Stage 32 + Vail Film Festival Present: Women in Film - Personal Stories

Hosted by Top Female Filmmakers

FREE

On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
Overlay Icon

Stage 32 Next Level Education has a 97% user satisfaction rate.

Top Female Filmmakers

Webinar hosted by: Top Female Filmmakers

Meet the Panelists of Women in Film: Personal Stories Lesley-Ann Brandt - Actor, Producer Actor: Netflix's LUCIFER South African born actress, activist and supermom Lesley-Ann Brandt stars on Netflix’s global hit series LUCIFER and had a breakout role on the Starz hits, SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND and SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA. Brandt's other credits include the film DRIFT opposite Sam Worthington, Fox's GOTHAM and the dark comedy, KILLING WINSTON JONES starring opposite Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Glover and Jon Heder. Alexandra Barreto - Producer, Director, Actor Filmmaker: LADY HATER (Tribeca Film Festival), TOO LATE (Robert Forster & John Hawkes) Actor: THE FOSTERS Alexandra's directorial debut, LADY HATER, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. The Audible Original Series she directed stars Meg Ryan, Rachel Bloom, and Sam Richardson, and her film TOO LATE starred Oscar nominees John Hawkes and Robert Forster. As an actor, she is best known for her five-year run on THE FOSTERS. She currently can be seen on the FX hit MAYANS MC.   Robin Bronk - Producer Producer: POLIWOOD (Barry Levinson) Robin Bronk is the CEO of The Creative Coalition, the leading nonprofit arm of the entertainment industry. Ms. Bronk produced the feature film, POLIWOOD, directed by Academy Award-winner Barry Levinson, and executive produced Before You Know It, starring Alec Baldwin, Mandy Patinkin and Judith Light. Ms. Bronk speaks at colleges and universities as well as the Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, and Tribeca film festivals and serves on the New York Cultural Task Force, as well as the boards of The White House Project and The Close Up Foundation, and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and Women of Washington. Leslie Alejandro - Director, Filmmaker, Celebrity/Fashion Photographer, Activist Filmmaker: SMILE (Dances with Wolves Film Festival)   Leslie premiered her first horror short SMILE at Dances with the Wolves Film Festival in 2019. She was previously partner and executive editor of a fashion magazine. Her work has been featured in Vanity Fair, GQ, Vogue, Glamour, Men’s Health, The Wrap and more. As activist she has been a member of the Human Rights Campaign for more than a decade and actively campaigns for the inclusion and visibility of people of color “above and below the line” in the entertainment industry. Mali Elfman - Producer Producer: THE PARTY'S JUST BEGINNING, written, directed by, and starring Karen Gillan (JUMANJI, AVENGERS, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) Mali Elfman is a prolific producer of feature, short form, and episodic content. She recently produced THE PARTY'S JUST BEGINNING, written, directed by, and starring Karen Gillan (JUMANJI, AVENGERS, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY). Ashleigh Snead - Producer Producer: THE RANGER (SXSW), SCARE PACKAGE, THE PALE DOOR Ashleigh has years of business and production experience, both in and out of the film industry. With an MBA from NYU and an entrepreneurial spirit she launched two successful children’s clothes companies before making the switch to film. She has worked as a producer on eight feature films, including the 2018 SXSW punk rock horror hit, THE RANGER, Shudder's summer 2020 horror/comedy anthology release, SCARE PACKAGE, and witchy western THE PALE DOOR coming to theaters this Fall. Your Moderator: Amanda Toney - Producer & Managing Director at Stage 32 As Managing Director for Stage 32, Amanda oversees operations and business development for the global business. She has curated over 1,200 hours of online education created exclusively for Stage 32, and works with hundreds of entertainment industry executives from around the world to serve as educators and mentors. She has spearheaded partnerships with such prestigious organizations as the Cannes Film Festival Marché du Film, American Film Market, SXSW, Austin Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, PGA, WGA and DGA, as well as brands such as AT&T, Peerspace, Pond5, Mandy, Bondit Media Capital and her personal favorite partnership, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is the official vodka of Stage 32. As a producer, Amanda has worked on the psychological thriller What Lies Ahead starring Rumer Willis and Emma Dumont; Chick Fight, starring Malin Akerman, Alec Baldwin and Bella Thorne, Metaphorms, a Hungarian film, which premiered at the Raindance Film Festival and Dolphin Girl, an entire Stage 32 production in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Film Commission. She recently sold an unscripted show to a major US network. Amanda has spoken all over the world at the Cannes Film Festival (France), Hollyshorts Film Festival (US), Raindance Film Festival (UK), Hamburg Film Fest (Germany), Trinidad & Tobago Film Commission (Trinidad), Fest Festival (Portugal) and Harvard (US) on the business of the entertainment industry. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Stage 32 and Vail Film Festival have joined forces to bring you an exclusive FREE virtual Q&A with top female filmmakers from the festival! Now, no matter where you live in the world you can tune in!

