An entertainment industry veteran, Brian has been working in the industry since 1999, and he has credits on 23 films and television series for major studios like Disney, Universal, Sony, and DreamWorks Animation. Brian has worked with some of the top story tellers in the animation industry, and has been studying the art and development of storytelling from within for nearly 20 years. While at DreamWorks Animation his work fell under the umbrella of the DreamWorks Education department and Brian taught classes to artists and other staff on story telling, Film Noir, and screenwriting. Brian has been a professional screenplay reader since 2006, and has written coverage for over 1,000 scripts and books for companies such as Walden Media and Scott Free Films. Scripts and books that Brian has read and covered include Twilight, Touristas, Nim’s Island, Hotel for Dogs, and Inkheart. Brian is a life-long fan of good stories and he’s spent years studying the techniques and principles of good storytelling. He believes that great cinema and great storytelling are inseparable. He studied animation and screenwriting at the University of Southern California, receiving an MFA from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in 1999. With that knowledge and his appreciation of good stories, Brian gets real satisfaction in helping writers get the most out of their stories through their screenplays. Brian was born and raised on Cape Cod and currently lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, three daughters, and two dogs. Full Bio »
After reading well over 1,000 screenplays over the course of my career, from both professionals and amateurs, I can tell you that I have a solid idea of what makes a good story. Also, as someone who has been a professional reader, I can show you through a reader’s eyes where a story becomes flawed, and how those stories can be improved to prevent you and your script from getting the dreaded PASS on coverage notes.
The Dirty Secret of Story Structure will take a meticulous look at the art of building dramatic structure within your story by learning how to do it in individual scenes.
Each and every scene in your script should serve as an opportunity to move the story forward. If it is not doing that, it’s not serving its correct purpose within the world of your story. Just as your overall screenplay has a beginning, a middle and an end, so too should each scene. Within each scene should be a character who wants something, and another character or entity that is trying to stop her.
Developing a structure within each scene to determine how those events transpire is just as important to telling your story as making sure the Act I to Act II transition happens somewhere between pages 25 and 30. However, the notion of dramatic structure has been misinterpreted for years.
Dramatic structure is not necessarily what you think it is, and when it is re-examined, the thought of fitting a story within the confines of dramatic structure becomes less daunting. This webinar will provide detailed examples on how to build solid dramatic structure within your scenes, as well as within your overall screenplay.
The secret: Most films are told in four acts, not three.
Break 3-act structure (and the Hero’s Journey) down to a scene-by scene level.
Break 3-act structure (and the Hero’s Journey) down to a scene-by scene level.
Applying technique - We'll go over how thinking of a screenplay in 4 acts rather than 3 can help you by:
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!
Subtext in your dialogue and in your story can be the difference between a studio picking up your script or passing on it. Subtext adds layers to your story and depth to your characters. Mastering the art of subtext is not only preferable for writers, it is absolutely essential. The writers and creators of Film Noir were experts at the use of subtext because, due to the restrictions of the Production Code, their films could not have been made without it. The makers of Film Noir mastered the art of not saying what you’re trying to say, and saying it in a way that sounds like you’re saying something completely different. That subtext allowed the audience to fill in the blanks and become more active participants in the story, and that is why subtext is so important. It gets your audience more involved in the story. Film Noir and the Art of Subtext will show you how to apply the use of subtext in your own scripts in order to add that depth, further engage the audience and take your script to the next level by using examples from some of the great films of that style. After reading well over 1,000 screenplays over the course of my career, from both professionals and amateurs, I can tell you that I can recognize good subtext. Also, as someone who has been a professional reader, I can show you through a reader’s eyes where subtext is needed, and how subtext can be used to prevent you and your script from getting the dreaded PASS on coverage notes.
There's a fine line between introducing a writer to a new world or ruleset and spouting exposition. We’ll break down how writers created the fantasy world of “Game of Thrones”, the frigid winter of WIND RIVER, the digital dystopia of THE MATRIX, and the 1919 England of "Peaky Blinders".
SORRY, THIS WRITER'S LAB IS FULL - PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR FUTURE WRITER'S LABS! Stage 32 believes in evolving and transforming to continuously put our writers ahead of the competition. Now, no matter where you live in the world, we are giving you the opportunity to work directly with a TV literary manger on a one-on-one basis to help shape your writing through our Stage 32 TV Writing Lab. All classes are taught online and at the end of this 8-week intensive, you will have a completed original TV drama pilot and pitch bible. To teach this TV Drama Pilot & Bible lab, we brought back literary manager Spencer Robinson of Art/Work Entertainment, who represents some of the most critically acclaimed and successful writers of the last few years including writers on Cloak and Dagger, Punisher, Arrow, The Last Ship, Chuck, Justified, as well as feature writers like Eric Heisserer who's films include Lights Out, which has grossed over $150 million and was Oscar-nominated for his Best Adapted Screenplay Arrival starring Amy Adams. Why Spencer? We'll let his last lab students tell you why... TESTIMONIALS FROM SPENCER'S PAST LAB STUDENTS: “Had a great time learning and progressing my knowledge of the craft of writing and working directly with a mentor who is a professional in the industry. Spencer was fantastic to be taught by! Thank you!” - Natalie A. “It was a great lab. Spencer’s feedback really helpful!” - A.Z. O. “Enjoyed the lab and Spencer was a good teacher. Appreciate his insight!” - Stephen C. “I wanted the accountability of having assignments due. That combined with the class cost was motivation to write and stay on schedule. This is a lab about story structure, getting words on the page, making strong act breaks. Spencer was great at pointed but useful notes. He doesn't sugarcoat anything. I went from an idea he wasn't on board with developing to a pilot he truly enjoyed reading -- and that was thanks to his pointed notes that got me back on track. Spencer will get those who are ready on their way to a kickass first draft.“ - Erika N. “Spencer was amazing!!” - Summer K. “Spencer Robinson is the perfect person to teach this type of class. His patience and easygoing approach is ideal and unique to him. Kudos to Stage 32 and to Spencer. Spencer's teaching style is the best! Thanks Stage 32!” - George P. WHAT TO EXPECT This lab will be very intensive and you will have ongoing executive guidance from Spencer. You will meet once a week with Spencer through an interactive online class or one-on-one meetings and be assigned weekly assignments to further your growth as a writer. We have created this lab so it will be the most hands on, professional atmosphere out there. By the end of this 8-week lab you will have a completed first draft of your TV drama pilot & pitch bible that will grab the industry's attention. This lab is designed for intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. Past lab participants formed supportive writing groups to help one another through the process.
Only 20 Spots Available - 1 Spot Remains 2 managers leading this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Class Get exclusive downloads - showrunner list, production company POD deal list, network needs list, pitch deck examples, pitch templates and more! The Television business is booming! There are more opportunities than ever before for a series to find a home. But that also means the market is more crowded than ever before. Shows are continuing to get greenlit and writers are continuing to get staffed. Thanks to streamers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Peakcock, HBO Max and others, over 600 shows were greeenlit last year and some industry experts are predicting we may see as many as 1,000 television shows greenlit per year by 2025. We're in the midst of a content gold rush and more people than ever are looking and buying great ideas and great scripts for their networks and platforms. If you have a great idea for a television show, there is absolutely a path forward, especially if you know how to navigate this new landscape. What does that mean for you? If you really want to get your television project greenlit, you need more than just a great idea and a great script. You need a strong logline, pitch and pitch deck and you need to be able to package your project to give yourself a competitive advantage to be more sellable to your dream network. Now is the time to give your television project the best chance of breaking out in a crowded market. But, how? By working with two of the top literary and talent managers in the industry in a 3-week intensive class, exclusively through Stage 32. Jay Glazer is a manager/producer at ROAR who represents creatives in both the talent and literary fields. His clients have appeared in Emmy-winning SHAMELESS, GAME OF THRONES, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, MAD MEN, Netflix's THE WITCHER and many more. Prior to joining ROAR, Jay worked for Brillstein Entertainment Partners and The Gersh Agency. Raquelle David is a manager/producer at Elevate Entertainment who represents Taylor Sheridan the creator of the commercially and critically successful YELLOWSTONE for Paramount Network. Additionally, she has sold shows to Netflix, Amazon, Film Nation, eOne, and many others. Through both of their careers, Jay and Raquelle have helped countless writers pitch their projects or get staffed on shows. They know better than most what it takes to get a project off the ground and greenlit. In this advanced level and exclusive intensive class you will speak directly with Jay and Raquelle in a virtual class setting to help you learn how to get your television project off the ground and set up for success. Both Jay & Raquelle and Jay will be available on email during the 3 week class sessions to answer any questions you have about your TV project or your career. Plus! Jay and Raquelle will also provide you exclusive, confidential and helpful documents for you to download and use for your own projects including: Logline Examples TV Pilot Examples TV Pitch Deck Examples TV Pitch Template Current Network needs (current list of buyers and what they’re looking for) Current POD deals for TV (current production companies and what networks they have deals with) Comprehensive Showrunner list WHAT TO EXPECT **Both Jay & Raquelle will be available on email during the 3 week class sessions to answer any questions you have about your TV project or your career.** This class is designed for intermediate writers and producers looking to get their individual television project ready to pitch and sell to networks. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. You will be given exclusive and confidential handouts that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the class ends. This class will consist of three weekly intensive sessions, each roughly three hours in duration. In addition to the lessons that Jay and Raquelle teach the class, you will have the opportunity to ask them questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with them directly about your specific project. ***Only 20 Spots Available. 1 Spot Remains*** 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 TV project development process. To see the full TV project development class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 class is limited to 20 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with these managers and experts 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. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at email@example.com for more information Praise for Raquelle David's Previous Stage 32 Next Level Development Class "This has been one of the best experiences in my life. Raquelle has been a marvelous teacher, offering a tremendous amount of useful information without making us feel overwhelmed by it, encouraging us to stay true to our artistic ideals while giving pointers on making them sellable." -Deleanu F. Wow! I didn't realize how much better I could make my TV show just by better understanding the industry. Raquelle gave me so much clarity on how to make my show successful and stand out. Very very thankful for this class. -Jeffrey R.
