An Award-winning playwright and screenwriter, David has penned over two-dozen plays, 15 of which are published through Samuel French, Inc. His works have been performed on Broadway, Off Broadway and throughout the world. He is the only playwright ever to have three plays premiere on the New York City stage in one month. In 2005 David began writing for film. He adapted his play FINGER PAINTING IN A MURPHY BED into a screenplay and produced it. As LOVE, LUDLOW, the film premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews; “Another Sundance treasure!” Roger Ebert reported. David sold the film to The Sundance Channel, Starz Channel and Warner Home Video. LOVE, LUDLOW was one of the few success stories of Sundance 2005. The screenplay was nominated for the HUMANITAS award for excellence in screen writing. David has also written for The New York Times, Moviemaker Magazine, Filmmaker magazine, and IndieSlate, among others. David’s second feature, Disney’s BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, was one of the most successful studio releases of 2007. His short, OPEN AIR, starring MUNICH’s Lynn Cohen, won numerous awards on the festival circuit and premiered with Shorts International. David’s films and documentaries have been seen in over 100 festivals worldwide. His most recent documentary, DON”T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’s JOURNEY was a hit on the Festival circuit, winning multiple awards, including the Palm Springs IFF Audience award and was also nominated for a Gotham award. David’s latest film, THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS, starring Glenn Close, Octavia Spencer, Kathy Bates and Julia Stiles premieres in theaters this Spring. He is currently at work on three other major family market adaptations – THE FLINT HEART, COME SING JIMMY JO, and MY FINAL ANSWER, with Beeholder productions (YOU DON’T KNOW JACK). David is a professional stuntman, an adjunct professor of screenwriting for NYIT of Manhattan, and serves on the Film Advisory Board for the Savannah, First Times, Gold Coast and Big Apple Film Festivals. David has served as a panelist for numerous film festivals in the U.S. and abroad, and is in great demand as a guest lecturer and motivational speaker at colleges, Universities and writer symposiums, most recently lecturing at the RIO IFF in Brazil. David is also a fireman; his memories as a 9/11 rescue worker were published in the novel 911-Book of Help, with his royalties going to scholarships for children who lost parents in the tragedy. Full Bio »
Many beginning filmmakers, even many accomplished ones, remain confused about “the market”, when it comes to short films. But the true question is not “Is there a market?” but rather “Is there a market for me, my film, in the short film world?” The answer is an unconditional “Yes.”
Short films are more popular than ever. With more and more film festivals catering to short films, increasing outlets for distribution, and online platforms offering the promise of revenue sharing models, the appeal of making a short film is on the rise. But how do you market your short film? How do you increase your chances of not only being seen, but even making a return on a short film? The answers are out there, if you know the right questions to ask.
David Paterson, is an accomplished writer, director, and producer of short films that have been seen in over 100 film festivals throughout the world. David knows that the "marketing" of your short begins well before FADE IN. And as an advisor to four major film festivals as well as performing as a juror on several short film contests, David is an expert at the most successful ways to market your short film.
David will discuss not only the many marketable elements of a short film, but how you can develop and cater that film to best benefit you as a writer, filmmaker, or producer. He will show you how, by focusing on your talents and profession within the short film, you can maximize "the bang for your buck".
Further, David will cover the holy grail that all filmmakers want to master: Distribution, Recognition and Monetization of their short film. None of these three objectives come without pitfalls. In comprehensive fashion, David will walk you through those pitfalls, how to avoid them, and put you on the road to recognizing and obtaining that perfect "market" for your short film.
"I find the market for short films daunting. While I love the process of making a film, getting it seen and the idea of making money off of my work has always been a black hole for me. This information made me realize that I've been taking an "all or nothing" approach instead of a targeted one."
- Maya V.
In each and every one of these topics David will use real life case studies and examples from his history of making and marketing short films!
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!
