Nicholas Levis is a highly sought-after producer known for his hands-on, think-outside-the-box producing style. He has produced content in 30 states and 10 nations. He is frequently called upon by creative powerhouses who know his track record of giving life to even the most complex scripts because of his in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the production process and close industry relationships. Nicholas’s notable career highlights include the highly regarded 2016 DNC Hillary Clinton biography he produced for Shonda Rhimes and EUE Screen Gems as well as his SXSW-winning documentary Darkon which is currently being developed into a scripted series. His recent film producer credits include Who Is Christmas Eve? for the Bounce Network and Lionsgate film, Dreamkatcher, starring Lin Shaye, Radha Mitchell, and Henry Thomas. Additional recent globally distributed films include High Strung and High Strung Free Dance, directed by Michael Damian and starring Jane Seymour and Thomas Doherty. Nicholas Levis is the founder and CEO of BrandCinema, a content development and production company for film, television, and digital content. Full Bio »
Join the CEO of BrandCinema and producer of multiple feature films to discover how to identify and access tax incentives that can help finance your film.
Plus! Receive 10 exclusive handouts, including a tax incentive resource sheet, to help you find those incentives.
Let's face it... making a movie can be expensive.
The prep, development, production, and post-production costs add up quickly, and the need for more money is real at all budget levels. But production is also big business and state governments around the country have programs that give productions money to incentive them to shoot in their state and employ their residents. You can take some of the pressure off of your budget and investors by using state tax incentives and rebates in specific locations to help finance your film.
In this exclusive on-demand Stage 32 webinar, you'll learn what kinds of tax incentives are available to you in the United States and all of the ways you can utilize them to finance and produce your film.
Why do states give out what level of tax credit? How do we access them? This webinar will explain it all and help you take that aggressive first step in using these resources to make your indie feature.
Having worked in various states that offer film incentives, your instructor, Nicholas Levis, shows you how this opportunity is essential for you, your investors and your distributor. That money can make the difference in your project happening or your investors getting a return on their investment. That means the difference in getting your movie made.
These tax incentives do, however, come with challenges. You'll see the stringent guidelines by using examples from certain territories. We will explore the legal and accounting obligations required to stay in compliance.
The tax incentive is one of the assumed standards in the entertainment business, so don't miss out on this opportunity to learn how to reach those key government officials who want your movie in their state.
Nicholas Levis is a highly sought-after producer and the founder and CEO of BrandCinema. He's well-known for his think-outside-the-box producing style, having produced content across the country in 30 states utilizing the incentives discussed in this webinar. His recent film credits include WHO IS CHRISTMAS EVE? for the Bounce Network and DREAMKATCHER for Lionsgate, starring Lin Shaye, Radha Mitchell, and Henry Thomas. He also recently produced the globally distributed films HIGH STRUNG and HIGH STRUNG REE DANCE, directed by Michael Damian and starring Jane Seymour and Thomas Doherty.
Not only will you walk away from this webinar knowing how to use these great sources of financing for your film, but you'll also receive exclusive access to the resources below to find tax incentives available to you:
"As a mentor at heart, the opportunity to be engaged by this amazing global community at Stage32 makes my teaching webinar sessions feel like I'm learning..." -- Nicholas Levis
An Overview / Understanding of Tax Incentives
Making the Decision- Where to begin
Some Key Factors
The Money and Management Considerations
Q&A with Nicholas
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Streamers have committed an incredible amount of money into creating original content – in 2022 alone Netflix committed to $19 billion and Disney a staggering $34 billion. Plus, with production offices popping up around the world – Netflix expanding into Poland and Italy and Disney having a UK outpost - international filmmaking and television making show no signs of slowing down. In order to meet this demand, more and more streamers are producing local language content and they must find producers to partner with to continue to produce at scale all over the globe. So why do they need producers and how can you work with them? To take you through the process is Nicholas Levis, who is an international producer that has worked in 30 states and 10 nations, primarily for streaming platforms including Netflix and studios like Lionsgate. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will learn that working with the streamers brings a new set of expectations, rules, deliverables and workflow. We will explore those differences and expectations so you can be prepared when your opportunity arises. The skills of being a good producer are rather standard, but once you begin producing for a streamer, it is key you understand how that changes your role as a producer, what the expectations are, and how to most efficiently work with them to truly impress and hopefully get the next job. You will walk away from this webinar with the first hand knowledge that you will need to succeed in this ever changing world of global television and film! PLUS! You’ll receive: Downloadable blueprint that breaks down the streamer producing process from pre-production throughout post production Praise for Nicholas' previous webinars: "As a mentor at heart, the opportunity to be engaged by this amazing global community at Stage32 makes my teaching webinar sessions feel like I'm learning..." -- Nicholas Levis "Very genuine educator who obviously knows his stuff. Lots of details to be aware of when making your decisions on filming locations and post - each project is unique - so it's not a standard set of answers." - Susan S. "Nicholas gave me life-changing information! My out of state project questions were easily figured out." - Sarah B. "Such insightful knowledge, tips and tricks of the trade and he made it easy to understand!" - Tom T.
