Producer Jim Young’s first production was the award-winning football documentary “Year of the Bull” for Showtime Networks. On the film side, Young produced the thriller, “Homecoming.” Paramount Pictures released the film. Young then produced the dark comedy, “Don McKay,” starring Academy Awardnominees Thomas Haden Church and Elisabeth Shue, and Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released theatrically by Image Entertainment. Young’s next film, "The Words,” starring Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, JK Simmons, and Zoë Saldana was the Closing Night Film at the Sundance Film Festival. CBS Films released the film. “Lovelace,” starring an all-star cast including Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, and James Franco, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and subsequently screened at Berlinale. Academy Award-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman directed the drama. The film was distributed by The Weinstein Company. Young then produced the film, “Life of a King,” which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr., Dennis Haysbert, and LisaGay Hamilton. The drama is based on the true story of Eugene Brown, founder of the Big Chair Chess House in Washington, DC. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was released theatrically by Millennium Entertainment. The film received an NAACP Image Award nomination. Young produced the historical drama “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, and Stephen Fry, based on the New York Times’ bestseller of the same name by Robert Kanigel. The film was part of Film Independent’s Producer’s Lab and received a grant from the Tribeca Film Institute and the Sloan Foundation. The film premiered in the Toronto Film Festival and was released by IFC Films. Full Bio »
With all the recent success for true story dramas including Harriet, Bombshell, Judy, Ford v. Ferrari, The Irishman (among many others), it’s an exciting time in the marketplace for non-fiction. If you have found a story that truly inspires you and know it will make a great film, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start to make that happen.
The easy part is finding the right story, the hard part is knowing what to do with it. Whether it’s a book, a newspaper or magazine article, a documentary subject, or even if it’s the story of someone you’ve met or are related to, understanding how to get the rights and put the project into motion is paramount. To cover all your bases from the legal aspects to development to filming to distribution, you need someone who has been in the trenches time and time again. And we've got just the person, one of the most experienced independent film producers working today, to help you make sense of it all.
Jim Young of Animus Films has created a successful career working in the true story space with films such as The Catcher Was a Spy (Paul Rudd) based off of the life of Moe Berg, Life of a King (Cuba Gooding Jr.) based off of the life of Eugene Brown, The Man Who Knew Infinity (Dev Patel) based off of the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan, Lovelace (Amanda Siefried) based off of the life of Linda Lovelace and the upcoming The People vs. Vegas Dave based off of controversial gambler Vegas Dave. Jim is a leading independent non-fiction producer, with almost two dozen films under his belt. And now he's bringing his extensive knowledge exclusively to the Stage 32 community.
Jim will take you through the steps of acquiring the rights to a particular article, book or other printed material about, or the life rights of, a given person (or persons). From there he will cover writing and developing the script, getting buttoned up legally to avoid pitfalls in the pre-production and production phases, and help you navigate the process of releasing and distributing the film. He will provide real life case studies using some of his own films as examples to help you gain real world experience and make the process painless.
"Jim was an excellent educator. He really broke down the process of getting life rights in an easy to understand way and opened my eyes to some huge pitfalls I need to avoid along the way. Great examples from someone who's actually doing it right now, which is important. Thanks Jim!"
Animus Films (The Catcher Was a Spy, The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Words)
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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.
The script is finally ready…now, how do you prepare for your first day on set? There are a lot of factors that go into preparing for your film shoot. We’ve brought in producer, Samm Haillay, to talk about the process from script to set. Samm is an eight-time feature film producer, whose films have premiered at Cannes, Venice, Sundance, SXSW and who’s film Island of the Hungry Ghosts won best Feature documentary at 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. He’ll be going over everything from schedule, budget, casting, locations and more to get you prepared for day one. He’ll be sharing his decades of experience and helping you avoid common mistakes made, as you get ready to shoot your film.
