Angela Silak and Cindy Kaplan are the co-founders of Hollywood Resumes, a resume writing service dedicated primarily to those seeking entry-level positions in entertainment. They launched the company in 2016 and have been helping current and aspiring entertainment professionals with their job applications ever since. Angela Silak, Senior Manager, Nickelodeon Original Movies & Co-Founder, Hollywood Resumes Originally from Texas, Angela graduated from Duke University with a BA in History and moved to LA in 2009. She completed several internships while working on a master’s degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California. Then, she held assistant positions at TheWrap and 3 Ball Productions before making her way to Nickelodeon to pursue her passion for children’s television. Angela is currently a development executive in the Nickelodeon Original Movies department and recently completed a second master’s degree in Educational Studies from Loyola Marymount University. Cindy Kaplan, Account Manager, Signal Entertainment Marketing, Co-Founder, Hollywood Resumes Cindy hails from Brooklyn. She graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in American Studies. Her first big gig was as an assistant to a literary manager who also managed a film development database. There, in partnership with Red Varden Studios, she hired, mentored, and managed numerous teams of more than a dozen interns. She then moved over to Kids at Play, where she developed, wrote, and produced content for outlets including Disney Junior, Yahoo!, VEVO, and Electus. Currently, she is an account manager at Signal Entertainment Marketing, a product placement firm. Cindy also freelances as a writer/producer, and her short documentary Two Faiths One Prayer has gained worldwide media coverage. Full Bio »
Getting a job in Hollywood can seem hard...but it doesn’t have to be. If you feel like every job application you send in is a shot in the dark, you may want to rethink your process. Luckily, there are many tangible strategies that can make the job search more efficient. Ultimately, the key is to find a way to stand out in the pack. And we’re here to help you do just that.
During this 90 minute session, you’ll learn how to build a robust network, job search tactics that will get your resume into the right hands, how to craft effective resumes and cover letters, and tips to help you ace any job interview. Whether you’re just starting out or are hoping to transition into a new position that will move you closer to your goals, this course is for you.
We are professional resume writers, dedicated to helping Hollywood hopefuls find their dream jobs. But unlike most professional resume writers, we are not recruiters or HR executives. Instead, we have actually worked in and hired for entry-level positions across Hollywood. After conducting hundreds of interviews and weeding through even more resumes over the years, we've learned that many qualified candidates simply don't know how to pitch themselves for the Hollywood jobs they want. And, in an industry where most jobs are filled through internal referrals, it’s crucial to impress not only the recruiters, but those in the actual departments that are hiring -- and we know what they’re looking for because we’ve worked in those departments ourselves.
We’re excited teach you the proven networking strategies, resume and cover letter writing techniques, and and interview skills that we have used to succeed in our own careers and watched countless others use to succeed in theirs.
Cindy Kaplan & Angela Silak
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Quick, name your 5 favorite movies of all time. Chances are they are all encompass different genres and various worlds and journeys. But likely, they all have one thing in common: A memorable and multi-dimensional protagonist. Writing lead characters can be tricky. They're usually the first character that comes to mind when we're crafting our story. As such, we tend to have definitive, even strict, ideas of how that character will dress, how he or she will behave, and even what happens to them along the way. As such, many writers end up crafting their leads as rigid and one-dimensional. As a result, their lead character becomes passive and the supporting characters end up being much more proactive and interesting. Writing a truly memorable lead character takes a full understanding of your character's wants, needs, obstacles, flaws and much more. It means digging into the psychology of your lead before you begin writing so that you can make wonderful, informed discoveries throughout the writing process. With a constant parade of franchise sequels, remakes, and reboots, it’s become harder than ever to create a unique and nuanced lead that audiences feel they haven’t seen before. And in a marketplace crowded with more of the same, it’s never been more essential (and potentially lucrative) for screenwriters to set their work apart. In addition, with the explosion of content being created for the streaming platforms, it's more important than ever, no matter whether you're writing features or TV, that you be able to create lead characters that development execs, producers, showrunners, and financiers can't deny and want to follow into fire. That uniqueness in voice and vision is getting writers signed, sold, staffed, and more and more work than ever before. So how can writers create characters that appeal to a wide audience without sacrificing the very qualities that make them singular? Tyler Ruggeri is a writer