Michelle Alexandria is a producer and Head of International Sales and Acquisitions for Glasshouse Distribution. She has worked on 25 feature films $6MM and under and 3 television projects in various capacities including producing, line producing and executive producing. She is an invited speaker each year in the Cannes Producers Network and other panels along with other prominent film festivals and markets including MipCom, Berlin, Buenos Aires, UniFrance, Sundance, and AFM. An LA native, Michelle Alexandria, began a career working in finance. During her several years as a financial director for Jaguar cars, she pursued acting and began studying at the prestigious Beverly Hills Playhouse. Within a few years she naturally gravitated towards the business side of the entertainment industry as investors began seeking her financial advice in film. She continued her education at UCLA focusing on film production, line producing, and film distribution. Her knowledge and experience along with her well-established relationships in the industry has made her an invaluable asset to the entertainment industry. Full Bio »
Your pitch deck is the most important tool in your initial stage of obtaining financing for your script. A pitch deck is also used as an aid to attaching an actor or director you are interested in. As a tool, your deck is the first impression of your film condensed so the investor can become familiar with your project and determine if this is an opportunity for them. To close the deal or at least garner meaningful consideration and interest, your pitch deck has to stand out. It has to not only tell the story of your project, why it should be attractive to talent, and what the true potential audience may be, but, most importantly, it needs to show a true and realistic path to profitability. And this is where so many decks fail.
Sure, you want to paint a rosy picture with your investor pitch deck. But here's the thing, most investors who have put money into films before know BS from reality. They will know if you are overshooting your estimates (an extremely common tactic), whether your film comps are ridiculous (they almost always are) and if you're exaggerating who your potential audience will be (nearly always the case). A great investor pitch deck is filled with equal parts optimism and reality. Sure, every investor wants to dream of unbelievable riches and success, but what truly makes them open their wallets is believing in the team, the project, and being presented a realistic worldview as to the potential return on their investment.
Michelle Alexandria knows a thing or two about raising money. As a producer and Head of International Sales and Acquisitions for Glasshouse Distribution, Michelle has raised or assisted in raising funds for dozens of films and other projects. She has personally worked on 25 feature films $6MM and under and 3 television projects in various capacities including producing, line producing and executive producing. Michelle has spoken on the topic of raising financing at the Cannes Producers Network and other prominent film festivals and markets including MipCom, Berlin, Buenos Aires, UniFrance, Sundance, and AFM. Her knowledge is extensive and her advice actionable, and now she's here to deliver the goods exclusively on Stage 32.
Michelle will teach you how to create an investor pitch deck that doesn't have that same dusty feeling of so many decks and which fits the current climate of raising funds. She will show you what elements truly matter for an investor and which you can leave out of your deck entirely. She will discuss the value (or lack thereof) of artwork and posters. Additionally, she'll dive into loglines and synopsis to assure that you are giving your potential investors the true vision of the project. She will teach you how to put together a realistic cast list and film comps. She will discuss budgets, scheduling and how to incorporate those elements into your deck. She will talk to you about putting together the right team and how those team members can send the right or wrong signal.
As an added bonus, Michelle will share examples of pitches decks that have helped secure millions in financing!
"Clear, concise, and brilliant."
- Mario D.
"No BS, straight to the point information. Loved every second."
- Patricia H.
"I have a deck for my film. It's going in the garbage. I will be starting over tomorrow with this wealth of information flowing in my head. Remarkable job, Michelle!"
- Phil M.
"Sure, everyone wants Leo or George in their films. Sure, everyone thinks their film is the next My Big Fat Greek Wedding or some other independent blockbuster. Sure, everyone believes that they have THE idea that is going to get them the money. Michelle just gave me the map as to HOW to get the money by being REAL. I can't wait to get started and to bounce ideas off my team. This was so much fun. Thank you!"
- Denise P.
Michelle will go over in detail each section and share examples of successful pitch decks that helped her secure millions financing!
Q&A with Michelle!
