ON-DEMAND COMING SOON!
This webinar had a live screening session recently and has not yet been converted into a video format.
Creating a unique, interesting character to anchor your television series is one of the most important things, if not THE most important thing, to focus on when developing a pitch or writing a pilot. Executives, agents, managers, and showrunners insist on compelling, complex and dynamic characters that leap off the page. Yet writers often get bogged down with story and plot, losing sight of the fact that it's characters we care deeply about that cause us to tune in to our favorite TV shows week after week.
But how do you create a three-dimensional character that audiences will fall in love with, invest in and root for?
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Tawnya Bhattacharya will teach you how to create memorable characters with drive, characters that provoke emotion and characters that stay with the audience long after they’ve disappeared from the screen. She will show you how to craft compelling and multi-dimensional characters by crafting their backstory, stage of life, flaw, core wound, dilemma and goal as well as how to design dynamic catalyst relationships and polarities, how to a unique world helps you create an interesting character, and how to design meaningful and emotional journeys and character arcs.
As points of reference, writers should familiarize themselves with the pilot episodes of Bloodline, Jane The Virgin, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Breaking Bad which, despite the fact it’s now off air, is an excellent example of where the bar is set.
You will leave this webinar with a game plan and clear tools to use while building what just might be TV's next iconic hero or anti-hero!
Tawnya Bhattacharya is a working TV writer, writing instructor, and founder of Script Anatomy. Her teaching career began at Writers Boot Camp from 2005 – 2008.
Having seen writers struggle through the process there, it became apparent what was missing, so she created Script Anatomy, a unique curriculum to give writers practical development, writing and rewriting tools based on her own process.
She launched Script Anatomy in 2010, just as she was embarking on her own television writing career. Bhattacharya brings both a ten-year teaching background and professional writing experience to Script Anatomy’s curriculum.
She is currently a Writer/Co-Producer on NBC’s The Night Shift and formerly wrote on TNT’s Perception, Lifetime’s The Client List, and USA’s Fairly Legal, with her writing partner, Ali Laventhol. Repped by ICM Partners, they are former NBC Writers on the Verge fellows, winning one of 8 spots out of 1200 applicants and also made semi-finalists for the Disney | ABC Writing Program before getting a job that took them out of the running. Tawnya was also a FOX Writer’s Intensive fellow (FOX optioned her semi-autobiographical pilot).
Bhattacharya is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.
“Tawnya’s tools for structure and story pushed me to take my work to the next level. She showed me how to channel my ideas in an organized and systematic way. Because she has worked as a TV writer for years, Tawnya brings her experience and all the lessons that she’s learned into class and gives you the tools to navigate the room. Tawnya’s approach is keenly-sharp and nurturing in a professional and enthusiastic way, all while keeping an eye on delivering the best story possible.” – April Fitzsimmons (Staff writer on ABC’s Secrets & Lies, ABC Family’s Stitchers, 2104 Disney | ABC Writing Program)
“Tawnya is a dream to work with. She is a very talented writer! I believe her creative process will take her very far in this business. Her writing is poetic, lyrical and shows depth and complexity. She is every bit as strong on the page as she is in the room. She gives excellent notes to others on their creative process. She clearly understands the craft of writing. Her writing and her ability to connect with others will take her very far in the entertainment business. I highly recommend Tawnya.” – Jen Grisanti (Story/Career Consultant Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor with NBC for Writers on the Verge)
“As a working television writer, Tawnya understands the inner function (or dysfunction) of “the writer.” This, coupled with her innate gift for teaching, make her class stand out in the overly saturated arena of TV writing classes, books, and seminars. Not only was her class informational, enhancing both my story and structure skills, but it was inspirational, fun, and offered a supportive environment for every participant. But, what really matters is this: Tawnya made my work better.” – Eva Taylor (2015 NBC Writers On The Verge Fellow, repped by Rain Management Group)
“When I’m stuck in the writing bubble, need guidance and a fresh set of eyes on my pilots, there’s no one I trust more than Tawnya. I always walk away from our sessions with a clear plan, and solutions to the problems I couldn’t quite crack on my own. Most notably she does this without ever taking over the proceedings. My pilots still feel like my own. She helps respectfully guide the ship home, elevating the work with her effective tools and clear, cogent thought process. She has become my secret weapon and a trusted ally.” - Shannon Fitzgerald (Former Sr. VP of Scripted Development at MTV)
“In a very simple, straightforward way, Tawnya is able to demystify the overwhelmingly isolating process of pilot writing by giving you tools you can take away and use forever. It is an outstanding class for non-working and working writers. I will definitely be going back.” - Wendy Straker Hauser (The Client List and Beauty and the Beast)
“Tawnya is the real deal. When I expanded my writing to include TV as well as features, Tawnya’s class gave me the insight and expertise to elevate my craft in a medium that was foreign to me. What I like most…is that she’s a consummate pro and not afraid to tell you what you need to hear. Tawnya’s instruction is both insightful and personable – it’s the reason so many writers use her services again and again and it’s the reason I continue to use Tawnya as a coach to fine-tune whatever I’m working on”. - Chandus Jackson (Writer/Director, Repped by Verve, 2014/2015 Universal Emerging Writing Fellow)
Webinars take place online, in Los Angeles, California, USA time, using a designated software program from Stage 32. You can participate from the comfort of your own home and you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend the live webinar, you can still participate! The webinar will be recorded and you will have on-demand access to the audio recording within about 48 hours of the live webinar, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year.
