Shaun O'Banion works as a post production project coordinator on some of the industry's leading films in recent years including JOJO RABBIT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, THE AFTERMATH and OPHELIA. Shaun began his career as a Production Assistant after sneaking onto the Universal lot at age 17. After several years as a P.A. he soon found himself working for (and with) some of the industry’s most well- known and well-respected talent both in front of and behind the camera including Academy Award Winner Christopher Walken, Jack Black, Ben Stiller and acclaimed directors Joe Wright, Judd Apatow and Academy Award Nominee Peter Hedges. After years of watching and learning, O’Banion moved into producing with DAKOTA SKYE. The film became a cult hit and remained in the Top 100 Most Viewed on Netflix! He produced GIRLFRIEND, the first film in North America to star an actor with Down Syndrome in the lead role. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, sold to Strand Releasing and won O’Banion an IFP Gotham Award. He joined the Producers Guild of America and co-produced THE AUTOMATIC HATE which made its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film was released theatrically by Film Movement. Full Bio »
More and more, storytellers are being asked to present more than just a script when going out to investors or production companies. Whether you’re pitching a limited series, a feature, or even a doc, executives and investors want to have a sense of what your project will be, beyond just words on a page. What will it look like? What will it feel like? Execs want a visual representation of what the project is—even if you aren’t the director. For this reason, understanding how to put together an attractive pitch deck will give you a distinct advantage as a director, as a writer, as a producer, or as any creative in TV and film.
There are people out there who are incredibly skilled with programs like Photoshop or Lightroom and, for those people, creating a pitch deck that will help sell their show can be a snap. But for the average person, these apps are daunting at best and, at worst, completely confusing and overwhelming. However you don’t need to spend hours learning how to use high-end software, and you certainly don’t have to put down a bunch of money for a designer. Anyone can create an amazing pitch deck with basic software and one or two simple apps on your phone. As long as you know the rules and best practices there really aren’t barriers to keep you from making a great looking pitch deck and getting that project sold.
Shaun O'Banion is the founder of production company Ravenwood and works as a post production project coordinator on some of the industry's leading films in recent years including JOJO RABBIT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, THE AFTERMATH and OPHELIA. O’Banion produced DAKOTA SKYE which became a cult hit and remained in the Top 100 Most Viewed on Netflix. He produced GIRLFRIEND, the first film in North America to star an actor with Down Syndrome in the lead role. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, sold to Strand Releasing and won O’Banion an IFP Gotham Award. He joined the Producers Guild of America and co-produced THE AUTOMATIC HATE which made its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film was released theatrically by Film Movement. Through his career, Shaun has become well versed in positioning his projects for success and understanding the best ways to pitch and sell them, including creating knock-out pitch decks. He’s ready to share what he’s learned and empower even the most tech-illiterate members of the Stage 32 community.
Shaun will teach you how to use basic software and apps to craft an attractive pitch deck on your own without having to hire a graphic designer. He’ll begin by going through the basics of what a pitch deck is, how they help get projects sold and what they normally look like. He will offer provide examples of effective pitch decks. Next, Shaun will delve into how you can create an effective pitch deck on your own without fancy tools. He’ll discuss getting set up and outline what you need, including the tools and software you should consider using. Next he will go over forming a plan for the pitch deck’s layout ahead of time and the ways to best organize and prepare before diving in. Then he will teach you how best to visually convey the tone of your project in your pitch deck and how to create a flow within it. Shaun will talk about choosing images for the pitch deck, where to find them and how to choose one over another. He will then go over choosing when to use words versus pictures and how to employ visual elements like fonts to break up your document for maximum impact.
After teaching you what you need to know about designing a great pitch deck, Shaun will demonstrate it all by working with the registrants in creating a brand new pitch deck in real time, live and on-screen. He will specifically focus on creating with you a general image for the overall background, graphics for the title page, setting page, main character page, supporting character page, and episode page. Shaun will also provide registrants with a resource sheet outlining the tools and software he uses for his own pitch decks. After going through this exercise with Shaun, you’ll never need to hire a graphic designer again.
Like what you heard from Shaun during this webcast?
Send your script and speak to Shaun for an hour by clicking here.
Please note that this webinar will focus on the graphic visual elements of an effective pitch deck. To learn more about the content and storytelling that goes into a pitch deck, we recommend checking out Ewan Dunbar’s TV Series Pitch Deck Webinar.
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!
Learn directly from Shaun O’Banion, an award-winning independent producer! As a producer, post-production is a part of the process you’re rarely involved in from day-to-day, and yet it is one of the most integral parts of the filmmaking process (if not the most important). A lot of questions can be asked from a filmmaker like how to shape the film, how to define roles in post, what to do with VFX, how to handle the footage you have and ultimately how to develop a great film after it’s been shot. It’s not easy to do and it takes a lot of practice and experience to perfect. We will discuss the pieces that make up the whole, from assessing the relationships in the edit suite, to bringing all of the elements together and how it all happens. From the technical to the emotional, this webinar will attempt to demystify the process in a way for you to easily understand what to do to “find the film” in post. Post Production: Finding the Film is presented by 20 year industry veteran, Shaun O’Banion, who has worked with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Christopher Walken, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Judd Apatow and Peter Hedges. He has won numerous awards for his films, including the prestigious IFP GOTHAM Award for GIRLFRIEND.
