Courtney is a 5-time award winning director who has worked with the biggest names in entertainment including Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Usher, and Britney Spears. He's a staff writer for the hit show "Saints & Sinners" on Bounce TV and recently completed his first feature film A Stone Cold Christmas for Bounce TV, where he served as the co-writer and director. Courtney has development deals with TBS, Lionsgate, MGM, Legendary, Weed Road, Viola Davis' company Juvee, Bounce TV, and Will Packer. His award winning short film REPAIRations! - The Musical, received the Director's Choice Diversity in Cannes Best Musical. He has directed commercials for Nike, Apple & Hewlett Packard. Full Bio »
Writing a film for television has a ‘unique set of skills’ which are different from writing a traditional screenplay. If you never learn how to write for the BOOM!, act break structure, number of locations, and characters, you’ll get stuck in re-writing hell or worse yet, never have your script read. Understanding script structure, outlining, and deliverables for television films prior to writing will give you a leg up on the competition. Additionally, each network has its own set of rules and you want to ask the right questions prior to typing ‘Fade In’.
With more television networks producing their own content and films, the need for content is higher than ever. However, TV films have their own structure and layout, especially when dealing with networks that have commercial breaks. Additionally, working with producers and executives is a different animal than working with producers and executives in the independent world.
Courtney Miller Jr. is a 5-time award winning director who has worked with the biggest names in entertainment including Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Usher, and Britney Spears. He's a staff writer for the hit show Saints & Sinners on Bounce TV and recently completed his first feature film A Stone Cold Christmas for Bounce TV, where he served as the co-writer and director. Courtney has development deals with TBS, Lionsgate, MGM, Legendary, Weed Road, Viola Davis' company Juvee, Bounce TV, and Will Packer. His award winning short film REPAIRations! - The Musical, received the Director's Choice Diversity in Cannes Best Musical. He has directed commercials for Nike, Apple & Hewlett Packard. He knows the television writing and directing landscape inside and out and he's ready to share his knowledge with you.
Courtney will dive in by explaining all the differences between writing a TV and a traditional film screenplay. He will discuss how to format acts, how to be sensitive to the shooting schedule, what you can expect regarding deadlines and delivery dates and how to navigate dealing with the network. From there, Courtney will take you to the greenlit phase where you'll need to know what deliverables you are responsible for, how much time you'll be given to deliver your rewrite, and how to handle network notes (there will be plenty). Courtney will then jump into the writing process including how to write for the BOOM!, how many acts you need to have in your script (and if that varies) and the importance of writing a compelling and attention grabbing Act 1. Going even deeper, Courtney will discuss beat sheets, how many beats you need to add, and what your overall beat sheet should look like. And finally, Courtney will explain how to write an outline that keeps the execs happy and off your back so you can go do what you do best...write!
"Another winner for Stage 32. I have many scripts I thought would be a better fit for television and now I know how to get it done!"
- Fiona C.
"I'm ready to write for the BOOM! Thanks, Courtney!"
- Miguel P.
"It's always been a dream of mine to have something on the Hallmark channel. Now I have the framework and I'm ready to start writing."
"Couldn't have been any better. Great detail!"
- Ida W.
Differences Between a TV Film and a Traditional Film
What Happens After the Greenlight
TV Film Script Structure
Creating a Beat Sheet
Creating the Outline
Q&A with Courtney
Courtney Miller Jr.
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In this challenge, you were asked to use The Breakdown Webcast: What the *&%$ is a Dramedy? as a guide to write a short scene (1-5 pages) that uses all of the principles discussed. Make sure to watch the Breakdown Webcast for those tips! You can find that by clicking here. We received some excellent submissions that all attempted to ride that fine line of truly being a "Dramedy."
It’s a dream of many to turn their idea for a television show into reality and actually sell their series to a network or company. And with so many shows constantly being created by more and more companies, this dream is coming true for more people all the time. As networks continue looking for new ideas, new voices, and diverse perspectives to fill up their slate, opportunities have never been greater to get your television show sold. And yet, it’s going to take more than a great idea and a great voice to get your TV series picked up. After the research, the writing, and development, there’s a lot you need to do if you want your series to get noticed and see the light of day. The truth is having a completed pilot is only half the battle. You also need to understand the current TV market and how to get that pilot seen. This can feel like a large or insurmountable task. Where do you even start? Do you call production companies? Hit up a studio? Perhaps reach out to a network? Do you need to attach a showrunner or an actor? How do you approach the next steps of trying to sell your show? These next steps aren’t easy, but there is a lot you can learn to better prepare you for the battle ahead. Antonio D'Intinio is one of the hardest working managers in the industry that represents screenwriters and directors at Circle of Confusion. He began his career at the agency APA before joining Jeremy Platt at Plattform, where you helped manage Plattform's first look deal with Amazon Studios. Antonio’s clients work across film and television, selling shows to Apple, Universal TV, eOne among others and their films have been recognized by numerous organizations and festivals including The Nicholl Fellowship, Cannes, Sundance and SXSW. Antonio has years of experience shopping and selling his clients' shows and knows what it takes for a series to find success. Antonio will teach you exactly how you can sell your TV series. He will begin by describing the general TV landscape. Then he’ll outline the players in the landscape and how they operate, including showrunners, production companies, studios and networks. He will walk through the three main seasons of broadcast network television—staffing, development, and pilot season. Antonio will share 3 approaches to setting up a TV show, which include format, pitches, original pilot, and intellectual property. Next he will delve into the concept of a TV package and how best to incorporate producers, showrunners, talent, and directors. Then he will outline how individuals get paid once a TV show is set up. He’ll explain the agent packaging fee, the producer fee, royalties, and residuals. Finally Antonio will pull the curtain back on the current marketplace and explain how many shows get bought vs. produced vs. aired vs. ordered to series. The TV landscape is murky, but Antonio will walk you through how it actually works and how you can navigate it to better your chances of getting your own television series sold. Praise for Antonio's Previous Stage 32 Webinar "Antonio really took us behind the curtain with a no B.S. approach. A straight shooter that tells it like it is. Eyes wide open for me now." -Michael K. My goal was always to be repped. And I got my wish. And it went terrible. We weren't on the same page. I didn't know what to do. After watching Antonio's presentation, my last rep and I parted ways and I was able to secure a new manager. The change has been night and day. We work together for a common goal. Thank you, Antonio! - Steven L.
