Pete Goldfinger is an incredibly successful feature and television writer in Hollywood, perhaps best known for penning the two newest features in the SAW horror universe, including JIGSAW, which grossed over $100 million, and SPIRAL, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock, which debuted at number one at the box office this year. Other credits of Peter’s include SORORITY ROW, PIRANHA 3D and TV shows like TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. When he’s not writing for the screen, Pete is running and hosting his own screenwriting retreats, in-person workshops, and Zoom classes. Students of Pete’s classes learn how to turn their projects into marketable, saleable products, and he’s going to deliver these same principles to Stage 32’s community. Full Bio »
Learn how to pitch remotely from the writer of JIGSAW and SPIRAL (Number one movie at the box office this year)
Includes a live pitch demonstration and an exclusive pitch workshop with 5 volunteers!
As Zoom pitches continue to be our “new norm,” it’s important to know how to deliver the most effective virtual pitches, because let’s face it, it’s not the same as pitching in person. The energy is different, and you need to make sure you keep the energy high and engaging. How do you keep producers interested through a computer screen? Now, more than ever, you have to be quick, clear, and concise. Structure is key, but so is knowing how to handle small talk. Pitching is as much about selling your project as it is about selling yourself. Armed with the right tools, conversation, and materials, your chances are as good as anyone else’s.
Pete Goldfinger is an incredibly successful feature and television writer in Hollywood, perhaps best known for penning the two newest features in the SAW horror universe, including JIGSAW, which grossed over $100 million, and SPIRAL, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock, which debuted at number one at the box office this year. He’s going to teach you how to quickly hook producers and showrunners with the most valuable and authentic pitch. Pete will share his years of experience handling everything from small talk to delivering strong loglines with pitch decks so that you’ll have all the tools to feel confident in your next virtual pitch.
To demonstrate a live Zoom pitch and being quick on your feet with your pitches, Pete will deliver one of his own pitches, and then give you the opportunity to practice your own one-minute pitches and provide you with feedback. This is an amazing opportunity to fine tune and get advice on nailing your pitch from someone who knows just how to do that.
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.
Learn how to pitch remotely from the writer of JIGSAW and SPIRAL (Number one movie at the box office this year) Includes a live pitch demonstration and an exclusive pitch workshop where YOU can practice your Zoom pitch and receive notes! Pitching films and series has changed DRASTICALLY over the past year, as we’ve moved from traditional in-person pitches between writers and producers to remote ones. And even as we continue on our path to a stronger semblance of “normal”, all signs point to Zoom pitches sticking around and remaining a consistent aspect of the industry. Zoom has become the norm for eager writers, and if you’ve never pitched before, having the right tools, tips, and materials at your fingertips can really make your pitch shine. If you’ve never pitched to an executive or showrunner before, you may not know what it takes to deliver. Now, more than ever, you must be quick, concise, and clear. To avoid aimless rambling or unnecessary detail and conversation, structure is key. And once that structure is in place, your well-developed pitch can take you to the next level. What are the elements you need to pitch to a development executive or producer to get you to that next level? If you don’t know how to pitch efficiently while keeping your concept clear, the virtual call you’ve waited weeks to have could come to an abrupt end. Those who don’t take the time to practice and think they can roll through on the fly quickly, discover they’ve missed out on an incredible opportunity. But armed with the right tools, conversation, and materials, your chances are as good as anyone else’s. Pete Goldfinger knows what those tools are. Pete is an incredibly successful feature and television writer in Hollywood, perhaps best known for penning the two newest features in the SAW horror universe, including JIGSAW, which grossed over $100 million, and SPIRAL, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock, which debuted at number one at the box office this year. Other credits of Peter’s include SORORITY ROW, PIRANHA 3D and TV shows like TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. When he’s not writing for the screen, Pete is running and hosting his own screenwriting retreats, in-person workshops, and Zoom classes. Students of Pete’s classes learn how to turn their projects into marketable, saleable products, and he’s going to deliver these same principles to Stage 32’s community. During this timely and much-needed webinar, Pete will show you how to deliver the most valuable and authentic pitch possible by discussing the elements that need to go into a pitch so that you hook producers and showrunners quickly. From handling (sometimes) awkward small talk to delivering strong loglines with pitch decks, Pete will share his years of experience so that you leave feeling confident about your next (or first!) virtual pitch. After passing on his golden nuggets of wisdom, Pete will deliver a live pitch demonstration, who will take attendees’ ideas on what to pitch and then deliver his pitch on the spot to give you a feel of what Zoom pitching and thinking on your feet is really like. Pete will even offer an invaluable pitch workshop after his presentation, opening the floor to volunteers who will practice giving pitches and then receive valuable notes from Pete!
