Alex Darke sparked an interest in film the same way many people have in the past - in his backyard. From a young age, Alex was creating films for school projects and using basic effects to create narratives and animations. After high school, Alex ventured out to California where he attended the University of Southern California's prestigious School of Cinematic Arts. He honed in on the craft of filmmaking and made a number of films and television series along the way. After graduating, he was quickly snagged by the theatrical distribution company 41 Inc. where he went on to become the Executive Vice President of Acquisitions (one of the youngest executives in Hollywood at the time). After leaving 41 Inc. he decided to consult other distribution companies in marketing, acquisitions, and fulfillment - including the highly successful international sales agency Highland Film Group. Missing the action of the set, Alex left the distribution world and moved into television as Cinematographer for Larry King's company Ora Media. There he has produced, directed, shot, edited and worn every hat possible as an original key crew member for the company. Since then, Alex has been creating projects with his business partner Trevor L. Nelson and his company Gilded Cinema. The company is devoted to the production of independent cinema and reigniting the spark of creative vision in the world of narrative video and film. Full Bio »
Some of what Alex teaches in this webinar includes:
YouTube & Digital and Social Video as a Business
Cinematography: Back to the Basics
Why DSLRs are a great tool to learn cinematography
Graduating from DSLR to Cinema Camera
Faces are the cornerstone of cinematography
3-point lighting is not a rule
There is no darkness, but ignorance. It doesn’t matter what fixture it comes from, it is your task as a cinematographer to mold and shape it into the quality of light that you want.
Wrapping Up. The be-all and the end-all.
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Are you a screenwriter, producer, director, storyboard artist, animator, voiceover artist or composer interested in making animated films? Then you need to join us for this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft Webinar taught by Conrad Vernon, screenwriter, voice actor, director and producer of some of the highest grossing animated films of the last 20 years including the Oscar-nominated SHREK 2 and BOSS BABY in addition to SAUSAGE PARTY, THE ADDAMS FAMILY and more! Animation is one of the hottest sectors in film, TV and digital content right now. From major film studios to independent production companies to networks, streaming platforms and digital online streaming platforms, animation is red hot. So, how can you stake your claim in this growing area of entertainment? By learning from one of the successful and brilliant creative minds working in the animation industry today, 25-year animation film veteran, Conrad Vernon! In what is sure to be the most comprehensive animation webinar anywhere in the world, Conrad will peel back the curtain and take you behind the scenes of his most recent film, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, to show you step-by-step how an idea went from script to storyboard to filming to screen. This is a never seen behind the scenes breakdown of Conrad's work process and includes a breakdown of how ALL departments work in bringing an animated project to the masses. If you work in animation, always wanted to work in animation, or have wondered how the sausage (party) is made, this is the webinar for you! This webinar is exclusive to Stage 32 members only. Conrad will be sharing and teaching from his private script pages and storyboards. Here are just a few!
