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:
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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 are few jobs you can do that are as rewarding as being an independent producer who take a project to completion. It’s the independent producer who turns a great idea and dream into a reality and a singular product that can be enjoyed by people all over the world. What can be better than essentially creating something out of nothing? From conception and pre-production through distribution and beyond, the producer is with the film from beginning to end, builds the team, and makes the decisions that ultimately make the project a failure or success. This role is an enigmatic one, though, since it covers so much, and to be truly successful in this position requires that you know a lot about all of the procedures in order to foresee future issues, stay protected, and ensure you have all of the items you need to deliver a completed product. You will always encounter problems or surprises that come up during the making of a film and it will invariably fall on the producer to address and figure out a way for the film to carry on. As the producer, it's impossible to fully predict what issues will inevitably arise during production, but having an understanding of the different facets of your job and what it takes for a film to be completed and released is crucial. As a result, going into a a film's production blind and completely green is inadvisable. Instead, before taking the plunge in producing your first film, it's important to know everything you can and get the guidance you need so you can take that first step with your eyes wide open. Jim Young of Animus Films is a leading independent producer in the industry, with almost two dozen films under his belt. Jim has created a successful career producing true-story films such as THE CATCHER WAS A SPY with Paul Rudd, LIFE OF A KING with Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr., THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY with Oscar-nominee Dev Patel, LOVELACE with Oscar-nominee James Franco and Amanda Seyfried, and the upcoming film, THE PEOPLE VS. VEGAS DAVE. Jim has a long history of producing critically acclaimed features and documentaries including YEAR OF THE BULL at Showtime, THE WORDS with Oscar-nominee Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. Through years of successes and challenges, Jim has learned what it takes to be a working full-time producer and is excited to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Over the course of four sessions, Jim will dive deep into the roles and responsibilities of an indie film producer and give you the guidance you need to tackle your next (or first) project with confidence and foresight. He will walk you through every step of making a movie, from development to casting and financing to prep and physical production all the way through festivals, distribution and release. Plus! Jim will offer exclusive and helpful documents and resource sheets you can download and take with you for your own projects. Downloads include: Option/Purchase Agreements Sample Budget Foreign Sales Estimates Sample Investor Agreement Sample Shooting Schedule Sample Call Sheet Calendar of Film Festivals Sample Delivery Schedule for a Distributor WHAT TO EXPECT This class is designed for beginner and intermediate students looking to learn the ins and outs of independent film producing. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. This class will consist of four sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. In addition to the presentation-style lessons where Jim will be walking you through various elements of indie producing, you will have the opportunity to ask him questions during each session. 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 full class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". Valuable giveaways and downloads to help you on your producing journey.
Only 10 spots available You’ve heard the phrase “the content gold rush” get bandied about these days, but as it relates to TV, it’s never been more true. Drama television is at its peak with such iconic shows like OZARK, KILLING EVE, BETTER CALL SAUL, THIS IS US, THE HANDMAID'S TALE, THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT, STRANGER THINGS, BLACK MIRROR, THE UNDOING and so much more. With the influx of networks and streaming platforms either moving into or expanding their original content libraries, the demand for dramatic TV ideas and pilots has never been greater. Thanks to streamers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max and others, 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. But not only is the quantity increasing, so is the quality, as companies are funneling an unprecedented amount of money, resources, marketing and talent into their shows. And the impact of COVID-19 is even having an impact that could benefit writers all over the world as many shows are planning to implement virtual writer’s rooms. In short, there has never been a better time to write for TV. 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 dramatic television you need to prove that you have the chops, and to do that, you better come armed with a great pilot script sample. Something that shows that you have what it takes; something that shows that you understand the structure and craft that goes into a good teleplay; and something that shows off your own unique voice and sensibility. This is your calling card, your way in, the piece of material that will fire you off the launch pad. The intention of this lab is to help you create that piece of material that stands out, gets you the right meetings, and, ultimately, gets you representation, meetings with decision-makers, and/or a coveted seat in a writer’s room. Spencer Robinson is a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment who's been in the industry for over twenty years. His clients have been in films with directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski and more. In the TV world, his clients have been regular cast members on shows for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, and TBS, to name a few. His writing clients work in both features and television on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms. He currently has a client writing on two Netflix series, and another client who just sold a show to Amazon. He also reps a writer who currently has a project at Aggregate Films, which has a deal at Netflix. Spencer has taught numerous webinars, classes and writing labs for Stage 32 and remains one of our most popular and in demand educators. In this lab, he will be working directly with you in a class setting and also during one-on-one sessions with the goal of helping you write a fantastic, market-ready pilot. To do so, Spencer will guide you through picking a concept, creating engaging characters, perfecting your structure, constructing an outline and, finally, writing your pilot. If you already have a concept or even a completed pilot, Spencer will use the same tools to help you hone and sharpen your material. WHAT TO EXPECT By the end of this 8-week writing lab, you will have a completed drama television pilot script ready to be shown to reps, development execs and other executives and professionals. Sessions will vary between 2-hour group settings and personal one-on-one Skype meetings with Spencer. You will be held accountable to take the lessons from each week and move your work forward. Plus, to keep you motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the writing process. To see the full writing lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with an executive and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please do 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 ***This lab is limited to 15 people*** This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea or polish an existing pilot.
