Drawn to the business from an early age, Shaun got his first film industry job as a set PA after sneaking onto the Universal Studios lot at age 17 after reading the infamous tale of Steven Spielberg having done the same. Though he didn’t get signed to a contract, after only three months of daily lot sneaks, he was offered a permanent job on the Spielberg production of SEAQUEST, DSV, where he worked for the series’ first season. From there, he segued into feature films (including two with Spielberg himself!) and never looked back. Eventually, he began to seek work as a Personal Assistant. The career change proved a wise step and he soon found himself working for (and with) some of the industry’s most well-known and well- respected talent in front of and behind the camera, including Courteney Cox and David Arquette, Academy Award winner Christopher Walken, Jack Black, Ben Stiller and acclaimed directors Joe Wright, Judd Apatow and Academy Award Nominee Peter Hedges. O’Banion soon began producing his own projects when he formed Ravenwood Films, first partnering with Desert Skye Entertainment to produce DAKOTA SKYE. DAKOTA SKYE became a festival hit, picking up more than 7 top awards at festivals across North America. The film was picked up by E1 Entertainment following its successful festival run and is now available for purchase through all major retailers. The film was in the Top 100 most viewed on Netflix Instant for nearly 5 years with 80% positive reviews and has aired on Showtime, Time-Warner On-Demand and Comcast. The film is also a regular topic of discussion among teen girls on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. Following the success of DAKOTA SKYE, O’Banion partnered with The Wayne/Lauren Film Company to produce GIRLFRIEND. The film made its World Premiere at the 2010 TorontoInternational Film Festival where it landed in the trades for being one of 13 films sold in the first week! GIRLFRIEND went on to collect a handful of awards for Best Feature, Best Director and Audience Awards at various Festivals around the world as well as winning a prestigious 2011 IFP GOTHAM AWARD. The film saw a limited theatrical release in 2011 and debuted on DVD and VOD in the fourth quarter of 2012 from Strand Releasing. Last year, he co-produced THE AUTOMATIC HATE, which reunited him with writer/director Justin Lerner (GIRLFRIEND) and teamed him with Academy Award-nominated producer AlixMadigan (WINTER’S BONE). The film, currently in post, is set to debut on the festival circuit in 2015, and stars Joseph Cross (LINCOLN, MILK), Adelaide Clemens (THE GREAT GATSBY, IFC’s Rectify), Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood), Richard Schiff (MAN OF STEEL, The West Wing) and Ricky Jay (BOOGIE NIGHTS, HEIST). In addition to films, Shaun has produced national commercials for Pepsi, EA Sports, Chevrolet and a live event for The White House - Office of the First Lady. He has also directed a variety of short films and music videos. Shaun is a member of the Producers Guild of America and has several films in development. Full Bio »
Learn directly from Shaun O’Banion, an award-winning independent producer!
As a producer, post-production is a part of the process you’re rarely involved in from day-to-day, and yet it is one of the most integral parts of the filmmaking process (if not the most important). A lot of questions can be asked from a filmmaker like how to shape the film, how to define roles in post, what to do with VFX, how to handle the footage you have and ultimately how to develop a great film after it’s been shot. It’s not easy to do and it takes a lot of practice and experience to perfect.
We will discuss the pieces that make up the whole, from assessing the relationships in the edit suite, to bringing all of the elements together and how it all happens. From the technical to the emotional, this webinar will attempt to demystify the process in a way for you to easily understand what to do to “find the film” in post.
Post Production: Finding the Film is presented by 20 year industry veteran, Shaun O’Banion, who has worked with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Christopher Walken, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Judd Apatow and Peter Hedges. He has won numerous awards for his films, including the prestigious IFP GOTHAM Award for GIRLFRIEND.
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.
Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.
Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer
Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.
Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
"Thanks for the wonderful class. A phrase comes to mind when I think about it: 'Tell it like it is'. You directly shared what it is like in the industry. I don't know how others in the class are affected, but I am left with the motivation and recognition that one must love - have a passion for creating films to be in the industry - as it should be. So, your effort is an inspiration. You are someone who is 'following his bliss' as Joseph Campbell would state it." - Don D.
