On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.
On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.
Michael Schulman is an industry veteran whose career includes stints at William Morris, ICM, and CAA as well as creative executive positions on three different studio lots including Netflix. Michael spent two years as VP of Development at Michael Mann’s company where he worked on ALI, THE AVIATOR, TEXAS KILLING FIELDS, and other projects. Michael has worked with other top industry professionals in the development and/or acquisition of many well-known features including THE SIXTH SENSE, VENGEANCE, HIDEAWAY, SHANGHAI, and GROUNDHOG DAY. Michael has led webinars on the streamer acquisition process and has been quoted and interviewed in the industry media. Full Bio »
The key to packaging yourself as a screenwriter and preparing you for a career in entertainment is all about finding the right people, building relationships, and knowing where your voice fits into the marketplace. Industry veteran, Michael Schulman (THE AVIATOR, SIXTH SENSE) will show you how to navigate your career, from getting your foot in the door and beyond.
So you believe you’re ready to launch your screenwriting career. Now what?
Most writers hunt for representation in the hopes that they will sell their scripts. But what if you can find the right people to produce with on your own?
In this Stage 32 exclusive webinar, industry veteran Michael Schulman will show you how to make yourself and your script an appealing package, and find the right producers to build relationships with.
Michael’s extensive career includes time working at William Morris, ICM, and CAA, as well as three studios, including Netflix. His experience makes him uniquely aware of what both producers and representatives are looking for in a writer and their scripts. This gives you fantastic access to years of insight from someone involved with some of the most successful films, including THE AVIATOR, ALI, THE SIXTH SENSE, GROUNDHOG DAY, and many more.
Believe it or not, accessing real industry pros is not as difficult as it looks. Michael will help you write to your strengths, determine what exactly your script needs, know how to choose the right producers for your package, and also know how to reach out to them.
From there, you’ll learn how to prepare to meet with both producers and representatives, even establishing follow-up steps to keep the conversation going with them.
By the end of the webinar, you’ll understand the producer’s mindset of how to look at and market your scripts, viewing yourself as a package that can kickstart your career.
How to “package” yourself as a screenwriter
How to know when your project is ready to send out
The differences between Agents and Managers
Who are Producers and how they fit into the equation
What is a “General Meeting” and how to prepare for it
Summary and Analysis
Q&A with Michael
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ScreenMasters is an intensive ongoing workshop designed for screenwriters who have mastered the fundamentals of their craft and are ready to move on to the next phase of their creative and professional development. Participants will be led through innovative presentations that will encourage new ways of thinking about the unique creative process of “writing for the screen,” and collaborative workshops sessions will explore how to put these lessons into practice to bring your screenplay to the next level. For every screenwriter, the leap from gifted amateur to working professional can be the most challenging career step they face. ScreenMasters is based on the simple idea that the best way to remove any obstacles to real-world career success is to deliver extraordinary screenplays that speak for themselves. The concept of this workshop goes beyond the basics of screenwriting to delve into the deeper artistic issues that can transform a merely good project into something a little more extraordinary. Each weekly session will begin with a topic discussion led by industry veteran Michael Schulman, and then the remaining class will be a lab environment for intensive workshopping of works in progress or guidance on career development issues, blocks or troubles students may be running into. The workshop is suitable for projects in any genre and at any stage of development. Enrollment in the workshop will be limited, and interested participants will be asked to submit a short (<1 page) statement outlining your background and writing experience, a brief description of the project to be workshopped, and what you would like to get out of the workshop experience. Michael Schulman is an industry veteran whose career includes stints at William Morris, ICM, and CAA as well as creative executive positions on three different studio lots including Netflix. Michael spent two years as VP Development at Michael Mann’s company where he worked on ALI, THE AVIATOR, and TEXAS KILLING FIELDS and other projects. Michael has worked with other top industry professionals in the development and/or acquisition of many well known features including THE SIXTH SENSE, VENGEANCE, HIDEAWAY, SHANGHAI and GROUNDHOG DAY. Michael has led webinars on the streamer acquisition process and has been quoted and interviewed in the industry media. ***Please note: This class is not booked yet, it is an application process. You can submit your application between now and February 4. The class shows booked on this page because that is how our system is technically set up, but it is a private class that Michael will be choosing the 8 from the application.*** THE APPLICATION PROCESS This class is limited to 8 students and is exclusive to active Stage 32 Writers' Room members. You must submit an application for review by February 4, 2022. The application can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YX6TFYL. Michael will be reviewing applications and will select the 8 students for the workshop. You will be notified by February 11, 2022 if you will be chosen for this class. If you are chosen, you will be invoiced via email from Stage 32. Since this is a private group, login links and recordings will be sent directly from Stage 32 Education.
