Farrell Ingle is a creative executive at Zucker Productions (Director Jerry Zucker's production company) where he is in charge of the development of several film and television projects across myriad genres. He started his career working at 3Ball Productions, Warner Bros Studios and New Line Cinema. He then moved to powerhouse agency CAA where he worked for a year. From there, he segued to Zucker Productions where he has worked for over 4 years. Primarily a movie production company, Zucker Productions is known for such hits as Ghost, My Best Friend's Wedding, Airplane!, Rat Race and Friends With Benefits. Recently they have delved into television with projects set up a TBS, HBO and Starz. Full Bio »
Many of us are familiar with the tropes made popular by screenplay gurus like Syd Field and Blake Snyder. Yes, it's true that many great films can be broken down into three clean acts or thirteen story beats. But the same can be said for many unwatchable films too.
What are the elements that differentiate the great screenplays from the purely mediocre?
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, creative executive from Zucker Productions (director Jerry Zucker's production company), Farrell Ingle will define the importance of the ever imposing first act of a feature screenplay. He will show you how much of the groundwork for your story needs to be laid in the first act of your screenplay. If those early pages aren't up to snuff, the rest of your story will suffer, no matter how fantastic the ending is.
Your host, Farrell will lay out the many pitfalls writers stumble into without necessarily realizing it while they craft the set-up of their story. Using examples of classic films, you will understand how top notch writing creates multitudes of subtext, character development, and plot advancement with each scene. We will also discuss what constitutes an "act" and why it's so very dangerous to hold yourself within the box of a rigid structure.
By the end of this lecture, you should be able to go back through your own writing and break down each scene in your script to ensure that you're putting yourself in a position to succeed. After all, the first act is the most important act for readers and executives when evaluating your ability as a screenwriter.
Plus, you will break down the first acts beats of well-known movie scripts as Farrell leads you through an in-depth analysis of films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Professional, Die Hard and more!
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In this breakdown webcast, Jason discusses how the process for writing animated features has evolved from Walt Disney's first animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to Pixar's most recent 3D animated releases. Jason discusses how writing for animation is similar to live action and where the process differs. Using scenes and scripts from Up, Wall-E, Bug's Life, "The Simpsons" and more as examples, Jason explains how to apply the principles of animation writing to your work.
It seems like every day another film festival launches or expands. Specialty festivals are becoming all the rage and major, established festivals have been expanding to accept shorts, digital shorts, documentaries, television pilots, specialty genre content and content focused on diversity. With the market growing, so are the number of submissions to any given festival, especially those which are producing results for the connections of the accepted films. You want to make sure your screenplay is on point, that the story is a fit for the style of the festival you are entering and that the film grabs a judge's attention from the get go. Part of assuring you have a festival darling film is understanding the festival landscape, knowing the right players and making connections that assure your film is being viewed by the decision makers. But this all starts, as it always does, with the script. A majority of screenwriters do not write big budget tentpole blockbusters. They tell more intimate, character driven stories. And these are the kind of stories that most festivals adore. But why do some of these scripts attract financing, producers, and, ultimately, the attention of festival directors while others fall through the cracks? As a writer and/or producer, how can you identify the aspects of your screenplay that might be killing your chances of festival success and fix them before filming begins? And how can filmmakers and producers assure, even if they have a winning film based on a fantastic script in place, that they are entering the right festivals and navigating the circuit correctly? There is a chemistry to all of it. A mixture of the creative and the business side of things. It's imperative that you have an understanding of both. Maren Olson has represented domestic and/or worldwide distribution rights to over 70 finished films, including Academy Award winner The Secret in Their Eyes, festival favorites such as An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Natural Selection and Red Flag, and Sundance Audience Award winners This is Martin Bonner, Valley of Saints and Kinyarwanda. As a producer, she was responsible for critically lauded Short Term 12, which premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. The film went on to win 19 other awards including the Gotham Award for Best Actress and Independent Spirit Award for Best Editing. Maren currently works in the film finance division of CAA, and was formerly the President of Traction Media, where she was responsible for the creative development, packaging, production, financing and sale of independent films. To say she understands all the ins and outs of the festival circuit, what festivals look for and how they operate would be a massive understatement. Maren will teach you what kind of independent film project goes on to become a “Festival Darling” and what you can do to better position your independent film for festival success, from script to screen. She will deconstruct both the writing stage- from the major components of a festival-friendly story idea, to what to consider regarding location and characters, all the way to how to incorporate thinking about the budget when writing your script- as well as the production stage – from how to make sure your film gets properly considered by the right people, to which festivals you should submit to and when, all the way to the common ways festival friendly scripts turn into a film that no festival wants to play. She will teach you the 3 components of a festival-friendly story idea and why you must answer yes to each. She will talk budget, shooting locations and when the proper time is to bring on a producer. She will explain the mistakes people make and demystify the myths people believe when navigating the festival circuit. She will go over common pitfalls screenwriters, filmmakers and producers make that can be fatal when submitting to festivals. Maren will give you the tools to get traction on your project. She will lay out, in clear, precise terms, how to assure your project is given the best opportunity to become a "Festival Darling." PRAISE FOR MAREN'S TEACHINGS: "Excellent - informative. Maren brought facts and experience to a very nuanced subject about "Film Festival Darlings - offering an extremely in-depth analysis to the elements of what a writer or producer should consider when moving forward in the Indie film world. My fav Stage 32 webinar so far. Thanks." - Robert G. "Fantastic seminar. Like a good filmmaker, you kept us engaged from opening to close. Thanks again!" - Bob B. "Maren had a lot of practical information and road trap warning for indies. I appreciated the components of a festival face, comps, and specific advice that is useful." - Betty S.
Learn How To Write A Successful Horror Script From The Writer/Producer Of Paramount's MARGAUX Take home a download of the cold open script for MARGAUX! With the recent success of horror films such as SMILE, BARBARIAN and NOPE, it is evident that horror remains one of the most consistently profitable and exciting genres in the industry. This is because horror films can be made for a cost and still yield spectacular returns at the box office. Horror doesn’t rely on big IP, superheroes, or movie stars – what a horror movie needs to deliver is a compelling story, told well, packed with plenty of chills and thrills. However, delivering on this is far easier said than done, and many writers miss important story elements that keep their horror scripts dead in the water. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Nick Waters, the writer/producer of Paramount's horror movie MARGAUX and a producer on the horror film SHELTER IN PLACE, will teach you what makes a horror film successful, from developing a marketable and commercial plot, to unique and scary set pieces, to properly structuring and formatting your script to tell the best story possible. You will learn high-level story concepts, tips and tricks to help make your horror script scary and effective, and get an insider perspective on what concepts and types of horror films are currently selling in the marketplace. You will leave this webinar with an understanding of not only how to make your existing scripts stronger, but how to develop and come up with the next big horror hit film!
This month we welcome Lindsay Schwartz the Director of Development at FullyFormed Entertainment, the venture from producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, who co-founded Platinum Dunes with Michael Bay in 2001. Fuller and Form are the producers behind the hit film A QUIET PLACE and sequel, as well as THE PURGE franchise, OUIJA, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. FullyFormed Entertainment's latest project, THE FOLLOWER is set up at Paramount Pictures. They are eagerly anticipating the release of A QUIET PLACE 2, and are developing numerous features and series with studios such as Paramount, Sony, MGM, Universal, and Amazon, amongst others. Before FullyFormed and Platinum Dunes, Lindsay worked at Paramount Pictures and Happy Madison Productions with Adam Sandler. As you can imagine this Executive Hour webcast is packed with a wealth of stories, insights, and advice from Lindsay! She discussed the inside story of how A QUIET PLACE came together and sold to Paramount, how she approaches development with writers, how Horror and Thriller are very similar to Comedy, and what writers can be doing to break out in a crowded market!
