When Matt Harry's original fantasy script SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS was going nowhere, he turned it into a novel that became a hit. The novel was described as “J.K. Rowling meets V.E. Schwab,” and Publishers Weekly declared it “a charming package and drily funny adventure.” Since then, the book was recently optioned for television by Boatrocker Media and Matt was hired to adapt the pilot. Book II in Matt’s series, CRYPTOZOOLOGY FOR BEGINNERS was published in 2019 and his middle-grade adventure novel SUPERKID is slated to be published in June 2021. His first produced feature screenplay, FUGUE, landed on several top-ten lists, won Best Horror Film at the Mississippi Film Festival, and was picked up for distribution by GoDigital. Matt has also written screenplays for Primary Wave, Platform One Media, Co-op Entertainment, and Flynn Picture Co. His short film SUPER KIDS, which he wrote and co-directed, has over 6 million views on YouTube. His TV pilot MONSTER COPS was awarded Grand Prize in the Second City Original Sitcom Contest, and is currently in development. Matt has experienced firsthand what can happen when you turn your own work into existing IP and is ready to give you the lowdown. Full Bio »
Getting your work seen and considered is a SLOG, as any writer can attest. No matter how great your script is, even if it has placed in contests, even if you’re repped by a manager or agent, it is hard to break through the noise and get execs or studios interested in what you have to offer. Part of the problem, though, is that execs are often scared to move forward with an original story. It’s more of a gamble than relying on remakes, sequels, or other projects that already have brand awareness and a built-in audience. Yet this doesn’t have to be a deal breaker for you or your script. Instead, you can use this to your advantage.
Like it or not, production companies and studios big and small are moving forward overwhelmingly with projects based on IP, or intellectual property—in other words, films that feature characters, worlds, and stories that already exist in other formats or other films. IP is the name of the game now, so let’s play the game! How? Turn your script into IP. It’s actually more possible than you think. Whether it’s a novel, a podcast, a web series, or other formats, you can prove your story’s worth and independently build your own audience so that execs start coming to you and that dream script of yours can actually get made. It’s been done, it continues to be done, and you can do it too.
Don’t believe us? Listen to writer Matt Harry. When his original fantasy script SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS was going nowhere, he turned it into a novel that became a hit. The novel was described as “J.K. Rowling meets V.E. Schwab,” and Publishers Weekly declared it “a charming package and drily funny adventure.” Since then, the book was recently optioned for television by Boatrocker Media and Matt was hired to adapt the pilot. Book II in Matt’s series, CRYPTOZOOLOGY FOR BEGINNERS was published in 2019 and his middle-grade adventure novel SUPERKID is slated to be published in June 2021. His first produced feature screenplay, FUGUE, landed on several top-ten lists, won Best Horror Film at the Mississippi Film Festival, and was picked up for distribution by GoDigital. Matt has also written screenplays for Primary Wave, Platform One Media, Co-op Entertainment, and Flynn Picture Co. His short film SUPER KIDS, which he wrote and co-directed, has over 6 million views on YouTube. His TV pilot MONSTER COPS was awarded Grand Prize in the Second City Original Sitcom Contest, and is currently in development.
Matt has experienced firsthand what can happen when you turn your own work into existing IP and is ready to give you the lowdown.
Exclusively for Stage 32, Matt will teach you how you can turn your own script into IP to prove your story’s worth and get producers and execs interested. He will dig into why IP is so valuable, what types of IP exist, and how time consuming or expensive each type can be to create. Matt will lay out the seven main types of IP you can adapt your story into, all of which can offer your script leverage. Matt will discuss each type of IP and explain the steps you can take to make each happen and will also give you tips on deciding which IP format is right for your own project. He will also lay out what to do after your IP is out there to build your audience, get reviews, and incorporate your success into your pitch for production companies and studios.
If you have an original script you believe in, keep at it. Matt will show you how you can use IP to your advantage and beat Hollywood at their own game.
Praise for Matt's Stage 32 Webinar
"Overall it was very informative. The fact that there was an actual tried and true professional of the industry willing and able to answer questions and give the talk was a very huge plus for me."
- J. Brown
"Matt has such a way with words. Articulates concepts exceptionally well."