Streamers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO Max have quickly become the holy grail for many filmmakers hoping to get their film produced and find success. And it’s no mystery why. With a subscriber base in the tens of millions (Netflix has 74 million subscribers alone!), there might not be a better place for your film to be seen and enjoyed across the globe. And streamers ARE picking up a lot of content, a staggering amount even. Netflix recently announced it is releasing 40 more films this year—that’s twice what most major traditional studios make in a whole year, all in just a few months. That said, even with this huge volume of new content Netflix and the other streamers continue to pick up and produce, it is not easy to get your film noticed or considered at these platforms, especially if you’re not already an established filmmaker. This is not to say it’s impossible, but it does require finesse, strategy, luck, and an understanding of how exactly streamers find their original films. For as prominent as streaming platforms have become, the process behind how a film actually finds its way into their libraries is opaque and enigmatic. With so little information on the inner workings of the streamers, it can seem confusing, maybe even impossible to get your own proverbial foot into the portal and get your project noticed. After all, there isn’t exactly a submission platform to upload your script for Amazon to review. The truth is, unless you’re already established or have that ‘in’ with a streamer, it’s very unlikely to get straight through and have them consider your work blind. There IS another way though, a way to get your project to a streamer, not by going through but by going around. Michael Schulman is a Feature Story Analyst for Netflix as part of its Independent Original Film Division, and his job revolves around evaluating feature screenplay submissions and deciding which ones to pass up to the executives to consider. Prior to his role at Netflix, Michael spent nearly a decade in the story department at CAA where he found projects for CAA clients. Over his storied career, Michael also served as an agent at ICM’s Motion Picture Literary Department and held numerous studio creative executive positions at Orion, TriStar, and Disney where he worked to develop film and television projects with some of the top talent in the industry. Michael is very familiar with what it takes for a script to find its way to decisionmakers since this has been a key feature of his job for over a decade. As a companion piece to his previous webinar that details the script evaluation process at Netflix and other streamers, Michael will teach you a smarter and more viable way to get your own feature film considered by streaming platforms, not by targeting the streamers themselves, but instead focusing on their content suppliers. He’ll begin by laying out how the normal streamer system works and go over specific reasons why your script might NOT be as good of a fit for them as you think. Michael will then delve into how “outsiders” can get in the streaming game by taking advantage of resources along the way and better understanding the content pipeline. He’ll explain what streamer “originals” actually are and show how streamers rely on production companies to fill their slate. Michael will show you how you can use this to your advantage by finding your way in with specific production companies and what you can do to make them want to produce your film with you. Michael will even offer a live demonstration, showing how to find the right production companies for your own project and the best contacts within them. Getting your work on Netflix and other streamers will never be easy, but you will leave this webinar with a better understanding of the best way forward. Praise for Michael's Previous Stage 32 Webinar "I loved Michaels honestly. His advice is invaluable." -Linda R. "Very genuine, authentic, knowledgeable." -Lissa C. "Michael was highly competent, extremely knowledgeable about his subject, and not afraid to share hard truths about the industry that many just won't be upfront about." -Lee T. "Michael did not sugarcoat anything. He gave honest information that clarified a lot of questions I had." -Nikki J.
Learn how the initial readers at streamers evaluate feature film submissions. Plus! You'll see a breakdown of Netflix internal coverage. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max--they have become the Holy Grail for screenwriters and emerging talent. And yet as prominent as these platforms have become, the process behind how a film actually finds its way into their library is relatively unknown. So what actually happens to your submission behind-closed-doors at one of the streamers? Who is reading it and what are they looking for? The professional readers employed by streamers are trained to use very specific criteria to assess material. They do not use the same methodology as agents, managers, or producers who may be more willing to develop material and incubate projects. It’s helpful to know that there are certain types of projects and styles of writing that are more likely to get these readers’ attention and prompt them to escalate your submission to actual decision-makers. Let’s dive in. Michael Schulman is a Story Analyst for Amazon Studios and prior to that was a Feature Story Analyst for Netflix as part of its Independent Original Film Division, and his job revolves around evaluating screenplay submissions and deciding which ones to pass up to the executives to consider. Prior to his roles at Amazon and Netflix, Michael spent nearly a decade in the story department at CAA where he found projects for CAA clients. Over his storied career, Michael also served as an agent at ICM’s Motion Picture Literary Department and held numerous