Meet the Panelists: Elsa Ramo, Attorney, Ramo Law Recently named to Variety’s 2019 “Dealmakers List,” Elsa Ramo has represented over 100 films and 50 television scripted and unscripted series in 2019 alone, including Emmy award-winning shows and films which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Elsa provides comprehensive legal services to producers, financiers, creators, and owners of film, television and digital content and projects across a range of budgets and production levels. She established her own law firm to enable up-and-coming filmmakers and producers to bring their stories to life. Her clients include Imagine Entertainment, Fox, Balboa Productions (Sylvester Stallone’s production company), Scout Productions (creators and EPs of “Queer Eye”), Boardwalk Pictures (EPs for “Chefs Table”), LOL (Kevin Hart’s production company), The Jim Henson Company, and Skydance. Elsa’s leadership within the legal and entertainment communities extends beyond her successful Beverly Hills firm. She dedicates substantial time to mentoring women through various organizations, and she has become a go-to commentator and instructor on legal issues related to film financing and the entertainment market. Elsa Ramo founded the firm in 2005 on the Universal Studios backlot after several clients approached her to handle their independent productions. Now as managing partner to the firm, she handles client matters as well as manages the firm’s attorneys and packaging and sales department. Andrew Fried, Producer Andrew Fried is the founder and President of Boardwalk Pictures, producers of premium non-fiction content for multiple networks and distributors including Netflix, Showtime, Quibi, YouTube and many others. A recipient of multiple awards and 3 Emmy nominations, Fried and Boardwalk strive to elevate and expand the idea of documentary television across an ever-growing unscripted landscape. Boardwalk is best known for its award-winning Netflix series Chef’s Table. Now entering its 7th season, Chef’s Table has received 8 Emmy nominations, has won 3 James Beard Awards and the IDA Award for Best Documentary Series. Boardwalk’s other recent credits include the Netflix series 7 Days Out, Street Food and Last Chance U (now in it’s 4th season), the Showtime series Action and YouTube’s Best Shot. Carolyn Hunt, Attorney, Barnes & Thornburg Carolyn has extensive experience with advising investors in virtually all aspects of their film, television, interactive gaming and other finance and distribution matters. Having been involved in the financings for hundreds of entertainment projects, including many award-winning films, she represents domestic and international financial institutions, senior, mezzanine and equity venture and production funds, high net worth individuals and media and entertainment companies in their finance, corporate, intellectual property, distribution and other entertainment-related transactions. Carolyn routinely counsels clients on the legal and business issues of entertainment financing transactions, including single-project financing transactions, capital raises, slate transactions, lines of credit, first and second lien financings, co-productions, print and advertising financing, securitizations and domestic and foreign incentivized financing structures, as well as distressed debt and restructuring transactions. Her vast experience also includes output agreements and other transactions for the acquisition and disposition of film and media content. She has extensive experience successfully guiding secured creditors through the unique issues surrounding entertainment and media assets in bankruptcy. In the past year, her work in the television and video industry has seen an uptick given the rapid changes of consumer expectations and usage habits in this age of video-on-demand and mobile media consumption. Her financier clients are increasingly providing capital to OTT projects, and she represents content providers who are more and more frequently focusing their attentions toward streaming and other alternative media transactions. Active in the community, Carolyn has served for several years as a board member of the Museum of Contemporary Art 'Contemporaries' and the Hammer Museum's Kids Art Museum Project. She is actively involved with the Board of Governors of Cedars Sinai and is on the board of the Heartland Film Festival. Carolyn has consistently been named a top dealmaker, a top entertainment attorney and one of the most influential women in entertainment by Variety and included in the Daily Journal’s “Top Women Lawyers” list. She is listed in Chambers & Partners as a ranked Media & Entertainment: Transactional lawyer. Carolyn earned her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. In law school, she was a staff writer for the International Law and Policy Journal. Viviana Zarragoitia, Financier, Three Point Capital Viviana Zarragoitia began her career in the entertainment industry working in production accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films. She then spent 5 years at Lionsgate, where she started working in the accounting department and segued into the finance division, specifically, profit participation. While working in profit participation, she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. She was then promoted to the group's audit division, where she