Stephen Balsley began his career at a RED Digital Cinema nearly 9 years ago, and has watched it grow from a small startup company into one of the leading Cinema brands in the world. During that time, the RED One camera was largely credited with driving the shift from Film to Digital, with RED cameras now being used in a large number of films and other projects across the Industry. Although Stephen’s expertise is in RED, he is well experienced in all types of cameras, including Arri, Canon, Nikon, Blackmagic, and more. In his role as a camera and lens technician, he has had experience working with everyone from the largest production companies to the first-time independent filmmaker. He specializes in system integration, integrating digital cinema cameras into 3D systems, VR, Underwater and Shotover rigs, drones, large array based systems, and live 4K. As a camera operator, he has filmed 2 Rose Bowls, a BCS Championship game, and a UFC Championship, along with a diverse portfolio of other side projects. Full Bio »
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Ever get to the post-production part of your film only to be stopped and have to do several reshoots stretching the budget way over? Ever pitch your work only to have to halt negotiations with a buyer due to chain of title? Ever show your completed project only to not be able to sell it due to legal issues it is warped with? Well look no further because this webinar is designed to help you avoid these pitfalls and make sure all your ducks are in a row legally to avoid having your film stopped in its tracks. COMMON LEGAL ISSUES Often times your Stage 32 Educator Kennington Groff receives numerous calls from individuals claiming (1) that someone stole their idea, (2) we had a verbal agreement and then a falling out and (3) I thought I could use all the materials and whole facility as I wanted. Sadly, without proper detailed agreements in place, there is not a lot that can be done for these disputes. One of the most important things an aspiring writer, producer, talent or any other job working in entertainment someone can do is make sure to get a detailed agreement in writing. While you may think this will cost a lot of money upfront and is not worth it, it will be far cheaper and more beneficial to have these agreements in place upfront than trying to recover or solve a dispute on the backend. ABOUT YOUR STAGE 32 EDUCATOR Kennington is an attorney who launched her own firm and is now working with Lilenfeld PC focusing on entertainment and intellectual property. In addition to her legal work, Kennington worked as a clips producer on Season 4 of Weather Gone Viral for The Weather Channel. Throughout her career, Kennington gained valuable experience working with top entertainment executives at HBO, NBCUniversal, and Lionsgate in their business and legal affairs offices in Los Angeles and New York City. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level webinar Kennington will teach you an overview of legal issues that can arise across all departments to make sure that you are protected on your project. Plus! With the purchase of this webinar you will also receive: Location Agreement A Production Rights Cheatsheet
Budgets, Cash Flows and Cost Reports, oh my! Have you ever looked at one of these documents and just seen numbers? Have you ever tried to fill out tax incentive pre-qualification form and been overwhelmed? All of these things can be confusing for any filmmaker, whether you're a seasoned veteran or doing them for the first time. They are documents every project uses but most people don’t know how to read them, never mind make them. We're here to help make this easier for you as a filmmaker. Stage 32 is thrilled to bring you the previously-recorded 2 part class: Navigating a Film's Financials: Budget, Cash Flows & Cost Reports taught by award-winning line producer, Maura Anderson. Maura takes you in depth on the financial side of a film; learn how to create a budget and cash flow, navigate cost reports, accounting, tax incentives and more! Maura Anderson production managed Academy Award nominated Winter’s Bone, Sundance nominated On The Ice, Max Winkler's Ceremony starring Uma Thurman, Night Catches Us in competition at Sundance, produced The Innocent Man and Ada Twist, Scientist on Netflix and The Most Dangerous Animal of All on Netflix. "It's obvious that she is an experienced and working UPM/Producer. She is a great blend of knowledge and approachability! I really appreciated that she always presented with honesty and sincerity without ever once "bs-ing" Thanks Stage 32, you provided a real pro!” – Michael S. "Terrific! Very informative. Could never have learned this from reading a book. Thanks so much! Will recommend this to others.” – Sherrie S. "Clear and pointed information. A great validation for all the line producers out there. I loved your comment about being a working member of the team and setting the tone for being approachable and a solution oriented individual. Thank you so much. – Vicky B. "Thanks for a very interesting presentation. It was clearly quite comprehensive and pointed me to things I would likely have forgotten (to my peril). – Daz K.
