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Your host Michael Polish is one of today's most critically acclaimed filmmakers, having directed almost a dozen hit films. His first feature film, Twin Falls Idaho premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews and was hailed by renown critic, Roger Ebert as "one of the best films of 1999." Roger Ebert included Twin Falls Idaho in his Top 10 Selects of 1999. Michael went on to write and direct 10 more feature films, including: The Astronaut Farmer, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen Northfork, starring Nick Nolte and James Woods The Smell of Success, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tea Leoni & Ed Helms Hot Bot, starring Zack Pearlman and Danny Masterson Stay Cool, starring Winona Ryder and Sean Astin (Nominated for best feature at Tribeca Film Festival) Big Sur, an adaptation of the Jack Kerouac novel starring Kate Bosworth For Lover’s Only starring Stana Katic (CBS’s hit show Castle) 90 Minutes in Heaven, starring Hayden Christensen Amnesiac, starring Wes Bentley The upcoming Sharon Tate biopic adapted from Greg King’s book Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders Michael has been nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards where his movie Jackpot won the John Cassavetes Award. Full Bio »
To kick off your directing career with Roger Ebert calling your film "One of the best films of the year" you can pretty much be assured you're on a path to success.
We are proud to present to you the director who has done just that - Michael Polish. After his Sundance darling Twin Falls Idaho garnered Roger Ebert's critical acclaim he has gone on to direct over 10 feature films including:
Michael will be teaching the 2nd installment of our Stage 32 Masters of Craft series - The Indie Filmmaker's Toolkit: Maximize Your Resources, Creativity and Profits. In this online event Michael will share with you how a professional director approaches a film from inception and carries it through to post-production including a discussion of available distribution options. The goal is to give you the agency to make your films without the necessity of the Hollywood studio system (though this information will be handy if that's your path as well). He will go in-depth about the director’s process from finding superior scripts and setting your priorities in pre-production to the challenges of running your set, leading your crew and balancing the demands of your producers. He’ll explain how to interact with everyone vital to your film’s success from producers and film executives to actors, cinematographers, and editors to get the best version of your film. Finally, Michael will share insider knowledge on effective methods to market and distribute your film that will give you the power to maximize your profits.
From his experience writing and directing 10 feature films, he’ll share his war stories (like losing vital funding in the middle of a shoot) and his strategies for dealing with any obstacle that arises. You’ll be better equipped to deal with mishaps and avoid filmmaking pain points. If you want to make your film and you want to know where to start, how to proceed and how to ensure you walkaway with a masterpiece, this is the webinar for you!
You’ll leave with a comprehensive understanding of what is necessary to succeed as an indie director and gain control over the direction of your career.
Whether it's your first or your 20th, you will walk away with the confidence to shoot your next film.
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Learn directly from Franco Sama, 15-year expert of film financing and distribution with 25+ successful independent feature films to his name, including Guns, Girls and Gambling (Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook) and Petunia (Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti)! As a filmmaker you may find yourself at the mercy of distributors and the existing archaic, chaotic convoluted distribution system(s) that ultimately ends up costing the you profits and, more importantly, creative and financial control of your project. With many new options becoming available for your project to be seen, self-distribution is becoming an increasingly beneficial option. In this webinar we go over the self-distribution model of limited theatrical and limited platform release. We've brought in 15-year financing and producing expert Franco Sama to draw on his experience with over 25 successful indie films in which he has secured distribution. Franco will teach you step-by-step how to release your film in multiple theaters across multiple cities throughout the Unites States. Plus, he will take it a step further and show you exactly how to incorporate the release into your business plan as part of your development process so you can benefit your investors and increase your film’s international value. You will leave this webinar armed with knowledge and ready to self-distribute your film via limited theatrical or platform release.