managed film and television royalty audits of producers’ profit participation statements. In 2013, she joined Three Point Capital, a boutique firm that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. While at Three Point Capital, Viviana has been involved in the financing of over 70 independent films and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes, Rob Barnum, Anthony Bregman, James Schamus, Aaron Gilbert, Kimberly Steward, Nicolas Chartier, and Kevin Frakes, among others. As Vice President, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in, as well as manage the company's operations in its satellite offices (Ohio, Kentucky, and Louisiana). Viviana has received over a dozen Executive Producers credits on titles she has financed. She graduated Cum Laude with a double-major in Business and English from Loyola Marymount University. Tracy Christian, Agent, TCA Management Tracy Christian is a veteran talent agent with more than twenty years in the industry working in both the literary as well as talent space. Past clients include Oscar winners Melissa Leo, Octavia Spencer, Mo’Nique, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Elizabeth Moss. Within the lit space she’s personally responsible for more than 1,000 hours of on air primetime programing. In 2011, she opened TCA, a Los Angeles based boutique talent agency representing trained character actors, writers, and producers. Early on I remember discovering an agency called IFA. Just five agents representing a list of top tier talent. Until then I didn’t know that it could be done. I thought that as I grew my client’s careers that I’d have to move with them to larger agencies. Eventually I had to free myself from the banality of department meetings and bring the focus back to the client. That’s why I created TCA. We’re doing something special at TCA; we’re repping talent that we’re insanely passionate about and keeping the list intentionally small so we can give the same attention as a manager with the aggressiveness, access, and deal making skills usually found at larger agencies. Today, Christian doesn’t just find opportunities for actors in film and television or sell successful programming. Through their production imprint, Black Leather Jacket, TCA is also a content creator. Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy is the first film from the imprint and stars Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart. The film was chosen to close the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and is was released by Universal Pictures in 2019. Your Host Amanda Toney, Managing Director, 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 is an Executive Producer on Vagic, produced by Amy Baer at Gidden Media. 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 »
Founded in 2011 by Richard "RB" Botto, Stage 32 is the world's largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV and new media creatives and professionals worldwide. Stage 32 works with over five hundred industry professionals and executives who provide education, instruction and professional opportunities for members of the platform. Stage 32 currently has over 1,200 hours of exclusive film, television and digital craft and business education in its library. Stage 32 members use the platform daily to build their network, take online webinars, classes and labs, find work and cast and crew their projects. Stage 32 members range from students to Emmy, BAFTA and Academy Award Winners.
Over the last few weeks, we have been working tirelessly to ensure that you know that Stage 32 is your online home to stay connected with over 600,000 creatives and professionals from across the globe. Now, we are looking forward to bringing you another virtual event to help you stay up-to-date about the state of the entertainment industry featuring some of the top professionals in the business.
In this special event webcast we presented a virtual panel featuring some of the top minds in the Stage 32 community to discuss the current state of the entertainment industry as we are all faced with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Stage 32 Managing Director, Amanda Toney, hosted this incredible lineup, where you will hear the point of view of a production company (Andrew Fried of Boardwalk Pictures), a lender (Viviana Zarragoitia of Three Point Capital), lender counsel (Carolyn Hunt of Barnes & Thornburg LLP), a talent representative (Tracy Christian of TCA Management), all moderated by producer and production company counsel (Elsa Ramo of Ramo Law PC).
Tune in now for this panel discussion on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all aspects of the entertainment industry. Producers, lenders, talent, and distributors are all adapting to the current shutdown. This panel will discuss how they are operating under the current shutdown, how existing and future productions are being handled, and most importantly, how we can strategically plan and learn for the future during this uncertain period.
Our Stage 32 Managing Director Amanda Toney hosted this incredible panel and kicked off the conversation. You will hear from top industry professionals that can offer thorough points of view from multiple facets of the entertainment business:
Top Producers, Attorneys, Financiars & Talent Professionals
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!
