How to Break Into TV Movies: Development, Writing & Producing

Hosted by Justine Wentzell-Chang

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Justine Wentzell-Chang

Webinar hosted by: Justine Wentzell-Chang

Writer/Producer - including RIP TIDE (Netflix), THE CHRISTMAS CALENDAR (UpTV), and BACK OF THE NET (Disney Channel)

Justine Wentzell is an executive who was a key member of and ultimately led the Acquisitions & Co-Productions team at MarVista Entertainment, a worldwide distribution and production company in the film and television space. There she worked on numerous productions from development through to release. She has a proven track record of forging strategic relationships and bringing in and crafting new business globally. As part of the Recording Academy’s Advocacy Committee, she works with the Academy to update music law and protect creators’ rights. Justine received her Juris Doctorate having completed the Intellectual Property Certificate Program at Whittier Law School in 2013 and is licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee. She also received her B.A. in Global and International Studies, with a minor in Russian, from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her global background and love for learning languages (she speaks Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and is learning French) gives her deep insights into different cultures and people. Recently, Justine released her first book, “Pocket Full of Dreams,” which is available worldwide on Amazon. 13% of the proceeds goes to Break the Cycle, a non-profit organization working with teens and young adults to create a culture without abuse.    Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

TV movies are very much alive and well, and if you’re a screenwriter or producer looking to break into this huge market niche, you’ve come to the right webinar.

Despite the change in viewer habits with on-demand movies, the TV Movie and the Movie of the Week on Hallmark, Lifetime, and Disney, as well as many other channels are still extremely popular. To breakdown this landscape and share the truths behind the TV Movie model, Stage 32 has brought in MarVista’s former Acquisition and Co-Production executive, Justine Wentzell. Justine has worked on almost 100 different TV movies in MarVista’s core business.

After she digs into the specifics of what these networks are looking for, Julie will offer tips on writing a successful script for this niche. Stick around for a Q&A after the webinar to take an even deeper dive into other key elements of this form of storytelling.

You will not get more in-depth overview of TV movies, what goes into developing, writing and producing them anywhere else!

What You'll Learn

The Landscape of Movies of the Week

  • The 3 major players in the US: Hallmark, Lifetime & Disney - what specifically are they looking for?
  • Who are the secondary players in the US and what specifically are they looking for?
  • How do you get in front of these companies?

Cold Hard Truths:

  • What does the domestic vs. international business look like?
  • What do distributors really care about?
  • Profit margins in detail.
  • What are the current habits of TV movie distributors

3 Biggest Buyers: Hallmark, Lifetime & Disney Channel

  • Hallmark
    • Audience & General information about the network
    • Why Hallmark succeeds.
    • What to write and what not to write.
    • Popular themes
  • Lifetime
    • Audience & General information about the network
    • Movies of the Week
    • What to write and what not to write.
    • Popular themes
  • Disney Channel or Disney-esque TV Movies
    • The general landscape for such films.
    • Tips for writing such films

Other Elements to keep in mind

  • Pacing
  • Casting
  • Budget

Q&A with Justine!

About Your Instructor

Justine Wentzell is an executive who was a key member of and ultimately led the Acquisitions & Co-Productions team at MarVista Entertainment, a worldwide distribution and production company in the film and television space. There she worked on numerous productions from development through to release. She has a proven track record of forging strategic relationships and bringing in and crafting new business globally. As part of the Recording Academy’s Advocacy Committee, she works with the Academy to update music law and protect creators’ rights.

Justine received her Juris Doctorate having completed the Intellectual Property Certificate Program at Whittier Law School in 2013 and is licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee. She also received her B.A. in Global and International Studies, with a minor in Russian, from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her global background and love for learning languages (she speaks Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and is learning French) gives her deep insights into different cultures and people. Recently, Justine released her first book, “Pocket Full of Dreams,” which is available worldwide on Amazon. 13% of the proceeds goes to Break the Cycle, a non-profit organization working with teens and young adults to create a culture without abuse. 

 

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