"Thank you again for teaching a terrific filmmaking class! You have valuable practical real-world experience that is hard to find in theory based teaching today." - Rene S.
"There was so much information in your class that I think I’ll have to come back next session and take it all over again - gladly! Great class!" - Daniel T.
More and more, storytellers are being asked to present more than just a script when going out to investors or production companies. Whether you’re pitching a limited series, a feature, or even a doc, executives and investors want to have a sense of what your project will be, beyond just words on a page. What will it look like? What will it feel like? Execs want a visual representation of what the project is—even if you aren’t the director. For this reason, understanding how to put together an attractive pitch deck will give you a distinct advantage as a director, as a writer, as a producer, or as any creative in TV and film. There are people out there who are incredibly skilled with programs like Photoshop or Lightroom and, for those people, creating a pitch deck that will help sell their show can be a snap. But for the average person, these apps are daunting at best and, at worst, completely confusing and overwhelming. However you don’t need to spend hours learning how to use high-end software, and you certainly don’t have to put down a bunch of money for a designer. Anyone can create an amazing pitch deck with basic software and one or two simple apps on your phone. As long as you know the rules and best practices there really aren’t barriers to keep you from making a great looking pitch deck and getting that project sold. Shaun O'Banion is the founder of production company Ravenwood and works as a post production project coordinator on some of the industry's leading films in recent years including JOJO RABBIT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, THE AFTERMATH and OPHELIA. O’Banion produced DAKOTA SKYE which became a cult hit and remained in the Top 100 Most Viewed on Netflix. He produced GIRLFRIEND, the first film in North America to star an actor with Down Syndrome in the lead role. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, sold to Strand Releasing and won O’Banion an IFP Gotham Award. He joined the Producers Guild of America and co-produced THE AUTOMATIC HATE which made its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film was released theatrically by Film Movement. Through his career, Shaun has become well versed in positioning his projects for success and understanding the best ways to pitch and sell them, including creating knock-out pitch decks. He’s ready to share what he’s learned and empower even the most tech-illiterate members of the Stage 32 community. Shaun will teach you how to use basic software and apps to craft an attractive pitch deck on your own without having to hire a graphic designer. He’ll begin by going through the basics of what a pitch deck is, how they help get projects sold and what they normally look like. He will offer provide examples of effective pitch decks. Next, Shaun will delve into how you can create an effective pitch deck on your own without fancy tools. He’ll discuss getting set up and outline what you need, including the tools and software you should consider using. Next he will go over forming a plan for the pitch deck’s layout ahead of time and the ways to best organize and prepare before diving in. Then he will teach you how best to visually convey the tone of your project in your pitch deck and how to create a flow within it. Shaun will talk about choosing images for the pitch deck, where to find them and how to choose one over another. He will then go over choosing when to use words versus pictures and how to employ visual elements like fonts to break up your document for maximum impact. After teaching you what you need to know about designing a great pitch deck, Shaun will demonstrate it all by working with the registrants in creating a brand new pitch deck in real time, live and on-screen. He will specifically focus on creating with you a general image for the overall background, graphics for the title page, setting page, main character page, supporting character page, and episode page. Shaun will also provide registrants with a resource sheet outlining the tools and software he uses for his own pitch decks. After going through this exercise with Shaun, you’ll never need to hire a graphic designer again. Like what you heard from Shaun during this webcast? Send your script and speak to Shaun for an hour by clicking here. Praise for Shaun's Stage 32 Webinar: "Shaun O’Banion made creating a pitch deck seem downright easy and fun. Before today, I was absolutely dreading it as my skills with graphic design and editing are next to zero. Shaun was so generous with his time and stayed on for an entire extra hour to go over more and have the Q&A which was incredibly kind." -Margaret M. "Just fantastic. Could have spent the whole day in this!" -Dan G. "The best I've taken" -Timothy B. "Amazing detail about specific ways to use the technology and also very creatively inspiring. Loved the as you go, how to way of doing this! I was able to follow along and create my own document and experiment as he spoke!" -Katie B. Please note that this webinar will focus on the graphic visual elements of an effective pitch deck. To learn more about the content and storytelling that goes into a pitch deck, we recommend checking out Ewan Dunbar’s TV Series Pitch Deck Webinar.
