How to Create Short Form Content as a Calling Card Toward Building a Career in Feature Films

Hosted by Tyler Gillett

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Tyler Gillett

Webinar hosted by: Tyler Gillett

Director at Scream 5, Ready or Not (FOX), Devil's Due (FOX), V/H/S (Sundance), Southbound

Tyler Gillett is a film, television and new media writer, director and producer based in Los Angeles. He has recently been tapped to direct the new SCREAM film for Spyglass Media Group. Prior to SCREAM, Tyler directed the 2019 hit READY OR NOT, which was one of the biggest successes for FOX Searchlight with a budget of $6MM and grossing over $57MM worldwide. He also directed DEVIL'S DUE for 20th Century FOX and The Orchard's SOUTHBOUND.  As one of the founding members of the filmmaking collective Radio Silence, Tyler got his break with the Sundance hit V/H/S, which originated with short form content he created. In addition to his film credits, he has sold three television shows -- a horror anthology to NBC, an action comedy to Comedy Central, and an adventure show to Disney XD. Tyler got his start working with the online comedy group Chad, Matt & Rob whose work has garnered over 100 Million total views on YouTube.   Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Learn from one of the most successful and in demand directors of the past few years, Tyler Gillett (Devil's Due, Ready or Not, Scream 5 and 6) exclusively on Stage 32.

 

If you’re reading this and you’re an aspiring storyteller, you’re probably well aware that no path in this business follows a straight line. There’s no recognizable ladder to climb. No standardized “five-year” plan. There are so many questions – How do I get my start? How do I tell stories that inspire me? What’s the right story to tell? How do I find an audience? How do I get recognized? So many questions and no hard and fast “right” answer. 

With the rise of digital technology, storytellers now have access to a new and incredibly valuable set of tools to help sell their ideas. Shooting a compelling short film, web series, or proof of concept has never been easier – and it is one of the most effective ways to practice your craft, showcase your voice and set your work apart from the rest of the pack. But there’s a catch – the increased accessibility of these tools has lead to a dramatic increase in the amount of content created and it has become much harder to cut through the noise and really stand out. 

Tyler Gillett is a film, television and new media writer, director and producer. He has recently been tapped to direct the new SCREAM reboot feature film for Spyglass Media Group. Prior to SCREAM, Tyler directed the 2019 hit READY OR NOT, which was one of the biggest successes for FOX Searchlight with a budget of $6MM and grossing over $57MM worldwide. He also directed DEVIL'S DUE for 20th Century FOX and The Orchard's SOUTHBOUND. As one of the founding members of the filmmaking collective Radio Silence, Tyler got his break with the Sundance hit V/H/S, which originated with short form content he created. He has made an impressive career which launched from directing his own short form content and he's here to show you how to do it. 

Tyler will share his own path and how utilizing these tools helped him move from directing zero-budget digital shorts to directing and producing feature films for studios. Tyler will go over the 4 main benefits to create a short film and how to choose the right idea or genre the compliment your talents to get you noticed. He will get into the script phase and discuss what works and what doesn't as it relates to your characters, tone, style, scale, runtime and more. He will teach you how to design your production model and by giving you 4 huge tips to use heading into production. And, as we all know there are limitations on a smaller production, and to that point, Tyler will present 3 things you need before you get on set to assure a successful production. To prepare you for post production, Tyler will show you how to obtain quality VFX on a budget. And of extreme importance, Tyler will discuss the best places to release your work and why. To illustrate all of these teachable points and more not even mentioned, Tyler will be citing examples from over 10 features including Boogie Nights, District 9, Leviathan, Whiplash, Chronicle and more!

Tyler will discuss how to conceptualize and create low-budget, high-quality short-form content that will wow financiers and producers and help you sell yourself and your ideas to a larger audience.

 

Praise for Tyler:

 

"Tyler is so humble considering all the success he has had. He truly made me feel like I can do anything and that no project is unattainable."

- Kevin M.

"A unique look at short form content as your calling card. It's a fundemental creative shift that can actually HELP you get work from your short work. Bravo Tyler."

- Anne N. 

 

"Another superstar in the Stage 32 lineup. What a thrill to learn from someone of Tyler's caliber. I hope he continues to come back."

Jenna G.

 

"I loved READY OR NOT. And I loved Tyler. So much good information."

- Susan M.

