Eric Daniel Metzgar is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and two-time Sundance Documentary Lab Fellow with extensive experience directing, producing, writing, and editing award-winning documentary films. He directed, shot and edited REPORTER, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, aired on HBO, and was nominated for an Emmy Award. He also directed, shot and edited LIFE.SUPPORT.MUSIC., which aired on PBS’s long-running documentary series POV, and THE CHANCES OF THE WORLD CHANGING, which also aired on POV and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Eric also edited and produced the Hulu documentary CRIME + PUNISHMENT, which won both an Emmy Award and Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, and he edited GIVE UP TOMORROW and ALMOST SUNRISE, which were both nominated for Emmys and also aired on POV. Through his storied and heavily awarded history, Eric has positioned himself as a practiced and highly sought after editor and documentarian. He’s prepared to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
Documentary filmmaking is a very different game than narrative filmmaking, as any professional documentarian can tell you. Perhaps the most important difference between the two is that narrative filmmaking follows a script. This is not the case with documentaries — it can’t be. Documentaries capture real life which is anything but predetermined. As a result, the documentary filmmaking process is flipped and the story is crafted after production in the edit room. Knowing how to find the story in your documentary from the footage you've shot is the key to making a world-class film. This skill doesn’t just make or break your documentary; it is your documentary. Yet this process of finding the story can be incredibly hard since it’s is often vastly different from the story in your head. But mastering this skill is the key to being a great documentary filmmaker and something that’s entirely within your grasp. And that's where Stage 32 steps in.
The host of this webinar, Eric Daniel Metzgar is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and the producer and editor of Hulu's documentary CRIME + PUNISHMENT, which won an Emmy and Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize. A two-time Sundance Documentary Lab Fellow, Eric has extensive experience directing, producing, writing, and editing award-winning documentary films. He directed, shot and edited REPORTER, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, aired on HBO, and was nominated for an Emmy Award. He also directed, shot and edited LIFE.SUPPORT.MUSIC., which aired on PBS’s long-running documentary series POV, and THE CHANCES OF THE WORLD CHANGING, which also aired on POV and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Eric also edited GIVE UP TOMORROW and ALMOST SUNRISE, which were both nominated for Emmys and also aired on POV. Through his storied and heavily awarded career, Eric has positioned himself as a practiced and highly sought after editor and documentarian. He’s prepared to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community.
Eric will teach you invaluable strategies to help you move through the inevitable difficult stages of your documentary editing journey and to stay on track when the going gets tough and all seems lost. He will begin by going over what makes a good documentary story in general, including beginnings, middles, and ends, arcs, stakes, and “releasing power”. He’ll then discuss how best to approach your own footage and determining if you have a story. He’ll explain differentiating between the footage and the story in your head, how to craft an outline, and create a reckoning with beats. He will also teach you what selects are and why they can make all the difference. Next Eric will give you tips on how to approach the initial assembly edit, where to start, how to stay motivated, how to avoid “the music trap” and the best way to start linking your scenes together.
Then he will delve into the real editing after the assembly is completed. He’ll discuss rearranging, re-cutting, and deleting, how to fix the scenes that aren’t working and how to know when to kill your darlings. He will also give you tips on revisiting raw footage later on in the process and what to do when you hit those inevitable but painful roadblocks. Eric will focus on the two hardest parts of a documentary—beginnings and endings, and strategies to make them successful.
Eric will spend time giving tips and inspiration for what to do when you hit that dreaded brick wall and how to stay on track and hold on to your purpose when things get difficult. He’ll talk about getting others’ opinions and what you need to do to allow your film to be good, how to take it from good to great, shifting from the content to the form, fine tuning, working with the film as a whole, and how best to address lingering doubts.
There’s nothing harder than editing a great documentary, but you will leave this webinar with a better understanding of how to be successful with a collection of strategies to help you navigate your way through.
Praise for Eric's Stage 32 Webinar
"This webinar was truly insightful. Very down to earth and straightforward with information. I learned more with Eric in a half-hour than 1 year at a university."
"Fantastic webinar! Eric shared valuable information in such an engaging way...I was so relaxed even though I was feverishly taking notes. : ) He was definitely inspiring. I'm anxious to watch it again!"