- K. Masters
"I loved how well-rounded he was in his creative endeavors. Matt knew about so many avenues to getting a script noticed."
- Peter M
"Matt Harry is a very knowledgeable person. Matt went into it with a solid plan that made picking up what was left out easier due to him referencing materials to look into for ourselves."
- Jaboris B.
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!
Learn directly from Marty Lang, award winning producer of over 20 films! Making an independent film is hard, no matter where you're doing it. But there's great news – no matter where you film, there are treasure troves of resources available to you, if you know where to look. In any community, there are people, government agencies, and organizations that are looking to help people just like you. The smart filmmaker will find them, engage them, and work with them to create a much better film than they had, at first, imagined. This type of filmmaking is called place-based filmmaking, and it can be done in any big city, small town, county or state. If you think about how to engage your local community from the moment you start thinking about your film, you will be able to better capture the authenticity of where you are in your work, as well as open yourself up to resources you may not have had before. Marty Lang is a an award winning producer of over 20 films, best known for his feature romantic dramedy, Rising Star, in which he implemented place-based filmmaking and engaged his community’s resources from production to distribution. This film went on to win awards at various film festivals and was featured in Filmmaker Magazine, Film Threat and Film Courage. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Marty will teach you how to create a successful place-based film. Using examples of place-based filmmaking from his own resume, Marty will show you how place-based filmmaking will help you develop your story more organically, and how it will help you solve many problems before you even get into production.
Creating your web or digital series as a calling card for your talent or idea has become a hot way to break in. There’s no better way to showcase the viability of your vision than a successful series. Hits like High Maintenance on HBO to shows like Drunk History or Broad City on Comedy Central all got their starts as web series that caught the eye of network executives. In this era of DIY content creation, now is your time to shine by creating a web or digital series, which will also serve as valuable IP (intellectual property) for you and your brand as a creative. With so many factors to consider to create a season for your web or digital series, where do you even begin? How do you not break the bank creating and filming it? And how do you assure your story is fine tuned to keep your budget down and make certain your scheduling, casting and locations make sense financially? You don’t have to overthink or overestimate the budget of your series. In fact, most webseries (and many successful ones the came before have proven this out) can be done for as little as $500 an episode. Yes, you heard that right, $500 per episode! Keith Powell has taken everything he’s learned as an actor on high-budget episodic productions (such as 30 Rock and The Newsroom), modified it, and applied it to creating a successful micro-budget web series. And he did all this without breaking the bank and while keeping his sanity intact (well, kind of). And being the kind of guy he is, now Keith wants to share this knowledge with you. Keith will teach you the building blocks toward creating an artistically successful series without stretching your budget. You will walk away with all the tools necessary to help you during development, pre-production, production, post-production and even distribution. Most importantly, you will learn how - even with the glut of web series available online and within the market - you can make a product that stands out above the noise (and there definitely is noise!) Creating a web or digital series is something YOU can control and that can open doors to help launch your creative career. Keith will provide you with the tools to get started and establish the brand of your content and the brand of you!
