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.
Like what you heard from Ewan during this webcast?
Send your pitch deck to Ewan to speak with him for an hour by clicking here.
Praise for Ewan's Stage 32 Webinar:
ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! The presenter delivered more in 20 minutes than other presenters do in an hour, and it NEVER felt rushed and he was always easily understandable. I cannot wait to get the handouts!
Ewan’s presentation was excellent I learned so much from him and now feel 100% confident in creating a pitch deck. He was truly an expert.
"Very good, very knowledgeable and very organized. Great presentation and webinar. I walked away with lots of ideas about polishing my pitch decks to make sure they stand out."
"I've taken many years of webinars, gone to many conferences, and taken many courses on feature script writing. I've won a Grand Prize in a major festival for a screenplay. And I'm old enough to be an honest critic. Ewan Dunbar's webinar was one of the best I have every taken! Organized, filled with useful information, he sounded like he really cared about helping the audience be better at what they want to do, and wasn't making an obvious pitch for himself as a consultant --although I'd call on him anytime"
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!
There is A LOT that goes into making a film. Countless roles, countless facets, countless obstacles. And while all aspects are important and necessary to put together a successful film, there are few components more crucial than casting. The cast is not only the key component in delivering your screenplay to an audience but it also determines whether or not you actually get your film made. Funding is often contingent on casting and on recognizable talent being attached, as is distribution deals which will allow your film to ultimately be seen. Actors have a huge influence on how the finished film will be received so how do you approach them and secure their services? Many independent filmmakers quickly write off the idea of including name talent in their project, believing it’s a fool’s errand or something you can’t actually accomplish without deep pockets and deeper connections. This isn’t necessarily true, though. What is essential is a complete understanding of how the casting system works and how to successfully navigate it as an independent filmmaker. Perhaps the most important aspect of this process is the actor meeting, where you pitch your film and convince the actor or their reps to join the project. So much hinges on this meeting, and nailing it can make all the difference. So how exactly can you pitch a bigger actor to star in your project? With so many film projects to choose from, why should they choose yours? Piotr Szkopiak is an experienced director whose latest film THE LAST WITNESS starring Alex Pettyfer (I AM NUMBER FOUR) was released in cinemas nationwide in Poland on 156 screens and in theaters and on digital and DVD in the UK and US. The film also won 33 awards and was selected to screen at film festivals around the world, including in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Toronto & Sydney. His first feature film, SMALL TIME OBSESSION was released theatrically in the UK with both Variety and The Guardian describing him as “a director to watch”. Piotr has also directed countless episodes of television, including episodes of the BBC series CASUALTY, FATHER BROWN, DOCTORS, EASTENDERS, and SHAKESPEARE & HATHAWAY-PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS. Through his career, Piotr has found success in attaching in-demand actors like Alex Pettyfer and is prepared to share his strategies and techniques exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Piotr will teach you how to successfully navigate and execute a key actor meeting in order to bring on a high level actor for your independent project. He will begin by going over how to build your wish list of the actors you’d like for your film, including how to choose who should go on the list, how to navigate creative vs. business choices, setting expectations early and being realistic, and dealing with budget. He will then explain how to approach your desired actor. He’ll explain how to navigate the catch 22 of attaching actors, which is the fact that you need money to go to actors, but you need actors to get money. He’ll talk about when in the process of your project to make contact, who to contact first and how, and how best to work with agents. Piotr will delve into how best to prep for the actor meeting. He’ll talk about the difference between a video conference meeting and a face-to-face one and go over what you should know going in. He’ll walk you through the research you should do ahead of time and where you should choose to meet and why. He’ll also give you a rundown of what your appearance should be for a good first impression and what the proper etiquette is. He’ll give you an idea of the key questions to ask your actor and how best to communicate your vision and prepare your look book to make a convincing case. Piotr will also give you tips of what to do if you’re facing a creative disconnect and how to overcome it. He’ll also go over how best to take criticism if it comes up during the meeting and how to ultimately know if you found the right fit for your actor. He will next teach you best practices for the meeting follow up, including the next steps to take care of right after the meeting, what the do’s and don’ts are, and how to deal with production delays that may come up in the process. Finally, Piotr will go through a case study of his own film THE LAST WITNESS and explain how he ultimately landed the actors Alex Pettyfer and Robert Wieckiewicz to play his lead roles. He’ll discuss the early development of the film, how he attached his producer, and when the key actors became part of the plan. Piotr will even share the look book he created to convince the actors to join. Key actor meetings are scary things, but Piotr will give you the tools you need to navigate them with more confidence and develop the skills to nab your dream actor. "In my experience the choice of lead actors for your film is hugely important and in most cases the difference between whether your film is made or not. For the smaller independent production, this can not only feel daunting and nigh on impossible as this is what I felt myself but I am proof that it is possible. I'm excited to share how I managed to secure the actors for my feature film in the hope it can help you to nail down the perfect actor for your own project." -Piotr Szkopiak