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Instead of approaching investors with a script and a sales pitch, this Stage 32 exclusive webinar will teach you the tools needed to make an impact so that financiers see your film as an opportunity. You'll be shown how to break this daunting concept of creating a film package into manageable steps, using the resources available to you with minimal expenditures, starting with things you can do for free. You'll learn how to develop your material to what investors need, what elements you must include in your package, what resources to utilize and how to use them, sell your project at festivals and markets, and create sales projections budgets, and more. Guiding you is Michelle Alexandria, a PGA member and producer at Light Year Pictures. Michelle has personally worked on 25 feature films $6MM and under and 3 television projects in various capacities including producing, line producing and executive producing. Michelle has spoken on the topic of raising financing at the Cannes Producers Network and other prominent film festivals and markets including MipCom, Berlin, Buenos Aires, UniFrance, Sundance, and AFM. Her knowledge is extensive and her advice actionable, and now she's here to deliver the goods exclusively on Stage 32. You'll walk away confidently knowing how to build your film package, how to make your project appeal to investors, how to access investors, and, most importantly, you'll know how to do it all without breaking the bank. "Sure, everyone wants Leo or George in their films. Sure, everyone thinks their film is the next My Big Fat Greek Wedding or some other independent blockbuster. Sure, everyone believes that they have THE idea that is going to get them the money. Michelle just gave me the map as to HOW to get the money by being REAL. I can't wait to get started and to bounce ideas off my team. This was so much fun. Thank you!" - Denise P.
So you’ve got a little bit of money ($500)...now what? You can build a stellar development package on little or no budget. A development package is key to be able to get the greenlight for your project. You will need to start putting together the pieces of the development puzzle - talent, director, financing and distribution - all in a way that makes sense to an investor so that if they invest in you they can get their money back. There is this misconception that you need to have millions of dollars attached to your preliminary script or idea in order to move forward. This is not the case. If you have access to a computer, internet and passion, you can take strong steps over time to make your project become an opportunity to high-net worth individuals. If you only have limited funds we will sort through the best places to spend that money that will yield results and not be a waste. It may seem daunting to build a package with little or no budget but here we are going to break it down to make it more digestible and easier to build an enticing package starting with things you can do from FREE, under $150, under $500 and beyond. Your Stage 32 Educator Michelle Alexandria has over 20 years working in sales and distribution. She has personally worked on 25 feature films $6MM and under and knows what gets the attention of both financiers and distributors. In this class she will share with you what you can do regardless of your little or no budget to create and enticing package that gets noticed. You will be able to interact with Michelle and ask her any questions you have about your project! PLUS! Michelle will share with you: Example One sheets Example Option Agreement Example Setup Materials Example Top Sheet Sales Projections Resource List Example Pitch Deck Resource Lists You will walk away from this class confident in your approach to creating a development package to get your project off the ground!
So you’ve been writing and practicing your craft for a while. Maybe you’ve placed in some notable writing contests or have gotten great feedback from your peers, or maybe even some producers or executives. You’re ready to take the next big step in your writing career, but you’re not quite sure how to break in. You don’t have the right relationships to get your material in front of those who can bring it to fruition, or maybe you need some guidance as to what will get you noticed by network and studio executives who are staffing the shows you love. What you need is representation in the entertainment industry, specifically a manager who can help open those doors for you. But how do you go about finding and securing the right manager for your team? The barrier to entry in the entertainment industry has never been higher. Legal policies often prohibit network and studio executives from reading material or listening to pitches from unrepresented writers. And managers are inundated with material from potential clients, queries getting lost in endless stacks of scripts, and that’s if they even accept queries at all! It’s a situation that often puts emerging writers in a tailspin - how do you gain entry to your dream industry when that first step feels impossible? The answer lies in being strategic in how you mobilize your network (which is probably bigger than you think it is); focusing on finding the right fit for your career, rather than taking a scattershot, any manager will do approach; and most importantly, keeping the train running regardless of if you have a manager or not - if you build it, they will come! Krista is a manager and producer at First Friday Entertainment, a literary management and production company founded by Krista and Devon Byers and dedicated to showcasing fresh and unique voices. Their client, Victoria Rose, was recently featured in the 2018 YOUNG & HUNGRY list. Their client’s credits include ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, SENSE8, IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, TRANSPARENT, PRECIOUS, HOUSE OF PAYNE, and many more titles. Prior to founding First Friday Entertainment Krista was with Circle of Confusion, New Wave Entertainment and Authentic Talent & Literary Management. Krista has built her career around finding and elevating unrecognized voices and will share what she has learned from her side of the table. Krista will walk through how literary managers operate and what you should be doing to ensure you can get the representation you need to get your writing career to the next level. She will begin by giving a rundown of what exactly lit managers do and how they differ from agents and attorneys. She’ll explain why managers are often the first type of representation for emerging writers and how you should know if you’re ready for a manager of your own. Then she will explain what managers generally look for in potential clients, including the type of material they’re searching for, the relationships they’re hoping for what a strong vision looks like. Next Krista will explain how managers go about finding new clients. She will teach you how to find and approach a potential manager for representation. To do this she will go through the tools that are available to you in finding a manger and how you should research potential managers and what kind of information you should look for to make sure they’re the right fit for you. She’ll then give you tips on how to mobilize your own personal network to attract a manager and then will lay out how to best write a query, including what you should also include and what you should never include. Krista will then talk about what you should do if a manager asks to read your material. She’ll explain when and how to best follow up, how to handle rejection if the manager decides to pass, how to handle requests for more material, and how to prepare for a signing meeting, or perhaps multiple meetings. Finally Krista will delve into the process of deciding to work with a lit manager. She will outline what to look for in a signing meeting, how to follow up after a meeting, and what to expect after agreeing to work together. She’ll talk about how to best manage the manager/client relationship and what to do if that relationship isn’t ultimately working. Finding and working with a lit manager can be challenging, but also incredibly important. Krista will give you the tools to navigate the process better and hopefully put the right actions into place to find a great manager for your career. Praise for Krista's Stage 32 Webinar "I thought Ms. Sipp was informative and very detailed. I appreciated her time very much afterwards for taking so many Q&As. I learned quite a bit." -Betty E. "I thought it was quite informative and she gave us advice that was straight from the source. I loved it" -Nadia C. "Very informative!" -LaKesa C. ""Krista laid everything out so clearly and made me feel a lot more comfortable and confident in finding representation for myself" -Stella G.