This is a private, virtual group for only 15 people - This will fill up so get your spot now! Payment plans available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info! From DUNE, THE HANDMAID'S TALE and NOMADLAND, book adaptation projects continue to be a Hollywood staple bringing some of the best film and TV we are watching today. Studios, streamers, and networks are always looking to bring great IP to the screen and they are a great way for you to break in and get noticed. Is there a book, short story or graphic you have your eye on adapting that you know will make a great film or TV show? What if you can work on your project step-by-step alongside someone who's adapted almost a half a dozen produced projects? We're bringing you an incredible opportunity... Micky Levy caught the eye of Alison Eastwood and Warner Bros. with a script she wrote entitled RAILS & TIES. Directed by Eastwood, the film starred Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Since then, Micky has completed almost a half a dozen book adaptations, including AMISH GRACE for which she received a Humanitas Prize nomination. Other adaptations include: NOBODY from the award-winning book by Caryl Phillips, Dancing in the Dark, THE COINCIDENCE MAKERS from a best-selling novel by Israeli author Yuav Blum, and STOLEN WATERS from the Romanian short story collection by Ada Shauluv. Micky knows exactly what it takes to adapt IP since she has done it time and time again and she's bringing her extensive knowledge to the Stage 32 community. Micky will walk you through every step of the process for adapting IP to the screen in a private virtual class, plus work one-on-one with you on your own project. In this exclusive 8-week private, virtual lab you will: Have a private virtual group that you will interact with over the course of 8 weeks under the guidance of your Stage 32 Educator Have your Stage 32 Educator available on email in between classes to help you with any questions you have about your own projects. Learn the overview of the adaptation process Learn why it's important for you to get the exclusive rights to the IP you want to turn into a screenplay Learn how to secure the rights to IP Learn what to to do once you have the rights - to pitch it or spec it Learn how to break it down into a relevant screenplay, package it and market it. By the end of this 8 week virtual lab, you are going to be ready to secure the rights to the next big Hollywood adaptation of a book, short story, or graphic novel. PLUS! As an added bonus, you will receive: Sample Option Agreement Sample Shopping Agreement Sample Adaptation: Script and Long Form Treatment. You will be given the option to purchase the book on which the Sample Adaptation is based. Short Form Treatment Adaptation Pitch
Learn How To Run A Professional Set From A DGA First Assistant Director. Whoever said "time is money" must have been thinking about an Assistant Director's job as the AD Department keeps your trains running on time during physical production. Assistant Directors can make or break your project. If even one member of your AD team is missing or unqualified, it can stall your production and create setbacks you’re not prepared for that can affect your shoot and the entire production. Whether you’re looking to land a job as an AD, build your resume to join the DGA, or you’re a producer or director working to ensure a great production, this course will show you every crucial responsibility and task that assistant directors have and how to excel in this essential role. In this Stage 32 exclusive course, you’ll dive into all of the AD's production team positions, discussing who does what and how they all work together harmoniously for a smooth production. You’ll break down scripts, learn what to ask the director and producer to create a pre-production plan, and move into creating a calendar and production schedule so that every department is ready when the shoot begins. You’ll cover call sheets, production reports, timeline targets, and even practice breaking down scripts. This is the real nuts and bolts of production that everyone should know. Taking you on this educational journey is DGA first assistant director, Korey Pollard. Korey has worked on films including ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, STAND BY ME, THAT THING YOU DO, WATERWORLD, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, and SPY KIDS 2, among others, and hit TV shows like DEADWOOD, MONK, GREY’S ANATOMY, SALEM, THE ORVILLE, THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE, and many more. Korey also holds a position on The First Assistant Director/Unit Production Manager Committee of The Directors Guild of America. Korey will share his first-hand experiences as an assistant director so that you know how to clearly communicate with your director and crew to maximize the potential of any shoot while also being prepared to recover from inevitable missteps. He’s also sharing documents exclusively with you to keep as a reference tool, including call sheets, production reports, script pages, script breakdowns, and more. After these four sessions, you’ll be on your path to joining the Directors Guild by working as an assistant director. You’ll be prepared to create an achievable production plan and schedule, the tools to work with your team, and know this vital role in making any feature film or television series.
Learn directly from Simon Graham-Clare (Producer) and Ricky Margolis (VP) at Future Films USA (Over 200 films & TV shows financed and produced)! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Simon Graham-Clare and Ricky Margolis will demystify global tax incentives and highlight some of the many other factors to take into consideration when looking at different locations. They will look at current example incentives from around the world and also enlighten you on ways these incentives can trigger additional investment into your project. Filmmakers will learn more about international independent film financing and how tax incentives are a key element to the business plan and can open doors to a slew of potential partners, helping to plot a ‘road map’ to production. Writers will learn why they need to be thinking about the locations in which they set their stories, and how it affects the attractiveness of their scripts to producers and financiers. Having a clear understanding of today’s global tax incentives will leave your project looking more professional and further advanced, hopefully increasing your chances to move the project into production. Your hosts Simon Graham-Clare and Ricky Margolis are Producers at Future Films USA, having financed and produced over 200 films and TV shows! The Future Film Group was established in London in 2000 as a film financier, utilizing the expertise of its principals in both the entertainment and business worlds. They quickly established themselves on the UK scene through their involvement in films such as Bend it like Beckham (starring Keira Knightley), The Queen (starring Dame Helen Mirren) and Mrs. Henderson Presents (starring Dame Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins). At Future Films USA, Simon works as a producer, assessing film and television projects that Future Films might board to finance or produce. Ricky works in the role of Development Executive, continuing his work on the financing side whilst also becoming a more integrated part of the Future Film Group’s production activities.
