How to Write Your Script for Budget and Schedule so Producers Will Actually Want to Make It

Hosted by Shane Stanley

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Shane Stanley

Webinar hosted by: Shane Stanley

Emmy Award Winning Producer and Director (GRIDIRON GANG, BREAK EVEN)

Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, and just wrapped production on his latest action thriller BREAK EVEN. Over the countless films he has produced, Shane has gotten pre-production down to a science and knows what it takes to prepare a film of any level. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

People often say the most important thing when writing is just to write something that's good, but it needs to be more than good; it needs to be producible. Meaning if a producer reads your script and likes it, they also need to feel comfortable that they can help you make your movie for a budget that's smaller than THE AVENGERS. Writers don't always realize that what they write on the page directly translates to how much money it will cost and how long it will take to shoot. Things like locations, genre, number of scenes and number of characters can absolutely make or break whether your movie can get produced and whether you can get the partner you're looking for to sign on. It's important for writers to understand how producers think when reading scripts and how you can adjust your own script without sacrificing your voice or quality to make the project more achievable to actually put together.

Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, and just wrapped production on his latest action thriller BREAK EVEN. Over the countless films he has produced, Shane has gotten pre-production down to a science and knows what it takes to prepare a film of any level.

Shane will demonstrate to you how to craft your ideal script to overcome the hurdles of budget and schedule and to attract the eye of producers. Shane will discuss how writers, producers, actors, and execs will read your script, the biggest red flags producers will look for when reading a script, and what aspects of a script will cost the most money in production particularly in regards to genre. He will also touch on how to strategically write for locations and how to maximize the space you have to help producers and how to know how long it will take to make your script and provide quality advice on how to adjust it to better fit your schedule.

Shane will even offer a valuable case study where he will break down the pages of his own script and demonstrate how he would view it as a producer and where concerns and warning signs might be.

 

 

Praise for Shane's Previous Stage 32 Webinar

 

"Shane was thorough, gave me a realistic view into the market as it is now, yet encouraging. Easy to listen to and follow. I'll be signing up for other classes he teaches in the future."

-Karena K.

 

Just straight-forward, real, the kind of producer most of us would kill to work alongside.

-Clark R.

 

"Shane was relevant, knew what was happening, and could walk the walk."

-Chuck R.

What You'll Learn

  • How Different Roles Will Read Your Script
    • Fellow writers
    • Producers
    • Actors
    • Execs and Studios
  • The Biggest Red Flags Producers Look for When Reading a Script for the First Time
  • Where Does the Money Go Per Page?
    • Above the line vs. below the line
    • What costs what?
  • What Aspects of a Script Will Cost the Most Money in Production
    • And how genre plays a BIG role
  • Writing for Locations
    • What locations are generally easy and which are more of a headache for producers?
    • Questions you should be prepared to answer if producers ask you about locations
    • Strategies to write a script that will allow producers to maximize locations
  • Steps You Can Take to Make Your Script Less Expensive Without Sacrificing Your Story
  • Do You Know How Long It Will Take to Shoot Your Script?
    • How long does it take to shoot different scenes?
    • What will make a scene take longer to shoot?
    • Tips on writing action that can be shot efficiently
    • Taking into consideration the number of characters in a scene
  • How You Can Adjust Your Script to Better Fit Your Schedule
    • Removing scenes altogether vs. making adjustments
  • Strategies to Consider Moving Forward
    • Who do you really want to give you notes on your script?
  • Case Study
    • Shane will dissect one of his own scripts page-by-page to demonstrate how producers would read it.
  • Q&A with Shane

About Your Instructor

Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, and just wrapped production on his latest action thriller BREAK EVEN. Over the countless films he has produced, Shane has gotten pre-production down to a science and knows what it takes to prepare a film of any level.

