Barry Schkolnick is a long-time writer and producer in Hollywood who has written on over 20 procedural TV dramas including LAW & ORDER, UNFORGETTABLE, THE GUARDIAN, THE DIVISION, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, and IN JUSTICE. Barry also served as co-executive producer on USA Network’s IN PLAIN SIGHT and consulting producer for CBS’s Emmy-nominated and critically acclaimed THE GOOD WIFE. Barry’s work on LAW & ORDER was honored with a nomination for a Writer’s Guild of America award for Best Episode, Dramatic Series and a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association. In addition, he was a member of the writing staff of LAW & ORDER’s Emmy and Peabody Award winning season. Barry has an incredibly deep experience in the world of procedural drama television and will be sharing what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
Serialized dramas produced in the streaming and premium cable spaces may be garnering more awards recognition and chatter on social media, but their often-ignored cousins – the procedural dramas that present closed-ended stories within each episode – should not be underestimated. Procedurals continue to not only draw huge crowds, but can stay on the air for many more seasons than their streaming counterparts (can you believe GREY’S ANATOMY has had 17 seasons??). Current ratings for shows like CBS’s EQUALIZER, FOX’s 9-1-1 and NBC’s CHICAGO P.D., CHICAGO FIRE and CHICAGO MED demonstrate just how wildly successful procedural dramas continue to be. The fact is writing and producing the successful procedural remains a highly marketable skill that can offer longevity to a writer's career, though it requires both technical knowledge and an understanding of the current marketplace for these enduring shows.
For something that seemingly sticks closely to a formula, the professional TV procedural script can be deceptively hard to write, and there is little if any published literature addressing this subject. Over the years, many “rules” for writing the procedural or mystery have developed in rooms across Hollywood, and expectations for what such a script must include have grown. But how can up-and-coming writers or writers of other genres learn these rules? What actually constitutes an effective procedural pilot script and how can writers demonstrate this skill in order to find their way into a writers’ room?
Barry Schkolnick is a long-time writer and producer in Hollywood who has written on over 20 procedural TV dramas including LAW & ORDER, UNFORGETTABLE, THE GUARDIAN, THE DIVISION, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, and IN JUSTICE. Barry also served as co-executive producer on USA Network’s IN PLAIN SIGHT and consulting producer for CBS’s Emmy-nominated and critically acclaimed THE GOOD WIFE. Barry’s work on LAW & ORDER was honored with a nomination for a Writer’s Guild of America award for Best Episode, Dramatic Series and a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association. In addition, he was a member of the writing staff of LAW & ORDER’s Emmy and Peabody Award winning season. Barry has an incredibly deep experience in the world of procedural drama television and will be sharing what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community.
Barry will walk you through procedural drama television, how it fits in to today’s market and to best write in this genre in order to break into the space and create compelling television. After breaking down the actual difference between serialized and procedural dramas, Barry will give an honest appraisal of the market today and the pros and cons of writing procedural television within it. He’ll walk you through the main types of procedural series currently on air and will then lay out some of the main elements any procedural pilot needs. He’ll provide tips and strategies to best write in this space, including choosing the right lead character, how to best outline, and what the Golden Rule of procedurals is.
Barry will conclude the webinar with a case study of the pilot script of THE GOOD WIFE, which he served as a consulting producer on. Using the lessons he taught, he’ll explain why this pilot was so successful and how you can use the script as inspiration for your own procedural project.
Praise for Barry's Stage 32 Webinar
"Barry presented information that I needed to know whether I was aware of that or not before the webinar. I like that Barry used a script that was available to us ahead of time and knew where he was going to in that script to show us what he wanted us to learn. It was one of the best webinars I have taken."
- Bev I.
"Barry gave great examples to distinguish the different types of procedural drama from serialized drama. They were easy to understand especially since Barry focused in on the key elements of the procedural drama. I did like the fact that Barry broke the pilot into "chunks" and talked about each one separately."
- Susan S.
"Barry spoke very personally and also gave good examples and applied his experience to today. Also he was very focused on what to do to succeed but he also was honest that you have to love writing. He came across as smart and no nonsense but also very warm and kind, which seems like a great combination for a writer. Maybe that's why he has been so successful!"
- Deborah B.
"Barry was very likable, down to earth, forthright. I felt that he really cared about helping writers."
