How to Develop and Pitch a Film or TV Screenplay That Production Companies Want

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, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$49.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

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

Projects:

Rachel Crouch

Webinar hosted by: Rachel Crouch

Director of Development at Cold Iron Pictures

Cold Iron Pictures is a film financing and production company that embodies the spirit of independent filmmaking. Cold Iron Pictures looks for innovative scripts, auteur directors, and cast-driven projects. Rachel is looking for TV and film projects with a unique perspective or point of view. While at Cold Iron, Rachel Crouch has worked on such films as the Spirit Award-winning THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, SWISS ARMY MAN starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, TIME OF MIND starring Richard Gere, and Mike Birbiglia's latest DON'T THINK TWICE and YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR FAMILY, starring Jim Gaffigan, Anna Gunn, and Logan Miller. Cold Iron Pictures produced: NORMAN (Richard Gere, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi) DON'T THINK TWICE (Gillian Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key, Kate Micucci, Mike Birbiglia) SWISS ARMY MAN (Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano, Mary Elizabeth Winstead) WONDERFUL WORLD SUPER (James Gunn, Ellen Page, Rainn Wilson) THE OH IN OHIO EVERY DAY THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgård) TIME OF OF MIND (Richard Gere, Jena Malone, Steve Buscemi) ANSWERS TO NOTHING UNEARTHED   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 »

Webinar Summary

You have an idea for a screenplay. Something burning inside of you to get on the page. Or perhaps you have a screenplay (or 20) sitting in your desk draw in need of a home. Of course you know to make sure that material is primed, ready, and locked and loaded to give yourself the best chance of being read from FADE IN to FADE OUT. But you also need to make sure it's market ready. And further still, you'll want to identify where the best home is for this material and how to pitch them in a manner in which gives you the best shot to be optioned or sold.

Most writers understand that taking your idea from a good concept to an excellent screenplay takes many rewrites and much polishing. In today's ultra-competitive landscape, it's more important than ever to fully flesh out your characters, locales, and plot. But thinking about the business side of things as it relates to your screenplay - understanding budget constraints, for example - is something that can give you power in a room. But first you need to get in that room. And to do that, you need to identify the proper (and realistic) homes for your material and understand what they are looking for. Further, you'll need to craft an effective pitch which may just change from one production company (or producer, financier or rep) to another.

Rachel Crouch is the Director of Development for Cold Iron Pictures, Miranda Bailey's financing and production company. She's worked on films such as Sundance's Swiss Army Man starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, the Independent Spirt Award-winning The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Don't Think Twice starring Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs, Norma staring Richard Gere and Steve Buscemi and many more. Prior to Cold Iron Pictures she worked as a producer's assistant raising film financing and helping bring films into production. Rachel will take her experience on over a dozen films and give you a behind-the-scenes look at what production companies look for when considering material.

Rachel will teach 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. She'll teach you how to hone your pitch including information you must include when pitching production companies. She'll even discuss rejection and finding the power within so that your next pitch is even better and more productive than the last. In short, Rachel will put you in a position to get the read, get in the room, and get the sale or job!

 

 

 

"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."

- Brian G.

 

"I thought it was very professional and informative."

- Chris R.

 

What You'll Learn

  • Finding Material You Can Elevate
    • Original material vs Adapted material
    • What makes this project different? 
    • Understand the difference between a concept and an idea. You may think you know, but you may be wrong!
    • How to test if your idea works best on TV or as a film
  • Develop and Brainstorm Your Idea to Completion
    • All about the outline
    • How to improve and breakdown your character worksheets to create icons.
    • 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 and why? Almost everyone says HBO and often they’re wrong. 
    • For Film – Who should produce your movie and why?
      • We'll go over where to do your research, how to identify the best home, how to be prepared and what you need to complete.
  • Tips For Successfully Pitching to Production Companies
    • How to focus the arc of your pitch - we'll break down the most effective pitch. 
    • 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. 
  • Q&A with Rachel!

About Your Instructor

Cold Iron Pictures is a film financing and production company that embodies the spirit of independent filmmaking. Cold Iron Pictures looks for innovative scripts, auteur directors, and cast-driven projects. Rachel is looking for TV and film projects with a unique perspective or point of view.

