Clay Liford is an award winning independent filmmaker and director of photography whose projects have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Munich, AFI Film fest and more. As a director of photography, Clay has shot over twenty-five features, including the SXSW award-winning films ST. NICK and GAYBY. His film credits also include WUSS, EARTHLING, SLASH, and MY MOM SMOKES WEED, a Sundance Film Festival favorite. As an indie filmmaker, editor, and writer, Clay has mastered the art of pre-production and production so that his projects move like clockwork. And as a film production instructor at the University of Texas, Clay has become proficient at teaching his methods for efficiency and artistic self-sufficiency. Now he’s sharing what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
You may be surprised by JUST how many successful filmmakers today began their career by writing short films. Everyone from Christopher Nolan to Ryan Coogler to Chloe Zhao to Justin Lin have short film writing credits to their name and used those projects to springboard their career. This is how new and untested creatives can prove their mettle, get their name out there and actually get their foot in the door. And you can do this as well. Whether you’re building up your filmmaking career, itching to write the next festival darling or award-worthy short film, or just love the short form format, you too, can master the art of short film writing.
There are many reasons and inspirations for writing a short, but shorter doesn’t mean easier to write. One of the great challenges is that many people go into writing a short with the mindset of creating a proof of concept for a feature. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, this mindset tends to encourage a few logical fallacies, and in a strange way actually devalues the work. Short films require a fine balance of elegance and story economy. They require an innovative storytelling technique that usually takes years of practice and feedback to master. With the right guidance though, you’ll be able to master this in no time.
Clay Liford is an award-winning independent filmmaker and director of photography whose many shorts include the Sundance hit MY MOM SMOKES WEED. His projects have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Munich, AFI Film fest and more. As a director of photography, Clay has shot over twenty-five features, including the SXSW award-winning films ST. NICK and GAYBY. His film credits also include WUSS, EARTHLING, SLASH, and MY MOM SMOKES WEED, a Sundance Film Festival favorite. As an indie filmmaker, editor, and writer, Clay has mastered the art of writing and making both feature length and short films. He is also a film production instructor at the University of Texas, who has become proficient at teaching his methods for efficiency and artistic self-sufficiency. Now he’s sharing what he knows with the Stage 32 community.
Clay will take you through his proven and effective approach to writing and effective short films that get you noticed and advance your career. He’ll go over the REAL differences between shorts and features, what every short film needs to succeed, how to think like a director (even if you’re not one), and how to maximize your festival strategy. Most importantly, he’s going to introduce you to the concept of Iconography. You’ll have the opportunity to ask him questions, and by the end of this webinar, you’ll fall in love with this format and walk away with a new perspective and appreciation for the short film format. Clay's guidance will give you confidence to develop your short film and help you succeed in the short film market.
PLUS! Clay provides you with the following handouts:
Testimonials for Clay's Webinar:
"Clay had great energy and pace. He was able to explain things in different ways and with excellent examples."
"Clay didn't sugar coat anything - keeping the short within a tight budget and length is smart strategy & practical. I appreciated his honesty."
- Shaan D.
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Learn how to "make your day" on time and on budget while achieving your creative vision from a director who has made over 25 feature films and has screened at Sundance, South by Southwest, and more! PLUS! You will receive exclusive handouts including Director Duties, Shot List Components, and a Director's Reading List to help you on your next project! The number one expense facing all filmmakers (indie or otherwise) will always be... time. Falling behind just one day quickly leads to another, and another…and a domino effect! You suddenly have a runaway production. It doesn’t matter how creative or inspired you are, if you can’t get it “in the can” on time and on budget, you’re going to have a difficult career. This is especially true in the indie space, where your budget limitations are often quite rigid and not at all conducive to any directorial hesitancy or indecision. Thankfully there’s a proven method to keep you on track, while still allowing for spontaneous inspiration and experimentation on set. It also happens to be the industry standard, and applies to any level of filmmaking - from student short to studio feature. You don’t have to toss the creative baby out with the budgetary bathwater, contrary to popular belief. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you will learn where to put the emphasis in your pre-production process and a specific method for planning shots and scenes (shot lists, top down lighting plots) optimized for making your day without turning you into a budgetary bean-counter. This course also serves as a strong “trouble-shooting” guide applicable to the vast majority of scheduling issues that seem to always arise on set. You will gain a confidence in the time management necessary to focus on what really matters - performance and “the visuals.” Here to guide you through all the considerations you should take to best make your day while maintaining your creative process is Clay Liford, a graduate of the University of Texas film program who now teaches all aspects of film production at his alma mater. Clay has made over 25 feature films that have garnered numerous accolades and screened at Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, and more. Clay is excited to share his plethora of knowledge and experience with the Stage 32 community so your next project will be a success! PLUS! Clay will provide you with exclusive handouts to help you on your next project. Downloads include: Director's Duties Shot List Components Director's Reading List You no longer have to choose between being “fast” or “good.” In fact, you’ll quickly learn that those two elements are actually intrinsically tied together, rather than mutually exclusive! Praise For Clay's Webinar: "Clay had great energy and pace. He was able to explain things in different ways and with excellent examples." --Magi A. "Clay didn't sugar coat anything - keeping the short within a tight budget and length is smart strategy & practical. I appreciated his honesty." --Shaan D.
