Marty Lang is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist and teacher with 14 years experience in independent filmmaking. His feature writing/directing debut, Rising Star, won Best Premiere at the 2012 Seattle True Independent Film Festival, is being distributed worldwide by Content Film, and can be purchased on Amazon.com. His producing credits include Rising Star, the 2014 IFP Labs selection Out Of My Hand, and the mockumentary Being Michael Madsen, starring Michael Madsen, Virginia Madsen and David Carradine. His location manager credits include The Haunting Of Amelia, starring Brendan Fehr and Tania Raymonde, and Goats, starring David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga and Dakota Johnson. And his documentary directing debut, Where They Turn, about Connecticut military veterans and their search for assistance, was released in 2014, made possible by a grant from the Paul Newman Foundation. Lang has worked extensively in film education. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Film, Video and Interactive Media at Quinnipiac University, and has worked as the Educational Director for the Connecticut Film Festival. He also created the Connecticut Film Industry Training Program, a nationally-recognized workforce development initiative that taught Connecticut residents to work in below-the-line crew positions on films and television shows. He has also written extensively on filmmaking and the entertainment industry, with his work appearing in the New York Times, Filmmaker Magazine, Script Magazine, and Film Courage. Lang has an MFA in Film Production from the Florida State University Graduate Film Conservatory, and a BA in Journalism from the University of Connecticut Full Bio »
Making an independent film is hard, no matter where you're doing it. But there's great news – no matter where you film, there are treasure troves of resources available to you, if you know where to look. In any community, there are people, government agencies, and organizations that are looking to help people just like you. The smart filmmaker will find them, engage them, and work with them to create a much better film than they had, at first, imagined.
This type of filmmaking is called place-based filmmaking, and it can be done in any big city, small town, county or state. If you think about how to engage your local community from the moment you start thinking about your film, you will be able to better capture the authenticity of where you are in your work, as well as open yourself up to resources you may not have had before.
Marty Lang is a an award winning producer of over 20 films, best known for his feature romantic dramedy, Rising Star, in which he implemented place-based filmmaking and engaged his community’s resources from production to distribution. This film went on to win awards at various film festivals and was featured in Filmmaker Magazine, Film Threat and Film Courage.
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Marty will teach you how to create a successful place-based film. Using examples of place-based filmmaking from his own resume, Marty will show you how place-based filmmaking will help you develop your story more organically, and how it will help you solve many problems before you even get into production.
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Budgets, Cash Flows and Cost Reports, oh my! Have you ever looked at one of these documents and just seen numbers? Have you ever tried to fill out tax incentive pre-qualification form and been overwhelmed? All of these things can be confusing for any filmmaker, whether you're a seasoned veteran or doing them for the first time. They are documents every project uses but most people don’t know how to read them, never mind make them. We're here to help make this easier for you as a filmmaker. Stage 32 is thrilled to bring you the previously-recorded 2 part class: Navigating a Film's Financials: Budget, Cash Flows & Cost Reports taught by award-winning line producer, Maura Anderson. Maura takes you in depth on the financial side of a film; learn how to create a budget and cash flow, navigate cost reports, accounting, tax incentives and more! Maura Anderson production managed Academy Award nominated Winter’s Bone, Sundance nominated On The Ice, Max Winkler's Ceremony starring Uma Thurman, Night Catches Us in competition at Sundance, produced The Innocent Man and Ada Twist, Scientist on Netflix and The Most Dangerous Animal of All on Netflix. PRAISE FOR MAURA'S TEACHINGS: "It's obvious that she is an experienced and working UPM/Producer. She is a great blend of knowledge and approachability! I really appreciated that she always presented with honesty and sincerity without ever once "bs-ing" Thanks Stage 32, you provided a real pro!” – Michael S. "Terrific! Very informative. Could never have learned this from reading a book. Thanks so much! Will recommend this to others.” – Sherrie S. "Clear and pointed information. A great validation for all the line producers out there. I loved your comment about being a working member of the team and setting the tone for being approachable and a solution-oriented individual. Thank you so much. – Vicky B. "Thanks for a very interesting presentation. It was clearly quite comprehensive and pointed me to things I would likely have forgotten (to my peril). – Daz K.
