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 »
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!
The Landscape of Movies of the Week
Cold Hard Truths:
3 Biggest Buyers: Hallmark, Lifetime & Disney Channel
Other Elements to keep in mind
Q&A with Justine!
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!
Writing is rewriting. All writers know this, but unfortunately too many writers waste valuable time and energy rewriting their scripts over and over without really making them better. Or they make some parts of their script better while weakening other parts -it's almost like an endless whack-a-mole game. The reason this happens is that often writers don't know the most effective ways to evaluate and rewrite their material. They rewrite without a clear focus or understanding of the fundamentals. Knowing how to effectively rewrite your script will lead to a dramatic improvement in your final product for both feature and TV scripts, and will be a game changer in your writing career! There's an art to the rewriting process that many successful writers embrace. It begins with letting go, relaxing, embracing, and, eventually, enjoying the process. Great writers know how to save time by quickly identifying issues with their scripts and how to fix the problems quickly and efficiently. They know how to receive notes, how to discuss those notes, and which notes are worth pushing back against and which are worth taking. They know a great script doesn't evolve all at once. It takes time, patience, awareness and constant molding. Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Julia Roberts, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures. Corey is also a distinguished instructor at UCLA, where he earned his MFA. His students have gone on to sell or option scripts to Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Disney, Fox, Fox 2000, MGM, Universal, Warner Brothers, Showtime, FX, USA Network, AMC and HBO. Others have been staffed on such shows as Community, Justifed, Bones, The Mentalist, The Fosters, Young and Hungry, Playing House, and Treme. Corey knows what it takes to write and rewrite a great script, and he has proven it time and time again. Corey will walk you through the entire rewrite process for feature and TV screenplays from first understanding how your story reads in other people's heads (and why that is important!) all the way to correcting structural weaknesses in your script. He will break down rewrite memos, notes, and narrative cohesion, leaving you with a comprehensive overview of how to do an effective rewrite and how to immediately apply it to your own work. He will teach you how to receive notes and how to find the note within the note, an overlooked and misunderstood practice that can save you major rewriting time and win you points with executives, producers and financiers. Corey will show you all the pitfalls and common mistakes writers make during the rewriting process so you can move forward with not only confidence in your writing, but confidence you can carry into any room. Praise for Corey's Stage 32 Webinar "Pure magic." - Alonzo G. "I always loved pumping out the first draft, but hated the rewrite. Now I know why. I had no idea what I was doing. I have 4 scripts that I can't wait to tear down and build back up bigger and stronger than ever." - Mark R. "This was so comprehensive and helpful. The entire webinar I was recognizing faults in my latest script. So happy I took this webinar!" - Mariana W. "I feel like I was just let into a secret club. The Rewrite Club. I know things other writers don't. Excited to put all this information into practice." - Jules P.
Sorry, this lab is fully sold out. Keep checking back for upcoming labs and other education! Do you have a great idea for a show? No more stalling and no more excuses. It’s time to write it. If you have a show in your head that is perfect for a streaming network like Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max or Hulu, you’ve picked a fantastic time to get that show out there. Streamers are picking up content and considering new work more than they ever have before. They are ready to see your show, but you need to write it first. Creating a fantastic hour-long series is fully within your reach. Yet many writers stop before they even start because they get overwhelmed, procrastinate, or feel the dreaded imposter syndrome setting in. We know what that’s like, which is why we’ve created a program that will give you the structure, the accountability, and the guidance you need to actually get that pilot out of your head on paper. Over 8 intensive weeks, you will be able to work closely with top literary manager Charlie Osowik in order to fully prepare, outline and write the pilot script for your own TV series. Charlie is no stranger to this process and has helped his clients develop their own shows for networks like Comedy Central and Dust and use their pilot samples to get staffed on popular streaming shows like HBO Max’s DOOM PATROL. Charlie knows how to help bring the best work out of writers and will use this process to help you develop your own show. Get the support and structure you need to finally write that pilot script before the summer ends. Throughout the course of this exclusive online lab, you will have direct access to Charlie as a mentor by email and via video conferencing as you write your pilot. WHAT TO EXPECT By the end of this 8-week writing lab, you will have a completed hour-long television pilot script ready to be shown to reps, development execs and other executives and professionals. Sessions will vary between 2-hour group settings and personal one-on-one Zoom meetings with Charlie. 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 writing 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 manager 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information This lab is limited to 10 people This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea or polish an existing pilot.