The 2020 Vail Film Festival took place online from May 15-17, and had a special focus on female filmmakers. In addition to film screenings, the festival included filmmaker Q&A sessions, a filmmaking workshop, and a women in film panel discussion featuring leading female producers, actors, and directors. The 2020 film program will showcase narrative features, documentaries, short films, and student films. This year's lineup includes films starring Simon Pegg, Annette Bening, Juno Temple, Alexandra Daddario, Wendie Malick, Danny Trejo, Maggie Siff, Sabrina Carpenter, Natalie Zea, Jay Mohr, Jason Ritter, Kristen Vangsness, Rose McIver, and more.

The lineup for the 2020 Vail Film Festival is unparalleled, and we encourage Stage 32 members to attend the virtual festival and support their fellow filmmakers. As part of our partnership, Vail Film Festival is offering Stage 32 members an exclusive 25% off discount on all-access passes to the online festival. Stage 32 members can use the code stage32 at checkout. For more info and to purchase a pass to the online Vail Film Festival please visit: www.vailfilmfestival.com

What You'll Learn

As part of our partnership, we are incredibly excited to host a FREE virtual panel alongside Vail Film Festival entitled "Women in Film: Personal Stories" - now available on demand. The discussion focuses on the panelist's personal filmmaking journeys. They talk about the lessons they've learned and share tips they've picked up from their experience in the film industry. The panel features seven powerhouse female voices of entertainment, including:

  • Lesley-Ann Brandt - Actor, Producer (LUCIFER, SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND, SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA)
  • Alexandra Barreto - Producer, Director, Actor (THE FOSTERS, MAYANS MC)
  • Robin Bronk - Producer (POLIWOOD, directed by Academy Award-winner Barry Levinson, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, starring Alec Baldwin, Mandy Patinkin, & Judith Light)
  • Leslie Alejandro - Director, Filmmaker, Celebrity/Fashion Photographer, Activist (Leslie's work has been featured in Vanity Fair, GQ, Vogue, Glamour, Men’s Health, The Wrap and more)
  • Mali Elfman - Producer (THE PARTY'S JUST BEGINNING, written, directed by, and starring Karen Gillan)
  • Ashleigh Snead - Producer (THE RANGER, SCARE PACKAGE, THE PALE DOOR

Moderated by our very own Amanda Toney - Producer & Managing Director, Stage 32 (WHAT LIES AHEAD starring Rumer Willis and Emma Dumont)

About Your Instructor

Meet the Panelists of Women in Film: Personal Stories

Lesley-Ann Brandt - Actor, Producer

Actor: Netflix's LUCIFER

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT Stage 32 is the Official Networking Education Partner of Vail Film Festival

South African born actress, activist and supermom Lesley-Ann Brandt stars on Netflix’s global hit series LUCIFER and had a breakout role on the Starz hits, SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND and SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA. Brandt's other credits include the film DRIFT opposite Sam Worthington, Fox's GOTHAM and the dark comedy, KILLING WINSTON JONES starring opposite Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Glover and Jon Heder.