Session 1: Initial Contact: Where do producers look for material? If you’re a producer, selecting the right writer for your story. Should you really sign up for those websites that claim to get your stuff read? What makes a producer decide to read your material? How to get past the measures designed to keep you on the outside. Repped vs unrepped. How many projects is a producer developing at any one time? How To Write To Get Read. What hooks a producer, development exec or reader and are those things different at different budget levels? Should you go ahead and write your $100 million dollar summer blockbuster? Writing to get it made now. Pre-existing material. Where you find it, how to get it. Coverage. Who’s reading? What are they looking for? How do they judge? Recorded Q&A with Shaun! Session 2: What is “development” really and how long can it take? From big budget films to indies, the time period can vary wildly. What are the factors? Is there a way to “beat the system” and ensure your film gets going? Building your relationship: Working with a producer or development exec. can be a stressful process. Learn how to navigate this so that you end up with the best version of your project. Fighting/Making up/Moving on. So you’ve hit a wall. They want more changes and you’re not willing to go there. How to move past the inevitable speed bumps and get going again. Is being replaced inevitable? You’ve been optioned/hired… Now what? Beginning to understand the dynamics of your new relationship. If you’re a writer, how to work with your new producer/partner to create the best result. If you’re a producer, how to navigate the process with your screenwriter. Differences between indie/big budget in terms of development Thinking in terms of production: While certainly not a “must” for writers, having some sense of what may go into crafting a single scene from a practical perspective can be of enormous value. Recorded Q&A with Shaun!
It’s no secret how profoundly the visual effects industry has taken over Hollywood. What was once relegated to only the biggest summer blockbusters and studio tentpoles has spread to virtually every wide release film, scores of TV shows, even web series and short form content. And with more avenues for VFX to be incorporated into projects, there is also a need for more VFX artists. A LOT more. As VFX continues to grow, innovate, and evolve, there hasn’t been a better time to venture into this field. Even still, this doesn’t mean breaking into VFX is ever easy. The truth is it has always been a challenge to break into VFX as a career. Being successful in this industry requires both artistic and technical wizardry, a combination that is hard for anyone to master. Not to mention the ever-present and ever-difficult obstacle of 'getting noticed.' With today's entertainment landscape so severely altered, there are additional challenges, but also new opportunities. Understanding how the VFX industry works today and how best to put yourself out there in a way that will make people take notice will aid you in taking the first step into this exciting, explosive field. Geoffrey Mark is a 25-year veteran of VFX who has worked on films and TV shows like SPIDERMAN 3, Joss Whedon’s fan favorite SERENITY, CW’s science fiction breakout THE 100 and the cultural phenomenon that is SHARKNADO. Now a frequent VFX team lead and supervisor on set, Geoffrey began his career on the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES cartoon in the 90s and broke into visual effects as a graphic designer and animator for the classic sci-fi cult hit BABYLON 5. Geoffrey has been hiring, training and supervising new VFX artists for decades, and is ready to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Using his deep knowledge and wealth of experience on this topic, Geoffrey will walk you through the pitfalls and opportunities that exist in the VFX industry today and give you tips and ideas on how to position yourself for success and make your dream of working in visual effects a reality. He will begin with a brief overview of VFX in film and television today and will give you a rundown of the two main branches within the industry. He’ll then break down the skills you need to begin a career in this field. Since it’s such a big and diverse field, Geoffrey will spend time outlining the many sub-fields and specialties within the VFX landscape and will give you strategies to help you figure out which of these will be the best fit for you. He will give you tips on how to find free education to continue learning and honing your craft and will show you how tutorials can sometimes be helpful, and at other times insufficient. Next Geoffrey will explain how to create your own reel as a tool to get noticed and hired in the industry. He’ll walk through how long the reel should be, what kind of content stands out the most, what content you should never include and how best to incorporate music. He’ll also give you tips on updating your reel as you go and how to alter your reel to better fit different job opportunities. He will also talk about how to actually get your reel out there once it’s complete, where the opportunities and listings can be found and the best ways to approach employers. He will then walk you through how to actually get the VFX job you’re after, including how to come across as hirable in a job interview. He’ll explain the three generally accepted skill levels employers are looking for and will show you how to determine which level you are currently at. Finally, Geoffrey will delve into how to actually deliver when you get the job. He’ll walk you through the overall landscape and pipeline, how to best work with the schedules you’re given, and strategies to work most successfully with both your lead and your supervisor. Through this webinar, you will gain a clear understanding of what the journey looks like to become successful in the field of VFX and learn strategies to better get you to that point.
