Mike Gauyo is a TV writer who has most notably written on HBO's INSECURE, Netflix’s hit series GINNY & GEORGIA and is the showrunner of SEND HELP for AMC's ALLBLK. Originally born in Haiti, Mike broke into Hollywood as a production assistant on reality shows like AMERICAN IDOL and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE until being discovered by Issa Rae who staffed him as a writer on her fiction podcast FRUIT. Mike entered the world of TV writers’ rooms serving as a writers’ assistant on the TNT show CLAWS and currently writes on HBO’s comedy hit INSECURE with Issa Rae. Mike also founded The Black Boy Writes Mentorship Initiative, a mentorship program for black men who are looking to break into TV writing. Mike’s varied background in TV writing has allowed him to experience many different writers’ rooms and has given him a keen sense on how to best write and perform in these settings. John Herrera is an Emmy-nominated writer and producer on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale where he collaborates with writing partner, Nina Fiore. After The Handmaid’s Tale, John and Nina wrote on Bloom, a new show for Netflix that will be coming soon, and they have also worked together on USA’s The Purge, Syfy’s Nightflyers, Blood Drive, Alphas, and Eureka. Additionally, they have sold their pilots Players and Dante’s Inferno (the latter co-written with Ethan Reiff & Cyrus Voris) to CW and Freeform, respectively, and an adaptation of Melissa Lenhardt’s genre-bending, feminist western novel, Heresy, with MGM. John also co-wrote the movie Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase for Warner Brothers and is currently adapting a true-life feature story about the latter days of the Bosnian-Serb conflict of the 1990’s. Before becoming a TV writer, John was a script coordinator on Eureka, Californication, and Sleeper Cell. Nina Fiore is an Emmy-nominated writer and producer on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale where she collaborates with writing partner, John Herrera. After The Handmaid’s Tale, Nina and John wrote on Bloom, a new show for Netflix that will be coming soon. She and John have also worked on USA’s The Purge, Syfy’s Nightflyers, Blood Drive, Alphas, and Eureka. Additionally, Nina and John have sold their pilots Players and Dante’s Inferno (the latter co-written with Ethan Reiff & Cyrus Voris) to CW and Freeform, respectively, and an adaptation of Melissa Lenhardt’s genre-bending, feminist western novel, Heresy, with MGM. Nina also co-wrote the movie Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase for Warner Brothers and is currently adapting a true-life feature story about the latter days of the Bosnian-Serb conflict of the 1990’s. Before becoming a TV writer, Nina was a script coordinator and writer’s assistant on Eureka, Sleeper Cell, The L Word. Born in the Bronx to a Puerto Rican mother and a Sicilian father, Nina spent most of her formative years surrounded by an excess of personality. Jamie and Jason Neese were born in Davie County, North Carolina and hold a B.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. They are currently Producers on the EMMY nominated Netflix/UCP series THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY. Previously they were part of the producing teams for multiple television series including EMMY nominated UNREAL and DEAR WHITE PEOPLE. The Neese Twins have been tapped to develop and write a pitch acquired by POINT GREY PICTURES (Seth Rogen) titled OAKWOOD LANE and have sold an animated television project to OCTOPIE (Russo Bros Animation Studio) called LITTLE DICK. Jason Mirch is a feature film, television, branded entertainment, and digital content producer and executive with over 15 years of experience. Most recently, he produced a 3D animated feature film starring Jacob Tremblay, Christopher Lloyd, Mel Brooks, Kenan Thompson, and Carol Kane. Mirch was the Head of feature and television development at Image Nation, a finance and production company based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. There, he supervised the Image Nation contributions in the development of Flight, The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion, Careful What You Wish For, Ghost Rider 2, Midnight Sun, and 100 Foot Journey. Prior to his work at Image Nation, Mirch was Co-Head of Development at Zadan/Meron Productions (Chicago, Footloose, The Bucket List) where he was actively involved in developing a slate of feature film projects for New Line, Paramount, Summit Ent., and CBS/Paramount. He also developed and sold television projects and mini-series to CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and Lifetime. He has lectured on all areas of filmmaking, speaking on panels at the Producers Guild of America, the Harvard Screenwriting Group, American Film Market, University of Southern California Film School, as well as several international film festivals and markets. In addition, he has consulted brands, including Burberry and Creative Artists Agency, on the expansion of their operations into emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia. Mirch graduated Cum Laude from Chapman University’s School of Film and Television, where he received a B.F.A., in Film Production, with an emphasis in Writing and Directing. He was mentored by Academy Award Winning Writer/Director David S. Ward, in the spring of 2004, and is the winner of Chapman University Student Filmmaker Award, for Best Director for his film Ally. Full Bio »
HBO Max, Netflix, Disney +, Hulu, oh my!
