How to Take Your Film From Short Form to Feature Length

It's Introduce Yourself Weekend at Stage 32! Head over to the Introduce Yourself section of the Stage 32 Lounge and let everyone know who you are, what you're working on, your dreams and aspirations. And be sure to peruse other member's threads. You never know when you're going to make a connection that changes your life!

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
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.

 

"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?

  • Discuss the importance of using the short as a tool to sell your feature film.

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?

  • We’ll discuss alternate ways to make some noise with your short.

Why Did You Do All This in the First Place?

  • We’ll discuss how to market the short/proof of concept in conjunction to your feature.

It's Time for the Feature Film!

  • Discuss 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

  • Discuss how to approach making your film "produce-able"
  • Some tricks to get your budget down

The Ups and Downs All Indie Productions Face

  • Discuss 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?

  • Discuss 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:

Deconstructing the Script: Her

Learn directly from Danny Manus, an in-demand script consultant and CEO of No BullScript Consulting. He will cover the 10 lessons you can learn from one of the best films of 2014. Everyone wants to write that Academy Award-winning original screenplay, right? The best ways to learn how to write great scripts of that caliber is to READ great scripts of that caliber, study those movies, and learn the lessons these projects can teach. Nominated for 5 Oscars, one of the most acclaimed films of 2013 is HER, written and directed by Spike Jonze, who has already won the Golden Globe and WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay, and is a frontrunner for the Academy Award. In this Webinar, we will go deeper into many different aspects of the film and I will break down the script and go through 10 lessons you can learn from one of the best, most original films of the year that will help you improve your own writing and scripts, no matter what genre you write. Note: If you haven’t seen the movie already, there will be spoilers throughout the class.

How To Package To Help Your Film's Distribution

In today's global climate filmmakers need to consider their options for distribution, which ultimately begins at the development phase. While your project is in development, packaging the right talent (actor, director, casting director, etc.) play a huge part in the pre-sales process, and ultimately have a hand in the successful distribution of your project. Distribution changes constantly and there are not many people who have their finger on the pulse like Executive Producer Franco Sama from Samaco Films. Franco has EP'd an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films ranging in the "sweet spot" $5MM and under range, generally releasing 2-3 films each year.  We've brought Franco in to teach this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar on Packaging & Pre-Sales For Film Distribution. In this information packed webinar Franco will go over the entire development process from how to attract A-list talent and the offers they require, how to acquire "must have" international sales estimates, working with vertically integrated distribution companies, breaking down distribution options and much more. This is a go to guide to package with an eye towards distribution!   

The Executive Hour with Tripper Clancy

This week Jason welcomes screenwriter Tripper Clancy, who wrote the summer's smash comedy hit, Stuber for 20th Century Fox! Tripper went on to write comedies and dramas of all shapes and sizes for Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Amazon, Netflix, MGM, Fox Animation, Paramount Animation, and Hasbro. He recently adapted the New York Times’ bestselling novel, The Art of Fielding, and writes on Season One of "I Am Not OK With This", a half-hour show for Netflix and is currently developing a series with Quibi. During the webcast, Tripper talks about finding an agent, selling and developing Stuber, being in the writers' room of a Netflix series, and the best advice he ever received! 

How to Write a Film Based Off an Original Idea or Comic Book Adaptation

To see a video sample of the class, see below! 3 part class taught by Jordan Barel, who works TV Coordinator for Verve Talent and Literary Agency! In the past four years, we have seen The Avengers, Batman Vs Superman, Deadpool, Captain America, Man of Steel, The Amazing Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, The X-Men, The Dark Knight and many other comics turned into major studio films that smash the box office. There is no doubt that there is a demand for super hero and comic-based stories. Have you found a comic that you think would make a great film? Have you ever read a Marvel or DC comic and thought “how did they screw up the movie so bad?” Do you have your own comic series that you think would make a hit movie? Do you dream of being a writer but don’t yet have your angle? Or do you want to write a Major Summer Tentpole based off an original idea? Stage 32 is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 3 part class: How to Write a Film Based Off an Original Idea or Comic Book Adaptation taught by Jordan Barel, who works in Development at Paul Scheer's company, Abominable Studios. Jordan gives you a how-to on translating comic books into film writing, and how to write a summer Tentpole based off an original idea. He covers everything from story structure and dialogue, from legal issues to pitch packets. Here's a sample of what to expect in this exciting Stage 32 Next Level Class: Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Jordan is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.

