Join Our Incredible Panelists: KRISTA SIPP, MANAGER, FIRST FRIDAY ENTERTAINMENT @KristaSipp Krista Sipp is a literary manager based out of LA. She and her partner, Devon Byers, founded First Friday Entertainment a management and production company representing writers, directors, and producers in the film, TV, and digital space. Prior Krista was with Circle of Confusion, New Wave Entertainment and Authentic Talent & Literary Management. Currently, Krista is focused on developing clients with fresh voices and diverse points of view. Her clients have worked on projects such as TRANSPARENT, LIVING SINGLE, FAMILY GUY, DR. KEN, as well as the comic book HARRIET TUBMAN: DEMON SLAYER. RICHARD BOTTO, CEO STAGE 32, PRODUCER AND ACTOR @Rbwalksintoabar Richard “RB” Botto is the Founder and CEO of Stage 32 (stage32.com). Stage32 is the largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV & digital creatives and executives worldwide with 500,000+ creatives and 1,000+ hours of online education taught by 500+ industry executives. As a producer, his films have played at dozens of festivals including winning best screenplay at Sundance. As a writer, his latest screenplay, The End Game, is currently being packaged at Covert Media. As an actor, his latest film On the Corner of Ego and Desire premiered last year at the Raindance Film Festival. JASON MIRCH, PRODUCER @JasonMirch Jason Mirch is a feature film, television, branded entertainment, and digital content producer and executive. Most recently, he produced a 3D animated feature film starring Jacob Tremblay, Christopher Lloyd, Mel Brooks, Kenan Thompson, and Carol Kane. Mirch was the Head of feature and TV development at Image Nation, a finance and production company based in Abu Dhabi, UAE (Flight, The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion). Prior to that he was Co-Head of Development at Zadan/Meron Productions. HAL CROASMUN, SCREENWRITING U @HalCroasmun Hal Croasmun is a recognized expert in the Screenwriting world and the President of ScreenwritingU. He is also the founder of National Screenwriters Day celebrated each year on January 5th to get writers the recognition they deserve. And he is the author of the Best Selling book, 33 Ways to Sell Your Screenplay. Full Bio »
KRISTA SIPP, MANAGER, FIRST FRIDAY ENTERTAINMENT
Krista Sipp is a literary manager based out of LA. She and her partner, Devon Byers, founded First Friday Entertainment a management and production company representing writers, directors, and producers in the film, TV, and digital space. Prior Krista was with Circle of Confusion, New Wave Entertainment and Authentic Talent & Literary Management. Currently, Krista is focused on developing clients with fresh voices and diverse points of view. Her clients have worked on projects such as TRANSPARENT, LIVING SINGLE, FAMILY GUY, DR. KEN, as well as the comic book HARRIET TUBMAN: DEMON SLAYER.
RICHARD BOTTO, CEO STAGE 32, PRODUCER, SCREENWRITER AND ACTOR
Richard “RB” Botto is the Founder and CEO of Stage 32 (stage32.com). Stage32 is the largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV & digital creatives and executives worldwide with 500,000+ creatives and 1,000+ hours of online education taught by 500+ industry executives. As a producer, his films have played at dozens of festivals including winning best screenplay at Sundance. As a writer, his latest screenplay, The End Game, is currently being packaged at Covert Media. As an actor, his latest film On the Corner of Ego and Desire premiered last year at the Raindance Film Festival.
JASON MIRCH, PRODUCER
Jason Mirch is a feature film, television, branded entertainment, and digital content producer and executive. Most recently, he produced a 3D animated feature film starring Jacob Tremblay, Christopher Lloyd, Mel Brooks, Kenan Thompson, and Carol Kane.
Mirch was the Head of feature and TV development at Image Nation, a finance and production company based in Abu Dhabi, UAE (Flight, The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion). Prior to that he was Co-Head of Development at Zadan/Meron Productions.
