Kevin Nicklaus is a veteran development executive, with a long tenure with the Warner Bros-based production company, The Wolper Organization, which has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. which covers all divisions, including HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros. features, and more. The Wolper Organization has been responsible for over 500 films, which have won more than 150 awards, including two Oscars, 50 Emmys, seven Golden Globes, five Peabody’s, and recognition and retrospectives from Cannes and other respected international film festivals. The company has multiple drama series and films (including films to debut on streaming platforms) in active development. Kevin has been integral to the early development and sales of "BATES MOTEL" for A&E, the 2016 Emmy-nominated "ROOTS" for History, STEPHEN KING'S SALEM'S LOT for TNT, THE MISTS OF AVALON for TNT, HELTER SKELTER for CBS, THE BAD SEED for Lifetime and more. Full Bio »
Horror genre television series are in demand in a BIG way. Many production companies and buyers are actively looking for stories that provide thrills, chills and scares. In recent years, we’ve seen a surge in developing and producing popular shows for cable, steamers and network television. Shows like AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD, Netflix’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (and now BLY MANOR), FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY, and HBO’s LOVECRAFT COUNTY have been paving the way for a new era of high quality, diverse, and ambitious horror series unlike anything that’s ever been created before. And according to the ratings, the appetite for this TV genre only continues to grow. If you have ever thought about writing, producing or selling your own horror television series, now is the time.
You want to capitalize on this hot genre if you have a horror project you're thinking about creating or if you're interested in going to market with one you already have. With the barrier for entry open at networks, streamers and cable, there is more opportunity for you to showcase your story in the best possible light. In order to do so you have to know what the buyers are looking for and determine if your project aligns with their needs. You'll also need to understand the pitching environment and what you're up against in the room. It's important you have a clear understanding of your story, your series and your pitch in order to go from good to great and get the buyers excited about your project.
Kevin Nicklaus is a veteran development executive with a long tenure with the The Wolper Organization, which has a first-look deal with Warner Bros., including HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros. features, and more. He has been integral to the early development and sales of BATES MOTEL for A&E, the Emmy-nominated ROOTS for History, STEPHEN KING'S SALEM'S LOT for TNT, THE MISTS OF AVALON for TNT, HELTER SKELTER for CBS, THE BAD SEED for Lifetime and more. Kevin has been active in the world of horror television for years now and knows better than most what it takes to get a scary series off the ground.
Kevin will delve into what the world of horror television looks like today and how best to approach and pitch your own horror series to give it the best shot of getting noticed. He’ll begin with a primer of horror television, including its history and a look at why it’s now more desirable for networks. He’ll also delve into the 4 popular trends currently found in horror TV and what the most popular horror series are right now and why. Kevin will then give you tips on how to approach your own horror series including how to consider your audience, whether your idea is a series or just a long movie, using teasers and cliffhangers effectively, and how to find your episodic engine. Next Kevin will show you how best to pitch your horror series. He’ll explain who’s looking for horror projects, what a good horror TV pitch deck looks like and what to focus on when you’re in the room. Finally he will outline the biggest mistakes to avoid when putting together your horror series, both when writing the pilot and when pitching. Expect to leave with a much clearer idea of how best to craft your own horror television series and have it find success.
Kevin will even provide a free download of STRANGER THINGS’ early pitch deck and use it as a case study when delving into building your own pitch documents.
Like what you heard from Kevin during this webinar?
You can send your TV pilot script or feature script to Kevin and speak with him for an hour!
"I love horror TV and this is such an exciting time for it. I've been working in this space for a while now and am excited to share what I know so you can better tackle your own horror TV project and get it noticed."
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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!
