Key Steps to Take During Pre-Production: Case Studies From the Trenches

Hosted by Doug Curtis

$39 $49

Sale ends Nov 30 - 11:59 PM PST

On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$39.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Stage 32 Next Level Education has a 97% user satisfaction rate.

Projects:

Doug Curtis

Webinar hosted by: Doug Curtis

Freddy vs. Jason, Shark Night, Cellular, Shoot 'Em Up

Doug recently served as Line Producer and Production Manager overseeing extensive re-shoots on IM Global's "Fifty Shades of Black". Curtis also served as Executive Producer and Unit Production Manager on Relativity Media's "Shark Night". He was also Executive Producer on a number of New Line Cinema Feature films including: "Shoot 'Em Up", "Cellular", "Freddy vs. Jason", "Friday After Next", "All About the Benjamins" and "Next Friday". Douglas Curtis' extensive career in the entertainment industry covers a wide variety of genres ranging from science fiction to horror to comedy to action films. Curtis was co-producer and Unit Production Manager on Zide-Perry Entertainment's "Repli-Kate", MTV/Paramount Pictures,' "The Wood" and HBO's "Shadow of Doubt". He also worked as a co-producer/Line Producer on Paramount Picture's "Save the Last Dance". As a producer, his credits include MGM/Rysher Entertainment's "The Eighteenth Angel", "Gunfighters Moon" and "Judicial Consent". For Trimark Entertainment Curtis produced "The Philadelphia Experiment II". For New World Pictures he produced "The Philadelphia Experiment", "Black Moon Rising" and "Nice Girls Don't Explode". He both produced and directed "The Sleeping Car" and "The Hazing". He has also served as 2nd unit director on a number of his films including "Black Moon Rising" and "Judicial Consent". Among Curtis' other credits are "Madame Claude 2", "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" and "Take This Job and Shove It on which he served as a production supervisor for Avco Embassy Pictures. Curtis currently serves as CEO-Founder of Quarter Town Films (QTF) a Los Angeles based development and production company where he is developing a number of feature film projects including "The Money Cave", a family film, in the vein of Goonies and Stand by Me, which was written by and will be directed by Thomas Koveleskie, his partner at QTF. Born in Dodge City, Kansas, Curtis graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Theater and Film. He began his career in TV commercials where he produced and directed nearly 200 national and regional commercials and a number of award winning documentaries and corporate image films. In 1992 Curtis formed Prelude Pictures, a joint venture with Neufeld-Rheme Production in association with Paramount Pictures, where he developed a wide slate of feature films including New Line Cinema's "Lost In Space". Curtis also has a consulting website; dougcurtisfilmconsultant.com, through which he consults on a wide variety of feature film related issues including; budgeting, scheduling, film incentives, locations, unions and guilds (SAG, DGA, WGA and IATSE) and many more. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Doug Curtis can boast that the films he's been involved with have earned nearly a half billion dollars at the global box office.

Over the past 20 years, Doug has had a hand as a director, producer or line producer in over two dozen features (including Save the Last Dance, Freddy vs. Jason, Next Friday, Cellular, Shoot em Up and Sorority Row) and over 200 commercials. Think about that. He's been on the set of over 250 projects! Needless to say he's learned a thing or two. And now he's thrilled, as are we, to pass his extensive knowledge on to you in this exclusive Stage 32 Webinar.

Doug is a firm believer that the success or failure of any film is mostly tied to actions taken during pre-production. From properly budgeting, pulling together a reasonable, yet tight production schedule, hiring the best crew and other tips, tricks and golden rules he's amassed through the last 2 decades, Doug will teach you everything you need to know to assure your production runs smoothly from start to wrap.

Doug has worked on the studio level (Paramount, Fox), with the independents (New World, New Line) and even with the premium networks (HBO), so no matter what kind of material you are working with, no matter what budget, no matter what targets you're positioning yourself to hit, Doug will have you ready and armed to head into battle.