Do you ever feel like your great ideas go unnoticed by producers, directors, agents, and managers alike, and that you don’t get the shot you're looking for as a result? This isn’t because these decisionmakers don’t care; it’s because you may not have pitched or sold your ideas the right way. The reality is, successful screenwriters are as much storysellers as they are storytellers. Whether you like it or not, your primary goal as a writer must be to stand out in a sea of competing projects. The bottom line: Whether you're a screenwriter, filmmaker, producer, or any creative or industry professional looking to gain representation, sell their material, attract talent, raise financing, or simply looking to find work, you will have to pitch. Further, you will be in competition with others pitching as well. You've put so much time and effort into your work and building your reputation, you don't want to have it all undermined with a terrible pitch. And the truth of the matter is that most people that pitch make the same fatal mistakes over and over. They don't know how to tell a concise, riveting story. They don't know what to put in, what to leave out, and what elements really and truly sell someone on their story. This webinar will give you insight and tools to pitch better and get ahead of the pack. Will McCance is the Vice President of Production for Ian Bryce, producer of blockbusters like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, ALMOST FAMOUS, the TRANSFORMERS franchise, and most recently Michael Bay's SIX UNDERGROUND for Netflix. At Ian Bryce Productions, Will oversees the company's entire development slate. Before working with Ian Bryce, Will worked in development at Original Film's TV department, working on hit shows such as THE BOYS (Amazon) and PREACHER (AMC), as well as on SWAT (CBS) and HAPPY! (Syfy). Independently, Will has produced films such as the upcoming LOLA JAMES, starring Nicola Peltz and Oscar-Nominee Virginia Madsen, BERNARD AND HUEY, starring Jim Rash, David Koechner, and Mae Whitman, as well as Belarus's 2018 Oscar selection for Best Foreign Film, CRYSTAL SWAN, along with Vice. Through his years working as an executive, Will has deep experience with working with writers and choosing to work with them or not based on their pitch, and is prepared to share what he’s learned with the Stage 32 community. In this exclusive webinar, Will will equip you with all the tools you'll need to elevate your next script to the top of the reading stack. He will discuss the various techniques of pitching, from finding the right words and unique style, to understanding which type of pitch to use and when. He will also analyze sample TV and feature film pitches and break down the hidden power of the perfectly-worded logline. He will teach you tactics, strategies, and even books that will make you a stronger storyseller, and in turn, a stronger storyteller. Will will even deliver a pitch of his own to use as an example and will share other film and TV pitches to analyze what works and what doesn’t. Through Will’s presentation, you will not only learn how to better understand and explain your story, but to also instill a newfound sense of confidence that you can take with you to your next meeting or pitch session.
Learn directly from Indiegogo Film Campaign Specialist, John T. Trigonis! Raising funds. Every filmmaker, director, screenwriter, even actors, has experienced the frustration. The introduction of crowdfunding through sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo has brought an incredible new opportunity to those looking to find funding for their films. However, running a successful campaign is not easy! Crowdfunding has revolutionized the way film and video projects are funded by taking the power from the corporations and putting it back into the hands of the creators. Because of this, it's not enough to run a simple, run-of-the-mill campaign on crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo. Today, running a campaign must be an experience for the campaign owners and especially the contributors, and that's where innovation and creativity come into play, oftentimes spelling the difference between a short-lived stint in crowdfunding and a memorable communal experience. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will learn the history of crowdfunding, how to pre-market your campaign and you will walk away with basic & advanced techniques of running a crowdfunding experience!
Hello Creative Army! Read any of the trades right now and our industry is in a rapid state of change. From streamers in the race for original content, to companies making acquisitions and, of course, the Great Content Gold Rush still in full force, it's a lot to keep up with. The entire Stage 32 team is on the phone every day to keep their fingers on the pulse of what's happening. It's exciting time for you as a content creator - whether you work in film, television or digital - and it's equally exciting for content makers because the world has opened wide to international voices traveling beyond borders. We are seeing more and more diverse voices represented in the shows and films we watch and it's only the beginning. Since 2011, the Stage 32 team has been working tirelessly to help you stay connected, creative, motivated, and informed. As always, we are committed to bringing you networking opportunities, education and mentoring from top-level industry executives and professionals, and access to decision-makers around the globe all from the comfort of your own home. Now, with a successful first quarter of 2022 behind us, I am thrilled to have hosted an "Ask Me Anything": The State of the Industry & Where We are Headed. ALL creatives and professionals are welcome. Looking to further your craft? Now's the time. Looking to learn more about the business? We'll get into that. Want to find out what I'm hearing from our roster of execs what's going to be happening industry wide throughout the rest of 2022? It's in here. All you have to do is register and I'll provide a couple of hours of no-holds-barred shop talk to get you ready to conquer your entertainment career. Again, all creatives and pros are welcome to join no matter your profession(s), skill level, or geographical location. As always, registering for my AMA is completely FREE! And the more the merrier, so do invite any of your fellow creative friends and peers on your social media channels, your email lists, and through your online groups to join us as well. Should any of your contacts not be members of Stage 32 already, you can send them an invite here! If you missed my last few AMA's, you can view them here! Cheers! RB
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.
