Brad Graeber is the CEO and co-founder of Powerhouse Animation Studios, recognized as a leading producer of action animation for its work on Netflix original series like CASTLEVANIA and SEIS MANOS, as well as a multitude of video game cinemas, trailers, and commercials. Through Powerhouse, he has also produced several shows in the children’s space including Nickelodeon's THE ADVENTURES OF KID DANGER and Disney's IT'S A SMALL WORLD: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Based in Austin, TX, Brad is currently overseeing the highly anticipated upcoming Netflix series MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION, based on the HE-MAN cartoons from the 1980s and produced by Kevin Smith. Few people know better than Brad what it takes to turn an idea into a successful animated show, and he’s going to share his knowledge with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
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. Scores of upcoming animated shows are in the pipeline and just around the corner. Considering this appetite, it doesn’t look like this trend is fading any time soon. And more interest in animation means there are more opportunities for your own project to get noticed and get picked up.
The opportunities may be extra plentiful right now, but you still need to do your homework and understand the animated TV industry and what they’re looking for if you want to be noticed. This means nailing down a great concept, a fantastic pitch deck, and a strategic and effective pitch. 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 animated 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.
Brad Graeber is the CEO and co-founder of Powerhouse Animation Studios, recognized as a leading producer of action animation for its work on Netflix original series like CASTLEVANIA and SEIS MANOS, as well as a multitude of video game cinemas, trailers, and commercials. Through Powerhouse, he has also produced several shows in the children’s space including Nickelodeon's THE ADVENTURES OF KID DANGER and Disney's IT'S A SMALL WORLD: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Based in Austin, TX, Brad is currently overseeing the highly anticipated upcoming Netflix series MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION, based on the HE-MAN cartoons from the 1980s and produced by Kevin Smith. Few people know better than Brad what it takes to turn an idea into a successful animated show, and he’s going to share his knowledge with the Stage 32 community.
Brad will draw from his deep experience in the world of animated TV to break down how to best develop your animated series and pitch and sell it to a streamer or other network. He’ll first teach you what animated TV looks like today, what networks are looking for and where we’re headed. Next he’ll dive into what you should do to get your own animated series market-ready. He’ll address the three questions you NEED to answer before you try to sell your show, and will give you for shaping your character descriptions, plot outlines, structural elements and unique viewpoint. Brad will also talk about how to get the meeting with an interested network or studio. Next Brad will go into crafting your pitch documents including an effective pitch deck and accompanying artwork. He will also go through the 8 biggest mistakes he sees writers make when putting together their animated shows and give you tips on how you can avoid these pitfalls.
Brad will even share the pitch deck he used for his original series SEIS MANOS that got it picked up by Netflix and will break down the process of developing the show and getting the streaming giant on board.
If you are working on an animated show, you’re going to want to hear what Brad has to say.
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Agustine’s day-to-day role is to help develop screenplays and projects. Whether it’s shaping the story of a script in order to attract a director or actor, breaking down a script in an effort to maximize its marketability, or simply working with the writer to ensure that the script has the best chance of success, Augustine is hands on in every step of the creative process. But before Augustine, or any other executive, can get to work, he has to love and see the potential of the material. And that raises the question: What makes someone like Agustine interested in a script? Understanding every aspect of how and why a film goes from the page to the screen is crucial to being a professional in the film industry. It truly can make the difference between a “Pass” or a “Yes”. If you are a writer looking to learn what exactly gets a Development Executive interested in your material or if you are a producer and want to understand the mindset of a Development Executive as it relates to developing your project, look no further – you will learn the entire truth straight from someone working in the trenches every single day. This is material designed to give you a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace! And as if that wasn’t enough, Agustine hosted a Q&A session as well!
