Clay Liford is an award winning independent filmmaker and director of photography whose projects have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Munich, AFI Film fest and more. As a director of photography, Clay has shot over twenty-five features, including the SXSW award-winning films ST. NICK and GAYBY. His film credits also include WUSS, EARTHLING, SLASH, and MY MOM SMOKES WEED, a Sundance Film Festival favorite. As an indie filmmaker, editor, and writer, Clay has mastered the art of pre-production and production so that his projects move like clockwork. And as a film production instructor at the University of Texas, Clay has become proficient at teaching his methods for efficiency and artistic self-sufficiency. Now he’s sharing what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
Time is money. And in the world of indie film, this is undeniably true. The number one expense filmmakers face today isn’t equipment rentals or crew wages. Nor is it crafty or actor day rates. It’s a DAY. And once a day is lost, it’s extremely difficult to get back. Often referred to as “the single biggest budget multiplier,” loss of days while shooting can sink your film if not kept under control. Falling behind just one day quickly leads to losing another and then another, and before you know it you have a runaway production. If you’re contemplating pre-production and production for your independent film or project, carefully managing your days is a priority.
Many filmmakers avoid too much pre-planning for fear of losing the creativity and spontaneity that can make their project special, but it doesn’t need to be one or the other. There’s a proven method to keep you on track, while still allowing for inspiration and experimentation on set. It also happens to be the industry standard, and applies to any level of filmmaking - from student short to studio feature. You don’t have to toss the creative baby out with the budgetary bathwater. It comes down to identifying what to plan and what to improvise. The truth is the more you plan, the more you’re free to experiment while filming - provided you optimize your time and focus on the right elements.
Clay Liford is an award winning independent filmmaker and director of photography whose projects have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Munich, AFI Film fest and more. As a director of photography, Clay has shot over twenty-five features, including the SXSW award-winning films ST. NICK and GAYBY. His film credits also include WUSS, EARTHLING, SLASH, and MY MOM SMOKES WEED, a Sundance Film Festival favorite. As an indie filmmaker, editor, and writer, Clay has mastered the art of pre-production and production so that his projects move like clockwork. And as a film production instructor at the University of Texas, Clay has become proficient at teaching his methods for efficiency and artistic self-sufficiency. Now he’s sharing what he knows with the Stage 32 community.
Clay will lay out how you can save time and money as a filmmaker by employing strategies and practices to make your day and keep your project moving. Not only will Clay address where to place emphasis in your pre-production process, but he’ll also lay out a specific method for planning shots and scenes, which includes shot lists and top-down lighting plots. These methods are optimized so that you make your day without losing a beat or turning it into a budgetary bean-counter. He’ll then round out the webinar with a “trouble-shooting” guide that’s easy to understand, and applicable to the vast majority of scheduling issues that often arise on set.
Clay's guide will give you confidence when it comes to time management so you can focus on what really matters in putting together a project you can be proud of.
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 recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
It's no secret that television is a red hot medium right now. Over the last few years, the average number of shows broadcast has been well over 500. With the advent of even more streaming options (HBO Now, Disney+, and more), some experts expect that number to double or even possibly triple over the next 2-4 years. That doesn't even account for the number of television projects that get sold or brought to pilot that never get picked up! In short, the amount of television pitches being greenlit in the room and the amount of television scripts being optioned and sold has never been higher. But, as is the case with just about anything, the bigger the gold rush, the more people seeking the gold. The content is one thing, how you pitch the content to networks, development execs, financiers, producers, managers, agents and other decision makers is quite another. Experienced professionals can spot an amateur pitcher within the first 30 seconds, if not sooner. You have to be able to stand out. And we're here to help you do just that. So, you have a great idea for a show, now what? How do you get it to the right people? What to do/how to present it to them? What most people don’t understand, is that once they’re in the door they need to think about the other side of the table. Who they’re pitching to, how many pitches that person reads/hears and how best to position themselves to stand out. Busy producers and executives get pitched all the time - honestly...All. Day. Long. Whether oral, written or Skype, you basically have 30 seconds or the first paragraph to keep them interested. And for both, the format matters! Don’t let your great idea fall on deaf ears or eyes! If you’re a writer or someone who works with writers, you need to know how to orchestrate a good pitch. Bret Slater has worked as a producer on such acclaimed shows as the multi Emmy nominated Boardwalk Empire and Ballers for HBO. Bret has worked alongside such talent as Steve Buscemi, Mark Whalberg, Russel Crowe, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Steven Levinson (Entourage), Catherine Zeta Jones, Ryan Phillippe and many more. Bret has been reading and listening to television pitches all day and just about every day since he broke into the business over a decade ago. He's seen every style, heard every idea, and knows as well as anyone what makes a television pitch a winner. Bret will teach you the entire landscape regarding pitching a television pilot or idea. In what is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of the pitching process, Bret will take you inside the mind of the pitchee, the person hearing the pitch. What are they looking for in the first 30 seconds? What are you portraying when you walk in the room? What details matter and which make the person you are pitching to zone out? How do you craft your pitch to producers, managers and agents? He will teach you the 3 basic, yet much overlooked, rules that must be in every pitch along with the #1 rule on how to deliver your pitch. Bret will break down written, oral and online/Skype pitches and the do's and don'ts for each. He will teach you how to open, and more importantly, close your pitch so that you leave the person or people you are pitching to wanting more. Bret will even show you the proper etiquette for following up after a pitch. Bret will provide all the tools that will help lift the anxiety and doubt of pitching for television and give you the confidence to deliver your pitch in a mannered, informed and professional way. "Yet another winner from Stage 32." - Patricia C. "So much quality information. There were at least 3 things I was absolutely doing wrong with my approach when pitching. This clarified the mistakes I was making. Thank you, Bret." Marty T. "Having spent nearly 10 years in the feature world, I recently wrote a pilot and quickly realized the landscape is much different. My old tricks for pitching features didn't apply for TV. It's a different animal. Now I'm ready to get back on the attack." Milos S.