Write your own comedy pilot in just 6 weeks under the guidance of long-time literary manager Spencer Robinson 2 Spots Remain We've found ourselves in a time when EVERYONE is looking for comedic content. Network and streamer execs are picking up more comedy series than ever before, which means if you have an idea for a comedy series, now is the time to act. But first you, have to actually write the pilot. In this advanced, in-depth and interactive lab, you will be able to work one-on-one with literary manager Spencer Robinson to actually put pen to paper and write the comedy TV pilot that until now has only been bouncing around in your head. Whether you want to write a single-cam or multi-cam pilot or want to write for late night TV, Spencer is here to help you. He will guide you through creating engaging characters, building your world, perfecting your structure, constructing an outline and, finally, writing the three acts of your pilot. If you already have a concept, or even a completed pilot, Spencer will use the same tools to help you hone and sharpen your material. Throughout the course of this exclusive online lab, you will have direct access to Spencer as a mentor by email and via video conferencing as you write your pilot. Praise for Spencer's previous Stage 32 Writing Labs: "Spencer will get those who are ready on their way to a kickass first draft that you can send for coverage, which is what I did. 2 Considers and I'm in rewrites now to move that needle. This was my first ever TV pilot!" - Erika N. (now signed to Fineprint Literary Management after crafting her pilot with Spencer)
Payment plans available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details Limited Class Size Available - Don't Miss Out Learn from an Academy Award-nominated director who's worked with Sydney Pollack, the Coen Brothers, George Clooney, and more. Do you want to know how to produce a horror movie from scratch? There is an art to the craft of making a great horror movie and if you understand all the tricks or the trade it will allow you turn your nightmares on the page into a career launching dream of a movie. In this exclusive Stage 32 class, you’ll learn what it takes to make a horror film from the script through post-production and delivery. Whether you’re a writer, director, or producer, understanding the scope of the process in this detailed four-session class will help you see the way to make your dream film into a reality that audiences can watch. Walking you through the making of your frightening feature is Jonathan Heap. He’s an Academy Award-nominated director, writer, and producer with a dozen feature, television, and short credits, including an award-winning horror film now playing on Amazon and Tubi. He’s also worked with major studios like Warner Bros., where he developed a project for Sydney Pollack that became the Coen Brothers’ SUBURBICON, directed by George Clooney. First, you’ll develop your script. By analyzing successful scary movies to see what works, you’ll strengthen your concept and your approach to producing it. You’ll then dive into pre-production, one of the most crucial steps in filmmaking, as you set up your crew and schedule. In production, the fun really begins. You’ll learn to look for creative opportunities on set to heighten every frame through design, lighting, camera movement, costumes, makeup, and special effects, as they all work in tandem to tell a thrilling story. You have your last chance to raise the stakes and scares as you enter post-production. You’ll look at a variety of examples to see different techniques that you can use with music, effects, coloring, and more to create a fearsome film. Jonathan will use his vast experience to show you how to develop and produce a great horror movie from scratch. By the end of this class, you’ll have what you need to make your horror film and thrill audiences all around the world.
Jason Mirch welcomes Courtney Miller Jr., of television's "Saints and Sinners" for Bounce TV. and A Stone Cold Christmas for Bounce TV, into the Writers' Room Pitch Tank! Courtney is a 5-time award winning director who has worked with the biggest names in entertainment including Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Usher, andBritney Spears. His award winning short film REPAIRations! - The Musical, received the Director's Choice Diversity in Cannes Best Musical.He has development deals with has development deals with TBS, Lionsgate, MGM, Legendary, Weed Road, Viola Davis' company Juvee, Bounce TV, and Will Packer.