Daniel Sol is the co-founder and co-director of the Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival and has helped multiple filmmakers through the Oscar qualification process, including the short film SKIN which won the Academy Award after premiering and qualifying at his festival. Daniel was formerly a theatrical sales executive before he founded HollyShorts as a response to seeing that young filmmakers had little access to industry professionals and few options for screening their films. Now in its 17th year, HollyShorts has quickly become the most influential short film festival in Los Angeles, with Daniel guiding it as Festival Director and lead programmer for the festival. Daniel is also the co founder of the premium Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV content channel BITPIX. Daniel’s long experience at the helm of an Academy-qualifying film festival has given him a unique perspective on what it actually takes for filmmakers to find their way to an Oscar nomination. Full Bio »
It’s the dream of almost every filmmaker to one day get nominated for and win an Academy Award. It’s the gold standard that everyone strives for—from burgeoning film students to Leonardo DiCaprio. Yet this goal can also feel utterly unattainable. It’s The Oscars after all. Awards go to Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese, not to me. Believe it or not, you absolutely have a path to the Oscars. It’s more possible than you think, and countless talented independent filmmakers find their way through the nomination process without big money, without big celebrities, and without big studio backing, but instead with just a really fantastic project. Don’t throw that dream away. There’s a road to the Oscars that you can take.
Finding your way into the Oscars Ceremony is possible, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy or just happens organically. The Academy Awards are a competition, and like any competition, they come with rules and regulations, procedures, and strategies to win. If you want to one day see Oscar gold, you need to make a fantastic film, but you also have to understand the ins and outs of the awards, the politics that surround it, and where you can best fit in. Let’s explore.
Daniel Sol is the co-founder and co-director of the Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival and has helped multiple filmmakers through the Oscar qualification process, including the short film SKIN which won the Academy Award after premiering and qualifying at his festival. Daniel was formerly a theatrical sales executive before he founded HollyShorts as a response to seeing that young filmmakers had little access to industry professionals and few options for screening their films. Now in its 17th year, HollyShorts has quickly become the most influential short film festival in Los Angeles, with Daniel guiding it as Festival Director and lead programmer for the festival. Daniel is also the co founder of the premium Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV content channel BITPIX. Daniel’s long experience at the helm of an Academy-qualifying film festival has given him a unique perspective on what it actually takes for filmmakers to find their way to an Oscar nomination.
Exclusively for Stage 32, Daniel is going to break down exactly what it takes to qualify your film for an Academy Award and the steps you can take to score a nomination or even become an Oscar winner. He’ll lay out how the Academy nomination process works and will dive into current trends, explaining what sort of themes and genres are more likely to ultimately get nominated. He will then break down the qualification process and the different ways you can get your own project qualified, including through qualifying festivals and other avenues. Daniel will finally talk about steps you can take and what to expect after your film is qualified, including strategies to better your chances of hopefully getting nominated.
Becoming an Oscar-nominated filmmaker is not as out of reach as you may think, and Daniel will break down what you can do to better make this dream a reality.
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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!
We're excited to take a peak behind the curtain into the mind of a film festival director to talk about what they look for when programming a festival. We've brought in the co-founder and co-director of the Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival, Daniel Sol, to go over the everything you need to know when you are considering submitting your short film to a festival.
***Sorry, the lab is filled!*** This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. With the TV market exploding right now, 30-minute and 60-minute TV drama and dramedy pilots are in demand. Many, if not all, managers and agents are looking for writers that can write in this space, and with more and more production companies heading into TV, knowing how to write a strong TV pilot will give you a competitive advantage and help you find success as a TV writer! Stage 32 is thrilled to have our Writing Lab: Write Your TV Pilot and Lean How to Pitch it in 10 Weeks taught by Anna Henry who is a veteran TV development executive that's worked with ABC, CBS, Nickelodeon, SONY, 20th Century FOX Television, Amazon, Starz, EOne, OddLot Entertainment, Corus, ITV America and more. This hands-on intensive lab will guide you through picking a concept, creating engaging characters, structuring and outlining your pilot, writing the pilot, polishing and pitching it! You must have a solid understanding of screenwriting to participate. We will not be going over the basics. The main objective of this 10-week lab will be to have a solid completed script that is market-ready to start pitching. You will meet online with Anna for 2 hours a week in a class setting, plus have phone or Skype consultations during some of the weeks when you don't have an online class. This will be accompanied by weekly homework assignments to guide you on your way to creating a marketable, unique pilot that will grab the industry's attention. Payment plans are available - please contact email@example.com for more information. This Lab is Limited to 10 People.
