Masters of Craft: The Film Composer's Process With Grammy Winning, Oscar Nominated Composer, Terence Blanchard (Spike Lee, George Lucas)

Hosted by Terence Blanchard


On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

Overlay Icon

Satisfaction Rate:

Terence Blanchard

Webinar hosted by: Terence Blanchard

Oscar, Golden Globe, Grammy & Emmy Nominated Film Composer (Spike Lee, George Lucas)

Terence Blanchard has established himself as one of the most influential jazz musicians and film score masters of his generation, a member of a jazz legacy that has shaped the contours of modern jazz today. With more than 30 albums to his credit, as a musician Blanchard is a multi-Grammy Award winner and nominee. As a film composer, Blanchard has more than 50 scores to his credit, most recently, Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” “Chi-Raq” and Kevin Costner’s “Black or White.” He received a Golden Globe nomination for Spike Lee’s "25th Hour." Other film music written by Blanchard includes Kasi Lemmons’ "Eve's Bayou," Oprah Winfrey’s "Their Eyes Were Watching God," Tim Story’s “Barbershop" and George Lucas’ "Red Tails." Blanchard also contributed on Disney’s "The Princess and the Frog" as the musical voice of “Louis the Alligator." As a guest lecturer and artist in residence at the Berklee College of Music, Blanchard works with students in the areas of artistic development, arranging, and composition. Blanchard is also the creative director for jazz concert programming at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He participates in master classes around the world as well as local community outreach activities in his beloved hometown of New Orleans. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Becoming a working film and TV composer is a very competitive industry and it takes talent, persistence and patience in order to break in and work consistently. Here's your opportunity to learn the craft AND how to navigate the business from an Oscar nominated, multiple Grammy winning composer, exclusively on Stage 32.
For over 30 years, Spike Lee's go to composer to score and provide the perfect music for his films has been Terrence Blanchard. From Jungle Fever to 25th Hour to Inside Man to the Oscar Nominated score for BlacKkKlansman, Terrence has created numerous memorable and essential scores. Further, Terrence has been the lead composer and provided exquisite music for more than 50 films working with some of the industry's top producers and directors including George Lucas and many more.
Starting with his remarkable 5-step process to composing music for film to his ground-breaking "If I Could Tell You I Would Technique to helping you overcome fear and to teaching you what he's learned about navigating the business and building a long lasting career, Terence will have you full of confidence and ready to compose and present your best work.
Further, Terence will show you in depth how he composed his Oscar nominated BlacKkKlansman and Harriet scores and take you behind the scenes in his studio to show you his set up and equipment.
In short, you'll be learning at the feet of a master technician.  What better way to get a leg up?!

This Masters of Craft Webinar is exclusive to Stage 32 and is available to be viewed immediately.


What You'll Learn

  • The secret key to Terence's composing process - The "If I Could Tell You I Would" technique 
  • Terence's essential 5 step process to a composition 
  • Wayne Shorter's "Anna Maria" and "El Gaucho" and "The 3 Marias" compositions as examples
  • Terence's breakdown of pieces of his own scores with his band The E-Collective:
    • A piece of his Oscar-nominated score for BlacKkKlansman
    • His piece "Chaos" as an example showcasing melody and retrograde.
    • A piece of his score for the Oscar-nominated Harriet 
  • Terence takes you behind the scenes of his personal, private studio and shows you his equipment and setup

In addition to his composing process, Terence also goes over:

  • Advice on how to break into working in film & TV
  • The elephant in the room - talking about overcoming obstacles: gender, race, experience, location 
  • How to work with musicians to get the music you envision
  • What to do if you get stuck or if it's not working
  • How to overcome fear
  • How to efficiently work with the director, producers & other team members on the project
  • Q&A with the Stage 32 community

About Your Instructor

Terence Blanchard has established himself as one of the most influential jazz musicians and film score masters of his generation, a member of a jazz legacy that has shaped the contours of modern jazz today.

With more than 30 albums to his credit, as a musician Blanchard is a multi-Grammy Award winner and nominee. As a film composer, Blanchard has more than 50 scores to his credit, most recently, Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” “Chi-Raq” and Kevin Costner’s “Black or White.” He received a Golden Globe nomination for Spike Lee’s "25th Hour." Other film music written by Blanchard includes Kasi Lemmons’ "Eve's Bayou," Oprah Winfrey’s "Their Eyes Were Watching God," Tim Story’s “Barbershop" and George Lucas’ "Red Tails." Blanchard also contributed on Disney’s "The Princess and the Frog" as the musical voice of “Louis the Alligator."