Learn the fundamental elements you need to incorporate into your horror feature film screenplay to make it attractive to producers, studios, financiers, streamers, and talent from Sean Keller, a screenwriter who has worked with Blumhouse, Hulu, Lionsgate, and more! Plus! You'll receive the scripts for ALL THAT WE DESTROY and John Carpenter's L.A. GOTHIC! Every Horror film you’ve ever seen starts out as a well-crafted and structured screenplay. This means people are going to have to read your script and decide whether or not it’s worth the time and money to turn it into a movie. You may have tons of great horror set pieces you can’t wait to terrify audiences with but unless your screenplay is compelling and maintains the reader’s interest, your script may never progress into a movie on the screen. The first priority of any writer, horror or otherwise, is storytelling. Before you make a great horror film, you’ll need a well-crafted horror screenplay. Horror movies are not just about terrifying the audience - most importantly they are about telling a story. The story is what makes us care about the characters and the hell they are about to go through. You could have the most original scares imaginable, but if we don’t care about the story and characters then we won’t care about what happens during your horror set pieces. Without elements of structure, character development, tone, and theme a producer may stop reading your screenplay, making it highly unlikely they’ll be interested in making your film. In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, you will learn the fundamentals of how to develop and write (or rewrite) your horror feature film screenplay so that it can get the attention of producers, studios, and reps. Teaching you everything you need to know about writing your horror script is Sean Keller, a professional screenwriter and script doctor who has worked for Blumhouse, ABC, Lionsgate, as well as numerous independent production companies. Sean began working in the entertainment industry as an actor (Roger in 1st National Tour of RENT) before turning to screenwriting and his first love, horror. Sean has written for legendary horror directors Dario Argento (GIALLO) , John Carpenter (THE WARD) and Chelsea Stardust (ALL THAT WE DESTROY) and stars such as Nicolas Cage, Danny Glover, and Adrien Brody. Through his own experiences writing and producing horror films as well as fixing other writers’ scripts and teaching screenwriting and production to countless students and aspiring filmmakers, Sean has a keen sense of what makes a script successful in the horror genre and will be sharing what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Sean will walk you through everything you need to know to make your horror screenplay attractive to producers, investors, distributors, and talent including the current trends in the horror genre and market, how the business of horror writing works, how to best develop the characters in your horror screenplay, how to properly structure your horror feature film screenplay for maximum effect, and so much more. ***Sean will also teach you what you can do after completing your script to get your movie made and further your career as a screenwriter.*** PLUS! You'll receive exclusive handouts to help on your horror writing journey. Downloads include the scripts for: ALL THAT WE DESTROY (Blumhouse/Hulu) John Carpenter's un-produced film L.A. GOTHIC
Learn From An Entertainment Attorney Whose Done Deals With ABC, NBC, HBO, Bravo and more! In an industry built on storytelling there’s nothing more valuable than ideas. A good idea or good story can take you far in Hollywood, but it also makes you vulnerable. From Avatar to Empire, hundreds of films and television shows have been faced with infringement and idea theft lawsuits over the years. While the film and television industry can be an exciting and supportive place, this is not always the case and it’s more common than it should be for writers’ ideas or stories to be stolen. Without the proper protection and forethought, this can leave creatives at risk. As the saying goes, it’s a jungle out there, and the risk of having your ideas stolen is unfortunately always a possibility, as is the possibility of being accused of doing this yourself. It’s important to always be vigilant and aware of these dangers. Yet this does not mean it’s open season on creators. Whether you’re concerned about having your idea stolen or facing lawsuits of your own, there are important steps you must take to ensure you and your intellectual property remain protected. There will always be a risk of being taken advantage of, but better understanding the dangers as well as how to protect and copyright your work will put you in a much safer and more secure position. Jaia Thomas is an entertainment attorney with over ten years of legal experience who has brokered deals with companies like ABC, NBC, HBO, and Bravo and has been quoted as a legal expert in such publications as The New York Times, USA Today and ESPN. Jaia regularly assists clients with transactional and intellectual property matters and counsels filmmakers and producers on all aspects of film financing, production and distribution. She also regularly assists content creators with federal copyright registration and licensing and has had several works published in the American Bar Association, National Bar Association and multiple law journals. Through her many years specializing in federal copyright registration