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!
Class Space Limited: Maximum 20 Writers August 13, 20, 27 and Sept 10 from 1pm-3pm. Your TV Series Bible is an extremely important, and often overlooked tool for selling your pilot in the industry. It’s a document which explains in detail – who your characters are, what they will be up against, where future conflict will come, and what themes your show will be exploring. It gives studio and network executives confidence that you know what you’re doing, and that the show has the story potential to live on for multiple seasons. The problem is that there isn’t a lot of literature out there detailing how to construct a bible. This Stage 32 Intensive is aimed to give you the information and guidance that you need to write a strong bible that can be used when sending out and selling your pilot script. Each week, your instructor Michael Poisson (Director of Development at Silent Machine Entertainment, Krysten Ritter’s production company that has a first look deal at Universal TV) will be giving a lecture about how to write one section of your series bible, and then you’ll be assigned to write that section for a project of your own. The following week Mike will offer one-on-one skype sessions to discuss your work, give you any notes, and answer any questions that you may have. So, at the end of this Intensive, you will have a strong and well-executed bible that you’ll be able to use as a selling tool for your own TV series. Mike has worked at CAA, two production companies, and as a showrunner’s assistant on a TV series, and at each job he has seen the importance of bibles and how they have been used to get series sold and on the air. As a writer, Mike has also used them in his own writing career, and a well-written bible of helped him to secure his manager, and get multiple production companies interested in his work.
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.
Since announcing our new screenings initiative, thousands of new members have joined the Stage 32 community, and there was no better time than to come together to connect, learn, and grow in our digital universe. So with that, I wanted to welcome our new members to the party by hosting one of my AMAs (Ask Me Anything): Quarantine Edition. Damn, you guys were on fire! The entertainment industry is rapidly changing as we all navigate this evolving landscape. In the last few weeks, in addition to talking with over 800 filmmakers from canceled festivals, I've had countless conversations with executives and industry professionals how creatives can keep hustling and put themselves in position to succeed in this new and ever-changing landscape. With everything going on, I can say without hesitation that I had a LOT to share! And I know you all had questions! In this over 2 hour AMA webcast we got together for inspiring, motivating, and brutally honest craft and industry talk. Remember, no matter what your discipline, skill level, geographical location, etc, this AMA will be helpful for ALL! You all brought your questions and the energy and I handled the rest. Amidst this global crisis that has forced so many of us indoors, we are excited to give film, tv, and digital creatives a safe place to stay creative and build relationships with their fellow entertainment industry folks from all over the world. Let's continue to come together for some inspiration, motivation and community love. And if you know any other creative who is not a member of Stage 32 that could use a lift, please invite them as well by sharing the on demand link to download. I enjoyed spending quality time with you all.
We take a look at how writers use cutaways to drive home punchlines in Family Guy and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, explain big ideas in The Big Short, give historical context in Narcos, and frame stories in The Princess Bride.
