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

Hosted by Doug Curtis

$49

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
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$49.00
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:

Place-Based Filmmaking: Use Your Local Resources To Make Your Indie Film

Learn directly from Marty Lang, award winning producer of over 20 films! 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.

What Film Festival Directors Are Looking For When Programming Shorts

We're excited to take a peak behind the curtain into the mind of a film festival director to talk about what they look for when programming a festival. We've brought in the co-founder and co-director of the Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival, Daniel Sol, to go over the everything you need to know when you are considering submitting your short film to a festival. 

How to Write and Produce a Festival Darling

Learn directly from Maren Olson, Producer of Short Term 12, who has represented domestic and/or worldwide distribution rights to over 70 finished films, including Academy Award winner The Secret in Their Eyes and festival favorites such as An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Natural Selection and Red Flag, and Sundance Audience Award winners This is Martin Bonner, Valley of Saints and Kinyarwanda! "Excellent - informative. Maren brought facts and experience to a very nuanced subject about "Film Festival Darlings - offering an extremely in-depth analysis to the elements of what a writer or producer should consider when moving forward in the Indie film world. My fav Stage 32 webinar so far. Thanks." - Robert G. "Fantastic seminar. Like a good filmmaker, you kept us engaged from opening to close. Thanks again!" - Bob B. "Maren had a lot of practical information and road trap warning for indies. I appreciated the components of a festival face, comps, and specific advice that is useful." - Betty S.   In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar you will learn what kind of independent film project goes on to become a “Festival Darling” and what you can do to better position your independent film for festival success, from script to screen. Host Maren Olson will deconstruct both the writing stage- from the major components of a festival-friendly story idea, to what to consider regarding location and characters, all the way to how to incorporate thinking about the budget when writing your script- as well as the production stage – from how to make sure your film gets properly considered by the right people, to which festivals you should submit to and when, all the way to the common ways festival friendly scripts turn into a film that no festival wants to play. Maren brings over a decade of experience attending and winning film festivals worldwide to change your perspective on what it really takes to create that festival-friendly script, and ultimately a successful independent film. Maren Olson works in the film finance division of CAA, and was formerly the President of Traction Media, where she was responsible for the creative development, packaging, production, financing and sale of independent films. Olson has represented domestic and/or worldwide distribution rights to over 70 finished films, including Academy Award winner The Secret in Their Eyes, festival favorites such as An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Natural Selection and Red Flag, and Sundance Audience Award winners This is Martin Bonner, Valley of Saints and Kinyarwanda. As a producer, she was responsible for critically lauded Short Term 12, which premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. The film went on to win 34 other awards including the Gotham Award for Best Actress and Independent Spirit Award for Best Editing. Her 2015 production, Ava’s Possessions, premiered at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival.  

Directors: How to Get Believable Performances from Actors

Back by popular demand! 4 part class taught by Peter Marshall, Director and Film Directing Coach with over 40 years of experience including 12 features, 16 TV movies, 8 TV series, over 30 episodes of TV drama, 50 hours of documentary and educational programming, and over 20 commercials! THIS 4-PART CLASS IS AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! The film director’s working relationship with an actor starts in the first casting session, continues through the various rehearsal stages, onto the set and ends in the ADR session. A good performance from an actor happens when both the inner and outer self are honestly portrayed. And to play a character truthfully, good actors need to surrender to feelings and impulses so they can perform organically or "in-the-moment." Most trained actors begin by trusting the director, but if you can’t direct actors in a language they understand, you may have a difficult time getting actors to trust you. And if actors don’t trust you, you will have a difficult time blocking them on set and getting layered performances from them. Stage 32 is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4 part class: How to Get Believable Performances from Actors taught by Peter D. Marshall. The first webinar Peter did for Stage 32 was one of the highest attended webinars in Stage 32's history (Preproduction: The Film Director's Process of Discovery), and we've brought Peter back by popular demand to teach you how directors can build a relationship built on trust with actors by creating a safe place for them to perform. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Peter is no longer distributing or reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!

Surprising Yet Inevitable: Creating Realistic Characters for Television and Film

In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar we're bringing in Lee Sternthal, writer of Disney's TRON: LEGACY and writer/director of THE WORDS, starring Bradley Cooper an Zoe Saldana to discuss how to create realistic characters for television and film. Having drawn incredible A-list talent to his scripts, character has become one of Lee's favorite part of creating story.  A solid hero and anti hero are crucial to a successful story, and the supporting characters need to help support and move your plot. Lee will be talking through the origins of why character matters and provide you with exercises to ensure that you have solid characters in your own storytelling.    

Content is King – How To Control The Rights To Source Material And Pay Nothing

Bonus! Get 2 contract templates: Option Agreement Template & Producer Attachment Agreement "Conrad you were so very informative, had absolutely great advice, information a person would need to understand when going to a meeting for negotiations with executives. You covered most everything I wanted to ask. Thank you stage 32, this was the best webinar I have taken." - Diane K. "Great summation of the ins and outs of right options. Thank you for the contract templates." - Karla T.   Ideas for movies, TV shows, web series etc. can come from anywhere. Often times it’s an original idea that comes from within your own creative mind, but as you know, a lot of the best stories can be based on other source material like books, real people’s lives, big brands, or any other already existing property. In all of the latter scenarios, you can’t legally create your vision without controlling the rights to the source material. This often discourages people from pursuing these rights because it involves contracts, dealing with rights holders and costs money. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Conrad Sun will change your perspective not only on how to acquire the rights to material, but how to develop great story ideas. He will explore creative ways on how to find and control the rights to stories that you’re passionate about without having to pay for them. Whether you’re a writer looking to adapt a screenplay, or a producer looking to set up a property with a financier, this webinar will provide useful information how to effectively control the rights to your passion project and hopefully lead to its creation. Conrad Sun is currently working as a TV Lit Manager and Development Executive at Meridian Artists in Los Angeles and represents TV writers in both the comedy and drama space. Conrad has also worked in content development with companies like Epix, Hasbro Studios, Gran Via Productions (Breaking Bad), New Wave Entertainment and Motion Theory Films. Conrad is also the founder of the popular website FilmEscape, an online resource and encyclopedia for learning anything relating to the film and television industry.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In