Heath Cullens is an accomplished television director who has directed episodes of TV shows like IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, GREAT MINDS WITH DAN HARMON, and FX’s YOU’RE THE WORST. Heath’s other notable credits include IDIOTSITTER for Comedy Central, DEADBEAT for Hulu, and BLACK JESUS for Adult Swim. In addition to directing, Heath also produced the Lionsgate feature ARMED RESPONSE, starring Cary Elwes, Ethan Embry, and Alan Arkin. A recipient of a Drama League Directing Fellowship and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Heath is well-versed at the art of TV directing and will now share what he knows exclusively with Stage 32. Full Bio »
Most people have a general idea of what a director does, but that idea usually pertains more to feature films. Directing television can be a separate beast altogether. Successful TV directors need to be adept at navigating inherent contradictions associated with this role. Unlike in films, TV directors have to both have a vision and still fit in with the overall feel of the series. And they need to be in charge despite often only coming in for an episode or two. These are tough lines to straddle, but doing so and honing your craft can lead to a successful and exciting career.
Pursuing a career in directing in any medium is rife with challenges: there is no set path to success and finding insight into the inner workings of directing is challenging. Television directing is an even more specific specialty within the world of directing. Several ways of working and behaviors that would be ideal for a feature director are not compatible with the way television is produced. In addition, the path to breaking in as a television director is quite different from that of a feature director. If your goal is to direct television, it’s vital to understand the way television is produced and the role that the director plays within that specific production environment.
Heath Cullens is an accomplished television director who has directed episodes of TV shows like IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, GREAT MINDS WITH DAN HARMON, and FX’s YOU’RE THE WORST. Heath’s other notable credits include IDIOTSITTER for Comedy Central, DEADBEAT for Hulu, and BLACK JESUS for Adult Swim. In addition to directing, Heath also produced the Lionsgate feature ARMED RESPONSE, starring Cary Elwes, Ethan Embry, and Alan Arkin. A recipient of a Drama League Directing Fellowship and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Heath is well-versed at the art of TV directing and will now share what he knows exclusively with Stage 32.
Heath will dig into the specifics and craft of directing for television and will reveal how to pursue it and how best to do the job once you get it. Heath will first explain how best to pursue work in TV directing, including discovering the type of TV is the best fit, how to find your ‘in’, developing a reel, shadowing, and working with established creators. Next he will delve into the vital relationships you’ll need to maintain as a TV director, including with the EP/showrunner, the crew, the cast, and the network or studio. Finally Heath will go through the major challenges you should expect in this role and tips on how to navigate. Along the way, Heath will share challenges and experiences from his own career. The role of a TV director can be enigmatic and often eclipsed by feature films, but Heath will give you the rundown so you can be equipped with the knowledge and advice to pursue this route on your own.
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 recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
In depth and comprehensive 4-session class on the craft of directing with exclusive handouts and downloads Who doesn’t want to be a director? It’s the dream job of many, and it’s easy to see why. As director you get to helm a project, command a creative army, and bring your vision to life. Yet directing is by no means an easy job; it goes way beyond just sitting in a canvas chair and yelling “action!” Whether you’re directing a big budget blockbuster, an episode of TV, or your first micro-budget independent feature, you can’t go into it blind. Being an effective director requires preparation, strategy, discipline, and an overall understanding of your responsibilities and how best to perform them. Perhaps the biggest challenge of being an effective director is the need to understand and master every step of a project’s journey. This includes developing a visual style/point of view, collaboration, text analysis, pre-production planning, working with actors, camera and actor blocking, and overseeing the post-production process. No element here is less important than the next, and if you want your project to be successful, it’s up to you as the director to make sure you can navigate each step as well as the last. While there is no one “right” way to direct a film or episode of television, there are a number of techniques and skills that make for a smoother, more creatively fulfilling process. With the right techniques and the right guidance, finding success as a director is not only possible, but entirely within your grasp. Heath Cullens is an accomplished director best known for directing IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, GREAT MINDS WITH DAN HARMON, and FX’s YOU’RE THE WORST. Heath’s other notable credits include IDIOTSITTER for Comedy Central, DEADBEAT for Hulu, and BLACK JESUS for Adult Swim. In addition to directing, Heath also produced the Lionsgate feature ARMED RESPONSE, starring Cary Elwes, Ethan Embry, and Alan Arkin. A recipient of a Drama League Directing Fellowship and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Heath