Stephen Boyer is a film and video editor with nearly 10 years of experience in post-production and currently serves as a trailer editor for HBO Max, where he recuts modern trailers for existing films in the platform’s catalogue. Through his career, Stephen has edited feature films, documentaries, commercials, music videos and nearly everything in between and has cut for a litany of influential brands such as Netflix, Microsoft, SiriusXM, Nintendo, Blizzard Entertainment, and Warner Bros. A Los Angeles native with a lifelong passion for filmmaking and music composition, Stephen is well-versed and passionate in the art of trailer cutting and is bringing his years of experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
Learn directly from an editor from HBO Max!
Putting together a great trailer for your own film or series can make all the difference when it comes to building an audience, getting eyes on your film, or even convincing distributors, executives and more to be interested. And editing trailers seems easy enough. It’s just the coolest bits of the movie with some awesome music behind it, right? Then why is it that when you try this yourself, the trailer just feels flat, no matter how good the track is? Why is it so difficult to make your project look engaging in a trailer when you’ve done the elevator pitch for this story more times than you care to count? Why is it that you were able to edit a whole long-form movie together, but this 2-minute trailer is giving you so much trouble?
The truth is: a successful trailer is so much more than your best shots with your best music behind them. There’s a reason that there are entire agencies dedicated to just trailers and promos along with a whole roster of “trailer editors” who specialize in this medium. Trailer editing is really its own unique art form with its own rules and its own skillsets required to make it work. This doesn’t mean you can’t make an effective trailer of your own film, but you’re first going to need to learn how to navigate this medium and approach your film with new eyes to make the trailer sing and get your project the attention you’re looking for.
Stephen Boyer is a film and video editor with nearly 10 years of experience in post-production and currently serves as a trailer editor for HBO Max, where he recuts modern trailers for existing films in the platform’s catalogue. Through his career, Stephen has edited feature films, documentaries, commercials, music videos and nearly everything in between and has cut for a litany of influential brands such as Netflix, Microsoft, SiriusXM, Nintendo, Blizzard Entertainment, and Warner Bros. A Los Angeles native with a lifelong passion for filmmaking and music composition, Stephen is well-versed and passionate in the art of trailer cutting and is bringing his years of experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community.
Stephen is going to break down what makes an effective trailer today and the steps you should take to create a great trailer for your own film or television project. He’ll first discuss what good trailers look like in general and will then delve into how to re-approach your film with new eyes to begin building your trailer and find the right clips to include. He’ll also go over how you can identify the right pieces of music for your trailer and will teach you how to build out the trailer’s story. Stephen will go over polishing the trailer with sound design and will explain the fine tuning and rewrite process necessary for any trailer. Stephen will identify some of the most common pitfalls trailer editors should avoid and will even share a case study of a real trailer he edited for HBO Max of a notable film and explain how it came together.
Through Stephen’s lessons and case study, you’ll gain a series of new strategies and techniques to tackle your own project’s trailer with confidence and create something that will stand out from the crowd.
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: 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!
The entertainment industry is constantly shifting and adapting, but perhaps no aspect of Hollywood is more volatile than that of film distribution. Over the past twenty years, the methods and processes of releasing films have changed drastically and continue to be difficult to pin down or predict. From theatrical to video and DVD, television to VOD, the industry continues to not only adjust but wholly reinvent itself. Now, of course, one of the bigger, if not the biggest, avenues of distribution has become online streaming platforms. Massive players like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu and newcomers like HBO Max, Disney+, and Apple TV+ have been making and picking up a very large number of films, and the viewership numbers for these titles can be staggering. There might not be a better place for your film to find a home than a streamer, but that’s easier said than done. There is perhaps no company with more reach globally than Amazon, and their streaming platform, already a juggernaut, is only growing in size and subscription base. Now with a global audience of around 150 million people, it’s one of the biggest platforms in the world to host films. Getting your film into Amazon’s content library can be a boon like no other. Yet Amazon is a tough one to understand. As a model, it differs greatly from its competitors like Netflix and Hulu since it’s just one piece of Amazon’s overall corporate puzzle. For many reasons, Amazon is playing a different game than other streaming platforms, which means you’ll need to play a different game as well if you want your film to be part of their library. This is why it’s critical you gain a deeper understanding of how Amazon works, what they’re looking for, and how you can break through the noise. Steff Monsalve Reed is the Director of Content and Distribution at Quiver Distribution, where she discovers and releases titles from emerging voices and helps independent filmmakers get their projects on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Redbox, DirecTV, and more. Recently, Steff has distributed films such as THE LOST HUSBAND, starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb, BECKY, starring Kevin James and Joel McHale, and THE SUNLIT NIGHT with Zach Galifianiakis, Jenny Slate, and Gillian Anderson. She will be distributing CHICK FIGHT, starring Malin Akermin and Alec Baldwin, a feature film which was incubated through Stage 32. Before Quiver, Steff worked as a distribution consultant for AMBI Distribution and Raven Capital Management, and served as the Manager of Acquisitions and Exhibitor