It's Introduce Yourself Weekend at Stage 32! Head over to the Introduce Yourself section of the Stage 32 Lounge and let everyone know who you are, what you're working on, your dreams and aspirations. And be sure to peruse other member's threads. You never know when you're going to make a connection that changes your life!
ROGER S. H. SCHULMAN has been a working screenwriter for nearly thirty years. He co-wrote the animated feature “Shrek,” for which he won a British Academy Award (BAFTA) and was nominated for an Oscar® for Best Adapted Screenplay. He previously co-wrote the animated feature "Balto" for Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, and wrote "Mulan II” and "The Jungle Book II" for Disney. Roger has also worked extensively as a producer and writer for television. He co-created the Disney Channel series JONAS; was Executive Producer of "2Gether" for MTV and was Executive Producer for “Living Single" with Queen Latifah. He’s currently co-writing a pilot for HBO with Tom Hanks. Roger started out as a journalist for outlets such as Newsweek and BusinessWeek. He earned an MS in Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. When he’s not writing, Roger teaches feature and television writing at the University of Southern California. He’s also performed in the Angel City Chorale and hosted episodes of a popular podcast about the Golden Age of radio. He’s blessed to live with his beautiful and talented wife Elizabeth Vienneau and their daughter along with two pug dogs and something else that as far as can be determined is also a dog. Full Bio »
There’s only one way to get your audience to sit still for the story you want to tell: create compelling characters. As human beings, we are endlessly fascinated with ourselves and our interactions. When we find a character to whom we can relate, we lock in. Constructing relatable, entertaining and realistic characters is essential to a successful screenplay, not to mention critical to our own enjoyment of the writing process.
But what separates the memorable personalities on the screen from the “which-one-was-that-again” types? I’ve discovered answers that work for me, and created some guidelines. Follow them and you stand a better chance of producing characters who not only engage your audience, but do the heavy lifting for your story and themes. Miss out and you’ve got page after page of shoulder shrugs.
For almost thirty years I’ve had the privilege of creating and nurturing characters for the big and small screens. From running or co-creating sitcoms like “Living Single” and “JONAS” to writing or co-writing movies like “Balto,” “Mulan II” and Shrek,” I’ve accumulated scores of characters who now sit around my brain, eating my food, drinking my liquor and playing mind games.
When you’re done with my webinar, you’ll know a lot more about what makes good characters tick, what makes bad characters just sit there, and just maybe a little bit more about yourself. And you’ll come away with a tool chest from which you can pick and choose the techniques you prefer to build unique characters so remarkable that sometimes they’ll write their dialog for you.
Examples We’ll Discuss (subject to change slightly)
Roger S. H. Schulman
***Sorry, the lab is filled!*** This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. With the TV market exploding right now, 30-minute and 60-minute TV drama and dramedy pilots are in demand. Many, if not all, managers and agents are looking for writers that can write in this space, and with more and more production companies heading into TV, knowing how to write a strong TV pilot will give you a competitive advantage and help you find success as a TV writer! Stage 32 is thrilled to have our Writing Lab: Write Your TV Pilot and Lean How to Pitch it in 10 Weeks taught by Anna Henry who is a veteran TV development executive that's worked with ABC, CBS, Nickelodeon, SONY, 20th Century FOX Television, Amazon, Starz, EOne, OddLot Entertainment, Corus, ITV America and more. This hands-on intensive lab will guide you through picking a concept, creating engaging characters, structuring and outlining your pilot, writing the pilot, polishing and pitching it! You must have a solid understanding of screenwriting to participate. We will not be going over the basics. The main objective of this 10-week lab will be to have a solid completed script that is market-ready to start pitching. You will meet online with Anna for 2 hours a week in a class setting, plus have phone or Skype consultations during some of the weeks when you don't have an online class. This will be accompanied by weekly homework assignments to guide you on your way to creating a marketable, unique pilot that will grab the industry's attention. Payment plans are available - please contact email@example.com for more information. This Lab is Limited to 10 People.
Part 1 - The Industry & Genre Kelly dives into what the industry is looking for in the genre, the recent success of faith based films and how to reach a large audience. He also looks at examples of faith based I/A films throughout history and show why they have worked and what makes them continue to work. Part 2 - Faith Based Kelly looks at what it means to be a faith based film, for example: based on a bible story, a church, a specific religion, other religions beyond Christianity, becoming a pastor, priest or nun. He discusses how churches become involved in the marketing and how studios can find religious meanings in a variety of films. Finally, he covers stories from the bible, how to write them as period or modern day as well as parables. Part 3 - Inspirational & Aspirational Kelly looks over a number of “I/A” films: 42, Lincoln, Million Dollar Arm and War Horse. He covers the sub-genre of Disney, both live action and animated, and what their brand means to the business and to you. Other topics covered include sports films, holiday movies, bio pics, true stories and documentaries, their relevance and what is being sold in the marketplace. Part 4 - Networks & Faith Discussion centers on how faith works on television, how it's portrayed by the networks and it's relevance in the marketplace.
You’re a writer who is struggling with crafting believable dialogue. You’re a director looking for the greater meaning in a scene. You’re an actor trying to connect with what a character is feeling. Subtext is the backbone of emotion in any story, regardless of what genre you’re working in. It also helps to separate great scripts from not so great scripts. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, filmmaker Steve Desmond will help you to craft engaging subtext to layer your stories with nuance and emotion. Whether you’re going for laughs, drama, or impending fear, he’ll help you to make your screenplay feel more true to life. For directors or actors working with existing scripts, this webinar will help you to dig deeper below the surface to find the true lifeblood beneath a line. For producers, we’ll discuss tips on how to work with writers to make their subtext come alive. Whether you’re a writer, a director, an actor, or a producer, subtext is a major part of your game and this webinar will help you add an entirely new layer to your projects.
Learn directly from 30+ studio veteran Michael Colleary (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Face/Off, The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents & more)! You have a high concept screenplay. You control some blockbuster intellectual property. Or perhaps you have the next big trilogy or breakthrough character idea. You want to be a studio writer. But how do you break in and sustain such a career? Landing a studio job as a writer is NOT an impossibility. It's about knowing your path from completed screenplay to getting in the room. It's about knowing how to secure a manager, agent, attorney - a team designed to help you succeed. In this exclusive 90 minute Stage 32 webinar, How to Create a Long Term Studio Writing Career, Michael Colleary, writer of such big budget blockbusters as Face/Off & story creator of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, will take you through everything you need to know about breaking in and sustaining a career.
Producer Sasha Nonas-Barnes joins our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.
Justine Wentzell, former lead of MarVista's Acquisitions & Co-Productions team, will discuss the current feature market, including alternative avenues like TV movies, plus a live Q&A!