Marc Scott Zicree has written and produced hundreds of hours of drama series TV for most of the major studios and networks, including Paramount, Universal, Disney, Sony/Columbia Tri-Star, MGM, Castle Rock, New Line, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, WB, UPN, Showtime, PBS, Turner, USA Networks, Syfy, Discovery, Nickelodeon, the BBC, Marvel and NPR. Zicree’s landmark book The Twilight Zone Companion has been credited with creating the modern genre of books on TV series and inspiring a generation of series creators and filmmakers, including J.J Abrams and Damon Lindelof. The Companion was an instant bestseller (over a half million copies to date) and named in 2006 by the New York Times one of “ten science fiction books for the ages,” the only non-fiction book on the list. Zicree has been nominated for the Hugo Award, American Book Award, Humanitas Prize, Nebula Award and Diane Thomas Award, and has won the prestigious Hamptons Prize, Rondo and Saturn Awards. In 2014, he was named a Writers Guild Diversity Honoree. Zicree’s most recent book, co-written with director Guillermo del Toro, is Guillermo Del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities for HarperCollins (which debuted as the number one movie book on Amazon at Christmas). Zicree is currently writing, directing and producing Space Command, an epic science fiction series starring Doug Jones (Falling Skies, The Strain, Pan’s Labyrinth), Mike Harney (Orange is the New Black), Christina Moses (Containment), Faran Tahir (J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, Iron Man, American Crime), Armin Shimerman (Deep Space Nine, Buffy), Mira Furlan (Lost, Babylon 5), James Hong (Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China, Elementary), Bill Mumy (Lost In Space, Babylon 5), Robert Picardo (Star Trek Voyager, Stargate Atlantis, Hail Caesar) and Armin Shimerman (Deep Space Nine, Buffy). He is currently in post on the first two-hour story, Space Command: Redemption, and has just shot one-third of the second, Space Command: Forgiveness, at Space Command Studios in Southern Calif. One of Zicree’s recent credits is the Hugo and Nebula Award nominated Star Trek New Voyages “World Enough And Time,” starring George Takei, which Zicree executive produced and directed. Zicree co- wrote the script with Emmy-winner Michael Reaves. Zicree is regarded as one of the country’s top media experts and has been interviewed by hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and TV and radio shows, including The Today Show, American Masters, All Things Considered, Entertainment Tonight, E! True Hollywood Story, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Variety, New York Times and L.A. Times. Beyond his three-year stint as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition, he is a regular guest on Coast To Coast, one of the country’s top-rated night-time radio shows. In addition, Zicree is a lauded novelist with the bestselling Magic Time trilogy, published by HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio. Zicree has lectured at many colleges, professional conferences, and museums in America, Europe and Asia, including USC, UCLA, Stanford and Ithaca, where he was a keynote speaker. Zicree is also founder and for the last twenty-two years has run The Table, which has provided a supportive community to thousands of Industry professionals in Hollywood and around the world, at no charge. (The documentary on the Table won Best Documentary Award at the SoCal Film Festival and has been screening on Hulu and Netflix and via iTunes.) Full Bio »
Science Fiction (Sci-fi) is a multi-billion dollar a year film & TV industry with film classics such as Alien, Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyessy paving the way, as well at TV classics such as Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica also blazing a trail. When done correctly, sci-fi can be a storyteller’s dream - taking an audience on a fictional journey through space and time with no boundaries.
Writing science fiction is an art that is perfected by a few key leaders in the industry, including our Stage 32 Next Level educator Marc Zicree. Marc has written for such classics as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space 9 and Babylon 5. Plus, he is also currently writing, directing and producing the multi-part Space Command - an epic science fiction drama film starring Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Falling Skies, The Strain), Armin Shimerman (Deep Space 9, Buffy), Mira Furlan (Babylon 5, LOST), Bill Mumy (Lost In Space, Babylon 5), Robert Picardo (Star Trek Voyager), Faran Tahir (J.J. Abram’s Star Trek, Iron Man), James Hong (Blade Runner, Big Trouble In Little China) and Mike Harney (Orange is the New Black).
We are honored that Marc has brought his extensive knowledge to the Stage 32 community. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Marc will be teaching you the keys to delivering exceptional sci-fi writing. You will learn the tools necessary to apply to your writing that will help improve the essence and marketability of your script. You will walk away with a clear path to identifying your story and incorporating writing elements to strengthen your characters, story and dialogue.
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!
A couple of EXTREMELY USEFUL points!! Loved hearing stories about behind the scenes stuff on Star Trek and his take on why different films worked or didn't. Would love to have a beer with this guy! ~Karyn F.
Very interesting webinar - Thanks! ~Ron H.
Very informative and inspiring - I learned a lot and also feel motivated to act upon the information I learned. ~Nancy G.
Marc has always been an extremely generous, informative and entertaining mentor/instructor. This webinar is just one more example of that. ~Matthew M.
I would have welcomed a more specific writing guide re: Character development, story world, structure in 3 acts, scene sequencing, sub-plots; how to build a great opponent (s). But Marc was very inspiring and very honest with his advice. ~Ronnie T.
