Developing Material That Production Companies Want

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 Rachel Crouch

$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.

Rachel Crouch

Webinar hosted by: Rachel Crouch

Creative Executive at Cold Iron Pictures

Rachel Crouch began her career with a rather unconventional start working a variety of jobs all over Los Angeles. After interning with Miranda Bailey's former company Ambush Entertainment, she landed a job as a producer's assistant at the film financing and production company Cold Iron Pictures. Now as a Creative Executive at Cold Iron, she has worked on such films as the Spirit Award-winning The Diary of a Teenage Girl, this summer's Swiss Army Man starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, Time out of Mind starring Richard Gere, and Mike Birbiglia's latest Don't Think Twice, as well as produced a series of short YouTube videos in her "off" time. As a writer, Rachel has had articles published by The Mary Sue, TVGuide.com, EveryGeek.net, and co-founded the geek girl podcast and blog The Babes in the Woods. Full Bio »

"I appreciate Rachel's openness and willingness to share her knowledge and experience with us." - Susan S.

"Very practical advice that I can apply right away." - Brien G.

"I thought it was very professional and informative." - Chris R.

Ever have a great concept, but when you sit down to write the script or when you go to pitch it, you have more questions than answers for your story?

It's a common issue and usually comes from a lack of development and - most importantly - a lack of honesty about your story. Often writers impose deadlines and other restrictions on their writing even when they don't need to. Especially with a new idea, it's important to fully flesh out your characters and plot, and then also flesh out the budget before approaching producers and production companies. Many content creators fail to attach production companies to their material because they forget the vital steps that go into developing an idea. 

In Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Rachel Crouch will show you how to develop your idea from a good concept to a strong story that will grab the attention of financiers and production companies. She'll help you break down your story to figure out your project's main audience and lead you through the tropes you'll want to exploit in order to leave that audience satisfied. You'll find out how to determine your story's budget range and see how letting go of those HBO dreams might help you find a better home for your project (and improve your pitch)!

Whether you're just starting out as a writer or have produced multiple projects, this webinar will help you more effectively develop your ideas to make for a better script and a better pitch.


What You'll Learn:

  • Finding material you can elevate
    • Original material Vs Adapted material
    • What makes this project different? Original ideas vs. Same but different (twist on a familiar idea).
    • Understand the difference between a concept and an idea. You may think you know, but you may be wrong!
    • Testing if your idea works best on TV or as a film?
  • Develop and brainstorm your idea to completion
    • The Necessity of an outline
    • How to improve your Character worksheets to create icons.
      • Breakdown your key characters and their ensuing arcs (include seasonal arcs if this is a TV show)
    • Breaking down the Logline for your project.
    • Creating a dynamic synopsis of your story (pilot for TV show)
    • Identifying the best home for your idea
      • For TV – What is the best network for your show? Everyone says HBO and often they’re wrong. You need to discern your want/desire from what is actually be the best fit.
      • For film – Who should produce your movie?
        • Sometimes you don’t get a say in this, but if you do, do your research.
        • What is your likely budget?
        • What other films has the company made? Evaluate more than one! Look at the slate
        • Be honest with yourself.
        • Have comps ready! Others film you can compare to your project.
  • Tips For Successfully Pitching to Production Companies:
    • How to focus the arc of your pitch! It's about the material first. You, second.
    • How to prepare basic questions
    • Where to start your pitch
    • Information you must hit on in your pitch to a production company
    • How to deal with rejection of your project. Leave the door open for the next project

About Your Instructor:

Rachel Crouch began her career with a rather unconventional start working a variety of jobs all over Los Angeles. After interning with Miranda Bailey's former company Ambush Entertainment, she landed a job as a producer's assistant at the film financing and production company Cold Iron Pictures. Now as a Creative Executive at Cold Iron, she has worked on such films as the Spirit Award-winning The Diary of a Teenage Girl, this summer's Swiss Army Man starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, Time out of Mind starring Richard Gere, and Mike Birbiglia's latest Don't Think Twice, as well as produced a series of short YouTube videos in her "off" time.

