Ariel Goldberg is an artist and animator who now serves as Director of Talent Acquisition for Skydance Animation, working to grow the new high-profile studio into a major player in both feature and episodic animation. Earlier in his career, Ariel worked as a Senior Concept Artist at Zynga, designing costumes and characters for social games FarmVille and CastleVille. He later joined the recruitment team at Disney Interactive and was then asked by Nickelodeon to oversee Talent Acquisition for its animated productions. At Nickelodeon, Ariel developed a staffing pipeline for the hiring of designers, storyboard artists, directors, production assistants, and script coordinators, among other positions. With his background, Ariel has seen it from both sides – as the artist trying to break in AND as the recruiter determining who makes the cut and has a deep understanding of how artists can break through and find success. Full Bio »
Skydance Animation Director of Talent Acquisition Shares the Secrets of How Artists and Animators Get Hired
Comes with a Case Study of a REAL Artist Portfolio that Got the Artist Hired!
A lot of students and artists who complete prestigious academic programs with degrees in Film, Animation, Digital Media, and similar fields, emerge from their institutions with incredible craftsmanship and no clue what to do next in terms of seeking work. That’s okay! You weren’t out sick the day they taught it; they didn’t teach it at all. The one step in career development that most academic institutions fail to address is the methodology of how to seek work and attain it. But there IS a methodology, and if you’re interested in applying your art and animation skills to film and television, understanding this methodology is critical to get your foot in the door.
Submitting your application to an online job posting feels like you’re tossing your resume and portfolio link into a black hole. You know the competition is steep and the number of applicants is daunting. Standing out, getting your submission seen amidst the fray, and landing an interview – let alone getting hired! – feels like a luck of the draw. But it doesn’t have to be like that. There are sequential steps you can be taking to improve your chances of getting noticed, getting interviewed, and getting hired. How exactly can you stand out amongst the crowd? What art should you be including in your portfolio? And what are the biggest mistakes applicants make that you can avoid from the get go?
Ariel Goldberg is an artist and animator who now serves as Director of Talent Acquisition for Skydance Animation, working to grow the new high-profile studio into a major player in both feature and episodic animation. Earlier in his career, Ariel worked as a Senior Concept Artist at Zynga, designing costumes and characters for social games FarmVille and CastleVille. He later joined the recruitment team at Disney Interactive and was then asked by Nickelodeon to oversee Talent Acquisition for its animated productions. At Nickelodeon, Ariel developed a staffing pipeline for the hiring of designers, storyboard artists, directors, production assistants, and script coordinators, among other positions. With his background, Ariel has seen it from both sides – as the artist trying to break in AND as the recruiter determining who makes the cut and has a deep understanding of how artists can break through and find success.
Ariel will use his recruiting expertise to lay out how you can find art and animation opportunities in film and television and improve your chances of getting noticed, getting interviewed, and getting hired. He’ll break down what the animation pipeline in film and TV looks like, outlining the different steps and how it differs between TV and features. He’ll also talk about the main artist roles throughout the process and what the career trajectories look like. Ariel will give you tips on networking and finding your in as well as looking for opportunities and listings and how best to reach out to companies and recruiters that are hiring. Next Ariel will dive deep into putting together an effective portfolio and what it should look like. He will also teach you what an effective artist’s resume should contain and how to nail the job interview. He’ll finally explain the most common mistakes and misconceptions he has seen when trying to break in.
Ariel will even show a REAL artist’s portfolio that helped get the candidate hired and explain why the portfolio earned him the job.
Finding opportunities as an artist is hard work, but Ariel will show you how to pursue your career the right way and achieve your creative and professional goals.
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: 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!
