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
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Many beginning filmmakers, even many accomplished ones, remain confused about “the market”, when it comes to short films. But the true question is not “Is there a market?” but rather “Is there a market for me, my film, in the short film world?” The answer is an unconditional “Yes.” Short films are more popular than ever. With more and more film festivals catering to short films, increasing outlets for distribution, and online platforms offering the promise of revenue sharing models, the appeal of making a short film is on the rise. But how do you market your short film? How do you increase your chances of not only being seen, but even making a return on a short film? The answers are out there, if you know the right questions to ask. David Paterson, is an accomplished writer, director, and producer of short films that have been seen in over 100 film festivals throughout the world. David knows that the "marketing" of your short begins well before FADE IN. And as an advisor to four major film festivals as well as performing as a juror on several short film contests, David is an expert at the most successful ways to market your short film. David will discuss not only the many marketable elements of a short film, but how you can develop and cater that film to best benefit you as a writer, filmmaker, or producer. He will show you how, by focusing on your talents and profession within the short film, you can maximize "the bang for your buck". Further, David will cover the holy grail that all filmmakers want to master: Distribution, Recognition and Monetization of their short film. None of these three objectives come without pitfalls. In comprehensive fashion, David will walk you through those pitfalls, how to avoid them, and put you on the road to recognizing and obtaining that perfect "market" for your short film. "I find the market for short films daunting. While I love the process of making a film, getting it seen and the idea of making money off of my work has always been a black hole for me. This information made me realize that I've been taking an "all or nothing" approach instead of a targeted one." - Maya V.
It's not an understatement to say that the decisions made during the casting of your film, short film, TV pilot, or short form digital content can make or break or break your project. Being able to cast a wide enough net to assure that you see enough actors so you can choose those who fit the vision and tone of the material is paramount. But not all filmmakers and producers have that kind of reach. Further, they don't have the connections and experience to not only cast that wide net, but also bring in familiar and experienced talent that can accelerate this aspect of the pre-production process while saving valuable time, resources, and, most importantly, money. But for many, identifying and engaging casting directors of value is a challenging process. And for that reason alone, many filmmakers and producers handle the casting calls, the auditions and the decisions to hire their actors on their own. Often, that's a fatal mistake. Finding the right actors for your film does not have to be difficult. Neither does interviewing and, eventually hiring a casting director. The fact is, casting directors are plugged in to the most experienced and the best up and coming talent. Further, they know what to look for in the room during the audition process. What questions to ask. What signs to look for. And what red flags may be readily visible to them that you might overlook. While many filmmakers and producers believe they can't afford a casting director, they don't have the information and knowledge to truly know. Experienced filmmakers and producers know they have to include a casting director in their budget. And they also know that they can secure one without breaking the bank while bringing enormous value to their project. Over the course of her stellar and prestigious career, Casting Director Erica S. Bream (CSA) has had the opportunity to work on a myriad of projects across all platforms. A few of these titles include TV series such as ALTERED CARBON, COLONY, WORKAHOLICS, HOUSE OF LIES, CRIMINAL MINDS, and the upcoming TELL ME YOUR SECRETS, PANDORA as well as numerous TV pilots and miniseries, including Hulu’s 11.22.63, and FULL CIRCLE from DirecTV. She has worked on several feature films including STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS and many indie films, such as the John Legend-produced BREAKING THROUGH. Erica has also worked extensively in the internet and short film worlds, most recently casting award-winning AFI short, RITA MAHTOUBIAN IS NOT A TERRORIST as well as PINKY for Refinery29. She has also ventured back to her first love, theatre, working closely with THE BLANK THEATRE COMPANY and IAMA THEATRE COMPANY in Los Angeles on many main-stage plays, as well as numerous years casting The Blank's prestigious YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL. Finally, Erica is an Artios Award winner (Casting Society of America) and seven-time nominee for her work in theatre, television and short films. Erica will teach you exactly what a casting director does and lay out in specific detail why you need to hire one and where to find one that can make a difference for your project. She will cover all your questions on budgeting for a casting director and what the expectations should be. She will discuss how to approach casting directors for features, short films, web series, digital shorts and more. She will show you how to secure name talent that can lead to a greenlight. Erica will also take you through the audition process, including live and taped auditions, and call back sessions. She will take you through common mistakes filmmakers and producers make when communicating with casting directors and how to not only avoid them, but what to do instead. This is a full, immersive deep dive into demystifying all the untruths and misinformation regarding hiring casting directors and how, instead, you can have a CD on your team that can help elevate your material and allow for you to see your vision on screen with actors who can carry that vision forward. Praise for Erica "I've been listening to the wrong voices. For the longest time I thought it would be impossible to get a casting director to cast my film and also thought it would be ridiculously expensive. My world has completely opened up." - Christina T. "Now I know exactly why my casting director was the wrong casting director. I won't make the same mistake twice." - Aimee C. "Drop the mic advice." - Slater M. "This felt like I was accepted into a secret club. So much information that I have never heard before. Insider kind of information. Thank you, Erica!" - Dina R.