If there's one subject that seems to confound and confuse filmmakers, producers, screenwriters, financiers and even set designers more than any other, it's the world of product placement. Can you raise meaningful money through product placement? What products can I put in my film or screenplay and which should be avoided? What are the legalities when dealing with product placement? These are all very valid and important questions. Those who understand the way the product placement industry (and it is an industry unto itself) works use this aspect of the production process to raise significant funds and stay on the north side of any potential legal issues. Those who fail to understand often have difficulties with clearances (and by virtue, issues securing sales and distribution) and may find themselves on the south side of some major lawsuits that include claims copyright infringement, misuse, and other serious charges. While the world of product placement was once considered to be an unregulated wild west of backroom deals and shady characters, it is now developed into an extremely controlled and accessible industry. Choosing a partner in this arena can lead to monetary deals that can help you close the rest of your financing. It can also help you fund parts of your pre-production phase. But most of all, it can lead to creative flexibility for your screenwriter, your director, your producer, your set designer, and even your crew. Over a 20+ year career in the film industry, David Patterson has worked as a writer, director and producer on dozens of projects. His films have played at Sundance and other prestigious film festivals which have garnered him sales to distribution outlets and various networks including Sundance Channel, Starz Channel and Warner Bros. David's work attracted the attention of Disney and his Bridge To Terabithia, was a huge studio release and box office success for the studio. More recently, David’s film, The Great Gilly Hopkins, starring Glenn Close, Octavia Spencer, Kathy Bates and Julia Stiles opened theatrically to rave reviews. Throughout this journey he has always used product placement to help with the success of each of his films. David will demystify and clearly explain the world of product placement and how you can best utilize a product placement strategy for your project. He will start by defining product placement - it may surprise you to know there are over 12 answers! He will then dive into how you can use just about everything to help you with product placement from your script, to your cast and crew to your producers to locations to utilizing your actors. He will teach you how to secure product placement - where to look, how to approach, how to close a deal. He will show you how the legalities of product placement for film festivals and commercial release differ and what you need to have buttoned up. He will explain E & O insurance and if you truly need it at all. He will also go into all the mistakes filmmakers make along the way and share some horror stories from filmmaker/producer friends and how you can avoid making the same mistakes - mistakes that can cost you money, time, endorsements and put you into legal peril. Additionally, David will teach you all the tips and tricks he's learned along the way to get the most out of your product placement strategies and build relationships with the right companies and brands so you can go back to the well time and time again! "Brilliant." - Jonathan C. "I was so unfamiliar with this world. Incredible breakdown of what and what not to do. This one truly opened my eyes. Can't recommend it enough." - Heather P. "David, where have you been my entire producing life?" - Priya R. "I don't throw this word around often, but this webinar was genius." - Alan L.
For as much information and exposure that is out there about the entertainment industry and how it works, it can still feel like a jungle. The politics are difficult to track, the gatekeepers are difficult to access, and there’s no clear blueprint for how to “make it”. Hollywood is overwhelming for everyone trying to break in. It’s hard to know where to start, how to make inroads, or how to build a reputation or career—these are universal. Yet for those trying to transition to a creative career from a different industry or later in life, these challenges can feel even steeper. It’s not uncommon to view Hollywood as a young person’s game. After all, many people who find a foothold in the industry only do so after putting in a lot of work as an underpaid assistant or PA, a trajectory that might be possible for people in their 20s but is a lot less feasible when you’re older. It can feel like there’s an expiration date for when you’re “allowed” to break into the entertainment industry, and at some point, the doors simply close. This doesn’t need to be the case, though, and there are many examples of people finding success later in life or after transitioning from a different industry altogether. In fact, there are big advantages to taking this step at this point in your life and upper hands that Hollywood lifers will never experience. Nonetheless, transitioning to a creative career later in life is not easy and presents unique challenges. But with a strong lay of the land and the proper tools under your belt, it’s a journey that is absolutely achievable. Frank Stiefel began making films at age 63 and then won an Academy Award at age 70. Formerly a TV commercial executive in New York, Frank decided later in life to pursue filmmaking. His directorial debut, the documentary short INGELORE about mother, a deaf Holocaust survivor, played in festivals around the country and was later broadcast on HBO. In 2012, Frank began shooting the artist Mindy Alper as she completed an epic sculpture of her psychiatrist. This turned into his film HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405, which went on to win the Jury and Audience prizes at the Austin Film Festival and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. It was a nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject film at the International