Marla is former head of TV for Emmy Award winning writer & producer Peter Tolan's Fedora Entertainment with experience producing prime time series and award nominated television movies in multiple genres. She's worked with writers who have sold pitches to Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and have been staffed on premium cable dramas. Clients include writers who have won awards including a Nicholl Fellowship finalist, as well as published novelists. Companies like CAA and Oxygen rely on her skills as a story analyst and story development expert for people who are ready to take their writing to the next level.Writers who have worked with Marla have said, "Marla's approach has changed the way I will pitch forever" and "She has incredible ideas, tremendous patience, and a true sense of character, tone, and place" While one client called her "a fun, hip, whip-smart fairy godmother."When she's not reading scripts or selling projects, you can find her indulging in a cozy mystery, working in her garden or out at the ranch on her horses. Full Bio »
Staffing season is a high-intensity, high-stakes time. With more shows than ever looking for writers, the opportunities have never been greater, but that also means the competition has never been higher. To be considered to be part of a writing staff, you need to not only show your chops as a screenwriter, but display what you'll be like in the room. So how can you stand out to the executives and producers hiring and prove that you're going to be a team player, while bringing an original, independent voice to the table?
To be staffed in the competitive world of TV writing, you must first understand what opens the door and what keeps you in the room. Your writing must not only be on point, but you have to also be able to display a comprehension of the art of the meeting. Executives and producers are going to meet dozens if not hundreds of writers. You have to learn how to connect with them, fill their needs, and make their jobs easy! In short, you and your writing need to be sharp, interesting and memorable.
Over her very decorated and successful career as a development executive, Marla White has sat across more writers than she can remember. Marla was not only the development executive for Emmy-Award Winner Peter Tolan's Fedora Entertainment, but she's also worked with hundreds of writers who have sold pitches and shows to, and/or been staffed by, Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and just about every premium cable channel and streaming platform you can name.
Marla will discuss what executives are looking for in your writing. Whether "good" is good enough to get you in the room. Whether it's better for your work to be more memorable or sellable. She will take you through the thought process of what executives are looking for when you walk in the room. She'll discuss all aspects of a general meeting and a staffing meeting and arm you with all the tools necessary to be "good in the room" in all situations, each and every time. Plus, she'll also talk about "do's and don'ts" and how you can get invited back for the all important pitch meeting.
This webinar provides pertinent and actionable information for every level of writer. If you're just starting out in your career, what you'll learn will not only prepare you for everything mentioned above, but for preparation when speaking with managers and agents. If you're a working writer on a show looking to move to a new show and need tips on playing the networking game and how to navigate the politics, this one is for you as well!
This is some straight shooting, no B.S. information. I'm grateful that Marla pulled no punches and told it like it is. Next meeting I get, I'm owning it!
- Samantha W.
Plus, a live and in-depth Q&A with Marla!
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! For a live webinar, you will be given the link within 2 business days after the live session.
We've brought in veteran development executive Marla White to give you an ultimate guide on dissecting the first 10 pages of a TV script from her perspective as an executive. In addition, by looking at specific examples from great scripts like “Justified,” “Weeds,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Modern Family” and more, she's going to break it down for you why and how those pilots succeed where others failed and how to apply that to your script. Marla has worked with writers who have sold pitches to Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and have been staffed on premium cable dramas.
The game has changed in TV and film auditions, and it has become the industry norm for agents, casting, and production to meet with talent over Zoom or other virtual conferencing platforms. One of the biggest challenges you'll face as an actor in today's market is how to conquer auditions over Zoom, and, if you want to nab a role, you'll need the skills to sell yourself in this new virtual environment. Virtual auditions are here to stay, yet it presents a unique challenge for you as an actor to give your performance in 2D. How do you get across your passion for the role when you're used to commanding the attention of a room for an audition? How do you know if your personality comes across well? How do you handle the awkward Zoom hiccups? What about your lighting and audio? And your eyelines - where do you even look on your computer? If you can adapt to these unique changes, then you'll be sure to master your meeting and win the role. With help from one of the top acting coaches in the US exclusively through Stage 32, you'll walk away knowing the techniques for dynamic and clean Zoom auditions, as well as the confidence to knock them dead. Guiding you is Erik Lingvall of Catapult Acting Studios who is one of the go-to coaches for TV and film actors throughout the country. You've seen Erik's clients in projects like STRANGER THINGS, OZARK, THE WALKING DEAD, Disney's RAVEN'S HOME, CSI, THE HATE U GIVE, Nick's ALL THAT, SHORT TERM 12, TERMINATOR GENISYS, BATMAN V. SUPERMAN, and many more. Now, he's bringing his methods to the Stage 32 community. In this jam-packed webinar Erik will help you master your mindset preparing for your Zoom audition, help you get your environment set up the best way possible and he'll walk you thorough all the potential pitfalls you should be prepared for and how to handle them. These are all crucial to ensuring you nail your Zoom audition. Don't miss all this knowledge from one of the best acting coaches in the US!