Low budget horror films have never been hotter or more in demand. Last year, The Hollywood Reporter stated that the horror genre was saving the film business and that low budget horror was helping to lead the charge. More and more companies are looking to follow the Blumhouse model of making horror films on the cheap and then raking it in at the box office and VOD. Even the streaming platforms have jumped in with both feet. But make no mistake, just because many of these production companies and filmmakers are keeping their costs down, they are not skimping on quality. Quite the opposite in fact. Horror film aficionados demand great stories, memorable characters and scares that are earned. They want fresh ideas, a unique vision, and an experience they can return to again and again. To stand out from the crowd, you need to be prepared not only to find or produce great material, but to understand how to navigate the landscape. More people produce and shoot horror than just about any other genre. And in such a crowded field, it can be hard to stand out. Go to any film market or horror trade show and you are instantly inundated with posters for dozens if not hundreds of horror features, short films, television shows and digital content looking for a home. After a while, everything seems to look the same. But there is a way to break out of that crowded field and assure that your work gets seen, bought, distributed and/or screened. And we have just the guy to show you how to get it done. Nick Phillips knows horror. In his 20 years in the business, Nick has worked, developed and produced films for Miramax and Sony Screen Gems. In 2012, Nick co-founded his own production company specializing in genre films, the Revolver Picture Company. Just some of the films Nick has worked on include Scream, Halloween, Hellraiser, the Crow, Vacancy, Feast and The Roommate. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Nick will share his knowledge on how to create terrifying films at not-so-terrifying costs. Films the industry wants to have a piece of and horror fans won't be able to get enough of. Nick will start by teaching you one of the most common failings of producers and filmmakers within the horror space, namely what you should look for in a horror script. From there, he will talk development and the production process during this all important period of the project's evolution. Nick will show you how to stretch your budget dollar, by minimizing locations (but maximizing how you use them), making the right hires, keeping the shoot moving and staying on schedule. He will teach you his tricks on working with actors during the most intense scenes and keeping them motivated. Speaking of actors, he will discuss whether name talent matters or whether choosing the best actor for the part is a better approach. He will show you how to get the best production value throughout the film. And everyone knows, a great horror movie demands a sequel! Nick will show you how to set yourself up so that your project is franchise ready. This is a fully comprehensive overview of how to immerse yourself in the horror genre as a producer and/or filmmaker. "I have no desire to work in any other genre outside of horror. I've been frustrated that my vision always seems to be too expensive for the money I have available. Thank you, Nick, for showing me the path to seeing my vision through while keeping my costs down. I'm inspired again!" Matt H. "There is nothing scary about this webinar. It's fantastic." Devon M. "Man, was this eye opening. I have seen the light and now know how to keep my costs in check. Let the blood flow!" - Francisco D. "My all female slasher grindhouse project is back on my production slate thanks to you, Nick. I don't know how that makes you feel, but I feel fantastic!" - Marissa G.
So you want to shoot a low budget feature film. You've heard everyone tell you how difficult it will be to raise the funds, secure talent, get through production and post, and most of all, what a pain in the ass time you'll have securing distribution and finding a path to profitability. But what if we told you that that's all BS? What if we told you there was not only a path to profitability, but that you could already be making money before you started shooting? Let 'em all say it's impossible. We're here to tell you show you how to get it done. Low budget filmmaking has changed drastically over the last few years. From finding investors to attaching talent to having your pick of distribution channels, the landscape looks markedly different than at any time before. And in many ways, these shifts have proven to be quite advantageous to filmmakers, screenwriters, producers and financiers - if you know where to look and how to navigate. Zach Ward has done just about everything in the film industry. Zach is a veteran producer, director, screenwriter and actor. You may remember him as Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story, but that was just the beginning. Zach has acted in over 100 films and been involved in dozens of others. Over his 3 decades in the industry, Zach experiences have allowed him to become an expert on the world of indie film. Over the last few years, Zach has produced 3 independent films and directed one more. His films Restoration and Ubiquity which he wrote, directed, acted in and produced are currently available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Hulu, and for rental through Redbox. Ubiquity was made for only $75,000, was shot in 14 days - and - here's the kicker - was making money before he ever yelled "ACTION!" How did Zach get it done? Well that's exactly what he's going to teach you. Zach will start by setting up some indie film guidelines including the 4 "P's" every filmmaker needs to live by in order to make a successful independent film. He will then discuss the triangle and the trinity which includes 3 more "P's" designed to help you hold the production together. From there, Zach will get into that subject everyone wants to know about - the money - including what to do if you have money and what to do if you don't. Then, Zach will dive into the script and what legal steps you need to take to protect yourself and keep your money in house and ready to be put to its proper use. At that point, you're ready to rock and Zach will show you how to prep, from table reading, script rewrites, location scouting, hiring cast & crew and everything that goes along with this process. During the production portion, Zach will cover production partner expectations, hiring decisions and how to keep the whole production on time and on budget (or even under budget). Zach will also lead you through the all important (and often misunderstood) world of post-production where films often go over budget. Finally, Zach will help you navigate the world of distribution deals and how to make sure you pick the right path so your project gets the widest audience and the largest profitability channels possible. "Zack was great and was enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge. Loved every second." -Jonah A. "Zach was phenomenal. This was such rich information. He is the real deal." -Debra S. "Best, most practically informative webinar I have taken on Stage 32. So good to have someone walk through the process giving so much valuable insights. Good to hear Zack talk about the importance of looking at a project from the business side. Thought this was most informative webinar yet. Zack was fantastic in detailing through various stages of film little things that had to be done." -Andy S. "This was easily one of the most approachable How To sessions I've seen here. Advice given was rooted, did not include things only obtainable from within the system or resources that are unreasonable or unmanageable for starting/indie filmmakers." -Shane W. "Zack was fantastic. Honest, open, helpful, informative. Loved the content and Zack!" - Dave P.