Streamers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO Max have quickly become the holy grail for many filmmakers hoping to get their film produced and find success. And it’s no mystery why. With a subscriber base in the tens of millions (Netflix has 74 million subscribers alone!), there might not be a better place for your film to be seen and enjoyed across the globe. And streamers ARE picking up a lot of content, a staggering amount even. Netflix recently announced it is releasing 40 more films this year—that’s twice what most major traditional studios make in a whole year, all in just a few months. That said, even with this huge volume of new content Netflix and the other streamers continue to pick up and produce, it is not easy to get your film noticed or considered at these platforms, especially if you’re not already an established filmmaker. This is not to say it’s impossible, but it does require finesse, strategy, luck, and an understanding of how exactly streamers find their original films. For as prominent as streaming platforms have become, the process behind how a film actually finds its way into their libraries is opaque and enigmatic. With so little information on the inner workings of the streamers, it can seem confusing, maybe even impossible to get your own proverbial foot into the portal and get your project noticed. After all, there isn’t exactly a submission platform to upload your script for Amazon to review. The truth is, unless you’re already established or have that ‘in’ with a streamer, it’s very unlikely to get straight through and have them consider your work blind. There IS another way though, a way to get your project to a streamer, not by going through but by going around. Michael Schulman is a Feature Story Analyst for Netflix as part of its Independent Original Film Division, and his job revolves around evaluating feature screenplay submissions and deciding which ones to pass up to the executives to consider. Prior to his role at Netflix, Michael spent nearly a decade in the story department at CAA where he found projects for CAA clients. Over his storied career, Michael also served as an agent at ICM’s Motion Picture Literary Department and held numerous studio creative executive positions at Orion, TriStar, and Disney where he worked to develop film and television projects with some of the top talent in the industry. Michael is very familiar with what it takes for a script to find its way to decisionmakers since this has been a key feature of his job for over a decade. As a companion piece to his previous webinar that details the script evaluation process at Netflix and other streamers, Michael will teach you a smarter and more viable way to get your own feature film considered by streaming platforms, not by targeting the streamers themselves, but instead focusing on their content suppliers. He’ll begin by laying out how the normal streamer system works and go over specific reasons why your script might NOT be as good of a fit for them as you think. Michael will then delve into how “outsiders” can get in the streaming game by taking advantage of resources along the way and better understanding the content pipeline. He’ll explain what streamer “originals” actually are and show how streamers rely on production companies to fill their slate. Michael will show you how you can use this to your advantage by finding your way in with specific production companies and what you can do to make them want to produce your film with you. Michael will even offer a live demonstration, showing how to find the right production companies for your own project and the best contacts within them. Getting your work on Netflix and other streamers will never be easy, but you will leave this webinar with a better understanding of the best way forward. Praise for Michael's Previous Stage 32 Webinar "I loved Michaels honestly. His advice is invaluable." -Linda R. "Very genuine, authentic, knowledgeable." -Lissa C. "Michael was highly competent, extremely knowledgeable about his subject, and not afraid to share hard truths about the industry that many just won't be upfront about." -Lee T. "Michael did not sugarcoat anything. He gave honest information that clarified a lot of questions I had." -Nikki J.
The most significant aspect of any actor’s career is securing work, but with overwhelming competition, roles are scare and difficult to come by, which can make this task incredibly tough. Yet in the end, acting careers are built on the work and honing your skills as a performer. Every actor knows that work begets work. This is because as we expand our experiences and circle of connections, more doors open with opportunities for more work. It’s great to have an agent, to make those connections, to develop strategies to become more marketable, but more important than all of that is becoming the best actor you can possibly be. Ultimately, producers want to hire the right performer for the role, and putting yourself in a position to get that role is less complicated than others might have you believe. Whether you are preparing for an audition or a performance for a role you are already cast in, your main tool and blueprint before you even get on set or in that audition room is likely going to be the script, and any practiced actor will tell you there’s a lot more to a script than just your character’s dialogue. If you’re simply going through the script to highlight your lines, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of information that will lend itself to you finding the character and giving your best possible performance. An experienced actor is able to fully break down any written scene to internalize not just the dialogue, but the beats, the context, the elements that are unwritten but still very present. Knowing how to analyze a script and glean from it all of its information and clues will allow you to more fully inhabit your role and make you a better and more cast-able actor. Taylor Nichols is an award winning filmmaker, theater director and actor with over one hundred credits to his name. He is currently on the Emmy-nominated Hulu show PEN15 and the HBO smash-hit PERRY MASON. Taylor has also appeared on shows such as Emmy and Golden Globe nominated THE WALKING DEAD and PRISON BREAK, the cultural hit DIRTY JOHN, Emmy-winning MODERN FAMILY, 24, Golden Globe nominated THE MENTALIST and many more. In addition to acting, Taylor is an award winning short filmmaker and an experienced producer with feature credits including THE NEXT STEP and CASE 219. Taylor brings to Stage 32 more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and is ready to share with the community the skills and lessons he’s developed throughout his career. Taylor