Charlene "Charlie" Fisk is an award-winning Filmmaker who has several regional Emmy awards for her work on Arts and Documentary programming, including two Emmy’s for Best Documentary. Her credits include network content for Netflix, FX, ESPN, Disney, HGTV, TLC, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, and OWN. She Co-Produced Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel for American Master’s on PBS and Produced/Directed the feature film The Founders which has won multiple awards including Best Documentary and the Audience Award Feature at it’s premiere in Atlanta. Full Bio »
As a director, you have to oversee every aspect of production, but you can’t micromanage it all. You need to communicate your goals and listen to your cinematographer to achieve your vision. When do you start developing this relationship? How do you know you’re hiring the right person for this role?
As a cinematographer, you have to take charge while telling a director’s story. How do you lead without taking control? How do you ensure this is an effective dynamic? When do you speak up to ensure the director has everything they need?
When this dynamic duo is at their best, the results can be breathtaking. But if they’re at odds, it will always undermine the success of your film.
Directors, cinematographers, and directors of photography can all gain invaluable information from this Stage 32 exclusive webinar, showing you exactly how to find the right people for your production and how to work with them to ensure a cohesive result built on solid communication and trust between the director and cinematographer.
Taking you through the inner workings of the director-cinematographer relationship is Emmy Award winning director and cinematographer Charlene "Charlie" Fisk who has worked with networks including FX, Netflix, PBS, ESPN, Disney, HGTV, TLC, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, Food Network, and OWN.
In addition to the incredible wealth of information from Charlene, she will also answer questions for you using her years of experience about the roles of director and cinematographer, or your own feature or role in productions.
You’ll walk away with the tools to find the right partnership and cultivate it to create a powerful experience, leading to a fantastic feature film.
Finding A Dynamic Director And Cinematographer Team
Unifying The Vision With Cinematic Choices
The Cinematographer's Responsibilities And How To Execute Them
The Director's Responsibilities And How To Achieve Them
The Toolkit: Actionable Items For Successful Communication
Q&A with Charlene
Charlene "Charlie" Fisk
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As the world becomes flatter and technology brings us closer together, opportunities for international cooperation continue to abound. For producers or creatives looking to find or bolster their next indie project, there is a huge amount of potential in joining forces with companies or teams from other countries and pooling your resources together, creating something larger than the sum of its parts. Forming an international co-production can give you access to more funding and financing opportunities, more access to locations, actors and crew, and more sales and distribution opportunities after the film is finished. But while international co-productions can reap great rewards, they also present unique financial challenges. Navigating this transnational world requires a set of skills and wherewithal that can be hard earned but is hugely valuable. Financing any film or project is tricky, but international co-production can be especially complicated, particularly when it comes to revenue management. After all, revenues generated by the project will need to be split amongst several producers and usually their financiers and talent as well. Not only are you dealing with more stakeholders, but also more countries, each with their own systems and regulations. Complicated though it might be, it’s your responsibility as the film’s producer to know how to navigate these waters and ensure the revenue is shared correctly and efficiently. Doing so will not only ensure that your current project is a success, but also allow you to hold on to your foreign relationship, boost your international reputation, and give you the ability to have partners to work with for future projects to come. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will teach you how revenue management and revenue sharing on international co-productions work and how you can be prepared to handle this tricky subject effectively. He will first delve into how international co-productions work and will also outline the way distribution rights and sales are generally handled for these projects. Next David will talk about the relationship between co-producers on a film and how they can best share ownership, including co-producers that are financiers or talent. He will then teach you how to handle revenue management for an international co-production, diving into both domestic and international revenues, sharing revenue amongst co-producers and how financiers and talent are paid. David will explain collection accounts and how they work on international projects. Finally, David will share an in-depth case study of a real international co-production and show the contracts, recoupment schedules and revenue splits to explain how the project came together and how the revenue was ultimately shared. Through this advanced level webinar, David will ensure you can walk into an international co-production knowing how to handle the financing correctly. Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars: "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
