Laurie Cook worked as an Assistant Director for the BBC and Sky for four years before moving into Development, reading for companies such as Working Title, Qwerty Films and Element Pictures. Combining an experience of on set physical production and spotting talented script writers, he began producing high concept, low-budget, commercial films. Laurie is now a Producer and Head Of Development at Bigscope Films in London. Laurie's credits include Don't Hang Up, Pressure, Alien Outpost, Hangar 10, Camera Trap, Honor and The Trade. Four of his films have sold theatrically across the world and he is always on the look out for the next talented writer or director. Full Bio »
With advances in modern technology across all facets of production, post and distribution, there is no better time to go and make a low-budget film and establish yourself in the industry. From Christopher Nolans' £4,000 Following to Eran Creevy's £100,000 Shifty to Jay Blakeson's £1 million Disappearance of Alice, there are different types of "low-budget" that have been proven successes in their own right, but more importantly a launching pad for the filmmakers.
So what kind of film should you make? And how can you, regardless of how small your budget is, get the most for your money? Most importantly, how can you make sure that the right kind of people see your film once you have made it?
In this exclusive stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Laurie Cook will guide writers, directors and producers through his experience developing and producing for the UK low-budget market. Having produced 6 low-budget feature films in the past few years within the UK, which all received worldwide theatrical distribution, Laurie will teach you his tips and tricks for producing low-budget, high production value feature films and how to best utilize UK resources. From development ideas to sources of finance, production tips to the ever-changing distribution landscape, this will be your go-to guide for navigating the low-budget UK film market, with an open question and answer throughout the webinar for maximum interaction.
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!
Learn directly from Laurie Cook, Producer and Head of Development at Bigscope Films, who's produced 4 feature films that have sold theatrically worldwide! Lured by generous tax incentives, many of Hollywood's biggest films have shot in London or are planning to head to the U.K. There is over $500,000,000 worth of public money to be spent on films each year in the U.K., and in 2012 there were over 250 films shot in the U.K. and over 600 films released there. It's a wonderful place to get films made, but the competition for finance and distribution is stronger than ever. What makes the film market different in the U.K than in Hollywood? How do you get your foot in the door as a writer, director, or producer in the U.K. film industry? Once you're in, how do you stand out from the crowd? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Laurie Cook will guide writers, directors and producers through the independent U.K. film market from an insider's point of view: how to get funding for your script and film, how and why certain projects stand out against the rest, and how to boost your chances of success. This will be your go-to guide to navigating the U.K. film market and getting your film made in the U.K. You will leave with an agenda to make you and your project focused and well presented for maximum impact. Your host Laurie Cook is a Producer and Head of Development at Bigscope Films, where he produced the films Pressure (starring Matthew Goode & Danny Huston) and Don't Hang Up (starring Gregg Sulkin) releasing this year, as well as Hangar 10 and Outpost, which were released in 2014. He knows the ins and outs of the U.K. film market, what executives are looking for when taking on projects and how to make your mark to get your script and films made.
We've brought in veteran development executive Marla White to give you an ultimate guide on dissecting the first 10 pages of a TV script from her perspective as an executive. In addition, by looking at specific examples from great scripts like “Justified,” “Weeds,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Modern Family” and more, she's going to break it down for you why and how those pilots succeed where others failed and how to apply that to your script. Marla has worked with writers who have sold pitches to Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and have been staffed on premium cable dramas.
