Lee Sternthal is a screenwriter, director and photographer. Lee has written screenplays for every major studio, including TRON: LEGACY for Disney, as well as scripts for Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson and many others. His film, THE WORDS starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons was an Official Sundance Selection. It was bought by CBS Films and is currently the #2 romantic drama on Amazon Prime. He is a Sundance Institute Fellow, having attended the Screenwriters' Lab, and his work has appeared on The Black List. In other areas, he has worked as a photo journalist for the Trace and Vice covering urban gun violence. Lee had his first one- man photo show at the Soho House in West Hollywood in June, 2018 and taught a Master Class in screenwriting/directing at Swarthmore College and at Stage 32 in Los Angeles. Full Bio »
In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar we're bringing in Lee Sternthal, writer of Disney's TRON: LEGACY and writer/director of THE WORDS, starring Bradley Cooper an Zoe Saldana to discuss how to create realistic characters for television and film. Having drawn incredible A-list talent to his scripts, character has become one of Lee's favorite part of creating story.
A solid hero and anti hero are crucial to a successful story, and the supporting characters need to help support and move your plot. Lee will be talking through the origins of why character matters and provide you with exercises to ensure that you have solid characters in your own storytelling.
Character: Why it's the foundation of storytelling
A brief history of Character
Breaking down types of Characters and what they mean to your story
Breaking down your antagonist
The clarity of NEED in both character and story telling
The Heroes’ Journey re-imagined for our time
Is Character really fate?
The “What’s their God?” and “Changing A Flat Tire” game
Revealing Character through behavior, hiding character with words.
The World and the Character
The dance of Plot and Character
Q&A with Lee
Lee Sternthal, Director, Producer & Screenwriter
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!
Many creatives dream of the pinnacle - getting to write for a studio, or getting to write and direct your own independent film. Imagine if you can do both! Our host, Lee Sternthal, wrote TRON: LEGACY for Disney, and went on to write and direct the Sundance indie-darling THE WORDS, starring Bradley Cooper. He was also a Sundance Fellow and was featured on The Blacklist. Through his journey in this industry he has learned it all - the good, the bad and the ugly - and has come to Stage 32 exclusively to tell you about it. If you'd like to be prepared for the potholes of what to expect when pursuing a life in writing, Lee is here to help you. From studio to independent, he's hit them all and wants to share his knowledge with you. Best of all, he's looking forward to taking your questions so he can help you through your own situation! Lee will be citing specific examples from his life and work as well as providing you tools to apply to your own writing journey.
Branding yourself as a writer is integral to your success in the entertainment industry. Your brand is equal parts preferred medium, chosen genre(s), and personal voice/style. Once this is developed, it becomes easier to for you, your representation team, and/or your production company to sell and produce your material. The entertainment industry is filled with writers, but with so much talent vying for limited opportunities, it’s important to find a way to stand out from the crowd. And because there are very few new stories, only fresh takes on proven formulas, a writer’s unique voice and style are paramount when creating and selling content. This voice/style combined with preferred genres and mediums make up a writer’s brand, and cultivating that brand is instrumental in selling yourself and your material in Hollywood. And you don’t need representation or a production company behind you to do it! Developing your brand as a writer starts and ends with you, but once you have command of this brand, you’ll find that many more representatives, producers, and other buyers are willing to jump on your bandwagon. In this Stage 32 webinar, development executive Tiegen Kosiak will teach you the importance of branding yourself as a screenwriter and how that brand is helpful in procuring representation, building relationships in the entertainment industry, and ultimately selling and producing your projects in the ever-changing Hollywood marketplace. Beginning her career in literary management and working with, among others, the Academy Award-winning writers of BIRDMAN and the creator of STEP UP and SAVE THE LAST DANCE, Tiegen recognized how integral a writer’s brand was in submitting material, setting meetings, and pitching clients for open writing assignments. Formerly, Tiegen worked for Cinestar Pictures, movie star Zoe Saldana’s production company. In this role Tiegen used branding every day to option material, sell screenplays, and attach writers to projects. This webinar will provide you with the tools needed to craft your brand as a writer and how to use that brand to sell yourself and your material to representatives, producers, and other content buyers in the entertainment marketplace. You will walk away with a better understanding of the Hollywood hierarchy and how to cultivate relationships within each tier. Remember, it all begins with you, the writer!
