With a background in both Judaism and Christianity, Nikki views things in the faith community from a broad vantage point, doing development and consulting with artists and projects seeking to integrate faith-based elements into mainstream media and content. She has also worked in film marketing as campaign, strategy and project manager on feature film and TV movie releases with Motive Marketing, a Los Angeles based marketing company that has spear-headed the success as such blockbusters as Son of God, The Passion of the Christ, Chronicles of Narnia, United 93, and Rocky Balboa, among others. In addition to shorts, docs, multi-camera projects, promos, music videos and theatre, Nikki has also produced & directed media projects with number of religious organizations and ministries, including Wycliffe Bible Translators, Open Door Church of San Francisco, Foursquare International, Chosen People Ministries and others. For 6 years, Nikki partnered with BEACON (Bel Air Entertainment and Arts Community), serving on their leadership team. During her tenure, she tracked the emergence of the faith-based market boom as they hosted dozens of above the line talent, who examined integrating faith into their work in Hollywood film and TV. Over the years, Nikki has also directed and / or produced over 50 stage plays, musicals & numerous original works, including writing and directing a one person musical for the National Theatre of Uganda. As Founding Artistic Director of City Light Performing Arts Company in San Francisco, her company produced large scale musicals engaging over 150+ Bay Area Churches in both production and outreach. Nikki has spoken or presented in over 250 churches and community groups across the country. Nikki holds a degree in Theology and Biblical Literature from Simpson College and a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of Southern California. She has lectured and taught both privately and at several colleges and universities, including Pepperdine, LA Valley College, Azusa Pacific, and others. She has been a contributing member to the think tank at the global Visual Story Network, a member of the Biola Studio Task Force (15 years), sat on the Hollywood Entertainment Ministries leadership council (11 years) and currently serves on the executive alum board of Harvey Fellows (a philanthropic scholarly and arts academic fellowship tapping into culture shapers and influencers across the world). She is currently developing and consulting on TV, & Film projects under her company Through the Glass Productions and has been in production on A Violence Disrupted, a TV doc special for PBS SoCal, on Gang Intervention. Her dramatic series on this same topic was recently selected for development through the PGA diversity program. Anne Marie Gillen: Anne Marie is a consultant and executive coach to independent producers and equity investors advising on script evaluation, business plans, financing, worldwide distribution and single film and/or film company cash flow projections – her motto is "Fusing Business & Creativity." Clients in the faith and family genre have been Mission Pictures International and Brookwell-McNamara Entertainment. As a producer, she has produced films ranging from studio fare (Fried Green Tomatoes), to passion projects (Under Suspicion starring Morgan Freeman & Gene Hackman) and low-budget indies (Into Temptation starring Jeremy Sisto & Kristin Chenoweth). Her films have premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, New York Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, and been nominated for Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Independent SpiritAwardsand DGAAwards. Anne Marie is a lecturer and panelist and gives workshop seminars for such organizations as: AFM; Bloomberg BNA, Puerto Rico Film Commission, California Lawyers for the Arts, NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers), Pratt University, UCLA Film School, USC Film School and Chapman University. Prior to launching her own company, Anne Marie was the Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Freeman’s company, Revelations Entertainment. She led the company in the strategic financing and distribution of Revelations’ projects. Anne Marie is the co-author of the 3rd edition of The Producer’s Business Handbook – published by Focal Press and co-branded by Variety. Full Bio »
Learn directly from Nikki Hevesy and Anne Marie Gillen, Producers with over 20 years of experience each in developing and financing media projects. Nikki is a director, producer and media strategist with an expertise in integrating faith-based content into mainstream media, and Anne Marie is an expert on film finance, having successfully raised over $100M for projects worldwide.
With the recent successes of films like Heaven Is For Real, Son Of God, God Is Not Dead, and all of the faith oriented films coming down the pike like Mark Burnett’s Ben Hur, Mary Mother Of Christ and The Shack, Faith and Family based projects have grown from a niche market to a box office phenomenon.TV has also jumped on the bandwagon with the recent Red Tent, Preachers of LA and Mark Burnett’s The Bible and A.D.
However, alongside these successes are huge controversies in the faith community, such as those surrounding Paramount's Noah and Ridley Scott’s Exodus. Faith and Family based material is like a soufflé – if you get even the smallest ingredient wrong, the entire soufflé collapses.
