Marla is former head of TV for Emmy Award winning writer & producer Peter Tolan's Fedora Entertainment with experience producing prime time series and award nominated television movies in multiple genres. She's worked with writers who have sold pitches to Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC, have been staffed on premium cable dramas. Clients include writers who have won awards including a Nicholl Fellowship finalist, as well as published novelists. Companies like CAA and Oxygen rely on her skills as a story analyst and story development expert for people who are ready to take their writing to the next level. Full Bio »
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.
Case studies referenced in this webinar: “Justified,” “Weeds,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Modern Family” "Breaking Bad" and more.
What Your Character Needs
How to Make Your Opening Compelling
Lean In To Your Genre
Q&A with Marla
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Staffing season is a high-intensity, high-stakes time. With more shows than ever looking for writers, the opportunities have never been greater, but that also means the competition has never been higher. To be considered to be part of a writing staff, you need to not only show your chops as a screenwriter, but display what you'll be like in the room. So how can you stand out to the executives and producers hiring and prove that you're going to be a team player, while bringing an original, independent voice to the table? To be staffed in the competitive world of TV writing, you must first understand what opens the door and what keeps you in the room. Your writing must not only be on point, but you have to also be able to display a comprehension of the art of the meeting. Executives and producers are going to meet dozens if not hundreds of writers. You have to learn how to connect with them, fill their needs, and make their jobs easy! In short, you and your writing need to be sharp, interesting and memorable. Over her very decorated and successful career as a development executive, Marla White has sat across more writers than she can remember. Marla was not only the development executive for Emmy-Award Winner Peter Tolan's Fedora Entertainment, but she's also worked with hundreds of writers who have sold pitches and shows to, and/or been staffed by, Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and just about every premium cable channel and streaming platform you can name. Marla will discuss what executives are looking for in your writing. Whether "good" is good enough to get you in the room. Whether it's better for your work to be more memorable or sellable. She will take you through the thought process of what executives are looking for when you walk in the room. She'll discuss all aspects of a general meeting and a staffing meeting and arm you with all the tools necessary to be "good in the room" in all situations, each and every time. Plus, she'll also talk about "do's and don'ts" and how you can get invited back for the all important pitch meeting. This webinar provides pertinent and actionable information for every level of writer. If you're just starting out in your career, what you'll learn will not only prepare you for everything mentioned above, but for preparation when speaking with managers and agents. If you're a working writer on a show looking to move to a new show and need tips on playing the networking game and how to navigate the politics, this one is for you as well! This is some straight shooting, no B.S. information. I'm grateful that Marla pulled no punches and told it like it is. Next meeting I get, I'm owning it! - Samantha W.
In this Bonus September Writers Roundtable yet again, we are turning the content of the webcast over to you! This webcast is an open forum for you to openly discuss your latest successes, challenges, observations, and questions.During the webcast members discuss the differences between the Marvel and DC Universes, how to appropriately write race and ethnicity in screenplays, Diversity in Film & Television, a step-by-step process for adapting novels into screenplays, life on set post COVID and much more!
SEE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BELOW: Netflix and Stage 32 have partnered on an exclusive global education series in an effort to democratize the worldwide entertainment industry. Together, over the course of 5 webcasts Stage 32's world class educators will bring their knowledge of what it takes to write, develop and produce today's television for the Stage 32 and Netflix creator community. In our second webinar in series, we are going to talk about how you can effectively write a TV series to budget. More television than ever is being made and consumed. With streamers like Netflix looking for new, exciting, original stories from all over the world to produce, you have to put yourself in the best position to make sure your story stands out. But, the truth is that an intriguing story in today's marketplace is not enough. You have to look at the practicalities of making your story into a television series, and with that, you have to think about how what you write will affect the budget. Getting a clear understanding of how to think about budget when you are writing will help give you the competitive advantage you need to get you closer to your greenlight. To help you is Jeanette B. Milio, a producer who has worked on over 500 hours of film and television content in the US, Europe, Dubai and South Africa. She produced the Netflix Original THE EXPERIMENT starring Adrian Brody and Forrest Whittaker and has worked with ABC/Disney, USA, Showtime, TLC, CW, Discovery, Lionsgate, Paramount and more. She has also consulted for the international co-production department of Warner Bros. in the U.S. and Germany, which was focused on producing local feature content in Europe. In this exclusive Stage 32 + Netflix webinar, Jeanette will go in-depth on how to think about your characters, locations and scenes when you are writing to give your script the best chance of being produced. She will go over how decisions you make at the script stage have a trickledown effect that affect an entire production and how you, as a writer, can be a valuable member of the team by thinking about these things as you are writing your story. She will break down writing exercises you can use to apply to your characters and locations and give you handouts that you can use to apply to your own script. You will walk away with a clearer understanding of how you can give your story a competitive advantage by thinking through characters, locations and scenes as you are writing. Some examples will be used from notable TV shows on network, cable, and streaming platforms including: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING SQUID GAME MADMEN THE BOYS EUPHORIA QUEEN'S GAMBIT SUPERSTORE PLUS! you will receive the following worksheets to help you analyze your own script: Character Trait Breakdown sheet Location Sheet Note: You will receive the Zoom link to login by the morning of the webinar. If you are not yet a member of the Stage 32 community, we encourage you to join the community today at www.stage32.com, it is FREE! You will instantly connect with over 800,000 creatives and professionals in the entertainment industry from all over the world who use Stage 32 to network, find work, learn and develop their projects. YOU MUST HAVE A STAGE 32 PROFILE TO WATCH YOUR VIDEO.
