Masters of Craft: Michael Polish - The Indie Filmmaker's Toolkit: Maximize Your Resources, Creativity and Profits

Maximize Your Resources, Creativity and Profits
Hosted by Michael Polish

N/A
On-demand coming soon
We're in the process of converting this LIVE webinar into the video for on-demand viewing. Please come back soon.
Rating   | Read reviews

Registration

ON-DEMAND COMING SOON!

This webinar had a live screening session recently and has not yet been converted into a video format.

This Next Level Education webinar has a 20% user satisfaction rate.

Michael Polish

Webinar hosted by: Michael Polish

Award Winning Director of 10 Films & Independent Spirit Award Winner

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 »

Webinar Summary

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:

  • 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 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.

What You'll Learn

  • It all starts with a killer script!
    • Writing a script you know you can produce. Or finding one. Originality, the indie filmmakers greatest tool.
    • Case study: Twin Falls Idaho. Utilize the originality of a story only you can tell.
  • Estimating the budget for your film
    • How to find financing for your film. Where do you go? 
  • Pre-production: Setting your priorities heading into pre-production.
    • Where to split the focus and how to game plan the outcome of your film.
    • Crew – who do you trust? How do you form relationships with your department heads. Choosing your DP and so on.
    • Casting – how important is casting? How do you cast James Woods, Nick Nolte, Darryl Hannah? Using Union or Non-union crew
    • Location scouting/tech scouting/Production design
    • Cameras and visuals – Choosing your camera; planning your shots
    • Case studies: Northfork, The Astronaut Farmer
  •  Production: Running Your Set
    • How to make it through production successfully
    • Establishing trust between cast and crew
    • Staying on schedule vs flexibility
    • Communicating with each department successfully
    • Getting your actors to trust you, reading the different personalities of your actors
    • Putting out fires – Avoiding pitfalls, dealing with issues that may arise
      • What happens if your financing falls through or you're over budget
      • Handling budget limitations, where should the director start to make cuts or try to stretch his resources.
    • Case study: Northfork
  •  Post-production: Wrapping It All Up
    • Pulling your story together
    • Editing considerations – Sound design, music choices
    • Distribution – Indie distributers; how to make a profit making Indie films 
      • VOD – releasing to Itunes, Netflix
      • Utilizing Social Media to market your film for free!
    • Case study: For Lovers Only
  • In-depth Q&A with Michael!

Whether it's your first or your 20th, you will walk away with the confidence to shoot your next film.

About Your Instructor

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.

FAQs

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! For a live webinar, you will be given the link within 2 business days after the live session.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 1 out of 5

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Developing a True Story Into a Film

Learn directly from award winning non-fiction producer of 8 films, Jim Young, President of Animus Films: Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried), The Words (Bradley Cooper), Life of a King (Cuba Gooding Jr.) - Exclusive for Stage 32 members! With all the recent success for true story dramas including 12 Years a Slave, The Butler, and Dallas Buyer's Club (among many others), it’s an exciting time in the marketplace for non-fiction. If you have found a story that truly inspires you and know it will make a great film, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start to make that happen. The easy part is finding the right story, the hard part is knowing what to do with it. Whether it’s a book, a newspaper or magazine article, a documentary, or even if it’s a story of someone you’ve met or are related to - If you want to learn how to take the kernel of an idea or acquire existing material and develop it into a feature length film, this is the webinar you need taught by one of the most experienced independent producers on the subject. Stage 32 Next Level Webinars is thrilled to bring you Developing a True Story Into a Film (Acquiring / Developing / Writing / Producing / Distributing), hosted by award-winning Producer Jim Young of Animus Films (Lovelace, The Words, Life of a King). Jim is a leading independent non-fiction producer, with 8 films under his belt. We are honored he is bringing his knowledge exclusively to the Stage 32 community. In Developing a True Story Into a Film, Jim will take you through the steps of acquiring the rights to a particular article, book or other printed material about, or the life rights of, a given person (or persons). From there he will cover writing and developing the script, getting buttoned up legally to avoiding pitfalls in the pre-production and production phases, and navigating the process of releasing and distributing the film. He will provide real life case studies using some of his own films as examples to help you gain real world experience and make the process painless.

Pictures Up!—The Thought, Theory, and Practice of Being a 1st AD

2 part class taught by Joe Bohn, Assistant Director who was worked with the Russo Brothers, David Fincher, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake and more! AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! Are you interested in being the point person on a film set responsible for how the day runs and coordinating the structure and workflow of the day? Do you have a drive to shoulder the responsibility of keeping a production on track, ensuring clear and concise communication between the higher ups and the below the line team and being the directors right hand for any and all needs? Welcome to being a 1st AD. Stage 32 is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 2 part class: Pictures Up! Thought, Theory and Practice of Being a 1st AD taught by Joe Bohn, Assistant Director with over 50 IMDB credits! This intensive class will give you an in-depth and thorough examination of the 1st AD position, supplemented with exercises that simulate real world responsibilities. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Joe is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.