Outlining isn’t for everyone. But if you find yourself struggling with where to begin, or getting stuck in the middle of a draft, or if the concept of writing a full screenplay just feels too daunting, then an effective outline can help make the process easier. An outline helps you to dive into your story before you begin writing, so that you can craft a plan for turning your vision into a reality. If your screenplay is a house, the outline is the architectural blueprint. Mastering outlining can elevate your next project to new heights and convince more people to take notice in your story. It happens to everyone: You have an idea that you’re passionate about and leap into writing page one. But eventually, that initial spark wears off and it’s a struggle to figure out what to write next. Outlining is a great way to curate your ideas into a game plan so you can hold on to that spark. But in order to have a successful plan and structure for your screenplay, it’s crucial to know not only how to outline, but to read what that outline is telling you about your story. Let’s take a closer look. Steve Desmond is a WGA screenwriter whose screenplays have been voted onto the prestigious industry Black List four times in the past five years, including in 2020 with his latest script, The Saturday Night Ghost Club. He sold his sci-fi adventure screenplay, Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers, to Warner Bros in a bidding war, with an Oscar nominated producer attached. FilmNation (Arrival, The King’s Speech) hired him to adapt the Stoker-award-winning horror novel The Cabin at the End of the World. He’s also been hired to work on projects for Legendary Pictures, Sony, Blumhouse, and Mandalay, amongst others. In honing his craft as a writer, Steve has leaned heavily on the art of outlining and has used it to find success for his work. Steve will provide tips and best practices for outlining to help you better prepare for writing your script and zero in on your project’s story and structure. He’ll explain the positives and negatives of outlining and how to find the outlining approach that’s best for you. He’ll also discuss how best to research and the benefits of creating a notes document. Steve will delve into ironing out your premise, focusing in on theme and tone, and building out characters. He will talk about three act structure and his own “build the bridge” method for outlining. Finally he’ll discuss next steps after you finish your first go at the outline. Expect to leave with strategies and ideas you can take back with you to better organize and attack your own script. Praise for Steve's Previous Stage 32 Webinars: "This was fantastic. Steve offered so much insight, dozens of little nuggets that rang true or gave me pause to think of something I'd never considered before."-Ed K. "Perfectly laid out, clear and concise material taught by a genial host!"-George P. "Steve was fantastic. His examples and insights were on point. Thanks!"-Adam H. "I made 3 pages of notes; good pertinent topics with simple fundamental answers presented. Very helpful, worth the time and fee."-Thomas W.
Understanding film distribution and all of the variables that go with it - just got a whole lot easier. With so many sale options, both foreign and domestic, making the proper decision when it comes to distribution rights can be downright frustrating. To help ease that frustration, Stage 32 is bringing in Alexia Melocchi, a seasoned sales agent and buyers representative for international distributors. For over twenty years Alexia has been in the trenches and continues to move successfully through them, which is why we’ve asked her to share her most sound advice with all of you. Alexia has sold over 25 movies to international and US distributors making three times their budget for herself and her producing partners. In 2017 and 2018 the films she acquired on behalf of her distributor clients have grossed over $900 Million USD. On this information-packed webinar, Alexia will share how this was done, as well as offer a fresh perspective on the ever-changing distribution landscape and what filmmakers need to do to successfully move through the trenches themselves today.