Read any of the trades right now and our industry is in a rapid state of change. From streamers in the race for original content, to companies making acquisitions and, of course, the Great Content Gold Rush still in full force, it's a lot to keep up with. The entire Stage 32 team is on the phone every day to keep their fingers on the pulse of what's happening. It's exciting time for you as a content creator - whether you work in film, television or digital - and it's equally exciting for content makers because the world has opened wide to international voices traveling beyond borders. We are seeing more and more diverse voices represented in the shows and films we watch and it's only the beginning. Since 2011, the Stage 32 team has been working tirelessly to help you stay connected, creative, motivated, and informed. As always, we are committed to bringing you networking opportunities, education and mentoring from top-level industry executives and professionals, and access to decision-makers around the globe all from the comfort of your own home. Now, with a successful first quarter of 2022 behind us, I am thrilled to have hosted an "Ask Me Anything": The State of the Industry & Where We are Headed. ALL creatives and professionals are welcome. Looking to further your craft? Now's the time. Looking to learn more about the business? We'll get into that. Want to find out what I'm hearing from our roster of execs what's going to be happening industry wide throughout the rest of 2022? It's in here. All you have to do is register and I'll provide a couple of hours of no-holds-barred shop talk to get you ready to conquer your entertainment career. Again, all creatives and pros are welcome to join no matter your profession(s), skill level, or geographical location. As always, registering for my AMA is completely FREE! And the more the merrier, so do invite any of your fellow creative friends and peers on your social media channels, your email lists, and through your online groups to join us as well. Should any of your contacts not be members of Stage 32 already, you can send them an invite here! If you missed my last few AMA's, you can view them here!
History is littered with the bones of many failed films which fell apart due to conflicts between the director and producer. While you'll often hear how important it is for a filmmaker to have relationships with all the vital players and department heads on his or her set (and it certainly is), the reality is that the relationship between the director and the lead producer is the one that will begin the earliest and last the longest throughout a particular project. A healthy, cohesive relationship between the film director and the producer will show the cast and crew that a united front has been formed and that everyone is pulling in the same direction. An unhealthy, bifurcated relationship will put the cast and crew on their heels, which will inevitably hurt the project. Directors and producers are often people of vision and power. Harnessed correctly and collaboratively, that combination can bring out the best in everyone and help to make a project stay on time, on budget, and on message and voice. Harnessed incorrectly, ego and hubris take over. It may seem obvious that communication is the key to assuring that the relationship flourishes, and that's not totally untrue. But the key to a productive and positive relationship between the director and producer is understanding all aspects of what needs to get done, recognizing what the other person's needs are, defining what's worth standing up for and what's worth letting go, and recognizing that at the end of the day, you're both fighting for the same result. As President of Production at Zero Gravity Management, Tai Duncan oversees film projects from inception to completion encompassing all aspects of development, casting, finance and production. Zero Gravity is a production and management company based in Los Angeles that boasts a strong client list of screenwriters, directors, actors and financiers for feature films and television. Tai recently produced PROUD MARY for Screen Gems starring Taraji P. Henson and HOW IT ENDS for Netflix starring Theo James and Forest Whitaker, HONEST THIEF starring Liam Neeson and THE MARKSMAN starring Liam Neeson. Zero Gravity produced the Warner Brothers, Ben Affleck starring action/thriller THE ACCOUNTANT, the drama A FAMILY MAN starring Gerard Butler and Willem Dafoe and Executive Produced the hit Netflix television show OZARK starring Jason Bateman. Needless to say, as an on set producer, Tai knows a thing or two about the director/producer relationship including the pitfalls and the paths to glory. Beginning with pre-production, Tai will take you what steps you will need to take from moment one to forge a productive relationship that will last through post and beyond. Tai will talk about the steps you need to make to assure you are communicating clearly and effectively. He will talk you through script notes, casting, hiring crew, location scouting and scheduling. Moving on to production, Tai will teach you how to keep things smooth on set, how t manage disagreements, scheduling and money issues, and the push and pull between what a director wants and what he or she has in the can. Tai will then move on to post, and how to manage expectations during the assembly cut and the director's cut. He will discuss scoring, sound and color, sales and marketing, festival approaches, and even distribution strategies so that everyone is fully communicating and staying on the same page throughout. "Don't allow a failed relationship, miscommunication or misplaced ego sabotage all the work and effort that's gone in to putting a project together. Cohesiveness begins at the top and must continue throughout the project. I'll show you how to get it done." - Tai Duncan