How to Take Your Film From Short Form to Feature Length

Hosted by Natalie Qasabian

$49

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

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 -

$49.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Stage 32 Next Level Education has a 97% user satisfaction rate.

Natalie Qasabian

Webinar hosted by: Natalie Qasabian

Producer, SEARCHING (Sony), RUN (Lionsgate)

Natalie Qasabian is a film producer based in Los Angeles. After producing three films for the Duplass Brothers including “Duck Butter” directed by Miguel Arteta, she went on to produce "All About Nina" starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Common. Most recently Natalie produced "Searching," a thriller starring John Cho and Debra Messing which was acquired by Sony at Sundance in 2018 and went on to gross $75M at the box office. Currently she's producing "Run," starring Sarah Paulson for Lionsgate. Natalie studied film at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and recently earned an MBA from Pepperdine University. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Ask any successful filmmaker how they got started and almost all will tell you that their success began with a short film. And today, more filmmakers and producers are making short films as a proof of concept for a feature length version of their story. This doesn't have to be a daunting task. And we're here to prove it by showing you how a 5-minute short made for $5,000 went on to become a feature, a Tribeca Film Festival darling, and get national distribution.

Natalie Qasabian has produced movies for the Duplass Brothers and recently was a producer on one of the biggest indie box office successes of the last few years, Searching. The film, made for under $1MM, was acquired by Sony at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to gross $75MM at the domestic box office. But much of Natalie's success and her journey began with a short film.

Natalie is going to take you on an educational, inspiring, and motivational ride by teaching exactly how they pulled off the short film Join the Club, the feature All About Nina, and how the two were directly connected. She will explain the path this film took, from financing to casting to filming to film festival strategies to crushing it at Tribeca to getting global distribution.

But this isn't all. Natalie will discuss the importance of making your short. How you should approach the process. How you should handle rejection along the way. How to navigate all the ups and downs of pre-production and production without having it cloud your overall strategy for the film and much, much more.

 

Like what you heard from Natalie during this webcast? 

Send your script to Natalie and speak with her for a full hour by clicking here

 

 

Praise for Natalie's Stage 32 Webinar

"Natalie knows how to take a film to the highest of places by committing to sound and proven strategies. Her perspective is amazing"

- Doug L.

What You'll Learn

  • Introduction to Indie Film as an Entry Point Into Film
    • A quick bit about Natalie and how short indie films are the entry point for anyone trying to get into film.
  • Why Make a Short in the First Place?
  • How to Make Your Short:
    • What to do if you are a first time director and have a clear vision for your movie, or if you have a script and a clear vision for your movie.
    • How do you get key people involved in your film?
    • Where do you shoot?
    • Who do you get to shoot it?
    • What is the main trick to getting your short done cost effectively and on time
  • You Made Your Short - What Do You Do After It’s Done?
    • What are the top tier festivals you should aim for?
    • What are second, third and fourth tier festivals?
    • Natalie will share her strategy for getting it to Sundance.
  • You Got Rejected From Festivals, What Now?
    • Alternate ways to make some noise with your short.
  • Why Did You Do All This in the First Place?
    • How to market the short/proof of concept in conjunction to your feature.
  • It's Time for the Feature Film!
    • Case Study: How ALL ABOUT NINA came together from a financing and casting perspective.
    • How do you attach cast?
    • How do you get money?
    • What sets your story apart?
    • What materials do you need?
    • Some tricks to get financier’s attention
  • Keeping it Cost Effective
    • How to approach making your film "produce-able"
    • Some tricks to get your budget down
  • The Ups and Downs All Indie Productions Face
    • Typical challenges with features (especially with first time directors)
    • What happens if financiers pull out?
    • What happens if actors drop out?
    • What happens if the budget is too high?
  • You Made Your Feature, What Now?
    • Case Study: ALL ABOUT NINA’s journey after production
  • Q&A with Natalie

About Your Instructor

Natalie Qasabian is a film producer based in Los Angeles. After producing three films for the Duplass Brothers including “Duck Butter” directed by Miguel Arteta, she went on to produce "All About Nina" starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Common.

