Michael Mandaville has worked for 25 years as a line producer, production manager and production supervisor. These films include “Taken”, “Taken 2” and “Taken 3” written and produced by Luc Besson, “Havoc” with Anne Hathaway, “The Kiss” with Terence Stamp and Billy Zane, (“American History X” (New Line Cinema) with Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, “Friends of Friends” with Bruce Davison and Sherilynn Fenn, “Blood and Wine” (Jack Nicholson, Director: Bob Rafelson), “Millenium’s Child” (Disney/Miramax) with William Windom and Karen Black, “Sensation” with Eric Roberts, Ed Begley Jr., Paul Le Mat and Ron Perlman. “Hail Caesar” with Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Downey, Jr. and Judd Nelson. “Pumpkin Head II” (MPCA) with Ami Dolenz and Steve Kanaly. Michael also produced “The Almighty Fred”, an independent film. He has directed commercials, shorts, a documentary and industrial films. He has also worked on “Manahi” an Arabic language comedy which was the first film shown in Saudi Arabia in 35 years. He recently directed two ultra low budget feature films – “Conviction: Murder in Four Parts” and “Into the Flames”. His web series “Beer Pong Coach” now has ten episodes. He wrote the thriller novel “Stealing Thunder” and the activist nonfiction book, “Citizen Soldier Handbook: 101 Ways For Every American To Fight Terrorism”. He has worked on numerous feature films in physical production, primarily as a Line Producer or Unit Production Manager in the Directors Guild of America. Mandaville has had 14 scripts optioned or hired to write. His “Stealing Thunder” series is an international thriller about an FBI agent stopping a legendary Russian spy to start World War III between China and the United States. His second novel, “A Cold Death” is in discussion for a TV Show in France. His third novel, “Journey” is almost finished for publication. Mandaville directed the short film, “The Big Bucks.” His short, “Winning the Race” was show at the Liberty Film Festival. The documentary “Guards of Honor” showed volunteer veterans at the Riverside National Cemetery. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from UC Santa Barbara and attended the B.A. Cinema program at Columbia College – Hollywood. He received his M.A. from USC in Professional Writing. Full Bio »
Creating a realistic budget can make or break a film before it ever makes it into production. Where should you spend? Where can you cut? How do you stretch your dollar? In short, how can you assure you're creating the highest quality film for the lowest price?
Listen, not everyone can afford a line producer. And even if you can, you want to make sure he or she is protecting your vision and your money! Understanding this aspect of the business and how a film can be put together is everything! Let's make this complex aspect of filmmaking easier, shall we?
Michael Madaville (Taken, Taken 2, Taken 3 to name a very few) is one of the most respected line producers in the business. Michael has created budgets from some of the most successful indie darlings, mid-majors and studio films in the business. And now, exclusively for Stage 32, he will take you by the hand, help you problem solve just about every issue that may arise, and help you toward financial success no matter what your budget may be.
Using examples from his decades in the business, Michael will walk you through examples of micro to major budget films and discuss how to reduce costs for crew, locations, materials and more and how to apply that information to get your schedule tight and your budget to where it needs to be.
No more chasing funds or getting caught short during filming! Michael will show you how to get on the path to a smooth shoot well before yelling "Action!"
The “Filmmaking With a Calculator” Mentality
The VIDCON Mentality
Problem Solving Your Overall Project
Problem Solving Your Production Crew
Where Should You Shoot Your Film?
Budget & Schedule
Q&A with Michael
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: Click here to see system requirements.
If you are running on an outdated operating system, 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!