As an independent filmmaker or producer, you likely start working on a new endeavor for creative reasons—the chance to tell an amazing story, build worlds, create something of cultural value. Yet this is, of course, not the only element of filmmaking. Like it or not, your independent film is not just a creative endeavor; it’s also a business. You’re sourcing financing and bringing in investors, building a team, and creating a property that will (hopefully) ultimately make money not only in the present, but for years to come. In short, you’re not just a making a piece of art; you’re also running a business. To operate successfully in the world of independent film and continue to make films that you’re proud of, you need to be able to think like an entrepreneur and understand the dynamics and the relation between financing, distribution and recoupment of film investments. Further, you need to open up your creative mindset to the myriad opportunities available all over the world including hot markets found throughout Latin America. The business side of films is often especially difficult for filmmakers and creative producers, but the more you understand, the better your chances of finding a production partner or investor to take your vision forward. Latin American film production is booming right now, diverse with a variety of production hubs all over the region. Big budget international films shoot alongside local films with relatively low budgets, all created for both local and international audiences. Working in the Latin American market, especially with films in the sub-$1MM range can offer you opportunities you haven't thought of before and give you a path to profitability. But to take advantage of this surging market, you need to understand the variety of production and financing options available and how to tap into them. Whether it's hard money, soft money or other methods toward financing and securing the necessary pieces to greenlight your project, getting a handle on the in's and out's of how to proceed will put you in a powerful and advantageous position. Understanding and executing this business model will open new doors to other productions around the world and serve to create a portfolio of proof that will serve as a calling card moving forward. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management specifically in the US, Latin America and $ope. As an international film business specialist David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David is intimately familiar with how independent films are financed and made profitable all over the world and will share what he knows exclusively about the Latin American market with the Stage 32 community. David will focus on the Latin American market and walk you through what you need to know to finance your independent film, $1MM or less, and leave profitable. He will begin by explaining what a $1MM or under budget looks like in the Latin American region and whether it’s considered a small film. He’ll delve into how film financing works specifically in Latin America, including a breakdown of soft money sources versus hard money sources, local vs international productions, forming a co-production as a financing tool, tax and location incentives, taking advantage of government support, and working with film commissions. He will highlight how Latin American film financing is different compared to other regions and how both Spanish speaking and English speaking content works within the region and will go over the notable platforms and TV channels available as well as how they differ. David will outline the production capacities in the region, including for in-house production, co-productions, production servicing, and work-for hire. He will then teach you what specifically Latin America can offer foreign productions, including incentives, co-productions, talent, and shooting locations. He will also discuss how Latin America has its eye on the US, Spain, and the rest of Europe. David will explain how to approach your film as an asset, how to see yourself as an entrepreneur, and how to see filmmaking as a business. David will then go over the continental circle of financing, distribution, and investment recoupment and will explain how revenue and right management works as well as managing your recoupment. He will spend time delving into Latin American film contracts, including distribution agreements, CAM agreements, and sales agency agreements. David will ultimately illustrate whether Latin American films can be profitable and how, and analyze with you when a Latin American film can be considered successful, whether it breaks even or finds profitability. Plus, David will show a case study of a real $1MM Latin American film to illustrate how a film of this leve l can be profitable and exactly how the money flows through from beginning to end. He’ll show financing documents and spreadsheets to illustrate the financing structure and demonstrate how money flows in and out. Through this detailed and practical demonstration, you will leave with strategies and a deep understanding of how to approach your own $1MM film as an entrepreneur and build a finance structure that will leave you and your investors profitable. This Stage 32 Webinar is Part 2 in David’s "Think Like an Entrepreneur" series. Click here to check out David’s webinar on being profitable in US marketplace with a sub-$1MM film and click here to check out his webinar on being profitable in the European marketplace Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.