Mark has been working in the agency business for the past four years. Over that time he has worked at two different “Big 6” agencies, with experience working with senior partners in both the literary/packaging and talent departments. Today he is an agent trainee and executive assistant to a talent partner. A law school graduate, he has worked closely with foreign clients in helping them establish a U.S. visa and garner work in the States. Mark is conversant in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Italian and Hindi. Full Bio »
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will learn how you can increase your chances of finding an agent as a foreign actor new to the U.S. market. Using his experience working in the talent department at one of the "Big Six" Hollywood agencies, Mark Allan will guide you through what it takes to secure representation if you're hoping to make the jump. First, he'll cover what you should currently be focused on before arriving in the U.S. and building your career. He'll examine why agents prefer talent that is already established elsewhere over new foreign unknown actors and how you can use your old representation to get U.S. agency attention. Mark also plans to give an overview of the visa process, including the challenges of doing it alone, getting a sponsor or hiring an attorney.
Mark will then give you an overview of what to your agency will expect from you. He'll tackle the issue of working on improving your accent to appeal to wider audiences and why this is so important to your chances of securing representation. As well as how you can use your accent to your advantage and how the growing need for diversity can improve your chances as a foreign actor.
You will walk away knowing how to approach building your career as a foreign actor seeking to establish yourself in the U.S. marketplace.
Plus, a live and interactive Q&A with Mark!
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.
Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.
Q: What are the system requirements?
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 10.8 (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 attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and 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 rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
There are a lot of reasons why the surge in popularity of podcasts is so exciting right now. It makes that rush hour commute to work much more enjoyable for millions of people every day. It opens up avenues for more stories to be discovered and more storytellers to create. And it’s a format that can be a lot easier and more affordable for independent artists to produce. You don’t need cameras, you don’t need a set; you just need a quiet room and a couple of microphones. And unlike visual media, podcasts provide a format where high concept, traditionally expensive genres like fantasy, action, and science fiction are just as achievable as more contained styles—if you want an alien in your podcast, for instance, you don’t need to invest in CGI; you just need an actor to say “Look! There’s an alien!” The art form of podcasts can be an equalizer in a way film and television have never been. It gives independent voices the ability to create something great and display their abilities, all without having to take out a mortgage. Plus, it gives you the ability to create IP that you control - all while helping you build a loyal following to serve as champions to help you carry your message. That’s not to say producing podcasts is a walk in the park. There is a whole lot that goes into it, and there is a lot you need to do as a podcast producer to ensure your project sounds good, feels professional, and holds its own against the big guns. It might be less expensive, but making the foray into audio fiction can be a daunting prospect if you’ve only worked in film and television (or have never produced before). There are some questions where you might not even know where to start: How do you find and cast voice actors? What kind of microphone should you use? How do you edit audio? What about sound effects? Do you make them yourself or can you source them from somewhere? What aspects of production should you be investing most of your money in? And once you have a finished product, where do you even put it so people can start listening? Mike Disa is currently the director of the highly praised Netflix show Paradise PD and has been working in the industry, both in television and features, for two decades. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success and has worked 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. Always an innovator, Mike recognized the interesting time right now for developing material based off of IP and took it upon himself to adapt his feature script SENTINELS: POINT OF NO RETURN into a 12-part podcast series, which is now produced. Having recently gone through the experience Mike is excited to share his approach and his lessons learned producing his adaptation exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Mike will walk you through everything you need to know to produce your own successful podcast. He’ll begin by discussing pre-production and how to know when your script is podcast-ready. He’ll give you tips on finding and setting up your recording and delve into the audio equipment you’ll need to invest in, including how to find the right microphone that’s also affordable. Mike will also discuss the process of casting, finding the right voice actors for your parts and how to navigate read-throughs and rehearsals. Next Mike will teach you how to actually produce your podcast, including how exactly to record, recording pitfalls you should avoid, and what the directing process looks like. Then he will discuss podcast post-production and how to use your recordings to paint a full audio picture. He’ll tell you which editing software to use and how to find music and sound effects to compliment you project. He’ll also discuss where to take your project for post-effects. Finally, Mike will go over how to distribute your finished podcast. He’ll outline hosting services that are available and how to upload your episodes online. He will give you tips on how to create your own website for the podcast and how to publicize it. He’ll also explain why you don’t want to charge money for the final podcast. Throughout, Mike will illustrate the process by using anecdotes and lessons learned from his own podcast SENTINELS: POINT OF NO RETURN. Expect to walk away with a full picture of the steps you need to take to produce, record and distribute your own successful podcast. Praise for Mike's Stage 32 Webinar: It was outstanding. Mike was thorough and generous with his own experiences. Very very well done. -Rebecca R. The webinar was well structured with clear and informative slides. Mike gave so much information in a way anyone could understand even with out any industry knowledge. -Justine W. I thought Mike as a great teacher. I loved the content and his ability to share his knowledge and experience in a very upbeat way. -Rama R. I have been curious about Podcasting so joined this Webinar. Mike was meticulously detailed about the ins and outs of it from beginning to end. I took copious notes; I was fascinated by everything he said and he said every thing that needed to be said about the entire process. He was so detailed, stressed what NOT to do as well as HOW to do it. He is a superb instructor. It could not have been presented in a more succinct manner. -Marietta K.