- Elise M.
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!
As the landscape of independent film continues to evolve, a clear funding path has developed for films budgeted between high-six figures and $10MM. Indeed, it’s become an effective “sweet spot” for investors. At this budget you can typically attract and secure some star power, one important step toward increasing the odds that your investors will see a return on their investment. But this is just one reason why this budget range is attractive to many investors. There are many more variables at play which will help you raise money for a film or project in this price range. But first, you must understand some tried and true principles that will help you find investors, present your project in the proper fashion and lock them down for an investment. Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films and projects within this budget range can be your calling card toward a powerful career in the independent producing space. Simply put, those who understand the strategies and methods that can help your investors see a return get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring along more investors if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, there are smart ways to find money that you may not have thought of, and there are also ways you can expand your dollars once you start raising funds for your project. In addition, there is a well-known group of professionals and creatives that have been working on films in this budget range for years and it's important that you know who they are, how to approach them and what the expectations are once you do. Founded by Elsa Ramo, one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry today and recently named to Variety’s 2019 “Dealmakers List,”, Ramo Law PC provides comprehensive legal services to its clients in the entertainment industry with a specialized focus in representing financiers, producers, directors, distributors, studios and production entities in all transactional aspects of film, television and digital content. The firm provides experienced legal services to optimize its clients’ financial, legal and business position in the financing, production, and exploitation of their content. Ramo Law has represented over 100 films and 50 television scripted and unscripted series in 2019 alone, including Emmy award-winning shows and films which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Clients include Imagine Entertainment, FOX, Balboa Productions (Sylvester Stallone’s production company), Scout Productions (creators and EPs of QUEER EYE), Boardwalk Pictures (EPs for CHEF’S TABLE) and Skydance. Elsa and her associates are bona fide experts when it comes to the nuts and bolts of finding financing for your independent film. Elsa and her senior associates Zen Raben and Sean Pope will join forces to demystify the film financing process so that producers, writers, directors, and financiers can understand the basic yet crucial components of how independently financed films are funded. They will begin by discussing entity formation. They will explain why you need to form an entity for your production and what type of entity you should form, as well as what state you should form it in. They will go over the information you will need to form the entity, the forms that need to be filled out with the state, and how operating agreements work. They will also teach you what a waterfall is and why you should include one in your operating agreement. Next, Elsa, Zev, and Sean will delve into important things to keep in mind specifically for your LLC formation, including the state of formation, deciding if it will be member-managed or manager-managed, who should be in control of creative decisions and who should be in control of business decisions. They will then talk about equity investment and go over who exactly provides equity investment, what investors get out of it, where the investment gets placed and why investors are motivated. Next, Elsa and her associates will explain debt financing. They will teach you the four common types of collateral in debt financing, and four types of debt you will be dealing with. They will go over the key terms and considerations you should know, and just like equity investment, they will explain who provides debt investment, what the investor gets out of it, where the investment gets placed and why investors are motivated. Elsa, Sean, and Zev will even stage a mock closing call between a producer and senior lender to demonstrate what it looks like to lock in funding from an investor. Finally, Elsa, Sean, and Zev will give you an invaluable closing checklist, walking you through everything you need to keep in mind when going after funding. Expect a thorough, comprehensive and undeniably helpful guide to give you the tools you need to find the funding for your next project. This is designed for all levels but particularly effective for those that are currently producing and/or packaging a feature film. Praise for Elsa's, Zen's and Sean's Stage 32 Webinar: "It was absolutely brilliant! One of the best webinars I've attended yet! Loved the mock call. That was so educational!" -Becca G. "They are all knowledgeable and had a great presentation" -Carlos B. "Great webinar financing. Will be watching again." -Martin R. "AMAZING WEBINAR!!!" -Stephanie D.