It might not be as celebrated or widely known as the role of director or actor, but there is no way a film or project can get made without the work of a line producer. It’s the line producer who puts the pieces together to make sure a film can be made in the first place. The line producer creates the budget, assembles the crew, and builds out the schedule. This makes the work of the line producer vital because no matter the size of the project, it just can’t be complete without this day-to-day preparation. As a result, if you’re able to become an effective and shrewd line producer, it can be worth its weight in gold and offer you a lucrative and long-standing career in the film and TV industry. The job of a line producer certainly involves its fair share of number crunching and pre-planning, but it doesn’t end there. A large part of the job is to understand the ‘path of compromise’, which is especially necessary in the independent film and indie streaming worlds. The director will often have may have a vision or demands that exceed the resources and funding available, and it’s up to the line producer to find the middle line and retain the artistic vision without going outside of the project’s financial means. This is no easy task, and excelling in this area is what separates the great line producers from the rest. But how do you develop this skill? And how can you break into the field of line producing in the first place? For over 25 years, Michael Mandaville has worked as a line producer on countless projects, ranging from shorts and independent features to large blockbusters like the TAKEN, TAKEN 2 and TAKEN 3 starring Liam Neeson. His other producing credits include HAVOC with Anne Hathaway, THE KISS with Terence Stamp and Billy Zane and AMERICAN HISTORY X with Edward Norton. In addition to producing, Michael has directed commercials, shorts, a documentary and industrial films. He has also worked on MANAHI, an Arabic language comedy which was the first film shown in Saudi Arabia in 35 years. Michael’s long history in the world of line production makes him the perfect person to speak to this industry, and he’s keen to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Michael will walk you through the role of line producer, how to find opportunities and how to best to succeed in this position. He will begin by explaining the reason for the line producer position and how it differs from the role of unit production manager. He’ll go through common challenges of the line producer and how best to overcome, including mastering the “Line Producer Mindset”. Next Michael will explain what the career pathway looks like for aspiring producers and how you can find opportunities in the microbudget, independent and studio worlds. Michael will dive deep into the line producing process, going into scheduling, budgeting, and dealing with rates. Finally he’ll provide tips on how to find work as a line producer. Through Michael’s rundown, you’ll leave with a much clearer idea not only to how to find work as a line producer, but how to succeed and build a career for yourself once you do.
About this time in a normal year, filmmakers from around the world would be locking down their plans to travel to Santa Monica and attend the internationally renowned American Film Market (AFM). One of the biggest film acquisition, development and networking events in the world, AFM has provided a forum for thousands of films to find funding and acquisition deals since its founding in 1981. Yet this year will be different. Like most events right now, AFM has made the shift to virtual, and with that comes new rules, new expectations, and a new landscape. If you’re hoping to attend the AFM this year and leave with a deal in hand, it’s important you understand what the market will look like and how you can adjust your strategy to find success. With the AFM moving virtual, it will be even more competitive and challenging to access sales agents, buyers, and potential international partners. You will need to know who the players are and how to get their attention - all while working on different time zones and communicating virtually. Trying to understand this new way of doing business adds another layer of complexity as you navigate your market strategy, but don't worry. This new form of market is intended to be fruitful for all - and, most importantly, fun! Alexia Melocchi is a partner at Little Studio Films, and for over two decades has produced and sold award winning movies that have earned nearly $1 Billion dollars in box office returns worldwide. Her clients have bought and partially financed films such as LA LA LAND, PEPPERMINT, THE BOY, TWILIGHT, TEEN SPIRIT and THE BANKER. Amongst her personal producing credits are the DURAN DURAN documentary directed by David Lynch, SERVICE TO MAN released through Entertainment Studios, and SOL DE MEDIANOCHE released on HBO. Alexia is also the host of THE HEART OF SHOW BUSINESS podcast, where she discusses the behind-the-scenes of how Hollywood truly works. Alexia has built much of her success on attending major film markets and intimately knows what it takes to stand out and get the deals you’re after in these forums, whether virtual or otherwise. Alexia will guide you through