After starting out her career as an actress, most notably starring as Emily in the cult classic 3 NINJAS, directed by Jon Turteltaub, Kate Sargeant has become an accomplished television writer, working on over 100 episodes of network TV on shows like CASTLE, CSI: CYBER, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS and BLINDSPOT. She has also written, directed, and produced a few of her passion projects including three short films: CHANGING LANES, FACING LIFE, and ANOTHER FOREIGN CONCEPT. In addition, Kate launched an original comedic series that she wrote, directed, and produced called YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON THE INTERNET about our obsession with social media. Most recently Kate served as a Supervising Producer on an upcoming one-hour drama for TBS entitled OBLITERATED. Kate has successfully navigated the pivot from acting to writing and is excited to share what she’s learned during this transition. Full Bio »
Whether it’s penning a feature screenplay or finding a staff position on a TV series, many actors have found new and continued success by venturing into writing. And there’s a good reason why. Transitioning from one part of the industry to another can feel daunting. But if you’re an actor, you’re not starting from scratch – you are pivoting. And in order to do so you need to recognize your strengths, utilize your previous acting experience, and build on your established relationships. Most importantly, as an actor, you already have inherent superpowers that will help you excel as a writer.
Actors are storytellers so it makes sense that at some point they may want to write their own stories. But will you be taken seriously? Can you move from being in front of the camera to behind the computer screen successfully? You absolutely can. And you don’t have to give up acting in order to do so. Ultimately, you will be able to write, pitch, and produce better because of your previous experience. So let’s hone those skills and get you ready to make that pivot!
After starting out her career as an actress, most notably starring as Emily in the cult classic 3 NINJAS, directed by Jon Turteltaub, Kate Sargeant has become an accomplished television writer, working on over 100 episodes of network TV on shows like CASTLE, CSI: CYBER, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS and BLINDSPOT. She has also written, directed, and produced a few of her passion projects including three short films: CHANGING LANES, FACING LIFE, and ANOTHER FOREIGN CONCEPT. In addition, Kate launched an original comedic series that she wrote, directed, and produced called YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON THE INTERNET about our obsession with social media. Most recently Kate served as a Supervising Producer on a one-hour drama for Sony entitled OBLITERATED. Kate just launched a new half-hour comedy series on YouTube entitled VIRTUALLY SINGLE, which she created, wrote, produced, and stars in. Kate has successfully navigated the pivot from acting to writing and is excited to share what she’s learned during this transition.
Exclusively for Stage 32, Kate will teach you how you can make the jump from acting to writing, not by starting over, but by using the superpowers you’ve already developed as an actor to take the next step. She’ll explain her own story and how she made the jump herself before explaining how you can do the same. She’ll discuss what it really means to become a writer and will then show you the superpowers you have as an actor that you might not realize that can help you with every element of writing, from dialogue writing to pitching. She’ll discuss specific challenges you’re going to need to face as an actor and will give you tools and strategies to take the first steps towards writing. She’ll finally reveal how you can use your writing to boost your acting career.
If you’ve always wanted to write but have never been sure how to make the leap, Kate will give you the tools and inspiration you’ve been looking for
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 recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
We’ve found ourselves in a true “content gold rush” for television. Over 600 shows were greenlit last year and some industry experts are predicting we may see as many as 1,000 television shows greenlit per year by 2025. Much of the attention in recent years has been on streaming platforms, but it would be foolish to overlook network dramas that continue to not only draw huge crowds, but can stay on the air for many more seasons than their streaming counterparts (can you believe GREY’S ANATOMY has had 17 seasons??). Current ratings for shows like CBS’s EQUALIZER, FOX’s 9-1-1 and NBC’s CHICAGO P.D., CHICAGO FIRE and CHICAGO MED demonstrate just how wildly successful network dramas continue to be. If you’re looking for a long-running and lucrative TV writing career, network dramas could be a powerful opportunity. Now it’s just a matter of breaking in. The opportunities are plentiful and the prospects have never been more exciting, but if you want to write for network television you need to prove that you have the chops, and this means more than just writing a pilot script by yourself; it means that you can excel in a writers’ room, breaking story with the showrunner and fellow staff writers. TV story breaking is a wholly different process than solo writing and requires a separate skillset. It’s more collaborative, it’s more flexible, and it requires the ability to pitch and defend your ideas. The ability to thrive in a television writers’ room can allow you to find real longevity in your writing career and give you the opportunity to contribute to a lot of exciting new shows coming out of this gold rush. Kate Sargeant is an accomplished television writer with especially deep experience in network procedural dramas, working on over 100 episodes of network TV on shows like CASTLE, CSI: CYBER, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS and BLINDSPOT. Kate started her career as an actress at the age of eleven, starring as “Emily” in the cult classic film 3 NINJAS, directed by Jon Turteltaub. She has also written, directed, and produced a few of her passion projects including three short films: CHANGING LANES, FACING LIFE, and ANOTHER FOREIGN CONCEPT. In addition, Kate launched an original comedic series that she wrote, directed, and produced called YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON THE INTERNET about our obsession with social media. Most recently Kate served as a Supervising Producer on an upcoming one-hour drama for TBS entitled OBLITERATED. Over the course of this intimate six-week workshop, Kate will delve into the craft of the network procedural hour drama and then lead the class through a mock BLINDSPOT writers' room, where students will gain experience pitching A, B and C story ideas for BLINDSPOT, breaking the episode script, and then practice pitching acts to the showrunner. Through both Kate’s lessons and her leading of the writers’ room, you will gain direct, practical and real-world experience that you can take with you as you pursue your own television career. WHAT TO EXPECT **Kate will be available on email during the 6 class sessions to answer any questions you have.** This workshop is designed for working and aspiring TV writers of all levels looking to learn about network drama TV writing and how to pitch and work in a writers' room. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. This lab will consist of six sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. Sessions will vary between presentation style lessons and interactive mock writers' room sessions where all students will have the opportunity to participate. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the process. To see the lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with an experienced writer/producer and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good.
