Christopher Morrison is a multi-talented writer-director-educator who has worked on theatrical productions, VR, video games, and immersive entertainments on three continents. His VR branching narrative “The Werewolf Experience” is currently in festivals after winning multiple pitch contests and being in the Stereopsia Booster program. His next VR project “Drunk Zombie Duelists'' received a grant from the Dutch government to shoot its proof of concept in 2021. It was also selected for the Stereopsia Booster program the same year. His feature film ‘The Bellwether’ was released in 2019. He has written and directed 360° films as well. He has been commissioned for screenplays and plays alike. He recently added “Narrative Designer” to his credits as he’s written and designed for the multiple videogames. Cirque du Soleil called him “A huge asset to the creative process.” He frequently speaks on storytelling in WEB3.0, recently addressing the House of Lords in England and he will be a guest speaker at the LEAP conference in Saudi Arabia in February of ’23. He is an Adjunct II Professor at the California College of the Arts where he teaches Immersive Storytelling. Full Bio »
A New Exclusive Stage 32 Webinar
Learn about the Metaverse from a writer-director who works in virtual reality, video games, and immersive entertainment around the world.
One of the biggest opportunities (and buzzwords) to appear in the 21st century: The Metaverse.
So what is the Metaverse? Where is it? And are we in it now? How does gaming, filmmaking, and XR fit into this space? Will it really "change everything?" And if Disney appointed a Chief Metaverse Officer, what does that mean for our industry?
All these answers and more await you in this webinar!
If we don't understand what Web3 means and all its opportunities, we, in the entertainment world, stand to lose out to corporations and big studio productions. Web3 is here and as entertainment professionals (from producers to writers) don't grasp the meaning of it you risk losing out on the biggest advancement in the entertainment biz since YouTube and streaming.
Blumhouse ran an immersive experience in 2021 and Netflix regularly has immersive launches for their content. Here's the great news... you do NOT have to be a computer wizard to understand this space or create in this space... it's one of the greatest level playing fields today in entertainment. But you DO need to understand the basics of what it actually IS and the basics of immersive storytelling.
Stage 32 has exclusively brought in Christopher Morrison, a multi-talented writer-director-educator who has worked on VR, video games, and immersive entertainments all around the globe. His VR branching narrative “The Werewolf Experience” is currently in festivals after winning multiple pitch contests and being in the Stereopsia Booster program. His next VR project “Drunk Zombie Duelists'' received a grant from the Dutch government to shoot its proof of concept in 2021. It was also selected for the Stereopsia Booster program the same year. His feature film ‘The Bellwether’ was released in 2019. He has written and directed 360° films and recently added “Narrative Designer” to his credits as he’s written and designed for the multiple videogames. Cirque du Soleil called him “A huge asset to the creative process.” He frequently speaks on storytelling in WEB3.0, recently addressing the House of Lords in England, and he will be a guest speaker at the LEAP conference in Saudi Arabia in February of ’23.
Not only will this webinar explore what the term "Metaverse" means, but also how it is being actually applied by businesses and the entertainment world alike. Finally, we will also address how we can tell stories in these brand-new immersive spaces (some of which already exist). You have metaverse questions... the answers are here.
1. Understanding the Terms (w/Examples)
2. The Market
3. Writing for the Metaverse
4. The Future: Emergent Narratives
Q&A with Christopher
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Cirque du Soleil: "A huge asset to the creative process."
Past Students: "Fantastic, meaty, fast-paced entertaining class." Brenda K.
Anonymous feedback from P&G storytelling class:
It seemed overwhelming at the beginning, but he paced it so well and I digested some very useful tips!
It was great training. The trainer was very engaging and very knowledgeable.
Great trainer, awesome training!
Absolutely great! I learned a lot in a fun and engaging way.
This was a super duper event! Fun, innovative, and meaningful!
French High School Screenwriting class:
Morrison’s dope! Really entertaining, funny, and you learn at the same time!
