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.
You can create an amazing pitch deck with basic software and one or two simple apps on your phone and we're going to show you how.
ABOUT YOUR STAGE 32 EDUCATOR
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.
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.
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Learn directly from Gotham Award-winning Producer Shaun O’Banion who's worked with Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Joe Wright and Judd Apatow. Everyone will tell you filmmaking is a collaborative process and comes down to relationships. Possibly the most important relationship? The one between the writer and the producer or exec. This partnership is critical and is often the first spark that can get a project going. But this relationship doesn’t just materialize without any work put in. The truth of the matter is the collaboration and trust that’s built between the writer and producer, starting with the optioning or hiring process and going through all of development and production can be just as important as the script and production itself in how successful the film turns out to be. If you’re a writer, it can be challenging to find a producer who is the right fit and actually get on their radar or get them to read your work in the first place. As a producer, getting your hands on the script that you actually connect with and that you can feel confident in producing can be quite an undertaking. And whether you are the writer or the producer, navigating this creative relationship through the murky development process is complicated but absolutely crucial. So how does a successfully writer-producer relationship actually work? How do producers find scripts and how can you set up your own screenplay for success? And once you’re on your way, what steps can you take to ensure the relationship, and therefore the entire project, doesn’t fall apart during development? Let’s explore. Shaun O'Banion is an award-winning producer and the founder of production company Ravenwood and has worked with writers and filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Joe Wright and Judd Apatow. O’Banion produced DAKOTA SKYE which became a cult hit and remained in the Top 100 Most Viewed on Netflix. He also 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. Shaun has also worked 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 is well versed on building relationships to get films made and is ready to break down what he knows In this exclusive two-part on-demand Stage 32 class, Shaun will walk you through process of getting material produced from the producer's perspective. He’ll go through what producers look for, how doing your research matters, and how collaboration with your new partner is the key to it all. Plus, expect to learn the differences between setting up a short and setting up a feature. Shaun will also delve into the development process and give you a new set of tools to get your material in top form. The development process is murky and hard to navigate, but Shaun will go in-depth on how exactly to see it through to the end by building a strong relationship with your producer. Praise for Shaun’s Stage 32 Class "Loved the up-front examples of how long it took to develop different films and whys behind it. Super informative." - Gina G. "For people trying to break into the business, these kind of webinar chats where the info and experience rolls off the cuff is important and very effective for me. If you can't be around the industry and executives, having the opportunity to 'be in the room' and hear about process and how things are done is really important." - Diana L.
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. PRAISE FOR SHAUN'S TEACHINGS: "Thanks for the wonderful class. A phrase comes to mind when I think about it: 'Tell it like it is'. You directly shared what it is like in the industry. I don't know how others in the class are affected, but I am left with the motivation and recognition that one must love - have a passion for creating films to be in the industry - as it should be. So, your effort is an inspiration. You are someone who is 'following his bliss' as Joseph Campbell would state it." - Don D. "Thank you again for teaching a terrific filmmaking class! You have valuable practical real-world experience that is hard to find in theory based teaching today." - Rene S. "There was so much information in your class that I think I’ll have to come back next session and take it all over again - gladly! Great class!" - Daniel T.
As an independent filmmaker, screening your project at a film festival may be the best opportunity to put your film (and yourself) on display. It remains a powerful platform for filmmakers of all levels to have their work seen. In fact you’d be hard-pressed to find a successful filmmaker working today who didn’t get their start at a festival. It’s where films get sold, where talent gets discovered, where reputations are crafted, where communities are built, and where the best networking can happen. And with the current movement away from the theatrical model and towards streaming, festivals can also often be the only possible way to physically show your film on the big screen to an audience during its life cycle. Film festivals are indeed often the next desired destination for a filmmaker, but it’s not always easy to get in, even with a great film. It can be disheartening after finishing a film and investing so much money and resources into it to realize there is still more money to be spent in going the festival route. The act of submitting to festivals can set you back hundreds, if not thousands of dollars simply through festivals’ submission fees. It’s probably going to add up no matter what, but it can set way pricier without a plan in place. It’s common for filmmakers ready with a film to more or less blindly submit to festivals: “Sundance? Check. Tribeca? Check. Cinequest? I heard that one was good, let’s do it.” Yet just because you’ve heard of a festival, just because it’s a legitimately great festival, doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your project, and it doesn’t your film is the right fit for them. Successfully navigating the festival landscape requires a lot more effort and a lot more time than just pressing that submit button. Yet doing the research, understanding your goals, and carefully building your strategy will not only yield more positive results, but will also save you money on unneeded submission fees in the long run. For nearly a decade