Karina Wilson is an independent story and development consultant with a specific focus in horror and thriller who has worked on many films including SECRET IN THEIR EYES with Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts, 13 SINS, and THE CIRCLE with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. As a story consultant, Karina has helped to shape narratives in every genre, from independent documentaries to Netflix animated series. Previously the in-house story consultant at IM Global, she is currently developing a series of Thrillers for British TV. Karina is considered an expert in the horror genre and her analysis of horror trends through the decades has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, on NPR, in medical textbooks and in documentaries alongside luminaries such as Jason Blum, Joe Dante, and Andy Muschietti. Karina is also the lead screenplay judge for niche indie horror festival, Shriekfest, and has been picking winners for them since 2007. Full Bio »
STAGE 32's HALLOWEEN HORROR SALE!
The third act of your horror movie should be an electrifying climax, delivering visceral and emotional punches and paying off all your sneaky set ups. It should thrill your audience and represent their reward for sitting through—very possibly—a lot of pain, suffering, and gross stuff. Unfortunately, too many horror screenplays fail to deliver. It’s a problem across the genre: filmmakers work hard on the set-up of their narrative ye it all falls apart in the third act of the script. If you want your horror screenplay to stand out from the crowd, then it’s time to learn how to craft an original and compelling ending that leaves your reader breathless and wanting more.
It’s easy to write a creepy first act for a horror movie. A mysterious and/or bloody teaser at the top, the entry of a vulnerable protagonist into a danger zone, a few genre tropes like unresolved past traumas, dying cell phones, a gathering storm, and grizzled locals warning the main characters to “stay away” — it practically writes itself. That’s why there are a lot of horror screenplays out there with intriguing first acts. However, by the time many screenwriters get to the third act they have —literally— lost the plot. In order to write a good ending you have to know the genre, acknowledge the tropes, and understand some of the psychological mechanisms that drive human fear. Also, you may have to rethink that suspiciously easy-to-write opening. Let's explore how to make this happen.
Karina Wilson is an independent story and development consultant with a specific focus in horror who has worked on many films including SECRET IN THEIR EYES with Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts, 13 SINS, and THE CIRCLE with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. As a story consultant, Karina has helped to shape narratives in every genre, from independent documentaries to Netflix animated series. Previously the in-house story consultant at IM Global, she is currently developing a series of Thrillers for British TV. Karina is considered an expert in the horror genre and her analysis of horror trends through the decades has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, on NPR, in medical textbooks and in documentaries alongside luminaries such as Jason Blum, Joe Dante, and Andy Muschietti. Karina is also the lead screenplay judge for niche indie horror festival, Shriekfest, and has been picking winners for them since 2007. Along with Rob Zombie, John Carpenter, Sid Haig, Tom Savini and many others, Karina can currently be seen on screen discussing horror in the documentary THE HISTORY OF METAL AND HORROR, doing the rounds of film festivals this fall.
Exclusively for Stage 32, Karina will teach you the elements of a successful horror film ending and what you can do to make sure your own horror project has an effective and memorable third act. She’ll begin by explaining how to see your screenplay through the lens of audience expectations before going over the main types of horror endings seen in feature films. She’ll delve into upping up your story stakes and show you how to find a resolution that makes sense. Karina will also discuss how you should be reworking your first and second act in order for the third act to work better. Karina will accompany her slew of tools and strategies with notable case studies and examples of notable horror films.
If you’ve been struggling to find an ending to your horror film, if you’re looking for a way to tie everything up, or if you need a way to make your script better stand out and get attention with reps, producers and execs, you’re going to want to hear what Karina has to say.
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Payment plans available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details Only Two Spots Left! Complete the first draft of your horror feature working one-on-one with the former in-house story consultant for Blumhouse and IM Global Studios and streamers are on the hunt for horror films, with new deals being struck every day for fresh horror scripts. Why can't your slasher film or creature feature be one of them? It just takes a great finished script. There is an insatiable global appetite for horror movies. From franchises like THE PURGE to lower-budget hits like GET OUT to micro-budget breakouts like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, audiences simply can't get enough. In this exclusive Stage 32 writing lab, we'll help you stop fearing the blank page as you complete the first draft of your horror script over eight intense sessions under the guidance and mentoring of Karina Wilson. Karina has worked for over a decade as a script consultant with horror houses Blumhouse and IM Global and on titles such as SKYLINE, 13 SINS, VIRAL, VAMPIRE ACADEMY, HORNS, and LORDS OF SALEM, among others. You'll meet in an online class setting where you'll network and write alongside a small group of passionate writers and you'll work with Karina one-on-one for two virtual sessions to discuss your script's progress and ensure you walk away from this course with a strong first draft. These one-on-one sessions are an invaluable opportunity to work with one of the industry's most sought-after horror story consultants. By the end of this lab, you'll have a completed feature script draft vetted by an industry expert. Even better, you'll have the first chance to join one of the limited spots in Karina's Level 3 Lab, where you'll continue to work hands-on with Karina on rewriting your draft to perfection. To guarantee that you get the most out of your time with Karina, we're capping this lab to 12 seats, and once they're gone, they're gone for good. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to work with an experienced horror writer and script consultant, and to finish a top-notch first draft of your script, which will bring your dream of seeing your horror feature on screen closer to becoming a reality. Testimonials from Karina's previous Stage 32 Education: "She delivered on the topic and gave an informative lecture. I took many notes on how to immediately improve the horror script I'm writing now. That was my goal!" - Martha C. "I thought it was very informative and the speaker was well versed!" - Loretta C.