Throughout every phase of making a film or series, it’s vital to have a vision, but it’s paramount to make sure your books are in order make sure that you are running your project as a business and making money back for your investors. Losing either of these aspects will spell disaster for your project. Vision likely comes more easily to creatives—it’s why you set out on this venture in the first place—but if it’s not accompanied by strong financial records and a wherewithal of what to do, both to spend money and to earn it, you’re going to find yourself in a heap of trouble that no amount of vision can get you out of. In the previous webinar in this series, Introduction to Film & Television Accounting, we discussed the things you need to know in order to responsibly get your project off the ground, including navigating tax incentives, finding and approaching investors, and working with loan-out companies. However your dealings with accounting don’t end here; they continue well through production. You might have wrapped your film, but there are still some serious i’s to dot and t’s to cross. How do you report your earnings and your spending? How do you handle payroll in accordance with the different guilds and unions? How do you prepare your taxes and how do you make sure you actually get those credits and incentives you’re owed? There’s no time to sit on your laurels. It’s more vital now than ever to ensure that your accounting is, well, accounted for. John Thomas and Kristy Clabaugh are Atlanta-based CPAs that specialize in providing services to the film & entertainment industries both abroad and in the US. Kristy also serves on the executive board of directors as Treasurer for both the Georgia Production Partnership and Women in Film & Television Atlanta. Together they have worked on hundreds of film and television projects assisting clients in all stages of project implementation from investor relations, entity structuring, waterfall projections, budgeting, pre-production and development, production accounting to post-production. John and Kristy will continue on from their first accounting webinar to share with you more advanced but equally vital aspects of handling the accounting on your film project. They’ll go over financial reporting requirements for any project, specifically your balance sheet and your income statement and teach you how to reflect your project as an asset, how to report investor obligations, both as loan payable and equity interest, and when and where the revenue hits. Next they’ll delve into the importance of quality production accounting and go over the guild and union rules you need to know while doing payroll. John and Kristy will walk you through cost reports and how they compare with the budget. Then they’ll teach you the nuts and bolts of tax preparation, which includes both federal filings like elections and K1s, and state filings, like resident/non-resident filings tax incentive and credit declarations. Praise for John and Kristy’s Webinar Both presenters really knew their stuff and presented it with clarity. -Clint A. This advanced class was so helpful. John and Kristy got into the nuts and bolts of accounting in a serious way and gave me a lot more confidence in being able to handle accounting on my own project” -Cassie G. Really thorough but also easy to understand -Gerry T. John and Kristy are the best! -Rodolfo B.
Top Gun: Maverick smashed box office records and received 6 Oscar nominations included Best Picture of the Year! Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Skydance Media executive Aimee Rivera and Aimee in here to teach you how to develop a blockbuster movie of your own. Aimee, the Vice President of Motion Picture Production for Skydance (which produced Top Gun: Maverick, and which Aimee was instrumental in developing) will walk you through what it takes to have a successful blockbuster. Skydance is known for its big stories in film and television having recently released THE ADAM PROJECT on Netflix, THE TOMORROW WAR on Prime, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, and the 10-time Oscar-nominated, TRUE GRIT.Big blockbusters have always been a fabric of the creative community. Now with more movies being made in the history of cinema, buyers are looking for that next huge splash to hit the big screen. Do you have big ideas in your head? An outline of big action set pieces that captivate a global audience? Look no further, because we're going to teach you how to get it on the page, and what buyers look for when considering movies like this. Only through Stage 32 - the global leader in entertainment industry education - can we get you this close to the executives that make the movies we love and the thought process to how and why they develop them. Don't miss out on this chance to learn from one of the top executives working in the film industry today whose latest blockbuster garnered 6 Oscar nominations!
