For over 25 years, Michael Mandaville has worked as a line producer on countless projects, ranging from shorts and independent features to large blockbusters like the TAKEN, TAKEN 2 and TAKEN 3 starring Liam Neeson. His other producing credits include HAVOC with Anne Hathaway, THE KISS with Terence Stamp and Billy Zane and AMERICAN HISTORY X with Edward Norton. In addition to producing, Michael has directed commercials, shorts, a documentary and industrial films. He has also worked on MANAHI, an Arabic language comedy which was the first film shown in Saudi Arabia in 35 years. Michael’s long history in the world of line production makes him the perfect person to speak to this industry, and he’s keen to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
Learn the essential skills to enter the lucrative career of line producing from an accomplished line producer with over 25 years experience producing blockbuster films.
The job of a line producer certainly involves its fair share of number crunching and pre-planning, but it doesn’t end there. A large part of the job is to understand the ‘path of compromise’, which is especially necessary in the independent film and indie streaming worlds. The director will often have may have a vision or demands that exceed the resources and funding available, and it’s up to the line producer to find the middle line and retain the artistic vision without going outside of the project’s financial means. This is no easy task, and excelling in this area is what separates the great line producers from the rest. But how do you develop this skill? And how can you break into the field of line producing in the first place?
For over 25 years, Michael Mandaville has worked as a line producer on countless projects, ranging from shorts and independent features to large blockbusters like the TAKEN, TAKEN 2 and TAKEN 3 starring Liam Neeson. His other producing credits include HAVOC with Anne Hathaway, THE KISS with Terence Stamp and Billy Zane and AMERICAN HISTORY X with Edward Norton. In addition to producing, Michael has directed commercials, shorts, a documentary and industrial films. He has also worked on MANAHI, an Arabic language comedy which was the first film shown in Saudi Arabia in 35 years. Michael’s long history in the world of line production makes him the perfect person to speak to this industry, and he’s keen to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community.
Michael will walk you through the role of line producer, how to find opportunities and how to best to succeed in this position. He will begin by explaining the reason for the line producer position and how it differs from the role of unit production manager. He’ll go through common challenges of the line producer and how best to overcome, including mastering the “Line Producer Mindset”. Next Michael will explain what the career pathway looks like for aspiring producers and how you can find opportunities in the microbudget, independent and studio worlds. Michael will dive deep into the line producing process, going into scheduling, budgeting, and dealing with rates. Finally he’ll provide tips on how to find work as a line producer.
Through Michael’s rundown, you’ll leave with a much clearer idea not only to how to find work as a line producer, but how to succeed and build a career for yourself once you do.
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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!"
**Learn the art of TV joke writing from long time TV comedy writer Kirill Baru and participate in an actual episode punch up room, working to improve scenes from a notable TV comedy.** Jokes don’t just come out of nowhere, and their success is completely reliant on the medium. Things that are funny in conversation or in front of an audience might not be funny on a television show. This is why being “naturally funny” just isn’t enough to make a funny series with great jokes. It takes an understanding of the medium and insight into the types of jokes that work on television. It also usually takes a team of people in a punch up room setting, utilizing multiple perspectives and senses of humor to arrive at the best joke for each situation. Understanding how to find the best jokes in an episode script and learning how to operate successfully in a punch up room setting will help make your own comedy pilot funnier and can give you the tools to be a more desirable member of any TV comedy writers room. Kirill Baru is a sitcom writer and executive producer who has staffed on and sold a variety of live-action and animated comedy shows like Freeform’s BABY DADDY and the critically acclaimed animated show DAN VS. on the HUB. He’s also written and produced several comedies in the kids space, from Disney’s SYDNEY TO THE MAX to Cartoon Network’s MAD: THE ANIMATED SERIES. When Kirill isn’t staffing on shows, he’s developing projects with networks such as Disney and Netflix. He attributes his career to writing comedy that finds a way to have a lot of edge without ever losing any of its heart. Kirill is very familiar with punching up TV scripts, finding ways to make them funnier and finding success in a TV punch up room. In this special extended workshop, Kirill will teach you how to craft effective jokes for any TV comedy. He’ll break down where good jokes come from and the elements needed to make a joke work. Kirill will also lay out the main types of TV jokes you can draw from and walk you through important comedy terminology that’s used in every writers’ room and punch up room. He’ll also go through how to make jokes work with an eye towards scene construction and explain what makes a great punch up room for any TV comedy. Kirill will then lead a TV comedy punch up room, similar to how real TV comedies run them. Everyone who signs up will be able to participate in this room and work with the group to add jokes, fill in pitches, and create alt docs for two scenes of an episode of an actual notable TV comedy. Kirill will provide feedback and analysis or all of the joke pitches. If you’re interested in breaking into TV comedy, it’s so important that you know how to craft great jokes in this specific medium. This workshop is the perfect way to help you get there. Praise for Kirill's Previous Workshop "The workshop was awesome! Going through this workshop and seeing the end result produced by our team of writers (classmates), not only shed light into how the sausage is made, but also showed me that this is something I can actually do. Well worth the investment!" -Kane B. "Kirill's workshop was a great experience. He's a natural teacher, professional, insightful, and encouraging. It was not only educational but practical, allowing the attendees to punch up an actual script as if in the writer's room, followed by him, putting on his showrunner hat and reviewing what had been created by the group. I would highly recommend anyone interested in working as a professional writer, with dreams of being in the writer's room to attend one of his classes." -Dave W. "This was the best online class tv writing class I’ve ever taken. There is only so much the brain can grasp and retain in a lecture format. Kirill did an amazing job structuring the class and providing an in the moment experience — the best way to learn. Thank you." -Barbara G.