Learn how to make an independent feature film that stands out - from developing the right project for you to premiering your film in the most effective way - from award-winning filmmaker Clay Liford PLUS! You'll receive 3 exclusive handouts from Clay to help you on your own independent filmmaking journey! ***Flexible Learning: if you cannot attend any of the sessions live don't worry - you will be sent the links to the recordings of each session within 48 hours of the live session and you will have direct access to Sean on email to ask him any questions so you can keep up at your own pace and schedule.*** Payment plans available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details Most of us pursue filmmaking as a career due to our lifelong love of watching movies. It’s often said that before filmmakers develop their own personal styles, many subconsciously “borrow” tropes from the very filmmakers who shaped their early lives. The visionaries who put the fire in their bellies to begin with. This is totally natural and not a problem, except for when it comes down to a question of practical resources. Particularly when you’re producing your first feature film. The vast majority of us are influenced by studio films. Productions with incredibly deep pockets and A-list stars. There’s a strange tendency to assume the best tactic when tackling your own movies amounts to “beat them at their own game.” But there’s the problem. First time filmmakers rarely have studio-level resources at their disposal so their specific choices and approach to the process is what can make or break their film. Essentially, you can’t make “Die Hard in your backyard”. You’re not playing on the same field. But, if you have the right approach, you can turn your limited resources in a powerful feature film that can not only get the attention of studios, but ironically beat them at their own game. In this exclusive and interactive Stage 32 4-part class, you will learn how to hone your craft and the process of independent filmmaking from start to finish so your independent feature film can rise above the rest. You will learn the types of creative choices to make when approaching an independent film to increase your odds of success, how to develop your own visual style and directorial point of view, and garner an understanding of your overall role as the director. You will cover everything from how to maximize your pre-production, how to communicate with your cast and crew, how to determine when you've got the footage you need, how to properly work with your editor and even how to best receive and manage notes from producers and investors. Teaching you everything you need to know to succeed as an independent filmmaker is award-winning filmmaker Clay Liford, who has written and directed four feature films to date, including WUSS (SXSW, AFI Audience Award Winner), EARTHLING (SXSW), and SLASH (SXSW, Edinburgh, Munich). All are currently available to stream. As a director of photography, Clay has shot over twenty features, including the award-winning films ST. NICK (SXSW) and GAYBY (SxSW). He's worked with SyFy, Vice, and Troma Films. He was also a creator on the Paramount+ series STRANGE ANGEL. His latest feature, THE TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL REGIONAL THEATER FESTIVAL MURDERS is currently in pre-production. There’s a strong balance between artistic and realistic, and thankfully they aren’t mutually exclusive. You just need to learn how to walk in both worlds at the same time. This class will help you put your best foot forward in choosing and developing your project and in executing it in a manner most likely to produce the greatest impact on your audience, your distributors and your career. PLUS! You’ll receive exclusive handouts to help you on your independent filmmaking journey. Downloads include: Combined Indie Film Design Charts & Efficient Shot List/Coverage Tables Story Structure for Smaller Films Charts & Data Indie Film Steps & Overview - Rudimentary Technical Knowhow Praise for Clay's Stage 32 Teaching: “As an up and coming director, I had some experience before taking the class but was able to really hone my craft with Clay's help. I highly recommend to anyone in the industry." -- Chris B. "No matter your role in the filmmaking process, you should take this course. Clay teaches things that everyone on set should know, so we can all come together to make the best project." -- Lori M. "As a writer, I took this course to get my feet wet with directing but actually learned so much more than just directing. This course has changed my writing for the better. I'm very grateful for Clay's time and energy with all his students!" -- Mark W.
