Mischa Stanton is an award-winning and sought after podcast sound designer & producer who has created immersive soundscapes for some of the biggest and most popular podcasts, including LEVAR BURTON READS, Marvel Entertainment’s MARVELS, and fiction podcast THE BRIGHT SESSIONS, which is currently in development to be adapted as a television show. Their work has been featured by Wired, Vox, Polygon, Popular Science, The AV Club, and The New York Times, and has garnered 10 Audio Verse Awards for Podcast Sound Design in just 4 years. Mischa has quickly become one of the foremost experts on podcast audio and is prepared to share what they know exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
The world of podcasts has been exploding over recent years. Over 100 million Americans listen to podcasts on a regular basis, and individual shows can have tens of millions of fans. We’re not just talking about nonfiction works like THE DAILY or SERIAL; fiction podcasts are also having a moment as more writers are turning to the audio medium to tell incredible stories. Forebearers like HOMECOMING, LIMETOWN, THE BRIGHT SESSIONS, and WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE have opened the door for a cavalcade of new, exciting, innovative, and truly great audio storytelling. And as the number of fiction podcasts increases, so does this medium’s fan base as millions of people consistently tune in to their favorite fiction programs. Even as film and television production has slowed down or come to a halt, the doors are still wide open for recording podcasts since they can easily be produced remotely and from the comfort of one’s own home. The water’s warm when it comes to creating your own podcast and joining this vibrant community, but it’s still important you make something that’s not only written well but sounds great.
The prospect of sound design and audio quality can be daunting for those considering venturing into podcasts. It’s not unusual to believe that you’ll be unable to make a high quality and sharp sounding podcast without expensive equipment and a state-of-the-art recording studio. How good can a podcast sound if it’s being recorded in your closet or kitchen, after all? As it turns out, it can sound pretty good, and it can sound good without you needing to break the bank. But it’s not something you can just put together willy nilly. There’s a delicate, precise science to sound design and it’s something that requires a good amount of wherewithal, and forethought. Yet with this understanding in place, it is absolutely possible to create a professional sounding podcast wherever you are and under any budget.
Mischa Stanton is an award-winning and sought after podcast sound designer & producer who has created immersive soundscapes for some of the biggest and most popular podcasts of all time, including LEVAR BURTON READS, Marvel Entertainment’s blockbuster podcast MARVELS, and celebrated science fiction podcast cult hit THE BRIGHT SESSIONS, which is currently in development to be adapted as a television show. Their work has been featured by Wired, Vox, Polygon, Popular Science, The AV Club, and The New York Times, and has garnered 10 Audio Verse Awards for Podcast Sound Design in just 4 years. Mischa has quickly become one of the foremost experts on podcast audio and is prepared to share what they know exclusively with the Stage 32 community.
Mischa will walk you through what you need to know to make your own podcast sound professional on a limited budget, from preparation all the way through editing and finalizing. They will begin with a quick introduction of the human ear and a rundown of what psychoacoustics is and why you should consider it moving forward. They will teach you how to build your own home studio, including finding the right place in your home, the inexpensive but effective ways to sound proof your space, and additional purchases you can make to improve acoustics. Next Mischa will give you a rundown of the recording equipment you will need and smart purchases that can work with your budget. This will include microphones, interfaces, mixers, and headphones. Then they will delve into actual techniques to use while recording your podcast, including near/far and mono/binaural techniques and how to effectively record your podcast remotely. They will provide tips on directing your podcast from an audio perspective, including how to properly cast to ensure everyone sounds different and finding the balance between stage and screen styles. They will then walk you through actually running a recording session, how to make the most of your rehearsals, and documents and spreadsheets you should follow. Mischa will also explain how to edit pacing and feel the flow while directing your sessions. Next they will teach you about sound design, including where to get sounds and effects and how to actually lay out a session. They will run down specific techniques you can use to improve your podcast’s soundscape, including EQ, reverb sends, and accessibility. They will also explain the best and worst editing software to use. With Mischa’s knowledge under your belt, you’ll be able to create your own podcast with a sound quality that can stand toe-to-toe with the best of them.