how to work this virtual edition of the American Film Market to get the meetings you’re after and find success for your project. She will begin by outlining the cultural differences that you can expect at this year’s AFM and the global market shifts that are taking place. Then she’ll delve into AFM as a whole and what their new virtual format is going to look like this year, including their Industry Offices, LocationEXPO, On Demand Theatre, Conference, Networking Pavilion, and Advisor Network. She’ll provide you with a rundown of the specific sales agents, distributors, and producers attending AFM this year that you should know. Alexia will then teach you how to handle the virtual obstacles taking place at the market this year, including the online meeting landscape how to work Zoom like a professional, and how to handle time zones. She’ll give you tips on how best to prepare for AFM, how to make appointments ahead of time and select your target list, how to access your targets, and how to use database platforms to hone your plan, including AFM Connect, Cinando, IMDBPro, and Variety Insight. Next Alexia will explain how you should approach buyers. She’ll walk you through the perfect approach for buyers and how to get your message across in a limited time frame to the right person. She’ll also show you what you really need to have ready before AFM begins and other relationship building tips to keep in mind beyond AFM. Finally, Alexia will expand to show you current trends overseas. She’ll talk about production challenges and updates in a COVID-19 era and why you should be planning ahead for the good times. The path to success continues to alter, and the push to virtual is challenging for everyone, but with the lessons and tips that Alexia will provide, you will leave with a solid understanding of how to roll with the punches and find the opportunities you’re after. Praise for Alexia's Stage 32 Webinar "Really great. Actually useful, practical advice. Wasn't full of bullshit platitudes, Alexia shot straight with us, but was also positive and encouraging. All in all, really appreciated the way she gave an overview of AFM and how to best take advantage of it." -Max W. "Alexia did a fantastic job of making it all relatable and cutting through the noise." -Clint G. "I really did gain some needed information on how to address this film market online" -Craig H. "Alexia is clearing very experienced & she is so gracious in sharing her wisdom with all of us. I'm truly grateful that you all put on this webinar!" -Becca G.
The COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine have changed the film and television industry profoundly. Like it or not, we’re thinking about movies differently now, we’re making them differently, we’re selling them differently, and we’re watching them differently. Studios, buyers, and producers are keenly aware of this shift and are applying this to how they are choosing their next projects. As a writer, understanding how the industry is changing and what people are now looking for can make all the difference in being able to take the next steps in your career. With so many new obstacles and challenges now involved in making a film, producers have to weigh a lot more factors when choosing their next projects, including which movies will be safest to put together. Small details in scripts—scenes or moments that might have been no big deal to include as recently as a year ago—might now be all it takes for a producer or financier to reject. So how does production during COVID look like and how can you make your script work and come across as more attractive within these constraints? Let’s take a closer look. Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, including the action thriller BREAK EVEN and action comedy DOUBLE THREAT, currently in production. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce films during COVID and is well versed on what it takes to put a film together in this unique time. Shane will dive deep into how producers are operating in the time of COVID-19 and how you can make your script “COVID-friendly” and more attractive for producers to work on. He will begin by outlining how production has changed since COVID, including the biggest new hurdles, new guild requirements, and what’s keeping talent from signing on. He’ll explain what’s making movies more expensive to produce and what locations are now ideal or no longer easy to shoot in. He will next delve into what a COVID-friendly script looks like to a producer. He’ll talk about what kind of stories producers and buyers are seeking out, what red flags in your script will keep producers from signing on and how many characters are too many now. He will also discuss locations as well as the genres and themes that buyers are now gravitating towards. Shane will then discuss how to adjust your script to fit this new era, including deciding whether it’s worth adjusting or saving until things are safer and how to find compromise and middle ground when making changes. Finally, Shane will give you tips on how to get a producer on board during this time. This is a tricky time for everyone, but Shane will give you the lowdown to be smarter and more strategic in finding opportunities and success.
