Jeff Portnoy is a literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Jeff worked at Creative Artists Agency, The Gotham Group and Resolution talent agency. Jeff’s clients include Ben Bolea, who wrote THE DUKES OF OXY, set up at New Line Cinema with Ansel Elgort starring and Michael De Luca producing; Richmond Riedel, who wrote BODY CAM for Paramount Players; Greta Heinemann, formerly a Producing-Writer on the CBS series NCIS: NEW ORLEANS who is now working as a Supervising Producer on the NBC series GOOD GIRLS; Kenny Kyle, whose hour-long drama spec ONE$ & ZEROE$ is set up at Fox 21 with Warren Littlefield and Noah Hawley producing; Matt Tente, whose feature spec GREEN RUSH is set up at New Republic Pictures with Will Packer producing; Savion Einstein, whose feature spec THE UNTITLED SAVION EINSTEIN COMEDY, is set up at Screen Gems with Kimmy Gatewood directing and Elizabeth Banks producing; Marque Franklin-Williams, a story editor on the Showtime/Lionsgate series THE KINGKILLER CHRONICLES; Jimmy Mosqueda, formerly a staff writer on the ABC series SCHOOLED, who is now working as a story editor on the CW series LEGACIES; Suzanne Keilly, previously a staff writer on the Netflix series WARRIOR NUN who is now working as a story editor on the Hulu series LIGHT AS FEATHER; Chris Thomas Devlin, whose feature spec COBWEB is set up at Lionsgate with Point Grey and Vertigo producing; Josh Golden, whose feature spec ROAD TO OZ is set up at New Line Cinema with Beau Flynn producing; Matteson Perry, whose hour-long drama TURN ON is set up at Warner Bros. TV Studios with Jim Parsons's That's Wonderful Productions producing; Mark Townend, whose feature spec AUGMENTED is set up at Warner Bros. with LuckyChap and Di Novi producing; Matt Leslie & Stephen J. Smith, whose feature spec SUMMER OF '84 was produced by Gunpowder & Sky and premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival; they are also currently writing ANGELS OF DUST for Impossible Dream Entertainment with The RZA directing. Originally from Massachusetts, Jeff received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film Production from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and studied Film and Television writing at UCLA Extension. Full Bio »
Whether you’re leading the creative charge as a screenwriter, in the trenches a director or cinematographer, behind the scenes as a crew member, or in front of the camera as an actor being great at what you do is only part of your job. We at Stage 32 preach that 50% of your job is excelling at your craft, the other 50% is networking and understanding how the industry works. It's simply undeniable, those who commit to treating their networking and relationship building as their job and keep on top of what's happening in the industry land more meetings with decision makers who can make an impact on their career. But the goal is not just to get into the room, it's to stay in the room. And that means you need to know how to be good in the room. And with more and more meetings going virtual and online, you must know how to prepare and have the skills ready for those situations as well.
General meetings are the first line of offense and defense for decision makers. As you know, most people in this industry - whether working in film, television or digital - want to find creatives and professionals they can go to war with time and time again. Their tribe. To become part of someone's tribe (and eventually form one of your own), you have to know how to nail the general meeting. It is crucial that you understand how to prepare. You must know who you're meeting with, what to wear, proper etiquette, the story of your project, the story of your personal brand (such an overlooked art), and know your pitch inside and out. Ultimately, you want to turn this general meeting into something much greater or assure that you're receiving a callback meeting. Their are many tried and true tricks for getting this done and we're going to bring them to you.
Jeff Portnoy of Bellevue Management is one of the most revered managers working in the industry today. Jeff was recently named been named by Variety as one of Hollywood’s New Leaders in Management. Prior to joining Bellevue, Jeff worked at Creative Artists Agency, The Gotham Group, Resolution Talent Agency and Heretic Literary Management. Along the way he has sold and set up projects to New Line Cinema, Lionsgate, FOX, Screen Gems, Warner Bros. and more. Jeff has been on both sides of the table for hundreds of general meetings and has learned exactly what makes a meeting successful and where many go south – and he’s here to share the do's and don'ts with you, the Stage 32 community
Jeff will teach you how to assure that you perform in your general meeting in a manner that makes you memorable. He will discuss everything from attire to how to carry yourself to how to make eye contact. He'll teach you how to prepare your pitch and convey it with the right amount of passion, charisma and energy. He’ll give you important guidelines on how and when you should talk in the conversation and help you understand if you’re talking too much or sending the wrong message. You’ll learn how to get notes from the other side of the table and how you should receive and respond to them. You will know the best way to pitch “you” and your brand so you stand out from other people taking general meetings with the same party. Jeff will teach you how to do research on the people and the company you are meeting with and how to use that information to your advantage (and not be creepy about it!) He will make you understand why the assistant and support staff can ultimately be your best ally. Finally, Jeff will go over the various types of meetings you’ll encounter in your career – from studios, production companies, managers, agents and networks and explain the differences so you’ll be fully prepared.
"A wealth of information. Gave me a lot of things to think about - especially with the tips on reading the room. Your description of how to pitch myself and my story were game-changers. Off to practice now."
- Sonia H.
"What fabulous advice, Jeff, thank you!"
- Greg M.
"Yep, now I know why I haven't been securing a second meeting. I have seen the light and the err of my ways."
- Veronica G
"The dress code discussion was very helpful, I never knew what I should wear and now I do!"
- John S.
Q: How do I watch my webinar live?
A: If you received a confirmation that your webinar is on Go to Webinar, you will receive an email from Go to Webinar with further instructions for participating in the live webinar. You can also access your webinar link in your purchase history located under settings in the top right-hand corner of your Stage 32 profile.
If you received a confirmation that your webinar is on Zoom, you will receive a separate email from Zoom with further instructions for participating in the live webinar. Your login link will not be in your Stage 32 profile. If you did not receive your link via Zoom please email email@example.com.
Q: How do I watch my webinar on demand?
A: You will be able to watch your webinar on demand as many times as you’d like inside your Stage 32 profile. The recording is processed and posted between 24-48 hours after the webinar concludes. You can follow the instructions below.
YOU MUST HAVE A STAGE 32 PROFILE TO WATCH YOUR VIDEO – STAGE 32 IS FREE TO JOIN If You Already Have a Stage 32 Profile:
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute educational broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32. Your webinar will be taught by a working industry professional with in-depth teaching on a topic. If you are able to attend live you will be able to ask your Stage 32 Educator questions during Q&A.
Q: What are the system requirements to watch my webinar live?
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 10.9 (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 cannot attend a live webinar or 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 re-watch?
A: Yes! Like all Stage 32 education, after the purchase of a live or on demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording.
Q: How do I get a copy of the handouts provided?
A: If the webinar you take included handouts you can find them as downloads underneath your on demand video. You must be logged into your Stage 32 profile to view the video and get the handouts by clicking settings in the top right hand corner, then clicking purchase history.
Q: What if I need accessibility and accommodations?
A: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request accommodations.
Thanks for your loyalty to Stage 32 Education. We value having you in the Stage 32 community.
If you have any further questions, we are always happy to help. Please contact Stage 32 support at email@example.com.
In this Executive Hour webcast, the Writers' Room welcomes the President of Gidden Media, billion dollar producer & executive Amy Baer! Amy's experience in the entertainment Industry spans major studios, independent financiers, and producing. Collectively, the films she has supervised and/or produced have grossed nearly $2 billion in worldwide box office. Before starting Gidden Media, Baer served as President & CEO of CBS Films, launching the division for CBS Corp. In 2012, Baer raised a 7-figure development fund and launched Gidden Media, a content incubation and production company. Its first film was the romantic drama MARY SHELLEY, starring Elle Fanning. Amy spent the previous 17 years at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where she oversaw such hit films as MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING, Oscar nominated ADAPTATION, S.W.A.T., SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, which earned Will Smith an Oscar nomination. She also developed the 2011 Oscar-nominated Sony hit MONEYBALL starring Brad Pitt. Amy became Board President of Women in Film in June 2018, stepping into the role at a critical juncture in Hollywood. During this webcast, Amy talks about the changing landscape of development and production in the industry, including what helps get a film made, the genres that she chooses to focus on, stories from developing MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING and other Sony classics, and how writers can gain momentum in a highly competitive business!
In the final Executive Hour of 2020, the Writers' Room members welcome Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning writer Vijal Patel who has written for comedy series including ABC’s BLACK-ISH, THE MIDDLE, and currently is the Co-EP on SCHOOLED with Tim Meadows. He also writes and develops feature film projects for DreamWorks and has a development deal with Sony Pictures Television. Vijal has built his career on writing comedy and using it to explore race, family, religion, politics, and class struggle. During this webcast, we discuss how Vijal entered the industry without going to film school, how he landed his first agent and manager, his thoughts on writing compelling dialogue, characters, and comedy, along with a lot more! It is one of the best Executive Hours of 2020!
Learn directly from Marty Lang, award winning producer of over 20 films! Making an independent film is hard, no matter where you're doing it. But there's great news – no matter where you film, there are treasure troves of resources available to you, if you know where to look. In any community, there are people, government agencies, and organizations that are looking to help people just like you. The smart filmmaker will find them, engage them, and work with them to create a much better film than they had, at first, imagined. This type of filmmaking is called place-based filmmaking, and it can be done in any big city, small town, county or state. If you think about how to engage your local community from the moment you start thinking about your film, you will be able to better capture the authenticity of where you are in your work, as well as open yourself up to resources you may not have had before. Marty Lang is a an award winning producer of over 20 films, best known for his feature romantic dramedy, Rising Star, in which he implemented place-based filmmaking and engaged his community’s resources from production to distribution. This film went on to win awards at various film festivals and was featured in Filmmaker Magazine, Film Threat and Film Courage. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Marty will teach you how to create a successful place-based film. Using examples of place-based filmmaking from his own resume, Marty will show you how place-based filmmaking will help you develop your story more organically, and how it will help you solve many problems before you even get into production.
