Paul Watling has orbited the animation industry for the past two decades, honing his skills as a director, story artist and designer, joining Nickelodeon. He was head of story on Sony Pictures Animation’s Academy award winning feature, SPIDER-MAN INTO THE SPIDER VERSE and contributed to numerous television and feature productions most recently, as a director on Craig McCracken's Netflix series KID COSMIC. He served as a story artist on several other Sony Pictures Animation films, including SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, along with a multitude of feature development projects. Paul relocated to Los Angeles from Toronto, Ontario where he worked as a storyboard artist, designer and director on a variety of television productions, such as GROJBAND, SIDEKICK, TOTAL DRAMA ISLAND, YIN YANG YO, ATOMIC BETTY and ED, EDD N EDDY. Conrad Vernon is an American director, writer, storyboard artist and voice over artist best known for his work on the DreamWorks Oscar-Nominated animated film series SHREK as well as other films such as MONSTERS VS. ALIENS, MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE'S MOST WANTED AND PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR. He also co-directed the adult animated film SAUSAGE PARTY and the newest release of the animated movie THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Conrad is now tapped to direct an animated movie version of THE JETSONS for Warner Bros. Full Bio »
Exclusive opportunity only available on Stage 32!
Stage 32 Masters of Craft Series Presents: Paul Watling, Head of Story for Oscar-Winning SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE and Conrad Vernon, Director of Oscar-Nominated SHREK 2.
Animation is one of the most in-demand genres of film and television with a wide audience appeal. Whether it's billion dollar box office hits like THE LION KING, ZOOTOPIA, MINIONS or FROZEN or Emmy-winning television like THE SIMPSONS, BOB'S BURGERS or RICK AND MORTY, there is always a need for fun, fantastic and unique storytelling through animation. Animation as a medium is much different than its live action counterpart and requires a unique series of skills. One of the most important among them is pitching. A good pitch stands between you and your greenlight.
Pitching animation is unlike any other storytelling. First, you are in charge of not only nailing a perfect pitch complete with character and story arcs, but you are also in charge of helping your audience visualize something that doesn't exist yet. Being able to do both and succeed can be challenging. You have to know how to map out your story, how to lay out your storyboards and how to verbally hone in on a perfect pitch. Missing a key element can mean you will get a pass.
To make sure you put your best foot forward, Stage 32 is thrilled to bring you an exclusive Masters of Craft webinar with Paul Watling, Head of Story for Oscar-Winning SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE and Conrad Vernon, Director of Oscar-Nominated SHREK 2.
Paul Watling has orbited the animation industry for the past two decades, honing his skills as a director, story artist and designer, joining Nickelodeon. He was head of story on Sony Pictures Animation’s Academy award winning feature, SPIDER-MAN INTO THE SPIDER VERSE and contributed to numerous television and feature productions most recently, as a director on Craig McCracken's Netflix series KID COSMIC. He served as a story artist on several other Sony Pictures Animation films, including SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, along with a multitude of feature development projects. Paul relocated to Los Angeles from Toronto, Ontario where he worked as a storyboard artist, designer and director on a variety of television productions, such as GROJBAND, SIDEKICK, TOTAL DRAMA ISLAND, YIN YANG YO, ATOMIC BETTY and ED, EDD N EDDY.
Conrad Vernon is an American director, writer, storyboard artist and voice over artist best known for his work on the DreamWorks Oscar-Nominated animated film series SHREK as well as other films such as MONSTERS VS. ALIENS, MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE'S MOST WANTED AND PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR. He also co-directed the adult animated film SAUSAGE PARTY and the newest release of the animated movie THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Conrad is now tapped to direct an animated movie version of THE JETSONS for Warner Bros.
In this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft Webinar Paul and Conrad will go over what a story pitch is for animation and how it can affect your story board. They will teach you how to prepare for a story pitch and how to plan a pitch story board. They will share from their decades of experience things that work well and things that do NOT work well in a pitch. And, exclusively to Stage 32, you will see video of the actual in-room pitch Conrad did for SHREK 2 - complete with the live pitch, the story boards and the final product! Paul will even do a live pitch to the class. You will get to see how the top pros pitch!
