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.
We've brought in producer Bradley Gallo, who's the CCO of Amasia Entertainment. Helmed by the former president of Marvel Studios, Michael Helfant, Amasia has emerged as one of the top production companies in the industry today. Bradley's recent film, Them That Follow, which he produced with Gerard Butler, is an official selection at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. In addition, he's worked on successful films such as Mr. Right (starring Anna Kendrick & Sam Rockwell) and The Call (starring Halle Berry). Over the last decade in the industry Bradley has mastered best practices to get a key director and cast attached to your film and he's going to be sharing his tips exclusively with the Stage 32 community!
Justine Wentzell, former lead of MarVista's Acquisitions & Co-Productions team, will discuss the current feature market, including alternative avenues like TV movies, plus a live Q&A!
Learn directly from the Director of Development for Ryan Reynolds' Dark Trick Films! Creating an independent film from scratch is daunting, but immensely rewarding, and can be done with any level of resources. Films under $1MM are especially a sweet spot for many independent filmmakers but certainly come with their sets of challenges. Stage 32 is excited to bring in the development executive for Ryan Reynold's production company Dark Trick Films & TV, Blake Goza, who has spent the last 7 years working projects such as Deadpool, Buried, The Change Up and RIPD. Even though Blake works on some of the most popular films & television of today, it's his personal project - a film entitled Escort - which he made independently for under $1MM that fuels his passion for being a creative. With this webinar, Blake will give you a producer’s perspective on building an independently financed movie, from start to finish, for under one million dollars. Using The Escort as a case study, he will walk you through each stage of the independent process: finding a script, packaging talent, determining a budget, acquiring financing, shooting, post production, and ultimately, distribution. Blake will discuss process specifics, like his decision to attach a sales agent in the early stages of development; what financing options he prefers - the benefits and risks of private equity versus foreign pre-sales; what talent he chose to attach first – the argument for finding your director before making offers to actors; and how to build a release strategy for your film that allows for success as you define it – whether your goal is critical acclaim, commercial exposure, or financial reward, begin with the end in mind, and build a platform that allows you to achieve that goal. If you’ve wanted to produce a film outside of the studio system on a responsible budget, then this class if for you!
With the help of producer Jason Piette, we'll be taking a look at a few different Writers' Room pitches and giving live feedback to help improve each pitch while simultaneously guiding each of you in your craft.
Show, don't tell! We take a look at how screenwriters use silence in the horror film A QUIET PLACE, the caper film THE DEPARTED, the action-drama DRIVE, and the adventure of LORD OF THE RINGS.