Mentoring in a private class setting with top financier Viviana Zarragoitia, VP of Three Point Capital - exclusively through Stage 32! Get access to exclusive handouts including sample budgets, packages and collection account management statement, sales sheets, sales agent contracts and distribution agreements One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a creative is finding financiers and raising funds for your film. You may have a great script, a great cast and crew, but at the end of the day, no money means no project. For many creatives, the world of financing can seem overwhelming and impenetrable. Collection account management? Waterfalls? Gap financing? It can be hard to understand what these concepts even mean, much less how to navigate them successfully. But it's within your grasp to master these elements, find success for your project and allow financiers to recoup their investments. First you must understand the ins and outs of what goes into financing an independent film so you can ultimately find success. Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films can be your calling card toward making a life working in independent film. Simply put, if you understand the strategies and methods to help your investors see a return, you get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring more investors with them if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, it's not impossible, and in fact can be well within your power, especially with the right guidance and education. Viviana Zarragoitia is the Vice President of Three Point Capital, one of the entertainment industry's top financiers that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. Through Three Point, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in. She has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Rob Barnum (MARGIN CALL), Anthony Bregman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), James Schamus (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Aaron Gilbert (JOKER), Kimberly Steward (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), Nicolas Chartier (THE HURT LOCKER) and Kevin Frakes (HEREDITARY), among others. Before Three Point Capital, Viviana worked in accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films, as well as in the finance division of Lionsgate, where she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. Viviana has seen it all when it comes to film financing and knows intimately well how films find success at all budget levels. In this advanced level and intensive 6-session class, Viviana will comprehensively teach you how you can finance your own independent film, whether it's microbudget ($500,000 or less), more than $10 million, or anything in between. In Session 1 she will provide an overview of the different types of film financing available to you. In Session 2 she will focus on microbudget films specifically and dig in to how films with these budgets can find success. Session 3 will center on using tax credits, soft money, and grants to help fund your project. In session 4, Viviana will bring in a notable film producer she has worked with in the past and discuss with them the principles of finding and approaching financiers and convincing them to contribute to your project. Session 5 will delve into equity, pre-sales, gap, and sales agents. Finally Session 6 will look at waterfalls, recoupment and navigating collection accounts. Along the way, Viviana will provide exclusive and valuable handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including: Sample Budgets and Packages Sales Sheets Sales Agent Contracts Sample Collection Account Statement Example Distribution Agreements Praise for Viviana's Past Stage 32 Financing Classes: "Viviana inspired me to learn more about the business side of filmmaking. I had an idea of how to finance a movie, but after our first class, I realized I had a lot to learn. I'm learning more to this day! I highly recommend her class to any film creative with little, to no understanding on how to finance an independent film. What she has to say is priceless!" -Steven K. "As an experienced film and television producer and writer, Viviana's class was just the refresher - and inspiration - that I needed! Having been a completion producer for a bond company, I have seen too many producers who were let down in the producing process by so-called-professionals who offered support at the on-set of a production, but then failed to deliver when needed. Viviana and her company Three Point Capital have an excellent reputation, and her counsel provided in the class solidified that. I highly recommend both Viviana and Stage 32 Education!" -Patricia C. "Viviana was personable, professional, interesting, interested, and a wealth of knowledge and useful information. I will take every opportunity to learn from her. She was patient and polite with every question and always clear with what she knew, what she thought, what she believed, and what she didn't know. She painted pictures and delivered facts, outlining the paths she has seen successful producers take while still encouraging all to pursue their art with a greater knowledge of the business and understanding of the challenges and potential pitfalls." -Randy G. "As someone who was totally new to the world of film financing, trying to learn about the process by myself was intimidating to put it lightly. Viviana clearly explains the film financing process step-by-step and demystifies the complex, bespoke nature of pre-sales, tax credits, sales agents, and so much more. I feel infinitely more confident in my ability to produce a film thanks to this class. I give it the highest possible recommendation for any independent filmmaker looking to finance their film and take their projects to the next level." -Sean R. "Viviana has a tremendous depth and range of knowledge about film financing and she was happy to share everything she knew. Thanks to her loose, attentive style for the class, it ranged far and wide, and she answered a lot of people’s questions whether they were general or specific to their own projects. And I feel like there was value for all of us in even the most project-specific questions." -Randy V.