Join us for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how two of the top people in animation today pitch - you'll walk away with creative ideas on how to apply it to your future pitches!
"Conrad teaching is like a master class in animation."
- Miguel V.
"Wit, wisdom and no bull-sh*t. Conrad was clear in what it takes to work in animation. Bring him back please!"
- Tiffany F.
"Conrad is a terrific instructor who I learned a tremendous amount from. I especially like how thorough he is in explaining technical details."
- Paul I.
Paul Watling (Head of Story SPIDERMAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE) and Conrad Vernon (Director, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, SHREK 2)
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!
Exclusive to Stage 32, Chris Lockhart, one of the most legendary and revered agency story editors in the business teaches for the community. Chris has read over 60,000 scripts in his career for WME and has the database to prove it! A logline is the way your screenplay is introduced to the world. It’s rare that anyone will read your script without knowing something about it first. A-List Actors, producers, directors, managers, agents, financiers and development execs will often lean on hearing a logline before ever asking for or agreeing to read a screenplay. If your logline doesn't sing, the script doesn't get opened. Even more important, if the logline doesn't work, it's a signal to those who read screenplays for a living that the script probably doesn't either. Delving into a logline can help you identify problematic elements of a screenplay, enabling solutions to fix them. Simply put, there is no one better to help teach this subject than Chris Lockhart. As Story Editor at William Morris Endeavor (WME), the world's largest diversified talent agency, Chris has curated projects for A-list actors such as Denzel Washington, Liam Neeson, Mel Gibson, Matt Damon, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, and countless others over the last 20+ years. He's accomplished this reading and exploring through piles of screenplays, magazines, books, old movies, TV shows, and pitches in search of potential film projects. If you've seen one of these actors in just about anything, chances are Chris was the first stop for the screenplay (of which he's read over 60,000), but only after he heard the logline and deemed it worth of a read! Chris began his career at International Creative Management (ICM), where he worked as script consultant to legendary talent agent Ed Limato, who represented industry giants such as Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Michelle Pfeiffer, Liam Neeson, and Robert Downey, Jr. Chris later moved to the venerable William Morris Agency, which eventually merged with Endeavor to form WME. Chris is the Story Editor for A-list talent such as Denzel Washington, Michelle Williams, Richard Gere and more! As an educator and consultant, Chris has lectured around the world on the craft and business of screenwriting, and he has advised on countless feature films. Chris graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in dramatic writing and was awarded the school's Public Service Prize for his dedication to public education. He is an adjunct professor at National University's Professional Screenwriting Program. He has also taught at LA Valley College and UCLA. His writing workshop The Inside Pitch was filmed for Los Angeles television, earning him an Emmy Award nomination. Chris's creative counsel has been used on hundreds of hit films Chris is a member of the Writers Guild, the Producers Guild, and the Television Academy. In a jammed packed and often hilarious webinar (trust us, Chris is a character and a half), Chris will not only teach you how to write a logline, but how to tailor it in such a way that it is appealing to talent, representation and the money. He'll break down the mechanics of a logline to determine what makes one work. He'll show you what aspects A-List actors, directors, managers, agents, producers, financiers and development execs look for in a logline that makes them want to take the next step and read your script. Chris will then take you on a broader discussion of the elements of successful screenwriting and how your logline can betray what you've written or reveal the shortcomings in your script. As a bonus, Chris will then play a recording of an interactive logline pitch shop he recently held where he broke down several loglines to show what worked and what didn't. All this followed by a fun and informative Q&A filled with even more actionable information. "Chris, without question, is not only one of my favorite people in the industry, but one of my favorite people on the planet. His knowledge of screenwriting is beyond compare and his ability to break down every aspect of the writing process beginning with the logline is something to behold. He's smart, engaging, and funny as hell. And he's right about everything...Just ask him!" - Richard Botto, CEO (and screenwriter), Stage 32 "Amazing seminar loved it. It was the best I have ever watched or ordered!" - Robert M. "Chris was clear, concise, helpful, and focused. Loved his enthusiasm and humor." - Lori H. "Oh my god, I was laughing all the way through. In between writing about 10 pages of notes. SO much fun and a wealth of knowledge." - Denise G. "I went into this thinking it was going to be yet another of those dry logline classes. I was upended. This wasn't just the best thing ever regarding loglines, but the best screenwriting class I've ever taken." - Robert S. "Excellent! Very practical and useful!" - Kathi W.
Let's get one thing out of the way immediately: It's not just Hollywood anymore. Actually, let's take it one step further, it's not just the United States either. If you're a filmmaker, screenwriter or producer seeking to sell and/or distribute your content, looking to work on a consistent basis and, hopeful in building a long lasting career in the industry, you must be paying attention to what's happening around the world. The international entertainment industry now contributes to over 70% of the theatrical releases and box office receipts across the globe. And many estimate that number will grow over the coming years. But it's not just film that has seen this global expansion, television and digital content has exploded outside of the U.S. as well. Not to mention, many of the streaming platforms are now looking for film, television and other short form content that will play with a U.S. audience, but will be especially popular in specific regions overseas. So where do you begin to look where others aren't, expand your prospects and give yourself a competitive advantage? Well, right here, of course! For many, navigating the international market presents a black hole. Where can one find producers, financiers, representatives and development execs who serve these markets? How do you know what the trends are and how you may best serve them? How do you know the mandates of streamers, distributors and sales agents? Do you have a story already in hand that can be tweaked to serve an international audience? You may be surprised. We could fill 20 paragraphs with what Alexia Melocchi has achieved in her 25 year career in the entertainment business. Alexia is an accomplished entertainment industry professional with a long proven track record of success within both the domestic and international arenas. A vital contributor to the LITTLE STUDIO FILMS brand, Alexia Melocchi's expertise and footing in the entertainment industry began in the international marketplace, as both a sales agent and buyer’s representative for eleven territories, giving her diverse exposure to all types of films and functions in the entertainment industry. As a consultant she currently uses her professional relationships and expertise by providing screenplay development, packaging films, securing co- productions and arranging for US and international distribution for her clients. A regular participant at most major film and television markets as well as festivals around the world, Alexia Melocchi still pursues international acquisitions and uses a global film marketing approach for the projects of her clients as well as the films she has and is producing under the Little Studio Films banner. During her tenure as a sales agent she sold more than 50 movies to profit on behalf of her producer clients, and acquired more than 100 major studio and independent films on behalf of the Distributors she has ongoing relationships with in Italy, Greece, Latin America, Spain, France, Germany, Japan and Scandinavia. She recently handled territorial sales for Unstaged, the Duran Duran live concert film directed by David Lynch, the Italian American film American Fango directed by Gabriele Altobelli and the Australian feature Bathing Frankie directed by Owen Elliott. Alexia will teach you everything you need to know about the international marketplace and how to use your English speaking talents to get paid as a director, writer or author by international companies. She will give you an overview of the global film business including trends and how to tell global stories for a global audience. She will take away the fear and anxiety and the time suck of figuring out how to find, meet and engage international producers and financiers. She will explain the film markets and explain which ones to attend and which to skip. She will teach you the proper cultural etiquette when dealing with international decision makers. Of monumental importance, she will show you how to pitch yourself and your projects to the international marketplace and how your pitch may differ from U.S. targets. Plus, you will get a handout of resources and links for foreign resources Alexia goes over in her webinar! This is a comprehensive look at the international market and how to navigate the landscape toward opening up the world for new possibilities as a filmmaker, screenwriter, author or producer. Praise for Alexia "Great information. She covered a lot of ground and it was one of the most informative Stage 32 webinars I've attended. Thank you!!" - Debbi M. "Concise and to the point, great information on international markets, I will apply this knowledge to my debut film's development." - Francisco C. "Great advice. She really demystified a lot of what's involved. Thank you Alexia!" - S.J. "A lot of great info, but also a new way of thinking, a fresh perspective to help advance my career! Thank you!" - John E. "Great energy and to the point info. Loved it." - Sebastian T.