Payment plans available - contact email@example.com for details Limited to 12 people Complete your outline and work one-on-one on Zoom with the former in-house story consultant for Blumhouse and IM Global The global appetite for horror movies is growing so fast it's almost scary. The streamers are gobbling them up and niche streamers are launching across the globe to take advantage of this trend. There is a huge need for fresh titles and ideas in this highly profitable genre. Recent horror movies like THE FOREVER PURGE was produced for $18M and grossed over $70M worldwide. THE UNHOLY was made for $1.2M and grossed $30M internationally. And then there's GET OUT which was made for $4.2M and grossed a mind blowing $240M. What do all these films have in common? A well-thought-out story, complex characters that take you on a ride, and mind-bending scares that all land at the perfect time. And each of these scenarios began with a great outline. Your outline is imperative because it helps you structure your story and character arcs before you type Fade In. Do you know your hook? Do you know your beats? Are your acts properly synchronized for maximum effect? Having a top-flight outline is often what separates a professional writer from an amateur. Now, Stage 32 is helping you craft the perfect outline in this exclusive, eight part lab. Over eight weeks in an exclusive, interactive Stage 32 writing lab, you’ll work in a virtual class setting and get one-on-one time with Karina Wilson, one of the most sought-after horror story consultants in the industry. Karina has worked for over a decade with Blumhouse and IM Global and on titles like SKYLINE, 13 SINS, VIRAL, VAMPIRE ACADEMY, HORNS, and LORDS OF SALEM. You won't just be hearing lectures from Karina. You'll be actively moving your script forward each session, and you'll meet with Karina one-on-one twice for individual mentoring. All this ensures that you walk away from this class with an outline that has been vetted by an industry professional. You don't want to miss out on riding this global horror wave. There are only a limited number of spots available for Karina's lab, and once they're gone, they're gone for good. Join Karina and take the first step in penning a horror feature that thrills producers and audiences alike. Testimonials from Karina's previous Stage 32 Education: "She delivered on the topic and gave an informative lecture. I took many notes on how to immediately improve the horror script I'm writing now. That was my goal!" - Martha C. "I thought it was very informative and the speaker was well versed!" - Loretta C.
Sometimes your story just can't be wrapped up in a neat bow with a perfect Hollywood ending. As a writer, you may weave a unique narrative and the idea of tying up all your loose ends into a neat resolution just doesn't seem right. Or, if you're a producer or filmmaker you might want to set your project up for a sequel, so you may want to have your characters riding off into the sunset once you get to the end. If wrapping up your story in perfect fashion doesn't appeal to you, why don’t you consider an Ambiguous Ending? Ask yourself: Is there an artful exit from your story that defies predictions and is both thought-provoking and exasperating in equal measure? Can you work your way towards an ending that people will argue about in the bar immediately afterwards and for months (even years) online? The Ambiguous Ending is a great storytelling trick to pull off, but it’s not easy. If you mess it up, you’re left with a confusing final reel that audiences are likely to dislike— and they’ll carry their loathing out of the theater with them. This webinar explores the possibilities and guides you past the pitfalls. The Ambiguous Ending can present major challenges for you as a storyteller: How do you lay a trail of plot breadcrumbs for your audience that seem to lead them in two directions at once? How do you develop characters who are simultaneously engaging while possibly lying through their teeth about the reality of the situation they’re in? How do you set up the rules of your narrative world so that one reality can peel off from another? How much misdirection is OK? This type of ending requires you as the storyteller to deploy a sophisticated toolkit out of the gate. Luckily, we have a story expert who served as the in-house story consultant for IM Global for nearly a decade and worked on developing films for Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level webinar Karina Wilson will look at some of the tricks and techniques you can use to create delicious doubt about the ending of your script in everyone but yourself. Praise from Karina's previous Stage 32 webinar: "Her presentation was well organized, her slides contained the right amount of information to digest and takes notes from. Her delivery was excellent." - Martha C. "I was so impressed!" - Loretta C.
