Conrad Vernon is an American director, writer, storyboard artist and voice over artist best known for his work on the DreamWorks 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 2019 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 »
Are you a screenwriter, producer, director, storyboard artist, animator, voiceover artist or composer interested in making animated films?
Then you need to join us for this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft Webinar taught by Conrad Vernon, screenwriter, voice actor, director and producer of some of the highest grossing animated films of the last 20 years including the Oscar-nominated SHREK 2 and BOSS BABY in addition to SAUSAGE PARTY, THE ADDAMS FAMILY and more!
Animation is one of the hottest sectors in film, TV and digital content right now. From major film studios to independent production companies to networks, streaming platforms and digital online streaming platforms, animation is red hot.
So, how can you stake your claim in this growing area of entertainment?
By learning from one of the successful and brilliant creative minds working in the animation industry today, 25-year animation film veteran, Conrad Vernon!
In what is sure to be the most comprehensive animation webinar anywhere in the world, Conrad will peel back the curtain and take you behind the scenes of his most recent film, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, to show you step-by-step how an idea went from script to storyboard to filming to screen. This is a never seen behind the scenes breakdown of Conrad's work process and includes a breakdown of how ALL departments work in bringing an animated project to the masses.
If you work in animation, always wanted to work in animation, or have wondered how the sausage (party) is made, this is the webinar for you!
Conrad will be sharing and teaching from his private script pages and storyboards. Here are just a few!
You will learn everything involved in bringing an animated project from script to screen. Conrad will take you through each step methodically and in rich detail. He will show the his actual scene breakdowns from THE ADDAMS FAMILY and show how that movie came to life. At the end of the session, Conrad will answer questions from attendees. (This Q&A session will also be available in the On Demand version.)
Just some of the topics covered:
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Sorry, this lab is filled. Keep checking back Stage 32 Education for upcoming labs. Despite the quickly shifting landscape, and the uncertainty much of the entertainment industry is currently facing, there is still no better time to break into television than right now. Shows are continuing to get greenlit and writers are continuing to get staffed. Thanks to streamers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Peacock, Disney+, HBO Max and others, over 600 shows were greenlit last year and some industry experts are predicting we may see as many as 1,000 television shows greenlit per year by 2025. We’re in the midst of a content gold rush and more people than ever are looking for and buying great ideas and great scripts for their networks and platforms. If you have a great idea for a television show, there is absolutely a path forward, especially if you know how to navigate this new landscape. The opportunities are plentiful and the prospects have never been more exciting, but to get your television project greenlit, there are a few things you need to have down pat. Obviously you need a great idea—not just an idea that’s interesting and unique, but one that can sell. You also need a standout script around that idea, one that reads great and will make network and streamer executives stop, take notice, and want to read more. Yet an idea and a script aren’t enough to get that TV show made. You’ll also need to be able to deliver a convincing and memorable pitch, complete with an outstanding pitch deck and documents, and you need to be able to package your project to be more sellable to your dream network. These elements don’t necessarily go hand in hand, and different skills are necessary to accomplish each, but all are fully attainable and within your grasp, especially the right knowledge and guidance to help get you there. Raquelle David is a Producer and Literary Manager who has sold shows to Netflix, Amazon, Film Nation, eOne, and many others. Her clients have credits including SICARIO, MAD MEN, OUTLANDER, DOWNTON ABBEY, HELL OR HIGH WATER, THE LIBRARIANS, SHAMELESS, and IRON MAN. Raquelle has worked across independent film and television as a producer as well. Her multiple film credits have garnered a number of accolades including nominations for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Australian Academy Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award and the Screen Producers Australia Award. Raquelle previously worked for Goalpost Pictures, Seven Network, Screen New South Wales in Australia and Rhombus Media in Toronto, Canada, under the tutelage of producer Niv Fichman (THE RED VIOLIN, ENEMY, BLINDNESS). Through her career, Raquelle has helped countless writers pitch their projects or get staffed on shows, and knows better than most what it takes to get a project off the ground and greenlit. In this advanced level and exclusive six-session lab (no more than ten students will be admitted), Raquelle will work directly with you in a class setting and also during one-on-one sessions to help you get your television project off the ground and set up for success. To do so, Raquelle will guide you through selecting a concept—either an original idea or based on existing IP—and getting your TV pilot script ready. She will then help you get your pitch and pitch document ready, and will teach you how best to package your project, including finding a good producer and working with showrunners. Finally, Raquelle will go over how best to protect your IP and ownership and how to work with reps and understand the roles and revenue splits when pitching TV. If you already have a concept or even a completed pilot, Raquelle will use the same tools to help you hone and sharpen your material. Plan to leave this lab with your TV project fleshed out and improved, an effective pitch and pitch document, a plan to properly package the show, and a slew of strategies and tools to hit the ground running and finding success. WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for intermediate writers and producers looking to get their individual television project ready to pitch and sell to networks. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with one-on-one time with the instructor and significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***Only 10 Spots Available. No exceptions*** 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 six sessions occurring twice weekly for three weeks, each roughly 90 minutes in duration. In addition to the lessons where Raquelle 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 TV project development lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a manager 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 Amanda at email@example.com for more information Plus! Raquelle will also provide you exclusive, confidential and helpful documents for you to download and use for your own projects including: Option Agreement Shopping Agreement TV Pitch Deck Examples TV Pitch Template TV Pilot Examples Current Network needs (current list of buyers and what they’re looking for) Current POD deals for TV Comprehensive Showrunner list
Perfect your film or television pitch for the Cannes Film Festival working with a renowned producer with recent projects at Lionsgate, STX, Lakeshore, and more! Get your 5-minute pitch in top-notch shape for the Cannes Film Festival! Is your feature film or television series concept fully developed but hasn’t sold to the perfect company or network? Is your script polished and ready for production but not grabbing the attention of the right producer or executive? While many writers and filmmakers believe that developing a project and writing scripts and series bibles is enough to get a project sold, the truth is preparing that work is only half the battle. In today’s rapidly changing film market, the gatekeepers and decision makers with the power to greenlight your project rarely have the time to read your script or go through a series bible until they are already interested to a certain degree. Your 5-minute pitch is what will grab their attention and get your project on the fast track to production. So, what is the best way to pitch your project in a busy and frenetic environment like The Cannes Film Festival? What elements of your story or production should you focus on with such a short amount of time in a pitch? What exactly are producers and investors looking for in a pitch? How can your project stand out from the pack? In this exclusive 2-part Stage 32 pitch workshop, a select group of only 10 attendees will work one-on-one with international producer/distributor Alexia Melocchi to craft your perfect five-minute pitch just in time for the renowned Cannes Film Festival. Alexia has had recent projects distributed with clients such as Lionsgate, STX, Lakeshore, TF1, The Asylum and Mister Smith. She's worked on films such as ANNA, PEPPERMINT, THE BOY 2, and SHAUN THE SHEEP. She has placed over 100 titles in the last 5 years. Her extensive experience both pitching and getting pitched by creatives has equipped Alexia with an arsenal of critically useful tools and tips to get your project noticed by the right people. In this workshop, Alexia will share her plethora of knowledge on pitching and work with you one-on-one to personally prepare your pitch for the Cannes Film Festival! In the first session, Alexia will go over critical components of what makes a good pitch and provide a roadmap to structure your pitch. You will pitch your project to Alexia and then she will work with you directly and discuss what works and what doesn’t. Alexia will offer direct feedback to strengthen your pitch. In the second session, a few days before The Cannes Film Festival, you will pitch Alexia again, having finessed and made your pitch stronger and more effective based on her guidance. Alexia will provide more feedback on your new pitch and further guidance on how to strengthen it even more for the Festival. If you've spent the time and expenses to attend The Cannes Film Festival, you do not want to miss this rare opportunity to make sure your 5-minute pitch sells you and your project effectively! You will walk away from this class with a 5-minute pitch vetted by an international executive, Alexia Melocchi, to use at The Cannes Film Festival and in other professional markets, festivals and meetings. Praise for Alexia's Work and Teaching: "Alexia Melocchi's two part class was hugely productive for its' interaction, constructive criticism and broad based information all the while hosting a friendly environment. The best words to sum it up are those Alexia repeated: Content, Creativity, Connection." - Catherine C. "Loved her class, because it laser-focused and re-focused on my weakest link – my pitch! Her feedback was invaluable, and improved my pitch with every round." - Rick B. "Alexia is a phenomenal teacher and mentor! Her vivacious and warming personality took over and made the webinar educational and entertaining. Alexia has way of connecting with people that's very sincere and genuine. She also has an extensive background of real world experiences in the film world which in my eyes, makes her a dynamic speaker." - Philip S.
