Sivert Glarum is a veteran sitcom writer and story breaking whiz with 25 years of experience, who has written on both live action and animation series, including KING OF THE HILL, BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD, JUST SHOOT ME, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, and more. He has also served as showrunner for Marc Maron’s comedy MARON on IFC, animated series GLENN MARTIN DDS on Nick at Nite, and YouTube Red’s RHETT AND LINK’S BUDDY SYSTEM. When Sivert isn’t writing or running shows, he helps young writers develop their craft and trains new showrunners on breaking story and character. Full Bio »
Adult animated TV is hotter than ever right now as shows like BOJACK HORSEMAN, SOLAR OPPOSITES, RICK & MORTY and BIG MOUTH are taking the genre to a new level. It's absolutely true that TV animation is an exciting world to dive into right now. Yet animated TV is written a bit differently than other types of series. In order to write successfully in this space, it’s important for you to understand the differences and challenges there are to writing animation and how the best animated series break story for an episode. This way, you’ll be able to fit seamlessly into any writers' room and begin an exciting career in prime time animation!
Sivert Glarum is a veteran sitcom writer and story breaking whiz with 25 years of experience, who has written on both live action and animation series, including KING OF THE HILL, BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD, JUST SHOOT ME, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, and more. He has also served as showrunner for Marc Maron’s comedy MARON on IFC, animated series GLENN MARTIN DDS on Nick at Nite, and YouTube Red’s RHETT AND LINK’S BUDDY SYSTEM. When Sivert isn’t writing or running shows, he helps young writers develop their craft and trains new showrunners on breaking story and character.
Sivert will teach you everything you need to know about breaking an episode of prime time animation, including how long an episode should be, breaking story, structuring your episode, and the difference between plot and story. He’ll take you through a case study of GLENN MARTIN DDS to show you how to find your A-Story beat by beat, then apply the same beats to your B and C story. He’ll also breakdown the three different types of sitcoms and how the breaking process for each works. Sivert will give you all his tips for properly executing an episode of primetime animation, highlighting the differences between animation and live-action, and prepare you to write and run an animation series.
"I’ve spent several years writing on animated comedies. I’ve seen many scripts turn out great. I’ve witnessed many others suffer unspeakably grueling fates at network table reads. After a while, I realized the key was to make sure the script had a solid structure. Understanding the basic rules can make all the difference. I’m glad to share what I know and break down what really makes an episode of prime time animation work."
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 recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
As the world of television continues to fragment, streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV) have become major players. More and more of these platforms are moving into original content, which means the number of new shows being produced has never been higher. However, these platforms have different needs, different expectations and different boundaries and mandates than those of traditional broadcast networks. So how does a creative navigate this brave new world? And how does a writer stand out to get staffed or sell a standout drama series? This webinar will explain in comprehensive detail how drama series are pitched, developed, and sold to streaming platforms and what you can do as a writer to position yourself to get noticed. The world of streamers is changing quickly. New platforms are coming online seemingly by the month, and with each one, the rules and the mandates continue to change. In many ways the world of TV streaming platforms is like the Wild Wild West, overwhelming and hard to nail down. At the same time, that's what makes it so exciting - the opportunities are limitless. But with so many writers vying for an opportunity to sell or be staffed on a show, it’s incredibly important to understand the changing landscape and know the best ways to operate within it. Having a clear sense of how executives at streamers think and what they’re looking for will give you a distinct advantage in adjusting your script to pique their interest or in presenting yourself more effectively to sell your show or get staffed on one of their growing number of series. Spencer Robinson is a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment who's been in the industry for over twenty years. His clients have been in films with directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski and more. In the TV world, his clients have been regular cast members on shows for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, and TBS, to name a few. His writing clients work in both features and television on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms. He currently has a client writing on two Netflix series, and another client who just sold a show to Amazon. He also reps a writer who currently has a project at Aggregate Films, which has a deal at Netflix. Spencer will use his extensive experience working with writers and selling their shows to streamers to share some of the do’s and don’ts of writing a drama pilot for streaming television and outline how to tailor your script to make the best impression with the executives at these platforms. He will do this by first laying out how the streaming platforms differ from one another and what exactly they're looking for. Not all streaming platforms are created equal and it's imperative you know the difference. From there, Spencer will dive into script structure and formatting, specifically analyzing what you should be considering before you write your pilot. Next, he will tackle staffing and sales, so no matter what your goal whether to be in a writer's room or selling your pilot, you have all the information you need to position yourself correctly and with the best chance of success. Spencer will even get into the difference between streaming platforms and broadcast networks so you can determine where your material might be a best fit. Expect to leave this class with a comprehensive understanding of the shifting industry of streaming television and a toolkit to better excel within it. Like what you heard from Spencer during this webcast? Send your script to Spencer and speak with him for an hour by clicking here. Praise for Spencer's Stage 32 webinar: Spencer was awesome! Super informative and detail driven - providing great insights. Packed so much into a short amount of time which I'm super grateful for! -Eric C. Spencer Robinson has high energy and packs a ton of information in his lecture. Most importantly Spencer gives realistic advice while encouraging writers to move forward fully informed of the terrain. -Oweeda N. Spencer opened my eyes to how the TV world works with broadcast and streaming. What a great crash course! -Ricki L. "Very enlightening. Gave a realistic view of how difficult it is to get a pilot made but was just inspiring enough to give hope. :)" -Clive M.