While at Cold Iron, Rachel Crouch has worked on such films as the Spirit Award-winning THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, SWISS ARMY MAN starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, TIME OF MIND starring Richard Gere, and Mike Birbiglia's latest DON'T THINK TWICE and YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR FAMILY, starring Jim Gaffigan, Anna Gunn, and Logan Miller.

Cold Iron Pictures produced:

  • NORMAN (Richard Gere, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi)
  • DON'T THINK TWICE (Gillian Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key, Kate Micucci, Mike Birbiglia)
  • SWISS ARMY MAN (Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano, Mary Elizabeth Winstead)
  • WONDERFUL WORLD
  • SUPER (James Gunn, Ellen Page, Rainn Wilson)
  • THE OH IN OHIO
  • EVERY DAY
  • THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgård)
  • TIME OF OF MIND (Richard Gere, Jena Malone, Steve Buscemi)
  • ANSWERS TO NOTHING
  • UNEARTHED
 
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.

FAQs

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:

The Ultimate Step-by-Step Film Pre-Production Guide

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 you while you're on set. Whether you're filming a project for $1 million or a $1,000, pre-production is the foundation to make sure your production goes smoothly. If you're making a digital series, as short or a feature length film it's imperative that you have a clear understanding of your cast and crew and their roles. You need to understand the key hires you need and the obstacles you may face as a filmmaker before you you can ever put together your call sheet for day one.  Rachel Crouch will use her experience as the Director of Development from Cold Iron Pictures to help ensure your pre-production process runs smoothly. Rachel has worked on $1M+ films such as Swiss Army Man, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Don't Think Twice, Time out of Mind, I Do...Until I Don't (among many more!), and in her off time has produced a digital series in the $1k+ range. Through each of these project Rachel has learned the highs and lows filmmakers face during pre-production. Rachel will help you define your film's budget range and go over pros and cons, as well as similarities and differences in a $1M+ production and a $1K production. You will learn the key department heads to hire, how to meet with them to ensure your budget, shooting days, schedule and casting go smoothly. You'll know what to do for your location scout and how to put all the pieces together and avoid any obstacles. You'll get the all important  list of resources to help you through pre-production and a checklist to make sure that you've thought through everything. And, as a bonus, Rachel will take you behind the scenes of pre-production on Swiss Army Man, Don't Think Twice and the digital series she produced to give you a real life look at how, with the right planning, these projects got started on the right foot.    This is the ultimate guide for you to plan your pre-production, no matter your budget!   "Rachel is so knowledgable and approachable about pre-production. You can tell she's seen it all on her productions. The checklists and resources are extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Rachel!" -Tony P.    

How to Master Story Structure for Your Feature Screenplay - With Case Studies of PARASITE