In this Pitch Tank webcast, we welcome producer Aimee Schoof of Intrinsic Value Films. Aimee has produced more than 35 feature films! Of those, 10 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, 4 at the Tribeca Film Festival, 3 at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale. Among many of her notable films, she produced TESLA with Ethan Hawke, AMERICAN SATAN with Malcolm McDowell, MARJORIE PRIME with Jon Hamm, EXPERIMENTER with Peter Sarsgaard, BLUE CAPRICE with Isiaiah Washington, Tim Blake Nelson, DEATH OF A DYNASTY with Kevin Hart and Rashida Jones, and XX/XY with Mark Ruffalo. She has expanded into television and currently has a slate of scripted and unscripted projects and feature films in all phases of production. And on top of all of that, Aimee is also a partner in the comic book publishing company Red Giant Entertainment, developing comic book properties for film and TV! During the webcast, we hear pitches that range from Sci-Fi to Supernatural in both film and television! Aimee provides some incredible insights and provides her 2 key pieces of advice to keep in mind while pitching!
Aerial images go back to when hot air balloons first went up in the 1700s, but the use of aerial images has exploded in the 21st century with the now ubiquitous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, better known as drones. In very little time, drone photography has become widely—perhaps too widely—used in countless films, television shows, commercials, and other media projects. And along with this wide adoption of drones has come a demand for those who can successfully and artfully operate them. This presents a potentially lucrative and rewarding opportunity for cinematographers looking to expand their reach and build their skill set. Yet with the clear overuse of drone photography in media today, each to varying effects, it’s evident that not all drone shots are created equal, and standing out requires a deeper level of skills. Adding drone cinematography to your film, tv or new media project can breathe new life into shots that may, in the past, have cost your budget heavily to rent the necessary equipment to get. In the same way, finding success with drones requires more than knowing simply how to pilot one; a cinematographer needs to have the eye and well-developed instincts and they need to understand how to work with clients and artists to get those perfect shots. It's important to know that the term ‘drone operator’ is often used for those that use these vehicles to capture video or images, but just as cinematographers are never simply referred to as ‘tripod operators’, neither should anyone simply be seen as a ‘drone operator’. A drone is just a new way to place the camera in incredibly exciting places, a tool in a tool belt. Better understanding the steps that can take you to this point can prove exciting and promising for a cinematographer’s career. Chris Tangey is one of the most sought after drone cinematographers in the world. His impressive career as a cinematographer has him working for Netflix, Warner Bros. Columbia Tristar, BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Lonely Plant and more. He recently won "Best Aerial Cinematography" in the European Cinematography Awards, and both "Best Drone" and "Best Scenography" In the New York International Film Awards. He was also awarded a Jury Commendation in the World Drone Awards in Siena Italy. He has 2 Gold and 4 silver awards from the Australian Cinematographers Society. Chris has quickly become a leader in the field of aerial imagery and is ready to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Chris will give you the knowledge and tools to get you started to becoming a successful aerial cinematographer. He’ll begin by giving a brief introduction on drone photography, offering a history and understanding of what exactly drones, as well as how they have affected the current state of helicopter-based cinematography. He’ll explain the benefits and exciting potential of drone cinematography and how that has come into play in media today. He’ll lay out how drones and drone photographers work within small and large productions and their crews. Next Chris will give a rundown of how drones work, what the main types of drones are, what the main drone manufacturers are, and what the notable parts of a drone are. He’ll explain what features are offered for different drones and what features are needed for different types of projects. He’ll also give tips on where to buy your own drone as well as how to obtain a licence to legally operate them. Chris will then outline the safety and legal aspects of operating drones. He will teach you the governmental rules and regulations in most countries, including vertical separation rules and how both controlled and uncontrolled aerodromes are treated. He’ll give you tips on how to navigate these rules while still working with your clients and how to understand what your licence gives you the right to do. He’ll