Learn the essential fundamentals of film directing from a director who has made over 25 feature films that have screened at Sundance, South by Southwest, and more! Every director has their own unique visual and narrative style. But there are universal fundamentals of directing related to the process of taking a script to screen, working with actors, finding synergy with a cinematographer and crew, and taking a film through production into the edit room to complete the journey that every director must know. You personal technique is built upon the foundational aspects of this process that clearly defines the various responsibilities of anyone sitting in the director’s chair. This exclusive Stage 32 on-demand 4-part class will teach you the definitions, distinctions and steps that are universally applicable, no matter what your personal style or philosophy is, in regard to the elemental duties of a director. Your Stage 32 educator for this class is award-winning director Clay Liford. Clay has made over 25 feature films that have garnered numerous accolades and screened at The Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, and more. Clay is a graduate of the prestigious University of Texas film program and now teaches all aspects of film production at his alma mater. Clay is excited to share his plethora of filmmaking knowledge and experience with the Stage 32 community. Clay will cover the fundamentals of directing which include: Script analysis & customization Team-building: both Cast & Crew (including audition & rehearsal techniques which may surprise you) Core Technical Competencies (lenses, art direction and lighting for directors) Using Pre-Production to prepare you for success (shot lists, top-downs, etc) Walking in two worlds: the director on set and in post-production PLUS! Clay will provide you with exclusive handouts to help on your directing journey. Downloads include: Example camera and lighting diagrams Director “cheat sheets” with regards to acting and cinematography Readings, exercises, screenings and other assignments are designed to sharpen your narrative and visual awareness as a director. Clay will show you how, by understanding the essentials, you can harness your unique directorial vision and point of view in the most effective ways to build your masterpiece. Praise for Clay's Stage 32 Teaching: “As an up and coming director, I had some experience before taking the class but was able to really hone my craft with Clay's help. I highly recommend to anyone in the industry." -- Chris B. "No matter your role in the filmmaking process, you should take this course. Clay teaches things that everyone on set should know, so we can all come together to make the best project." -- Lori M. "As a writer, I took this course to get my feet wet with directing but actually learned so much more than just directing. This course has changed my writing for the better. I'm very grateful for Clay's time and energy with all his students!" -- Mark W.
4-PART IN-DEPTH CLASS (OVER 8 HOURS OF EDUCATION) Learn from a director who's worked with Paramount+, Syfy, Vice, and more. Includes Exclusive Handouts Only Available For Those In Clay's Class! There are countless views on the “correct” way to direct, however there are universal fundamentals that all directors can use, whether it’s your first film or your 20th. Learn these fundamentals of directing in this class! In this exclusive Stage 32 class, you’ll learn the fundamental pillars of directing and techniques you need to do the job at a professional level. This includes how to analyze the script and bring in your unique vision, how to build your cast and crew, what technical elements from lensing to lighting you need to know, how to use pre-production for a successful production and, ultimately, your role in the editor’s room. You’ll cover how to collaborate with your cinematographer to define your style, how best work with your actors, and how to strengthen your visual awareness, all while participating in readings, exercises, screenings, and other assignments to sharpen your skills. Guiding you is award-winning director Clay Liford. Clay has written and directed four feature films that have screened at major festivals like SXSW, AFI, and Sundance, and his short film, MY MOM SMOKES WEED, has played at over 40 festivals. He’s also worked with major entertainment studios, networks, and production companies, including Syfy, Paramount+, Vice, and Troma Film. Clay is also sharing with you these exclusive handouts: Example diagrams Director “cheat sheets” for acting and lensing Phrasing for communicating with actors and crew And more By the end of the four intensive sessions with Clay, you will have developed the ability and self-confidence to communicate your vision and translate it from the page to the screen as a director. Don’t miss out on the chance to learn these universal techniques every director needs while shaping your own unique style and vision.
