How to Write Faith Based and Faith Friendly Films That Will Make It to The Screen

Hosted by Brad Wilson

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Brad Wilson

Webinar hosted by: Brad Wilson

Producer/Co-Founder at Higher Purpose Entertainment

In 1985 Brad Wilson began an eleven year alliance with Academy Award winning actor Robert Duvall, operating ROBERT DUVALL PRODUCTIONS in New York. This alliance encompassed eighteen feature films, among them: COLORS with Sean Penn, DAYS OF THUNDER with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, FALLING DOWN with Michael Douglas and the critically acclaimed WRESTLING ERNEST HEMINGWAY with Richard Harris and Shirley MacLaine. Wilson also worked with Duvall on some of his most memorable television roles, including the CBS miniseries LONESOME DOVE and the HBO epic STALIN shot in location in Moscow, for which Duvall won the Golden Globe for Best Actor. In 1992 the formation of BUTCHERS RUN FILMS was announced in Hollywood and Wilson as the company's Vice President of Development and Production. After only two months, the company had closed a deal with United Artists to make A FAMILY THING, based on an original idea from Duvall and scripted by Academy Award winner Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson. The film was released in February 1996, and Wilson was awarded a Humanitas Certificate for his work as Co-Producer on the movie. Mr. Wilson acquired the rights to EICHMANN IN MY HANDS, based on the highly acclaimed autobiography by Peter Malkin. After Wilson sold the idea of the story about the Israeli agent who captured the chief Nazi executioner under Hitler, Emmy winner Lionel Chetwynd was hired to write the script THE MAN WHO CAPTURED EICHMANN, which aired on TNT in 1996 with Duvall as Adolph Eichmann. In December of 1995, Mr. Wilson became Vice President of Production of GREYSTONE FILMS. There Wilson produced their first feature production, LUNKER LAKE. This family film inspired the creation of INSIDE OUTDOORS, a weekly television show for TNN, on which Wilson served as Executive Producer. The film LEFT LUGGAGE marked Jeroen Krabbe's directorial debut and starred Isabella Rossellini and Academy Award winner Maximilian Schell. Mr. Wilson served as Co-Executive Producer on the film, which premiered at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival and took home four honors. In 2000 Mr. Wilson became Vice President of Development and Production and a producing partner at HEMISPHERE ENTERTAINMENT and produced a slate of films including THE GHOST CLUB staring Britt Robinson filmed on location in South Carolina and released in December 2003. His suspense thriller ONE OF THEM and the family film UNDERCOVER KIDS enjoyed successful releases. THE GRIFT a 1940s period film was shot on location in Tennessee and released in 2007 by SHORELINE ENTERTAINMENT. SET APART starring Richard Roundtree and John Schneider was released in September 2009 by PROVIDENT/SONY FILMS. ANGELS LOVE DONUTS with The Crosswise Players filmed in Dallas and BECOMING JESSE TATE with Amanda Waters and Bailey Ann Borders filmed in Nashville were both released in 2010 by BMG. THREE BLIND SAINTS, filmed on location in Kansas City, was released late 2012. His film SLIP TUMBLE & SLIDE staring Katharine Ross and Scott Wilson was released in 2015, the family film CHRISTMAS ON SALVATION STREET, which was released November 2014. MY MANY SONS, based on the life of the most winning basketball coach no one knew, Don Meyer, was filmed in Nashville and will be released in September 2016. The film MEANEST MAN IN TEXAS from the book of the same name has just completed principal photography and will be going to film festivals and released in 2017. Mr. Wilson also co-founded POWER IN FAITH and helped develop and produce the critically acclaimed TV drama series called BELIEVERS AMONG US. The first four episodes continue to air on TBN, SKY ANGEL, CORNERSTONE NETWORK, FAITH TV, and TCT NETWORK. The series has won two prestigious Telly Awards, the Aurora Award, two Davey Awards and the Millennium Award. Also under this label, the film THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE will be released in theaters January 2017. His films have won awards at the Berlin Film Festival, The America Cinema Foundation, The Chicago Film Critics Association, Emden International Film Festival, Nederlands Film Festival, Westchester New York International Film Festival, Stony Brook Film Festival and The Santa Clarita International Film Festival. Mr. Wilson is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and a charter member of the National Radio Hall of Fame of Texas. Brad is partnered in HIGHER PURPOSE ENTERTAINMENT with Casey Bond. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Faith based and faith friendly films have been a steady, popular, and profitable industry and one of the hottest genres for success. It could be considered a niche audience, but it’s a powerful and dependable niche audience that has helped catapult films and filmmakers to success. Recent films like I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, GOD’S NOT DEAD, and THE SHACK have found popularity and impressive box office numbers by tapping into this audience and bringing out church-goers and other faith-friendly communities that might not be as eager to seek out films outside of this genre. And it makes sense that faith-based films are doing well. In challenging or negative times, people will more actively seek out positivity and inspiration, two ingredients almost guaranteed to be featured in a faith-based film. Considering how challenging and negative our current world can be, there might not be a better time to break into the world of faith-based films and write a script that can shine in this market.

