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.
It can be more exciting to focus on the creative side of developing and producing your film or TV project, but if you’re a producer, you know this is not the only aspect you need to cover. Navigating business and legal aspects can truly make or break your project. Handling IP, chain of title, contracts and legal documents, setting up production entities, domestic and international negotiations with producers, financiers, talent agents and law firms—the list goes on, and not one element can be overlooked or handled haphazardly. No matter the size of your project, understanding the business and legal affairs that come with it is of the utmost importance and can be the difference between your film making it to the screen and falling apart in the process. Business and legal affairs are a different story for larger independent production companies and studios. They will have in-house staff and lawyers to handle these matters or can hire outside production council. This is likely not be possible for your smaller independent project. As a result, business and legal affairs are often overlooked in smaller productions—to the production’s own detriment. Yet it doesn’t need to be this way. You don’t need to hire a team of attorneys in order to ensure your indie project is covered and protected. Instead, you need to understand which aspects of business and legal affairs are important, what support there is available for independent producers, and how to best navigate the process to ensure every other aspect off your production stays on track. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. 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, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will discuss both business and legal affairs that will be involved with your independent production. He’ll dive into how to deal with multiple players in the industry while putting together your project, how to negotiate and make deals, and the other business knowledge and expertise that is important for you to know when putting your film or series together. On the legal side, David will explain the different types of agreements you’ll need to have and the process of navigating many agreements at once. He’ll also go into the trickier aspects of legal affairs including domestic vs. international jurisdiction, distribution rights and licensing, recoupment schedules, and even arbitration and legal proceedings. Through David’s advanced and wide-stretching presentation, he will share with you countless tools that you can take to ensure that your own project is protected and can ultimately come together.
Lab Full! If you are still interested in joining, contact email@example.com By popular demand, we're bringing in TV executive Anna Henry (who has 100% satisfaction with her webinars!) to teach a one-on-one TV pitch document writing lab! Need help with writing your TV series pitch document? Look no further! Anna's here to help. "I thought it was a great course and really helped me understand the format. Anna is knowledgeable and quickly cuts through to what can help your story better. Her notes on my script were insightful and really demonstrated her thorough experience." - Lee L. "Anna’s class was by far the most thorough, well put together, and organized screenwriting class I’ve ever taken. I have an MFA in filmmaking and, after graduating, I still felt as if I didn’t fully understand the structure of pilot writing. Anna’s class laid it out step by step and she went through every piece in detail. She was also extremely available to her students. During our one-on-one sessions, I expected to have a quick 15 minute call with her but she ended up speaking extensively with me about my story from outline through script stages. She really, truly cares for her students and is there to answer any questions, which, given her abundant experience in the industry, is a priceless piece of her labs. Thank you, Anna!" - Jacqueline D. "Anna was concise, and detailed. I've been working on log-lines/treatments/synopsis for 2 years for my scripts and never had it nailed like Anna was able to do. She rocks!" - Cheryl Lynn S. This is the golden age of television and the appetite for content has never been greater. What does everyone network and streamer want? Fresh, unique, authentic voices with never-been-told stories. While the door is open to new writers, the competition is fierce. Of course you need a very strong finished script, but before that will be read, you need to be able to communicate what makes your show stand out from the crowd, what will make people want to watch it for years and years, and why you are passionate about writing it. You need a blueprint of what the series will be beyond one episode. That's where a pitch document (aka bible, aka treatment) comes in. Whether you are selling your show verbally, sending the pitch to a potential producer, or applying for a fellowship, this document carries the weight of your imagined world with all its inhabitants and stories. That's a tall order! So where do you begin? How do you organize your ideas? What should be in a pitch? How detailed should you get? Should you start with a summary of the pilot? Should you have ideas for future episodes? What should you say about your characters? In this lab we will delve deep into writing an effective pitch for your scripted television idea - one that will clearly communicate your intentions, excite the reader, and convey your voice and your passion. I have spent my career developing television projects with writers and selling those show ideas as a development executive, manager and producer. What I have found is that most screenwriters have taken classes that helped them learn about story structure, writing scenes, dialogue, etc. but writing a pitch is entirely different. Most writers need help with switching gears and selling their story in addition to telling it - which is the purpose of this lab. Payment plans are available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
You've put in months, maybe years of effort planning, raising funds and shooting your film. You're incredibly proud of your efforts. Now all that remains is getting the film seen and returning some profits to your investors. But what's the best path? Should you enter festivals? Hire a sales agent? Go for theatrical distribution? Attempt to navigate the streaming and VOD platforms? In short, how do you know what's the best route for your film in 2017? Deciding on how to monetize your project can be very complex. With so many options out there it’s sometimes hard to know what is important and what you can skip. This Stage 32 Next Level Webinar will be your one-stop crash course on how to navigate the marketplace! Your host Bradley Gallo, Chief Creative Officer at Amasia Entertainment (known for The Call, Fear, Inc., Mr. Right, Careful What You Wish For, and the award-winning indie The Road Within) will discuss what options are available for your project once it's complete and help you decide if VOD, theatrical, a festival circuit run or hybrid strategy is best for your film. After giving you the lowdown on options, Bradley will quickly discuss the benefits of each and provide you with a gameplan depending on the path you decide to pursue. Whether you’re selling the film yourself, looking for independent representatives to bring on board, or trying to get into a festival, it’s important to know the steps involved in selling a film, no matter your role in the filmmaking process. Indie films are getting produced and distributed every day! It’s time to learn how to take your film to the marketplace and show it to the world! Your host, Bradley has produced a wide variety of films independently, guided some through the festival markets and sold directly to distributors. He will share his knowledge and real-life experiences exclusively with the Stage 32 community! You will walk away with a sense of the marketplace of today including an overview of how to approach the festival circuit, who should/should not rep your film, how to deal with distributors, VOD vs theatrical and so much more!