**One of Stage 32's most popular programs - Get one-on-one mentoring and guidance from an accomplished producer on getting your own project made!** In today’s film market independently producing a film is a great way to get your project made. There are thousands of independent films that are developed, made and distributed every year that started from a script. But how? Now, more than ever, the need for a major studio to get your project into production becomes less and less, while more control is put into your own hands. Whether you're a filmmaker, producer, writer or actor, you have the ability to produce and shepherd a film project if you know the right steps to take to get it done. In order to do this, though, you will need to get your project market-ready and make it attractive to co-producers, financiers, actors, directors, distributors and more. Looking professional when going out to the market with a film project is key and separates the professionals from the amateurs. Figuring out who and how to get your script into the right hands and get the ball rolling on a project can feel overwhelming, almost impossible for a newer creator. Knowing the right way to strategize, present, and partner with the perfect collaborators is key to success. A good producer is always in action, looking at ways to make her project the best it can be. As intimidating and bewildering as this might feel to creators, it’s absolutely within your reach. And, there are strategies you can learn to put you on the right track to turn your passion project into a reality, especially if you have guidance to help you get there. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and has produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, 9 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Aimee’s extensive experience has made her intimately familiar with how to successfully get a project off the ground and build a team to get a script made. In this advanced level and exclusive four-session lab (no more than 15 students will be admitted), Aimee will work directly with you in an intimate class setting to help you make your script marketable and put the pieces together to get the film ready to go. To do so Aimee will begin by working with you on your script and concept. She will help you understand what shape your script is currently in and how marketable your story is. Next she will help you strategize and give you the tools to find the partners you’ll need for your project, including other producers and executive producers, directors, writers, actors, and more. Then Aimee will work with you on your project’s pitch deck, including perfecting your logline and synopsis. Finally Aimee will guide you through forming your own specific plan of attack moving forward, including building the list of people to reach out to and getting your foot in the door with organizations. Aimee will even work with you on practicing your pitch, cold calls, and email messages. Expect to leave this lab with a better handle on the potential for your script, a working pitch deck, and a plan of attack to find your own team and get your film moving towards the finish line. Plus! Aimee will also provide you exclusive, confidential and helpful documents for you to download and use for your own projects including: Up-to-date list of in-demand writers and directors to reach out to Pitch Deck examples Free access to Variety Insight for one month ($200 value) Outreach email templates WHAT TO EXPECT (FOR THE SESSION BREAKDOWN, SEE BELOW) This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate creators looking to get their film project ready to pitch and put together. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***This lab is limited to 15 people*** You will be given exclusive and confidential handouts that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the lab ends. This lab will consist of four weekly sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. In addition to the lessons where Aimee teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with her directly about your specific project. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the TV project development process. To see the full lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 15 people and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a veteran producer and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Harrison at email@example.com for more information Praise for Aimee's Stage 32 Producing Lab: "I really loved Aimee’s lab. She’s such a delight and so full of useful information that pertains to everyone’s individual projects, and she's so encouraging! I highly recommend this class and/or working with Aimee in general. I came out with loads of actionable steps to take my project further." -Patricia S. "Aimee is fabulous! I enjoyed her Producing Lab and found it helpful and informative. She's a great facilitator in making everyone feel valued and heard while offering positive suggestions, feedback and direction." -Christie A. “I feel ready and inspired to set out on my own and make some great movies after listening to Aimee!” -Hannah W.