**Extra Session Opened Due to Popular Demand - 1 Spot Left** Write and complete your feature screenplay before the year ends—all under the mentorship of global executive Thomas Pemberton of Mind’s Eye Entertainment, who has already discovered four writers through Stage 32 and has their projects under option! For less than $100 a week you can finally get your passion project written and out there! Plus! Comes with a Free 6 hour On Demand Screenwriting Class Writing a screenplay is a HUGE undertaking that can often be overwhelming and isolating. But it doesn’t have to be. Finding your community to offer support, expert guidance and, perhaps most important of all, accountability to actually finish your script can make all the difference. Completing your screenplay is the first and often most daunting hurdle you need to face to get your work out there and create a name and career for yourself, but now is the time to do it. Let’s make sure you have the resources and expertise you need to face this challenge head on and finally get your passion project on paper. Thomas Pemberton is the Development Executive at the global production company Mind's Eye Entertainment, which has produced over 60 feature film and television projects. The company has been instrumental in establishing the Canadian film and television industry with exceptional, exportable projects that have sold to over 200 territories around the world. The company has produced over $400 million in production and has garnered over 50 national and international awards. Thomas is currently in post-production on Mel Gibson and Famke Janssen's latest action-thriller, DANGEROUS and previously worked on RECALL with Wesley Snipes, HUMANITY BUREAU with Oscar-winner Nicholas Cage, DISTORTED with Christina Ricci and John Cusack, DAUGHTER OF THE WOLF with Oscar-winner Richard Dreyfus, SCORE TO SETTLE again with Nicholas Cage, and a YA series based on the best selling books called AVALON. Thomas has a keen eye for great material and is quick to champion material he believes in. He discovered four writers through Stage 32 who now have their projects under option with Mind’s Eye Entertainment! You can read more here. Over 12 intensive weeks, Thomas will work closely with you and a small group of writers in outlining, writing, and actually completing your feature film screenplay. Each week, Thomas will lead an intimate group session where he will offer notes and guidance on specific portions of each writer’s screenplay or planning documents, incrementally and methodically working towards a complete and polished product. You will additionally have the benefit of getting support, feedback and perspective from the other members of the lab, as well as the opportunity to offer your own for their projects. Take control of your dream and creative career and give yourself the accountability and guidance you need to clear this obstacle and write something you can be proud of and that will get you noticed. Plus! Purchasing this exclusive lab also gives you free access to our popular 4-part on demand class on perfecting the basics of screenwriting, a $400 value!