studio creative executive positions at Orion, TriStar, and Disney where he worked to develop film and television projects with some of the top talent in the industry. Michael is very familiar with what it takes for a script to find its way to decisionmakers since this has been a key feature of his job for over a decade. Exclusively for Stage 32, Michael will reveal how streamers evaluate and identify feature film submissions and specifically what the initial readers look for before sending a script along to decisionmakers. He will give you an overall look at the steps a film takes to getting greenlit at a streamer and lay out who exactly these readers are that will be evaluating your script at the beginning. He’ll also show you what these readers are trained to look for and how they know “it” when they see it. Michael will also explain the importance of packaging during this phase and how streamers’ “algorithms” really work. Through Michael’s honest, comprehensive, and in-depth discussion of this often-secretive side of streaming platforms, you’ll be able to leave with a much clearer idea of how to get your own script the best shot of being selected at Netflix or other streamers. Note: This webinar focuses on streamers' reading and evaluation process after a screenplay has been submitted, and focuses less on the actual submission process. Keep in mind that submitting your project to Netflix and other streaming giants is, by design, difficult and often requires an agent or manager that is already connected with the platform, or to go through production companies or studios that already have a development deal in place. For more information on how to reach managers or production companies, check out some of the on demand webinars below! How to Get Pitch Meetings For Your Project How to Find and Choose the Right Screenwriting Manager for Your Career How to Identify, Secure and Build a Relationship with a Great Producer for Your Film Project - with Case Studies
**Learn the art of TV joke writing from long time TV comedy writer Kirill Baru and participate in an actual episode punch up room, working to improve scenes from a notable TV comedy.** Jokes don’t just come out of nowhere, and their success is completely reliant on the medium. Things that are funny in conversation or in front of an audience might not be funny on a television show. This is why being “naturally funny” just isn’t enough to make a funny series with great jokes. It takes an understanding of the medium and insight into the types of jokes that work on television. It also usually takes a team of people in a punch up room setting, utilizing multiple perspectives and senses of humor to arrive at the best joke for each situation. Understanding how to find the best jokes in an episode script and learning how to operate successfully in a punch up room setting will help make your own comedy pilot funnier and can give you the tools to be a more desirable member of any TV comedy writers room. Kirill Baru is a sitcom writer and executive producer who has staffed on and sold a variety of live-action and animated comedy shows like Freeform’s BABY DADDY and the critically acclaimed animated show DAN VS. on the HUB. He’s also written and produced several comedies in the kids space, from Disney’s SYDNEY TO THE MAX to Cartoon Network’s MAD: THE ANIMATED SERIES. When Kirill isn’t staffing on shows, he’s developing projects with networks such as Disney and Netflix. He attributes his career to writing comedy that finds a way to have a lot of edge without ever losing any of its heart. Kirill is very familiar with punching up TV scripts, finding ways to make them funnier and finding success in a TV punch up room. In this special extended workshop, Kirill will teach you how to craft effective jokes for any TV comedy. He’ll break down where good jokes come from and the elements needed to make a joke work. Kirill will also lay out the main types of TV jokes you can draw from and walk you through important comedy terminology that’s used in every writers’ room and punch up room. He’ll also go through how to make jokes work with an eye towards scene construction and explain what makes a great punch up room for any TV comedy. Kirill will then lead a TV comedy punch up room, similar to how real TV comedies run them. Everyone who signs up will be able to participate in this room and work with the group to add jokes, fill in pitches, and create alt docs for two scenes of an episode of an actual notable TV comedy. Kirill will provide feedback and analysis or all of the joke pitches. If you’re interested in breaking into TV comedy, it’s so important that you know how to craft great jokes in this specific medium. This workshop is the perfect way to help you get there. Praise for Kirill's Previous Workshop "The workshop was awesome! Going through this workshop and seeing the end result produced by our team of writers (classmates), not only shed light into how the sausage is made, but also showed me that this is something I can actually do. Well worth the investment!" -Kane B. "Kirill's workshop was a great experience. He's a natural teacher, professional, insightful, and encouraging. It was not only educational but practical, allowing the attendees to punch up an actual script as if in the writer's room, followed by him, putting on his showrunner hat and reviewing what had been created by the group. I would highly recommend anyone interested in working as a professional writer, with dreams of being in the writer's room to attend one of his classes." -Dave W. "This was the best online class tv writing class I’ve ever taken. There is only so much the brain can grasp and retain in a lecture format. Kirill did an amazing job structuring the class and providing an in the moment experience — the best way to learn. Thank you." -Barbara G.
