Rebekah McKendry was the Editor-in-Chief for Blumhouse Productions as well as the Director of Marketing for Fangoria Entertainment. She is also currently a co-host of Blumhouse’s award-winning Shock Waves Podcast (along with Ryan Turek, Blumhouse's VP of Development) and host of Fangoria’s Nightmare University Podcast.She is an award-winning director, writer, and producer with a strong focus in the horror and science fiction genres and has a doctorate in Media Studies focused on the Horror Genre from Virginia Commonwealth University, an MA in Film Studies from City University of New York, and a second MA from Virginia Tech in Arts Education. Rebekah now serves as a professor in the renowned University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts Department, specializing in directing and the horror genre. There are few people in the world who understand the world of horror filmmaking better than Rebekah, and she’s excited to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
The world of independent horror is like no other arena in the film industry. The appetite for new horror films is strong, consistent, and seemingly endless, as always-hungry audiences continue to seek out new titles. As a result, hundreds of horror films are made each year and the market itself is incredibly profitable. Yet in such a saturated market and with such a volume of horror films being released, it can be very hard to stand out. After all, out of hundreds of horror films, there are always only a couple BABADOOKs or GREEN ROOMs that have real staying power. A lot of people are able to work in the horror space, but staying in and thriving can be a lot more difficult. The challenge lies in figuring out what you can do to make your project and your work stand out.
The independent horror film industry can be a difficult world to navigate, fraught with unique challenges and hurdles. Rules and trends that apply to the film industry on a larger scale can often differ when zoomed into just horror. It’s important, then, for filmmakers interested in the independent horror space to understand this market specifically and better operate within it. How do you get meetings, get your work read, create a name for yourself, and get attention? How can you create projects and own your craft to continue to work within the constantly changing space of horror cinema? The horror world does have plenty of obstacles, but there are many steps you can take at any level of your career to get ahead of the curve.
Rebekah McKendry was the Editor-in-Chief for Blumhouse Productions as well as the Director of Marketing for Fangoria Entertainment. She is also currently a co-host of Blumhouse’s award-winning Shock Waves Podcast (along with Ryan Turek, Blumhouse's VP of Development) and host of Fangoria’s Nightmare University Podcast. Rebekah now serves as a professor in the renowned University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts Department, specializing in directing and the horror genre. There are few people in the world who understand the world of horror filmmaking better than Rebekah, and she’s excited to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community.
Rebekah will explore how to understand trends and tastes in horror, changes in distribution models and budgets, and how you can prepare for a long career. She will begin with a brief history of independent horror cinema, focusing on how horror tastes have evolved, how the genre has developed, what sort of trends have been created, how distribution models have changed, and social issues and problems that have come along with it. She’ll then delve into the current horror film market. She’ll outline the key players who are producing notable horror films and discuss the successful budget ranges that we are seeing right now. Rebekah will go over the production models that are being used in the horror space, including the conventional “studio” model, as well as the Blumhouse model. Next she’ll get into the microbudget film, what that looks like and what you have to maintain for it to work. Rebekah will then talk about distribution and how to navigate this part of the industry. She’ll teach you about the contemporary trends in horror films, outlining what’s popular and why, and what might be coming in the future. She’ll discuss the specific need and push for diverse voices within this genre and speak to the opportunity for social awareness in these films. Next Rebekah will teach you how to thrive in the horror industry as a filmmaker. She’ll go over how to craft a project, how to generate hype and get exposure for it, how to navigate conventions and festivals and what you can do to help get your script read. You will leave this webinar with a firm handle on this unique and tricky subsection of the film industry.
Praise for Rebekah's Stage 32 Webinar:
"This was awesome! Succinct but full of up-to-date information and very motivating. I love that she harped on "just make something!" So positive and supportive and I learned a lot!"
"This was amazing! I was hesitant about spending $50 on this but it was worth every penny!"
