Anna Darrah is an experienced film buyer, negotiating with and licensing over 800 films in her 12 years working for Gaiam and Spiritual Cinema Circle. She has been an active player on the festival circuit and currently advises filmmakers on custom distribution strategies. Anna is also a filmmaker who produced two documentaries that aired on The Sundance Channel, and directed a music video and the short film THE MATTER OF MAGIC. She is currently working on a feature-length documentary about Helen Schreider (www.THEHELENMOVIE.com) while also making short films for the ZILLOW.COM series, HOMEMAKERS. Anna has enjoyed jurying and participating in film festival panels and workshops here and abroad and is currently offering a Film Distribution Workshop co-taught with Jilann Spitzmiller. Anna authored a chapter in Swimming Upstream: A Lifesaving Guide to Short Film Distribution, and has published articles on topics as diverse as motherhood and film distribution. Full Bio »
Filmmakers, producers, and financiers can really be held back by distribution contracts. If they don’t understand the language or terms, are passive or held hostage by a feeling that they may be getting ripped off, or simply do not have the support system to advise them or the knowledge to know what to fight for, they can find themselves at an extreme disadvantage. In many cases, the excitement of the "someone likes my movie/let's get it out there" mentality supersedes common sense. And that alone can lead you into giving away your rights, accepting horrendous percentages or agreeing to terms that lock you and your project up. Don't fall into these traps!
You worked hard on your film. You sacrificed time and likely money to get to this point. While most might think this is time to hit the gas pedal, it's actually time to tap the brakes. You want to be sure you're doing everything humanly possible to not only protect yourself, your investors and your team, but maximizing your film's potential in the marketplace.
Anna Darrah is an experienced film buyer, negotiating with and licensing over 800 films in her 12 years working for Gaiam and Spiritual Cinema Circle. She has been an active player on the festival circuit and currently advises filmmakers on custom distribution strategies. Anna is also a filmmaker who produced two documentaries that aired on The Sundance Channel, and directed a music video and the short film THE MATTER OF MAGIC. She also produced a feature-length documentary about Helen Schreider (www.THEHELENMOVIE.com) while also making short films for the ZILLOW.COM series, HOMEMAKERS. Anna has enjoyed jurying and participating in film festival panels and workshops here and abroad and is currently offering a Film Distribution Workshop co-taught with Jilann Spitzmiller.
Now Anna brings her knowledge and teaching prowess to Stage 32. Anna will begin by breaking down theatrical and broadcast rights as well as exclusive and non-exclusive deals. She'll dive into breaking down deal points including term, territory, rights and compensation. She'll discuss standard terms and point out red flags within and speak to what you should negotiate to assure you get the best, and most fair, deal. She will even look at the negotiation process from the other side of the table so you can understand what a distributor truly wants out of a deal. Thinking outside the box, Anna will even discuss going the DIY distribution route or a hybrid DIY/traditional distribution path. All this and much more.
It’s incredible how each contract is like a snowflake -- totally unique and yet similar in some very important ways. I will help you understand the entire distribution arena so you can sleep well knowing you've made the best deal for you, your partners and, most importantly, your film.
- Anna Darrah
Praise for Anna
"Excellent overview of terms to be aware of when negotiating or reviewing a distribution agreement."
- Valerie N.
"Anna was great, the information she shared was so very useful!"
- Christian C.
"For a complex subject, Anna made it all so simple and easy to follow. Excellent webinar!"
- Drea P.
- Mana W.
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!
"Excellent overview of terms to be aware of when negotiating or reviewing a distribution agreement." - Valerie N.
"Anna was great, the information she shared was so very useful!" - Christian C.
Every great pitch starts with a great logline and every script you write has a perfect logline, it's your job to discover it. This month we challenged you to write, rewrite or polish your logline(s) and send them our way!
