Amanda Toye is a producer, writer, and social entrepreneur. Formerly, she worked in development for Little Engine International, an independent TV studio focusing on international co-productions in a straight to series multi-platform model. Before that, she worked as Director of Development at Sander/Moses Productions, she specialized in building and launching TV series creatively from the ground floor in an immersive way that integrates storytelling across platforms and gives the audience an engaging experience. She has developed and sold over 30 drama, comedy, and reality projects to network and cable. In the digital space she has developed web series, interactive content, digital assets, apps, and other content. Prior to her work in television and digital, Amanda was a film development executive at Friendly Films, and an acquisitions executive for First Look Studios. She is also the founder of Storyopolis, a mission based content platform that encourages people to share their inspirational stories to provide hope, inspire, and connect to others. Full Bio »
Many filmmakers and writers struggle with the question of whether to relocate to Los Angeles or New York to build their careers. But for many, the realities of that are very difficult with money, family, other jobs, and roots already formed in another home. For international filmmakers, it can be an even more difficult transition.
The good news is that because of the shifting landscape of the Hollywood system, it has never been more accessible from anywhere in the world. The expanding of a global marketplace, and the door opening opportunities of the digital revolution have made it possible for anyone to become noticed by Hollywood and share their work with an appreciative audience.
In this lecture we’ll cover everything you need to know to get noticed, and begin building the kind of career you weren’t sure you could have without making the sacrifice of moving to Hollywood.
Having worked with International Studios evaluating and discovering content creators from all over the world, and specializing in bridging the gap between innovative digital practices of development, distribution, fan development and Hollywood, Amanda Toye has worked with filmmaker, writers, and content creators from all over the world from her office in Los Angeles. She currently splits her time between San Jose, Costa Rica and Los Angeles.
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“It was so good, Amanda is great!” – Rodrigo A.
“The information she's willing to share is really helpful” – Nicholas K.
“Very helpful, a lot of good information.” – Joshua C.
“Overall outstanding!” – Rich S.
“She's making me a better writer regardless of whether I get a show on the air.” – Dan N.
“Excellent!” – Steve W.
Part 1 - Overview of the Staffing Process Amanda discusses the strategy and steps of the staffing process from the studio, network and production company perspective. You will gain incite into what producers are looking for from a staffing sample and how to improve your chances of standing out in crowd. Part 2 - Tips for Writing an Original Pilot A discussion on the creation of a strong, unique and memorable original pilot; Choosing the right concept to display your original voice, crafting characters who can last for seasons and improving dialogue skills. Part 3 - Pilot Format, Structure and Plotting Amanda details structure and formatting techniques, for drama and comedy, as well as the importance of a strong, steady plot and why you need to keep the reader engaged with big plot moments every few pages in a staffing sample. Part 4 - Spec Scripts & Next Career Steps Amanda answers why it’s important to have a spec script to send as a follow up to your original pilot, and how to write a spec script through copying an existing show’s voices and format. She also covers reaching out to agents, managers, and studio training initiatives with your writing samples. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Amanda is no longer handing out or reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!
Kristi Speiser, Certified Image Consultant and Life Coach for actors has been in the business 25 years and worked with stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith and Gerard Butler! Now she brings her extensive knowledge and experience in honing, refining and defining an actor's image exclusively to Stage 32. Examples of Kristi's Image Consulting Work “Going within is the most challenging place one will ever go. But this brings the biggest payoffs and sets you up for more success in life both personally and professionally” - Kristi Speiser When you're an actor, you're seemingly being given advice at every turn. Whether it's who to take acting classes with, how to address casting directors in and out of the room, or what roles you are or aren't a fit for, the opinions never seem to stop coming. It can be overwhelming. But one piece of advice that is golden is that understanding your brand and assuring that you are doing everything possible to put that brand on display will undeniably give you an advantage in a very crowded field. Simply put, most actors go into headshot sessions, auditions, and meetings with no clue or definitive idea as to what they're putting out there or how they are being perceived. That's something that's fully in your control and something that you can begin honing, shaping, and changing starting today. Kristi Speiser is a certified image consultant and life coach with the International Coaching Federation. After a hugely successful 20 year career working with actors in fashion advertising, Kristi moved on to become Chief Operations Manager in her husband’s acting studio. For 25 years she had an insider’s access to the business side of acting and entertainment. Exposed to thousands of actors, she played a part in the rise of major directors, producers, and stars like, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith and Gerard Butler. Exclusively for Stage 32, Kristi will teach you how to gain a full understanding of you who are and use that to help you define your brand. She will show you how you are likely perceived by decision makers and gatekeepers and how you can change that perception so you stop wasting time and money pursuing the wrong roles or markets. She will show you how clothes, voice patterns, communication behavior and more can be altered and modified to any situation to increase your chances of success. She will discuss how you can build effective and important relationships so you stay top of mind of casting directors and producers. Kristi will even get down into your headshots - telling you the real truths - and what photos and information should be on a personal website. In short, Kristi will teach you how to treat your career as a business and how embracing that mentality alone, and implementing these strategies toward that end, will result in more work and more happiness! This is a major deep dive into your image and brand designed to help actors of all experience and skill levels. This information will leave you refreshed, reinvigorated, and ready to tackle any audition or meeting! She helped me realize the image I was putting out there was not an accurate representation of who I was. She opened my eyes to a world of color, silhouettes and accessories. Through her nurturing, I not only discovered the ability to reflect my essence outwardly, but also how to own it. – Leena H. She is an expert at what she does but most importantly someone who truly desires to see her clients succeed in the industry. – Stephanie F. I felt like I was being pulled in a dozen different directions when it came to my career: my look, my characters, my goals, my personality… Kristi brought all that into focus. – Shayna R.
