Sam Sokolow is a two-time Emmy-nominated producer, perhaps best known for his work in developing and producing the Emmy nominated limited series GENIUS for National Geographic Channel, one of the first prestige limited series to find a wide audience. Previously, he co-wrote, produced, and directed the award-winning independent feature film THE DEFINITE MAYBE, starring Josh Lucas, Roy Scheider, and Bob Balaban. Over his career, Sam has executive produced 18 original TV series and set up dozens of television and film projects at major studio and distributors in Hollywood and is well-versed at finding success developing, pitching, and selling his projects. Full Bio »
The producer of NatGeo's limited series GENIUS will teach you how you can get your own limited series off the ground.
Includes a case study of a REAL pitch document that helped sell a limited series.
Over the last several years, the limited series has become one of the most exciting, competitive, and acclaimed formats in the entertainment industry. Series like THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT, CHERNOBYL, and MARE OF EASTOWN have become global phenomena and greatly boosted the careers of the creatives behind them. It’s no surprise that buyers and big names on all sides of the camera are hungry for binge-worthy event programming like these limited series and are looking for the next hit to make. If you have your own idea for a limited series, there’s no better time than now to get it in front of executives and decisionmakers looking for this content. But how does one develop the material and package it together to increase the probability of a sale or production order?
Sam Sokolow is a two-time Emmy-nominated producer, perhaps best known for his work in developing and producing the Emmy nominated limited series GENIUS for National Geographic Channel, one of the first prestige limited series to find a wide audience. Over his career, Sam has executive produced 18 original TV series and set up dozens of television and film projects at major studio and distributors in Hollywood and is well-versed at finding success developing, pitching, and selling his projects.
Exclusively for Stage 32, Sam will teach you how to develop, pitch, and sell limited series to a streamer or network by first learning how to identify source material, packaging talent into your project, and identifying the buyers. He’ll also show you how to build the pitch, approach the buyers, and even share what the deals look like.
Sam will even share examples of the emails and finders fees he used to package his projects. Plus! Sam will walk you through a real pitch deck he used for a limited series he worked on, so you can see how he put all the pieces together to ultimately pitch and sell the project. You won’t want to miss out on this detailed webinar!
Sam Sokolow (Instructor)
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Payment plans available - contact email@example.com for details Limited Class Size - Reserve Your Spot Now Work With The 2-Time Emmy Award Nominated Executive Producer of the Emmy Award Winning Series GENIUS Over the last several years, the limited series has become one of the most exciting, competitive, and acclaimed formats in the entertainment industry. Limited series like Hulu’s DOPESICK, Paramount+’s THE OFFER, Netflix’s THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT, Amazon’s UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, and HBO’s CHERNOBYL have become global phenomena and greatly boosted the careers of the creatives behind them. It’s no surprise that buyers and big names on all sides of the camera are hungry for binge-worthy event programming like these limited series and are looking for the next hit to make. If you have your own idea for a limited series, there’s no better time than now to get it in front of executives and decision-makers looking for this engaging content. So how does one develop the material and package it together to increase the probability of a sale or production order? Where do the best limited series ideas come from? And what differentiates a generally good story from source material that really makes sense for the limited series format? Sam Sokolow is a two-time Emmy-nominated producer, perhaps best known for his work in developing and producing the Emmy-nominated limited series GENIUS for National Geographic Channel, one of the first prestige limited series to find a wide audience. Over his career, Sam has executive produced 18 original TV series and set up dozens of television and film projects at major studios and distributors in Hollywood and is well-versed at finding success developing, pitching, and selling his projects. Exclusively for Stage 32 in this in-depth 4-session class, Sam will teach you how to develop, pitch, and sell limited series to a streamer or network by first learning how to identify source material, packaging talent into your project, and identifying the buyers. He’ll review the pilot script for GENIUS: EINSTEIN to highlight what makes a world-class limited series pilot work. He’ll also show you how to build the pitch, approach the buyers, and even share what the deals look like. Sam will even share examples of the emails and finders fees he used to package his projects. Plus! Sam will walk you through a real pitch deck he used for a limited series he worked on, so you can see how he put all the pieces together to ultimately pitch and sell the project. You don’t want to miss out on this class!
