Michele Weisler (Producer) has over twenty-five years of entertainment industry experience. As an independent producer, the goal for Weisler is to not only create content for entertainment but that will motivate the mind and heart toward tolerance and understanding and compassion. Earlier in 2022 Weisler Executive Produced DARBY AND THE DEAD for Disney/Hulu and before that completed KISSING BOOTH HIT TRILOGY for Netflix. It is one of the most watched films in the history of Netflix, and all pictures had their time in the number 1 slot! Adapted from the novel and directed by Vince Marcello. Weisler is collaborating with Marcello on various other projects, including two musicals for film and television. Some other titles Weisler is focusing on presently include a the Nobel novel, THINGS FALL APART, by acclaimed African novelist CHINUA ACHEBE, true life story of Biddy Mason, the first female slave to own land in the state of CA. Weiser is also developing several YA best sellers, such as, ONE FOR THE MURPHY’S by Linda Mullaly, TELL ME THREE THINGS, by Julie Buxbaum and THE ODDS OF LOVING GROVER CLEVELAND by Rebekah Crane, both digging deep in fictional human stories in order to inspire and motivate positive action and a deeper compassion-- toward all people. Weisler produced TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE, a father –daughter story starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, and Justin Timberlake and will collaborate for a second time with Director Rob Lorenz and writer Randy Brown on UNABOM, an FBI story. In television, Weisler is actively pursuing several projects, one penned by Dan Fante, entitled POINT DOOM, based on his novel and several other adaptations. In addition, Weisler developed and produced the TV pilot “Hound Dogs” for TBS, set in the Nashville’s minor league baseball world, written and directed by Ron Shelton. Weisler is also collaborating with youth psychologist Andrew Okoh, working on THE JOURNEY PROJECT, a documentary that focuses on taking African American youth in gangs from South Central Los Angeles and introduce them to their real roots--- in Nigeria. Weisler executive produced STREET KINGS for Fox Searchlight, written by James Ellroy, directed by David Ayer and starring Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker. Weisler also served as Executive Producer on RING I AND RING II for Dreamworks in 2002 and 2005. Also in 2002, Weisler developed and produced the feature “Try Seventeen,” directed by Jeff Porter and starring Elijah Wood, Franka Potente and Mandy Moore. Her earlier credits include Executive Producer on the films “Novocaine,” starring Steve Martin, Laura Dern and Helena Bonham-Carter, which opened the 2001 Toronto Film Festival, and STIR OF ECHOES starring Kevin Bacon, which marked her second collaboration with director David Koepp. Weisler had earlier served as an associate producer on Koepp’s directorial debut feature “The Trigger Effect,” and Co-Produced DreamWorks’ family film “Paulie.” Weisler graduated with a degree in film from the University of Wisconsin, and then began her career as an intern working on Roger Corman’s horror movie THE NEST. Rising through the ranks of Corman’s Concorde Pictures, she co-produced over 20 feature films, eventually becoming responsible for all physical production at the company by the age of twenty six. Susan Stremple began her career in the film industry immediately following graduation from UCLA in 1985. Over the next 15 years she worked in physical production and served as a creative producer across a broad genre of films. She began her production work at Concord New Horizon Studios where she worked with Roger Corman producing low budget thrillers. She then moved on from Concord to produce “BEVERLY HILLS BODY SNATCHERS”, an independent movie directed by Jon Mostow (Terminator 3, Rise of the Machines, U-571). Stremple then developed and co-produced “3 NINJAS”, an independent movie directed by Jon Turteltaub (Phenomenon, National Treasure, Cool Runnings). “3 Ninjas” was purchased by Disney and became their most profitable feature of 1992 in terms of cost-to-gross ratio. Following this success she then developed and co-produced “WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING”, starring Sandra Bullock and directed by Jon Turteltaub. “While You Were Sleeping” was enormously successful grossing over $180M in worldwide box office and over $50M in DVD sales and rentals. For the last several years she has been developing multiple film and television projects. Her television projects include “YOU GET WHAT YOU PLAY FOR”, inspired by the novel and written by Jeff Farley, and “SANCTUARY”, a project being developed with the creative team of Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro (Necessary Roughness, Extant, Salvation). Stremple currently is developing feature film projects with Michele Weisler (Trouble with the Curve, The Kissing Booth 1, 2 and 3) , Jeff Farley (Thunderstuck) and several YA novels by Rebekah Crane (THE ODDS OF LOVING GROVER CLEVELAND and SUMMER BURN) Full Bio »
An Exclusive Webinar
Learn How To Develop Your Young Adult (YA) Films and TV Series From The Executive Producer Of DARBY AND THE DEAD for Disney+/Hulu & THE KISSING BOOTH TRILOGY for Netflix and the Producer of WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING starring SANDRA BULLOCK.
