Allen James Roughton is the Stage 32 Happy Writers Coordinator, a screenwriter, reader and development researcher who has consulted on over 100 projects, scripts, books, comics and films and conducted research on life stories, exposés, professions and locations for major production companies. Nick Assunto is part of the Stage 32 script services team. He was previously a reader for the Austin Film Festival, and this past year was a writer for the 2017 CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase. Nick also studied improv and sketch comedy at UCB in both New York and Los Angeles from 2007-2016 where he also co-hosted the Sunday show B.Y.O.T. for a time at UCB Sunset's Inner Sanctum. Though writing is his passion, Nick has also dabbled in acting, having been featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, an eHarmony commercial directed by Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst (for real), and is infamously known as Tony, the annoying party member from the 'Four Friends' Elder Scrolls spots. Full Bio »
We see over 200 projects pitched on Stage 32 each week and review the feedback execs give on all of them. We see the good, the bad, and everything in between. We see what gets read and what gets the dreaded pass. What lands on the top of the pile and what gets buried under everything else. And we see the questions about pitching that get asked week in and week out. So we at Stage 32 have decided to put our experience together in a FREE Webinar on Pitching through Stage 32!
On Monday, March 12th at 1PM Pacific, Stage 32 Writing Service's Allen James Roughton and Nick Assunto will take a deep dive into sharing what they’ve learned over hundreds of pitch sessions and thousands of pitches.
Have a question about pitching you've always wanted to ask us? Join us live and participate in the Q&A!
We'll cover everything that goes into both verbal and written pitches including:
Allen Roughton & Nick Assunto
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A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute educational broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32. Your webinar will be taught by a working industry professional with in-depth teaching on a topic. If you are able to attend live you will be able to ask your Stage 32 Educator questions during Q&A.
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A: If you cannot attend a live webinar or purchase an on demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.
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A: Yes! Like all Stage 32 education, after the purchase of a live or on demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording.
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A: If the webinar you take included handouts you can find them as downloads underneath your on demand video. You must be logged into your Stage 32 profile to view the video and get the handouts by clicking settings in the top right hand corner, then clicking purchase history.
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Networking at a film festival or industry event. For some people, just the idea strikes fear in the heart. Who do you talk to first? How do you start the conversation? Holy crap, business cards?! Do I need business cards? I'm sure you have been at industry events before where you're all fired up to go, then once you get there you stand in the corner talking only to the people you know. So, how do you break that cycle? You've probably heard things like "you have to know someone to get ahead in this business" and thought to yourself "OK, but how do I get to the point where I know that mysterious 'someone?' " The answer comes back to networking. And though that word conjures up images of smarmy frat boys in suits swilling cocktails and collecting business cards, it's really about overcoming the initial awkwardness between strangers and turning those strangers into new friends. It happens slowly, organically, naturally. But if you're smart about it and go in with a plan, you can make it happen more often and more reliably – without feeling the need for a hot shower afterward. Stage 32 is proud to bring in industry veteran, Christopher Holland, who for over a decade has worked with over 200 film festivals, including Sundance, Austin, AFI, Atlanta and more. Chris is teaching exclusively for Stage 32 Your Guide To Fearless Film Festival Networking. This webinar will ease your anxiety about making professional connections in the festival environment, or any type of creative industry event. This webinar goes beyond simply breaking the ice. You will learn specific tools & get examples on how to go into an industry networking event knowing what you want and knowing how to get it. You will receive practical advice you can use for your career no matter what level you are at. Plus, this webinar will be available for you to reference time and time again as you get ready for any festival! Register now!