SEE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BELOW Netflix and Stage 32 have partnered on an exclusive global education series in an effort to democratize the worldwide entertainment industry. Together, over the course of 5 webcasts Stage 32's world class educators will bring their knowledge of what it takes to write, develop and produce today's television for the Stage 32 and Netflix creator community. These global webcasts have been seen by hundreds of thousands of creatives worldwide with a 100% satisfaction rate! In our third webinar in this exclusive "Creating Television Content for a Global Marketplace" series, we are going to talk about how you can effectively write comedy screenplays for streaming television. We're in an exciting time as we watch more and more comedies cross borders.The ability to bring humor to your storytelling is key to help you bond with a global audience. And, with streamers like Netflix looking for new, exciting, original funny stories from all over the world to produce, you have to put yourself in the best position to make sure your comedy stands out. Shows like The Office have brought us together realizing that we all go through the same mundane work issues. Shows like Everybody Loves Raymond have helped us see that we all experience the same family dynamics and can laugh at them. Do you find humor in everyday things? Or, do you have a creative mind that invents humorous situations? If so, then comedy television writing is for you and Stage 32 and Netflix are going to teach you the ins and outs of writing great comedy screenplays. To help you learn how to write great comedy television is Vijal Patel, an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning writer and producer who has written for many award-winning comedy series including Black-Ish, The Middle, The Kids Are Alright, The Mayor and more. Vijal has built his career on writing comedy and using it to explore race, family, religion, politics, and class struggle. He is currently working on a show for Netflix. Vijal will go into more detail on nuances of comedy, how your pilot will set you up for your season and how to make sure that you are breaking your story correctly to fall in your story lines. The case studies he's going to go over in the webinar are: Black-ish The Middle Seinfeld Schitt’s Creek Gilligan’s Island Silicon Valley Everybody Loves Raymond The Office Insecure Vijal will provide you 5 handouts: Chart of basic TV Comedy Genres with their respective traits Handy Dialog Tips Creating Characters Checklist 3 Act Pilot Structure and what each act does 3 Act Breakdown of "Black-ish" Pilot (simple) Note: You will receive the Zoom link to login by the morning of the webinar. If you are not yet a member of the Stage 32 community, we encourage you to join the community today at www.stage32.com, it is FREE! You will instantly connect with over 800,000 creatives and professionals in the entertainment industry from all over the world who use Stage 32 to network, find work, learn and develop their projects. YOU MUST HAVE A STAGE 32 PROFILE TO WATCH YOUR VIDEO.
It’s the dream of many to have a career as a writer for TV or film, to be able to make a living creating worlds and telling stories. Just ask almost anyone at any coffee shop. However the life of a writer, even the most successful, isn’t always easy. The career path is fraught, unpredictable, and inconsistent. Every writer breaks in (or doesn’t) in different ways, and as a result, there isn’t a singular roadmap for aspiring writers to find the success they’re looking for. That said, having a keen understanding of the industry you’re trying to break into and a wherewithal of potentially helpful steps on your journey is vital in finding your place and advancing in your career. The truth is there’s so much more that goes into being a writer than just writing. Creative chops alone won’t save you. You are creating art for a market and therefore need to understand how the market operates in order to work within it. And while every writer’s career is unique, there are still commonalities and patterns among them and mistakes many have made that you can avoid by learning from them. Lee Sternthal is a screenwriter, director and photographer who has written screenplays for every major studio, including TRON: LEGACY for Disney, as well as scripts for Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson and many others. His film, THE WORDS starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons was an Official Sundance Film Festival selection and was later bought by CBS Films. Lee is a Sundance Institute Fellow, and his work has appeared on The Black List. Through his journey in this industry he has seen it all - the good, the bad and the ugly - and has come to Stage 32 exclusively to tell you about it. Lee will reflect on his own career as a writer, the mistakes he’s made and the successes he’s found, both in the indie space and the studio system, to give you the perspective, lessons learned, and strategies to better navigate your own writing career. He’ll begin by focusing on writers just starting out and will discuss whether new writers need a manager and whether they need an agent. He’ll then talk about the pros and cons of having a writing partner and what to expect if you join forces with someone else. He will discuss Sundance Film Festival and reveal what actually happens if your film gets accepted. Lee will also discuss the insider Hollywood script survey the Black List from and illustrate what happens when your script appears on this list. He’ll then delve into screenwriting services, how they can be helpful, and how they can be harmful. Next Lee will then share his own experiences, both writing for a studio for the Disney film TRON: LEGACY as well as writing for the independent project THE WORDS to give you a sense of what those experiences are like from the inside. He’ll discuss how to know how much you’re able to take on and how to grapple with the doubt and Imposters Syndrome that is incredibly common among writers starting to find success. He’ll then go over the best ways to continue to pay the bills as a new screenwriter. Finally, Lee will give you his insider knowledge of the industry, including how to understand who “The Players” are and how to navigate them, what “The Venues” are and how they operate and how to work different rooms. Praise for Lee’s Webinar: “It was great to hear about all of Lee’s different experiences. I feel like I have a better sense of what to expect and what to do moving forward to keep on writing!” -Dennis G. “Lee was great! This was such an interesting webinar!” -Betty H. “I’m so glad I saw this! Lee has so much knowledge to share.” -Terry C. “Lee definitely answered a lot of big questions I’ve been asking myself about getting into writing, and now I’m excited to take some next steps. Thanks!” -Gwen D.