Exclusive to Stage 32! Workshop a monologue from an Emmy-winning show (BARRY) with an award-winning actor from the Emmy-winning ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK! It takes a lot to find success as an actor. It is, after all, one of the emotionally hardest jobs out there and involves facing constant rejection, putting yourself out there, being vulnerable for strangers. And with overwhelming competition, roles can be scarce, which makes it even harder to sustain a career. Yet being an actor can also be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences, especially for those with the passion. Experienced actors know that finding success involves looking past the obstacles and built-in challenges and instead looking inward. Even with difficulties standing in your way, there are always ways to improve yourself and your craft to not only find more work, but to enjoy it more as well. It’s easy for actors to get so wrapped up in the industry and the system, in who they know and the projects they’re being turned down for that they forget to instead work on themselves and their craft. Yet it’s never too late to start. Investing this type of energy in self-improvement over more negative or cynical practices will unquestionably help you and your career. There are a number of techniques and strategies you can apply to your own life and your own craft to improve as an actor and lead to opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise found. Practices like line memorization, calming your nerves, and moving forward with the right mindset can truly make all the difference. There’s no time like the present to explore these techniques. Alysia Reiner is an award-winning actress best known as the villainous warden Natalie "Fig" Figueroa on Netflix’s ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK for all 7 seasons, and won a SAG Award as part of the cast. She also stars as Sunny on the critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning BETTER THINGS on FX and Hulu and Kiki Rains on HBO’s THE DEUCE. She both starred in and produced the Sundance Film Festival hit EQUITY and Tribeca Film Festival favorite EGG. A few other recent adventures include getting naked in an Emmy Award winning episode of Comedy Central’s BROAD CITY and going head to head against Viola Davis’ Annalise on the ABC/Shonda Rhimes series HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Alysia has been invited to speak at The White House, The United Nations, Google, Cannes Lion, Women's Media Summit, Collision, and countless film festivals and other events about breaking barriers for women in all fields, specifically the entertainment industry. Alysia has led a long, successful career as an in-demand actress largely by working on her craft, her mindset, and other strategies for success, and she's excited to share her lessons learned with the Stage 32 community. Alysia will share her secrets tips and tools that she has learned from booking her first commercial to being on 7 seasons of award-winning must watch television. She will cover everything from acting techniques (learning lines, calming nerves, follow up) to mindset tips to business tools. Plus, Alysia will run an exclusive monologue workshop, something she usually only offers in private coaching environments. She will choose volunteers to workshop a monologue from the Emmy-winning show BARRY! Once you sign up you will be sent the monologue we'll be workshopping in class so you can practice. Let Alysia help you reset as an actor and leave eager and ready to get to the next level in your career!
This month we welcome Literary Manager Zach Cox of Circle of Confusion, the management and production company behind "The Walking Dead" and the Oscar-winning film "Straight Outta Compton."
This week we welcome playwright and TV writer who is the author of over forty plays! His television credits include Executive Story Editor on Season 2 of the Starz drama "MAGIC CITY", and serving as Executive Story Editor on two seasons of the HBO television show "HUNG". He wrote and directed the film EXILES IN New York, which played at the A.F.I Film Festival, South by South West, The Santa Barbara Film Festival and The Latin American International Film Festival in Havana, Cuba. He has also has sold his original television projects to Starz, Amazon and AMC, among others. During this incredible Executive Hour, Eduardo talks about working with Oscar-winner Al Pacino on the film SCARFACE in his early 20's, how to write compelling characters for stage and screen, what it is like being in a writers room for HBO, and offers a exercise in breaking character and story that brought one of our members to tears!