Alexandra Barreto - Producer, Director, Actor

Filmmaker: LADY HATER (Tribeca Film Festival), TOO LATE (Robert Forster & John Hawkes)

Actor: THE FOSTERS

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT Stage 32 is the Official Networking Education Partner of Vail Film Festival

Alexandra's directorial debut, LADY HATER, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. The Audible Original Series she directed stars Meg Ryan, Rachel Bloom, and Sam Richardson, and her film TOO LATE starred Oscar nominees John Hawkes and Robert Forster. As an actor, she is best known for her five-year run on THE FOSTERS. She currently can be seen on the FX hit MAYANS MC.

 

Robin Bronk - Producer

Producer: POLIWOOD (Barry Levinson)

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT Stage 32 is the Official Networking Education Partner of Vail Film Festival

Robin Bronk is the CEO of The Creative Coalition, the leading nonprofit arm of the entertainment industry. Ms. Bronk produced the feature film, POLIWOOD, directed by Academy Award-winner Barry Levinson, and executive produced Before You Know It, starring Alec Baldwin, Mandy Patinkin and Judith Light. Ms. Bronk speaks at colleges and universities as well as the Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, and Tribeca film festivals and serves on the New York Cultural Task Force, as well as the boards of The White House Project and The Close Up Foundation, and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and Women of Washington.

Leslie Alejandro - Director, Filmmaker, Celebrity/Fashion Photographer, Activist

Filmmaker: SMILE (Dances with Wolves Film Festival)

 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT Stage 32 is the Official Networking Education Partner of Vail Film Festival

Leslie premiered her first horror short SMILE at Dances with the Wolves Film Festival in 2019. She was previously partner and executive editor of a fashion magazine. Her work has been featured in Vanity Fair, GQ, Vogue, Glamour, Men’s Health, The Wrap and more. As activist she has been a member of the Human Rights Campaign for more than a decade and actively campaigns for the inclusion and visibility of people of color “above and below the line” in the entertainment industry.

Mali Elfman - Producer

Producer: THE PARTY'S JUST BEGINNING, written, directed by, and starring Karen Gillan (JUMANJI, AVENGERS, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY)

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT Stage 32 is the Official Networking Education Partner of Vail Film Festival

Mali Elfman is a prolific producer of feature, short form, and episodic content. She recently produced THE PARTY'S JUST BEGINNING, written, directed by, and starring Karen Gillan (JUMANJI, AVENGERS, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY).

Ashleigh Snead - Producer

Producer: THE RANGER (SXSW), SCARE PACKAGE, THE PALE DOOR

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT Stage 32 is the Official Networking Education Partner of Vail Film Festival

Ashleigh has years of business and production experience, both in and out of the film industry. With an MBA from NYU and an entrepreneurial spirit she launched two successful children’s clothes companies before making the switch to film. She has worked as a producer on eight feature films, including the 2018 SXSW punk rock horror hit, THE RANGER, Shudder's summer 2020 horror/comedy anthology release, SCARE PACKAGE, and witchy western THE PALE DOOR coming to theaters this Fall.

Your Moderator: Amanda Toney - Producer & Managing Director at Stage 32

As Managing Director for Stage 32, Amanda oversees operations and business development for the global business. She has curated over 1,200 hours of online education created exclusively for Stage 32, and works with hundreds of entertainment industry executives from around the world to serve as educators and mentors. She has spearheaded partnerships with such prestigious organizations as the Cannes Film Festival Marché du Film, American Film Market, SXSW, Austin Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, PGA, WGA and DGA, as well as brands such as AT&T, Peerspace, Pond5, Mandy, Bondit Media Capital and her personal favorite partnership, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is the official vodka of Stage 32.