Praise for Mischa's Stage 32 Webinar:
"This was a tremendously informative and helpful webinar -- well done and time very well spent!!!"
"Well done! Tons of good info!"
"It was very informative, especially how Mischa explained and demonstrated step by step the process on making a podcast."
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As an independent filmmaker or producer, you likely start working on a new endeavor for creative reasons—the chance to tell an amazing story, build worlds, create something of cultural value. Yet this is, of course, not the only element of filmmaking. Like it or not, your independent film is not just a creative endeavor; it’s also a business. You’re sourcing financing and bringing in investors, building a team, and creating a property that will (hopefully) ultimately make money not only in the present, but for years to come. In short, you’re not just a making a piece of art; you’re also running a business. To operate successfully in the world of independent film and continue to make films that you’re proud of, you need to be able to think like an entrepreneur and understand the dynamics and the relation between financing, distribution and recoupment of film investments. Further, you need to open up your creative mindset to the myriad opportunities available all over the world including hot markets found throughout Europe. The business side of films is often especially difficult for filmmakers and creative producers, but the more you understand, the better your chances of finding a production partner or investor to take your vision forward. Working in the European market, especially with films in the €1MM and sub€1MM range can offer you opportunities you haven't thought of before. But to take advantage of this surging market, you need to understand the variety of production and financing options available and how to tap into them. Whether it's hard money, soft money or other methods toward financing and securing the necessary pieces to greenlight your project, getting a handle on the in's and out's of how to proceed will put you in a powerful and advantageous position. Understanding and executing this business model will open new doors to other productions around the world and serve to create a portfolio of proof that will serve as a calling card moving forward. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for 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 specifically in the US, Latin America and Europe. As an international film business specialist 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 is intimately familiar with how independent films are financed and made profitable all over the world and will share what he knows exclusively about the European market with the Stage 32 community. David will focus on the European market and walk you through what you need to know to finance your independent film, EUR1MM or less, and leave profitable. He will begin by explaining what a EUR1MM or under budget looks like, whether it’s considered a small film or microbudget, and how it compares in the larger worldwide film market. He’ll delve into how film financing works specifically in Europe, including a breakdown of soft money sources versus hard money sources, debt financing versus equity financing, tax and location incentives, and film funds and government support. He will also discuss working with a co-production as a financing tool. He will highlight how European film financing is different compared to other regions and the different levels of film financing to consider: European, national, and regional. David will next demonstrate the importance of language, culture, and collaboration and will then teach you what specifically Europe can offer for both European and non-European productions, including incentives, co-productions, diversity, talent, and shooting locations. He will explain how to approach your film as an asset, how to see yourself as an entrepreneur, and how to see filmmaking as a business. David will then go over the continental circle of financing, distribution, and investment recoupment and will explain how risk mitigation works for European film projects. Next he will discuss managing revenue and rights, as well as managing recoupment as a whole. He will spend time delving into European film contracts, including distribution agreements, CAM agreements, and sales agency agreements. David will ultimately illustrate whether European films can be profitable and how, and analyze with you when a European film can be considered successful, whether it breaks even or finds profitability. Plus, David will show a case study of a real EUR1MM European film to illustrate how a film of this level can be profitable and exactly how the money flows through from beginning to end. He’ll show financing documents and spreadsheets to illustrate the financing structure and demonstrate how money flows in and out. Through this detailed and practical demonstration, you will leave with strategies and a deep understanding of how to approach your own EUR1MM film as an entrepreneur and build a finance structure that will leave you and your investors profitable. This Stage 32 Webinar is Part 2 in David’s "Think Like an Entrepreneur" series. Click here to check out David’s webinar on being profitable in US marketplace with a sub-$1MM film. 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.
