How to Take Your Film From Short Form to Feature Length

Hosted by Natalie Qasabian

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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.

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