Learn directly from Heather Hale, an Independent Film and Television Director, Screenwriter and Producer! In this exclusive 90 minute Next Level Webinar, Heather will teach you how to identify your most efficient points of entry into the business and ways to step up into the big leagues, specifically where to focus your networking and marketing energies. Heather will inspire you to think more strategically and act more provocatively when it comes to your work and your career. Discover not only how to brainstorm, but how to identify and research a finely honed short hit list of agents and managers truly appropriate to the type of material you write. Find your unique voice, where you’re at in your career and where you want to be. Heather will also help you identify marquis-value actors truly appropriate for your roles and directors bankable in your genre or budget range. Learn various empowered approaches to get on their radars and get your literary assets in gear! This is an all inclusive webinar for screenwriters designed to help you stop wasting time and make the proper connections and contacts that will get your work in the right, targeted hands and improve your odds of success.
How To Build Your Suspense From The Ground Up And Craft A Thriller With Earned Twists, Turns and Thrills If you're paying attention to the trades and seeing which screenplays and projects are being sold and produced, you know that psychological thrillers are highly in demand. With films like Joker, Ma, Escape Room, Glass, Ex Machina, The Invitation, Get Out, Happy Death Day, The First Purge and many more, companies like Blumhouse have propelled the production of thrillers for an audience hungry for suspense and thrills, making creepy, crawly movie-going experiences all the rage. With box office receipts in the billions it's clear that the appetite for psychological stories is raging. And, it's a more exciting time than ever to be able to a screenwriter or filmmaker who has a suspenseful thriller you want to tell. But the art of writing a psychological thriller is one of vulnerable characters, deep secondary characters, memorable set pieces, set ups, reversals, and earned twists and turns. There's a formula to it all, and those who master these skills win the day. Writing a psychological thriller and creating and maintaining suspense and high stakes throughout takes an immense understanding of the history of the genre. It's a genre based in Hitchcockian roots. One that needs to have certain elements in order to be effective to keep the audience involved, engaged and on the edge of their seat. While most psychological thrillers start off with a well thought out premise, that's all they have. The action starts quickly and then falls flat. In many other cases, the premise is in place, but the writer or filmmaker doesn't know how to get past the jumping off point. You must get your hook in place quickly - within your first five pages - and that takes skill. You need to truly create compelling characters, especially protagonist and your villain, and make them layered in order to support your theme and plot and to assure the audience always knows and is invested in the stakes. To be truly successful at getting your reader's attention, keep those pages turning and set yourself up for an offer of representation, an option, a sale, or financing, you need to understand all of the nuances that make a great suspenseful story before you type (or read) FADE IN. Steve Desmond is one of the best in the industry today writing suspense and psychological thrillers. His most recent feature screenplay, Harry's All Night Hamburgers, was adapted from a Hugo award winning short story and was one of the highest priced spec sales of the last 5 years, selling to Warner Bros. in a bidding war worth 7 figures. The film now has Oscar Nominated Producer Andrew Lazar (American Sniper) producing via his Mad Chance production banner and Ted Melfi directing. He has recently been tapped by Film Nation to adapt The Cabin at the End of the World, a Harper Collins title from author Paul Tremblay. The psychological horror and suspense novel centers on a vacationing family terrorized by four strangers who claim to be either attempting to bring about or trying to avert the apocalypse. His short film, Monsters, has played in over 100 film festivals worldwide, winning 43 awards including Best Short Film at the Comic-Con International Film Festival in San Diego and was a finalist at Stage 32's 3rd Annual Short Film Program. Steve filmed Monsters to serve as a proof of concept for his feature script, Twisted Avenue which is now in development. Needless to say, thrillers and suspense are in Steve's blood and the focus of all his writing. And now he's bringing all he's learned along the way to you. Steve will help you build your suspense from the ground up. He'll teach you the ultimate tool you need - the Hitchcock Ticking Clock Method which will help you on your way to setting the vital groundwork for your story. You'll learn how to create a compelling protagonist and an enticing villain. Steve will give you exercises you can use to craft your own characters and give you 5 must have tips on backstory and character confessions to give depth. You'll learn how to hook your reader in the first 5 pages and what the 3 different teasers you can write for your opening. You'll explore the power of murder in your script and the art of a twist ending. He will show you how to craft your script with producers in mind to give yourself the best chance to have your material attractive to the widest audience possible. Steve will go over how you can incorporate visuals into your story and break down case studies of Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs and Se7en. And, finally, Steve will share some advice on how to get your script on the screen by writing it in a producible budget. You will have a fully immersive experience from a suspense expert that will leave you excited, inspired and confident to tackle your next psychological project. This webinar was AWESOME!!! I just finished a thriller and now as a result of listening to Steve Desmond, I am ready to do a re-write which I believe will be one of the best screenplays I have ever written. Let's see what happens! - Michelle C. What a thrilling and insightful webinar, excellent!! - Kathleen W. Super helpful information that you don't find in books! - Pamela C. Very useful information - well structured and clearly presented! - Sara C.