Working in the entertainment industry means you’ll inevitably come across all different types of people – most of whom are passionate, opinionated and sometimes very stubborn. This will inevitably produce confusion, tension, drama, and tough choices all along the way. But, what do you do when faced with the notorious “difficult” personality, especially when they are crucial to getting your project to the finish line? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you’ll learn how to spot the troublesome ones, be less troublesome yourself, and generally learn some important tools of the trade when faced with the difficult personality. Your teacher, Adrienne Biddle, has worked as a studio executive and independent producer producing dozens of movies, most recently Stephanie with Blumhouse Productions and He's Out There with Screen Gems. The goal is to teach all different types of creative people how to work better together so your project doesn’t fall apart in these moments of crisis.
Animation is one of the few types of productions that hasn’t slowed down or halted due to the pandemic. Since it’s possible for the bulk of the work of animated films and television to be completed from home or while socially distanced, animation has been flourishing as more players are turning to this format. With these ongoing changes in animated film and television production and financing, it’s now more important than ever to develop solid relationships to get into animation, and especially with overseas animation studios to successfully produce your own animated project. The truth is you’ll be hard-pressed to find many animated projects that are fully financed and produced in America. In fact, well over half of the work of most animated projects is done overseas, and that number is only rising as the industry continues to change. Working with overseas company is the norm and something that might be necessary if you are working towards producing your own animated project. Yet there’s more to gain in working with companies overseas than simply avoiding being left behind. Working with other countries opens the door for better tax breaks and lower cost and overhead. Going global might be the best step you can take in making your animated project a reality, but it requires a deep understanding of how this pipeline works and how to get your foot in the door. Mike Disa is the director of the hit Netflix series PARADISE PD and has been in the animation industry for over twenty-five years. Mike found success working with studios such as Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. A favorite and fixture among the Stage 32 community, Mike has directed and produced movies and television with over a dozen overseas partners and wants to tell you how it's done. Mike Disa will walk you through the why and how of producing your animated project with an overseas company to best position it for success. He’ll begin by explaining the three basic models of animation production and how each works within a global pipeline. He’ll then explain why you should work with an overseas animation company and will outline both the benefits and negatives of doing this. He’ll then give you tools in how to best start a relationship with an overseas company and explain the difference between an overseas company, an overseas company with American offices and an American company with overseas offices. Next, Mike will explain how financing works with overseas companies and what these companies are looking for in an American partner. He’ll then delve into how the crash of movie theaters has affected the overseas markets and partnerships. Next he will focus on the impact Netflix animation has had on the industry as a whole and address the question “is everything bad Netflix’s fault?” Mike will teach you about how ownerships and participation work when working with overseas animation companies and will delve into why Chinese and Indian money is different than other money. Finally he will spend time explaining the problems Brexit is causing and how you can navigate these issues. Through covering these topics, Mike will give you a thorough blueprint of how to think and work globally and give your animated project success. Praise for Mike's Stage 32 Webinar: It was really advanced stuff, and great advice. I appreciate that he was willing to stick around as long as he did to answer questions. -Shari E. I loved the wealth of content and Mike's humor. -Prema R. "Amazing" - Nilfredith S. Loved the host and the webinar! Mike’s knowledge is sound and extensive. His vision for what’s happening now and what we are to expect in the future is brilliant. I could listen to him forever. -Jane D.