One of the most crucial decisions you can make as an independent producer is also one of the first: should you produce your project working with the unions or should you shoot non-union? Cast and crew from unions can help with packaging your film and ensure different department needs are met. At the same time, when you’re trying to keep your budget low, shooting non-union is the smart choice for your production. The trick is to choose the path that is best for you and your project, and this exclusive Stage 32 webinar will walk you through the pros and cons of both options, and even show you some tips and tricks you didn’t know before. Guiding you is Nicholas Levis, a highly sought-after producer, and the founder and CEO of BrandCinema. Nicholas is known for his think-outside-the-box producing style. He has produced content in 30 states and 10 nations and is regarded for his in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the production process and close industry relationships. His recent film producing credits include WHO IS CHRISTMAS EVE? for the Bounce Network and DREAMKATCHER for Lionsgate, starring Lin Shaye, Radha Mitchell, and Henry Thomas. He also recently produced the globally distributed films HIGH STRUNG and HIGH STRUNG REE DANCE, directed by Michael Damian and starring Jane Seymour and Thomas Doherty. Nicholas will draw on his years of industry experience to show you how your budget and vision will impact your choices, the key factors to consider, and ultimately, how to embrace the best choice for your project. Even if you already know which path is for you, this webinar will go deeper and show you every aspect you need to know, like mistakes to avoid when approaching unions, how tiers affect unions and fees, and more. You’ll walk away from this webinar understanding the many different unions, how to communicate with them, and what it takes to work without them. This decision impacts every step of your production. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn this vital information so you can make the best choices on all your productions. Praise for Nicholas' previous webinars: "Very genuine educator who obviously knows his stuff. Lots of details to be aware of when making your decisions on filming locations and post - each project is unique - so it's not a standard set of answers." - Susan S. "Nicholas gave me life-changing information! My out of state project questions were easily figured out." - Sara B. "Such insightful knowledge, tips and tricks of the trade and he made it easy to understand!" - Tom T. "As a mentor at heart, the opportunity to be engaged by this amazing global community at Stage32 makes my teaching webinar sessions feel like I'm learning..." -- Nicholas Levis
It can be more exciting to focus on the creative side of developing and producing your film or TV project, but if you’re a producer, you know this is not the only aspect you need to cover. Navigating business and legal aspects can truly make or break your project. Handling IP, chain of title, contracts and legal documents, setting up production entities, domestic and international negotiations with producers, financiers, talent agents and law firms—the list goes on, and not one element can be overlooked or handled haphazardly. No matter the size of your project, understanding the business and legal affairs that come with it is of the utmost importance and can be the difference between your film making it to the screen and falling apart in the process. Business and legal affairs are a different story for larger independent production companies and studios. They will have in-house staff and lawyers to handle these matters or can hire outside production council. This is likely not be possible for your smaller independent project. As a result, business and legal affairs are often overlooked in smaller productions—to the production’s own detriment. Yet it doesn’t need to be this way. You don’t need to hire a team of attorneys in order to ensure your indie project is covered and protected. Instead, you need to understand which aspects of business and legal affairs are important, what support there is available for independent producers, and how to best navigate the process to ensure every other aspect off your production stays on track. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will discuss both business and legal affairs that will be involved with your independent production. He’ll dive into how to deal with multiple players in the industry while putting together your project, how to negotiate and make deals, and the other business knowledge and expertise that is important for you to know when putting your film or series together. On the legal side, David will explain the different types of agreements you’ll need to have and the process of navigating many agreements at once. He’ll also go into the trickier aspects of legal affairs including domestic vs. international jurisdiction, distribution rights and licensing, recoupment schedules, and even arbitration and legal proceedings. Through David’s advanced and wide-stretching presentation, he will share with you countless tools that you can take to ensure that your own project is protected and can ultimately come together.