From epics like Annie Hall to classics like When Harry Met Sally and Pretty Woman to modern day movies like The Big Sick, Crazy Rich Asians and Last Christmas, romantic comedies have provided us with some of the most memorable films in cinema history. And now, especially thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+ and more, rom-coms are not only back en vogue, but hotter than ever. And the demand for great rom-com scripts is at an all time high. If you have a rom-com or are thinking about writing one, you have to understand all the elements that make up the formula that has been so successful for the most profitable rom-coms that came before. We're here to help you achieve just that. You have a great love story you want to tell. You have a great setting, characters, plot and dialogue you know is going to pop off the page. And you also know that love is a universal language and that your idea will be appealing to romantics all over the world. But, did you know that almost all successful romantic comedies have 5 set up elements and 5 plot elements that are necessary to make it a winning formula? You need to know these 10 elements and how to apply them in order to make your script go from the shelf to being greenlit. Amanda Johnston-Zetterstrom is a writer on Netflix’s hit series, YOU – today’s most modern version of an obsessive dark love story. She was a producer on Brie Larson’s debut Short Term 12 and worked on Friends with Kids starring Jon Hamm, Adam Scott, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. She’s had a storied career taking love stories in complex worlds and bringing them to the screen. And, now, you can learn about her formula on what makes a good romantic comedy screenplay become a great romantic comedy screenplay. In this two part class (over 4 hours of instruction!) Amanda will go over the 10 crucial elements to write a good rom-com, what makes existing romantic comedies work, how to make your script stand out from the pack, what differentiates a good rom-com from a bad one, how to hone your own voice and how to originate a great idea/hook. You will get the tools you need to write a funny, heartfelt, PRODUCIBLE romantic comedy – so that you can see your name in lights (and let’s be real… get paid!) "Wow. This class was so comprehensive. Between the dozens of case studies and the practical tips and applications I can't imagine there is a better romantic comedy class anywhere in the world." - Gwen B. "Amanda is like a walking Encycolpedia of all things love and rom-com. It's amazing how she made writing this format so easy to understand. She gave me so much to think about when diving into my script. Thank you Amanda. I will definitely take any class you offer on Stage 32!" - Kaustubh P.
Learn directly from Anne Marie Gillen, who has over 20 years of experience with independent film financing and has raised over $100M worldwide! Joining Anne Marie are 2 special guests: Gene Massey, CEO of MediaShares and an expert in marketing crowdfunded online stock offerings. Lou Bevilacqua who is the founding member of Bevilacqua PLLC, a boutique transactional corporate and securities law firm. He is also co-founder, President and General Counsel of Digital Offering LLC, a FINRA registered investment bank. There are approximately 9 million officially accredited investors in the United States alone - you can now legally solicit all of them to finance your project. This exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, How to Finance Your Project with Equity Investors Using the Internet will explain how. Recent legislation has created an opportunity for equity-based crowdfunding as a financing model for indie producers of film, documentaries, series, games, and other creative endeavors. Get INVESTMENTS in your film instead of just DONATIONS. This is NOT another Kickstarter / IndieGoGo webinar! Whether you are a veteran producer or a film student - you need financing! This is a webinar for all level filmmakers, given by experts in the new methods of online film finance, who will show how you can create a powerful online presentation and legally market your project to investors on the Internet. You will walk away with a clear understanding of the new SEC rules and regulations that allow you to raise equity funding online. You will learn from 3 of the industry's top financing and legal experts how to raise equity funding for your own project.