Rachel Crouch is the Director of Development at Cold Iron Pictures. Cold Iron Pictures is a production/financing company that most recently produced BEING FRANK starring comedian Jim Gaffigan and Anna Gunn. Previously Cold Iron produced SWISS ARMY MAN starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, as well as Marielle Heller’s directorial debut THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL starring Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård, both of which premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Previously Cold Iron releases also include Joseph Cedar’s political drama Norman starring Richard Gere which was released by Sony Pictures Classic; DON'T THINK TWICE, and Lake Bell’s second film I DO...UNTIL I DON'T. They also produced the 2019 Sundance hit UNTITLED AMAZING JOHNATHAN DOCUMENTARY which premiered in the US Documentary Competition section and is available on Hulu. Full Bio »
Learn how you can connect with the right producer to help move your project forward from an exec who has worked with Hulu and had multiple films at Sundance!
PLUS! Get exclusive case studies from Rachel's work on DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, SWISS ARMY MAN, and BEING FRANK!
Finding the right producer is pivotal to getting your project made!
However, finding, securing, and building a relationship with a meaningful and experienced producer can be one of the biggest challenges writers and filmmakers face. Even with a great script and a stacked cast, many producers who can move the needle forward on a project are often in great demand. Securing a meaningful producer means you have someone on your team who can pull the strings, make the offers and put the puzzle pieces of the project together.
But how do you find a producer in the first place? How do you build a relationship and show them that you’re someone they should take a chance on? And once you’ve reached that point, how do you get the most out of that relationship to assure that your vision reaches the screen in the most productive and profitable manner possible?
To help you understand the path to securing a great producer is Rachel Crouch, the Director of Development at Cold Iron Pictures, a production/financing company that has most recently produced BEING FRANK starring comedian Jim Gaffigan and Anna Gunn. Previously Cold Iron produced SWISS ARMY MAN starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, as well as Marielle Heller’s directorial debut DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL starring Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård, both of which premiered at Sundance Film Festival. They also produced the Sundance hit UNTITLED AMAZING JOHNATHAN DOCUMENTARY, which premiered in the US Documentary Competition section and is available on Hulu. Rachel has been involved in every step of producing these films and has helped launch careers of the talent involved with them.
In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar Rachel will walk you through the nuts and bolts of finding the right producer and forming a great working relationship with him or her.
PLUS! Rachel will provide you with exclusive case studies from her own background to illustrate how the producer-talent relationship helped bring the film to life. Downloads include case studies from:
Praise For Rachel's Work and Teaching:
"Rachel Crouch was awesome. She enriched my knowledge of the world of producers and how as a screenwriter we can make connections with the right ones and how best to work with them! Great job." - Ricki L.
"WOW. I can't say enough good things about Rachel. Working with her gave me the skillset to actually get my script into the right hands. Thank you!" - Cynthia M.
Like what you heard from Rachel during this webcast?
Send Rachel your script and speak with her for a half-hour by clicking here.
Rachel Crouch (Judge)
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Praise for Rachel’s Stage 32 Webinars:
"Very informative, Rachel is wise beyond her years."
"Very helpful! I learned so much and I am looking forward to going back and rewatching"
"Rachel Crouch was awesome. She enriched my knowledge of the world of producers and how as a screenwriter we can make connections with the right ones and how best to work with them! Great job."
- Ricki L.
"Rachel was terrific! Her thoughts were clear and helpful."
