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!
Learn directly from Melissa Daykin Cassill, Vice President of State Street Pictures (Faster, Beauty Shop, Barbershop, Notorious, Nothing Like The Holidays) The Hangover, Bridesmaids, Little Miss Sunshine. What is it, exactly, that makes these comedies stand out from the crowd? With so many different types of comedies in the marketplace, it is becoming the toughest genre to break into. More executives are turning to A list comedians to write than actual screenwriters, so how do you get an executive's attention? How do you get past executives that have different senses of humor, jokes that don't translate internationally, and storylines that can easily get deemed outdated a year later? Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you our 4 week online intensive class How To Write A Fresh, Stand Out Comedy taught by the Vice President of State Street Pictures, Melissa Dayin Cassill. In this hands on 4 week course, you will learn the importance of the emotional crescendo of a comedy script, how to balance the comedy with the humanity of the characters, and how to pitch your comedy script once you're ready, all while molding your pages under Melissa's supervision. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards strengthening your pages, this class will help you craft your writing into a fresh stand out comedy script that will grab executives' attention! Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Melissa is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.
You have a story idea in your mind and you just know it will make a great movie or TV show. You either day dream or stay awake at night with characters entering your head wanting to be given life on the page. You have notes jotted down of scene ideas, pieces of dialogue or inspiration you could see in a script. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, you are on the path to being a screenwriter, but, where do you start? Screenwriting is a special art form unto itself - it takes a fertile, vibrant mind to develop story and character, yet immense discipline of the writing craft. Too many writers try to jump into this insanely competitive field with little to no training. It takes 5-10 pages of a screenplay for a professional to know whether or not you know the basics of screenwriting, so don't you want to give yourself the best chance to stand out as a professional? It's important you understand the craft to make sure that when you do get your script in front of a decision maker that yo have a competitive advantage to get them past page 10. Mary Cybriwsky produced Joe Dante’s BURYING THE EX, starring Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario and Oliver Cooper, as well as executive produced STICKY NOTES starring Ray Liotta, Rose Leslie and Justin Bartha. Prior to opening production/management company Scooty Woop Entertainment in 2009 with Frankie Lindquist, Mary worked in all aspects of film development and production as an executive at Mosaic Media Group / Atlas Entertainment under the prolific producer Charles Roven and his team, on projects such as THE DARK KNIGHT, GET SMART, THE INTERNATIONAL, THE BANK JOB, amongst others. Mary is a disciplined teacher of the screenwriting basics and in an exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Class, Mary broke down in four jam-packed sessions what you need to know about the basics of screenwriting. If you are brand new to the screenwriting profession, or a seasoned writer who wants to brush up on your skills, this class goes over the basics of screenwriting to perfect your craft. The objective of this 4 session class is to cover basic screenwriting formatting, 3 act structure, characters, plots, themes, what to write and what NOT to write, but Mary will go over so much more! Best of all, the class sessions are available immediately to watch on demand at your leisure! You Will Receive These Handouts: Title page format spec sheet Sample screenplay page, broken down section by section with descriptions Screenwriting dialogue tips Plus! You will get these pilots to download for FREE: Feature Film Scripts LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE ALL YOU NEED IS KILL (movie version changed title to: EDGE OF TOMORROW) PARASITE THE TRIAL OF CHICAGO 7 GET OUT GREEN BOOK THE BIG SICK INSIDE OUT Television Pilot Scripts THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT BREAKING BAD MODERN FAMILY FLEABAG BARRY GAME OF THRONES Testimonials about Mary's Class: "Loved Mary's teaching process! Will definitely take other classes if she offers them in the future." - Jessica R. "Very good basic introduction course!" - Diana B. "Mary makes learning the basics of screenwriting easy and welcoming. I have a lot to think about." - Harry M. "After this class writing is no longer scary. I can't wait to type FADE IN!" - Paul M.