Plus! You Will Receive The Pilot Script For THE KISSING BOOTH
The Young Adult (YA) demographic is such an important one for film and television producers to understand.
The YA audience can encompass kids from eleven years old through their early twenties. Not only is this the majority of film and television viewers, there is arguably more freedom to explore storylines and characters in this genre than standard adult fare or even family content.
Taking you through every step of how to create successful YA projects are Michele Weisler and Susan Stremple, a producing team with a focus on the YA genre.
In 2022, Weisler Executive Produced DARBY AND THE DEAD for Disney/Hulu and before that completed the hit trilogy THE KISSING BOOTH for Netflix. It is one of the most watched films in the history of Netflix. Previously, Weisler produced TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE, starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, and Justin Timberlake. Stremple has produced “BEVERLY HILLS BODY SNATCHERS” directed by Jon Mostow (Terminator 3, Rise of the Machines, U-571) and “3 NINJAS” directed by Jon Turteltaub (Phenomenon, National Treasure, Cool Runnings). She developed and co-produced “WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING”, starring Sandra Bullock and directed by Jon Turteltaub, which grossed over $180M in worldwide box office receipts.
YA viewers have voracious appetites for digital video content. As distribution outlets continue to aggressively chase YA audience growth the result will be a disproportionate increase in production and marketing dollars in YA content. Understanding this arena will give you another way to monetize your craft as well as potential new found freedom for creatively, with respect to themes and storylines that are specific to the young adult, early twenties experience.
This webinar will help you understand how to set yourself apart with your YA projects to succeed in this ever growing and changing genre. You will go over strategic partners for YA content, casting philosophies (there is more freedom than you think), storylines, themes, character development, and more to help you on your journey.
If you aspire to create and produce YA movies or TV series this webinar is a must.
Introduction to Michele Weisler and Susan Stremple
YA –What exactly is YA?
FINDING YA MATERIAL
THE CHALLENGES OF DEVELOPING YA CONTENT
FINANCING YA CONTENT
EMERGING CONTENT TRENDS
Q&A with Michele and Susan
Michele Weisler & Susan Stremple
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“How can I make it in the movie business?” This is the perpetual question that haunts every generation of budding filmmakers. There are so many success stories that start with humble beginnings, and then there are so many more stories that don’t make it as far. If you want to “make it” in the movie business, you have to know how to get a job in it first. But how? First, there are SO MANY more jobs in this industry than most people realize. Do you know all the many ways to be part of the film industry? Not to mention, it takes a lot of grit to make it in this biz. Most people pay their dues through grueling hours as an assistant with little pay. With the right guidance from someone who has been there and done that, you’ll be able to set yourself up for success for any job in the industry. You just have to know how to get your foot in the door. Matt Harry is a novelist, screenwriter, and filmmaker whose popular fantasy novel SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS was recently optioned for television by Boatrocker Media with Matt on board to adapt the pilot. His first produced feature screenplay, FUGUE, landed on several top-ten lists, won Best Horror Film at the Mississippi Film Festival, and was picked up for distribution by GoDigital. Matt has also written screenplays for Primary Wave, Platform One Media, Co-op Entertainment, and Flynn Picture Co. His short film SUPER KIDS, which he wrote and co-directed, has over 6 million views on YouTube. Now, inspired by his new interactive book “You Are A Filmmaker,” Matt is bringing his knowledge and experience to Stage 32 so that anyone looking for an entry-level job in the biz can get one. Matt is going to tell you exactly how to get any job in the film business, starting with the 10 Do’s for ANY job and the 5 Don’ts. He’ll go over how to get a job in development, production, the camera department, post-production, post sound, the art department, as a writer, and even a director. He’ll also answer questions like, “do you need to live in Los Angeles,” and provide tips on how to afford to work in the industry, because let’s face it…when you’re starting out this biz is far from the glamorous life. But don’t worry, with Matt’s insightful tips and experiences, you’ll walk out of this ready to snag any job in the industry. Praise for Matt's Previous Stage 32 Webinar "Chockful of examples and able to keep a running theme throughout and not lose the audience. Great enthusiastic speaker." -John S. "Overall it was very informative. The fact that there was an actual tried and true professional of the industry willing and able to answer questions and give the talk was a very huge plus for me." -Jaboris B. "Matt has such a way with words. He articulates concepts exceptionally well." -Karthi M. "Matt was very engaging. His in-depth knowledge of the subject matter was crystal clear." -Tia P.