As a writer, Rachel has had articles published by The Mary Sue, TVGuide.com, EveryGeek.net, and co-founded the geek girl podcast and blog The Babes in the Woods.

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:

"I appreciate Rachel's openness and willingness to share her knowledge and experience with us." - Susan S.

"Very practical advice that I can apply right away." - Brien G.

"I thought it was very professional and informative." - Chris R.

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:

Film Pre-Production Step by Step Guide

Learn directly from Rachel Crouch, who works in development at Cold Iron Pictures (Sundance award-winning Swiss Army Man, Diary of a Teenage Girl, winner of an Independent Spirit award and more) as she sets out the basics of the pre-production process! Pre-production is the most important time for filmmakers. How you plan and the crucial decisions you make will determine the success of your production and ultimately, your film. No matter what experience level you are at, pre-production can quickly become an overwhelming process. To make the most of this valuable time to prep you'll want to take it step by step to ensure no loose ends come back to derail your film. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Rachel Crouch will use her experience from Cold Iron Pictures to help ensure your pre-production process runs smoothly. She will provide an overview of the prep and planning that will need to happen during the pre-production process. Then she will break it down to help you understand how to hire the right crew, put in place your department heads and why communication every step of the way is so vitally important.  You will learn how to define the budget for your film and the differences between prepping a micro-budget film and a film with a significantly larger budget. Rachel will also cover location scouting and why that is so important to the success of your film, key advice on how to avoid common pitfalls in pre-production. She'll also use case studies from film pre-production cycles that she has assisted in to give you a real-life look at how to get started on the right foot. Rachel Crouch has worked on such films as the Spirit Award-winning The Diary of a Teenage, this summer's Swiss Army Man starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, Time out of Mind starring Richard Gere,and Mike Birbiglia's latest Don't Think Twice, as well as produced a series of short YouTube videos in her "off" time.  

The Business of Unscripted/Reality TV & the Best Way to Develop and Pitch It

There is a myth in the television industry right now: more channels mean it’s easier to sell a show, right? WRONG! The diversification of television and the dominance of streaming services over linear cable have made it HARDER to sell unscripted programming. Why? Because there are too many places for the audience to go. In order to get a hit, networks have to become specialized and truly define their brand in order to stand out. You can no longer just pitch IDEAS to networks. IDEAS are not STORIES and they’re not SERIES. There is a lot more work (research, interviews, and writing) that has to go into a pitch before you can take it to a network. Bomb a pitch and a network might not let you in the door again. Angela Molloy is one of the original unscripted executives having been in the game since 2001, when it was just getting started. She’s also one of the only executives who has been a network buyer, a production company development executive (seller), and an Executive Producer in the field. In this webinar you’ll learn get an overall sense of the reality landscape and concrete essential tips for how to develop and pitch into it. Sign up today to make sure you don’t get caught with your pants down during a pitch!  

Writing the Psychological Thriller

Learn directly from Steve Desmond, professional screenwriter who has worked on projects with Davis Entertainment, Imagine Entertainment, Treehouse Pictures, and more! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Steve Desmond will help you build your suspense from the ground up. Together, you’ll study some of the masters of psychological thrillers, and he’ll share what he’s learned in the trenches from working with other writers, producers, and executives. From the anatomy of a suspense scene, to how to build compelling characters, to how to hook the reader’s attention early, to the power of murder in a story, all the way to crafting a twist ending that no one sees coming, this will be a fully immersive experience that will leave you excited, inspired and ready to tackle your next project. Steve Desmond is a professional screenwriter represented by APA, The Gotham Group, and Eclipse Law Firm. Recently, Steve sold a thriller screenplay with an Oscar nominated producer attached, and has several other thriller projects in the works with major companies. Steve was also recently hired to write a treatment for a mini-series on infamous serial killer Ted Bundy, being produced Discovery Networks, Giant Pirates, and Trigger Street. Over the years, he’s written or developed projects with Imagine Entertainment, Level 1 Entertainment, Blacklight Transmedia, Preferred Film & TV, The Walt Becker Company, Dreamworks Animation, and (shockingly) The Disney Channel. Steve has repeatedly proved that he knows what it takes to write a great psychological thriller, and he is here to share his knowledge with Stage 32!

