Mike Mitchell is a director, producer, actor and former animator best known for his work on THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART, SHREK, TROLLS, PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER and more. Conrad Vernon is a director, writer, storyboard artist and voice over artist best known for his work on SHREK, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, MADAGASCAR 3, SAUSAGE PARTY, MONSTERS VS. ALIENS and more. Harland Williams is a comedian and actor best known for his work on SAUSAGE PARTY, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, Disney’s PUPPY DOG PALS, Netflix’s SKYLANDERS ACADEMY and more. Your Moderator: Amanda Toney, Managing Director, Stage 32 Amanda is a producer best known for WHAT LIES AHEAD starring Rumer Willis and Emma Dumont and METAPHORMS, a Hungarian production which premiered at the Raindance Film Festival. She recently sold an unscripted TV show to a major US network. Full Bio »
Our Stage 32 Managing Director Amanda Toney will host this incredible panel. You will hear from top industry professionals that can offer thorough points of view from multiple facets of the animation business:
Top Animation Filmmakers
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To kick off your directing career with Roger Ebert calling your film "One of the best films of the year" you can pretty much be assured you're on a path to success. We are proud to present to you the director who has done just that - Michael Polish. After his Sundance darling Twin Falls Idaho garnered Roger Ebert's critical acclaim he has gone on to direct over 10 feature films including: The Astronaut Farmer, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen Northfork, starring Nick Nolte and James Woods The Smell of Success, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tea Leoni & Ed Helms Hot Bot, starring Zack Pearlman and Danny Masterson Stay Cool, starring Winona Ryder and Sean Astin (Nominated for best feature at Tribeca Film Festival) Big Sur, an adaptation of the Jack Kerouac novel starring Kate Bosworth For Lover’s Only starring Stana Katic (CBS’s hit show Castle) 90 Minutes in Heaven, starring Hayden Christensen Amnesiac, starring Wes Bentley The upcoming Sharon Tate biopic adapted from Greg King’s book Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders Michael will be teaching the 2nd installment of our Stage 32 Masters of Craft series - The Indie Filmmaker's Toolkit: Maximize Your Resources, Creativity and Profits. In this online event Michael will share with you how a professional director approaches a film from inception and carries it through to post-production including a discussion of available distribution options. The goal is to give you the agency to make your films without the necessity of the Hollywood studio system (though this information will be handy if that's your path as well). He will go in-depth about the director’s process from finding superior scripts and setting your priorities in pre-production to the challenges of running your set, leading your crew and balancing the demands of your producers. He’ll explain how to interact with everyone vital to your film’s success from producers and film executives to actors, cinematographers, and editors to get the best version of your film. Finally, Michael will share insider knowledge on effective methods to market and distribute your film that will give you the power to maximize your profits. From his experience writing and directing 10 feature films, he’ll share his war stories (like losing vital funding in the middle of a shoot) and his strategies for dealing with any obstacle that arises. You’ll be better equipped to deal with mishaps and avoid filmmaking pain points. If you want to make your film and you want to know where to start, how to proceed and how to ensure you walkaway with a masterpiece, this is the webinar for you! You’ll leave with a comprehensive understanding of what is necessary to succeed as an indie director and gain control over the direction of your career.
Since 2006, Bobby Reed has amassed 62 IMDB credits! 62! For this exclusive Next Level Webinar, Bobby shares his secrets for getting noticed and remaining in the minds of casting directors and producers! Come join Bobby Reed in an info-packed session about today's marketing for the modern artist, hear promotional techniques you may not have thought of, and get your questions answered about how and why to take charge of your own acting future. You and only you make it happen. The solution to your actor promotional questions is looking at you in the mirror: you are the boss, you will not be discovered sitting in the drug store. Bobby will show you some hot ways to get your career moving, and keep it that way. He's done if for himself; just check out his IMDb page. Come share his tips and tricks on how to promote your acting career each and every day (that's seven days a week, not five!). Well timed for the approaching new year, eh, when all your creative juices are flowing nicely? This will be your fresh start formula. PRAISE FOR BOBBY'S TEACHINGS: "Bobby's a firm believer in the "Do-It-Yourself" method. For the past year I had been saying I needed to "get a reel made." A week after speaking with him, I edited my own video reel." - Yvonne Senat "Bobby taught me that to be successful, I have to distinguish myself from the pack and to stay forefront in the minds of Hollywood decision makers - then he showed me how. Bobby's strategies are simple and sure-fire, and his love and concern for actors are real. Thanks Bobby for starting me on the right foot!" - Bill Bingham "He has limitless belief in the possibilities that come from action, persistence, and learning new skills. His ideas about what an actor can do are so useful, and get results! I feel like he really is invested in my success, and I feel lucky to know him." - Lisa Goodman "I was so impressed when I met Bobby Reed. His knowledge about the BIZ and what it takes to advance your career was exactly what I needed to really get going. Knowledge is power and Bobby willingly shares it all with you." - Porter Fowler
2 part class taught by Jessica Sitomer, writer, producer and entertainment career coach! AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! Everyone says, “It’s all about who you know”. But when you're an introvert, this is A LOT easier said than done. If meeting new people isn't your forte, and if the idea of approaching someone you don't know gives you anxiety, you can feel at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to finding opportunities. The problem is, though, the less you network, the more challenging it can become, which leads to you networking less, and the vicious cycle takes over. Even in today's world where networking has turned virtual, this can still be incredibly daunting for anyone who isn't extroverted. In reality, no one likes networking, but it is a necessity in this industry. If you are going to get ahead you need to connect with people. The best resume and cover letter in the world can't compete with good old-fashioned human connection, and you will be hard-pressed to find anyone successful in the film and television industry who didn't find a break by meeting and getting to know the right people. But how do you start a conversation? And how do you know you're saying the right thing? It can seem scary, but it's absolutely achievable, and even for the most introverted among us, there are strategies and exercises to help take away the fear and allow you to network. Let us help. Industry veteran Jessica Sitomer has over 20 years in the industry as a development executive, producer, writer and career coach for the Cinematographers Guild. Through the years she has perfected the art of relationship building - helping creatives grow their networks from one to two people to hundreds to thousands. When she moved to Los Angeles, she knew two people and one of them moved the day after she got to LA. She made it her mission to learn how to survive and thrive in the creative industry. And survive and thrive she has. Not only is Jessica's network huge, but she has also written three best-selling books on the subject of networking and relationship building, And… Action! Powerful, Proven, and Proactive Strategies to Achieve Success in the Entertainment Industry, The Greenlight Coach and You Got This: For Those Who Work Hard and Play Hard - How to go From Burnout to Bliss. In this exclusive two-part on-demand class, Jessica will teach you ideal strategies for various networking situations, both physical and virtual, as well as how to develop a clear follow up plan so your networking pays off. Jessica has geared her presentation specifically to introverts and those of us who face anxiety and fear when meeting new people. In the first class, Jessica will discuss the obstacles of networking and how to overcome them. She will cover the do's and don'ts for introverts, how to network when you “don't like people,” how to network when you don't have the time and more. In the second session, Jessica will run through actual conversation and icebreaking scripts to help you craft conversations that will make you look great. She will also cover how to turn those conversations into relationships that you can maintain and how to follow up in your networking to make sure it pays off. Lastly, she will teach you how to maximize a networking opportunity when you're an introvert, and how to read non-verbal clues in social interactions. Praise for Jessica's Stage 32 Class "I thought that Jessica was wonderfully engaging and answered all the questions fully with great insight. I also feel more confident because of how confident she is. I will be recommending her to all my friends!" – J. Gaffney "Great to know HOW to network. Loved the personal stories and hadn't thought of that. Gave me the courage to contact a producer that I'd worked with before and in the conversation he told me he had some story ideas that were right up my alley. We'll see if it works out. Thanks much!" – D. Meyer "Great personality! Made us feel like you were really there to help! Thanks so much!" – D. Levy "I really appreciated all of the advice and the passion in the delivery. I hope to take it to heart and use it to help me succeed."– T. Scharf Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Jessica is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!
Learn directly from an editor who works with Netflix, Max, Warner Bros. and more! Putting together a great trailer for your own film or series can make all the difference when it comes to building an audience, getting eyes on your film, or even convincing distributors, executives and more to be interested. And editing trailers seems easy enough. It’s just the coolest bits of the movie with some awesome music behind it, right? Then why is it that when you try this yourself, the trailer just feels flat, no matter how good the track is? Why is it so difficult to make your project look engaging in a trailer when you’ve done the elevator pitch for this story more times than you care to count? Why is it that you were able to edit a whole long-form movie together, but this 2-minute trailer is giving you so much trouble? The truth is: a successful trailer is so much more than your best shots with your best music behind them. There’s a reason that there are entire agencies dedicated to just trailers and promos along with a whole roster of “trailer editors” who specialize in this medium. Trailer editing is really its own unique art form with its own rules and its own skillsets required to make it work. This doesn’t mean you can’t make an effective trailer of your own film, but you’re first going to need to learn how to navigate this medium and approach your film with new eyes to make the trailer sing and get your project the attention you’re looking for. Stephen Boyer is a film and video editor with nearly 10 years of experience in post-production and currently serves as a trailer editor for HBO Max, where he recuts modern trailers for existing films in the platform’s catalogue. Through his career, Stephen has edited feature films, documentaries, commercials, music videos and nearly everything in between and has cut for a litany of influential brands such as Netflix, Microsoft, SiriusXM, Nintendo, Blizzard Entertainment, and Warner Bros. A Los Angeles native with a lifelong passion for filmmaking and music composition, Stephen is well-versed and passionate in the art of trailer cutting and is bringing his years of experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Stephen is going to break down what makes an effective trailer today and the steps you should take to create a great trailer for your own film or television project. He’ll first discuss what good trailers look like in general and will then delve into how to re-approach your film with new eyes to begin building your trailer and find the right clips to include. He’ll also go over how you can identify the right pieces of music for your trailer and will teach you how to build out the trailer’s story. Stephen will go over polishing the trailer with sound design and will explain the fine tuning and rewrite process necessary for any trailer. Stephen will identify some of the most common pitfalls trailer editors should avoid and will even share a case study of a real trailer he edited for HBO Max of a notable film and explain how it came together. Through Stephen’s lessons and case study, you’ll gain a series of new strategies and techniques to tackle your own project’s trailer with confidence and create something that will stand out from the crowd.
