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 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. Full Bio »
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.
Praise for Jonathan's Stage 32 Webinar:
"I enjoyed the thoroughness and detailed explanation, have no complains or negative comments, it was fantastic!"
"It was so broad, yet very detailed - perfect for a newbie like myself"
"Great information for me. Helps me to understand "Setiqutte" as I work towards getting my first TV show into the hands of a production company."
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Find out what it takes to get into the elusive Television Writing Fellowships from ABC-Disney, NBC, Warner Bros., and more from the Vice President and Head of Warner Bros. Television Workshop! Writing fellowships are a proven way to break into the entertainment industry. These writing fellowships (hosted by NBC, Paramount, ABC-Disney, WB, and others) train you to work in TV writers' rooms and eventually run your own show. But what are these programs looking for? How can you stand out? What mistakes should you avoid? In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, you’ll go behind the scenes and find out how to get into one of these elite TV writing fellowships directly from the Vice President and Head of Warner Bros. Television Workshop, Rebecca Windsor. In addition to her work with the WBTV Workshop, Rebecca launched the Warner Bros. digital brand Stage 13, where she oversaw SPECIAL, which premiered on Netflix and garnered four Emmy Nominations. Previously, she was the Creative Producing Initiative Manager of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program. She was pivotal in coordinating the Screenwriters and Directors Labs, Episodic Story Lab, and the Creative Producing Lab and Summit. There is a lot of misinformation and confusion surrounding what it takes to get into these fellowships, but Rebecca will provide accurate insight based on her many years of experience working in this arena. She’ll take you through what you need in your portfolio to apply, how to choose what to write, what makes a great personal statement stand out, the selection process, how to nail your interview, and more. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn directly from someone who has significantly shaped the fellowship process and knows what you need to stand out from the crowd in your application! Praise for Rebecca's Stage 32 Next Level Webinar: Rebecca was fantastic and her advice was so helpful. She obviously knows this topic well and was able to provide meaningful instruction. - MacKenna V. Great insight on details involved in compiling and completing applications and how to be prepared. - Angelique W. It was awesome and informative. Rebecca is so incredibly knowledgeable about this industry and really chisels away at script structure. Great learning from her! - Greg P.
The new year is an exciting time as you dream of all the new projects you'll be working on! But this year isn't really over until April 15th, when you've entirely completed the previous year's taxes. Get ahead of the headaches and make a strategy now with the help of entertainment CPAs. Personal taxes, corporate taxes, and loan out company returns. All of these tax returns are necessary for creatives, and they all tie together. Not to mention that what you can right off changes every year. You never want to pay more than you should, but do you know everything you can deduct? Whether you're looking back at the last year or looking at projects coming up, this webinar will get you organized and ready to tackle your taxes! Kristy Clabaugh and John Thomas are Certified Public Accountants and founders of Element CPA, an entertainment and creative-focused accounting firm. They know the ins and outs of production accounting, having provided over 20 years of experience in accounting, tax, and advisory services on both above and below-the-line areas of film, television, animation, and music sectors. Kristy also serves on the executive board of directors as Treasurer for both the Georgia Production Partnership and Women in Film & Television Atlanta. The duo will answer your questions so that you can apply this priceless knowledge to your projects and companies. Don't have the chance to watch this exclusive webinar live? Or do you want to be able to return to this fantastic information? You'll have access to this webinar for a whole year and can return to it again and again. Don't waste your valuable time making redundant spreadsheets, digging through unnecessary receipts, and stressing yourself out. Learn from some of the best in this webinar and walk away clear on what you need to do, what you don't, and ready to make tax time a breeze! PRAISE FOR JOHN'S TEACHINGS: "This is the holy grail! John and Kristy are so knowledgeable about so many things with the business side of the film!" They made this part of the process actually fun!" - Wade N. "All I can say is wow. I have seen the light and now feel beyond comfortable putting together my next film." - Jennifer L.