Creating a realistic budget can make or break a film before it ever makes it into production. Where should you spend? Where can you cut? How do you stretch your dollar? In short, how can you assure you're creating the highest quality film for the lowest price? Listen, not everyone can afford a line producer. And even if you can, you want to make sure he or she is protecting your vision and your money! Understanding this aspect of the business and how a film can be put together is everything! Let's make this complex aspect of filmmaking easier, shall we? Michael Madaville (Taken, Taken 2, Taken 3 to name a very few) is one of the most respected line producers in the business. Michael has created budgets from some of the most successful indie darlings, mid-majors and studio films in the business. And now, exclusively for Stage 32, he will take you by the hand, help you problem solve just about every issue that may arise, and help you toward financial success no matter what your budget may be. Using examples from his decades in the business, Michael will walk you through examples of micro to major budget films and discuss how to reduce costs for crew, locations, materials and more and how to apply that information to get your schedule tight and your budget to where it needs to be. No more chasing funds or getting caught short during filming! Michael will show you how to get on the path to a smooth shoot well before yelling "Action!"
Learn how you can tell authentic, diverse, and inclusive stories from international producer Sidney Chiu who credits include the film FINDING MR RIGHT, which grossed over $80 million. Audiences worldwide crave authentic depictions of culture and diversity on screen, and the entertainment industry is working hard to catch up with the demand. This has created a huge opportunity for diverse creators in the marketplace. If you want to learn about this incredibly important movement in entertainment, this is the webinar for you. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, international producer Sidney Chu who has produced coproductions with Canada, Germany, South Africa and China, will cover what diverse filmmaking is, how to tell these stories with your authentic voice, and how to find the right partners for funding and distribution. To teach this important course, we've brought in acclaimed international producer Sidney Chiu. His work has been seen around the world, including LOVE JACKED, FINDING MR. RIGHT, and THREE DAYS IN HAVANA and led coproductions around the globe. Sidney will share his years of experiences through case studies of LOVE JACKED and FINDING MR. RIGHT, showing you how to create diverse content when you’re working without diverse creatives and how to highlight your team’s authentic voice. You’ll cover how to navigate cultural biases with funding and distribution, create a festival strategy to maximize your project’s potential, and gain access to global networks and markets. By the end of this webinar, you’ll know how to apply the principles of authentic diverse filmmaking to your stories and engage audiences worldwide. Don’t miss out on this chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at how diverse and non english language content gets produced and distributed from a producer with vast worldwide success. Praise for Sidney's Previous Courses "I would have been happy for this course to have gone on for days. Sidney is a very talented lecturer. I couldn't be more grateful." -- Attendee Canadian Independent Screen Fund Webinar
Having a known or in-demand actor in your independent film can make all the difference in whether it succeeds or not. A name actor gives your film a sense of legitimacy, which attracts new investors and more interested distributors. It also gives your film more opportunities for press and buzz, and will convince more people to watch it once it is released. That famous actor is very likely what you need to clinch your film, actually get it made, and have it ultimately find an audience and a home. But there’s a big, glaring problem with this truth: You need a name actor to get funding, but you need that funding in order to get the name actor. It ends up being a vicious circle, a catch-22 that can come across as frustratingly insurmountable, a barrier for entry that no independent filmmaker can get beyond. Let’s not mince words. Landing high level talent for your film is HARD, especially if your funding hinges on that actor saying yes. But at the same time, this isn’t the unsolvable puzzle it may at first seem. It comes down to finding the right investors and giving them what they need to say yes. This means pulling out all of the stops, preparing correctly, and doing the hard work. You’ll never be the only filmmaker going after top level talent, but you might be one of the few who’s able to do it the right way. First, it’s vital to understand what the “right way” actually is and what you need to know to do this right. Acquiring a talent is always going to be a hustle, but knowing what it takes and how to navigate this world can give you a serious edge. Independent feature film producer Franco Sama has produced an impressive array of over twenty independent feature films including cult favorite GUNS, GIRLS AND GAMBLING starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook, which was released