John Krasinski). As an added bonus, in this exclusive worldwide online event Stage 32’s very own CEO, Richard Botto, a writer and producer himself, will sit down with David and discuss the ins and outs of TV. David will take you into the world and processes of creating quality, compelling television. He will get in depth on how shows get bought and made – from writing to budgeting to casting. In short, you will gain pertinent, usable knowledge and information on writing and producing for TV. Further, we will have an extensive Q&A session where you can ask David any questions you have. This is masterful information brought to you by a master of his craft!

Writing Strong Female Characters

Learn directly from Jake Detharidge, Producer and former Head of Story for WME and Head of Development and Production at 3311 Productions (In A World... starring Lake Bell, Eva Longoria and Big Sur starring Kate Bosworth) Now, more than ever a strong female protagonist is in the spotlight. When we speak with executives that work with Stage 32 they are thrilled with the evolution of multidimensional female characters who are winning over audiences. To be able to write strong female characters, you need to know the current industry landscape for female driven content so you can understand how to analyze, create and execute genuine female characters. We have brought in one of the leading Development and Production Executives - Jake Detharidge from 3311 Productions - who will be teaching our Stage 32 writers how to write strong female characters in an exclusive 90 minute live and interactive online webinar. Having worked on films with Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell, Eva Longoria and many more, Jake knows what it takes to truly make your female characters stand out on the page and on the screen. Jake received a 99% satisfaction rate when he taught previous webinars for Stage 32, so we had to bring him back!

Deconstructing The Script: Guardians of the Galaxy

Learn directly from Ross Putman, an award-winning producer and founder of PSH Collective! Transformers. Godzilla. Captain America. Groot...? Who knew that this summer's biggest success story would be Marvel's band of unlikely heroes, known as The Guardians of the Galaxy? With their biggest star (Bradley Cooper) playing a talking raccoon, a director whose previous film grossed just $300,000 at the box office, and with a cast of characters so unknown that an entire teaser trailer was devoted just to introducing them, the odds seemed long for Guardians to make any impact at all. And yet it's the only film to gross over $300 million at the US box office--something not even Michael Bay's fourth Transformers movie could accomplish (and that had Marky Mark Wahlberg)! It's a little known fact that Guardians was based on source material that Marvel all but buried. So why did it work? Regardless of whether a good story is based on source material or original material, Guardians would not have been a success if the script, filmmaking, casting and marketing weren't all thought out and executed perfectly. In this webinar, we'll deconstruct how Marvel "flipped the script" on... well, its own scripts. A focus on quirkiness, the establishment of a unique tone, and bringing their first female writer in the fold added up to a great finished product. Whether it's the very specific character traits (like Drax's inability to understand metaphor) to the very clear stakes (even when things go deep into sci-fi), Guardians has all the right moves to please movie-goers tired of the same-old-same-old. Yet it becomes truly revolutionary by sticking to the basics; it's a script that puts one foot in front of the other and never stumbles.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In