It seems that everywhere you turn there is a new streamer showcasing some of the best television shows we have ever seen from creatives.
With more distribution outlets than ever and larger, global audiences to be able to watch it, the demand for television content is the highest it's ever been. We've seen incredible shows emerge like INSECURE on HBO, THE HANDMAID'S TALE on Hulu and THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY on Netflix, and it's the engine of the writers' room that keeps us coming back for more and continuing on to watching episode after episode.
Stage 32 is going to peel back the curtain and take you behind the scenes of what it takes to write on these popular shows, and what it takes to help you break in to get there.
Join us as we bring in showrunner Mike Gauyo from AMC's ALLBLK SEND HELP and writer on HBO's INSECURE, as well as Co-Executive Producers and writers Jason and Jamie Neese from Netflix's THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY, and John Herrara and Nina Fiore from Emmy-nominated Hulu's THE HANMAID'S TALE for an exclusive FREE Stage 32 webcast.
Moderating this world-class group of television writers is our very own Jason Mirch, Director of Script Services of Stage 32.
This world class group of television writers will be talking about the craft of TV writing and going over what they are seeing in the marketplace today for streaming. Come join us for this free fun and educational webinar!
Top Streaming TV Writers
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Writing the hero or main characters of your story is always fun. You typically have an immediate sense of who your character is, what they like, where they live, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they relate to the world around them. What may not be as easy and might be considerably more difficult is writing your supporting characters - particularly when it is a large ensemble of characters that you need to introduce. It is just as important to develop your supporting characters as it is your main ones. Your supporting characters add tremendous value to the arch of your main character’s journey and therefore require a sincere investment to their development. A supporting character can be a sidekick, sibling, or best friend of the main character. Whoever they are, they have an important role to play in your story. The last thing you want is to leave the potential of the supporting character sitting on the back burner. It’s time to bring them up front and really brainstorm what they can bring to the table of your script. A supporting character can greatly enhance your subplot and move the general plot forward if you truly understand how to utilize them. We have the tools to help you master this exactly. Jordan Barel is a seasoned filmmaker, television coordinator, an award winning publisher, and business owner who founded Loaded Barrel Studios, publishing graphic novels and obtaining international awards, including the Independent Publishing Book Awards (2012, 2013), The LA Book festival, the Geekie Awards ®, and many others. He has optioned his incredible books and screenplays with producers such as David Uslan, Brendan Deneen who has done work for MARVEL Entertainment and DC, Jeffrey Erb, and Aaron Berger who has contributed to projects like TURBO and CRIMINAL MINDS. Jordan will demonstrate the effective approach on how to utilize your supporting characters to enrich your storytelling. Jordan will discuss how your supporting characters can be utilized to bring depth to your story and connect it to the Hero’s Journey of the main character in your script. He will also touch on using supporting characters as a unique element to deliver key exposition and tools on ways your supporting characters can deliver a subplot. Jordan will break down case studies of various film types and how they use supporting characters & sub plots in story. By the end of this webinar, you will feel well-equipped with ideas on how to strategically use your supporting characters to magnify your story to its fullest potential. Jordan is thrilled to deliver this exciting material to members of the Stage 32 community. PRAISE FOR JORDAN'S TEACHINGS: "It was absolutely excellent information." - Gerri G. "Great speaker, lots of great info. Thanks!" - Ron H.
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.