Learn how to pitch remotely from the writer of JIGSAW and SPIRAL (Number one movie at the box office this year) Includes a live pitch demonstration and an exclusive pitch workshop with 5 volunteers! As Zoom pitches continue to be our “new norm,” it’s important to know how to deliver the most effective virtual pitches, because let’s face it, it’s not the same as pitching in person. The energy is different, and you need to make sure you keep the energy high and engaging. How do you keep producers interested through a computer screen? Now, more than ever, you have to be quick, clear, and concise. Structure is key, but so is knowing how to handle small talk. Pitching is as much about selling your project as it is about selling yourself. Armed with the right tools, conversation, and materials, your chances are as good as anyone else’s. Pete Goldfinger is an incredibly successful feature and television writer in Hollywood, perhaps best known for penning the two newest features in the SAW horror universe, including JIGSAW, which grossed over $100 million, and SPIRAL, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock, which debuted at number one at the box office this year. He’s going to teach you how to quickly hook producers and showrunners with the most valuable and authentic pitch. Pete will share his years of experience handling everything from small talk to delivering strong loglines with pitch decks so that you’ll have all the tools to feel confident in your next virtual pitch. To demonstrate a live Zoom pitch and being quick on your feet with your pitches, Pete will deliver one of his own pitches, and then give you the opportunity to practice your own one-minute pitches and provide you with feedback. This is an amazing opportunity to fine tune and get advice on nailing your pitch from someone who knows just how to do that.
This week the Writers' Room welcomes in Development Executive Anna Henry into the Pitch Tank! Anna began her 20-year career as a development executive at Nickelodeon, working on the development and production of animated television series, pilots and features. Anna has been a script consultant and screenwriting instructor, as well as building her own slate as an independent producer. Her clients have worked on hit television series on all major networks, such as "THE DEUCE", "POWER", "IN CONTEMPT", "TOMMY", "HUNG", "CHICAGO FIRE", "FEAR THE WALKING DEAD", "THIS IS US", and "THE FLASH". Her clients have worked on shows at virtually every broadcast, cable and streaming television network, and have set up projects at Amazon, Starz, HBO, Sony, Fox, EOne, ITV America, OddLot Entertainment, Corus, and others. Anna enjoys having a close collaboration with writers in refining scripts, expanding their range of material, and finding the best home for each project, which is why she was an incredible guest!
Learn directly from Daniel Stellan Kendrick, Manager and Development Executive at Chatrone LLC (The Book of Life). From our first exposures to Mickey Mouse to the off-color adult humor of South Park, animation spans the human experience. One of the most unlimited and flexible mediums of entertainment, it often remains an outlier in the film industry. Aspiring writers are constantly inundated with information and resources about writing the perfect feature screenplay, but rarely do they have the opportunity to glimpse inside the animation industry. This practical and informative webinar will illuminate the trade secrets and industry culture of cartoons. Over the years, Daniel Stellan Kendrick has heard countless pitches from aspiring animation writers. After a while, he realized that the tools required to succeed at writing this unique and unfamiliar specialty are not easy to find. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Daniel will walk you through the lay of the land of the animation industry. From concept creation, to the big players, to the final pitch, Daniel will help you master this boundlessly imaginative field we call “animation.” Daniel Stellan Kendrick is a manager and development executive at Chatrone LLC, a production / management company, which specializes in animation. His clients include writers, artists, and creators that have worked on projects such as Robot Chicken, Spongebob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Lego Movie. Chatrone’s first animated feature, The Book Of Life, was nominated for five Annie Awards and a Golden Globe.
