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!
Producer Development Exec Anna Henry joins our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.
Low budget filmmaking is all the rage these days. But unfortunately, many people equate low budget with low quality. And if we're being honest, that's because most producers and filmmakers don't understand how and where to spend their money to stretch their dollar and make sure the quality is up there on the screen. In short, you don't have to compromise on your vision if you have a smaller budget to work with. Even though you may not be playing with studio level money, you still have the ability to make a high quality film without skimping on spending for what matters. If you are clever in your planning, approach and execution of minimizing costs your will walk away with a movie you will be proud of and that will play much larger than the budget. And this will allow you to stand out in every way, from festival submissions to attracting sales agents, distributors and more. Thinking smart about your indie film must begin at the script stage. There are many tips and tricks successful producers and filmmakers use to ensure that a project will not run amok financially once you start developing and shooting it. You must think outside of the box to be able to find cost-effective ways to assure you get everything you need to make your production go smoothly and on schedule while keeping you in line on your budget. Once you master a few tips and tricks of the trade, you'll assuredly have money left over to spend on what really counts and make your film look and sound like you had money to burn. So, how can you evaluate your script, avoid the common pitfalls, and assure that you avoid the myriad issues that can stall a production or push it over budget? We have the answers. Sara Elizabeth Timmins was a field producer on the hit HBO series McMillions, which was produced by Mark Wahlberg and premiered at Sundance 2020. Her films have been seen in theaters, the Hallmark Channel, Starz, Showtime and internationally. She has worked with talented actors like Jane Seymour, Ellen Burstyn, Chris Cooper, Josh Lucas and Mackenzie Foy and writers like NY Times Best Selling Author David Baldacci. Throughout her career she has learned how to attach award-winning talent and turn a profit on every single one of her films. Sara Elizabeth will teach you the 3 key elements you must not skimp on in order to get your film to come out looking the best possible way. She'll share how she's been able to secure and manage professional talent and crew on a low budget. She'll take you step by step with great examples of where you can minimize costs in the script and development phase, as well as once you're in production. She'll even share things to think about when it comes to transportation, lodging, craft services, locations and more. She'll also give you 9 common production dangers that can sabotage your budget - you'll want to know each one of these before you even say "action!" This is information you'll want to come back to time and time again and can help you for every single production regardless of your working budget. "What clever information Sara Elizabeth. Thank you a million for your insights into your process producing. You gave me so many things to think about that I never would have considered. I'm excited to put this into practice on the film I'm doing next year!" - Robin M. "Brilliant. Just brilliant. I feel like I just got the secret sauce." - Timothy K.
If you're a filmmaker, producer or any creative/professional looking to incorporate music into your film & television, advertising or digital project, you'll need to understand the basics steps of how to secure the rights for the music you desire to use. From well known hit songs from major recording artists, to indie bands, to public domain, to original compositions and cover songs of historical and iconic music hits, you need to be armed with all the knowledge of clearing the rights to that music for your project to protect yourself legally and in order for it to play at festivals, screen theatrically, stream on the internet or be released on DVD/VOD. The memorable song you heard on the internet. You can't get it out of your head. You would so love to use it in your opening credits. Is it available to be used and licensed if you want to screen your film theatrically? What type of rights will you need to obtain if you plan on distributing your project globally? What about that jukebox song your editor temped into the background during one of your bar scenes - is that okay to use? And for how much will the licensing fee be for the rights you need? (You may just be surprised to the upside!) These are just some of the need to know details and nuances you need to know to be sure you can secure the music that can make or break your film, but also protect yourself legally. Anna Grannucci, a Los Angeles-based film producer and Yale School of Drama graduate who has more than a decade of experience working as the Music Supervisor on films such as WHIPLASH (nominated for 5 Academy Awards, winning 3), written and directed by Damian Chazelle, STICKY NOTES starring Ray Liotta, GHOST HOUSE, DIRTY, UZLA, KISS ME and many more. She currently owns song copyrights, and has become a beckoning music publisher which includes controlling the music rights to WHIPLASH. She has also recently collaborated with the Academy Award Winning Italian Maestro Ennio Morricone and his son Andrea Morricone on musical material for film in Rome, Italy. With her vast experience in producing and music, she is the go-to source when it comes to music clearances. Anna will teach you a variety of valuable information starting with the types of other source music available for film, television, advertising, video games and every other digital media source, which also includes public domain music, royalty free, original composition, and score. You will learn how to gauge what songs are licensable or not for use in your film or project. Once you've chosen your music, you will learn music rights, the clearance process, the difference between festival, theatrical, DVD/VOD and advertising clearances and more! You will have a clear understanding of how to obtain and clear music to assure the key moments in your project have the feel and sound you desire and make your film's soundtrack a memorable success!
