For over ten years, Phil has worked deep in the true crime television space and produced countless projects for networks such as CNN, Investigation Discovery, Discovery UK, Reelz, and ZDF. After starting on the hit show FORENSIC FILES, where he served as producer, Phil has been a director and lead writer for true crime shows airing throughout the world. More recently Phil served as showrunner for the Reelz series COPYCAT KILLERS and now serves as an executive producer for the company Story House Production. Phil’s decade-plus in the true crime TV world, pitching and selling countless shows to various networks has made him an expert in this space and has given him a keen eye into what makes a murder show sell. Full Bio »
Learn what it takes to get your true crime series sold from a long-time true crime producer with over 100 episodes of true crime TV under his belt.
Includes a Case Study of a Real Pitch Deck for a True Crime Show
There is no denying that true crime has become HUGE presence in the television landscape. From TIGER KING, THE JINX and MAKING A MURDERER to more recent limited series like HEAVEN’S GATE and MURDER AMONG THE MORMONS, true crime docuseries have become wildly popular and show no sign of slowing down. Even beyond the banner networks and streamers like Netflix, HBO and Hulu, many smaller networks like Investigation Discovery, Reelz, Oxygen and True Crime Network devote a large portion—if not all—of their slate to unscripted, true crime series and specials. This has led to a very recent explosion in true crime content and an incredible opportunity for content creators interested in this space to find opportunities and get their content sold.
To find a place in the true crime space, you not only have to find and have access to a great story, but also build a fantastic pitch deck, and a strategic and effective pitch to get buyers on board. And all of these elements don’t need to just be good; they all need to lend themselves to the format and industry that is true crime TV. But if you can ace all of these elements, you may have just found your way in and the piece of material that will fire you off the launch pad.
Your instructor is Phil Claroni, who has worked for over 10 years in the true crime television space and produced countless projects for networks such as CNN, Investigation Discovery, Discovery UK, Reelz, and ZDF. After starting on the hit show FORENSIC FILES, where he served as producer, Phil has been a director and lead writer for true crime shows airing throughout the world. More recently Phil served as showrunner for the Reelz series COPYCAT KILLERS and now serves as an executive producer for the company Story House Production. Phil’s decade-plus in the true crime TV world, pitching and selling countless shows to various networks has made him an expert in this space and has given him a keen eye into what makes a murder show sell.
Phil will lay out how to best develop your own true crime docuseries and pitch and sell it to a streamer or other network. He’ll first explain what kind of story sells today and how you should tailor your pitch to reflect the current market you’re selling to. He’ll give you tips on how to research your story, what info is most important, how to obtain talent, and the legal elements to be aware of. Next, Phil will explain how to build the perfect pitch deck to sell your true crime series and go through one-pagers, treatments and sizzles. He will then explain how to find a production partner for your series, including who’s currently buying and how to know which partners would make t host sense for you. He’ll also tell you what materials can aid a sale and how you can take a meaningful meeting. Finally Phil will explain how to close, including initiating a bidding war and what to do to follow through.
Phil will even share a real pitch deck he put together and explain why he made the choices he made in assembling it.
“No one goes to college and majors in true crime production. It’s something you have to learn from others, but it’s one of the most attainable genres to produce in show business, and I’ll show you how.”
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Write your own comedy pilot in just 6 weeks under the guidance of long-time literary manager Spencer Robinson 2 Spots Remain We've found ourselves in a time when EVERYONE is looking for comedic content. Network and streamer execs are picking up more comedy series than ever before, which means if you have an idea for a comedy series, now is the time to act. But first you, have to actually write the pilot. In this advanced, in-depth and interactive lab, you will be able to work one-on-one with literary manager Spencer Robinson to actually put pen to paper and write the comedy TV pilot that until now has only been bouncing around in your head. Whether you want to write a single-cam or multi-cam pilot or want to write for late night TV, Spencer is here to help you. He will guide you through creating engaging characters, building your world, perfecting your structure, constructing an outline and, finally, writing the three acts of your pilot. If you already have a concept, or even a completed pilot, Spencer will use the same tools to help you hone and sharpen your material. Throughout the course of this exclusive online lab, you will have direct access to Spencer as a mentor by email and via video conferencing as you write your pilot. 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)
As a filmmaker, you know that every opportunity to shoot your story is precious. The days when your team is working, your cameras are rolling and your actors are in hair and make-up are days of golden opportunity. But they can also be days of stress and frustration if you haven't prepared properly during pre-production. We want you to have the best shoot days possible and that's why this webinar is invaluable for filmmakers. In this webinar, accomplished director Heath Cullens shares his process of preparing for a shoot exclusively with the Stage 32 community. As a filmmaker, the importance of preparation during pre-production cannot be overstated. Here is your chance to learn how best to prepare from a world-class director. Heath Cullens is a director best known for directing IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, AP BIO, GREAT MINDS WITH DAN HARMON, and FX’s YOU’RE THE WORST. Currently, he is directing MYTHIC QUEST for Apple TV. A good filmmaker is a prepared filmmaker. Filmmakers must focus on getting the story they envision onto the screen, but that vision will unravel if you don’t prepare before. However, if you do prepare properly, you give your film the best chance for success. You’ll receive a step-by-step approach to utilize on your projects to ensure a smooth, productive, and creatively rewarding on-set experience for you and your production team. You’ll cover how to: Hire the best team Communicate your vision Prioritize what you need to shoot Structure your shoot day Create a strategy with your DP Properly use rehearsal time and table reads And much more By the end of this webinar you’ll have a process you can use - and the ability to revisit the lesson on Stage 32 - to ensure the confidence to lead your team as a filmmaker.