Learn directly from Michael Poisson, the former Director of Development at Silent Machine Entertainment, Krysten Ritter’s production company that has a first look deal at Universal TV. Michael is also a comedy writer who used his insider knowledge to land a manager, and get two projects in development at TV production companies. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, your host Michael Poisson will guide you through the business side of how to become a working writer in Hollywood. Writing an awesome script is only part of the process for becoming successful in this industry. Having worked on various projects from both the executive side, as well as the writer side of things, Michael has obtained great insight for how to avoid the difficult terrain when meeting and working with producers, studios, and networks. And while the process of finding a manager or agent is daunting, keeping a strong relationship with them so that they’re doing the most for you as their client can be equally difficult. Michael will share with you his insider knowledge to help: keep your writing on track, your meetings fruitful, and your industry contacts strong. If you’ve ever wondered what you should talk about in “general meetings”, how to take notes from friends/producers/execs that you don’t agree with, or how to be a more prolific writer, this webinar is for you!
The UK has a booming screen sector with world-class production facilities that have recently been home to film and TV behemoths like STAR WARS, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and GAME OF THRONES, as well as a thriving independent sector that has supported filmmakers like Steve McQueen, Andrea Arnold, Ken Loach, Joanna Hogg, Clio Barnard, Mike Leigh and Lynne Ramsay. Chances are high that many of the films and TV shows you’ve loved in the past year came out of the UK. It goes to show that whether you’re based in the UK or elsewhere, understanding the UK market’s unique ecosystem and knowing how to navigate it and take advantage of the opportunities available – from production and financing right through to the distribution and exhibition – is essential and can open endless doors for you in this increasingly global, yet competitive industry. The UK and US industries are closely aligned due to a common language, frequent co-productions and an increasing cross-pollination of talent. But what sets the UK market apart from its US counterpart is a strong public funding system, which supports the independent sector and nurtures new talent. So how do you access this support and what kind of projects are eligible? And what about commercial financing options? How does TV fit into this? And what about Brexit and its impact on co-productions? Whether you’re a UK native or an international filmmaker, producer, it’s high time to gain a comprehensive understanding of the UK’s role in the global film and television industry. In many ways, with so many creatives focused on the American market, this is open yet unexplored territory that can be explored and mined for your gain. Over the last 15 years Rowan Woods has worked across almost every sector of the UK film industry, from development to journalism, via distribution, festivals, exhibition and a long stint at the BBC. She currently splits her time between the British Council, where she acts as the specialist liaison between the UK production sector and the international festival circuit, and the London Film Festival, where she programs episodic work and industry panels. Over the years she has worked with BAFTA, BFI, EIFF, LSFF, BFI NETWORK, Curzon and Radio4. She also works as a freelance development and acquisitions consultant and is frequently found moderating industry panels and talent Q&As, including for BFI, BAFTA, IFFR and SXSW. Rowan’s work has given her a deep and comprehensive understanding of the UK film and television industry and is excited to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Rowan will give you an in-depth overview of the UK sector, outlining the key players, the opportunities and challenges, and providing you with the knowledge and confidence to navigate it successfully. She’ll begin with a general introduction of the UK market including what makes it unique, key facts and figures you should know, and how to understand the overall structure. She’ll then teach you about their main sources of funding, both public and private, and how funding works with international co-productions. She’ll also discuss the funding opportunities available for new talent. Rowan will then outline the key film institutions of the area and what they do. She’ll then discuss the support structures in place for producers and will delve into the key players in the sales agent space and how to determine which sales agent is right for your project. Rowan will go over the key distributors in the region and what the exhibition landscape looks like in general. She will also talk about the role of online platforms today and how the UK box office operates. She will then discuss the role of critics in this ecosystem and the key critical voices. Rowan will teach you about the major film festivals in the UK and how to determine which is right for your project, whether your project is a feature, short, narrative, or documentary. She’ll also talk about good marketplaces and forums in the area. She’ll go over the most important people in the UK industry right now and will then delve into the landscape of UK television, including both public service broadcasting and streaming services and key TV production companies. Rowan will outline for you the key opportunities in the UK marketplace, as well as the key challenges that go along with them. Finally, Rowan will give a rundown of how the industry has been altered by Brexit, as well as by COVID-19. Praise for Rowan's Stage 32 Webinar "It was great information and an amazing overview of how the UK industry works. Thank you so much." Marisé S. I was vague about how things get into production in the UK, but have a much better idea now. Between the seminar and the resources to fill in the gaps, I feel a lot more equipped. -Jonathan H. I was very impressed by the comprehensive overview of the UK industry and how well Rowan presented it. I'd love to hear more from her in the future. -Carolyn K. Comprehensive survey. Rowan knows her stuff, and has walked the walk. She is a confident and fluent presenter: she can talk the talk -Stephen P.