Have you ever been asked, “what are the comps” for your project? Or, what’s the “this-meets-that”? Potential investors are always looking for the next big idea, and if your project aligns with past box office success in terms of story, genre, tone, budget, and more, you’ll be able to win those producers over. Having a Comps Report can provide real industry data to push your sales pitch over the top. Short for “comparable,” comps are films similar to your project that prove you have a viable idea to investors. So why can’t you pick a box office success as your comp and call it a day? Because it takes more than knowing titles. You need to understand different markets, different platforms, why those comparable films did well in some areas and not others, and more. An unrealistic report can even do more harm than good by driving away the people who could help your film produced. To walk you through creating your comp report is Bruce Nash, founder and President of Nash Information Services, LLC., the premier provider of movie industry data and research services, including comp analysis and international sales projects for feature films and real-time tracking of the industry through its OpusData service. Since its launch in 1997, Bruce and his team have served over 1,000 clients, with projects ranging from big-budget Hollywood hits to Oscar-winning dramas to low-budget films from first-time producers. In this webinar, Bruce Nash will teach you what quality analysis is, what comps are and how best to choose them, the four key questions to ask when compiling a comp report, and how to understand today’s market. Bruce will also include where you can find free online tools to help assemble your comp report. Don't miss this chance to learn from one of the best in the business.
Some of the most well regarded recent feature films and television shows were based on books, including the Oscar-nominated Little Women, JoJo Rabbit, The Two Popes, The Irishman and the Emmy-nominated Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, Fosse/Verdon, Sharp Objects and many more. Authors spend months, if not years, formulating characters and worlds that make it onto the printed page. This creativity serves as great source material that would translate greatly to the big or small screen. If you're an author who's written a novel and are looking to get it adapted, a screenwriter that's written a script based off a book you have (or would like to obtain) the rights to, or a producer or financier who has the rights or are circling securing the rights to a property you believe would make a great film or TV show, you need to understand the steps to take to obtain the rights, protect yourself legally, and make the development process a smooth and enjoyable ride. Discovering an adaptation-worthy story can be as simple as stumbling across an interesting book or article at a bookstore, library or newsstand. Understanding how to obtain the rights and develop that material effectively is the harder part. It takes meticulous planning and approach to be able to get the rights to the desired intellectual property and successfully adapt and develop the material. Many factors go into getting an adaptation to the screen including negotiations, legal hurdles and making sure you're staying authentic to the source material. Once misstep and it could derail an amazing project. You need to be prepared. Jim Young has produced films adapted off of books and intellectual property such as The Catcher Was a Spy (starring Paul Rudd), Lovelace (starring James Franco, Sharon Stone, and Amanda Seyfried) and The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, and Stephen Fry) and Life of King (starring Cuba Gooding Jr.). He's had his films premiere at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW and has earned himself a reputation of being an expert in adaptations. Through years of working with authors, publishers, talent, financiers and distributors Jim knows how to adapt a book into a film and TV series from start to finish. Jim will teach you how to acquire the rights to a book you're interested and go over where to look for title, how to approach the author and publisher and how to close the deal. He'll give advice on the story development process and how to engage the author during that time, as well as tips on how to avoid liability. You'll learn two essential people you must have in your pre-production phase and how to work with the cast, crew and author on set. You will get insider tips on what to do before your film or TV show hits the screen to gain momentum for your project. And, finally, Jim will give you six legal elements to have in place prior to your project's release. This is must-know information coming from someone who's prolific in producing films based off of books.
