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
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.
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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 audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
Many times in writing our projects do not have a strong enough inciting incident to effectively kick off the narrative. During this webcast we will look at moments everything changed for our protagonists and they were launched on their journey. Every event that happens subsequently will be traced back to this one monumental event. We will examine the inciting incidents of films as well as television shows and explain how they changed the world in an irreversible way. Examples include films such as Monsters Inc., Saving Private Ryan, "The Sopranos," "Breaking Bad," and more!
To kick off your directing career with Roger Ebert calling your film "One of the best films of the year" you can pretty much be assured you're on a path to success. We are proud to present to you the director who has done just that - Michael Polish. After his Sundance darling Twin Falls Idaho garnered Roger Ebert's critical acclaim he has gone on to direct over 10 feature films including: The Astronaut Farmer, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen Northfork, starring Nick Nolte and James Woods The Smell of Success, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tea Leoni & Ed Helms Hot Bot, starring Zack Pearlman and Danny Masterson Stay Cool, starring Winona Ryder and Sean Astin (Nominated for best feature at Tribeca Film Festival) Big Sur, an adaptation of the Jack Kerouac novel starring Kate Bosworth For Lover’s Only starring Stana Katic (CBS’s hit show Castle) 90 Minutes in Heaven, starring Hayden Christensen Amnesiac, starring Wes Bentley The upcoming Sharon Tate biopic adapted from Greg King’s book Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders Michael will be teaching the 2nd installment of our Stage 32 Masters of Craft series - The Indie Filmmaker's Toolkit: Maximize Your Resources, Creativity and Profits. In this online event Michael will share with you how a professional director approaches a film from inception and carries it through to post-production including a discussion of available distribution options. The goal is to give you the agency to make your films without the necessity of the Hollywood studio system (though this information will be handy if that's your path as well). He will go in-depth about the director’s process from finding superior scripts and setting your priorities in pre-production to the challenges of running your set, leading your crew and balancing the demands of your producers. He’ll explain how to interact with everyone vital to your film’s success from producers and film executives to actors, cinematographers, and editors to get the best version of your film. Finally, Michael will share insider knowledge on effective methods to market and distribute your film that will give you the power to maximize your profits. From his experience writing and directing 10 feature films, he’ll share his war stories (like losing vital funding in the middle of a shoot) and his strategies for dealing with any obstacle that arises. You’ll be better equipped to deal with mishaps and avoid filmmaking pain points. If you want to make your film and you want to know where to start, how to proceed and how to ensure you walkaway with a masterpiece, this is the webinar for you! You’ll leave with a comprehensive understanding of what is necessary to succeed as an indie director and gain control over the direction of your career.
4 part class taught by award winning screenwriting career coach and author Lee Jessup! AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! Finishing your script may be one of the hardest steps, but it's only the first! Now what? Despite its reputation, many writers are still surprised at how hard it is to not only break into the entertainment industry, but sustain a screenwriting career once inside. What you need is a proven mentor, someone who can give you the know-how to help you break into Hollywood with stunning success. Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4 part class: Breaking Into the Industry – Creating and Maintaining a Screenwriting Career taught by Lee Jessup, award winning Screenwriting Career Coach and author of the best-selling screenwriting book, Getting it Write. Learn everything you need to know to help jump-start your screenwriting career from a seasoned veteran who has coached WGA members, Golden Globe and Emmy nominated writers, best-selling authors, and contest winners. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Lee is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!