As a producer, Amanda has worked on the psychological thriller What Lies Ahead starring Rumer Willis and Emma Dumont; Chick Fight, starring Malin Akerman, Alec Baldwin and Bella Thorne, Metaphorms, a Hungarian film, which premiered at the Raindance Film Festival and Dolphin Girl, an entire Stage 32 production in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Film Commission. She recently sold an unscripted show to a major US network.

Amanda has spoken all over the world at the Cannes Film Festival (France), Hollyshorts Film Festival (US), Raindance Film Festival (UK), Hamburg Film Fest (Germany), Trinidad & Tobago Film Commission (Trinidad), Fest Festival (Portugal) and Harvard (US) on the business of the entertainment industry.

FAQs

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!

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Post-Production: Finding The Film

Learn directly from Shaun O’Banion, an award-winning independent producer! As a producer, post-production is a part of the process you’re rarely involved in from day-to-day, and yet it is one of the most integral parts of the filmmaking process (if not the most important). A lot of questions can be asked from a filmmaker like how to shape the film, how to define roles in post, what to do with VFX, how to handle the footage you have and ultimately how to develop a great film after it’s been shot. It’s not easy to do and it takes a lot of practice and experience to perfect. We will discuss the pieces that make up the whole, from assessing the relationships in the edit suite, to bringing all of the elements together and how it all happens. From the technical to the emotional, this webinar will attempt to demystify the process in a way for you to easily understand what to do to “find the film” in post. Post Production: Finding the Film is presented by 20 year industry veteran, Shaun O’Banion, who has worked with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Christopher Walken, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Judd Apatow and Peter Hedges. He has won numerous awards for his films, including the prestigious IFP GOTHAM Award for GIRLFRIEND.

Prepping For International Co-Productions: What You Need To Know

As the world of independent television and film continues to shift, international co-productions are becoming more common. That’s because crossing borders is often an effective way to find better funding, better locations, and ultimately a wider audience. But international co-productions are not always a slam dunk. Partnering with other countries is a complicated endeavor and brings with it challenges and hurdles you wouldn’t have to face otherwise. Potential pitfalls are plentiful, but then again, so are opportunities. It comes down to putting in the work ahead of time, covering your bases, and making sure you know what you’re doing before diving in head first. Working across countries is hard enough when you’re part of a studio or large corporation. There are still contracts to hash out, politics to navigate, and differences in cultures to understand. But when you’re an independent producer or filmmaker looking to cross country lines, it can feel impossible, an overwhelming prospect where you don’t even know where to start. After all, you don’t have the backing of a legal department and you don’t have experts on payroll. You just have you. So where do you start? Is an international co-production worth it for you? What steps should you take to get the ball rolling and how can do you protect yourself along the way? With more than twenty years in the industry, Alexia Melocchi has worked in nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry. Alexia is currently a producer at Little Studio Films, a representation and production company with more than 25 films and series credits. She serves as Partner and Producer, involved in all aspects of company operations, including distribution and co-production deals, managing production activities, and film and television marketing. Alexia is well versed in the art of international co-productions and will share the secrets, tips, and lessons she’s learned over her two decades in the industry exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Alexia will walk you through the nitty gritty of starting international co-productions and the things you need to know before jumping in. She will begin by going over the pros and cons of producing overseas, both for film projects and television, and when to determine if an international co-production is the right call. She’ll tell you the four aspects of your project you should focus on before making this call. She’ll then discuss what makes a story international and how to use this to your advantage. Alexia will then go over the advantages of having international settings in your script. Next she will focus on tax subsidies and credits in different countries, how these can be targeted, the challenges that come with claiming them, and the rules and requirements you’ll generally need to meet to qualify for them. She’ll also discuss the prospect of working with international broadcasters or producers. Then, Alexia will give an in-depth and detailed rundown of the benefits and challenges of producing in six major countries: Italy, Spain, Canada, UK, and Australia. She’ll offer a breakdown of the specific costs that go into overseas productions, as well as the legal ramifications of these projects, including how international cooperation might affect ownership of your IP and rights. Alexia will discuss what an effective timeline of a successful co-production deal might look like and will finally give you tips on how to work international markets like Cannes to find the partnerships you need. This webinar is useful to producers considering an international co-production as well as writers, actors and directors who feel their talent or material might work well on an international scale   Praise for Alexia’s Webinar   “Alexia had so much specific and helpful information that I’m going to be able to use moving forward” -Karen H.   “Alexia is the best! I’m so glad I got to see this webinar” -Hannah E.   “I was impressed with how much the instructor knew about this topic. I have a lot of ideas and tools I can take with me for my own projects now” -Jerry B.

