Michael Nankin has been a working writer, director, producer, and showrunner for 40 years and has directed action-packed episodes of popular television shows like the Peabody award-winning BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, TAKEN, VAN HELSING, HELL ON WHEELS, CSI, and more. Michael started as a writer/director at Walt Disney Studios at age 22 and his first independent film, THE GATE, was the highest-grossing Canadian-produced film ever at the time of its release. His first series, LIFE GOES ON, was the first series that presented a continuing character with Down Syndrome as well as the first HIV-positive continuing character. Michael’s other directing credits include Showtime’s THE GOOD LORD BIRD, ALPHAS, TURN, DEFIANCE, and the upcoming Stephen King horror series CHAPELWAITE starring Adrien Brody. A Humanitas Prize and Leo Award winner, Michael is an incredibly successful and sought-after director, in part due to his ability to inject action and energy into the projects he takes on. Full Bio »
Action sequences are no longer solely confined to big budget features. Movies and series of every size demand them. And while they can boost the status and popularity of a project, they are also complex and difficult to shoot and require special treatment and knowledge from the director. They are, in some way, mini silent movies, relying on image rather than dialogue to tell your story. To be a successful director today, whether you’re focused on film, television, or anything else, it’s important to have the necessary tools so you can tackle these demanding sequences
Because every filmmaker, producer and crew members needs to know how action sequences are created, prepared and executed, Stage 32 brought in a bona fide expert to show you how it's done.
Michael Nankin has been a working writer, director, producer, and showrunner for 40 years and has directed action-packed episodes of popular television shows like the Peabody award-winning BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, TAKEN, VAN HELSING, HELL ON WHEELS, CSI, and more. Michael started as a writer/director at Walt Disney Studios at age 22 and his first independent film, THE GATE, was the highest-grossing Canadian-produced film ever at the time of its release. His first series, LIFE GOES ON, was the first series that presented a continuing character with Down Syndrome as well as the first HIV-positive continuing character. Michael’s other directing credits include Showtime’s THE GOOD LORD BIRD, ALPHAS, TURN, DEFIANCE, and the upcoming Stephen King horror series CHAPELWAITE starring Adrien Brody. A Humanitas Prize and Leo Award winner, Michael is an incredibly successful and sought-after director, in part due to his ability to inject action and energy into the projects he takes on.
Exclusively for Stage 32 in this on-demand webinar, Michael will lay out how exactly to lay out a fantastic action sequence for your own project. He’ll do this by first explaining how to find the story and character development within the scene and use this as a guide to forming your plan. He’ll then go in-depth on how exactly to prepare for your action scene before you even go on set, including collaborating with the other departments, storyboarding and shotlisting, and the critical wounds and kills meeting. Michael will then teach you how to actually direct the scene on set, detailing camerawork, working with the stunt team, and shooting for visual effects and more.
Along the way, we will examine two specific action sequences from projects directed by Michael Nankin – one from his film RED FACTION: ORIGINS and another from an episode of the celebrated AMC series HELL ON WHEELS. Michael will walk through the choices he made in putting these scenes together.
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Learn how to make a profitable film under $10MM from a producer who's worked with NETFLIX and LIONSGATE Some of the most profitable and most award winning films in recent years have been movies made for a budget between $5MM-$10MM. Feature films like The Big Sick, Moonlight, and the megahit Get Out were all made for less than $10MM but grossed 10 or even 20 times their initial investment. So how do you position your film and make the best use of your $5MM-$10MM budget for profitablity and success? In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, an industry expert will show you the finance, production, and distribution options for your mid-budget film. The market has been hot for this budget level of films, and it's on innovative filmmakers like yourself to fill in the void and bring your unique perspective to audiences. Providing her experience and insight in finance and producing is Jeanette Milio. She has worked on over 45 films and television programs for companies like Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, HBO, Showtime, and many more. Her projects have also starred Academy Award-winning performers, including Halle Berry, Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, and Mickey Rourke. She's also a member of the Producer's Guild of America, Women in Film, and the Cannes Film Festival Producer's Network and structured her own media fund in 2009 that financed theatrical features with a production volume of $60 million. Jeanette's providing her vast experience for your benefit and will answer any questions from those who attend the live webinar. You'll also have access to the recording for future viewings to ensure that you don't miss any information that can benefit your production. You'll also walk away with these exclusive handouts from Jeanette: Excel Finance Plan Template Sample CAMA (revenue/profit) agreement Sample story rights agreement (option) Sample talent offers for director and cast (pay-or-play) PRAISE FOR JEANETTE'S TEACHINGS: "Jeanette is dynamite. Her knowledge level on financing is spectacular!" - Anne R. "Outstanding with real information." -Jamie J. "She is fantastic. I feel like it should be a two-part event." -Talaya G. "Jeanette was terrific, very informative, receptive to questions, and spoke from experience." -Gio S.