"Amazing session with Eric. He has saved me months of prep on my docs just on the tips I got today. No more paper edits for me."
- Genevieve S.
"What an amazingly insightful, helpful presentation! Eric's evident passion for documentary film and practical guidance left me excited to dig into my project."
"So helpful. Exactly what I needed during this time in my careers and profession."
Eric Daniel Metzgar
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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.
With so many platforms and distributors in need of new content, it’s never been a better time for independent filmmakers to take their projects to a festival. However, submitting is only one step in the process of selling your film. You will learn the best strategies to raise your film’s chances of landing a film festival spot while debunking the myths and advice that actually work against your goals. You’ve heard countless stories of up-and-coming directors and producers who launched careers using an independent film on the festival circuit, but how did they do it? Getting into a festival is more than simply submitting. Each festival has a specific program style and schedule they’re filling, making the linear “one-size-fits-all” method a waste of your unique film’s potential. Save your budget and time with this Stage 32 exclusive webinar that shows you the steps successful filmmakers use to be accepted and even win big on the festival circuit. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how film festivals operate to then understand how to assess your film so it’s programmable. This session shows you how to create an actionable plan, including budgeting, deliverables, knowing which plans are right for your film, looking for patterns in responses to your film, and more. And who better to show you how it’s done than the “Film Festival Doctor,” Dr. Rebekah Louisa Smith, who has helped thousands of filmmakers secure film festival screenings, win awards, and receive positive recognition within the film industry. Rebekah’s company has won over 1,000 awards for their clients, including an Oscar nomination, while supporting 850 creatives worldwide. Rebekah provides you with high-level information that she’s learned over her many years while working with creatives like you. She’ll show you how to assess your film and build a strategy that works for it instead of spending money on festivals that won’t help you get ahead. At the same time, she’ll show you all the bad advice that many promote, but you should avoid, to raise your submission success rate. In addition to this invaluable information, you’ll have a chance to ask Rebekah any questions about creating a film festival strategy and how you can use her knowledge to your benefit. You’ll leave this webinar with both a plan and the confidence to take your film to the next level as you hit the festival circuit.
There was once a time when screenwriters solely used typewriters to tell their stories. Obviously that time has since passed, and the tools writers use to create their scripts have drastically evolved. Software like Final Draft, Writers Duet and Fade In has been created to optimize a writers’ experience, help with formatting, and ideally aid writers through their various obstacles and make the process easier. Yet this doesn’t always work out as intended. Too often, technophobia - the tendency to be intimidated by technology - limits writers’ ability to work with efficiency and speed and makes these programs more overwhelming and burdensome than helpful. And with so many different types of writing software out there, how can you know which one is the best fit for you? We all know that writing is hard enough on its own without the extra burden of navigating difficult technology. The tools you use to write shouldn’t get in the way of creativity. Instead, gaining confidence and proficiency with technology can allow it to fade into the background, allowing you to focus on the task of great screenwriting. Knowing how best to use the tools available to you—and which ones to use in the first place—can serve as a powerful boon to your writing process and overall career. Whether it’s software, hardware, or workflow, moving past the technophobia and embracing the tools that are right for you can allow you to write with more ease, speed and efficiency than might be otherwise possible. First, it’s important to know what’s out there and how to actually use it. Jon Stahl is a writer, producer and script coordinator, who has served on HBO’s DGA, SAG, WGA and Emmy Award-winning comedy series VEEP. Jon began his career in production, working on projects like Jason Reitman’s YOUNG ADULT starring Charlize Theron, Showtime’s THE BIG C, and IFC’s MARON. He also produced Season 1 of the Emmy-nominated series EASTSIDERS, before getting his first high-profile writers’ room position on the NBC network sitcom MR. ROBINSON with Universal Television. Jon went on to work in the writers' room at Nickelodeon on their show GAME SHAKERS. He’s currently on the upcoming FOX animated series HOUSEBROKEN starring Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte. Jon’s career has hinged on writing quickly and efficiently by using various software and technologies and knows better than most how to use the tools available to enhance your own writing career. Jon will give you the tools to embrace good technology and use all the technological tools at your