Your film requires a unique budget based on the scale of the story, special effects, stunts, visual aesthetic, insurance, and so much more. But how much is that going to cost you? If you're looking for financing, how do you explain the dollar amount you need to investors? You need a budget. Do you know what budget tier your film is? How to create a production schedule? How to "guesstimate" your costs? How to do a budget display for investors? Well, you're about to find out! Creating a budget is not in your everyday skills, and that's okay! Most writers and directors have never created a budget, making it vital to get the correct information to know what your production needs. Quality budgets are the job of line producers, but they take time to create and are typically expensive. A line producer knows all the crewmembers, equipment, and unique additives that your script requires, as well as where you can save money. But you need this information long before you hire a line producer because you have to create an estimated budget to draw investors. This exclusive Stage 32 webinar shows you how to create an estimated budget for your film, including a Q&A with a professional line producer so that you can receive direct expert knowledge regarding your script. For over a decade, Chris Smith has built budgets working on over ten indie features and has worked as an Executive in Charge of Production, creating reality content for Travel Channel, Cartoon Network, NatGeo, MTV, and more. Having moved through the production ranks, he knows every crew role and rental and why they each require a line item in the budget. He’s also built over a hundred budgets for every type of project you can think of. His budgeting philosophy is simple: measure twice ‘cuz you only shoot once… hopefully. By the end of this webinar, you will be able to create an accurate budget estimate and have the confidence to talk about that estimate with any potential investors and professionals that are as excited to get moving on your project as you. You will also: Break down your script for the schedule and budget Understand budget tiers Know what causes unexpected cost increases Looking at "comps" (comparable examples) Learn how to communicate your budget effectively to investors and more!
Reality television is more popular than ever as more networks and streamers are greenlighting more reality than any time in history. New shows like Netflix’s INDIAN MATCHMAKING and SELLING SUNSET are finding huge audiences while classics like MILLION DOLLAR LISTING and DEALIEST CATCH continue to find success and spinoffs years later. But it is hard – perhaps harder than ever - to lock in the right on-camera talent sell a new reality concept. The early steps of creating a reality TV concept and finding and locking in the right talent are critical – not just for selling a project but making sure it will work once you get a green light. Yet if you’re able to find the right talent, the right concept, and the right vehicle for your unscripted series, you may have just found a hit that will not only make it to series on a streamer or network, but thrive in today’s landscape for years to come. Creating the perfect new reality show often comes down to finding the right on-screen talent that will pop on camera and find an emotional connection with the millions watching at home. Yet it takes a delicate balance and lot of boxes that need to be checked in order to find this. It can also come down to how the directors and producers work with and treat the talent to ensure they come across well on screen. There are countless mistakes newcomers make when putting together their show, onboarding their talent, conducting interviews, and more, but avoiding the biggest mistakes and going in with a clear plan can make your show come to life and find success. Jim Milio is an Emmy nominated producer, director and writer of reality television with more than 30 years in the business. His credits include RESCUE 911 which ran for 7 seasons on CBS and starred William Shatner, DOG WHISPERER starring Cesar Millan, which ran for 9 seasons on National Geographic, TRUE DETECTIVES for CBS, DISCOVERY CHANNEL ECO-CHALLENGE for Discovery, ROSWELL: STARTLING NEW EVIDENCE for SyFy, and TAKEDOWN for TruTV, among many others. Milio is currently writing, directing and producing the new reality series OPERATION HIDDEN TREASURES that will air on Discovery later this year. Jim is also an author whose latest book Jim's Hollywood