Get Your Scripted Narrative Film Editing Certification Exclusively Through Stage 32 Keeping you on the cutting-edge of the entertainment industry because we are the global online resource for creative professionals. Payment plans available - contact email@example.com for details Ready to master your craft? Learn the principles of storytelling through an editor’s eyes with advanced editing techniques, often overlooked by even the most accomplished film editors. Stage 32’s online Scripted Narrative Film Editing certification is perfect for those beginning their journey and working professionals alike to boost their command of film editing while getting hands-on practice throughout our online certification. When choosing the best film editing training, you want the best showing you how to enter the professional market with confidence, and Stage 32 is making that happen for you. A Script Narrative Film Editing Certification from Stage 32 can help you expand your post-production career. In this 14-session course over four months, you will learn insider techniques for setting up your Adobe Premiere Pro workspace for your skills and needs, positioning you to best show your scripted narrative skills from the very first cut. This certification digs into essential and often overlooked editing techniques, organization, principles of scripted narrative, how to work with director and producers on live edits, and how to apply these techniques to projects of every budget. You will receive direct feedback on weekly assignments, receive templates and handouts for future use, and have the opportunity in and outside of the course to ask your instructor questions to ensure you walk away confident in your mastery of scripted narrative film editing. Stage 32 is the worldwide leader in entertainment industry education and is a marketplace that connects creators with content producers. After you finish your certification, you will earn an exclusive Stage 32 Certificate, and Stage 32 will provide you resources to help take your new skills into the professional marketplace, including a career development meeting with an industry professional. Get certified from a leading industry expert. With 15 years of experience in screenwriting and editing in feature films, commercials, and short form, Won Novalis is a master at honing the scripted narrative film edit. The awarding-winning editor leads his team at the production company, Cry, to deliver the quality polish of a big post-house at a fraction of the cost. Won is a fast-paced, meticulous editor who envisions the end goal and uses feeling and intuition to craft stories to their final stage. With his effective, customized workflows and open vulnerability, Won creates a final product that never fails to deliver. Won is experienced in editing film, television, commercials, and short films, working with such commercial clients as GE, United Way, and others. And he continues to master his craft as a storyteller as he earned an MFA in Screenwriting. He is also a co-owner, founder, and Head of Production at the New York-based, CRY, working with clients all over the US. Ready to take the next step? This exclusive certification was designed for your success by entertainment industry professionals. Exclusively through Stage 32 for less than $100 a week, you will become a certified scripted narrative film editor with the tools needed to enter the professional market. PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 certification course is limited to 10 people and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with 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. "Won is a mix of tech and creativity. Being able to work with an editor who is not only technically proficient but also understands the nuances of telling the story through the edit is invaluable. Won is all of that and more." - Tracy J. Trost, Writer/Director
Let’s face it, attaching the right actor (or actors) can make or break the success of you getting your project off the ground. Putting the right talent in the pole position will greatly increase your chances of gaining finishing funds, selling a project, securing meaningful distribution and more. But to stand out in a sea of offers that quality talent receives on an almost daily basis takes knowledge and understanding. So how do you get your project in front of the right actor and give yourself the best chance to get a “yes”? In the independent filmmaking world understanding how to formulate and put together talent offers is vital. With actors getting more offers than ever from streaming platforms, cable networks and alternative programming it’s imperative that your offer stands out from the crowd. You can push your project to the top of the decision making pile if you know how to put together the right offer. In what has been a wildly successful career, Jim Young has produced nearly 20 independent films. How did he get so many made? By attaching talent such as Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Dev Patel, Cuba Gooding Jr., Amanda Seyfried and more. Nobody understands how to attach talent better than Jim. And now he's ready to share his tried and true approaches with you so you too can attach meaningful talent to your projects. Jim will delve into the process of attracting and signing talent to your film. This will include a primer as to the roles of casting directors, talent agents, lawyers, and foreign sales agents and how each operates. He will show you what additional materials and information you need to send along with the script and the actual offer. He will also discuss elements to consider when negotiating talent deals to make sure you have a competitive advantage. Plus! As an added bonus Jim is including downloadable templates for you to work from as you put together your own deals! These invaluable documents are yours to keep.
A Note From Stage 32 Founder & CEO, Richard Botto: This exclusive Stage 32 Master Class comes from one of my favorite people on the planet, Stephen Follows. Stephen is not only a filmmaker, screenwriter, producer and educator, but also a master statistician. In fact, I first became aware of Stephen when I discovered (and found myself lost for hours in) his incredible blog where he chronicles the results of his extensive research into data and statistics related to the film industry. So taken was I by Stephen's work that I sought him out prior to my trip to London for the Raindance Film Festival and requested a meeting. Not only did Stephen accept, but he kept our meeting in spite of a horrible cold, ultimately spending 2 more hours than planned. That's the kind of guy Stephen is. But his mind, as you are about to discover, is another story entirely. I'm thrilled and honored to announce that not only will Stephen be contributing a number of columns for the Stage 32 Blog, but he will be teaching the first ever Stage 32 Master Class. Stephen's Master Class will be on crowdfunding, and I promise you it will be the most inclusive, insightful and factual (backed by more stats than you could imagine) class ever taught on the subject. Stephen has analyzed over 50,000 film crowdfunding campaigns -- yes, you read that right -- and is bringing his findings to the Stage 32 community EXCLUSIVELY. Never before has this extensive of research and discovery been taught on crowdfunding for filmmakers. It's an honor to welcome and introduce to you, the incredible Stage 32 community, my friend, Stephen Follows. About the Stage 32 Next Level Master Class - Advanced Crowdfunding For Filmmakers: Launching a crowdfunding campaign is easy – ensuring you actually reach your goal is not. Especially if you need to raise a large amount or you’re competing in a crowded marketplace. Rather than leaving it up to chance, or learning on-the-job, let film data expert Stephen Follows take you through the inside scoop on what works and what doesn’t. Stephen brings his experience of teaching at some of the world’s best film schools, running a leading online video agency and as a film industry data expert. He has crunched the numbers on over 50,000 crowdfunding film campaigns from platforms including Kickstarter and Indiegogo, studied the videos on the top 5,200 film projects, interviewed over 50 filmmakers and people who work at the major crowdfunding companies. Notes: This is an advanced course and we expect all students to have a basic knowledge of crowdfunding. Please also note that the free course Stephen discusses in the recording is no longer available and only available to students who took his course live.