Jon Stahl is a working 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. Full Bio »
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."
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The writers’ room is the beating heart of any scripted television show and the area where writers find their footing and voice within this world. Being a successful writer in the world of television is only possible if you’re successful in a writers’ room setting and breaking into a writers’ room as an assistant or coordinator is often the springboard needed for writers to build their career in the television space. For these reasons, it’s critical to understand how writers’ rooms work and how to best to perform and stand out in one to positively contribute and get noticed for the right reasons. While each show’s writers’ room has unique characteristics, there are specific expectations of a comedy show’s room in particular that differ from their counterparts. You’re not just breaking story in these rooms, but jokes too. This process brings with it a different rhythm and understanding. Finding success in a comedy room requires different skills than others. If you’re an aspiring comedy writer with hopes of breaking into a show’s writers’ room, it’s crucial you understand how exactly these rooms work and how you can best fit in and stay in. 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. Working alongside the writers of television’s best comedy, Jon not only knows what it takes to write great comedy, but also what is needed to take a seat at the table with the rest of them. Jon will break down how a leading TV comedy writers’ room works and outline how you can break in and find success in one as a script coordinator. He will begin by going through the basics of how a writers’ room runs and the different key players. He’ll show you how to get a job in the writers’ office and delve into the culture of the room and you can navigate. Next Jon will break down the duties of a script coordinator in the room, including, taking notes, scriptwriting, distribution, investigating clearances, using the white board and more. He’ll also give tips on the technical side of the script coordinator, including typing etiquette and using specific software. He’ll go through the art of pitching in a room and how to handle “big personalities”. Finally Jon will give you tips on how to take next steps from the script coordinator position, how to put together writing samples and use your connections to move up. If you’ve always wanted to have a career in TV writing but don’t know where to start, start here.
Learn how to make Instagram work for you - get in front of casting directors and make income as an influencer! Exclusive 3 HOUR ONLINE CLASS with Rachel Paulson It's no secret that one of social media's most visual mediums, Instagram, is where actors and casting directors hang out. Yet, with thousands of profiles in a casting director's scroll, how do you stand out? Instagram is a powerful tool for you as an actor, one, that if harnessed correctly, can land you in front of the right casting directors plus give you opportunities to earn extra income from brand deals. So, where do you even start to build your brand on social media and how do you leverage it to start getting seen by the right people and start making money while doing it? We can help you get there. Rachel Paulson has grown up in a family of Hollywood royalty. She and her sisters, Emmy-winner Sarah Paulson (AMERICAN CRIME STORY, OCEAN'S 8) and Liz Paulson (SVP of Casting for FOX) have worked together for decades to learn every aspect of acting and casting and how to put yourself in the best position to stand out and book the job. Over her career, Rachel has worked on both sides of acting - both as a casting director as well as talent. In addition, she has been certified in social media and how you can use it to put yourself in a position to win. She is currently making a living through her social media endorsement deals and is the star of the Go Magazine series DATING ZOE, the host of the video series Drink Responsibly with Rachel Paulson, and the co-host of the podcast Gay vs. Straight Bitches with One Tree Hill alum, Lindsey McKeon. She also stars as the lead in the LGBTQ drama film GOOD KISSER on Hulu. Rachel is working exclusively with the Stage 32 acting community to mentor you and help you learn how to use Instagram to help your career. You will have the opportunity to work in an intimate setting with Rachel in an extended 3 HOUR ONLINE CLASS. You will walk away from this class with all the tools you need to work the Instagram algorithms and get seen on Casting Director's feeds, PLUS you will learn how to work with brands to supplement your income as an actor. Volunteers will be given sides and information on a product and Rachel will help coach you on how to secure a deal with the brand. Whether you’re new to acting and looking for your foot in the door, or an experienced actor who has had trouble navigating social media and building an online presence, Rachel will give you the tools and strategies you’ve been looking for and an avenue for finding acting opportunities you might have not even considered before. "I have been in the industry for over ten years, I’ve worked as an actor in commercials, as a casting director and run sessions. I have also worked IN social media, running the pages of several brands. I have started to realize why brands and companies are heading towards social media for all the new advertising tools, and what that means for you as actors." -Rachel Paulson
Can you believe this is the last Writers' Room Pitch Tank of 2020? And we couldn't have asked for a better guest than Producer, Actress, and Writer, Rachel Paulson! Rachel is a multi-hyphenate who is the younger sister of Sarah Paulson of “AMERICAN HORROR STORY”and Liz Paulson, the SVP of casting at Fox. Rachel is the star of the series "DATING ZOE", the host of the video series Drink Responsibly with Rachel Paulson, and the co-host of the podcast Gay vs. Straight Bitches with "ONE TREE HILL" alum, Lindsey McKeon. Rachel currently has a YA television series in development based on a true story, with Sarah Paulson attached to produce. During the webcast, Rachel and Jason critiqued pitches including epic Sci-Fi features and series, Drama, Comedy, Family, and more! Listen to their feedback and be sure to take their suggestions in for your own pitches!