How To Recoup Your Film's Profits Through Collection Account Management

Nowadays many independent film and TV productions that have multiple parties involved are looking for the best way to recoup profits on a completed project. One of the best ways to assure the parties involved with your film (producers, investors, financiers, sales agents and talent) see their returns is to have a collection account in place.  A collection account is an account in the name of a neutral third party who receives revenues generated by an independent film or TV project on behalf of the multiple beneficiaries from local distributors. This process is called collection account management and is an effective tool to guarantee that the beneficiaries receive their share of the revenues. The beneficiaries include producers, investors, financiers, sales agents and talent. Often times financiers, production partners and international sales agents put a collection account up as a requirement before even boarding project. During this webinar we will explain the functions and benefits of having a collection account in place for an independent film or TV project, how collection account management is set up and which parties should be involved in the entire process. We will further discuss the allocation and distribution of revenues, how to put together the Recoupment Schedule, and the importance of signing, or being a beneficiary to, the Collection Account Management Agreement.

How to Identify, Secure and Build a Relationship with a Great Producer for Your Film Project - with Case Studies (Sundance, SXSW, Spirit Awards)

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 for Rachel’s Stage 32 Webinars:   "Very informative, Rachel is wise beyond her years." -Anthony L.   "Very helpful! I learned so much and I am looking forward to going back and rewatching" -Milena W.   "Rachel Crouch was awesome. She enriched my knowledge of the world of producers and how as a screenwriter we can make connections with the right ones and how best to work with them! Great job." - Ricki L.   "Rachel was terrific! Her thoughts were clear and helpful." -Valerie C.

An Indie Producer's Guide on How to Keep a Project on Track Through Production

It’s hard to fully encapsulate how massive of an undertaking it is to create a film. The amount of hours, money, people, and passion that go into every project can be staggering. And for independent productions that don’t have the stability or backing of a large, flush studio, all of these different elements fit together tenuously at best. With so many plates to spin, it takes the work of a capable producer to bring everything together and keep everything on track. Murphy’s Law dictates whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and any independent filmmaker or producer will attest that this is indeed the case. No amount of planning or foresight can keep everything running seamlessly. Money might fall through, equipment might malfunction, actors might bail, hired talent might prove to be difficult to work with. It’s impossible to keep all chaos at bay when managing a project as massive and messy as an independent film. That said, a great producer, especially in the indie space, can put out fires, keep the chaos at bay, and keep that movie on track. It boils down to working smartly, being as prepared as possible, and being light on your feet. Some of this comes with time and experience, but there’s a lot a producers can do, even on their very first project, to better rise to the occasion and manage their film successfully. Luke Daniels is the Executive in Charge of Production for Tunnel. In his career in entertainment, which has spanned nearly two decades, Luke has produced over 60 feature films (8 in 2019 alone), including the Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca and Toronto International Film Festival Official Selections. He has worked on films with directors like Kevin Smith and James Franco and talent like Riley Keough, Jean Claude Van Damme, Luke Wilson, Topher Grace and more. Through it all, he's learned countless tricks as an independent producer that can help keep your production on track, and he’s bringing his experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Luke will go over the things he's learned through the years to help you with your own productions, from the beginning of pre-production, all the way through production. He’ll begin by giving you strategies on creative ways to creatively put financing together when starting out a project. He’ll then teach you the basic steps to take to put together a project smartly. Next Luke will then discuss how to hold key elements in place while prepping for a film and what you can do if you lose an actor or director. He will also give you tips on what to do if you lose a location before production starts. Luke will then focus on the producer’s role during production. He will show you how to manage high-level talent and go over ways to deal with difficult talent during the shoot. He will then delve into the producer-director relationship and how to respect their vision while still being able to collaborate creatively during the process. Luke will discuss what to do if you go over budget, especially if you’re not bonded, and will teach you how to navigate if you’re hit with unexpected fines.   Praise for Luke’s Webinar:   “I loved hearing Luke’s perspective and past experiences” -Sandra T.   “So many great tips and lessons that I can bring with me on my next project” -Brian F.   “Luke was great! Really helpful” -Joe V.   “I liked how specific and practical Luke got with his advice. Thank you!” -Miranda C.  