It might often be the first name listed on a movie’s end credits, but a Unit Production Manager isn’t exactly the most known or celebrated role on a film’s crew. However the UPM is one of the most critical and valued jobs throughout a movie’s journey. It’s the UPM that holds everything down, that keeps all of the parts moving and makes sure the business elements are taken care of so the director and other creatives have the support and the space they need to carry out their vision. The skills needed to carry out the responsibilities of a UPM are not only crucial, but can also be lucrative for someone looking to succeed within the film industry. Once you start listing it out, the jobs and expectations of a unit production manager are expansive and seemingly never ending: Building a production bible, creating a budget, drafting a schedule, hiring the team, working with unions, insurance, paperwork, payments, even feeding the cast and crew. To be a good UPM you kind of have to be good at everything. So where to start? What exactly does a UPM do and what separates a good UPM from a bad one? Rosi Acosta is a Unit Production Manager, DGA, who has worked on over 75 TV and Film projects and over 100 commercials. She is a valued name in Hollywood as a top UPM who's worked on films such as DRIVEN, SPEED KILLS, IMPRISONED and many more. With over three decades of experience, Rosi has worked internationally with production companies from the US, Europe, Russia and Latin America. Rosi began as a casting director 32 years ago in Puerto Rico working for director Marcos Zurinaga at Zaga Films where she became one of the top casting directors in the Island. After working as such for a few years, she wanted to expand her horizons in production moving on to work with the most important TV producer in the Island, Gabriel Suau, in Telemundo-Puerto Rico, where she worked for several years in various TV shows and telenovelas. Throughout her expansive career and extensive experience Rosi has become one of the most sought-after UPMs in the world. Rosi will delve into the nuts and bolts of the role of the unit production manager and all of the tasks and responsibilities that go along with it. She’ll begin by going over the production management process from a bird’s eye view, from development through production. Rosi will discuss the business elements behind filmmaking and the ways the UPM is responsible for finding the balance between the creative and the financial. She will go over the four major skills needed to be a great UPM as well as the tenuous relationship between the project’s script, budget, and shooting schedule. Rosi will then teach what goes into a production bible and how to create a script breakdown to prepare for production. She will then delve into creating production budgets as well as preliminary shooting schedules. A huge responsibility of the UPM is to plan for contingencies and the unexpected, and Rosi will offer tips and advice on how to make sure you’re covered for everything that might come your way and will illustrate this with examples from her own experiences. She will then teach you about working with the four major unions—SAG-AFTRA, DGA, IATSE, and WGA, and how to obtain insurance packages to cover your team and your production. Rosi will then discuss how hiring works on set, strategies to bring on the right team, and common pitfalls to avoid while doing so. Finally, Rosi will go over the common aspects that will make a movie expensive, and what warning signs to look for to prevent your project from going over budget. Consider this a definitive breakdown of what the underappreciated but critical unit production manager actually does. Plus! This is a bonus extended webinar with over 2 hours of information! Praise for Rosi's Webinar “Super informative; Rosi was very helpful.” -Adam G. “Rosi Acosta was awesome. She is a treasure of knowledge. I definitely got my money's worth.” -Lawrence W. “This was so helpful. I loved hearing from Rosi” -Dana B. “This felt like a Masterclass on the ins and outs of a UPM. I’m leaving this webinar knowing way more than I thought I would. Thanks!” -Jerry C.
Documentary filmmaking is a very different game than narrative filmmaking, as any documentarian can tell you. Perhaps the most important difference between the two is that narrative filmmaking follows a script. The story is determined and developed before production begins. This is not the case with documentaries—it can’t be. Documentaries capture real life which is anything but predetermined. As a result the documentary filmmaking process is flipped and the story is crafted after production. Therefore perhaps the most important but least talked about stage of documentary filmmaking is the editing. Not the technical craft of editing, but storytelling, specifically finding and crafting the story from your footage. This doesn’t just make or break your documentary; it is your documentary. Yet this process of finding the story can be incredibly hard since it’s is often vastly different from the story in your head. But mastering this skill is the key to being a great documentary filmmaker and something that’s entirely within your grasp. Most documentary filmmakers reach a stage in putting together their film where they believe they’re “too close to the footage” and “need fresh eyes.” At this point, they hope an outsider will help solve the problems arising in their edit. On the contrary, this is stage where the filmmaker needs to get closer to the footage and ask themselves some very big questions. More than the interviews, more than shooting footage, more than even the assembly edit, this is the moment that makes a documentary great; it’s not the time to tap out. Knowing what makes a good documentary story, which big questions to ask, and how to get out of tough narrative jams can make all the difference in putting together your project. Eric Daniel Metzgar is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and the producer and editor of Hulu's documentary CRIME + PUNISHMENT, which won an Emmy and Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize. A two-time Sundance Documentary Lab Fellow, Eric has extensive experience directing, producing, writing, and editing award-winning documentary films. He directed, shot and edited REPORTER, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, aired on HBO, and was nominated for an Emmy Award. He also directed, shot and edited LIFE.SUPPORT.MUSIC., which aired on PBS’s long-running documentary series POV, and THE CHANCES OF THE WORLD CHANGING, which also aired on POV and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Eric also edited GIVE UP TOMORROW and ALMOST SUNRISE, which were both nominated for Emmys and also aired on POV. Through his storied and heavily awarded history, Eric has positioned himself as a practiced and highly sought after editor and documentarian. He’s prepared to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Eric will teach you invaluable strategies to help you move through the inevitable difficult stages of your documentary editing journey and to stay on track when the going gets tough and all seems lost. He will begin by going over what makes a good documentary story in general, including beginnings, middles, and ends, arcs, stakes, and “releasing power”. He’ll then discuss how best to approach your own footage and determining if you have a story. He’ll explain differentiating between the footage and the story in your head, how to craft an outline, and create a reckoning with beats. He will also teach you what selects are and why they can make all the difference. Next Eric will give you tips on how to approach the initial assembly edit, where to start, how to stay motivated, how to avoid “the music trap” and the best way to start linking your scenes together. Then he will delve into the real editing after the assembly is completed. He’ll discuss rearranging, re-cutting, and deleting, how to fix the scenes that aren’t working and how to know when to kill your darlings. He will also give you tips on revisiting raw footage later on in the process and what to do when you hit those inevitable but painful roadblocks. Eric will focus on the two hardest parts of a documentary—beginnings and endings, and strategies to make them successful. Next Eric will go into strategies of how to be objective of your own project in order to figure out why it sucks. He will spend time giving tips and inspiration for what to do when you hit that dreaded brick wall and how to stay on track and hold on to your purpose when things get difficult. He’ll talk about getting others’ opinions and what you need to do to allow your film to be good, how to take it from good to great, shifting from the content to the form, fine tuning, working with the film as a whole, and how best to address lingering doubts. There’s nothing harder than editing a great documentary, but you will leave this webinar with a better understanding of how to be successful and a collection of strategies to help you navigate your way through. Praise for Eric's Stage 32 Webinar "This webinar was truly insightful. Very down to earth and straightforward with information. I learned more with Eric in a half-hour than 1 year at a university." -Michelle A. "Fantastic webinar! Eric shared valuable information in such an engaging way...I was so relaxed even though I was feverishly taking notes. : ) He was definitely inspiring. I'm anxious to watch it again!" -Marli W. "Amazing session with Eric. He has saved me months of prep on my docs just on the tips I got today. No more paper edits for me." - Genevieve S. "What an amazingly insightful, helpful presentation! Eric's evident passion for documentary film and practical guidance left me excited to dig into my project." -Alexis S. "So helpful. Exactly what I needed during this time in my careers and profession." -Alexandra K.
Learn directly from Nick Phillips, studio & independent film producer for nearly 20 years, who has worked with Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Sony Pictures Classics, Revolver Picture Company & more! You finally have the money to make a film. You’ve chosen a start date, you’ve found your locations. You’ve hired the crew and cast your actors. Now what? On any movie set, there are two major obstacles: time and money. They can be your friends or they can be your enemies. As a producer, it is your job to make sure that you utilize both in the most effective way possible and not go one second or one cent over. And while you do this, you must walk the tightrope between staying within that budget and schedule while simultaneously producing a film that is creatively satisfying and interesting, with production values that give the film the best chance at succeeding in a highly competitive marketplace. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Nick Phillips will walk you through the arduous, challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience of managing a film set. Having worked on sets for almost two decades, Nick has seen the process from every angle and worked with budgets and schedules that range from manageable to ambitious to completely insane. A working film set is a living, breathing thing, an eco-system with a myriad of moving parts. The days (and nights) are long, exhausting and will prey on your every last nerve. But if you’re armed with the right tools and the proper knowledge, you can sharpen your skill set to the point where producing becomes second nature and actually enjoyable! From location scouting to hiring to shooting days to the wrap party, this webinar will be all encompassing and you will leave confident and ready to manage your set!
In today's world of independent filmmaking, the VOD, SVOD & AVOD distribution strategy becomes a stronger option for many filmmakers. We've brought in 15 year executive Chad Miller who has worked with hundreds of filmmakers on their distribution strategy through his working relationship with platforms such as Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and iTunes to teach for Stage 32 Next Level Education. In this exclusive webinar, Chad will break down the very important topic of how to window the release of your film. Making sure that you are going to market during the most opportune time is key to a successful distribution strategy. Chad will give you an overview of VOD, SVOD & AVOD and explain the evolution of windowing strategies and why & when it makes sense to break with the traditional windowing strategies. He'll also go over the revenue expectations, deal strategy basics and give you a comprehensive look so you are prepared when it's time to release your film.