Reality television is more popular than ever as more networks and streamers are greenlighting more reality than any time in history. New shows like Netflix’s INDIAN MATCHMAKING and SELLING SUNSET are finding huge audiences while classics like MILLION DOLLAR LISTING and DEALIEST CATCH continue to find success and spinoffs years later. But it is hard – perhaps harder than ever - to lock in the right on-camera talent sell a new reality concept. The early steps of creating a reality TV concept and finding and locking in the right talent are critical – not just for selling a project but making sure it will work once you get a green light. Yet if you’re able to find the right talent, the right concept, and the right vehicle for your unscripted series, you may have just found a hit that will not only make it to series on a streamer or network, but thrive in today’s landscape for years to come. Creating the perfect new reality show often comes down to finding the right on-screen talent that will pop on camera and find an emotional connection with the millions watching at home. Yet it takes a delicate balance and lot of boxes that need to be checked in order to find this. It can also come down to how the directors and producers work with and treat the talent to ensure they come across well on screen. There are countless mistakes newcomers make when putting together their show, onboarding their talent, conducting interviews, and more, but avoiding the biggest mistakes and going in with a clear plan can make your show come to life and find success. Jim Milio is an Emmy nominated producer, director and writer of reality television with more than 30 years in the business. His credits include RESCUE 911 which ran for 7 seasons on CBS and starred William Shatner, DOG WHISPERER starring Cesar Millan, which ran for 9 seasons on National Geographic, TRUE DETECTIVES for CBS, DISCOVERY CHANNEL ECO-CHALLENGE for Discovery, ROSWELL: STARTLING NEW EVIDENCE for SyFy, and TAKEDOWN for TruTV, among many others. Milio is currently writing, directing and producing the new reality series OPERATION HIDDEN TREASURES that will air on Discovery later this year. Jim is also an author whose latest book Jim's Hollywood Finty Stones, describes how you can break into the industry, illuminated by true tales of his encounters with Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, Will Ferrell, Nia Vardalos, Liza Minelli, Robert DeNiro and dozens more. No one knows better than Jim how to find ordinary people and make a hit show with them, and he’s ready to share his secrets with you. Over an in-depth 90-minute presentation, Jim will break down how you can create and develop a successful reality show by finding and working with the right on-screen talent. To do so, Jim will explain the reality show landscape today to give you a sense of where you can fit in, before diving deep into how you’re able to find and lock in the right talent for your show. He’ll discuss critical aspects like getting rights, interviewing people the right way and what it looks like to build a series around an existing company or business. He’ll even give you tools on how to protect yourself and your talent along the way, so when a network or streamer says yes, you can be sure you’re not fired off your own project. If you have a great idea for a reality show or want to get into this lucrative business, it’s imperative you hear from an expert like Jim first.
You have a story idea in your mind and you just know it will make a great movie or TV show. You either day dream or stay awake at night with characters entering your head wanting to be given life on the page. You have notes jotted down of scene ideas, pieces of dialogue or inspiration you could see in a script. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, you are on the path to being a screenwriter, but, where do you start? Screenwriting is a special art form unto itself - it takes a fertile, vibrant mind to develop story and character, yet immense discipline of the writing craft. Too many writers try to jump into this insanely competitive field with little to no training. It takes 5-10 pages of a screenplay for a professional to know whether or not you know the basics of screenwriting, so don't you want to give yourself the best chance to stand out as a professional? It's important you understand the craft to make sure that when you do get your script in front of a decision maker that yo have a competitive advantage to get them past page 10. Mary Cybriwsky produced Joe Dante’s BURYING THE EX, starring Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario and Oliver Cooper, as well as executive produced STICKY NOTES starring Ray Liotta, Rose Leslie and Justin Bartha. Prior to opening production/management company Scooty Woop Entertainment in 2009 with Frankie Lindquist, Mary worked in all aspects of film development and production as an executive at Mosaic Media Group / Atlas Entertainment under the prolific producer Charles Roven and his team, on projects such as THE DARK KNIGHT, GET SMART, THE INTERNATIONAL, THE BANK JOB, amongst others. Mary is a disciplined teacher of the screenwriting basics and in an exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Class, Mary broke down in four jam-packed sessions what you need to know about the basics of screenwriting. If you are brand new to the screenwriting profession, or a seasoned writer who wants to brush up on your skills, this class goes over the basics of screenwriting to perfect your craft. The objective of this 4 session class is to cover basic screenwriting formatting, 3 act structure, characters, plots, themes, what to write and what NOT to write, but Mary will go over so much more! Best of all, the class sessions are available immediately to watch on demand at your leisure! You Will Receive These Handouts: Title page format spec sheet Sample screenplay page, broken down section by section with descriptions Screenwriting dialogue tips Plus! You will get these pilots to download for FREE: Feature Film Scripts LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE ALL YOU NEED IS KILL (movie version changed title to: EDGE OF TOMORROW) PARASITE THE TRIAL OF CHICAGO 7 GET OUT GREEN BOOK THE BIG SICK INSIDE OUT Television Pilot Scripts THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT BREAKING BAD MODERN FAMILY FLEABAG BARRY GAME OF THRONES Testimonials about Mary's Class: "Loved Mary's teaching process! Will definitely take other classes if she offers them in the future." - Jessica R. "Very good basic introduction course!" - Diana B. "Mary makes learning the basics of screenwriting easy and welcoming. I have a lot to think about." - Harry M. "After this class writing is no longer scary. I can't wait to type FADE IN!" - Paul M.
