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!
So you want to direct. You've been bitten by the filmmaking bug and now all you can think about is making a film. You've got a script (or the concept for one) and have envisioned exactly how you want to see it on the screen. And, now more than ever, with equipment more accessible, the costs of shooting affordable, the barrier of entry lower than it's every been, and the options for distribution growing seemingly by the minute, you know the path from script to screen has never been more viable. We get it. As a director you are the lynchpin of a production and the commander of a creative army in service of your vision. But, in order to truly realize that vision, you have to know everything there is about development, pre-production, physical production, and post production. Even though you can clearly see the film in your mind that's only a small part of the process of being a director. It takes hard work, discipline, and wearing many hats to be able to execute every aspect of developing and filming a movie - and to do it in a way that holds the entire production together. What you do (or don't do) in pre-production will set the tone for the entire shoot, good or bad. How you command the set on the first day will determine whether your cast and crew put forth their best effort or zone out. You have to be cognizant of shooting time/days, your budget, and assuring that your are delivering on every promise. But you're not done when you shout "That's a wrap!" There's still more to do when you get to post-production, working hand in hand with your editor, colorist, sound designer and more. It sounds overwhelming, but we're here to tell you it's not only a manageable environment, but one you can thrive in. Stacia Crawford started as an actress, but had the overwhelming desire to manage and film projects. So, she moved into producing and directing. Last year alone, she had two feature films that premiered on Netflix and Lifetime. With the success of those films, she has been hired to direct two more features this year. Stacia has worked with NBC, The History Channel, A&E, AMC, Spike and more, and has used her experience to make sure she runs a tight and efficient set. She's a pro at managing a project from the script phase through seeing her work on screen and beyond. Stacia will guide you through the entire directing process so you can understand what your responsibilities will be through pre-production, physical production and post-production. She will help you understand what to look for in your contract before you even get hired. She will teach you best casting strategies, how to find and enlist the help of your creative departments, and how to choose the right DP and AD (beyond important!) You'll also learn how to prepare your shot list and how to confidently run your set by learning how to work with actors, producers and your crew and keep them all happy. She'll teach you about your dailies and picking up scenes if the schedule shifts. Finally, she'll take you through post-production and how to work seamlessly and diplomatically with your editor, composer and your color and audio team. You'll be well-armed with all the pertinent and vital information you need to manage every aspect of being a film director. Stacia will remove your anxiety and fears by giving you the tools to succeed, thrive and have your cast and crew looking to work with you again and again. "If you are thinking of going into the industry it was amazing, hit all the points, and she went above and beyond when she expanded on a lot of her points...like making sure you get your insert shots (which I've been a victim of.). Overall she was great, clear and to the point." - Ryan H. I'm a screenwriter and always wanted to direct, but found the idea of it daunting. Stacia not only lifted my fears, but gave me so many "I can do that!" moments that I'm already kicking myself for not doing it sooner. She's a marvel. - Monica R.
Animation is one of the few types of productions that hasn’t slowed down or halted due to the pandemic. Since it’s possible for the bulk of the work of animated films and television to be completed from home or while socially distanced, animation has been flourishing as more players are turning to this format. With these ongoing changes in animated film and television production and financing, it’s now more important than ever to develop solid relationships to get into animation, and especially with overseas animation studios to successfully produce your own animated project. The truth is you’ll be hard-pressed to find many animated projects that are fully financed and produced in America. In fact, well over half of the work of most animated projects is done overseas, and that number is only rising as the industry continues to change. Working with overseas company is the norm and something that might be necessary if you are working towards producing your own animated project. Yet there’s more to gain in working with companies overseas than simply avoiding being left behind. Working with other countries opens the door for better tax breaks and lower cost and overhead. Going global might be the best step you can take in making your animated project a reality, but it requires a deep understanding of how this pipeline works and how to get your foot in the door. Mike Disa is the director of 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 has directed and produced movies and television with over a dozen overseas partners and wants to tell you how it's done. Mike Disa will walk you through the why and how of producing your animated project with an overseas company to best position it for success. He’ll begin by explaining the three basic models of animation production and how each works within a global pipeline. He’ll then explain why you should work with an overseas animation company and will outline both the benefits and negatives of doing this. He’ll then give you tools in how to best start a relationship with an overseas company and explain the difference between an overseas company, an overseas company with American offices and an American company with overseas offices. Next, Mike will explain how financing works with overseas companies and what these companies are looking for in an American partner. He’ll then delve into how the crash of movie theaters has affected the overseas markets and partnerships. Next he will focus on the impact Netflix animation has had on the industry as a whole and address the question “is everything bad Netflix’s fault?” Mike will teach you about how ownerships and participation work when working with overseas animation companies and will delve into why Chinese and Indian money is different than other money. Finally he will spend time explaining the problems Brexit is causing and how you can navigate these issues. Through covering these topics, Mike will give you a thorough blueprint of how to think and work globally and give your animated project success. Praise for Mike's Previous Stage 32 Webinars "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. "Mike is clear, insightful and conveys ideas and concepts very well. It was an excellent webinar!" -Jon P. "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 webinar was excellent and very well paced. I truly appreciated the honesty and straightforwardness of the presenter. I learned a lot and look forward to the next one." - Jerry M.
