Sami Arpa is the founder and CEO of Largo – a Switzerland-based company that provides data-assisted intelligence to the audio-visual industry. Sami has a background in computer science and film industry. He has got his Ph.D. in computer vision field from the prestigious Swiss university, EPFL. He has directed two short films - “Les bruits des pas”, 2014 and “L’evasion”, 2015. He is also the founder and president of Ouch Film Awards, which is a film festival that takes place in Lausanne. Full Bio »
How Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing the Casting Process and Impacting Actors
Learn about the implications of artificial intelligence on the acting and casting industries from Sami Arpa, Ph.D., a leader in the intersection of technology and filmmaking
Get ahead of the curve and learn how the future of AI will play a huge role in casting!
With the recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, every industry is about to get a major overhaul in terms of operations and productivity. The film industry - specifically casting - is no exception.
Have you ever wondered how AI can be used to optimize casting choices? Or create a level playing field for all actors? How about the ethical and moral implications of using AI to recreate actors from the past? All of these questions will be fundamental in the decision making process in casting in the near future, and making yourself an expert on the issues will put you in a stronger position to best position yourself and your career.
In this webinar, we will explore the ways in which artificial intelligence is transforming the casting process and impacting the acting industry. We will discuss how AI can be used to enhance the casting process, including analyzing screenplays to gain a better understanding of characters and building the cinematographic DNAs of actors. By using AI, actors and talent agents can find the best actor choices for each character, resulting in more successful projects and better career planning. Additionally, we will provide examples of how AI can be used to address the diversity problems in casting by designing unbiased algorithms that remove the problem of bias in terms of race and gender.
Additionally, we will also discuss the potential drawbacks and ethical considerations of AI, including concerns over deepfakes and fake actor voices with AI audio synthesis. We will explore how these issues are posing threats to the careers of many working actors.
You will be taught by Sami Arpa, Ph.D., the founder and CEO of Largo – a Switzerland-based company that provides data-assisted intelligence to the audio-visual industry. Sami will share his expertise in the fields of AI, machine learning, and film will provide you with invaluable insight in navigating the future of AI in casting and the film industry at large.
During the webinar, Sami will provide you with practical tips for actors, casting directors, and talent agents on how to update their workflow and incorporate AI into their practices.
PLUS! Sami will provide you with a copy of his presentation in a document you can utilize going forward!
Praise for Sami's Teaching & Knowledge:
“WOW, Sami's insight into AI and how it is and will be used in film is mind blowing. The future is here.” – Thomas M.
"I had the pleasure of learning about the future of AI in Hollywood...and beyond...from Sami and it was worth every penny." - Chris R.
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A New Exclusive Stage 32 Webinar! Learn how to take advantage of A.I. (artificial intelligence) to help make your movie-making dreams come true from the founder and CEO of Largo. You’ve probably heard that Artificial Intelligence will “destroy Hollywood” or “steal jobs” from artists. The truth is, A.I. is actually a powerful way to enhance your creative process and help you make your movies. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you’ll learn how to use A.I. through the development and pre-production your film. You’ll discover how A.I. can help you with analyzing scripts, providing feedback, finding the best talent for a role, making informed decisions about budgeting and your distribution strategy, and so much more. You'll learn how A.I. can help you build a film package that excites buyers and distributors to help get your film made. Guiding you through how to se this powerful tool is Sami Arpa, the Founder and CEO of Largo, a Switzerland-based company that provides data-assisted intelligence. He has also directed two short films, LES BRUITS DES PAS and L’EVASION, and is the Founder and President of the Ouch Film Awards in Lausanne. During the webinar, Sami will show you how to apply this innovative technology in a tangible way and he will give a specific case study of how to package a film by working on each decision parameter with A.I. feedback. You’ll also cover the potential challenges and missteps you may face without the right understanding of how to use A.I. as well as it's current limitations. Get ahead of the industry and your competition and find out how artificial intelligence can help you bring your movie to life.