Action sequences are no longer solely confined to big budget features. Movies and series of every size demand them. And while they can boost the status and popularity of a project, they are also complex and difficult to shoot and require special treatment and knowledge from the director. They are, in some way, mini silent movies, relying on image rather than dialogue to tell the story. To be a successful director today, whether you’re focused on film, television, or anything else, it’s important to have the necessary tools so you can tackle these demanding sequences An action sequence can eat up your budget and schedule if you’re not prepared. They are cinematically dense and require many more shots, more planning, more time on the set, and more collaboration between departments. Every department will need extra time to prepare and execute and you don’t want anyone to have to be waiting for you. However you don’t need to be Michael Bay or James Cameron to pull this off; any director big or small, experienced or not, can helm an effective action sequence, provided they understand how to tell the story through action, fully prepare ahead of time, and run the set during production. And we’ve brought in a bona fide expert to show you how to do just that. Michael Nankin has been a working writer, director, producer, and showrunner for 40 years and has directed action-packed episodes of popular television shows like the Peabody award-winning BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, TAKEN, VAN HELSING, HELL ON WHEELS, CSI, and more. Michael started as a writer/director at Walt Disney Studios at age 22 and his first independent film, THE GATE, was the highest-grossing Canadian-produced film ever at the time of its release. His first series, LIFE GOES ON, was the first series that presented a continuing character with Down Syndrome as well as the first HIV-positive continuing character. Michael’s other directing credits include Showtime’s THE GOOD LORD BIRD, ALPHAS, TURN, DEFIANCE, and the upcoming Stephen King horror series CHAPELWAITE starring Adrien Brody. A Humanitas Prize and Leo Award winner, Michael is an incredibly successful and sought-after director, in part due to his ability to inject action and energy into the projects he takes on. Exclusively for Stage 32, Michael will lay out how exactly to lay out a fantastic action sequence for your own project. He’ll do this by first explaining how to find the story and character development within the scene and use this as a guide to forming your plan. He’ll then go in-depth on how exactly to prepare for your action scene before you even go on set, including collaborating with the other departments, storyboarding and shotlisting, and the critical wounds and kills meeting. Michael will then teach you how to actually direct the scene on set, detailing camerawork, working with the stunt team, and shooting for visual effects and more. Along the way, we will examine two specific action sequences from projects directed by Michael Nankin – one from his film RED FACTION: ORIGINS and another from an episode of the celebrated AMC series HELL ON WHEELS. Michael will walk through the choices he made in putting these scenes together.
One of the great myths about the entertainment industry is that the older you are, the harder it is to break in. The truth of the matter is, there are Baby Boomers working in the industry in all capacities. In fact, with the abundance of film, television and digital content being creative, the opportunities for Baby Boomers has never been greater. Whether you're writing or filming content, looking to produce or work on the business side of the industry, or have an interest in being an actor, crew member, or other on set talent or staff, it's time to get moving and let yourself be seen and heard! Ageism is a word that gets thrown around often when people talk about the entertainment industry. But at the end of the day, those working in the industry want to hire talented, dependable, and dedicated people to help them elevate their personal and professional goals. So much of getting hired has less to do with your age and how you present and handle yourself. Jessica Sitomer has been has worked in the entertainment industry for twenty years as a writer, an independent producer, a development associate, a director, and an actress. She's produced three television shows, had her writing produced by an Emmy award winning producer, and while working in development had the pleasure of being a part of Crazy in Alabama, Antonio Banderas' directorial debut (and yes, Jessica says, he's as charming in real life as he is on screen). Simultaneously, for seventeen of those years Jessica has been a career coach for Entertainment Industry Professionals. Within that period, she served for seven years as the in-house career coach for the International Cinematographers Guild. There she coached over 1000 people one-on-one, created over 40 seminar topics, ran over 30 mastermind groups, and developed a successful mentor program. No one knows this topic better. Jessica will teach all Baby Boomers how to create a relevant career that squashes the myths and stereotypes. She will identify and explain key strategies to circumvent the occasional ageism that historically have turned older generations off to pursuing their entertainment career. You will receive “ageless” tips for making a first impression either in person, by phone or via email. Jessica will also provide marketing tips on how Boomers can market online (social media and websites) to stay current. Further she will show you the advantages you have being a boomer as well as 3 strategies for using them! She will help you identify your strengths and assets to understand what makes YOU stand out so you can parlay those traits into more work. And, through templates (which you can download), she will show you how to simplify your plan of action so you can start down your path toward success. Age does NOT need to be a factor in pursuing a career in film, television and digital. Jessica will give you the tools, the motivation, the strategies, and the confidence to build the career you wish for! "Jesica is an inspirational ball of fire. I came in with doubts and fears and left ready to knock down the intimidating gates of the industry. Can I get an Amen? Thank you Jessica!" - Roberta K. "Coming from a sales background, there are 2 things I know you need to be successful: Information and confidence. This webinar provided so much information, and it was delivered in such a clear and motivating way, I left with all the confidence in the world." - Frank I.
