The Evolution of Story: How to Create Responsible & Compelling Content for a Global Audience

Hosted by Heather Rae

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Heather Rae

Webinar hosted by: Heather Rae

Producer (Academy Award nominated Frozen River, Netflix Originals Tallulah)

Heather Rae is a film and television producer and narrative change activist. She produced such films as Academy Award nominated FROZEN RIVER Netflix Originals TALLULAH with Ellen Page and Allison Janney and Dude with Lucy Hale. She was named as one of Variety's top producers to watch and for six years ran the Native Program at the Sundance Institute and was a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. She is currently in post-production on BULL starring MUDBOUND'S Rob Morgan. She has also produced and directed a number of documentaries including recent film PAULETTE, executive produced by Davis Guggenheim, that tells the story of Paulette Jordan, the first Native American to win a gubernatorial primary in the country’s history. As a speaker and social critic, Rae is working to deepen the dialogue of reconciliation and responsibility in the Americas. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

While our industry is changing rapidly in response to world events, so is the conversation around STORY. As you know, regardless of the setting or the protagonists, the attraction of the most highly regarded films lies in a commonality - how people think, empathize, and react. How will story evolve and adapt to the world as it changes? And how will you write these stories in an authentic way with themes that attract and are relatable to a global audience?  This webinar will look at STORY as a cultural phenomenon and ourselves as narrative designers with a goal toward making us all better writers and filmmakers. 

When we look at the research and analysis of our industry, there is great disparagement in representation, gender parity, and cultural, ethnic and international voices. In other words, we’re telling an inauthentic story about our world. How do we change this? Should we care? The trends in what is being bought, distributed produced and screened by film festivals around the world, the streaming platforms and the international marketplace says YES! You can take a more active role in creating responsible and compelling content for the global audience.

Heather Rae is a film and television producer and narrative change activist. As a former programmer for Sundance, she has alos produced such films as Academy Award nominated FROZEN RIVER Netflix Originals TALLULAH with Ellen Page and Allison Janney and Dude with Lucy Hale. She was named as one of Variety's top producers to watch and for six years ran the Native Program at the Sundance Institute and was a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. She is currently in post-production on BULL starring MUDBOUND'S Rob Morgan. She has also produced and directed a number of documentaries including recent film PAULETTE, executive produced by Davis Guggenheim, that tells the story of Paulette Jordan, the first Native American to win a gubernatorial primary in the country’s history. As a speaker and social critic, Rae is working to deepen the dialogue of reconciliation and responsibility in the Americas for storytelling in film.

Heather will begin by making a very compelling argument the global audience for film, TV and new media is not only growing, but is hungry for more content.  She will dive into the disparagement in gender, cultural, ethnic and international representation and how we can create content that levels the playing field. Heather will then dive into a conversation centered around story and narrative design. Are we presenting a singular, authentic voice, or are we simply contributing to the collective narrative impact culture? The difference is extremely important and will help you recognize how to tell your story and not have it influenced by pre-existing material. From here, it's time to discuss how to create responsible and compelling stories for a global audience - so important in today's marketplace where regional buying has been replaced by regional stories for a worldwide audience.  And finally, Heather will discuss how to challenge ourselves to make sure that we are finding the true story during the development process.

For those who are looking to tell stories of the under-represented or people and worlds unseen, misunderstood or marginalized, Heather will show you how to make those stories universal and attractive to a global audience.


Praise for Heather's Stage 32 Webinar:

"Heather is amazing. Exactly what I needed!"

-Sakura R.

"Heather is so genuine. It’s exhilarating to know there are people in Hollywood who think and talk about ending neo-colonialism and white privilege in such an honest, loving-of-all, brave, humane way."

-Sarah B.

"Heather was engaging, relevant, and motivating concerning the topic."

-Valerie O.

"I love how much Stage 32 thinks outside the box with webinars and opportunities -- Heather is a fine example of that. She is refreshingly different in her approach, her experience and her advice. She is a kindred spirit, and one with whom I would love to connect. Thank you!"

-Anna E.

What You'll Learn

  • Understanding a Global Audience for Film, TV and New Media
    • Looking at the Numbers
    • Global and Domestic Statistics - Who Represents the Audience?
    • What Our World Actually Looks Like
  • How has Story Developed Over Time?
    • The Disparagement in Representation, Gender Parity and Cultural, Ethnic and International Voices
    • Representing Women, Men and the Gender Non-Binary
    • Representing Culture and the Politics of Anthropology
  • How Is Story Designed? A Conversation around Narrative Design
    • What is It?
    • How Does the Collective Narrative Impact Culture?
    • Can we be Exempt From This?
  • How to Create Responsible & Compelling Story for the Global Audience
    • Explore Ways in Which We Can Evolve Story in Our Own Work
    • Study
    • Expanding the Conversation
    • Challenging Our Own Limitations in Development
  • Q&A with Heather

About Your Instructor

Heather Rae is a film and television producer and narrative change activist. She produced such films as Academy Award nominated FROZEN RIVER Netflix Originals TALLULAH with Ellen Page and Allison Janney and Dude with Lucy Hale. She was named as one of Variety's top producers to watch and for six years ran the Native Program at the Sundance Institute and was a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. She is currently in post-production on BULL starring MUDBOUND'S Rob Morgan. She has also produced and directed a number of documentaries including recent film PAULETTE, executive produced by Davis Guggenheim, that tells the story of Paulette Jordan, the first Native American to win a gubernatorial primary in the country’s history. As a speaker and social critic, Rae is working to deepen the dialogue of reconciliation and responsibility in the Americas.

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