A Writer/Director/Producer Who Has Worked With Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros. and Paramount and Who Produced His Own Podcast Based On A Script He Wrote Shows You How The world of podcasts has exploded and become an industry to be reckoned with. Over 125 million Americans listen to podcasts on at least a monthly basis, and individual shows can have millions of fans. We’re not just talking about nonfiction works like SMARTLESS or CRIME JUNKY; fiction podcasts are also thriving as more writers are turning to the audio medium to tell incredible stories. An art form in its own right, podcasts have also become a proving ground for stories to be adapted for television or movies. Shows like THE DROPOUT, WECRASHED, and THE THING ABOUT PAM would never have been greenlit or aired if they didn’t first find success and a fan base in podcast form. There might not be a better time than now to adapt your feature screenplay to the podcast medium. If you've had difficulty gaining attention for your screenplay, turning it into a podcast and attracting an audience may provide proof of concept for your story to move it to a show or feature. This type of intellectual property is golden. Adapting your screenplay, of course, easier said than done. Writing for audio is a very different process than writing for a film or TV. Podcasts are written to be experienced as real time events, which is entirely different from a feature or TV script. A good podcast must paint a picture with only words and sounds and be paced to pull a listener in despite any distractions around them. It must also be structured into short episodes that defy traditional film or TV act structure. So, how do you turn 100 pages of a script into a multi-episode podcast? How does writing character or story arcs change when adapting your feature script to multiple episodes? Having a better understanding of what goes into a great comedy, drama, or genre podcast and the rules and expectations that come with this unique format can position you for success in telling your story and finding an audience. Mike Disa is currently the director of the highly praised Netflix show Paradise PD and has been working in the industry, both in television and features, for two decades. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success and has worked with studios such as Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. Always an innovator, Mike recognized the interesting time right now for developing material based off of IP and took it upon himself to adapt his feature script SENTINELS: POINT OF NO RETURN into a 12-part podcast series, which is now produced. Having recently gone through the experience Mike is excited to share his approach and his lessons learned writing the adaptation exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Mike will walk you through the nuts and bolts of writing a fiction podcast and give you the tools you’ll need to adapt your long form script into this new medium. He’ll begin by discussing what the state of podcasts looks like today, including what kinds of podcasts are possible and the different formats of fiction podcasts that people are writing and which ones are currently popular. He’ll then delve into how to approach your podcast adaptation and which things you should decide on from the outset. This includes deciding on the format that will work best for your story, how to adapt your writing style to short form when you’re used to writing features or television, and whether you will use a narrator or go full “radio play”. He’ll also give you tips on how to plan for sound while starting to write. Mike will next go into detail on breaking your long form story into multiple short form episodes. He’ll give you tips on extending your story and show you where to put episode breaks within it. He’ll go over building tension between episodes between episodes and what goes into good cliffhangers on podcasts. He’ll also talk about how to avoid needing recaps between episodes. Next Mike will spend time talking about other writing challenges that come with this format, including how to paint a picture in audio form without creating awkward dialogue, the process of holding on to your subplots without your storytelling getting choppy, and how to use your first episode to grab your audience. He’ll also offer tips of how to give your characters separate voices. Finally, Mike will use his own podcast SENTINELS: POINT OF NO RETURN, which was originally written as a feature, to illustrate the process of adapting for podcasts. He’ll even share samples of both the feature and podcast versions of the SENTINELS script. If you’re excited about podcasts, curious about writing your own or adapting your feature script into one and don’t even know where to begin, start here. Praise for Mike's Stage 32 Webinar: FIVE STARS FOR MIKE!!! He is super-awesome! Can't wait for the next session. -Robert S. "Mike Disa is definitely one of the best. He provided advice that is actionable." -Martin R. "I loved how engaging Mike was. It felt like he was genuine and addressing each of us almost individually. I have honestly never had a better Stage32 experience!" -Elle C. "It was great to hear from Mike. What a professional and what great advice from someone who knows the business and the craft of writing for podcasts." -Mary S.
During this webcast, writers from around the world including Australia, Scotland, Canada, and more, shared their "writer biographies" and talking points. It was an excellent way to get to know one another and find out how to present their backgrounds and career aspirations during a general meeting. In addition to developing the craft, we endeavor to prepare Writers' Room members for the business of film and television. And that means, knowing how to present yourself, as well as your ideas, in a meeting with producers, executives, and filmmakers. Using the "Breakdown Webcast: Breaking down a General Meetings" as a guide, your challenge was to write a short biography on yourself which focuses on the major "talking points" that you would benefit you in a general meeting with a producer, executive, manager or other industry pro. Include a bit on your personal and professional background, the genres you write, your screenwriting accomplishments (such as awards, accommodations, accolades), your goals for your writing career (features? TV? Both?), and what makes your point of view so unique in an crowded market!
