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.
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!
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!
A MASTERS OF CRAFT WEBINAR - ONLY ON STAGE 32! It takes a special person to be a screenwriter. It takes a lion's heart, discipline, patience and perseverance. It also takes a willingness to learn from those who came before, found success in their craft and developed the skills necessary to navigate the business. FIGHT CLUB. Need we say more? OK. How about JUMPER? Or the in development THE DESTROYER to be directed by Shane Black. And, of course, any number of scripts for which this legendary screenwriter has collected hefty paychecks on and which never have seen the light of day. (Oh, he'll be teaching about that as well.) Jim Uhls knows what's what. For over 30 years, Jim has been a working writer in the industry. He was there during bull market for screenwriters, through the independent movement, through the studio resurgence, and into the here and now of the indie renaissance and the dawn of digital and the streamers. Now Jim is bringing his extensive knowledge of the craft and the business to teach exclusively for Stage 32 and our Masters of Craft series. In this meticulous step-by-step presentation, Jim is going to show you how you can mine for great ideas and bring them to maturity. He will teach you how to bring unparalleled depth to your characters. He'll show you how to write by seeing the trailer in your mind. How to use stream of consciousness as a tool to outline your script and find your beats. How to use emotional logic to power your work and much more. How to make sure your material is as attractive as possible to managers, agents, talent, producers, and financiers. He's even going to show you how to adopt a book, using FIGHT CLUB as an example! Most of all Jim is going to show you how to channel the passion and remove the cynicism and blocks that were not present when you first started. "I've never quite met anyone like Jim. His skills are undeniable and revered in the business. But it's his approach, his consistency, his way in to the material and the characters and his ability to see the entire landscape in a clear, calm matter that sets him apart. He's a true original and an inspiration to so many including yours truly. I've learned so much from him." -Richard "RB" Botto - CEO Stage 32, Screenwriter This is a masterclass you will not want to miss. Jim will leave you laughing, full of energy, and ready to write!
As the world of television continues to fragment, streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV) have become major players. More and more of these platforms are moving into original content, which means the number of new shows being produced has never been higher. However, these platforms have different needs, different expectations and different boundaries and mandates than those of traditional broadcast networks. So how does a creative navigate this brave new world? And how does a writer stand out to get staffed or sell a standout drama series? This webinar will explain in comprehensive detail how drama series are pitched, developed, and sold to streaming platforms and what you can do as a writer to position yourself to get noticed. The world of streamers is changing quickly. New platforms are coming online seemingly by the month, and with each one, the rules and the mandates continue to change. In many ways the world of TV streaming platforms is like the Wild Wild West, overwhelming and hard to nail down. At the same time, that's what makes it so exciting - the opportunities are limitless. But with so many writers vying for an opportunity to sell or be staffed on a show, it’s incredibly important to understand the changing landscape and know the best ways to operate within it. Having a clear sense of how executives at streamers think and what they’re looking for will give you a distinct advantage in adjusting your script to pique their interest or in presenting yourself more effectively to sell your show or get staffed on one of their growing number of series. Spencer Robinson is a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment who's been in the industry for over twenty years. His clients have been in films with directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski and more. In the TV world, his clients have been regular cast members on shows for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, and TBS, to name a few. His writing clients work in both features and television on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms. He currently has a client writing on two Netflix series, and another client who just sold a show to Amazon. He also reps a writer who currently has a project at Aggregate Films, which has a deal at Netflix. Spencer will use his extensive experience working with writers and selling their shows to streamers to share some of the do’s and don’ts of writing a drama pilot for streaming television and outline how to tailor your script to make the best impression with the executives at these platforms. He will do this by first laying out how the streaming platforms differ from one another and what exactly they're looking for. Not all streaming platforms are created equal and it's imperative you know the difference. From there, Spencer will dive into script structure and formatting, specifically analyzing what you should be considering before you write your pilot. Next, he will tackle staffing and sales, so no matter what your goal whether to be in a writer's room or selling your pilot, you have all the information you need to position yourself correctly and with the best chance of success. Spencer will even get into the difference between streaming platforms and broadcast networks so you can determine where your material might be a best fit. Expect to leave this class with a comprehensive understanding of the shifting industry of streaming television and a toolkit to better excel within it. Like what you heard from Spencer during this webcast? Send your script to Spencer and speak with him for an hour by clicking here. Praise for Spencer's Stage 32 webinar: Spencer was awesome! Super informative and detail driven - providing great insights. Packed so much into a short amount of time which I'm super grateful for! -Eric C. Spencer Robinson has high energy and packs a ton of information in his lecture. Most importantly Spencer gives realistic advice while encouraging writers to move forward fully informed of the terrain. -Oweeda N. Spencer opened my eyes to how the TV world works with broadcast and streaming. What a great crash course! -Ricki L. "Very enlightening. Gave a realistic view of how difficult it is to get a pilot made but was just inspiring enough to give hope. :)" -Clive M.
