Zeke Thomas is an Executive Producer at Ego 360, a filmmaker, and on-camera talent with over a decade of experience in the entertainment and advertising industries. You may recognize him from ad campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, sketches on Conan, and viral videos that top over 100 MM views across Youtube and Facebook. At Ego 360 he specializes in immersive storytelling in spherical environments in narrative, branded, and unscripted. Founded in February of this year, Ego 360 has already amassed an impressive client list including: Legendary Pictures, Nerdist Industries, VidCon, Youtube, Outside TV, and Paramount Pictures just to name a few. Prior to his work at Ego 360, Zeke served as creative producer and interim creative director for Defy Media's Break Youtube channel. In addition to his duties at Ego 360, he also serves as a Consulting Producer at BlackboxTV Studios where he wrote and produced a zombie musical comedy in association with Robert Kirkman's Skybound Entertainment. He's currently in writing and producing season one of Get Jacked! for Clevver/DEFY which combines pop culture and fitness based comedy. Full Bio »
Virtual Reality: The Next Frontier of Filmmaking - You've probably heard this mantra from anyone who's ever picked up a VR headset and they aren't necessarily wrong. New forms of media come along once every couple of decades and VR is the latest form to take shape since the advent of online video. If you're interested in learning what goes into the production of a spherical capture and VR you're in the right place!
In this Stage 32 Webinar, Zeke Thomas, an executive producer at Ego 360 (clients include: Legendary Pictures, Nerdist Industries, VidCon, Youtube, Outside TV, and Paramount Pictures) will provide an overview of best practices for shooting a 360 video and spherical capture from concept to execution. He will cover the importance of storytelling in immersive environments, how your location will inform your production workflow, and the best way for consumers to interact with your content.
Virtual Reality/spherical capture is a relatively new form of media that is being adopted by consumers at an incredible rate. If you're interested in throwing your hat in the ring, take advantage of Zeke's knowledge to learn about what works and what doesn't for immersive experiences.
As an executive producer at Ego 360 and VR your host, Zeke has guided, budgeted, and executed a multitude of projects in immersive storytelling as well as managed client/studio relationships. He has been a filmmaker and storyteller in the digital space since 2007 and continues to produce in both framed and immersive environments.
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.
Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
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.
Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer
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 audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! For a live webinar, you will be given the link within 2 business days after the live session.
We've brought in Zeke Thomas, a VR producer who recently did the 360 experience for HAPPY DEATH DAY for Universal & Blumhouse and who's clients include: Paramount Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Nerdist Industries, VidCon, Youtube, Outside TV and more. Zeke will be breaking down the business of VR/360 in this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar. Billions of dollars have been poured into Virtual Reality & 360 spherical capture, but is there really a business for this form of storytelling? If you're already filming in VR/360 or are interested in pursuing this medium, it's important to understand not just the craft, but the business of it.
The more production savvy we are, the better filmmakers we become. As directors, it is our job to know every heartbeat of our story; the preparation needed for executing our vision; and the intricacies of bringing it to its final conclusion, in a way that will illicit an emotional response from our audience. That means that we must not take our foot off the pedal once we wrap. Being present, aware, in control, and maintaining our focus during post-production is vital. Sometimes our film is made (or lost) in the edit. The technical steps of post production can seem overwhelming, especially coming off the heights (or lows) of wrapping a picture. But if we don’t have a good understanding of the post production steps, it could be challenging to bring our vision to a strong finish, and ultimately to a wider audience. Stacia Crawford is a Director/Producer/Writer/Actress who, last year alone, directed two feature films which premiered on Netflix and Lifetime. As a producer she has helmed five feature films with Mar Vista Entertainment (premieres on Hallmark, Lifetime, CMT), in addition to several independent feature films. In television, Stacia co-directed/produced various unscripted series for NBC/Esquire, The History Channel, A&E, AMC, Spike, Logo, Pivot, Blaze TV, MTV. She also produced several web content shows, most notably for My Space. Prior to directing/producing, Stacia started her career as an actress/writer and can be seen in several feature films, including cameo roles in films that she’s directed. As a writer, she has written two novels (KIT TEN, THE SPACE BETWEEN) and co-created four original dramatic television series, (DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, WILDCATTERS, AMERICAN CAESAR, and SENESCENT) all currently in development. In a clear, expansive, yet easy to digest presentation, Stacia will help all filmmakers understand exactly how to handle and navigate the post-production process. She will begin by teaching you what to look for when hiring your entire post-production team. From there, she'll discuss the difference between all the post production positions - some sound quite similar, but do completely different jobs - and...do you need them all? Stacia will then dive into scheduling including the level of cuts for the film, and how long each part of the process (sound, coloring, etc) should take. She will discuss pick up shoots, fixing lighting and audio mistakes, and how to protect for footage errors. She'll even get into key art and what to include in your trailer! This is a comprehensive webinar designed to keep you deeply immersed in the post-production process carrying with you the knowledge that will keep your team on board with finalizing your vision. Praise for Stacia from her previous Stage 32 Next Level Webinar: She explained what is the Director's job was very very well and broke it down step by step! -Sharlene R. Stacia did a great job. She was great! -Tracey A If you are thinking of going into the industry it was amazing, hit all the points, and she went above and beyond when she expanded on a lot of her points...like making sure you get your insert shots (which I've been a victim of.). Overall she was great, clear and to the point. -Ryan H. Stacia was great. A lot of good information in a clear and concise manner. -Angel N. Great information! -Liz H. It was interesting to hear from other filmmakers' perspective. I learned a lot about the Director's position, as it relates to Film & TV. I came into this webinar because of my interest in knowing more about the producing/directing side of the industry, and man Stacia really did go in and cover a lot. My mind was soaking up information left and right. Another great webinar! -Shayne W.
