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.
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!
“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!
Learn directly from Heather Hale, an Independent Film and Television Director, Screenwriter and Producer! In this exclusive 90 minute Next Level Webinar, Heather will teach you how to identify your most efficient points of entry into the business and ways to step up into the big leagues, specifically where to focus your networking and marketing energies. Heather will inspire you to think more strategically and act more provocatively when it comes to your work and your career. Discover not only how to brainstorm, but how to identify and research a finely honed short hit list of agents and managers truly appropriate to the type of material you write. Find your unique voice, where you’re at in your career and where you want to be. Heather will also help you identify marquis-value actors truly appropriate for your roles and directors bankable in your genre or budget range. Learn various empowered approaches to get on their radars and get your literary assets in gear! This is an all inclusive webinar for screenwriters designed to help you stop wasting time and make the proper connections and contacts that will get your work in the right, targeted hands and improve your odds of success.
**Only 10 Spots Available - Sign up to work one-on-one with an award winning comedy writer before this lab fills up** There’s a reason comedy sketches is one of the cornerstones of a successful comedy writer’s arsenal. They’re not easy to nail. In just a few minutes you need to find a great concept, clear characters, solid structure, and an effective ending, all while delivering consistent jokes and inserting your own unique comedic voice. Yet mastering sketch writing can be a major boon for your career as a comedy writer and can get you noticed and opportunities in writers’ rooms, talk shows, even SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. Sketch writing isn’t just about being funny, though. It’s a specific art form that takes practice and an understanding of fundamentals to do correctly. Let an Emmy-award winning comedy writer give you the tools you need. Rob Kutner is an Emmy, Peabody, and Grammy Award-winning late night television staff writer who has worked on shows like CONAN and THE DAILY SHOW. Starting out as a writers’ assistant on DENNIS MILLER LIVE, Rob is also the author of the satirical end-of-times bestseller Apocalypse How: Turn the End Times into the Best of Times! and has written material for the Oscars, Emmys, Writers’ Guild Awards, MTV Movie Awards, Guys’ Choice Awards, and two White House Correspondents’ Dinners. Through the countless sketches he has written for nationally broadcast comedy shows throughout his career, Rob has become incredibly familiar with quality sketch writing and how to make them work, and he’s ready to work with you directly to show you how it’s done. Over three sessions, Rob will teach you the fundamentals of comedy sketch writing and work with you in writing and improving your own sketch, all from the comfort of your own home. In the first session, Rob will walk you through the anatomy of a great comedy sketch and the different forms they take. He’ll also provide strategies you can take with you before tasking you to write your own sketch. In the second session you will perform your new sketch for Rob and your classmates, and Rob will offer feedback and pointers to improve. You will also have the opportunity to hear your fellow classmates’ sketches and provide your feedback as well. In the final session, you will perform your improved and rewritten sketch and gain final valuable feedback from Rob. Through this one week intensive, you will gain the knowledge and experience you need to greatly improve your sketch comedy writing and improve your own writers’ packet or portfolio for your comedy career. PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 students and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a seasoned and award-winning writer and expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at email@example.com for more information WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for aspiring comedy writers of all levels interested improving their sketch writing skills. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with one-on-one time with the instructor and significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***Only 10 Spots Available*** This class will consist of three sessions, each 90-120 minutes in length, taking place over the course of one week. In addition to the lessons where Rob teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask him questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with him directly about your specific project. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the TV project development process. To see the full class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".
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. For many, the holy grail of film distribution has become Netflix. It’s a titan in the industry, and with over 180 million subscribers worldwide, no one can release a film quite like them. Yet for as prominent and omnipresent as they might be, Netflix is enigmatic and confusing from the outside. They hold a lot of secrets close to their chest and their inner-workings and processes are a mystery to many. They’re not a complete unknown, though, and there is a lot you can learn as a filmmaker and content creator to better approach this media giant, get your film on their radar, and maybe even get that distribution deal you’ve been after. First it’s critical you learn some context surrounding how they work, what they are 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 Netflix finds and picks up films and what content creators can do to better get their own projects on Netflix’s radar. Steff will begin by giving you a rundown of Netflix and how they’re working right now. She’ll explain how you should be thinking about and categorizing the company, who their main competitors are, what their subscriber base looks like and how it compares to their competitors’ bases. Next she will talk about how Netflix picks up content. She’ll go over who gets to pitch to Netflix in the first place and how that process works and will then do a deep dive of Netflix’s curation model. Steff will explain what types of content are currently the most successful on Netflix and how their new “Top 10” feature might be changing things. She will also break down the three main divisions that review content within Netflix and the common deal structures filmmakers should expect from each. Then she will go into how Netflix actually works with content creators and handles both revenue and delivery. She will teach you about Netflix’s payment structure and how content aggregators or distributors can sometimes “buy out” the Netflix window. Steff will even offer a case study of her own film THE LOST HUSBAND and demonstrate how this process worked. She will then explain how to determine a film’s budget for an expected ROI and how you can recoup your investment and where that money will come from. She’ll also go over the process of getting your film picked up by Netflix after they pass on it as an Original, including how to help your chances in this regard and what you can do to make your work stand out more and break through the clutter. Steff will then offer some final pieces of advice on Netflix opportunities and deal negotiations, including looking at contract terms, territories, and hidden fees. She’ll explain how to understand the specific cost of distribution and offer the key piece of advice on budgeting moving forward. Finally she will give you a peek at the distribution industry itself, the changes that are coming, and what you should expect to come next. Expect to leave with a much clearer understanding of how Netflix works and how you can better position your film for success at this streaming platform. This webinar comes with a free handout that details distribution terms and Netflix's specific deliverable requirements Praise for Steff's 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.