How To Build Your Suspense From The Ground Up And Craft A Thriller With Earned Twists, Turns and Thrills If you're paying attention to the trades and seeing which screenplays and projects are being sold and produced, you know that psychological thrillers are highly in demand. With films like Joker, Ma, Escape Room, Glass, Ex Machina, The Invitation, Get Out, Happy Death Day, The First Purge and many more, companies like Blumhouse have propelled the production of thrillers for an audience hungry for suspense and thrills, making creepy, crawly movie-going experiences all the rage. With box office receipts in the billions it's clear that the appetite for psychological stories is raging. And, it's a more exciting time than ever to be able to a screenwriter or filmmaker who has a suspenseful thriller you want to tell. But the art of writing a psychological thriller is one of vulnerable characters, deep secondary characters, memorable set pieces, set ups, reversals, and earned twists and turns. There's a formula to it all, and those who master these skills win the day. Writing a psychological thriller and creating and maintaining suspense and high stakes throughout takes an immense understanding of the history of the genre. It's a genre based in Hitchcockian roots. One that needs to have certain elements in order to be effective to keep the audience involved, engaged and on the edge of their seat. While most psychological thrillers start off with a well thought out premise, that's all they have. The action starts quickly and then falls flat. In many other cases, the premise is in place, but the writer or filmmaker doesn't know how to get past the jumping off point. You must get your hook in place quickly - within your first five pages - and that takes skill. You need to truly create compelling characters, especially protagonist and your villain, and make them layered in order to support your theme and plot and to assure the audience always knows and is invested in the stakes. To be truly successful at getting your reader's attention, keep those pages turning and set yourself up for an offer of representation, an option, a sale, or financing, you need to understand all of the nuances that make a great suspenseful story before you type (or read) FADE IN. Steve Desmond is one of the best in the industry today writing suspense and psychological thrillers. His most recent feature screenplay, Harry's All Night Hamburgers, was adapted from a Hugo award winning short story and was one of the highest priced spec sales of the last 5 years, selling to Warner Bros. in a bidding war worth 7 figures. The film now has Oscar Nominated Producer Andrew Lazar (American Sniper) producing via his Mad Chance production banner and Ted Melfi directing. He has recently been tapped by Film Nation to adapt The Cabin at the End of the World, a Harper Collins title from author Paul Tremblay. The psychological horror and suspense novel centers on a vacationing family terrorized by four strangers who claim to be either attempting to bring about or trying to avert the apocalypse. His short film, Monsters, has played in over 100 film festivals worldwide, winning 43 awards including Best Short Film at the Comic-Con International Film Festival in San Diego and was a finalist at Stage 32's 3rd Annual Short Film Program. Steve filmed Monsters to serve as a proof of concept for his feature script, Twisted Avenue which is now in development. Needless to say, thrillers and suspense are in Steve's blood and the focus of all his writing. And now he's bringing all he's learned along the way to you. Steve will help you build your suspense from the ground up. He'll teach you the ultimate tool you need - the Hitchcock Ticking Clock Method which will help you on your way to setting the vital groundwork for your story. You'll learn how to create a compelling protagonist and an enticing villain. Steve will give you exercises you can use to craft your own characters and give you 5 must have tips on backstory and character confessions to give depth. You'll learn how to hook your reader in the first 5 pages and what the 3 different teasers you can write for your opening. You'll explore the power of murder in your script and the art of a twist ending. He will show you how to craft your script with producers in mind to give yourself the best chance to have your material attractive to the widest audience possible. Steve will go over how you can incorporate visuals into your story and break down case studies of Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs and Se7en. And, finally, Steve will share some advice on how to get your script on the screen by writing it in a producible budget. You will have a fully immersive experience from a suspense expert that will leave you excited, inspired and confident to tackle your next psychological project. This webinar was AWESOME!!! I just finished a thriller and now as a result of listening to Steve Desmond, I am ready to do a re-write which I believe will be one of the best screenplays I have ever written. Let's see what happens! - Michelle C. What a thrilling and insightful webinar, excellent!! - Kathleen W. Super helpful information that you don't find in books! - Pamela C. Very useful information - well structured and clearly presented! - Sara C.
We love to hate them...or hate to love them! We're kicking off another month of a packed Writers' Room schedule with the Breakdown Webcast: Antagonists! During one of our character building webcasts, we noted that many of our examples of great characters, were characters who we traditionally see as antagonists! So let's dig in and really explore what makes these baddies so good. Stories need conflict, certainly, but conflict doesn't have to come at the hands of a cackling, mustache-twirling supervillain. There's more than one way to shape your story's antagonist! During this webcast we'll discuss 4 types of antagonists, 6 ways in which to develop a well-rounded and authentic antagonist, how to intrude your antagonists and explore our favorite antagonists from film and television, and a whole lot more!
After reading well over 1,000 screenplays over the course of my career, from both professionals and amateurs, I can tell you that I have a solid idea of what makes a good story. Also, as someone who has been a professional reader, I can show you through a reader’s eyes where a story becomes flawed, and how those stories can be improved to prevent you and your script from getting the dreaded PASS on coverage notes. The Dirty Secret of Story Structure will take a meticulous look at the art of building dramatic structure within your story by learning how to do it in individual scenes. Each and every scene in your script should serve as an opportunity to move the story forward. If it is not doing that, it’s not serving its correct purpose within the world of your story. Just as your overall screenplay has a beginning, a middle and an end, so too should each scene. Within each scene should be a character who wants something, and another character or entity that is trying to stop her. Developing a structure within each scene to determine how those events transpire is just as important to telling your story as making sure the Act I to Act II transition happens somewhere between pages 25 and 30. However, the notion of dramatic structure has been misinterpreted for years. Dramatic structure is not necessarily what you think it is, and when it is re-examined, the thought of fitting a story within the confines of dramatic structure becomes less daunting. This webinar will provide detailed examples on how to build solid dramatic structure within your scenes, as well as within your overall screenplay.
