Vijal Patel is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning writer and executive producer who has written for many award-winning comedy series including ABC’s BLACK-ISH and THE MIDDLE. Vijal currently serves as writer and co-executive producer of the ABC comedy series SCHOOLED, starring Tim Meadows and AJ Michalka. He also writes and develops feature film projects for the powerhouse studio DreamWorks. Vijal has built his career on writing comedy and using it to explore race, family, religion, politics, and class struggle. Full Bio »
What is it about the most successful TV comedies that have allowed them to stand the test of time? Whether it’s ALL IN THE FAMILY, SEINFELD, PARKS AND RECREATION, or FLEABAG, it’s not the jokes that have made these shows so successful—as funny as they might be—it’s the characters. Distinct, hilarious, memorable and, above all, authentic characters are always the ingredient that will make a good TV comedy great. Whether you are working on your own comedy project or are hoping to write on an existing show, it’s crucial to have an understanding of what makes TV comedy characters great and how you can create your own Archie Bunkers and Leslie Knopes.
Crafting great comedic characters is not only important in creating a successful show; it’s also how you can get noticed. After all, with so many different types of comedies in the marketplace, it is becoming the toughest genre to break into. Writing great characters can separate your work from the rest and give you the kind of attention that solid jokes and a good sense of humor simply can’t muster on their own. This means it’s vital not only to have great characters, but to know how to make them shine on the page. The good news is there are strategies and actionable lessons you can use to elevate the characters in your own television comedy.
Vijal Patel is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning writer and executive producer who has written for many award-winning comedy series including ABC’s BLACK-ISH and THE MIDDLE. Vijal currently serves as writer and co-executive producer of the ABC comedy series SCHOOLED, starring Tim Meadows and AJ Michalka. He also writes and develops feature film projects for the powerhouse studio DreamWorks. Vijal has built his career on writing comedy and using it to explore race, family, religion, politics, and class struggle.
In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar Vijal will teach you how to make your characters funny. He’ll go through the 2 most basic comedy archetypes and explain the difference between jokes and attitude humor. He’ll teach you how to differentiate your characters and ensure they’re unique and will guide you through both the “One Word” exercise and “Situation” exercise to help improve your characters, using examples from THE SIMPSONS, FLEABAG, BLACK-ISH, SEINFELD, and others. Vijal will then delve into how to make your characters feel authentic and how to write impactful character descriptions to ensure they pop on the page. Finally he will dive deep into how to write funny dialogue for your characters, including how to use humor, how to end the joke, metaphors, similes, and reactions. Vijal will leave you with a series of strategies and clear examples that you can bring back to your own project to make your characters, funnier, more memorable, and more authentic.
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!
SORRY, THIS WRITER'S LAB IS FULL - PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR FUTURE WRITER'S LABS! Stage 32 believes in evolving and transforming to continuously put our writers ahead of the competition. Now, no matter where you live in the world, we are giving you the opportunity to work directly with a TV literary manger on a one-on-one basis to help shape your writing through our Stage 32 TV Writing Lab. All classes are taught online and at the end of this 8-week intensive, you will have a completed original TV drama pilot and pitch bible. To teach this TV Drama Pilot & Bible lab, we brought back literary manager Spencer Robinson of Art/Work Entertainment, who represents some of the most critically acclaimed and successful writers of the last few years including writers on Cloak and Dagger, Punisher, Arrow, The Last Ship, Chuck, Justified, as well as feature writers like Eric Heisserer who's films include Lights Out, which has grossed over $150 million and was Oscar-nominated for his Best Adapted Screenplay Arrival starring Amy Adams. Why Spencer? We'll let his last lab students tell you why... TESTIMONIALS FROM SPENCER'S PAST LAB STUDENTS: “Had a great time learning and progressing my knowledge of the craft of writing and working directly with a mentor who is a professional in the industry. Spencer was fantastic to be taught by! Thank you!” - Natalie A. “It was a great lab. Spencer’s feedback really helpful!” - A.Z. O. “Enjoyed the lab and Spencer was a good teacher. Appreciate his insight!” - Stephen C. “I wanted the accountability of having assignments due. That combined with the class cost was motivation to write and stay on schedule. This is a lab about story structure, getting words on the page, making strong act breaks. Spencer was great at pointed but useful notes. He doesn't sugarcoat anything. I went from an idea he wasn't on board with developing to a pilot he truly enjoyed reading -- and that was thanks to his pointed notes that got me back on track. Spencer will get those who are ready on their way to a kickass first draft.