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)
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.
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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.
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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 recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
In this Writers' Room Pitch Tank we welcome special guest, Development Executive Drew Gatto of Captivate Entertainment. Captivate Entertainment is a production company behind the enormously popular JASON BOURNEfranchise, which has grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. At Captivate, Drew works closely with executives across the industry to source strong material and secure IP rights for projects in development. Last summer, he had the opportunity to travel to Budapest to work on Captivate's most recent TV project, "TREADSTONE", which aired on USA Network last fall. Drew started his career at the Gersh Agency where he worked with leading film and television talent, helping them secure roles and develop their careers. He then moved to Imagine Entertainment, where he had the distinct honor of working with Brian Grazer! During the Pitch Tank we hear pitches from members including period thrillers, female-driven dramedy, action, historically-based series, and Sci-Fi adventures!
***All lab spots filled - Check our Next Level Class and Lab page for new opportunities as we continue to announce** If you’re a writer, producer or other aspiring creative with hopes of one day actually getting behind the camera and directing your own project, taking the first step can be daunting. Where do you even start? And how can you be sure you know what you need to in order to take that plunge? Now you can under the guidance of Oscar-nominated director/producer Rick Rosenthal. Over the course of 7 weeks, Rick will guide you through actually prepping, shooting and editing your first project as a director in a supportive and encouraging environment - best of all? You can do all of this in the comfort of your own home. Even better? You don’t need any special equipment to participate. All you need is a cell phone that records video, a computer, and editing software that you will download for free. You will leave this lab with real world, valuable practice in putting a project together, and the knowledge and skills to direct the next project on your own. Rick Rosenthal is an Oscar and Emmy nominated director/producer and the CEO of Whitewater Films, which is known for many feature film hits that have premiered at Sundance, Cannes, SXSW, and more. Through his film directing background, Rick has directed the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Sean Penn, John Lithgow, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Along with his credits directing films, Rick has also worked as a producer on Amazon’s Emmy-winning series TRANSPARENT for the first three seasons, along with directing and producing credits on countless other shows. When Rick launched Whitewater Films as a production company, he committed to helping up-and-coming filmmakers and offering them the advice and assistance he never had. Furthering his drive to give back and educate burgeoning filmmakers, Rick also served as the chair of the Directing Program at the American Film Institute. Through his decades-long career Rick has become well versed in diverse genres of filmmaking and has specialized in educating and empowering new voices, which he is bringing directly to the Stage 32 community. Through this lab, you will have the opportunity to prep, shoot, and edit two scenes from a script that Rick will provide you. You will learn camera placement, camera movement, blocking a scene, all from different points of view--single character, multiple character, and omniscient. Rick will bring in a special guest editor to teach you the basics of editing a scene through the free software DaVinci Resolve, which is quickly becoming an industry standard. Through Rick's mentorship, you will walk away confident to take these skills and apply them to your own directing project, whether that's a short film, feature film, or web series. PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 students and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a practiced director and expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for writers, producers, or other aspiring creatives interested in becoming a director and looking for actionable skills, practice, and guidance to make this transition. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with one-on-one time with the instructor and significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***Only 10 Spots Available*** This class will consist of six weekly sessions. There will be an additional week where you will sign up for an extensive one-on-one mentoring session with Rick. In addition to the lessons where Rick teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask him questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with him directly about your specific project. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the TV project development process. To see the full directing lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".
As the Vice President of Three Point Capital, Viviana Zarragoitia is one of the most prolific financiers who routinely lend on tax incentives, both domestically and internationally, on independent films. She is aware of the rules and regulations of tax incentives in many jurisdictions, and have spoken on numerous panels about tax credits. In this exclusive webinar, Viviana will be teaching what producers should be aware of when working with tax incentives. Although there are minor details that change within each state/country, there are some overall issues that come up in each jurisdiction that producers should be aware of when taking advantage of tax incentives for their film/TV project. These include, but are not limited to, things such as: corporate structure of the company applying for the tax incentive, making sure that costs in-state are qualified spend, working with tax incentive offices during pre-production, production and post-production, submitting final costs in a timely fashion, working with production accountants/CPAs on tracking qualified spend, working with lenders and filing tax returns to claim the incentives.