You have an idea for a screenplay. Something burning inside of you to get on the page. Or perhaps you have a screenplay (or 20) sitting in your desk draw in need of a home. Of course you know to make sure that material is primed, ready, and locked and loaded to give yourself the best chance of being read from FADE IN to FADE OUT. But you also need to make sure it's market ready. And further still, you'll want to identify where the best home is for this material and how to pitch them in a manner in which gives you the best shot to be optioned or sold. Most writers understand that taking your idea from a good concept to an excellent screenplay takes many rewrites and much polishing. In today's ultra-competitive landscape, it's more important than ever to fully flesh out your characters, locales, and plot. But thinking about the business side of things as it relates to your screenplay - understanding budget constraints, for example - is something that can give you power in a room. But first you need to get in that room. And to do that, you need to identify the proper (and realistic) homes for your material and understand what they are looking for. Further, you'll need to craft an effective pitch which may just change from one production company (or producer, financier or rep) to another. Rachel Crouch is the Director of Development for Cold Iron Pictures, Miranda Bailey's financing and production company. She's worked on films such as Sundance's Swiss Army Man starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, the Independent Spirt Award-winning The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Don't Think Twice starring Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs, Norma staring Richard Gere and Steve Buscemi and many more. Prior to Cold Iron Pictures she worked as a producer's assistant raising film financing and helping bring films into production. Rachel will take her experience on over a dozen films and give you a behind-the-scenes look at what production companies look for when considering material. Rachel will teach you how to develop your idea from a good concept to a strong story that will grab the attention of financiers and production companies. She'll help you break down your story to figure out your project's main audience and lead you through the tropes you'll want to exploit in order to leave that audience satisfied. You'll find out how to determine your story's budget range and see how letting go of those HBO dreams might help you find a better home for your project. She'll teach you how to hone your pitch including information you must include when pitching production companies. She'll even discuss rejection and finding the power within so that your next pitch is even better and more productive than the last. In short, Rachel will put you in a position to get the read, get in the room, and get the sale or job! "I appreciate Rachel's openness and willingness to share her knowledge and experience with us." - Susan S. "Very practical advice that I can apply right away." - Brian G. "I thought it was very professional and informative." - Chris R.
Making movies is filled with stressful moments and on-the-spot choices and decisions, all with a ticking clock. The last thing you want as a filmmaker in post production is to have to compromise your visual story because you didn’t get that one shot you needed. Yet this is incredibly common and one of the main reasons for reshoots, delays in a film’s release, and ultimately going over-budget. This is why having a full understanding of shot coverage and what constitutes the bare visual minimum for any type of scene is essential to making a compelling movie. Everything begins with a visual plan. But as a director, DP, AD, or script supervisor, how can you design shots before you have blocked a scene? How many shots do you actually need? And how do you know when it is time to move on when you are running out of filming time? It’s a difficult balance, but skillfully navigating when and when not to spend a few more precious moments on an unplanned shot separates wise filmmakers from the pack. It requires a vision, visual literacy in storytelling, and a willingness to communicate and collaborate with your coverage team while maintaining your role as visionary on the set. Brenda Wachel is an accomplished and sought after script supervisor with over 30 years of experience and credits on some of the biggest films of all time, including JURASSIC PARK 3, OCTOBER SKY, BRIGHT, COLLATERAL, FURIOUS 7, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. She has worked with countless directors like Paul Haggis, Joe Johnston, Michael Mann, David Ayer, Tim Robbins, and Terry Gilliam and continues to serve as script supervisor for projects like Netflix’s just released mockumentary feature DEATH TO 2020, written and directed by BLACK MIRROR’s Charlie Brooker and starring Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson, and Lisa Kudrow. Brenda has overseen shot coverage on countless films and television shows and knows how this process can save or destroy a project. Now she’ll share her experience with the Stage 32 community. Brenda will give essential and helpful tools to allow you to best prepare for your film or project’s production and ensure you get the footage you need the first time around. She’ll outline the different tools the directors have and the choices they have to make, including shot sizes, angles, lens choices and focus choices. She’ll next delve into the tools to use for successful shot coverage. She’ll explain how to build a strategic shot list and how to use storyboards and look books. She’ll explain how to collaborate with your core coverage team (the director, DP, script supervisor and AD) to ensure you’re getting the footage you need in the moment. Next, Brenda will give a deep dive into what to do to cover basic scenes, including dialogue scenes between two people, dialogue scenes with three or more people, walk and talk scenes, and interior car scenes. Finally, Brenda will offer a live case study by showing a scene from a notable film and reverse engineering the shot list to demonstrate how the filmmakers got the coverage they needed to make the scene work. With the tools and knowledge Brenda is providing, you’ll be able to attack your next production more strategically and ensure you wrap production with exactly what you need. Praise for Brenda’s Previous Stage 32 Webinar "Loved the level of expertise. I often take webinars and find that I'm as knowledgeable as the instructor, but this one was exceptional." -Scott F. "Brenda was clear and generous in sharing her knowledge." -Kathleen O. "I loved Brenda's talk! She provided a ton of work-related experiences that can be applied to the job, many that you cannot find in a book. She was very enjoyable to listen to and she was open and honest. I loved it!" -Allish S. "Brenda’s wealth of working knowledge was amazing." -Pamela F.