**Only 15 Spots Available - 4 Spots Remain! ** Comedy is hot right now and here to stay. We're seeing growing popularity of all kinds of diverse comedic storytelling and perspectives, like HBO's INSECURE, ABC's BLACK-ISH, FX's WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, Hulu's RAMY, and Amazon's FLEABAG. It seems like every day a new comedy series is announced in the trades, and the signs point to this trend only continuing. So are you ready to write the next show that's going to keep us all laughing? The opportunities may be extra plentiful right now, but if you want to write for comedy TV you need to prove that you have the chops, and to do that, you better come armed with a great pilot script sample. Something that shows that you have what it takes; something that shows that you understand the structure and craft that goes into a good teleplay; and something that shows off your own unique voice and sense of humor. This is your calling card, your way in, the piece of material that will fire you off the launch pad. Let us give you the guidance to make your comedy pilot as good as it can be and help you springboard your writing career. Spencer Robinson is a literary manager at Art/Work Entertainment who has been selling and staffing his comedy clients on the industry's leading series for years, including shows on Amazon, HBO Max and Jason Bateman's production company Aggregate just this year. He's also had clients work for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, and TBS, to name a few. Spencer is one of the most sought-after literary managers in the business for nearly two decades and is one of Stage 32's most popular and in demand educators. In this lab, you will be working directly with Spencer in a virtual class setting and also during one-on-one online sessions to create a fantastic, market-ready comedy pilot. Whether you want to write a single-cam or multi-cam pilot or want to write for late night TV, Spencer is here to help you. He will guide you through creating engaging characters, building your world, perfecting your structure, constructing an outline and, finally, writing the three acts of your pilot. If you already have a concept, or even a completed pilot, Spencer will use the same tools to help you hone and sharpen your material. Throughout the course of this exclusive online lab, you will have direct access to Spencer as a mentor by email and via video conferencing as you write your pilot. WHAT TO EXPECT By the end of this 6-week writing lab, you will have a completed comedy television pilot script ready to be shown to reps, development execs and other executives and professionals. Sessions will vary between 2-hour group settings and personal one-on-one Skype meetings with Spencer. You will be held accountable to take the lessons from each week and move your work forward. Plus, to keep you motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the writing process. To see the full writing lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a manager and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please do book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information This lab is limited to 15 people - 4 spots remain! This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea or polish an existing pilot. Praise for Spencer's previous Stage 32 Writing Labs: "Spencer will get those who are ready on their way to a kickass first draft that you can send for coverage, which is what I did. 2 Considers and I'm in rewrites now to move that needle. This was my first ever TV pilot!" - Erika N. (now signed to Fineprint Literary Management after crafting her pilot with Spencer) "Spencer was amazing!" - Summer K. "I had a great time learning and progressing my knowledge of the craft of writing and working directly with a mentor who is a professional in the industry. Spencer was fantastic to be taught by! Thank you!" - Natalie A. "Spencer's teaching style is the best! His patience and easygoing approach is ideal and unique to him. Kudos to Stage 32 and to Spencer!" - Armando O.
A Vice President of Development at an A-List production company recently said,"Every studio executive is asking me for Rom Coms!" If you look at recent trends, it is clear they are on a come back. With the tremendous box office success of CRAZY RICH ASIANS, BOOK CLUB and THE BIG SICK and the streaming successes of SET IT UP, SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER, and TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE, romantic comedies are making a huge comeback for all types of audiences. Variety called Rom-Com's the "Hottest genre". If you have been sitting on a Rom-Com script or been thinking about writing one, now's the time to learn about the current marketplace for romantic comedies. So how do you as a writer approach writing a Romantic Comedy without falling into the trap of tired cliches? Or, how do you take the storytelling conventions and turn them on their head? Jason Mirch is a 10+ industry veteran who's worked in development on films for Image Nation such as THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, FLIGHT, CONTAGION, as well as in management, financing and producing. Jason is Stage 32's Director of Script Services and has helped dozens of writers in the Stage 32 community springboard their careers. He's the host of the Stage 32 Writers' Room which is a weekly online writers' group that meets online with writing challenges and one-on-one access to top industry professionals who serve as mentors and provide advice on the group's projects. During this 90-minute look inside the Writers' Room Breakdown Webcast, Jason will go over the history of romantic comedy as well as the anatomy of a romantic comedy. He'll teach you the 7 essential story beats in a romantic comedy and you will learn to develop your romcom with a theme or dramatic question. Plus, Jason will break down scripts including WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, THE APARTMENT, KNOCKED UP, WHAT WOMEN WANT and more. Jason will discuss what makes these projects work and how we can apply those same principles to our writing! Plus! Jason will be taking ANY of your writing questions! Like what you heard from Jason during this webcast? Send him your screenplay and speak with him privately for an hour by clicking here! Praise for This Writers' Room Webcast "Thanks for this summary! Loved the rundown ad the clips!" - Bethany B. "Such an insightful breakdown, thanks so much." - Crispin "Jason, you always overdeliver! THANKS so much!" - Petula "This was an amazing breakdown. Wow." - Ricki L. "Great breakdown as always, Jason, with superb choice of clips." - Stephen P.
If you’re an independent filmmaker or producer working to put together a film or TV project, you are likely going to have multiple producers, investors, financiers, sales agents, and talent that are will be looking to recoup profits on the completed project. This can get tricky. Not only do you have to keep your numbers and figures straight to properly reallocate your revenues, you also likely have to handle guild residuals, navigate liability issues and ensure every party is happy and trusting in the process. This can ultimately be a very messy process, and one that you should not handle on your own as the film’s producer. Instead, it’s probably time you have a collection account. 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. Collection account management is a massive time saver and a way to lower the chances of errors or improper payments. But it’s also the industry standard and something most parties and investors are going to expect you to have if they are considering moving forward. So how exactly does collection account management work and how can you best use this process to your advantage as an independent filmmaker? David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will teach you how to navigate collection account management. He’ll begin by going into what exactly collection account management is and the different elements that go into it. He will also explain when to know if your production will need collection account management and delve into how this process affects your job as a producer, including liabilities, your relationship with your sales agent, and the rights and obligations with financiers, guilds, and talent. Next, David will demonstrate how collection account management works from a legal framework and the paperwork and contracts that go along with it, including the CAM Agreement. Finally, David will outline the benefits you will see as a producer when working with a collection account. He’ll even give specific tips for producers related to the CAM agreements, financiers, residuals, sales agents, and more. Collection account management can be a tricky process, but it’s also one that’s crucial to get right. David will show you how. Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
Networking at a film festival or industry event. For some people, just the idea strikes fear in the heart. Who do you talk to first? How do you start the conversation? Holy crap, business cards?! Do I need business cards? I'm sure you have been at industry events before where you're all fired up to go, then once you get there you stand in the corner talking only to the people you know. So, how do you break that cycle? You've probably heard things like "you have to know someone to get ahead in this business" and thought to yourself "OK, but how do I get to the point where I know that mysterious 'someone?' " The answer comes back to networking. And though that word conjures up images of smarmy frat boys in suits swilling cocktails and collecting business cards, it's really about overcoming the initial awkwardness between strangers and turning those strangers into new friends. It happens slowly, organically, naturally. But if you're smart about it and go in with a plan, you can make it happen more often and more reliably – without feeling the need for a hot shower afterward. Stage 32 is proud to bring in industry veteran, Christopher Holland, who for over a decade has worked with over 200 film festivals, including Sundance, Austin, AFI, Atlanta and more. Chris is teaching exclusively for Stage 32 Your Guide To Fearless Film Festival Networking. This webinar will ease your anxiety about making professional connections in the festival environment, or any type of creative industry event. This webinar goes beyond simply breaking the ice. You will learn specific tools & get examples on how to go into an industry networking event knowing what you want and knowing how to get it. You will receive practical advice you can use for your career no matter what level you are at. Plus, this webinar will be available for you to reference time and time again as you get ready for any festival! Register now!