The Cartel Manager Corey Ackerman joins our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.
Learn directly from a studio executive, Nikki Levy, Vice President of Wedge Works at FOX! They say “write what you know” and then we sit there racking our brains for story ideas. What’s that big silver bullet, high-concept idea that will get me noticed? That will sell? That will put me on the map? STOP! There is a better saying, “If you survived childhood, you have enough stories to last for the rest of your life.” And that’s where my money is. Some of the most important screenplays and TV shows in the last two decades have come from complete TRUTH. Think of Seinfeld or the groundbreaking movie (500) Days of Summer. We don’t have to look outside ourselves for great ideas. What we have to do is look inwards, at our own life and pain and joys, to create great story ideas, comedy and dialogue. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Nikky Levy, veteran feature film executive and creator of the critically-acclaimed comedy event Don’t Tell My Mother!, will teach you how to turn your life into a killer story that gets YOU noticed. She will look at ways to find the gems of struggle and victory in your life, and how to translate those into cohesive stories with an arc, a strong narrative structure and characters we love. Nikki will examine how to keep our work from becoming a therapy session, and instead crafting it into an emotional, funny, relatable story. She will examine movies that did this successfully, and why. She will also discuss how to spin your own personal history into an engaging “story” so you wow executives, agents, managers and talent.
You have a story idea in your mind and you just know it will make a great movie or TV show. You either day dream or stay awake at night with characters entering your head wanting to be given life on the page. You have notes jotted down of scene ideas, pieces of dialogue or inspiration you could see in a script. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, you are on the path to being a screenwriter, but, where do you start? Screenwriting is a special art form unto itself - it takes a fertile, vibrant mind to develop story and character, yet immense discipline of the writing craft. Too many writers try to jump into this insanely competitive field with little to no training. It takes 5-10 pages of a screenplay for a professional to know whether or not you know the basics of screenwriting, so don't you want to give yourself the best chance to stand out as a professional? It's important you understand the craft to make sure that when you do get your script in front of a decision maker that yo have a competitive advantage to get them past page 10. Mary Cybriwsky produced Joe Dante’s BURYING THE EX, starring Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario and Oliver Cooper, as well as executive produced STICKY NOTES starring Ray Liotta, Rose Leslie and Justin Bartha. Prior to opening production/management company Scooty Woop Entertainment in 2009 with Frankie Lindquist, Mary worked in all aspects of film development and production as an executive at Mosaic Media Group / Atlas Entertainment under the prolific producer Charles Roven and his team, on projects such as THE DARK KNIGHT, GET SMART, THE INTERNATIONAL, THE BANK JOB, amongst others. Mary is a disciplined teacher of the screenwriting basics and in an exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Class, Mary broke down in four jam-packed sessions what you need to know about the basics of screenwriting. If you are brand new to the screenwriting profession, or a seasoned writer who wants to brush up on your skills, this class goes over the basics of screenwriting to perfect your craft. The objective of this 4 session class is to cover basic screenwriting formatting, 3 act structure, characters, plots, themes, what to write and what NOT to write, but Mary will go over so much more! Best of all, the class sessions are available immediately to watch on demand at your leisure! You Will Receive These Handouts: Title page format spec sheet Sample screenplay page, broken down section by section with descriptions Screenwriting dialogue tips Plus! You will get these pilots to download for FREE: Feature Film Scripts LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE ALL YOU NEED IS KILL (movie version changed title to: EDGE OF TOMORROW) PARASITE THE TRIAL OF CHICAGO 7 GET OUT GREEN BOOK THE BIG SICK INSIDE OUT Television Pilot Scripts THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT BREAKING BAD MODERN FAMILY FLEABAG BARRY GAME OF THRONES Testimonials about Mary's Class: "Loved Mary's teaching process! Will definitely take other classes if she offers them in the future." - Jessica R. "Very good basic introduction course!" - Diana B. "Mary makes learning the basics of screenwriting easy and welcoming. I have a lot to think about." - Harry M. "After this class writing is no longer scary. I can't wait to type FADE IN!" - Paul M.