What You'll Learn

Using case studies from a number of his films, you will learn the following:

  • Script – how I breakdown a script as illustrated through examples from many of my films; from The Hazing to Shoot em Up.
  • Schedule – how experience through making films hones your overview and knowledge of the scheduling process. How to break it down as I learned, through making films, and examples of what I leaned making each one of them
  • Budget – you’ll learn how to properly budget a film regardless of the size and scope of your film by learning how he budgets films and how that changed from the beginning of his career to the new films he’s developing now
  • Hiring your crew – you’ll learn why this is as important as anything else you will do during pre-production and production itself.
  • Pre-pre-production – all the critical decisions and actions you should exercise before you open an office for pre-production
  • Pre-Production – All the steps that have to be taken in the pre-production period if your film shoot is going to be successful

This webinar will include scenes from Doug’s films that he’s made throughout his career, as well as behind the scenes and all the documents you will need to know about before you start a film.

Case Study Filmography:

  • Calvin Productions - film job
  • The Hazing (retitled The Curious Case of the Campus Corpse) - first feature
  • Philadelphia Experiment - first studio film - New World Pictures
  • Black Moon Rising - 2nd studio film - New World Pictures
  • Nice Girls Don't Explode - first independent film but distributed by New World Pictures
  • Judicial Consent – film for HBO
  • Gunfighters Moon, The Eighteenth Angel, Shadow of Doubt - Rysher Production
  • The Wood - first big studio film - MTV/Paramount
  • Next Friday, All About the Benjamins, Friday After Next - first 3 New Line Cinema films
  • Freddy vs Jason - first big budget studio film - New Line Cinema
  • Cellular - 2nd big budget film - New Line Cinema
  • Shoot em Up - 3rd big budget film - New Line Cinema

 

About Your Instructor

Doug recently served as Line Producer and Production Manager overseeing extensive re-shoots on IM Global's "Fifty Shades of Black". Curtis also served as Executive Producer and Unit Production Manager on Relativity Media's "Shark Night". He was also Executive Producer on a number of New Line Cinema Feature films including: "Shoot 'Em Up", "Cellular", "Freddy vs. Jason", "Friday After Next", "All About the Benjamins" and "Next Friday".

Douglas Curtis' extensive career in the entertainment industry covers a wide variety of genres ranging from science fiction to horror to comedy to action films.

Curtis was co-producer and Unit Production Manager on Zide-Perry Entertainment's "Repli-Kate", MTV/Paramount Pictures,' "The Wood" and HBO's "Shadow of Doubt". He also worked as a co-producer/Line Producer on Paramount Picture's "Save the Last Dance". As a producer, his credits include MGM/Rysher Entertainment's "The Eighteenth Angel", "Gunfighters Moon" and "Judicial Consent". For Trimark Entertainment Curtis produced "The Philadelphia Experiment II". For New World Pictures he produced "The Philadelphia Experiment", "Black Moon Rising" and "Nice Girls Don't Explode". He both produced and directed "The Sleeping Car" and "The Hazing". He has also served as 2nd unit director on a number of his films including "Black Moon Rising" and "Judicial Consent". Among Curtis' other credits are "Madame Claude 2", "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" and "Take This Job and Shove It on which he served as a production supervisor for Avco Embassy Pictures. Curtis currently serves as CEO-Founder of Quarter Town Films (QTF) a Los Angeles based development and production company where he is developing a number of feature film projects including "The Money Cave", a family film, in the vein of Goonies and Stand by Me, which was written by and will be directed by Thomas Koveleskie, his partner at QTF.

Born in Dodge City, Kansas, Curtis graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Theater and Film. He began his career in TV commercials where he produced and directed nearly 200 national and regional commercials and a number of award winning documentaries and corporate image films. In 1992 Curtis formed Prelude Pictures, a joint venture with Neufeld-Rheme Production in association with Paramount Pictures, where he developed a wide slate of feature films including New Line Cinema's "Lost In Space".

Curtis also has a consulting website; dougcurtisfilmconsultant.com, through which he consults on a wide variety of feature film related issues including; budgeting, scheduling, film incentives, locations, unions and guilds (SAG, DGA, WGA and IATSE) and many more.

FAQs

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!

