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: 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.
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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.
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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!
As an independent filmmaker or producer, you likely start working on a new endeavor for creative reasons—the chance to tell an amazing story, build worlds, create something of cultural value. Yet this is, of course, not the only element of filmmaking. Like it or not, your independent film is not just a creative endeavor; it’s also a business. You’re sourcing financing and bringing in investors, building a team, and creating a property that will (hopefully) ultimately make money not only in the present, but for years to come. In short, you’re not just a making a piece of art; you’re also running a business. To operate successfully in the world of independent film and continue to make films that you’re proud of, you need to be able to think like an entrepreneur and understand the dynamics and the relation between financing, distribution and recoupment of film investments. Further, you need to open up your creative mindset to the myriad opportunities available all over the world including hot markets found throughout Latin America. The business side of films is often especially difficult for filmmakers and creative producers, but the more you understand, the better your chances of finding a production partner or investor to take your vision forward. Latin American film production is booming right now, diverse with a variety of production hubs all over the region. Big budget international films shoot alongside local films with relatively low budgets, all created for both local and international audiences. Working in the Latin American market, especially with films in the sub-$1MM range can offer you opportunities you haven't thought of before and give you a path to profitability. But to take advantage of this surging market, you need to understand the variety of production and financing options available and how to tap into them. Whether it's hard money, soft money or other methods toward financing and securing the necessary pieces to greenlight your project, getting a handle on the in's and out's of how to proceed will put you in a powerful and advantageous position. Understanding and executing this business model will open new doors to other productions around the world and serve to create a portfolio of proof that will serve as a calling card moving forward. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for 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 specifically in the US, Latin America and $ope. As an international film business specialist 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 is intimately familiar with how independent films are financed and made profitable all over the world and will share what he knows exclusively about the Latin American market with the Stage 32 community. David will focus on the Latin American market and walk you through what you need to know to finance your independent film, $1MM or less, and leave profitable. He will begin by explaining what a $1MM or under budget looks like in the Latin American region and whether it’s considered a small film. He’ll delve into how film financing works specifically in Latin America, including a breakdown of soft money sources versus hard money sources, local vs international productions, forming a co-production as a financing tool, tax and location incentives, taking advantage of government support, and working with film commissions. He will highlight how Latin American film financing is different compared to other regions and how both Spanish speaking and English speaking content works within the region and will go over the notable platforms and TV channels available as well as how they differ. David will outline the production capacities in the region, including for in-house production, co-productions, production servicing, and work-for hire. He will then teach you what specifically Latin America can offer foreign productions, including incentives, co-productions, talent, and shooting locations. He will also discuss how Latin America has its eye on the US, Spain, and the rest of Europe. David will explain how to approach your film as an asset, how to see yourself as an entrepreneur, and how to see filmmaking as a business. David will then go over the continental circle of financing, distribution, and investment recoupment and will explain how revenue and right management works as well as managing your recoupment. He will spend time delving into Latin American film contracts, including distribution agreements, CAM agreements, and sales agency agreements. David will ultimately illustrate whether Latin American films can be profitable and how, and analyze with you when a Latin American film can be considered successful, whether it breaks even or finds profitability. Plus, David will show a case study of a real $1MM Latin American film to illustrate how a film of this leve l can be profitable and exactly how the money flows through from beginning to end. He’ll show financing documents and spreadsheets to illustrate the financing structure and demonstrate how money flows in and out. Through this detailed and practical demonstration, you will leave with strategies and a deep understanding of how to approach your own $1MM film as an entrepreneur and build a finance structure that will leave you and your investors profitable. This Stage 32 Webinar is Part 2 in David’s "Think Like an Entrepreneur" series. Click here to check out David’s webinar on being profitable in US marketplace with a sub-$1MM film and click here to check out his webinar on being profitable in the European marketplace Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
Learn directly from Tim Moshansky, a 20 year location scout who has worked on hundreds of films and TV shows including The Revenant, Twilight Saga: New Moon, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem! There are two things that a production starts doing as soon as they have the “green light” - casting for actors and scouting for locations. In a way, a location scout is like a casting director for locations. Unless a film is shot entirely in a studio with sets or green screen, locations are integral to how the film will look. Anyone can become a location scout, but to become a GREAT scout that people call again and again takes a keen eye, good people and photography skills, and on-the-ground experience. In this webinar Tim Moshansky will guide you through the entire process of scouting - from the moment you get the script or storyboards, to when they call “Action!” on set. Tim will offer you tips and insights from his nearly 20 years of scouting experience. Whether you are someone considering a career as a scout, or a filmmaker looking for ways to increase your production value and anticipate potential location problems, this is the webinar that will help you learn the basics about scouting. This webinar includes FREE bonus materials for download!: Locations Release Location Agreement Location Breakdown Script Breakdown