Writing a faith based or faith friendly script can be tricky, as you don't want to fall into cliches and lose your audience. You might have a great idea for a script with an uplifting message and inspirational ending, but when does it cross the line from a traditional genre script to faith-friendly?  What does that audience actually look for and what do faith-based production companies seek out when considering a script? What elements in your story are off-limits and which will help you sell your script? There’s no crystal ball that can tell us 100% what works and what doesn’t in this genre, but there are patterns and constants that can be gleaned and applied to your own script. With a proper lay of the land, you’ll be able to better tackle this genre and write a script that can not only get on the screen, but inspire and uplift viewers at the same time.

Brad Wilson is the Co-founder of Higher Purpose Entertainment (HPE), a production company dedicated to telling stories in film and TV that encompass truth of character and strive to embrace inspirationally redeeming qualities. While at HPE he's produced a number of films including THREE BLIND SAINTS, CHRISTMAS ON SALVATION STREET, MY MANY SONS, THE MEANEST MAN IN TEXAS, and THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE, which was released last year in 1,100 theaters across the country. Brad is well-versed in the business of faith based films and has a keen sense of how projects thrive in this genre. He’s ready to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community.

Brad will walk you through how to create a faith based script that can both sell and have a positive impact within this specific community. Brad will begin with an overview of the faith based/faith friendly landscape and will give you a rundown of how this genre works both at a studio and in the independent space. He’ll then break down major screenwriting points of an effective faith based scripts, including average page count, characters, and plot structure. He’ll outline what makes a script faith based or faith friendly and at what point a drama script would be considered by a faith based production company. He will delve into what the faith based audience looks like and the best ways to reach them. Brad will teach you the elements that work best for a faith based script, including employing romance and a specific message. He will also go over elements to stay away from and how to balance a cross over script with “preaching to the choir”. He will also give tips on how to drive the story forward within this genre. He’ll discuss when to take feedback on your script and when to trust your gut and will give you tips on how to keep your writing real, even when it’s made up. Brad will also discuss the types of budget you should keep in mind for the best chance of success with your faith based script. Brad’s valuable rundown of the faith based genre will give you the tips and tools you need to create an amazing script that will excel within the faith friendly community.

Like what you heard from Brad during this webinar?

Brad will read your script and speak with you for a half-hour if you click here.

 

 

Praise for Brad's Stage 32 Webinar

 

"Brad was terrific! This was an excellent real world webinar. Very helpful in reinforcing some of the trends that I have been seeing in this category, and I learned a lot from today's discussion."

-Lew S.

 

"Brad was amazing. He laid out so clearly the genre and how to write for it in a practical way. He was an awesome instructor who combined practical info, inspiration, and was so "real." Loved it."

-Ricki L.

 

"This was the best webinar I've had so far at Stage 32. Brad's very seasoned and gave wonderful tips that will help me make my faith-friendly script" more marketable."

-Gayle R.

 

"A very honest, forth right presentation from a guy whose been there and done that, and knows the pitfalls and promises of the biz."

-Dennis H.