relations for Entertainment One, a major independent distribution company releasing films in North America as well as several major territories around the world. Through her extensive distribution background, Steff has become very familiar with what it takes to get a film on various platforms. Steff will walk you through how Amazon finds and picks up films and what content creators can do to better get their own projects on Amazon’s radar. Steff will begin by going through a primer of what film distribution for streamers looks like, including the basic life cycle of a film and important terms to know. Then she will give a rundown of Amazon as a whole. She’ll explain how it works and how you should categorize it. She’ll also go over who Amazon’s competitors are and what Amazon’s subscription base looks like. Then she’ll outline the three distinct services Amazon provides—Transactional, SVOD, and IMDB.tv—and explain how you should think about each. Next Steff will go over what kind of content Amazon goes for. She’ll go over genres, styles and more aspects that are most successful on the platform and will delve into the film titles that have performed best in the past, as well as presently. Steff will talk about how to pitch your film to Amazon. She’ll teach you who is able to pitch to Amazon in the first place, what makes a pitch there successful, and how to make your content stand out to peak their executives’ interests. She’ll even offer a case study of a real pitch deck that she used to get them to pick up a film. After this, Steff will talk about how to best prepare and maximize deliverables to fit Amazon’s requirements. She’ll give you a rundown of what exactly Amazon requires and talk about the steps you should be taking well in advance to ensure you have what you need for Amazon if they pick up your film. She’ll also provide strategies to make your marketing materials stand out and for your film to perform better. Then Steff will talk about revenue expectations with Amazon. She’ll explain how Amazon’s payment structure works and will give a general sense of how much you can expect to make from an Amazon distribution deal. She’ll also talk about how to create a budget with this in mind for a realistic return on investment. Next she’ll explain what she believes might be next for Amazon, what the current trends are pointing to and how the “streaming war” might affect things moving forward. Finally, she’ll leave with closing thoughts for filmmakers to consider, including additional challenges to prepare for and unique opportunities at Amazon you can take advantage of. Expect to leave with a much clearer understanding of how Amazon works and how you can better position your film for success at this streaming platform. Praise for Steff's Previous Stage 32 Webinar "One of the best presentations I have seen." -John S. "Great info. Great presentation. Really explained the topic well. " -Martin R. "Steff was excellent in explaining the distribution process and especially how it pertains to Netflix." -Michael W.
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a creative is making a living doing what you love and telling stories in a visual medium. You may have great ideas, a knack for working with others, and an eye for cinematic beauty, but it can still be very hard to break in. One path you might not have considered yet to find work as a commercial director. Commercial directing can give you opportunities to put your skills to use, to create a product that people will be able to see, and to actually tell stories. And more so, this job will allow you to do this WHILE GETTING PAID –often very well. This does not mean the world of commercial directing is easy, and you’ll find that it’s also highly competitive and tight-knit, but understanding the marketplace and landscape can very well give you the ability to break through and find work doing what you love. The industry of advertising is turning upside down right now; socially, culturally, and politically. Everyone is trying to grasp this ever-changing industry, but it’s important to remember that the more things change the more they stay the same. No matter what else is going on in the world, finding success and opportunities as a commercial director comes down to being personable to clients, communicative with your crew, knowing when to be firm or flexible in your creative approach, and understanding how to push your creative spirit out of its comfort zone. So how does the commercial filming industry actually work? What will make brands and agencies want to hire you to direct their project? And how can you apply your skills and your background to break into this lucrative field and even use it to find further opportunities in narrative film? Keith Rivers is an award-winning commercial director who has worked with clients such as Microsoft, Amazon, Delta Airlines, Unlimited Tomorrow, Porsche, McDonald’s, and Soundcloud to name a few. He has written, produced, and directed several global ad campaigns including Internet Explorer 9, where a music synchronization deal for Alex Clare begot him triple-platinum record sales and a BRIT award. Rivers also created the instantly viral Microsoft Surface launch video, which received 9 million views within the first week on YouTube and won a Gold ADDY award. Keith continues to direct large scale advertising campaigns for large and notable companies and his years of experience in this field has allowed him to become a bona fide expert in how to find success telling stories for brands and agencies. Keith will break down what the landscape of commercial directing looks like and how you as a director can break in, stay in, and even use your success to transition to narrative film directing. He’ll break down what the life of a commercial director looks like, including how much you could expect to make and what the ecosystem is between production companies, agencies, and brands. Keith will also give you tips into how to find opportunities and break into commercial directing. He will teach you how to make yourself better and more hirable with tools like your reel and spec work, and will go through how to pitch well to get a commercial directing gig. Keith will next explain how to get the directing gig and do it right by doing your best work and aligning with creatives and will finally outline how to build your career and using your work as a stepping stone to long form narrative directing. Keith will also provide a slew of examples and resources like storyboards, lists of production companies and agencies, example treatments and more that you'll be able to take with you afterwards.