and licensing, Jaia has become an expert on how creators can keep their projects safe, and is ready to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Drawing from her many years of legal experience successfully assisting filmmakers with transactional and intellectual property matters Jaia will provide you with all the legal tools necessary to protect any and every type of script and screenplay. She will begin by discussing copyright registration. She’ll explain how to register a script with the US copyright office and explain the legal advantages of doing this. She’ll also debunk common misconceptions such as the “Poor Man’s Copyright”. Next she will explain what goes into Writers Guild registration. She’ll outline how to register a script, idea or outline with the Guild and explain the legal advantages and disadvantages of doing so. She’ll also delve into the key distinctions between registering with the US Copyright Office and Writers Guild. Jaia will then go over idea protection and theft. She’ll teach you how to protect a television show or reality show in its idea form and will outline the legal requirements for filing an idea theft claim in New York and California. She’ll even go through a case study of the seminal idea theft court case Desny V. Wilder from 1956. Finally Jaia will provide you with additional precautionary measures you can take in protecting yourself, including mobile apps, digital watermarks, confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements. Expect to leave knowing exactly how to protect your current and future ideas, scripts and projects. Praise for Jaia's Stage 32 Webinar: "Highly informative. Thank you Jaia Thomas!" -Patrick D. "Great webinar with invaluable tips and advice. Great presentation and presenter. Very pleased and satisfied." -Robert F
STAGE 32's HALLOWEEN HORROR SALE! The third act of your horror movie should be an electrifying climax, delivering visceral and emotional punches and paying off all your sneaky set ups. It should thrill your audience and represent their reward for sitting through—very possibly—a lot of pain, suffering, and gross stuff. Unfortunately, too many horror screenplays fail to deliver. It’s a problem across the genre: filmmakers work hard on the set-up of their narrative ye it all falls apart in the third act of the script. If you want your horror screenplay to stand out from the crowd, then it’s time to learn how to craft an original and compelling ending that leaves your reader breathless and wanting more. It’s easy to write a creepy first act for a horror movie. A mysterious and/or bloody teaser at the top, the entry of a vulnerable protagonist into a danger zone, a few genre tropes like unresolved past traumas, dying cell phones, a gathering storm, and grizzled locals warning the main characters to “stay away” — it practically writes itself. That’s why there are a lot of horror screenplays out there with intriguing first acts. However, by the time many screenwriters get to the third act they have —literally— lost the plot. In order to write a good ending you have to know the genre, acknowledge the tropes, and understand some of the psychological mechanisms that drive human fear. Also, you may have to rethink that suspiciously easy-to-write opening. Let's explore how to make this happen. Karina Wilson is an independent story and development consultant with a specific focus in horror who has worked on many films including SECRET IN THEIR EYES with Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts, 13 SINS, and THE CIRCLE with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. As a story consultant, Karina has helped to shape narratives in every genre, from independent documentaries to Netflix animated series. Previously the in-house story consultant at IM Global, she is currently developing a series of Thrillers for British TV. Karina is considered an expert in the horror genre and her analysis of horror trends through the decades has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, on NPR, in medical textbooks and in documentaries alongside luminaries such as Jason Blum, Joe Dante, and Andy Muschietti. Karina is also the lead screenplay judge for niche indie horror festival, Shriekfest, and has been picking winners for them since 2007. Along with Rob Zombie, John Carpenter, Sid Haig, Tom Savini and many others, Karina can currently be seen on screen discussing horror in the documentary THE HISTORY OF METAL AND HORROR, doing the rounds of film festivals this fall. Exclusively for Stage 32, Karina will teach you the elements of a successful horror film ending and what you can do to make sure your own horror project has an effective and memorable third act. She’ll begin by explaining how to see your screenplay through the lens of audience expectations before going over the main types of horror endings seen in feature films. She’ll delve into upping up your story stakes and show you how to find a resolution that makes sense. Karina will also discuss how you should be reworking your first and second act in order for the third act to work better. Karina will accompany her slew of tools and strategies with notable case studies and examples of notable horror films. If you’ve been struggling to find an ending to your horror film, if you’re looking for a way to tie everything up, or if you need a way to make your script better stand out and get attention with reps, producers and execs, you’re going to want to hear what Karina has to say.