 

What You'll Learn

  • An Overview of the Faith Based Space
    • Studio vs. Independent
  • Faith Based/Faith Friendly Screenwriting Points 101
    • Page Count
    • Characters
    • Plot
  • When Does Your Script Stop Being a General Drama and Start Being Faith Based/Faith Friendly?
  • What Audience Are You Trying to Reach?
  • What Elements Work Best for a Faith Based/Faith Friendly Script?
    • Romance?
    • A Specific Message?
    • Things to Stay Away From
    • Cross Over vs “Preaching to the Choir”
    • How Do you Drive the Story Forward?
  • When to Take Feedback and When to Listen to Your Gut
  • How to Keep it Real Even if it’s Made Up
  • How to Write Keeping Budget in Mind for the Best Chance of Success
  • Q&A with Brad

 

Plus! Brad will share a script download from one of his recent successful films THE MEANEST MAN IN TEXAS, which reaches a more cross over audience, is not preaching to the choir but still faith based.

Stay tuned...in a future webinar Brad will also be going over how to produce a faith based or faith friendly script.

About Your Instructor

In 1985 Brad Wilson began an eleven year alliance with Academy Award winning actor Robert Duvall, operating ROBERT DUVALL PRODUCTIONS in New York. This alliance encompassed eighteen feature films, among them: COLORS with Sean Penn, DAYS OF THUNDER with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, FALLING DOWN with Michael Douglas and the critically acclaimed WRESTLING ERNEST HEMINGWAY with Richard Harris and Shirley MacLaine.

Wilson also worked with Duvall on some of his most memorable television roles, including the CBS miniseries LONESOME DOVE and the HBO epic STALIN shot in location in Moscow, for which Duvall won the Golden Globe for Best Actor.

In 1992 the formation of BUTCHERS RUN FILMS was announced in Hollywood and Wilson as the company's Vice President of Development and Production. After only two months, the company had closed a deal with United Artists to make A FAMILY THING, based on an original idea from Duvall and scripted by Academy Award winner Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson. The film was released in February 1996, and Wilson was awarded a Humanitas Certificate for his work as Co-Producer on the movie.

Mr. Wilson acquired the rights to EICHMANN IN MY HANDS, based on the highly acclaimed autobiography by Peter Malkin. After Wilson sold the idea of the story about the Israeli agent who captured the chief Nazi executioner under Hitler, Emmy winner Lionel Chetwynd was hired to write the script THE MAN WHO CAPTURED EICHMANN, which aired on TNT in 1996 with Duvall as Adolph Eichmann.

In December of 1995, Mr. Wilson became Vice President of Production of GREYSTONE FILMS. There Wilson produced their first feature production, LUNKER LAKE. This family film inspired the creation of INSIDE OUTDOORS, a weekly television show for TNN, on which Wilson served as Executive Producer. The film LEFT LUGGAGE marked Jeroen Krabbe's directorial debut and starred Isabella Rossellini and Academy Award winner Maximilian Schell. Mr. Wilson served as Co-Executive Producer on the film, which premiered at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival and took home four honors.

In 2000 Mr. Wilson became Vice President of Development and Production and a producing partner at HEMISPHERE ENTERTAINMENT and produced a slate of films including THE GHOST CLUB staring Britt Robinson filmed on location in South Carolina and released in December 2003. His suspense thriller ONE OF THEM and the family film UNDERCOVER KIDS enjoyed successful releases. THE GRIFT a 1940s period film was shot on location in Tennessee and released in 2007 by SHORELINE ENTERTAINMENT. SET APART starring Richard Roundtree and John Schneider was released in September 2009 by PROVIDENT/SONY FILMS. ANGELS LOVE DONUTS with The Crosswise Players filmed in Dallas and BECOMING JESSE TATE with Amanda Waters and Bailey Ann Borders filmed in Nashville were both released in 2010 by BMG. THREE BLIND SAINTS, filmed on location in Kansas City, was released late 2012. His film SLIP TUMBLE & SLIDE staring Katharine Ross and Scott Wilson was released in 2015, the family film CHRISTMAS ON SALVATION STREET, which was released November 2014. MY MANY SONS, based on the life of the most winning basketball coach no one knew, Don Meyer, was filmed in Nashville and will be released in September 2016. The film MEANEST MAN IN TEXAS from the book of the same name has just completed principal photography and will be going to film festivals and released in 2017.