Documentary Association and earned Frank the Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards. Frank has found incredible success transitioning to a creative career later in life and is excited to reveal what he’s learned on his journey exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Using his own story and path to success, Frank will discuss how he made the jump to filmmaking later in life, what he learned along the journey, and what lessons you can take along with you as you make your own transition. After giving a short history of his own career, Frank will use his first short film INGELORE as a case study to explain how to do research and take notes in the trenches. He’ll give you ideas of how to make something of your own on the cheap and resources you can draw from. He’ll explain how to form your own “band”, and find the tribe you need to break in, and will offer tips on how to run your project. Frank will then focus on preparing to make the transition to a new creative career. He’ll go over questions you should ask yourself before making the switch and how to form your plan. He will talk about how to better afford the transition and other pieces of advice you should consider before making the leap. He’ll also explain the most important thing he learned while making the transition. Next, Frank will focus on his Oscar-winning film HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405 and how it came to be. He’ll explain how it began without a plan and how it later transitioned to a plan. He’ll also use HEAVEN as an example to demonstrate how you can use your unique personal background to inform your project, as well as how to take criticism along the way. Frank will also discuss what he’s learned from his multiple festival runs and how he’s used it to win an Oscar, and what comes next after winning. Finally, Frank will break down how to make your own age and experience work in your favor while breaking in. Finding success in Hollywood is difficult, but Frank has done so by carving his own path. He will give you perspective, inspiration, and strategies so that you can do the same. Praise for Frank's Stage 32 Webinar "Extremely inspirational. Great words of wisdom for mature people who want to break into the business." -Karen B. "It was awesome and encouraging to have Frank Stiefel talk to people in their 50s, 60s and 70s that its never too late. Thank you Stage 32 for bringing this programming." -Ann K. "I thought the candor with which Frank spoke was amazing." -Kerry B. "Perfect seminar. I shy away from signing up for these when it's someone who is just 'in the biz.' Frank had a very real take on how to be successful in the industry and I appreciated that. Dedicated filmmaker with years of experience in other aspects of art and storytelling. It made for a very engaging and emotional webinar." -Anthony N.
Learn directly from Scott Stoops, a manager at Benderspink who recently sold a pilot to CBS. Benderspink sold more spec scripts last year than any other management company and are best known for producing The Hangover franchise, The Ring franchise, We’re The Millers, Horrible Bosses 2, among many others! With the recent success of films such as It Follows, Insidious Chapter 3, Poltergeist and The Visit, it is evident that horror is becoming one of the most profitable and exciting genres in the industry. This is because horror films can be made on the cheap and still yield spectacular returns at the box office. Horror doesn’t rely on big IP, superheroes, or movie stars – all horror needs to deliver is a compelling story, told well, packed with plenty of chills and thrills. However, delivering on this is far easier said than done, and many writers miss important story elements that keep their horror scripts dead in the water. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Scott Stoops, a manager at Benderspink who is passionate about genre films, will teach you what makes a horror film successful, from developing a marketable and commercial plot, to unique and scary set pieces, to properly structuring and formatting your script to tell the best story possible. You will learn high-level story concepts, tips and tricks to help make your horror script scary and effective, and get an insider perspective on what concepts and types of horror films are currently selling in the marketplace. You will leave this webinar with an understanding of not only how to make your existing scripts stronger, but how to develop and come up with the next big horror hit film!
Learn directly from a studio executive, Nikki Levy, Vice President of Wedge Works at FOX! They say “write what you know” and then we sit there racking our brains for story ideas. What’s that big silver bullet, high-concept idea that will get me noticed? That will sell? That will put me on the map? STOP! There is a better saying, “If you survived childhood, you have enough stories to last for the rest of your life.” And that’s where my money is. Some of the most important screenplays and TV shows in the last two decades have come from complete TRUTH. Think of Seinfeld or the groundbreaking movie (500) Days of Summer. We don’t have to look outside ourselves for great ideas. What we have to do is look inwards, at our own life and pain and joys, to create great story ideas, comedy and dialogue. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Nikky Levy, veteran feature film executive and creator of the critically-acclaimed comedy event Don’t Tell My Mother!, will teach you how to turn your life into a killer story that gets YOU noticed. She will look at ways to find the gems of struggle and victory in your life, and how to translate those into cohesive stories with an arc, a strong narrative structure and characters we love. Nikki will examine how to keep our work from becoming a therapy session, and instead crafting it into an emotional, funny, relatable story. She will examine movies that did this successfully, and why. She will also discuss how to spin your own personal history into an engaging “story” so you wow executives, agents, managers and talent.