Subtext in your dialogue and in your story can be the difference between a studio picking up your script or passing on it. Subtext adds layers to your story and depth to your characters. Mastering the art of subtext is not only preferable for writers, it is absolutely essential. The writers and creators of Film Noir were experts at the use of subtext because, due to the restrictions of the Production Code, their films could not have been made without it. The makers of Film Noir mastered the art of not saying what you’re trying to say, and saying it in a way that sounds like you’re saying something completely different. That subtext allowed the audience to fill in the blanks and become more active participants in the story, and that is why subtext is so important. It gets your audience more involved in the story. Film Noir and the Art of Subtext will show you how to apply the use of subtext in your own scripts in order to add that depth, further engage the audience and take your script to the next level by using examples from some of the great films of that style. After reading well over 1,000 screenplays over the course of my career, from both professionals and amateurs, I can tell you that I can recognize good subtext. Also, as someone who has been a professional reader, I can show you through a reader’s eyes where subtext is needed, and how subtext can be used to prevent you and your script from getting the dreaded PASS on coverage notes.
Write Now Challenge: Antihero Character Bios, in which we will hear more about the characters you have created! This month you were challenged to write a character bio for an antihero of your creation. This is unlike any other challenge you've tackled here if you need any last minute inspiration, just revisit the Breakdown Webcast on antiheroes here! As part of this challenge, I will be turning the microphone over to you! If you have submitted your pages and would like to read them for the group, you are more than welcome.
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a creative is finding financiers and raising funds for your film. You may have a great script, a great cast and crew, but at the end of the day no money means no project. It seems like everywhere you turn these days there are thousands of films getting made, so where are all these filmmakers finding their financing? And what makes these projects so special and attractive that financiers are ready, willing and able to write a big check? The answers are simpler than you think. The key that separates a successful producer, filmmaker, director or actor or screenwriter looking to control their own content from those still struggling is the ability to raise and close the money necessary to make the project a reality. For many, the belief is that a great script is all you need to attract investors. Although story is still king, it's not the only factor that goes into a financier making separating your project from all others that are presented to him or her. To set yourself up requires work, research, and a targeted plan of attack. It requires a full understanding of the financial prospects of your project, the marketplace, and potential distribution and recoupment strategies. And most of all, and this may surprise some people, it requires you to be personable, collaborative, and to have an ability to listen and adjust where necessary. Tom Malloy has raised over $25M in funding for films. He co-owns the distribution/foreign sales company Glass House Distribution, and two production companies - Trick Candle Productions and Blood House Productions. Over the years Tom has produced almost two dozen feature films and has worked with Dakota and Elle Fanning, Elisabeth Moss, Amy Smart, Billy Zane, Eliza Dushku and many more. Throughout all these projects he's mastered the art of raising capital to greenlight a project. And, he's going to share with you how you can find money for your own project! Tom will focus in on how to identify, attract and sell investors who are a fit for your project. He'll introduce the HNI (High Net Worth Individual) and how you can find and approach them. You will learn how to tailor and perfect your financing pitch so that it's personal, professional and stands out from the pack, and learn to be prepared for any responses, feedback, or kickback you might receive. As important, you'll learn the three mistakes commonly made when approaching and pitching an investor. Tom will show you how to research investors, and give you an actual list making technique that works. Then, once you have your plan, he'll teach you how to get and win meetings. He'll teach you which markets are worth attending and how to put a plan of attack in place once you get there. Finally, Tom will teach you 5 tips on how to close your investor. This is proven advice from someone who has a track record of over a decade being successful and finding financing. "Solid gold Tom! Thanks for all the handy tips to put into place. You made the process seem so much easier to find people to actually invest in my film!" - Steven R. "I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the projects I put in front of investors. What I've learned is I don't have the right strategy or message to make them understand why I have such confidence. This webinar changed all that for me. I realize now that I had much of it backwards and was missing many key components that made my pitch, and frankly, my follow up methods lacking. I'm grateful." - David W.
