Award-Winning filmmaker, Joe Russo, has seen his short films featured in festivals worldwide, garnering praise from top film critics. His years of production experience includes work on commercials, web-series, television and feature films for such companies as Nike, FOX, SyFy, A/E, Lionsgate Films and Universal Studios. Joe is the former Director of Development at Level 1 Entertainment, under CEO and Hollywood producer, Bill Todman, Jr., where he head up a slate of feature films and television programs, working hand-in-hand with several major motion picture studios and television networks. Joe has been recognized for his “firm grasp of the craft, solid storytelling, and compelling characters”, developing many acclaimed projects, including Exorcist Inc. and City of Exile, developed with writer Claire Weaver, which were featured on the 2014 Young and Hungry List, and the screenplay Nicholas, developed with writer Leo Sardarian, that was featured on the 2013 Young and Hungry List, the 2013 Hit List and the 2013 Black List- Hollywood’s most prestigious list of the best unproduced screenplays. Full Bio »
Learn directly from Joe Russo, an Independent Producer who has worked on projects with FOX, SyFy, A/E, Lionsgate Films and Universal Studios!
You’ve spent days, weeks, months, maybe even years, toiling away on your screenplay. You’ve read all the books. You’ve taken the seminars. You’ve work shopped your script to death. You’ve crafted a sharp pitch and logline for your script – and now someone in the industry wants to READ your work!
You celebrate this long awaited victory, but what happens next? What if they don’t just like the script you’ve poured your heart and soul into, what if they WANT it.
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Joe Russo will shine a light and give an executive’s opinion and advice on a Hollywood process you’ve all heard of, but probably don’t know nearly enough about – Development. Joe has been recognized for his “firm grasp of the craft, solid storytelling, and compelling characters”, as well as developing many acclaimed projects.
The path to taking your written words and turning them into a major motion picture is a tricky, windy road. You all know the coined phrase “Development Hell”, and too many projects fall into this pit simply because the process isn’t clearly understood at the outset.
So join Stage 32 as we explore the complicated and fascinating world of Development, and all of the small victories and bumps along the road that you can experience on your way to the green lighting of your screenplay into a movie.
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In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Joe Russo will take writers behind the scenes of 2 horror films and 1 horror pilot. This webinar will be an honest, unapologetic look at the successes and struggles during the development process for each case study so you can you learn what to mimic and what to avoid for your own project. You Will Leave the Webinar With: An understanding of how each film and TV project came to be. An understanding of the different strategies used to package each project and how they were introduced to decision makers. A comprehensive look into the notes process so you can learn what went right and, more importantly, what went wrong. Clear advice on how to apply these lessons to your own script or project. Learn directly from Joe Russo, producer who has helped steer writers' projects through the development process to land on The Young and Hungry List, Hit List and The Black List and sell to the Major Studios and Networks. Joe’s extensive production background includes working on productions for FOX, SyFy, A/E, Lionsgate Films and Universal Studios!
Cable networks all have their niche. For example, AMC has really honed in on intense dramas, such as The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men; USA focuses on character driven mystery dramas such as CSI, House, and NCIS; TBS centers around comedy sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, Ground Floor, and Cougar Town; ABC Family focuses more on sitcoms relating to family, such as Melissa and Joey, Baby Daddy and The Fosters. Knowing how to tailor your pitch to a specific cable network opens up immense opportunity for your TV pilot. Every cable network can be a real home for your work - it’s just a matter of the how, when, and why. Knowing how to appeal to multiple networks gives your pilot a better chance of getting picked up! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Jordan Barel will teach you both how to pitch your pilot and how to tailor your pitch to the right cable network. In addition, he’ll go over what kind of shows live on each network currently, and what may be the right fit for you. You will walk away with a clear understanding of how to pitch effectively as well as a clear understanding of how to make your pilot what each network is looking for. Your host host Jordan Barel is a writer, producer and lawyer for Loaded Barrel Studios. Based in LA, he's worked for New Line Cinema, AMC, Verve Talent Agency and was recently named in Variety's Hollywood Movers and Shakers list. He worked for Paul Scheer through his producing deal at FOX, working on development with his projects as well as bringing in new writers for him. Jordan also works at Abominable Pictures in their comedy and TV department. Previously, he worked as the Television Coordinator for Verve Literary Agency, producing the company's staffing video which lead to a 200% increase in the company's staffed writers. While there he also vetted all new TV and film clients. Jordan knows what will make your pitch stand out and is here exclusively for Stage 32 to help guide our writers toward success!
