Greg leads the artistic vision and film programming department for Heartland Film and its Academy Award®-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and Heartland International Film Festival events in Indianapolis where he serves as the organization’s liaison with major studios, industry, and filmmakers. In addition to his lead role at Heartland Film, Greg is also Senior Associate Programmer on the Tribeca Festival shorts team. Greg regularly serves as an international film festival juror, industry panelist, and mentor for top 20 film schools, including USC and DePaul University. Greg also recently served as a 2022 National Endowment for the Arts American Rescue Plan Media Arts Reader and 2021 International Documentary Association IDA+XRM Media Incubator Grant Reviewer. Full Bio »
A New Exclusive Webinar!
Learn how to package and submit your film to festivals, taught by an Oscar-qualifying festivals programmer.
If you’re looking to produce and sell your own feature or short film project, film festivals will be crucial to your success. Countless filmmakers have launched successful films and careers using film festivals, such as Ryan Coogler, Quentin Tarantino, Catherine Hardwicke, Lulu Wang, Barry Jenkins, Robert Rodriguez, Wes Anderson, Chloé Zhao, and many more.
For you to have the same shot at success as these renowned filmmakers, you’ll need a strong strategy for your project. And in this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, we’ll show you how.
In this webinar, you’ll learn how to prepare, package, and submit your film to the gatekeepers of the film festival circuit. This process is just as vital as the final cut of your film, and it should be your priority to market yourself and your project correctly across the festival submission landscape.
By demystifying this process, you’ll be able to define your goals and be prepared for the best possible outcome when you go out to festivals.
Taking you behind the curtain of the festival circuit is Greg Sorvig, who leads the artistic vision and film programming department for Heartland Film and its Academy Award-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and Heartland International Film Festival events. In his role, Greg serves as the organization’s liaison with major studios, producers, and filmmakers. He is also the Senior Associate Programmer for the Tribeca Festival Shorts team.
Greg regularly serves as an international film festival juror, industry panelist, and mentor for top 20 film schools, including USC and DePaul University. Greg’s many roles give him an insider perspective on what films get into festivals and why, as well as why certain films are more successful than others. And it is this insider knowledge that Greg is providing you with as you build your festival strategy.
Greg will show you where and how to submit, how to avoid scams, how to know your project is ready, how to package it, how to budget and understand festival timelines, and so much more.
Plus, for those who join Greg for the live stream of this webinar, you’ll be able to ask Greg any questions about festivals and your project.
Don’t miss out on your chance to learn from Greg, develop your film festival strategy, and take control of your project’s future.
PRAISE FOR GREG'S EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE:
“It came as a big, pleasant surprise that MTV Documentary Films acquired ‘76 Days’ during the Heartland International Film Festival. Even in our challenging time of COVID-19, film festivals are continuing to play a crucial role in supporting independent films and filmmakers,” said Hao Wu. “I’m extremely grateful to Artistic Director Greg Sorvig and the Heartland International Film Festival team for having made this acquisition possible.” -- Hao Wu, Director 76 Days (Emmy Winner, Oscar Shortlist)
“Greg and the team know how to not only run a slick and professional festival, but also be openly available to chat to and relax with as well. We cannot recommend this festival enough - it's got the charm, the know-how and the open arms of everything a filmmaker needs from a festival.” -- Katie McCullough, Founder of Festival Formula, Ltd.
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Ever get to the post-production part of your film only to be stopped and have to do several reshoots stretching the budget way over? Ever pitch your work only to have to halt negotiations with a buyer due to chain of title? Ever show your completed project only to not be able to sell it due to legal issues it is warped with? Well look no further because this webinar is designed to help you avoid these pitfalls and make sure all your ducks are in a row legally to avoid having your film stopped in its tracks. COMMON LEGAL ISSUES Often times your Stage 32 Educator Kennington Groff receives numerous calls from individuals claiming (1) that someone stole their idea, (2) we had a verbal agreement and then a falling out and (3) I thought I could use all the materials and whole facility as I wanted. Sadly, without proper detailed agreements in place, there is not a lot that can be done for these disputes. One of the most important things an aspiring writer, producer, talent or any other job working in entertainment someone can do is make sure to get a detailed agreement in writing. While you may think this will cost a lot of money upfront and is not worth it, it will be far cheaper and more beneficial to have these agreements in place upfront than trying to recover or solve a dispute on the backend. ABOUT YOUR STAGE 32 EDUCATOR Kennington is an attorney who launched her own firm and is now working with Lilenfeld PC focusing on entertainment and intellectual property. In addition to her legal work, Kennington worked as a clips producer on Season 4 of Weather Gone Viral for The Weather Channel. Throughout her career, Kennington gained valuable experience working with top entertainment executives at HBO, NBCUniversal, and Lionsgate in their business and legal affairs offices in Los Angeles and New York City. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level webinar Kennington will teach you an overview of legal issues that can arise across all departments to make sure that you are protected on your project. Plus! With the purchase of this webinar you will also receive: Location Agreement A Production Rights Cheatsheet
Are you a screenwriter, producer, director, storyboard artist, animator, voiceover artist or composer interested in making animated films? Then you need to join us for this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft Webinar taught by Conrad Vernon, screenwriter, voice actor, director and producer of some of the highest grossing animated films of the last 20 years including the Oscar-nominated SHREK 2 and BOSS BABY in addition to SAUSAGE PARTY, THE ADDAMS FAMILY and more! Animation is one of the hottest sectors in film, TV and digital content right now. From major film studios to independent production companies to networks, streaming platforms and digital online streaming platforms, animation is red hot. So, how can you stake your claim in this growing area of entertainment? By learning from one of the successful and brilliant creative minds working in the animation industry today, 25-year animation film veteran, Conrad Vernon! In what is sure to be the most comprehensive animation webinar anywhere in the world, Conrad will peel back the curtain and take you behind the scenes of his most recent film, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, to show you step-by-step how an idea went from script to storyboard to filming to screen. This is a never seen behind the scenes breakdown of Conrad's work process and includes a breakdown of how ALL departments work in bringing an animated project to the masses. If you work in animation, always wanted to work in animation, or have wondered how the sausage (party) is made, this is the webinar for you! Conrad will be sharing and teaching from his private script pages and storyboards. Here are just a few!