Animated television is currently experiencing a boom like we’ve never seen before. Since it’s possible for the bulk of the work to be completed from home or while socially distanced, animation has been flourishing as more players are turning to this format. New shows like SOLAR OPPOSITES on Hulu, CLOSE ENOUGH on HBO Max, FINAL SPACE on TBS and BLOOD OF ZEUS on Netflix are hugely popular, and this is just the beginning. Scores of upcoming animated shows are in the pipeline and just around the corner. Considering this appetite, it doesn’t look like this trend is fading any time soon. And more interest in animation means there are more opportunities for your own project to get noticed and get picked up. Now is a great time for your animated project to get noticed, but you need to make sure it’s fully developed and market-ready first. The opportunities may be extra plentiful right now, but so is the competition. If you want your animated pilot to get noticed and seriously considered, it needs to be polished, thought through, and structured correctly. This is harder than it may seem and comes down to having a detailed plan before you start the actual writing process. This plan can come in the form of a beat sheet, a document that you create for yourself that bullets out exactly what will happen in your pilot and when. As simple as it may seem, this crucial step can make all the difference and help you create that animated TV pilot that will get executives to notice you and fire you off the launch pad. First, you need to understand how to best prepare this beat sheet and structure your pilot in a way that’s not only effective, but attractive to actual buyers. Mike Disa is an accomplished director, producer, writer, and artist who directed on shows like the hit Netflix series PARADISE PD and has been in the animation industry for over twenty-five years. Mike found success working with studios such as Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. A favorite and fixture among the Stage 32 community, Mike is deeply entrenched in the world of animation and knows what it takes to plan and execute an animated pilot that will make it. Mike will walk you through exactly how to put together a beat sheet and structure it effectively to guide you through writing an outstanding animated TV pilot script. He’ll begin by outlining the state of animated TV today and guide you through committing to the genre, format, and rating system that best fits for your series. He’ll walk you through how to get started and the best way to format the sheet. Next, Mike will go deep into the actual structure of an effective animated pilot, including the cold open, act 1, act 2, act 3, and tag. Finally Mike will provide final tips to make sure you’re leaving with a beat sheet that will aid you. If you’re hoping to write an animated pilot script, if you’ve already written one and are looking to improve it, or if you have an idea but are struggling to get it on paper, Mike will give you the tools and strategy to help you reach your goal and put together the animated pilot you’ve been working towards. Praise for Mike's Previous Stage 32 Webinars Mike’s knowledge is sound and extensive. His vision for what’s happening now and what we are to expect in the future is brilliant. I could listen to him forever. -Jane D. "Mike Disa was amazingly generous with his time and information. And he was real. It doesn't get better than that. I'll be able to apply his insights and the information he shared immediately. I'm so glad I decided to participate." - Elizabeth A. "The stories and ideas and descriptions were excellent. Straight talk from a true professional." - Don S. I loved the wealth of content and Mike's humor. -Prema R.
You have an idea for a screenplay. Something burning inside of you to get on the page. Or perhaps you have a screenplay (or 20) sitting in your desk draw in need of a home. Of course you know to make sure that material is primed, ready, and locked and loaded to give yourself the best chance of being read from FADE IN to FADE OUT. But you also need to make sure it's market ready. And further still, you'll want to identify where the best home is for this material and how to pitch them in a manner in which gives you the best shot to be optioned or sold. Most writers understand that taking your idea from a good concept to an excellent screenplay takes many rewrites and much polishing. In today's ultra-competitive landscape, it's more important than ever to fully flesh out your characters, locales, and plot. But thinking about the business side of things as it relates to your screenplay - understanding budget constraints, for example - is something that can give you power in a room. But first you need to get in that room. And to do that, you need to identify the proper (and realistic) homes for your material and understand what they are looking for. Further, you'll need to craft an effective pitch which may just change from one production company (or producer, financier or rep) to another. Rachel Crouch is the Director of Development for Cold Iron Pictures, Miranda Bailey's financing and production company. She's worked on films such as Sundance's Swiss Army Man starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, the Independent Spirt Award-winning The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Don't Think Twice starring Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs, Norma staring Richard Gere and Steve Buscemi and many more. Prior to Cold Iron Pictures she worked as a producer's assistant raising film financing and helping bring films into production. Rachel will take her experience on over a dozen films and give you a behind-the-scenes look at what production companies look for when considering material. Rachel will teach you how to develop your idea from a good concept to a strong story that will grab the attention of financiers and production companies. She'll help you break down your story to figure out your project's main audience and lead you through the tropes you'll want to exploit in order to leave that audience satisfied. You'll find out how to determine your story's budget range and see how letting go of those HBO dreams might help you find a better home for your project. She'll teach you how to hone your pitch including information you must include when pitching production companies. She'll even discuss rejection and finding the power within so that your next pitch is even better and more productive than the last. In short, Rachel will put you in a position to get the read, get in the room, and get the sale or job! "I appreciate Rachel's openness and willingness to share her knowledge and experience with us." - Susan S. "Very practical advice that I can apply right away." - Brian G. "I thought it was very professional and informative." - Chris R.