It's no secret that raising funds for a film is a difficult proposition. Most people who repeatedly invest in the film industry have no shortage of projects from which to choose to place their money. They also have a particular set of standards and requirements that need to be met before they write a check. Even more casual investors in film who go in with lowered expectations still will want to see that you have the knowledge, discipline and understanding on how to handle and protect their money and put them in the best position for a return. The fact of the matter is that you could have the most attractive project with a highly marketable and commercial screenplay and fantastic talent interested in attaching, but if you can't deliver on the important details, know how to answer the toughest questions, and show that you have the savvy to withstand the scrutiny associated with putting together a film financing deal, your potential investment target will be on to the next pitch without a blink. There is no straight answer on how to pitch an investor. Some will tell you that without a pitch deck, you have no shot. Others will tell you that 99% of the time a pitch deck is just a pretty, overblown document designed to dazzle and amazing, but with very little substantiative information. Regardless of the approach, there is one fact that is undeniable: you need to know every angle on how a film can come together and be able to show clearly and concisely a path to how your investor is going to recoup their money and potentially make a profit. To do that, you need to be able to put together an investor kit, first for yourself, and then as something you can tailor to your investor. There's no need to be intimidated by this. Once you understand the various facets of film investing, the rest will fall into place quite naturally. And we're here to help you do just that. Kevin Christoffersen has been producing multi-media content internationally for over two decades across four continents while living in five countries. Currently, Kevin is working as a development executive, producer, writer and consulting with the technology platform Movie Rights Exchange which is changing the way films are being distributed. Kevin's current projects include his co-written feature, Falling Up with Stephanie Drapeau, Dallas Brennan’s Deception Road, a new Hal Hartley feature in development and Rear View Windows being casted by Kerry Barden. Kevin has guest lectured at NYU, teaches workshop classes with the IFP, Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, Filmshop and moderated a producers panel at the Hunter Mountain Film Festival. He then works with students on creating their packages throughout the A to Z Development process. Kevin will be teaching about the step by step process required throughout the development financing stage of your feature film project to create your "Investor Kit". This includes all of the elements from business plans to budgets, proof of concept videos, retaining production counsel and a casting director. Kevin will show you the all important skill of bringing packaging elements to your project, something so very important in this day and age. He will tell you how to handle the common issue of securing "First-in money" and how to navigate talent retainer fees. He will talk co-production agreements, also a valuable thing when putting together a film. He will teach you about distribution agreements, tax credit loans and pre-sales estimates. Kevin will even teach you how to source your investors and how to build a powerful team so you can wear limited hats and divide and conquer. Praise for Kevin "Took the intimidation and fear of approaching investors by presenting clear facts and strategies that make perfect sense." - Michael M. "I've read complex and dense books on this subject that have taken me months to get through and I learned more in 2 hours with Kevin. Brilliant material." - Cheryl Lee K. "This one was off the charts." - Sammie P. "This removed so many questions. So many. I feel as if the clouds have parted. This IS possible. Thank you, Kevin." - Marty K.
Founded in 2011 by Richard "RB" Botto, Stage 32 is the world's largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV and new media creatives and professionals worldwide. Stage 32 works with over five hundred industry professionals and executives who provide education, instruction and professional opportunities for members of the platform. Stage 32 currently has over 1,200 hours of exclusive film, television and digital craft and business education in its library. Stage 32 members use the platform daily to build their network, take online webinars, classes and labs, find work and cast and crew their projects. Stage 32 members range from students to Emmy, BAFTA and Academy Award Winners. We work tirelessly to ensure that you know that Stage 32 is your online home to stay connected with over 600,000 creatives and professionals from across the globe. Now, we are excited to present a virtual panel featuring some of the top minds in the Stage 32 community to discuss the current state of animation, as the industry adapts to a new development and production landscape after the COVID-19 pandemic. In this panel discussion you will hear the point of view of top animation minds including Mike Mitchell (THE LEGO MOVIE: 2, TROLLS, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER), Conrad Vernon (THE ADDAMS FAMILY, SAUSAGE PARTY, SHREK) and Harland Williams (Disney's PUPPY DOG PALS, Netflix's SKYLANDERS ACADEMY), all moderated by producer, and Stage 32 Managing Director, Amanda Toney. Stage 32 is proud to be putting the "social" in #SocialDistancing. Please share this event on your social media and tag @stage32 on Twitter and @stage32online on Instagram.