As a guest lecturer and artist in residence at the Berklee College of Music, Blanchard works with students in the areas of artistic development, arranging, and composition. Blanchard is also the creative director for jazz concert programming at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He participates in master classes around the world as well as local community outreach activities in his beloved hometown of New Orleans.


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

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.


  1. Log into your Stage 32 profile
  2. Click "Settings" in the top right-hand corner (gear icon)
  3. Click "Purchase History"
  4. Choose this webinar and click the link to view
If You Do Not Have a Stage 32 Profile:
  1. Go to
  2. Create a profile using the SAME email address you used to sign up for this webinar. The email addresses must match in order to watch the webinar.
  3. Once you have your profile set up, you can view the webinar by clicking "Settings" in the top right hand corner (gear icon)
  4. Click "Purchase History"
  5. Choose this webinar and click the link to view

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 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


If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

Other education that may be of interest to you:

How a CAM Account Saves You Time and Worry

Filmmaking isn’t just an artform, it’s a business. As a creative, you might not be aware of how you can ensure you receive your fair share of the revenue or properly negotiate for it. With the right agreement in place, you can focus on producing a great story that audiences will love without worrying about how the money will come later. What you need is a CAM Agreement. The CAM Agreement, short for Collection Account Management, is a multiparty agreement that handles the receipt, allocation, and disbursement of revenues generated by the distribution of a project. In short, a CAM Agreement is how you get paid when the project sells. It protects everyone’s interests and eliminates misunderstandings between partners by ensuring everyone enters the project on the same page and puts everyone on a Recoupment Schedule so that you know when and how you’re getting paid. With so many platforms and distribution markets to consider, revenue is never as simple as selling the project one time. It covers payment of revenues, commissions, expenses, recoupment investments, deferments, bonuses, and profits. David Zannoni is a consultant for Fintage House, where he's seen first-hand the benefit of these agreements through his work negotiating for films and television series internationally, regularly attending the major film festivals like Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, and more. David will walk you and the other attendees of this Stage 32 webinar exclusively through the key elements of the CAM Agreement, what’s covered, standard clauses, the different kinds of CAM Agreements you’ll need for the different guilds, and how the agreement will evolve and be used in the future. By knowing the benefits of these agreements from someone who regularly uses them, you’ll have the ability to negotiate better for yourself and your project, empowering you to stress less about how you’ll make your money back and focus instead on telling a great story.  

Emerging Voices In Filmmaking: Winners of 2020 Stage 32 Short Film Program

It is an honor and a privilege to bring you the worldwide premiere of the 5th Annual Stage 32 Short Film Program on Stage 32! Our seven winning filmmakers hail from all over the world, and we could not be more excited to share their undeniable talents with you. We were proud to screen these films in the 2020 Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival and the Raindance Film Festival in London. And, we're even more proud to showcase the international premiere to all of the development executives, agents, managers and agents that work with us. Since 2016, the Stage 32 Short Film Contest has served as an unparalleled incubator for finding talented filmmakers and helping them forge connections that make their careers blossom. Our past finalists have gone on to be signed by Paradigm, APA, Gersh, Verve, Echo Lake, Circle of Confusion and more! Congratulations to all the 5th Annual Short Film Contest winners, we cannot wait to see where your talents take you.

The Importance of Recoupment Schedules for Your Film or TV Project and How to Put One Together

Producers and filmmakers of independent films and TV series deal with a multitude of parties regarding the production, financing and distribution of their films and projects. Many of these parties have a financial interest in the project and are entitled to a share of the revenues generated by domestic and international distribution of the film or series. In order to make the allocation and distribution of revenues manageable, it is important to design a recoupment schedule for your project. The recoupment schedule, also called “the waterfall”, combines all the single deal terms negotiated between the production and investors, financiers, talent, sales agents, co-producers, and service producers. Each project is unique, with its very own financing structure for example, and therefore there is no universal format for a recoupment schedule. However, there are certain guidelines to consider when putting together a recoupment schedule for your project. Understanding these guidelines will not only assure that there is no financial shadiness going on behind the scenes and no surprise lawsuits hanging out in the horizon. It also means that everyone who needs to get paid does get paid...and on time. And that can only raise your stature as someone who can deliver the goods and as a person people want to work with again and again. David Zannoni is consultant for Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies, and is the company's representative for the Americas. David negotiates agreements for films and television series, and he is involved in business development and relationship management specifically in the US, Latin America and Spain. David also runs a consultancy business through Xaman Ha Consulting and Zannoni Media Advisors, and has been focusing particularly on international service providers in the film and TV industries, and film and TV productions in Latin America, amongst others. As a 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, Spain, and all over Latin America. David will explain in easy to understand detail the world of recoupment schedules and why they are so important to your film or project. In an in depth, interactive presentation, David will discuss sources and allocation of film and TV revenues, the purpose of a recoupment schedule, the entitlements and obligations that are payable out of revenues, and the order and priority of payment for film and TV entitlements. He will discuss various territories around the world including distribution rights and assignments. He will show you which kind of projects use a recoupment schedule and the importance of a recoupment schedule as it relates to securing financing and attaching production partners.  David will take away all the guess work that goes into the world of waterfalls/recoupment schedules and simplify the entire process to assure everyone on your team is taken care of and given the sense of security they (and you) deserve!   Praise for David "I went into this one expecting it to be dry as a bone in the sun. I was so wrong. 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.  