Very interesting and informative. a lot of good and helpful info. Unfortunately, I was late joining but will re-watch ASAP. ~Derek S.
State of the industry Why the majority of TV/Film comes from pre-existing IP "The Executive Bias" Pre-existing Fan Base/Fleshed Out World Adapting Books/Articles Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study: Game of Thrones, Sex and The City Case Study: The Wedding Sting in the Atlantic, now going to be a film at Paramount Adapting Comic Books / Video Games Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study (Comics): Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel/Disney, lesser known/less successful comic became a blockbuster) Case Study: Jessica Jones (Marvel / Netflix) Case Study (Video Games): Assassin's Creed (FOX, to be released this December) Making it your own Most say DO NOT adapt your own material (leads to being too protective of your work/not as open to change) Fun thing about IP, when you build a world, it can keep being adapted into other mediums (Example: Orphan Black the comic book was one of the best-selling comics last year, adapted from TV show. Goes in both directions) The heart of this, however, is making sure the new versions are different enough from the old, AND have your voice in them. LIVE Q&A with Maggie!
Saturday January 5 is National Screenwriters Day! Make sure to follow @stage32 and tag #NationalScreenwritersDay on social media! Stage 32 CEO, Rich "RB" Botto, Stage 32's Director of Script Services, Jason Mirch, literary manager, Krista Sipp, and Hal Croasmun lay down some serious knowledge regarding the craft and business of screenwriting in 2020. Enjoy over an hour of FREE screenwriting tips and advice from those in the trenches! Remember, if you have any questions regarding how Stage 32 can help you with your screenwriting career or craft, reach out to our Director of Script Services directly at email@example.com!
It's an undeniable fact, there is no hotter market right now than television. Over the last year, over 600 shows were broadcast on TV networks, basic cable, premium cable, and the streaming platforms. And this isn't even counting limited series, docu-series and other short form content. And with new platforms like Disney+, Apple, Facebook TV and others diving into original content, there is no peak in sight or end to this gold rush on the horizon. If anything, we may just be getting started. In fact, most streaming platforms like Netflix have made a pledge to have their entire libraries consist of over 50% original content in just a few years. Think about that! So how can you take advantage of this incredible buying and producing spree, get in a writers room, work your way up to an executive producing/showrunning position and run your own show? We're glad you asked. David Weddle has been at the television game for over 20 years. Over a prolific and well documented career, David has worked on some of the most highly acclaimed and longest running shows of all time including Battlestar Galactica, CSI, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Guillermo del Toro's award winning and ground-breaking series, The Strain. David has worked side-by-side with some of the top showrunners in the business including Cartlon Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel, Jack Ryan). Currently, David is a co-executive producer/showrunner and writer for the Apple TV hit For All Mankind. In this exclusive special event Stage 32 Masters of Craft Webinar, David will take you to what it takes to build a career from writer to showrunner. He will explain the entire landscape and give you a full understanding of who does what and why. He will explain how to get into a writer's room and what to do (and not to do) once you get in. He will show you how to play the political game, climb the ladder, and earn respect. He will teach you how to think and work like an EP until you become one. As if that wasn't enough, David will then take you through the world of showrunning. He will explain how writer's rooms are staffed. How seasons are laid out, how arcs are created and how episodes are broken down. He will explain budgets and scheduling, using real world examples from The Strain, Battlestar Galactica and CSI. He will talk hiring directors, getting your cast and making sure your show runs like a Swiss watch. And he will take you through the days and nights of being an EP and showrunner, so you know exactly what to expect and how to navigate the playing field. Joining David to moderate this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft webinar is our very own CEO, Richard Botto, a writer and producer himself with a television pilot in active development. The world of breaking in and staying in television doesn't need to be complicated. David will show you the tricks, tips and, most importantly, the facts you need to shorten your path to success. Praise for David "This truly was a masterclass. I learned so much." - Rebecca C. "I was in a writer's room for 9 weeks and then our show got cancelled. I learned more today than I did being in that room for those 9 weeks." Anthony P. "David, you're a rock star." - Pam J. "Rewatching. Rewatching. Rewatching. Thank you, David and Stage 32." - Annette F.