“ - Erika N. “Spencer was amazing!!” - Summer K. “Spencer Robinson is the perfect person to teach this type of class. His patience and easygoing approach is ideal and unique to him. Kudos to Stage 32 and to Spencer. Spencer's teaching style is the best! Thanks Stage 32!” - George P. WHAT TO EXPECT This lab will be very intensive and you will have ongoing executive guidance from Spencer. You will meet once a week with Spencer through an interactive online class or one-on-one meetings and be assigned weekly assignments to further your growth as a writer. We have created this lab so it will be the most hands on, professional atmosphere out there. By the end of this 8-week lab you will have a completed first draft of your TV drama pilot & pitch bible that will grab the industry's attention. This lab is designed for intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. Past lab participants formed supportive writing groups to help one another through the process.
Taught by Director of Development at Supergravity Pictures, Mike Flavin, who's worked on films such as Sony/CBS's Faster with Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton, and The Enivitable Defeat of Mister & Pete with Jennifer Hudson and Anthony Mackie which was screened at the White House. Hollywood has found itself looking inward at the plummeting returns from the "Blockbuster Months". Why did a relatively "starless" movie like Guardians of the Galaxy print money, while Tom Cruise's Edge of Tomorrow flopped? Why would seemingly well known Intellectual Property like Peabody and Sherman tank while another brand, Lego, do so well? (besides the world's obvious affinity for Chris Pratt!) The answer lies in one confirmed fact about the movie industry: you never, ever know what will be a hit and what won't. BUT, in saying that, there is a way in which you can give your project the absolute best chance of success by looking analytically at successful films from the past and implementing these dynamics into your project. If you've seen the film, Moneyball, you'll remember Jonah Hill's character found a way to statistically determine the best odds for his team's sucess. Our webinar host, Mike Flavin, has been able to analytically and statistically apply a method to do the same for a script or film - and he's found success as a Director of Development by doing just that. Join Mike as he teaches you his methodology to apply components in a script that make it more sellable. In this webinar, we will break down several successful movies in a number of genres and draw statistical conclusions on what made them so successful. It's the Moneyball-ization of Hollywood; let's play the house against itself!
Are you an actor looking to make the leap from educational theater to professional theater? Or have you built an on-camera career but would like to work in theater more? Outside the major markets of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, there is a lot of work for actors in Regional Theaters all over the country. Building a career in theater requires a strong working knowledge of the business, how to build relationships with casting directors, and how to best market yourself. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, actors Uma Incrocci and Christian Pedersen will walk you through each step of advancing your career in theater. They’ll share from their own experiences auditioning for and working in Regional Theaters, tours and off-Broadway. Special Guest, Broadway Casting Director Erica Jenson will join! Plus, as an exclusive bonus, they’ll then be joined by legendary Casting Director Erica Jensen, who has cast Broadway shows (including Hedwig and The Angry Inch and the recent Of Mice and Men with James Franco) and major off-Broadway and regional theaters (including Classic Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Williamstown Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville and Playwright’s Horizons). This class is a unique opportunity to hear about the theater casting process from both sides of the table – from the actor’s preparation, to what the casting director expects, to their different experiences of the room. We’ll also talk about the big question for many theater actors as they build their careers: “Do I need an MFA?” Erica attends showcases from all the major programs and she’ll share her opinions and insight. We’ll talk about the realities as well as the joys of a career on stage. Join us for this one of a kind webinar – we'll have 3 incredible professionals discussing the theater industry!
While the scene will be heavy with exposition, disguise the exposition in dialogue and conflict as much as possible. How does the character make the complex simple? What props does the person use? How does the character who receives the info react?
Chris Moore has done and seen it all. During a career spanning over 30 years, Chris has produced films that have had multiple Oscar nominations and wins such as Good Will Hunting and Manchester by the Sea, to studio blockbusters like American Pie and The Adjustment Bureau, to independent darlings such as Waiting, to creating and starring in the critically acclaimed industry television shows Project Greenlight alongside Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and The Chair. One of the secrets of Chris' longevity in the business is a full understanding of the business. He's as plugged in as they come and he knows how to adjust quickly, swiftly, and successfully as the landscape changes - which seems to happen on a daily basis these days. Most importantly, Chris is known in the industry as a take-no-prisoners, no bullshit guy. He tells it like it is and pulls no punches, which, in this business, is welcome and refreshing. And now he's here exclusively for Stage 32 to teach you how to build a lasting career in today's entertainment industry. With the evolution of the industry causing dramatic shifts in the way you create and consume content (film, television, digital) and more content being created, bought, sold, screened, broadcast and streamed than ever before, there are more and more opportunities are being presented for a creative career. But you have to know where to look, how to position yourself, how to best present yourself and show that you have a complete understanding of where the industry is headed and how you can add significant value. Chris will discuss the current state and the shifts in the market to help you make educated decisions on the path you should take with your career in the industry to not only assure success, but satisfy the lifestyle you desire. He will also discuss where he believes the future is headed so you can be ahead of the curve in making the right decisions for you and your career. Then, Chris will make the proceedings interactive, workshopping with select attendees and discussing primary and alternative paths for their wants and goals. Some examples: For filmmakers having trouble gaining traction, Chris will go over alternative ways you can break in and gain your footing. For screenwriters who have been at it a long time and haven’t gotten their break, Chris will discuss alternatives and lifestyle choices for the current industry. For cinematographers (or other creatives) looking to move from digital shorts to streaming TV, Chris will present a path and strategies to make it happen? This is a no nonsense, detailed filled, strategy packed session designed to help ALL creatives and professionals! "Undoubtably, my favorite Stage 32 webinar yet, and that's saying something. Wow, was this a welcome kick in the ass. I love Chris' style, passion, and energy. Obviously, his experience and success speaks for itself, but as a teacher, he's a master. This was a huge land for Stage 32. I hope you bring him back again!" - Ronnie W. "I like the way Chris organized all the changes in entertainment so it was easy to understand. It's overwhelming trying to figure it out and I appreciated Chris taking the time to explain it. I also appreciated the workshopping advice. Thank you Chris." - Marisa S. "The brutal truth how Hollywood operates was eye opening, but it's best that I'm aware as I try to find my place." - Wolf O. "Chris Moore is a hero. He saved me from my doubts." - Julia C.
Stage 32 and Vail Film Festival have joined forces to bring you an exclusive FREE virtual Q&A with top female filmmakers from the festival! Now, no matter where you live in the world you can tune in! The 2020 Vail Film Festival took place online from May 15-17, and had a special focus on female filmmakers. In addition to film screenings, the festival included filmmaker Q&A sessions, a filmmaking workshop, and a women in film panel discussion featuring leading female producers, actors, and directors. The 2020 film program will showcase narrative features, documentaries, short films, and student films. This year's lineup includes films starring Simon Pegg, Annette Bening, Juno Temple, Alexandra Daddario, Wendie Malick, Danny Trejo, Maggie Siff, Sabrina Carpenter, Natalie Zea, Jay Mohr, Jason Ritter, Kristen Vangsness, Rose McIver, and more. The lineup for the 2020 Vail Film Festival is unparalleled, and we encourage Stage 32 members to attend the virtual festival and support their fellow filmmakers. As part of our partnership, Vail Film Festival is offering Stage 32 members an exclusive 25% off discount on all-access passes to the online festival. Stage 32 members can use the code stage32 at checkout. For more info and to purchase a pass to the online Vail Film Festival please visit: www.vailfilmfestival.com