The Cannes Film Festival can be overwhelming when you plan to attend for the first time. Over 12,000 film industry professionals head to Cannes each year to present and discover almost 4,000 films and projects in development at 33 screening venues. Fuelled by this success, the Marché has expanded with the opening of the Riviera and Lérins exhibition halls, forming a hub around the world-famous Palais des Festivals and the Village International, the number one venue for promoting films from all over the world. As a leading global film industry organization, the Marché du Film takes a rigorous approach in adapting to the expectations of industry professionals worldwide and to emerging economic, technological and creative film trends. Even if you’re a veteran attendee, things are always changing at Cannes so it’s important you stay in the know. Stage 32 is proud to be the industry education workshop partner of the Cannes Film Festival Marché du Film for the third year and we are excited to offer all badge holders the opportunity to experience Stage 32 education. Together with the Marché we are excited to offer an exclusive webinar to our Stage 32 community on how you can navigate the festival. In this webinar we’re bringing in the Executive Director, Jérôme Paillard, and his team to talk about the festival and how to navigate it. Now, you’ll get to hear straight from the source on how to make your Cannes experience work for you. You’ll walk away from this webinar able to arrive on the Croisette ready to make things happen!
"Very informative. Sean is very knowledgeable and charismatic. When questions were asked, he gave full and complete answer. I highly recommend taking Sean's webinar." Learn from one of the top entertainment attorneys in Hollywood who has worked on hundreds of film & TV projects! Distribution can often be confusing, complicated, and murky territory, and there are many common pitfalls filmmakers of all levels fall into when navigating. It can feel like you need a law degree and a special glossary just to understand the rights you’re giving away, along with the territories, fees, expenses, residuals, and everything else that comes along with a distribution deal. But you don’t need to pass the Bar to find success in seeking distribution. Gaining a keener understanding of the process and how agreements work can empower you as a filmmaker to negotiate a distribution deal that’s right for you and your film. Sean Pope is a Senior Associate at Ramo Law PC, one of the largest and most respected entertainment law firms in Hollywood, where he works with producers and production companies focusing on all aspects of production legal services from development to distribution. Prior to joining Ramo Law, Sean worked at a boutique entertainment transactional and litigation firm providing legal services for producers, writers, actors and musicians. His past projects include the upcoming Liam Neeson thriller HONEST THIEF, Netflix documentary THE BLACK GODFATHER, and hit Netflix docu-series CHEER. Sean has helped countless filmmakers negotiate fair distribution deals and make the most out of their film, and is ready to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. In this advanced level and intensive two-part class, Sean will walk you through the nuts and bolts of distribution deals and zero in on the provisions and clauses you need to understand when negotiating your own distribution and sales agreements. Sean’s exhaustive rundown will leave you with a much deeper understanding of what agreements look like, what you should be looking for, and how to avoid pitfalls along the way.
PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch. WEEK #1 – Introduction, Pitch Docs, Character This week we will cover the syllabus, your instructor's background and experience, your goals for this eight-week lab and launch into a discussion on creating strong characters for your pilot. We will discuss the types of drama pilots and how they differ from network to network. We will go over how to create effective loglines and pitch documents. Then we will delve into character – what makes for strong characters and weak ones. The assignment for this week will be to create a pitch document and write a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters. WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline and Series Bible This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of drama pilot (procedural or serial) and the network (broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, etc.) We will identify what kind of network to target for your story idea and structure the pilot accordingly. We will also discuss the function of your series bible and what it needs to include to support your pilot. The assignment for the week is to complete a pilot outline and start work on your bible. WEEK #3 – Pilot Outline (One on One Consultations – No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding pilot structure. Each writer will send in their pilot outline in advance and will have a 10-minute call to discuss what works and what doesn’t. The assignment for the week is to address any notes given on the outline before proceeding with next week’s class and to continue working on your series bible. WEEK #4– Scenes, Beats, Dialogue, This week we will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, story beats, and dialogue. The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the teaser/opening scene, a scene with heavy dialogue, and a strong character scene. WEEK #5– Acts 1 and 2 We will discuss both the four-act and five-act structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in acts 1 and 2 of a drama pilot, including exposition, number of scenes per act, traditional page count, inciting incidents, acts 1 and 2 breaks, etc. The assignment this week will be to complete Acts 1 and 2 of your pilot. WEEK #6– Acts 3, 4 and 5 Similarly to last week, we will cover the necessary story beats that traditionally exist in acts 3 and 4 of a drama pilot. If your pilot structure has five or more, as some broadcast network shows do, there will be time allotted for further instruction on how to proceed. The assignment this week is to complete the first draft of the entire pilot and to turn in your series bible. WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Please turn in your pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call, and each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes. Your assignment this week is to address any notes. WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (No Online Class) This week will consist of 10-minute one-on-one phone calls as well. Please submit your revised pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call. Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given. Payment plans are available - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.