Your Pitching Panelists: Tai Duncan, President of Production, Zero Gravity Management Tai Duncan is the President of Production at Zero Gravity Management. Tai recently produced Honest Thief and The Marksman, both with Liam Neesonstarring. Zero Gravity Management is a progressive entertainment company whose strength lies in the development and representation of screenwriters, directors, and actors. ZG maintains a list of some of the industry's most established professionals in all arenas. In addition to feature film titles, Zero Gravity also produces Ozark for Netflix. Zach Cox, Literary Manager, Circle of Confusion Zach Cox is a literary manager at Circle of Confusion. Circle of Confusion is also currently producing the mega-hit THE WALKING DEAD. Zach reps Richard Glatzer(QUINCEANERA, STILL ALICE with Julianne Moore), Brian Duffield (INSURGENT) and John Orloff (A MIGHTY HEART). Circle of Confusion is one of the leading management companies in Los Angeles. Zach joined Circle of Confusion in 2006 and has worked as a manager since 2011. Zach responds to great character-driven stories regardless of genre and believes great storytelling is a gift that can be honed but not outright taught. Audrey Knox, Literary Manager, The Cartel Audrey Knox is a literary manager at The Cartel, a premiere full-service management and production company with clients on shows including the Emmy-nominated It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Golden Globe-winning Californication, The Vampire Diaries, Bones, Lucifer, Happy!, Black Lightening, Star Trek: Discovery and more. Prior to joining The Cartel Audrey worked in development at WME and Lighthearted Entertainment and in the literary department at Gersh. Spencer Robinson, Literary Manager, Art/Work Entertainment Spencer Robinson is a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment. His clients have been in films with directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski, and more. Art/Work's literary clients work in both feature and television and include Eric Heisserer (Academy-Nominated screenplay, Arrival), and writers on shows such as Workaholics, Arrow, Justified. Earlier this year, Spencer set up a series at Netflix which has just wrapped production. Another client was just staffed on the live-action Cowboy Bebop for Netflix, while another client just shot her first feature film for Netflix. Your Moderator: Jason Mirch, Director of Script Services, Stage 32 Jason Mirch is a feature film and television producer and executive with over 15 years of experience. Jason also serves as the Director of Script Services at Stage 32 where he works directly with screenwriters, filmmakers, and leading industry executives. In addition to his work with Stage 32, Jason runs production and development for a company which produced low-budget genre pictures for an international audience, as well as serves as a business advisor to a successful post production vfx company which contributed to The Peanut Butter Falcon, Crawl, Martin Scorsese's Silence, Arctic, and Let them Talk for Steven Soderbergh and HBO. Most recently, he produced a 3D animated feature film starring Jacob Tremblay, Emmy-winner Christopher Lloyd, Oscar-winner Mel Brooks, Emmy-winner Kenan Thompson, and Emmy-winner Carol Kane. Mirch was the Head of Feature and Television Development at Image Nation, a finance and production company based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. There, he supervised the Image Nation contributions in the development of Flight, The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion, Careful What You Wish For, Ghost Rider 2, and 100 Foot Journey. Prior to his work at Image Nation, Mirch was Co-Head of Development at Storyline Entertainment (Oscar-winning Chicago, Footloose, The Bucket List) where he developed a slate of feature film projects for New Line, Paramount, Summit Ent., and CBS/Paramount. He also developed and sold television projects and mini-series to CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and Lifetime. He has lectured on all areas of filmmaking, speaking on panels at the Producers Guild of America, Austin Film Festival, the Harvard Screenwriting Group, American Film Market, University of Southern California Film School, Chapman University School of Film & Television, NYU, as well as several international film festivals and markets. In addition, he has consulted brands, including Burberry and Creative Artists Agency. Mirch graduated Cum Laude from Chapman University’s School of Film and Television, where he received a B.F.A., in Film Production, with an emphasis in Writing and Directing. He was mentored by Academy Award Winning Writer/Director David S. Ward and is the winner of Chapman University Student Filmmaker Award, for Best Director for his film Ally. Full Bio »
Stage 32 Director of Script Services, Jason Mirch, hosts a Special Global Edition of the Stage 32 Writers' Room Pitch Tank! No matter what your profession, above the line or below the line, pitching is a vital part of the process. It is important that you understand what makes a great pitch and how to improve your "yes" ratio.
Top Literary Managers & President of Production
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!
