How to Avoid Potholes When Building a Writing Career

Hosted by Lee Sternthal

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Lee Sternthal

Webinar hosted by: Lee Sternthal

Screenwriter / Director at TRON: LEGACY, THE WORDS (starring Bradley Cooper)

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 »

Webinar Summary

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.

What You'll Learn

Getting the Job and What to Expect:

  • Case Study - Writing for a studio: TRON: LEGACY - what I learned
  • Case Study - Writing independent: THE WORDS - what I learned
  • Making THE WORDS as a Writer/Director and how to navigate when an “Independent” movie becomes a studio movie
  • How much can I take on?
  • Eternal doubt - Am I a fraud? We'll go over how to answer this plaguing question.
  • Day Job/Night Job - what is the best way to pay the bills as a new screenwriter?

Insider Knowledge:

  • Understanding "The Players" and how to navigate them
  • Understanding "The Venues" and how they operate - The Peninsula Hotel, The SoHo House, etc.
  • Understanding the different "Rooms" - studio, production company, agencies, etc. and what you should or should not do.

If you're just starting out:

  • Do you need a manager?
  • Do you need an agent?
  • Should you have a writing partner? If you do, what to expect.
  • Sundance - what really happens if you get accepted.
  • Blacklist - what really happens if you get accepted.
  • Screenwriting services - the good, the bad and the ugly. I'll share a case study that will blow your mind.
  • Believe in yourself and never forget the love, the thing that made you want to do it in the first place.

Q and A with Lee

About Your Instructor

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.

FAQs

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!

Questions?

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