HAL CROASMUN, SCREENWRITING U
Hal Croasmun is a recognized expert in the Screenwriting world and the President of ScreenwritingU. He is also the founder of National Screenwriters Day celebrated each year on January 5th to get writers the recognition they deserve. And he is the author of the Best Selling book, 33 Ways to Sell Your Screenplay.
National Screenwriters Day Expert Panelists
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Just going to film school doesn’t prepare you for the endless obstacles you’ll face trying to make it as a filmmaker. You learn that pieces that come together to make a movie in school but this is the film industry and it's totally different. From studios to independents, your host Aaron Wolf has learned some secrets of the trade....come on the journey! You can’t find this stuff in school or in a book. You have to live it. And Aaron has. From being a student at NYU to being a part of The Groundlings, to working with FOX, Warner Bros. and Disney and dealing with film festivals and independent distributors, Aaron has seen it all in a short time. He wants to share the secrets with you. Just going to film school doesn’t prepare you for the endless obstacles you’ll face trying to make it as a filmmaker. Just getting a job in LA doesn’t prepare you. Creativity comes in many forms. One form is creatively navigating the business so that YOU can live your dreams. With his recent film, Restoring Tomorrow, being acquired by Seventh Art and featured in Variety, Aaron has learned through trial and error on how to make a living as a filmmaker. Join him in this exclusive Stage 32 webinar as he discusses what he's learned, and what you need to know for your own journey! Twitter: @TheAaronWolf Instagram: @TheAaronWolf Facebook: Aaron Wolf
Do you want to break in and get staffed in a TV writers' room? Being a successful writer in the world of television is only possible if you’re successful in a writers’ room setting, and as it turns out, you need more than just writing chops to shine in this context. Pitching ideas, working and getting along with fellow writers, story editors, and showrunners, overall presentation and how you hold yourself—all of this plays a role in how well you do in a writers’ room and how you can build your career as a TV writer and producer. For these reasons, it’s critical to understand how writers’ rooms work and how to best to perform. As it turns out, not all writers’ rooms are built equally. Rules and expectations change depending on the genre of the show, the network or platform, who the showrunner is, and how many writers there are. As a result, this is not a one-size-fits-all situation, and writers who might fit in well at a episodic network drama room might have to adjust if they are later staffed in, say, a comedy room for a streamer. That said, there are still strategies, tools, and things you can understand to better break into a room, fit in, and rise through the ranks. Let’s take a closer look. Mike Gauyo is an accomplished TV writer who has most notably written on Netflix’s hit series GINNY & GEORGIA. Originally born in Port Au Prince, Haiti, Mike broke into Hollywood as a production assistant on reality shows like AMERICAN IDOL and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE until being discovered by Issa Rae who staffed him as a writer on her fiction podcast FRUIT. Mike entered the world of TV writers’ rooms serving as a writers’ assistant on the TNT show CLAWS and currently serves as Story Editor on the final season of HBO’s comedy hit INSECURE. Mike is also developing his own content and at the top of 2021 launched a mentorship program for pre-WGA Black writers, called the Black Boy Writes & Black Girl Writes Mentorship Initiative. Mike’s varied background in TV writing has allowed him to experience many different writers’ rooms and has given him a keen sense on how to best write and perform in these settings. Mike breaks down how different TV writers’ room work, and how you can best break in and interact in these settings to build your own TV writing career. He’ll lay out the different types of writers’ rooms and go through the general hierarchy of any room, from assistants to showrunner. He’ll offer advice and strategies on how you can best break into a writers’ room in the first place and then explain how to work your way up once you’re in, including getting promotions and finding opportunities for set or production experience. He’ll finally teach you what good etiquette in a room is, how to form relationships, pitch and effectively work with everyone else in the room. Whether you're currently in a writers' room looking to advance or move to a different show, or a writer looking for your first television experience, Mike will offer the knowledge, strategies, and perspective to help you take the next step you're looking for.