disposal to tell an amazing story. He’ll begin with a rundown of the different tools you should have to write, including keyboards, monitors, ergonomics and software. He’ll then delve explain why you need screenwriting software in the first place. Jon will delve into the lay of the land of screenwriting software, including a run through of the main players, free and affordable options, and what the standards and expectations are in the industry. Next he will show you how you know what screenwriting software is the best fit for your specific needs. He’ll go through the strengths and weaknesses of the leading programs and show you what paid software can offer that free versions do not. Jon will then go through a live demonstration of Final Draft. He’ll walk you through Final Draft’s interface and main features, how to start a script on the software, how to set up your workflow through Final Draft, and keyboard shortcuts you need to know to save you time. He’ll also go through other tricks Hollywood writers use to optimize Final Draft, how to write safely and back up your work, and how to use templates. Jon will then do the same live demonstration for both WriterDuet and Fade In. Next he will discuss other types of software to consider, including general purpose writing software, miscellaneous writing tools, and system software. Finally, he will provide you with additional resources you should consider. Expect to leave feeling a lot more confident and a lot less overwhelmed in bringing in good technology to help your writing. "Screenwriting software is a necessary tool for anyone who wants to write for film and TV. I'm so excited to lead this webinar and help anyone who wants to gain proficiency with these widely-used tools, so you can focus on the craft of storytelling." -Jon Stahl
Learn directly from Tim Moshansky, a 20 year location scout who has worked on hundreds of films and TV shows including The Revenant, Twilight Saga: New Moon, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem! There are two things that a production starts doing as soon as they have the “green light” - casting for actors and scouting for locations. In a way, a location scout is like a casting director for locations. Unless a film is shot entirely in a studio with sets or green screen, locations are integral to how the film will look. Anyone can become a location scout, but to become a GREAT scout that people call again and again takes a keen eye, good people and photography skills, and on-the-ground experience. In this webinar Tim Moshansky will guide you through the entire process of scouting - from the moment you get the script or storyboards, to when they call “Action!” on set. Tim will offer you tips and insights from his nearly 20 years of scouting experience. Whether you are someone considering a career as a scout, or a filmmaker looking for ways to increase your production value and anticipate potential location problems, this is the webinar that will help you learn the basics about scouting. This webinar includes FREE bonus materials for download!: Locations Release Location Agreement Location Breakdown Script Breakdown
Producer Sasha Nonas-Barnes joins our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.
Netflix raised the bar in original programming almost ten years ago, forever changing the television landscape. Since then, Netflix has maintained its status by investing in quality, adapting to its audience’s needs, and often setting the trends. Many creatives strive to launch shows with this streamer, and this webinar will show you exactly what Netflix is buying and how to close the deal. When it comes to streaming and “bingeable” television, no platform or network comes to mind faster than Netflix. Netflix has been the home to some of the most-watched original series for almost a decade, including SQUID GAME, BRIDGERTON, OZARK, STRANGER THINGS, BIG MOUTH, THE CROWN, OZARK, GRACE & FRANKIE, and countless others. Netflix stays ahead of the curve in television programming by hunting for new voices, unexplored worlds, and backing a wide range of genres and formats. Their needs are constantly changing and largely only known to those close to the platform. So, if you want to know where Netflix is heading next, you’ll need insight from a current industry executive. Taking you through Netflix’s distribution plans is Kristin Harris, SVP of Production at Vertical Entertainment. Kristin has held key acquisition, development, and production roles at Starz Media, Overture Films, and Cinedigm Entertainment Group. She is also the former VP of Distribution and Acquisitions at Good Deed Entertainment, where she oversaw all aspects of the company’s distribution arm and managed the release slate, which included EXTRA ORDINARY, JOURNEY’S END, Spirit Award-nominated TO DUST, and the Academy Award-nominated LOVING VINCENT. Kristin is sharing her insight into the streaming giant exclusively in this Stage 32 webinar. She’ll take you through where Netflix has been and where they’re headed, showing you its current operations and business model. She’ll also cover originals vs. licensed content, release windows, how to effectively tailor your pitch to their brand, and what you need to know about deal structures so you can navigate negotiations. This webcast gives you a new approach to understanding and pitching, and the knowledge needed to close the deal with one of the world’s leading streaming entertainment service.