Developing Material That Production Companies Want

Hosted by Rachel Crouch

$39 $49
Appreciation Month
Sale ends May 31 - 11:59 PM PDT

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 -

$39.00
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 »

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 (Diary of a Teenage Girl, winner of an Independent Spirit award) 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.  

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!

Demystifying the Agency World

Learn directly from Morgan Long, a coordinator from one of the big six Hollywood agencies in the TV literary department! She'll give you specific insider knowledge of the agency system and what it takes to get their attention. There is a cloud of mystery surrounding one of the biggest and most fundamental components of the Hollywood industry – and that’s the agency. Whether you’re a writer, director, non-writing producer, actor – and the list goes on to cover even the most obscure type of talent imaginable– it’s pretty basic knowledge that representation is necessary to launch your career. In this jam-packed Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Demystifying the Agency World, Morgan will take you inside the walls of a premier Hollywood agency to shed light on the inner workings of how deals get made, how agents think and ultimately, how you can take steps in your career towards securing the holy grail that is representation. You will leave the webinar knowing: The types of representation The different departments within an agency and how they work together and function independently. The types of jobs for TV clients Identify the players we sell to What sells in the marketplace? What is packaging? An agent's day-to-day What agents want in potential clients (the brutal, honest answer) Finding representation Moving forward without representation.

Avoid Stock Characters: How To Create Memorable, Compelling Characters

Learn directly from Melissa Daykin Cassill, VP of Development and Production at State Street Pictures (Faster, Beauty Shop, Barbershop, Notorious, Nothing Like The Holidays)! You hear it again and again: “We’re looking for character driven drama/comedy/action/name your genre.” You may have a great plot, amazing action sequences, or the most hilarious idea for a comedy set piece but without great characters, you’ll be dead in the water. Why? Because everything should be motivated by your characters. What would The Godfather be without Michael’s change from the good man who served his country to a vengeful and tyrannical ruler? What would Star Wars be without the father son drama? Creating memorable characters is such an essential aspect of creating a compelling, sellable story, yet so many writers struggle with doing it correctly and fail to avoid the trap of stock characters that leave their scripts lifeless and weak. The Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring you a 3-week online course Avoid Stock Characters: How To Create Memorable, Compelling Characters so you can learn how to create the memorable characters your story deserves. This class is taught by Melissa Daykin Cassill, VP of Development and Production at State Street Pictures, a production company with a first look deal at Fox 2000 Pictures. What Melissa loves most about her job is working with writers and developing exciting, compelling projects and she’s excited to be here teaching with Stage 32 to help you develop compelling characters in your story! In this class, you will learn how to set up a character arc so the character’s change is compelling, how to develop supporting characters who support the story and compliment your protagonists, how to avoid stock characters and scenes and how to adjust what you already have to make your work better. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared toward strengthening your characters, you will leave this class knowing exactly how to create memorable characters for your stories.

Maximizing The Quality Of Your Directing Work

Learn directly from 20 year veteran Michael Davis, Director of Shoot ‘Em Up (Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti) and The Amazing Steve Ross with Steven Spielberg. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Michael Davis will teach you how to maximize both the quality of the films you direct and the recognition of your work, so you can gain higher and more exciting filmmaking opportunities. He will go in-depth about the directing process, from how to make the most of the pre-production phase, to the politics of film and how to navigate them, to how to interact with producers and film executives, to how to get attention as a director, to dealing with actors on and off set, all the way to the most effective ways to market and distribute your film. From his wealth of experience writing and directing six feature films, he’ll reveal the mistakes he’s made so you can learn from them and avoid making these same missteps, as well as discuss the smart moves he made that led him to directing a studio feature so you can emulate them. You will leave the webinar with a comprehensive understanding of how to maximize your directing work and gain bigger and better exposure. Your host Michael Davis is the writer/director of New Line Cinema’s Shoot ‘Em Up and Slamdance Audience Award winning independent feature Eight Days A Week. He’s worked with actors Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, and Keri Russell, he’s seen his films made through studio packaging and through foreign sales. He’s acted as a storyboard artist for John McTiernan, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, as well as drawing on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. He also directed the short film The Amazing Steve Ross for Steven Spielberg, in honor of a birthday celebration for the late Steven Ross of Time Warner. In the film, among his cast are filmmakers George Lucas, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg.

Perfecting the Basics of Screenwriting

Learn directly from 12-year veteran Mary Cybriwsky, who's worked on films such as THE DARK KNIGHT, GET SMART, THE INTERNATIONAL and THE BANK JOB and has recently produced BURYING THE EX (Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene) and STICKY NOTES (Ray Liotta, Rose Leslie). With any script, setting up a strong foundation is key to a good story. In screenwriting, the craft is your foundation to a more successful journey. All working writers take the craft very seriously and have spent time perfecting their art. Too many writers try to jump into this insanely competitive field with little to no training. Executives can tell by page 5 if a writer knows the basics of screenwriting and they will not take a writer seriously if there are glaring mistakes. Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you our first ever 4-week "Perfecting the Basics - Introduction to Screenwriting" online class taught by manager Mary Cyrbwisky from Scooty Woop Entertainment. Mary has been one of our most sought out executives through our Coverage Program and has helped many writers better their craft (and even signed one!). Finding such a mentor to teach the basics of screenwriting is crucial and we are thrilled to have Mary for this class. Whether you are brand new to the screenwriting profession, or a seasoned writer, this class is intended to go over the basics of screenwriting to perfect your craft. The objective of this 4 week class is to cover basic screenwriting formatting, 3 act structure, characters, plots, themes, what to write and what NOT to write, but Mary will go over so much more! All of this is done in a friendly, interactive, fun online atmosphere. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Mary is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!