Breaking Down the Script Page—How to Think Like a Producer (A Practical Guide)

Being able to bring in a film or TV script on time and on budget is paramount to a successful project. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar your host, James Crawford, Producer and Head of Development at Fireside Pictures, will break down your projects and help you think like a producer. It doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your narrative in service of the bottom line. Instead, you will meld your creativity with some financial savvy, and learn how to think about how story, character, and structure translate into dollars on the page. You will come away from this Webinar with an understanding of the unforeseen costs that go into producing a script. You will also learn how to make changes that will bring your project back under budget when costs run too high. James will even give you a real-world example, and break down a scene from a shooting script from the ground up.

Live and Work in the US

Learn directly from Managing Attorney of the immigration firm D'Alessio Law Group, Lorraine D’Alessio! For freelance creatives like actors, directors, writers and producers, Hollywood is probably your Mecca. However, if you don’t already live there, or are not even a US citizen, how do you get there- and work there- legally? Unfortunately, the artistic community is often the target of immigration scams. It’s hard to know what information is valid and what is not. Many people spend hours researching work visas only to end up with the wrong type of visa for a creative career. Stage 32 is here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you! The more educated you are on the subject, the more empowered you will be in your career and in your life. Knowing how to find and secure the right work visa for you will get you one step closer to living your dream. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Lorraine D'Alessio, managing attorney of the immigration firm D'Alessio Law Group, will walk you through how to live and work legally in the US as a creative. She will educate you on the different visas that exist, go step-by-step through the O-1 "person of extraordinary ability" visa, suggest ways to build your career portfolio in order to strengthen your visa petition, alert you to the dos and don'ts at the border and most importantly, dispel the many myths and misinformation that exist on US visas. Lorraine D’Alessio’ combines her unique knowledge of the entertainment industry and immigration law to assist foreign nationals who wish to come to the United States and work in entertainment and entertainment related fields. Her practice is limited to immigration and nationality law and concentrates on temporary and permanent business and employment related visas for investors, artists, entertainers, musicians, actors, directors, producers and essential technical and creative personnel in the motion picture and television industries. Ms. D’Alessio routinely gives lectures throughout Canada on entertainment and investment immigration. Prior to her work in US immigration law, Ms. D’Alessio spent several years working as a Ford Model based in Toronto, Canada. She also worked globally as both an actress and business development consultant for international commercial campaigns including Snickers, Lipton, and Volkswagen.

How to Crew up on a Micro Budget Feature Film (Cheap!)

Whether you are just starting out, just need to do something creative or cheap is the only option you have to bring your story to life then this is the webinar for you. On micro budget features the crew and food take up the vast bulk of the budget, so securing crew for cheaper usually means make or break from bringing your micro-budget feature to life.   Your host, Barry Andersson directed 5 feature films and shot in multiple countries around the world on shoestring budgets. He will give you his real world tips and tricks and things he's done to create compelling and sellable micro-budget features. At the end of the webinar you can use his tips to help kickstart crewing up your feature for cheaper than you expected or opening up new creative ways to secure crew that allows you to make that feature you never thought you could afford to.   This webinar will apply to film budgets $250,000 and under. 

How to Navigate the Marché du Film and Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival can be overwhelming when you plan to attend for the first time. Over 12,000 film industry professionals head to Cannes each year to present and discover almost 4,000 films and projects in development at 33 screening venues. Fuelled by this success, the Marché has expanded with the opening of the Riviera and Lérins exhibition halls, forming a hub around the world-famous Palais des Festivals and the Village International, the number one venue for promoting films from all over the world. As a leading global film industry organization, the Marché du Film takes a rigorous approach in adapting to the expectations of industry professionals worldwide and to emerging economic, technological and creative film trends.  Even if you’re a veteran attendee, things are always changing at Cannes so it’s important you stay in the know.  Stage 32 is proud to be the industry education workshop partner of the Cannes Film Festival Marché du Film for the third year and we are excited to offer all badge holders the opportunity to experience Stage 32 education. Together with the Marché we are excited to offer an exclusive webinar to our Stage 32 community on how you can navigate the festival. In this webinar we’re bringing in the Executive Director, Jérôme Paillard, and his team to talk about the festival and how to navigate it. Now, you’ll get to hear straight from the source on how to make your Cannes experience work for you. You’ll walk away from this webinar able to arrive on the Croisette ready to make things happen!

register for stage 32 Register / Log In