Mr. Wilson also co-founded POWER IN FAITH and helped develop and produce the critically acclaimed TV drama series called BELIEVERS AMONG US. The first four episodes continue to air on TBN, SKY ANGEL, CORNERSTONE NETWORK, FAITH TV, and TCT NETWORK. The series has won two prestigious Telly Awards, the Aurora Award, two Davey Awards and the Millennium Award. Also under this label, the film THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE will be released in theaters January 2017.

His films have won awards at the Berlin Film Festival, The America Cinema Foundation, The Chicago Film Critics Association, Emden International Film Festival, Nederlands Film Festival, Westchester New York International Film Festival, Stony Brook Film Festival and The Santa Clarita International Film Festival.

Mr. Wilson is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and a charter member of the National Radio Hall of Fame of Texas.

Brad is partnered in HIGHER PURPOSE ENTERTAINMENT with Casey Bond.

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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!

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Other education that may be of interest to you:

How to Produce Faith Based and Faith Friendly Films That Will Make it to the Screen

It's not talked about as often, but faith based and faith friendly films have been a steady, popular, and profitable industry for a while now. It could be considered a niche audience, but it’s a powerful and dependable niche audience that has helped catapult films and filmmakers to success. Recent films like I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, GOD’S NOT DEAD, and THE SHACK have found popularity and impressive box office numbers by tapping into this audience and bringing out church-goers and other faith-friendly communities that might not be as eager to seek out films outside of this genre. And it makes sense that faith-based films are doing well. In challenging or negative times, people will more actively seek out positivity and inspiration, two ingredients almost guaranteed to be in a faith-based film. Considering how challenging and negative our current world can be, there might not be a better time than the present to break into the world of faith-based films and write a script that can shine in this market. The faith-based arena might be lucrative, but that doesn’t mean it’s a cinch to succeed in. It can be a complicated and difficult world to navigate. Faith based films exist firmly within the larger film and television landscape, but they still have their own specific companies, leaders, and expectations to understand. Breaking into any aspect of the film industry is hard, but there are challenges that come specifically with the faith friendly market. It’s important in this world to create a product that is wholesome and accessible for all ages and sensibilities, and navigating this tight rope is tricky, ensuring you don’t turn off any particular group. As a producer or filmmaker wanting to work in this space, it’s your job to understand this world and the different players within it. Having a strong sense of how everything works, what kinds of films succeed in the space, and how to avoid the land mines that come along with this genre is critical. With a proper lay of the land, you’ll be able to better tackle this genre and produce a film that can not only succeed financially, but inspire and uplift viewers at the same time. Brad Wilson is the co-founder of Higher Purpose Entertainment (HPE), a production company dedicated to telling stories in film and TV that encompass truth of character and strive to embrace inspirationally redeeming qualities. While at HPE he's produced a number of films including THREE BLIND SAINTS, CHRISTMAS ON SALVATION STREET, MY MANY SONS, THE MEANEST MAN IN TEXAS, and THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE, which was released last year in 1,100 theaters across the country. Brad is well-versed in the business of faith based films and has a keen sense of how projects thrive in this genre. He’s ready to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Brad will put on his producer’s cap and walk through how a producer can successfully understand and navigate the world of faith-based and faith friendly filmmaking. He’ll begin by teaching you what the state of the faith based industry looks like right now. He’ll focus on the notable and successful faith based films coming out now, including studio films and indie films and what their budgets have been. Then he will provide you helpful strategies on how to independently produce a faith friendly film. Next he will outline themes, topics, and other landmines to avoid while producing your film to stay within this genre and not offend its audience. Brad will outline the main elements that make a faith and family based film successful in the marketplace and will delve into how to be authentic and stick to facts while still remaining commercial and appealing. He will then discuss what the faith based audience looks like and how best to reach them. He’ll talk about getting involved with churches and communities in producing and distributing your film and how best to reach out. Brad will next give a rundown of who the financiers and studios are in this market and what they’re looking for. He’ll spend time talking about the pure business of this space. Finally he will explain who the main distributors targeting this audience are. This is a tricky and very specific part of the film industry, but Brad’s will give you the tools you need to better understand it and succeed within it.   Like what you heard from Brad during this webinar?  Brad will read your script and speak with you for a half-hour if you click here.   Praise for Brad's Stage 32 Webinar   "This was superb! He was very open and helpful. I really appreciated him walking us through his business plan." -Crystal B.   "He was so informational and inspiring with all he presented. Thanks to Brad Wilson and Stage 32 for presenting this." -Ann K.   "Brad Wilson is personable, professional, and knowledgeable. I feel inspired to rework my script and shop it for production" -Darlyn K.   "This was very informative. I have not written in this area, but hearing about how these movies get made is very inspiring. I can now see the steps that are needed. It is so great to get his wisdom and the practical step by step how to." -Mary S.            

