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
Robert McKee returns to Stage 32 with Building a Character - a rare online teaching appearance exclusive to Stage 32! In this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft webinar, Robert McKee teaches the principles and tools required to build fascinating characters, from using both external and internal sources for inspiration, to the importance of self-knowledge as a writer when creating characters for stage, page or screen. Robert McKee, a Fulbright Scholar and member of the Hollywood Hall of Fame, is the most sought after writing lecturer around the globe. He has dedicated the last 35 years to educating and mentoring screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, poets, documentary makers, producers, and directors internationally. Those who have learned from McKee have called him “the Aristotle of our time” (Quincy Jones, Ed Saxon, Steve Pressfield to name a few) because of his insight into the substance, structure, style, and principles of the grand art of story. Peter Jackson (writer/director THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD) lauds him as “The Guru of Gurus.” For the creatives at Pixar (TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO, UP, INSIDE OUT), McKee’s Story Seminar is a rite of passage. McKee’s former students include over 65 Academy Award Winners, 250 Academy Award Nominees, 250 Emmy Award Winners, over 1000 Emmy Award Nominees and 100 Writers Guild of America Award winner.
I was born for this. Started on street corners tap dancing, doing comedy, telling stories & holding an audience until they pay me J A Masters Degree from USC Film School and three decades later there hasn’t been a day when I wasn’t writing, directing, producing or managing as an executive a feature film, television, documentary, live event and/or new media program. I’ve been blessed to learn from and collaborate with some of the luminaries of sports and entertainment producing and business management. For these efforts, I picked up a shelf full of awards & trophies, maintained an upward financial trajectory and learned to enjoy the ride. A few of the collaborations in my career include: Netflix, YouTube, NBC, CBS, ABC, Univision, HBO, Showtime, TNT, MTV, VH-1, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate Studios, Legendary Pictures, Blizzard Entertainment The Grateful Dead, Quincy Jones, Michael Jordan & David Falk, Phil Knight/NIKE, Magic Johnson, Peter Guber/Mandalay, Dr. Dre, Snoop & Eminem, Arthur Miller, Michael Bloomberg, Laurence Fishburne, the NFL, MLB and NBA, and most of the financing entities in Hollywood. I’ve established tax incentives that spark states into profitable production while structuring large scale financing. Easier said than done, trust me! Now, I’m thrilled to join with Stage 32 to talk about my journey and share my experiences from over the years. I love to give back to up and coming filmmakers and I’ll be holding an online Q&A to talk with you, the Stage 32 community, and tell you about the things I’ve learned along the way. If you’re in the middle of your filmmaking journey, now, no matter where you live in the world, I’ll be taking questions from you live, so ask away! So relax, this opportunity to not give up on your daydream just got a lot closer. Clint Eastwood, Kip & Kern Konwiser Kip & Virginia Madsen Kenny Ortega (director/choreographer), Jim Belushi, William Levy, Emilio Estefan Kip, Ron Shelton (director/writer), Pete Rose, Kurt Soderling (DP) Pre-production at Legendary Studios "The Konwiser Bros." Kern & Kip Konwiser
In this exclusive 2 hour Stage 32 online webinar, here is just some of what you will learn from Robert McKee: Crafting believable and engaging dialogue. Why certain lines resonate and others fall flat Strategies and techniques for writing impactful dialogue The importance of showing vs. telling The three functions of dialogue: exposition, characterization and action. But that's not all! After Mr. McKee's lecture, Stage 32 Founder & CEO, Richard "RB" Botto, conducts an interview speaking further about the craft and opens it up to the Stage 32 community to ask questions. Now, no matter where you live in the world, this is an extremely rare opportunity to learn from Mr. McKee online! "You just don't get Robert McKee like this for this kind of price. Kudos to Stage 32 and thank you Mr. McKee" - Burton B. "Thank you RB and your awesome teem, and a big thanks to Robert McKee who is truly a Master of the craft! This webinar could be hard one to top in the writers field." - Scott W. "Just wanted you to know that McKee's webinar was fantastic. One of the best lectures I have heard on the craft. He was brilliant. And irascible." - Anthony R. "Amazing wisdom from a writing giant. Felt he was very giving and thoughtful in his replies which made it a fantastic experience." - Paul B. "Fantastic webinar - lots of great insights and ideas. Thanks!" - Ron H. "I will say it again - this was a great webinar. I am more inspired and motivated than ever to increase my skill as a writer and devote more time to doing so." - Christine D. (see more testimonials below!)
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. Her knowledge is extensive and her advice actionable, and now she's here to deliver the goods exclusively on Stage 32. 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. As an added bonus, Michelle will share examples of pitches decks that have helped secure millions in financing! "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.
It’s hard to fully appreciate just how much work goes into getting a film or TV production going. The volume of moving parts and number of i’s to dot and t’s to cross can feel staggering. It takes someone with wicked organizational skills, resourcefulness and the ability to work long hours and handle a multitude of tasks simultaneously under high-pressure situations. Whether you are a director, producer, production assistant or production coordinator, knowing how to discover your crew members’ skill sets, delegate effectively and execute tasks with extreme precision is a must for cultivating a successful career. While organizational skills and drive are certainly important in coordinating a production, it takes more than this to be a successful production coordinator or producer; it also takes a good amount of knowledge and wherewithal that doesn’t simply come naturally. Navigating union rules, building time sheets, filling out permits, working with stunt performers, building your electrical and grip departments, the list goes on. These aspects are all crucial, but if you’ve never carried out these tasks before, you’ll need guidance and education to make sure you’re doing it right and not missing any important steps. Well we have you covered! Carol Kravetz is a veteran and highly sought-after production coordinator who has worked on projects for over 30 years and set up productions for notable series like BREAKING BAD and IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, as well as various features for MGM, Warner Brothers, HBO and USA Network. Very few people know more about production coordination that Carol, and she has built a passion of giving back by teaching others her trade and giving students, career-transitioning adults and veterans of the Armed Forces a good sense of the business end of making movies. In this 4-part previously recorded class, Carol provides a fully comprehensive guide on how to be prepared to prepare, prepared to shoot and prepared to wrap. You will learn Carol’s personal list of Production Coordinator best practices, from the various tasks you will be expected to perform and how to execute them with precision, to how to recognize each document you will need in a mound of paperwork, to how to transition the office from pre-production to shoot to wrap. You’ll learn how everything is paid for, how to facilitate rentals and purchases for on-set departments, and the common pitfalls and traps that happen during production so you can avoid them. Carol then teaches you her networking, resume and follow up tips to help you find work and keep working past the wrap party. With interactive lectures and homework assignments directly geared toward making you a stronger and more competent Production Coordinator, you will leave this class with a comprehensive understanding of how to be an effective Production Coordinator and be a valuable asset to any set you work on! Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Carol is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate. Praise for Carol’s Stage 32 Class "Taking Carol's Production Coordinator Class was full of detailed information to get someone up and running in the position of Production Coordinator. Carol also has some great tales from the entertainment industry to make it entertaining along the way. If you want to know the ins and outs of the production office and how it relates to the production overall, this is a great class to take." - Laura D. "Carol is a wonderful source of information. Perhaps best at her department. I'd like to thank Carol for her fantastic contribution to my professional career and private learning. You have been unique and very resourceful!" - Willem V.
It’s no secret that being an actor is one of the hardest jobs there is. Facing frequent rejection, navigating high levels of competition, constantly looking for new opportunities, all while honing your craft and remaining open and vulnerable in what can be a difficult and cold industry—pursuing this career is not for the weak of heart. There are countless challenges to building an acting career, but when we put undue pressure on ourselves we may not even realize that the biggest obstacle to overcome may just be our own psyches and self-destructive strategies. It's time to change course. There’s so much information out there for actors about improving your craft, changing your auditioning chops, working with your agent, staying on top of trends, making connections, and more. It’s easy to forget that a big part of the craft simply comes down to mindset and confidence. Taking away the doubt that so often comes with performing and replacing it with swagger and confidence will help you not only win over every room, but also make smart, strategic decisions that will lead to a long and prosperous acting career. This, of course, is easier said than done, but a good first step is to learn the best tips, tricks, and traits of the most successful working actors. Jack Plotnick has been a working actor for over 20 years and has amassed over 100 IMDB acting credits in the process including SILICON VALLEY, MEET THE FOCKERS, THE MENTALIST, RENO 911 and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. He's also parlayed this success into a directing career with SPACE STATION 76 for Sony Pictures Worldwide. He has used his experience to serve as the go-to teacher for many successful film, television and voice actors including Zachary Quinto, Liv Tyler, Alyson Hannigan, and Ryan Potter to name a few. Jack has built a successful acting career for himself by adopting a mindset that has allowed him to win over the room and consistently get parts. In 10 simple and applicable steps you can return to again and again, Jack will show you how to eliminate fear, doubt, negativity and how to cut out all those detrimental voices so damaging to an actor's psyche. He will give you the tools that will provide a persistent positive mindset that will have you brimming with confidence. He will teach you how to crush every audition and put yourself in position to win every room. He will show you how to be a better actor and why you are versatile enough to handle comedy and drama roles. He will teach you how to keep your mind and spirit healthy and book more work. Expect to leave this webinar with a newfound confidence, enthusiasm, and a set of tools to take with you to start landing more roles and improving your craft. What Some of the Most Successful Actors are Saying About Jack: "Jack has an innate ability to communicate a sense of freedom. Our work together has allowed me to more reliably get out of my own way and connect to the material and situation at hand." - Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, Heroes, American Horror Story) "(Jack) taught me things that were so fucking brilliant. They are things that have stuck with me and helped me as a human being in this world." - Liv Tyler (The Leftovers, The Strangers, The Lord of the Rings) "I seriously couldn’t have done it without him. His words of wisdom are always with me." - Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Pie) "I've printed out every page of Jack Plotnick's website and made an "acting Bible" for myself." - Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs, Bridesmaids) "Right now I'm working mainly with Jack Plotnick, who's just the best acting coach ever." - Ryan Potter (voice of Hiro in Big Hero 6)