If you're planning to shoot an ultra-low budget feature film you need the right resources to maximize your budget From pre-production, on set and post-production. We've brought in Spirit Award winning producer Jim Wareck, who produced Shaka King's directorial debut and Sundance hit, NEWLYWEEDS, to teach you how you can stretch each dollar to make sure that the quality shows up on screen. Jim certainly knows how to do this. After he produced NEWLYWEEDS, his director Shaka King went on to direct JEDUS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH, which won 2 oscars and was nominated for 6! Like it or not, producing a film of any level or any size is a giant investment—not just of time and passion, but of MONEY. Hiring a crew, negotiating talent, locking down equipment, locations, costumes, props, even film festival submission fees—costs add up quickly. And if you’re an independent filmmaker with limited resources, it’s almost too easy to exceed your budget or not even find the money you think you need in the first place. This is why, as an independent filmmaker, you need to be smart about where you spend money and how. Understanding how to navigate this can make all the difference and determine whether you’ll ultimately be able to produce your project or not. You’ll never be able to make your film for free, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend millions. On the contrary, you’ll find that most film productions spend more than they need to, investing in equipment they don’t need or otherwise wasting money on unnecessary steps. Experienced independent filmmakers are adept at understanding where to cut costs, where to find shortcuts, where to ask for favors, and where you should REALLY be devoting the bulk of your money towards. With the right strategies and approach, you’ll be surprised by how frugally you can make your movie without sacrificing quality. Jim will walk through the process of producing your own ultra low budget feature from pre-production through post and give you strategies to spend your money efficiently and stretch every dollar every step of the way when you have limited resources available. He will break down where money is normally wasted in a production and teach you how to create and stick to a realistic budget in all its complexities. Jim will help you identify opportunities to save money in pre production, including working with your writer to write for your budget level, targeting and attracting the right cast and crew, identifying who you actually need, and how to negotiate rates. You’ll learn the pitfalls of budget drains on set, how to build an actionable shoot schedule, and how to remain as EFFICIENT as possible each shooting day. You’ll even gain tips on how to save money in post production so you can fully understand how and where to find shortcuts in your project and what aspects should never be skimped on. Through this invaluable webinar, Jim will arm you with the understanding of how much you really need, of money AND yourself, to produce your film.
A New Exclusive Stage 32 Webinar Learn about the Metaverse from a writer-director who works in virtual reality, video games, and immersive entertainment around the world. One of the biggest opportunities (and buzzwords) to appear in the 21st century: The Metaverse. So what is the Metaverse? Where is it? And are we in it now? How does gaming, filmmaking, and XR fit into this space? Will it really "change everything?" And if Disney appointed a Chief Metaverse Officer, what does that mean for our industry? All these answers and more await you in this webinar! If we don't understand what Web3 means and all its opportunities, we, in the entertainment world, stand to lose out to corporations and big studio productions. Web3 is here and as entertainment professionals (from producers to writers) don't grasp the meaning of it you risk losing out on the biggest advancement in the entertainment biz since YouTube and streaming. Blumhouse ran an immersive experience in 2021 and Netflix regularly has immersive launches for their content. Here's the great news... you do NOT have to be a computer wizard to understand this space or create in this space... it's one of the greatest level playing fields today in entertainment. But you DO need to understand the basics of what it actually IS and the basics of immersive storytelling. Stage 32 has exclusively brought in Christopher Morrison, a multi-talented writer-director-educator who has worked on VR, video games, and immersive entertainments all around the globe. His VR branching narrative “The Werewolf Experience” is currently in festivals after winning multiple pitch contests and being in the Stereopsia Booster program. His next VR project “Drunk Zombie Duelists'' received a grant from the Dutch government to shoot its proof of concept in 2021. It was also selected for the Stereopsia Booster program the same year. His feature film ‘The Bellwether’ was released in 2019. He has written and directed 360° films and recently added “Narrative Designer” to his credits as he’s written and designed for the multiple videogames. Cirque du Soleil called him “A huge asset to the creative process.” He frequently speaks on storytelling in WEB3.0, recently addressing the House of Lords in England, and he will be a guest speaker at the LEAP conference in Saudi Arabia in February of ’23. Not only will this webinar explore what the term "Metaverse" means, but also how it is being actually applied by businesses and the entertainment world alike. Finally, we will also address how we can tell stories in these brand-new immersive spaces (some of which already exist). You have metaverse questions... the answers are here. PRAISE FROM CHRIS'S TEACHINGS: "I am very excited to be working with Stage 32, I love what they have been doing for the industry, in fact I use Stage 32 quite frequently!” -Christopher Morrison "Fantastic, meaty, fast-paced entertaining class." -- Brenda K.