Let's face it. We spend a good portion of our days on social media. Be it Stage 32, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter we're constantly checking in. For many, social media serves as a fun distraction. But for those in the know, social media is a powerful tool to build your presence, brand, and portfolio as an actor. It's an absolute and undeniable fact that casting directors, managers and agents search social media platforms every day to help them with their ultimate goal - to find new, exceptional talent that they can book on open projects. Yet, so many actors misuse or ignore social medial altogether. That has to change. Your online presence can help you get noticed, get in front of the right people, get you in rooms, and, ultimately, accelerate your path to success. Being an actor today is more than just being talented at delivering lines. You have to approach acting with the mindset of an entrepreneur. That means taking advantage of all online opportunities for branding and exposure. You're in full control of taking time to carefully craft your online presence. You have to make sure your actor profiles and resume have the information and media decision makers want to see. You have to understand how to use social media the right way to capture the attention of people that can hire you. Actors who are taking the time to do this correctly have a competitive advantage. Wendy Alane Wright is the CEO of WAW Entertainment, a leading talent management firm in Los Angeles. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, HBO, Comedy Central, BIO, SyFy, Lifetime, and more. Some of the projects her clients have booked are TV shows including Modern Family, Black-ish, American Horror Story, Sharp Objects as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Universal Studios, Homegoods, Walmart, Justice, Target, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. After decades in the business Wendy uses the internet now more than ever to help her find talent and decide on talent when sending her clients on auditions. Wendy will teach you how your online presence can help you get more auditions (or lose them!). She'll help you zone in on what your brand is as an actor and how you can best portray that online. You'll learn what is needed on your online profiles such as Actors Access to be competitive, stand out, and be considered for more roles. Wendy will show you examples of actor profiles, resumes, social media accounts and talk through what about them stands out to casting directors, managers and agents. She'll teach you five things to up your game immediately on social media and how to approach networking to get noticed. And, she'll answer the question on every actor's mind: does your follower count matter? One of the industry's top talent agents will walk you through all of this step-by-step so you are crystal clear on what goes on in their mind when they're looking at you online. "Wendy, thank you for sharing your time, energy and insight. Seeing the profile examples and hearing you describe what casting directors and agents look for was extremely helpful. I hope to work with you one day!" - Jack S. "This is a fantastic webinar!! Wendy's straightforward approach answered so many questions that I kept asking myself about social media." - Amber F.
In this Pitch Tank webcast, we welcome producer Aimee Schoof of Intrinsic Value Films. Aimee has produced more than 35 feature films! Of those, 10 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, 4 at the Tribeca Film Festival, 3 at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale. Among many of her notable films, she produced TESLA with Ethan Hawke, AMERICAN SATAN with Malcolm McDowell, MARJORIE PRIME with Jon Hamm, EXPERIMENTER with Peter Sarsgaard, BLUE CAPRICE with Isiaiah Washington, Tim Blake Nelson, DEATH OF A DYNASTY with Kevin Hart and Rashida Jones, and XX/XY with Mark Ruffalo. She has expanded into television and currently has a slate of scripted and unscripted projects and feature films in all phases of production. And on top of all of that, Aimee is also a partner in the comic book publishing company Red Giant Entertainment, developing comic book properties for film and TV! During the webcast, we hear pitches that range from Sci-Fi to Supernatural in both film and television! Aimee provides some incredible insights and provides her 2 key pieces of advice to keep in mind while pitching!
The world of independent horror is like no other arena in the film industry. The appetite for new horror films is strong, consistent, and seemingly endless, as always-hungry audiences continue to seek out new titles. As a result, hundreds of horror films are made each year and the market itself is incredibly profitable. Yet in such a saturated market and with such a volume of horror films being released, it can be very hard to stand out. After all, out of hundreds of horror films, there are always only a couple BABADOOKs or GREEN ROOMs that have real staying power. A lot of people are able to work in the horror space, but staying in and thriving can be a lot more difficult. The challenge lies in figuring out what you can do to make your project and your work stand out. The independent horror film industry can be a difficult world to navigate, fraught with unique challenges and hurdles. Rules and trends that apply to the film industry on a larger scale can often differ when zoomed into just horror. It’s important, then, for filmmakers interested in the independent horror space to understand this market specifically and better operate within it. How do you get meetings, get your work read, create a name for yourself, and get attention? How can you create projects and own your craft to continue to work within the constantly changing space of horror cinema? The horror world does have plenty of obstacles, but there are many steps you can take at any level of your career to get ahead of the curve. Rebekah McKendry was the Editor-in-Chief for Blumhouse Productions as well as the Director of Marketing for Fangoria Entertainment. She is also currently a co-host of Blumhouse’s award-winning Shock Waves Podcast (along with