Exclusive Advance Level Finance Class With Viviana Zarragoitia, the Vice President of Three Point Capital, one of the entertainment industry's top financiers that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects We are seeing more and more members of the Stage 32 getting fully-funded agreements from streamers like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu to create original content and we expect that trend to continue well into the future. In situations like this, traditional financing and distribution schemes vary and you, as a producer or filmmaker, need to understand how to finance and produce your film in the best way in order to deliver it to the streamer on time and on budget. This advanced level on-demand financing class is geared towards independent producers who either have, or one day will, receive a distribution agreement (i.e., Minimum Guarantee) offer for their film ahead of production. You will learn some valuable tools on how to monetize the offer towards financing the budget of the film. You will learn how to work with third party lenders to monetize the distribution agreement and the pitfalls to look out for when working with lenders in financing a distribution agreement. To help you navigate this is Viviana Zarragoitia who is the Vice President of Three Point Capital, one of the entertainment industry's top financiers that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. Through Three Point, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in. She has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Rob Barnum (MARGIN CALL), Anthony Bregman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), James Schamus (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Aaron Gilbert (JOKER), Kimberly Steward (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), Nicolas Chartier (THE HURT LOCKER) and Kevin Frakes (HEREDITARY), among others. Before Three Point Capital, Viviana worked in accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films, as well as in the finance division of Lionsgate, where she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. Viviana has seen it all when it comes to film financing and knows intimately well how films find success at all budget levels. She will make sure you feel confident about your streamer deal and deliver your film in line with what a streamer is looking for. Praise For Viviana's Stage 32 Education "Viviana was personable, professional, interesting, interested, and a wealth of knowledge and useful information. I will take every opportunity to learn from her. She was patient and polite with every question and always clear with what she knew, what she thought, what she believed, and what she didn't know. She painted pictures and delivered facts, outlining the paths she has seen successful producers take while still encouraging all to pursue their art with a greater knowledge of the business and understanding of the challenges and potential pitfalls." -Randy G. "As someone who was totally new to the world of film financing, trying to learn about the process by myself was intimidating to put it lightly. Viviana clearly explains the film financing process step-by-step and demystifies the complex, bespoke nature of pre-sales, tax credits, sales agents, and so much more. I feel infinitely more confident in my ability to produce a film thanks to this class. I give it the highest possible recommendation for any independent filmmaker looking to finance their film and take their projects to the next level." -Sean R. "Viviana has a tremendous depth and range of knowledge about film financing and she was happy to share everything she knew. Thanks to her loose, attentive style for the class, it ranged far and wide, and she answered a lot of people’s questions whether they were general or specific to their own projects. And I feel like there was value for all of us in even the most project-specific questions." -Randy V.
A New Exclusive Webinar! Learn how to package and submit your film to festivals, taught by an Oscar-qualifying festivals programmer. If you’re looking to produce and sell your own feature or short film project, film festivals will be crucial to your success. Countless filmmakers have launched successful films and careers using film festivals, such as Ryan Coogler, Quentin Tarantino, Catherine Hardwicke, Lulu Wang, Barry Jenkins, Robert Rodriguez, Wes Anderson, Chloé Zhao, and many more. For you to have the same shot at success as these renowned filmmakers, you’ll need a strong strategy for your project. And in this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, we’ll show you how. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to prepare, package, and submit your film to the gatekeepers of the film festival circuit. This process is just as vital as the final cut of your film, and it should be your priority to market yourself and your project correctly across the festival submission landscape. By demystifying this process, you’ll be able to define your goals and be prepared for the best possible outcome when you go out to festivals. Taking you behind the curtain of the festival circuit is Greg Sorvig, who leads the artistic vision and film programming department for Heartland Film and its Academy Award-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and Heartland International Film Festival events. In his role, Greg serves as the organization’s liaison with major studios, producers, and filmmakers. He is also the Senior Associate Programmer for the Tribeca Festival Shorts team. Greg regularly serves as an international film festival juror, industry panelist, and mentor for top 20 film schools, including USC and DePaul University. Greg’s many roles give him an insider perspective on what films get into festivals and why, as well as why certain films are more successful than others. And it is this insider knowledge that Greg is providing you with as you build your festival strategy. Greg will show you where and how to submit, how to avoid scams, how to know your project is ready, how to package it, how to budget and understand festival timelines, and so much more. Plus, for those who join Greg for the live stream of this webinar, you’ll be able to ask Greg any questions about festivals and your project. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn from Greg, develop your film festival strategy, and take control of your project’s future. PRAISE FOR GREG'S EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE: “It came as a big, pleasant surprise that MTV Documentary Films acquired ‘76 Days’ during the Heartland International Film Festival. Even in our challenging time of COVID-19, film festivals are continuing to play a crucial role in supporting independent films and filmmakers,” said Hao Wu. “I’m extremely grateful to Artistic Director Greg Sorvig and the Heartland International Film Festival team for having made this acquisition possible.” -- Hao Wu, Director 76 Days (Emmy Winner, Oscar Shortlist) “Greg and the team know how to not only run a slick and professional festival, but also be openly available to chat to and relax with as well. We cannot recommend this festival enough - it's got the charm, the know-how and the open arms of everything a filmmaker needs from a festival.” -- Katie McCullough, Founder of Festival Formula, Ltd.