There are a lot of reasons why acting is such a hard job, but one of them is that it can be incredibly difficult for actors to get to the next level in their careers. If you’re an actor largely finding work in smaller independent features, short films, and TV guest star roles, moving to larger and more high-profile opportunities can feel daunting or like a long-shot. Yet often all this takes is landing that one breakthrough role that can change everything. The good news is there are tactics and strategies you can start applying to better your chances and find the springboard that will profoundly change your acting career. In traversing your career as an actor, your talent and ability are certainly paramount, but so is the way you are perceived by others. An actor can win a job largely by being perceived as “seasoned” and “ready”. Similarly, an actor can lose an opportunity by coming off as “green” and “inexperienced”. All creative decisions are a risk on some level, and the better a developing actor understands the dynamics at play within the ecosystem of higher-level decision making, the better that actor can position themselves as “the right choice” and land breakthrough roles that make careers. Jay Glazer is a manager at ROAR Entertainment and has helped his acting clients win roles on shows like SHAMELESS, GAME OF THRONES, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, MAD MEN, THE WITCHER, and Amazon’s upcoming LORD OF THE RINGS series. Prior to joining ROAR, Jay worked for Brillstein Entertainment Partners and The Gersh Agency. Jay has used his deep understanding of casting and the industry to empower actors of all levels and help them find the breakthrough roles they’ve been looking for. Now he will share his approach with the Stage 32 community. Jay will offer an inside look at how working actors land breakthrough roles and develop highly successful careers, and will also explore the complexity and nuance of the representation landscape. He will begin by sharing how to generate your own material the right way to improve your standing, including making your own short films and series, and honing your showreels. He’ll then delve deep into what representatives look for in a client and how you can use this to your advantage. He’ll also teach you how to know if your agent or manager is working on your behalf or not and how to make the switch to “big” agencies. Next, Jay will give you an inside look of how representative actually work behind the scenes to create opportunities for clients and will demonstrate how you can take some of these same steps independently. Finally, Jay will offer a step-by-step look at landing the breakthrough role you’re looking for, from the pre-read through signing the deal. Jay will give you tools you can start using immediately to boost your career and work towards landing the bigger roles you're after. Praise for Jay's Previous Stage 32 Webinar "Jay was thorough, thoughtful and truthful while also being personable. He was so well prepared with his presentation and had concrete examples to provide that I can implement immediately." -Margaret M. Jay was engaging, laid it out well and discussed with clarity -Pierre L. Jay was awesome! I thought this was one of the best webinars I have attended. -Gregory M. "Jay has tremendous real world experience" -Zachary A.
In today’s marketplace, not only are more and more films are becoming female focused, but the demand for screenplays and films with female driven lead characters is growing rapidly. With the success of blockbusters such as WONDER WOMAN, ATOMIC BLONDE, RED SPARROW, ALIEN: COVENANT and TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, the box office is proving that not only is there an appetite for female-starring films, but also that they can be profitable. Everyone is looking for the next original idea with a female lead that can be turned into a franchise. With that being said, it is important to understand what goes into creating a female character in these male dominant genres and avoid the most common mistakes and tropes. There are many misconceptions and challenges that writers fall into when it comes to creating female characters for a large, global audience. The most common is the gender flip, which is taking a male character and write it as a female. It’s examples such as this that are most often believed to be the correct approach to creating a female character in a male driven genre when in fact it’s the opposite. This webinar will provide these kind of examples and explain where the mistakes lie, how to correct them and the importance of creating authentic female characters. Aimee Rivera is the development executive at Skydance Media. Skydance produces blockbuster films such as TOP GUN: MAVERICK, Netflix's 6 UNDERGROUND, directed by Michael Bay and starring Ryan Reynolds, ANNIHILATION, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, and WORLD WAR Z. Aimee is focused on finding female driven blockbusters and franchises for Skydance's upcoming slate. Aimee will go over how the #MeToo movement has changed the way female characters are written and an overview on how female leads in today's world have evolved. She will get break down WONDER WOMAN, ATOMIC BLONDE, RED SPARROW, THE HUNGER GAMES, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, and ALIEN: COVENANT and look at the differences between these female characters and compare them to male franchise characters in films such as MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, JASON BOURNE and JAMES BOND. She'll teach you what makes a great character, what are the tropes and common misconceptions and break down the types of female characters you can write. She will discuss writing characters in male driven genres for today's market including whether there are boundaries you must be aware of when writing female characters, what the modern female character looks like in today's filmmaking world, whether male writers can write female characters, and what today's audience looks and connects with as it relates to strong, but flawed, female leads. Aimee will also get into her ultimate tips on writing female characters - not only in male-driven genres, but also in a post #MeToo world. She'll even share some writing exercises to assure that your female characters JUMP off the page. This is an opportunity to develop, hone and, ultimately, write female characters that not only will attract representation, producers and financiers, but to make sure your script is as market ready (and perhaps, franchise ready) as possible. Praise for Aimee's Stage 32 Webinar: The webinar was great and so was Aimee! She's extremely knowledgeable about the movie industry and writing screenplays and provided excellent examples of strong female characters in action movies. -Lyle D. This was great - a lot of information talked about very succinctly, with tips and discussions on the different facets and difficulties that can present themselves. Very enjoyable! -Dawn P. A great theme about female characters. Needed this very for my story. I like the simplicity of the elements taught with the details of what's needed for films nowadays. -Mary M. Aimee was very clear and concise with her points and description. Very informative on the subject. I was able to garner several pages of helpful notes that I'm sure will help me with many of my female characters. -Lauro C.