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, hosts Nikki Hevesy and Anne Marie Gillen will walk you through the development and financing phases of creating a successful faith and/or family based project. Drawing from their 20 years of experience, Nikki and Anne Marie will teach you how faith and family based projects get funded and who the financiers, studios and distributors are that specialize in this genre so you know who to target. They will also teach you how to easily find and reach your desired audience and what type of marketing is successful for this genre. Whether you’re a producer, filmmaker or writer, knowing what goes into a faith and family project in the development stage, team building stage and financing and distribution stage is key to your project’s success in the marketplace!
Anne Marie Gillen and Nikki Hevesy
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!
“Amazing! …I’ve taken many webinars on the subject, but none really compares to this. …I have the right tools to move forward into producing my project. Thank you so much!” – Diane M.
“Invaluable... packed with information … The explosion that's happening with these types of films is just the tip of the iceberg... this workshop was one of the smartest things I've ever done!“ – Suzanne L.
“Unparalleled insights, information, and resources … a comprehensive program to jump start your project.” – Denene C.
“Although I have extensive experience as a Line Producer on studio films, Anne Marie Gillen gave me the map of how to successfully negotiate the strange land of independent film production. She showed me which doors to knock on and how to get them to open. In three months, I went from being a clueless indie neophyte to negotiating with foreign sales agents bolstered by the confidence that comes with knowledge.” - Robert B.
“Your insight cleared up my eyesight... What a great seminar! The information you provide on the business principles and practices of the entertainment industry is an invaluable tool for producers.” – Karen B.
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Joe Russo will take writers behind the scenes of 2 horror films and 1 horror pilot. This webinar will be an honest, unapologetic look at the successes and struggles during the development process for each case study so you can you learn what to mimic and what to avoid for your own project. You Will Leave the Webinar With: An understanding of how each film and TV project came to be. An understanding of the different strategies used to package each project and how they were introduced to decision makers. A comprehensive look into the notes process so you can learn what went right and, more importantly, what went wrong. Clear advice on how to apply these lessons to your own script or project. Learn directly from Joe Russo, producer who has helped steer writers' projects through the development process to land on The Young and Hungry List, Hit List and The Black List and sell to the Major Studios and Networks. Joe’s extensive production background includes working on productions for FOX, SyFy, A/E, Lionsgate Films and Universal Studios!
The most significant aspect of any actor’s career is securing work, but with overwhelming competition, roles are scare and difficult to come by, which can make this task incredibly tough. Yet in the end, acting careers are built on the work and honing your skills as a performer. Every actor knows that work begets work. This is because as we expand our experiences and circle of connections, more doors open with opportunities for more work. It’s great to have an agent, to make those connections, to develop strategies to become more marketable, but more important than all of that is becoming the best actor you can possibly be. Ultimately, producers want to hire the right performer for the role, and putting yourself in a position to get that role is less complicated than others might have you believe. Whether you are preparing for an audition or a performance for a role you are already cast in, your main tool and blueprint before you even get on set or in that audition room is likely going to be the script, and any practiced actor will tell you there’s a lot more to a script than just your character’s dialogue. If you’re simply going through the script to highlight your lines, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of information that will lend itself to you finding the character and giving your best possible performance. An experienced actor is able to fully break down any written scene to internalize not just the dialogue, but the beats, the context, the elements that are unwritten but still very present. Knowing how to analyze a script and glean from it all of its information and clues will allow you to more fully inhabit your role and make you a better and more cast-able actor. Taylor Nichols is an award winning filmmaker, theater director and actor with over one hundred credits to his name. He is currently on the Emmy-nominated Hulu show PEN15 and the HBO smash-hit PERRY MASON. Taylor has also appeared on shows such as Emmy and Golden Globe nominated THE WALKING DEAD and PRISON BREAK, the cultural hit DIRTY JOHN, Emmy-winning MODERN FAMILY, 24, Golden Globe nominated THE MENTALIST and many more. In addition to acting, Taylor is an award winning short filmmaker and an experienced producer