Writing is rewriting but that doesn’t just mean dialogue. Scene description is a crucial part of screenwriting, but far too often, it’s not given the attention that it deserves. The reality is, many screenplays are marred by static, wooden scene description. But powerful scene description can help your story to leap off the page and give your screenplay the “pop” it needs. Your scene description is where your writer’s “voice” comes in… And the way you write this prose can make or break your script. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, professional screenwriter Steve Desmond will help you to elevate your descriptive writing to a professional level. He’ll help you to develop the tone of your story right on the page, long before it hits the screen. And he’ll dispel myths and go over how not to write scene description. Whether you’re working on an existing script or getting ready to start a new one, this webinar will help you to unleash your potential in prose writing and make the most out of every word in your screenplay. Your host Steve's latest script, Orb, was recently voted by industry executives as the #1 entry on the annual 2016 BloodList, honoring the top horror/thriller/sci-fi scripts of the year.
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.
It's the question every screenwriter eventually wants an answer to: How do I get a manager. There's a lot of information out there, and probably even more misinformation, on the proper approach toward attracting and securing a manager. The truth of the matter is that most managers are tremendously busy. They are not only reading their clients scripts, they're helping them flesh out new ideas. And when they're not reading their clients' work, they're reading scripts recommended to them by trusted sources and staying on top of industry trends, as well as production company/network/streamer mandates, wants and needs. So how best to break through and make sure you have the most solid chance to land a quality manager? What if you had the chance to pull back the curtain back and hear directly from a successful literary manager as to what makes them interested? Now you can. All writers think they have the next great screenplay. And maybe you do! But to get the proper feedback, get the script into market shape, and have a confidant on the business side of your pursuits to get your work out there, having a great manager who's plugged in can make all the difference. Unlike agents, managers are there to make sure all of your screenplays are molded toward marketability. Additionally, they're in the career building business. They'll help you hone and shape not only your existing screenplays, but your ideas for the next one and the one after that so that you go from novice to experienced and in demand. Conrad Sun currently working as a Film & TV Literary Manager and Development Executive at Meridian Artists, a management company with offices in United States and Canada. Originally from Canada himself, Conrad made the move to Los Angeles nearly 10 years ago where he attended the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark Producing Program. After attaining his masters in film & TV producing, Conrad went on to work in both film & TV lit management at New Wave Entertainment, and TV production at Motion Theory Films. Conrad currently heads the Los Angeles offices of Meridian Artists and reps film & TV writers in both the comedy and drama space. Conrad writers have credits including BLINDSPOT, BOJACK HORSEMAN, 2 BROKE GIRLS, MOTIVE and SLASHER. In this jam-packed 90-minute plus webinar, Conrad will give a complete and thorough overview of the screenwriter/manager relationship. He will explain the often confusing world of managers vs. agents and explain which one you need first, what each does for their clients and whether you'll ever need both. He will explain how a manager works in the day-to-day so you can understand how to best help your manager to position yourself toward success. Then, Conrad will dive into the nitty gritty of how to get the attention of a manager, the importance of writing samples, how to utilize writing groups, the psychology of your reader. From there, Conrad will use real world examples by breaking down the pilot for BLINDSPOT. Conrad will also go over the merits (or lack thereof) of query letters, screenwriting contests, pitchfests and more. And in one of the most important but overlook aspects of the building of a screenwriter's career, Conrad will discuss the importance of defining, building, and explaining your brand and the brand of your work. You will also receive a list of resources from Conrad to help you on your screenwriting journey. This is an all out, fully comprehensive look at how to find, secure and build a relationship with a quality literary manager. Praise for Conrad "There are so many 'experts' out there giving advice on how to secure management. This webinar proved how much of it is BS. Thanks to Conrad for giving the straight skinny." - Steven L. "So much logic. So much common sense." - Gina P. "Eye-opening and immensely helpful." - Heather P. "I've wasted so much time taking the long, winding road. Thanks for putting me on the highway." - Drea T. "My 5th Stage 32 webinar and I get more impressed with each one I take." - Michael M.