theatrically acquired by Universal Pictures. Other films Franco has produced include; BLACK LIMOUSINE starring David Arquette, Vivica A. Fox and Bijou Phillips, TOOTH AND NAIL starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, THE PENITENT MAN, starring Lance Henriksen and Andrew Keegan and PAID, starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti. Franco’s company Samaco Films continues to fund and develop independent films from burgeoning filmmakers. After nearly two decades of experience in film finance, distribution and packaging, Franco has come to understand how to crack the code and attract top level talent to independent films. He’s ready to share what he’s learned exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Franco will go in-depth on how exactly an independent filmmaker can find both cast and funding for their project. He will begin by explaining what budget range you should be aiming for to allow you to acquire the talent you’re looking for. He’ll then teach you the steps you must take before reaching out to either talent or investors. He will explain how to tap into an investor’s mindset and use it to your advantage, including why it might be easier for you to raise $5 million than $500,000, and how you should frame your project as an opportunity for investors. He’ll explain what development funding is, how it works, and why it’s now necessary in today’s landscape. Next, he will delve into how you should be building a strong team for your project before you start approaching talent. He’ll lay out the seven critical people you will need to bring on from the beginning, why you need an executive producer, how to choose the “right” director and casting director, and whether you can attract major talent as a first time director. Franco will explain the importance of acquiring international sales estimates and will lay out what your presentation deck to investors should look like to find funding and gain the cast you’re looking for. He will also talk about how pre-sales work and how many you need to be seen as successful. He’ll then start talking about the actual casting process, including how to create a realistic actor’s wish list, deciding between “A-List” and “B-List” actors and whether or not they pass Franco’s “Parentheses Test”. He’ll explain casting with an eye towards sales and then explain the difference between letters of intent, letters of commitment, and phone verification when going after talent. He’ll also break down contingency investments and how to know when to employ deferment and back-end offers with actors. Franco will explain how to make legitimate offers to actors and agents and how to ensure they’re never empty offers. He’ll go into how “pay or play” works in this world and why going out too early to actors can destroy your casting choices. Finally Franco will explain how you can use tax incentives to help with casting. Expect to leave with a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the steps you need to take to bring on your dream actor. Praise for Franco's Stage 32 Webinar "One word - Invaluable." - Larry S. “Head & shoulders above the usual webinars on film distribution and finance. Franco actually knows his stuff and has a track record to back it up. Really good presentation.” – Scott B. This was incredibly illuminating and really entertaining at the same time. I'm so glad I watched this" -Glenda T. Wow. I cannot believe how much I learned from this webinar. Franco is the best. -Terrence R.
Now that the barrier to entry is lower than ever to start creating your own content, it's imperative to learn how to capitalize shooting on digital. Whether it's understanding the needs of digital services like Netflix, or platforms like YouTube, there is a spot in the market for you to make it a career. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar your host Stephen Balsley will be going over the technology side of the Industry, with a specific focus on the shift from Film to Digital. We will also be learning to look at Media as a whole, from how each piece is interconnected, to how technology is affecting extraordinary change in every area of Media. We will go over specific examples of Filmmakers who have successfully capitalized on the shift to Digital, and will provide useful steps to ensure your projects are taking full advantage of the available Technology to give you the best possible chance at creative success. The Technical side can be one of the most difficult and daunting areas of any Industry (like opening up the hood of a car), but Stephen's goal for this webcast is to inspire an overall curiosity into all of the change that is currently happening, and to begin to gain a firm understanding of how the Industry works around, and is very often driven by, the Digital Age in which we live. Stephen Balsley began his career at a RED Digital Cinema nearly 9 years ago, and has watched it grow from a small startup company into one of the leading Cinema brands in the world. During that time, the RED One camera was largely credited with driving the shift from Film to Digital, with RED cameras now being used in a large number of films and other projects across the Industry. Although Stephen’s expertise is in RED, he is well experienced in all types of cameras, including Arri, Canon, Nikon, Blackmagic, and more.