If you’re a horror writer, you may have tons of great set pieces you can’t wait to terrify audiences with, but unless those pages are compelling and maintain the readers interest, your script will remain just a collection of words. The first priority of ANY writer, horror or otherwise, is storytelling. Before you make a classic horror film, you’ll need an effective and readable screenplay. Horror movies are no exception to the importance of structure. It’s not just about terrifying the audience; it’s most importantly about telling a story. The story is what makes us care about the characters and the hell they are about to go through. You could have the most original scares imaginable, but if we don’t care about the story then we won’t care about the characters who have to endure those horror set pieces. Most importantly, without elements of structure, a producer may stop reading your screenplay. If that happens, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be interested in making your film. So how do successful horror screenplays nail story structure? What are the major pitfalls most horror writers fall into and what can you do to make your script stand out from the rest? David Ian McKendry is a professional screenwriter, script consultant, and script doctor who has worked for Universal, Blumhouse, Lifetime Networks, and The Hallmark Channel as well as numerous independent production companies. He began working in the entertainment industry as a video producer and writer for Fangoria Entertainment before later putting together his own horror films, including the recent ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING, starring Constance Wu (CRAZY RICH ASIANS). Through his own experiences writing and producing horror films as well as fixing other writers’ scripts and teaching screenwriting and production to countless students and aspiring filmmakers, David has a keen sense of what makes a script successful in the horror genre and will be sharing what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. David will dive deep into how to write and structure an effective horror screenplay. He will begin by first teaching you what the horror industry looks like today, how to find work within it and what sort of horror trends are important to note right now. He’ll then break down effective structure in horror, including dissecting the cold open, Act One, Act Two and Act Three. David will conclude by providing tips on what to do with your script after you’ve written and re-written it to get it out into the world and find the attention it needs. David will be using the screenplays for 1980’s FRIDAY THE 13TH and 2017’s HAPPY DEATH DAY as case studies as he continues to break down horror film structure. Everyone who signs up for this webinar will receive these screenplays to download for free.
Using the principles learned in the Breakdown Webcast: Breaking the 4th Wall, this month members were challenged to write a short scene in which the character(s) break the fourth wall to drive the plot forward, reveal character and deliver exposition. As part of the webcast, Jason turns the microphone over to the writers to read their projects aloud for the other members in the group.