Your pitch deck is the most important tool in your initial stage of obtaining financing for your script. A pitch deck is also used as an aid to attaching an actor or director you are interested in. As a tool, your deck is the first impression of your film condensed so the investor can become familiar with your project and determine if this is an opportunity for them. To close the deal or at least garner meaningful consideration and interest, your pitch deck has to stand out. It has to not only tell the story of your project, why it should be attractive to talent, and what the true potential audience may be, but, most importantly, it needs to show a true and realistic path to profitability. And this is where so many decks fail. Sure, you want to paint a rosy picture with your investor pitch deck. But here's the thing, most investors who have put money into films before know BS from reality. They will know if you are overshooting your estimates (an extremely common tactic), whether your film comps are ridiculous (they almost always are) and if you're exaggerating who your potential audience will be (nearly always the case). A great investor pitch deck is filled with equal parts optimism and reality. Sure, every investor wants to dream of unbelievable riches and success, but what truly makes them open their wallets is believing in the team, the project, and being presented a realistic worldview as to the potential return on their investment. Michelle Alexandria knows a thing or two about raising money. As a producer and Head of International Sales and Acquisitions for Glasshouse Distribution, Michelle has raised or assisted in raising funds for dozens of films and other projects. She has personally worked on 25 feature films $6MM and under and 3 television projects in various capacities including producing, line producing and executive producing. Michelle has spoken on the topic of raising financing at the Cannes Producers Network and other prominent film festivals and markets including MipCom, Berlin, Buenos Aires, UniFrance, Sundance, and AFM. Her knowledge is extensive and her advice actionable, and now she's here to deliver the goods exclusively on Stage 32. Michelle will teach you how to create an investor pitch deck that doesn't have that same dusty feeling of so many decks and which fits the current climate of raising funds. She will show you what elements truly matter for an investor and which you can leave out of your deck entirely. She will discuss the value (or lack thereof) of artwork and posters. Additionally, she'll dive into loglines and synopsis to assure that you are giving your potential investors the true vision of the project. She will teach you how to put together a realistic cast list and film comps. She will discuss budgets, scheduling and how to incorporate those elements into your deck. She will talk to you about putting together the right team and how those team members can send the right or wrong signal. As an added bonus, Michelle will share examples of pitches decks that have helped secure millions in financing! "Clear, concise, and brilliant." - Mario D. "No BS, straight to the point information. Loved every second." - Patricia H. "I have a deck for my film. It's going in the garbage. I will be starting over tomorrow with this wealth of information flowing in my head. Remarkable job, Michelle!" - Phil M. "Sure, everyone wants Leo or George in their films. Sure, everyone thinks their film is the next My Big Fat Greek Wedding or some other independent blockbuster. Sure, everyone believes that they have THE idea that is going to get them the money. Michelle just gave me the map as to HOW to get the money by being REAL. I can't wait to get started and to bounce ideas off my team. This was so much fun. Thank you!" - Denise P.
Learn directly from Claire Winters has spent the last fifteen years working as an actor, film and acting teacher, and writer/editor. Testimonials: "Thank you for challenging me to find the best in myself to present to industry professionals. I appreciate your encouragement to embrace all dimensions of myself in how I communicate. It was a pleasure to take your class." - Nikki Jacobs, Actor "It’s not just her writing skill that made working with Claire such a great experience (though she has that in spades), but her insightful questions really got at the heart of what I wanted people to feel when reading my bio. Her knowledge of the entertainment industry also meant that she curated which work experiences the bio highlighted in an effective way. I now have something that I’m proud to share." - Sarah Sido, Actor Do you sit down to write your bio and become paralyzed with fear and second-guessing? Or do you wonder who that blow-hard is you've created staring back at you from the computer screen? As careers in the entertainment industry become ever-more entrepreneurial, it's essential for every creative to have a bio that presents her in her best light. Yet, unfortunately, many bios are too impersonal to make an impact, or too self-effacing to engender confidence, or so egocentric that they turn their readers off. How can you write about your career in a way that sparks interest and begins a professional relationship on the right foot? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you'll be lead through exercises on how to tell the story of your career with creativity, intelligence, wit, and, most importantly, in your own distinct voice. Not only will you emerge with a framework for a bio you'll be proud to share, but you'll also have deeper self-respect and inspired ideas for your next steps.