Stage 32 Screenwriting Lab: Develop Your Faith-Based Film's Outline and Pitch

Develop and hone your faith-based film project with the expert guidance of producer and executive Brad Wilson, who has already discovered writers through Stage 32! **Only 10 Spots Available**   Faith based and faith friendly films have been a steady, popular, and profitable industry and one of the hottest genres for success. It could be considered a niche audience, but it’s a powerful and dependable niche audience that has helped catapult films and filmmakers to success. Recent films like I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, GOD’S NOT DEAD, and THE SHACK have found popularity and impressive box office numbers by tapping into this audience and bringing out church-goers and other faith-friendly communities that might not be as eager to watch films outside of this genre. And it makes sense that faith-based films are doing well. In challenging or negative times, people will more actively seek out positivity and inspiration, two ingredients almost guaranteed to be featured in a faith-based film. Considering how challenging and negative our current world can be, there might not be a better time to break into the world of faith-based films and write a script that can shine in this market. The opportunity is certainly prevalent for new faith-based films to be sold and produced, but it will still be difficult to get your own project off the ground if you don’t understand how exactly your project can fit in. That’s why it’s critical you have a clear understanding of your project, your story, your world and your characters. It’s also why it’s important to understand what the industry looks like today and what buyers are specifically searching for. Beyond a great story and a great script, knowing how to communicate your project, pitch it to the right people and actually get it sold can make all the difference. If you can ace all of these elements, you may have just found your way in and the piece of material that will fire you off the launch pad. Let us give you the guidance to improve your faith-based film project and get it market-ready Brad Wilson is the Co-founder of Higher Purpose Entertainment (HPE), a production company dedicated to telling stories in film and TV that encompass truth of character and strive to embrace inspirationally redeeming qualities. While at HPE he's produced a number of films including THREE BLIND SAINTS, CHRISTMAS ON SALVATION STREET, MY MANY SONS, THE MEANEST MAN IN TEXAS, and THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE, which was recently released in 1,100 theaters across the country. Brad is well-versed in the business of faith-based films and has a keen sense of how projects thrive in this genre. Brad is also a staple and favorite of Stage 32 who has brought on and helped produce Stage 32 members’ films. Brad is currently working with Stage 32 writer, Lynne Logan, on their upcoming feature, UNDONE. The film tells the life story of televangelist Sherry Damron, and is set to star Cory Oliver (GOD'S NOT DEAD). Lynne was hired to pen the script after being discovered and having her own script optioned by Brad after a Stage 32 Coverage. Over the course of five weeks, you will work closely with Brad in a virtual class setting to develop your own faith-based or faith-friendly feature film, understand the market today, and build your film’s outline, logline, character breakdowns, and pitch in order to work towards a market-ready and standout project. If you already have a concept, or even a completed script, Brad will use the same tools to help you hone your material.   Throughout the course of this exclusive online lab, you will have direct access to Brad as a mentor by email and via video conferencing as you develop your family film project.   WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for writers and creators of all levels looking to write and put together their faith-based film. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. By the end of this 5-week writing lab, you will have an outline and practiced pitch for your more market-ready and developed faith-based film Sessions will vary between 2-hour group settings and personal one-on-one Zoom meetings with Brad. You will be held accountable to take the lessons from each week and move your work forward. Plus, to keep you motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the development process. To see the full writing lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".   PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a working executive and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please do book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Harrison at h.glaser@stage32.com for more information     Praise for Brad's Previous Stage 32 Webinar   "Brad was amazing. He laid out so clearly the genre and how to write for it in a practical way. He was an awesome instructor who combined practical info, inspiration, and was so "real." Loved it." -Ricki L.   "This was the best webinar I've had so far at Stage 32. Brad's very seasoned and gave wonderful tips that will help me make my faith-friendly script" more marketable." -Gayle R.   "A very honest, forthright presentation from a guy whose been there and done that, and knows the pitfalls and promises of the biz." -Dennis H.  