Learn directly from Melissa Daykin Cassill, Vice President of State Street Pictures (Faster, Beauty Shop, Barbershop, Notorious, Nothing Like The Holidays) The Hangover, Bridesmaids, Little Miss Sunshine. What is it, exactly, that makes these comedies stand out from the crowd? With so many different types of comedies in the marketplace, it is becoming the toughest genre to break into. More executives are turning to A list comedians to write than actual screenwriters, so how do you get an executive's attention? How do you get past executives that have different senses of humor, jokes that don't translate internationally, and storylines that can easily get deemed outdated a year later? Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you our 4 week online intensive class How To Write A Fresh, Stand Out Comedy taught by the Vice President of State Street Pictures, Melissa Dayin Cassill. In this hands on 4 week course, you will learn the importance of the emotional crescendo of a comedy script, how to balance the comedy with the humanity of the characters, and how to pitch your comedy script once you're ready, all while molding your pages under Melissa's supervision. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards strengthening your pages, this class will help you craft your writing into a fresh stand out comedy script that will grab executives' attention! Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Melissa is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.
2 part class taught by Jessica Sitomer, writer, producer and entertainment career coach! AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! Everyone says, “It’s all about who you know”. But when you're an introvert, this is A LOT easier said than done. If meeting new people isn't your forte, and if the idea of approaching someone you don't know gives you anxiety, you can feel at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to finding opportunities. The problem is, though, the less you network, the more challenging it can become, which leads to you networking less, and the vicious cycle takes over. Even in today's world where networking has turned virtual, this can still be incredibly daunting for anyone who isn't extroverted. In reality, no one likes networking, but it is a necessity in this industry. If you are going to get ahead you need to connect with people. The best resume and cover letter in the world can't compete with good old-fashioned human connection, and you will be hard-pressed to find anyone successful in the film and television industry who didn't find a break by meeting and getting to know the right people. But how do you start a conversation? And how do you know you're saying the right thing?? It can seem scary, but it's absolutely achievable, and even for the most introverted among us, there are strategies and exercises to help take away the fear and allow you to network. Let us help. Industry veteran Jessica Sitomer has over 20 years in the industry as a development executive, producer, writer and career coach for the Cinematographers Guild. Through the years she has perfected the art of relationship building - helping creatives grow their networks from one to two people to hundreds to thousands. When she moved to Los Angeles, she knew two people and one of them moved the day after she got to LA. She made it her mission to learn how to survive and thrive in the creative industry. And survive and thrive she has. Not only is Jessica's network huge, but she has also written three best-selling books on the subject of networking and relationship building, And… Action! Powerful, Proven, and Proactive Strategies to Achieve Success in the Entertainment Industry, The Greenlight Coach and You Got This: For Those Who Work Hard and Play Hard - How to go From Burnout to Bliss. In this exclusive two-part class, Jessica will teach you ideal strategies for various networking situations, both physical and virtual, as well as how to develop a clear follow up plan so your networking pays off. Jessica has geared her presentation specifically to introverts and those of us who face anxiety and fear when meeting new people. In the first class, Jessica will discuss the obstacles of networking and how to overcome them. She will cover the do's and don'ts for introverts, how to network when you “don't like people”, how to network when you don't have the time and more. In the second session, Jessica will run through actual conversation and icebreaking scripts to help you craft conversations that will make you look great. She will also cover how to turn those conversations into relationships that you can maintain and how to follow up in your networking to make sure it pays off. Lastly, she will teach you how to maximize a networking opportunity when you're an introvert, and how to read non-verbal clues in social interactions. Praise for Jessica's Stage 32 Class "I thought that Jessica was wonderfully engaging and answered all the questions fully with great insight. I also feel more confident because of how confident she is. I will be recommending her to all my friends!" – J. Gaffney "Great to know HOW to network. Loved the personal stories and hadn't thought of that. Gave me the courage to contact a producer that I'd worked with before and in the conversation he told me he had some story ideas that were right up my alley. We'll see if it works out. Thanks much!" – D. Meyer "Great personality! Made us feel like you were really there to help! Thanks so much!" – D. Levy "I really appreciated all of the advice and the passion in the delivery. I hope to take it to heart and use it to help me succeed". – T. Scharf Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Jessica is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!