Aerial images go back to when hot air balloons first went up in the 1700s, but the use of aerial images has exploded in the 21st century with the now ubiquitous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, better known as drones. In very little time, drone photography has become widely—perhaps too widely—used in countless films, television shows, commercials, and other media projects. And along with this wide adoption of drones has come a demand for those who can successfully and artfully operate them. This presents a potentially lucrative and rewarding opportunity for cinematographers looking to expand their reach and build their skill set. Yet with the clear overuse of drone photography in media today, each to varying effects, it’s evident that not all drone shots are created equal, and standing out requires a deeper level of skills. Adding drone cinematography to your film, tv or new media project can breathe new life into shots that may, in the past, have cost your budget heavily to rent the necessary equipment to get. In the same way, finding success with drones requires more than knowing simply how to pilot one; a cinematographer needs to have the eye and well-developed instincts and they need to understand how to work with clients and artists to get those perfect shots. It's important to know that the term ‘drone operator’ is often used for those that use these vehicles to capture video or images, but just as cinematographers are never simply referred to as ‘tripod operators’, neither should anyone simply be seen as a ‘drone operator’. A drone is just a new way to place the camera in incredibly exciting places, a tool in a tool belt. Better understanding the steps that can take you to this point can prove exciting and promising for a cinematographer’s career. Chris Tangey is one of the most sought after drone cinematographers in the world. His impressive career as a cinematographer has him working for Netflix, Warner Bros. Columbia Tristar, BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Lonely Plant and more. He recently won "Best Aerial Cinematography" in the European Cinematography Awards, and both "Best Drone" and "Best Scenography" In the New York International Film Awards. He was also awarded a Jury Commendation in the World Drone Awards in Siena Italy. He has 2 Gold and 4 silver awards from the Australian Cinematographers Society. Chris has quickly become a leader in the field of aerial imagery and is ready to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Chris will give you the knowledge and tools to get you started to becoming a successful aerial cinematographer. He’ll begin by giving a brief introduction on drone photography, offering a history and understanding of what exactly drones, as well as how they have affected the current state of helicopter-based cinematography. He’ll explain the benefits and exciting potential of drone cinematography and how that has come into play in media today. He’ll lay out how drones and drone photographers work within small and large productions and their crews. Next Chris will give a rundown of how drones work, what the main types of drones are, what the main drone manufacturers are, and what the notable parts of a drone are. He’ll explain what features are offered for different drones and what features are needed for different types of projects. He’ll also give tips on where to buy your own drone as well as how to obtain a licence to legally operate them. Chris will then outline the safety and legal aspects of operating drones. He will teach you the governmental rules and regulations in most countries, including vertical separation rules and how both controlled and uncontrolled aerodromes are treated. He’ll give you tips on how to navigate these rules while still working with your clients and how to understand what your licence gives you the right to do. He’ll also provide strategies to work within the confines and limits to still get the shots you need as well as strategies to keep yourself and your crew safe. Chris will go over how to break into the industry as an aerial cinematographer. He’ll explain the current marketplace and help outline what level of the marketplace you should be targeting. He’ll give you tips on how to build a reel and display your ability to find opportunities and will teach you how to find and stick to your rate, including ways to not undercut the market, manage value-added rates, and offset licence rights against day rates. Chris will even offer case studies from his own career to demonstrate how best to work with clients and get the shots you’re after. Expect to leave with the knowledge and confidence you need to kick start your own aerial cinematography career. "My career as a cinematographer has been “elevated" greatly by incorporating drones and knowing how to use them properly to get the best possible shot. I'm so excited to share my experiences with the Stage 32 community and give everyone the knowledge to use this powerful tool to their creative and financial advantage" -Chris Tangey
While the scene will be heavy with exposition, disguise the exposition in dialogue and conflict as much as possible. How does the character make the complex simple? What props does the person use? How does the character who receives the info react?
The COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine have changed the film and television industry profoundly. Like it or not, we’re thinking about movies differently now, we’re making them differently, we’re selling them differently, and we’re watching them differently. Studios, buyers, and producers are keenly aware of this shift and are applying this to how they are choosing their next projects. As a writer, understanding how the industry is changing and what people are now looking for can make all the difference in being able to take the next steps in your career. With so many new obstacles and challenges now involved in making a film, producers have to weigh a lot more factors when choosing their next projects, including which movies will be safest to put together. Small details in scripts—scenes or moments that might have been no big deal to include as recently as a year ago—might now be all it takes for a producer or financier to reject. So how does production during COVID look like and how can you make your script work and come across as more attractive within these constraints? Let’s take a closer look. Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, including the action thriller BREAK EVEN and action comedy DOUBLE THREAT, currently in production. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce films during COVID and is well versed on what it takes to put a film together in this unique time. Shane will dive deep into how producers are operating in the time of COVID-19 and how you can make your script “COVID-friendly” and more attractive for producers to work on. He will begin by outlining how production has changed since COVID, including the biggest new hurdles, new guild requirements, and what’s keeping talent from signing on. He’ll explain what’s making movies more expensive to produce and what locations are now ideal or no longer easy to shoot in. He will next delve into what a COVID-friendly script looks like to a producer. He’ll talk about what kind of stories producers and buyers are seeking out, what red flags in your script will keep producers from signing on and how many characters are too many now. He will also discuss locations as well as the genres and themes that buyers are now gravitating towards. Shane will then discuss how to adjust your script to fit this new era, including deciding whether it’s worth adjusting or saving until things are safer and how to find compromise and middle ground when making changes. Finally, Shane will give you tips on how to get a producer on board during this time. This is a tricky time for everyone, but Shane will give you the lowdown to be smarter and more strategic in finding opportunities and success.