Skydance Animation Director of Talent Acquisition Shares the Secrets of How Artists and Animators Get Hired Comes with a Case Study of a REAL Artist Portfolio that Got the Artist Hired! A lot of students and artists who complete prestigious academic programs with degrees in Film, Animation, Digital Media, and similar fields, emerge from their institutions with incredible craftsmanship and no clue what to do next in terms of seeking work. That’s okay! You weren’t out sick the day they taught it; they didn’t teach it at all. The one step in career development that most academic institutions fail to address is the methodology of how to seek work and attain it. But there IS a methodology, and if you’re interested in applying your art and animation skills to film and television, understanding this methodology is critical to get your foot in the door. Submitting your application to an online job posting feels like you’re tossing your resume and portfolio link into a black hole. You know the competition is steep and the number of applicants is daunting. Standing out, getting your submission seen amidst the fray, and landing an interview – let alone getting hired! – feels like a luck of the draw. But it doesn’t have to be like that. There are sequential steps you can be taking to improve your chances of getting noticed, getting interviewed, and getting hired. How exactly can you stand out amongst the crowd? What art should you be including in your portfolio? And what are the biggest mistakes applicants make that you can avoid from the get go? Ariel Goldberg is an artist and animator who now serves as Director of Talent Acquisition for Skydance Animation, working to grow the new high-profile studio into a major player in both feature and episodic animation. Earlier in his career, Ariel worked as a Senior Concept Artist at Zynga, designing costumes and characters for social games FarmVille and CastleVille. He later joined the recruitment team at Disney Interactive and was then asked by Nickelodeon to oversee Talent Acquisition for its animated productions. At Nickelodeon, Ariel developed a staffing pipeline for the hiring of designers, storyboard artists, directors, production assistants, and script coordinators, among other positions. With his background, Ariel has seen it from both sides – as the artist trying to break in AND as the recruiter determining who makes the cut and has a deep understanding of how artists can break through and find success. Ariel will use his recruiting expertise to lay out how you can find art and animation opportunities in film and television and improve your chances of getting noticed, getting interviewed, and getting hired. He’ll break down what the animation pipeline in film and TV looks like, outlining the different steps and how it differs between TV and features. He’ll also talk about the main artist roles throughout the process and what the career trajectories look like. Ariel will give you tips on networking and finding your in as well as looking for opportunities and listings and how best to reach out to companies and recruiters that are hiring. Next Ariel will dive deep into putting together an effective portfolio and what it should look like. He will also teach you what an effective artist’s resume should contain and how to nail the job interview. He’ll finally explain the most common mistakes and misconceptions he has seen when trying to break in. Ariel will even show a REAL artist’s portfolio that helped get the candidate hired and explain why the portfolio earned him the job. Finding opportunities as an artist is hard work, but Ariel will show you how to pursue your career the right way and achieve your creative and professional goals.
Documentaries are more popular than ever. No longer are these films the world of small grants and shoestring budgets. Instead, demands are rising, so are the production quality and budgets. Filmmakers need to lay a solid groundwork in their finances to ensure they have everything they need for the long haul. Documentary filmmakers have a vital role in entertainment and social causes. The passion you have to tell an important story or bring awareness might be all that matters to you, but have you thought about what it’s going to cost to make it? As demand for documentaries grows, so do the quality and budgets. To stay competitive, you’ll need to create a budget that’s accessible without forsaking quality. In this Stage 32 webinar, you’ll walk away knowing every element you need to be accounted for in your budget and why it’s there. You’ll learn: How to construct a schedule Your essential story elements Your variable and fixed costs How to build a budget from the ground up How to budget against the schedule How to maintain your records and cost reporting And more You’ll also have foresight into the potential pitfalls to avoid in budgeting feature documentaries. From not paying yourself, to not planning for enough shoot days, to not understanding what you’ll need to get through post-production and marketing. Guiding you exclusively through Stage 32 is the acclaimed co-founder and co-president of CreativeChaos vmg, Ilan Arboleda. CreativeChaos and Ilan produce feature films, documentaries, and television rooted in social action. He is currently in production with Viacom on a documentary series, and he’s in post-production on THE GREAT DIVIDE and THIS IS PLANET Z. His most recent projects include KING OF COOL (TCM), THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING (Starz, Netflix), BLEED OUT (HBO), LOS TIGRES DEL NORTE AT FOLSOM PRISON (Netflix), THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE (Hulu), KEDI, and CASTING BY (HBO). Ilan’s films have been nominated for an Emmy award and have won the Latin Grammy, the National Board of Review, two Critics Choice Awards, three LA Press Club awards, and two Gracie awards. Most importantly, his films have inspired industry change, policy overhaul, and legislation at the state and national levels, with Ilan co-writing legislation with Congressman Seth Moulton that became part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Ilan’s ability to treat documentaries as both a business and art allows him to continuously produce fantastic projects that audiences love and lead to a larger impact. With Ilan’s guidance in this webinar, you’ll have everything you need to create an expertly made budget so that you can focus on telling the story you want the world to see.