Learn directly from Indiegogo Film Campaign Specialist, John T. Trigonis! Raising funds. Every filmmaker, director, screenwriter, even actors, has experienced the frustration. The introduction of crowdfunding through sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo has brought an incredible new opportunity to those looking to find funding for their films. However, running a successful campaign is not easy! Crowdfunding has revolutionized the way film and video projects are funded by taking the power from the corporations and putting it back into the hands of the creators. Because of this, it's not enough to run a simple, run-of-the-mill campaign on crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo. Today, running a campaign must be an experience for the campaign owners and especially the contributors, and that's where innovation and creativity come into play, oftentimes spelling the difference between a short-lived stint in crowdfunding and a memorable communal experience. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will learn the history of crowdfunding, how to pre-market your campaign and you will walk away with basic & advanced techniques of running a crowdfunding experience!
Learn directly from Steve Desmond, a filmmaker and screenwriter who completed a successful crowdfunding campaign and nearly doubled his initial raise! Steve has also worked on projects with Imagine Entertainment, Dreamworks Animation, The Disney Chanel, Level 1 Entertainment, Blacklight Transmedia, Preferred Film & TV and The Walt Becker Company! You have a great idea for a feature film, documentary, or short film. You’re tired of just writing stuff and want to make your dream project into a reality. But you don’t have the money to do it… Yet. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, filmmaker and screenwriter Steve Desmond will help you build a killer crowdfunding plan so that you can raise the funds to get your dream project off the ground. Steve recently ran his own campaign to fund his short film on Kickstarter with a goal of raising $16K. He not only hit his goal, but blew by it raising a total of nearly $30K and his film is now in post-production! From his own experience, he’ll teach you how to craft a compelling pitch, build an online audience, and maximize your project’s potential. He’ll also go over the pros and cons of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other major crowdfunding sites, so that you can pick the one that’s best for you. From making your pitch video to writing the perfect funding email to marketing your project across all social networks, this will be a one-stop shop for how to successfully crowdfund your film.
State of the industry Why the majority of TV/Film comes from pre-existing IP "The Executive Bias" Pre-existing Fan Base/Fleshed Out World Adapting Books/Articles Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study: Game of Thrones, Sex and The City Case Study: The Wedding Sting in the Atlantic, now going to be a film at Paramount Adapting Comic Books / Video Games Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study (Comics): Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel/Disney, lesser known/less successful comic became a blockbuster) Case Study: Jessica Jones (Marvel / Netflix) Case Study (Video Games): Assassin's Creed (FOX, to be released this December) Making it your own Most say DO NOT adapt your own material (leads to being too protective of your work/not as open to change) Fun thing about IP, when you build a world, it can keep being adapted into other mediums (Example: Orphan Black the comic book was one of the best-selling comics last year, adapted from TV show. Goes in both directions) The heart of this, however, is making sure the new versions are different enough from the old, AND have your voice in them. LIVE Q&A with Maggie!
In this DIY filmmaking world it's easier than ever to just start shooting your project. And, especially if you want to control your own content, now you can pick up your equipment for a fraction of what it used to cost. If you're thinking of shooting your own content, we're bringing in award-winning filmmaker Barry Andersson who had directed 5 feature films that have been theatrically released, with his last film being distributed by Lionsgate. Best of all? Barry's figured out the best and most cost effective equipment you need to make great content. Join Barry in exploring his soup to nuts equipment list where he'll show you what he uses and why. After testing hundreds of things over the years, he’ll walk you through everything he has learned and what now has become his essential gear for "one man band" productions. He’ll walk you through every piece of gear he owns and uses, how to pack it and the different combinations he uses based on what job to film. This is a must-attend webinar if you're looking into your point of entry into shooting equipment.