How to Adapt a Book Into a Film or Series

A good book takes the reader to another world. A good film or series does the same. Today, it’s not unusual to turn on the tube and take in films like THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, HILLBILLY ELEGY, and BLACKkKLANSMAN, or series like OUTLANDER, THE HANDMAID’S TALE, and MINDHUNTER, all of which are based on fiction and non-fiction books. Writers of all levels are seeing the potential with adapting a good story from the pages of a book. However, not knowing exactly how to go about structuring the story or what elements to highlight and pull from a novel could be a proverbial brick wall for some. But it doesn’t have to be. A large part of the battle for many creatives is determining whether or not a book or article is worthy of adaptation. Once that determination is made, deciding what part of the story is high concept and what isn’t is also a challenge for some. Understanding the writing process when it comes to novel adaptation is a crucial (and often overlooked) step in developing your story. Liz Sczudlo is an experienced TV and film writer who is often hired by networks and studios like the CW, Hulu, Lifetime, Hallmark and more to adapt popular novels for the screen. Some of the novels she has adapted include#1 New York Times Bestseller THE DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD, THE ARCHIVED by bestselling novelist V.E. Schwab, Aimee Friedman's SEA CHANGE, and Dani Cubides' MI HERMANASTRO. A seasoned television writer and producer, Liz has  written for shows like CW's JANE THE VIRGIN, FOX's THE FOLLOWING starring Kevin Bacon, ABC Family's SWITCHED AT BIRTH, MTV's AWKWARD and CW's 90210. In addition to developing her own pilots for Hulu, TBS, CW, CBS and Village Roadshow, Liz is currently serving as writer and co-executive producer for the CW's reboot of DYNASTY, where she helps run the room. Liz's deep experience with writing and adapting has given her unique skills and understanding of the novel adaptation process, and she's excited to bring what she knows exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Liz will take you through the process of adapting a book for a film or series from start to finish. From learning how to determine what types of IP to adapt to organizing ideas and materials, Liz will help you boil down your concept so you can get started. What’s more, she’ll dig into how you should best develop the story world, the importance of building strong characters, and how to choose the most notable moments to give your story momentum. Tips on how to reach out to the author are also part of this informative webinar.   Liz will even offer a case study of HBO's adaptation of Liane Moriarty's novel BIG LITTLE LIES, breaking down the choices that were made to turn the popular book into the wildly successful series that it became.