We've all read the studies as to the benefits of meditation toward living a more calm and focused life. What you may not know is that many successful people from entrepreneurs to athletes to artists and film creatives use a combination of meditation and visualization to identify and prioritize what's important toward achieving their overall goals, concentrate on important tasks, cut out distractions and stay in the zone. If you find yourself lacking motivation or focus in your creative pursuits, if you're feeling beaten down by global events, if you feel as if you're unable to push through to higher plateaus, CHI energy might just provide the answer you're looking for. The idea behind CHI Energy is to help you free yourself of all mental obstructions by using state of the art techniques and mindset strategies that help elevate performance and results to the highest level of consciousness whether your work is behind or in front of the camera. Patricia Chica is a multiple award-winning director, producer, energy influencer and coach whose mission is to bridge the gap between storytelling, performance and Chi Energy within the film industry. She has been a go to teacher for hundreds of actors, crew members, and film industry professionals. Through individual training and her global CHI Energy Workshops, Patricia has helped legions of people become aware of the power of the mind, body and spirit and how to use that energy to better create, get through blocks, overcome mental obstacles and generally find more happiness in all pursuits. Another goal of CHI Energy is to help you become a better collaborator, something that can serve you well throughout your career. Patricia will introduce you to the unique approach and application of conscious practices that she has not only taught around the world, but uses on with her cast and crew on her own projects as a filmmaker and a producer. She will cover how to boost your immune system so you have less down time and worries about missing your goals due to health issues. She'll teach you the art of zen, but more importantly, how to carry that zen with you in the day to day - especially important in these uncertain times. She will show you how to use your time at home to elevate your performance and creativity to a higher level. In a very key segment, Patricia will speak to the 5 levels of empathy and how to expand our emotional connection. Patricia will then take you through meditation and visualization exercises that you can begin practicing today! This webinar is open to all industry professionals, writers, directors, producers, financiers, sales agents, crew people and actors curious to learn simple techniques involving Chi Energy, visualization, and meditation and how to apply them for filmmaking, peak performance and creativity. Praise for Patricia's Stage 32 Webinar: Very positive and inspiring. Loved her five levels of empathy and how you work with each chakra. -JoAnne E. Great content! -Maritere Y. Awesome topic, Loved it! -Caroline B.
Getting ahead is hard in Hollywood, and taking the next step in your career can be difficult when it feels like the expectation is for you to stay in your own lane. Being a cinematographer is such an exciting, rewarding, and important role on any project, but that doesn’t mean it’s where your journey has to stop. If you have aspirations to move into directing and make your own film, that path is more possible than you might think. In fact, your background as a cinematographer might even catapult you to this position, since, in an effort to save film funds, it’s becoming more common for producers to hire cinematographers who can also direct. Many people believe that the roles of the director and cinematographer are separate, but actually they are partners in the storytelling process. This means that making the leap from cinematographer to director is not as hard as you might think. However, whether you want to exclusively direct or be a DP / director combo, you have to adhere to a certain mode of operation, master the art of collaboration, and hone your ability to speak clearly to your cast and crew in order to maximize your time on set. So how do you get that first directing job? Can you effectively direct and shoot at the same time, and if so, how do you divide your precious time between your cast and crew? With careful planning and a solid understanding of how to manage your responsibilities on set you can become the perfect “double threat” that producers love, while putting extra cash in your pocket and achieving more of your creative goals. Ryan Little is a director, producer, and cinematographer with over 20 years of experience in the industry. His first feature SAINTS AND SOLDIERS, for which he took on the dual roles of DP and director, won 16 “Best Picture” awards and two nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards including Best First Feature and Best Cinematography. Since then, Ryan has served as cinematographer and director on a slew of projects and has directed actors like Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Sean Astin, Neal McDonagh, Gary Cole, Dolph Lundgren, and Mickey Rourke. Most recently Ryan has worked with Producer Dean Devlin on the TNT pilot BLANK SLATE and has directed TV episodes of shows like GRANITE FLATS and EXTINCT. Ryan has built a storied background and deep well of knowledge in both cinematography and directing, and is ready to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Using his own experience as well as his deep understanding of the industry today, Ryan will teach you how you can make the transition from cinematographer to director and use your photography background to your advantage. He will begin by broadly discussing the prospect of switching from cinematographer to director and explaining why it’s possible. He will go over how he made the transition himself as well how other notable directors made a similar shift. He will demonstrate why your background as a DP will actually make you a better director yourself. Ryan will then delve more deeply into how best to land your first job as a director, including “planting seeds” for