The television landscape has changed dramatically over the years and continues to evolve, seemingly on a weekly basis. Yet through all of it, an undeniable constant has been late night TV. In fact, with their up-to-the-minute spoofs of our fast-changing news cycle and cultural landscape, late night shows like THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON, THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH, LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER, and FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE have never been more relevant. The appetite is high, but writing for this rapid-turnaround genre is its own skill set, separate from others used throughout TV and film. Furthermore, getting hired for such a show can be particularly challenging. Yet it’s still possible. So how can you prepare yourself with for when late night writing opportunities present themselves, and can you find these opportunities in the first place? For as ever-present as late night TV is, the industry itself can seem hard-to-know and enigmatic. It’s certainly less covered in media than other types of television. Yet if you’re interested in writing for a late night program, it’s critical to have a basic understanding of how these shows work--both the media ecosystem they exist in, and more specifically, how they are produced day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour. It’s also crucial to put together a strong, standout Late-Night Writers’ Packet, which combines a number of different elements that decision makers are looking for when hiring. If you want to pursue a career in late night writing, it’s time to learn everything you need to know to find success. Rob Kutner is an Emmy, Peabody, and Grammy Award-winning late night television staff writer who has worked on shows like CONAN and THE DAILY SHOW. Starting out as a writers’ assistant on DENNIS MILLER LIVE, Rob is also the author of the satirical end-of-times bestseller Apocalypse How: Turn the End Times into the Best of Times! and has written material for the Oscars, Emmys, Writers’ Guild Awards, MTV Movie Awards, Guys’ Choice Awards, and two White House Correspondents’ Dinners. Rob has spent the majority of his storied career operating and thriving in the world of late night television and is ready to tell you how you can do the same. Rob will teach you how late night television works and how you can best position yourself to find opportunities as a writer within it. He’ll begin by going over an introduction to late night television, including a brief history and overview, an examination of how late night is different than other genres, how a late night show generally works, and what a typical day on a program like this looks like. Next Rob will go through his own experiences with late night and extract the biggest lessons he’s learned from his own journey. He’ll discuss his early steps, his work as a production assistant and a writers’ assistant, and how he got his first writing gig. He’ll also go into the differences between the shows he’s worked on, including CONAN and THE DAILY SHOW. He’ll explain how he continues to find work in this space. He will then go through five ways you can find a late night writing job of your own. He will also teach you strategies you should use to better get noticed as a writer. He’ll explain the difference between “hiring” and “reading”, how to be gently persistent, and what a late night writing packet is as well as why it’s crucial. Rob will dive deep into how to put together your own late night packet and share with you the 8 different pieces you’ll need to build a packet that will get producers’ attention. He’ll explain how to make your packet look good and noticeable. Rob will even offer a live demonstration, showing how to put together a packet live. Next he will talk about how to keep your writing job once you’re staffed. He’ll explain the differences between late night and episodic production cultures and go through what the day-to-day requirements of a late night writer are. He’ll explain what the etiquette of the writers’ room is, how best to pitch your ideas, and how to take and move forward with notes that you’re given. He’ll also talk about how best to navigate the quick turnarounds that are notorious in jobs like this. Finally, Rob will go through further opportunities in the world of late night that you can explore, including finding producing opportunities and chances to actually perform on your show. Let Rob help you walk into the world of late night with your eyes open and with a collection of strategies to best find the writing opportunity you’re after. Praise for Rob's Stage 32 Webinar: "Very informative, told with kindness." -Zara Q. "Rob's webinar was uber insightful and detailed. I learned more about breaking into the industry than several UCLA extension classes." -Jamie T. "Wonderful insider POV, super helpful tips on the package/sample work" -Laura D. "Very on point. Speaker was knowledgeable and had lots of real world experience. He seemed very relatable, too." -Jeff E.
