Ryan Little is a director, producer, and cinematographer with over 20 years of experience in the industry. His first feature SAINTS AND SOLDIERS, for which he took on the dual roles of DP and director, won 16 “Best Picture” awards and two nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards including Best First Feature and Best Cinematography. Since then, Ryan has served as cinematographer and director on a slew of projects and has directed actors like Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Sean Astin, Neal McDonagh, Gary Cole, Dolph Lundgren, and Mickey Rourke. Most recently Ryan has worked with Producer Dean Devlin on the TNT pilot BLANK SLATE and has directed TV episodes of shows like GRANITE FLATS and EXTINCT. Ryan has built a storied background and deep well of knowledge in both cinematography and directing, and is ready to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
Getting ahead is hard in Hollywood, and taking the next step in your career can be difficult when it feels like the expectation is for you to stay in your own lane. Being a cinematographer is such an exciting, rewarding, and important role on any project, but that doesn’t mean it’s where your journey has to stop. If you have aspirations to move into directing and make your own film, that path is more possible than you might think. In fact, your background as a cinematographer might even catapult you to this position, since, in an effort to save film funds, it’s becoming more common for producers to hire cinematographers who can also direct.
Many people believe that the roles of the director and cinematographer are separate, but actually they are partners in the storytelling process. This means that making the leap from cinematographer to director is not as hard as you might think. However, whether you want to exclusively direct or be a DP / director combo, you have to adhere to a certain mode of operation, master the art of collaboration, and hone your ability to speak clearly to your cast and crew in order to maximize your time on set. So how do you get that first directing job? Can you effectively direct and shoot at the same time, and if so, how do you divide your precious time between your cast and crew? With careful planning and a solid understanding of how to manage your responsibilities on set you can become the perfect “double threat” that producers love, while putting extra cash in your pocket and achieving more of your creative goals.
Using his own experience as well as his deep understanding of the industry today, Ryan will teach you how you can make the transition from cinematographer to director and use your photography background to your advantage. He will begin by broadly discussing the prospect of switching from cinematographer to director and explaining why it’s possible. He will go over how he made the transition himself as well how other notable directors made a similar shift. He will demonstrate why your background as a DP will actually make you a better director yourself. Ryan will then delve more deeply into how best to land your first job as a director, including “planting seeds” for future opportunities, playing to your strengths as a practiced cinematographer, using the connections you’ve already built, and how to create sample work to help show your value. He will also discuss the possibility of serving as a Director/DP combo on set as a way to break in, what that looks like, and how to do both roles effectively at the same time. Next, Ryan will give you the rundown of how to best tackle your first directing gig. He’ll go over the aspects of directing you can expect to come naturally and the aspects that might be more of a challenge because of your background, as well as how to let the DP role go when directing. Ryan will teach you how to best prep for your first directing gig before going on set. He’ll talk about how to create your “style guide” for the project, finding your story moments ahead of time, making a useful shot list, and how best to use storyboards. He will then talk about how to spend your time on set as a director, including how to manage your time and break up your day and how to tell the story in your coverage. He will reveal three mistakes commonly made by directors during rehearsal and will discuss when the right and wrong times to operate the camera yourself are. He will also go over finding the balance between assertive and collaborative on set and how to set the right tone. Finally Ryan will focus on working with actors from the mindset of a cinematographer, including how to speak the actor’s language, how to hold the essential one-on-one actor preproduction meeting, and what you can do to become an “Actor’s Director”. Through all of this, Ryan will give you the tools and confidence to make the switch you might have been contemplating for a while and take the next important steps on your journey to become a bona fide film director.
"I attribute a lot of my success to my background as a cinematographer. It's given me so many great opportunities and the skills to advance in my career in exciting ways. I want other cinematographers to better understand their value and potential as filmmakers, and am so excited to share what I know to empower the current DPs and future directors that are part of the Stage 32 community."
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!