This week the Writers' Room welcomes in Development Executive Anna Henry into the Pitch Tank! Anna began her 20-year career as a development executive at Nickelodeon, working on the development and production of animated television series, pilots and features. Anna has been a script consultant and screenwriting instructor, as well as building her own slate as an independent producer. Her clients have worked on hit television series on all major networks, such as "THE DEUCE", "POWER", "IN CONTEMPT", "TOMMY", "HUNG", "CHICAGO FIRE", "FEAR THE WALKING DEAD", "THIS IS US", and "THE FLASH". Her clients have worked on shows at virtually every broadcast, cable and streaming television network, and have set up projects at Amazon, Starz, HBO, Sony, Fox, EOne, ITV America, OddLot Entertainment, Corus, and others. Anna enjoys having a close collaboration with writers in refining scripts, expanding their range of material, and finding the best home for each project, which is why she was an incredible guest!
In this Executive Hour we speak with screenwriter Lorien McKenna! Lorien is a former Pixar Story Manager who worked on such features as Oscar-winning UP, Oscar-winning BRAVE, Oscar-winning INSIDE OUT, and THE GOOD DINOSAUR. She also served as a producer for Paramount Animation where she oversaw development for WONDER PARK. Lorien, along with Oscar-nominated writer Meg LeFauve, sold their romantic comedy anthology, THIS THING CALLED LOVE to Hulu with Dan Lin producing; as well as a half hour sitcom, POOG to NBC and WBTV. Lorien also wrote HOW TO SET A FIRE AND WHY, based on the book of the same name by Jesse Ball, for Straight Up Films. Previously, she served as the Co-EP for Hulu's CURIOUS GEORGE series, and has developed projects for Disney Jr., Funko, and Netflix. She is the co-host of the podcast The Screenwriting Life with fellow screenwriter Meg LeFauve. During the webcast, Lorien discusses her unusual career trajectory, working in the "Brain Turst" on Oscar-Winning animated films at Pixar, battling "Imposter Syndrome", tackling adaptations, writing for television vs. features, how hard it is to take notes even as an established writer, and much more!
Do you suffer from writer’s block? Do you ever get stuck on a scene — at odds with how to proceed, what your character should do or say — for hours, days, sometimes weeks? Do you ever read a scene and think, something’s just not working? Join the illustrious club of every writer ever. Luckily, this very common problem has a simple solution. In this webinar, you will dig down to the building blocks of excellent scene work, those elements which are fundamental to establishing character, advancing plot, capturing tone, and planting memorable moments. By using iconic scenes from landmark film and TV and by citing examples from his 5+ years of TV writing and producing experience, Charlie will offer an array of tools and skills that will harden any writer against the obstacles and pitfalls that come with attacking any scene. Perhaps more importantly, participants will come away with some vital ways to overcome the feared writer’s block that plagues us all.
What do the singer Elvis Presley, the actress Pamela Anderson and the phycisist Albert Einstein have in common? Their true life stories have recently been adapted into major feature films and TV series. True story adaptations find success largely because the writers and creators understand where to find the story within these real lives to adapt. They efficiently honed in on an angle that pulled the audience in while developing emotional arcs that kept viewers invested. Writing is a craft, no doubt, and one that must be managed differently when pen hits paper and for adaptations. It takes work and a deep understanding of your story as well as the medium you’re adapting it for, but it’s something you can achieve for your own true life passion project, especially with the proper understanding and guidance. Kate Sharp is a producer and literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Kate was the VP of Development and Production at Occupant Entertainment, producing short-form content for Showtime, MTV, Verizon, Facebook, and U2, and was an Executive Producer on the Hulu original, Emmy-nominated TV series BEHIND THE MASK. Her film credits include PEEP WORLD, BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY, MADAME BOVARY and THE HALLOW. Kate is currently producing THE BURNING SEASON with Naomi Watts and STRANGER THINGS’ Sophia Lillis attached to star. Kate has worked with countless writers on adapting their true story projects of all types and knows what it takes to turn a true story into a script that producers, reps, studios and execs will be interested in. In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, Kate delves into the craft of adapting a true story to a film or series, and how to put words to the page to make this happen. She defines the three types of true story or biopic adaptations so you can determine which option is best for you and give you the tools to decide if your story should unfold as a feature or limited series so you can determine which option is best for you. She will also walk you through best practices for researching, finding your own angle to the story, and how to write your script so it feels authentic while still possessing emotional arcs and narrative liberties to ensure your script is marketable and successful in the market. You'll walk away from this webinar with confidence and write an adapted script based on a true story that gets the attention it deserves. Praise for Kate's Previous Stage 32 Webinar: "Kate Sharp was incredible. She's a great instructor, and also looks like a very special person to have as a manager, who loves what she does and would be a great partner for a writer! Thank you for sharing her gifts with us!" -Ricki L. "The information was straightforward and practical. I made loads of notes to go back over. Thanks!" -Gillian R. "BRAVO, KATE!!! She provided a wonderful presentation fueled by stellar "real world" facts and scenarios" -Bill B.