Creating Realistic Characters for Television and Film

Whether we’re talking about a comedy or drama, sci-fi or horror, a film or television series, animated or live action, short-form or long-form, having good characters is essential. There’s no escaping it. Even a script with everything else going for it, if it doesn’t have strong, compelling characters, it’s not going to work. Great characters connect the audience to your world and ground it in humanity. They provide stakes, bolster your plot and keep it moving. It’s therefore crucial to understand what make an effective character and how you can create that in your own project. Unfortunately there’s not a step-by-step guide to crafting the perfect character. There’s no secret formula and there’s no surefire algorithm. Good characters are complicated and hard to define because so are people. Good characters hold a mirror up to reality and let the audience see themselves or someone else they know in them. And all of that might be fine and good in theory, but what does that actually mean in practice? If you’re a writer how can you create a character who serves as a mirror, who will stick with audiences long after the movie or show ends? And if you’re a producer or director, how can you recognize a great character from a mediocre one through the written word? Lee Sternthal is a screenwriter, director and photographer who has written screenplays for every major studio, including TRON: LEGACY for Disney, as well as scripts for Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson and many others. His film, THE WORDS starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons was an Official Sundance Film Festival selection and was later bought by CBS Films. Lee is a Sundance Institute Fellow, and his work has appeared on The Black List. Through his writing career, Lee has spent more time than most considering the art of character and using that to aid his own career, as well as writers he continues to mentor and champion. Lee will walk you through the power of character and how to create great characters for your own project. He’ll begin by discussing why exactly characters are so vital to story and will teach you the key differences between a TV character and a film character. Next he will give you a brief history of character in storytelling and reveal the one fictional character from history that all other characters draw from. Lee will then discuss the difference between heroes and anti-heroes, as well as help you determine which of your characters is the driver and which are the riders. He’ll then delve into the art of a great antagonist and why an interesting adversary is so crucial to a successful story. Lee will help you frame your story through the clarity of need, both in character and in story. Next Lee will go over the classic Hero’s Journey and slightly re-imagine it for modern times. He will give you strategies and exercises to better understand and develop your own characters, including his “What’s Their God?” and “Changing A Flat Tire” games. He’ll then teach you the concept of revealing character through behavior and hiding character with words. Next Lee will delve into the idea of how your characters fit into your world, including how the environment might change your character. He’ll teach you the Shakespearean approach to character and compare it to the Balzacian approach, and will also discuss the difference between neuroticism and human comedy. Finally Lee will go over the dance between plot and character, illustrating how the two should work with and against each other to create a feedback loop that’s necessary for any great script.        Praise for Lee’s Webinar   “Great insight. Really helped me in moving forward.” -Martin R.   “I really enjoyed Lee's perspective on script writing. The examples he provided were very helpful. I'm very appreciative that he would share his knowledge, some of his techniques and be so generous with his encouragement.” -Simone L.   “Lee had a great way of explaining how to get a feel for the character and why they have the traits they do. Lee did a great job of covering a lot of character related topics which I am glad I have been exposed to.” -Karl H.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In