THIS 4-PART CLASS IS AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! As a director, one of your most important jobs is eliciting great performances from actors. Fail at that, and your film or series could crumble under the weight of bad acting. Although the best directors shape performances with a deftness that may seem effortless, it is not. In fact, becoming a great director of actors is hard work and takes years of disciplined practice. Like playing a violin, it is a skill that must be nurtured. Yet if you can achieve this crucial skill and relationship, you’ll be able to greatly elevate your films and projects and champion your actors at the same time. The film director’s working relationship with an actor starts in the first casting session, continues through the various rehearsal stages, onto the set and ends in the ADR session. Most trained actors begin by trusting the director, but if you can’t direct actors in a language they understand, you may have a difficult time getting actors to trust you. And if actors don’t trust you, you will have a difficult time blocking them on set and getting layered performances from them. It’s important to meet actors where they are, and we’ve brought in the perfect person to explain how to do this. Peter Marshall is a director and film directing coach with over 40 years of experience including 12 features, 16 TV movies, 8 TV series, over 30 episodes of TV drama, 50 hours of documentary and educational programming, and over 20 commercials. Through his career, Peter has worked with and helped elevate the performances of actors such as Peter O'Toole, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Kathy Bates, Michelle Pfiefer, Marcia Gaye Harden, Madeleine Stowe, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Goldie Hawn, Judy Davis and Adam Sandler. He has also had the opportunity to work alongside and learn from other directors like John Woo, Phillip Noyce, Ed Zwick, John Badham, Roger Vadim, Dennis Dugan, Anne Wheeler and Zack Snyder. Peter’s long and impressive history has given him a deep understanding of how to work with actors of all sizes and levels and understands what he needs to do as a director to elicit great performances. Over the course of four sessions, Peter will dive deep into the relationship between the director and actors and teach you how directors can build a relationship built on trust with actors by creating a safe place for them to perform. Peter will first explore how to understand human behavior and emotions and use this to better support your cast. He will then explore the main strategies of proper script analysis you can use to help actors achieve the performance you desire, including his “9 Part Scene Breakdown Process”. In the next session he will delve into how to work with actors in prep and finally will break down the process of working with actors and getting the performance on set, including his “10 Step Actor/Director Blocking Process”. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Peter is no longer distributing or reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate! Praise for Peter’s Stage 32 Class “I really enjoyed the webinar. I liked the fact that the density of material was rich enough I was always busy taking notes. Thanks for covering the artistic and the logistic side of directing.” - Brad L. “Hey Stage 32, I wanted to thank you and Peter Marshall for such an enlightening class. I have so many notes and as a new Director I have to say I feel a bit more relaxed, knowing what steps I need to take to be more prepared for a shoot. Peter is so generous with his knowledge. I have his Directors class downloaded and I'm excited to view it” Diane L. "Very helpful, in depth and extremely well-structured." -Memi K.
Horror genre television series are now in demand in a BIG way. Many production companies and buyers are actively looking for stories that provide thrills, chills and scares. In recent years, we’ve seen a surge in developing and producing popular shows for cable, steamers and network television. Shows like AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD, A&E’s BATES MOTEL, Netflix’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and BLY MANOR, FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY, and HBO’s LOVECRAFT COUNTY have been paving the way for a new era of high quality, diverse, and ambitious horror series unlike anything that’s ever been created before. And according to the ratings, the appetite for this TV genre only continues to grow. If you have ever thought about writing, producing or selling your own horror television series, now is the time. You want to capitalize on this hot genre if you have a horror project you're thinking about creating or if you're interested in going to market with one you already have. But even with this opportunity, you still need to have a dynamite show to present if you want to be noticed. That’s why it’s critical you have a clear understanding of your series, your story, your world and your characters to draw from. Building a strong foundation for your horror series is not easy, but if you can ace all of these elements, you may have just found your way in and the piece of material that will fire you off the launch pad. Let us give you the guidance to make your horror series as good as it can be and help you springboard your writing career. Kevin Nicklaus is a veteran development executive with a long tenure with the The Wolper Organization, which has a first-look deal with Warner Bros., including HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros. features, and more. He has been integral to the early development and sales of BATES MOTEL for A&E, the Emmy-nominated ROOTS for History, STEPHEN KING'S SALEM'S LOT for TNT, THE MISTS OF AVALON for TNT, HELTER SKELTER for CBS, THE BAD SEED for Lifetime and more. Kevin has been active in the world of horror television for years now and knows better than most what it takes to get a scary series off the ground. Over the course of five weeks, you will work closely with Kevin in a virtual class setting to develop your horror series and build your pilot and series outlines in order to work towards a market-ready and standout show. Kevin will guide you through teasing out in on your idea based on the marketplace, sharpening your logline, breaking down your characters, outlining your first season and pilot and working in effective beginnings and endings. If you already have a concept, or even a completed pilot, Kevin will use the same tools to help you hone your material. Throughout the course of this exclusive online lab, you will have direct access to Kevin as a mentor by email and via video conferencing as you develop your horror series. Students who sign up for this lab with Kevin will be eligible to participate in a Level 2 Lab where Kevin will work with you on putting together your pitch documents and developing your pitch! WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for writers and creators of all levels looking to get their horror TV project ready to put together. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. By the end of this 5-week writing lab, you will have a sharpened, more market-ready and clearly developed television series along with a working outline. This lab will consist of five weekly sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. In addition to the lessons where Kevin teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask him questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with her directly about your specific project. Plus, to keep you motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the development process. To see the full writing lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 15 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a working executive and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please do book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information