An Exclusive Webinar! Let a top entertainment attorney show you how to package and sell your projects in this ever-changing industry. The market for film is undergoing massive changes, so how do you, as a creator, find the funds to make your film in this evolving market? The answer is packaging. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, executive producer and attorney Tiffany Boyle will explain exactly what packaging is and how you can use this financial vehicle to get your film or TV project produced and sold NOW. In this information-packed webinar, you'll learn the basics of packaging as well as what type of projects distributors are looking for, what genres are pre-sold the most, and how you can access the sales agents and distributors to make it happen. As the President of Packaging and Sales at Ramo Law, Tiffany has packaged hundreds of films and documentaries. She has served as a Co-Executive Producer and brought in financing for films SOMETHING ELSE (Tribeca) and ARKANSAS starring Liam Hemsworth and Vince Vaughn. She led the sales and packaging for TRAGEDY GIRLS (SXSW) and FREAKS (TIFF), she brought foreign financing to ASHES IN THE SNOW (LAFF) starring Bel Powley, and she sold an autobiography to HULU for development into a limited television series. Tiffany knows the latest industry trends filmmakers can use to finance their projects and will do a deep dive into the types of projects currently being packaged. Plus, she'll give an overview on pre-sales, tax incentives, and how you, as a filmmaker, can turn this into the capital to get your film produced. She will discuss the ever-evolving market and how to navigate it as a filmmaker. From finding material, acquiring scripts and projects, attaching talent, getting pre-sales to convert into actual money for your film, and getting tax rebates/incentives. Getting a movie off the ground is a multi-layered, intricate, complex job, but Tiffany will show you how achievable it can be when you know how to put together a great package. Join us as we simplify the process so you can finance and bring your film to audiences worldwide.
The writers’ room is the beating heart of any scripted television show and the area where writers find their footing and voice within this world. Being a successful writer in the world of television is only possible if you’re successful in a writers’ room setting and breaking into a writers’ room as an assistant or coordinator is often the springboard needed for writers to build their career in the television space. For these reasons, it’s critical to understand how writers’ rooms work and how to best to perform and stand out in one to positively contribute and get noticed for the right reasons. While each show’s writers’ room has unique characteristics, there are specific expectations of a comedy show’s room in particular that differ from their counterparts. You’re not just breaking story in these rooms, but jokes too. This process brings with it a different rhythm and understanding. Finding success in a comedy room requires different skills than others. If you’re an aspiring comedy writer with hopes of breaking into a show’s writers’ room, it’s crucial you understand how exactly these rooms work and how you can best fit in and stay in. Jon Stahl is a writer, producer and script coordinator, who has served on HBO’s DGA, SAG, WGA and Emmy Award-winning comedy series VEEP. Jon began his career in production, working on projects like Jason Reitman’s YOUNG ADULT starring Charlize Theron, Showtime’s THE BIG C, and IFC’s MARON. He also produced Season 1 of the Emmy-nominated series EASTSIDERS, before getting his first high-profile writers’ room position on the NBC network sitcom MR. ROBINSON with Universal Television. Jon went on to work in the writers' room at Nickelodeon on their show GAME SHAKERS. He’s currently on the upcoming FOX animated series HOUSEBROKEN starring Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte. Working alongside the writers of television’s best comedy, Jon not only knows what it takes to write great comedy, but also what is needed to take a seat at the table with the rest of them. Jon will break down how a leading TV comedy writers’ room works and outline how you can break in and find success in one as a script coordinator. He will begin by going through the basics of how a writers’ room runs and the different key players. He’ll show you how to get a job in the writers’ office and delve into the culture of the room and you can navigate. Next Jon will break down the duties of a script coordinator in the room, including, taking notes, scriptwriting, distribution, investigating clearances, using the white board and more. He’ll also give tips on the technical side of the script coordinator, including typing etiquette and using specific software. He’ll go through the art of pitching in a room and how to handle “big personalities”. Finally Jon will give you tips on how to take next steps from the script coordinator position, how to put together writing samples and use your connections to move up. If you’ve always wanted to have a career in TV writing but don’t know where to start, start here.