with over a decade of experience on both sides of the entertainment industry. His original screenplay The Making Of Rock Hudson sold to veteran producers Celine Rattray (The Kids Are Alright, Bernie) and Trudie Styler (Moon) of Maven Pictures. He is currently adapting a critically acclaimed non-fiction book and writing an original action drama. Prior to his writing career, Tyler was a talent manager at Exile Entertainment, where he represented screenwriters and directors while developing the company’s slate of projects. He signed emerging filmmakers including Lee Patterson (Nicholl Fellowship winner for Snatched) and Damien Chazelle, whose film Whiplash was nominated for five Academy Awards (including Best Adapted Screenplay) and won three, as well as the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to Whiplash, scripts he developed with clients have sold to A-list producers/financiers and garnered industry attention and assignments from major studios. Tyler has read thousands of screenplays and knows first hand what makes a memorable and multi-dimensional protagonist. And now for the 2nd time, exclusively for Stage 32, Tyler is back to teach you how to write interesting and complicated characters that audiences can root for without sacrificing depth. Tyler will focus on studying (and deconstructing) the building blocks of movie protagonists in a straightforward, fun, and easy to digest format. He’ll discuss character in a macro-level approach while zeroing in on recent examples from popular films. He will teach you about making meaningful choices for your characters and how you can't be afraid to make the tough choice. He will delve into your characters wants, needs, and goals. He will discuss whether you lead character needs to be likable. He will teach you all the rules of writing characters and show you how you can break those rules to stand out from the crowd and make an exec turn pages. He will teach you all the tips and tricks of character building that he's learned over the last 10+ years of working with writers and reading scripts. He'll even discuss writer's block - if there is such a thing - and how to get beyond it all and keep writing. In short, he will teach you everything to have your lead characters jumping from the page and pulling the reader along for his or her journey. "Tyler is an extremely articulate presenter. It really helped to have such specific information about how a character can be multi-dimensional. I already see the issues with my protagonist and can't wait to get it all fixed!" - Becca B. "I took pages and pages of notes, thank you! Very well delivered, Tyler clearly had a vast knowledge of the subject. I really enjoyed it!" - Natalie E. "Thank you for bringing Tyler back. One of my favorite Stage 32 educators! This seemed like a week's worth of material delivered concisely and deliberately. I'm so grateful! - Bob K.
Have you ever sat through a movie that was filled with fights, car chases, gun battles, and explosions and yet it was all you could do to keep from falling asleep in spite of the noise? This is because good action movies aren’t just about kicks, punches, and car crashes. Celebrated recent action films like EXTRACTION or Mile 22 or classics like BOURNE IDENTITY and ENTER THE DRAGON pop off the screen because of strong writing that lends itself to the story. Action writing is an art. And to write it, you’ve got to understand how to make your story matter to the audience. Action movies need to sustain the attention of viewers not just with suspense but with emotional appeal. It needs to have meaning. Explosive scenes are great, but action without a substantive story can only take you so far. Characters still need to have wants and desires, even if they’re armed and dangerous. The stakes need to be high and the flaws of each character apparent. If you are able to master this important balance of storytelling, your script will be a hit to those in the industry who are on the hunt for exciting action stories. Joshua Todd James is a well-established screenwriter, playwright, and WGA member, who wrote the action feature POUND OF FLESH, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and currently has multiple projects in development with action stars like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Alain Moussi, Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White and former UFC champion Micheal Bisping, among others. He also adapted Peter Biskind’s best selling book Down & Dirty Pictures into a feature screenplay and Matthew Polly’s New York Times bestseller American Shaolin into a television pilot. Joshua has spent much of his life writing and learning the art of action writing and is excited to share his experience with the Stage 32 community. Joshua will teach you how to write effective action with meaning for your film or series. After discussing why action doesn’t always work on screen, he’ll break down what can make action effective. Joshua will dive deep into defining character objectives, establishing stakes and crafting identity in each scene. Joshua will also spend time focusing on the elements that action must reveal and walk you through the three primary revelations of story. You’ll walk away with the resources to improve your current script, or fire off a new one. Joshua will be using the action classic THE BOURNE IDENTITY as a case study to illustrate the elements of effective action writing that he will lay out. Everyone who signs up for this webinar, will receive the BOURNE IDENTITY script for free.