Learn directly from Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom (Short Term 12, Louder Than Bombs, It Follows, Friends With Kids)! Film festivals. They are one of the best ways to network, market your film, get feedback from judges and audiences, and most importantly, get your work seen. Even better, winning awards at festivals can help you gain major recognition and momentum as a filmmaker. But, if you haven’t submitted a film or attended a festival before, it can be a daunting task to try to get your film into a major festival such as Sundance or South by Southwest. What festival do you choose? How do you submit your film? What happens once you make it into the festival? How soon should you be booking accommodation? Questions like these often prohibit filmmakers from entering the ever-important film festivals. But fear not – we’re here to give you a breakdown of the process of getting your film into a major festival, what to expect once you’re there, and how to give yourself the best chance of making a good impression. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom will guide you through the navigation of getting your film into a major festival. Amanda spent years heading up production and development at NYC production shingle Animal Kingdom. Having co-produced Destin Daniel Cretton’s film Short Term 12, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at SXSW 2013, as well as shepherding over 7 films into major festivals, Amanda knows the ins and outs of what it takes to get into a major film festival and what to do once you’re there.
Robert McKee returns to Stage 32 with The Secret to Writing Compelling Characters - a rare online teaching appearance exclusive to Stage 32! Since 1984, more than 100,000 students have taken McKee’s courses in various cities around the world and now, exclusively for the 3rd time on Stage 32, Robert McKee is back and better than ever with a Masters of Craft webinar teaching you The Secret to Writing Compelling Characters. McKee’s former students include over 60 Academy Award Winners, 200 Emmy Award Winners, 1,000 Emmy Award Nominees, 100 WGA (Writers Guild of America) Award Winners, 250 WGA Award Nominees, 50 DGA (Directors Guild of America) Award Winners, and 100 DGA Award Nominees. In this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft webinar, Robert McKee teaches the principles of character creation and dimension, characterization and the secret to writing complex protagonists, providing you the tools needed to construct compelling characters that will fascinate your audience. Robert McKee, a Fulbright Scholar and member of the Hollywood Hall of Fame, is the most sought after writing lecturer around the globe. He has dedicated the last 35 years to educating and mentoring screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, poets, documentary makers, producers, and directors internationally. Those who have learned from McKee have called him “the Aristotle of our time” (Quincy Jones, Ed Saxon, Steve Pressfield to name a few) because of his insight into the substance, structure, style, and principles of the grand art of story. Peter Jackson (writer/director THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD) lauds him as “The Guru of Gurus.” For the creatives at Pixar (TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO, UP, INSIDE OUT), McKee’s Story Seminar is a rite of passage.
ScreenMasters is an intensive ongoing workshop designed for screenwriters who have mastered the fundamentals of their craft and are ready to move on to the next phase of their creative and professional development. Participants will be led through innovative presentations that will encourage new ways of thinking about the unique creative process of “writing for the screen,” and collaborative workshops sessions will explore how to put these lessons into practice to bring your screenplay to the next level. For every screenwriter, the leap from gifted amateur to working professional can be the most challenging career step they face. ScreenMasters is based on the simple idea that the best way to remove any obstacles to real-world career success is to deliver extraordinary screenplays that speak for themselves. The concept of this workshop goes beyond the basics of screenwriting to delve into the deeper artistic issues that can transform a merely good project into something a little more extraordinary. Each weekly session will begin with a topic discussion led by industry veteran Michael Schulman, and then the remaining class will be a lab environment for intensive workshopping of works in progress or guidance on career development issues, blocks or troubles students may be running into. The workshop is suitable for projects in any genre and at any stage of development. Enrollment in the workshop will be limited, and interested participants will be asked to submit a short (<1 page) statement outlining your background and writing experience, a brief description of the project to be workshopped, and what you would like to get out of the workshop experience. Michael Schulman is an industry veteran whose career includes stints at William Morris, ICM, and CAA as well as creative executive positions on three different studio lots including Netflix. Michael spent two years as VP Development at Michael Mann’s company where he worked on ALI, THE AVIATOR, and TEXAS KILLING FIELDS and other projects. Michael has worked with other top industry professionals in the development and/or acquisition of many well known features including THE SIXTH SENSE, VENGEANCE, HIDEAWAY, SHANGHAI and GROUNDHOG DAY. Michael has led webinars on the streamer acquisition process and has been quoted and interviewed in the industry media. ***Please note: This class is not booked yet, it is an application process. You can submit your application between now and February 4. The class shows booked on this page because that is how our system is technically set up, but it is a private class that Michael will be choosing the 8 from the application.*** THE APPLICATION PROCESS This class is limited to 8 students and is exclusive to active Stage 32 Writers' Room members. You must submit an application for review by February 4, 2022. The application can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YX6TFYL. Michael will be reviewing applications and will select the 8 students for the workshop. You will be notified by February 11, 2022 if you will be chosen for this class. If you are chosen, you will be invoiced via email from Stage 32. Since this is a private group, login links and recordings will be sent directly from Stage 32 Education.
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.