Ewan has experience in development, international sales, acquisitions and production, working closely with TV and filmmakers over the last few years at Disrupting Influence - most recently announcing the release of the latest installment of the successful Cities of Love franchise, Berlin, I Love You starring Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley. Ewan has produced, developed and sold over 30 titles including ZERO TOLERANCE starring Scott Adkins, TV series DEEP CUTS and LAUDA: THE UNTOLD STORY. Ewan has also appeared on judging panels at film festivals, mentored for a number of programs for both new and established content makers and was named in The Business of Film’s International Village of Independents. Before moving into development, sales and acquisitions, Ewan also worked on titles including WORLD WAR Z, 360, CHATROOM and RUSH in production management, assistant directing and aerial location services. At Disrupting Influence Ewan has been working closely with content makers. Specializing in developing both their scripts and pitch materials to best showcase their project and take the next steps in getting their picture off the ground. Company bio: Disrupting Influence provides production, financing and sales services for commercially unique theatrical, VOD and television content. In addition to working with established filmmakers, DI consults and works with several groups to provide guidance and support to up and coming talent. Our approach is to provide them with the tools to get their projects off the ground while at the same time to provide a positive experience - giving them a road map to tackle their next project. Full Bio »
It’s no secret that streaming television is booming. New shows are being released on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, and with more streaming services like HBO Max, Disney+ and even the short form streaming platform Quibi coming into the fold, demand for content has never been higher. There truly hasn’t been a better time for you to get that series you’ve been working on noticed. But with any gold rush, you need the proper information to assure you are positioning yourself for success. In order to get a streaming executive (or a manager or agent, for that matter) to turn their head and give your show consideration you’re still going to need a dynamite pitch, and with it, an excellent pitch deck.
Pitch decks are a mystery. Why? Because no two pitch decks are the same. But there are elements that are crucial that separate a professional deck from an amateur one. A solid pitch deck will get those executives on your side and show them how exciting and marketable your idea is. It can be what stands between you and that green light. But what does a great pitch deck even look like, and do different approaches work better for broadcast networks than streaming networks? What do streaming executives want to see and what should you steer clear of at all costs?
Ewan Dunbar serves in Development, Sales, and Acquisitions at Disrupting Influence, most recently announcing the release of the latest installment of the successful Cities of Love franchise, BERLIN, I LOVE YOU, starring Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley. Ewan has produced, developed and sold over 30 titles including ZERO TOLERANCE starring Scott Adkins, TV series DEEP CUTS and LAUDA: THE UNTOLD STORY. Recently Ewan has worked closely with dozens of producers to target their pitch materials for streaming platforms. Having been in many rooms with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other streamers, Ewan specializes in developing decks to best showcase a project and make it stand out. Plus, Ewan has insight into a streaming platform’s process once you pitch your show.
Ewan will cover what executives are looking for in a deck, what you do and don’t need to include, presentation tips and how to keep acquisitions executives interested in your material. He’ll go over how to keep your audience entertained and simple formatting tips and tricks you can adopt that can make all the difference. Ewan will also discuss how best to present your plot, characters, and world, and how you should adjust your deck specifically for streaming networks as opposed to broadcasters, sales agents, or financiers, and ways to adapt depending on what genre your series most closely aligns with. He’ll also teach you how to bring all your materials together for your final pitch.
In addition to the wealth of knowledge and information Ewan will present, he will also go over successful example pitch decks PLUS give you a handout that shows you a guide of what you need in your own deck.
“Having been in dozens of rooms at various streaming platforms pitching shows, I’ve come to know and understand the process of what they are expecting and what can give you a competitive advantage. I’m looking forward to sharing my experience with the Stage 32 community.”
- Ewan Dunbar
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 audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
So you want to shoot a micro-budget film. You've got your idea. You're excited as hell. You can't wait to get going. There's just one problem. You have little to no money, need to shoot this film on the cheap, and you can't do it without an experienced crew. So how can you get quality, talented people to work for you for little to no money? It happens every day. If you know how to navigate. The old saying goes, a filmmaker is only as good as his or her crew. Making sure that everything is buttoned up on set, from your script supervisor to your sound engineer to your DP and gaffer, the more quality you throw at your film in pre-production and during production, the less headaches and "let's try to fix it in post" problems (which are also painfully expensive) you'll face in post-production. The thing is, regardless of your budget, and in this case we're talking ultra low to $250,000, you can find passionate, creative, and qualified people to work for you well below their normal rate. Barry Andersson is an award-winning director and cinematographer. He has directed 5 feature films (time and time again with some of the best crews imaginable) and has had his features theatrically released in theaters with his latest film distributed by Lionsgate. Barry's has also shot several television pilots, acclaimed short films, numerous commercials, and countless commercials and corporate videos. As if that wasn't enough, Barry is also the author of the hugely successful and revered DSLR Filmmakers Handbook. Barry will teach you how to secure top level, Hollywood quality, crew members for cheap no matter where you live in the world. He will instill in you the confidence to identify and then go in for the proper "ask". He will show you why sometimes a positive and visionary attitude is everything. He will even teach you how to be flexible with your story and locations in an effort to give yourself the best chance of finding and securing a crew that can take your film from OK to masterpiece. Barry is an excellent teacher. He never fails to inspire and make you understand that what you always believed to be impossible, or at least ridiculously daunting, is not only possible, but absolutely attainable if you follow his methods. I wouldn't be where I'm at without him. - Julia V.