Watch This Exclusive Stage 32 Webinar Now And Receive The Pilot Script for HBO's Emmy-Winning Sitcom BARRY The television landscape is constantly changing, with new technology, new networks, new trends, and new players. Yet a constant throughout the years has been the popularity of the situational comedy. From I LOVE LUCY all the way to ABBOT ELEMENTARY, there has always been an appetite for new sitcoms, funny stories and beloved characters to come back to week after week (or binge all at once). And in the last 10 years, the single camera sitcom like HBO's BARRY has become wildly popular. As a result, if you have great idea for a sitcom and a great pilot script to go with it, networks, streamers and reps are always going to be interested. But first you have to write that pilot. But you can't build a house without a blueprint. That's why it's so important to understand the sitcom pilot script on a fundamental level. A written TV pilot is not something physically tangible. You're selling the network an idea, an episode, and, really, an entire series without ever shooting a single frame. That alone is an overwhelmingly huge task. This is why people often struggle writing a pilot script. Putting too much into the script, or not enough. Properly setting up the world. Getting your audience attached to your characters. Including enough jokes and still having a prominent story. All of these elements make crafting your sitcom pilot difficult and the overall process intimidating. Yet shining a light on the pilot process can help reduce the fear and better equip you when writing. David Shecter has has been working in the television industry in production, development, and as a writer for over a decade. He has written on many shows, including season 5 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. His experience and success on that show landed David on the pilot of the CBS smash hit 2 Broke Girls, where he worked his way up as a staff writer on the 6th and final season of the show. Since 2 BROKE GIRLS, David has served on the FOX sitcom OUTMATCHED starring Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson and was named a WGA TV Writer Access Honoree for his script For Worse. David’s continued work in the sitcom TV world has lent him a keen understanding of what makes these shows successful and how to make the most of your sitcom pilot. David breaks down how to write a great sitcom pilot that can build your world, show your style, and appeal to both executives and audiences. He’ll give you tips on how to find your sitcom’s tone and decide where it lies on the comedy spectrum between comedy and drama. He’ll discuss the differences between premise-based and character-based sitcoms and teach you how to find the balance between jokes and story. Next David will delve into the proper structure of a sitcom pilot, looking at length, episodic vs. serialized and if commercial breaks are still a thing. He’ll give you tips on how to start writing your sitcom pilot and break down the anatomy of a sitcom scene. He’ll share tips on how to build effective sitcom characters and will finally teach you how to best establish your world through the pilot and how to pack everything neatly into your script. David will even offer a deep dive of the pilot script for HBO's Emmy-nominated sitcom BARRY, analyzing why this script works. Everyone who signs up will receive a free download of this script. David is excited to show you the proper tools so you can start building the world of your sitcom from the ground up with complete confidence and create a product that can help you find the success you’re looking for.
"Very informative and complex concepts were broken down so folks without a law degree could understand them." - Elisha B. When you are putting together a deal as a writer, producer or filmmaker there are many things to think about when it comes to your contracts - between option agreements, purchase agreements and negative pickups it's important you understand what deal you're getting yourself into before you start development. Your Stage 32 Educator is entertainment attorney Jordan Barel, who's a California attorney that has worked with AMC, New Line Cinema, Generate and Alloy. He is also a producer who develops projects based off IP and started out as the television coordinator at Verve Talent & Literary Agency. You will cover three different types of contracts: purchase agreement, option agreement, and negative pickup. Jordan will discuss terms in both a legal and practical matter so that you get the information needed to be prepared to negotiate your next agreement. Such things will include material and boilerplate terms, what can or can't be negotiated, and how lawyers themselves will be reading and reviewing your agreement. This will be an in-depth, but accessible, legal discussion walking you through each part of a standard purchase and option agreement. Plus! You'll get 5 contract templates to download! Whether you're a producer, filmmaker or writer learn the overview of contracts to give you a competitive advantage in your next negotiation! **All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about certain types of contracts within the entertainment industry. The information presented is not legal advice and is not to be acted on as such, please consult your lawyer for issues specific to your contract. PRAISE FOR JORDAN'S TEACHINGS: "Very informative and complex concepts were broken down so folks without a law degree could understand them." - Elisha B.