Learn from a producer and financier who has been involved in the production of over 500 hours of content for film and television, with a total production value of over $250 million! As streamers like Max, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon continue to put a tremendous focus on acquiring quality, star-driven independent films, the opportunities for financing and producing your film between $15-$30MM have never been better, so long as you know exactly where to look and what the path for it is. You'll need to know how to pick the right script, break down every aspect of your budget through distribution, understand distribution options, and how to structure your finance sources to optimize your returns. The best way to get all the information you need is to get support from someone who's done it before, and who better than someone who's worked on over 45 film and television projects with every major studio in town? In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, Jeanette Milio shows you the financing and producing side of putting together a film for $15 to $30 million. Jeanette has worked with Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, Paramount, HBO, Showtime, and more. She's also produced films starring Academy Award-winning performers, including Halle Berry, Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, and Mickey Rourke, and knows how to package a film to attract investors. As a member of the Producer's Guild of America, Women in Film, and the Cannes Film Festival Producer's Network, Jeanette has deep industry knowledge for domestic and international markets at every budget level. Jeanette brings over 25 years of experience in domestic and international productions to this webinar for your benefit. If you have a higher-priced concept and don't want to wait for someone else to give you the green light, then this webinar is what you need to know how to make your production happen. Jeanette will show you how to produce and finance your project using her unique experience with $15 to $30 million budgets and how to get the best return on investment. You'll walk away with handouts from Jeanette to benefit your production, including: Excel Finance Plan Template Sample CAMA (revenue/profit) agreement Sample story rights agreement (option) Sample talent offers for director and cast (pay-or-play) PRAISE FOR JEANETTE'S TEACHINGS: "Jeanette has invaluable knowledge and made me feel like seeing my movie on the big screen was possible." - Phillip F. "Excellent! Jeanette Milio is awesome, She covered every aspect of the process of financing." -Roberta J. "Jeanette is great and is the reason why I took this class. Super helpful in understanding all of the layers that go into financing films." -Jason O. "Jeanette is wonderful! This is my second Seminar with Jeanette, and she gives you all of her experience and knowledge in a clear and precise easy to understand presentation. I love her grasp of the knowledge and the pitfalls to avoid that can tank your movie." -Leemon P. "Tremendous amount of detailed information. Jeanette gave a clear and concise presentation on what concrete steps you need to take in order to secure financing for a film and most importantly how to increase your chances at being a successful producer." -Peter H. "Fantastic information, thorough, well structured, great examples. Jeanette Milio is and enthusiastic and knowledgeable instructor." -Brian M.
Just going to film school doesn’t prepare you for the endless obstacles you’ll face trying to make it as a filmmaker. You learn that pieces that come together to make a movie in school but this is the film industry and it's totally different. From studios to independents, your host Aaron Wolf has learned some secrets of the trade....come on the journey! You can’t find this stuff in school or in a book. You have to live it. And Aaron has. From being a student at NYU to being a part of The Groundlings, to working with FOX, Warner Bros. and Disney and dealing with film festivals and independent distributors, Aaron has seen it all in a short time. He wants to share the secrets with you. Just going to film school doesn’t prepare you for the endless obstacles you’ll face trying to make it as a filmmaker. Just getting a job in LA doesn’t prepare you. Creativity comes in many forms. One form is creatively navigating the business so that YOU can live your dreams. With his recent film, Restoring Tomorrow, being acquired by Seventh Art and featured in Variety, Aaron has learned through trial and error on how to make a living as a filmmaker. Join him in this exclusive Stage 32 webinar as he discusses what he's learned, and what you need to know for your own journey! Twitter: @TheAaronWolf Instagram: @TheAaronWolf Facebook: Aaron Wolf