FAQs

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A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

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Other education that may be of interest to you:

How to Make Your Script Appeal to Producers During COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine have changed the film and television industry profoundly. Like it or not, we’re thinking about movies differently now, we’re making them differently, we’re selling them differently, and we’re watching them differently. Studios, buyers, and producers are keenly aware of this shift and are applying this to how they are choosing their next projects. As a writer, understanding how the industry is changing and what people are now looking for can make all the difference in being able to take the next steps in your career. With so many new obstacles and challenges now involved in making a film, producers have to weigh a lot more factors when choosing their next projects, including which movies will be safest to put together. Small details in scripts—scenes or moments that might have been no big deal to include as recently as a year ago—might now be all it takes for a producer or financier to reject. So how does production during COVID look like and how can you make your script work and come across as more attractive within these constraints? Let’s take a closer look. Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, including the action thriller BREAK EVEN and action comedy DOUBLE THREAT, currently in production. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce films during COVID and is well versed on what it takes to put a film together in this unique time. Shane will dive deep into how producers are operating in the time of COVID-19 and how you can make your script “COVID-friendly” and more attractive for producers to work on. He will begin by outlining how production has changed since COVID, including the biggest new hurdles, new guild requirements, and what’s keeping talent from signing on. He’ll explain what’s making movies more expensive to produce and what locations are now ideal or no longer easy to shoot in. He will next delve into what a COVID-friendly script looks like to a producer. He’ll talk about what kind of stories producers and buyers are seeking out, what red flags in your script will keep producers from signing on and how many characters are too many now. He will also discuss locations as well as the genres and themes that buyers are now gravitating towards. Shane will then discuss how to adjust your script to fit this new era, including deciding whether it’s worth adjusting or saving until things are safer and how to find compromise and middle ground when making changes. Finally, Shane will give you tips on how to get a producer on board during this time. This is a tricky time for everyone, but Shane will give you the lowdown to be smarter and more strategic in finding opportunities and success.  

Your Ultimate Guide to Succeeding at Pre-Production

Get one-on-one guidance on all of the steps you need to take during pre-production with Emmy Award-winning producer and filmmaker Shane Stanley. Comes with exclusive downloads, resources, sample documents, and more   It might not be the most glamorous, but pre-production is arguably the most important aspect of putting together a film. The crucial decisions you make and the team you build during this phase will determine the success of your production and ultimately, your film. But no matter what experience level you are at, pre-production can quickly become an overwhelming process. From hiring to budgeting to location scouting to scheduling, there are always going to be a lot of plates you must keep spinning. Yet approaching pre-production with a plan, with discipline, and with the appropriate knowledge will keep your film on track and even elevate it to a level you might not have previously thought possible.   Over an intensive, interactive and advanced 4 weeks, multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley will guide you through the entire process of pre-production and give you crucial tips he's developed over decades working as a successful independent producer.   Shane will go through every aspect of prepping a film or project including: Script clearances Building a budget Working with agents and managers Building your crew Casting Production Schedules and Call Sheets Location Scouting Production insurance Workers Comp and payroll Working with guilds Registering your film much more   Along the way, Shane will provide exclusive and valuable documents and handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including: Sample Budgets Sample Schedules Sample Call Sheets SAG-AFTRA contracts Crew Agreements Sample Offers to Principal Talent Location Agreements     Payment plans are available - contact Harrison at h.glaser@stage32.com for more information       Praise for Shane's Previous Stage 32 Class   "Shane exceeded my expectations. He covered a vast amount of real world material and brought all of it to life with personal and engaging stories. He remained incredibly generous with his time every week and always demonstrated a deep commitment to making sure everyone’s questions were answered. It was inspiring. Bravo!" -Michele R.   "I can't say enough great things about Shane Stanley and his class. I had no idea how much I didn't know until I took Shane's class. He was very congenial but generous with his time, his insight and he actually shared documents that we can study in preparation for our own productions. This class is worth it for anybody who calls themselves a producer, whether you're mounting big budget projects or small indies, Shane Stanley's class is win-win experience. He also made every single person feel welcome and values. Thanks again Shane!" -LaRita S.   "Shane had a great way of engaging the whole audience and no one missed out on being brought into the presentation in some way or another. Shane was quick, easy to understand, sharp and concise. I can honestly say that he never went off track with the subject being discussed and had many examples to bring to the table which made his presentation even more easier to understand." -Graeme C.

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