Learn directly from Managing Attorney of the immigration firm D'Alessio Law Group, Lorraine D’Alessio! For freelance creatives like actors, directors, writers and producers, Hollywood is probably your Mecca. However, if you don’t already live there, or are not even a US citizen, how do you get there- and work there- legally? Unfortunately, the artistic community is often the target of immigration scams. It’s hard to know what information is valid and what is not. Many people spend hours researching work visas only to end up with the wrong type of visa for a creative career. Stage 32 is here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you! The more educated you are on the subject, the more empowered you will be in your career and in your life. Knowing how to find and secure the right work visa for you will get you one step closer to living your dream. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Lorraine D'Alessio, managing attorney of the immigration firm D'Alessio Law Group, will walk you through how to live and work legally in the US as a creative. She will educate you on the different visas that exist, go step-by-step through the O-1 "person of extraordinary ability" visa, suggest ways to build your career portfolio in order to strengthen your visa petition, alert you to the dos and don'ts at the border and most importantly, dispel the many myths and misinformation that exist on US visas. Lorraine D’Alessio’ combines her unique knowledge of the entertainment industry and immigration law to assist foreign nationals who wish to come to the United States and work in entertainment and entertainment related fields. Her practice is limited to immigration and nationality law and concentrates on temporary and permanent business and employment related visas for investors, artists, entertainers, musicians, actors, directors, producers and essential technical and creative personnel in the motion picture and television industries. Ms. D’Alessio routinely gives lectures throughout Canada on entertainment and investment immigration.
Stage 32’s Director Script Services, Jason Mirch and Guest Panelist David Harris (producer on dozens of films, including SECURITY with Antonio Banderas) ago over writer’s pitches, both live and written, to help improve each pitch.
Intellectual property (IP) has become a critical aspect in creating new content and selling projects within the film and television landscape. At this point it’s almost feels like a prerequisite for a project to be tied to some sort of pre-existing property before it’s picked up by a studio or network. Whether it’s a book, graphic novel, podcast, article, life rights, or anything else, IP can give executives the confidence they need to move forward with that next show or movie. After all, with IP, they have a working blueprint of how the finished product could look, they have a built-in audience with the fans of the original property, and they have something substantial to show talent, investors, and the higher-ups looking at the bottom line. This inclination towards IP can make it harder for you as a writer or filmmaker to sell a fully original project, but at the same time it can give you opportunities to better build, package, and sell your next project. If you can find and acquire exciting new IP, you’re going to have a distinct upper-hand in getting people to notice your project and are well on your way to it actually getting made. There’s no denying the value of IP in today’s industry, but navigating this world can take some finesse. If you’re not in the business of constantly tracking and consuming new books and media, it might be hard to come across that property that is perfectly suited to you. And even if you find that standout book or article, how do you get the rights to it in the first place? How can you get that original author to trust you? For the writers and filmmakers not interested in adapting existing material, creating your own IP could be an effective solution, but what does that even mean? Those who are understanding and embracing this new concept of creating your own IP have a major competitive advantage in selling their scripts right now. It’s high time you learn what you need to know about IP in today’s climate. Alex Creasia is a literary manager and producer at Pathfinder Media where he represents writers and directors around the globe, focusing on all formats of TV, film, books, podcasts and digital media. He has sold multiple properties for his clients based on all different types of IP to places like Netflix, Amazon, HBO, ABC, Freeform, Disney +, Marvel, MGM, Imagine Entertainment, AGBO, Facebook Watch, Snap, and more. Alex has become an innovator when it comes to sourcing and creating IP for scripts that big companies want to buy. Alex will teach you all the ins and outs of finding and obtaining intellectual property to position your next project for success. He will begin by giving a rundown of what IP is and the three typical types seen in entertainment. He’ll then provide you with specific and helpful tips to find available IP that’s right for you and what to do if it turns out the property you’re after is unavailable. He’ll then discuss idea of creating your own IP in order to better sell your story as a film or series and how to enhance your IP by finding it a following in order to give it more clout and notice. Finally Alex will delve into the world of life rights and the different ways you can get permission to tell a real person’s story.You will have plenty of fresh, modern and unique IP options to make your project more marketable in today’s climate. Praise for Alex's Webinar "Informative! A good presentation!" -Susan D. "This gave me so many ideas of how to get my current project noticed" -Regina G. "Alex made something I always thought of as scary and impossible feel easy and achievable. I'm so glad I saw this" -Jeff E. "I feel totally inspired to find my own IP now. Thanks, Alex!" -Jose G.