will lay out how to break down a script as an actor and develop the techniques needed for characterization and emotional depth to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances”. Taylor will begin by teaching you what an actor should do as soon as they get the script, including what to focus on during your first read through and how you should be marking it up. He will give you the tools to zero in on a specific scene’s theme and will then delve into determining your character’s objective, both in the scene and in the story as a whole. He’ll talk about how and where you should place dramatic beats by finding the scene’s shape and creating and feeding into the flow. He’ll go into what makes beats and pauses feel natural and honest and when they feel put on and will also outline how you can use your beats as a tool for line memorization. Taylor will then go over how to define your character’s obstacles while reading the script and how you should create your own honest actions in the scene. He will also explain how these actions can successfully interact with both beats and objectives. Next he will explain what “givens” are in a script and how you can find the givens of your character. He will also teach you the difference between naturalism and honesty when giving a performance and explain why honesty is always what an actor should be working towards. Taylor will also lead a live, interactive acting workshop to illustrate the strategies he has taught and show how to use the written scene to define the characters. Taylor will break down down a scene of a script in real time and will bring up students to perform these role based on this breakdown. Through his lesson and workshop, Taylor will give you invaluable tools to help hone your craft and better prepare you for any future auditions or performances. Praise for Taylor's Stage 32 Webinar "Wonderful job on all counts. Taylor was very informative and ever so likable." -Jody F. "I really loved the webinar - Taylor gave a really useful and inspiring presentation, which felt genuinely rooted in the love of acting and the respect for the craft of it. I found both the teaching and the workshopping aspect of it very informative and really gave us as actors clear examples of how to up-level our work." -Rowen B. "Taylor was great and very helpful." -Martin B. "Taylor was great! I thoroughly enjoyed Taylor's class & will be re-visiting it through the on-demand option." -Laurka L.
For the last 5 years, audiobooks have outpaced print media in sales. As traditional publishing becomes harder to crack, and less lucrative for that matter, more and more writers are turning to audiobooks to get their work out to as big an audience as possible. Audible alone has over 250,000 titles and that number is expected to rise tremendously over the next few years. And the number of people downloading audiobooks continues to soar. Of course, with rising demand comes a rising need. And the biggest need in the audiobook space at the moment is for distinctive, engaging and professional voice actors and narrators. Audiobook narration has become a goldmine for many. If you have worked as an actor, done voice over work, been told you have a great voice or believe you have a fantastic one yourself, you owe it to yourself to learn about the space. This is a job where you can often apply by home or simply by submitting a homemade demo. In fact, in many cases, you can narrate the book from home by setting up an inexpensive, yet professional sounding home studio. In fact, getting yourself set up and ready to audition is much simpler than you think. James Patrick Cronin and Julie McKay have narrated more than 300 audiobooks in the space of just over 4 years. They have worked together and individually with most of the major publishers in the field, in addition to having collaborated with numerous independent publishers and authors. Their work spans a wide array of genres, from Children’s Lit to Sci-Fi, Memoir to Historical Non-Fiction, and they have voiced numerous New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling authors and one National Book Award finalist. James and Julie will give you the blueprint and the building blocks toward making money narrating audiobooks. They will teach you how to set up an affordable home studio, discussing in detail what you truly need and what can be left out of the shopping cart. They will dive into performance, the narrator's prerogative, how to maintain vocal health, and how to fully prepare so you deliver your best performance. You will learn how to set your rate (and not undersell yourself), explain time management and give you clear instructions on how to act as your own agent. Most importantly, they will teach you how to find available jobs and put yourself in a position to get hired again and again. "I found the content, insight and knowledge from this webinar to be absolutely fascinating." - Ebs A. "Great primer toward getting into this particular type of VO work." - J. Nissel
Learn directly from Ross Putman, an award-winning producer and founder of PSH Collective! Transformers. Godzilla. Captain America. Groot...? Who knew that this summer's biggest success story would be Marvel's band of unlikely heroes, known as The Guardians of the Galaxy? With their biggest star (Bradley Cooper) playing a talking raccoon, a director whose previous film grossed just $300,000 at the box office, and with a cast of characters so unknown that an entire teaser trailer was devoted just to introducing them, the odds seemed long for Guardians to make any impact at all. And yet it's the only film to gross over $300 million at the US box office--something not even Michael Bay's fourth Transformers movie could accomplish (and that had Marky Mark Wahlberg)!It's a little known fact that Guardians was based on source material that Marvel all but buried. So why did it work? Regardless of whether a good story is based on source material or original material, Guardians would not have been a success if the script, filmmaking, casting and marketing weren't all thought out and executed perfectly.In this webinar, we'll deconstruct how Marvel "flipped the script" on... well, its own scripts. A focus on quirkiness, the establishment of a unique tone, and bringing their first female writer in the fold added up to a great finished product. Whether it's the very specific character traits (like Drax's inability to understand metaphor) to the very clear stakes (even when things go deep into sci-fi), Guardians has all the right moves to please movie-goers tired of the same-old-same-old. Yet it becomes truly revolutionary by sticking to the basics; it's a script that puts one foot in front of the other and never stumbles.