Lee Sternthal is a screenwriter, director and photographer. Lee 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 Selection. It was bought by CBS Films and is currently the #2 romantic drama on Amazon Prime. He is a Sundance Institute Fellow, having attended the Screenwriters' Lab, and his work has appeared on The Black List. In other areas, he has worked as a photo journalist for the Trace and Vice covering urban gun violence. Lee had his first one- man photo show at the Soho House in West Hollywood in June, 2018 and taught a Master Class in screenwriting/directing at Swarthmore College and at Stage 32 in Los Angeles. Full Bio »
Many creatives dream of the pinnacle - getting to write for a studio, or getting to write and direct your own independent film. Imagine if you can do both!
Our host, Lee Sternthal, wrote TRON: LEGACY for Disney, and went on to write and direct the Sundance indie-darling THE WORDS, starring Bradley Cooper. He was also a Sundance Fellow and was featured on The Blacklist. Through his journey in this industry he has learned it all - the good, the bad and the ugly - and has come to Stage 32 exclusively to tell you about it.
If you'd like to be prepared for the potholes of what to expect when pursuing a life in writing, Lee is here to help you. From studio to independent, he's hit them all and wants to share his knowledge with you. Best of all, he's looking forward to taking your questions so he can help you through your own situation!
Lee will be citing specific examples from his life and work as well as providing you tools to apply to your own writing journey.
Getting the Job and What to Expect:
If you're just starting out:
Q and A with Lee
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!
Learn directly from Jen Grisanti, acclaimed Story/Career Consultant, Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, and a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/ Paramount and Spelling Television! Many writers wonder what it’s going to take to get them from being a non-working writer to a working writer. You’ve written great scripts. You’ve entered competitions and writing programs. You may have placed, been a finalist, or even won. However, you’re still waiting for your professional career to start. What is it that makes a TV pilot or screenplay hit it out of the ballpark and get sold? What can you do to your writing to make it more sellable? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, your host Jen Grisanti will teach you the 7 Pillars of Story. What exactly is that? It's the fundamental story components necessary to take your script from good to great. Jen will teach you from the studio executive/analyst perspective how to see your story differently and identify what is currently missing in your script. Jen herself has gone through analyzing countless Oscar and Emmy award-winning scripts and has applied that to her writer's techniques. This has led to over 30 of her clients selling pilots, five of which went to series. After being mentored by Aaron Spelling for 12 years, Jen has emerged as a pro in breaking down story and helping you, as a writer, get the most out of your script. Plus, for Stage 32 members, she will provide case studies for you to learn from! She will be using examples from her clients’ work and how they successfully implemented the 7 pillars to get their scripts sold. Under the guidance of Jen, you will leave this webinar fully prepared to write a marketable story that can help you go from good to great and make the move from non-working to working writer!
**Payment plans are available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details*** **If you have to miss a class, don't worry. Each class is recorded and you can watch on-demand** This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a comedy pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea and learn how to pitch it. With more and more production companies heading into TV with more channels available for comedy content, knowing how to write a strong TV comedy pilot will give you a competitive advantage and help you find success as a TV writer! The main objective of this 8-week lab will be to complete a first draft of your script and learn how to pitch it. You will meet online with Spencer for 90 minutes a week in a class setting, plus have phone consultations during the weeks when you don't have an online class. This will be accompanied by weekly homework assignments to guide you on your way to creating a marketable, unique pilot that will grab the industry's attention. This lab is limited to only 10 people - spots fill up fast, so make sure to get your spot now! "Spencer will get those who are ready on their way to a kickass first draft that you can send for coverage, which is what I did. 2 Considers and I'm in rewrites now to move that needle. This was my first ever TV pilot!" - Erika N. "Spencer was amazing!" - Summer K. "Enjoyed the class. Spencer was a good teacher and I appreciated his insight!" - Stephen C. "Had a great time learning and progressing my knowledge of the craft of writing and working directly with a mentor who is a professional in the industry. Spencer was fantastic to be taught by! Thank you!" - Natalie A. "Spencer's teaching style is the best! His patience and easygoing approach is ideal and unique to him. Kudos to Stage 32 and to Spencer!" - Armando O.
Taught by Director of Development at Supergravity Pictures, Mike Flavin, who's worked on films such as Sony/CBS's Faster with Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton, and The Enivitable Defeat of Mister & Pete with Jennifer Hudson and Anthony Mackie which was screened at the White House. Hollywood has found itself looking inward at the plummeting returns from the "Blockbuster Months". Why did a relatively "starless" movie like Guardians of the Galaxy print money, while Tom Cruise's Edge of Tomorrow flopped? Why would seemingly well known Intellectual Property like Peabody and Sherman tank while another brand, Lego, do so well? (besides the world's obvious affinity for Chris Pratt!) The answer lies in one confirmed fact about the movie industry: you never, ever know what will be a hit and what won't. BUT, in saying that, there is a way in which you can give your project the absolute best chance of success by looking analytically at successful films from the past and implementing these dynamics into your project. If you've seen the film, Moneyball, you'll remember Jonah Hill's character found a way to statistically determine the best odds for his team's sucess. Our webinar host, Mike Flavin, has been able to analytically and statistically apply a method to do the same for a script or film - and he's found success as a Director of Development by doing just that. Join Mike as he teaches you his methodology to apply components in a script that make it more sellable. In this webinar, we will break down several successful movies in a number of genres and draw statistical conclusions on what made them so successful. It's the Moneyball-ization of Hollywood; let's play the house against itself!
Producer Chris Moore has done it all. From producing 2 Oscar-winning films Good Will Hunting and Manchester by the Sea, to producing some of the biggest franchises of our time like American Pie - he's seen it all. What's even more impressive is that Chris is committed to creative careers and the journey it takes to sustain one. Chris was the co-founder of Project Greenlight with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Sean Bailey and The Chair - and continues to help inspire those who chose a life in entertainment. With the evolution of the industry causing dramatic shifts in the way you create and consume content (film, television, digital) more and more opportunities are being presented for a creative career. In this Stage 32 webinar Chris is going to discuss what the shift entails and how you make an educated decision on which path you should take with your career in “the industry” to satisfy the lifestyle you want. Producer Chris Moore will be hosting an interactive webinar where he’ll be discussing the future of the industry and will workshop with a select group of students from the class. He’ll talk about your intended primary path and discuss possible alternative paths if you can’t find the right fit with your primary goals. For example, if you are setting out to be a director and you’re having trouble gaining traction, Chris will go over alternative ways you can break in and gain your footing. Or, if you’re a screenwriter and have been at it a long time and haven’t gotten your break, what are alternatives for your lifestyle in this industry? Or, if you're a cinematographer looking to move from digital shorts to streaming TV, what can you do? All creative professions are welcome to attend!
As you know, for a screenwriter, the best education comes from reading great screenplays. We're going to take it one step further. Our Director of Script Services, Jason Mirch, who has spent over 10 years as an executive and producer, is going to break down the Oscar Winning Screenplay GREEN BOOK and show why it works so well. Everyone signing up for this FREE webinar will receive the screenplay for GREEN BOOK to read and review. Then, during the webinar Jason will take you step by step as he examines the setups, beats and character arcs that make the script sing.
Producer Sasha Nonas-Barnes joins our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.