is well-versed at every step of directing and will now share what he knows exclusively with Stage 32. In this four session class, Heath will walk you through every step of directing a film or television episode, and delve into the skills and techniques you need to know to successfully helm your own project. In session one, he will go over the overall role of the director, how to develop your own visual style and point of view, basic terminology and how to be an effective collaborator. In session 2, Heath will teach you pre-production, including text analysis, building a shot list, camera basics, and how to effectively schedule. Session 3 will focus on production, including working with actors, making your day, knowing when you “got the shot” and how to manage your crew. Finally, Heath will spend the last session going over post-production, including working with the editor and and dealing with notes from producers, investors and the editor. You’ll leave this class with a clear idea of how to tackle every step of a director must take and the confidence to bring these skills with you to your own project. Plus! Heath will provide you with a series of exclusive and helpful handouts to take with you and use when directing your next project. Downloads include: Camera Level & Shot Size Shot lists Ground plans – hand drawings Pre-production guide Mood board Camera Bible & Camera techniques WHAT TO EXPECT: This class is designed for beginner and intermediate students looking to learn the ins and outs of directing a film or television show. 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 and spaced one week apart from one another. In addition to the presentation-style lessons where Heath will be walking you through various elements of the craft of directing, 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". Praise for Heath's Previous Stage 32 Directing Class Sometimes one signs up for a class not really knowing what to expect. This class I could never have anticipated! Heath went above and beyond any expectations I might have harbored. This was one of the best classes I have ever taken on Stage 32 or any other platform. I walked away with so much information, confidence and respect for the role of the director. My heartfelt thanks to Heath -Angela R. "This was a phenomenal class. Thank you for providing a class of this caliber. Heath was informative and engaging." -Angel M. Heath was extremely knowledgeable and a great teacher. He had a perfect combination of facts and passion. He invested a lot of energy into, not only, teaching the class, but he also went above and beyond to inspire the class. Very grateful. -Rainy K. I found this course so relevant. The content and the presentation were amazing. I especially liked that Heath gave us the ability to look for the big ideas when directing not taking just one or two nuggets. Thank you for always bringing the best instructors and relevant content. -Susan L.
It's an undeniable fact that we're in a gold rush of television content. Last year, over 500 television shows were produced and a thousand more were shot either as pilots or proof of concept. This means the need for accountants and those who can work with television budgets, incentives, payroll and other facets associated with the accounting of a television project is higher than ever. This also means that many backroom people who have worked for years on feature films are making the jump to the television side. But, between the two mediums, the work is varied and seemingly changing by the day. Being an accountant for television requires a knowhow of the entire landscape. Between networks, premium cable and the streaming platforms, every deal has its own parameters and variables that need to be fully absorbed and understood. Whether it's working with a variety of different unions and dealing with fringes or simply deciphering and interpreting the every growing and wide ranging array of incentives available globally, you must be on top of everything happening at the moment to assure that the back end of the project runs smoothly, efficiently, and with no fiscal catastrophes. Jonathan Siebel is the Director of Budgeting & Estimation for Paramount Network. Prior to joining Paramount Network and working on their slate of television projects, he also worked in budgeting and accounting on Berlin Station, produced by Anonymous Content on Epix, and on The Unknown starring Dominic Monaghan for Crackle. He began his career working in accounting on major studio films such as Bridesmaids, Django Unchained, Thor and more. In addition to working on the studio level, Jonathan also works in the independent space, having written, directed and crowdfunded his own independent film BREAK THE WILL. He's worked on all types of projects small and large and is bringing his extensive knowledge to the Stage 32 community. With his vast and varied experience, we're thrilled to have Jonathan teaching this extremely important subject exclusively for Stage 32. While inside Movie Magic Budgeting software Jonathan will detail all the differences between a P&A and an AIO budget and show you which would be best for your project. He will teach you everything you need to know about globals, including setting up the schedule, rates, and pay hours to be used on all globals. He will define and explain fringes including state, federal and union fringes including IATSE, WGA, SAG and DGA. He will simplify and take away the anxiety of dealing with the wide world of incentives to make sure your paperwork is in line and that you're getting the best bang for your buck. Jonathan will make the complex easy and get you on the path to working consistently in television accounting and budgeting setup.