with feature credits including THE NEXT STEP and CASE 219. Taylor brings to Stage 32 more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and is ready to share with the community the skills and lessons he’s developed throughout his career. In the first part of Taylor’s “The Work Leads to the Work” webinar series, Taylor will lay out how to break down a script as an actor and develop the techniques needed for characterization and emotional depth to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances”. Taylor will begin by teaching you what an actor should do as soon as they get the script, including what to focus on during your first read through and how you should be marking it up. He will give you the tools to zero in on a specific scene’s theme and will then delve into determining your character’s objective, both in the scene and in the story as a whole. He’ll talk about how and where you should place dramatic beats by finding the scene’s shape and creating and feeding into the flow. He’ll go into what makes beats and pauses feel natural and honest and when they feel put on and will also outline how you can use your beats as a tool for line memorization. Taylor will then go over how to define your character’s obstacles while reading the script and how you should create your own honest actions in the scene. He will also explain how these actions can successfully interact with both beats and objectives. Next he will explain what “givens” are in a script and how you can find the givens of your character. He will also teach you the difference between naturalism and honesty when giving a performance and explain why honesty is always what an actor should be working towards. Taylor will also lead a live, interactive acting workshop to illustrate the strategies he has taught and show how to use the written scene to define the characters. Taylor will break down down a scene of a script in real time and will bring up students to perform these role based on this breakdown. Through his lesson and workshop, Taylor will give you invaluable tools to help hone your craft and better prepare you for any future auditions or performances. "Through my career I always hear actors talk about navigating Hollywood and 'working the system' to get ahead, and while that's important, I truly believe there's nothing more valuable in an actor's career than actually doing the work and honing their craft to become the best artist they can be. I love working with actors and giving them the tools to grow. I'm so excited to delve into this particular topic with the Stage 32 community, because I believe it's absolutely critical for any actor looking to find success." -Taylor Nichols
Learn directly from Jessica Sitomer, a Producer, Writer and Entertertainmant Industry Coach! Millions of people dream of moving to Los Angeles (or a new production city), and every year thousands do... and every year thousands go home. Why? Because, they had a dream but they didn't have a plan. Moving to Los Angeles (or a new production city) is challenging when you are in the entertainment industry, for many reasons. Learn why in this webinar, so you don't make the BIG mistakes that so many others do. There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to move to Los Angeles, and after coaching people who followed my system and coaching people who didn't, the results and timeframes are staggeringly different. In this webinar, I will discuss the challenges of getting work, growing your contacts, and making money and how to overcome them. Having helped many people make the move from small cities or other countries, I've developed a very specific pre-move strategy and arrival plan. Whether you’re planning a move or recently moved to LA (or another production city) this is the webinar for you.
Stage 32 is proud to continue our partnership with Raindance Film Festival for the 5th year in a row, and while we may not be able to all come together in London to celebrate so many amazing and talented filmmakers, we're thrilled to partner with Raindance to highlight global talent virtually and from the comfort and safety of our own homes. Even in its virtual format, Raindance continues to showcase and champion the best new films from all over the world, and included in this year's incredible program is a collection of remarkable short films. Stage 32 is bringing together some of the world's top up and coming short filmmakers whose most recent films are playing Raindance. Included in this conversation will be Arjan Brentjes, whose animated short film SAD BEAUTY is playing at Raindance, along with almost 30 other film festivals this year alone. Also featured will be London-based director and cinematographer Molly Manning Walker whose debut short film GOOD THANKS, YOU? will be playing this year's Raindance in addition BFI London, Bilbao, and Palm Springs Film Festivals. Rounding out the panel, is Will Niava, an Ivorian-Ghanaian film director based in Montréal, Canada, whose film ZOO won Stage 32's 5th Annual Short Film Contest and is currently selected at over 40 international film festivals. In this FREE Stage 32 webinar, Arjan, Molly, and Will will take part in an exclusive Q&A moderated by our very own Stage 32 Managing Director Amanda Toney to discuss the state of short filmmaking today and how they put together their most recent projects.