Your host, Wes Ambrecht, has helped sell projects to FX, HBO and Amazon and previously worked with Gersh! So you’ve finished your pilot, congratulations! The first step is out of the way. Now, it’s time to get things into shape. Very rarely does a first draft come out like a golden egg. In fact, by the time you actually see something on TV, it’s probably been through upwards of twenty drafts. From initial notes and revisions to producer notes, studio notes, network notes and maybe even a note or two from an actor who thinks there’s a better way to word that one line. In this webinar, Wes Ambrecht will walk you through the process of getting your pilot to a place where it’s ready to be looked at by representation and producers. A writer, producer and former development exec, Wes has been on both sides of the table. This class will offer an unabashed look at the development process and help students see their pilot not just for its story but also its component parts.
The most significant aspect of any actor’s career is securing work, but with overwhelming competition, roles are scare and difficult to come by, which can make this task incredibly tough. Yet in the end, acting careers are built on the work and honing your skills as a performer. Every actor knows that work begets work. This is because as we expand our experiences and circle of connections, more doors open with opportunities for more work. It’s great to have an agent, to make those connections, to develop strategies to become more marketable, but more important than all of that is becoming the best actor you can possibly be. Ultimately, producers want to hire the right performer for the role, and putting yourself in a position to get that role is less complicated than others might have you believe. Whether you are preparing for an audition or a performance for a role you are already cast in, your main tool and blueprint before you even get on set or in that audition room is likely going to be the script, and any practiced actor will tell you there’s a lot more to a script than just your character’s dialogue. If you’re simply going through the script to highlight your lines, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of information that will lend itself to you finding the character and giving your best possible performance. An experienced actor is able to fully break down any written scene to internalize not just the dialogue, but the beats, the context, the elements that are unwritten but still very present. Knowing how to analyze a script and glean from it all of its information and clues will allow you to more fully inhabit your role and make you a better and more cast-able actor. Taylor Nichols is an award winning filmmaker, theater director and actor with over one hundred credits to his name. He is currently on the Emmy-nominated Hulu show PEN15 and the HBO smash-hit PERRY MASON. Taylor has also appeared on shows such as Emmy and Golden Globe nominated THE WALKING DEAD and PRISON BREAK, the cultural hit DIRTY JOHN, Emmy-winning MODERN FAMILY, 24, Golden Globe nominated THE MENTALIST and many more. In addition to acting, Taylor is an award winning short filmmaker and an experienced producer with feature credits including THE NEXT STEP and CASE 219. Taylor brings to Stage 32 more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and is ready to share with the community the skills and lessons he’s developed throughout his career. Taylor will lay out how to break down a script as an actor and develop the techniques needed for characterization and emotional depth to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances”. Taylor will begin by teaching you what an actor should do as soon as they get the script, including what to focus on during your first read through and how you should be marking it up. He will give you the tools to zero in on a specific scene’s theme and will then delve into determining your character’s objective, both in the scene and in the story as a whole. He’ll talk about how and where you should place dramatic beats by finding the scene’s shape and creating and feeding into the flow. He’ll go into what makes beats and pauses feel natural and honest and when they feel put on and will also outline how you can use your beats as a tool for line memorization. Taylor will then go over how to define your character’s obstacles while reading the script and how you should create your own honest actions in the scene. He will also explain how these actions can successfully interact with both beats and objectives. Next he will explain what “givens” are in a script and how you can find the givens of your character. He will also teach you the difference between naturalism and honesty when giving a performance and explain why honesty is always what an actor should be working towards. Taylor will also lead a live, interactive acting workshop to illustrate the strategies he has taught and show how to use the written scene to define the characters. Taylor will break down down a scene of a script in real time and will bring up students to perform these role based on this breakdown. Through his lesson and workshop, Taylor will give you invaluable tools to help hone your craft and better prepare you for any future auditions or performances. Praise for Taylor's Stage 32 Webinar "Wonderful job on all counts. Taylor was very informative and ever so likable." -Jody F. "I really loved the webinar - Taylor gave a really useful and inspiring presentation, which felt genuinely rooted in the love of acting and the respect for the craft of it. I found both the teaching and the workshopping aspect of it very informative and really gave us as actors clear examples of how to up-level our work." -Rowen B. "Taylor was great and very helpful." -Martin B. "Taylor was great! I thoroughly enjoyed Taylor's class & will be re-visiting it through the on-demand option." -Laurka L.
