David Shecter has has been working in the television industry in production, development, and as a writer for over a decade. He has written on many shows, including season 5 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. His experience and success on that show landed David on the pilot of the CBS smash hit 2 Broke Girls, where he worked his way up as a staff writer on the 6th and final season of the show. Since 2 BROKE GIRLS, David has served on the FOX sitcom OUTMATCHED starring Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson and was named a WGA TV Writer Access Honoree for his script For Worse. David’s continued work in the sitcom TV world has lent him a keen understanding of what makes these shows successful and how to make the most of your sitcom pilot. Full Bio »
The television landscape is constantly changing, with new technology, new networks, new trends, and new players. Yet a constant throughout the years has been the popularity of the situational comedy. From I LOVE LUCY all the way to MODERN FAMILY and THE GOOD PLACE, there has always been an appetite for new sitcoms, funny stories and beloved characters to come back to week after week (or binge all at once). As a result, if you have great idea for a sitcom and a great pilot script to go with it, networks are always going to be interested. But first you have to write that pilot. But you can't build a house without a blueprint. That's why it's so important to understand the sitcom pilot script on a fundamental level.
A written TV pilot is not something physically tangible. You're selling the network an idea, an episode, and, really, an entire series without ever shooting a single frame. That alone is an overwhelmingly huge task. This is why people often struggle writing a pilot script. Putting too much into the script, or not enough. Properly setting up the world. Getting your audience attached to your characters. Including enough jokes and still having a prominent story. All of these elements make crafting your sitcom pilot difficult and the overall process intimidating. Yet shining a light on the pilot process can help reduce the fear and better equip you when writing.
David Shecter has has been working in the television industry in production, development, and as a writer for over a decade. He has written on many shows, including season 5 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. His experience and success on that show landed David on the pilot of the CBS smash hit 2 Broke Girls, where he worked his way up as a staff writer on the 6th and final season of the show. Since 2 BROKE GIRLS, David has served on the FOX sitcom OUTMATCHED starring Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson and was named a WGA TV Writer Access Honoree for his script For Worse. David’s continued work in the sitcom TV world has lent him a keen understanding of what makes these shows successful and how to make the most of your sitcom pilot.
David will break down how to write a great sitcom pilot that can build your world, show your style, and appeal to both executives and audiences. He’ll give you tips on how to find your sitcom’s tone and decide where it lies on the comedy spectrum between comedy and drama. He’ll discuss the differences between premise-based and character-based sitcoms and teach you how to find the balance between jokes and story. Next David will delve into the proper structure of a sitcom pilot, looking at length, episodic vs. serialized and if commercial breaks are still a thing. He’ll give you tips on how to start writing your sitcom pilot and break down the anatomy of a sitcom scene. He’ll share tips on how to build effective sitcom characters and will finally teach you how to best establish your world through the pilot and how to pack everything neatly into your script.
David will even offer a deep dive of the pilot script for HBO's Emmy-nominated sitcom BARRY, analyzing why this script works. Everyone who signs up will receive a free download of this script.
David is excited to show you the proper tools so you can start building the world of your sitcom from the ground up with complete confidence and create a product that can help you find the success you’re looking for.
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 recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
It's an undeniable fact, we are living in a gold rush of comedy content featuring lead female characters. Just think about the major box office and streaming successes we've seen over the last few years. On the feature film side, you have movies such as Late Night, Girls Trip, What Men Want, Rough Night, Bad Moms, and Trainwreck to name a few. On the networks, premium cable channels, and streamers Fleabag, 2 Broke Girls, Mom, Glow, Russian Doll, Insecure, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt have drawn huge audiences and many have won major awards. Is it any wonder why development executives, managers, agents, producers and financiers are looking for writers who have the ability to write screenplays and teleplays featuring memorable and iconic female characters? There are many inroads to breaking and staying in the industry as a writer, but one of the most important factors is understanding what's hot in the marketplace. And right now, thanks to the massive buying power of the streaming platforms along with other major feature film and television production companies looking for comedies, it's never been a better time to understand how to write female driven comedies that pop. David Shecter has has been working in the industry in production, development, and as a writer for over a decade. David has written on many shows, including season 5 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. His experience and success on that show landed David on the pilot of the CBS show. 2 Broke Girls where he worked his way up as a staff writer on the 6th and final season of the show. David is currently developing a female driven action comedy cop show, Lady Copped, with New Form and STX Entertainment. Most recently David was named one of the WGA TV Writer access honorees for his script For Worse. David will teach you everything he's learned about writing female driven comedies throughout his career. He will show you how to avoid the all to common cliches that seemingly find their way into every female driven script. He will show you why sex sells, but how to properly write sex and sexuality into your screenplay to make it unique. He will teach you the practice of gender flipping and role reversals. He will show you how you can bring a personal connection to your female characters no matter whether you're a male or female. He will show you how to examine your plot and your characters before you begin writing to make the process flow more smoothly. He will show you the difference between one dimensional vs multi-dimensional characters and how easy it is to fall into the former, but how important it is that you learn the latter. Finally, David will present a case study of his latest screenplay Lady Copped which is now in development with New Form and STX. Whether you're a feature or TV writer, you will learn all the important factors in writing a female driven comedy that will get you reads and attention. "Another incredible and insightful webinar presented by Stage 32. I have received notes on my screenplays in the past that my female characters fell into cliche. As a female, that pissed me off! But now I understand why and I'm already on the path to changing things for the better. Thank you, David, and bravo, Stage 32! -Melissa J. "Can men write female driven comedies? I often asked myself that question. I'm not any longer. Loved this presentation. - Kyle P.
