How to Write Powerful Female Characters for a Global Audience - with 9 Script Downloads

Hosted by Aimee Rivera

$39.20 $49
Black Friday Sale
Sale ends Nov 30 - 3:00 AM PST

On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

Overlay Icon

Stage 32 Next Level Education has a 97% user satisfaction rate.

Aimee Rivera

Webinar hosted by: Aimee Rivera

Development Executive at Skydance Entertainment (Mission Impossible: Fallout, The Hitman's Bodyguard)

Aimee Rivera is the Development Executive at Skydance Media. Skydance is a diversified media company founded by David Ellison to create high quality, event-level entertainment for global audiences. Skydance is currently in post on TOP GUN: MAVERICK. Skydance has previously released a number of major motion pictures including most recently: Netflix's 6 UNDERGROUND, directed by Michael Bay and starring Ryan Reynolds, ANNIHILATION, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, and WORLD WAR Z. Skydance Television's current slate includes Emmy-nominated shows on networks including: Netflix, Amazon, and Apple +. Skydance Interactive creates and publishes original and IP-based virtual reality experience and video games and debuted its first original title, ARCHANGEL. Prior to joining Skydance, Aimee worked at notable companies such as: Columbia Pictures and Amazon Studios. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

In today’s marketplace, not only are more and more films are becoming female focused, but the demand for screenplays and films with female driven lead characters is growing rapidly. With the success of blockbusters such as WONDER WOMAN, ATOMIC BLONDE, RED SPARROW, ALIEN: COVENANT and TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, the box office is proving that not only is there an appetite for female-starring films, but also that they can be profitable. Everyone is looking for the next original idea with a female lead that can be turned into a franchise. With that being said, it is important to understand what goes into creating a female character in these male dominant genres and avoid the most common mistakes and tropes.

There are many misconceptions and challenges that writers fall into when it comes to creating female characters for a large, global audience. The most common is the gender flip, which is taking a male character and write it as a female. It’s examples such as this that are most often believed to be the correct approach to creating a female character in a male driven genre when in fact it’s the opposite. This webinar will provide these kind of examples and explain where the mistakes lie, how to correct them and the importance of creating authentic female characters.

Aimee Rivera is the development executive at Skydance Media. Skydance produces blockbuster films such as TOP GUN: MAVERICK, Netflix's 6 UNDERGROUND, directed by Michael Bay and starring Ryan Reynolds, ANNIHILATION, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, and WORLD WAR Z. Aimee is focused on finding female driven blockbusters and franchises for Skydance's upcoming slate. 

Aimee will go over how the #MeToo movement has changed the way female characters are written and an overview on how female leads in today's world have evolved. She will get break down WONDER WOMAN, ATOMIC BLONDE, RED SPARROW, THE HUNGER GAMES, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, and ALIEN: COVENANT and look at the differences between these female characters and compare them to male franchise characters in films such as MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, JASON BOURNE and JAMES BOND. She'll teach you what makes a great character, what are the tropes and common misconceptions and break down the types of female characters you can write. She will discuss writing characters in male driven genres for today's market including whether there are boundaries you must be aware of when writing female characters, what the modern female character looks like in today's filmmaking world, whether male writers can write female characters, and what today's audience looks and connects with as it relates to strong, but flawed, female leads. Aimee will also get into her ultimate tips on writing female characters - not only in male-driven genres, but also in a post #MeToo world. She'll even share some writing exercises to assure that your female characters JUMP off the page.


This is an opportunity to develop, hone and, ultimately, write female characters that not only will attract representation, producers and financiers, but to make sure your script is as market ready (and perhaps, franchise ready) as possible.



Praise for Aimee's Stage 32 Webinar:


The webinar was great and so was Aimee! She's extremely knowledgeable about the movie industry and writing screenplays and provided excellent examples of strong female characters in action movies.

-Lyle D.


This was great - a lot of information talked about very succinctly, with tips and discussions on the different facets and difficulties that can present themselves. Very enjoyable!

-Dawn P.


A great theme about female characters. Needed this very for my story. I like the simplicity of the elements taught with the details of what's needed for films nowadays.

-Mary M.


Aimee was very clear and concise with her points and description. Very informative on the subject. I was able to garner several pages of helpful notes that I'm sure will help me with many of my female characters.