Harrison Glaser has been immersed in the professional film industry working for Austin Film Festival and Stage 32. As Austin Film Festival’s Film Competition Director, he programmed the festival’s films for five years and discovered his passion for identifying deserving projects and championing exciting and unrecognized talent. During Harrison’s tenure as AFF’s Film Competition Director, over 100 films he programmed went on to secure distribution, six short films were later nominated for Oscars, and one that he qualified ultimately won the Academy Award. His work with Austin Film Festival and Stage 32 allows him to champion undiscovered storytellers and help them amplify their work. He also serves as a professional moderator for many different film related industry panels both online and offline. Through his many years leading AFF’s film selection and working closely with other film fests, he has become intimately familiar with the inner workings of larger festivals, as well as the common missteps many filmmakers make when working with them. He’s excited to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Harrison will walk you through how best to develop your film festival strategy and choose the right festivals for your film, well before you start submitting. He will begin with the basics of why you should or shouldn’t be submitting to festivals in the first place, and how to best think of festivals as a tool. He’ll then lay out what the festival landscape looks like, including what makes up the “Festival Circuit”, what Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 festivals are, and the lowdown on both niche festivals and destination festivals. Next he will delve into the importance of having your own specific festival goal and how to find it. He’ll provide six examples of valid and common festival goals and how best to adjust your submission strategy for each. Harrison will go deep into how to research festivals before submitting and what you should be looking for before you should feel comfortable paying their submission fee. He’ll also offer various strategies to choose the right festival and giving yourself the best advantage in getting accepted, including considering niche festivals, finding your ‘in’ and developing your network. He’ll spend some time explaining how scam festivals work and what you can do to spot them and stay away from them. He will offer some tips and context of what you should do if you film is ultimately rejected from one of your top choices, and also what to do if your film is ultimately accepted. You will leave with a slew of strategies to tackle your festival run more strategically and more effectively. Praise for Harrison's Previous Stage 32 Webinar: "This was great. Very comprehensive about festival strategy and works for shorts and features. Probably the best content about this topic I've seen" -Paige F. "The teacher really knew his subject. He was also friendly & warm and made the students feel relaxed. A well spent event and I learned so much." -Toni M. "Appreciated the way Harrison did not gloss over any point — he spoke thoroughly about everything." -Elease P. "Very knowledgeable, open, easy to follow" -Marilyn L.
Learn from Aimee Schoof, a producer of over 35 feature films including THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES and the upcoming QUEEN OF THE RING. We know how passionate you are about your projects. But no matter how passionate you are and no matter how fantastic your script is, it’s not easy to stand out to investors and executives. But attaching a notable or exciting director to your project can make a big difference. Finding a director with a good reputation or recent buzz that believes in your project and wants to helm it can add a level of legitimacy that will allow you to break through from a saturated marketplace and get the attention your project deserves. However, finding the right director and bringing him or her on board can often require a bit of finesse. Often when filmmakers consider attaching talent to a project, they think more of actors. No doubt attaching a famous actor to your project can help boost its profile, but attaching a great or exciting director can boost it in an even more powerful way and can give potential stakeholders more confidence that the final product will end up great. This is something an actor usually can’t guarantee, no matter how famous they are. From a producing perspective, there are a lot of similarities in the approaches of attaching an actor and director, but there are key differences as well. When you attach a director, you’re handing over the keys to a project you’re passionate about and allowing them to take it in their own direction. It can be a scary or difficult position, but finding a director who’s the right fit and who will add a level of gravitas or buzz might be what it takes to get your project made. Let’s discuss how to make that happen. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and a veteran film producer with 35 features under her belt. Of those 35, 9 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Exclusively for Stage 32 in this on-demand webinar, Aimee will teach you how to find the right director for your project and what you need to do to bring them on board. She’ll show you how to build your director wish list and how to find the next hot directors before they’re out of your budget or reach. She’ll then give you tips on how to initially approach a director you’re interested in, whether it’s through them directly, through their reps or through your own network. Aimee will also explain how she pitches her own projects to get directors excited to come on board. She will discuss the legalities of attaching a director and show you a real shopping agreement she uses to help seal the deal, and will finally go over how you can use your newly attached director to your advantage to help sell your film or bring in partners. Through her career, Aimee has helped attach many directors to her projects and understands the steps that need to be taken to make this process smooth and beneficial. Praise for Aimee’s Previous Stage 32 Webinars: "I've taken many Stage 32 webinars and they've all been wonderful, but Aimee's had me ready to run through a wall! So much thoughtful and intelligent information!" - Debra S. "This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you!" -Brian D. "Grounded and Practical" -Jennifer S. “Aimee was able to take these big ideas and make them feel totally accessible and easy to understand. I really enjoyed hearing from her” -Howard F.