It’s no secret that television is a hot commodity right now. The “golden age of television” that began ten or so years ago has since exploded, and with new networks and streamers like Quibi, HBO Max, and Disney Plus coming into the fold, the volume of TV content has hit unprecedented levels. In fact over 500 scripted shows were broadcast or streamed in 2019 alone, more than any other year prior. And with more shows, there are more paths for writers to break in. After all, virtually all of these 500+ shows have their own writers' room. Yet even with this influx of opportunities, it’s still not exactly easy for new writers to land a job in this industry. Everyone’s path is different, but a tried and true route is to enter in as a writer’s room assistant and work your way up. Yet this, too, requires some wherewithal, skill and strategy. Being an assistant affords you the opportunity to learn first-hand how a writers' room works without the pressure of having to contribute to the same level as staff writers. It can be an incredibly valuable and educational step in your career. In fact, as your career advances, this experience will allow you to contribute more than just stories and ideas; you’ll now know how rooms operate, how things run smoothly, and how to keep workflow productive. Yet this journey is easier said than done. Getting into the room as an assistant is one thing, but holding your own, standing out, demonstrating your value, and carving a place for yourself and your future can be even more challenging. So how do people actually get the gig as an assistant in a writer’s room, and how do they find success and further opportunities in the process? Marcelena Campos Mayhorn is a former television assistant turned WGA writer, most recently staffed on the Netflix show SELENA: THE SERIES. The best part? Marcelena got her start outside of a major entertainment hub, working for the Austin Film Festival, before transitioning to working in television full time. She began her career as a line producer's assistant for Jerry Bruckheimer's CSI: CYBER on CBS, and went on to assist the writing for CBS's CRIMINAL MINDS, FOX's APB, and finally serving as the Writers' Room Assistant for Shonda Rhimes' STATION 19 on ABC. By moving up the ranks, Marcelena has gained a comprehensive understanding of the television writing landscape and how to be successful within it, and she’s excited to share what she knows with the Stage 32 community. Marcelena will give you the lowdown of how writers’ room assistants work, how to navigate these jobs, and ways to use them to get ahead in your own writing career. She will begin by explaining the four main types of TV assistants, including the Writer’s Production Assistant, the Script Coordinator, the Showrunner’s Assistant, and the Writers’ Room Assistant. She will illustrate what these roles do and what they look like day to day, including primary responsibilities and general expectations. She will then teach you about writers’ room etiquette, including unspoken rules, how the four main assistant roles work within the ecosystem, who is actually in the room when and when to speak up and when to blend in. She will go over what the standard rates are for these positions and go over the main benefits of each position, including some you might not have thought of before. Next, Marcelena will explain how to find and apply for these assistant roles, including tried and true routes, and other strategies that are always worth a try. She will teach you how best to shine in each of these four roles and will also propose two additional positions—researcher and personal assistant to a writer—you could also consider in working to break in. Marcelena will detail what the future of TV writing looks like post-pandemic, specifically for assistants, and go over whether it’s important to live in LA for these roles. Finally Marcelena will talk about how assistants have used these positions to take next steps in their careers and become staff writers in their own right. Breaking into television is always going to be hard, but Marcelena will provide you what you need to know to approach it through a tried and true path that may just give you a step up you’re looking for. Praise for Marcelena's Stage 32 Webinar: "Marcelena was very informative and organized. She was also very thorough and informative when answering questions. One of the best hosts in a Stage 32 webinar that I have seen." -Eric Z. "Marcelena did such an excellent job describing the four roles and talking about the writer's room in general. Really enjoyed it and appreciate all of the information she shared." -Patricia W. "Marcelena was a great host, very informative without holding anything back." -Rebecca M. "Marcelena was a fantastic person to learn from. Thank you so much for having her lead this topic. I have so many notes. She's so gracious and I didn't realize how similar our life situations would be before joining this webinar, so it was a treat. She's wonderful." -Amelia S.