There's nothing worse than having a screenplay bought or a project with financing get placed on hold because of legal issues that could have been handled at the start. Too many projects have been shelved permanently and will never see the light of day because of conflicts and misunderstandings that could easily have been avoided. Unfortunately, few screenwriters, filmmakers or producers know the right questions that need to be asked and answered in order to protect yourself and your project legally. It doesn't need to be this way, though. There are simple legal steps you can take from the beginning to assure a smooth and steady ride so your focus can be on making the best project possible. Especially for those in creative fields, navigating legal issues can feel overwhelming and confusing, maybe even unnecessary. Yet having a basic legal understanding of how to protect your work and property is incredibly crucial. You need to know how to legally incorporate everyone's input and notes into your script without worrying about losing authorship. You need to know how to set up a partnership for success and why so many people run into trouble when doing so. You need to know when it's okay to agree to work for free or 'on spec' and why it's still vital to have a written agreement. And you need to know when it's okay to talk business on your own behalf. The good news is you don't need to pass the bar in order to ensure you and your projects are in good legal shape. Instead, you just need a little guidance. Producer and attorney Gary W. Goldstein, has produced some of the biggest box office hits in film history and has served as a mentor to dozens of prestigious writers, producers, and filmmakers. His credits include PRETTY WOMAN, UNDER SIEGE, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, and many more. He's also papered some of the biggest deals in film history. By working as both a producer and entertainment attorney, Gary's knowledge of deal memos and contracts is without peer. He knows all the do's and don'ts, the tips and tricks, and the side streets and alleyways toward making sure that you are not only protected, but getting the benefits and compensation you deserve for your efforts. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Gary will present a complete "how to" in order to assure that you use a proven and smart approach to protecting yourself legally. He will teach you his 3 rules that should never be broken when entering into deals; whether you should use an agent or an attorney (or both) to negotiate your compensation and benefits on your behalf; how to deal with release forms and option agreements and how to assure you get everything in writing so there are no surprises or disappointments down the road. He will show you how to maintain a paper trail of all communication and why it's monumentally important to do so. He will discuss the realities of maintaining creative control and how to handle the creative contributions of others as well as the pitfalls to avoid when receiving feedback. He will instruct you on the qualities of finding a good creative or business partner or partners and the essential questions to ask up front. As if all this wasn't enough, Gary will provide a 40-page interactive workbook exclusive for those who take this webinar. This is an invaluable resource! Huge Praise for Gary! "Here’s some practical advice for those seeking a career in Hollywood, from someone who really knows what the hell he's talking about." - J.F. Lawton, Screenwriter (PRETTY WOMAN, UNDER SIEGE) "When I met Gary, I had nothing but talent and a drive to succeed. Nine months later, I had my first script option, my first studio writing assignment, and a Writers Guild card. The advice here is worth its weight in gold" - Allison Burnett, Screenwriter & Director (AUTUMN IN NEW YORK, FEAST OF LOVE, GONE AND UNDISCOVERED GYRL) "When I became your student, I was a mom with a script. Now, I'm a series writer-producer-director. Thank you for helping me achieve one of my biggest dreams. And thank you for this class. You continue to amaze." - Sally Rubin, Screenwriter, Producer, Author "Gary W. Goldstein’s mentoring will prove 100% better than whatever else you may be considering. He will change your life." - Marilyn Warda, author, The Randomness of Life "I’ve learned more about how things really work from Gary than I have over the past 10 years and countless other classes!" - Angela Falkowska, Screenwriter "The workbook alone is worth 10 times what the webinar cost. I am in awe. Thank you, Gary." - Antonio T. "Again, Stage 32 outdoes itself. What a score landing Gary. He's a legend." Jason R. "Gary, you had me from minute one. Amazing information. And delivered with class and style. -Angela P.
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!
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.