8 Week Intensive TV Drama Pilot Writing Lab

Learn directly from Morgan Long, TV Literary Department for a “Big Six” Agency This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. With the TV market exploding right now, one of the most in demand formats is the 1-hour TV drama pilot. Many, if not all, managers and agents are looking for writers that can write in this space, and with more and more production companies heading into TV, knowing how to write a strong 1-hour TV drama pilot will give you a competitive advantage and help you find success as a TV writer! Due to popular demand, Stage 32 is thrilled to bring back our 8 Week Intensive TV Drama Pilot Writing Lab taught by Morgan Long, a TV development coordinator at a “Big Six” Agency! This hands-on intensive lab will guide you through picking a concept, creating engaging characters, structuring and outlining your pilot and writing the first draft! The main objective of this 8-week lab will be to have a first draft of your script. You will meet online with Morgan for 2 hours a week in a class setting, plus have phone consultations during some of the weeks when you don't have an online class. This will be accompanied by weekly homework assignments to guide you on your way to creating a marketable, unique pilot that will grab the industry's attention. Payment plans are available - please contact julie@stage32.com for more information.  This Lab is Limited to 20 People. Please Note: Participating in this lab does not mean you are writing for or pitching to Morgan or her company.  PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch.

How to Write a Fresh, Stand Out Comedy

Learn directly from Melissa Daykin Cassill, Vice President of State Street Pictures (Faster, Beauty Shop, Barbershop, Notorious, Nothing Like The Holidays) The Hangover, Bridesmaids, Little Miss Sunshine. What is it, exactly, that makes these comedies stand out from the crowd? With so many different types of comedies in the marketplace, it is becoming the toughest genre to break into. More executives are turning to A list comedians to write than actual screenwriters, so how do you get an executive's attention? How do you get past executives that have different senses of humor, jokes that don't translate internationally, and storylines that can easily get deemed outdated a year later? Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you our 4 week online intensive class How To Write A Fresh, Stand Out Comedy taught by the Vice President of State Street Pictures, Melissa Dayin Cassill. In this hands on 4 week course, you will learn the importance of the emotional crescendo of a comedy script, how to balance the comedy with the humanity of the characters, and how to pitch your comedy script once you're ready, all while molding your pages under Melissa's supervision. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards strengthening your pages, this class will help you craft your writing into a fresh stand out comedy script that will grab executives' attention! Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Melissa is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.

Navigating The U.K. Film Market

Learn directly from Laurie Cook, Producer and Head of Development at Bigscope Films, who's produced 4 feature films that have sold theatrically worldwide! Lured by generous tax incentives, many of Hollywood's biggest films have shot in London or are planning to head to the U.K. There is over $500,000,000 worth of public money to be spent on films each year in the U.K., and in 2012 there were over 250 films shot in the U.K. and over 600 films released there. It's a wonderful place to get films made, but the competition for finance and distribution is stronger than ever. What makes the film market different in the U.K than in Hollywood? How do you get your foot in the door as a writer, director, or producer in the U.K. film industry? Once you're in, how do you stand out from the crowd? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Laurie Cook will guide writers, directors and producers through the independent U.K. film market from an insider's point of view: how to get funding for your script and film, how and why certain projects stand out against the rest, and how to boost your chances of success. This will be your go-to guide to navigating the U.K. film market and getting your film made in the U.K. You will leave with an agenda to make you and your project focused and well presented for maximum impact. Your host Laurie Cook is a Producer and Head of Development at Bigscope Films, where he produced the films Pressure (starring Matthew Goode & Danny Huston) and Don't Hang Up (starring Gregg Sulkin) releasing this year, as well as Hangar 10 and Outpost, which were released in 2014. He knows the ins and outs of the U.K. film market, what executives are looking for when taking on projects and how to make your mark to get your script and films made.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In