How to Build a Lasting Filmmaking Career and Maximize The Quality Of Your Directing Work

How To Get Attention As A Director And Gain Higher And More Exciting Filmmaking Opportunities!
Hosted by Michael Davis

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Michael Davis

Webinar hosted by: Michael Davis

Director

Michael Davis is a 20-year industry veteran and accomplished Writer and Producer. He began his writing career with Prehysteria! and Eight Days A Week. He then moved on to write and direct the highly acclaimed comedy 100 Girls (starting the careers of actors like Jonathan Tucker, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Katherine Heigl), which was followed up by his project Girl Fever. Following those successes, recently Davis wrote and directed Shoot 'Em Up for New Line Cinema starring Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci which earned an nomination for Best Motion Picture at the Satellite Awards. Michael Davis is a 20-year industry veteran and accomplished Writer and Producer. He began his writing career with Prehysteria! and Eight Days A Week. He then moved on to write and direct the highly acclaimed comedy 100 Girls (starting the careers of actors like Jonathan Tucker, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Katherine Heigl), which was followed up by his project Girl Fever. Following those successes, recently Davis wrote and directed Shoot 'Em Up for New Line Cinema starring Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci which earned an nomination for Best Motion Picture at the Satellite Awards. Davis was an undergraduate illustration major at Parsons School of Design in New York where he honed his skill as an artist and an animator. After a stint as an animation director in Washington D.C., Davis went to USC’s School of Cinema-TV where he won the Edward G. Small Directing Scholarship. After graduating USC, he apprenticed under several of the top directors as a storyboard artist. His work includes a turn as storyboard artist on the groundbreaking Pee Wee’s Playhouse, the hugely successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie, and sketching sequences for John McTiernan’s Medicine Man, and commercials for Michael Apted. Currently, Davis is developing a live action feature based on Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution, one of the most successful video games in history. New to his slate, Davis is now packaging his original action screenplay, Bulletprooof Crush. For Fox Television Studios and Fox International, he is writing a TV series pilot based on the novel, The Book With No Name by Anonymous. He will produce this with Don Murphy, producer of The Transformers. With another new project, Davis is collaborating with Tokyo based anime studio OLM (Oriental Light and Magic) to create a new anime series for both U.S. and Japanese audiences. Also in the animation arena, Michael wrote and directed a pilot for SPIKE TV based on the Tokyopop manga, Riding Shotgun. Davis recently finished writing his first novel, Lawrence of Suburbia. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Starting a filmmaking career requires a knowledge of the craft and an unyielding will to succeed. Maintaining a filmmaking career requires a knowledge of how the industry works, where the landmines are buried, and how to navigate the politics like a pro. Who better to learn from than from someone who has been in the trenches and out on the battlefield again and again?

Get ready to have some serious fun and to learn how to build a lasting career as a filmmaker. This is the s*** they don't teach in film school. Or for that matter, anywhere else but here on Stage 32.

Michael Davis has worked with the likes of Spielberg, Lucas, Eastwood, McTiernan, and Ross, and with actors such as Giamatti and Owen to name a few. He's navigated the studio world and the challenges of independent filmmaking multiple times. The man has seen things. And he wants to share what he's learned from all his experiences, triumphs and failures with you.

In this jam packed webinar, Michael will teach you about the politics of studio and independent filmmaking.  He'll tell you when to kiss the ring, kiss ass, and kick ass. He will discuss, explain, and instruct you on the strategic decisions that advanced his career as well as the huge mistakes that held him back and stalled his career for huge chunks of time. He will teach you how to run your set and how to keep pesky executives and producers off your back.

As if that wasn't enough, from his wealth of experience writing and directing six feature films, Michael will reveal the mistakes he’s made so you can learn from them and avoid making these same missteps, as well as discuss the smart moves he made that led him to directing a studio feature so you can emulate them.

"You will leave this webinar with a comprehensive understand of how to maximize your directing work, gain bigger and better exposure, and build a lasting career as a filmmaker."