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 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 hopefully profitable manner possible? One of the biggest misconceptions for talent is that producers stifle creativity. ‘The only word they know is “no!”’ or ‘The only thing they care about is money!’. The truth is, though, that building a relationship with the right producer can be a career-maker and can also make your life easier. Producers help you make connections, take all of the day-to-day questions about making a project off your plate, and can even creatively add to your series or film. But you need to know how best to use your producers if you’re going to succeed. Writers and filmmakers alike need to know how to find the right producer for them, understanding the skills different types of producers bring to the table, and finding the best way to create a good producer/talent relationship. Rachel Crouch is the Director of Development at Cold Iron Pictures, 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 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. Rachel will walk you through the nuts and bolts of finding the right producer and forming a great working relationship with him or her. She will discuss the different types of producers and how each contributes to different projects. She will then go into how to find that perfect producer, and the best ways to do research, take meetings, and woo them to get them on your side. She will also discuss the producer’s role in every phase of production—from giving notes during development, to building the team in pre-production, serving on the ground during production, and handling sound, color, and deliverables during post, among many, many other facets. Rachel will help you tackle the tricky issue of dealing with money with your producer and outline the common ways the producer-talent relationships fall apart, as well as flourish. Rachel will even provide case studies from her own background to illustrate how the producer-talent relationship helped create Independent Spirit Award winning DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, Sundance winning SWISS ARMY MAN, and SXSW nominated BEING FRANK. Like what you heard from Rachel during this webcast? Send Rachel your script and speak with her for a half-hour by clicking here. Praise for Rachel’s Stage 32 Webinars: "Very informative, Rachel is wise beyond her years." -Anthony L. "Very helpful! I learned so much and I am looking forward to going back and rewatching" -Milena W. "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." -Valerie C.
The job of the Cinematographer is to bring the Director’s vision to life. As a DP, your work is silent, but can speak volumes. You are both craftsman and technician - needing to have a keen eye as well as a sharp understanding of your tools. Few tools are more important to the Cinematographer than Pre-Production. It’s an often overlooked and underutilized process that can save your production immense amounts of heart ache, heartache, and money. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, LA-based Director of Photography, Jonathan Pope, will guide you through the Cinematographer’s vital role in Pre-Production. He'll discuss a variety of processes within pre-production, including compiling a lookbook, choosing your camera, location scouting, creating a shot list and overheads, and much more. You'll get a breakdown of the basics and discuss tips and tricks on how the Director of Photography can help the production avoid some common (and sometimes very costly) pitfalls from Jonathan's own experience. He will use documents and case studies from his most recent projects to give you an inside look at the preparation it takes to ensure you get that cinematic look on any budget. Whether you're shooting your first feature film, your passion-project short film, your tenth music video, or you're just branching into the commercial world, this webinar will benefit both indie Directors and Cinematographers. ***All attendees will receive examples of lookbooks, shot lists and camera/lighting overheads so you will be able to create your own!
Chris Moore has done and seen it all. During a career spanning over 30 years, Chris has produced films that have had multiple Oscar nominations and wins such as Good Will Hunting and Manchester by the Sea, to studio blockbusters like American Pie and The Adjustment Bureau, to independent darlings such as Waiting, to creating and starring in the critically acclaimed industry television shows Project Greenlight alongside Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and The Chair. One of the secrets of Chris' longevity in the business is a full understanding of the business. He's as plugged in as they come and he knows how to adjust quickly, swiftly, and successfully as the landscape changes - which seems to happen on a daily basis these days. Most importantly, Chris is known in the industry as a take-no-prisoners, no bullshit guy. He tells it like it is and pulls no punches, which, in this business, is welcome and refreshing. And now he's here exclusively for Stage 32 to teach you how to build a lasting career in today's entertainment industry. With the evolution of the industry causing dramatic shifts in the way you create and consume content (film, television, digital) and more content being created, bought, sold, screened, broadcast and streamed than ever before, there are more and more opportunities are being presented for a creative career. But you have to know where to look, how to position yourself, how to best present yourself and show that you have a complete understanding of where the industry is headed and how you can add significant value. Chris will discuss the current state and the shifts in the market to help you make educated decisions on the path you should take with your career in the industry to not only assure success, but satisfy the lifestyle you desire. He will also discuss where he believes the future is headed so you can be ahead of the curve in making the right decisions for you and your career. Then, Chris will make the proceedings interactive, workshopping with select attendees and discussing primary and alternative paths for their wants and goals. Some examples: For filmmakers having trouble gaining traction, Chris will go over alternative ways you can break in and gain your footing. For screenwriters who have been at it a long time and haven’t gotten their break, Chris will discuss alternatives and lifestyle choices for the current industry. For cinematographers (or other creatives) looking to move from digital shorts to streaming TV, Chris will present a path and strategies to make it happen? This is a no nonsense, detailed filled, strategy packed session designed to help ALL creatives and professionals! "Undoubtably, my favorite Stage 32 webinar yet, and that's saying something. Wow, was this a welcome kick in the ass. I love Chris' style, passion, and energy. Obviously, his experience and success speaks for itself, but as a teacher, he's a master. This was a huge land for Stage 32. I hope you bring him back again!" - Ronnie W. "I like the way Chris organized all the changes in entertainment so it was easy to understand. It's overwhelming trying to figure it out and I appreciated Chris taking the time to explain it. I also appreciated the workshopping advice. Thank you Chris." - Marisa S. "The brutal truth how Hollywood operates was eye opening, but it's best that I'm aware as I try to find my place." - Wolf O. "Chris Moore is a hero. He saved me from my doubts." - Julia C.
