Keith Powell was a series regular on NBC’s Emmy-winning sitcom 30 Rock for seven seasons, where he received the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Award for Comedy Ensemble. He has had recurring roles on About A Boy and The Newsroom as well as appearances on Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the ABC pilot Judy's Got A Gun, Reno 911!, and NCIS: Los Angeles. Feature films include The Way We Weren't, Syrup, and Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian as well as extensive work in the theater as both an actor and director. In addition, he is the writer/producer/director of the animated pilot Nate & Abe (starring Rachel Dratch, David Wain, Alyssa Milano, and Robert Ben Garant), writer/director/star of the short film People We Meet (co-starring Frederick Weller and Scott Adsit), and recently produced/co-wrote/starred in the feature film My Name Is David (co-starring Judy Reyes and Adepero Oduye). About Keith's Webseries Keith Broke His Leg: Keith Broke His Leg is a semi-autobiographical comedy about 30 Rock star Keith Powell's self discovery when he is suddenly stripped of his ability to be mobile. After an accident, Keith is forced to see the world in a new way when his wife, his friends, and especially his agent don’t make life easy for the incapacitated. What results is a series of visits with the floura and fauna of the the Hollywood comedy world, with most of the actors playing parodies of themselves. The show features Keith’s off-kilter brand of wit, coupled with some genuinely thoughtful moments. Contemplating race, sex, friendship, marriage, and stereotypes, Keith Broke His Leg is "Louie" with a Los Angeles sensibility; "Curb Your Enthusiasm" with humanity, and “Inside Amy Schumer” with a black dude. Full Bio »
Creating your web or digital series as a calling card for your talent or idea has become a hot way to break in. There’s no better way to showcase the viability of your vision than a successful series. Hits like High Maintenance on HBO to shows like Drunk History or Broad City on Comedy Central all got their starts as web series that caught the eye of network executives. In this era of DIY content creation, now is your time to shine by creating a web or digital series, which will also serve as valuable IP (intellectual property) for you and your brand as a creative.
With so many factors to consider to create a season for your web or digital series, where do you even begin? How do you not break the bank creating and filming it? And how do you assure your story is fine tuned to keep your budget down and make certain your scheduling, casting and locations make sense financially? You don’t have to overthink or overestimate the budget of your series. In fact, most webseries (and many successful ones the came before have proven this out) can be done for as little as $500 an episode. Yes, you heard that right, $500 per episode!
Keith Powell has taken everything he’s learned as an actor on high-budget episodic productions (such as 30 Rock and The Newsroom), modified it, and applied it to creating a successful micro-budget web series. And he did all this without breaking the bank and while keeping his sanity intact (well, kind of). And being the kind of guy he is, now Keith wants to share this knowledge with you.
Keith will teach you the building blocks toward creating an artistically successful series without stretching your budget. You will walk away with all the tools necessary to help you during development, pre-production, production, post-production and even distribution. Most importantly, you will learn how - even with the glut of web series available online and within the market - you can make a product that stands out above the noise (and there definitely is noise!)
Creating a web or digital series is something YOU can control and that can open doors to help launch your creative career. Keith will provide you with the tools to get started and establish the brand of your content and the brand of you!
Q&A WITH KEITH
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!
The script is finally ready…now, how do you prepare for your first day on set? There are a lot of factors that go into preparing for your film shoot. We’ve brought in producer, Samm Haillay, to talk about the process from script to set. Samm is an eight-time feature film producer, whose films have premiered at Cannes, Venice, Sundance, SXSW and who’s film Island of the Hungry Ghosts won best Feature documentary at 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. He’ll be going over everything from schedule, budget, casting, locations and more to get you prepared for day one. He’ll be sharing his decades of experience and helping you avoid common mistakes made, as you get ready to shoot your film.