In a short period of time, the world of podcasts has exploded and become an industry to be reckoned with. Over 100 million Americans listen to podcasts on at least a monthly basis, and individual shows can have millions of fans. We’re not just talking about nonfiction works like THE DAILY or SERIAL; fiction podcasts are also having a moment as more writers are turning to the audio medium to tell incredible stories. An art form in its own right, podcasts have also become a proving ground for stories to be adapted for television or movies. Shows like HOMECOMING, DIRTY JOHN, and LIMETOWN would never have been greenlit or aired if they didn’t first find success and a fan base in podcast form. Now with many more podcast adaptations like CRIMETOWN, THE BRIGHT SESSIONS and ALICE ISN’T DEAD currently in development, this route is becoming much more common and achievable. There might not be a better time than now to adapt your feature screenplay to the podcast medium. If you've had difficulty gaining attention for your screenplay, turning it into a podcast and attracting an audience may provide proof of concept for your story to move it to a show or feature. This type of intellectual property is golden. Adapting your screenplay, of course, easier said than done. Writing for audio is a very different process than writing for a film or TV. Podcasts are written to be experienced as real time events, which is entirely different from a feature or TV script. A good podcast must paint a picture with only words and sounds and be paced to pull a listener in despite any distractions around them. It must also be structured into short episodes that defy traditional film or TV act structure. So, how do you turn 100 pages of a script into a multi-episode podcast? How does writing character or story arcs change when adapting your feature script to multiple episodes? Having a better understanding of what goes into a great comedy, drama, or genre podcast and the rules and expectations that come with this unique format can position you for success in telling your story and finding an audience. Mike Disa is currently the director of the highly praised Netflix show Paradise PD and has been working in the industry, both in television and features, for two decades. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success and has worked with studios such as Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. Always an innovator, Mike recognized the interesting time right now for developing material based off of IP and took it upon himself to adapt his feature script SENTINELS: POINT OF NO RETURN into a 12-part podcast series, which is now produced. Having recently gone through the experience Mike is excited to share his approach and his lessons learned writing the adaptation exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Mike will walk you through the nuts and bolts of writing a fiction podcast and give you the tools you’ll need to adapt your long form script into this new medium. He’ll begin by discussing what the state of podcasts looks like today, including what kinds of podcasts are possible and the different formats of fiction podcasts that people are writing and which ones are currently popular. He’ll then delve into how to approach your podcast adaptation and which things you should decide on from the outset. This includes deciding on the format that will work best for your story, how to adapt your writing style to short form when you’re used to writing features or television, and whether you will use a narrator or go full “radio play”. He’ll also give you tips on how to plan for sound while starting to write. Mike will next go into detail on breaking your long form story into multiple short form episodes. He’ll give you tips on extending your story and show you where to put episode breaks within it. He’ll go over building tension between episodes between episodes and what goes into good cliffhangers on podcasts. He’ll also talk about how to avoid needing recaps between episodes. Next Mike will spend time talking about other writing challenges that come with this format, including how to paint a picture in audio form without creating awkward dialogue, the process of holding on to your subplots without your storytelling getting choppy, and how to use your first episode to grab your audience. He’ll also offer tips of how to give your characters separate voices. Finally, Mike will use his own podcast SENTINELS: POINT OF NO RETURN, which was originally written as a feature, to illustrate the process of adapting for podcasts. He’ll even share samples of both the feature and podcast versions of the SENTINELS script. If you’re excited about podcasts, curious about writing your own or adapting your feature script into one and don’t even know where to begin, start here. Praise for Mike's Stage 32 Webinar FIVE STARS FOR MIKE!!! He is super-awesome! Can't wait for the next session. -Robert S. "Mike Disa is definitely one of the best. He provided advice that is actionable." -Martin R. "I loved how engaging Mike was. It felt like he was genuine and addressing each of us almost individually. I have honestly never had a better Stage32 experience!" -Elle C. "It was great to hear from Mike. What a professional and what great advice from someone who knows the business and the craft of writing for podcasts." -Mary S.