Get one-on-one guidance on all of the steps you need to take during pre-production with Emmy Award-winning producer and filmmaker Shane Stanley. Comes with exclusive downloads, resources, sample documents, and more It might not be the most glamorous, but pre-production is arguably the most important aspect of putting together a film. The crucial decisions you make and the team you build during this phase will determine the success of your production and ultimately, your film. But no matter what experience level you are at, pre-production can quickly become an overwhelming process. From hiring to budgeting to location scouting to scheduling, there are always going to be a lot of plates you must keep spinning. Yet approaching pre-production with a plan, with discipline, and with the appropriate knowledge will keep your film on track and even elevate it to a level you might not have previously thought possible. Over an intensive, interactive and advanced 4 weeks, multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley will guide you through the entire process of pre-production and give you crucial tips he's developed over decades working as a successful independent producer. Shane will go through every aspect of prepping a film or project including: Script clearances Building a budget Working with agents and managers Building your crew Casting Production Schedules and Call Sheets Location Scouting Production insurance Workers Comp and payroll Working with guilds Registering your film much more Along the way, Shane will provide exclusive and valuable documents and handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including: Sample Budgets Sample Schedules Sample Call Sheets SAG-AFTRA contracts Crew Agreements Sample Offers to Principal Talent Location Agreements Payment plans are available - contact Harrison at email@example.com for more information Praise for Shane's Previous Stage 32 Class "Shane exceeded my expectations. He covered a vast amount of real world material and brought all of it to life with personal and engaging stories. He remained incredibly generous with his time every week and always demonstrated a deep commitment to making sure everyone’s questions were answered. It was inspiring. Bravo!" -Michele R. "I can't say enough great things about Shane Stanley and his class. I had no idea how much I didn't know until I took Shane's class. He was very congenial but generous with his time, his insight and he actually shared documents that we can study in preparation for our own productions. This class is worth it for anybody who calls themselves a producer, whether you're mounting big budget projects or small indies, Shane Stanley's class is win-win experience. He also made every single person feel welcome and values. Thanks again Shane!" -LaRita S. "Shane had a great way of engaging the whole audience and no one missed out on being brought into the presentation in some way or another. Shane was quick, easy to understand, sharp and concise. I can honestly say that he never went off track with the subject being discussed and had many examples to bring to the table which made his presentation even more easier to understand." -Graeme C.