Ever wondered what daily life is like for a TV Writer? Looking for ways to manage and maximize your schedule to output great, useful material without losing your mind? Wondering how the hell you’re supposed to write when you’ve got a full-time job? Tune in for this exclusive 2-Part Stage 32 Next Level Webinar taught by TV Writer/Producer Charlie Charbonneau (CW shows: The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and its spin-off The Originals) to hear about life and work of TV writers, on AND off the clock. You'll gain insight that will help you succeed in finding your next assignment and how to excel in the position! In Part 1, attendees will learn what life is like when TV writers are between jobs or trying to get that first job. Join Charlie as he discusses ways to manage your own writing schedule, find out how to decide which projects to focus on, and get some tips to stay relevant and visible to the big players and decision makers when you’re not employed. He’ll even lay out some strategy to position yourself for the highly coveted freelance script, whether you’re an assistant or a working writer between gigs. In Part 2, Charlie will unpack all the ups, downs, problems, and pleasures that come in the daily life of a working TV writer. Hear insider advice and information about writers room etiquette, climbing the title ladder, taking notes, rolling with the punches when your material doesn’t impress the powers that be, and making sure you get paid. He’ll even discuss the best way to interact with those hot-shot actors in your show. As usual, get ready for some horror stories from the trenches!
It's the question every screenwriter eventually wants an answer to: How do I get a manager. There's a lot of information out there, and probably even more misinformation, on the proper approach toward attracting and securing a manager. The truth of the matter is that most managers are tremendously busy. They are not only reading their clients scripts, they're helping them flesh out new ideas. And when they're not reading their clients' work, they're reading scripts recommended to them by trusted sources and staying on top of industry trends, as well as production company/network/streamer mandates, wants and needs. So how best to break through and make sure you have the most solid chance to land a quality manager? What if you had the chance to pull back the curtain back and hear directly from a successful literary manager as to what makes them interested? Now you can. All writers think they have the next great screenplay. And maybe you do! But to get the proper feedback, get the script into market shape, and have a confidant on the business side of your pursuits to get your work out there, having a great manager who's plugged in can make all the difference. Unlike agents, managers are there to make sure all of your screenplays are molded toward marketability. Additionally, they're in the career building business. They'll help you hone and shape not only your existing screenplays, but your ideas for the next one and the one after that so that you go from novice to experienced and in demand. Conrad Sun currently working as a Film & TV Literary Manager and Development Executive at Meridian Artists, a management company with offices in United States and Canada. Originally from Canada himself, Conrad made the move to Los Angeles nearly 10 years ago where he attended the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark Producing Program. After attaining his masters in film & TV producing, Conrad went on to work in both film & TV lit management at New Wave Entertainment, and TV production at Motion Theory Films. Conrad currently heads the Los Angeles offices of Meridian Artists and reps film & TV writers in both the comedy and drama space. Conrad writers have credits including BLINDSPOT, BOJACK HORSEMAN, 2 BROKE GIRLS, MOTIVE and SLASHER. In this jam-packed 90-minute plus webinar, Conrad will give a complete and thorough overview of the screenwriter/manager relationship. He will explain the often confusing world of managers vs. agents and explain which one you need first, what each does for their clients and whether you'll ever need both. He will explain how a manager works in the day-to-day so you can understand how to best help your manager to position yourself toward success. Then, Conrad will dive into the nitty gritty of how to get the attention of a manager, the importance of writing samples, how to utilize writing groups, the psychology of your reader. From there, Conrad will use real world examples by breaking down the pilot for BLINDSPOT. Conrad will also go over the merits (or lack thereof) of query letters, screenwriting contests, pitchfests and more. And in one of the most important but overlook aspects of the building of a screenwriter's career, Conrad will discuss the importance of defining, building, and explaining your brand and the brand of your work. You will also receive a list of resources from Conrad to help you on your screenwriting journey. This is an all out, fully comprehensive look at how to find, secure and build a relationship with a quality literary manager. Praise for Conrad "There are so many 'experts' out there giving advice on how to secure management. This webinar proved how much of it is BS. Thanks to Conrad for giving the straight skinny." - Steven L. "So much logic. So much common sense." - Gina P. "Eye-opening and immensely helpful." - Heather P. "I've wasted so much time taking the long, winding road. Thanks for putting me on the highway." - Drea T. "My 5th Stage 32 webinar and I get more impressed with each one I take." - Michael M.
