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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Can you believe this is the last Writers' Room Pitch Tank of 2020? And we couldn't have asked for a better guest than Producer, Actress, and Writer, Rachel Paulson! Rachel is a multi-hyphenate who is the younger sister of Sarah Paulson of “AMERICAN HORROR STORY”and Liz Paulson, the SVP of casting at Fox. Rachel is the star of the series "DATING ZOE", the host of the video series Drink Responsibly with Rachel Paulson, and the co-host of the podcast Gay vs. Straight Bitches with "ONE TREE HILL" alum, Lindsey McKeon. Rachel currently has a YA television series in development based on a true story, with Sarah Paulson attached to produce. During the webcast, Rachel and Jason critiqued pitches including epic Sci-Fi features and series, Drama, Comedy, Family, and more! Listen to their feedback and be sure to take their suggestions in for your own pitches!
Writing scenes come naturally to many of us especially when we have an outline of what we are aiming to accomplish. Scenes require us to describe setting, introduce characters, establish tone, and achieve a list of other key elements. We are tasked with making the words in each scene exciting and engaging with a few precious moments - urging the reader to keep turning the page and for the audience to keep watching. The words that we use should guide the reader and allow our voices to shine through our work. Understanding the importance of the words you use is imperative to how well your script ultimately translates to the screen. Scenes are a building block to the narrative of your story. Without well-written scenes, the foundation of your story will crumble. It is important to examine each scene of your story and analyze what ways it can be enhanced so that it really adds to the overarching points you are trying to get across as a writer. This comes with proper execution of infusing your own personality and authentic voice in a way that uniquely connects with your readers. Although this can be difficult, there’s no need to run away from this challenge. We have the tools and resources to help your words spring off the page instead. Steve Desmond is an established award-winning and represented screenwriter who wrote the thriller feature ON YOUR DOORSTEP that sold to Treehouse Pictures which has worked with incredibly talented actors like Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Henry Cavill and he also created the horror feature, TWISTED AVENUE, which made 2015 Hit List honoring the best spec screenplays of the year. His successful portfolio of films continues with his current project, MONSTERS, that won the Comic-Con International Film Festival for Best Horror/Suspense Film and Best Overall Film and has been accepted into over forty film festivals. Steve’s well-renowned success has landed him amazing representation with APA who is connected to partners such as the Global Production Network, The Gotham Group, that produced projects such as THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES and THE MAZE RUNNER franchise, and Eclipse Law Firm which has represented projects like NARCOS, KING KONG, WATCHMEN, and YOUNG ROCK. Steve will instruct you how to effectively craft the scene descriptions of your story to make them truly come to life. After providing you with the critical Do’s and Don’ts when writing scenes, Steve will show you how to guide your reader on an exciting journey, set your tone so that readers can feel the words on the page, and craft character introductions that leave memorable impressions with your audience. He will also discuss directing on the page, rewriting scene descriptions, and the importance of reading scripts. Steve will provide you with several resourceful writing exercises that will help you generate ideas for your own prose writing. You will walk away from this session with your words leaping off the page! Steve is beyond excited to share his tools and expertise with members of the Stage 32 community.
What do the singer Elvis Presley, the actress Pamela Anderson and the phycisist Albert Einstein have in common? Their true life stories have recently been adapted into major feature films and TV series. True story adaptations find success largely because the writers and creators understand where to find the story within these real lives to adapt. They efficiently honed in on an angle that pulled the audience in while developing emotional arcs that kept viewers invested. Writing is a craft, no doubt, and one that must be managed differently when pen hits paper and for adaptations. It takes work and a deep understanding of your story as well as the medium you’re adapting it for, but it’s something you can achieve for your own true life passion project, especially with the proper understanding and guidance. Kate Sharp is a producer and literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Kate was the VP of Development and Production at Occupant Entertainment, producing short-form content for Showtime, MTV, Verizon, Facebook, and U2, and was an Executive Producer on the Hulu original, Emmy-nominated TV series BEHIND THE MASK. Her film credits include PEEP WORLD, BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY, MADAME BOVARY and THE HALLOW. Kate is currently producing THE BURNING SEASON with Naomi Watts and STRANGER THINGS’ Sophia Lillis attached to star. Kate has worked with countless writers on adapting their true story projects of all types and knows what it takes to turn a true story into a script that producers, reps, studios and execs will be interested in. In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, Kate delves into the craft of adapting a true story to a film or series, and how to put words to the page to make this happen. She defines the three types of true story or biopic adaptations so you can determine which option is best for you and give you the tools to decide if your story should unfold as a feature or limited series so you can determine which option is best for you. She will also walk you through best practices for researching, finding your own angle to the story, and how to write your script so it feels authentic while still possessing emotional arcs and narrative liberties to ensure your script is marketable and successful in the market. You'll walk away from this webinar with confidence and write an adapted script based on a true story that gets the attention it deserves. Praise for Kate's Previous Stage 32 Webinar: "Kate Sharp was incredible. She's a great instructor, and also looks like a very special person to have as a manager, who loves what she does and would be a great partner for a writer! Thank you for sharing her gifts with us!" -Ricki L. "The information was straightforward and practical. I made loads of notes to go back over. Thanks!" -Gillian R. "BRAVO, KATE!!! She provided a wonderful presentation fueled by stellar "real world" facts and scenarios" -Bill B.