Founded in 2011 by Richard "RB" Botto, Stage 32 is the world's largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV and new media creatives and professionals worldwide. Stage 32 works with over five hundred industry professionals and executives who provide education, instruction and professional opportunities for members of the platform. Stage 32 currently has over 1,200 hours of exclusive film, television and digital craft and business education in its library. Stage 32 members use the platform daily to build their network, take online webinars, classes and labs, find work and cast and crew their projects. Stage 32 members range from students to Emmy, BAFTA and Academy Award Winners. We work tirelessly to ensure that you know that Stage 32 is your online home to stay connected with over 600,000 creatives and professionals from across the globe. Now, we are excited to present a virtual panel featuring some of the top minds in the Stage 32 community to discuss the current state of television, as the industry adapts to a new development and production landscape after the COVID-19 pandemic and a continuing battle between the WGA & ATA. In this roundtable discussion you will hear the point of view of a production company (Tracy Mercer, Senior Vice President, Television at Amasia Entertainment), a television packager (Stuart Arbury, Director of TV & Episodic Content at Ramo Law), a literary manager (Raquelle David of Elevate Entertainment), a writer, producer, Stage 32 CEO (Rich “RB” Botto), all moderated by producer, writer, and the Stage 32 Director of Script Services (Jason Mirch). Stage 32 is proud to be putting the "social" in #SocialDistancing. Please share this event on your social media and tag @stage32 on Twitter and @stage32online on Instagram.
It’s a dream of many to turn their idea for a television show into reality and actually sell their series to a network or company. And with so many shows constantly being created by more and more companies, this dream is coming true for more people all the time. As networks continue looking for new ideas, new voices, and diverse perspectives to fill up their slate, opportunities have never been greater to get your television show sold. And yet, it’s going to take more than a great idea and a great voice to get your TV series picked up. After the research, the writing, and development, there’s a lot you need to do if you want your series to get noticed and see the light of day. The truth is having a completed pilot is only half the battle. You also need to understand the current TV market and how to get that pilot seen. This can feel like a large or insurmountable task. Where do you even start? Do you call production companies? Hit up a studio? Perhaps reach out to a network? Do you need to attach a showrunner or an actor? How do you approach the next steps of trying to sell your show? These next steps aren’t easy, but there is a lot you can learn to better prepare you for the battle ahead. Conrad Sun is a Film & TV Literary Manager and Development Executive at Meridian Artists where he represents TV writers in all genres for shows such as BLINDSPOT, TWO BROKE GIRLS and BOJACK HORSEMAN. Conrad has also worked with foremost production companies like Epix, Hasbro Studios, Gran Via Productions (BREAKING BAD), New Wave Entertainment and Motion Theory Films. He knows what it takes to get a television show off the ground. Conrad will teach you exactly how you can sell your TV series. He will begin by describing the general TV landscape, including broadcast networks, basic cable, and premium cable. Then he’ll outline the players in the landscape and how they operate, including showrunners, production companies, studios and networks. He will walk through the three main seasons of broadcast network television—staffing, development, and pilot season. Conrad will share 4 approaches to setting up a TV show, which include format, pitches, original pilot, and intellectual property. Next he will delve into the concept of a TV package and how best to incorporate producers, showrunners, talent, and directors. Then he will outline how individuals get paid once a TV show is set up. He’ll explain the agent packaging fee, the producer fee, royalties, and residuals. Finally Conrad will pull the curtain back on the current marketplace and explain how many shows get bought vs. produced vs. aired vs. ordered to series. The TV landscape is murky, but Conrad will walk you through how it actually works and how you can navigate it to better your chances of getting your own television series sold. Praise for Conrad's Stage 32 Webinar “Terrific seminar worth 3 times the cost. You answered all my questions and some of them were stopping us from going to market within the next couple of weeks. We will do exactly what you recommended.” – Robert "Amazing amount of practical information conveyed in a clear and concise way. Thanks for sharing this with us." – Dan R. "Conrad you were so very informative, had absolutely great advice, information a person would need to understand, when going to a meeting for negotiations with studio executives. You covered most everything I wanted to ask. Thank you stage 32, this was the best webinar, I have taken. Thank You again, Conrad Sun." - Diane K.