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Creative Distribution: How to Think Outside of A24 Picking Up Your Movie

Sure, A24 is a top tier distributor with a crazy success record over the last few years, but they only distribute a small number of films a year!With filmmaking success now more than ever in your hands, there are so many other avenues to pursue. While the channels of distribution have never been more diverse and accessible, the education for filmmakers of how to best utilize those channels is often hard to navigate. We're here to help that. Is theatrical or VOD your best bet? Will the film festival circuit help you? What can a distributor do for you? And how much money are indie films even making these days?? With so many different opportunities and new platforms arising constantly, how do you choose the best path for YOUR film? Equally bilingual in the language of cinema and the lexicon of sales, Mia offers her knowledge of distribution to help filmmakers navigate their opportunities in the marketplace by understanding the rules that exist and the ways they can be bent and supplemented. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level webinar you'll learn how to go from praying A24 will pick up your movie to learning to love creative distribution!

Writing for Animation - Features & TV

Animation offers screenwriters one of the most flexible mediums for the imagination. Animated stories have been capturing our minds ever since media hit the screen through characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny to what we see today in The Simpsons, American Dad, Bojack Horseman, Rick and Morty, Spider-man, Incredibles and (so many) more.  Writing animation feature or television requires a special skill - not one that can be taught through traditional feature & TV writing resources. The tools you need to succeed in animation are quite unique and once honed can offer you a long career creatively animating the stories in your mind. But, where do you begin? There are all different types of animated writing - including pre-school, children's comedy and adult animation. Further, how do you find your niche? There are many different animation genres (and styles) in features and television today. Is the writing universal for all genres? It takes a seasoned professional to understand the nuances of all types of animated writing and being able to write efficiently for the story and the project. Educating yourself in all aspects of how animation writing works for features and television will assist you greatly in achieving your goal whether it's attracting representation, trying to sell an original concept, pushing an animated feature or TV pilot, or finding work in an television animation writer's room. Mike Disa, director of the highly praised Netflix show Paradise PD has been working in animation for two decades. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success at studios such as Dreamworks, Disney Feature, Warner Brothers, Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney.  Mike will cover everything you need to know about writing animation for features & TV. He'll start with formatting and script length (two aspects surprisingly ignored or misunderstood by most writers). He'll discuss writing low budget vs. high budget and how to write within the scope of each. He will dive into how to write around special effects and other post production implementations. He will discuss reading and production drafts and how to collaborate with your writing and producing teams. He will talk premises, outlines, first draft strategies and how to go about pitching your idea. He will get into writer's room expectations, strategies in working the room, and the steps to take from being a show writer to a showrunner. Mike will use real world examples to show you the entire landscape of writing animated features and TV. And this is just some of what you'll learn!    This is 3 HOURS of comprehensive education from a director of a top animated Netflix show on how to write, sell, and build a career in writing feature AND television animation!   Praise for Mike:   "Mike Disa was amazingly generous with his time and information. And he was real. It doesn't get better than that. I'll be able to apply his insights and the information he shared immediately. I'm so glad I decided to participate." - Elizabeth A.   "Excellent webinar. I think that I learned more than I expected to about animation writing and how it relates to working in the industry. I had a good time watching this and appreciate how kind everyone was with their time." - Kari H.   "Mike was very informative. He was friendly and open very easy to listen to. I learned some valuable lessons.." - Lind J.   "The stories and ideas and descriptions were excellent. Straight talk from a true professional." - Don S.  

Anatomy of a Hollywood Movie Deal

Learn directly from Producer Mitchell Peck, who has produced 3 studio movies with worldwide distribution!  Hollywood is a global aspiration. This year, 80+ countries submitted films for Academy Awards consideration. And the number of aspiring screenwriters is growing every year thanks to websites like Stage 32, and others. Tech and resource barriers to entry for filmmakers are being lowered, with DSLR's, iPhones, online distribution, social media, etc. Financing is easier than ever before, thanks to options like Slated, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, etc. Filmmaking is finally a democratic medium. Yet, at the same time, Hollywood remains largely impenetrable -- and opaque -- to outsiders. Literary agencies, production companies and movie studios will not read "unsolicited submissions." Hollywood is an inefficient system; good material falls through the cracks all the time. For 20 years in Hollywood as a movie producer, Producer Mitchell Peck has specialized in identifying material (scripts, books, articles, life-rights, etc.) and aspiring screenwriters from outside the Hollywood system -- and successfully guiding them into Hollywood's best literary agencies, top management-production companies, and major movie studios. (Check out some of Mitchell’s success stories on his website below). Few producers can boast the same track-record of success as Mitchell on behalf of aspiring screenwriters. In this webinar, "Anatomy of a Hollywood Movie Deal: 7 Case Studies of Success with Producer Mitchell Peck” Mitchell will shed light on -- and hopefully demystify -- the process of successfully navigating the Hollywood marketplace by sharing highlights from seven (7) Hollywood movie deals in which he successfully guided aspiring screenwriters to top agency representation, script development deals, and-or produced studio movies with worldwide distribution.