“Hey! You should be a voice actor!” Has anyone told you that you have a voice that would be perfect for commercials, animated films, or radio? With the new content explosion, especially in animation and documentary filmmaking, the need and market for voice over actors has never been higher. That also means the competition is more intense! So how do you stand out? Don't be intimidated. We've got you covered! Voice over is a fascinating and fun industry that gives you the flexibility to be your own boss and, thanks to the affordability of recording equipment, can allow you to work from home. When you think “voice acting” you may think cartoons, commercials, or video games, and while that is part of the industry, there’s also documentaries, IVR (phone systems), corporate and medical training, e-learning, presentations, mobile games and apps, etc. What used to be a world closed to those who weren’t “in the know” has opened up to everyone who has the talent and drive to do it. But many people who think they have the talent feel that the path to getting started is too overwhelming. That's simply not the case. Tara Tyler has been working in the voice over industry for 10+ years and was the Head of Communications for one of the largest V.O. sites on the web. Exclusively for Stage 32, Tara will teach you everything you need to know to turn your fantastic voice into monetary success. From building an affordable home studio to finding and training your voice to making a demo to submitting your demo on and offline and much more, Tara will demystify the myths, tell you the real truths and get you up, running, and working in no time! "I went from "this is impossible" to "I need to do this" in 90 minutes. I've already ordered some equipment and have begun training. I need more Tara in my life!" - Rashida H.
As an independent filmmaker or producer, you probably start working on a new project for creative reasons—the chance to tell an amazing story, build worlds, create something of cultural value. Yet your independent film is not just a creative endeavor; it’s also a business. You’re sourcing financing and bringing in investors, building a team, and creating a property that will (hopefully) ultimately make money. To operate successfully in the world of independent film and continue to make films that you’re proud of, you need to be able to understand the dynamics and the relation between financing, distribution and recoupment of film investments so you and your investors can both leave with a profit. The business side of films is often especially difficult for filmmakers and creative producers, but it's actually more possible than you think. No matter how big or small your film is, there are multiple ways you can find funding and multiple ways you can ultimately create profitability. And while it might not be second nature for creatives, once you get a handle on how to make this process work for you, you will also be able to create a business model that you can apply to your future projects, and eventually a portfolio of profitable assets (or films) that will serve as an effective and undeniable calling card as you continue to grow in the industry. Over twenty-five years and working across three continents, Jeanette Milio has been involved in the production of over 500 hours of content for film and television, with a total production value of over $250 million, and including Academy Award® winning talent in front of and behind the camera. Throughout her career, Jeanette was involved in financing over 45 film and television projects for HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA Network, Disney, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., and others. Jeanette also managed a media fund for Far East National Bank, which funded 40 film and television projects, which lead to her structuring her own media fund that financed theatrical features with a production volume of $60 million. Jeanette’s decades working and finding success in the film industry has given her a unique and unrivaled perspective of how to finance film content and make a profit. Exclusively for Stage 32, Jeanette will give a realistic, accessible, and straightforward presentation of the best way to actually finance your film and make a profit in today’s market. She’ll go over the differences between the studio finance model and independent finance model and then delve into how distribution can work best for you and how you can take advantage of more options than you think. Jeanette will also lay out how you can establish profitability for your film by explaining the essential ingredients necessary for a profit, going over how to create a budget and teaching you how you can best align your interests with the investor’s. Jeanette will break down the financial sources available today and give you tips on how you should be balancing multiple sources and mitigate risks for investors at the same time. She’ll even walk you through the complicated “waterfall” process of recoupment. Financing your film is more possible than you might think, even if you’re just getting started, and Jeanette will give you the tools and confidence to be able to take the necessary steps for your own project. PLUS: Jeanette will provide exclusive and helpful documents to take home with you after, including: Collection Account Management Agreement Example Pay or Play Offer Draft Finance Plan Template for Microsoft Excel Praise for Jeanette's Stage 32 Webinar “This was an excellent overview of all that is involved, and a great encouragement to reach out to people who do this kind of thing for a living, instead of trying to do it by myself for the first time.” - Sarah D. “Jeanette was so detailed about the how to's and why you need to take and research every step. I love getting the details that really feel behind the curtain.” - Melissa B. “I liked it. Specifically, the content. Jeanette was very informative and clearly knows her stuff.” - Crystal B. “Explanation of pre-sales and budget breakdown was very informative.” - Roc R.