Your Definitive Guide to Microbudget Filmmaking Learn how you can make your movie for under $50k from a microbudget expert who's produced features for Legendary, Lakeshore Entertainment, Netflix, and IFC Films, as well as series for Fox Television Studios, Hulu, FreeForm, Netflix, and 20th Century Digital. PLUS! Get sample budgets, schedules, lookbooks, storyboards and film festival packages! The barrier to entry for making a film is at an all time low. With access, opportunity and new distribution options you can now take your film idea from concept to distribution easier than ever before. Best of all? You get to collaborate with people you choose to make that story a reality. How can you do that? By making your film independently on a microbudget under $50,000. This process means you don't have to pitch to studio executives and major financiers who will have their own notes about your story and what it should be and who to sell it to -- all of which you and your team might disagree with. In fact, you are in full control of the process from start to finish. Microbudget filmmaking is a path to creative freedom, and one that is paved with profits if done correctly. To make your story see the big screen, you're going to need to spend extra time working to make sure you're doing everything right because you have no time or money to waste. We have the perfect Stage 32 Educator, Michael Wormser, who is here to show you how to develop, produce, and distribute your microbudget movie. Michael is an award-winning producer who specializes in microbudget filmmaking and has produced over 70 projects including features for Legendary, Lakeshore Entertainment, Netflix, and IFC Films, as well as series for Fox Television Studios, Hulu, FreeForm, Netflix, and 20th Century Digital. Through an interactive 4-part virtual class, Michael dives deep into the four key areas of microbudget filmmaking that you must master in order to be successful: Development, Planning, Production, and Distribution. Each of these four phases comes with unique challenges and opportunities that Michael will show you how to use to your advantage to produce the best microbudget film possible and get it out to your audience to enjoy. You'll walk away from these sessions with everything you need to know to collaborate and produce your own microbudget film. You will have assignments between each session to put to practice what you learn for your own film, and you will also get documents that will help you on your own journey: Budget and Schedule Examples Look book Examples Storyboard Examples Film Festival Package Examples Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to work with an acclaimed producer who's helped countless creators bring their microbudget projects to life! Praise from Michael's previous class: "Michael is the real deal. His tricks to the process blew my mind. I can't thank you enough for all you taught us!" - James P. "Run, no, sprint to learn from Michael. His knowledge and attention to detail is bar none. I highly recommend Michael as a teacher. I've produced projects before but he has an incredible knowledge base on all aspects to help streamline processes." - Aimee M.
Get the lowdown on how to save your film even in the worst case scenario with a veteran producer with over 35 films under her belt. Comes with example Letters of Intent Try as hard as you might, even when you dot every ‘i‘ and cross every ‘t’, the production of your film is never going to go perfectly. Things invariably come up or go wrong that are outside your control. Ask any producer—it is a certainty. As a result, it’s not the mark of a good producer to prevent unexpected problems from coming up, but instead to be able to address these issues when they do inevitably arise. You’ll never know what might come up during the course of your film’s production, but two of the biggest and scariest issues are when your money or your talent fall through. Even with everything else set to go, a full team intact, your locations booked, and your equipment prepped, if you lose either of these two crucial elements, it can bring your entire film to a grinding halt. Losing your film’s money or top-level talent just before production begins is a more common issue than you might think, and while it’s certainly a difficult situation to navigate, it doesn’t need to derail your project. There are strategies you can use as a producer to soften the blow, move forward, and bring the money or actors back on board. It comes down to attitude, knowing your options, always having contingency plans, and being smart and measured in how you communicate with financiers, agents, and actors. So how do experienced producers deal with losing these elements last minute? How can they convince financiers to stay on board? How do they renegotiate with actors without going over-budget? And how do they know when to re-approach and when it’s time to part ways? Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and a veteran film producer with 35 features under her belt. Of those 35, 9 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Through her career, Aimee has had to navigate losing money and losing talent many times and has developed valuable strategies she will share with the Stage 32 community that has kept her projects moving and allowed them to find success. Aimee will walk you through what exactly you should do for your film if either your funding or your talent fall through during the course of pre-production or production. She’ll lay out the first steps you should always take when you first find out you’re about to lose either of these elements. She’ll then spend time discussing financing specifically and strategies you should employ. She’ll talk about how to figure out what really went wrong and how to renegotiate with the financier, including how to offer points or credits. Aimee will also talk about how you can move forward anyway by paring down expenses and altering your schedule. She’ll also tell you how to reapproach investors or partners that said no in the past. Aimee will also spend time discussing strategies specifically for losing talent. She’ll tell you how to gauge if the talent can be recovered, and offer actor-specific tips on how to renegotiate. She’ll talk about communication tips for both actors and their reps and advise you on when it’s worth it to reschedule your shoot. She’ll also go through how to find new acting choices and use leverage to get a last minute replacement. Finally, Aimee will show you how you can best recover when things fall through and how to move forward with your plan B without sacrificing the quality of your film. Along the way, Aimee will share personal stories of her own past and even show you specific emails and language she used to renegotiate or find new funding or actors. You’ll never be able to fully prepare for problems that come up last second, but Aimee will give you the tools and confidence you can use to navigate these problems and keep your project afloat. Praise for Aimee’s Previous Stage 32 Webinars: "I've taken many Stage 32 webinars and they've all been wonderful, but Aimee's had me ready to run through a wall! So much thoughtful and intelligent information!" - Debra S. "This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you!" -Brian D. "Grounded and Practical" -Jennifer S. “Aimee was able to take these big ideas and make them feel totally accessible and easy to understand. I really enjoyed hearing from her” -Howard F.