Includes free script downloads of: PARASITE GREEN BOOK MYSTIC RIVER   Writing a great feature screenplay is a gargantuan effort, and putting together something like this doesn’t just happen willy nilly. No matter how good of an idea you have, how fantastic your characters are, or how mind boggling your plot twist is at the end, none of it matters without a solid story structure. Structure is often the hardest aspect of writing for screenwriters of all levels and requires a large amount of discipline and a deep understanding of the craft. But no other elements of your script come together unless they can rest on this crucial foundation. Whether you’re working on your very first screenplay or already have many produced and under your belt, spending time better understanding and improving how you structure your film scripts is worth its weight in gold. Ask any producer, manager, coverage reader, or gatekeeper of any kind—out of the thousands of scripts they read and the countless issues and problems they come across, no issue is more prevalent in a writer’s screenplay submission than their failure to effectively structure and plot out their story. It makes sense; implementing a tight story structure is HARD, a delicate and complex balancing process that is hard for ANYONE to nail. Yet it’s for this reason that mastering story structure is even more important—if you can present a screenplay with a rock-solid story structure, you’re instantly able to stand out and get your script noticed and considered. Sarah Cornelius serves as Creative and Production Executive at award-winning Whitewater Films, helmed by director-producer Rick Rosenthal (HALLOWEEN II, BAD BOYS, TRANSPARENT). This approach has resulted in Whitewater producing numerous notable films which have won Independent Spirit Awards, the Sundance Directing Award, a Primetime Emmy, as well as collecting nominations for an Oscar and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize. Whitewater has produced projects for Paramount Classics, Netflix, Showtime, IFC, Samual Goodwyn Films, The Orchard, CNN Films and more. Whitewater Films recently completed their feature STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN starring Billy Crystal & Ben Schwartz with first-time director Matt Ratner. Their film, THE LAST SHIFT premiered at Sundance 2020 with two time Oscar-nominee Richard Jenkins. In addition they produced FIRST GIRL I LOVED (Sundance winner), HALFWAY THERE (Sundance Episodic Showcase winner) and SMALL ENGINE REPAIR (SXSW premiere). Whitewater is releasing two features in 2021. The critically acclaimed festival favorite THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR will release on AMC-owned horror streamer SHUDDER on July 29th. The second feature, SMALL ENGINE REPAIR starring Jon Bernthal and Shea Whigham has been acquired by Vertical Entertainment, release details TBA.  Sarah has been involved with development on each of Whitewater's projects and has the ability to communicate conceptual notes in a direct and effective manner. Sarah will use her extensive experience evaluating scripts and discovering stories to delve into how you can master story structure for your own feature film screenplay will use notable past screenplays as examples as she breaks down, act by act, the elements necessary to turn your script into something special. She’ll begin by discussing three-act structure in general and explain why it’s necessary as your begin developing your script. She’ll also teach you some of the biggest elements needed for effective story development, including world building, effective characters, stakes, theme, and tone. Next, Sarah will zoom in on act one and explain how to master introductions and the inciting incident as well as spotlighting your central question. She’ll also reveal the most common pitfalls she sees in act one. Sarah will do the same for acts two and three, spending time to go over complications and escalations, transitions, subplots and turning points, effective revelations, climaxes and resolutions. Throughout, Sarah will be drawing from the Oscar-winning screenplay of PARASITE and you will receive free downloads of the script. MYSTIC RIVER     Praise for Sarah's Stage 32 Webinar   "Just a ton of information from someone that is clearly on the 'inside' of the industry." -Kerry B.   "Sarah was spot on about structure, It aligns with everything else i have learned, seen, experienced.: -David G.   "She was informative and great." -Lauren F.   Like what you heard from Sarah during this webcast? Send your script to Sarah and speak with her for a full hour by clicking here.

David Harris, Producer (Security, Antonio Banderas)

Stage 32’s Director Script Services, Jason Mirch and Guest Panelist David Harris (producer on dozens of films, including SECURITY with Antonio Banderas) ago over writer’s pitches, both live and written, to help improve each pitch.

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.

How to Navigate the Film Markets - AFM, Cannes, TIFF, EFM

If you're thinking about attending some of the major film markets - including Cannes, TIFF, AFM or EFM - it's important to understand how to navigate the commerce of the markets. We're bringing in international producer Alexia Melocchi, who has over a decade of experience at the markets to go over each of the markets and how you can get the most out of attending! 

Stage 32 Finance Workshop: How to Find and Work with Tax Incentives – with a Walkthrough of an Online Application

Work closely with Viviana Zarragoitia, the VP of Three Point Capital, as she explains how exactly to take advantage of tax incentives for your own project With a walkthrough of an online application PLUS! a special guest - Philip Gilpin of the Duluth, MN incentive program   It’s important to understand how various tax incentives work, because a lot goes into deciding where to shoot and how to piece together projects based on these incentives. They’re a big part of funding projects. Understanding the criteria, how to properly fill out applications, working with local film funds and associations, knowing what is due when, and knowing when money flows back to you are just some of the pieces that go into putting together a film or series as it relates to tax incentives. If your head is spinning a little, don’t worry. With the right guidance, this will all make sense to you and you’ll be on your way to making sure you make the most out of the appropriate tax incentives for your next projects. 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 to take advantage of domestic and international tax incentives. In this extended class and workshop, Viviana is going to walk you through types of incentives and how to access them, domestic and international tax credits, and how to monetize incentives. She’ll also discuss the effects of tax incentives in the entertainment industry and locally, as well as how to decide on a jurisdiction based on creative and financial elements. Plus! Viviana is going to give a live workshop and go over an online application for a tax credit in real time. Viviana is even bringing in a special guest- Philip Gilpin of the Duluth, MN Incentive Program--to take part in an exclusive Q&A to answer your questions on making tax incentives work for your own project.   Praise for Viviana's Past Stage 32 Financing Classes:   "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.    

register for stage 32 Register / Log In