future opportunities, playing to your strengths as a practiced cinematographer, using the connections you’ve already built, and how to create sample work to help show your value. He will also discuss the possibility of serving as a Director/DP combo on set as a way to break in, what that looks like, and how to do both roles effectively at the same time. Next, Ryan will give you the rundown of how to best tackle your first directing gig. He’ll go over the aspects of directing you can expect to come naturally and the aspects that might be more of a challenge because of your background, as well as how to let the DP role go when directing. Ryan will teach you how to best prep for your first directing gig before going on set. He’ll talk about how to create your “style guide” for the project, finding your story moments ahead of time, making a useful shot list, and how best to use storyboards. He will then talk about how to spend your time on set as a director, including how to manage your time and break up your day and how to tell the story in your coverage. He will reveal three mistakes commonly made by directors during rehearsal and will discuss when the right and wrong times to operate the camera yourself are. He will also go over finding the balance between assertive and collaborative on set and how to set the right tone. Finally Ryan will focus on working with actors from the mindset of a cinematographer, including how to speak the actor’s language, how to hold the essential one-on-one actor preproduction meeting, and what you can do to become an “Actor’s Director”. Through all of this, Ryan will give you the tools and confidence to make the switch you might have been contemplating for a while and take the next important steps on your journey to become a bona fide film director. "I attribute a lot of my success to my background as a cinematographer. It's given me so many great opportunities and the skills to advance in my career in exciting ways. I want other cinematographers to better understand their value and potential as filmmakers, and am so excited to share what I know to empower the current DPs and future directors that are part of the Stage 32 community." -Ryan Little
Hello Creative Army! Over the last few months, the entire team here at Stage 32 has been working tirelessly to help you stay connected, creative, motivated, and informed. As always, we are committed to bringing you networking opportunities, education and mentoring from top-level industry executives and professionals, and access to decision-makers around the globe all from the safety of your own home. Since the beginning of the quarantine mandates brought about by the spread of COVID-19, I've promised you free education designed not only to keep you inspired and entertained, bit to provide up-to-date, no BS information regarding how the industry is handling business during the better at home orders and give you a glance into what lies ahead. We have brought in top executives in television and animation for state of the industry roundtables, partnered with film festivals to bring you top of the line virtual panels, and even hosted a virtual happy hour and table read, to name just some of our COVID-19 free education initiatives. Every day, the Stage 32 team is on the phone and communicating with industry professionals. Our goal is to have our finger on the pulse of what's happening in the moment. Additionally, since launching Stage 32 Screenings I have had the privilege of speaking with hundreds of entertainment industry creatives and professionals including festival directors, distributors, sales agents, financiers and other executives to get their take on how they're navigating these challenging times. I can think of no better time to host another free AMA (Ask Me Anything) so I can share what I've been hearing and experiencing in my personal creative pursuits and to take your questions on all things craft and business. In June I hosted a new AMA. You brought your questions and energy and I provided a couple of hours of no-holds-barred shop talk. All creatives were welcome to join no matter their profession(s), skill level, or geographical location. We came together for some inspiration, motivation, and community. I had fun spending quality time with you all. As always, registering for my AMA is completely FREE! And the more the merrier, so do invite any of your fellow creative friends and peers to watch. Should any of your contacts not be members of Stage 32 already, you can send them an invite here! If you missed my last few AMA's, you can view them here! Cheers! RB
The job of the Cinematographer is to bring the Director’s vision to life. As a DP, your work is silent, but can speak volumes. You are both craftsman and technician - needing to have a keen eye as well as a sharp understanding of your tools. Few tools are more important to the Cinematographer than Pre-Production. It’s an often overlooked and underutilized process that can save your production immense amounts of heart ache, heartache, and money. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, LA-based Director of Photography, Jonathan Pope, will guide you through the Cinematographer’s vital role in Pre-Production. He'll discuss a variety of processes within pre-production, including compiling a lookbook, choosing your camera, location scouting, creating a shot list and overheads, and much more. You'll get a breakdown of the basics and discuss tips and tricks on how the Director of Photography can help the production avoid some common (and sometimes very costly) pitfalls from Jonathan's own experience. He will use documents and case studies from his most recent projects to give you an inside look at the preparation it takes to ensure you get that cinematic look on any budget. Whether you're shooting your first feature film, your passion-project short film, your tenth music video, or you're just branching into the commercial world, this webinar will benefit both indie Directors and Cinematographers. ***All attendees will receive examples of lookbooks, shot lists and camera/lighting overheads so you will be able to create your own!