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.
Learn directly from Morgan Long, a coordinator from one of the big six Hollywood agencies in the TV literary department! She'll give you specific insider knowledge of the agency system and what it takes to get their attention. There is a cloud of mystery surrounding one of the biggest and most fundamental components of the Hollywood industry – and that’s the agency. Whether you’re a writer, director, non-writing producer, actor – and the list goes on to cover even the most obscure type of talent imaginable– it’s pretty basic knowledge that representation is necessary to launch your career. In this jam-packed Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Demystifying the Agency World, Morgan will take you inside the walls of a premier Hollywood agency to shed light on the inner workings of how deals get made, how agents think and ultimately, how you can take steps in your career towards securing the holy grail that is representation. You will leave the webinar knowing: The types of representation The different departments within an agency and how they work together and function independently. The types of jobs for TV clients Identify the players we sell to What sells in the marketplace? What is packaging? An agent's day-to-day What agents want in potential clients (the brutal, honest answer) Finding representation Moving forward without representation.
Animation offers screenwriters one of the most flexible mediums for the imagination. Animated stories have been capturing our minds ever since media hit the screen through characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny to what we see today in The Simpsons, American Dad, Bojack Horseman, Rick and Morty, Spider-man, Incredibles and (so many) more. Writing animation feature or television requires a special skill - not one that can be taught through traditional feature & TV writing resources. The tools you need to succeed in animation are quite unique and once honed can offer you a long career creatively animating the stories in your mind. But, where do you begin? There are all different types of animated writing - including pre-school, children's comedy and adult animation. Further, how do you find your niche? There are many different animation genres (and styles) in features and television today. Is the writing universal for all genres? It takes a seasoned professional to understand the nuances of all types of animated writing and being able to write efficiently for the story and the project. Educating yourself in all aspects of how animation writing works for features and television will assist you greatly in achieving your goal whether it's attracting representation, trying to sell an original concept, pushing an animated feature or TV pilot, or finding work in an television animation writer's room. Mike Disa, director of the highly praised Netflix show Paradise PD has been working in animation for two decades. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success at studios such as Dreamworks, Disney Feature, Warner Brothers, 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. Mike will cover everything you need to know about writing animation for features & TV. He'll start with formatting and script length (two aspects surprisingly ignored or misunderstood by most writers). He'll discuss writing low budget vs. high budget and how to write within the scope of each. He will dive into how to write around special effects and other post production implementations. He will discuss reading and production drafts and how to collaborate with your writing and producing teams. He will talk premises, outlines, first draft strategies and how to go about pitching your idea. He will get into writer's room expectations, strategies in working the room, and the steps to take from being a show writer to a showrunner. Mike will use real world examples to show you the entire landscape of writing animated features and TV. And this is just some of what you'll learn! This is 3 HOURS of comprehensive education from a director of a top animated Netflix show on how to write, sell, and build a career in writing feature AND television animation! Praise for Mike: "Mike Disa was amazingly generous with his time and information. And he was real. It doesn't get better than that. I'll be able to apply his insights and the information he shared immediately. I'm so glad I decided to participate." - Elizabeth A. "Excellent webinar. I think that I learned more than I expected to about animation writing and how it relates to working in the industry. I had a good time watching this and appreciate how kind everyone was with their time." - Kari H. "Mike was very informative. He was friendly and open very easy to listen to. I learned some valuable lessons.." - Lind J. "The stories and ideas and descriptions were excellent. Straight talk from a true professional." - Don S.