Stage 32 is extremely excited to exclusively present They Said "No" - Why Did They Pass on My Material taught by Dan Wiedenhaupt, former Creative Executive of Atlas Entertainment (WONDER WOMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE, SUICIDE SQUAD, AMERICAN HUSTLE, THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY) Many filmmakers and writers look forward to that exciting moment when they get their work in front of executives. Once in front of an executive, it's exhilarating waiting for the decision makers to view a reel, hear a pitch, or read a script. Then, when the call comes and the decision has been made, sometimes it's a "pass" or "no" and the only question left on a filmmaker or writer's mind is "Why?" Why did they pass on my material? Says Dan, "After reading thousands of scripts and hearing hundreds of pitches, I found that there are many common problems and red flags in scripts and presentations that nearly everyone makes - problems which will immediately make me, or another executive, pass on the script or idea. This is something that affects every single director or writer at any stage of the process - whether you're a first-time filmmaker or a Hollywood veteran. I have spent several years working in all aspects of film, television, and commercials - from both a physical production and development angle. I've seen the best of the best and I've seen some of the worst. After this time of cultivating my taste and my thick skin, I'm ready to pay the wisdom forward. I will be brutal, direct and to the point, and hopefully a little funny, pulling back the curtain of the development process." Dan will teach you why you are not receiving the response you are looking for from your film or screenplay pitch and how to fix those issues immediately. He will show you the do's and don'ts related to introductions and openings of a pitch or submission. He will teach you the red flags within your pitch including your story, presentation and personality. He will dive into what execs are looking for, how to assure you're tailoring your pitch to who you're pitching and navigating the "Culture of No" (and giving them a reason to say "Yes".) Dan will even show you examples of pitches he's passed on and pitches that had him begging for more. That's just some of what Dan will tackle, and rest assured, he'll leave you not only with a wealth of actionable information, but a ton of inspiration as well! Please note Dan elected to not to not be on camera, but you will see his full presentation. Dan will explain to you exactly what it looks (and sounds) like from an executive's side of the table. He'll give you the tips and tricks to assure that your film or screenplay pitch is on point and attractive to representation, buyers, producers, financiers and development execs. PRAISE FOR DAN'S TEACHINGS: "There's nothing like learning at the feet of an expert in their field. I was inspired from the beginning to the end!" -Marla O. "There's nothing worse than being rejected. Except now understanding WHY I've been rejected. Thank you, Dan, for making me see the error of my ways and helping me course correct." - Terry G. "Worth 10 times the price. Gold." - Thom P. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but thanks to Dan, I can't wait to pitch. What was pure horror in my mind has now turned to an abundance of hope."- Tasha P.
Nowadays many independent film and TV productions that have multiple parties involved are looking for the best way to recoup profits on a completed project. One of the best ways to assure the parties involved with your film (producers, investors, financiers, sales agents and talent) see their returns is to have a collection account in place. A collection account is an account in the name of a neutral third party who receives revenues generated by an independent film or TV project on behalf of the multiple beneficiaries from local distributors. This process is called collection account management and is an effective tool to guarantee that the beneficiaries receive their share of the revenues. The beneficiaries include producers, investors, financiers, sales agents and talent. Often times financiers, production partners and international sales agents put a collection account up as a requirement before even boarding project. During this webinar we will explain the functions and benefits of having a collection account in place for an independent film or TV project, how collection account management is set up and which parties should be involved in the entire process. We will further discuss the allocation and distribution of revenues, how to put together the Recoupment Schedule, and the importance of signing, or being a beneficiary to, the Collection Account Management Agreement.