Learn directly from Heather Hale, an NBC Universal-approved independent film and television producer, director and screenwriter with over 50 hours of award winning television and feature films! Actors are the essential spark to any film or television production. But before you can NAIL that audition or BOOK that role, you have to find out about the opportunities and prepare to make your own luck. Working Film and TV Director/Producer, Heather Hale uses in-the-trenches humor, candor and real world examples to illuminate the many ways of making your acting dreams come true. Don’t sit around and wait to be discovered – produce your own career! Discover an empowered approach to networking to help you get on the right people’s radars, get noticed, gain momentum - and get those gigs. Learn time-proven techniques and new resources to proactively brainstorm where the opportunities of the moment – and future - might be, who’s doing the auditions – and trace any connections you might have to the decision makers or key players to get in the right rooms – the right way – and ready to give it your all. Learn how to identify, research and prioritize a finely honed hit list of Casting Directors, Directors, Producers, Agents and Managers who are in a position to cast. Figure out how to track them down, strategize the best approaches to communicate with them and how to develop the kind of track record, headshot, resume, website and auditioning skills they’ll most likely respond to. PRAISE FOR HEATHER'S TEACHINGS: "Using Heather's techniques and system, the day after her seminar, I had meetings set up with Oprah and Warren Buffet and now have access to A-List celebrities." - Sarano Kelly, #1 Motivational Speaker on Wall Street "It was that sticky, oppressive day in China Grove, in the church parking lot, when you took time out of your busy day to thank EVERYONE - including extras – for being there and helping out. That speech made me feel as if I was back on the right track with my life and made you an instant hero in my life. So few people would have taken the time to not only show their appreciation but also to treat even random Extras with kindness and respect – I couldn't help but be impressed. That might help explain why I not only consider you to be the best Director I've ever worked with but also why I'll always be willing to help you out with anything." - Kevin McDermott, Actor (Absolute Killers) "If – and when – I win an Oscar, Heather will be the first to get the thanks! Heather is so inspirational, she could raise the dead! Her knowledge and integrity amazes. A walking muse. Like a pep rally from afar. Nothing less than transformational. Heather possesses a keen understanding of how the entertainment industry operates. She was invaluable in helping me construct a game plan to define and reach my goal target audience in the most efficient, effective manner possible – to fill the theater with casting directors for my one woman show. Not only did Heather demystify the art of schmoozing but she also provided me with the tools to overcome my fear of cold calling industry folks." - Jennifer Rosen, Actress/Writer (One Woman Show: Tall Girl) "Heather is so insightful. She gives her heart and her soul to her students and their work – it’s so obvious how much she cares." - Keren Green, Director, Writer, Producer "The first time I heard Heather speak, I was captivated by her passion, insight, warmth and humor… and I immediately knew I wanted to be her friend. As I got to know Heather, I soon discovered that her immense talent is equally matched by her extraordinary generosity and that her passion for teaching and helping others is unsurpassed. She is a true gift to the Los Angeles film community." - Eve Honthaner (Titanic, Tropic Thunder, Dreamworks, etc.), The Complete Film Production Handbook, Hollywood Drive: What it Takes to Break in, Hang in & Make it in the Entertainment Industry, Founder, Film Industry Network; Instructor, USC School of Cinema "We all know this is a relationship business and in my work as a producer and educator, I have so many times found myself in the small-world scenario that converges on one name: Heather Hale. As a meta-networker myself (ie: networking is a verb and we are its henchmen), I have never met anyone as lightning quick on the speed dial as Heather." - Gabrielle Kelly, Producer, Writer, Professor "Hollywood does indeed have a heart – and it beats in this woman." - William Roetzheim, Award-winning Playwright "Heather you organized the most fabulous and informative workshops for the foundation for international film artists! You are an awesome teacher as well and I always walked away pumped!" - Evita Castine, RKO Pictures
Learn How To Close Deals With Investors And Financiers Once You Meet Them From A Multi-Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker Whose New Film, NIGHT TRAIN, is currently #1 on Hulu! There is an art to the business of fundraising that is essential to understand if you are planning on raising money for your project. How do you first approach an investor for your project? How long does it take for your relationship with your potential investor to develop into a business partnership? What financial projections and creative materials do you need to have already prepared to show them? And how can you ultimately close the deal? All these questions and more will be answered in this exclusive Stage 32 four-part on-demand class taught by multi–Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and best-selling author Shane Stanley. Shane is the founder of Visual Arts Entertainment, a film and television production company based in Los Angeles and is best-known for producing the #1 Box Office hit, GRIDIRON GANG starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for Sony Pictures and directing several Music Videos that landed in the Top 20 on VH1. Shane has successfully raised independent capital for countless films and knows how to make and keep investors happy so you can build the relationship into consistent funding for your projects forbears to come. Shane's new film, NIGHT TRAIN, that he directed, edited, and produced is currently #1 on Hulu! Shane’s recent projects include MISTRUST starring Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress, Jane Seymour, the surprise smash-hit action film DOUBLE THREAT starring Dawn Olivieri and Danielle C. Ryan, and NIGHT TRAIN starring Danielle C. Ryan and Diora Baird, among many others. Over 4 information-packed sessions, Shane will teach you his secrets to raising money to help get your projects made and give you essential tips to maintain a lasting relationship with your investors. You will learn how to target potential investors for your project, how to forge a lasting relationship with them, the dos and don’ts on how to approach business conversations with your potential investor, how to effectively present your business plan, and most importantly, how to close the deal. PLUS! Shane will give you exclusive handouts to help with your own fundraising. Downloads include: An ASK and TAKE sheet from a sales agent Email templates on how to approach investors For anyone looking to make their film or series a reality by raising capital, this class is an extraordinarily beneficial and unique opportunity to learn the art and science of private capital fundraising from an industry pro! Testimonials for Shane's Previous Webinars: "Shane was thorough and encouraging. Easy to listen to and follow. I'll be signing up for other classes he teaches in the future." -Karena K. "Just straight-forward, real, the kind of producer most of us would kill to work alongside." -Clark T. "Shane was relevant, knew what was happening, and could walk the walk." -Chuck R.