The entertainment industry is constantly shifting and adapting, but perhaps no aspect of Hollywood is more volatile than that of film distribution. Over the past twenty years, the methods and processes of releasing films have changed drastically and continue to be difficult to pin down or predict. From theatrical to video and DVD, television to VOD, the industry continues to not only adjust but wholly reinvent itself. Now, of course, one of the bigger, if not the biggest, avenues of distribution has become online streaming platforms. Massive players like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu and newcomers like HBO Max, Disney+, and Apple TV+ have been making and picking up a very large number of films, and the viewership numbers for these titles can be staggering. There might not be a better place for your film to find a home than a streamer, but that’s easier said than done. For many, the holy grail of film distribution has become Netflix. It’s a titan in the industry, and with over 180 million subscribers worldwide, no one can release a film quite like them. Yet for as prominent and omnipresent as they might be, Netflix is enigmatic and confusing from the outside. They hold a lot of secrets close to their chest and their inner-workings and processes are a mystery to many. They’re not a complete unknown, though, and there is a lot you can learn as a filmmaker and content creator to better approach this media giant, get your film on their radar, and maybe even get that distribution deal you’ve been after. First it’s critical you learn some context surrounding how they work, what they are looking for, and how you can break through the noise. Steff Monsalve Reed is the Director of Content and Distribution at Quiver Distribution, where she discovers and releases titles from emerging voices and helps independent filmmakers get their projects on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Redbox, DirecTV, and more. Recently, Steff has distributed films such as THE LOST HUSBAND, starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb, BECKY, starring Kevin James and Joel McHale, and THE SUNLIT NIGHT with Zach Galifianiakis, Jenny Slate, and Gillian Anderson. She will be distributing CHICK FIGHT, starring Malin Akermin and Alec Baldwin, a feature film which was incubated through Stage 32. Before Quiver, Steff worked as a distribution consultant for AMBI Distribution and Raven Capital Management, and served as the Manager of Acquisitions and Exhibitor relations for Entertainment One, a major independent distribution company releasing films in North America as well as several major territories around the world. Through her extensive distribution background, Steff has become very familiar with what it takes to get a film on various platforms. Steff will walk you through how Netflix finds and picks up films and what content creators can do to better get their own projects on Netflix’s radar. Steff will begin by giving you a rundown of Netflix and how they’re working right now. She’ll explain how you should be thinking about and categorizing the company, who their main competitors are, what their subscriber base looks like and how it compares to their competitors’ bases. Next she will talk about how Netflix picks up content. She’ll go over who gets to pitch to Netflix in the first place and how that process works and will then do a deep dive of Netflix’s curation model. Steff will explain what types of content are currently the most successful on Netflix and how their new “Top 10” feature might be changing things. She will also break down the three main divisions that review content within Netflix and the common deal structures filmmakers should expect from each. Then she will go into how Netflix actually works with content creators and handles both revenue and delivery. She will teach you about Netflix’s payment structure and how content aggregators or distributors can sometimes “buy out” the Netflix window. Steff will even offer a case study of her own film THE LOST HUSBAND and demonstrate how this process worked. She will then explain how to determine a film’s budget for an expected ROI and how you can recoup your investment and where that money will come from. She’ll also go over the process of getting your film picked up by Netflix after they pass on it as an Original, including how to help your chances in this regard and what you can do to make your work stand out more and break through the clutter. Steff will then offer some final pieces of advice on Netflix opportunities and deal negotiations, including looking at contract terms, territories, and hidden fees. She’ll explain how to understand the specific cost of distribution and offer the key piece of advice on budgeting moving forward. Finally she will give you a peek at the distribution industry itself, the changes that are coming, and what you should expect to come next. Expect to leave with a much clearer understanding of how Netflix works and how you can better position your film for success at this streaming platform. This webinar comes with a free handout that details distribution terms and Netflix's specific deliverable requirements Praise for Steff's Stage 32 Webinar "One of the best presentations I have seen." -John S. "Great info. Great presentation. Really explained the topic well. " -Martin R. "Steff was excellent in explaining the distribution process and especially how it pertains to Netflix." -Michael W.
Agustine’s day-to-day role is to help develop screenplays and projects. Whether it’s shaping the story of a script in order to attract a director or actor, breaking down a script in an effort to maximize its marketability, or simply working with the writer to ensure that the script has the best chance of success, Augustine is hands on in every step of the creative process. But before Augustine, or any other executive, can get to work, he has to love and see the potential of the material. And that raises the question: What makes someone like Agustine interested in a script? Understanding every aspect of how and why a film goes from the page to the screen is crucial to being a professional in the film industry. It truly can make the difference between a “Pass” or a “Yes”. If you are a writer looking to learn what exactly gets a Development Executive interested in your material or if you are a producer and want to understand the mindset of a Development Executive as it relates to developing your project, look no further – you will learn the entire truth straight from someone working in the trenches every single day. This is material designed to give you a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace! And as if that wasn’t enough, Agustine hosted a Q&A session as well!