Advanced and in-depth 2-part directing class with award-winning Sundance and SXSW and director Clay Liford Learn how to handle shot coverage, scheduling, and time management on set! Perhaps the biggest challenge for any director, new or experienced, big budget or small, film or TV, is making your day, and ensuring you are efficiently getting the footage and performances you need so you don't go over schedule and over budget. This is difficult, but there’s a proven method to keep you on track, while still allowing for inspiration and experimentation on set. It also happens to be the industry standard, and applies to any level of filmmaking - from student short to studio feature. It comes down to identifying what to plan and what to improvise. The truth is the more you plan, the more you’re free to experiment while filming - provided you optimize your time and focus on the right elements. Let's go deep into how exactly to plan your day so you can do your job on set, stay in control, stay creative, and leave with the best possible film you can make. Clay Liford is an award winning independent filmmaker and director of photography whose projects have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Munich, AFI Film Fest and more. As a director of photography, Clay has shot over twenty-five features, including the SXSW award-winning films ST. NICK and GAYBY. His film credits also include WUSS, EARTHLING, SLASH, and MY MOM SMOKES WEED, a Sundance Film Festival favorite. As an indie filmmaker, editor, and writer, Clay has mastered the art of pre-production and production so that his projects move like clockwork. And as a film production instructor at the University of Texas, Clay has become proficient at teaching his methods for efficiency and artistic self-sufficiency. Now he’s sharing what he knows with the Stage 32 community. In this intensive on-demand 2-part class, Clay will show you how you can save time and money as a filmmaker by employing strategies and practices to make your day and keep your project moving. Focusing on both pre-production and production, Clay will walk you through how exactly to plan your days on set, address where to place emphasis in your pre-production process, and lay out a specific method for planning shots and scenes, which includes shot lists and top-down lighting plots. Along the way, Clay will provide invaluable handouts and case studies. Praise for Clay's Previous Stage 32 Education: "Excellent - granular and practical, not just theoretical." --Peter C. "Clay was amazing. Would love to take more classes from him" --Jacqueline A. "I was impressed with Clay. He has what feels like a natural gift for teaching from a comfortable and personal level" --Maeve T.
We've all read the studies as to the benefits of meditation toward living a more calm and focused life. What you may not know is that many successful people from entrepreneurs to athletes to artists and film creatives use a combination of meditation and visualization to identify and prioritize what's important toward achieving their overall goals, concentrate on important tasks, cut out distractions and stay in the zone. If you find yourself lacking motivation or focus in your creative pursuits, if you're feeling beaten down by global events, if you feel as if you're unable to push through to higher plateaus, CHI energy might just provide the answer you're looking for. The idea behind CHI Energy is to help you free yourself of all mental obstructions by using state of the art techniques and mindset strategies that help elevate performance and results to the highest level of consciousness whether your work is behind or in front of the camera. Patricia Chica is a multiple award-winning director, producer, energy influencer and coach whose mission is to bridge the gap between storytelling, performance and Chi Energy within the film industry. She has been a go to teacher for hundreds of actors, crew members, and film industry professionals. Through individual training and her global CHI Energy Workshops, Patricia has helped legions of people become aware of the power of the mind, body and spirit and how to use that energy to better create, get through blocks, overcome mental obstacles and generally find more happiness in all pursuits. Another goal of CHI Energy is to help you become a better collaborator, something that can serve you well throughout your career. Patricia will introduce you to the unique approach and application of conscious practices that she has not only taught around the world, but uses on with her cast and crew on her own projects as a filmmaker and a producer. She will cover how to boost your immune system so you have less down time and worries about missing your goals due to health issues. She'll teach you the art of zen, but more importantly, how to carry that zen with you in the day to day - especially important in these uncertain times. She will show you how to use your time at home to elevate your performance and creativity to a higher level. In a very key segment, Patricia will speak to the 5 levels of empathy and how to expand our emotional connection. Patricia will then take you through meditation and visualization exercises that you can begin practicing today! This webinar is open to all industry professionals, writers, directors, producers, financiers, sales agents, crew people and actors curious to learn simple techniques involving Chi Energy, visualization, and meditation and how to apply them for filmmaking, peak performance and creativity. Praise for Patricia's Stage 32 Webinar: Very positive and inspiring. Loved her five levels of empathy and how you work with each chakra. -JoAnne E. Great content! -Maritere Y. Awesome topic, Loved it! -Caroline B.