Kate provides you a downloadable list of of management companies! If you’re an aspiring writer, a good literary manager is often a vital ingredient for your success and continuing career. They’re with you on every step of your journey. They give you notes on your projects, help you strategize and prioritize, keep you motivated, and get you in front of execs, producers, and other players to get that next job. It’s a crucial and ongoing relationship that can make or break your career. The manager/client relationship is an intimate and important one that should be based on trust and communication, as well as on personalities. Because of this, it’s worth taking the time to think about what kind of working relationship you want to have with your rep. Managers and by extension management companies have different strengths and approaches to working with clients. From the bigger players like Anonymous Content, 3 Arts and Circle of Confusion, to the more boutique companies like Bellevue Productions, MXN Entertainment, and Lit Entertainment, each manager or management company has a different working philosophy and mandate for building a client’s career—from development to career strategy to producing policies to staffing and more. Understanding these differences and knowing what to be aware of and what questions to ask when looking for representation is essential. Kate Sharp is a producer and literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Kate was the VP of Development and Production at Occupant Entertainment, producing short-form content for Showtime, MTV, Verizon, Facebook, and U2, and was an Executive Producer on the Hulu original, Emmy-nominated TV series BEHIND THE MASK. Her film credits include PEEP WORLD, BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY, MADAME BOVARY and THE HALLOW. Kate is currently producing THE BURNING SEASON (recipient of a Film Independent Producing Fellowship, a 2016 Tribeca Sloan grant, a 2018 Fast Track Sloan grant, a 2015 Athena List winner and on the 2016 Black List), as well as AT RISK (recipient of a Film Independent Writing Fellowship and on the 2018 Black List). Kate’s extensive experience as a manager, producer, and executive of projects big and small has made her an expert on representation, and she’s excited to share her expertise exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Kate will start with the basics of the management landscape, describing the role of a literary manager and illustrating what a good manager/client relationship could look like. She’ll go over the different approaches managers have when working with clients and teach you the major players and the different types of management companies, including the larger companies, and the smaller more boutique ones. She’ll then delve into how a writer should pick a manger by helping you understand what personal needs and wants you should consider when looking, what questions you should ask during the interview process, and what red flags you should be aware of when meeting with potential managers. Next, Kate will go over the relationship between managing and producing and what goes into a manager producing your project. She’ll talk about what you should consider when talking to your manager about serving as a producer. Finally Kate will delve into the ins and outs of a beneficial manager/client relationship, including how to get the ball rolling once you sign, how to work well with them day-to-day, week-to-week, and what expectations you should both have for each other. Kate will leave you with an understanding of the literary representation landscape and a clear idea of what to consider and what questions to ask when finding your own manager. Praise for Kate's Stage 32 Webinar "Kate was fantastic, clear and succinct about what she's looking for, what she's not looking for and a general overview of what managers do." -Gail B. " Kate Sharp was incredible. She laid out the road map for where a screenwriter goes after completing screenplays. She made it clear on what to look for in a manager and how it differs from having an agent. She's a great instructor, and also looks like a very special person to have as a manager, who loves what she does and would be a great partner for a writer! Thank you for sharing her gifts with us!" -Ricki L. "The information was straightforward and practical. I made loads of notes to go back over. Thanks!" -Gillian R. "BRAVO, KATE!!! She provided a wonderful presentation fueled by stellar "real world" facts and scenarios." -Bill B.