In the world of independent film and TV, productions are increasingly crossing borders in search of funding, locations and ultimately a wider audience. But the difference between a successful international co-production and an international road-crash often lies in the details of choice of partners, structures and creative material. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Brendan Foley, an international producer (11 countries), writer and director with award winning feature films, TV series and best-selling books to his credit, will give an in-depth look at the pros and cons of international co-production. You will learn about different types of producing partners - creative, financial, public and private. You will also learn when co-producing makes sense for you or your project and when it should be avoided. You will leave this webinar with an understanding of not only what makes an international co-production work, but how to look for producing partners, co-funders and how to protect yourself and your project along the way. This seminar is useful to Producers considering a co-production as well as writers, actors and directors who feel their talent or material would work best on an international scale. PLUS - Brendan will have on two special guests: Ronni Coulter, SVP Business Affairs Sony Animation and top European co-producer Lars Hermann (CEO Copenhagen Film Festival and Danish state broadcaster DR, former Nordisk, Filmfyn Film Fund,) Special Guests: Ronni Coulter (SVP Business Affairs Sony Animation) Lars Hermann (Copenhagen Film Festival)
There’s only one way to get your audience to sit still for the story you want to tell: create compelling characters. As human beings, we are endlessly fascinated with ourselves and our interactions. When we find a character to whom we can relate, we lock in. Constructing relatable, entertaining and realistic characters is essential to a successful screenplay, not to mention critical to our own enjoyment of the writing process. But what separates the memorable personalities on the screen from the “which-one-was-that-again” types? Understanding the answer to that question and following some tried and true strategies while outlining and then writing your screenplay will give you a better chance of producing characters who not only engage your audience, but do the heavy lifting for your story and themes. Miss out and you’ve got page after page of shoulder shrugs. We all know the goal for any screenwriter is to get reads. But the challenge doesn't end there. You have to make sure your reader keeps those pages turning! To assure that your reader is engaged from the jump and stays engaged through the final page, your characters must be compelling and relatable. Whether you are trying to score big in a screenwriting competition, land a manager or agent, sell producers on your material, or secure financing, you must remember that your script is one of dozens your target audience likely reads each week. The competition is fierce and most readers won't go beyond page 5 or 10 if your story and characters don't grab them. Most writers simply do not know how to creative quickly established, well drawn characters. Those that do have an instant leg up on the competition. Roger S. H. Schulman knows a thing or two about writing compelling, complex and memorable characters. For starters, he co-wrote the animated feature Shrek for which won him a British Academy Award (BAFTA) and earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Prior to Shrek, Roger co-wrote the animated feature Balto for Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, and wrote Mulan II and The Jungle Book II for Disney. Over his 30 years in the industry, Roger has also worked extensively as a producer and writer for television. He co-created the Disney Channel series Jonas; was Executive Producer of 2 Gether for MTV and was Executive Producer for Living Single with Queen Latifah. He’s currently co-writing a pilot for HBO with Tom Hanks. And now, he's teaching exclusively for Stage 32. Roger will teach you the function of character, specifically how character, story and theme work together. To help you understand why certain characters work, he'll give you a brief, insightful, and helpful history of character including how humor plays a part in almost all character building. He will breakdown American characteristics, Likeable characteristics, and relatable characteristics. He will dive into developing characters and show you how to discover and write your characters seen and unseen character traits. He will discuss the tools of character including dialog, action and behavior. He will break down the anatomy of your cast and where mirroring, complementing and conflicting strategies can come into play. Roger will use examples from Shrek, Breaking Bad, Phillips, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, Guys and Dolls, Up, and Carl Jung (yeah, the guy). In addition to all this material presented in Roger's exclusive Master's of Craft presentation, he will give you 2 downloadable handouts related to developing and analyzing characters that you can return to time and time again. This is invaluable information and material you won't find anywhere else. A Word From Roger When you’re done with my webinar, you’ll know a lot more about what makes good characters tick, what makes bad characters just sit there, and just maybe a little bit more about yourself. And you’ll come away with a tool chest from which you can pick and choose the techniques you prefer to build unique characters so remarkable that sometimes they’ll write their dialog for you. Praise for Roger "A masterclass, plain and simple." - Phil C. "No joke, the best lesson on writing characters I've ever seen (or read). Nothing has come close. - Margot G. "Now that I understand how the sausage was made, I have to watch Shrek again. This more than lived up to its "Masters of Craft" label. What a winner, Stage 32!" - Elyse A. "Too many times in my writing, I'm so wrapped up in my main character, that I do short shrift to my secondary characters. Not after watching Roger. No how, no way." - Robin W. "I am going in for a second viewing immediately. I already have 5 pages of notes written out. Incredible information." - Stephen D.