Are you unsure how to navigate comedy audiences in a world where tastes and platforms are rapidly changing? No matter what your style or skill set, there's an audience out there for you. But you won't find them until you put yourself out there with the right tools to get staffed or sell your brilliant comedy. Every day there's a new streamer with its own brand and audience to cater to. From TED LASSO to PEN15 to SPACE FORCE, there have never been so many opportunities available. But while making someone laugh gets you a career, it takes more to get you in the door, and these digital players aren't following the rules of traditional networks. In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, you'll learn the ins and outs of streaming writers' room styles and how to be effective within them so that your jokes get airplay. You'll understand how to write stories that will thrill a showrunner and get you staffed in a room. You'll have the chance to analyze your pilot to consider where it fits in the marketplace, how to view it as though you're the executive, and determine how to strengthen your concept so that it's ready to sell. You'll discover the differences between platforms, budgets, schedules, audiences, and development needs, and more. Most importantly, you'll learn how to get your work into the right hands and snag that comedy gig at a top streaming platform. Taking you through the state of streamer staffing season and pilot selling is literary and talent manager Spencer Robinson of Art/Work Entertainment. With over 20 years of experience, Spencer has had clients in films from directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski, and more. His clients have worked on projects from Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, and TBS, to name a few. Using his extensive experience helping writers get staffed and sell their pilots, Spencer teaches you the do's and don't of writing for streamers vs. network and how to tailor your script to make the best impression on executives at the biggest streamers in town. He lays out how streamers differ from the formatting to structure and specifically analyzes what you should consider before tackling your pilot. Spencer also dives into staffing and sales, and what approach is best for you. He'll also debunk common misconceptions about selling a comedy series in today's market and how you can use IP to sell your show. Whether you have the next great comedy series are ready to land a spot in a streaming room, this webinar ensures you walk away prepared for success. PRAISE FOR SPENCERS TEACHINGS: Spencer was awesome! Super informative and detail-driven - providing great insights. Packed so much into a short amount of time which I'm super grateful for! -Eric C. Spencer Robinson has high energy and packs a ton of information in his lecture. Most importantly Spencer gives realistic advice while encouraging writers to move forward fully informed of the terrain. -Oweeda N. Spencer opened my eyes to how the TV world works with broadcast and streaming. What a great crash course! -Ricki L. "Very enlightening. Gave a realistic view of how difficult it is to get a pilot made but was just inspiring enough to give hope. :)" -Clive M.
Learn directly from Mark Allan, who currently works in TV Talent development at one of the "Big Six" Hollywood agencies! He'll give you specific insider knowledge of the how to find agency representation if you're a foreign actor. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will learn how you can increase your chances of finding an agent as a foreign actor new to the U.S. market. Using his experience working in the talent department at one of the "Big Six" Hollywood agencies, Mark Allan will guide you through what it takes to secure representation if you're hoping to make the jump. First, he'll cover what you should currently be focused on before arriving in the U.S. and building your career. He'll examine why agents prefer talent that is already established elsewhere over new foreign unknown actors and how you can use your old representation to get U.S. agency attention. Mark also plans to give an overview of the visa process, including the challenges of doing it alone, getting a sponsor or hiring an attorney. Mark will then give you an overview of what to your agency will expect from you. He'll tackle the issue of working on improving your accent to appeal to wider audiences and why this is so important to your chances of securing representation. As well as how you can use your accent to your advantage and how the growing need for diversity can improve your chances as a foreign actor. You will walk away knowing how to approach building your career as a foreign actor seeking to establish yourself in the U.S. marketplace.
Your pitch deck is the most important tool in your initial stage of obtaining financing for your script. A pitch deck is also used as an aid to attaching an actor or director you are interested in. As a tool, your deck is the first impression of your film condensed so the investor can become familiar with your project and determine if this is an opportunity for them. To close the deal or at least garner meaningful consideration and interest, your pitch deck has to stand out. It has to not only tell the story of your project, why it should be attractive to talent, and what the true potential audience may be, but, most importantly, it needs to show a true and realistic path to profitability. And this is where so many decks fail. Sure, you want to paint a rosy picture with your investor pitch deck. But here's the thing, most investors who have put money into films before know BS from reality. They will know if you are overshooting your estimates (an extremely common tactic), whether your film comps are ridiculous (they almost always are) and if you're exaggerating who your potential audience will be (nearly always the case). A great investor pitch deck is filled with equal parts optimism and reality. Sure, every investor wants to dream of unbelievable riches and success, but what truly makes them open their wallets is believing in the team, the project, and being presented a realistic worldview as to the potential return on their investment. Michelle Alexandria knows a thing or two about raising money. As a producer and Head of International Sales and Acquisitions for Glasshouse Distribution, Michelle has raised or assisted in raising funds for dozens of films and other projects. She has personally worked on 25 feature films $6MM and under and 3 television projects in various capacities including producing, line producing and executive producing. Michelle has spoken on the topic of raising financing at the Cannes Producers Network and other prominent film festivals and markets including MipCom, Berlin, Buenos Aires, UniFrance, Sundance, and AFM. Michelle will teach you how to create an investor pitch deck that doesn't have that same dusty feeling of so many decks and which fits the current climate of raising funds. She will show you what elements truly matter for an investor and which you can leave out of your deck entirely. She will discuss the value (or lack thereof) of artwork and posters. Additionally, she'll dive into loglines and synopsis to assure that you are giving your potential investors the true vision of the project. She will teach you how to put together a realistic cast list and film comps. She will discuss budgets, scheduling and how to incorporate those elements into your deck. She will talk to you about putting together the right team and how those team members can send the right or wrong signal. Michelle's knowledge is extensive and her advice actionable, and now she's here to deliver the goods exclusively in this Stage 32 on-demand webinar. As an added bonus, Michelle will share examples of pitches decks that have helped secure millions in financing! PRAISE FOR MICHELLE'S TEACHINGS: "Clear, concise, and brilliant." - Mario D. "No BS, straight to the point information. Loved every second." - Patricia H. "I have a deck for my film. It's going in the garbage. I will be starting over tomorrow with this wealth of information flowing in my head. Remarkable job, Michelle!" - Phil M. "Sure, everyone wants Leo or George in their films. Sure, everyone thinks their film is the next My Big Fat Greek Wedding or some other independent blockbuster. Sure, everyone believes that they have THE idea that is going to get them the money. Michelle just gave me the map as to HOW to get the money by being REAL. I can't wait to get started and to bounce ideas off my team. This was so much fun. Thank you!" - Denise P.