-Lauro C.



What You'll Learn

  • The Brief History of Female Characters and Film
    • A brief overview of how women are portrayed in films throughout history and how it has evolved.
    • How has the #MeToo movement change the way female characters are written?
  • Examples of Successful and Unsuccessful Female Characters from Films
    • We will break down films such as: WONDER WOMAN, ATOMIC BLONDE, RED SPARROW, THE HUNGER GAMES, TERMINATOR, and ALIEN and look at the differences between these female characters.
    • We will also compare them to male franchise characters in films such as: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, JASON BOURNE and JAMES BOND.
    • What makes them a great female character?
    • What are the tropes?
    • What are the common misconceptions?
    • What are the different types of female characters? What is the difference between a claiming character and a character with an origin story?
  • What are the tips to building female characters not only in male driven genres, but also in a post #MeToo world?
    • Are there boundaries?
    • What is a modern female character?
    • Can male writers write female characters?
    • What are the development challenges and how to work through them?
    • What are audiences today looking for when it comes to female characters and do women have a different expectation than men?
  • Exercises to Help You Craft Powerful Female Characters
  • Q&A with Aimee

In this webinar you will receive script downloads for:



About Your Instructor

Aimee Rivera is the Development Executive at Skydance Media. Skydance is a diversified media company founded by David Ellison to create high quality, event-level entertainment for global audiences. Skydance is currently in post on TOP GUN: MAVERICK.

Skydance has previously released a number of major motion pictures including most recently: Netflix's 6 UNDERGROUND, directed by Michael Bay and starring Ryan Reynolds, ANNIHILATION, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, and WORLD WAR Z.

Skydance Television's current slate includes Emmy-nominated shows on networks including: Netflix, Amazon, and Apple +. Skydance Interactive creates and publishes original and IP-based virtual reality experience and video games and debuted its first original title, ARCHANGEL.

Prior to joining Skydance, Aimee worked at notable companies such as: Columbia Pictures and Amazon Studios.


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!


If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Directors: How to Get Believable Performances from Actors

THIS 4-PART CLASS IS AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! As a director, one of your most important jobs is eliciting great performances from actors. Fail at that, and your film or series could crumble under the weight of bad acting. Although the best directors shape performances with a deftness that may seem effortless, it is not. In fact, becoming a great director of actors is hard work and takes years of disciplined practice. Like playing a violin, it is a skill that must be nurtured. Yet if you can achieve this crucial skill and relationship, you’ll be able to greatly elevate your films and projects and champion your actors at the same time. The film director’s working relationship with an actor starts in the first casting session, continues through the various rehearsal stages, onto the set and ends in the ADR session. Most trained actors begin by trusting the director, but if you can’t direct actors in a language they understand, you may have a difficult time getting actors to trust you. And if actors don’t trust you, you will have a difficult time blocking them on set and getting layered performances from them. It’s important to meet actors where they are, and we’ve brought in the perfect person to explain how to do this. Peter Marshall is a director and film directing coach with over 40 years of experience including 12 features, 16 TV movies, 8 TV series, over 30 episodes of TV drama, 50 hours of documentary and educational programming, and over 20 commercials. Through his career, Peter has worked with and helped elevate the performances of actors such as Peter O'Toole, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Kathy Bates, Michelle Pfiefer, Marcia Gaye Harden, Madeleine Stowe, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Goldie Hawn, Judy Davis and Adam Sandler. He has also had the opportunity to work alongside and learn from other directors like John Woo, Phillip Noyce, Ed Zwick, John Badham, Roger Vadim, Dennis Dugan, Anne Wheeler and Zack Snyder. Peter’s long and impressive history has given him a deep understanding of how to work with actors of all sizes and levels and understands what he needs to do as a director to elicit great performances. Over the course of four sessions, Peter will dive deep into the relationship between the director and actors and teach you how directors can build a relationship built on trust with actors by creating a safe place for them to perform. Peter will first explore how to understand human behavior and emotions and use this to better support your cast. He will then explore the main strategies of proper script analysis you can use to help actors achieve the performance you desire, including his “9 Part Scene Breakdown Process”. In the next session he will delve into how to work with actors in prep and finally will break down the process of working with actors and getting the performance on set, including his “10 Step Actor/Director Blocking Process”.   Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Peter is no longer distributing or reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!     Praise for Peter’s Stage 32 Class “I really enjoyed the webinar. I liked the fact that the density of material was rich enough I was always busy taking notes. Thanks for covering the artistic and the logistic side of directing.” - Brad L.   “Hey Stage 32, I wanted to thank you and Peter Marshall for such an enlightening class. I have so many notes and as a new Director I have to say I feel a bit more relaxed, knowing what steps I need to take to be more prepared for a shoot. Peter is so generous with his knowledge. I have his Directors class downloaded and I'm excited to view it” Diane L.   "Very helpful, in depth and extremely well-structured." -Memi K.  