Producers and filmmakers of independent films and TV series deal with a multitude of parties regarding the production, financing and distribution of their films and projects. Many of these parties have a financial interest in the project and are entitled to a share of the revenues generated by domestic and international distribution of the film or series. In order to make the allocation and distribution of revenues manageable, it is important to design a recoupment schedule for your project. The recoupment schedule, also called “the waterfall”, combines all the single deal terms negotiated between the production and investors, financiers, talent, sales agents, co-producers, and service producers. Each project is unique, with its very own financing structure for example, and therefore there is no universal format for a recoupment schedule. However, there are certain guidelines to consider when putting together a recoupment schedule for your project. Understanding these guidelines will not only assure that there is no financial shadiness going on behind the scenes and no surprise lawsuits hanging out in the horizon. It also means that everyone who needs to get paid does get paid...and on time. And that can only raise your stature as someone who can deliver the goods and as a person people want to work with again and again. David Zannoni is consultant for Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies, and is the company's representative for the Americas. David negotiates agreements for films and television series, and he is involved in business development and relationship management specifically in the US, Latin America and Spain. David also runs a consultancy business through Xaman Ha Consulting and Zannoni Media Advisors, and has been focusing particularly on international service providers in the film and TV industries, and film and TV productions in Latin America, amongst others. As a film business specialist 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, Spain, and all over Latin America. David will explain in easy to understand detail the world of recoupment schedules and why they are so important to your film or project. In an in depth, interactive presentation, David will discuss sources and allocation of film and TV revenues, the purpose of a recoupment schedule, the entitlements and obligations that are payable out of revenues, and the order and priority of payment for film and TV entitlements. He will discuss various territories around the world including distribution rights and assignments. He will show you which kind of projects use a recoupment schedule and the importance of a recoupment schedule as it relates to securing financing and attaching production partners. David will take away all the guess work that goes into the world of waterfalls/recoupment schedules and simplify the entire process to assure everyone on your team is taken care of and given the sense of security they (and you) deserve! Praise for David "I went into this one expecting it to be dry as a bone in the sun. I was so wrong. David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
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.
A Vice President of Development at an A-List production company recently said,"Every studio executive is asking me for Rom Coms!" If you look at recent trends, it is clear they are on a come back. With the tremendous box office success of CRAZY RICH ASIANS, BOOK CLUB and THE BIG SICK and the streaming successes of SET IT UP, SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER, and TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE, romantic comedies are making a huge comeback for all types of audiences. Variety called Rom-Com's the "Hottest genre". If you have been sitting on a Rom-Com script or been thinking about writing one, now's the time to learn about the current marketplace for romantic comedies. So how do you as a writer approach writing a Romantic Comedy without falling into the trap of tired cliches? Or, how do you take the storytelling conventions and turn them on their head? Jason Mirch is a 10+ industry veteran who's worked in development on films for Image Nation such as THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, FLIGHT, CONTAGION, as well as in management, financing and producing. Jason is Stage 32's Director of Script Services and has helped dozens of writers in the Stage 32 community springboard their careers. He's the host of the Stage 32 Writers' Room which is a weekly online writers' group that meets online with writing challenges and one-on-one access to top industry professionals who serve as mentors and provide advice on the group's projects. During this 90-minute look inside the Writers' Room Breakdown Webcast, Jason will go over the history of romantic comedy as well as the anatomy of a romantic comedy. He'll teach you the 7 essential story beats in a romantic comedy and you will learn to develop your romcom with a theme or dramatic question. Plus, Jason will break down scripts including WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, THE APARTMENT, KNOCKED UP, WHAT WOMEN WANT and more. Jason will discuss what makes these projects work and how we can apply those same principles to our writing! Plus! Jason will be taking ANY of your writing questions! Like what you heard from Jason during this webcast? Send him your screenplay and speak with him privately for an hour by clicking here! Praise for This Writers' Room Webcast "Thanks for this summary! Loved the rundown ad the clips!" - Bethany B. "Such an insightful breakdown, thanks so much." - Crispin "Jason, you always overdeliver! THANKS so much!" - Petula "This was an amazing breakdown. Wow." - Ricki L. "Great breakdown as always, Jason, with superb choice of clips." - Stephen P.
Love is in the air in the Writers' Room! We are kicking off a brand new month this week with the Breakdown Webcast: Writing Romantic Comedies! Jason was speaking with a Senior Vice President of Development at an A-List production company who said, "Every studio executive is asking me for Rom Coms!" If you look at recent trends, it is clear they are on a come back. We will break down the beats of a Romantic Comedy so that you as a writer approach writing without falling into the trap of tired cliches. We will also explore how to take the storytelling conventions and turn them on their head. We will examine films and series including When Harry Met Sally, 500 Days of Summer, The Apartment, Knocked Up, What Women Want and more to find out what makes these projects work and how we can apply those same principles to our writing!