Learn directly from an Oscar & BAFTA winner exclusively on Stage 32. Think VFX is only for films or digital projects with high budgets? Think again. In fact, understanding how VFX can be worked into your project can help you save costs before you ever step on set. Understanding (and removing your fear of) VFX ahead of time can actually help you trim some shooting days, save money and give you more opportunity to make your film shine and stand out from the crowd. Independent filmmaking and the creation of quality digital content calls for being creative with your budget. But for most producers and filmmakers, the idea of adding VFX to their projects seems like a budget breaker. The reality is quite the opposite. Not only can VFX be quite affordable, but also be a game changer for your project. Accounting for VFX in pre-production may also allow for less "fix it in post" issues which, in turn, will actually help you save money and stay on schedule! Christopher M. Anthony is an Oscar and BAFTA winner and the Senior Director of Kayfabe Films. He is also one of the most sought after VFX masters in the business. Just some of the films Christopher has worked on include Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men franchise, Harry Potter, and The Jungle Book. But don't let those big budget films fool you. Christopher cut his teeth on smaller independent shorts, features and digital projects. He gets hired because he knows how to save money and bring projects in under budget. And now, exclusively for Stage 32, Christopher is going to teach you all his tricks of the trade. Chris is going to lead you through the entire VFX process in an easy to understand format. Using 19 carefully chosen VFX clips and examples, Chris will distill VFX down to the nuts and bolts. You will easily see how VFX can work for you no matter what format or budget you're working with. "Chris is quite the gent and a caring one at that. You can see how much time and effort he put into this webinar. The examples were priceless and opened my mind to an entirely new world that, to be honest, I thought was unattainable for me as a filmmaker." - Antonio C.
Do you suffer from writer’s block? Do you ever get stuck on a scene — at odds with how to proceed, what your character should do or say — for hours, days, sometimes weeks? Do you ever read a scene and think, something’s just not working? Join the illustrious club of every writer ever. Luckily, this very common problem has a simple solution. In this webinar, you will dig down to the building blocks of excellent scene work, those elements which are fundamental to establishing character, advancing plot, capturing tone, and planting memorable moments. By using iconic scenes from landmark film and TV and by citing examples from his 5+ years of TV writing and producing experience, Charlie will offer an array of tools and skills that will harden any writer against the obstacles and pitfalls that come with attacking any scene. Perhaps more importantly, participants will come away with some vital ways to overcome the feared writer’s block that plagues us all.
Only 12 Spots Available Punch Up Your Animation Pilot Script with a Animation Professional and Veteran with 25+ Years of Experience Work and Support Fellow Writers As You All Work Together To Hone Your Scripts Animated television is currently experiencing a boom like we’ve never seen before. Since it’s possible for the bulk of the work to be completed from home or while socially distanced, animation has been flourishing as more players are turning to this format. New shows like SOLAR OPPOSITES on Hulu, CLOSE ENOUGH on HBO Max, FINAL SPACE on TBS and BLOOD OF ZEUS on Netflix are hugely popular, and this is just the beginning. Scores of upcoming animated shows are in the pipeline and just around the corner. Considering this appetite, it doesn’t look like this trend is fading any time soon. And more interest in animation means there are more opportunities for your own project to get noticed and get picked up. The opportunities may be extra plentiful right now, but you still need to have a dynamite pilot script to present if you want to be noticed, and that means more than a workable first draft. The old adage that writing is rewriting is especially true for animation and comedy scripts that need to be tight, punchy, and effective in every sense. And since television writing is almost always a collaborative process, a necessary step to making your project successful is to bring in different perspectives, different senses of humor, and some expertise to get the script fine-tuned and to the point where it’s truly special. We have just the person to help with this. Mike Disa is an accomplished director, producer, writer, and artist who produced and directed on shows like THE SIMPSONS and the hit Netflix series PARADISE PD and has been in the animation industry for over twenty-five years. Mike found success working with studios such as Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. A favorite and fixture among the Stage 32 community, Mike is deeply entrenched in the world of animated TV and knows better than most what it takes to get an animated show off the ground. Mike will lead an intimate and valuable writers’ workshop with a small group of students to help rewrite and fine tune each writer’s animation pilot script, line by line. Each session, Mike will focus on 1-2 scripts and work with the group to punch up and improve each. Not only will you receive extended and personalized attention from an expert in the field to improve your own work, but you will also have the opportunity to support other writers with their own projects and learn valuable lessons from the process that you can take back to your own work. Expect to leave this unique program with a much-improved pilot script, a set of tools you can take with you to better improve and rewrite other projects, and a supportive group of like-minded writers from around the world. Note: Because this is a rewrite class, you must already have at least a fully written first draft of a 30-minute animated pilot script in order to participate in this workshop WHAT TO EXPECT By the end of this 6-session writing lab, you will have a fully re-written and fine tuned animation pilot script Sessions will consist of 2-hour group classes through Zoom Meetings. You will be held accountable to take the lessons from each week and move your work forward. Plus, to keep you connected, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the writing process. To see the full writing lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 12 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with an animation veteran and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please do book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Harrison at email@example.com for more information This lab is limited to 12 people This lab is designed for beginner, intermediate and advanced screenwriters looking to rewrite and improve their already existing 30 minute animated pilot script Because this is a rewrite class, you must already have at least a fully written first draft of a 30-minute animated pilot script in order to participate in this workshop.
