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.
"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."
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!
What is it about the most successful TV comedies that have allowed them to stand the test of time? Whether it’s ALL IN THE FAMILY, SEINFELD, PARKS AND RECREATION, or FLEABAG, it’s not the jokes that have made these shows so successful—as funny as they might be—it’s the characters. Distinct, hilarious, memorable and, above all, authentic characters are always the ingredient that will make a good TV comedy great. Whether you are working on your own comedy project or are hoping to write on an existing show, it’s crucial to have an understanding of what makes TV comedy characters great and how you can create your own Archie Bunkers and Leslie Knopes. Crafting great comedic characters is not only important in creating a successful show; it’s also how you can get noticed. After all, with so many different types of comedies in the marketplace, it is becoming the toughest genre to break into. Writing great characters can separate your work from the rest and give you the kind of attention that solid jokes and a good sense of humor simply can’t muster on their own. This means it’s vital not only to have great characters, but to know how to make them shine on the page. The good news is there are strategies and actionable lessons you can use to elevate the characters in your own television comedy. Vijal Patel is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning writer and executive producer who has written for many award-winning comedy series including ABC’s BLACK-ISH and THE MIDDLE. Vijal currently serves as writer and co-executive producer of the ABC comedy series SCHOOLED, starring Tim Meadows and AJ Michalka. He also writes and develops feature film projects for the powerhouse studio DreamWorks. Vijal has built his career on writing comedy and using it to explore race, family, religion, politics, and class struggle. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar Vijal will teach you how to make your characters funny. He’ll go through the 2 most basic comedy archetypes and explain the difference between jokes and attitude humor. He’ll teach you how to differentiate your characters and ensure they’re unique and will guide you through both the “One Word” exercise and “Situation” exercise to help improve your characters, using examples from THE SIMPSONS, FLEABAG, BLACK-ISH, SEINFELD, and others. Vijal will then delve into how to make your characters feel authentic and how to write impactful character descriptions to ensure they pop on the page. Finally he will dive deep into how to write funny dialogue for your characters, including how to use humor, how to end the joke, metaphors, similes, and reactions. Vijal will leave you with a series of strategies and clear examples that you can bring back to your own project to make your characters, funnier, more memorable, and more authentic.
Learn directly from Michael Poisson, the former Director of Development at Silent Machine Entertainment, Krysten Ritter’s production company that has a first look deal at Universal TV. Michael is also a comedy writer who used his insider knowledge to land a manager, and get two projects in development at TV production companies. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, your host Michael Poisson will guide you through the business side of how to become a working writer in Hollywood. Writing an awesome script is only part of the process for becoming successful in this industry. Having worked on various projects from both the executive side, as well as the writer side of things, Michael has obtained great insight for how to avoid the difficult terrain when meeting and working with producers, studios, and networks. And while the process of finding a manager or agent is daunting, keeping a strong relationship with them so that they’re doing the most for you as their client can be equally difficult. Michael will share with you his insider knowledge to help: keep your writing on track, your meetings fruitful, and your industry contacts strong. If you’ve ever wondered what you should talk about in “general meetings”, how to take notes from friends/producers/execs that you don’t agree with, or how to be a more prolific writer, this webinar is for you!
Learn directly from Aaron Marcus, A 30+ year full-time Actor who has booked over 1,200 jobs so far! Aaron has a recurring role on House Of Cards and has been cast on shows such as: Gotham, Do No Harm, Law & Order, Rectify, Halt and Catch Fire and The Wire. He has worked on films and commercial projects (TV and Print) for companies such as: Project Almanac, Philomena, “11”, Eugene, A Modest Suggestion, Korea Gate, LifeSavers, Acura, Showtime, Coca Cola and AT&T! It’s no secret that auditioning is a source of stress for many actors. The audition itself takes so much skill and practice to master that many actors fail to put enough attention on how they prepare before their audition. As the saying goes - failing to prepare is preparing to fail. There are some very specific things that all actors must do to give themselves their best chance to impress the casting director and others involved in the project. Whether you’re a veteran actor or new to the craft, knowing how to properly prepare yourself before an audition allows you to confidently tackle any role they ask you to play. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Aaron Marcus will teach you his best-kept secrets for successfully preparing for an audition – having booked over 1,200 jobs he’s got this down to a science! In this webinar, you will learn step-by-step what you will want to do as soon as you get the email, text or phone call about the audition. You will learn what types of questions to ask, how to research to prepare for your read, memorization techniques, and more. You will leave this webinar fully prepared to prepare for any audition you face in a manner that will impress every casting director you meet!
Doug Curtis can boast that the films he's been involved with have earned nearly a half billion dollars at the global box office. Over the past 20 years, Doug has had a hand as a director, producer or line producer in over two dozen features (including Save the Last Dance, Freddy vs. Jason, Next Friday, Cellular, Shoot em Up and Sorority Row) and over 200 commercials. Think about that. He's been on the set of over 250 projects! Needless to say he's learned a thing or two. And now he's thrilled, as are we, to pass his extensive knowledge on to you in this exclusive Stage 32 Webinar. Doug is a firm believer that the success or failure of any film is mostly tied to actions taken during pre-production. From properly budgeting, pulling together a reasonable, yet tight production schedule, hiring the best crew and other tips, tricks and golden rules he's amassed through the last 2 decades, Doug will teach you everything you need to know to assure your production runs smoothly from start to wrap. Doug has worked on the studio level (Paramount, Fox), with the independents (New World, New Line) and even with the premium networks (HBO), so no matter what kind of material you are working with, no matter what budget, no matter what targets you're positioning yourself to hit, Doug will have you ready and armed to head into battle.
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!
Learn directly from Liz Profumo, Managing Attorney of the Immigration Firm D'Alessio Law Group! "Lots of info provided and all questions were answered. Thank you so much, you've made the first step much easier! So glad this webinar came up as I was feeling pretty lost and confused on how to go about it. I'm trying not to 'self-diagnose' as you said, but it has made me realise I need to get more professional experience and put myself out there more, to give myself the best shot at getting the visa." – Jessamie K. "[They were] very informative and gave great advice…All in all, I left the webinar very pleased and more informed!" – Herschel A. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Managing Attorney Liz Profumo and her team at DLG Immigration will walk you through the O-1 ‘Artist of Extraordinary Ability' Visa. Liz will deconstruct the issues that foreign nationals encounter when crossing the border, applying for visas, finding employment in a new country and relocating. You will leave the webinar knowing: Exactly what the O-1 visa entails. How to construct the resume of the visa. How to getting letters of support. What other visa options exsit if the O-1 isn’t a good fit for you. What to do - and not to do - at the border. How to identify and avoid immigration scams. Your host Liz Profumo has been practicing immigration law exclusively since 2007. Her practice is limited to immigration and nationality law and concentrates on temporary and permanent business and employment related visas for investors, artists, and entertainers, and she has assisted hundreds of artists, performers, and other industry professionals to realize their dreams of living in the United States. The associates at DLG Immigration have personal experience in the immigration process and the entertainment industry, and understand your logistical requirements as well as your legal requirements. They understand the types of documentation you will have and what to ask you for and are here exclusively for Stage 32 to help our members around the world pursue their dreams of working in the U.S.