NYC: Stage 32 + Raindance Saturday Film School - In Person Class

We all know that America is bursting with talented filmmakers. Are you an independent filmmaker, cinema or digital media student, D-I-Y filmmaker or videographer? Do you have great ideas, a few skills and few filmmaking friends? Maybe you can shoot a short movie, but can you finance one, find an audience to watch it, or promote and sell it? Raindance Film Festival Founder and social media maverick Elliot Grove comes to New York to bring a fresh look at breaking into the film industry to get your movie made and seen by others. Elliot has produced over 700 short films, 6 features and trained thousands of new and emerging filmmakers around the world. Discover how to use the Raindance method and social media to build audiences, source financing and screen films. CHARGE YOUR SMARTPHONES! Join @stage32 and @RaindanceNYC and #IndieFilmNYC for this information-packed one-day seminar. DOORS OPEN at 9:15 am.

How to Develop Your Film Festival Strategy and Choose the Right Festivals for Your Film

As an independent filmmaker, screening your project at a film festival may be the best opportunity to put your film (and yourself) on display. It remains a powerful platform for filmmakers of all levels to have their work seen. In fact you’d be hard-pressed to find a successful filmmaker working today who didn’t get their start at a festival. It’s where films get sold, where talent gets discovered, where reputations are crafted, where communities are built, and where the best networking can happen. And with the current movement away from the theatrical model and towards streaming, festivals can also often be the only possible way to physically show your film on the big screen to an audience during its life cycle. Film festivals are indeed often the next desired destination for a filmmaker, but it’s not always easy to get in, even with a great film. It can be disheartening after finishing a film and investing so much money and resources into it to realize there is still more money to be spent in going the festival route. The act of submitting to festivals can set you back hundreds, if not thousands of dollars simply through festivals’ submission fees. It’s probably going to add up no matter what, but it can set way pricier without a plan in place. It’s common for filmmakers ready with a film to more or less blindly submit to festivals: “Sundance? Check. Tribeca? Check. Cinequest? I heard that one was good, let’s do it.” Yet just because you’ve heard of a festival, just because it’s a legitimately great festival, doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your project, and it doesn’t your film is the right fit for them. Successfully navigating the festival landscape requires a lot more effort and a lot more time than just pressing that submit button. Yet doing the research, understanding your goals, and carefully building your strategy will not only yield more positive results, but will also save you money on unneeded submission fees in the long run. For nearly a decade Harrison Glaser has been immersed in the professional film industry working for Austin Film Festival and Stage 32. As Austin Film Festival’s Film Competition Director, he programmed the festival’s films for five years and discovered his passion for identifying deserving projects and championing exciting and unrecognized talent. During Harrison’s tenure as AFF’s Film Competition Director, over 100 films he programmed went on to secure distribution, six short films were later nominated for Oscars, and one that he qualified ultimately won the Academy Award. His work with Austin Film Festival and Stage 32 allows him to champion undiscovered storytellers and help them amplify their work. He also serves as a professional moderator for many different film related industry panels both online and offline. Through his many years leading AFF’s film selection and working closely with other film fests, he has become intimately familiar with the inner workings of larger festivals, as well as the common missteps many filmmakers make when working with them. He’s excited to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Harrison will walk you through how best to develop your film festival strategy and choose the right festivals for your film, well before you start submitting. He will begin with the basics of why you should or shouldn’t be submitting to festivals in the first place, and how to best think of festivals as a tool. He’ll then lay out what the festival landscape looks like, including what makes up the “Festival Circuit”, what Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 festivals are, and the lowdown on both niche festivals and destination festivals. Next he will delve into the importance of having your own specific festival goal and how to find it. He’ll provide six examples of valid and common festival goals and how best to adjust your submission strategy for each. Harrison will go deep into how to research festivals before submitting and what you should be looking for before you should feel comfortable paying their submission fee. He’ll also offer various strategies to choose the right festival and giving yourself the best advantage in getting accepted, including considering niche festivals, finding your ‘in’ and developing your network. He’ll spend some time explaining how scam festivals work and what you can do to spot them and stay away from them. He will offer some tips and context of what you should do if you film is ultimately rejected from one of your top choices, and also what to do if your film is ultimately accepted. You will leave with a slew of strategies to tackle your festival run more strategically and more effectively.   Praise for Harrison's Previous Stage 32 Webinar:    "This was great. Very comprehensive about festival strategy and works for shorts and features. Probably the best content about this topic I've seen"  -Paige F.   "The teacher really knew his subject. He was also friendly & warm and made the students feel relaxed. A well spent event and I learned so much." -Toni M.   "Appreciated the way Harrison did not gloss over any point — he spoke thoroughly about everything." -Elease P.   "Very knowledgeable, open, easy to follow" -Marilyn L.