Embarking on creating a film or television project is an enormous undertaking from a business perspective. There are many moving parts to consider - from creative rights to copyright, entity structure, chain of title, compensation, financing, publicity - and that's just scratching the surface. Any missteps during the process could expose you and the production to legal risk, which you always want to avoid. If only there were a blueprint that can help you think through every step of the process from development all the way through post production...Now there is! Stage 32 Educator Sean Pope is a Senior Associate at Ramo Law PC, one of the largest and most respected entertainment law firms in Hollywood, where he works with producers and production companies focusing on all aspects of production legal services from development to distribution. Some of his most recent projects that he's worked on include the Liam Neeson thriller HONEST THIEF, Netflix documentary THE BLACK GODFATHER, and Emmy-winning Netflix docu-series CHEER. Sean has put together a thorough and exclusive 2-part class for the Stage 32 community to help walk you through everything you need to consider legally for your project. You'll learn everything you need to know in the development stage all the way through pre-production and production. Sean will help you navigate the legal side of film and TV projects ensuring you feel confident going into your next project prepared.
The Stage 32 Writers’ Room has just surpassed a milestone achievement - 100 webcasts! For the last year and a half it has been the honor of Director of Script Services Jason Mirch to act as the humble host, guiding webcasts that include script and screenwriting breakdowns, virtual pitch sessions to industry professionals, one-on-one conversations with some of the biggest names in the business, and writing exercises that challenge our imaginations and sharpen our skills. The goal of the Writers’ Room has always been to give writers all over the world the support, access, and education to thrive in their craft and career. Our recent Writers' Room guests have included Oscar-nominated Pixar writer Meg LeFauve, Billion Dollar Producer Amy Baer, AKEELAH AND THE BEE Filmmaker Doug Atchison, Universal Pictures Executive Ken Korba, A QUIET PLACE development executive Linsday Schwartz, GREEN HORNET producer Bradley Gallo, and many more - all of whom spoke and interacted directly with our members. Several of our members have connected with each other and have swapped scripts, collaborated on projects, produced projects they have written, and writers have even been optioned by producers largely because of the Writers’ Room! The Writers' Room is strong because of the incredible members who are serious about their craft and advancing their careers. So we are turning the spotlight over to some of our talented Writers' Room members who will tell us how they broke out in a highly competitive industry and achieved success during this Stage 32 Writers' Room Member Success Spotlight webcast! During this webcast, Writer, Producer, Actor & Stage 32 CEO Rich "RB" Botto and Writer, Producer, and Director of Script Services Jason Mirch shine some light on members who have utilized the power of Stage 32 and the Writers' Room to achieve tremendous success in the industry and learn the secrets they have discovered for breaking out! During this webcast the panel includes: Screenwriter, Martin Reese, who received a $5,000 option agreement from Glass House Distribution and Trick Candle Productions for a script he developed with the help of the Writers' Room! Screenwriter, Chris Torres, who landed representation with Manager Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment after being a part of the Writers' Room and being connected for a meeting by Stage 32! Author and Screenwriter, Christi Corbett, who developed one of her novels into a screenplay which was then optioned by producer Brad Wilson of Higher Purpose Entertainment!Screenwriter and Filmmaker, Chaun Lee, who used the power of Stage 32 and the Writers' Room to develop a short film which she then produced using local crew and cast in Atlanta just prior to lockdown!