If you're an independent filmmaker, it's likely you don’t have all of the funds you need to begin or complete your production. In this scenario, you need a film financier to step in and invest equity. While the financier is often hands-off with the actual production, they do have a prominent position in the process. Their assets are your assets, and they need to be protected. Borrowing money is only one step in the process. Assuring your financier that their assets will be protected during the filmmaking and production process is another. If you’re ready to take your film to the next level but aren’t clear on what financiers expect as far as protection when you borrow, you may be at a disadvantage. Protecting money given to you by someone with a vested interest in your film is extremely important. It’s also good business practice. And going into a conversation knowing what they expect before they hand over any equity - can only work in your favor. Your future lender has expectations. Let's delve into how you can always meet those expectations. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will teach you how you can keep your financiers protected and explain the 6 different options you should take into consideration when you sit down with a financier for your own project. After explaining what the role of a financier on an independent film usually looks like, he will discuss security interests, completion bonds, escrow accounts, collection accounts, legal representation, and compliance, what each of these look like, and how you can use these to best protect your financier. There are variables for every filmmaking scenario, but David will leave you with a much clearer understanding the role of the financier and how you can keep them happy and safe so that they’ll want to work with you time and time again. Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars: "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
Learn From An Entertainment Attorney Whose Done Deals With ABC, NBC, HBO, Bravo and more! In an industry built on storytelling there’s nothing more valuable than ideas. A good idea or good story can take you far in Hollywood, but it also makes you vulnerable. From Avatar to Empire, hundreds of films and television shows have been faced with infringement and idea theft lawsuits over the years. While the film and television industry can be an exciting and supportive place, this is not always the case and it’s more common than it should be for writers’ ideas or stories to be stolen. Without the proper protection and forethought, this can leave creatives at risk. As the saying goes, it’s a jungle out there, and the risk of having your ideas stolen is unfortunately always a possibility, as is the possibility of being accused of doing this yourself. It’s important to always be vigilant and aware of these dangers. Yet this does not mean it’s open season on creators. Whether you’re concerned about having your idea stolen or facing lawsuits of your own, there are important steps you must take to ensure you and your intellectual property remain protected. There will always be a risk of being taken advantage of, but better understanding the dangers as well as how to protect and copyright your work will put you in a much safer and more secure position. Jaia Thomas is an entertainment attorney with over ten years of legal experience who has brokered deals with companies like ABC, NBC, HBO, and Bravo and has been quoted as a legal expert in such publications as The New York Times, USA Today and ESPN. Jaia regularly assists clients with transactional and intellectual property matters and counsels filmmakers and producers on all aspects of film financing, production and distribution. She also regularly assists content creators with federal copyright registration and licensing and has had several works published in the American Bar Association, National Bar Association and multiple law journals. Through her many years specializing in federal copyright registration and licensing, Jaia has become an expert on how creators can keep their projects safe, and is ready to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Drawing from her many years of legal experience successfully assisting filmmakers with transactional and intellectual property matters Jaia will provide you with all the legal tools necessary to protect any and every type of script and screenplay. She will begin by discussing copyright registration. She’ll explain how to register a script with the US copyright office and explain the legal advantages of doing this. She’ll also debunk common misconceptions such as the “Poor Man’s Copyright”. Next she will explain what goes into Writers Guild registration. She’ll outline how to register a script, idea or outline with the Guild and explain the legal advantages and disadvantages of doing so. She’ll also delve into the key distinctions between registering with the US Copyright Office and Writers Guild. Jaia will then go over idea protection and theft. She’ll teach you how to protect a television show or reality show in its idea form and will outline the legal requirements for filing an idea theft claim in New York and California. She’ll even go through a case study of the seminal idea theft court case Desny V. Wilder from 1956. Finally Jaia will provide you with additional precautionary measures you can take in protecting yourself, including mobile apps, digital watermarks, confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements. Expect to leave knowing exactly how to protect your current and future ideas, scripts and projects. Praise for Jaia's Stage 32 Webinar: "Highly informative. Thank you Jaia Thomas!" -Patrick D. "Great webinar with invaluable tips and advice. Great presentation and presenter. Very pleased and satisfied." -Robert F