Most recently Natalie produced "Searching," a thriller starring John Cho and Debra Messing which was acquired by Sony at Sundance in 2018 and went on to gross $75M at the box office. Currently she's producing "Run," starring Sarah Paulson for Lionsgate.

Natalie studied film at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and recently earned an MBA from Pepperdine University.

FAQs

This webinar will be using Zoom conferencing. You will just need to click this link at class time and it will download the Zoom software (takes 10 seconds). You will be able to be seen on camera (unless you don't want to be) and will be able to mute and unmute yourself.

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: Click here to see system requirements.
If you are running on an outdated operating system, 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!

Questions?

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.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Exploring New Distribution Models for Independent Films Including the Latest: Virtual Theatrical

Theater closures brought on by the global pandemic are now leading exhibition and distribution communities to work together and think outside-the-box in order to preserve the arthouse theatrical landscape. Imagine a world without arthouse theaters. It’s a bleak concept for cinephiles and filmmakers alike. In a world where landing a traditional, theatrical commitment from a distributor is like winning the golden cup, what are our options when none of those theaters are open? More so, how do we keep independent theaters, already operating on thin margins, alive to fight another day and provide filmmakers, producers and financiers viable options to make profits on their films? Thankfully, there's a new an exciting option to explore. Navigating a successful theatrical release is an enormous challenge, in and of itself, when exhibition is operating normally. Add in a global pandemic and those challenges rise even higher. What are the options? Does your distributor simply claim force majeure and rush you into the home entertainment landscape? Will the home entertainment revenues be hurt by the lack of theatrical exposure? How do theaters survive and make money when they can’t have patrons at their physical locations? In times of crisis, it’s always impressive to see innovation born of necessity. Behold the birth of the "virtual theatrical" release, which has emerged and become a key player in these virtual times. But what is that exactly? How does it work? Can you make money and are other digital platforms willing to accept theaters playing in their sandbox? It’s the new Wild West.  Kristin Harris is a seasoned entertainment executive who has spent the past 15 years in the independent distribution space. She has held key acquisition, development, and production roles at Starz Media, Overture Films, and Cinedigm Entertainment Group. Kristin currently serves as VP, Distribution and Acquisitions at Good Deed Entertainment, where she oversees all aspects of the company's distribution arm and manages the release slate, which includes EXTRA ORDINARY, JOURNEY’S END, Spirit Award Nominee, TO DUST, and the Academy Award nominated, LOVING VINCENT. Kristin has been at the forefront of this emerging distribution option "virtual theatrical" and will bring her experience to the Stage 32 community for you to understand what it is, how you can make money for your film from it and if it's right for you. Kristin will go over the current theatrical distribution landscape which has been affected by the COVID19 pandemic and discuss current available options for your film's distribution. She will introduce a brand new type of distribution, virtual theatrical, and break down the players, how it works from a macro and micro level and how it makes money. She'll go over how to navigate this new reality and how virtual theatrical folds into traditional and non-traditional release plans, reporting and logistics. She'll go over the pros and cons of a virtual theatrical release and help you decide if it's the right thing for your film. She'll also discuss what the future holds for distribution and buying habits in the current environment. These are challenging, yet exciting times for the industry and especially for those working in independent film. Kristin will give you all the current information and guide you through all scenarios including virtual theatrical to assure that your film has the best chance at profitability.   Praise for Kristin's Stage 32 Webinar   "Very informative and have learned a great deal. Will definitely put to use for our Feature Film Projects. Thank you!" -Haskell A.   "The webinar was cutting edge and valuable information" -Angela G.    "Very good practical information detailed enough to get the lay of the land on this topic." -James P.   "Great info in a new age." -Mary M.

Stage 32 Directing Lab: Introduction to Shooting & Editing

If you’re a writer, producer or other aspiring creative with hopes of one day actually getting behind the camera and directing your own project, taking the first step can be daunting. Where do you even start? And how can you be sure you know what you need to in order to take that plunge? Now you can under the guidance of Oscar-nominated director/producer Rick Rosenthal. Over the course of 9 weeks, Rick will guide you through actually prepping, shooting and editing your first project as a director in a supportive and encouraging environment - best of all? You can do all of this in the comfort of your own home. Even better? You don’t need any special equipment to participate. All you need is a cell phone that records video, a computer, and editing software that you will download for free. You will leave this lab with real world, valuable practice in putting a project together, and the knowledge and skills to direct the next project on your own. Rick Rosenthal is an Oscar and Emmy nominated director/producer and the CEO of Whitewater Films, which is known for many feature film hits that have premiered at Sundance, Cannes, SXSW, and more. Through his film directing background, Rick has directed the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Sean Penn, John Lithgow, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Along with his credits directing films, Rick has also worked as a producer on Amazon’s Emmy-winning series TRANSPARENT for the first three seasons, along with directing and producing credits on countless other shows. When Rick launched Whitewater Films as a production company, he committed to helping up-and-coming filmmakers and offering them the advice and assistance he never had. Furthering his drive to give back and educate burgeoning filmmakers, Rick also served as the chair of the Directing Program at the American Film Institute. Through his decades-long career Rick has become well versed in diverse genres of filmmaking and has specialized in educating and empowering new voices, which he is bringing directly to the Stage 32 community. Through this lab, you will have the opportunity to prep, shoot, and edit two scenes from a script that Rick will provide you. You will learn camera placement, camera movement, blocking a scene, all from different points of view--single character, multiple character, and omniscient. Rick will bring in a special guest editor to teach you the basics of editing a scene through the free software DaVinci Resolve, which is quickly becoming an industry standard. Through Rick's mentorship, you will walk away confident to take these skills and apply them to your own directing project, whether that's a short film, feature film, or web series.   PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 students and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a practiced director and expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Harrison at h.glaser@stage32.com for more information   WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for writers, producers, or other aspiring creatives interested in becoming a director and looking for actionable skills, practice, and guidance to make this transition. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with one-on-one time with the instructor and significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***Only 10 Spots Available*** This class will consist of six weekly sessions. There will be an additional week where you will sign up for an extensive one-on-one mentoring session with Rick. In addition to the lessons where Rick teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask him questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with him directly about your specific project. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the TV project development process. To see the full directing lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".

Stage 32 TV Development Lab: How to Develop and Pitch Your Television Project

Sorry, this lab is filled. Keep checking back Stage 32 Education for upcoming labs. Despite the quickly shifting landscape, and the uncertainty much of the entertainment industry is currently facing, there is still no better time to break into television than right now. Shows are continuing to get greenlit and writers are continuing to get staffed. Thanks to streamers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Peacock, Disney+, HBO Max and others, over 600 shows were greenlit last year and some industry experts are predicting we may see as many as 1,000 television shows greenlit per year by 2025. We’re in the midst of a content gold rush and more people than ever are looking for and buying great ideas and great scripts for their networks and platforms. If you have a great idea for a television show, there is absolutely a path forward, especially if you know how to navigate this new landscape. The opportunities are plentiful and the prospects have never been more exciting, but to get your television project greenlit, there are a few things you need to have down pat. Obviously you need a great idea—not just an idea that’s interesting and unique, but one that can sell. You also need a standout script around that idea, one that reads great and will make network and streamer executives stop, take notice, and want to read more. Yet an idea and a script aren’t enough to get that TV show made. You’ll also need to be able to deliver a convincing and memorable pitch, complete with an outstanding pitch deck and documents, and you need to be able to package your project to be more sellable to your dream network. These elements don’t necessarily go hand in hand, and different skills are necessary to accomplish each, but all are fully attainable and within your grasp, especially the right knowledge and guidance to help get you there. Raquelle David is a Producer and Literary Manager who has sold shows to Netflix, Amazon, Film Nation, eOne, and many others. Her clients have credits including SICARIO, MAD MEN, OUTLANDER, DOWNTON ABBEY, HELL OR HIGH WATER, THE LIBRARIANS, SHAMELESS, and IRON MAN. Raquelle has worked across independent film and television as a producer as well. Her multiple film credits have garnered a number of accolades including nominations for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Australian Academy Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award and the Screen Producers Australia Award. Raquelle previously worked for Goalpost Pictures, Seven Network, Screen New South Wales in Australia and Rhombus Media in Toronto, Canada, under the tutelage of producer Niv Fichman (THE RED VIOLIN, ENEMY, BLINDNESS). Through her career, Raquelle has helped countless writers pitch their projects or get staffed on shows, and knows better than most what it takes to get a project off the ground and greenlit. In this advanced level and exclusive six-session lab (no more than ten students will be admitted), Raquelle will work directly with you in a class setting and also during one-on-one sessions to help you get your television project off the ground and set up for success. To do so, Raquelle will guide you through selecting a concept—either an original idea or based on existing IP—and getting your TV pilot script ready. She will then help you get your pitch and pitch document ready, and will teach you how best to package your project, including finding a good producer and working with showrunners. Finally, Raquelle will go over how best to protect your IP and ownership and how to work with reps and understand the roles and revenue splits when pitching TV. If you already have a concept or even a completed pilot, Raquelle will use the same tools to help you hone and sharpen your material. Plan to leave this lab with your TV project fleshed out and improved, an effective pitch and pitch document, a plan to properly package the show, and a slew of strategies and tools to hit the ground running and finding success. WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for intermediate writers and producers looking to get their individual television project ready to pitch and sell to networks. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with one-on-one time with the instructor and significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***Only 10 Spots Available. No exceptions***  You will be given exclusive and confidential handouts that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the lab ends. This lab will consist of six sessions occurring twice weekly for three weeks, each roughly 90 minutes in duration. In addition to the lessons where Raquelle teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with her directly about your specific project. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the TV project development process. To see the full TV project development lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".   PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a manager and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at edu@stage32.com for more information   Plus! Raquelle will also provide you exclusive, confidential and helpful documents for you to download and use for your own projects including: Option Agreement Shopping Agreement TV Pitch Deck Examples TV Pitch Template TV Pilot Examples Current Network needs (current list of buyers and what they’re looking for) Current POD deals for TV Comprehensive Showrunner list

Pitch Like a Pro: Tools for Any Scenario

You’re a writer. Your work is entertaining, informative, thought provoking — heck, it’s even clever. You dream of tapping away on your lap-top in a cabin, sending off your material to a publisher or a producer, and collecting your check from the mail-box in the evening before pouring yourself a glass of Malbec red wine and walking your dog by a river. It’s a beautiful dream. But the reality is, no matter how good your writing is, no matter how brilliant your ideas are — if you’re ever going to have that cabin, not to mention enough cash to cover dog food every month, you have to know how to pitch well. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, TV Writer/Producer Charlie Charbonneau (CW shows: The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and its spin-off The Originals) will teach you how to successfully pitch your ideas as a writer. You’ll learn about the many different scenarios where you’ll have to translate that spectacular idea in your brain to someone who’s never heard it before. This webinar will lay out the rudimentary yet vital skills used by the pros to win over the show-runners, buyers, and agents. You’ll hear about the nitty gritty do’s and don’ts of pitching in places like the TV Writers Room, a studio or network executive’s office, and at lunch with the agent or manager you’ve been dying to meet with. Also, Charlie will be giving you tips on how to nail your 8-minute pitch so you can take advantage of the Stage 32 Script Services pitch sessions offered every week. He'll guide you through how to start, cultivate interest and leave the executives wanting more. He'll not only cover live pitching but how to deliver a superb written pitch!  You will get to examine the biggest enemies to a great pitch — fear and anxiety — and strategies to neutralize them so you can keep your cool. And, of course, those who tune in will get to catch some horrific pitch fails from the trenches of TV staff writing. Writers in any medium and at every experience level will benefit from this webinar — from novices to experts. And anyone else looking to hone their sales tactics in the entertainment industry or elsewhere will walk away with strategies to bring their pitch games to the next level.   "The pitching webinar was fantastic. Every I was dotted every T crossed. It helped me to really understand the process than to be afraid of it. I still have lots more work and practicing to do, but it was great. Thank you." - Mindy G   "Great real life examples - much appreciated!" - Paul B.   "Charlie put a lot of heart in his presentation... that's everything!" - Matthew R.   "This was exactly what I need. I'm totally new to the industry and I wanted insight into how to best prepare for pitching my projects. Charlie, thanks for doing such an excellent job of providing that insight." - Cam C.