Payment plans available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details ***Limited Class Size - Only 2 Spots Remain*** Do you ever feel like you've poured your heart into a pilot script and series idea but can't move it forward because you don't have the entire pitch package that buyers now require? Writing and pitching are two very different art forms and they all have to be executed at the highest level. In this exclusive Stage 32 lab, we’ll show you how to sell your show on the page and face-to-face with a professional pitch deck and world-class verbal pitch so that you’re ready to approach every buyer and are prepared for every scenario. Over six sessions, you’ll be mentored by Spencer Robinson, a manager at Art/Work Entertainment who, in addition to teaching many fantastic classes through Stage 32, has nearly a decade of industry experience. Art/Work clients include Eric Heisserer (ARRIVAL, LIGHTS OUT), Erin Cressida Wilson (THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, SNOW WHITE), and Kelly Washington (JURASSIC WORD, PARKS & REC), among others. Spencer will take you through what makes a pitch deck great, giving you personal feedback in one-on-one sessions so that you have a powerful sales tool ready when you hit the market. Next, you’ll dive into your verbal pitch with the elements you need to include, the common mistakes many leave out, and how to use visuals to keep executives engaged. Spencer will also cover the kinds of questions producers ask so that you'll be prepared with the important answers in advance. Additionally, Spencer covers the different avenues available to you for selling a television series. You’ll get one-on-one virtual meetings with Spencer allowing you to practice your verbal pitch and receive notes and then address the notes make adjustments and really get your pitch market ready. Don’t miss out on this amazing chance to receive three one-on-one mentoring sessions with a successful literary manager and get your project ready to hit the market. Praise for Spencer's previous Stage 32 Writing Labs: "Spencer will get those who are ready on their way to a kickass first draft that you can send for coverage, which is what I did. 2 Considers and I'm in rewrites now to move that needle. This was my first ever TV pilot!" - Erika N. (now signed to Fineprint Literary Management after crafting her pilot with Spencer)
Staffing season is a high-intensity, high-stakes time. With more shows than ever looking for writers, the opportunities have never been greater, but that also means the competition has never been higher. To be considered to be part of a writing staff, you need to not only show your chops as a screenwriter, but display what you'll be like in the room. So how can you stand out to the executives and producers hiring and prove that you're going to be a team player, while bringing an original, independent voice to the table? To be staffed in the competitive world of TV writing, you must first understand what opens the door and what keeps you in the room. Your writing must not only be on point, but you have to also be able to display a comprehension of the art of the meeting. Executives and producers are going to meet dozens if not hundreds of writers. You have to learn how to connect with them, fill their needs, and make their jobs easy! In short, you and your writing need to be sharp, interesting and memorable. Over her very decorated and successful career as a development executive, Marla White has sat across more writers than she can remember. Marla was not only the development executive for Emmy-Award Winner Peter Tolan's Fedora Entertainment, but she's also worked with hundreds of writers who have sold pitches and shows to, and/or been staffed by, Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and just about every premium cable channel and streaming platform you can name. Marla will discuss what executives are looking for in your writing. Whether "good" is good enough to get you in the room. Whether it's better for your work to be more memorable or sellable. She will take you through the thought process of what executives are looking for when you walk in the room. She'll discuss all aspects of a general meeting and a staffing meeting and arm you with all the tools necessary to be "good in the room" in all situations, each and every time. Plus, she'll also talk about "do's and don'ts" and how you can get invited back for the all important pitch meeting. This webinar provides pertinent and actionable information for every level of writer. If you're just starting out in your career, what you'll learn will not only prepare you for everything mentioned above, but for preparation when speaking with managers and agents. If you're a working writer on a show looking to move to a new show and need tips on playing the networking game and how to navigate the politics, this one is for you as well! This is some straight shooting, no B.S. information. I'm grateful that Marla pulled no punches and told it like it is. Next meeting I get, I'm owning it! - Samantha W.