also provide strategies to work within the confines and limits to still get the shots you need as well as strategies to keep yourself and your crew safe. Chris will go over how to break into the industry as an aerial cinematographer. He’ll explain the current marketplace and help outline what level of the marketplace you should be targeting. He’ll give you tips on how to build a reel and display your ability to find opportunities and will teach you how to find and stick to your rate, including ways to not undercut the market, manage value-added rates, and offset licence rights against day rates. Chris will even offer case studies from his own career to demonstrate how best to work with clients and get the shots you’re after. Expect to leave with the knowledge and confidence you need to kick start your own aerial cinematography career. "My career as a cinematographer has been “elevated" greatly by incorporating drones and knowing how to use them properly to get the best possible shot. I'm so excited to share my experiences with the Stage 32 community and give everyone the knowledge to use this powerful tool to their creative and financial advantage" -Chris Tangey
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. But there is a place to start: Set the goal of becoming an “actor’s director.” You’ve heard the term before, but what does it really mean? Why does it matter? And how can you become one? An actor’s director is simply a director who respects actors, can read their wants and needs, understands the craft of acting, and knows how to optimize an actor’s performance with simple, short directions (or no apparent direction at all). While actors routinely compliment directors by bestowing this title upon them, becoming an actor’s director means far more than earning the respect of those in front of the camera. In truth, the best directors are actor’s directors by definition. The temperament and skillset of an actor’s director yields superior performances, and it leads to more fulfilling actor-director relationships. By studying the strategies, attitudes, knowledge base and habits of actor’s directors, you too will be on the path to better performances in your own films and series. And, who better to know what it takes to become an actor's director than Matthew McConaughey's teaching partner at University of Texas, Scott Rice. Scott is an Emmy Award-winning director who has directed projects for Sony Pictures, A&E, MTV Networks and more. His films have been distributed by Hulu, Showtime, Comedy Central and PBS. After studying under world-renowned film scholar David Bordwell, Scott began his career as a 3D animator and art director for Activision. He scripted the groundbreaking hit game SOLDIER OF FORTUNE and has since written on assignment for Elizabeth Avellan (SPY KIDS) among others. Scott is also an ADDY award winner for his commercial work. His national commercial clients include Shell, Las Vegas, MasterCard and Sears. As Scott explores how to become an “actor’s director,” he will share a volume of best practices and wisdom born of a rich 25-year career. Scott will begin by explaining what it means to be an “actor’s director” in general and will go over what you need to be familiar with ahead of time in order to be one yourself, including a basic rundown of the craft and challenges of acting and how to use empathy. He’ll illustrate what a strong actor-director collaboration looks like, how to harness the power of ‘yes’, and how to correctly ‘watch’ a performance while on set. Next Scott will delve into how best to prepare before production, including navigating scene work, the read-through and rehearsal process, dealing with shot listing, and creating a schedule while keeping your actors’ needs in mind. He’ll also discuss how best to handle walkthroughs and blocking and when to use stand-ins. Then Scott will teach you the best ways to interact with actors on set, including how to meet with them ahead of time, and how to hold yourself and speak while on set. He’ll spend time talking about the casting process and ways to serve as an “actor’s director” while auditioning and interviewing talent. Scott will then offer tips on how to work with non-actors, including children and animals, and share Steven Spielberg’s techniques for these challenges and how to use improvisation. He will delve into strategies for solving problems that occur on set, including how to identify a weak performance, getting out of a ‘black hole’, when to move on and circle back, and how to decide what you really need to move forward. Scott will share 8 things you should avoid while on set in order to be a better “actor’s director”. In the end, Scott will leave you with a thorough understanding of what it means to be an actor’s director and, more importantly, provide actionable advice for how to become one yourself. Scott will accompany his presentation with exclusive material from his nationally recognized film course which goes behind the scenes of Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey’s latest films. Scott will illustrate successful actor-director relationships through anecdotes from McConaughey and notorious directors including Gary Ross (THE HUNGER GAMES), Jeff Nichols (LOVING), and Harmony Korine (SPRING BREAKERS). Praise for Scott's Stage 32 Webinar "Scott was a great choice for an instructor. Very knowledgeable and a good teacher" -Blake N. "Scott was a fabulous presenter. He definitely brought his A-game today. Thanks, Scott!" -Paul T. "It was terrific. Great instructor. I loved his insights and recommendations. He clearly stays on top of his profession and is always learning." -Crystal B. "Just what I needed to hear" -James G. "Great. I have been an actor for a long time. Loved Scott's approach to working with actors. Spot on" - Shelagh M.
SORRY, THIS WRITER'S LAB IS FULL - PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR FUTURE WRITER'S LABS! Stage 32 believes in evolving and transforming to continuously put our writers ahead of the competition. Now, no matter where you live in the world, we are giving you the opportunity to work directly with a TV literary manger on a one-on-one basis to help shape your writing through our Stage 32 TV Writing Lab. All classes are taught online and at the end of this 8-week intensive, you will have a completed original TV drama pilot and pitch bible. To teach this TV Drama Pilot & Bible lab, we brought back literary manager Spencer Robinson of Art/Work Entertainment, who represents some of the most critically acclaimed and successful writers of the last few years including writers on Cloak and Dagger, Punisher, Arrow, The Last Ship, Chuck, Justified, as well as feature writers like Eric Heisserer who's films include Lights Out, which has grossed over $150 million and was Oscar-nominated for his Best Adapted Screenplay Arrival starring Amy Adams. Why Spencer? We'll let his last lab students tell you why... TESTIMONIALS FROM SPENCER'S PAST LAB STUDENTS: “Had a great time learning and progressing my knowledge of the craft of writing and working directly with a mentor who is a professional in the industry. Spencer was fantastic to be taught by! Thank you!” - Natalie A. “It was a great lab. Spencer’s feedback really helpful!” - A.Z. O. “Enjoyed the lab and Spencer was a good teacher. Appreciate his insight!” - Stephen C. “I wanted the accountability of having assignments due. That combined with the class cost was motivation to write and stay on schedule. This is a lab about story structure, getting words on the page, making strong act breaks. Spencer was great at pointed but useful notes. He doesn't sugarcoat anything. I went from an idea he wasn't on board with developing to a pilot he truly enjoyed reading -- and that was thanks to his pointed notes that got me back on track. Spencer will get those who are ready on their way to a kickass first draft.“ - Erika N. “Spencer was amazing!!” - Summer K. “Spencer Robinson is the perfect person to teach this type of class. His patience and easygoing approach is ideal and unique to him. Kudos to Stage 32 and to Spencer. Spencer's teaching style is the best! Thanks Stage 32!” - George P. WHAT TO EXPECT This lab will be very intensive and you will have ongoing executive guidance from Spencer. You will meet once a week with Spencer through an interactive online class or one-on-one meetings and be assigned weekly assignments to further your growth as a writer. We have created this lab so it will be the most hands on, professional atmosphere out there. By the end of this 8-week lab you will have a completed first draft of your TV drama pilot & pitch bible that will grab the industry's attention. This lab is designed for intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. Past lab participants formed supportive writing groups to help one another through the process.
Hello, Creative Army. It's been a busy few months around the Stage 32 offices and for yours truly as it relates to my personal projects. I'm excited to share with you what I'm hearing, what I've learned, and what I've experienced since we last got together. As always, my AMA's are always free! Watch as many times as you'd like. Cheers! RB