Getting To The Director's Chair: Shorts, Proof of Concept & Features

What's Best For You?
Hosted by Jairo Alvarado

$49

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

Rating   | Read reviews

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

This Next Level Education webinar has a 91% user satisfaction rate.

Jairo Alvarado

Webinar hosted by: Jairo Alvarado

Literary Manager at Circle of Confusion

Jairo Alvarado started his career as a creative executive at Warner Bros. While there, Jairo helped about a dozen young directors get signed during his 2 years Warner Bros. stint. He was an early advocate of Fede Alvarez’s short Panic Attack, which was acquired by Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures, and Ricardo De Montreuil’s The Raven, which sold to Universal. He then went on to the next stage of his career by moving to management at 3 Arts Entertainment. He joined Circle of Confusion in 2014 where he looks after clients such as Josh Bearman and Josh Davis (Epic), Jordan Blum (American Dad), Christian Cantamessa (Air), Greg Williams (Samarkand). Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Learn directly from Jairo Alvarado, Manager at Circle of Confusion (The Walking Dead) who specializes in representing and breaking young directors, and who recently signed Mischa Rozema on his feature debut with Warner Bros. for his project Sundays!


"I've taken a lot of classes and in particular, webinars over the years. Jairo is probably the best instructor I've encountered. He's not just throwing the stuff we always hear at us, but he's going to the true heart of good [filmmaking] yet explaining it in a way that turns on the light ... constantly. He is truly teaching us "how to become fishermen (or women).” - M. Beattie


In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will learn the different creative approaches you can take to make your directorial debut or move from writer into the director’s chair. Your host Jairo Alvarado will go over how to look at your career with a modern and technical approach, as well as strategies to help you stand out in today’s competitive climate.

Your host Jairo Alvarado is a manager at Circle of Confusion (The Walking Dead) and recently made a big splash in the industry trades when he signed the filmmakers behind Sundays. Due to Jairo's foresight in assisting the talented filmmakers to make a "proof of concept" film based on a feature idea, the $51,000 short resulted in an industry wide bidding war, with Warner Brothers eventually winning the rights to turn the short into a feature film. As a manager at Circle of Confusion Jairo also looks after clients such as Josh Bearman and Josh Davis (Epic), Jordan Blum (American Dad), Christian Cantamessa (Air), Greg Williams (Samarkand). Back by popular demand, Jairo is here to share his expertise exclusively with Stage 32!

What You'll Learn

  • Identifying what career path makes the most sense for you and your vision as a director.
  • How to move up in the size of projects you work on to get more recognition.
  • How to create your ‘brand’ or how to reinvent yourself as a director.
  • How to pick the right projects.
    • Why certain stories play better to director’s strengths than others.
    • What types of stories exemplify visual storytellers, dramatic performances, and abstract and stylized pieces?
  • How you should be managing your time.
    • Chasing scripts that already have financing behind them vs. focusing your time on developing your own projects.
  • If festivals make sense for you, and if so, which ones are worth your time?
    • Each festival has a different type of audience and how that makes or breaks your first impression.
  • What do representatives consider an “exciting director"?
    • Getting to know your competition.
    • How to stand out when you’re not the only one aiming for certain projects and financing.
    • What is the bar of quality you should be aiming for.

You will leave the webinar knowing:

  • How to choose a project that will accurately represent your voice.
  • How to get your work to stand out and get seen by the movers and shakers in the business.
  • If the festival track is right for you, and if not what to do next.
  • If you should consider making a short for proof of concept or go straight for a feature.
  • What Reps and Producers look for in a director and how to make yourself stand out.

About Your Instructor

Jairo Alvarado started his career as a creative executive at Warner Bros. While there, Jairo helped about a dozen young directors get signed during his 2 years Warner Bros. stint. He was an early advocate of Fede Alvarez’s short Panic Attack, which was acquired by Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures, and Ricardo De Montreuil’s The Raven, which sold to Universal. He then went on to the next stage of his career by moving to management at 3 Arts Entertainment. He joined Circle of Confusion in 2014 where he looks after clients such as Josh Bearman and Josh Davis (Epic), Jordan Blum (American Dad), Christian Cantamessa (Air), Greg Williams (Samarkand).