Ryan Turek, Blumhouse's VP of Development) and host of Fangoria’s Nightmare University Podcast. Rebekah now serves as a professor in the renowned University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts Department, specializing in directing and the horror genre. There are few people in the world who understand the world of horror filmmaking better than Rebekah, and she’s excited to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Rebekah will explore how to understand trends and tastes in horror, changes in distribution models and budgets, and how you can prepare for a long career. She will begin with a brief history of independent horror cinema, focusing on how horror tastes have evolved, how the genre has developed, what sort of trends have been created, how distribution models have changed, and social issues and problems that have come along with it. She’ll then delve into the current horror film market. She’ll outline the key players who are producing notable horror films and discuss the successful budget ranges that we are seeing right now. Rebekah will go over the production models that are being used in the horror space, including the conventional “studio” model, as well as the Blumhouse model. Next she’ll get into the microbudget film, what that looks like and what you have to maintain for it to work. Rebekah will then talk about distribution and how to navigate this part of the industry. She’ll teach you about the contemporary trends in horror films, outlining what’s popular and why, and what might be coming in the future. She’ll discuss the specific need and push for diverse voices within this genre and speak to the opportunity for social awareness in these films. Next Rebekah will teach you how to thrive in the horror industry as a filmmaker. She’ll go over how to craft a project, how to generate hype and get exposure for it, how to navigate conventions and festivals and what you can do to help get your script read. You will leave this webinar with a firm handle on this unique and tricky subsection of the film industry. Praise for Rebekah's Stage 32 Webinar "This was awesome! Succinct but full of up-to-date information and very motivating. I love that she harped on "just make something!" So positive and supportive and I learned a lot!" -Allie R. "This was amazing! I was hesitant about spending $50 on this but it was worth every penny!" -Taylor D. "I thought Rebekah had by FAR the best webinar I have seen yet. She has such passion and coveys it- and she obviously has been in the industry and around it in so many ways her whole career - fantastic!" -Gail B. "This is exactly what I needed to see and hear, and Rebekah provided so much good information that I can apply to my projects." -Irene C.
Any independent filmmaker can tell you that one of the key rules to creating a successful film is to use what you got. This is especially true (and especially challenging) with cinematography. With a limited budget you’re likely not going to have the state-of-the-art equipment or perfectly lit soundstage to get the optimal shot. Often you’re going to have to make do with the locations the team was able to rustle up. These locations might be too small, might lack natural light, might be the wrong color. Well that’s too bad. If you want your indie film to look great, you’re going to have to be scrappy, adapt quickly, and be ready to pull a couple miracles out of your hat. Don’t think this won’t be noticed though; having the tools to make any location look great will not only elevate the film you’re working on, but also bolster your own reputation and prove your worth as a DP or director. It might not always be fully appreciated, but if you’re serving as DP, it’s down to you to take any shot and make it cinematic. Sometimes this might be as easy as setting up a fill light, but especially for low-budget projects, it’s often much more complicated. With a lack of access to sufficient resources, it can feel like reinventing the wheel to make any shot work. However, coming to set knowing the questions to ask and the tools at your disposal can make all the difference. What combination of a fill light, key light, and back light will work best? How can you use the props and materials that happen to be around to draw the eye to your subject? And perhaps most importantly, when should you push to make the shot better and when should you recognize that it’s as good as it’s going to be? Barry Andersson is an award-winning director and cinematographer. He has directed 5 feature films, many of which were released in theaters—his most recent film is being distributed by Lionsgate. Barry’s career as a cinematographer includes several television pilots, acclaimed short films, numerous commercials, and countless commercials and corporate videos. Barry is also the author of the DSLR Filmmakers Handbook. Barry has had to light and shoot more ugly locations than he can count and has developed a slew of strategies to tackle the challenges they bring. Barry will give you tips and tools to pull beauty out of the ugliest of locations. Barry will start by going through the basics of art direction and what expectations directors will have of you as a DP. Using case studies and practical examples, Barry will outline how to find and create depth in flat locations and how to use available lighting to your advantage, even if it’s not ideal. He’ll then give you ideas of how to find use available props and items you might not have considered to add dimension to your shot. Then Barry will discuss the importance of where in the location to place your talent to elevate or destroy your scene. Finally Barry will delve into the best way to choose the right lens for each shot. You'll walk away from this fun webinar knowing how to navigate any small space surprises once you get on set with your equipment. Praise for Barry's Webinar: "Very professional and Barry gave good advice" -Carol L. "Excellent webinar . Many great tips I can definitely use. Thanks!" -Ron H. "Barry has a bunch of great strategies that I'm totally going to use on my next shot" -Charlie C. "Super interesting and super practical advice. Thank you!" -Tina R.