8 Week Working Writer's Master Lab

One of the most useful things a writer can do is to team up with a mentor to help them on their journey. Too many writers try to navigate through the script writing process without guidance. Wouldn't you want a mentor that develops and sells material for a living to help you take the mystery work out of your journey? The most successful writers in the industry have their own mentors to make sure they are going in the right direction - do the same for yourself. Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring back our 8 Week Working Writer's Lab. This is one of our most hands on, prestigious and talked about labs and we only offer it a few times a year. To find the perfect teacher we go through our rolodex of 400 executives and hand pick an executive that is one of the most raved about from our writers. Your teacher for this lab will be Patrick Raymond, creative executive at Mandalay Pictures! Patrick has assisted a number of our writers on strengthening their scripts and he is excited to help you bring your concept to life. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards bringing your concept to life, PLUS ongoing contact with Patrick in between classes, your experience writing has never been easier. Under The Guidance of Patrick Raymond you will: Pick a unique and commercially viable concept. Craft engaging, unique characters that pop off the page. A solid structural skeleton that successfully carries your concept. Cinematic set pieces that will give your story that much-wanted theatrical feel. A fully realized outline highlighting every major plot point in your script. The Objective of the Lab is: To take the mystery work out of picking a concept that can sell. To match you with an executive that will assist you with making sure all your script's elements is as strong as possible. Give you an experience on how development executives develop projects that are now on their company's slate. Class ScheduleWEEK #1 – The Story of Me; Your Questions; Your Stories General class overview. Patrick's history and experiences. What Patrick loves writing about and why. What he looks for in a good story/screenplay. Any initial queries raised in the pre-class questionnaire. NOTE: Given the online format, Patrick will use this week’s “office hours” to more personally respond to/discuss the ideas you are contemplating working on during the Lab. WEEK #2 – Character Creating strong, unique memorable characters. How to have them best serve your story, the genre, themes, etc. Dialogue and voice. Patrick will cover some examples, including personal experience. WEEK #3 – Act I; Premise into Story How to make the leap from basic premise/concept and characters into a full-blooded story. Where to start. What to include in Act 1. Where does Act 1 end and Act 2 begin? Creating a world and setting a tone. Patrick will discuss examples of strong (attention-grabbing and/or smartly-chosen) and weak (meandering, overstuffed, unfocused, etc.) beginnings. WEEK #4 – The Story So Far (Consultation) No on-line class this week. Instead, you will submit premise, Character Bio(s), and Act I outline for review; Patrick will discuss the materials individually in 30 minute phone calls and advise any changes/concerns. WEEK #5 – Act II; Structure and Plotting Plotting and development of your story across Act 2. Examples of structure (midpoints, end of Act 2, Internal/external conflict, etc. WEEK #6 – Theme; What’s it All About? How to ensure that your script isn’t just an escalation of events, but is a rich narrative experience that is hopefully actually about something. Topics to include Theme, Topicality, Relatability, Universality. WEEK #7 – Act III; Sticking the Landing Why 'when and how' to achieve a strong finish is arguably one of the most difficult parts of writing a screenplay. Examples of scripts/films that have accomplished this, as well as those that have not (and why). WEEK #8 – The Completed Outline (Consultation) No on-line class this week. Instead, you will turn in your completed outline for review; Patrick will then discuss with you over a 30-minute consultation. About Your Instructor, Patrick RaymondPatrick Raymond is a Creative Executive at Mandalay Pictures, Peter Gruber’s decades-old production company responsible for films such Sleepy Hollow, The Score, The Jacket, Into the Blue, When the Game Stands Tall and Horns. At Mandalay, Patrick gets to work on his passion every day: cultivating amazing stories and working with great writers.Prior to joining Mandalay, Patrick studied business and film production at the University of Southern California. He worked in the financial services industry for four years before transitioning to entertainment, where he worked as a production assistant in television for four years.After that he transitioned to working at Gersh in the production department but he also gained exposure to the literary world, working with writers and story. He then moved over to LD Entertainment for three years, where he was a Creative Executive, working with writers and helping build scripts and acquire ideas for new projects. Here he had the opportunity to work for Tate Taylor on a James Brown biopic entitled, Get On Up, and learned about assembling large studio films. He has since transitioned to the Creative Executive position at Mandalay Pictures. Patrick was born in Alaska and raised in Seattle prior to moving to LA.

Writing Action - Hell or High Water, The Nice Guys, John Wick

Writing action isn't easy! It takes nuance and skill. We’ll break down the action on the page for the heavy-hitting JOHN WICK, the action-comedy THE NICE GUYS, and the slow-building action of HELL OR HIGH WATER.  

register for stage 32 Register / Log In