It's the question every screenwriter eventually wants an answer to: How do I get a manager. There's a lot of information out there, and probably even more misinformation, on the proper approach toward attracting and securing a manager. The truth of the matter is that most managers are tremendously busy. They are not only reading their clients scripts, they're helping them flesh out new ideas. And when they're not reading their clients' work, they're reading scripts recommended to them by trusted sources and staying on top of industry trends, as well as production company/network/streamer mandates, wants and needs. So how best to break through and make sure you have the most solid chance to land a quality manager? What if you had the chance to pull back the curtain back and hear directly from a successful literary manager as to what makes them interested? Now you can. All writers think they have the next great screenplay. And maybe you do! But to get the proper feedback, get the script into market shape, and have a confidant on the business side of your pursuits to get your work out there, having a great manager who's plugged in can make all the difference. Unlike agents, managers are there to make sure all of your screenplays are molded toward marketability. Additionally, they're in the career building business. They'll help you hone and shape not only your existing screenplays, but your ideas for the next one and the one after that so that you go from novice to experienced and in demand. Conrad Sun currently working as a Film & TV Literary Manager and Development Executive at Meridian Artists, a management company with offices in United States and Canada. Originally from Canada himself, Conrad made the move to Los Angeles nearly 10 years ago where he attended the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark Producing Program. After attaining his masters in film & TV producing, Conrad went on to work in both film & TV lit management at New Wave Entertainment, and TV production at Motion Theory Films. Conrad currently heads the Los Angeles offices of Meridian Artists and reps film & TV writers in both the comedy and drama space. Conrad writers have credits including BLINDSPOT, BOJACK HORSEMAN, 2 BROKE GIRLS, MOTIVE and SLASHER. In this jam-packed 90-minute plus webinar, Conrad will give a complete and thorough overview of the screenwriter/manager relationship. He will explain the often confusing world of managers vs. agents and explain which one you need first, what each does for their clients and whether you'll ever need both. He will explain how a manager works in the day-to-day so you can understand how to best help your manager to position yourself toward success. Then, Conrad will dive into the nitty gritty of how to get the attention of a manager, the importance of writing samples, how to utilize writing groups, the psychology of your reader. From there, Conrad will use real world examples by breaking down the pilot for BLINDSPOT. Conrad will also go over the merits (or lack thereof) of query letters, screenwriting contests, pitchfests and more. And in one of the most important but overlook aspects of the building of a screenwriter's career, Conrad will discuss the importance of defining, building, and explaining your brand and the brand of your work. You will also receive a list of resources from Conrad to help you on your screenwriting journey. This is an all out, fully comprehensive look at how to find, secure and build a relationship with a quality literary manager. Praise for Conrad "There are so many 'experts' out there giving advice on how to secure management. This webinar proved how much of it is BS. Thanks to Conrad for giving the straight skinny." - Steven L. "So much logic. So much common sense." - Gina P. "Eye-opening and immensely helpful." - Heather P. "I've wasted so much time taking the long, winding road. Thanks for putting me on the highway." - Drea T. "My 5th Stage 32 webinar and I get more impressed with each one I take." - Michael M.
Learn directly from Heather Hale, Independent Film and TV Producer and Director who is vetted to pitch projects to NBC Universal and whose 50 hours of television have won Emmys, Tellys and Ace Awards as well as "Best New Series Pilot"! Our industry has changed dramatically - and it continues to evolve. This webinar will help you strategize how to find the best points of entry for your projects in the overlapping but distinct media marketplaces. Learn time-proven techniques and new resources to proactively brainstorm the right attachments and elements for your project. Learn how to identify, research and prioritize a finely honed hit list of marquis-value actors appropriate for not only the roles – but your budget and genre; bankable, "gettable" directors that will do justice to your project's sensibilities; legitimate financiers and distributors proficient in your niche and the brands that are eager to hit your target demographics. Figure out how to track them all down, strategize the best approaches to get on their radars and develop the kind of materials and pitches they will most likely respond to. Heather uses in-the-trenches humor, candor and real world examples to illuminate the many paths to getting a project up onto the big (or little) screen.