Finty Stones, describes how you can break into the industry, illuminated by true tales of his encounters with Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, Will Ferrell, Nia Vardalos, Liza Minelli, Robert DeNiro and dozens more. No one knows better than Jim how to find ordinary people and make a hit show with them, and he’s ready to share his secrets with you. Over an in-depth 90-minute presentation, Jim will break down how you can create and develop a successful reality show by finding and working with the right on-screen talent. To do so, Jim will explain the reality show landscape today to give you a sense of where you can fit in, before diving deep into how you’re able to find and lock in the right talent for your show. He’ll discuss critical aspects like getting rights, interviewing people the right way and what it looks like to build a series around an existing company or business. He’ll even give you tools on how to protect yourself and your talent along the way, so when a network or streamer says yes, you can be sure you’re not fired off your own project. If you have a great idea for a reality show or want to get into this lucrative business, it’s imperative you hear from an expert like Jim first.
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.
Any filmmaker who has worked with animals on set even once knows things can get complicated fast. Even actions as simple as walking a dog or petting a cat get tough when the animal is uncooperative or overwhelmed by crew, equipment, and multiple takes. No matter how small or independent your production is, it’s often worth it to bring on an animal trainer or handler when dealing with your furry (or scaly or feathery) castmates. And whether you have a trainer or not, it’s critical that you understand some key protocols and strategies to get the performance you’re looking for and keep the animal, cast and crew safe, comfortable and happy. Getting a great animal performance for your project can be a huge boon, but there’s a lot that goes into this and a number of considerations you need to make ahead of time. Yet this side of filmmaking can feel fairly niche—it’s not something a lot of people in the industry are adept at, and it’s certainly not usually taught in film school. So where do you even start? Do you hire an existing animal actor or can you bring on your own pet? How do you find a good animal trainer or handler that doesn’t use adverse training methods? And what do you need to do to keep everyone safe and comfortable but still get the animal performance you’re hoping for? There’s a lot to consider, but knowing general safety preparation, protocols and strategies can make all the difference. Theresa Carroll is an accomplished animal trainer and coordinator with over 15 years of experience and credits on projects like THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, ANNIE and SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. Starting her career by providing pet therapy at children’s hospitals, Theresa has since provided animal acquisition, training and set coordination for countless films, TV shows, theater productions and commercials. Her other recent credits include MR. ROBOT, HIGH MAINTENANCE, THE LEFTOVERS, BILLIONS, POWER, LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MYERS, and commercials for AMERICAN EXPRESS, BLUE BUFFALO and NICKELODEON, among many others. Theresa’s deep experience working with animals on many different projects of varying budgets and requirements has made her an expert in this field and given her a passion in ensuring animals and the cast and crew around them are safe and have positive experiences. Theresa will teach you how to safely and effectively work with animal actors for your independent production and bring in animal trainers or handlers to get the performance you’re looking for and keep everyone safe and happy. She will first explain how you should find and bring on an animal trainer, including when you need one, where you should look, what aspects you should focus on, and how much you should expect to pay. She’ll also outline what you need to do ahead of production to prepare for shooting with animals, including setting safely guidelines, insurance, and proper documentation and paperwork. Theresa will then dive into how to actually navigate the shoot day with animal actors and will show you how cast and crew should interact with animals, where to hold them, how to acclimate animals, and much more.