How to Direct for Animated Television

Think about the classic images of a director—sitting in a canvas chair, making a frame with your fingers and thumbs, yelling ‘action’ or ‘cut’. None of those things could even come up when you’re directing for animation, though. Honesty, the job of an animation television director doesn’t even exist within the public lexicon. If you’re not already directly within the television animation industry, you might not even have a basic sense of what goes into this line of work. Yet the role of an animation director is very real and getting to this level on an animated television show can be rewarding and lucrative. Top animated shows like THE SIMPSONS, BOB’S BURGERS, BOJACK HORSEMAN, PEPPA PIG and RICK AND MORTY succeed because of the top directing talent at the helm. If you’re a writer, an artist, an illustrator, a storyboard artist, a director or just passionate about animated television, there is a path forward to get into this landscape and work towards directing episodes of your dream animated show. But it might help to have a blueprint to get there, understand how the world of animated TV works, how people become directors within this world, and what directors actually do. Veteran director Mike Disa is here to offer you this very opportunity. Mike Disa is the director of the hit Netflix series PARADISE PD and has been in the animation industry for over twenty-five years. Mike found success working with studios such as Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. Mike Disa has extensive knowledge of countless facets of animated TV and film. Mike will give you the nuts and bolts on the overall landscape and the details of what it takes to direct for animated TV. Mike will begin by discussing what it actually is that a TV animation director does and how it differs from other types of directing. He’ll go over the relationship between storyboarding and directing and one can, but doesn’t necessarily, lead to the other. He’ll discuss the how to be successful, valuable, and noticed while working on animated TV and how that will differ at an indie company compared to a larger studio. Mike will then walk you through the different types of animated TV, including children’s scripted, prime time scripted, anime, and premise-driven unscripted, and how the role and expectations of the director differ from one category to another. Next, Mike will delve into the general TV animation pipeline, the 9 steps you should expect from script to finished product. Mike will discuss the dangers of getting typecast within the animation world and how to navigate this tricky area. He will then walk you through 13 necessary skills you will need to learn and display in order to become a director and what skills might not be as important as you think. Mike will prepare you for the biggest challenges of this line of work and go through 5 common mistakes directors make. He’ll then discuss what sort of pathway there is to creating your own animated show and the way to make a lot of money in this line of work. He’ll finally give some practical advice on how to better succeed within the world of animation, including the benefits of getting an agent and the possibility of switching to live action down the line.   Praise for Mike's Webinar   "Mike is clear, insightful and conveys ideas and concepts very well. It was an excellent webinar!" -Jon P.   "Mike Disa was amazingly generous with his time and information. And he was real. It doesn't get better than that. I'll be able to apply his insights and the information he shared immediately. I'm so glad I decided to participate." - Elizabeth A.   "The webinar was excellent and very well paced. I truly appreciated the honesty and straightforwardness of the presenter. I learned a lot and look forward to the next one." - Jerry M.   "Great information, Mike did an awesome job and I will look forward to his next webinar." - Diane M.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In