Learn directly from Melissa Daykin Cassill, Vice President of State Street Pictures (Faster, Beauty Shop, Barbershop, Notorious, Nothing Like The Holidays) The Hangover, Bridesmaids, Little Miss Sunshine. What is it, exactly, that makes these comedies stand out from the crowd? With so many different types of comedies in the marketplace, it is becoming the toughest genre to break into. More executives are turning to A list comedians to write than actual screenwriters, so how do you get an executive's attention? How do you get past executives that have different senses of humor, jokes that don't translate internationally, and storylines that can easily get deemed outdated a year later? Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you our 4 week online intensive class How To Write A Fresh, Stand Out Comedy taught by the Vice President of State Street Pictures, Melissa Dayin Cassill. In this hands on 4 week course, you will learn the importance of the emotional crescendo of a comedy script, how to balance the comedy with the humanity of the characters, and how to pitch your comedy script once you're ready, all while molding your pages under Melissa's supervision. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards strengthening your pages, this class will help you craft your writing into a fresh stand out comedy script that will grab executives' attention! Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Melissa is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.
Sometimes your story just can't be wrapped up in a neat bow with a perfect Hollywood ending. As a writer, you may weave a unique narrative and the idea of tying up all your loose ends into a neat resolution just doesn't seem right. Or, if you're a producer or filmmaker you might want to set your project up for a sequel, so you may want to have your characters riding off into the sunset once you get to the end. If wrapping up your story in perfect fashion doesn't appeal to you, why don’t you consider an Ambiguous Ending? Ask yourself: Is there an artful exit from your story that defies predictions and is both thought-provoking and exasperating in equal measure? Can you work your way towards an ending that people will argue about in the bar immediately afterwards and for months (even years) online? The Ambiguous Ending is a great storytelling trick to pull off, but it’s not easy. If you mess it up, you’re left with a confusing final reel that audiences are likely to dislike— and they’ll carry their loathing out of the theater with them. This webinar explores the possibilities and guides you past the pitfalls. The Ambiguous Ending can present major challenges for you as a storyteller: How do you lay a trail of plot breadcrumbs for your audience that seem to lead them in two directions at once? How do you develop characters who are simultaneously engaging while possibly lying through their teeth about the reality of the situation they’re in? How do you set up the rules of your narrative world so that one reality can peel off from another? How much misdirection is OK? This type of ending requires you as the storyteller to deploy a sophisticated toolkit out of the gate. Luckily, we have a story expert who served as the in-house story consultant for IM Global for nearly a decade and worked on developing films for Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level webinar Karina Wilson will look at some of the tricks and techniques you can use to create delicious doubt about the ending of your script in everyone but yourself. Praise from Karina's previous Stage 32 webinar: "Her presentation was well organized, her slides contained the right amount of information to digest and takes notes from. Her delivery was excellent." - Martha C. "I was so impressed!" - Loretta C. Karina is engaging, reassuring and inspiring. - Helen W. Karina is passionate about horror and has a lifetime of great experiences and information! - Cooke Q. I was so impressed! - Loretta C.
You may be surprised by JUST how many successful filmmakers today began their career by writing short films. Everyone from Christopher Nolan to Ryan Coogler to Chloe Zhao to Justin Lin have short film writing credits to their name and used those projects to springboard their career. This is how new and untested creatives can prove their mettle, get their name out there and actually get their foot in the door. And you can do this as well. Whether you’re building up your filmmaking career, itching to write the next festival darling or award-worthy short film, or just love the short form format, you too, can master the art of short film writing. There are many reasons and inspirations for writing a short, but shorter doesn’t mean easier to write. One of the great challenges is that many people go into writing a short with the mindset of creating a proof of concept for a feature. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, this mindset tends to encourage a few logical fallacies, and in a strange way actually devalues the work. Short films require a fine balance of elegance and story economy. They require an innovative storytelling technique that usually takes years of practice and feedback to master. With the right guidance though, you’ll be able to master this in no time. Clay Liford is an award-winning independent filmmaker and director of photography whose many shorts include the Sundance hit MY MOM SMOKES WEED. His projects have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Munich, AFI Film fest and more. As a director of photography, Clay has shot over twenty-five features, including the SXSW award-winning films ST. NICK and GAYBY. His film credits also include WUSS, EARTHLING, SLASH, and MY MOM SMOKES WEED, a Sundance Film Festival favorite. As an indie filmmaker, editor, and writer, Clay has mastered the art of writing and making both feature length and short films. He is also a film production instructor at the University of Texas, who has become proficient at teaching his methods for efficiency and artistic self-sufficiency. Now he’s sharing what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Clay will take you through his proven and effective approach to writing and effective short films that get you noticed and advance your career. He’ll go over the REAL differences between shorts and features, what every short film needs to succeed, how to think like a director (even if you’re not one), and how to maximize your festival strategy. Most importantly, he’s going to introduce you to the concept of Iconography. You’ll have the opportunity to ask him questions, and by the end of this webinar, you’ll fall in love with this format and walk away with a new perspective and appreciation for the short film format. Clay's guidance will give you confidence to develop your short film and help you succeed in the short film market. PLUS! Clay provides you with the following handouts: Overview of How to Write a Short Film - Things to Consider & What to Watch Out For Story Structure Diagram Breakdown of Film Roles on a Set Elements of a Lookbook Duties of a Director Suggested Reading List Testimonials for Clay's Webinar: "Clay had great energy and pace. He was able to explain things in different ways and with excellent examples." -Magi A. "Clay didn't sugar coat anything - keeping the short within a tight budget and length is smart strategy & practical. I appreciated his honesty." - Shaan D.