With all the recent success for true story dramas including Harriet, Bombshell, Judy, Ford v. Ferrari, The Irishman (among many others), it’s an exciting time in the marketplace for non-fiction. If you have found a story that truly inspires you and know it will make a great film, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start to make that happen. The easy part is finding the right story, the hard part is knowing what to do with it. Whether it’s a book, a newspaper or magazine article, a documentary subject, or even if it’s the story of someone you’ve met or are related to, understanding how to get the rights and put the project into motion is paramount. To cover all your bases from the legal aspects to development to filming to distribution, you need someone who has been in the trenches time and time again. And we've got just the person, one of the most experienced independent film producers working today, to help you make sense of it all. Jim Young of Animus Films has created a successful career working in the true story space with films such as The Catcher Was a Spy (Paul Rudd) based off of the life of Moe Berg, Life of a King (Cuba Gooding Jr.) based off of the life of Eugene Brown, The Man Who Knew Infinity (Dev Patel) based off of the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan, Lovelace (Amanda Siefried) based off of the life of Linda Lovelace and the upcoming The People vs. Vegas Dave based off of controversial gambler Vegas Dave. Jim is a leading independent non-fiction producer, with almost two dozen films under his belt. And now he's bringing his extensive knowledge exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Jim will take you through the steps of acquiring the rights to a particular article, book or other printed material about, or the life rights of, a given person (or persons). From there he will cover writing and developing the script, getting buttoned up legally to avoid pitfalls in the pre-production and production phases, and help you navigate the process of releasing and distributing the film. He will provide real life case studies using some of his own films as examples to help you gain real world experience and make the process painless. PRAISE FOR JIM'S TEACHINGS: "Jim was an excellent educator. He really broke down the process of getting life rights in an easy to understand way and opened my eyes to some huge pitfalls I need to avoid along the way. Great examples from someone who's actually doing it right now, which is important. Thanks Jim!" -Jonathan R.
This month, Jason is excited to welcome producer Regina Lee into the Writers' Room Pitch Tank! Regina's resume is very impressive! She has sold pilots to HBO, Starz, FOX, BET, as well as multiple TV pilots at 20th Century Fox TV Studios. She produced two TV movie thrillers that aired on Lifetime. As a production company executive with a deal at CBS Network, she was on the team that sold multiple projects to CBS and The CW, getting a show on the air at CBS. She began her executive career at Universal Pictures, where she was the primary executive in charge of American Wedding and Curious George. She was a studio executive in charge of movies such as The Good Shepherd (Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert DeNiro), The Fast & the Furious 3, Bridget Jones 2, The Cat in the Hat, Seabiscuit, and Red Dragon. Over an hour and a half, Regina and Jason listen and critique pitches from Writers' Room members and offer advice on how to help your pitch break out in a crowded market!
Learn how you can make a profit from your film for yourself and your investors in this highly acclaimed on-demand webinar with Jeanette Milio, who has been involved in financing over 45 film and television projects! As an independent filmmaker or producer, you probably start working on a new project for creative reasons—the chance to tell an amazing story, build worlds, create something of cultural value. Yet 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. 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 understand the dynamics and the relation between financing, distribution and recoupment of film investments so you and your investors can both leave with a profit. The business side of films is often especially difficult for filmmakers and creative producers, but it's actually more possible than you think. No matter how big or small your film is, there are multiple ways you can find funding and multiple ways you can ultimately create profitability. And while it might not be second nature for creatives, once you get a handle on how to make this process work for you, you will also be able to create a business model that you can apply to your future projects, and eventually a portfolio of profitable assets (or films) that will serve as an effective and undeniable calling card as you continue to grow in the industry. Over twenty-five years and working across three continents, Jeanette Milio has been involved in the production of over 500 hours of content for film and television, with a total production value of over $250 million, and including Academy Award® winning talent in front of and behind the camera. Throughout her career, Jeanette was involved in financing over 45 film and television projects for HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA Network, Disney, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., and others. Jeanette also managed a media fund for Far East National Bank, which funded 40 film and television projects, which lead to her structuring her own media fund that financed theatrical features with a production volume of $60 million. Jeanette’s decades working and finding success in the film industry has given her a unique and unrivaled perspective of how to finance film content and make a profit. Exclusively for Stage 32, Jeanette will give a realistic, accessible, and straightforward presentation of the best way to actually finance your film and make a profit in today’s market. She’ll go over the differences between the studio finance model and independent finance model and then delve into how distribution can work best for you and how you can take advantage of more options than you think. Jeanette will also lay out how you can establish profitability for your film by explaining the essential ingredients necessary for a profit, going over how to create a budget and teaching you how you can best align your interests with the investor’s. Jeanette will break down the financial sources available today and give you tips on how you should be balancing multiple sources and mitigate risks for investors at the same time. She’ll even walk you through the complicated “waterfall” process of recoupment. Financing your film is more possible than you might think, even if you’re just getting started, and Jeanette will give you the tools and confidence to be able to take the necessary steps for your own project. PLUS: Jeanette will provide exclusive and helpful documents to take home with you after, including: Collection Account Management Agreement Example Pay or Play Offer Draft Finance Plan Template for Microsoft Excel Praise for Jeanette's Stage 32 Webinar: “This was an excellent overview of all that is involved, and a great encouragement to reach out to people who do this kind of thing for a living, instead of trying to do it by myself for the first time.” - Sarah D. “Jeanette was so detailed about the how to's and why you need to take and research every step. I love getting the details that really feel behind the curtain.” - Melissa B. “I liked it. Specifically, the content. Jeanette was very informative and clearly knows her stuff.” - Crystal B. “Explanation of pre-sales and budget breakdown was very informative.” - Roc R.