Cable networks all have their niche. For example, AMC has really honed in on intense dramas, such as The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men; USA focuses on character driven mystery dramas such as CSI, House, and NCIS; TBS centers around comedy sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, Ground Floor, and Cougar Town; ABC Family focuses more on sitcoms relating to family, such as Melissa and Joey, Baby Daddy and The Fosters. Knowing how to tailor your pitch to a specific cable network opens up immense opportunity for your TV pilot. Every cable network can be a real home for your work - it’s just a matter of the how, when, and why. Knowing how to appeal to multiple networks gives your pilot a better chance of getting picked up! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Jordan Barel will teach you both how to pitch your pilot and how to tailor your pitch to the right cable network. In addition, he’ll go over what kind of shows live on each network currently, and what may be the right fit for you. You will walk away with a clear understanding of how to pitch effectively as well as a clear understanding of how to make your pilot what each network is looking for. Your host host Jordan Barel is a writer, producer and lawyer for Loaded Barrel Studios. Based in LA, he's worked for New Line Cinema, AMC, Verve Talent Agency and was recently named in Variety's Hollywood Movers and Shakers list. He worked for Paul Scheer through his producing deal at FOX, working on development with his projects as well as bringing in new writers for him. Jordan also works at Abominable Pictures in their comedy and TV department. Previously, he worked as the Television Coordinator for Verve Literary Agency, producing the company's staffing video which lead to a 200% increase in the company's staffed writers. While there he also vetted all new TV and film clients. Jordan knows what will make your pitch stand out and is here exclusively for Stage 32 to help guide our writers toward success!
If a film production is going to use talent that belongs to a guild, you will need to adhere to labor related matters when it comes to residuals. Residuals are how you pay your guild talent and a key component of any production. These payments have a strict way in which they need to be handled in order to make sure that your talent is being compensated properly - whether it's payment upfront or payment on the backend. Conversely, if you are in a guild you need to ensure that your contract lays out the correct components with residuals to make sure that you are paid properly. Whether you are the person paying or the person receiving, we're talking about money here and you don't want to get it wrong. Understanding residual payments in some of the world's key film markets (US, UK and Canada) is vital to your production. As you are putting together your budget and ensuring that your production comes in at or under your budget you have to know how residuals work. Working with guilds can be tricky, but as long as you are clear upfront on how to pay their members and how that flows into your budget you can ensure success. And, if you're talent that belongs to a guild you want to ensure that you are getting every payment that is owed to you for your service on a project. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will teach you what exactly residuals are and go over a comparison of them in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. He will go into a deep dive example on a US example where he will discuss options for payments of residuals and how the calculation works. You will understand how the payment for residuals is secured in security interest, the collection account or the payroll house. He will even go over the agreements you should know that are related to residual payments. He will even dive into residual and media allocation and the recoupment schedule. You will leave with a clear understanding of how residuals work and how to best protect yourself on both sides when dealing with them. With this webinar you will receive free template downloads: DGA Basic Agreement SAG AFTRA Security Agreement SAG AFTRA Standard Agreement SAG AFTRA Television Distributors Assumption Agreement SAG AFTRA Television Buyers Assumption Agreement WGA Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement Standard CAM Agreement International Multi-picture Rights Distribution License Agreement Sample Webinar Resource Sheet Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
There are thousands of shows and films to watch on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other streaming platforms. Now, more than ever, there is a constant stream of incredible stories being told by content creators from all over the world. It is safe to say that there is something for everyone when it comes to this new form of distribution. But that doesn't mean you can just call up a streaming service and request a meeting! So, how do you get your story on a streaming platform for all the world to see? You need to understand the hurdles that content creators face in getting their product on these important streaming platforms and how to overcome them. Understanding the business structure of these top three players is key for you to break in, get your film or series seen through this distribution option and make money by doing so. It's important that you understand the global structure of these streamers, how they choose their content and what potential revenue might be for you as a filmmaker. Chad Miller has been working in the entertainment industry for more than 15 years and the bulk of his experience has been specifically focused on the business of on-demand entertainment. He's worked with Gravitas Ventures distribution specializing in Amazon, Hulu and Netflix and prior to that was with AT&T working with all the major studios ensuring that both their big tentpole titles were available to customers and also helped evaluate new content from new content aggregators and distributors. Now, he's bringing his extensive and specialized knowledge exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Chad will be discussing the broad differences between Amazon, Hulu and Netflix and how each of these streaming platforms select their content. You will learn the business structures of each of these platforms, what your distribution reach is and what your revenue expectations are as a content creator on these payment structures. You'll even walk away knowing international distribution options and ways you can negotiate the best deal. If you are a screenwriter, filmmaker, producer, or content creator hoping will find a home on Netflix, Amazon or Hulu this is your ultimate guide to understanding how you can make that happen!
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.
Love is in the air in the Writers' Room! We are kicking off a brand new month this week with the Breakdown Webcast: Writing Romantic Comedies! Jason was speaking with a Senior Vice President of Development at an A-List production company who said, "Every studio executive is asking me for Rom Coms!" If you look at recent trends, it is clear they are on a come back. We will break down the beats of a Romantic Comedy so that you as a writer approach writing without falling into the trap of tired cliches. We will also explore how to take the storytelling conventions and turn them on their head. We will examine films and series including When Harry Met Sally, 500 Days of Summer, The Apartment, Knocked Up, What Women Want and more to find out what makes these projects work and how we can apply those same principles to our writing!