It’s the dream of many to have a career as a writer for TV or film, to be able to make a living creating worlds and telling stories. Just ask almost anyone at any coffee shop. However the life of a writer, even the most successful, isn’t always easy. The career path is fraught, unpredictable, and inconsistent. Every writer breaks in (or doesn’t) in different ways, and as a result, there isn’t a singular roadmap for aspiring writers to find the success they’re looking for. That said, having a keen understanding of the industry you’re trying to break into and a wherewithal of potentially helpful steps on your journey is vital in finding your place and advancing in your career. The truth is there’s so much more that goes into being a writer than just writing. Creative chops alone won’t save you. You are creating art for a market and therefore need to understand how the market operates in order to work within it. And while every writer’s career is unique, there are still commonalities and patterns among them and mistakes many have made that you can avoid by learning from them. Lee Sternthal is a screenwriter, director and photographer who has written screenplays for every major studio, including TRON: LEGACY for Disney, as well as scripts for Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson and many others. His film, THE WORDS starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons was an Official Sundance Film Festival selection and was later bought by CBS Films. Lee is a Sundance Institute Fellow, and his work has appeared on The Black List. Through his journey in this industry he has seen it all - the good, the bad and the ugly - and has come to Stage 32 exclusively to tell you about it. Lee will reflect on his own career as a writer, the mistakes he’s made and the successes he’s found, both in the indie space and the studio system, to give you the perspective, lessons learned, and strategies to better navigate your own writing career. He’ll begin by focusing on writers just starting out and will discuss whether new writers need a manager and whether they need an agent. He’ll then talk about the pros and cons of having a writing partner and what to expect if you join forces with someone else. He will discuss Sundance Film Festival and reveal what actually happens if your film gets accepted. Lee will also discuss the insider Hollywood script survey the Black List from and illustrate what happens when your script appears on this list. He’ll then delve into screenwriting services, how they can be helpful, and how they can be harmful. Next Lee will then share his own experiences, both writing for a studio for the Disney film TRON: LEGACY as well as writing for the independent project THE WORDS to give you a sense of what those experiences are like from the inside. He’ll discuss how to know how much you’re able to take on and how to grapple with the doubt and Imposters Syndrome that is incredibly common among writers starting to find success. He’ll then go over the best ways to continue to pay the bills as a new screenwriter. Finally, Lee will give you his insider knowledge of the industry, including how to understand who “The Players” are and how to navigate them, what “The Venues” are and how they operate and how to work different rooms. Praise for Lee’s Webinar: “It was great to hear about all of Lee’s different experiences. I feel like I have a better sense of what to expect and what to do moving forward to keep on writing!” -Dennis G. “Lee was great! This was such an interesting webinar!” -Betty H. “I’m so glad I saw this! Lee has so much knowledge to share.” -Terry C. “Lee definitely answered a lot of big questions I’ve been asking myself about getting into writing, and now I’m excited to take some next steps. Thanks!” -Gwen D.
In this Pitch Tank webcast, we welcome producer Aimee Schoof of Intrinsic Value Films. Aimee has produced more than 35 feature films! Of those, 10 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, 4 at the Tribeca Film Festival, 3 at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale. Among many of her notable films, she produced TESLA with Ethan Hawke, AMERICAN SATAN with Malcolm McDowell, MARJORIE PRIME with Jon Hamm, EXPERIMENTER with Peter Sarsgaard, BLUE CAPRICE with Isiaiah Washington, Tim Blake Nelson, DEATH OF A DYNASTY with Kevin Hart and Rashida Jones, and XX/XY with Mark Ruffalo. She has expanded into television and currently has a slate of scripted and unscripted projects and feature films in all phases of production. And on top of all of that, Aimee is also a partner in the comic book publishing company Red Giant Entertainment, developing comic book properties for film and TV! During the webcast, we hear pitches that range from Sci-Fi to Supernatural in both film and television! Aimee provides some incredible insights and provides her 2 key pieces of advice to keep in mind while pitching!