If there's one subject that seems to confound and confuse filmmakers, producers, screenwriters, financiers and even set designers more than any other, it's the world of product placement. Can you raise meaningful money through product placement? What products can I put in my film or screenplay and which should be avoided? What are the legalities when dealing with product placement? These are all very valid and important questions. Those who understand the way the product placement industry (and it is an industry unto itself) works use this aspect of the production process to raise significant funds and stay on the north side of any potential legal issues. Those who fail to understand often have difficulties with clearances (and by virtue, issues securing sales and distribution) and may find themselves on the south side of some major lawsuits that include claims copyright infringement, misuse, and other serious charges. While the world of product placement was once considered to be an unregulated wild west of backroom deals and shady characters, it is now developed into an extremely controlled and accessible industry. Choosing a partner in this arena can lead to monetary deals that can help you close the rest of your financing. It can also help you fund parts of your pre-production phase. But most of all, it can lead to creative flexibility for your screenwriter, your director, your producer, your set designer, and even your crew. Over a 20+ year career in the film industry, David Patterson has worked as a writer, director and producer on dozens of projects. His films have played at Sundance and other prestigious film festivals which have garnered him sales to distribution outlets and various networks including Sundance Channel, Starz Channel and Warner Bros. David's work attracted the attention of Disney and his Bridge To Terabithia, was a huge studio release and box office success for the studio. More recently, David’s film, The Great Gilly Hopkins, starring Glenn Close, Octavia Spencer, Kathy Bates and Julia Stiles opened theatrically to rave reviews. Throughout this journey he has always used product placement to help with the success of each of his films. David will demystify and clearly explain the world of product placement and how you can best utilize a product placement strategy for your project. He will start by defining product placement - it may surprise you to know there are over 12 answers! He will then dive into how you can use just about everything to help you with product placement from your script, to your cast and crew to your producers to locations to utilizing your actors. He will teach you how to secure product placement - where to look, how to approach, how to close a deal. He will show you how the legalities of product placement for film festivals and commercial release differ and what you need to have buttoned up. He will explain E & O insurance and if you truly need it at all. He will also go into all the mistakes filmmakers make along the way and share some horror stories from filmmaker/producer friends and how you can avoid making the same mistakes - mistakes that can cost you money, time, endorsements and put you into legal peril. Additionally, David will teach you all the tips and tricks he's learned along the way to get the most out of your product placement strategies and build relationships with the right companies and brands so you can go back to the well time and time again! "Brilliant." - Jonathan C. "I was so unfamiliar with this world. Incredible breakdown of what and what not to do. This one truly opened my eyes. Can't recommend it enough." - Heather P. "David, where have you been my entire producing life?" - Priya R. "I don't throw this word around often, but this webinar was genius." - Alan L.
"The workbook alone is worth 10 times what the webinar cost. I am in awe. Thank you, Gary." - Antonio T. There's nothing worse than having a screenplay bought or a project with financing get placed on hold because of legal issues that could have been handled at the start. Too many projects have been shelved permanently and will never see the light of day because of conflicts and misunderstandings that could easily have been avoided. Unfortunately, few screenwriters, filmmakers or producers know the right questions that need to be asked and answered in order to protect yourself and your project legally. It doesn't need to be this way, though. There are simple legal steps you can take from the beginning to assure a smooth and steady ride so your focus can be on making the best project possible. Especially for those in creative fields, navigating legal issues can feel overwhelming and confusing, maybe even unnecessary. Yet having a basic legal understanding of how to protect your work and property is incredibly crucial. You need to know how to legally incorporate everyone's input and notes into your script without worrying about losing authorship. You need to know how to set up a partnership for success and why so many people run into trouble when doing so. You need to know when it's okay to agree to work for free or 'on spec' and why it's still vital to have a written agreement. And you need to know when it's okay to talk business on your own behalf. The good news is you don't need to pass the bar in order to ensure you and your projects are in good legal shape. Instead, you just need a little guidance. Producer and attorney Gary W. Goldstein star of Netflix's The Movies That Made Us, has produced some of the biggest box office hits in film history and has served as a mentor to dozens of prestigious writers, producers, and filmmakers. His credits include PRETTY WOMAN, UNDER SIEGE, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, and many more. He's also papered some of the biggest deals in film history. By working as both a producer and entertainment attorney, Gary's knowledge of deal memos and contracts is without peer. He knows all the do's and don'ts, the tips and tricks, and the side streets and alleyways toward making sure that you are not only protected, but getting the benefits and compensation you deserve for your efforts. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Gary will teach you: A complete "how to" in order to assure that you use a proven and smart approach to protecting yourself legally His 3 rules that should never be broken when entering into deals Whether you should use an agent or an attorney (or both) to negotiate your compensation and benefits on your behalf How to deal with release forms and option agreements How to assure you get everything in writing so there are no surprises or disappointments down the road How to maintain a paper trail of all communication and why it's monumentally important to do so. The realities of maintaining creative control and how to handle the creative contributions of others as well as the pitfalls to avoid when receiving feedback. The qualities of finding a good creative or business partner and the essential questions to ask up front. As if all this wasn't enough, Gary will provide a 40-page interactive workbook exclusive for those who take this webinar. This is an invaluable resource!