International co-productions, or “co-pros,” can be the perfect tool for bringing dream projects to life. But these ventures come with their own unique rules and requirements, which not everyone has experience with. In this webinar, attorneys Lorraine D’Alessio and Liz Profumo will deconstruct the co-pro process, sharing practical tips for launching a successful cross-border production. Participants will learn about key steps such as finding business partners, capitalizing on tax incentives, protecting creative rights, and securing work visas for foreign staff. The webinar will also explore the impact of current U.S. policies surrounding trade and immigration. Lorraine has practiced law since 2010, with a particular focus in entertainment immigration. She is the Founding Partner and CEO of D’Alessio Law Group, a global firm which has helped thousands of artists and entertainment professionals to launch careers in the U.S., Canada, and beyond. Born in Canada, Lorraine was a successful Ford model before turning her focus to law. Her entertainment background, as well her personal experience with immigration, allows her to deeply understand the legal and logistical needs of global artists. She is excited to partner with the Stage 32 community and help support its members in achieving their goals.
There's nothing worse than having a screenplay bought or a project with financing get placed on hold because of legal issues that could have been handled at the start. Too many projects have been shelved permanently and will never see the light of day because of conflicts and misunderstandings that could easily have been avoided. Unfortunately, few screenwriters, filmmakers or producers know the right questions that need to be asked and answered in order to protect yourself and your project legally. It doesn't need to be this way, though. There are simple legal steps you can take from the beginning to assure a smooth and steady ride so your focus can be on making the best project possible. Especially for those in creative fields, navigating legal issues can feel overwhelming and confusing, maybe even unnecessary. Yet having a basic legal understanding of how to protect your work and property is incredibly crucial. You need to know how to legally incorporate everyone's input and notes into your script without worrying about losing authorship. You need to know how to set up a partnership for success and why so many people run into trouble when doing so. You need to know when it's okay to agree to work for free or 'on spec' and why it's still vital to have a written agreement. And you need to know when it's okay to talk business on your own behalf. The good news is you don't need to pass the bar in order to ensure you and your projects are in good legal shape. Instead, you just need a little guidance. Producer and attorney Gary W. Goldstein, has produced some of the biggest box office hits in film history and has served as a mentor to dozens of prestigious writers, producers, and filmmakers. His credits include PRETTY WOMAN, UNDER SIEGE, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, and many more. He's also papered some of the biggest deals in film history. By working as both a producer and entertainment attorney, Gary's knowledge of deal memos and contracts is without peer. He knows all the do's and don'ts, the tips and tricks, and the side streets and alleyways toward making sure that you are not only protected, but getting the benefits and compensation you deserve for your efforts. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Gary will present a complete "how to" in order to assure that you use a proven and smart approach to protecting yourself legally. He will teach you his 3 rules that should never be broken when entering into deals; whether you should use an agent or an attorney (or both) to negotiate your compensation and benefits on your behalf; how to deal with release forms and option agreements and how to assure you get everything in writing so there are no surprises or disappointments down the road. He will show you how to maintain a paper trail of all communication and why it's monumentally important to do so. He will discuss the realities of maintaining creative control and how to handle the creative contributions of others as well as the pitfalls to avoid when receiving feedback. He will instruct you on the qualities of finding a good creative or business partner or partners and the essential questions to ask up front. As if all this wasn't enough, Gary will provide a 40-page interactive workbook exclusive for those who take this webinar. This is an invaluable resource! Huge Praise for Gary! "Here’s some practical advice for those seeking a career in Hollywood, from someone who really knows what the hell he's talking about." - J.F. Lawton, Screenwriter (PRETTY WOMAN, UNDER SIEGE) "When I met Gary, I had nothing but talent and a drive to succeed. Nine months later, I had my first script option, my first studio writing assignment, and a Writers Guild card. The advice here is worth its weight in gold" - Allison Burnett, Screenwriter & Director (AUTUMN IN NEW YORK, FEAST OF LOVE, GONE AND UNDISCOVERED GYRL) "When I became your student, I was a mom with a script. Now, I'm a series writer-producer-director. Thank you for helping me achieve one of my biggest dreams. And thank you for this class. You continue to amaze." - Sally Rubin, Screenwriter, Producer, Author "Gary W. Goldstein’s mentoring will prove 100% better than whatever else you may be considering. He will change your life." - Marilyn Warda, author, The Randomness of Life "I’ve learned more about how things really work from Gary than I have over the past 10 years and countless other classes!" - Angela Falkowska, Screenwriter "The workbook alone is worth 10 times what the webinar cost. I am in awe. Thank you, Gary." - Antonio T. "Again, Stage 32 outdoes itself. What a score landing Gary. He's a legend." Jason R. "Gary, you had me from minute one. Amazing information. And delivered with class and style. -Angela P.
Whether it’s epic battles between giant robots, a street fight, or someone chasing after the love of their life at the airport, the vast majority of movies and television use at least a bit of action writing. So we are challenged you to write an original or polish a scene with action, and really focus on making those moments of movement pop!