2 part class taught by Jessica Sitomer, writer, producer and entertainment career coach! AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! Everyone says, “It’s all about who you know”. But when you're an introvert, this is A LOT easier said than done. If meeting new people isn't your forte, and if the idea of approaching someone you don't know gives you anxiety, you can feel at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to finding opportunities. The problem is, though, the less you network, the more challenging it can become, which leads to you networking less, and the vicious cycle takes over. Even in today's world where networking has turned virtual, this can still be incredibly daunting for anyone who isn't extroverted. In reality, no one likes networking, but it is a necessity in this industry. If you are going to get ahead you need to connect with people. The best resume and cover letter in the world can't compete with good old-fashioned human connection, and you will be hard-pressed to find anyone successful in the film and television industry who didn't find a break by meeting and getting to know the right people. But how do you start a conversation? And how do you know you're saying the right thing?? It can seem scary, but it's absolutely achievable, and even for the most introverted among us, there are strategies and exercises to help take away the fear and allow you to network. Let us help. Industry veteran Jessica Sitomer has over 20 years in the industry as a development executive, producer, writer and career coach for the Cinematographers Guild. Through the years she has perfected the art of relationship building - helping creatives grow their networks from one to two people to hundreds to thousands. When she moved to Los Angeles, she knew two people and one of them moved the day after she got to LA. She made it her mission to learn how to survive and thrive in the creative industry. And survive and thrive she has. Not only is Jessica's network huge, but she has also written three best-selling books on the subject of networking and relationship building, And… Action! Powerful, Proven, and Proactive Strategies to Achieve Success in the Entertainment Industry, The Greenlight Coach and You Got This: For Those Who Work Hard and Play Hard - How to go From Burnout to Bliss. In this exclusive two-part class, Jessica will teach you ideal strategies for various networking situations, both physical and virtual, as well as how to develop a clear follow up plan so your networking pays off. Jessica has geared her presentation specifically to introverts and those of us who face anxiety and fear when meeting new people. In the first class, Jessica will discuss the obstacles of networking and how to overcome them. She will cover the do's and don'ts for introverts, how to network when you “don't like people”, how to network when you don't have the time and more. In the second session, Jessica will run through actual conversation and icebreaking scripts to help you craft conversations that will make you look great. She will also cover how to turn those conversations into relationships that you can maintain and how to follow up in your networking to make sure it pays off. Lastly, she will teach you how to maximize a networking opportunity when you're an introvert, and how to read non-verbal clues in social interactions. Praise for Jessica's Stage 32 Class "I thought that Jessica was wonderfully engaging and answered all the questions fully with great insight. I also feel more confident because of how confident she is. I will be recommending her to all my friends!" – J. Gaffney "Great to know HOW to network. Loved the personal stories and hadn't thought of that. Gave me the courage to contact a producer that I'd worked with before and in the conversation he told me he had some story ideas that were right up my alley. We'll see if it works out. Thanks much!" – D. Meyer "Great personality! Made us feel like you were really there to help! Thanks so much!" – D. Levy "I really appreciated all of the advice and the passion in the delivery. I hope to take it to heart and use it to help me succeed". – T. Scharf Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Jessica is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!
Writing a film for television has a ‘unique set of skills’ which are different from writing a traditional screenplay. If you never learn how to write for the BOOM!, act break structure, number of locations, and characters, you’ll get stuck in re-writing hell or worse yet, never have your script read. Understanding script structure, outlining, and deliverables for television films prior to writing will give you a leg up on the competition. Additionally, each network has its own set of rules and you want to ask the right questions prior to typing ‘Fade In’. With more television networks producing their own content and films, the need for content is higher than ever. However, TV films have their own structure and layout, especially when dealing with networks that have commercial breaks. Additionally, working with producers and executives is a different animal than working with producers and executives in the independent world. Courtney Miller Jr. is a 5-time award winning director who has worked with the biggest names in entertainment including Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Usher, and Britney Spears. He's a staff writer for the hit show Saints & Sinners on Bounce TV and recently completed his first feature film A Stone Cold Christmas for Bounce TV, where he served as the co-writer and director. Courtney has development deals with TBS, Lionsgate, MGM, Legendary, Weed Road, Viola Davis' company Juvee, Bounce TV, and Will Packer. His award winning short film REPAIRations! - The Musical, received the Director's Choice Diversity in Cannes Best Musical. He has directed commercials for Nike, Apple & Hewlett Packard. He knows the television writing and directing landscape inside and out and he's ready to share his knowledge with you. Courtney will dive in by explaining all the differences between writing a TV and a traditional film screenplay. He will discuss how to format acts, how to be sensitive to the shooting schedule, what you can expect regarding deadlines and delivery dates and how to navigate dealing with the network. From there, Courtney will take you to the greenlit phase where you'll need to know what deliverables you are responsible for, how much time you'll be given to deliver your rewrite, and how to handle network notes (there will be plenty). Courtney will then jump into the writing process including how to write for the BOOM!, how many acts you need to have in your script (and if that varies) and the importance of writing a compelling and attention grabbing Act 1. Going even deeper, Courtney will discuss beat sheets, how many beats you need to add, and what your overall beat sheet should look like. And finally, Courtney will explain how to write an outline that keeps the execs happy and off your back so you can go do what you do best...write! "Another winner for Stage 32. I have many scripts I thought would be a better fit for television and now I know how to get it done!" - Fiona C. "I'm ready to write for the BOOM! Thanks, Courtney!" - Miguel P. "It's always been a dream of mine to have something on the Hallmark channel. Now I have the framework and I'm ready to start writing." Melissa H. "Couldn't have been any better. Great detail!" - Ida W.