How to Break In to TV Directing and Excel at the Job

Most people have a general idea of what a director does, but that idea usually pertains more to feature films. Directing television can be a separate beast altogether. Successful TV directors need to be adept at navigating inherent contradictions associated with this role. Unlike in films, TV directors have to both have a vision and still fit in with the overall feel of the series. And they need to be in charge despite often only coming in for an episode or two. These are tough lines to straddle, but doing so and honing your craft can lead to a successful and exciting career. Pursuing a career in directing in any medium is rife with challenges: there is no set path to success and finding insight into the inner workings of directing is challenging. Television directing is an even more specific specialty within the world of directing. Several ways of working and behaviors that would be ideal for a feature director are not compatible with the way television is produced. In addition, the path to breaking in as a television director is quite different from that of a feature director. If your goal is to direct television, it’s vital to understand the way television is produced and the role that the director plays within that specific production environment. Heath Cullens is an accomplished television director who has directed episodes of TV shows like IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, GREAT MINDS WITH DAN HARMON, and FX’s YOU’RE THE WORST. Heath’s other notable credits include IDIOTSITTER for Comedy Central, DEADBEAT for Hulu, and BLACK JESUS for Adult Swim. In addition to directing, Heath also produced the Lionsgate feature ARMED RESPONSE, starring Cary Elwes, Ethan Embry, and Alan Arkin. A recipient of a Drama League Directing Fellowship and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Heath is well-versed at the art of TV directing and will now share what he knows exclusively with Stage 32. Heath will dig into the specifics and craft of directing for television and will reveal how to pursue it and how best to do the job once you get it. Heath will first explain how best to pursue work in TV directing, including discovering the type of TV is the best fit, how to find your ‘in’, developing a reel, shadowing, and working with established creators. Next he will delve into the vital relationships you’ll need to maintain as a TV director, including with the EP/showrunner, the crew, the cast, and the network or studio. Finally Heath will go through the major challenges you should expect in this role and tips on how to navigate. Along the way, Heath will share challenges and experiences from his own career. The role of a TV director can be enigmatic and often eclipsed by feature films, but Heath will give you the rundown so you can be equipped with the knowledge and advice to pursue this route on your own.

How to Develop and Pitch Your TV Horror Series - with Stranger Things Bible Download