Class Space Limited: Maximum 20 Writers August 13, 20, 27 and Sept 10 from 1pm-3pm. Your TV Series Bible is an extremely important, and often overlooked tool for selling your pilot in the industry. It’s a document which explains in detail – who your characters are, what they will be up against, where future conflict will come, and what themes your show will be exploring. It gives studio and network executives confidence that you know what you’re doing, and that the show has the story potential to live on for multiple seasons. The problem is that there isn’t a lot of literature out there detailing how to construct a bible. This Stage 32 Intensive is aimed to give you the information and guidance that you need to write a strong bible that can be used when sending out and selling your pilot script. Each week, your instructor Michael Poisson (Director of Development at Silent Machine Entertainment, Krysten Ritter’s production company that has a first look deal at Universal TV) will be giving a lecture about how to write one section of your series bible, and then you’ll be assigned to write that section for a project of your own. The following week Mike will offer one-on-one skype sessions to discuss your work, give you any notes, and answer any questions that you may have. So, at the end of this Intensive, you will have a strong and well-executed bible that you’ll be able to use as a selling tool for your own TV series. Mike has worked at CAA, two production companies, and as a showrunner’s assistant on a TV series, and at each job he has seen the importance of bibles and how they have been used to get series sold and on the air. As a writer, Mike has also used them in his own writing career, and a well-written bible of helped him to secure his manager, and get multiple production companies interested in his work.
The Cannes Film Festival can be overwhelming when you plan to attend for the first time. Over 12,000 film industry professionals head to Cannes each year to present and discover almost 4,000 films and projects in development at 33 screening venues. Fuelled by this success, the Marché has expanded with the opening of the Riviera and Lérins exhibition halls, forming a hub around the world-famous Palais des Festivals and the Village International, the number one venue for promoting films from all over the world. As a leading global film industry organization, the Marché du Film takes a rigorous approach in adapting to the expectations of industry professionals worldwide and to emerging economic, technological and creative film trends. Even if you’re a veteran attendee, things are always changing at Cannes so it’s important you stay in the know. Stage 32 is proud to be the industry education workshop partner of the Cannes Film Festival Marché du Film for the third year and we are excited to offer all badge holders the opportunity to experience Stage 32 education. Together with the Marché we are excited to offer an exclusive webinar to our Stage 32 community on how you can navigate the festival. In this webinar we’re bringing in the Executive Director, Jérôme Paillard, and his team to talk about the festival and how to navigate it. Now, you’ll get to hear straight from the source on how to make your Cannes experience work for you. You’ll walk away from this webinar able to arrive on the Croisette ready to make things happen!
Over the past few years, studios, independent production companies, networks and streamers have been turning to stories based on IP (Intellectual Property). Often times screenwriters, filmmakers and producers find great source material based on a book, article, life or public domain and the next part is struggling to figure out how to adapt it. You want to make sure that you are able to tell your story in the best possible way. Could it make a good movie? Or, do you have more elements that could make it extend longer into a full TV show? Or, what about creating a podcast that could sell? Making this crucial decision on how to adapt your story can help accelerate your path toward success. When embarking on a strategy to figure out how to adapt your IP, it's important to understand the potential and the limitations within the material. This includes considering many variables including the genre, budget, and story beats. Although you may have begun with a specific format in mind, sometimes you may find that your material may inherently lend itself to one format or another. So, how do you truncate a story into a 110 page script? Should you include more characters and write a pilot that can serve multiple seasons? Could you write a podcast to help your characters come to life? Understanding your audience and where that audience consumes content today might alter your thinking. And, most importantly, you must be paying attention to the marketplace - what's selling, who it sold to, where it will live - so that you don't waste time and navigate the landscape in a productive, more successful manner. Jim Young of Animus Films is a leading independent non-fiction producer, with almost two dozen films under his belt. Jim has created a successful career producing true-story films such as THE CATCHER WAS A SPY with Paul Rudd, LIFE OF A KING with Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr., THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY with Oscar-nominee Dev Patel, LOVELACE with Oscar-nominee James Franco and Amanda Seyfried, and the upcoming film, THE PEOPLE VS. VEGAS DAVE. Jim has a long history of producing critically acclaimed features and documentaries including YEAR OF THE BULL at Showtime, THE WORDS with Oscar-nominee Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. Almost all of Jim's projects are based off of IP and he has a clear grip on what adapts best to what medium and what the marketplace is currently looking for. Jim will go over how determine your objective for your project whether you're a director, writer, actor or a hybrid. He'll go over what is important to you in the overall process in order to help you be clear on what you want to get out of adapting your IP into a film, television pilot or podcast - whether it be creative satisfaction, financial gain or proof of concept. He'll go over what the flow of your story is - open ended or single climax, event vs. character driven and visual vs. storytelling. He'll help you determine your writing style to help cater to which format will work best for your project, discussing comparisons between X-FILES, DIE HARD, STAR WARS and STAR TREK. You'll learn how different genres and budgets play into a project based off of IP. And, most helpful, Jim will go over the current marketplace in terms of popularity of projects based on IP, and break down the pros and cons of working in each medium - film, television and podcast. You will have a clear direction on which format will work best for your project. Praise for Jim's Previous Stage 32 Webinars: "Jim is one of my favorite Stage 32 teachers. He is in the thick of putting together independent films and has answers to any possible question that comes up." - Aaron B. "Thanks Jim your insight was invaluable." - Michelle E. "With all of his success, Jim is very approachable. And, he is incredibly thorough answering questions the right way." - Mark M. "Bring Jim back! He is so detailed and is no bs." - Paul H.
Art/Work Manager Spencer Robinson will discuss the differences between managers and agents, how to grab a manager's attention, working with a manager and what he currently is seeing in the industry.
This week Host & Director of Script Services Jason Mirch reads and critiques Write Now submissions written by Writers' Room members. Jason offers insights on how the writers executed the inciting incidents in their projects.