So you want to shoot a micro-budget film. You've got your idea. You're excited as hell. You can't wait to get going. There's just one problem. You have little to no money, need to shoot this film on the cheap, and you can't do it without an experienced crew. So how can you get quality, talented people to work for you for little to no money? It happens every day. If you know how to navigate. The old saying goes, a filmmaker is only as good as his or her crew. Making sure that everything is buttoned up on set, from your script supervisor to your sound engineer to your DP and gaffer, the more quality you throw at your film in pre-production and during production, the less headaches and "let's try to fix it in post" problems (which are also painfully expensive) you'll face in post-production. The thing is, regardless of your budget, and in this case we're talking ultra low to $250,000, you can find passionate, creative, and qualified people to work for you well below their normal rate. Barry Andersson is an award-winning director and cinematographer. He has directed 5 feature films (time and time again with some of the best crews imaginable) and has had his features theatrically released in theaters with his latest film distributed by Lionsgate. Barry's has also shot several television pilots, acclaimed short films, numerous commercials, and countless commercials and corporate videos. As if that wasn't enough, Barry is also the author of the hugely successful and revered DSLR Filmmakers Handbook. Barry will teach you how to secure top level, Hollywood quality, crew members for cheap no matter where you live in the world. He will instill in you the confidence to identify and then go in for the proper "ask". He will show you why sometimes a positive and visionary attitude is everything. He will even teach you how to be flexible with your story and locations in an effort to give yourself the best chance of finding and securing a crew that can take your film from OK to masterpiece. PRAISE FOR BARRY'S TEAHCINGS: Barry is an excellent teacher. He never fails to inspire and make you understand that what you always believed to be impossible, or at least ridiculously daunting, is not only possible, but absolutely attainable if you follow his methods. I wouldn't be where I'm at without him. - Julia V.
Hello Creative Army! Read any of the trades right now and our industry is in a rapid state of change. From streamers in the race for original content, to companies making acquisitions and, of course, the Great Content Gold Rush still in full force, it's a lot to keep up with. The entire Stage 32 team is on the phone every day to keep their fingers on the pulse of what's happening. It's exciting time for you as a content creator - whether you work in film, television or digital - and it's equally exciting for content makers because the world has opened wide to international voices traveling beyond borders. We are seeing more and more diverse voices represented in the shows and films we watch and it's only the beginning. Since 2011, the Stage 32 team 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 comfort of your own home. ALL creatives and professionals are welcome. Looking to further your craft? Now's the time. Looking to learn more about the business? We'll get into that. Want to find out what I'm hearing from our roster of execs what's going to be happening industry wide throughout the rest of 2023? It's in here. All you have to do is register and I'll provide a couple of hours of no-holds-barred shop talk to get you ready to conquer your entertainment career. Again, all creatives and pros are welcome to join no matter your profession(s), skill level, or geographical location. 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 on your social media channels, your email lists, and through your online groups to join us as well. 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
We're excited to take a peak behind the curtain into the mind of a film festival director to talk about what they look for when programming a festival. We've brought in the co-founder and co-director of the Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival, Daniel Sol, to go over the everything you need to know when you are considering submitting your short film to a festival.
Having a great idea for a television series or movie is one piece of the writing process. But introducing characters into your world, characters with layers and depth and nuances and flaws, is a huge piece of the writing process that often missed. Whether you're a new writer or someone that's more experienced, creating grounded and believable characters can always be challenging. Yet if you can clear this hurdle and paint fantastic characters, it’s no holds barred. There can be something very intimidating about creating people out of nothing and building your story's characters from scratch. In the real world, people are complicated, nuanced, and hard to fully nail down or encapsulate. Yet creating an incomplete representation of a person and a less-than developed character is instantly noticeable to the audience, and of course to decision makers and actors who might be considering your script. It's a process that would be a lot easier with a shortcut, and a spelled out guide for how to develop your own story's characters. Believe it or not, though, this writing hack already exists. Sara B Cooper is an accomplished and experienced TV writer and producer with over 30 years in the industry writing for standout shows like THE X-FILES, CHICAGO HOPE, HOUSE, and HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREETS. Over her storied career, Sara has learned from and worked with TV icons like Chris Carter, David E. Kelley, Tom Fontana, David Mamet, and Eric Roth. Beginning her writing career on science fiction shows like STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, Sara has been able to pivot to other genres like police procedurals, medical dramas, and even feature films like LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER with Angelina Jolie. Sara continues to write and consult on many TV projects in both the U.S. and Canada and serves as a writing coach and mentors young writers through the WGA and WGC. Sara's deep experience writing characters, producing character-driven television shows and coaching newer writers to find their own voice has given her valuable knowledge in the art of character development, as well as useful tools and shortcuts any writer can apply to their own project. During this information packed webinar, Sara will show you a surprisingly effective strategy and shortcut to help build out your own characters and aid them in being three-dimensional, authentic and memorable. This method is based on the Enneagram, a model that explores nine personality types. Using the Enneagram as a guide, Sara will show you how to better define your characters, explore how they should interact with each other, and dig into more nuanced factors like speech patterns, reactions, behaviors. Sara will show you how to use this model not only for your TV or feature script, but also for your bible, character descriptions, and pitch. Leaning on notable examples and case studies to help, Sara will demonstrate how her Enneagram model may be the key you're missing to fully developing your own characters and making your project more desirable for execs, producers and other decision makers.