What You'll Learn

Navigating the Business of Catch 22s as a “First-Timer” Creating Short Content

  • The inherent risks of filmmaking
  • What it means to create in the digital frontier
  • How to set you and your idea up for success  

4 Main Benefits of Creating a Short Film

  • Types of production benefits
  • Types of business benefits
  • Types of creative benefits
  • Types of story benefits

How to Choose the Right Idea & Genre

  • The types of “proofs of concept” that get noticed and why
  • Elevated genre pros and cons
  • Comedy and drama pros and cons
  • Mixing genres pros and cons

Discussing What Works and What Doesn't

  • Character
  • Mystery
  • Restraint
  • Total Runtime
  • Mythology
  • Tone, Style & Scale

Developing with Limitations in Mind

  • 3 things you need before you get on set to ensure a successful production

How to Design Your Production Model

  • 4 huge tips that will help you going into production

Integrating VFX Work on a Budget

  • Conceptual help 
  • Options if you decide to outsource or keep it in house

Your Short is Done: Preparing fo Next Steps to Get Noticed

  • The other materials you need in your creative arsenal
  • Lookbooks and ripreels

Where is the Best Place to Release Your Work and Why

  • Digital platorms
  • Film festivals
  • Genre specific outlets

Examples We’ll Cite:

  • Leviathan
  • District 9
  • Whiplash
  • Lights Out
  • Boogie Nights
  • Chronicle
  • Boogie Nights
  • Amateur Night
  • 10/31/98
  • Mountain Devil Prank
  • Transmission

Q&A with Tyler

About Your Instructor

Tyler Gillett is a film, television and new media writer, director and producer based in Los Angeles. He has recently been tapped to direct the new SCREAM film for Spyglass Media Group. Prior to SCREAM, Tyler directed the 2019 hit READY OR NOT, which was one of the biggest successes for FOX Searchlight with a budget of $6MM and grossing over $57MM worldwide. He also directed DEVIL'S DUE for 20th Century FOX and The Orchard's SOUTHBOUND. 

As one of the founding members of the filmmaking collective Radio Silence, Tyler got his break with the Sundance hit V/H/S, which originated with short form content he created. In addition to his film credits, he has sold three television shows -- a horror anthology to NBC, an action comedy to Comedy Central, and an adventure show to Disney XD. Tyler got his start working with the online comedy group Chad, Matt & Rob whose work has garnered over 100 Million total views on YouTube.

 

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Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

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Order is crucial to plot construction Learn to stay on track with reverse cause and effect, and not follow false trails Know that your storytelling has to be top notch because well-structured crap is still crap Apply Sequence, Proposition, Plot to Act I, Sequence 2 in the practice script Session 8: How To Engineer Your Script Before You Start Writing Engineer your screenplay before you write it and save many rewrites Attack the audience Be the master of the tools, not their servant Break down sequences into scenes Apply Sequence, Proposition, Plot to Sequence 1, Scene 1 in the practice script Session 9: Work On Practice Script Total work session using Sequence, Proposition, Plot on the practice script Apply Sequence, Proposition, Plot to Sequence 1, Scene 2 in the practice script Then write the dialog for that scene Apply Sequence, Proposition, Plot to Sequence 1, Scene 3 in the practice script Then write the dialog for that scene Session 10: Wrap Up Total work session using Sequence, Proposition, Plot on the practice script Apply Sequence, Proposition, Plot to Sequence 2, Scene 1 in the practice script Then write the dialog for that scene Apply Sequence, Proposition, Plot to Sequence 2, Scene 2 in the practice script Then write the dialog for that scene Keep going until we drop About The Instructor, Jeff Kitchen: Jeff Kitchen has been one of the top screenwriting teachers in the film industry for twenty years, and is a sought-after script consultant. 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Jeffrey is one of the few contemporary writer-teachers with a grounding in those ageless techniques of good drama, a tradition rarely passed to current generations.” - George Higginson, Screenwriter “Jeff Kitchen is the best screenwriting teacher in the world.” - Tom Huckabee, Executive Producer, Frailty   To read Jeff Kitchen's book, Writing a Great Movie: Key Tools for Successful Screenwriting click here!

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***Sorry, the lab is filled!***  This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. With the TV market exploding right now, 30-minute and 60-minute TV drama and dramedy pilots are in demand. Many, if not all, managers and agents are looking for writers that can write in this space, and with more and more production companies heading into TV, knowing how to write a strong TV pilot will give you a competitive advantage and help you find success as a TV writer! Stage 32 is thrilled to have our Writing Lab: Write Your TV Pilot and Lean How to Pitch it in 10 Weeks taught by Anna Henry who is a veteran TV development executive that's worked with ABC, CBS, Nickelodeon, SONY, 20th Century FOX Television, Amazon, Starz, EOne, OddLot Entertainment, Corus, ITV America and more. This hands-on intensive lab will guide you through picking a concept, creating engaging characters, structuring and outlining your pilot, writing the pilot, polishing and pitching it! You must have a solid understanding of screenwriting to participate. We will not be going over the basics.  The main objective of this 10-week lab will be to have a solid completed script that is market-ready to start pitching. You will meet online with Anna for 2 hours a week in a class setting, plus have phone or Skype consultations during some of the weeks when you don't have an online class. This will be accompanied by weekly homework assignments to guide you on your way to creating a marketable, unique pilot that will grab the industry's attention. Payment plans are available - please contact edu@stage32.com for more information. This Lab is Limited to 10 People.  

TV Drama Pilot & Bible Writing Lab - 8 Weeks from Concept to Script

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 edu@stage32.com for more information.

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