**Learn the art of TV joke writing from long time TV comedy writer Kirill Baru and participate in an actual episode punch up room, working to improve scenes from a notable TV comedy.** Spots Limited- Sign Up Now A successful TV comedy needs to have a great premise, great characters, and a compelling story engine that will keep viewers tuning in episode to episode. But it also needs JOKES. Otherwise, it’s not much of a comedy, is it? It can sometimes get lost in the shuffle, but joke construction is a critical and challenging aspect of TV comedy writing that truly separates great sitcoms from the mediocre. Jokes don’t just come out of nowhere, and their success is completely reliant on the medium. Things that are funny in conversation or in front of an audience might not be funny on a television show. This is why being “naturally funny” just isn’t enough to make a funny series with great jokes. It takes an understanding of the medium and insight into the types of jokes that work on television. It also usually takes a team of people in a punch up room setting, utilizing multiple perspectives and senses of humor to arrive at the best joke for each situation. Understanding how to find the best jokes in an episode script and learning how to operate successfully in a punch up room setting will help make your own comedy pilot funnier and can give you the tools to be a more desirable member of any TV comedy writers room. Kirill Baru is a sitcom writer and executive producer who has staffed on and sold a variety of live-action and animated comedy shows like Freeform’s BABY DADDY and the critically acclaimed animated show DAN VS. on the HUB. He’s also written and produced several comedies in the kids space, from Disney’s SYDNEY TO THE MAX to Cartoon Network’s MAD: THE ANIMATED SERIES. When Kirill isn’t staffing on shows, he’s developing projects with networks such as Disney and Netflix. He attributes his career to writing comedy that finds a way to have a lot of edge without ever losing any of its heart. Kirill is very familiar with punching up TV scripts, finding ways to make them funnier and finding success in a TV punch up room. In this special extended workshop, Kirill will teach you how to craft effective jokes for any TV comedy. He’ll break down where good jokes come from and the elements needed to make a joke work. Kirill will also lay out the main types of TV jokes you can draw from and walk you through important comedy terminology that’s used in every writers’ room and punch up room. He’ll also go through how to make jokes work with an eye towards scene construction and explain what makes a great punch up room for any TV comedy. Kirill will then lead a TV comedy punch up room, similar to how real TV comedies run them. Everyone who signs up will be able to participate in this room and work with the group to add jokes, fill in pitches, and create alt docs for two scenes of an episode of an actual notable TV comedy. Kirill will provide feedback and analysis or all of the joke pitches. If you’re interested in breaking into TV comedy, it’s so important that you know how to craft great jokes in this specific medium. This workshop is the perfect way to help you get there.
Learn directly from Gotham Award-winning Producer Shaun O’Banion who's worked with Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Joe Wright and Judd Apatow. Everyone will tell you filmmaking is a collaborative process and comes down to relationships. Possibly the most important relationship? The one between the writer and the producer or exec. This partnership is critical and is often the first spark that can get a project going. But this relationship doesn’t just materialize without any work put in. The truth of the matter is the collaboration and trust that’s built between the writer and producer, starting with the optioning or hiring process and going through all of development and production can be just as important as the script and production itself in how successful the film turns out to be. If you’re a writer, it can be challenging to find a producer who is the right fit and actually get on their radar or get them to read your work in the first place. As a producer, getting your hands on the script that you actually connect with and that you can feel confident in producing can be quite an undertaking. And whether you are the writer or the producer, navigating this creative relationship through the murky development process is complicated but absolutely crucial. So how does a successfully writer-producer relationship actually work? How do producers find scripts and how can you set up your own screenplay for success? And once you’re on your way, what steps can you take to ensure the relationship, and therefore the entire project, doesn’t fall apart during development? Let’s explore. Shaun O'Banion is an award-winning producer and the founder of production company Ravenwood and has worked with writers and filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Joe Wright and Judd Apatow. O’Banion produced DAKOTA SKYE which became a cult hit and remained in the Top 100 Most Viewed on Netflix. He also produced GIRLFRIEND, the first film in North America to star an actor with Down Syndrome in the lead role. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, sold to Strand Releasing and won O’Banion an IFP Gotham Award. He joined the Producers Guild of America and co-produced THE AUTOMATIC HATE which made its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film was released theatrically by Film Movement. Shaun has also worked as a post production project coordinator on some of the industry's leading films in recent years including JOJO RABBIT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, THE AFTERMATH and OPHELIA. Shaun is well versed on building relationships to get films made and is ready to break down what he knows In this exclusive two-part class, Shaun will walk you through process of getting material produced from the producer's perspective. He’ll go through what producers look for, how doing your research matters, and how collaboration with your new partner is the key to it all. Plus, expect to learn the differences between setting up a short and setting up a feature. Shaun will also delve into the development process and give you a new set of tools to get your material in top form. The development process is murky and hard to navigate, but Shaun will go in-depth on how exactly to see it through to the end by building a strong relationship with your producer. Praise for Shaun’s Stage 32 Class "Loved the up-front examples of how long it took to develop different films and whys behind it. Super informative." - Gina G. "For people trying to break into the business, these kind of webinar chats where the info and experience rolls off the cuff is important and very effective for me. If you can't be around the industry and executives, having the opportunity to 'be in the room' and hear about process and how things are done is really important." - Diana L.