Whether you're controlling some valuable intellectual property, looking to secure IP, or simply have a valuable property in the form of a spec script, TV pilot, webseries, digital series, or other filmed material, you are likely going to be confronted with signing or distributing an option agreement. It is imperative that you understand the various types of option agreements and what information should be included to assure that you are not only protecting your material, but yourself legally as well. As the content gold rush grows, option agreements have become more and more commonplace. It is the vital piece of the paper trail that will ensure you are exercising and getting all your rights as your project gets made. These agreements are designed to protect both sides of a given deal, but can be complicated and sometimes include unnecessary language or clauses that could serve to hold up your content or payment. before you sign on the dotted line, you need to understand what exactly is an option agreement, who has creative control, how much money can be made and what you need to include to protect your rights up front. Lane Shefter Bishop is an Emmy award winning filmmaker and producer who has set up over two dozen book properties - many of them only on book proposals and early partials - with studios, networks and production companies throughout the entertainment industry. She is the CEO of Vast Entertainment, a book-to-screen company with numerous projects at both studios and networks, including feature films for Fox 2000, Silver Pictures, CBS Films & Lionsgate, and TV films for Lifetime, as well as TV series with Phoenix Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, The Donner Company, Storyline Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions. She has been on both sides of option agreements and knows the ins and outs of what you need to take into account for your own option agreement. Lane will provide you essential practical knowledge on the ins and outs of option agreements and break them down step-by-step and section-by-section. You will know what is included in a typical option, what purchase price can be expected, what royalties can be expected, what reserved rights are and how to handle publishers releases, notarized addendums and author assignments. This is vital for authors and screenwriters who currently have or expect to have their own material optioned and want to know what monies they can expect to make, when, and how. But it is also highly beneficial for producers, directors, and talent looking to acquire their own underlying material for development- books, short stories, graphic novels, articles, etc. Lane will provide you with a comprehensive, but easy to understand deep dive on option agreements. She will remove the fear and anxiety which will allow you to clearly and decisively protect yourself and ask for the important items that need to be included in all your agreements. “Very impressed with Ms. Bishop, both her formal presentation and the Q & A that followed.” - Steve Weintz “The seminar was informative, insightful, well documented, entertaining, well thought out and delivered with a touch of humor. Wonderful!” - Katharine Carter
We've brought in Zeke Thomas, a VR producer who recently did the 360 experience for HAPPY DEATH DAY for Universal & Blumhouse and who's clients include: Paramount Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Nerdist Industries, VidCon, Youtube, Outside TV and more. Zeke will be breaking down the business of VR/360 in this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar. Billions of dollars have been poured into Virtual Reality & 360 spherical capture, but is there really a business for this form of storytelling? If you're already filming in VR/360 or are interested in pursuing this medium, it's important to understand not just the craft, but the business of it.
Whether we’re talking about a comedy or drama, sci-fi or horror, a film or television series, animated or live action, short-form or long-form, having good characters is essential. There’s no escaping it. Even a script with everything else going for it, if it doesn’t have strong, compelling characters, it’s not going to work. Great characters connect the audience to your world and ground it in humanity. They provide stakes, bolster your plot and keep it moving. It’s therefore crucial to understand what make an effective character and how you can create that in your own project. Unfortunately there’s not a step-by-step guide to crafting the perfect character. There’s no secret formula and there’s no surefire algorithm. Good characters are complicated and hard to define because so are people. Good characters hold a mirror up to reality and let the audience see themselves or someone else they know in them. And all of that might be fine and good in theory, but what does that actually mean in practice? If you’re a writer how can you create a character who serves as a mirror, who will stick with audiences long after the movie or show ends? And if you’re a producer or director, how can you recognize a great character from a mediocre one through the written word? Lee Sternthal is a screenwriter, director and photographer who has written screenplays for every major studio, including TRON: LEGACY for Disney, as well as scripts for Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson and many others. His film, THE WORDS starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons was an Official Sundance Film Festival selection and was later bought by CBS Films. Lee is a Sundance Institute Fellow, and his work has appeared on The Black List. Through his writing career, Lee has spent more time than most considering the art of character and using that to aid his own career, as well as writers he continues to mentor and champion. Lee will walk you through the power of character and how to create great characters for your own project. He’ll begin by discussing why exactly characters are so vital to story and will teach you the key differences between a TV character and a film character. Next he will give you a brief history of character in storytelling and reveal the one fictional character from history that all other characters draw from. Lee will then discuss the difference between heroes and anti-heroes, as well as help you determine which of your characters is the driver and which are the riders. He’ll then delve into the art of a great antagonist and why an interesting adversary is so crucial to a successful story. Lee will help you frame your story through the clarity of need, both in character and in story. Next Lee will go over the classic Hero’s Journey and slightly re-imagine it for modern times. He will give you strategies and exercises to better understand and develop your own characters, including his “What’s Their God?” and “Changing A Flat Tire” games. He’ll then teach you the concept of revealing character through behavior and hiding character with words. Next Lee will delve into the idea of how your characters fit into your world, including how the environment might change your character. He’ll teach you the Shakespearean approach to character and compare it to the Balzacian approach, and will also discuss the difference between neuroticism and human comedy. Finally Lee will go over the dance between plot and character, illustrating how the two should work with and against each other to create a feedback loop that’s necessary for any great script. Praise for Lee’s Webinar “Great insight. Really helped me in moving forward.” -Martin R. “I really enjoyed Lee's perspective on script writing. The examples he provided were very helpful. I'm very appreciative that he would share his knowledge, some of his techniques and be so generous with his encouragement.” -Simone L. “Lee had a great way of explaining how to get a feel for the character and why they have the traits they do. Lee did a great job of covering a lot of character related topics which I am glad I have been exposed to.” -Karl H.