There are a lot of reasons why the surge in popularity of podcasts is so exciting right now. It makes that rush hour commute to work much more enjoyable for millions of people every day. It opens up avenues for more stories to be discovered and more storytellers to create. And it’s a format that can be a lot easier and more affordable for independent artists to produce. You don’t need cameras, you don’t need a set; you just need a quiet room and a couple of microphones. And unlike visual media, podcasts provide a format where high concept, traditionally expensive genres like fantasy, action, and science fiction are just as achievable as more contained styles—if you want an alien in your podcast, for instance, you don’t need to invest in CGI; you just need an actor to say “Look! There’s an alien!” The art form of podcasts can be an equalizer in a way film and television have never been. It gives independent voices the ability to create something great and display their abilities, all without having to take out a mortgage. Plus, it gives you the ability to create IP that you control - all while helping you build a loyal following to serve as champions to help you carry your message. That’s not to say producing podcasts is a walk in the park. There is a whole lot that goes into it, and there is a lot you need to do as a podcast producer to ensure your project sounds good, feels professional, and holds its own against the big guns. It might be less expensive, but making the foray into audio fiction can be a daunting prospect if you’ve only worked in film and television (or have never produced before). There are some questions where you might not even know where to start: How do you find and cast voice actors? What kind of microphone should you use? How do you edit audio? What about sound effects? Do you make them yourself or can you source them from somewhere? What aspects of production should you be investing most of your money in? And once you have a finished product, where do you even put it so people can start listening? Mike Disa is currently the director of the highly praised Netflix show Paradise PD and has been working in the industry, both in television and features, for two decades. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success and has worked with studios such as Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. Always an innovator, Mike recognized the interesting time right now for developing material based off of IP and took it upon himself to adapt his feature script SENTINELS: POINT OF NO RETURN into a 12-part podcast series, which is now produced. Having recently gone through the experience Mike is excited to share his approach and his lessons learned producing his adaptation exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Mike will walk you through everything you need to know to produce your own successful podcast. He’ll begin by discussing pre-production and how to know when your script is podcast-ready. He’ll give you tips on finding and setting up your recording and delve into the audio equipment you’ll need to invest in, including how to find the right microphone that’s also affordable. Mike will also discuss the process of casting, finding the right voice actors for your parts and how to navigate read-throughs and rehearsals. Next Mike will teach you how to actually produce your podcast, including how exactly to record, recording pitfalls you should avoid, and what the directing process looks like. Then he will discuss podcast post-production and how to use your recordings to paint a full audio picture. He’ll tell you which editing software to use and how to find music and sound effects to compliment you project. He’ll also discuss where to take your project for post-effects. Finally, Mike will go over how to distribute your finished podcast. He’ll outline hosting services that are available and how to upload your episodes online. He will give you tips on how to create your own website for the podcast and how to publicize it. He’ll also explain why you don’t want to charge money for the final podcast. Throughout, Mike will illustrate the process by using anecdotes and lessons learned from his own podcast SENTINELS: POINT OF NO RETURN. Expect to walk away with a full picture of the steps you need to take to produce, record and distribute your own successful podcast. Praise for Mike's Stage 32 Webinar: It was outstanding. Mike was thorough and generous with his own experiences. Very very well done. -Rebecca R. The webinar was well structured with clear and informative slides. Mike gave so much information in a way anyone could understand even with out any industry knowledge. -Justine W. I thought Mike as a great teacher. I loved the content and his ability to share his knowledge and experience in a very upbeat way. -Rama R. I have been curious about Podcasting so joined this Webinar. Mike was meticulously detailed about the ins and outs of it from beginning to end. I took copious notes; I was fascinated by everything he said and he said every thing that needed to be said about the entire process. He was so detailed, stressed what NOT to do as well as HOW to do it. He is a superb instructor. It could not have been presented in a more succinct manner. -Marietta K.
Working in the entertainment industry means you’ll inevitably come across all different types of people – most of whom are passionate, opinionated and sometimes very stubborn. This will inevitably produce confusion, tension, drama, and tough choices all along the way. But, what do you do when faced with the notorious “difficult” personality, especially when they are crucial to getting your project to the finish line? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you’ll learn how to spot the troublesome ones, be less troublesome yourself, and generally learn some important tools of the trade when faced with the difficult personality. Your teacher, Adrienne Biddle, has worked as a studio executive and independent producer producing dozens of movies, most recently Stephanie with Blumhouse Productions and He's Out There with Screen Gems. The goal is to teach all different types of creative people how to work better together so your project doesn’t fall apart in these moments of crisis.
There is A LOT that goes into making a film. Countless roles, countless facets, countless obstacles. And while all aspects are important and necessary to put together a successful film, there are few components more crucial than casting. The cast is not only the key component in delivering your screenplay to an audience but it also determines whether or not you actually get your film made. Funding is often contingent on casting and on recognizable talent being attached, as is distribution deals which will allow your film to ultimately be seen. Actors have a huge influence on how the finished film will be received so how do you approach them and secure their services? Many independent filmmakers quickly write off the idea of including name talent in their project, believing it’s a fool’s errand or something you can’t actually accomplish without deep pockets and deeper connections. This isn’t necessarily true, though. What is essential is a complete understanding of how the casting system works and how to successfully navigate it as an independent filmmaker. Perhaps the most important aspect of this process is the actor meeting, where you pitch your film and convince the actor or their reps to join the project. So much hinges on this meeting, and nailing it can make all the difference. So how exactly can you pitch a bigger actor to star in your project? With so many film projects to choose from, why should they choose yours? Piotr Szkopiak is an experienced director whose latest film THE LAST WITNESS starring Alex Pettyfer (I AM NUMBER FOUR) was released in cinemas nationwide in Poland on 156 screens and in theaters and on digital and DVD in the UK and US. The film also won 33 awards and was selected to screen at film festivals around the world, including in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Toronto & Sydney. His first feature film, SMALL TIME OBSESSION was released theatrically in the UK with both Variety and The Guardian describing him as “a director to watch”. Piotr has also directed countless episodes of television, including episodes of the BBC series CASUALTY, FATHER BROWN, DOCTORS, EASTENDERS, and SHAKESPEARE & HATHAWAY-PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS. Through his career, Piotr has found success in attaching in-demand actors like Alex Pettyfer and is prepared to share his strategies and techniques exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Piotr will teach you how to successfully navigate and execute a key actor meeting in order to bring on a high level actor for your independent project. He will begin by going over how to build your wish list of the actors you’d like for your film, including how to choose who should go on the list, how to navigate creative vs. business choices, setting expectations early and being realistic, and dealing with budget. He will then explain how to approach your desired actor. He’ll explain how to navigate the catch 22 of attaching actors, which is the fact that you need money to go to actors, but you need actors to get money. He’ll talk about when in the process of your project to make contact, who to contact first and how, and how best to work with agents. Piotr will delve into how best to prep for the actor meeting. He’ll talk about the difference between a video conference meeting and a face-to-face one and go over what you should know going in. He’ll walk you through the research you should do ahead of time and where you should choose to meet and why. He’ll also give you a rundown of what your appearance should be for a good first impression and what the proper etiquette is. He’ll give you an idea of the key questions to ask your actor and how best to communicate your vision and prepare your look book to make a convincing case. Piotr will also give you tips of what to do if you’re facing a creative disconnect and how to overcome it. He’ll also go over how best to take criticism if it comes up during the meeting and how to ultimately know if you found the right fit for your actor. He will next teach you best practices for the meeting follow up, including the next steps to take care of right after the meeting, what the do’s and don’ts are, and how to deal with production delays that may come up in the process. Finally, Piotr will go through a case study of his own film THE LAST WITNESS and explain how he ultimately landed the actors Alex Pettyfer and Robert Wieckiewicz to play his lead roles. He’ll discuss the early development of the film, how he attached his producer, and when the key actors became part of the plan. Piotr will even share the look book he created to convince the actors to join. Key actor meetings are scary things, but Piotr will give you the tools you need to navigate them with more confidence and develop the skills to nab your dream actor. Praise for Piotr's Stage 32 Webinar "The presentation was very personable and straight forward. Thank you for the great advice and guidance" -Anastasia C. "I learned some great tips on how to approach talent and work with them. Nothing is impossible. You just really need to be prepared and know what you are doing. This is especially helpful for first time directors or writer-directors." -Crystal B. "It was great hearing about all of this from someone like Piotr. It made me feel like I could do it too. Such great advice. Thank you, Piotr!" -Dennis G.