Payment plans available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details Limited to 12 people - 4 Spots Remain Complete your outline and work one-on-one on Zoom with the former in-house story consultant for Blumhouse and IM Global The global appetite for horror movies is growing so fast that it's almost scary. Audiences can't get enough horror, the big streamers are gobbling them up and smaller niche streamers are launching and have a huge need for fresh titles and ideas. You've seen recent horror movies like THE FOREVER PURGE produced for $18M that grossed over $70M worldwide, a movie like THE UNHOLY get made for $1.2M that grossed $30M internationally or the ultimate jackpot like GET OUT, which was made for $4.2M that went on to gross over $240M. What all of these have in common is a well thought out story, complex characters that take you on the ride and mind-bending scares that all land at the perfect time. Every screenwriter in this scenario began with a great outline. Your outline is imperative because it helps you structure your story and character arcs before you type Fade In. Do you know your hook? Do you know your beats? Are you acts properly synchronized for maximum effect? Having a top flight outline is often what separates a professional writer from an amateur. Now, Stage 32 will help you not only craft the perfect outline, but also take you through the process of writing a complete horror script. Over six weeks in an exclusive, interactive Stage 32 writing lab, you’ll work in a virtual class setting and one-on-one with Karina Wilson, one of the most sought-after horror story consultants in the industry, who worked for over a decade with Blumhouse and IM Global. Karina has worked on titles such as SKYLINE, 13 SINS, VIRAL, VAMPIRE ACADEMY, HORNS, LORDS OF SALEM. You will leave this lab with a completed outline for your feature script and what's even better is that if you want to continue working with Karina she will move you up to a level 2 and level 3 lab where you will write your actual screenplay. You don't want to miss out on riding this global horror wave and there are only a limited number of spots available for Karina's lab and once they're gone they're gone for good. Stage 32 is offering this first class in a 3-class journey to help you get your horror feature written and ready to share with producers. Testimonials from Karina's previous Stage 32 Education: "She delivered on the topic and gave an informative lecture. I took many notes on how to immediately improve the horror script I'm writing now. That was my goal!" - Martha C. "I thought it was very informative and the speaker was well versed!" - Loretta C.
No matter how great your script or story is, it’s not going to become a reality unless you’re able to pitch it effectively to the buyers and people who can help you get it made. Yet before you can even pitch it, you have to get in the room in the first place, and find someone willing to hear what you have to say. Getting that meeting is a skill in and of itself, and you’re going to need more than a good script and a good pitch to get the ball rolling. The good news is in this ever-evolving marketplace, there are myriad opportunities to get your project in front of interested people. The better you understand the industry and the world of pitch meetings, the better your pitch will work for you. Pitching is a form of sales. Whether you are selling your script, your ideas, or yourself, it is critical to understand your audience -- who they are, how they do business, and how they will evaluate your project. The more we can analyze who we are pitching to and how they are defining opportunity and success, the better equipped we will be to get a YES, and conversely, evaluate whether the individual or company we are pitching to is well suited for us. Let’s delve into how you can make this happen. Let's start by learning directly from Jay Glazer who is a manager/producer at ROAR that represents creatives in both the talent and literary fields. His clients have appeared in Emmy-winning SHAMELESS, GAME OF THRONES, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, MAD MEN, Netflix's THE WITCHER and many more. Prior to joining ROAR, Jay worked for Brillstein Entertainment Partners and The Gersh Agency. Jay has found success in his roles by understanding how to secure important pitch meetings for himself and his clients, and he’s ready to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Jay will give you the knowledge and confidence to land the pitch meeting you’ve been working towards and nail it. He'll even offer examples of both email and phone call approaches you can use. "Jay was thorough, thoughtful and truthful while also being personable. He was so well prepared with his presentation and had concrete examples to provide that I can implement immediately."-Margaret M.
Learn directly from Morgan Long, TV Literary Department for a “Big Six” Agency This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. With the TV market exploding right now, one of the most in demand formats is the 1-hour TV drama pilot. Many, if not all, managers and agents are looking for writers that can write in this space, and with more and more production companies heading into TV, knowing how to write a strong 1-hour TV drama pilot will give you a competitive advantage and help you find success as a TV writer! Due to popular demand, Stage 32 is thrilled to bring back our 8 Week Intensive TV Drama Pilot Writing Lab taught by Morgan Long, a TV development coordinator at a “Big Six” Agency! This hands-on intensive lab will guide you through picking a concept, creating engaging characters, structuring and outlining your pilot and writing the first draft! The main objective of this 8-week lab will be to have a first draft of your script. You will meet online with Morgan for 2 hours a week in a class setting, plus have phone consultations during some of the weeks when you don't have an online class. This will be accompanied by weekly homework assignments to guide you on your way to creating a marketable, unique pilot that will grab the industry's attention. Payment plans are available - please contact email@example.com for more information. This Lab is Limited to 20 People. Please Note: Participating in this lab does not mean you are writing for or pitching to Morgan or her company. PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch.