Nikki Terpilowski is here to help you master self-editing techniques. Nikki is a long time literary agent and owner of Holloway Literary who represents both screenwriters and novelists and is highly experienced at negotiating book-to-film deals for her clients, most recently Argent Pictures and ABC Studios. Her roster of authors have made Amazon, iTunes, Globe & Mail and USA Today bestsellers lists, have been nominated for Goodreads Choice, and RITA Awards and received starred Publishers Weekly reviews. She has also been invited to speak, teach classes and take pitches at ThrillerFest, Sisters In Crime, Romance Writers of America (RWA), Virginia's Festival Of The Book and many more literary events. Needless to say, Nikki is incredibly familiar with writers and their work and knows what it takes for a script to make it through the noise and get her attention. Full Bio »
If you talk to an exec, a manger, or any other gatekeeper, you may be surprised to find out just how many scripts that are sent to them are turned down before they’re even given a chance. Whether it’s due to formatting errors, unclear descriptions, or other fixable problems, countless scripts fall by the wayside and countless writers lose an opportunity either because they were too eager to submit or because they weren’t able to look at their creation with objective eyes. The good news is this is a problem that can be fixed.
Before you send your script off to representatives, executives, or reputable contests, you need to ensure your screenplay is written clearly, formatted correctly, and tells a story that raises the stakes and builds momentum. Too often, writers go on blind faith and hit “send” before it sees a second set of eyes. But you can (and should) be your own second set of eyes with a practice known as self-editing. This is where you take your writer hat off, hang it up for a hot second, and put your editor cap on so you can revise your screenplay in an objective manner. It’s harder than it seems, but there are actually 10 specific things you can learn to read your script for that will help ensure it’s ready to be sent. If you can master the self-edit, you will greatly improve your chances of getting your work seen. Ready to learn how to do that?
Nikki Terpilowski is here to help you master self-editing techniques. Nikki is a long time literary agent and owner of Holloway Literary who represents both screenwriters and novelists and is highly experienced at negotiating book-to-film deals for her clients, most recently Argent Pictures and ABC Studios. Her roster of authors have made Amazon, iTunes, Globe & Mail and USA Today bestsellers lists, have been nominated for Goodreads Choice, and RITA Awards and received starred Publishers Weekly reviews. She has also been invited to speak, teach classes and take pitches at ThrillerFest, Sisters In Crime, Romance Writers of America (RWA), Virginia's Festival Of The Book and many more literary events. Needless to say, Nikki is incredibly familiar with writers and their work and knows what it takes for a script to make it through the noise and get her attention.
Drawing on her deep literary background, Nikki will teach you an effective way to self-edit your own script and the 10 aspects you need to focus on before sending it off. From more technical issues like script formatting and establishing action to narrative topics like scene structure and character arcs, Nikki will walk you through how to determine if each element in her self-edit checklist is effective. She’ll give you tools to determine where your script’s red flags might be and strategies to fix up each element.
With the strategies Nikki provides, you’ll be able to feel more confident in getting your script ready and sending it to reps, execs and contests
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
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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.
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A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
Writing is rewriting. All writers know this, but unfortunately too many writers waste valuable time and energy rewriting their scripts over and over without really making them better. Or they make some parts of their script better while weakening other parts -it's almost like an endless whack-a-mole game. The reason this happens is that often writers don't know the most effective ways to evaluate and rewrite their material. They rewrite without a clear focus or understanding of the fundamentals. Knowing how to effectively rewrite your script will lead to a dramatic improvement in your final product for both feature and TV scripts, and will be a game changer in your writing career! There's an art to the rewriting process that many successful writers embrace. It begins with letting go, relaxing, embracing, and, eventually, enjoying the process. Great writers know how to save time by quickly identifying issues with their scripts and how to fix the problems quickly and efficiently. They know how to receive notes, how to discuss those notes, and which notes are worth pushing back against and which are worth taking. They know a great script doesn't evolve all at once. It takes time, patience, awareness and constant molding. Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Julia Roberts, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures. Corey is also a distinguished instructor at UCLA, where he earned his MFA. His students have gone on to sell or option scripts to Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Disney, Fox, Fox 2000, MGM, Universal, Warner Brothers, Showtime, FX, USA Network, AMC and HBO. Others have been staffed on such shows as Community, Justifed, Bones, The Mentalist, The Fosters, Young and Hungry, Playing House, and Treme. Corey knows what it takes to write and rewrite a great script, and he has proven it time and time again. Corey will walk you through the entire rewrite process for feature and TV screenplays from first understanding how your story reads in other people's heads (and why that is important!) all the way to correcting structural weaknesses in your script. He will break down rewrite memos, notes, and narrative cohesion, leaving you with a comprehensive overview of how to do an effective rewrite and how to immediately apply it to your own work. He will teach you how to receive notes and how to find the note within the note, an overlooked and misunderstood practice that can save you major rewriting time and win you points with executives, producers and financiers. Corey will show you all the pitfalls and common mistakes writers make during the rewriting process so you can move forward with not only confidence in your writing, but confidence you can carry into any room. Praise for Corey's Stage 32 Webinar "Pure magic." - Alonzo G. "I always loved pumping out the first draft, but hated the rewrite. Now I know why. I had no idea what I was doing. I have 4 scripts that I can't wait to tear down and build back up bigger and stronger than ever." - Mark R. "This was so comprehensive and helpful. The entire webinar I was recognizing faults in my latest script. So happy I took this webinar!" - Mariana W. "I feel like I was just let into a secret club. The Rewrite Club. I know things other writers don't. Excited to put all this information into practice." - Jules P.
There are many ways to forge a path toward a directing career in the film industry. But as almost any successful director will tell you, surviving and thriving takes much more than just talent. Packaging, the streaming platforms, and new and intriguing distribution channels have all but upended the independent film world. More and more filmmakers are embracing a DIY (Do It Yourself) mindset and educating themselves on the business - who's making what, what festivals matter, how a producer sees a project, what investors are looking for (and where to find those investors), who's the audience for my film, where can the film live and, most importantly, how can I use this information to build a long, lucrative, and successful career in the film industry. Director Qasim Basir exploded onto the Sundance scene with his film A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.: Love on Election Night. The film received a massive standing ovation at its Sundance premiere which led to a bidding way, a major theatrical release, and enormous critical acclaim. The film not only takes place in once location, but is filmed in single shot. It's a masterclass, and Qasim proved that he is a talent to be reckoned with. The accolades and offers haven't stopped flowing in. Up next for Qasim is to direct the NFL Biopic ‘Hawk’ based on life of Andrew Hawkins. Prior to his Sundance debut, he was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for his film Mooz-Lum, starring Nia Long, Evan Ross & Danny Glover, and premiered at the LA Film Festival with his film Destined starring Jesse Metcalf, Cory Hardrict and Margot Bingham. Qasim has had choices for all of his films as to how they got out into the world and where they were going to live after their release. He's chosen everything from theatrical to VOD releases, and he's learned much along the way. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Qasim is bringing all his knowledge including the wealth of information he learned from the dream Sundance experience to the Stage 32 community. Qasim will dive right into the deep end of the pool to discuss how to navigate this difficult industry and how to keep yourself intact. He will teach you what you'll learn along the way as you become more successful and how to use that knowledge as fuel. He will discuss short filmmaking as a calling card or as proof of concept of something bigger. He will show you how to identify and engage financiers and production companies. Then, Qasim will delve into the filmmaking process including how casting comes down to understanding the 3 P's. He will discuss pre-production, voice, tone, story, performance & camera. He will teach you how to make decisive and confident creative choices. And he will teach you how to deal with failure and disappointment, but also how to deal with success. "People will tell you many different things in this business, but none is better than when you find what's actually right for you. Let me help get you there." - Qasim Basir Praise for Qasim "I saw A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. at Sundance. The movie is brilliant and watching Qasim during the Q&A it became clear that he is as well. To be able to learn from him here on Stage 32 is such a gift. Inspiration on a whole other level." - Monique T. "Genius in every way." - Tyler K. "Qasim is my hero." - Mikael F. "Another home run for Stage 32. A teacher above and beyond worthy of the subject matter. More please!" - Imani L.
Hey screenwriters and creatives! Mark your calendars and come hang out online with Stage 32 Director of Script Services, Jason Mirch on Tuesday, November 12th at 1pm (Pacific). If you're a screenwriter and looking for support for your writing or your career, this is the online hangout for you! What is a Stage 32 Writer Hangout? This is an online webcast where screenwriters and creatives gather to share what you're working on, things that are inspiring you and give you a forum to ask questions you have about your craft, the business or the industry. For over a decade, your host, Jason Mirch, has worked in nearly every aspect of the business, including representation, development, production, and film finance. He has worked with Academy and Emmy Award winners on studio and independent projects.