Cable networks all have their niche. For example, AMC has really honed in on intense dramas, such as The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men; USA focuses on character driven mystery dramas such as CSI, House, and NCIS; TBS centers around comedy sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, Ground Floor, and Cougar Town; ABC Family focuses more on sitcoms relating to family, such as Melissa and Joey, Baby Daddy and The Fosters. Knowing how to tailor your pitch to a specific cable network opens up immense opportunity for your TV pilot. Every cable network can be a real home for your work - it’s just a matter of the how, when, and why. Knowing how to appeal to multiple networks gives your pilot a better chance of getting picked up! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Jordan Barel will teach you both how to pitch your pilot and how to tailor your pitch to the right cable network. In addition, he’ll go over what kind of shows live on each network currently, and what may be the right fit for you. You will walk away with a clear understanding of how to pitch effectively as well as a clear understanding of how to make your pilot what each network is looking for. Your host host Jordan Barel is a writer, producer and lawyer for Loaded Barrel Studios. Based in LA, he's worked for New Line Cinema, AMC, Verve Talent Agency and was recently named in Variety's Hollywood Movers and Shakers list. He worked for Paul Scheer through his producing deal at FOX, working on development with his projects as well as bringing in new writers for him. Jordan also works at Abominable Pictures in their comedy and TV department. Previously, he worked as the Television Coordinator for Verve Literary Agency, producing the company's staffing video which lead to a 200% increase in the company's staffed writers. While there he also vetted all new TV and film clients. Jordan knows what will make your pitch stand out and is here exclusively for Stage 32 to help guide our writers toward success!
Staffing season is a high-intensity, high-stakes time. With more shows than ever looking for writers, the opportunities have never been greater, but that also means the competition has never been higher. To be considered to be part of a writing staff, you need to not only show your chops as a screenwriter, but display what you'll be like in the room. So how can you stand out to the executives and producers hiring and prove that you're going to be a team player, while bringing an original, independent voice to the table? To be staffed in the competitive world of TV writing, you must first understand what opens the door and what keeps you in the room. Your writing must not only be on point, but you have to also be able to display a comprehension of the art of the meeting. Executives and producers are going to meet dozens if not hundreds of writers. You have to learn how to connect with them, fill their needs, and make their jobs easy! In short, you and your writing need to be sharp, interesting and memorable. Over her very decorated and successful career as a development executive, Marla White has sat across more writers than she can remember. Marla was not only the development executive for Emmy-Award Winner Peter Tolan's Fedora Entertainment, but she's also worked with hundreds of writers who have sold pitches and shows to, and/or been staffed by, Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and just about every premium cable channel and streaming platform you can name. Marla will discuss what executives are looking for in your writing. Whether "good" is good enough to get you in the room. Whether it's better for your work to be more memorable or sellable. She will take you through the thought process of what executives are looking for when you walk in the room. She'll discuss all aspects of a general meeting and a staffing meeting and arm you with all the tools necessary to be "good in the room" in all situations, each and every time. Plus, she'll also talk about "do's and don'ts" and how you can get invited back for the all important pitch meeting. This webinar provides pertinent and actionable information for every level of writer. If you're just starting out in your career, what you'll learn will not only prepare you for everything mentioned above, but for preparation when speaking with managers and agents. If you're a working writer on a show looking to move to a new show and need tips on playing the networking game and how to navigate the politics, this one is for you as well! PRAISE FOR MARLA'S TEACHINGS: This is some straight shooting, no B.S. information. I'm grateful that Marla pulled no punches and told it like it is. Next meeting I get, I'm owning it! - Samantha W.