The entertainment industry is constantly shifting and adapting, but perhaps no aspect of Hollywood is more volatile than that of film distribution. Over the past twenty years, the methods and processes of releasing films have changed drastically and continue to be difficult to pin down or predict. From theatrical to video and DVD, television to VOD, the industry continues to not only adjust but wholly reinvent itself. Now, of course, one of the bigger, if not the biggest, avenues of distribution has become online streaming platforms. Massive players like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu and newcomers like HBO Max, Disney+, and Apple TV+ have been making and picking up a very large number of films, and the viewership numbers for these titles can be staggering. There might not be a better place for your film to find a home than a streamer, but that’s easier said than done. For many, the holy grail of film distribution has become Netflix. It’s a titan in the industry, and with over 180 million subscribers worldwide, no one can release a film quite like them. Yet for as prominent and omnipresent as they might be, Netflix is enigmatic and confusing from the outside. They hold a lot of secrets close to their chest and their inner-workings and processes are a mystery to many. They’re not a complete unknown, though, and there is a lot you can learn as a filmmaker and content creator to better approach this media giant, get your film on their radar, and maybe even get that distribution deal you’ve been after. First it’s critical you learn some context surrounding how they work, what they are looking for, and how you can break through the noise. Steff Monsalve Reed is the Director of Content and Distribution at Quiver Distribution, where she discovers and releases titles from emerging voices and helps independent filmmakers get their projects on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Redbox, DirecTV, and more. Recently, Steff has distributed films such as THE LOST HUSBAND, starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb, BECKY, starring Kevin James and Joel McHale, and THE SUNLIT NIGHT with Zach Galifianiakis, Jenny Slate, and Gillian Anderson. She will be distributing CHICK FIGHT, starring Malin Akermin and Alec Baldwin, a feature film which was incubated through Stage 32. Before Quiver, Steff worked as a distribution consultant for AMBI Distribution and Raven Capital Management, and served as the Manager of Acquisitions and Exhibitor relations for Entertainment One, a major independent distribution company releasing films in North America as well as several major territories around the world. Through her extensive distribution background, Steff has become very familiar with what it takes to get a film on various platforms. Steff will walk you through how Netflix finds and picks up films and what content creators can do to better get their own projects on Netflix’s radar. Steff will begin by giving you a rundown of Netflix and how they’re working right now. She’ll explain how you should be thinking about and categorizing the company, who their main competitors are, what their subscriber base looks like and how it compares to their competitors’ bases. Next she will talk about how Netflix picks up content. She’ll go over who gets to pitch to Netflix in the first place and how that process works and will then do a deep dive of Netflix’s curation model. Steff will explain what types of content are currently the most successful on Netflix and how their new “Top 10” feature might be changing things. She will also break down the three main divisions that review content within Netflix and the common deal structures filmmakers should expect from each. Then she will go into how Netflix actually works with content creators and handles both revenue and delivery. She will teach you about Netflix’s payment structure and how content aggregators or distributors can sometimes “buy out” the Netflix window. Steff will even offer a case study of her own film THE LOST HUSBAND and demonstrate how this process worked. She will then explain how to determine a film’s budget for an expected ROI and how you can recoup your investment and where that money will come from. She’ll also go over the process of getting your film picked up by Netflix after they pass on it as an Original, including how to help your chances in this regard and what you can do to make your work stand out more and break through the clutter. Steff will then offer some final pieces of advice on Netflix opportunities and deal negotiations, including looking at contract terms, territories, and hidden fees. She’ll explain how to understand the specific cost of distribution and offer the key piece of advice on budgeting moving forward. Finally she will give you a peek at the distribution industry itself, the changes that are coming, and what you should expect to come next. Expect to leave with a much clearer understanding of how Netflix works and how you can better position your film for success at this streaming platform. This webinar comes with a free handout that details distribution terms and Netflix's specific deliverable requirements Praise for Steff's Stage 32 Webinar "One of the best presentations I have seen." -John S. "Great info. Great presentation. Really explained the topic well. " -Martin R. "Steff was excellent in explaining the distribution process and especially how it pertains to Netflix." -Michael W.