Streamers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO Max have quickly become the holy grail for many filmmakers hoping to get their film produced and find success. And it’s no mystery why. With a subscriber base in the tens of millions (Netflix has 74 million subscribers alone!), there might not be a better place for your film to be seen and enjoyed across the globe. And streamers ARE picking up a lot of content, a staggering amount even. Netflix recently announced it is releasing 40 more films this year—that’s twice what most major traditional studios make in a whole year, all in just a few months. That said, even with this huge volume of new content Netflix and the other streamers continue to pick up and produce, it is not easy to get your film noticed or considered at these platforms, especially if you’re not already an established filmmaker. This is not to say it’s impossible, but it does require finesse, strategy, luck, and an understanding of how exactly streamers find their original films. For as prominent as streaming platforms have become, the process behind how a film actually finds its way into their libraries is opaque and enigmatic. With so little information on the inner workings of the streamers, it can seem confusing, maybe even impossible to get your own proverbial foot into the portal and get your project noticed. After all, there isn’t exactly a submission platform to upload your script for Amazon to review. The truth is, unless you’re already established or have that ‘in’ with a streamer, it’s very unlikely to get straight through and have them consider your work blind. There IS another way though, a way to get your project to a streamer, not by going through but by going around. Michael Schulman is a Feature Story Analyst for Netflix as part of its Independent Original Film Division, and his job revolves around evaluating feature screenplay submissions and deciding which ones to pass up to the executives to consider. Prior to his role at Netflix, Michael spent nearly a decade in the story department at CAA where he found projects for CAA clients. Over his storied career, Michael also served as an agent at ICM’s Motion Picture Literary Department and held numerous studio creative executive positions at Orion, TriStar, and Disney where he worked to develop film and television projects with some of the top talent in the industry. Michael is very familiar with what it takes for a script to find its way to decisionmakers since this has been a key feature of his job for over a decade. As a companion piece to his previous webinar that details the script evaluation process at Netflix and other streamers, Michael will teach you a smarter and more viable way to get your own feature film considered by streaming platforms, not by targeting the streamers themselves, but instead focusing on their content suppliers. He’ll begin by laying out how the normal streamer system works and go over specific reasons why your script might NOT be as good of a fit for them as you think. Michael will then delve into how “outsiders” can get in the streaming game by taking advantage of resources along the way and better understanding the content pipeline. He’ll explain what streamer “originals” actually are and show how streamers rely on production companies to fill their slate. Michael will show you how you can use this to your advantage by finding your way in with specific production companies and what you can do to make them want to produce your film with you. Michael will even offer a live demonstration, showing how to find the right production companies for your own project and the best contacts within them. Getting your work on Netflix and other streamers will never be easy, but you will leave this webinar with a better understanding of the best way forward. Praise for Michael's Previous Stage 32 Webinar "I loved Michaels honestly. His advice is invaluable." -Linda R. "Very genuine, authentic, knowledgeable." -Lissa C. "Michael was highly competent, extremely knowledgeable about his subject, and not afraid to share hard truths about the industry that many just won't be upfront about." -Lee T. "Michael did not sugarcoat anything. He gave honest information that clarified a lot of questions I had." -Nikki J.
When we write scripts there are so many elements to consider in order to create a great story. There’s world building, introducing a vast ensemble of characters, interweaving conflict, creating stakes, and so much more, all while having to hook your audience in a short amount of time. It’s very easy to go overboard and try to cram all of these elements into your story where it gets to a point of oversaturation. This is why it's common for first drafts to be overcomplicated and hard for others to read or get through. Of course, we want to include all the aspects that make the formula of our script a success, but it’s important to do it in a way that is clear, concise, and effective. Making your script clear and not overcomplicated isn’t necessarily always the easiest thing to do. Learning how to trim our stories is difficult and cutting out things that we love is challenging as writers, especially when we’ve spent so much time investing in our projects. However, there are useful strategies and tools you can use to simplify the complexity of your script and create a product that gatekeepers will want to read and executives will want to produce. Screenwriting is all about telling a lot in a short amount of time. Being concise is a skill every writer should master. Samm Haillay is an award-winning producer and BAFTA member whose films have premiered at Cannes, Venice, Sundance, Tribeca, Toronto and London Film Festivals and have collected 35 international awards and nominations worldwide. Samm is also the founder of the BFI Vision Award and MEDIA Slate Funding Award-winning production company Third Films and his short films have collected over 50 international awards and nominations including at BAFTA, Berlin, Venice, Edinburgh and Chicago. Samm has picked up much talent and expertise from the filmmaking industry and shares his experience with the Stage 32 community. Samm will give you invaluable tips, strategies, and exercises that you can use to simplify your own complex script. He will discuss all the vital components of what scripts should include - and then help you boil down everything from what you want to keep in your story to what it actually needs. Samm will share the practice] he developed called “The Story Rainbow”, which examines the relationship and interconnectivity between Story, Narrative and Plot and can be used to further develop your own project.. He will be focusing on how to keep your script simple - yet complex - rather than confusing and complex. Samm's unique understanding of how to simplify complex script has greatly elevated his own career and he is beyond ecstatic to help members of the Stage 32 community to achieve the same.