We’ve found ourselves in a true “content gold rush” for television. Over 600 shows were greenlit last year and some industry experts are predicting we may see as many as 1,000 television shows greenlit per year by 2025. Much of the attention in recent years has been on streaming platforms, but it would be foolish to overlook network dramas that continue to not only draw huge crowds, but can stay on the air for many more seasons than their streaming counterparts (can you believe GREY’S ANATOMY has had 17 seasons??). Current ratings for shows like CBS’s EQUALIZER, FOX’s 9-1-1 and NBC’s CHICAGO P.D., CHICAGO FIRE and CHICAGO MED demonstrate just how wildly successful network dramas continue to be. If you’re looking for a long-running and lucrative TV writing career, network dramas could be a powerful opportunity. Now it’s just a matter of breaking in. The opportunities are plentiful and the prospects have never been more exciting, but if you want to write for network television you need to prove that you have the chops, and this means more than just writing a pilot script by yourself; it means that you can excel in a writers’ room, breaking story with the showrunner and fellow staff writers. TV story breaking is a wholly different process than solo writing and requires a separate skillset. It’s more collaborative, it’s more flexible, and it requires the ability to pitch and defend your ideas. The ability to thrive in a television writers’ room can allow you to find real longevity in your writing career and give you the opportunity to contribute to a lot of exciting new shows coming out of this gold rush. Kate Sargeant is an accomplished television writer with especially deep experience in network procedural dramas, working on over 100 episodes of network TV on shows like CASTLE, CSI: CYBER, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS and BLINDSPOT. Kate started her career as an actress at the age of eleven, starring as “Emily” in the cult classic film 3 NINJAS, directed by Jon Turteltaub. She has also written, directed, and produced a few of her passion projects including three short films: CHANGING LANES, FACING LIFE, and ANOTHER FOREIGN CONCEPT. In addition, Kate launched an original comedic series that she wrote, directed, and produced called YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON THE INTERNET about our obsession with social media. Most recently Kate served as a Supervising Producer on an upcoming one-hour drama for TBS entitled OBLITERATED. Over the course of this intimate six-week workshop, Kate will delve into the craft of the network procedural hour drama and then lead the class through a mock BLINDSPOT writers' room, where students will gain experience pitching A, B and C story ideas for BLINDSPOT, breaking the episode script, and then practice pitching acts to the showrunner. Through both Kate’s lessons and her leading of the writers’ room, you will gain direct, practical and real-world experience that you can take with you as you pursue your own television career. WHAT TO EXPECT **Kate will be available on email during the 6 class sessions to answer any questions you have.** This workshop is designed for working and aspiring TV writers of all levels looking to learn about network drama TV writing and how to pitch and work in a writers' room. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. This lab will consist of six sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. Sessions will vary between presentation style lessons and interactive mock writers' room sessions where all students will have the opportunity to participate. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the process. To see the lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with an experienced writer/producer and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good.
The surge of television platforms, networks, and streamers in recent years has drastically opened up the world of television content production, spelling good news for aspiring content creators around the world. We’re not just talking Netflix and Amazon; countless other channels and streamers like Tubi, Roku, Snap, and many more are actively building their slates and looking for new content to buy outright. With these opportunities, it’s more than possible to create, sell and be profitable on your own independent TV series. Yet this does not mean it’s easy. Financing and recouping costs for independent television production requires a firm understanding of the constantly changing TV landscape and opportunities available to secure funding. With the rules and trends of television changing so frequently, it is difficult to be on top of where opportunities lie. Standard and subscription networks are losing revenue to streamers, and their acquisition budgets are decreasing. At the same time, streamers prefer buying all rights, and spend much less money on digital rights only, which disrupts the financial model. And many investors who are more used to funding films are resistant to TV shows without the splashy premiere and red carpets that they’re used to. These challenges and more stand in the way of fully financing your own television project, but they can all be overcome with the right approach and understanding. Over twenty-five years and working across three continents, Jeanette Milio has been involved in the production of over 500 hours of content for film and television, with a total production value of over $250 million, and including Academy Award® winning talent in front of and behind the camera. Recently, Jeanette has focused on the development, financing, and production of television series. She co-created, co-financed and executive produced the beauty competition series GLOBAL BEAUTY MASTERS on TLC and its spin-off series THE LOOK ALL-STARS on The CW. She further managed the renowned dog series TV series and brand DOG WHISPERER WITH CESAR MILLAN, which aired for 9 seasons on the National Geographic Channel and sold in over 180 countries. Jeanette’s decades working and finding success in the TV industry has given her a unique and unrivaled perspective of how to finance television content and get it sold. It’s more possible than ever before to fund, produce, and sell your own independent TV content, especially if you can understand the rules to follow and the traps to avoid that Jeanette will thoroughly lay out in this exclusive webinar.