Somebody, somewhere, has an incredible story that you want to tell. Maybe it’s your own. Maybe it’s historic. Maybe it’s so compelling, that it keeps you up at night. It’s high time you adapt that story for the screen! More and more adaptations are showing up on screen, moving writers like you into a new realm. The opportunity is there, but first you have to get the thing written. Research and understanding the story is one thing. Writing it so that it gets the attention it deserves is another. So how can you go about putting that true story you love into script form? Films like HILLBILLY ELEGY and THE KING’S SPEECH, as well as series like ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA and WHEN THEY SEE US, capture the attention of viewers across the globe. Yet these true story adaptations find success largely because the writers and creators understood where to find the story within these real lives to adapt. They efficiently honed in on an angle that pulled the audience in while developing emotional arcs that kept viewers invested. Writing is a craft, no doubt, and one that must be managed differently when pen hits paper and for adaptations. It takes work and a deep understanding of your story as well as the medium you’re adapting it for, but it’s something you can achieve for your own true life passion project, especially with the proper understanding and guidance. Kate Sharp is a producer and literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Kate was the VP of Development and Production at Occupant Entertainment, producing short-form content for Showtime, MTV, Verizon, Facebook, and U2, and was an Executive Producer on the Hulu original, Emmy-nominated TV series BEHIND THE MASK. Her film credits include PEEP WORLD, BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY, MADAME BOVARY and THE HALLOW. Kate is currently producing THE BURNING SEASON with Naomi Watts and STRANGER THINGS’ Sophia Lillis attached to star. Kate has worked with countless writers on adapting their true story projects of all types and knows what it takes to turn a true story into a script that producers, reps, studios and execs will be interested in. Kate will delve into the craft of adapting a true story to a film or series, and how to put words to the page to make this happen. She will define the three types of true story or biopic adaptations so you can determine which option is best for you and give you the tools to decide if your story should unfold as a feature or limited series so you can determine which option is best for you. She will also walk you through best practices for researching, finding your own angle to the story, and how to write your script so it feels authentic while still possessing emotional arcs and narrative liberties to ensure your script is marketable and successful in the market. Through Kate’s rundown, you will walk away with confidence and write an adapted script that gets the attention it deserves. Praise for Kate's Previous Stage 32 Webinar "Kate Sharp was incredible. She's a great instructor, and also looks like a very special person to have as a manager, who loves what she does and would be a great partner for a writer! Thank you for sharing her gifts with us!" -Ricki L. "The information was straightforward and practical. I made loads of notes to go back over. Thanks!" -Gillian R. "BRAVO, KATE!!! She provided a wonderful presentation fueled by stellar "real world" facts and scenarios" -Bill B.
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a creative is finding financiers and raising funds for your film. You may have a great script, a great cast and crew, but at the end of the day no money means no project. It seems like everywhere you turn these days there are thousands of films getting made, so where are all these filmmakers finding their financing? And what makes these projects so special and attractive that financiers are ready, willing and able to write a big check? The answers are simpler than you think. The key that separates a successful producer, filmmaker, director or actor or screenwriter looking to control their own content from those still struggling is the ability to raise and close the money necessary to make the project a reality. For many, the belief is that a great script is all you need to attract investors. Although story is still king, it's not the only factor that goes into a financier making separating your project from all others that are presented to him or her. To set yourself up requires work, research, and a targeted plan of attack. It requires a full understanding of the financial prospects of your project, the marketplace, and potential distribution and recoupment strategies. And most of all, and this may surprise some people, it requires you to be personable, collaborative, and to have an ability to listen and adjust where necessary. Tom Malloy has raised over $25M in funding for films. He co-owns the distribution/foreign sales company Glass House Distribution, and two production companies - Trick Candle Productions and Blood House Productions. Over the years Tom has produced almost two dozen feature films and has worked with Dakota and Elle Fanning, Elisabeth Moss, Amy Smart, Billy Zane, Eliza Dushku and many more. Throughout all these projects he's mastered the art of raising capital to greenlight a project. And, he's going to share with you how you can find money for your own project! Tom will focus in on how to identify, attract and sell investors who are a fit for your project. He'll introduce the HNI (High Net Worth Individual) and how you can find and approach them. You will learn how to tailor and perfect your financing pitch so that it's personal, professional and stands out from the pack, and learn to be prepared for any responses, feedback, or kickback you might receive. As important, you'll learn the three mistakes commonly made when approaching and pitching an investor. Tom will show you how to research investors, and give you an actual list making technique that works. Then, once you have your plan, he'll teach you how to get and win meetings. He'll teach you which markets are worth attending and how to put a plan of attack in place once you get there. Finally, Tom will teach you 5 tips on how to close your investor. This is proven advice from someone who has a track record of over a decade being successful and finding financing. "Solid gold Tom! Thanks for all the handy tips to put into place. You made the process seem so much easier to find people to actually invest in my film!" - Steven R. "I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the projects I put in front of investors. What I've learned is I don't have the right strategy or message to make them understand why I have such confidence. This webinar changed all that for me. I realize now that I had much of it backwards and was missing many key components that made my pitch, and frankly, my follow up methods lacking. I'm grateful." - David W.