Learn directly from Tatiana Kelly who has produced 12 independent films including Wristcutters: A Love Story and The Words (Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana), and The Procession. The barrier of entry for the micro-budget / DIY / indie filmmaker has never been lower, making the landscape of independent film more exciting than ever. With box office and VOD sales at an all time high and more distribution opportunities than ever, independent films are enjoying a resurgence. Throw into the mix that many studios and larger production companies are committed to producing numerous micro-budget films each year (see Paramount Insurge) and independent producers such as Jason Blum (Blumhouse) have made a living in the space, and the demand for films with micro-budgets has never been higher. Additionally, many creatives are taking matters into their own hands by making micro-budget films as a calling card for their talents. Some examples of micro-budget films include Napoleon Dynamite, Halloween, Clerks, The Blair Witch Project, Mad Max, Eraserhead, Open Water, Catfish, Saw, Once, Pi. Story and style win the day as a result of the passion and dedication put into micro-budget films. If you are a screenwriter, producer, filmmaker or any other creative that values control of your story and film and has decided to write, develop, shoot or distribute a film in the micro-budget space, this is the webinar for you.
Learn directly from Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom (Short Term 12, Louder Than Bombs, It Follows, Friends With Kids)! Film festivals. They are one of the best ways to network, market your film, get feedback from judges and audiences, and most importantly, get your work seen. Even better, winning awards at festivals can help you gain major recognition and momentum as a filmmaker. But, if you haven’t submitted a film or attended a festival before, it can be a daunting task to try to get your film into a major festival such as Sundance or South by Southwest. What festival do you choose? How do you submit your film? What happens once you make it into the festival? How soon should you be booking accommodation? Questions like these often prohibit filmmakers from entering the ever-important film festivals. But fear not – we’re here to give you a breakdown of the process of getting your film into a major festival, what to expect once you’re there, and how to give yourself the best chance of making a good impression. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom will guide you through the navigation of getting your film into a major festival. Amanda spent years heading up production and development at NYC production shingle Animal Kingdom. Having co-produced Destin Daniel Cretton’s film Short Term 12, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at SXSW 2013, as well as shepherding over 7 films into major festivals, Amanda knows the ins and outs of what it takes to get into a major film festival and what to do once you’re there.
Are you a screenwriter, producer, director, storyboard artist, animator, voiceover artist or composer interested in making animated films? Then you need to join us for this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft Webinar taught by Conrad Vernon, screenwriter, voice actor, director and producer of some of the highest grossing animated films of the last 20 years including the Oscar-nominated SHREK 2 and BOSS BABY in addition to SAUSAGE PARTY, THE ADDAMS FAMILY and more! Animation is one of the hottest sectors in film, TV and digital content right now. From major film studios to independent production companies to networks, streaming platforms and digital online streaming platforms, animation is red hot. So, how can you stake your claim in this growing area of entertainment? By learning from one of the successful and brilliant creative minds working in the animation industry today, 25-year animation film veteran, Conrad Vernon! In what is sure to be the most comprehensive animation webinar anywhere in the world, Conrad will peel back the curtain and take you behind the scenes of his most recent film, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, to show you step-by-step how an idea went from script to storyboard to filming to screen. This is a never seen behind the scenes breakdown of Conrad's work process and includes a breakdown of how ALL departments work in bringing an animated project to the masses. If you work in animation, always wanted to work in animation, or have wondered how the sausage (party) is made, this is the webinar for you! This webinar is exclusive to Stage 32 members only. Conrad will be sharing and teaching from his private script pages and storyboards. Here are just a few!