Session 1: Initial Contact: Where do producers look for material? If you’re a producer, selecting the right writer for your story. Should you really sign up for those websites that claim to get your stuff read? What makes a producer decide to read your material? How to get past the measures designed to keep you on the outside. Repped vs unrepped. How many projects is a producer developing at any one time? How To Write To Get Read. What hooks a producer, development exec or reader and are those things different at different budget levels? Should you go ahead and write your $100 million dollar summer blockbuster? Writing to get it made now. Pre-existing material. Where you find it, how to get it. Coverage. Who’s reading? What are they looking for? How do they judge? Recorded Q&A with Shaun! Session 2: What is “development” really and how long can it take? From big budget films to indies, the time period can vary wildly. What are the factors? Is there a way to “beat the system” and ensure your film gets going? Building your relationship: Working with a producer or development exec. can be a stressful process. Learn how to navigate this so that you end up with the best version of your project. Fighting/Making up/Moving on. So you’ve hit a wall. They want more changes and you’re not willing to go there. How to move past the inevitable speed bumps and get going again. Is being replaced inevitable? You’ve been optioned/hired… Now what? Beginning to understand the dynamics of your new relationship. If you’re a writer, how to work with your new producer/partner to create the best result. If you’re a producer, how to navigate the process with your screenwriter. Differences between indie/big budget in terms of development Thinking in terms of production: While certainly not a “must” for writers, having some sense of what may go into crafting a single scene from a practical perspective can be of enormous value. Recorded Q&A with Shaun!
Often entertainment immigration seminars focus on actors, but what about everyone else who works on a film or TV project? Directors, producers, screenwriters, crew members, editors, sound designers, costumers, creative advertising directors, production specialists and all other creatives and professionals need the pertinent information as it applies to Visas and Green Card information. Understanding all Visa possibilities, which one is right for you, the eligibility requirements, and how to assure your applications and petitions have all the pertinent information needed to push through the system will have you in the best position to be approved quickly so you can begin working in the U.S. There is a threshold that the U.S. Immigration Office has set before they will approve a Visa application. It's called "Extraordinary" and your information must meet the standards to earn that status. But for many, knowing the criteria that can push your application and petition to this high level is nebulous at best and often extremely confusing. We're here to clear it all up for you. Your hosts, Lorraine D'Alessio and Liz Profumo are partners at D'Alessio Law Group. Their practice specializes in immigration and nationality law and concentrates on temporary and permanent business and employment related visas for investors, artists, and entertainers. They have has assisted hundreds of artists, performers, and other industry professionals to realize their dreams of living in the United States. Ms. D'Alessio combines her unique, firsthand knowledge of the entertainment business with immigration law. This year she also won the Century City Bar Association's "Lawyer of the Year" Award. Exclusively for Stage 32, Lorraine and Liz will take away all the confusion, anxiety and fear associated with understanding the Visa landscape and submitting an application and petition. They will start by presenting a detailed explanation of the various type of Visas so you can understand and identify, with confidence, which Visa is right for you. They will dive into the U.S. Immigration Office's threshold for obtaining "extraordinary" status and how you can prove that you fit the criteria. They will help you identify who should be your petitioner and how to best build his or her resume to assure they're credible in the eyes of the reviewing officer. They will teach you what to say and what not to say when you reach the border. And they will dive into other legalities and contracts you should be aware of and how to identify and avoid immigration scams. This is a fully comprehensive overview and directional guide on how to understand the Visa process, submit a thorough and complete application, and best position yourself to obtain a Visa to begin working in film & TV in the U.S. Praise for Lorraine and Liz "The Webinar was simply amazing. Great clarity!" - Ranadeep B. "Tremendously informative." - Arhynn D. "Easy to follow and to understand. So helpful." - Elizabeth K. "The best I've seen on this subject. Filled with gratitude." - Sunil P.
During this Executive Hour we welcome special guest AKEELAH AND THE BEE and BRIAN BANKS filmmaker Doug Atchison! AKEELAH AND THE BEE was released by Lionsgate and starred Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, and Keke Palmer. His script for AKEELAH has recently been adapted into a stage play which is being performed around the country. Doug wrote the screenplay for BRIAN BANKS, which was produced by previous Writers' Room guest Amy Baer, released in August of 2019, and for which Doug won the 2019 Humanitas Prize. The film was directed by Tom Shadyac and stars Greg Kinnear, Aldis Hodge, and Morgan Freeman.During this webcast Doug discusses writing AKEELAH, working as an independent writer/director, how he gets hired for screenwriting assignments, what most writers struggle with when writing a screenplay and how to approach writing a true story!
As you know, for a screenwriter, the best education comes from reading great screenplays. We're going to take it one step further. Our Director of Script Services, Jason Mirch, who has spent over 10 years as an executive and producer, is going to break down the Oscar Winning Screenplay GREEN BOOK and show why it works so well. Everyone signing up for this FREE webinar will receive the screenplay for GREEN BOOK to read and review. Then, during the webinar Jason will take you step by step as he examines the setups, beats and character arcs that make the script sing.
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! -Bob S. 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. -Margaret M. "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." -James B. "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" -Roberta P.