Whether we’re talking about a comedy or drama, sci-fi or horror, a film or television series, animated or live action, short-form or long-form, having good characters is essential. There’s no escaping it. Even a script with everything else going for it, if it doesn’t have strong, compelling characters, it’s not going to work. Great characters connect the audience to your world and ground it in humanity. They provide stakes, bolster your plot and keep it moving. It’s therefore crucial to understand what make an effective character and how you can create that in your own project. Unfortunately there’s not a step-by-step guide to crafting the perfect character. There’s no secret formula and there’s no surefire algorithm. Good characters are complicated and hard to define because so are people. Good characters hold a mirror up to reality and let the audience see themselves or someone else they know in them. And all of that might be fine and good in theory, but what does that actually mean in practice? If you’re a writer how can you create a character who serves as a mirror, who will stick with audiences long after the movie or show ends? And if you’re a producer or director, how can you recognize a great character from a mediocre one through the written word? Lee Sternthal is a screenwriter, director and photographer who has written screenplays for every major studio, including TRON: LEGACY for Disney, as well as scripts for Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson and many others. His film, THE WORDS starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons was an Official Sundance Film Festival selection and was later bought by CBS Films. Lee is a Sundance Institute Fellow, and his work has appeared on The Black List. Through his writing career, Lee has spent more time than most considering the art of character and using that to aid his own career, as well as writers he continues to mentor and champion. Lee will walk you through the power of character and how to create great characters for your own project. He’ll begin by discussing why exactly characters are so vital to story and will teach you the key differences between a TV character and a film character. Next he will give you a brief history of character in storytelling and reveal the one fictional character from history that all other characters draw from. Lee will then discuss the difference between heroes and anti-heroes, as well as help you determine which of your characters is the driver and which are the riders. He’ll then delve into the art of a great antagonist and why an interesting adversary is so crucial to a successful story. Lee will help you frame your story through the clarity of need, both in character and in story. Next Lee will go over the classic Hero’s Journey and slightly re-imagine it for modern times. He will give you strategies and exercises to better understand and develop your own characters, including his “What’s Their God?” and “Changing A Flat Tire” games. He’ll then teach you the concept of revealing character through behavior and hiding character with words. Next Lee will delve into the idea of how your characters fit into your world, including how the environment might change your character. He’ll teach you the Shakespearean approach to character and compare it to the Balzacian approach, and will also discuss the difference between neuroticism and human comedy. Finally Lee will go over the dance between plot and character, illustrating how the two should work with and against each other to create a feedback loop that’s necessary for any great script. Praise for Lee’s Webinar: “Great insight. Really helped me in moving forward.” -Martin R. “I really enjoyed Lee's perspective on script writing. The examples he provided were very helpful. I'm very appreciative that he would share his knowledge, some of his techniques and be so generous with his encouragement.” -Simone L. “Lee had a great way of explaining how to get a feel for the character and why they have the traits they do. Lee did a great job of covering a lot of character related topics which I am glad I have been exposed to.” -Karl H.
Exclusive to Stage 32, Chris Lockhart, one of the most legendary and revered literary agency story editors in the business, teaches you how to create a world-class logline. Chris has read over 60,000 scripts in his career for WME and has the database to prove it! **PLUS! Chris breaks down selected loglines submitted from the Stage 32 community!** A logline is the way your screenplay is introduced to the world. It’s rare that anyone in the industry will read your script without knowing something about it first. A-List actors, producers, directors, managers, agents, financiers and development execs usually require hearing a logline before ever agreeing to read a screenplay. If your logline doesn't sing, the script usually 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 your screenplay, enabling creative solutions to fix those issues. There is no one better to 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 in the first place! 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! In this exclusive stage 32 on-demand webinar, Chris will 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 read and break down several loglines that we're sent in by Stage 32 community members to demonstrate what worked and what didn't. In this jammed packed and entertaining 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! Praise for Christopher's previous Stage 32 Teaching: "Amazing webinar, loved it. It was the best I have ever watched!" -- 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. "Very informative. Clarified a lot of questions I've always had regarding loglines. Well worth the money." -- Emmit R. "It was very informative and insightful." -- Mays S.