In the current, competitive TV landscape of serialized dramas, complex comedies, and sprawling genre epics, series bibles are becoming important selling tools to help writers illustrate their visions. A dynamic and intriguing bible can create interest in your project, and push your pitch or spec script over the edge to a sale. It’s your chance to lay out the larger arc of your story, list examples of future episodes, and explain the broad themes your show will explore. It conveys confidence to producers and executives by saying: “I've thought about this in the long run, and I have a slew of awesome ideas to explore in series.” Because there is no standard industry way to format your bible, they can be extremely confusing to create. Executives receive bibles as small as 4 pages (a mini-bible, really) and as long as 27 pages. Should it include your personal connection to the material? In-depth character bios? Visual motifs? Artist’s renderings of the setting and characters? Although bibles can vary greatly from project to project, there are some general rules and strategies to follow to make sure yours stands out from the pack as professional, polished, and powerful. Michael Poisson's career is one that has been filled with incredible ambitious drive and creative passion. He is a veteran television executive and is currently a writer on the hit Netflix series Raising Dion, as well as Adult Swim's Robot Chicken. But Michael’s story begins with his first industry job at CAA where he broke the glass ceiling for men everywhere and became their first ever male receptionist (before then, CAA had segregated based on sex: guys in the mailroom and girls in reception). From there he worked his way up to Rick Lefitz’s desk at CAA in TV Packaging, before jumping to Ryan Reynolds and Allan Loeb’s TV pod, DarkFire TV, for two years. He moved on to work as the Director of Development at Krysten Ritter’s company, Silent Machine Entertainment, where he worked closely with writers to develop their ideas to pitch to studios and networks. Michael has also had numerous successes as a screenwriter. In what has become an ultra-competitive environment, Michael will teach you the ins and outs of creating a compelling and willing TV bible. Starting with the proper formatting, how to introduce dynamic characters, and moving through how to include active and engaging episode examples, Michael will show you what grabs and keeps an executive's attention. Michael will also discuss artwork, articles and visual aids and whether your bible truly needs them or if they should be left out entirely. He will show you how to create and present carefully crafted, season long arcs that include strong and relatable themes. Always a challenge for writers, producers, and filmmakers putting together a series bible, Michael will teach you how to be clear and concise in explaining your direction for the series. He will spend quality time explaining and teaching the importance of a strong wrap up and closing beat and how to nail both. Michael will even teach you how to identify and decide which network or platform may be best for your show. "Answered so many of my questions about bible writing. Took away my fears as well! I can't wait to get started." - Mia L. "Demystification complete." Lorraine R. "Michael has energy and knowledge to spare. Best investment I've made in years." - Regina K. "There is so much mixed information on bible writing out there. It's confusing and, honestly, maddening. I appreciated Michael slowly, concisely, and thoroughly explaining what works, what doesn't and how to bring a winning series bible to life. Bravo." Angelo D.
Learn directly from Michael Poisson, the former Director of Development at Silent Machine Entertainment, Krysten Ritter’s production company that has a first look deal at Universal TV. Michael is also a comedy writer who used his insider knowledge to land a manager, and get two projects in development at TV production companies. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, your host Michael Poisson will guide you through the business side of how to become a working writer in Hollywood. Writing an awesome script is only part of the process for becoming successful in this industry. Having worked on various projects from both the executive side, as well as the writer side of things, Michael has obtained great insight for how to avoid the difficult terrain when meeting and working with producers, studios, and networks. And while the process of finding a manager or agent is daunting, keeping a strong relationship with them so that they’re doing the most for you as their client can be equally difficult. Michael will share with you his insider knowledge to help: keep your writing on track, your meetings fruitful, and your industry contacts strong. If you’ve ever wondered what you should talk about in “general meetings”, how to take notes from friends/producers/execs that you don’t agree with, or how to be a more prolific writer, this webinar is for you!
PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch. WEEK #1 – Introduction, Pitch Docs, Character This week we will cover the syllabus, your instructor's background and experience, your goals for this eight-week lab and launch into a discussion on creating strong characters for your pilot. We will discuss the types of drama pilots and how they differ from network to network. We will go over how to create effective loglines and pitch documents. Then we will delve into character – what makes for strong characters and weak ones. The assignment for this week will be to create a pitch document and write a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters. WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline and Series Bible This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of drama pilot (procedural or serial) and the network (broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, etc.) We will identify what kind of network to target for your story idea and structure the pilot accordingly. We will also discuss the function of your series bible and what it needs to include to support your pilot. The assignment for the week is to complete a pilot outline and start work on your bible. WEEK #3 – Pilot Outline (One on One Consultations – No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding pilot structure. Each writer will send in their pilot outline in advance and will have a 10-minute call to discuss what works and what doesn’t. The assignment for the week is to address any notes given on the outline before proceeding with next week’s class and to continue working on your series bible. WEEK #4– Scenes, Beats, Dialogue, This week we will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, story beats, and dialogue. The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the teaser/opening scene, a scene with heavy dialogue, and a strong character scene. WEEK #5– Acts 1 and 2 We will discuss both the four-act and five-act structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in acts 1 and 2 of a drama pilot, including exposition, number of scenes per act, traditional page count, inciting incidents, acts 1 and 2 breaks, etc. The assignment this week will be to complete Acts 1 and 2 of your pilot. WEEK #6– Acts 3, 4 and 5 Similarly to last week, we will cover the necessary story beats that traditionally exist in acts 3 and 4 of a drama pilot. If your pilot structure has five or more, as some broadcast network shows do, there will be time allotted for further instruction on how to proceed. The assignment this week is to complete the first draft of the entire pilot and to turn in your series bible. WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Please turn in your pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call, and each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes. Your assignment this week is to address any notes. WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (No Online Class) This week will consist of 10-minute one-on-one phone calls as well. Please submit your revised pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call. Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given. Payment plans are available - please contact email@example.com for more information.