Horror genre television series are in demand in a BIG way. Many production companies and buyers are actively looking for stories that provide thrills, chills and scares. In recent years, we’ve seen a surge in developing and producing popular shows for cable, steamers and network television. Shows like AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD, Netflix’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (and now BLY MANOR), FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY, and HBO’s LOVECRAFT COUNTY have been paving the way for a new era of high quality, diverse, and ambitious horror series unlike anything that’s ever been created before. And according to the ratings, the appetite for this TV genre only continues to grow. If you have ever thought about writing, producing or selling your own horror television series, now is the time. You want to capitalize on this hot genre if you have a horror project you're thinking about creating or if you're interested in going to market with one you already have.  With the barrier for entry open at networks, streamers and cable, there is more opportunity for you to showcase your story in the best possible light. In order to do so you have to know what the buyers are looking for and determine if your project aligns with their needs. You'll also need to understand the pitching environment and what you're up against in the room. It's important you have a clear understanding of your story, your series and your pitch in order to go from good to great and get the buyers excited about your project.  Kevin Nicklaus is a veteran development executive with a long tenure with the The Wolper Organization, which has a first-look deal with Warner Bros., including HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros. features, and more. He has been integral to the early development and sales of BATES MOTEL for A&E, the Emmy-nominated ROOTS for History, STEPHEN KING'S SALEM'S LOT for TNT, THE MISTS OF AVALON for TNT, HELTER SKELTER for CBS, THE BAD SEED for Lifetime and more. Kevin has been active in the world of horror television for years now and knows better than most what it takes to get a scary series off the ground. Kevin will delve into what the world of horror television looks like today and how best to approach and pitch your own horror series to give it the best shot of getting noticed. He’ll begin with a primer of horror television, including its history and a look at why it’s now more desirable for networks. He’ll also delve into the 4 popular trends currently found in horror TV and what the most popular horror series are right now and why. Kevin will then give you tips on how to approach your own horror series including how to consider your audience, whether your idea is a series or just a long movie, using teasers and cliffhangers effectively, and how to find your episodic engine. Next Kevin will show you how best to pitch your horror series. He’ll explain who’s looking for horror projects, what a good horror TV pitch deck looks like and what to focus on when you’re in the room. Finally he will outline the biggest mistakes to avoid when putting together your horror series, both when writing the pilot and when pitching. Expect to leave with a much clearer idea of how best to craft your own horror television series and have it find success. Kevin will even provide a free download of STRANGER THINGS’ early pitch deck and use it as a case study when delving into building your own pitch documents.   Like what you heard from Kevin during this webinar? You can send your TV pilot script or feature script to Kevin and speak with him for an hour! Click here for TV pilots. Click here for features.     Praise for Kevin's Stage 32 Webinar   "It was exactly what I was looking for!" -Seth N.   "Spot on! Helped me think big picture." -Scot B.   "There was a lot of specific detail and the breakdown of the pitch deck was fantastic." -Brien G.   "Great speaker. very knowledgeable." -Shelly A.

Land Big Name Talent For Your Indie Film: How to Prepare for a Key Actor Meeting and Nail It