It’s no secret that being an actor is one of the hardest jobs there is. Facing frequent rejection, navigating high levels of competition, constantly looking for new opportunities, all while honing your craft and remaining open and vulnerable in what can be a difficult and cold industry—pursuing this career is not for the weak of heart. There are countless challenges to building an acting career, but when we put undue pressure on ourselves we may not even realize that the biggest obstacle to overcome may just be our own psyches and self-destructive strategies. It's time to change course. There’s so much information out there for actors about improving your craft, changing your auditioning chops, working with your agent, staying on top of trends, making connections, and more. It’s easy to forget that a big part of the craft simply comes down to mindset and confidence. Taking away the doubt that so often comes with performing and replacing it with swagger and confidence will help you not only win over every room, but also make smart, strategic decisions that will lead to a long and prosperous acting career. This, of course, is easier said than done, but a good first step is to learn the best tips, tricks, and traits of the most successful working actors. Jack Plotnick has been a working actor for over 20 years and has amassed over 100 IMDB acting credits in the process including SILICON VALLEY, MEET THE FOCKERS, THE MENTALIST, RENO 911 and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. He's also parlayed this success into a directing career with SPACE STATION 76 for Sony Pictures Worldwide. He has used his experience to serve as the go-to teacher for many successful film, television and voice actors including Zachary Quinto, Liv Tyler, Alyson Hannigan, and Ryan Potter to name a few. Jack has built a successful acting career for himself by adopting a mindset that has allowed him to win over the room and consistently get parts. In 10 simple and applicable steps you can return to again and again, Jack will show you how to eliminate fear, doubt, negativity and how to cut out all those detrimental voices so damaging to an actor's psyche. He will give you the tools that will provide a persistent positive mindset that will have you brimming with confidence. He will teach you how to crush every audition and put yourself in position to win every room. He will show you how to be a better actor and why you are versatile enough to handle comedy and drama roles. He will teach you how to keep your mind and spirit healthy and book more work. Expect to leave this webinar with a newfound confidence, enthusiasm, and a set of tools to take with you to start landing more roles and improving your craft. What Some of the Most Successful Actors are Saying About Jack: "Jack has an innate ability to communicate a sense of freedom. Our work together has allowed me to more reliably get out of my own way and connect to the material and situation at hand." - Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, Heroes, American Horror Story) "(Jack) taught me things that were so fucking brilliant. They are things that have stuck with me and helped me as a human being in this world." - Liv Tyler (The Leftovers, The Strangers, The Lord of the Rings) "I seriously couldn’t have done it without him. His words of wisdom are always with me." - Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Pie) "I've printed out every page of Jack Plotnick's website and made an "acting Bible" for myself." - Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs, Bridesmaids) "Right now I'm working mainly with Jack Plotnick, who's just the best acting coach ever." - Ryan Potter (voice of Hiro in Big Hero 6)
Learn directly from Jessica Sitomer, a Producer, Writer and Entertertainmant Industry Coach! Millions of people dream of moving to Los Angeles (or a new production city), and every year thousands do... and every year thousands go home. Why? Because, they had a dream but they didn't have a plan. Moving to Los Angeles (or a new production city) is challenging when you are in the entertainment industry, for many reasons. Learn why in this webinar, so you don't make the BIG mistakes that so many others do. There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to move to Los Angeles, and after coaching people who followed my system and coaching people who didn't, the results and timeframes are staggeringly different. In this webinar, I will discuss the challenges of getting work, growing your contacts, and making money and how to overcome them. Having helped many people make the move from small cities or other countries, I've developed a very specific pre-move strategy and arrival plan. Whether you’re planning a move or recently moved to LA (or another production city) this is the webinar for you.
Creating a realistic budget can make or break a film before it ever makes it into production. Where should you spend? Where can you cut? How do you stretch your dollar? In short, how can you assure you're creating the highest quality film for the lowest price? Listen, not everyone can afford a line producer. And even if you can, you want to make sure he or she is protecting your vision and your money! Understanding this aspect of the business and how a film can be put together is everything! Let's make this complex aspect of filmmaking easier, shall we? Michael Madaville (Taken, Taken 2, Taken 3 to name a very few) is one of the most respected line producers in the business. Michael has created budgets from some of the most successful indie darlings, mid-majors and studio films in the business. And now, exclusively for Stage 32, he will take you by the hand, help you problem solve just about every issue that may arise, and help you toward financial success no matter what your budget may be. Using examples from his decades in the business, Michael will walk you through examples of micro to major budget films and discuss how to reduce costs for crew, locations, materials and more and how to apply that information to get your schedule tight and your budget to where it needs to be. No more chasing funds or getting caught short during filming! Michael will show you how to get on the path to a smooth shoot well before yelling "Action!"