When the entertainment industry shut down as a result of the global pandemic, insurers were left with hundreds of millions of dollars in claims. As a result, traditional production insurance is no longer available. Carriers have modified their coverages, added exclusions and changed coverages they are offering altogether. Additionally, they now require more information in order to underwrite and provide a quote for the film. Production insurance has always been difficult to navigate, but now more than ever it’s crucial to understand how it works and how it’s changed. Filmmakers and creators, both independent and as a part of studios and networks, are itching to get back to work and start creating again. However it’s important to be careful before plunging in, and not just for health reasons. The truth is updates to production insurance is going to change things for everyone, and you need to understand how exactly things will change before you get started on your next project. Filmmakers need to learn what the new underwriting guidelines are and what information is now needed in order to obtain production insurance. You also need to know how to better budget the increased cost for insurance and so that there are no surprises when the quotes come. By knowing what terms and insurances are available for your specific project, you will be able to discuss these options with lenders, distributors and bond companies. It’s more important than ever to be informed and to be prepared when gearing up for your next production. Daniel R’bibo is a Senior Vice President at Gallagher and has worked on over 100 feature films including Oscar winners such as FOXCATCHER and HER, as well as A24's MID-90's, SEARCHING, HAPPY DEATH DAY and a dozen television shows. For nearly two decades, Daniel has provided insurance services for independent and studio projects which have premiered at Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca, TIFF and more. He has worked on all lines of insurance ranging from Production Insurance policies to Financial and Cybertechnology policies such as E&O, D&O and Network/ Security & Privacy coverages. Daniel was featured in Risk and Insurance Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 List and has been awarded their Power Broker Award in the Media & Entertainment Category four separate times. Few people in the world know entertainment insurance better than Daniel, and he’s prepared to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Daniel will dive deep into how production insurance works and how it has changed with COVID-19 pandemic. He will begin with a general overview of production insurance. He’ll explain the various insurances relating to production including production package, general and auto liability, workers compensation, errors and omissions (E&O), and COVID specific insurances. Next Daniel will delve into the changes in insurance underwriting and carrier appetite due to the pandemic. He’ll walk you through what you need to know before you get a quote, including COVID related exclusion and new terms and conditions, required safety procedures, and how may quotes you can expect for your project. He will also show you how much to budget for your own production insurance. Finally, Daniel will provide case studies of real films’ insurance breakdowns, both before COVID and after. He will spend time discussing both films made for under and over $5 million. It can feel like the Wild West now in venturing back into production, but Daniel will give you a clear picture of how insurance is going to work moving forward. PLUS! You will receive a production insurance quote checklist to make sure you have everything in order to ensure you get the best quote possible from an Insurance Agent. Praise for Daniel's Stage 32 Webinar I very much enjoyed the host and his knowledge of the topic -Billy B. Daniel was great - very informative and someone I'll reach out to in the future! -Stephanie B. I'm glad I was able to network live with Daniel today. His insurance knowledge was invaluable for my film projects. -Pamela F. "I learned SO much. I can't believe how helpful this has been!" -Gerry T.
“What’s your story about?” Having a perfect logline ready to answer that question can help give you the best chance of seizing the opportunity when you are asked. Your logline is your most important asset. It's invaluable for keeping you focused on what makes your story unique and for always making sure that you nail the first impression when someone asks you about your work. Having the perfect elevator pitch ready to go can make or break you when the opportunity presents itself. Why do so many creatives struggle with coming up with that one-sentence? How do you get better at honing your logline? Stage 32 is here to help you. We have brought in Emmy-award winning producer Lane Shefter Bishop who has sold over 30 PROPERTIES in the last 6 years - all from pitching just a logline. Touted as “The Logline Whisperer”, Lane Shefter Bishop has the specific tools you need to help you know how to sell what you write! In this exclusive Stage 32 Webinar, Lane will give you insider information on how you can best position your project to sell your work to agents, editors, publishers and producers. Lane has successfully sold projects to various networks and studios, including NBC/Universal, ABC/Disney, CBS, Lifetime, Sony and 20th Century Fox. All of these projects have one thing in common – they began with a single sentence, a top-notch logline. After all, you can have the best material in the world but, if you get on the phone or in a room, you need to know how to sell it with your logline! Praise For Lane "Lane made loglines so simple. I'll be able to take the 3 tenents with me for every one of my projects moving forward. I struggled with loglines and this really helped clarify things for me." - Alan B.