What an awesome Executive Hour to kick off 2020 with Development & Production Executive Sarah J. Cornelius of Whitewater Films. Despite fighting a cold, Sarah powered through and gave us some awesome insights about the business, the inside story of how their film, Standing Up, Falling Down came together with Billy Crystal, what she looks for in a screenwriter, and the best (and worst) advice she ever received in show business!
Finding, securing, and building a relationship with a meaningful and experienced producer can be one of the biggest challenges writers and filmmakers face. Even with a great script and a stacked cast, many producers who can move the needle on a project are often in great demand. Securing a meaningful producer means you have someone on your team who can pull the strings, make the offers and put the puzzle pieces of the project together. But how do you find a producer in the first place? How do you build a relationship and show them that you’re someone they should take a chance on? And once you’ve reached that point, how do you get the most out of that relationship to assure that your vision reaches the screen in the most productive, and hopefully profitable manner possible? One of the biggest misconceptions for talent is that producers stifle creativity. ‘The only word they know is “no!”’ or ‘The only thing they care about is money!’. The truth is, though, that building a relationship with the right producer can be a career-maker and can also make your life easier. Producers help you make connections, take all of the day-to-day questions about making a project off your plate, and can even creatively add to your series or film. But you need to know how best to use your producers if you’re going to succeed. Writers and filmmakers alike need to know how to find the right producer for them, understanding the skills different types of producers bring to the table, and finding the best way to create a good producer/talent relationship. Rachel Crouch is the Director of Development at Cold Iron Pictures, a production/financing company that most recently produced BEING FRANK starring comedian Jim Gaffigan and Anna Gunn. Previously Cold Iron produced SWISS ARMY MAN starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, as well as Marielle Heller’s directorial debut DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL starring Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård, both of which premiered at Sundance Film Festival. They also produced the Sundance hit UNTITLED AMAZING JOHNATHAN DOCUMENTARY, which premiered in the US Documentary Competition section and is available on Hulu. Rachel has been involved in every step of producing these films and has helped launch careers of the talent involved with them. Rachel will walk you through the nuts and bolts of finding the right producer and forming a great working relationship with him or her. She will discuss the different types of producers and how each contributes to different projects. She will then go into how to find that perfect producer, and the best ways to do research, take meetings, and woo them to get them on your side. She will also discuss the producer’s role in every phase of production—from giving notes during development, to building the team in pre-production, serving on the ground during production, and handling sound, color, and deliverables during post, among many, many other facets. Rachel will help you tackle the tricky issue of dealing with money with your producer and outline the common ways the producer-talent relationships fall apart, as well as flourish. Rachel will even provide case studies from her own background to illustrate how the producer-talent relationship helped create Independent Spirit Award winning DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, Sundance winning SWISS ARMY MAN, and SXSW nominated BEING FRANK. Praise from Rachel’s Previous Stage 32 Webinars: “Rachel is a wealth of information and experience. Really appreciate her insight and candor” -Steven S. "I appreciate Rachel's openness and willingness to share her knowledge and experience with us." -Susan S. "Very practical advice that I can apply right away." - Brianne G. "I thought Rachel was very professional and informative." - Chris R.
Hello, Creative Army. It's been a busy few months around the Stage 32 offices and for yours truly as it relates to my personal projects. I'm excited to share with you what I'm hearing, what I've learned, and what I've experienced since we last got together. As always, my AMA's are always free! Watch as many times as you'd like. Cheers! RB