Learn from Aimee Schoof, a producer of over 35 feature films including THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES and the upcoming QUEEN OF THE RING. We know how passionate you are about your projects. But no matter how passionate you are and no matter how fantastic your script is, it’s not easy to stand out to investors and executives. But attaching a notable or exciting director to your project can make a big difference. Finding a director with a good reputation or recent buzz that believes in your project and wants to helm it can add a level of legitimacy that will allow you to break through from a saturated marketplace and get the attention your project deserves. However, finding the right director and bringing him or her on board can often require a bit of finesse. Often when filmmakers consider attaching talent to a project, they think more of actors. No doubt attaching a famous actor to your project can help boost its profile, but attaching a great or exciting director can boost it in an even more powerful way and can give potential stakeholders more confidence that the final product will end up great. This is something an actor usually can’t guarantee, no matter how famous they are. From a producing perspective, there are a lot of similarities in the approaches of attaching an actor and director, but there are key differences as well. When you attach a director, you’re handing over the keys to a project you’re passionate about and allowing them to take it in their own direction. It can be a scary or difficult position, but finding a director who’s the right fit and who will add a level of gravitas or buzz might be what it takes to get your project made. Let’s discuss how to make that happen. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and a veteran film producer with 35 features under her belt. Of those 35, 9 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Exclusively for Stage 32 in this on-demand webinar, Aimee will teach you how to find the right director for your project and what you need to do to bring them on board. She’ll show you how to build your director wish list and how to find the next hot directors before they’re out of your budget or reach. She’ll then give you tips on how to initially approach a director you’re interested in, whether it’s through them directly, through their reps or through your own network. Aimee will also explain how she pitches her own projects to get directors excited to come on board. She will discuss the legalities of attaching a director and show you a real shopping agreement she uses to help seal the deal, and will finally go over how you can use your newly attached director to your advantage to help sell your film or bring in partners. Through her career, Aimee has helped attach many directors to her projects and understands the steps that need to be taken to make this process smooth and beneficial. Praise for Aimee’s Previous Stage 32 Webinars: "I've taken many Stage 32 webinars and they've all been wonderful, but Aimee's had me ready to run through a wall! So much thoughtful and intelligent information!" - Debra S. "This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you!" -Brian D. "Grounded and Practical" -Jennifer S. “Aimee was able to take these big ideas and make them feel totally accessible and easy to understand. I really enjoyed hearing from her” -Howard F.
Learn everything you need to know to make a short film that festivals will love and that can kickstart your filmmaking career from an award-winning short filmmaker! PLUS, receive exclusive handouts from your instructor to help make your short film. Whether you have a great idea that can be told in a several minutes or you want to create a proof-of-concept for your feature film, a short film is a fantastic way to get your foot in the door of the entertainment industry. But you don't just want to make a short, you want to make a short that grabs people's attention. That means getting accepted into festivals, filling up screenings, getting the word out, and more. And in this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, we're showing you how to make your short film - from concept through post-production - and get it the attention it deserves. This webinar is for any filmmaker looking to jumpstart their career or add to their portfolio with a short film. You'll learn all of the practical tools for producing a short film from concept through marketing and even festival debuts. You'll discover how to shape an idea into a short script, how to fundraise and access resources, what's required to produce a short film, and gain crucial directing techniques every filmmaker should know. Most importantly, you'll cover what it takes for a short film to get into a film festival and how to market your short so that your project gets seen. PLUS, you will receive exclusive handouts, such as a production resource guide and sample short film documents, including a script, shot list, lookbook, budget, and the final product. With so much to cover in a short amount of time, we brought in an award-winning short filmmaker, Tash Ann. Tash is a writer, director, and producer who launched her short film career with BIZARIA, which screened at Hollyshorts, was quickly licensed by ShortsTV, and aired for three years on DirecTV. Tash currently has a web series pilot, ABSTRACTION, making the festival rounds, and to date, it has won 22 awards and screened at 10 additional festivals. She has also directed 10 short films and produced 45 pieces of short-form content for Icon Media. In addition to the years of experience and knowledge Tash brings, she'll also be answering questions from you and your fellow filmmakers. Tash knows from experience how easy it is to get lost in making a short film when you lack previous hands-on experience. She'll show you how to avoid common pitfalls like writing without a budget in mind, creating a story that's too big or long for a short, not budgeting enough time or money, and hiring the wrong people. By the end of this on-demand webinar, you'll know what makes a good short film story, how to produce a short film, and how to get your short film into festivals and in front of audiences, all so that you can take your career to the next level. Don't miss out on your chance to learn from Tash's incredible experiences and kickstart your short film journey. TESTIMONIALS FOR TASH'S WORK: "Tash is very dynamic and extremely hard working. She is very passionate about her work and creating meaningful and powerful stories. She's an extraordinary talent with a beautiful vision for crafting and producing films and videos that truly impact her audiences." -- Aastha Lal Vice President of Operations, Icon Media