How to Build a Your Brand As An Indie Producer & Apply It To Your Film Slate

In this Stage 32 Webinar, experienced independent producer Holly Brown will cover how to build your own production slate and make it work for you. The class will be broken down into two parts, the first of which is defining who you are as a producer and what you want your brand (or your company's brand) to be. And this doesn't just include genre -- it may also include style, types of stories or characters and working style. Doing so will not only help you to target great material but also let other creatives what they should be bringing to you.   Secondly, you will be learning how to put that brand into action by creating a well rounded and targeted film slate. You will learn how to identify projects that speak to your brand but also ensure that you have a clear vision for how they are going to get made. You will leave this webinar ready to build your own slate and make it work for you!

What a Talent Manager Looks for in An Actor

Finding the right manager is as important as honing your craft as an actor. Your manager is an essential teammate for helping you find opportunities, get you in rooms to audition and guide your career as an artist. But, how do you know if you're representation-ready and how do you know what to expect (or what questions to ask) when you're given the opportunity to be repped?  With so many actors vying for the chance to work in film, TV and digital it's harder than ever to stand out.. Assuring that you are bringing your "A" game to every audition and situation, understanding what you can do to improve, and knowing which auditions are right for you are key components toward becoming an actor who works time and time again. Attracting and securing the right manager can help you do just that. Whether you're on the search for your first manager or stuck in a manager/talent relationship that you don't think is best for your career, it's important to know what steps you can take to assure that you secure representation that works in your best interest and as a vital member of your team. Spencer Robinson has been a leading talent manager of actors for almost 2 decades. His clients have been in films directed by Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski, and more. In the TV world, his clients have been regular cast members on shows for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, TBS and more. Spencer’s clients have also recurred on series for Freeform, TNT, AMC, Showtime and many more. He reps everyone from actors who are just starting out to acting veterans with 30+ years of credits. He also represents many multi-hyphenates who are both writers and performers and understands what makes a successful talent-manager relationship. Spencer will teach you everything you need to know about securing meaningful representation. He'll cover how to identify the right manager for your career, how to approach that manager, what questions to ask, how to grow your relationship and how you can, as a team, form a plan for a long career in the business. You'll learn about the do's and don'ts of blind submissions, how to stand out in the sea of requests a manager gets daily, and how to best impress potential representation. Spencer will also provide tips on the audition process including selecting the right auditions and understanding which roles are best suited for you so that you're not wasting time, energy and your passion on dead ends.  This is a blueprint for you to take control of your acting career and to help you sustain a career in the business.   Praise for Spencer's Stage 32 Webinar   "I highly recommend taking a course with Spencer. He is one of the most knowledgeable and informed people I've met. His enthusiasm for artists made me feel at ease. Spencer's ability to relate with artists made the material instantly click with me. I will not hesitate to enroll in another course with Stage 32 and Spencer."  - Devin H.   "I loved everything about this webinar! Spencer was so helpful with everything. I was able to apply everything he said directly to my career. It was definitely a great experience and can’t wait to keep improving with everything I learned. Thank you Spencer and Stage 32!" - Krista C.

Writing the Cinematic Protagonist: How to Create Memorable, Multi-Dimensional Lead Characters

Quick, name your 5 favorite movies of all time. Chances are they are all encompass different genres and various worlds and journeys. But likely, they all have one thing in common:  A memorable and multi-dimensional protagonist. Writing lead characters can be tricky. They're usually the first character that comes to mind when we're crafting our story. As such, we tend to have definitive, even strict, ideas of how that character will dress, how he or she will behave, and even what happens to them along the way. As such, many writers end up crafting their leads as rigid and one-dimensional. As a result, their lead character becomes passive and the supporting characters end up being much more proactive and interesting. Writing a truly memorable lead character takes a full understanding of your character's wants, needs, obstacles, flaws and much more. It means digging into the psychology of your lead before you begin writing so that you can make wonderful, informed discoveries throughout the writing process. With a constant parade of franchise sequels, remakes, and reboots, it’s become harder than ever to create a unique and nuanced lead that audiences feel they haven’t seen before. And in a marketplace crowded with more of the same, it’s never been more essential (and potentially lucrative) for screenwriters to set their work apart. In addition, with the explosion of content being created for the streaming platforms, it's more important than ever, no matter whether you're writing features or TV, that you be able to create lead characters that development execs, producers, showrunners, and financiers can't deny and want to follow into fire. That uniqueness in voice and vision is getting writers signed, sold, staffed, and more and more work than ever before. So how can writers create characters that appeal to a wide audience without sacrificing the very qualities that make them singular? Tyler Ruggeri is a writer with over a decade of experience on both sides of the entertainment industry. His original screenplay The Making Of Rock Hudson sold to veteran producers Celine Rattray (The Kids Are Alright, Bernie) and Trudie Styler (Moon) of Maven Pictures. He is currently adapting a critically acclaimed non-fiction book and writing an original action drama. Prior to his writing career, Tyler was a talent manager at Exile Entertainment, where he represented screenwriters and directors while developing the company’s slate of projects. He signed emerging filmmakers including Lee Patterson (Nicholl Fellowship winner for Snatched) and Damien Chazelle, whose film Whiplash was nominated for five Academy Awards (including Best Adapted Screenplay) and won three, as well as the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to Whiplash, scripts he developed with clients have sold to A-list producers/financiers and garnered industry attention and assignments from major studios. Tyler has read thousands of screenplays and knows first hand what makes a memorable and multi-dimensional protagonist. And now for the 2nd time, exclusively for Stage 32, Tyler is back to teach you how to write interesting and complicated characters that audiences can root for without sacrificing depth. Tyler will focus on studying (and deconstructing) the building blocks of movie protagonists in a straightforward, fun, and easy to digest format. He’ll discuss character in a macro-level approach while zeroing in on recent examples from popular films. He will teach you about making meaningful choices for your characters and how you can't be afraid to make the tough choice. He will delve into your characters wants, needs, and goals. He will discuss whether you lead character needs to be likable. He will teach you all the rules of writing characters and show you how you can break those rules to stand out from the crowd and make an exec turn pages. He will teach you all the tips and tricks of character building that he's learned over the last 10+ years of working with writers and reading scripts. He'll even discuss writer's block - if there is such a thing - and how to get beyond it all and keep writing. In short, he will teach you everything to have your lead characters jumping from the page and pulling the reader along for his or her journey.       "Tyler is an extremely articulate presenter. It really helped to have such specific information about how a character can be multi-dimensional. I already see the issues with my protagonist and can't wait to get it all fixed!" - Becca B.   "I took pages and pages of notes, thank you! Very well delivered, Tyler clearly had a vast knowledge of the subject. I really enjoyed it!" - Natalie E.   "Thank you for bringing Tyler back. One of my favorite Stage 32 educators! This seemed like a week's worth of material delivered concisely and deliberately. I'm so grateful! - Bob K.

TV Series Pitch Document Writing Lab (One on One Mentoring)