You've put in months, maybe years of effort planning, raising funds and shooting your film. You're incredibly proud of your efforts. Now all that remains is getting the film seen and returning some profits to your investors. But what's the best path? Should you enter festivals? Hire a sales agent? Go for theatrical distribution? Attempt to navigate the streaming and VOD platforms? In short, how do you know what's the best route for your film in 2017? Deciding on how to monetize your project can be very complex. With so many options out there it’s sometimes hard to know what is important and what you can skip. This Stage 32 Next Level Webinar will be your one-stop crash course on how to navigate the marketplace! Your host Bradley Gallo, Chief Creative Officer at Amasia Entertainment (known for The Call, Fear, Inc., Mr. Right, Careful What You Wish For, and the award-winning indie The Road Within) will discuss what options are available for your project once it's complete and help you decide if VOD, theatrical, a festival circuit run or hybrid strategy is best for your film. After giving you the lowdown on options, Bradley will quickly discuss the benefits of each and provide you with a gameplan depending on the path you decide to pursue. Whether you’re selling the film yourself, looking for independent representatives to bring on board, or trying to get into a festival, it’s important to know the steps involved in selling a film, no matter your role in the filmmaking process. Indie films are getting produced and distributed every day! It’s time to learn how to take your film to the marketplace and show it to the world! Your host, Bradley has produced a wide variety of films independently, guided some through the festival markets and sold directly to distributors. He will share his knowledge and real-life experiences exclusively with the Stage 32 community! You will walk away with a sense of the marketplace of today including an overview of how to approach the festival circuit, who should/should not rep your film, how to deal with distributors, VOD vs theatrical and so much more!
Unscripted (reality) television has burst onto cable and streaming platforms with a vengeance. In fact, reality seems to be everywhere these days with shows covering just about every subject imaginable. However, much has changed since the pioneers of reality TV came into people's living rooms (remember THE REAL WORLD and JOE MILLIONAIRE?). Gone are the days of simple formats allowing unfiltered access into the day to day lives of real people. Today, the networks and streamers are interested in shows providing a behind the curtain peak into all sorts of different subcultures. Mostly everyone can think of a time when they've thought "Wow, that would make a great reality TV" - But where do you start if you want to develop and pitch an unscripted show ? The challenges in developing unscripted/reality shows are lengthy. Unscripted shows don’t have scripts or actors, and they deal with real people and the personal conflicts they deal with in navigating their work and personal lives. And, just like networks and streaming platforms have mandates for scripted shows, they also have mandates for unscripted shows. So, how do you plan and develop the trajectory of a show if it's not scripted? If you have a great concept and cast, it's your job to function as a producer - read: therapist and gatekeeper - to prove that you can sustain the concept through multiple seasons. You have to make sure that you have a reliable cast that's on board with your vision. And you have to know how to sell that vision in a clear and winning fashion. This all begins by understanding what networks and the steaming platforms are looking for, who's programming what, what materials you will need to have in order to pitch, and how to put together a sizzle real and/or deck that rises above the rest. Catherine Keithley is the Vice President of Current and Development at Brian Graden Media. She produced Season 1 of INSTANT INFLUENCER with James Charles for YouTube Originals, Seasons 1 - 4 of ESCAPE THE NIGHT for YouTube Originals starring Joey Graceffa, the hour special also for YouTube Originals BAND TOGETHER WITH LOGIC and season 1 of MS. T'S MUSIC FACTORY for Lifetime. She's sold and developed a number of shows for BGM at various stages of development, casting, presentations, and pilots for networks like Lifetime, NBC, BET, POP, E!, Bravo, GSN, A&E, Fullscreen, & YouTube Originals. Catherine will teach you what makes a network interested in an unscripted show. You will learn how to pick "characters" that are watchable and whey they'd be attractive to a buyer. She'll go over the various genres that are produced for unscripted television and break them down by network. She will take you through what goes into development for each of the genres, including what materials you will need and what your sizzle needs to look like. She will even go into detail by network on who is buying what in unscripted - breaking down budget ranges so you're fully understanding on where your unscripted idea stands. Like what you heard from Catherine during this webcast? Send your concept to Catherine and speak with her for half-hour by clicking here. You will see what types of characters stand out to a network, what your pitch deck needs to look like and how you can hook someone immediately with your sizzle. Catherine will give you all the tools you need to make your unscripted pitch sing. "After working in unscripted selling to mostly all major networks, I'll help give you the insight into what it takes to pitch a winning unscripted idea that will get sold." - Catherine Keithley
Remember that every line of dialogue matters, every image has a purpose, and there are no wasted bullets in the gun! We're kicking off another month of a packed Writers' Room schedule with the Breakdown Webcast: Exposition as Ammunition! Many writers struggle with how to get out critical information and backstory to the audience in an organic way. So during this webcast, we discuss how to get the audience the information they need without a lecture they don't want. During this webcast we'll discuss different ways of getting out information in a way that feels organic to the narrative and the characters. We examine some of the best - and worst - examples from film and television!