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 »
The goal of this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar is to empower filmmakers to confidently navigate domestic distribution contracts.
This webinar will teach you the basics of domestic (North American) distribution contracts, what to look out for, what parts of the contract are negotiable (and in some cases are expected to be negotiated), and which parts can really be left alone. We’ll talk about what the distributor wants vs. what you want, and how to accommodate both parties so that the contract is clear, the details are transparent and everyone walks away happy.
Filmmakers can really be held back by contracts. If they don’t understand them or are afraid that they are being ripped off, they can end up sitting on them, letting them become inactive and missing their vital release windows. If they sign without negotiating in a “someone likes my movie/ let’s get it out there” state of shock, they can give away rights and accept percentages that lock them up, keeping them from maximizing their film’s potential in the marketplace. Do not fall into either of these traps!
Your host, Anna Darrah is very well-versed in dissecting contracts from her 12 years of experience as a Film Buyer and as an Acquisitions Executive, licensing all domestic rights to films. Now, working independently as a consultant helping filmmakers plan out their distribution strategies, she is able to analyze contracts from a very wide range of companies. It’s incredible how each contract is like a snowflake -- totally unique and yet similar in some very important ways.
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!
"Very good basic overview of terms to be aware of when negotiating or reviewing a distribution agreement." - Valerie N.
"Anna was great, the information she shared was very useful." - Christian C.
After producing over 60 films for nearly two decades, your host Luke Daniels has seen it all. He's worked on films with directors like Kevin Smith and James Franco and talent like Riley Keough, Jean Claude Van Damme, Luke Wilson, Topher Grace and more. Through it all, he's learned tricks as an independent producer that can help keep your production on track when there are a lot of moving elements to make it all come together. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Luke will go over the things he's learned through the years to help you with your own productions.
This special fellowship season workshop will focus on the architecture of the dreaded fellowship submission materials! "In this competition driven town, Tawnya Bhattacharya is a breath of fresh air. She's smart, funny and extremely generous with her knowledge. I walked out of the workshop knowing exactly how to approach my Fellowship essays and bios - and I look forward to doing them. She made what I've previously viewed as a horrendous chore seem fun. If you haven't checked out a class, you should." - Lisanne Sartor (more testimonials below!) Your host, Tawnya Bhattacharya, an alumna of both NBC Writers on the Verge and the FOX Writers Intensive, is currently a writer/producer on Freeform's "Famous in Love," and has also written on TNT's “Perception," NBC's "The Night Shift, Lifetime's "The Client List," and "Fairly Legal" for USA with her writing partner, Ali Laventhol. Tawnya has also taught for the Disney|ABC Writing Program for the past two years. She is repped by ICM Partners, Heroes and Villains Entertainment and Morris Yorn. Over the years Tawyna has taught hundreds of writers on how to put together successful, winning bios & essays. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Tawnya will deconstruct successful fellowship bios & essays, analyze why they work, and help you articulate the symbiotic relationship between your life story and your brand as a writer in 500 words or less. Here's just some of the things we’ll cover: How your bios and essays serve your career, not just fellowships. What the program heads have to say about bios and essays. How you can mine Your Unique Story and stand out. Dos and Don’ts. Examples from Winning Fellowship Candidates. Your Bio & Essay Checklist… and more! Q&A PLUS! You will get handouts: Mining your personal story Worksheet Bio Essay Statement of Purpose Checklist Actual examples of Fellowship winners essays & bios Bhattacharya’s company, Script Anatomy is a TV writing school taught solely by working TV writers and has launched the careers of many writers. Alum have been in every single Fellowship Program (including 5 in 2016/2017) and have sold pilots and staffed on shows such as American Crime, The Handmaid’s Tale, Chicago Justice, The Blacklist, Blindspot, The 100 and more… For more info about Script Anatomy, visit www.scriptanatomy.com
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. WEEK #1 – Introduction, Pitch Docs, Character This week we will cover the syllabus, your instructor's background and experience, your goals for this eight-week lab and launch into a discussion on creating strong characters for your pilot. We will discuss the types of drama pilots and how they differ from network to network. We will go over how to create effective loglines and pitch documents. Then we will delve into character – what makes for strong characters and weak ones. The assignment for this week will be to create a pitch document and write a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters. WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline and Series Bible This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of drama pilot (procedural or serial) and the network (broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, etc.) We will identify what kind of network to target for your story idea and structure the pilot accordingly. We will also discuss the function of your series bible and what it needs to include to support your pilot. The assignment for the week is to complete a pilot outline and start work on your bible. WEEK #3 – Pilot Outline (One on One Consultations – No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding pilot structure. Each writer will send in their pilot outline in advance and will have a 10-minute call to discuss what works and what doesn’t. The assignment for the week is to address any notes given on the outline before proceeding with next week’s class and to continue working on your series bible. WEEK #4– Scenes, Beats, Dialogue, This week we will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, story beats, and dialogue. The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the teaser/opening scene, a scene with heavy dialogue, and a strong character scene. WEEK #5– Acts 1 and 2 We will discuss both the four-act and five-act structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in acts 1 and 2 of a drama pilot, including exposition, number of scenes per act, traditional page count, inciting incidents, acts 1 and 2 breaks, etc. The assignment this week will be to complete Acts 1 and 2 of your pilot. WEEK #6– Acts 3, 4 and 5 Similarly to last week, we will cover the necessary story beats that traditionally exist in acts 3 and 4 of a drama pilot. If your pilot structure has five or more, as some broadcast network shows do, there will be time allotted for further instruction on how to proceed. The assignment this week is to complete the first draft of the entire pilot and to turn in your series bible. WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Please turn in your pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call, and each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes. Your assignment this week is to address any notes. WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (No Online Class) This week will consist of 10-minute one-on-one phone calls as well. Please submit your revised pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call. Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given. Payment plans are available - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
"I appreciate Rachel's openness and willingness to share her knowledge and experience with us." - Susan S. "Very practical advice that I can apply right away." - Brien G. "I thought it was very professional and informative." - Chris R. Ever have a great concept, but when you sit down to write the script or when you go to pitch it, you have more questions than answers for your story? It's a common issue and usually comes from a lack of development and - most importantly - a lack of honesty about your story. Often writers impose deadlines and other restrictions on their writing even when they don't need to. Especially with a new idea, it's important to fully flesh out your characters and plot, and then also flesh out the budget before approaching producers and production companies. Many content creators fail to attach production companies to their material because they forget the vital steps that go into developing an idea. In Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Rachel Crouch will show you how to develop your idea from a good concept to a strong story that will grab the attention of financiers and production companies. She'll help you break down your story to figure out your project's main audience and lead you through the tropes you'll want to exploit in order to leave that audience satisfied. You'll find out how to determine your story's budget range and see how letting go of those HBO dreams might help you find a better home for your project (and improve your pitch)! Whether you're just starting out as a writer or have produced multiple projects, this webinar will help you more effectively develop your ideas to make for a better script and a better pitch.
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.
International co-productions, or “co-pros,” can be the perfect tool for bringing dream projects to life. But these ventures come with their own unique rules and requirements, which not everyone has experience with. In this webinar, attorneys Lorraine D’Alessio and Liz Profumo will deconstruct the co-pro process, sharing practical tips for launching a successful cross-border production. Participants will learn about key steps such as finding business partners, capitalizing on tax incentives, protecting creative rights, and securing work visas for foreign staff. The webinar will also explore the impact of current U.S. policies surrounding trade and immigration. Lorraine has practiced law since 2010, with a particular focus in entertainment immigration. She is the Founding Partner and CEO of D’Alessio Law Group, a global firm which has helped thousands of artists and entertainment professionals to launch careers in the U.S., Canada, and beyond. Born in Canada, Lorraine was a successful Ford model before turning her focus to law. Her entertainment background, as well her personal experience with immigration, allows her to deeply understand the legal and logistical needs of global artists. She is excited to partner with the Stage 32 community and help support its members in achieving their goals.