This month we welcome Lindsay Schwartz the Director of Development at FullyFormed Entertainment, the venture from producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, who co-founded Platinum Dunes with Michael Bay in 2001. Fuller and Form are the producers behind the hit film A QUIET PLACE and sequel, as well as THE PURGE franchise, OUIJA, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. FullyFormed Entertainment's latest project, THE FOLLOWER is set up at Paramount Pictures. They are eagerly anticipating the release of A QUIET PLACE 2, and are developing numerous features and series with studios such as Paramount, Sony, MGM, Universal, and Amazon, amongst others. Before FullyFormed and Platinum Dunes, Lindsay worked at Paramount Pictures and Happy Madison Productions with Adam Sandler. As you can imagine this Executive Hour webcast is packed with a wealth of stories, insights, and advice from Lindsay! She discussed the inside story of how A QUIET PLACE came together and sold to Paramount, how she approaches development with writers, how Horror and Thriller are very similar to Comedy, and what writers can be doing to break out in a crowded market!
The horror genre is one of the only genres that still can open big theatrically. In fact, over the last 5 years or so, the horror genre has provided the industry with some of its most profitable films. And that trend shows no sign of slowing down. Quite the opposite, the trend is accelerating. Horror still lends itself to a shared experience of being scared with a group in the dark. The jump scares, soundtrack and sound effects really play well in theaters, but also lends itself to that adrenaline we all love when sitting home alone streaming a great horror film. Horror can also be produced on a much lower budget than most other genres, so the opportunity for higher margins of profit are always in play. And you don’t need big movie stars as the concept is the star. Additionally, tons of new directors are able to break in through the horror genre and they're all looking for that perfect script with that killer concept. The challenge for most writers is coming up with either a totally new concept (THE CONJURING), or coming up with a new twist on what has already worked in the past (INVISIBLE MAN). But once you have fleshed out the concept, you need to make sure the writing is on point. That includes a perfect opening, a cadre of memorable characters, a plot that keeps those pages turning, and a close that makes a manager want to pick up the phone and schedule a meeting. Jake Wagner is one of the most respected literary managers working in the business today. Jake has also been one of top selling spec script managers of the last decade. Jake was responsible for the largest spec sale of the last 10 years (and one of the biggest in history), with SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN which sold for over $3MM to Universal Pictures. After an illustrious and celebrated career at Benderspink and Good Fear and Film + Management, Jake is now the owner of Alibi Management. Jake’s clients have written some of the most popular recent horror films including POLAROID and CRAWL. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Jake will teach writers of horror screenplays what managers look for in a spec screenplay. As one of the leading sellers of horror specs in the market today, Jake will tell you the common mistakes horror writers make and how to avoid them. To start, Jake will take you through the types of horror scripts attracting financing and producing interest in the market right now and he will explain why certain feature scripts stand out above the rest. Then, Jake will dive into the writing and the reading habits and needs of a manager. He will dive into what your first 10 pages tell a manager and how you can not only make them shine, but how to do so in a manner that keeps a manager turning pages. He will discuss the importance of your first act, the introduction and nuances of your characters, how to make sure your plot is not only interesting, but clear, and how to stick the landing. And, as a bonus, Jake will take you through 10 case studies of some of the most successful horror feature and short film projects of recent years including A Quiet Place, No Good Deed, Meet Jimmy and more. "Too often I hear and see scripts that are derivative of other movies and don’t bring anything new to the table. Let me show you what makes a horror script attractive to me and other literary mangers and that will draw attention in the marketplace right now." - Jake Wagner