Having a known or in-demand actor in your independent film can make all the difference in whether it succeeds or not. A name actor gives your film a sense of legitimacy, which attracts new investors and more interested distributors. It also gives your film more opportunities for press and buzz, and will convince more people to watch it once it is released. That famous actor is very likely what you need to clinch your film, actually get it made, and have it ultimately find an audience and a home. But there’s a big, glaring problem with this truth: You need a name actor to get funding, but you need that funding in order to get the name actor. It ends up being a vicious circle, a catch-22 that can come across as frustratingly insurmountable, a barrier for entry that no independent filmmaker can get beyond. Let’s not mince words. Landing high level talent for your film is HARD, especially if your funding hinges on that actor saying yes. But at the same time, this isn’t the unsolvable puzzle it may at first seem. It comes down to finding the right investors and giving them what they need to say yes. This means pulling out all of the stops, preparing correctly, and doing the hard work. You’ll never be the only filmmaker going after top level talent, but you might be one of the few who’s able to do it the right way. First, it’s vital to understand what the “right way” actually is and what you need to know to do this right. Acquiring a talent is always going to be a hustle, but knowing what it takes and how to navigate this world can give you a serious edge. Independent feature film producer Franco Sama has produced an impressive array of over twenty independent feature films including cult favorite GUNS, GIRLS AND GAMBLING starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook, which was released theatrically acquired by Universal Pictures. Other films Franco has produced include; BLACK LIMOUSINE starring David Arquette, Vivica A. Fox and Bijou Phillips, TOOTH AND NAIL starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, THE PENITENT MAN, starring Lance Henriksen and Andrew Keegan and PAID, starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti. Franco’s company Samaco Films continues to fund and develop independent films from burgeoning filmmakers. After nearly two decades of experience in film finance, distribution and packaging, Franco has come to understand how to crack the code and attract top level talent to independent films. He’s ready to share what he’s learned exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Franco will go in-depth on how exactly an independent filmmaker can find both cast and funding for their project. He will begin by explaining what budget range you should be aiming for to allow you to acquire the talent you’re looking for. He’ll then teach you the steps you must take before reaching out to either talent or investors. He will explain how to tap into an investor’s mindset and use it to your advantage, including why it might be easier for you to raise $5 million than $500,000, and how you should frame your project as an opportunity for investors. He’ll explain what development funding is, how it works, and why it’s now necessary in today’s landscape. Next, he will delve into how you should be building a strong team for your project before you start approaching talent. He’ll lay out the seven critical people you will need to bring on from the beginning, why you need an executive producer, how to choose the “right” director and casting director, and whether you can attract major talent as a first time director. Franco will explain the importance of acquiring international sales estimates and will lay out what your presentation deck to investors should look like to find funding and gain the cast you’re looking for. He will also talk about how pre-sales work and how many you need to be seen as successful. He’ll then start talking about the actual casting process, including how to create a realistic actor’s wish list, deciding between “A-List” and “B-List” actors and whether or not they pass Franco’s “Parentheses Test”. He’ll explain casting with an eye towards sales and then explain the difference between letters of intent, letters of commitment, and phone verification when going after talent. He’ll also break down contingency investments and how to know when to employ deferment and back-end offers with actors. Franco will explain how to make legitimate offers to actors and agents and how to ensure they’re never empty offers. He’ll go into how “pay or play” works in this world and why going out too early to actors can destroy your casting choices. Finally Franco will explain how you can use tax incentives to help with casting. Expect to leave with a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the steps you need to take to bring on your dream actor. Praise for Franco's Stage 32 Webinar "One word - Invaluable." - Larry S. “Head & shoulders above the usual webinars on film distribution and finance. Franco actually knows his stuff and has a track record to back it up. Really good presentation.” – Scott B. This was incredibly illuminating and really entertaining at the same time. I'm so glad I watched this" -Glenda T. Wow. I cannot believe how much I learned from this webinar. Franco is the best. -Terrence R.