"I thought Rebekah had by FAR the best webinar I have seen yet. She has such passion and coveys it- and she obviously has been in the industry and around it in so many ways her whole career - fantastic!"
"This is exactly what I needed to see and hear, and Rebekah provided so much good information that I can apply to my projects."
Rebekah McKendry, PhD
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Development Exec from Rosey TV joins our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.
Jason got his start with Evolution Entertainment, moved into Studio Development, and now independently producers and writes. We discuss what makes a project marketable, how to push your career forward industry trends, & more, plus a live Q&A!
Learn Commercial Acting to Help Catapult Your Career! It's impossible to watch television today without getting a catchy commercial actor stuck in your head. Actors like Flo from Progressive, Jake from State Farm and Lily from AT&T have won the hearts of audiences nationally (and sometimes internationally!) for their stand-out personalities and senses of humor...and they're laughing all the way to the bank. Not only is commercial acting lucrative, but commercials can help you catapult your career. "Lily" is now going to be in DEADPOOL 3, "Jake" is in the Netflix show GET SMART and "Flo" is in the Netflix film GIRLFRIEND'S DAY. It pays for you to break in with commercials, now, doesn't it? So, where do you even start? Don't worry, we'll teach you how. Rachel Paulson has grown up in a family of Hollywood royalty. She and her sisters, Emmy-winner Sarah Paulson (AMERICAN CRIME STORY, OCEAN'S 8) and Liz Paulson (SVP of Casting for FOX) have worked together for decades to learn every aspect of acting and casting and how to put yourself in the best position to stand out and book the job. Over her career, Rachel has worked on both sides of acting - both as a casting director as well as talent. You can find her on Hulu's GOOD KISSER, and in the Go Magazine series DATING ZOE. Rachel has earned a living through commercial and endorsement deals and is working exclusively with the Stage 32 acting community to mentor you on how you can do the same for your career! You will have the opportunity to work in an intimate setting with Rachel in an extended 2-1/2 HOUR INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP. You will walk away from this class with all the tools you need to break into commercial acting, including the tools you need, how to find representation, how to audition and etiquette.
Whether it’s penning a feature screenplay or finding a staff position on a TV series, many actors have found new and continued success by venturing into writing. And there’s a good reason why. Transitioning from one part of the industry to another can feel daunting. But if you’re an actor, you’re not starting from scratch – you are pivoting. And in order to do so you need to recognize your strengths, utilize your previous acting experience, and build on your established relationships. Most importantly, as an actor, you already have inherent superpowers that will help you excel as a writer. Actors are storytellers so it makes sense that at some point they may want to write their own stories. But will you be taken seriously? Can you move from being in front of the camera to behind the computer screen successfully? You absolutely can. And you don’t have to give up acting in order to do so. Ultimately, you will be able to write, pitch, and produce better because of your previous experience. So let’s hone those skills and get you ready to make that pivot! After starting out her career as an actress, most notably starring as Emily in the cult classic 3 NINJAS, directed by Jon Turteltaub, Kate Sargeant has become an accomplished television writer, working on over 100 episodes of network TV on shows like CASTLE, CSI: CYBER, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS and BLINDSPOT. She has also written, directed, and produced a few of her passion projects including three short films: CHANGING LANES, FACING LIFE, and ANOTHER FOREIGN CONCEPT. In addition, Kate launched an original comedic series that she wrote, directed, and produced called YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON THE INTERNET about our obsession with social media. Most recently Kate served as a Supervising Producer on a one-hour drama for Sony entitled OBLITERATED. Kate just launched a new half-hour comedy series on YouTube entitled VIRTUALLY SINGLE, which she created, wrote, produced, and stars in. Kate has successfully navigated the pivot from acting to writing and is excited to share what she’s learned during this transition. Exclusively for Stage 32, Kate will teach you how you can make the jump from acting to writing, not by starting over, but by using the superpowers you’ve already developed as an actor to take the next step. She’ll explain her own story and how she made the jump herself before explaining how you can do the same. She’ll discuss what it really means to become a writer and will then show you the superpowers you have as an actor that you might not realize that can help you with every element of writing, from dialogue writing to pitching. She’ll discuss specific challenges you’re going to need to face as an actor and will give you tools and strategies to take the first steps towards writing. She’ll finally reveal how you can use your writing to boost your acting career. If you’ve always wanted to write but have never been sure how to make the leap, Kate will give you the tools and inspiration you’ve been looking for
For Hispanic Heritage Month (or Latinx Heritage Month), it's important to reflect on the contributions made by the Latinx community, consider the progress made and the work that still needs to be done to empower and raise up Latinx voices. This is especially true for the film and TV industry. Incredible work has been done in front of and behind the camera recently that showcases Latinx talent and culture, including films like COCO, ROMA and IN THE HEIGHTS and shows like VIDA, ON MY BLOCK, and more. And as the industry strives for more inclusiveness and equity, this is the time for more Latinx talent to share their voices and their stories around the world.But more than just celebrating accomplishments, it's important we take stock of where we are today. To continue creating change in the industry, we must review what representation exists and what is lacking, what is being made and watched, both in America and in Spanish-speaking countries, and how Latinx creatives can best find their foot in the door.Therefore, in honor of Latinx Heritage Month, Stage 32 has partnered with some of the industry's top leaders from both the U.S. and Latin markets who are dedicated to elevating the voices of the next generation of Latinos in entertainment. Together, we will be hosting a FREE no-holds-barred panel and discussion where our experts will discuss trends in the Spanish-speaking market, opportunities for bilingual content, language barriers in the U.S. and how to overcome them, and how to shorten your path to success.Plus we'll have an exclusive Q&A where YOU will have the opportunity to ask any questions you'd like.We'll see you there! Panelists Diego Cantu, Emmy Award Winning Screenwriter and Producer Guillermo Olivo, Director and Documentarian David Zannoni, International Business Specialist, Fintage House
If you’re a horror writer, you may have tons of great set pieces you can’t wait to terrify audiences with, but unless those pages are compelling and maintain the readers interest, your script will remain just a collection of words. The first priority of ANY writer, horror or otherwise, is storytelling. Before you make a classic horror film, you’ll need an effective and readable screenplay. Horror movies are no exception to the importance of structure. It’s not just about terrifying the audience; it’s most importantly about telling a story. The story is what makes us care about the characters and the hell they are about to go through. You could have the most original scares imaginable, but if we don’t care about the story then we won’t care about the characters who have to endure those horror set pieces. Most importantly, without elements of structure, a producer may stop reading your screenplay. If that happens, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be interested in making your film. So how do successful horror screenplays nail story structure? What are the major pitfalls most horror writers fall into and what can you do to make your script stand out from the rest? David Ian McKendry is a professional screenwriter, script consultant, and script doctor who has worked for Universal, Blumhouse, Lifetime Networks, and The Hallmark Channel as well as numerous independent production companies. He began working in the entertainment industry as a video producer and writer for Fangoria Entertainment before later putting together his own horror films, including ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING, starring Constance Wu (CRAZY RICH ASIANS). Through his own experiences writing and producing horror films as well as fixing other writers’ scripts and teaching screenwriting and production to countless students and aspiring filmmakers, David has a keen sense of what makes a script successful in the horror genre and will be sharing what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. David will dive deep into how to write and structure an effective horror screenplay. He will begin by first teaching you what the horror industry looks like today, how to find work within it and what sort of horror trends are important to note right now. He’ll then break down effective structure in horror, including dissecting the cold open, Act One, Act Two and Act Three. David will conclude by providing tips on what to do with your script after you’ve written and re-written it to get it out into the world and find the attention it needs. David will be using the screenplays for 1980’s FRIDAY THE 13TH and 2017’s HAPPY DEATH DAY as case studies as he continues to break down horror film structure. Everyone who signs up for this webinar will receive these screenplays to download for free.