Every year tens of thousands of filmmakers go out to market or submit to festivals with the hope of getting their films distributed, only to learn that by not taking the proper steps to deliver a cleared film, they're dead in the water. In a recent survey in a popular filmmaking magazine, over 40% of filmmakers had never heard of clearances and 75% didn't know how to go about clearing their film. Managing clearances ahead of time can save you huge headaches down the road. Not only will you allow yourself the best chance to secure a sales agent and/or distribution for your film or project, but you will protect yourself legally! The last thing anyone wants after all the time and effort it takes to make a film is to find out it's being held up by expensive legal issues. The truth of the matter is, understanding and working through the issues associated with clearances is not as difficult as it sounds. It does however require knowledge, focus and discipline. It requires someone keeping an eye on the entire shoot and that begins with a script breakdown report and continues throughout production. To teach this all important webinar, we're bringing you two times the knowledge! First, Stephanie Weier is the CEO/Founder of The Domain Group. Holding a passion for filmmaking, branding and legal compliance, Stephanie has worked on building The Domain Group to be a leader in the industry with 20 years of service working for studios, indie producers, game companies, web content and commercials. Founding the company in 2001, Stephanie has lead The Domain Group to having completed over 1000 films in 15 years. She holds a EJD in Contract and IP Law from Concord Law University. Lori Dalton is the President of The Domain Group and is one of the most comprehensive and detailed clearance analysts in the industry. Her project management ability has helped position The Domain Group as both a clearance house and branding company. Combined, Stephanie and Lori have over 40 years of experience. Their company has over 1,000 credits including Happy Death Day, Breaking Bad, Crazy, Stupid, Love (Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell), Blue Valentine (Ryan gosling, Michelle Williams) Edge of Darkness (Mel Gibson) Gimmie Shelter (Vanessa hudgens) and Ray (Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington) to name a few! Together, Stephanie and Lori will lead you through the land of clearances, so you can concentrate on making the film you want to make without worry! Stephanie and Lori will teach you how to make sure your delivered project is a rockstar with distributors, and why a little more work in this area during pre-production and production can save you lots of time and money down the road. They'll start by showing you the details of a script breakdown report and explain why you need to have one. Then, they'll dive into the world of clearances, big and small so you know exactly how to handle each situation. On the fence about what to clear? They'll explain what you need to clear and what to leave alone. They'll explain what to do if your clearance request is denied. They'll also explain the all important difference between featured use and background use and why the distinction matters more than you think. They will break down title reports and copyright reports and discuss trademark law. And, most importantly, they will show you exactly what you need to do to protect yourself in case you are challenged legally in any way. Don't overlook this all important aspect of the filmmaking and producing process! Lori and Stephanie will have you navigating the world of clearances like a pro and assuring you're protected from the start of pre-production. PRAISE FOR STEPHANIE AND LORI'S TEACHINGS: "These women rock!" - Laurie T. "A masterclass. So, so, good!" - Monica H. "This is one of those subjects that prevented me from moving from screenwriting to making my own films. I always worried that I would do something wrong and get sued. No longer. Fantastic information delivered in a fun way." - Michael E. "I had no idea. I should have, but I didn't. Now I do. This was a fantastic webinar on a subject every filmmaker and producer - and probably writer - should understand." - Gary G.