Writing the hero or main characters of your story is always fun. You typically have an immediate sense of who your character is, what they like, where they live, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they relate to the world around them. What may not be as easy and might be considerably more difficult is writing your supporting characters - particularly when it is a large ensemble of characters that you need to introduce. It is just as important to develop your supporting characters as it is your main ones. Your supporting characters add tremendous value to the arch of your main character’s journey and therefore require a sincere investment to their development. A supporting character can be a sidekick, sibling, or best friend of the main character. Whoever they are, they have an important role to play in your story. The last thing you want is to leave the potential of the supporting character sitting on the back burner. It’s time to bring them up front and really brainstorm what they can bring to the table of your script. A supporting character can greatly enhance your subplot and move the general plot forward if you truly understand how to utilize them. We have the tools to help you master this exactly. Jordan Barel is a seasoned filmmaker, television coordinator, an award winning publisher, and business owner who founded Loaded Barrel Studios, publishing graphic novels and obtaining international awards, including the Independent Publishing Book Awards (2012, 2013), The LA Book festival, the Geekie Awards ®, and many others. He has optioned his incredible books and screenplays with producers such as David Uslan, Brendan Deneen who has done work for MARVEL Entertainment and DC, Jeffrey Erb, and Aaron Berger who has contributed to projects like TURBO and CRIMINAL MINDS. Jordan will demonstrate the effective approach on how to utilize your supporting characters to enrich your storytelling. Jordan will discuss how your supporting characters can be utilized to bring depth to your story and connect it to the Hero’s Journey of the main character in your script. He will also touch on using supporting characters as a unique element to deliver key exposition and tools on ways your supporting characters can deliver a subplot. Jordan will break down case studies of various film types and how they use supporting characters & sub plots in story. By the end of this webinar, you will feel well-equipped with ideas on how to strategically use your supporting characters to magnify your story to its fullest potential. Jordan is thrilled to deliver this exciting material to members of the Stage 32 community. Praise for Jordan's Stage 32 Webinar "It was absolutely excellent information." - Gerri G. "Great speaker, lots of great info. Thanks!" - Ron H.
Mentoring with top financier Viviana Zarragoitia, VP of Three Point Capital - exclusively through Stage 32! Get access to exclusive handouts including sample budgets, packages and collection account management statement, sales sheets, sales agent contracts and distribution agreements One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a creative is finding financiers and raising funds for your film. You may have a great script, a great cast and crew, but at the end of the day no money means no project. Yet you don’t need 10 million dollars to get your film off the ground. With the right strategies and approach you can successfully finance a film for $3MM or less. Sometimes MUCH less, as microbudget films and films financed for under $500,000 continue to find success and still allow financiers to recoup their investments. This is all within your grasp, but first you must understand the ins and outs of what goes into financing a film for less than $3 million so you can ultimately find success. Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films and projects with budgets under $3MM can be your calling card toward making a life working in independent film. Simply put, if you understand the strategies and methods to help your investors see a return, you get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring more investors with them if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, it's not impossible, and in fact can be well within your grasp, especially with the right guidance and education. Viviana Zarragoitia is the Vice President of Three Point Capital, one of the entertainment industry's top financiers that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. Through Three Point, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in. She has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Rob Barnum (MARGIN CALL), Anthony Bregman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), James Schamus (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Aaron Gilbert (JOKER), Kimberly Steward (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), Nicolas Chartier (THE HURT LOCKER) and Kevin Frakes (HEREDITARY), among others. Before Three Point Capital, Viviana worked in accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films, as well as in the finance division of Lionsgate, where she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. Viviana has seen it all when it comes to film financing and knows intimately well how films find success at all budget levels. In this advanced level and intensive on-demand 4-session class, Viviana will comprehensively teach you how you can finance your own film for $3MM or less. In Session 1 she will provide an overview of the different types of film financing available to you. In Session 2 she will focus on microbudget films specifically and dig in to how films with these budgets can find success. Session 3 will delve into equity, pre-sales, gap, and sales agents. Finally