Only 15 Spots Available! By popular demand, we're bringing in TV executive Anna Henry (who has 100% satisfaction with her webinars!) to teach a one-on-one TV pitch document writing lab! Need help with writing your TV series pitch document? Look no further! Anna's here to help. This is the golden age of television and the appetite for content has never been greater. What does everyone network and streamer want? Fresh, unique, authentic voices with never-been-told stories. While the door is open to new writers, the competition is fierce. Of course you need a very strong finished script, but before that will be read, you need to be able to communicate what makes your show stand out from the crowd, what will make people want to watch it for years and years, and why you are passionate about writing it. You need a blueprint of what the series will be beyond one episode. That's where a pitch document (aka bible, aka treatment) comes in. Whether you are selling your show verbally, sending the pitch to a potential producer, or applying for a fellowship, this document carries the weight of your imagined world with all its inhabitants and stories. That's a tall order! So where do you begin? How do you organize your ideas? What should be in a pitch? How detailed should you get? Should you start with a summary of the pilot? Should you have ideas for future episodes? What should you say about your characters? In this lab we will delve deep into writing an effective pitch for your scripted television idea - one that will clearly communicate your intentions, excite the reader, and convey your voice and your passion. Most writers need help with switching gears and selling their story in addition to telling it - which is the purpose of this lab. Anna has spent her career developing television projects with writers and selling those show ideas as a development executive, manager and producer. What she has found is that most screenwriters have taken classes that helped them learn about story structure, writing scenes, dialogue, etc. but writing a pitch is entirely different. She will not on ly teach you how to write your document, but work one-on-one with you to make sure it's the best it can be to go to market.  Testimonials from Anna's previous lab: "I thought it was a great course and really helped me understand the format. Anna is knowledgeable and quickly cuts through to what can help your story better. Her notes on my script were insightful and really demonstrated her thorough experience." - Lee L. "Anna’s class was by far the most thorough, well put together, and organized screenwriting class I’ve ever taken. I have an MFA in filmmaking and, after graduating, I still felt as if I didn’t fully understand the structure of pilot writing. Anna’s class laid it out step by step and she went through every piece in detail. She was also extremely available to her students. During our one-on-one sessions, I expected to have a quick 15 minute call with her but she ended up speaking extensively with me about my story from outline through script stages. She really, truly cares for her students and is there to answer any questions, which, given her abundant experience in the industry, is a priceless piece of her labs. Thank you, Anna!" - Jacqueline D. "Anna was concise, and detailed. I've been working on log-lines/treatments/synopsis for 2 years for my scripts and never had it nailed like Anna was able to do. She rocks!" - Cheryl Lynn S. WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for intermediate writers and producers looking to get their individual television project pitch document ready. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with one-on-one time with the instructor and significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***Only 15 Spots Available. No exceptions.*** (10 Spots Remain!) You will be given exclusive and confidential handouts that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the lab ends. This lab will consist of six sessions occurring twice weekly for three weeks, each roughly 90 minutes in duration. In addition to the lessons where Raquelle teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with her directly about your specific project. 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 TV project development process. To see the full TV project development lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".   PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 15 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a manager 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. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at for more information

Communicating With Composers—Best Practices For Getting The Score You Want

Limited Spots Available Payment plans available - contact   Your film score is one of your final and most vital hurdles. It sets the tone and the mood of your film. Maybe you already have pieces playing on repeat in your mind and know every epic, cinematic score that inspires your vision. Or, you may not have a clue what you need or where to even begin. Knowing what you want for your score is the first step, and clearly communicating that vision is crucial to your success. There's no one better to show you the ropes than a composer who's worked on over 40 films. Kristen Baum is a composer for film and concerts, who has collaborated on over 40 film scores and was a Sundance Fellow mentored by Alan Silvestri (Marvel Cinematic Universe, BACK TO THE FUTURE, FORREST GUMP) and Chris Young (HELLRAISER, PET SEMATARY). You'll know the process of creating a film score, including how to develop your concept with a composer, the steps of a spotting session, how to work and communicate when you can't be in the same room, how to choose a film composer, and more. In an exclusive and interactive Stage 32 Next Level Class, Kristen will show you the steps of film scoring, from ideation through editing, and the many roles involved, including music editor, supervisor, and composer, so that your audience walks away humming that perfect crescendo. You'll also receive assignments to put what you learn into practice and get feedback from Kristen on your work, as well as making connections with your group that lasts beyond these four weeks. In just four weeks, you'll know how to boost your film with your film score and how to communicate with your composter to achieve the best result. But hurry! These limited spots will fill up! Plus! Kristen will also provide you exclusive and helpful handouts for you to download and use, including: Concept and Temp Music Packet The Spotting Session Packet Show and Tell and Distance Work Packet Choosing a Composer Packet, including Resources for Finding a Composer

register for stage 32 Register / Log In