Reality television is more popular than ever as more networks and streamers are greenlighting more reality than any time in history. New shows like Netflix’s INDIAN MATCHMAKING and SELLING SUNSET are finding huge audiences while classics like MILLION DOLLAR LISTING and DEALIEST CATCH continue to find success and spinoffs years later. But it is hard – perhaps harder than ever - to lock in the right on-camera talent sell a new reality concept. The early steps of creating a reality TV concept and finding and locking in the right talent are critical – not just for selling a project but making sure it will work once you get a green light. Yet if you’re able to find the right talent, the right concept, and the right vehicle for your unscripted series, you may have just found a hit that will not only make it to series on a streamer or network, but thrive in today’s landscape for years to come. Creating the perfect new reality show often comes down to finding the right on-screen talent that will pop on camera and find an emotional connection with the millions watching at home. Yet it takes a delicate balance and lot of boxes that need to be checked in order to find this. It can also come down to how the directors and producers work with and treat the talent to ensure they come across well on screen. There are countless mistakes newcomers make when putting together their show, onboarding their talent, conducting interviews, and more, but avoiding the biggest mistakes and going in with a clear plan can make your show come to life and find success. Jim Milio is an Emmy nominated producer, director and writer of reality television with more than 30 years in the business. His credits include RESCUE 911 which ran for 7 seasons on CBS and starred William Shatner, DOG WHISPERER starring Cesar Millan, which ran for 9 seasons on National Geographic, TRUE DETECTIVES for CBS, DISCOVERY CHANNEL ECO-CHALLENGE for Discovery, ROSWELL: STARTLING NEW EVIDENCE for SyFy, and TAKEDOWN for TruTV, among many others. Milio is currently writing, directing and producing the new reality series OPERATION HIDDEN TREASURES that will air on Discovery later this year. Jim is also an author whose latest book Jim's Hollywood Finty Stones, describes how you can break into the industry, illuminated by true tales of his encounters with Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, Will Ferrell, Nia Vardalos, Liza Minelli, Robert DeNiro and dozens more. No one knows better than Jim how to find ordinary people and make a hit show with them, and he’s ready to share his secrets with you. Over an in-depth 90-minute presentation, Jim will break down how you can create and develop a successful reality show by finding and working with the right on-screen talent. To do so, Jim will explain the reality show landscape today to give you a sense of where you can fit in, before diving deep into how you’re able to find and lock in the right talent for your show. He’ll discuss critical aspects like getting rights, interviewing people the right way and what it looks like to build a series around an existing company or business. He’ll even give you tools on how to protect yourself and your talent along the way, so when a network or streamer says yes, you can be sure you’re not fired off your own project. If you have a great idea for a reality show or want to get into this lucrative business, it’s imperative you hear from an expert like Jim first.
The COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine have changed the film and television industry profoundly. Like it or not, we’re thinking about movies differently now, we’re making them differently, we’re selling them differently, and we’re watching them differently. Studios, buyers, and producers are keenly aware of this shift and are applying this to how they are choosing their next projects. As a writer, understanding how the industry is changing and what people are now looking for can make all the difference in being able to take the next steps in your career. With so many new obstacles and challenges now involved in making a film, producers have to weigh a lot more factors when choosing their next projects, including which movies will be safest to put together. Small details in scripts—scenes or moments that might have been no big deal to include as recently as a year ago—might now be all it takes for a producer or financier to reject. So how does production during COVID look like and how can you make your script work and come across as more attractive within these constraints? Let’s take a closer look. Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, including the action thriller BREAK EVEN and action comedy DOUBLE THREAT, currently in production. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce films during COVID and is well versed on what it takes to put a film together in this unique time. Shane will dive deep into how producers are operating in the time of COVID-19 and how you can make your script “COVID-friendly” and more attractive for producers to work on. He will begin by outlining how production has changed since COVID, including the biggest new hurdles, new guild requirements, and what’s keeping talent from signing on. He’ll explain what’s making movies more expensive to produce and what locations are now ideal or no longer easy to shoot in. He will next delve into what a COVID-friendly script looks like to a producer. He’ll talk about what kind of stories producers and buyers are seeking out, what red flags in your script will keep producers from signing on and how many characters are too many now. He will also discuss locations as well as the genres and themes that buyers are now gravitating towards. Shane will then discuss how to adjust your script to fit this new era, including deciding whether it’s worth adjusting or saving until things are safer and how to find compromise and middle ground when making changes. Finally, Shane will give you tips on how to get a producer on board during this time. This is a tricky time for everyone, but Shane will give you the lowdown to be smarter and more strategic in finding opportunities and success.