FAQs

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! 

Testimonials

I've taken a lot of classes and in particular, webinars over the years. Jairo is probably the best instructor I've encountered. He's not just throwing the stuff we always hear at us, but he's going to the true heart of good [filmmaking] yet explaining it in a way that turns on the light ... constantly. He is truly teaching us "how to become fishermen (or women).” - M. Beattie

Jairo was amazing... very succinct. Great, great webinar. I must say one of my favorites! – S. Llewellyn

Jairo was very interesting and personable. – C. Koehler

Relevant Tags

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.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Stage 32 Happy Writers 8 Week Working Writer's Level 2 Lab

The Happy Writers and Stage 32 want to express our gratitude for participating in Jairo Alvarado's 1st Level Working Writers Lab.  Jairo is really impressed at the talent and passion you shown. We hope you enjoyed his first lab - he certainly enjoyed working with you. Jairo is ready to offer those who are ready to move to the next level an opportunity to complete the first 80 pages of your script while he provides hands on supervision. Remember, throughout the year, we are going to be offering our most loyal clients special offers not available to the public and this is one of them. This Lab is INVITE ONLY for the writers who completed Jairo's 1st Level Lab. We believe in evolving and transforming to continuously put our writers ahead of all competition. If you have any questions, email Joey at joey@stage32.com.  He will answer your questions accordingly so this is the best atmosphere for everybody. Lab Title: Jairo Alvarado's Second Level Working Writer's Lab - Invite Only Lab Objective: To write 10 pages a week. By the end of the 8-week lab, you will have roughly 80 pages written and a draft in completion.  Lab Overview: Each week you will write 10 pages of your script using the tools you learned from the first lab and the outline you have completed. Two days before the group call, you will email your work to the other writers in your group, as well as to Jairo. Then, on Mondays, the whole class will be broken up into two groups. One will meet from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM PST and the other from 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM PST. The writers in the lab will have the opportunity to give feedback (under Jairo's constant supervision) on each other's work. This will give writers the tools on how to break down a script. Jairo will also give feedback on the pages during the webinar. You will all learn from each other under Jairo's supervision. This will continue for 8 weeks. As always, you are allowed to email Jairo personally and he will respond during a set aside time.  Lab schedule: Mondays starting 11/10/14 (due to the holidays there will be a few weeks off) THE TEACHER Jairo Alvarado was a Creative Executive at Warner Bros. in 2009 and is credited for spotting Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez and his short PANIC ATTACK! In 2011, while building a reputation for identifying up-and-coming talent, he joined 3 Arts Entertainment as a manager. A couple of years later he joined Circle of Confusion. At Circle, he reps writer Brian Miller (ALL OUR YESTERDAYS); photographer/filmmaker Greg Williams, who co-wrote and is attached to direct SAMARKAND, which has Tom Hardy attached to star; AMERICAN DAD writer Jordan Blum; writer/ director Kealan O'Rourke (EMILY THE STRANGE); and Josh C. Waller, of horror label SpectreVision. Alvarado's eye to develop high concepts and genre work is what led him to Circle, which produces THE WALKING DEAD. The show is coming off an amazing mid-winter debut that saw the show, which drew 15.8 million viewers, outperform the Olympics in the 19-49 demo.