There is A LOT that goes into making a film. Countless roles, countless facets, countless obstacles. And while all aspects are important and necessary to put together a successful film, there are few components more crucial than casting. The cast is not only the key component in delivering your screenplay to an audience but it also determines whether or not you actually get your film made. Funding is often contingent on casting and on recognizable talent being attached, as is distribution deals which will allow your film to ultimately be seen. Actors have a huge influence on how the finished film will be received so how do you approach them and secure their services? Many independent filmmakers quickly write off the idea of including name talent in their project, believing it’s a fool’s errand or something you can’t actually accomplish without deep pockets and deeper connections. This isn’t necessarily true, though. What is essential is a complete understanding of how the casting system works and how to successfully navigate it as an independent filmmaker. Perhaps the most important aspect of this process is the actor meeting, where you pitch your film and convince the actor or their reps to join the project. So much hinges on this meeting, and nailing it can make all the difference. So how exactly can you pitch a bigger actor to star in your project? With so many film projects to choose from, why should they choose yours? Piotr Szkopiak is an experienced director whose latest film THE LAST WITNESS starring Alex Pettyfer (I AM NUMBER FOUR) was released in cinemas nationwide in Poland on 156 screens and in theaters and on digital and DVD in the UK and US. The film also won 33 awards and was selected to screen at film festivals around the world, including in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Toronto & Sydney. His first feature film, SMALL TIME OBSESSION was released theatrically in the UK with both Variety and The Guardian describing him as “a director to watch”. Piotr has also directed countless episodes of television, including episodes of the BBC series CASUALTY, FATHER BROWN, DOCTORS, EASTENDERS, and SHAKESPEARE & HATHAWAY-PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS. Through his career, Piotr has found success in attaching in-demand actors like Alex Pettyfer and is prepared to share his strategies and techniques exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Piotr will teach you how to successfully navigate and execute a key actor meeting in order to bring on a high level actor for your independent project. He will begin by going over how to build your wish list of the actors you’d like for your film, including how to choose who should go on the list, how to navigate creative vs. business choices, setting expectations early and being realistic, and dealing with budget. He will then explain how to approach your desired actor. He’ll explain how to navigate the catch 22 of attaching actors, which is the fact that you need money to go to actors, but you need actors to get money. He’ll talk about when in the process of your project to make contact, who to contact first and how, and how best to work with agents. Piotr will delve into how best to prep for the actor meeting. He’ll talk about the difference between a video conference meeting and a face-to-face one and go over what you should know going in. He’ll walk you through the research you should do ahead of time and where you should choose to meet and why. He’ll also give you a rundown of what your appearance should be for a good first impression and what the proper etiquette is. He’ll give you an idea of the key questions to ask your actor and how best to communicate your vision and prepare your look book to make a convincing case. Piotr will also give you tips of what to do if you’re facing a creative disconnect and how to overcome it. He’ll also go over how best to take criticism if it comes up during the meeting and how to ultimately know if you found the right fit for your actor. He will next teach you best practices for the meeting follow up, including the next steps to take care of right after the meeting, what the do’s and don’ts are, and how to deal with production delays that may come up in the process. Finally, Piotr will go through a case study of his own film THE LAST WITNESS and explain how he ultimately landed the actors Alex Pettyfer and Robert Wieckiewicz to play his lead roles. He’ll discuss the early development of the film, how he attached his producer, and when the key actors became part of the plan. Piotr will even share the look book he created to convince the actors to join. Key actor meetings are scary things, but Piotr will give you the tools you need to navigate them with more confidence and develop the skills to nab your dream actor.   Praise for Piotr's Stage 32 Webinar   "The presentation was very personable and straight forward. Thank you for the great advice and guidance" -Anastasia C.   "I learned some great tips on how to approach talent and work with them. Nothing is impossible. You just really need to be prepared and know what you are doing. This is especially helpful for first time directors or writer-directors." -Crystal B.   "It was great hearing about all of this from someone like Piotr. It made me feel like I could do it too. Such great advice. Thank you, Piotr!" -Dennis G.

Special Stage 32 Virtual Happy Hour: Live Table Read Plus Cast Q&A

Stage 32 is committed to bringing you entertainment, education, and community from the comfort and safety of your own home. Our Script Services Coordinator, Nick Assunto, has procured an amazing slate of talented and funny actors and Stage 32 members to read his pilot The Conspiracists, a half-hour sci-fi comedy. During this exciting virtual event, you will get an exclusive look behind the scenes of a professional television table read. Watch as the actors make the script come alive for the very first time. This is a rare opportunity to peel back the curtain go behind the scenes to watch and see a script workshopped directly with professionals. Our fearless leader, Richard "RB" Botto kicked off a night of hanging out virtually. You'll get a chance to laugh along courtesy of some Stage 32 members who are incredible actors from your favorite tv shows and improv theaters including The Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, and The Pack. Cindy Chu - playing Helena Francois (New Girl, Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver) Angela Cristantello - playing Beatrix Baker (Agent Carter, 9-1-1) Nican Robinson - playing Greg Shepherd (13 Reasons Why, Thunder Road) Carolyn Deskin - playing Mee Moo and Super Professional Sue (Water's Edge, Sorrow) Rama Vallury - playing Turkey Hemingway, Sweaty Phil, Nervous Intern, Boss Man and Bus Drive (Happy Ending, AOK) Ramona Apthorp - playing Pickle Frost   PLUS! after the table read we did a Q&A with the actors, writer Nick Assunto, our fearless leader Richard Botto and our Director of Script Services, Jason Mirch moderated by our Managing Director Amanda Toney so you will get the perspective from everyone involved about the table read! What a great way to have fun and learn!       Mark your Calendar! LIVE Online Table Read of the Comedy Pilot "The Conspiracists" Friday, March 27th at 7 pm PST   Please help support your fellow Stage 32ers by sharing this on social. Check out the social media buttons at the top to share on Instagram @stage32online , Twitter @stage32 , Facebook @stage32 , and LinkedIn @stage-32 .

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