It's no secret that television is a red hot medium right now. Over the last few years, the average number of shows broadcast has been well over 500. With the advent of even more streaming options (HBO Now, Disney+, and more), some experts expect that number to double or even possibly triple over the next 2-4 years. That doesn't even account for the number of television projects that get sold or brought to pilot that never get picked up! In short, the amount of television pitches being greenlit in the room and the amount of television scripts being optioned and sold has never been higher. But, as is the case with just about anything, the bigger the gold rush, the more people seeking the gold. The content is one thing, how you pitch the content to networks, development execs, financiers, producers, managers, agents and other decision makers is quite another. Experienced professionals can spot an amateur pitcher within the first 30 seconds, if not sooner. You have to be able to stand out. And we're here to help you do just that. So, you have a great idea for a show, now what? How do you get it to the right people? What to do/how to present it to them? What most people don’t understand, is that once they’re in the door they need to think about the other side of the table. Who they’re pitching to, how many pitches that person reads/hears and how best to position themselves to stand out. Busy producers and executives get pitched all the time - honestly...All. Day. Long. Whether oral, written or Skype, you basically have 30 seconds or the first paragraph to keep them interested. And for both, the format matters! Don’t let your great idea fall on deaf ears or eyes! If you’re a writer or someone who works with writers, you need to know how to orchestrate a good pitch. Bret Slater has worked as a producer on such acclaimed shows as the multi Emmy nominated Boardwalk Empire and Ballers for HBO. Bret has worked alongside such talent as Steve Buscemi, Mark Whalberg, Russel Crowe, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Steven Levinson (Entourage), Catherine Zeta Jones, Ryan Phillippe and many more. Bret has been reading and listening to television pitches all day and just about every day since he broke into the business over a decade ago. He's seen every style, heard every idea, and knows as well as anyone what makes a television pitch a winner. Bret will teach you the entire landscape regarding pitching a television pilot or idea. In what is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of the pitching process, Bret will take you inside the mind of the pitchee, the person hearing the pitch. What are they looking for in the first 30 seconds? What are you portraying when you walk in the room? What details matter and which make the person you are pitching to zone out? How do you craft your pitch to producers, managers and agents? He will teach you the 3 basic, yet much overlooked, rules that must be in every pitch along with the #1 rule on how to deliver your pitch. Bret will break down written, oral and online/Skype pitches and the do's and don'ts for each. He will teach you how to open, and more importantly, close your pitch so that you leave the person or people you are pitching to wanting more. Bret will even show you the proper etiquette for following up after a pitch. Bret will provide all the tools that will help lift the anxiety and doubt of pitching for television and give you the confidence to deliver your pitch in a mannered, informed and professional way. "Yet another winner from Stage 32." - Patricia C. "So much quality information. There were at least 3 things I was absolutely doing wrong with my approach when pitching. This clarified the mistakes I was making. Thank you, Bret." Marty T. "Having spent nearly 10 years in the feature world, I recently wrote a pilot and quickly realized the landscape is much different. My old tricks for pitching features didn't apply for TV. It's a different animal. Now I'm ready to get back on the attack." Milos S.
PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch. WEEK #1 – Introduction, Pitch Docs, Character This week we will cover the syllabus, your instructor's background and experience, your goals for this eight-week lab and launch into a discussion on creating strong characters for your pilot. We will discuss the types of drama pilots and how they differ from network to network. We will go over how to create effective loglines and pitch documents. Then we will delve into character – what makes for strong characters and weak ones. The assignment for this week will be to create a pitch document and write a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters. WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline and Series Bible This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of drama pilot (procedural or serial) and the network (broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, etc.) We will identify what kind of network to target for your story idea and structure the pilot accordingly. We will also discuss the function of your series bible and what it needs to include to support your pilot. The assignment for the week is to complete a pilot outline and start work on your bible. WEEK #3 – Pilot Outline (One on One Consultations – No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding pilot structure. Each writer will send in their pilot outline in advance and will have a 10-minute call to discuss what works and what doesn’t. The assignment for the week is to address any notes given on the outline before proceeding with next week’s class and to continue working on your series bible. WEEK #4– Scenes, Beats, Dialogue, This week we will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, story beats, and dialogue. The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the teaser/opening scene, a scene with heavy dialogue, and a strong character scene. WEEK #5– Acts 1 and 2 We will discuss both the four-act and five-act structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in acts 1 and 2 of a drama pilot, including exposition, number of scenes per act, traditional page count, inciting incidents, acts 1 and 2 breaks, etc. The assignment this week will be to complete Acts 1 and 2 of your pilot. WEEK #6– Acts 3, 4 and 5 Similarly to last week, we will cover the necessary story beats that traditionally exist in acts 3 and 4 of a drama pilot. If your pilot structure has five or more, as some broadcast network shows do, there will be time allotted for further instruction on how to proceed. The assignment this week is to complete the first draft of the entire pilot and to turn in your series bible. WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Please turn in your pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call, and each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes. Your assignment this week is to address any notes. WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (No Online Class) This week will consist of 10-minute one-on-one phone calls as well. Please submit your revised pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call. Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given. Payment plans are available - please contact email@example.com for more information.