Ever wondered what daily life is like for a TV Writer? Looking for ways to manage and maximize your schedule to output great, useful material without losing your mind? Wondering how the hell you’re supposed to write when you’ve got a full-time job? Tune in for this exclusive 2-Part Stage 32 Next Level Webinar taught by TV Writer/Producer Charlie Charbonneau (CW shows: The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and its spin-off The Originals) to hear about life and work of TV writers, on AND off the clock. You'll gain insight that will help you succeed in finding your next assignment and how to excel in the position! In Part 1, attendees will learn what life is like when TV writers are between jobs or trying to get that first job. Join Charlie as he discusses ways to manage your own writing schedule, find out how to decide which projects to focus on, and get some tips to stay relevant and visible to the big players and decision makers when you’re not employed. He’ll even lay out some strategy to position yourself for the highly coveted freelance script, whether you’re an assistant or a working writer between gigs. In Part 2, Charlie will unpack all the ups, downs, problems, and pleasures that come in the daily life of a working TV writer. Hear insider advice and information about writers room etiquette, climbing the title ladder, taking notes, rolling with the punches when your material doesn’t impress the powers that be, and making sure you get paid. He’ll even discuss the best way to interact with those hot-shot actors in your show. As usual, get ready for some horror stories from the trenches!
For as much information and exposure that is out there about the entertainment industry and how it works, it can still feel like a jungle. The politics are difficult to track, the gatekeepers are difficult to access, and there’s no clear blueprint for how to “make it”. Hollywood is overwhelming for everyone trying to break in. It’s hard to know where to start, how to make inroads, or how to build a reputation or career—these are universal. Yet for those trying to transition to a creative career from a different industry or later in life, these challenges can feel even steeper. It’s not uncommon to view Hollywood as a young person’s game. After all, many people who find a foothold in the industry only do so after putting in a lot of work as an underpaid assistant or PA, a trajectory that might be possible for people in their 20s but is a lot less feasible when you’re older. It can feel like there’s an expiration date for when you’re “allowed” to break into the entertainment industry, and at some point, the doors simply close. This doesn’t need to be the case, though, and there are many examples of people finding success later in life or after transitioning from a different industry altogether. In fact, there are big advantages to taking this step at this point in your life and upper hands that Hollywood lifers will never experience. Nonetheless, transitioning to a creative career later in life is not easy and presents unique challenges. But with a strong lay of the land and the proper tools under your belt, it’s a journey that is absolutely achievable. Frank Stiefel began making films at age 63 and then won an Academy Award at age 70. Formerly a TV commercial executive in New York, Frank decided later in life to pursue filmmaking. His directorial debut, the documentary short INGELORE about mother, a deaf Holocaust survivor, played in festivals around the country and was later broadcast on HBO. In 2012, Frank began shooting the artist Mindy Alper as she completed an epic sculpture of her psychiatrist. This turned into his film HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405, which went on to win the Jury and Audience prizes at the Austin Film Festival and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. It was a nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject film at the International Documentary Association and earned Frank the Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards. Frank has found incredible success transitioning to a creative career later in life and is excited to reveal what he’s learned on his journey exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Using his own story and path to success, Frank will discuss how he made the jump to filmmaking later in life, what he learned along the journey, and what lessons you can take along with you as you make your own transition. After giving a short history of his own career, Frank will use his first short film INGELORE as a case study to explain how to do research and take notes in the trenches. He’ll give you ideas of how to make something of your own on the cheap and resources you can draw from. He’ll explain how to form your own “band”, and find the tribe you need to break in, and will offer tips on how to run your project. Frank will then focus on preparing to make the transition to a new creative career. He’ll go over questions you should ask yourself before making the switch and how to form your plan. He will talk about how to better afford the transition and other pieces of advice you should consider before making the leap. He’ll also explain the most important thing he learned while making the transition. Next, Frank will focus on his Oscar-winning film HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405 and how it came to be. He’ll explain how it began without a plan and how it later transitioned to a plan. He’ll also use HEAVEN as an example to demonstrate how you can use your unique personal background to inform your project, as well as how to take criticism along the way. Frank will also discuss what he’s learned from his multiple festival runs and how he’s used it to win an Oscar, and what comes next after winning. Finally, Frank will break down how to make your own age and experience work in your favor while breaking in. Finding success in Hollywood is difficult, but Frank has done so by carving his own path. He will give you perspective, inspiration, and strategies so that you can do the same. Praise for Frank's Stage 32 Webinar "Extremely inspirational. Great words of wisdom for mature people who want to break into the business." -Karen B. "It was awesome and encouraging to have Frank Stiefel talk to people in their 50s, 60s and 70s that its never too late. Thank you Stage 32 for bringing this programming." -Ann K. "I thought the candor with which Frank spoke was amazing." -Kerry B. "Perfect seminar. I shy away from signing up for these when it's someone who is just 'in the biz.' Frank had a very real take on how to be successful in the industry and I appreciated that. Dedicated filmmaker with years of experience in other aspects of art and storytelling. It made for a very engaging and emotional webinar." -Anthony N.