As the landscape of independent film continues to evolve, a clear funding path has developed for films budgeted between high-six figures and $10MM. Indeed, it’s become an effective “sweet spot” for investors. At this budget you can typically attract and secure some star power, one important step toward increasing the odds that your investors will see a return on their investment. But this is just one reason why this budget range is attractive to many investors. There are many more variables at play which will help you raise money for a film or project in this price range. But first, you must understand some tried and true principles that will help you find investors, present your project in the proper fashion and lock them down for an investment. Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films and projects within this budget range can be your calling card toward a powerful career in the independent producing space. Simply put, those who understand the strategies and methods that can help your investors see a return get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring along more investors if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, there are smart ways to find money that you may not have thought of, and there are also ways you can expand your dollars once you start raising funds for your project. In addition, there is a well-known group of professionals and creatives that have been working on films in this budget range for years and it's important that you know who they are, how to approach them and what the expectations are once you do. Founded by Elsa Ramo, one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry today who was named to Variety’s 2019 “Dealmakers List,”, Ramo Law PC provides comprehensive legal services to its clients in the entertainment industry with a specialized focus in representing financiers, producers, directors, distributors, studios and production entities in all transactional aspects of film, television and digital content. The firm provides experienced legal services to optimize its clients’ financial, legal and business position in the financing, production, and exploitation of their content. Ramo Law has represented over 100 films and 50 television scripted and unscripted series in 2019 alone, including Emmy award-winning shows and films which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Clients include Imagine Entertainment, FOX, Balboa Productions (Sylvester Stallone’s production company), Scout Productions (creators and EPs of QUEER EYE), Boardwalk Pictures (EPs for CHEF’S TABLE) and Skydance. Elsa and her associates are bona fide experts when it comes to the nuts and bolts of finding financing for your independent film. Elsa and her senior associates Zen Raben and Sean Pope will join forces to demystify the film financing process so that producers, writers, directors, and financiers can understand the basic yet crucial components of how independently financed films are funded. They will begin by discussing entity formation. They will explain why you need to form an entity for your production and what type of entity you should form, as well as what state you should form it in. They will go over the information you will need to form the entity, the forms that need to be filled out with the state, and how operating agreements work. They will also teach you what a waterfall is and why you should include one in your operating agreement. Next, Elsa, Zev, and Sean will delve into important things to keep in mind specifically for your LLC formation, including the state of formation, deciding if it will be member-managed or manager-managed, who should be in control of creative decisions and who should be in control of business decisions. They will then talk about equity investment and go over who exactly provides equity investment, what investors get out of it, where the investment gets placed and why investors are motivated. Next, Elsa and her associates will explain debt financing. They will teach you the four common types of collateral in debt financing, and four types of debt you will be dealing with. They will go over the key terms and considerations you should know, and just like equity investment, they will explain who provides debt investment, what the investor gets out of it, where the investment gets placed and why investors are motivated. Elsa, Sean, and Zev will even stage a mock closing call between a producer and senior lender to demonstrate what it looks like to lock in funding from an investor. Finally, Elsa, Sean, and Zev will give you an invaluable closing checklist, walking you through everything you need to keep in mind when going after funding. Expect a thorough, comprehensive and undeniably helpful guide to give you the tools you need to find the funding for your next project. This is designed for all levels but particularly effective for those that are currently producing and/or packaging a feature film. Praise for Elsa's, Zen's and Sean's Stage 32 Webinar: "It was absolutely brilliant! One of the best webinars I've attended yet! Loved the mock call. That was so educational!" -Becca G. "They are all knowledgeable and had a great presentation" -Carlos B. "Great webinar financing. Will be watching again." -Martin R. "AMAZING WEBINAR!!!" -Stephanie D.