Learn from a filmmaker whose films have been distributed by HBO, Starz, and Entertainment One, and explore case studies of how professional filmmakers maintain their vision through their award-winning films. You've made it through development and pre-production and it's time to direct your feature film or TV episode. You have a plan in mind and a clear and unified vision that will be expressed in each and every fame. But once you’re on set, things can move and change fast. As everyone is coming to you with hundreds of questions about every creative choice, you must be prepared so that you maintain your consistent vision throughout. This is why it's so important to develop a filtering process that is flexible enough to adjust to obstacles but strong enough to process the many choices that you make from now through your film’s release. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you’ll learn four distinct filtering processes that every filmmaker needs to know to manage the responsibilities that come with directing while maintaining a unified vision to deliver an effective story, all while highlighting your unique point of view. In addition to learning these filters and how to apply them, you’ll also explore case studies through well-known, award-winning films and television series. Guiding you through this process is acclaimed filmmaker Jesse Wolfe, whose films have been distributed worldwide by HBO, Starz, and Entertainment One and has worked with Warner Bros., Castle Rock Entertainment, ABC Television, Disney Channel, AMC, and Showtime Networks. He’s also mentored over 2,000 film projects, including official Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, and SXSW selections and award winners. By the end of this webinar, you’ll know a tried-and-true process to create a cohesive film that has been developed by an acclaimed filmmaker and mentor that you can use immediately to bring your vision to life. Praise for Jesse's Talent & Knowledge: “I have known Jesse for over twenty years, ever since we were Fellows together at AFI, and from those first film school encounters all the way to the present I have known him to be a person of quality: a good friend, a talented film and television professional and a dedicated teacher…” -- Patty Jenkins (director WONDER WOMAN) “Anyone who has been in this business for a significant amount of time knows that there is a lot of talk and a lot less action, but Jesse has proven himself to be one of those rare people who can and does follow through. He takes his talents and passions and combines them with discipline and generosity to bring excellence to any endeavor he is associated with. He is also happy to share his experiences and knowledge, particularly with younger/newer filmmakers and goes out of his way to help friends and colleagues with their own creative pursuits…” -- Pilar Alessandra (The Coffee Break Screenwriter/On The Page) “From the first day I saw him interact with students I knew he was going to be a valuable faculty asset. His wealth of knowledge and expertise in all areas of film and television production, from writing and script development, on set production and post theory was immediately evident, and students responded to his mentoring with enthusiasm. Their work immediately improved. Thesis films began to show thought out stories and performances became truthful and layered. Shot designs were designed not just to “look cool” but had a purpose…” -- Jon Alvord (VFX Supervisor “X-Men”, “The Player”)
In the competitive TV and streaming landscape of serialized dramas, complex comedies, and sprawling genre epics, series bibles have become essential selling tools to help writers illustrate their visions. A dynamic and intriguing bible can create interest in your project, and push your pitch or spec script over the edge to a sale. It’s your chance to lay out the larger arc of your story, list examples of future episodes, and explain the broad themes your show will explore. It conveys confidence to producers and executives by saying: “I've thought about this in the long run, and I have a slew of awesome ideas to explore in series.” Because there is no standard industry way to format your bible, they can be extremely confusing to create. Executives receive bibles as small as 4 pages (a mini-bible, really) and as long as 27 pages. Should it include your personal connection to the material? In-depth character bios? Visual motifs? Artist’s renderings of the setting and characters? Although bibles can vary greatly from project to project, there are some general rules and strategies to follow to make sure yours stands out from the pack as professional, polished, and powerful. Michael Poisson's career is one that has been filled with incredible ambitious drive and creative passion. He is a veteran television executive and is currently a writer on HBO Max's Tom Swift and previously wrote on the hit Netflix series Raising Dion, as well as Adult Swim's Robot Chicken. But Michael’s story begins with his first industry job at CAA where he broke the glass ceiling for men everywhere and became their first ever male receptionist (before then, CAA had segregated based on sex: guys in the mailroom and girls in reception). From there he worked his way up to Rick Lefitz’s desk at CAA in TV Packaging, before jumping to Ryan Reynolds and Allan Loeb’s TV pod, DarkFire TV, for two years. He moved on to work as the Director of Development at Krysten Ritter’s company, Silent Machine Entertainment, where he worked closely with writers to develop their ideas to pitch to studios and networks. Michael has also had numerous successes as a screenwriter. In what has become an ultra-competitive environment, Michael will teach you the ins and outs of creating a compelling and willing TV bible. Starting with the proper formatting, how to introduce dynamic characters, and moving through how to include active and engaging episode examples, Michael will show you what grabs and keeps an executive's attention. Michael will also discuss artwork, articles and visual aids and whether your bible truly needs them or if they should be left out entirely. He will show you how to create and present carefully crafted, season long arcs that include strong and relatable themes. Always a challenge for writers, producers, and filmmakers putting together a series bible, Michael will teach you how to be clear and concise in explaining your direction for the series. He will spend quality time explaining and teaching the importance of a strong wrap up and closing beat and how to nail both. Michael will even teach you how to identify and decide which network or platform may be best for your show. PRAISE FOR MICHAEL'S TEACHINGS: "Answered so many of my questions about bible writing. Took away my fears as well! I can't wait to get started." -- Mia L. "Demystification complete." -- Lorraine R. "Michael has energy and knowledge to spare. Best investment I've made in years." -- Regina K. "Some really great organizational/structural ideas for a bible." -- Rebecca S