Working in the entertainment industry means you’ll inevitably come across all different types of people – most of whom are passionate, opinionated and sometimes very stubborn. This will inevitably produce confusion, tension, drama, and tough choices all along the way. But, what do you do when faced with the notorious “difficult” personality, especially when they are crucial to getting your project to the finish line? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you’ll learn how to spot the troublesome ones, be less troublesome yourself, and generally learn some important tools of the trade when faced with the difficult personality. Your teacher, Adrienne Biddle, has worked as a studio executive and independent producer producing dozens of movies, most recently Stephanie with Blumhouse Productions and He's Out There with Screen Gems. The goal is to teach all different types of creative people how to work better together so your project doesn’t fall apart in these moments of crisis.
2 part class taught by Jessica Sitomer, writer, producer and entertainment career coach! AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! Everyone says, “It’s all about who you know”. But when you're an introvert, this is A LOT easier said than done. If meeting new people isn't your forte, and if the idea of approaching someone you don't know gives you anxiety, you can feel at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to finding opportunities. The problem is, though, the less you network, the more challenging it can become, which leads to you networking less, and the vicious cycle takes over. Even in today's world where networking has turned virtual, this can still be incredibly daunting for anyone who isn't extroverted. In reality, no one likes networking, but it is a necessity in this industry. If you are going to get ahead you need to connect with people. The best resume and cover letter in the world can't compete with good old-fashioned human connection, and you will be hard-pressed to find anyone successful in the film and television industry who didn't find a break by meeting and getting to know the right people. But how do you start a conversation? And how do you know you're saying the right thing?? It can seem scary, but it's absolutely achievable, and even for the most introverted among us, there are strategies and exercises to help take away the fear and allow you to network. Let us help. Industry veteran Jessica Sitomer has over 20 years in the industry as a development executive, producer, writer and career coach for the Cinematographers Guild. Through the years she has perfected the art of relationship building - helping creatives grow their networks from one to two people to hundreds to thousands. When she moved to Los Angeles, she knew two people and one of them moved the day after she got to LA. She made it her mission to learn how to survive and thrive in the creative industry. And survive and thrive she has. Not only is Jessica's network huge, but she has also written three best-selling books on the subject of networking and relationship building, And… Action! Powerful, Proven, and Proactive Strategies to Achieve Success in the Entertainment Industry, The Greenlight Coach and You Got This: For Those Who Work Hard and Play Hard - How to go From Burnout to Bliss. In this exclusive two-part class, Jessica will teach you ideal strategies for various networking situations, both physical and virtual, as well as how to develop a clear follow up plan so your networking pays off. Jessica has geared her presentation specifically to introverts and those of us who face anxiety and fear when meeting new people. In the first class, Jessica will discuss the obstacles of networking and how to overcome them. She will cover the do's and don'ts for introverts, how to network when you “don't like people”, how to network when you don't have the time and more. In the second session, Jessica will run through actual conversation and icebreaking scripts to help you craft conversations that will make you look great. She will also cover how to turn those conversations into relationships that you can maintain and how to follow up in your networking to make sure it pays off. Lastly, she will teach you how to maximize a networking opportunity when you're an introvert, and how to read non-verbal clues in social interactions. Praise for Jessica's Stage 32 Class "I thought that Jessica was wonderfully engaging and answered all the questions fully with great insight. I also feel more confident because of how confident she is. I will be recommending her to all my friends!" – J. Gaffney "Great to know HOW to network. Loved the personal stories and hadn't thought of that. Gave me the courage to contact a producer that I'd worked with before and in the conversation he told me he had some story ideas that were right up my alley. We'll see if it works out. Thanks much!" – D. Meyer "Great personality! Made us feel like you were really there to help! Thanks so much!" – D. Levy "I really appreciated all of the advice and the passion in the delivery. I hope to take it to heart and use it to help me succeed". – T. Scharf Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Jessica is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!