- Michael Davis

What You'll Learn

Some of What Michael Will Teach You Includes:

  • Film Production
    • How to get producers off your back.
    • Making your days without making yourself crazy.
    • Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, and Defcon 5.
    • The rabbit hole of multiple takes.
    • Decision making – Faking it and “Was it good for you?”
    • Why your shoes matter!
    • The lull after the take – and the lull before the storm!
    • How to avoid the director’s trailer trap.
    • Using the monitor and “The Long Walk”.
    • How to empower your AD and DP without letting them proxy direct for you.
  • The Art of Film
    • George Lucas design, Paul Greengrass impressionism, and content as style.
    • Visual storytelling – AKA getting layered.
  • Pre-production
    • Why the war is won or lost in pre-production.
    • The line producer is your friend, not your enemy.
    • The profound wisdom of pre-lighting.
    • Storyboards, shot lists, and “You can’t change plans that haven’t been made yet”.
  • Politics of Film
    • Why Hollywood is like high school but with more money.
    • When to kiss the ring, kiss ass, and kick ass.
    • The plus and minuses of blowing it with Steven Spielberg.
  • Dealing With Producers and Film Executives
    • The reasons they hire certain directors.
    • The “No” that grows.
    • Dealing with producers that have your back and those that stab you in the back.
  • Getting Attention and Getting Work
    • How to brand yourself.
    • Short films for short attention spans.
    • How to pitch.
    • The double edged sword – Hollywood’s love/hate of visionaries.
  • Agents
    • Do they work for you or do you work for them?
  • Dealing With Actors
    • Judging actors’ creativity.
    • Stress relief when actors implode.
    • Hunting for a cast and actor bait.
    • The destructive power of star power.
  • Post Production
    • Know your footage.
    • Cutting Shoot ‘Em Up action scenes.
    • Music, music, music!
  • Marketing and Distribution
    • How to find a good sales rep.
    • How to deal with critics.
    • Theatrical release – Holy Grail or Holy pain in the ass?
    • Cutting your own trailer.
    • The future of filmmaking – Freddie Wong is right!
  • Recorded, in-depth Q&A with Michael!

About Your Instructor

Michael Davis is a 20-year industry veteran and accomplished Writer and Producer. He began his writing career with Prehysteria! and Eight Days A Week. He then moved on to write and direct the highly acclaimed comedy 100 Girls (starting the careers of actors like Jonathan Tucker, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Katherine Heigl), which was followed up by his project Girl Fever. Following those successes, recently Davis wrote and directed Shoot 'Em Up for New Line Cinema starring Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci which earned an nomination for Best Motion Picture at the Satellite Awards.

Michael Davis is a 20-year industry veteran and accomplished Writer and Producer. He began his writing career with Prehysteria! and Eight Days A Week. He then moved on to write and direct the highly acclaimed comedy 100 Girls (starting the careers of actors like Jonathan Tucker, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Katherine Heigl), which was followed up by his project Girl Fever. Following those successes, recently Davis wrote and directed Shoot 'Em Up for New Line Cinema starring Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci which earned an nomination for Best Motion Picture at the Satellite Awards.

Davis was an undergraduate illustration major at Parsons School of Design in New York where he honed his skill as an artist and an animator. After a stint as an animation director in Washington D.C., Davis went to USC’s School of Cinema-TV where he won the Edward G. Small Directing Scholarship. After graduating USC, he apprenticed under several of the top directors as a storyboard artist. His work includes a turn as storyboard artist on the groundbreaking Pee Wee’s Playhouse, the hugely successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie, and sketching sequences for John McTiernan’s Medicine Man, and commercials for Michael Apted.

Currently, Davis is developing a live action feature based on Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution, one of the most successful video games in history. New to his slate, Davis is now packaging his original action screenplay, Bulletprooof Crush. For Fox Television Studios and Fox International, he is writing a TV series pilot based on the novel, The Book With No Name by Anonymous. He will produce this with Don Murphy, producer of The Transformers. With another new project, Davis is collaborating with Tokyo based anime studio OLM (Oriental Light and Magic) to create a new anime series for both U.S. and Japanese audiences. Also in the animation arena, Michael wrote and directed a pilot for SPIKE TV based on the Tokyopop manga, Riding Shotgun. Davis recently finished writing his first novel, Lawrence of Suburbia.

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Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • damn, looks like im staying home and making movies here hahah
  • Michael was great! He address the reality and challenges of being a director. He gave good advice and reaffirmed some of the perceptions i had of how the film industry works. Thanks!

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