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a creative is making a living doing what you love and telling stories in a visual medium. You may have great ideas, a knack for working with others, and an eye for cinematic beauty, but it can still be very hard to break in. One path you might not have considered yet to find work as a commercial director. Commercial directing can give you opportunities to put your skills to use, to create a product that people will be able to see, and to actually tell stories. And more so, this job will allow you to do this WHILE GETTING PAID –often very well. This does not mean the world of commercial directing is easy, and you’ll find that it’s also highly competitive and tight-knit, but understanding the marketplace and landscape can very well give you the ability to break through and find work doing what you love. The industry of advertising is turning upside down right now; socially, culturally, and politically. Everyone is trying to grasp this ever-changing industry, but it’s important to remember that the more things change the more they stay the same. No matter what else is going on in the world, finding success and opportunities as a commercial director comes down to being personable to clients, communicative with your crew, knowing when to be firm or flexible in your creative approach, and understanding how to push your creative spirit out of its comfort zone. So how does the commercial filming industry actually work? What will make brands and agencies want to hire you to direct their project? And how can you apply your skills and your background to break into this lucrative field and even use it to find further opportunities in narrative film? Keith Rivers is an award-winning commercial director who has worked with clients such as Microsoft, Amazon, Delta Airlines, Unlimited Tomorrow, Porsche, McDonald’s, and Soundcloud to name a few. He has written, produced, and directed several global ad campaigns including Internet Explorer 9, where a music synchronization deal for Alex Clare begot him triple-platinum record sales and a BRIT award. Rivers also created the instantly viral Microsoft Surface launch video, which received 9 million views within the first week on YouTube and won a Gold ADDY award. Keith continues to direct large scale advertising campaigns for large and notable companies and his years of experience in this field has allowed him to become a bona fide expert in how to find success telling stories for brands and agencies. Keith will break down what the landscape of commercial directing looks like and how you as a director can break in, stay in, and even use your success to transition to narrative film directing. He’ll break down what the life of a commercial director looks like, including how much you could expect to make and what the ecosystem is between production companies, agencies, and brands. Keith will also give you tips into how to find opportunities and break into commercial directing. He will teach you how to make yourself better and more hirable with tools like your reel and spec work, and will go through how to pitch well to get a commercial directing gig. Keith will next explain how to get the directing gig and do it right by doing your best work and aligning with creatives and will finally outline how to build your career and using your work as a stepping stone to long form narrative directing. Keith will also provide a slew of examples and resources like storyboards, lists of production companies and agencies, example treatments and more that you'll be able to take with you afterwards.
In the first Executive Hour of 2021, we're bringing in Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley! Shane has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like "SEINFELD" and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG starring Dwayne Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Ent. where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, and John Travolta. During the webcast we discuss Shane's time working on - and getting fired from - "SEINFELD", producing for Dwayne Johnson, developing features with Charlie Sheen, and much more!
Comes with a live demonstration designing a page of a director's lookbook and a case study of a real lookbook Yen created for his film 1985! To be a great filmmaker you have to have the eye. The instinct. The vision. The leadership capability to be able to put together such a huge project. However this is really only half the battle for most directors. Before you can even take a seat in that director’s chair, you must be able to convince decision makers to give you the job or support our project in the first place. They need to see that you, your background, your voice, and your skill set are what the project needs. And if you don’t write your own material but instead lean into directing assignments, being able to land projects is critical to having a successful directing career. To do this effectively, it’s crucial you can share your vision through a director’s lookbook. A common hurdle directors face early in their careers is the realization that having what it takes to be a director and being able to convince others that you have what it takes to be a director are wholly separate skills. You could be able to create stunning works of cinema, but if you convince producers you have this capability, it’s not going to amount to much. A great lookbook can get decision makers excited about you and your ideas in a way a simple pitch can’t. But what does a great lookbook look like and how do directors go about making them? And how can you use this tool stand out and find the opportunities you are after? Yen Tan is an award-winning Malaysian-born writer and director who has helmed multiple projects that have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, and others. His critically acclaimed feature PIT STOP premiered at Sundance and was nominated for a John Cassavetes Awards at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Yen also co-directed UNTIL WE COULD with David Lowery (A GHOST STORY, PETE’S DRAGON), an Addy-winning PSA for Freedom to Marry that was narrated by Robin Wright and Ben Foster. His most recent film 1985, which was inspired by his Short of the Week short film of the same title, premiered at South by Southwest and became a New York Times Critic’s Pick Feature. Yen has been a fellow of Austin Film Society’s Artist Intensive, IFP’s Film Week, and Film Independent’s Fast Track and was named one of Out Magazine's OUT100 of 2018. Yen is based in Austin, where he also works as an award-winning key art and graphic designer for independent films and documentaries. His celebrated work as both a director and graphic designer has given him deep knowledge and ability to create effective lookbooks for his own projects and others. Yen will walk you through how exactly to put together a director’s lookbook that will catch a decisionmaker’s eye and help you land opportunities or find support for your own projects. He’ll begin by going through the basics of a lookbook, outlining their purpose, when you should make one, who you’re making them for and in which scenarios they’re helpful. He’ll also explain different types of lookbooks you can create, including general lookbooks and character breakdowns, and will show examples of past look books he designed to help illustrate. Yen will next delve into what a lookbook should look like, focusing on appropriate length, visual vs. text balance, typography, and how to split up page-by-page. He will also discuss how to find add images. Next he will talk about different software options—both free and paid—that you can use to make your own lookbook. Yen will even offer a live demonstration, putting together a page of a hypothetical lookbook using free online software and resources. Finally, Yen will share the lookbook he created for his feature film 1985 and discuss why he made the decisions he did in putting it together.