Whether you’re leading the creative charge as a screenwriter, in the trenches a director or cinematographer, behind the scenes as a crew member, or in front of the camera as an actor being great at what you do is only part of your job. We at Stage 32 preach that 50% of your job is excelling at your craft, the other 50% is networking and understanding how the industry works. It's simply undeniable, those who commit to treating their networking and relationship building as their job and keep on top of what's happening in the industry land more meetings with decision makers who can make an impact on their career. But the goal is not just to get into the room, it's to stay in the room. And that means you need to know how to be good in the room. And with more and more meetings going virtual and online, you must know how to prepare and have the skills ready for those situations as well. General meetings are the first line of offense and defense for decision makers. As you know, most people in this industry - whether working in film, television or digital - want to find creatives and professionals they can go to war with time and time again. Their tribe. To become part of someone's tribe (and eventually form one of your own), you have to know how to nail the general meeting. It is crucial that you understand how to prepare. You must know who you're meeting with, what to wear, proper etiquette, the story of your project, the story of your personal brand (such an overlooked art), and know your pitch inside and out. Ultimately, you want to turn this general meeting into something much greater or assure that you're receiving a callback meeting. Their are many tried and true tricks for getting this done and we're going to bring them to you. Jeff Portnoy of Bellevue Management is one of the most revered managers working in the industry today. Jeff was recently named been named by Variety as one of Hollywood’s New Leaders in Management. Prior to joining Bellevue, Jeff worked at Creative Artists Agency, The Gotham Group, Resolution Talent Agency and Heretic Literary Management. Along the way he has sold and set up projects to New Line Cinema, Lionsgate, FOX, Screen Gems, Warner Bros. and more. Jeff has been on both sides of the table for hundreds of general meetings and has learned exactly what makes a meeting successful and where many go south – and he’s here to share the do's and don'ts with you, the Stage 32 community Jeff will teach you how to assure that you perform in your general meeting in a manner that makes you memorable. He will discuss everything from attire to how to carry yourself to how to make eye contact. He'll teach you how to prepare your pitch and convey it with the right amount of passion, charisma and energy. He’ll give you important guidelines on how and when you should talk in the conversation and help you understand if you’re talking too much or sending the wrong message. You’ll learn how to get notes from the other side of the table and how you should receive and respond to them. You will know the best way to pitch “you” and your brand so you stand out from other people taking general meetings with the same party. Jeff will teach you how to do research on the people and the company you are meeting with and how to use that information to your advantage (and not be creepy about it!) He will make you understand why the assistant and support staff can ultimately be your best ally. Finally, Jeff will go over the various types of meetings you’ll encounter in your career – from studios, production companies, managers, agents and networks and explain the differences so you’ll be fully prepared. "A wealth of information. Gave me a lot of things to think about - especially with the tips on reading the room. Your description of how to pitch myself and my story were game-changers. Off to practice now." - Sonia H. "What fabulous advice, Jeff, thank you!" - Greg M. "Yep, now I know why I haven't been securing a second meeting. I have seen the light and the err of my ways." - Veronica G "The dress code discussion was very helpful, I never knew what I should wear and now I do!" - John S.
Filmmaking isn’t just an artform, it’s a business. As a creative, you might not be aware of how you can ensure you receive your fair share of the revenue or properly negotiate for it. With the right agreement in place, you can focus on producing a great story that audiences will love without worrying about how the money will come later. What you need is a CAM Agreement. The CAM Agreement, short for Collection Account Management, is a multiparty agreement that handles the receipt, allocation, and disbursement of revenues generated by the distribution of a project. In short, a CAM Agreement is how you get paid when the project sells. It protects everyone’s interests and eliminates misunderstandings between partners by ensuring everyone enters the project on the same page and puts everyone on a Recoupment Schedule so that you know when and how you’re getting paid. With so many platforms and distribution markets to consider, revenue is never as simple as selling the project one time. It covers payment of revenues, commissions, expenses, recoupment investments, deferments, bonuses, and profits. David Zannoni is a consultant for Fintage House, where he's seen first-hand the benefit of these agreements through his work negotiating for films and television series internationally, regularly attending the major film festivals like Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, and more. David will walk you and the other attendees of this Stage 32 webinar exclusively through the key elements of the CAM Agreement, what’s covered, standard clauses, the different kinds of CAM Agreements you’ll need for the different guilds, and how the agreement will evolve and be used in the future. By knowing the benefits of these agreements from someone who regularly uses them, you’ll have the ability to negotiate better for yourself and your project, empowering you to stress less about how you’ll make your money back and focus instead on telling a great story.