How do you best package and sell your projects in this ever changing industry? In this exclusive Stage 32 Webinar, we will teach your to push your projects and connect with industry executives to package and sell your projects from the development stage to distribution. Since joining Ramo Law in 2009, Tiffany Boyle has leveraged her business-oriented sales and packaging skills to bring hundreds of films and documentaries to fruition. Tiffany connects filmmakers with producers, co-producers, executive producers, co-finance partners, distributors, agencies and other industry representatives. Through her critical review of content and strategic use of Ramo Law resources, Tiffany creates successful content packaging that bridges the needs of both client and industry demands. In addition to all these skills, Tiffany served as a Co-Executive Producer and brought in financing for films SOMETHING ELSE (Tribeca 2019) and ARKANSAS starring Liam Hemsworth and Vince Vaughn. She led the sales and packaging for TRAGEDY GIRLS (SXSW 2017) and FREAKS (Toronto IFF 2018), she brought foreign financing to ASHES IN THE SNOW (Los Angeles FF 2018) starring Bel Powley, and she sold an autobiography to Hulu for development into a limited television series. Tiffany will provide you with the pertinent and actionable information you need to package a project in the current environment. She will begin by discussing the packaging and sales world before COVID-19, what is happening right now and what can be expected once we're in the clear. She will discuss packaging and selling of all budget levels and dive deep into the world of attachments including landing valuable producers, directors, actors, and even financiers. From there, Tiffany will tell you how to build your relationships to help enhance and accelerate your path to getting your project packaged and sold. She will discuss sales and the current state of the marketplace. And finally, Tiffany will even include some outside the box methods and resources toward packaging and selling your project outside the traditional model. "Let's do a deep dive into everything happening right now and what to expect down the road so you can take action. We will focus on who to approach first for attachments and how to build the project from there in order to make it the most sellable and attractive package it can be." - Tiffany Boyle
Learn how to pitch remotely from the writer of JIGSAW and SPIRAL (Number one movie at the box office this year) Includes a live pitch demonstration and an exclusive pitch workshop with 5 volunteers! As Zoom pitches continue to be our “new norm,” it’s important to know how to deliver the most effective virtual pitches, because let’s face it, it’s not the same as pitching in person. The energy is different, and you need to make sure you keep the energy high and engaging. How do you keep producers interested through a computer screen? Now, more than ever, you have to be quick, clear, and concise. Structure is key, but so is knowing how to handle small talk. Pitching is as much about selling your project as it is about selling yourself. Armed with the right tools, conversation, and materials, your chances are as good as anyone else’s. Pete Goldfinger is an incredibly successful feature and television writer in Hollywood, perhaps best known for penning the two newest features in the SAW horror universe, including JIGSAW, which grossed over $100 million, and SPIRAL, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock, which debuted at number one at the box office this year. He’s going to teach you how to quickly hook producers and showrunners with the most valuable and authentic pitch. Pete will share his years of experience handling everything from small talk to delivering strong loglines with pitch decks so that you’ll have all the tools to feel confident in your next virtual pitch. To demonstrate a live Zoom pitch and being quick on your feet with your pitches, Pete will deliver one of his own pitches, and then give you the opportunity to practice your own one-minute pitches and provide you with feedback. This is an amazing opportunity to fine tune and get advice on nailing your pitch from someone who knows just how to do that.