Feature films, documentaries, biopics, book adaptations, and sequels/prequels are all very different from each other, but they share a fundamental legal necessity: the need to acquire certain intellectual property rights in order to make the film. Whether it’s a fictional character or a real-life person; a novel, play, comic book, movie, TV show, or web series if you don’t own or control the underlying rights your film may end up in litigation rather than the theaters. This webinar will introduce you to basic intellectual property concepts and walk-through the key agreements and licensing language you will need when you are making a film based upon somebody else’s property or persona. Too often filmmakers “shoot first and get permission later.” This might be fine for scenes which can be cut if you can’t get the rights but is disastrous when your entire movie depends upon a copyright or life story that you have not effectively licensed. Intellectual property can be complex, and confusing, and the failure to include the right licensing language may result in a film that can never be distributed. To make matters even more complicated, conscientious producers often pull forms from the web that are not designed for their particular projects. In this webinar you will learn from one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry, Thomas A. Crowell, Esq. A former television producer and director of development for STN, Mr. Crowell counsels clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues. He has worked with clients who have had deals with TLC, Elsevier Publishing, Starz, Discovery Communications, Focal Press, the Smithsonian Network, WE: The Women's Entertainment Network, The Science Technology Network, IDW Publishing, and Sony Entertainment. His clients' work is seen in the pages of Marvel and DC Comics and on movie, TV, computer, and mobile screens across the world. He will teach you how to spot problems with licensing agreements, learn what agreements are needed in order to license copyright and “life rights,” and learn how to investigate and correct breaks in a film’s “chain of title.” You will walk away feeling confident that you have the correct copyrights in place for your project!
Are you an actor looking to make the leap from educational theater to professional theater? Or have you built an on-camera career but would like to work in theater more? Outside the major markets of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, there is a lot of work for actors in Regional Theaters all over the country. Building a career in theater requires a strong working knowledge of the business, how to build relationships with casting directors, and how to best market yourself. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, actors Uma Incrocci and Christian Pedersen will walk you through each step of advancing your career in theater. They’ll share from their own experiences auditioning for and working in Regional Theaters, tours and off-Broadway. Special Guest, Broadway Casting Director Erica Jenson will join! Plus, as an exclusive bonus, they’ll then be joined by legendary Casting Director Erica Jensen, who has cast Broadway shows (including Hedwig and The Angry Inch and the recent Of Mice and Men with James Franco) and major off-Broadway and regional theaters (including Classic Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Williamstown Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville and Playwright’s Horizons). This class is a unique opportunity to hear about the theater casting process from both sides of the table – from the actor’s preparation, to what the casting director expects, to their different experiences of the room. We’ll also talk about the big question for many theater actors as they build their careers: “Do I need an MFA?” Erica attends showcases from all the major programs and she’ll share her opinions and insight. We’ll talk about the realities as well as the joys of a career on stage. Join us for this one of a kind webinar – we'll have 3 incredible professionals discussing the theater industry!
q An Exclusive On-Demand Webinar From A Casting Director On Over 150 Feature Films Learn everything you need to know to win over casting directors and launch your acting career! It can be hard as an actor to put yourself up again and again for auditions, only to be rejected for unexplained reasons as strangers determine your future. It’s time to stop struggling and discover how you can break through. If you want to know how to be cast in your breakout role, you have to go to the source. That’s why we’re bringing you prolific casting director Stephen Vincent of S2 Casting, who has cast over 150 films. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, we’re pulling back the curtain on the casting process as Stephen shows you how to find the right roles for you, prepare for the roles, give an impressive performance, and win over casting directors. These tips work whether you’re in the audition room, making a self-tape, or building your online brand. Stephen’s credits include ABOUT MY FATHER (starring Robert De Niro, Leslie Bibb, Kim Cattrall, and Anders Holm), GLITTER & DOOM (starring Alex Diaz, Ming-Na Wen, Tig Notaro), CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG (John Cleese), A MOUTHFUL OF AIR (Amanda Seyfried), NOVITIATE (Melissa Leo, Margaret Qualley), and so many more. Stephen is excited to show you these essential tips and tricks unknown actors use every day to get “discovered” so that you can take your acting career to the next level. By the end of this webinar, you’ll be empowered with information from an inside perspective of the casting process so that you can take control of your acting career.
It is clear that this is the golden age of television with one incredible series after another coming out on cable, streaming and network. If you're interested in breaking into the world of television, there is one key position that you must know the ins and outs of in order to understand the set - a TV Executive. An TV Executive plays a huge role in a television production, serving as more than a key developer of story, but also a liaison between various departments on set. We've brought in veteran executive Stuart Arbury from Ramo Law (Ramo Law has worked on Netflix's Altered Carbon & Chef's Table, ABC's This Isn't Working, Hulu's Battleground and more). Stuart himself began his career at Captivate Entertainment, Dimension Films and Canvas Media Studios. Arbury was the on-set TV executive for MTV's Scream TV series for two seasons, which was based on the classic horror film franchise. In this webinar, Stuart will walk you through an explanation of the television eco-system and share war stories of his time during Scream. Having worked with various department heads, Stuart will also share tips on getting started in Hollywood on a television production. You will walk away with a clear understanding of a TV executive's role and how it relates to your part of the business, whether you're a writer, producer, director, actor or crew.