How to Design and Build a Professional Pitch Deck Without Any Technical Skills

More and more, storytellers are being asked to present more than just a script when going out to investors or production companies. Whether you’re pitching a limited series, a feature, or even a doc, executives and investors want to have a sense of what your project will be, beyond just words on a page. What will it look like? What will it feel like? Execs want a visual representation of what the project is—even if you aren’t the director. For this reason, understanding how to put together an attractive pitch deck will give you a distinct advantage as a director, as a writer, as a producer, or as any creative in TV and film. There are people out there who are incredibly skilled with programs like Photoshop or Lightroom and, for those people, creating a pitch deck that will help sell their show can be a snap. But for the average person, these apps are daunting at best and, at worst, completely confusing and overwhelming. However you don’t need to spend hours learning how to use high-end software, and you certainly don’t have to put down a bunch of money for a designer. Anyone can create an amazing pitch deck with basic software and one or two simple apps on your phone. As long as you know the rules and best practices there really aren’t barriers to keep you from making a great looking pitch deck and getting that project sold. Shaun O'Banion is the founder of production company Ravenwood and works as a post production project coordinator on some of the industry's leading films in recent years including JOJO RABBIT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, THE AFTERMATH and OPHELIA. O’Banion produced DAKOTA SKYE which became a cult hit and remained in the Top 100 Most Viewed on Netflix. He produced GIRLFRIEND, the first film in North America to star an actor with Down Syndrome in the lead role. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, sold to Strand Releasing and won O’Banion an IFP Gotham Award. He joined the Producers Guild of America and co-produced THE AUTOMATIC HATE which made its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film was released theatrically by Film Movement. Through his career, Shaun has become well versed in positioning his projects for success and understanding the best ways to pitch and sell them, including creating knock-out pitch decks. He’s ready to share what he’s learned and empower even the most tech-illiterate members of the Stage 32 community. Shaun will teach you how to use basic software and apps to craft an attractive pitch deck on your own without having to hire a graphic designer. He’ll begin by going through the basics of what a pitch deck is, how they help get projects sold and what they normally look like. He will offer provide examples of effective pitch decks. Next, Shaun will delve into how you can create an effective pitch deck on your own without fancy tools. He’ll discuss getting set up and outline what you need, including the tools and software you should consider using. Next he will go over forming a plan for the pitch deck’s layout ahead of time and the ways to best organize and prepare before diving in. Then he will teach you how best to visually convey the tone of your project in your pitch deck and how to create a flow within it. Shaun will talk about choosing images for the pitch deck, where to find them and how to choose one over another. He will then go over choosing when to use words versus pictures and how to employ visual elements like fonts to break up your document for maximum impact. After teaching you what you need to know about designing a great pitch deck, Shaun will demonstrate it all by working with the registrants in creating a brand new pitch deck in real time, live and on-screen. He will specifically focus on creating with you a general image for the overall background, graphics for the title page, setting page, main character page, supporting character page, and episode page. Shaun will also provide registrants with a resource sheet outlining the tools and software he uses for his own pitch decks. After going through this exercise with Shaun, you’ll never need to hire a graphic designer again.   Like what you heard from Shaun during this webcast?  Send your script and speak to Shaun for an hour by clicking here.      Praise for Shaun's Stage 32 Webinar:   "Shaun O’Banion made creating a pitch deck seem downright easy and fun. Before today, I was absolutely dreading it as my skills with graphic design and editing are next to zero. Shaun was so generous with his time and stayed on for an entire extra hour to go over more and have the Q&A which was incredibly kind."  -Margaret M.     "Just fantastic. Could have spent the whole day in this!" -Dan G.     "The best I've taken" -Timothy B.     "Amazing detail about specific ways to use the technology and also very creatively inspiring. Loved the as you go, how to way of doing this! I was able to follow along and create my own document and experiment as he spoke!" -Katie B.     Please note that this webinar will focus on the graphic visual elements of an effective pitch deck. To learn more about the content and storytelling that goes into a pitch deck, we recommend checking out Ewan Dunbar’s TV Series Pitch Deck Webinar.

How to Write Powerful Female Characters for a Global Audience - with 9 Script Downloads

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.    

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.

International Co-Productions: Picking the Right Partners, Funds & Strategy for Success