Some of the most well regarded recent feature films and television shows were based on books, including the Oscar-nominated Little Women, JoJo Rabbit, The Two Popes, The Irishman and the Emmy-nominated Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, Fosse/Verdon, Sharp Objects and many more. Authors spend months, if not years, formulating characters and worlds that make it onto the printed page. This creativity serves as great source material that would translate greatly to the big or small screen. If you're an author who's written a novel and are looking to get it adapted, a screenwriter that's written a script based off a book you have (or would like to obtain) the rights to, or a producer or financier who has the rights or are circling securing the rights to a property you believe would make a great film or TV show, you need to understand the steps to take to obtain the rights, protect yourself legally, and make the development process a smooth and enjoyable ride. Discovering an adaptation-worthy story can be as simple as stumbling across an interesting book or article at a bookstore, library or newsstand. Understanding how to obtain the rights and develop that material effectively is the harder part. It takes meticulous planning and approach to be able to get the rights to the desired intellectual property and successfully adapt and develop the material. Many factors go into getting an adaptation to the screen including negotiations, legal hurdles and making sure you're staying authentic to the source material. Once misstep and it could derail an amazing project. You need to be prepared. Jim Young has produced films adapted off of books and intellectual property such as The Catcher Was a Spy (starring Paul Rudd), Lovelace (starring James Franco, Sharon Stone, and Amanda Seyfried) and The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, and Stephen Fry) and Life of King (starring Cuba Gooding Jr.). He's had his films premiere at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW and has earned himself a reputation of being an expert in adaptations. Through years of working with authors, publishers, talent, financiers and distributors Jim knows how to adapt a book into a film and TV series from start to finish. Jim will teach you how to acquire the rights to a book you're interested and go over where to look for title, how to approach the author and publisher and how to close the deal. He'll give advice on the story development process and how to engage the author during that time, as well as tips on how to avoid liability. You'll learn two essential people you must have in your pre-production phase and how to work with the cast, crew and author on set. You will get insider tips on what to do before your film or TV show hits the screen to gain momentum for your project. And, finally, Jim will give you six legal elements to have in place prior to your project's release. This is must-know information coming from someone who's prolific in producing films based off of books.
As actors, we're living in a whole new world. Self-audition tapes, online auditions, virtual acting classes...Things have changed tremendously over the last few years and those ahead of the curve are doing everything possible online to win more champions of their work and land more jobs. Many actors have embraced a "control what you can control" mindset. This includes creating short form content as a way to control and film their own material, build up a library of acting samples, and showcase their versatility and talents. The idea of creating and filming your own content, especially for actors accustomed to only being in front of the camera, can be daunting. But seriously, it doesn't have to be. In fact, if you can knock down the mental walls associated with taking the step toward controlling your own content, and thereby your brand and the course of your career, you will find yourself with more freedom and creative inspiration than ever before. And we're here to help you take a sledgehammer to those mental walls and get you moving. Elisha has guest starred on the Emmy nominated/winning shows Better Call Saul, The Newsroom, Mad Men, Southland, Up All Night, The New Normal and CSI:NY and voiced the character of Jimmy Olsen and B'dg on DC Nation Shorts's Tales of Metropolis and Super-Pets. He was also in the highly acclaimed Sundance feature Frank & Lola starring Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots. Elisha is no stranger to creating content to help accelerate his acting career. He got his start writing web-series with his friends from Emerson College, including Downers Grove, which was picked up by Warner Brothers Studio 2.0. Aside from all the roles mentioned above, Elisha's content creation strategy helped him land commercials for Mike's Hard Lemonade, Time Warner Cable, Samsung, Wendy's, McDonald's, Nintendo 3DS and Hanes. In this comprehensive and detail filled webinar, Elisha will teach you how to create short form content to launch, accelerate, and expand your acting career. He will teach you how to identify your career blueprint by asking 2 simple, but important questions. From there, he'll ask you to get real and talk through your true goals so that you know exactly what kind of short form content you'll need to make. He will show you 7 examples of short form content to open your mind, spark your creativity and help you identify the direction you want to take with your content. He will teach you the 3 boxes you need to check to make sure your idea is a great one. He will then dive into how to make cost-efficient content and how not to overthink the process. He'll tell you how to build your team - again, on the quick and cheap. And of great importance, Elisha will teach you where to release your content, assuring that you get not only the biggest audience, but the most concentrated one based on your overall goals. "Brilliant. In every way, brilliant." - Kim G. "So f****** inspiring." - Laura P. "Yes, yes, yes. So tired of giving away my power. Elisha, you're my hero" Samantha K. "This is a step I've always wanted to take. I've seen my acting friends create content to great success. I just didn't know if I could create content that mattered. Now I do." - Joshua W. "I'm inspired and ready to rock." - Montell S.