Learn directly from Amanda Toye, a producer who developed over 100 drama, comedy, and reality projects to network and cable! Many filmmakers and writers struggle with the question of whether to relocate to Los Angeles or New York to build their careers. But for many, the realities of that are very difficult with money, family, other jobs, and roots already formed in another home. For international filmmakers, it can be an even more difficult transition. The good news is that because of the shifting landscape of the Hollywood system, it has never been more accessible from anywhere in the world. The expanding of a global marketplace, and the door opening opportunities of the digital revolution have made it possible for anyone to become noticed by Hollywood and share their work with an appreciative audience. In this lecture we’ll cover everything you need to know to get noticed, and begin building the kind of career you weren’t sure you could have without making the sacrifice of moving to Hollywood. Having worked with International Studios evaluating and discovering content creators from all over the world, and specializing in bridging the gap between innovative digital practices of development, distribution, fan development and Hollywood, Amanda Toye has worked with filmmaker, writers, and content creators from all over the world from her office in Los Angeles. She currently splits her time between San Jose, Costa Rica and Los Angeles.
Producers and filmmakers of independent films and TV series deal with a multitude of parties regarding the production, financing and distribution of their films and projects. Many of these parties have a financial interest in the project and are entitled to a share of the revenues generated by domestic and international distribution of the film or series. In order to make the allocation and distribution of revenues manageable, it is important to design a recoupment schedule for your project. The recoupment schedule, also called “the waterfall”, combines all the single deal terms negotiated between the production and investors, financiers, talent, sales agents, co-producers, and service producers. Each project is unique, with its very own financing structure for example, and therefore there is no universal format for a recoupment schedule. However, there are certain guidelines to consider when putting together a recoupment schedule for your project. Understanding these guidelines will not only assure that there is no financial shadiness going on behind the scenes and no surprise lawsuits hanging out in the horizon. It also means that everyone who needs to get paid does get paid...and on time. And that can only raise your stature as someone who can deliver the goods and as a person people want to work with again and again. David Zannoni is consultant for Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies, and is the company's representative for the Americas. David negotiates agreements for films and television series, and he is involved in business development and relationship management specifically in the US, Latin America and Spain. David also runs a consultancy business through Xaman Ha Consulting and Zannoni Media Advisors, and has been focusing particularly on international service providers in the film and TV industries, and film and TV productions in Latin America, amongst others. As a film business specialist David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Spain, and all over Latin America. David will explain in easy to understand detail the world of recoupment schedules and why they are so important to your film or project. In an in depth, interactive presentation, David will discuss sources and allocation of film and TV revenues, the purpose of a recoupment schedule, the entitlements and obligations that are payable out of revenues, and the order and priority of payment for film and TV entitlements. He will discuss various territories around the world including distribution rights and assignments. He will show you which kind of projects use a recoupment schedule and the importance of a recoupment schedule as it relates to securing financing and attaching production partners. David will take away all the guess work that goes into the world of waterfalls/recoupment schedules and simplify the entire process to assure everyone on your team is taken care of and given the sense of security they (and you) deserve! Praise for David "I went into this one expecting it to be dry as a bone in the sun. I was so wrong. David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
Learn directly from Morgan Long, TV Literary Department for a “Big Six” Agency This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. With the TV market exploding right now, one of the most in demand formats is the 1-hour TV drama pilot. Many, if not all, managers and agents are looking for writers that can write in this space, and with more and more production companies heading into TV, knowing how to write a strong 1-hour TV drama pilot will give you a competitive advantage and help you find success as a TV writer! Due to popular demand, Stage 32 is thrilled to bring back our 8 Week Intensive TV Drama Pilot Writing Lab taught by Morgan Long, a TV development coordinator at a “Big Six” Agency! This hands-on intensive lab will guide you through picking a concept, creating engaging characters, structuring and outlining your pilot and writing the first draft! The main objective of this 8-week lab will be to have a first draft of your script. You will meet online with Morgan for 2 hours a week in a class setting, plus have phone consultations during some of the weeks when you don't have an online class. This will be accompanied by weekly homework assignments to guide you on your way to creating a marketable, unique pilot that will grab the industry's attention. Payment plans are available - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. This Lab is Limited to 20 People. Please Note: Participating in this lab does not mean you are writing for or pitching to Morgan or her company. PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch.