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. 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. 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
Q: How do I watch my webinar live?
A: If you received a confirmation that your webinar is on Go to Webinar, you will receive an email from Go to Webinar with further instructions for participating in the live webinar. You can also access your webinar link in your purchase history located under settings in the top right-hand corner of your Stage 32 profile.
If you received a confirmation that your webinar is on Zoom, you will receive a separate email from Zoom with further instructions for participating in the live webinar. Your login link will not be in your Stage 32 profile. If you did not receive your link via Zoom please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How do I watch my webinar on demand?
A: You will be able to watch your webinar on demand as many times as you’d like inside your Stage 32 profile. The recording is processed and posted between 24-48 hours after the webinar concludes. You can follow the instructions below.
YOU MUST HAVE A STAGE 32 PROFILE TO WATCH YOUR VIDEO – STAGE 32 IS FREE TO JOIN If You Already Have a Stage 32 Profile:
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute educational broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32. Your webinar will be taught by a working industry professional with in-depth teaching on a topic. If you are able to attend live you will be able to ask your Stage 32 Educator questions during Q&A.
Q: What are the system requirements to watch my webinar live?
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 10.9 (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 cannot attend a live webinar or 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 re-watch?
A: Yes! Like all Stage 32 education, after the purchase of a live or on demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording.
Q: How do I get a copy of the handouts provided?
A: If the webinar you take included handouts you can find them as downloads underneath your on demand video. You must be logged into your Stage 32 profile to view the video and get the handouts by clicking settings in the top right hand corner, then clicking purchase history.
Q: What if I need accessibility and accommodations?
A: Email email@example.com to request accommodations.
Thanks for your loyalty to Stage 32 Education. We value having you in the Stage 32 community.
If you have any further questions, we are always happy to help. Please contact Stage 32 support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Producer Tiegen Kosiak 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.
As you are aware, unscripted television is BOOMING. All the streamers have jumped into the mix and now more and more networks, premium cable channels and even short form platforms like Quibi are diving in with both feet. Creating compelling non-fiction TV requires more than just vision. It involves a gameplan. And it can't hurt to have multiple ideas in reserve or even multiple paths for the same show. This will allow you to not only launch one show, but perhaps lay the groundwork for many shows, essentially building brand recognition for you and for your production company. There is a path to building a scalable business in reality and unscripted and that path is wider than ever. And there's no better person to send you on that path than a guy who has built an empire with his company through producing such shows as Netflix's CHEER and CHEF'S TABLE and many others for streamers and networks around the world. We all have a desire to tell stories. In an era when technology is rapidly developing and there are increasingly lower barriers to actually creating unscripted content. But an idea is just the start. Often times what we fail to do is understand how to get from an idea, or a series of ideas, to having viable content that a more commercial marketplace is actually looking for. By doing a deep dive into the history, shows and business of the prolific reality production company Boardwalk Pictures, we can better understand how to establish our creative voice and brand in a crowded landscape and determine how best to bring our value to a variety of projects and partners. Andrew Fried is the Founder and President of Boardwalk Pictures, producers of premium non-fiction content for multiple networks and distributors including Netflix, Showtime, Quibi, YouTube and many others. A recipient of multiple awards and 3 Emmy nominations, Fried and Boardwalk strive to elevate and expand the idea of documentary television across an ever-growing unscripted landscape. Boardwalk has been responsible for some of the most prestigious unscripted series of the last few years. CHEF'S TABLE, now entering its 7th season, has received 8 Emmy nominations, has won 3 James Beard Awards and the IDA Award for Best Documentary Series. CHEER, also on Netflix, has proven to be one of the platform's biggest successes. Other huge commercial hits include Gwyneth Paltrow's THE GOOP LAB, 7 DAYS OUT, STREET FOOD and LAST CHANCE U (now in it’s 4th season), the Showtime series ACTION and YouTube’s BEST SHOT. Andrew will teach you how to stake your claim in the unscripted marketplace and also how to build an empire in the space. By diving into his journey and the paths Boardwalk Picture shows have taken from concept to screen, Andrew will show you the do's and don'ts of unscripted from the creative and business sides to assure you shorten your path to success. He will speak to the companies origin stories and how Chef's Table became Netflix's first unscripted original series. He will explain how to judge quantity vs. quality, explain the "8th Grade Assembly" test, describe what it means to be storyteller led, and how to identify a void that needs to be filled. He will dive into how to develop your creative brand, define what stories it is you want to tell, and how to approach meetings and networking opportunities to help get your vision to air. He will describe how to add value to just about every situation - so important in unscripted where you're likely to have partners and how to best position yourself to where people not only want to work with you, but will be anxious to hear your next idea and the one after that. Praise for Andrew's Stage 32 Webinar: "Fabulous, authentic insights into what makes a successful producer of premium unscripted content!" -John P. "Loved it! I especially appreciated his positivity! I’m feeling inspired and I know I’m on the “write” track to creating something wonderful!" -Edie F. "Andrew was really great - a total professional who gave a lot of insight into "the business" and what attracts the green light." -Pooky A. "Excellent. Honest. Thoughtful. Insightful." -Tim O.
A hot topic of conversation in our current COVID-19 world is how film, television and new media productions will resume production safely and effectively. The entire entertainment legal landscape has changed as a result of the world’s pandemic. Producers, filmmakers, directors and crew need to think about protection before you can ever step on set to say “action.” It’s important to take a deeper look at the legal agreements that tie parties together on a project as we contemplate the future. Contract provisions that parties wrote off as “boring” or “boiler plate” will significantly change moving forward. It’s important you understand how this affects your project. You don’t want to get stuck with a production or financial nightmare if you’re not protected legally to move forward on your film, TV or new media project. There are five basic provisions in a legal contract that many dismissed as “boring boiler plate” that now will have significance moving forward. It’s important that you know the basic purpose of these provisions, why they are drafted and what purpose they serve for all parties. With each provision, you will need to know the impact and implications as it relates to COVID-19 and how these provisions will continue to change to comply with government and guilds, insurance coverage and mitigation of risk for both parties. You need to make sure to contemplate unlikely scenarios so that contracts are comprehensive to whatever may occur. Elsa Ramo is one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry today and the managing partner of Ramo Law. Recently named to Variety’s 2019 “Dealmakers List,” Elsa Ramo has represented over 100 films and 50 television scripted and unscripted series in 2019 alone, including Emmy award-winning shows and films which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.Her clients include Imagine Entertainment, FOX, Balboa Productions (Sylvester Stallone’s production company), Scout Productions (creators and EPs of QUEER EYE), Boardwalk Pictures (EPs for CHEF’S TABLE) and Skydance. Elsa has her finger on the pulse of the legal side of the entertainment law and works non-stop to protect her clients in all deals. Elsa will go through the nuts and bolts of contractual provisions in the entertainment industry and a walk through of how these should and will change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elsa will start by offering a basic understanding of five contractual provisions that are now much more important in the wake of the pandemic: Force majeure, suspension/termination provisions, assumption of risk and related indemnification provisions, medical releases and disclosures, and scheduling and payment provisions. She’ll discuss why they are drafted and what purpose they serve among the parties. Then, with each provision, she will discuss the impact and implications as it relates to Covid-19 and how these provisions are and will continue to change to comply with government compliance, guild compliance insurance coverage and mitigation of risk for both parties as they contract during a pandemic. Elsa will distill what we can learn from changing these ‘boring provisions’ that we can apply to better prepare ourselves for future unlikely scenarios and ensure contracts are comprehensive to whatever may occur. Finally, Elsa will teach you how to flag and ensure that the modifications placed on these contracts comply with government legislation, union compliance, and other worst-case scenarios.You will be fully prepared to understand how “boring boiler plate” provisions can affect your project and how to best protect yourself. Praise for Elsa’s Stage 32 Webinar: "This was one of the best webinars I have taken so far. Thank you again. I look forward to the next one!" -Romina S. "Awesome presentation - great speaker, made complicated issues much clearer, lots of great info! Great info for anyone in the industry in all positions. Thanks!!" -Ron H. "This webinar was absolutely brilliant! Elsa is clearly a pro, but her manner was so calm and approachable. She didn't talk down to us and explained all these intricacies so that I believe everyone was able to understand them. Bravo! More Elsa Please!" -Becca G. "Elsa is always amazing and legal is always a fantastic topic, now more than ever!" -Lisa G.
You know what you like to write, but do you know your personal brand as a writer? Branding yourself as a writer is an integral part of your strategy toward getting read, securing representation, attracting development executives and producers, and, ultimately, securing a long and successful career in the entertainment industry. Should you write in a variety of different formats or stick to one? Should you settle in on a tone or style or show your versatility? All of these questions (and many more) will factor in to how you brand yourself as a writer. Your brand is equal parts preferred medium, chosen genre(s), and personal voice/style. Once all of this is determined and developed, it will become easier to for you, your representation team, and/or your production company to sell/produce/finance your material. There are more screenwriters than ever looking to secure and maintain a career writing for film, television, and now, digital content. But with so much talent vying for limited opportunities, it’s important to find a way to stand out from the crowd. And because there are very few new stories, only fresh takes on proven formulas, a writer’s unique voice and style are paramount when creating and selling content. This voice/style combined with preferred genres and mediums make up a writer’s brand, and cultivating that brand is instrumental in selling yourself and your material in Hollywood. And you don’t need representation or a production company behind you to do it! Developing your brand as a writer starts and ends with you. Once you fully understand, determine and develop your brand with confidence, you’ll find that many more representatives, producers, and other buyers will be willing to jump on your bandwagon. Tiegen Kosiak began her career working with, among others, the Academy Award-winning writers of BIRDMAN and the creator of STEP UP and SAVE THE LAST DANCE. While working in management and development Tiegen recognized how integral a writer’s brand was in submitting material, setting meetings, and pitching clients for open writing assignments. Prior to her new role working with an A-list actress who has a producing deal with Netflix, Tiegen worked for Cinestar Pictures, Zoe Saldana’s production company. In these roles Tiegen uses branding every day to option material, sell screenplays, and attach writers to projects. She'll help you understand how you can stand out, get read and get sold! Tiegen will teach you the tools needed to craft your brand as a writer and how to use that brand to sell yourself and your material to representatives, producers, and other content buyers in the entertainment marketplace. No matter if you're writing for features or television, Tiegen will show you how to rise above the competition by finding your lane and using this focused strategy to get reads and get you in rooms that matter. Whether you're looking for representation or searching for new representation, Tiegen will teach you 9 invaluable tips on approach that won't make you "just another writer" in the eyes of a rep. She will teach you how to choose the right representation (so important). She will explain and help you navigate where to find work, how to handle, general, pitch and network meetings, and how best to approach producers. In short, she will give you all the tools to help brand you and your writing so executives, reps, and decision makers want to read you and work with you from the jump! PRAISE FOR TIEGEN'S TEACHINGS: I found it very helpful and entertaining. I was shocked at how fast the time went. Tiegen packed a lot of great information into the 90 minutes. I know this is a webinar I will listen to again. - Cam C. This was an EXCELLENT webinar! Useful, unique information. Tiegen generously shared an enormous amount of information. Writing is a strenuous, though rewarding endeavor, and her detailed observations and vigorous, yet concise, genotype theories, as it were, have inspired my work ethic. And triple thank you for mentioning there are management companies with offices in NYC, not far. I don't live in LA, and have been worried for ages about that geographic block. Thank you Tiegen, and Stage 32. - Gerri G.
Learn how to write a query letter that makes people take notice of you and your script so that you can make connections, get repped, and launch your career! Your script is ready. You have a killer logline and an impressive bio. So, why isn’t anyone responding to your query letter? The truth is managers and agents are inundated with daily emails from hopeful writers looking to get their scripts into the right hands. These are “cold queries,” where writers reach out to industry professionals or "gatekeepers," hoping the executive will want to read their script or even meet. Most of the time, these queries are dismissed or ignored, and sometimes can harm your ability to build a relationship with an executive. However, a select few will cut through the clutter and gain attention. So how do you break through? In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, you’ll learn what managers are looking for from your query letter, how to find the people to contact, and how to ultimately grab their attention so you can move your career forward. Showing you exactly what representatives want to see in your query letter is Audrey Knox of The Cartel, a full-service management and production company. Audrey has built a successful roster of screenwriting clients who have written for shows including SINGLE DRUNK FEMALE, GINNY & GEORGIA, P-VALLEY, and THE GOLDBERGS, and are writing projects for Netflix, Nickelodeon, Apple TV+, and more. She recently found her client, Heidi Lux, through Stage 32 and produced Heidi’s feature film CRUSHED, which premiered on Tubi this year. Audrey will also show you examples of successful query letters and will provide you with the best format and formula in a handout to keep and use in your future query letters. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn exactly what literary managers are looking for from one of the best in the business! Praise for Audrey's Teaching: "I can't say enough good things about Audrey. She cares about helping her students and provides very valuable information. I wish she was MY manager!" --Sam R. "I didn't realize how much should go into reaching out to reps until I took this class from Audrey. I was doing it all wrong!" -- Morgan B. "Audrey is one of the best teachers on Stage 32. I can't recommend learning from her enough." -- Sydney M.