For many independent film producers and filmmakers, approaching financiers and securing financing for your project presents one of the biggest challenges in the entire filmmaking process. How do you build your team, bring in development funds, attach name talent and work with rebates, sales estimates & distribution to attract financing all while compiling a plan to mitigate your financial risk? It can be overwhelming for a producer, especially given the ever changing landscape and the increasingly competitive nature of independent film. Your goal as a filmmaker or producer is to make your project more financially attractive to investors over everyone else presenting projects to them. What many filmmakers and producers don't know is that there's a "sweet spot" in a film budget range that will help you raise funds successfully and get the ROI your investors are looking for. Setting the budget for your feature film at between $250,000 and $2 million it opens up a variety of options for you to be able to attach the talent you're looking for, the distribution you need and make your investors money. But first, you have to understand the financial blueprint to get you there. Franco Sama has produced 25+ successful independent feature films between $250,000 - $2MM. He has worked with Oscar winner Christine Lahti, Dane Cook, Christian Slater, Gary Oldman, David Arquette, Brittany Snow, Vivica Fox, Michael Madsen and many more. He's worked with first time directors and experienced directors and has seen all scenarios when it comes to putting together financing for films. Franco knows first hand every step of the financial model needed to make a movie profitable and he's bringing this knowledge exclusively to the Stage 32 community. You will learn how to approach your film from the investor’s point of view so you can not only get the money you need for your project but, most importantly, how your investors can get that money back with profits. You will learn how to build a team around your project that will not only make investing more attractive, but also assure you don't make mistakes when you go after funding. You'll learn the type of funding that is available to you and how to approach the investors attracted to and interested in each type of financing. You'll dissect how to get agents on your side to attach talent to your project and how to work with attorneys. You'll also learn the most effective distribution options for this type of film budget. Drawing from his nearly two decades of experience, Franco will teach you how he gets his dozens of projects financed, distributed and turning a profit, and why he stays in the “sweet spot” range between $250K-$2M. Give yourself the competitive advantage to understand the types of investors you need to approach, how to approach them, how to get talent attached, and, ultimately, how to get your film made, distributed, and profitable so your investors return again and again!
One of the common complaints with scripts is on-the-nose writing. This month, we're challenging you to convey a series of emotions without using the actual words (or synonyms - no cheating!).
Sorry, this lab is filled. Keep checking back Stage 32 Education for upcoming labs. Despite the quickly shifting landscape, and the uncertainty much of the entertainment industry is currently facing, there is still no better time to break into television than right now. Shows are continuing to get greenlit and writers are continuing to get staffed. Thanks to streamers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Peacock, Disney+, HBO Max and others, over 600 shows were greenlit last year and some industry experts are predicting we may see as many as 1,000 television shows greenlit per year by 2025. We’re in the midst of a content gold rush and more people than ever are looking for and buying great ideas and great scripts for their networks and platforms. If you have a great idea for a television show, there is absolutely a path forward, especially if you know how to navigate this new landscape. The opportunities are plentiful and the prospects have never been more exciting, but to get your television project greenlit, there are a few things you need to have down pat. Obviously you need a great idea—not just an idea that’s interesting and unique, but one that can sell. You also need a standout script around that idea, one that reads great and will make network and streamer executives stop, take notice, and want to read more. Yet an idea and a script aren’t enough to get that TV show made. You’ll also need to be able to deliver a convincing and memorable pitch, complete with an outstanding pitch deck and documents, and you need to be able to package your project to be more sellable to your dream network. These elements don’t necessarily go hand in hand, and different skills are necessary to accomplish each, but all are fully attainable and within your grasp, especially the right knowledge and guidance to help get you there. Raquelle David is a Producer and Literary Manager who has sold shows to Netflix, Amazon, Film Nation, eOne, and many others. Her clients have credits including SICARIO, MAD MEN, OUTLANDER, DOWNTON ABBEY, HELL OR HIGH WATER, THE LIBRARIANS, SHAMELESS, and IRON MAN. Raquelle has worked across independent film and television as a producer as well. Her multiple film credits have garnered a number of accolades including nominations for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Australian Academy Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award and the Screen Producers Australia Award. Raquelle previously worked for Goalpost Pictures, Seven Network, Screen New South Wales in Australia and Rhombus Media in Toronto, Canada, under the tutelage of producer Niv Fichman (THE RED VIOLIN, ENEMY, BLINDNESS). Through her career, Raquelle has helped countless writers pitch their projects or get staffed on shows, and knows better than most what it takes to get a project off the ground and greenlit. In this advanced level and exclusive six-session lab (no more than ten students will be admitted), Raquelle will work directly with you in a class setting and also during one-on-one sessions to help you get your television project off the ground and set up for success. To do so, Raquelle will guide you through selecting a concept—either an original idea or based on existing IP—and getting your TV pilot script ready. She will then help you get your pitch and pitch document ready, and will teach you how best to package your project, including finding a good producer and working with showrunners. Finally, Raquelle will go over how best to protect your IP and ownership and how to work with reps and understand the roles and revenue splits when pitching TV. If you already have a concept or even a completed pilot, Raquelle will use the same tools to help you hone and sharpen your material. Plan to leave this lab with your TV project fleshed out and improved, an effective pitch and pitch document, a plan to properly package the show, and a slew of strategies and tools to hit the ground running and finding success. WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for intermediate writers and producers looking to get their individual television project ready to pitch and sell to networks. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with one-on-one time with the instructor and significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***Only 10 Spots Available. No exceptions*** You will be given exclusive and confidential handouts that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the lab ends. This lab will consist of six sessions occurring twice weekly for three weeks, each roughly 90 minutes in duration. In addition to the lessons where Raquelle teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with her directly about your specific project. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the TV project development process. To see the full TV project development lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a manager and 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. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information Plus! Raquelle will also provide you exclusive, confidential and helpful documents for you to download and use for your own projects including: Option Agreement Shopping Agreement TV Pitch Deck Examples TV Pitch Template TV Pilot Examples Current Network needs (current list of buyers and what they’re looking for) Current POD deals for TV Comprehensive Showrunner list