How to Eliminate Creative Blocks: 6 Steps to Refine Your Creative Process

"I know of few others who have "been there, done that" as well as Chris has over the years. His willingness to share his experiences with the future generations is a gift that few can give." - Quincy Jones Learn directly from Chris Boardman, 6 time Emmy Award winner and Academy Award nominated composer.   Whether you are an actor looking to find the inspiration to perform, a writer looking to develop an authentic idea, or a cinematographer looking to shape your canvas, this webinar will help you get unstuck and into the creative zone for that process. Or, as a filmmaker looking to tell your story or a gaffer looking to light the beauty of the story you are about to shoot, take time to learn from Chris the tools to be effectively in that creative zone. All professions in the creative industry can benefit from this webinar. The only chance we have to connect with an audience as a storyteller is to be brutally honest and vulnerable. And, during that process sometimes it's hard to stay focused and determine a clear path to get there. All of us in the creative arts deal with these issues. Those who have sustaining careers learn how to turn on their creative engine at will. It’s not an accident. It’s predictable. It’s practiced. It’s what separates the amateurs from the professionals. It’s time for you to develop your own streamlined creative process and become more productive than ever before. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, 6 time Emmy Award winner Chris Boardman will take you through the 6 steps of unblocking creative roadblocks, understanding your own personal creative process and using it as effectively as you can. You’ll learn why you aren’t as productive as you can be, and how to get yourself unstuck and deliver creative yet consistent results. No matter how trivial your creative blocks may seem, or how self-conscious you may feel, you are not alone...you are in great company.

How to Adapt a True Story as a Film or Series

Somebody, somewhere, has an incredible story that you want to tell. Maybe it’s your own. Maybe it’s historic. Maybe it’s so compelling, that it keeps you up at night. It’s high time you adapt that story for the screen! More and more adaptations are showing up on screen, moving writers like you into a new realm. The opportunity is there, but first you have to get the thing written. Research and understanding the story is one thing. Writing it so that it gets the attention it deserves is another. So how can you go about putting that true story you love into script form? Films like HILLBILLY ELEGY and THE KING’S SPEECH, as well as series like ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA and WHEN THEY SEE US, capture the attention of viewers across the globe. Yet these true story adaptations find success largely because the writers and creators understood where to find the story within these real lives to adapt. They efficiently honed in on an angle that pulled the audience in while developing emotional arcs that kept viewers invested. Writing is a craft, no doubt, and one that must be managed differently when pen hits paper and for adaptations. It takes work and a deep understanding of your story as well as the medium you’re adapting it for, but it’s something you can achieve for your own true life passion project, especially with the proper understanding and guidance. Kate Sharp is a producer and literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Kate was the VP of Development and Production at Occupant Entertainment, producing short-form content for Showtime, MTV, Verizon, Facebook, and U2, and was an Executive Producer on the Hulu original, Emmy-nominated TV series BEHIND THE MASK. Her film credits include PEEP WORLD, BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY, MADAME BOVARY and THE HALLOW. Kate is currently producing THE BURNING SEASON with Naomi Watts and STRANGER THINGS’ Sophia Lillis attached to star. Kate has worked with countless writers on adapting their true story projects of all types and knows what it takes to turn a true story into a script that producers, reps, studios and execs will be interested in. Kate will delve into the craft of adapting a true story to a film or series, and how to put words to the page to make this happen. She will define the three types of true story or biopic adaptations so you can determine which option is best for you and give you the tools to decide if your story should unfold as a feature or limited series so you can determine which option is best for you. She will also walk you through best practices for researching, finding your own angle to the story, and how to write your script so it feels authentic while still possessing emotional arcs and narrative liberties to ensure your script is marketable and successful in the market. Through Kate’s rundown, you will walk away with confidence and write an adapted script that gets the attention it deserves.     Praise for Kate's Previous Stage 32 Webinar   "Kate Sharp was incredible. She's a great instructor, and also looks like a very special person to have as a manager, who loves what she does and would be a great partner for a writer! Thank you for sharing her gifts with us!" -Ricki L.   "The information was straightforward and practical. I made loads of notes to go back over. Thanks!" -Gillian R.   "BRAVO, KATE!!! She provided a wonderful presentation fueled by stellar "real world" facts and scenarios" -Bill B.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In