Session 4 will look at waterfalls, recoupment and navigating collection accounts. Along the way, Viviana will provide exclusive and valuable handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including: Sample Budgets and Packages Sales Sheets Sales Agent Contracts Sample Collection Account Statement Example Distribution Agreements While this is an on-demand class we highly recommend doing the assignments in-between each session to get the most out of Viviana's class. Praise for Viviana's Past Stage 32 Financing Classes: "Viviana inspired me to learn more about the business side of filmmaking. I had an idea of how to finance a movie, but after our first class, I realized I had a lot to learn. I'm learning more to this day! I highly recommend her class to any film creative with little, to no understanding on how to finance an independent film. What she has to say is priceless!" -Steven K. "As an experienced film and television producer and writer, Viviana's class was just the refresher - and inspiration - that I needed! Having been a completion producer for a bond company, I have seen too many producers who were let down in the producing process by so-called-professionals who offered support at the on-set of a production, but then failed to deliver when needed. Viviana and her company Three Point Capital have an excellent reputation, and her counsel provided in the class solidified that. I highly recommend both Viviana and Stage 32 Education!" -Patricia C. "Viviana was personable, professional, interesting, interested, and a wealth of knowledge and useful information. I will take every opportunity to learn from her. She was patient and polite with every question and always clear with what she knew, what she thought, what she believed, and what she didn't know. She painted pictures and delivered facts, outlining the paths she has seen successful producers take while still encouraging all to pursue their art with a greater knowledge of the business and understanding of the challenges and potential pitfalls." -Randy G. "As someone who was totally new to the world of film financing, trying to learn about the process by myself was intimidating to put it lightly. Viviana clearly explains the film financing process step-by-step and demystifies the complex, bespoke nature of pre-sales, tax credits, sales agents, and so much more. I feel infinitely more confident in my ability to produce a film thanks to this class. I give it the highest possible recommendation for any independent filmmaker looking to finance their film and take their projects to the next level." -Sean R. "Viviana has a tremendous depth and range of knowledge about film financing and she was happy to share everything she knew. Thanks to her loose, attentive style for the class, it ranged far and wide, and she answered a lot of people’s questions whether they were general or specific to their own projects. And I feel like there was value for all of us in even the most project-specific questions." -Randy V.
One of the most crucial decisions you can make as an independent producer is also one of the first: should you produce your project working with the unions or should you shoot non-union? Cast and crew from unions can help with packaging your film and ensure different department needs are met. At the same time, when you’re trying to keep your budget low, shooting non-union is the smart choice for your production. The trick is to choose the path that is best for you and your project, and this exclusive Stage 32 webinar will walk you through the pros and cons of both options, and even show you some tips and tricks you didn’t know before. Guiding you is Nicholas Levis, a highly sought-after producer, and the founder and CEO of BrandCinema. Nicholas is known for his think-outside-the-box producing style. He has produced content in 30 states and 10 nations and is regarded for his in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the production process and close industry relationships. His recent film producing credits include WHO IS CHRISTMAS EVE? for the Bounce Network and DREAMKATCHER for Lionsgate, starring Lin Shaye, Radha Mitchell, and Henry Thomas. He also recently produced the globally distributed films HIGH STRUNG and HIGH STRUNG REE DANCE, directed by Michael Damian and starring Jane Seymour and Thomas Doherty. Nicholas will draw on his years of industry experience to show you how your budget and vision will impact your choices, the key factors to consider, and ultimately, how to embrace the best choice for your project. Even if you already know which path is for you, this webinar will go deeper and show you every aspect you need to know, like mistakes to avoid when approaching unions, how tiers affect unions and fees, and more. You’ll walk away from this webinar understanding the many different unions, how to communicate with them, and what it takes to work without them. This decision impacts every step of your production. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn this vital information so you can make the best choices on all your productions. "As a mentor at heart, the opportunity to be engaged by this amazing global community at Stage32 makes my teaching webinar sessions feel like I'm learning..." -- Nicholas Levis Praise for Nicholas' previous webinars: "Very genuine educator who obviously knows his stuff. Lots of details to be aware of when making your decisions on filming locations and post - each project is unique - so it's not a standard set of answers." - Susan S. "Nicholas gave me life-changing information! My out of state project questions were easily figured out." - Sara B. "Such insightful knowledge, tips and tricks of the trade and he made it easy to understand!" - Tom T.