How to Structure Financing for your Film and Creatively Approach Investors

It can be the bane of a filmmaker’s existence, but there’s no denying that financing is a critical step in getting that movie made. After all, not even the greatest script can get produced without the money and resources to back it up. But this is never a straightforward endeavor. Securing the funding for your film is almost without question a fraught, complicated ordeal. It can be enough to drive the most optimistic filmmaker away, but if done smartly and successfully, financing can give you the resources you need to not only see your vision through, but perhaps even to elevate it, to gather opportunities and talent to raise your project’s profile and find further success. Finding and dealing with financing for a film can feel like a Sisyphean task, a hunt for treasure without any map to help. After all, we’re not just talking about finding people with deep pockets who believe in your vision (though that definitely helps); you also need to be well versed in tax structure and incentives, legal codes, equity models, sales projections, crafting a pitch to investors—all things you likely didn’t learn along the way or through the process of writing that script. Yet as overwhelming and insurmountable as it seems, there’s always a way through, and there are strategies and skills you can pick up as a producer or filmmaker to find the money and navigate the politics and nuances of this difficult landscape. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and has produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, nine have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Aimee’s extensive experience has made her an expert in the art of film financing, and she has developed a slew of skills and lessons learned to more successfully find and manage funding for independent projects, skill and lessons that she’s excited to share with you. Aimee will give you a comprehensive look at how to finance your independent film and the tips and strategies to have in your arsenal to make sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity available. Aimee will start by discussing how equity models are structured and the benefits that come with starting your own LLC. She will then delve into the legal components of a standard investment deal, including being clear with who owns the rights to the film and how those rights are distributed and paid for. Then, Aimee will go into navigating foreign sales and domestic sales within this quickly changing landscape and how you may be able to find the right sales partner that can give you an advance to make the movie. Aimee will teach you everything you need to know about tax incentives and how best to take advantage of them and earn back what is essentially free money. Next, Aimee will discuss the benefits of crowdfunding and the strategies and tips she has employed in the past to create a successful campaign. She will talk about the rise of the digital streamers and how to target these platforms for possible funding. Aimee will then delve into the art of finding and approaching potential investors, including the research you need to do and how best to pitch them your project. Aimee will even share one of her own pitch decks to illustrate how to craft the perfect pitch deck. She will teach you ways to think outside-the-box and find non-traditional investors or partners that you might not have otherwise encountered. Finally Aimee will teach you strategies to better network, including finding way to get to people you don’t personally know and how to use film festivals and film markets to your advantage. Be prepared to leave this webinar with an expansive and comprehensive view of film funding and the tools you need to get your next project financed.   Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar? Send her your script and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.   Praise for Aimee’s Webinar:   Clear and efficient! -Dirk B.   I've watched several webinars on film financing and this has been by far my favorite. Thank you for the practical, straightforward advice, and for presenting the info in a way that is not too overwhelming to take in. -Rose M.   Grounded and Practical -Jennifer S.   This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you! -Brian D.

How to Nail the Ending of Your Horror Screenplay

STAGE 32's HALLOWEEN HORROR SALE! The third act of your horror movie should be an electrifying climax, delivering visceral and emotional punches and paying off all your sneaky set ups. It should thrill your audience and represent their reward for sitting through—very possibly—a lot of pain, suffering, and gross stuff. Unfortunately, too many horror screenplays fail to deliver. It’s a problem across the genre: filmmakers work hard on the set-up of their narrative ye it all falls apart in the third act of the script. If you want your horror screenplay to stand out from the crowd, then it’s time to learn how to craft an original and compelling ending that leaves your reader breathless and wanting more. It’s easy to write a creepy first act for a horror movie. A mysterious and/or bloody teaser at the top, the entry of a vulnerable protagonist into a danger zone, a few genre tropes like unresolved past traumas, dying cell phones, a gathering storm, and grizzled locals warning the main characters to “stay away” — it practically writes itself. That’s why there are a lot of horror screenplays out there with intriguing first acts. However, by the time many screenwriters get to the third act they have —literally— lost the plot.  In order to write a good ending you have to know the genre, acknowledge the tropes, and understand some of the psychological mechanisms that drive human fear. Also, you may have to rethink that suspiciously easy-to-write opening. Let's explore how to make this happen. Karina Wilson is an independent story and development consultant with a specific focus in horror who has worked on many films including SECRET IN THEIR EYES with Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts, 13 SINS, and THE CIRCLE with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. As a story consultant, Karina has helped to shape narratives in every genre, from independent documentaries to Netflix animated series. Previously the in-house story consultant at IM Global, she is currently developing a series of Thrillers for British TV. Karina is considered an expert in the horror genre and her analysis of horror trends through the decades has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, on NPR, in medical textbooks and in documentaries alongside luminaries such as Jason Blum, Joe Dante, and Andy Muschietti. Karina is also the lead screenplay judge for niche indie horror festival, Shriekfest, and has been picking winners for them since 2007. Along with Rob Zombie, John Carpenter, Sid Haig, Tom Savini and many others, Karina can currently be seen on screen discussing horror in the documentary THE HISTORY OF METAL AND HORROR, doing the rounds of film festivals this fall. Exclusively for Stage 32, Karina will teach you the elements of a successful horror film ending and what you can do to make sure your own horror project has an effective and memorable third act. She’ll begin by explaining how to see your screenplay through the lens of audience expectations before going over the main types of horror endings seen in feature films. She’ll delve into upping up your story stakes and show you how to find a resolution that makes sense. Karina will also discuss how you should be reworking your first and second act in order for the third act to work better. Karina will accompany her slew of tools and strategies with notable case studies and examples of notable horror films. If you’ve been struggling to find an ending to your horror film, if you’re looking for a way to tie everything up, or if you need a way to make your script better stand out and get attention with reps, producers and execs, you’re going to want to hear what Karina has to say.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In