Pitch decks are a mystery. Why? Because no two pitch decks are the same. But there are elements that are crucial that separate a professional deck from an amateur one. A solid pitch deck will get those executives on your side and show them how exciting and marketable your idea is. It can be what stands between you and that green light. But what does a great pitch deck even look like, and do different approaches work better for broadcast networks than streaming networks? What do streaming executives want to see and what should you steer clear of at all costs? To guide you on your process is Ewan Dunbar who serves in Development, Sales, and Acquisitions at Disrupting Influence, most recently announcing BERLIN, I LOVE YOU, starring Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley. Ewan has produced, developed and sold over 30 titles. Having been in many rooms with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other streamers, Ewan specializes in developing decks to best showcase a project and make it stand out. Plus, Ewan has insight into a streaming platform’s process once you pitch your show. Ewan will cover what executives are looking for in a deck, what you do and don’t need to include, presentation tips and how to keep acquisitions executives interested in your material. He’ll go over how to keep your audience entertained and simple formatting tips and tricks you can adopt that can make all the difference. Ewan will also discuss how best to present your plot, characters, and world, and how you should adjust your deck specifically for streaming networks as opposed to broadcasters, sales agents, or financiers, and ways to adapt depending on what genre your series most closely aligns with. He’ll also teach you how to bring all your materials together for your final pitch. PLUS! Ewan will go over successful example pitch decks and give you a handout that shows you a guide of what you need in your own deck. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! The presenter delivered more in 20 minutes than other presenters do in an hour, and it NEVER felt rushed and he was always easily understandable. I cannot wait to get the handouts! -Bob S. Ewan’s presentation was excellent I learned so much from him and now feel 100% confident in creating a pitch deck. He was truly an expert. -Margaret M. "Very good, very knowledgeable and very organized. Great presentation and webinar. I walked away with lots of ideas about polishing my pitch decks to make sure they stand out." -James B. "Ewan Dunbar's webinar was one of the best I have ever taken! Organized, filled with useful information, he sounded like he really cared about helping the audience be better at what they want to do." -Roberta P.
Learn directly from Jen Grisanti, acclaimed Story/Career Consultant, Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, and a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/ Paramount and Spelling Television! Many writers wonder what it’s going to take to get them from being a non-working writer to a working writer. You’ve written great scripts. You’ve entered competitions and writing programs. You may have placed, been a finalist, or even won. However, you’re still waiting for your professional career to start. What is it that makes a TV pilot or screenplay hit it out of the ballpark and get sold? What can you do to your writing to make it more sellable? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, your host Jen Grisanti will teach you the 7 Pillars of Story. What exactly is that? It's the fundamental story components necessary to take your script from good to great. Jen will teach you from the studio executive/analyst perspective how to see your story differently and identify what is currently missing in your script. Jen herself has gone through analyzing countless Oscar and Emmy award-winning scripts and has applied that to her writer's techniques. This has led to over 30 of her clients selling pilots, five of which went to series. After being mentored by Aaron Spelling for 12 years, Jen has emerged as a pro in breaking down story and helping you, as a writer, get the most out of your script. Plus, for Stage 32 members, she will provide case studies for you to learn from! She will be using examples from her clients’ work and how they successfully implemented the 7 pillars to get their scripts sold. Under the guidance of Jen, you will leave this webinar fully prepared to write a marketable story that can help you go from good to great and make the move from non-working to working writer!