Walking onto a film set for the first time can be intimidating and overwhelming. Wires, lights, cameras. People everywhere. Places you should be. Places you shouldn’t. Times you need to be quiet, times you need to speak up. The film set is a place where everyone needs to know what they’re doing and where they’re going, and it’s a place where everyone will expect the same of you. Yet if you’ve never worked on a set like this before, that can be a tall order. Whether you’re a PA on your first film, the director helming the production yourself, or anything in between, having a firm understanding of the expected etiquette on set—or “setiquette”—is crucial and lends itself to how much trust others will put on you. A film set might look like chaos from the outside, but it is often just the opposite—a well-oiled machine where everyone has a role and everyone knows where they should be and what they should be doing. If you are unsure of your own role on set, you can very well stick out like a sore thumb and contribute to slowdowns and frustrations. On the other hand, if you are confident, competent, and helpful on set, people will notice, which will lead to new opportunities and a team who will want to work with you time and time again. This is why it’s so important to walk onto your first set with a good idea of how everything works. Jonathan Kesselman is an award-winning writer and director who has worked on projects for companies like Fox, Paramount, Nickelodeon, Disney, Sony, Blue Sky Animation, MTV, Comedy Central studios, Funny or Die, WWE, Nintendo, and many more. His first feature film THE HEBREW HAMMER, starring Adam Goldberg, Judy Greer and Andy Dick, premiered at Sundance Film Festival before getting picked up by Comedy Central. THE HEBREW HAMMER has since become a holiday cult classic, voted among the top holiday movies by the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Boston Globe and Time Magazine. His next film JIMMY VESTVOOD: AMERIKAN HERO, starring Maz Jobrani, won both the Comedy Vanguard and Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival before being released on Showtime and Netflix. Jonathan also wrote and directed second Unit for Oscar-winning director Ang Lee on the film BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK. He recently co-created the short form comedy series GANDER, streaming exclusively on Tubi. Through his long and varied history in film and television, Jonathan is no stranger to film sets and how to best work within them. Jonathan will break down how a professional film or television set works and everything you should know before stepping on set for the very first time. He will give a snapshot of how a film set generally looks and run before going through all of the different departments on set and their relationship to the director. Jonathan will spend time delving into the role of the assistant director, the beating heart of the set and will then explain what a day on set generally looks like, including a schedule breakdown and how the workflow normally looks. Next he will go through the importance of blocking rehearsals, the art of slating, and how to read a call sheet and shooting schedule. Jonathan will teach you how to find success on your first set, including how to hold yourself so you’re called back again. He will also go over how to find success as a director, how to delegate, motivate, and empower, in addition to staying on schedule. Jonathan will then show you five common mistakes to avoid making on set. Finally he will give you tips on how to break in and get experience on set, including where to find opportunities and what roles you should be looking for. "A film set can be a confusing and scary place, especially if it's your first time on one. I know how overwhelming it can feel, but I also know it's a lot more manageable if someone's able to walk you through it ahead of time. I've been on my fair share of film and TV sets and am excited to go through it with the Stage 32 community so you can leave feeling more confident." -Jonathan Kesselman
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!