Learn the creative and business factors you need to consider when deciding to write your story as a feature film or television series from the VP of Packaging and Sales at Ramo Law who has worked with Amazon, MTV, and more! PLUS! You will receive case studies of projects that have gone from feature films to TV series and from TV series to feature films! You have a great story to tell and you are wrestling with the correct format for the story that will be most successful. Writers across the industry and at various levels in their career constantly grapple with this question - should I write my story as a feature film or a television series? The answer to this question is actually quite complex and is contingent on a number of creative and business considerations you should consider before developing your project. For example, what is the breadth of the story you are telling? How complex are your characters and the world they live in? And from a business perspective, where are you, the writer, currently positioned in your career? What is the feasibility of getting your story produced as a feature versus as a TV series? Could one lead to the other? While television series seem to be getting much of the attention in the industry these days, trying to get your story made into a binge worthy series makes you beholden to the wishes and timelines of one of the big streamers and networks actually making full blown series. Conversely, pitching your story as a feature film offers a larger set of opportunities to get produced with numerous production companies and independent financing sources in the business of making feature films but that poses its own set of challenges. Luckily, there are key creative and business elements of your project you can consider when deciding whether to turn your story into either a feature or a TV series to give yourself the highest probability of success. Here to guide you through the considerations of what format will work best for your project is Stuart Arbury, Vice President of Packaging and Sales at Ramo Law, a renowned entertainment law firm in Beverly Hills. Prior to joining Ramo Law, Stuart was Director of Development at Canvas Media Studios (StyleHaul’s ”Vanity”) and Captivate Entertainment (”The Bourne Identity” franchise and USA’s “Treadstone” series). Stuart will share his extensive knowledge of both the television and film markets with you so you can make the most informed decisions going forward with how best to develop and pitch your projects. You will walk away from this exclusive Stage 32 webinar with a strong understanding of the different creative and business elements of a feature film project and a television series project and a framework to consider which format you should be working on for your current and future scripts. PLUS! Stuart will provide you with exclusive case studies of projects that have gone from feature to series and from series to feature! Projects include: DEAR WHITE PEOPLE THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE CARNIVAL ROW Praise For Stuart "Stuart webinar was very informative and thought provoking. He explained and gave excellent examples of what makes a series a series and a feature a feature AND the 'cross-over' from one to the other. Compared features, broadcast, streamers clearly and so much more. A wealth of information that one can take away and make educated decisions about their project(s)." -Margaret M "Stuart's experience and knowledge were incredibly helpful for me. I didn't realize the nuances of the industry but am now grateful to have learned from Stuart ." -- Sara M. "Learning from Stuart was hugely beneficial to me as a screenwriter. I've been thinking if I should write my drama project as a feature or series and Stuart made me realize the pros and cons of each, both creatively and from a business perspective." -- Alex W. "Thank you, Stage 32, for providing us access to Stuart. His webinar is fantastic and I can't recommend learning from him enough!" -- Kayla R.