Private Lab - Only 12 Spots Available - 5 Spots Remain Punch Up Your Animation Pilot Script with an Animation Professional and Veteran with 25+ Years of Experience Work and Support Fellow Writers As You All Work Together To Hone Your Scripts Animated television is currently experiencing a boom like we’ve never seen before. Since it’s possible for the bulk of the work to be completed from home or while socially distanced, animation has been flourishing as more players are turning to this format. New shows like SOLAR OPPOSITES on Hulu, CLOSE ENOUGH on HBO Max, FINAL SPACE on TBS and BLOOD OF ZEUS on Netflix are hugely popular, and this is just the beginning. The opportunities to write animation may be extra plentiful right now, but you still need to have a dynamite pilot script to present if you want to be noticed, and that means more than a workable first draft. The old adage that writing is rewriting is especially true for animation and comedy scripts that need to be tight, punchy, and effective in every sense. And since television writing is almost always a collaborative process, a necessary step to making your project successful is to bring in different perspectives, different senses of humor, and some expertise to get the script fine-tuned and to the point where it’s truly special. We have just the person to help you with this. Mike Disa is an accomplished director, producer, writer, and artist who produced and directed on shows like THE SIMPSONS and the hit Netflix series PARADISE PD and has been in the animation industry for over twenty-five years. Mike found success working with studios such as Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. A favorite and fixture among the Stage 32 community, Mike is deeply entrenched in the world of animated TV and knows better than most what it takes to get an animated show off the ground. Mike will lead an intimate and valuable writers’ workshop with a small group of students to help rewrite and fine tune each writer’s animation pilot script, line by line. Each session, Mike will focus on 1-2 scripts and work with the group to punch up and improve each. Not only will you receive extended and personalized attention from an expert in the field to improve your own work, but you will also have the opportunity to support other writers with their own projects and learn valuable lessons from the process that you can take back to your own work. Expect to leave this unique program with a much-improved pilot script, a set of tools you can take with you to better improve and rewrite other projects, and a supportive group of like-minded writers from around the world. Note: Because this is a rewrite class, you must already have at least a fully written first draft of a 30-minute animated pilot script in order to participate in this workshop "Mike Disa is the most knowledgeable, helpful and straightest shooters I've ever met. He helped improve my pilot 1,000%. If you have the opportunity to work with Mike, take it. You will not regret it." - Aimee P.
Have you ever wanted to see what it takes to sell a kids show successfully in today’s market? In this webinar, you’ll learn from an executive producer in kids programming what today’s audiences are looking for, how to deliver a great script, and how to pitch and sell your project successfully. Do you have a fantastic idea for the next great kids show? Do you want to inspire and shape the next generation? Or make their day a little brighter with relatable stories with heart? Some of the best comedy writing and storytelling on television comes from kids programming, but the space is rapidly changing as more platforms and networks arrive, each with their own unique needs. These networks need you and your stories to meet their programming demands. In this Stage 32 exclusive webinar, you’ll find out exactly how the pros create and sell their stories to the biggest networks and streaming platforms in town by creating projects with humor, heart, and knowing what kids are watching today. You’ll learn: Tips and current trends in kids television Obstacles and constraints How not to talk down to your audience The difference between Nickelodeon and Disney How to use point-of-view to your advantage Essential elements to seeing your pitch The differences in pitching for kids shows vs. adult shows The power of co-viewing And so much more You’ll be learning directly from executive producer and sitcom writer Kirill Baru. He has worked on and sold both live-action and animated comedy shows in both the adult and kids space, including Disney’s SYDNEY TO THE MAX and Cartoon Network’s MAD: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Kirill also sold the series EAGLETON ESTATES to Netflix Kids and, using this project as a case study, Kirill will walk you through creating his pitch that sold the show, providing you with the steps to sell your own. By the end of this webinar with Kirill, you’ll be confident about writing and packaging your kids television series as a market-ready project.
State of the industry Why the majority of TV/Film comes from pre-existing IP "The Executive Bias" Pre-existing Fan Base/Fleshed Out World Adapting Books/Articles Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study: Game of Thrones, Sex and The City Case Study: The Wedding Sting in the Atlantic, now going to be a film at Paramount Adapting Comic Books / Video Games Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study (Comics): Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel/Disney, lesser known/less successful comic became a blockbuster) Case Study: Jessica Jones (Marvel / Netflix) Case Study (Video Games): Assassin's Creed (FOX, to be released this December) Making it your own Most say DO NOT adapt your own material (leads to being too protective of your work/not as open to change) Fun thing about IP, when you build a world, it can keep being adapted into other mediums (Example: Orphan Black the comic book was one of the best-selling comics last year, adapted from TV show. Goes in both directions) The heart of this, however, is making sure the new versions are different enough from the old, AND have your voice in them. LIVE Q&A with Maggie!
4 part class taught by Producer Michael Wormser, whose online distribution projects have reached over 30 million viewers! AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! Have you ever wondered how so many people have films, trailers, shorts and webisodes online that have achieved massive fan bases and are making millions of dollars? Well the truth is they aren’t any different than you, and in today’s world you have the same resources available that they do. There are many outlets to reach an audience, but how many of these are effective? In this course, you'll find out the best ways to not only reach an audience, but to engage and successfully grow an audience online. Stage 32 Next Level Classes is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4 part class: Zero to Hero: How to Build an Online Audience taught by Michael Wormser, who brought the viewership content of Maker Studios from 40M to 250M monthly! Learn how you can see success in this competitive directly from an executive who's mastered it. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Michael is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!