If a film production is going to use talent that belongs to a guild, you will need to adhere to labor related matters when it comes to residuals. Residuals are how you pay your guild talent and a key component of any production. These payments have a strict way in which they need to be handled in order to make sure that your talent is being compensated properly - whether it's payment upfront or payment on the backend. Conversely, if you are in a guild you need to ensure that your contract lays out the correct components with residuals to make sure that you are paid properly. Whether you are the person paying or the person receiving, we're talking about money here and you don't want to get it wrong. Understanding residual payments in some of the world's key film markets (US, UK and Canada) is vital to your production. As you are putting together your budget and ensuring that your production comes in at or under your budget you have to know how residuals work. Working with guilds can be tricky, but as long as you are clear upfront on how to pay their members and how that flows into your budget you can ensure success. And, if you're talent that belongs to a guild you want to ensure that you are getting every payment that is owed to you for your service on a project. 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 what exactly residuals are and go over a comparison of them in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. He will go into a deep dive example on a US example where he will discuss options for payments of residuals and how the calculation works. You will understand how the payment for residuals is secured in security interest, the collection account or the payroll house. He will even go over the agreements you should know that are related to residual payments. He will even dive into residual and media allocation and the recoupment schedule. You will leave with a clear understanding of how residuals work and how to best protect yourself on both sides when dealing with them. With this webinar you will receive free template downloads: DGA Basic Agreement SAG AFTRA Security Agreement SAG AFTRA Standard Agreement SAG AFTRA Television Distributors Assumption Agreement SAG AFTRA Television Buyers Assumption Agreement WGA Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement Standard CAM Agreement International Multi-picture Rights Distribution License Agreement Sample Webinar Resource Sheet 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.
Learn directly from Development & Production Executive Jake Detharidge, a feature film executive that has recently made a splash into the mini-series space with projects set up at History Channel, Spike, and MGM! "Jake's feedback is so valuable. I enjoy every webinar and class Jake does. He's always informative and always presents information in a very smart and succinct way. Great webinars/classes..." - R. Canty "Seldom have I met execs in LA who know what they're talking about but don't throw around their ego. Jake loves the process, nice perspective with a positive spin." N. Kellis "This was one of the more beneficial seminars with current relative information in the industry. Really enjoyed it." - M. McLinn In this Stage 32 Webinar, host Jake Detharidge will first take you through a brief history of the ‘Mini Series’ in the US, along with analyzing the current television marketplace (Event Series vs. Limited Series vs. Mini Series), and why this platform is experiencing resurgence. After, Jake will break down the creative and development process for several different, current projects, to help you understand and identify the right stories, IP and general concepts that are viable right now. This will make up the bulk of the webinar, breaking down the creative/development/packaging process, in hopes that any and all who attend will leave with a formidable understanding of how they might create their very own compelling Mini-Series project. Don’t get confined to one narrative structure, feature or TV series, look for bold new ways to tell stories – the possibilities are endless! You Will Leave The Webinar Knowing: What exactly is a Mini-Series, versus a Limited Series and Event Series and why each is unique? Why did the ‘Mini-Series’ disappear for the most part from US television and why is it now making a strong comeback? What is the current landscape for this platform – the nuts and bolts. The major companies and players around town currently looking for these types of projects and what moves the needle for them. Narrative Basics – what and why certain stories, ideas and concepts are better suited for a mini-series versus the traditional feature film or scripted television series. What types of IP you should be looking for and how you can obtain the rights to potentially develop it. Developing – what goes into this step and exactly how much…or how little…do you need before trying to sell, and where to sell. Packaging – what the process is for a mini-series, and what elements you can attach to add value that are obtainable. Outside the box ideas!' Your host Jake Detharidge will take you through the realities and pitfalls of navigating the exciting resurgence of a classic narrative platform. Jakes comes primarily from a feature film background, but he recognized – along with the rest of the industry – the creative domination currently taking place in television and forged a way to put his skill sets to work. He has developed, packaged and set up half a dozen mini-series projects with more on the way. Through his unique viewpoint on narrative structure and current audience viewing trends, Jake believes the Mini-Series resurgence is only just beginning.