Chris Moore has done and seen it all. During a career spanning over 30 years, Chris has produced films that have had multiple Oscar nominations and wins such as Good Will Hunting and Manchester by the Sea, to studio blockbusters like American Pie and The Adjustment Bureau, to independent darlings such as Waiting, to creating and starring in the critically acclaimed industry television shows Project Greenlight alongside Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and The Chair. One of the secrets of Chris' longevity in the business is a full understanding of the business. He's as plugged in as they come and he knows how to adjust quickly, swiftly, and successfully as the landscape changes - which seems to happen on a daily basis these days. Most importantly, Chris is known in the industry as a take-no-prisoners, no bullshit guy. He tells it like it is and pulls no punches, which, in this business, is welcome and refreshing. And now he's here exclusively for Stage 32 to teach you how to build a lasting career in today's entertainment industry. With the evolution of the industry causing dramatic shifts in the way you create and consume content (film, television, digital) and more content being created, bought, sold, screened, broadcast and streamed than ever before, there are more and more opportunities are being presented for a creative career. But you have to know where to look, how to position yourself, how to best present yourself and show that you have a complete understanding of where the industry is headed and how you can add significant value. Chris will discuss the current state and the shifts in the market to help you make educated decisions on the path you should take with your career in the industry to not only assure success, but satisfy the lifestyle you desire. He will also discuss where he believes the future is headed so you can be ahead of the curve in making the right decisions for you and your career. Then, Chris will make the proceedings interactive, workshopping with select attendees and discussing primary and alternative paths for their wants and goals. Some examples: For filmmakers having trouble gaining traction, Chris will go over alternative ways you can break in and gain your footing. For screenwriters who have been at it a long time and haven’t gotten their break, Chris will discuss alternatives and lifestyle choices for the current industry. For cinematographers (or other creatives) looking to move from digital shorts to streaming TV, Chris will present a path and strategies to make it happen? This is a no nonsense, detailed filled, strategy packed session designed to help ALL creatives and professionals! "Undoubtably, my favorite Stage 32 webinar yet, and that's saying something. Wow, was this a welcome kick in the ass. I love Chris' style, passion, and energy. Obviously, his experience and success speaks for itself, but as a teacher, he's a master. This was a huge land for Stage 32. I hope you bring him back again!" - Ronnie W. "I like the way Chris organized all the changes in entertainment so it was easy to understand. It's overwhelming trying to figure it out and I appreciated Chris taking the time to explain it. I also appreciated the workshopping advice. Thank you Chris." - Marisa S. "The brutal truth how Hollywood operates was eye opening, but it's best that I'm aware as I try to find my place." - Wolf O. "Chris Moore is a hero. He saved me from my doubts." - Julia C.
Learn directly from Marty Lang, award winning producer of over 20 films! Making an independent film is hard, no matter where you're doing it. But there's great news – no matter where you film, there are treasure troves of resources available to you, if you know where to look. In any community, there are people, government agencies, and organizations that are looking to help people just like you. The smart filmmaker will find them, engage them, and work with them to create a much better film than they had, at first, imagined. This type of filmmaking is called place-based filmmaking, and it can be done in any big city, small town, county or state. If you think about how to engage your local community from the moment you start thinking about your film, you will be able to better capture the authenticity of where you are in your work, as well as open yourself up to resources you may not have had before. Marty Lang is a an award winning producer of over 20 films, best known for his feature romantic dramedy, Rising Star, in which he implemented place-based filmmaking and engaged his community’s resources from production to distribution. This film went on to win awards at various film festivals and was featured in Filmmaker Magazine, Film Threat and Film Courage. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Marty will teach you how to create a successful place-based film. Using examples of place-based filmmaking from his own resume, Marty will show you how place-based filmmaking will help you develop your story more organically, and how it will help you solve many problems before you even get into production.
Take an epic Master Class online with one of the top DGA AD's in the business: Jason Roberts who's worked with Michael Bay, Doug Liman, Alexander Payne, Angelina Jolie and more! Jason will be calling upon his 30+ years of experience to teach the mechanics of an AD’s role - including prep, shooting, working relationships with the director, producers, cinematographer, actors, and all tools you need (learn more below!). Plus, Jason will: Break down 6 pages of the Jurassic World shooting script Leave you with an AD Production Packet - templates that you can use on your own projects: Script Pages, Call Sheet, Production Report, Story Boards, Partial One-Line & Shooting Schedule See Jason's "60 Minutes With" Q&A here: "Jason's webinar was fantastic. I really enjoyed it. I loved his work ethic. That's why he's where he is today." "Jason was and is wonderfully inspiring!" "It was fascinating to hear Jason's perspective from his vast experience!" "I thought it was great. There's never enough time when someone like Jason is on, but for the limited time we did have, it was well handled and very much appreciated." **see more below!