Acting is such a tough profession. Facing rejection, navigating the Hollywood system, understanding the rules and politics of it all—it’s all hard enough in general, but even harder when you have to go at it alone. That’s why it can make all the difference to have a talent manager. Good talent managers can drastically transform your career as an actor. They have the connections that can get you into rooms and auditions you weren’t privy to before, they can help you prepare for roles and auditions, and they’ll give you the expertise to support you in navigating your own career and finding success long-term. Talent managers are great, but finding one in the first place can be a challenge. Just like with everything else, this comes down to marketing yourself. There are a lot of actors out there looking for representation, and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. To find a good representative, it’s critical that you stand out. Displaying talent as an actor certainly comes into the equation, but so does marketing yourself correctly and creatively to better pop when a potential manager is looking through potential clients. To do this, it’s important to understand what a talent manager does, how they think, and how they operate. There are ways to get talent managers interested and excited about representing you. Sometimes it just comes down to learning the language. Joe Lorenzo started working in talent management 15 years ago and has since transitioned to Los Angeles, running his talent management and producing firm, Society Entertainment. He currently has working talent on a variety of networks including ABC, FOX, CBS, Showtime and more, streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon and a variety of independent films. With his background as a casting director, Joe has been able to get name talent, name directors, and recognized writers on to projects he is producing. Joe packaged 4 films in 2005, including the feature film GIRLS CLUB with Jaime King, and the Television Movie of the Week, CHRISTMAS AT WATERS EDGE with Keisha Knight Pulliam. In 2006, Joe produced ROCKER, a low-budget indie with his client as the writer and the star. In recent years he produced the feature films NEXT OF KIN in Los Angeles, BOSTON GIRLS in Boston Mass, and THE NO SIT LIST aka BABYSITTERS BEWARE, in Los Angeles. Joe has been managing actors for a very long time and intimately knows what it takes for an actor to land representation. Joe will give an in-depth rundown of how to attract and work with talent managers, from a talent manager’s perspective. He’ll begin by discussing the best ways to get a talent manager’s attention, including the importance of headshots, how to write your resume, tips for a great acting tape, and how to get the right people to give you referrals. Then he will discuss what managers generally look for in clients. Next, he will go over what talent managers expect from the clients they sign, including how best to communicate and the power of honesty. Joe will delve into how managers approach both developmental clients as well as clients that are already currently working with credits. He will speak to the ever-present question of the differences between agents and managers, the different ways each can help you, and how an attorney can also come into play. He will then talk about the different major markets in the industry and how an actor can find success even if they do not live in any of these cities, including mastering the self tape audition and how to ace a live Skype audition. Joe will give you four specific ways to edge out to the competition in the room or on tape and will delve into ways actors can stay current on their own, including creating their own content and being proactive on social media. Finally Joe will give you an idea of how new clients generally start their relationship with their manager, including paperwork you should expect and how to approach initial conversations. You will leave this webinar with a strong understanding of how talent managers operate and more confidence in how better to approach and work with them to bolster your own acting career. Praise for Joe's Stage 32 Webinar I loved how straightforward and upfront Joe was about everything. I’m excited to use this to step up my own game! -Leticia G. This was so helpful. It’s great to hear about managers directly from a manager himself—especially one as giving and honest as Joe. -Jeremy H. This was great! I learned so much. -Henry V. I’m so glad I saw this. It really helped me wrap my head around acting representation, which always felt so unwelcoming and enigmatic until I heard it from Joe. -Ashley W.
What is it about the most successful TV comedies that have allowed them to stand the test of time? Whether it’s ALL IN THE FAMILY, SEINFELD, PARKS AND RECREATION, or FLEABAG, it’s not the jokes that have made these shows so successful—as funny as they might be—it’s the characters. Distinct, hilarious, memorable and, above all, authentic characters are always the ingredient that will make a good TV comedy great. Whether you are working on your own comedy project or are hoping to write on an existing show, it’s crucial to have an understanding of what makes TV comedy characters great and how you can create your own Archie Bunkers and Leslie Knopes. Crafting great comedic characters is not only important in creating a successful show; it’s also how you can get noticed. After all, with so many different types of comedies in the marketplace, it is becoming the toughest genre to break into. Writing great characters can separate your work from the rest and give you the kind of attention that solid jokes and a good sense of humor simply can’t muster on their own. This means it’s vital not only to have great characters, but to know how to make them shine on the page. The good news is there are strategies and actionable lessons you can use to elevate the characters in your own television comedy. Vijal Patel is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning writer and executive producer who has written for many award-winning comedy series including ABC’s BLACK-ISH and THE MIDDLE. Vijal currently serves as writer and co-executive producer of the ABC comedy series SCHOOLED, starring Tim Meadows and AJ Michalka. He also writes and develops feature film projects for the powerhouse studio DreamWorks. Vijal has built his career on writing comedy and using it to explore race, family, religion, politics, and class struggle. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar Vijal will teach you how to make your characters funny. He’ll go through the 2 most basic comedy archetypes and explain the difference between jokes and attitude humor. He’ll teach you how to differentiate your characters and ensure they’re unique and will guide you through both the “One Word” exercise and “Situation” exercise to help improve your characters, using examples from THE SIMPSONS, FLEABAG, BLACK-ISH, SEINFELD, and others. Vijal will then delve into how to make your characters feel authentic and how to write impactful character descriptions to ensure they pop on the page. Finally he will dive deep into how to write funny dialogue for your characters, including how to use humor, how to end the joke, metaphors, similes, and reactions. Vijal will leave you with a series of strategies and clear examples that you can bring back to your own project to make your characters, funnier, more memorable, and more authentic. Praise for Vijal's Stage 32 Webinar " LOVED IT!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Vijal was very engaging, intelligent and helpful. He gave so much insight to the nuts and bolts of creating comedic characters that are authentic." -Debbie C. "Exactly what I needed to know" -Shashank M. "Great info, every moment jam packing with knowledge. Great perspective from a working writer." -Ashton S.