Any independent filmmaker can tell you that one of the key rules to creating a successful film is to use what you got. This is especially true (and especially challenging) with cinematography. With a limited budget you’re likely not going to have the state-of-the-art equipment or perfectly lit soundstage to get the optimal shot. Often you’re going to have to make do with the locations the team was able to rustle up. These locations might be too small, might lack natural light, might be the wrong color. Well that’s too bad. If you want your indie film to look great, you’re going to have to be scrappy, adapt quickly, and be ready to pull a couple miracles out of your hat. Don’t think this won’t be noticed though; having the tools to make any location look great will not only elevate the film you’re working on, but also bolster your own reputation and prove your worth as a DP or director. It might not always be fully appreciated, but if you’re serving as DP, it’s down to you to take any shot and make it cinematic. Sometimes this might be as easy as setting up a fill light, but especially for low-budget projects, it’s often much more complicated. With a lack of access to sufficient resources, it can feel like reinventing the wheel to make any shot work. However, coming to set knowing the questions to ask and the tools at your disposal can make all the difference. What combination of a fill light, key light, and back light will work best? How can you use the props and materials that happen to be around to draw the eye to your subject? And perhaps most importantly, when should you push to make the shot better and when should you recognize that it’s as good as it’s going to be? Barry Andersson is an award-winning director and cinematographer. He has directed 5 feature films, many of which were released in theaters—his most recent film is being distributed by Lionsgate. Barry’s career as a cinematographer includes several television pilots, acclaimed short films, numerous commercials, and countless commercials and corporate videos. Barry is also the author of the DSLR Filmmakers Handbook. Barry has had to light and shoot more ugly locations than he can count and has developed a slew of strategies to tackle the challenges they bring. Barry will give you tips and tools to pull beauty out of the ugliest of locations. Barry will start by going through the basics of art direction and what expectations directors will have of you as a DP. Using case studies and practical examples, Barry will outline how to find and create depth in flat locations and how to use available lighting to your advantage, even if it’s not ideal. He’ll then give you ideas of how to find use available props and items you might not have considered to add dimension to your shot. Then Barry will discuss the importance of where in the location to place your talent to elevate or destroy your scene. Finally Barry will delve into the best way to choose the right lens for each shot. You'll walk away from this fun webinar knowing how to navigate any small space surprises once you get on set with your equipment. Praise for Barry's Webinar: "Very professional and Barry gave good advice" -Carol L. "Excellent webinar . Many great tips I can definitely use. Thanks!" -Ron H. "Barry has a bunch of great strategies that I'm totally going to use on my next shot" -Charlie C. "Super interesting and super practical advice. Thank you!" -Tina R.
Part 1 - Budgets & Cash Flows Maura teaches you how to create a realistic plan for your film and make sure there is always money in the bank for what you need. You'll learn how to figure how much money you really need, and how to put together a proper film budget. Part 2 - Cost Reports, Film Infrastructure, & Tax Incentives Maura discusses setting up a film's infrastructure (from setting up an LLC to finding a lawyer) and various accounting options. She details cost reports, and how to analyze what you've spent and what you need to spend. Lastly, she discusses tax incentives before hosting a Q&A session. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Maura is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all filmmakers to participate.
If you're an independent filmmaker, it's likely you don’t have all of the funds you need to begin or complete your production. In this scenario, you need a film financier to step in and invest equity. While the financier is often hands-off with the actual production, they do have a prominent position in the process. Their assets are your assets, and they need to be protected. Borrowing money is only one step in the process. Assuring your financier that their assets will be protected during the filmmaking and production process is another. If you’re ready to take your film to the next level but aren’t clear on what financiers expect as far as protection when you borrow, you may be at a disadvantage. Protecting money given to you by someone with a vested interest in your film is extremely important. It’s also good business practice. And going into a conversation knowing what they expect before they hand over any equity - can only work in your favor. Your future lender has expectations. Let's delve into how you can always meet those expectations. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will teach you how you can keep your financiers protected and explain the 6 different options you should take into consideration when you sit down with a financier for your own project. After explaining what the role of a financier on an independent film usually looks like, he will discuss security interests, completion bonds, escrow accounts, collection accounts, legal representation, and compliance, what each of these look like, and how you can use these to best protect your financier. There are variables for every filmmaking scenario, but David will leave you with a much clearer understanding the role of the financier and how you can keep them happy and safe so that they’ll want to work with you time and time again. Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
When putting together a deal as a writer or producer there are many things to think about when it comes to your contracts - between option agreements, purchase agreements and negative pickups it's important you understand what deal you're getting yourself into before you start development. We will cover three different types of contracts: purchase agreement, option agreement, and negative pickup. We will discuss terms in both a legal and practical matter so that you get the information needed to be prepared to negotiate your next agreement. Such things will include material and boilerplate terms, what can or can't be negotiated, and how lawyers themselves will be reading and reviewing your agreement. This will be an in-depth, but accessible, legal discussion walking you through each part of a standard purchase and option agreement. Plus! You'll get 5 contract templates to download! Your Stage 32 Educator is entertainment attorney Jordan Barel, who's a California attorney that has worked with AMC, New Line Cinema, Generate and Alloy. He is also a producer who develops projects based off IP and started out as the television coordinator at Verve Talent & Literary Agency. Whether you're a producer, filmmaker or writer learn the overview of contracts to give you a competitive advantage in your next negotiation! **All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about certain types of contracts within the entertainment industry. The information presented is not legal advice and is not to be acted on as such, please consult your lawyer for issues specific to your contract.