As the world becomes flatter and technology brings us closer together, opportunities for international cooperation continue to abound. For producers or creatives looking to find or bolster their next indie project, there’s a huge amount of potential in joining forces with companies or teams from other countries and pooling your resources together, creating something larger than the sum of its parts. Forming an international co-production can give you access to more funding and financing opportunities, more access to locations, actors and crew, and more sales and distribution opportunities after the film is finished. But while international co-productions can reap great rewards, they also present unique challenges. After all, each country has its own set of rules and regulations, its own red tape, and its own processes for getting things done. Navigating this transnational world requires a set of skills and wherewithal that can be hard earned but is hugely valuable. International co-productions are becoming more common in both mainstream cinema and the indie space. But while it yields results, it’s not a science. Collaboration never is. If you have your sights set outwards and are interested in working across country lines to create your next film, be prepared for some unique hurdles. For one, how do you even get started? How do you find international talent or partners in the first place? And once you find them, how do you woo them into working with you? How do you manage financing and how do you make compromises that make all parties happy? After all, collaboration is challenging no matter what, but working with people in another country, people who might not even share the same first language as you, amps that challenge up to another level. Birgit Kemner is a French-German producer who has headed up successful co-productions for nearly a decade. All her productions have been selected and awarded in renowned festivals such as the Cannes or Venice Film Festival. Birgit was previously Head of Marketing and Festivals at the MK2 group and has worked on international releases of over 50 films directed by filmmakers such as Gus van Sant (ELEPHANT, LAST DAYS, PARANOID PARK), Olivier Assayas (SUMMER HOURS) and Gela Babluani (13 TZAMETI - Lion of the Future at Venice, Jury Prize at Sundance and European Discovery at the European Film Awards) as well as numerous international film retrospectives of directors such as Charlie Chaplin, François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol. Birgit is bringing her years of successful co-production experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Birgit will use her extensive background to walk you through every step of creating a successful international co-production. She will begin by discussing tips on how to choose good projects in the first place and how to identify the right partners for you and your vision. She’ll teach you how to network and attract partners, especially in international markets when you often have ten minutes or less to make an impression. Birgit will then go over the challenges of funding and the resources available, especially in European markets. She will then talk about strategies and tips for your transnational partnership to survive and thrive, including tools to communicate, effective contracts, cash flow schedule, and how to determine who does what when. Finally, Birgit will delve into steps to take after the film is complete to bring it to the international market, get it into festivals, and optimize both marketing and sales. Simply put, you will be learning from one of the best. Birgit will illustrate all of these points by using two of her own films as case studies, HUMAN CAPITAL, which played in competition at Tribeca Film Festival, and EL ARDOR, which was an official selection at Cannes Film Festival.     Praise for Birgit's webinar:   "Birgit gave me more information about international co-productions than I even knew existed. I now feel totally prepared and energized to tackle my next project" -James R.   "Great slides and great information!" - Marisé S.   "Awesome! Birgit covered the bases and inspired me to look outside the box." -Clint A.   "Very informative, helpful information and guidance to take our next step into making our film. Thank you!" -Anastasia C.

Special Stage 32 Virtual Happy Hour: Live Table Read Plus Cast Q&A

Stage 32 is committed to bringing you entertainment, education, and community from the comfort and safety of your own home. Our Script Services Coordinator, Nick Assunto, has procured an amazing slate of talented and funny actors and Stage 32 members to read his pilot The Conspiracists, a half-hour sci-fi comedy. During this exciting virtual event, you will get an exclusive look behind the scenes of a professional television table read. Watch as the actors make the script come alive for the very first time. This is a rare opportunity to peel back the curtain go behind the scenes to watch and see a script workshopped directly with professionals. Our fearless leader, Richard "RB" Botto kicked off a night of hanging out virtually. You'll get a chance to laugh along courtesy of some Stage 32 members who are incredible actors from your favorite tv shows and improv theaters including The Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, and The Pack. Cindy Chu - playing Helena Francois (New Girl, Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver) Angela Cristantello - playing Beatrix Baker (Agent Carter, 9-1-1) Nican Robinson - playing Greg Shepherd (13 Reasons Why, Thunder Road) Carolyn Deskin - playing Mee Moo and Super Professional Sue (Water's Edge, Sorrow) Rama Vallury - playing Turkey Hemingway, Sweaty Phil, Nervous Intern, Boss Man and Bus Drive (Happy Ending, AOK) Ramona Apthorp - playing Pickle Frost   PLUS! after the table read we did a Q&A with the actors, writer Nick Assunto, our fearless leader Richard Botto and our Director of Script Services, Jason Mirch moderated by our Managing Director Amanda Toney so you will get the perspective from everyone involved about the table read! What a great way to have fun and learn!       Mark your Calendar! LIVE Online Table Read of the Comedy Pilot "The Conspiracists" Friday, March 27th at 7 pm PST   Please help support your fellow Stage 32ers by sharing this on social. Check out the social media buttons at the top to share on Instagram @stage32online , Twitter @stage32 , Facebook @stage32 , and LinkedIn @stage-32 .

register for stage 32 Register / Log In