With more and more content being created and more avenues for films to be seen, the overall distribution market is changing at a rapid pace. But, the classic in-theater experience is still alive and well – if you have the right type of film and you understand how tailor your approach to the market. Don't think for a second that your film is not a fit for theatrical distribution or that all theaters and screens are controlled by the studios. There still IS an opportunity for a film to be distributed to the US market in theaters. Independent film acquisitions with the intent to distribute in the US theatrical market still make up a profitable part of today’s film business. Unfortunately, many filmmakers aren’t aware of the elements a film must have to be considered for theatrical distribution. Understanding everything from where your content fits to how to put your film in the best position to be acquired is absolutely necessary in order for you to give your project the best chance to attract a buyer and give you the opportunity to have your masterpiece, the film you worked so hard to make, seen in a theater. Jason Resnick is the Executive Vice President of Acquisitions for Aviron Pictures and has had decades of experience in theatrical distribution on films of all budget levels. He Jason was formerly the GM of Worldwide Acquisitions for the Universal Pictures Group and in charge of all acquisitions for Universal, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures and Universal Home Entertainment. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, he'll go over what the current US theatrical market looks like for film acquisitions. And, it's more accessible than you think! To fully understand how the market has shifted and how the old thinking has become obsolete, Jason will break down the last 10 years of theatrical distribution to show you what's still working and what has dramatically changed. This information alone will give you a competitive advantage in the space and make you more attractive to buyers. He will also make you understand limited, wide, and day-and-date releases and identify the key players in each. He will show you the proper way to approach these reps and buyers so you stand out in a competitive market. Most importantly you will learn how a film is acquired for US theatrical release and what can hurt and help your chances of getting acquired. You will walk away knowing exactly makes your film look attractive for an acquisition for the US theatrical market. "I learned a lot. Really appreciate Jason's experience and expertise. Jason's presentation was considered, articulate, to the point and very informative. Was well worth the class fee." - Rebecca D.
About this time in a normal year, filmmakers from around the world would be locking down their plans to travel to Santa Monica and attend the internationally renowned American Film Market (AFM). One of the biggest film acquisition, development and networking events in the world, AFM has provided a forum for thousands of films to find funding and acquisition deals since its founding in 1981. Yet this year will be different. Like most events right now, AFM has made the shift to virtual, and with that comes new rules, new expectations, and a new landscape. If you’re hoping to attend the AFM this year and leave with a deal in hand, it’s important you understand what the market will look like and how you can adjust your strategy to find success. With the AFM moving virtual, it will be even more competitive and challenging to access sales agents, buyers, and potential international partners. You will need to know who the players are and how to get their attention - all while working on different time zones and communicating virtually. Trying to understand this new way of doing business adds another layer of complexity as you navigate your market strategy, but don't worry. This new form of market is intended to be fruitful for all - and, most importantly, fun! Alexia Melocchi is a partner at Little Studio Films, and for over two decades has produced and sold award winning movies that have earned nearly $1 Billion dollars in box office returns worldwide. Her clients have bought and partially financed films such as LA LA LAND, PEPPERMINT, THE BOY, TWILIGHT, TEEN SPIRIT and THE BANKER. Amongst her personal producing credits are the DURAN DURAN documentary directed by David Lynch, SERVICE TO MAN released through Entertainment Studios, and SOL DE MEDIANOCHE released on HBO. Alexia is also the host of THE HEART OF SHOW BUSINESS podcast, where she discusses the behind-the-scenes of how Hollywood truly works. Alexia has built much of her success on attending major film markets and intimately knows what it takes to stand out and get the deals you’re after in these forums, whether virtual or otherwise. Alexia will guide you through how to work this virtual edition of the American Film Market to get the meetings you’re after and find success for your project. She will begin by outlining the cultural differences that you can expect at this year’s AFM and the global market shifts that are taking place. Then she’ll delve into AFM as a whole and what their new virtual format is going to look like this year, including their Industry Offices, LocationEXPO, On Demand Theatre, Conference, Networking Pavilion, and Advisor Network. She’ll provide you with a rundown of the specific sales agents, distributors, and producers attending AFM this year that you should know. Alexia will then teach you how to handle the virtual obstacles taking place at the market this year, including the online meeting landscape how to work Zoom like a professional, and how to handle time zones. She’ll give you tips on how best to prepare for AFM, how to make appointments ahead of time and select your target list, how to access your targets, and how to use database platforms to hone your plan, including AFM Connect, Cinando, IMDBPro, and Variety Insight. Next Alexia will explain how you should approach buyers. She’ll walk you through the perfect approach for buyers and how to get your message across in a limited time frame to the right person. She’ll also show you what you really need to have ready before AFM begins and other relationship building tips to keep in mind beyond AFM. Finally, Alexia will expand to show you current trends overseas. She’ll talk about production challenges and updates in a COVID-19 era and why you should be planning ahead for the good times. The path to success continues to alter, and the push to virtual is challenging for everyone, but with the lessons and tips that Alexia will provide, you will leave with a solid understanding of how to roll with the punches and find the opportunities you’re after.
As the world of independent television and film continues to shift, international co-productions are becoming more common. That’s because crossing borders is often an effective way to find better funding, better locations, and ultimately a wider audience. But international co-productions are not always a slam dunk. Partnering with other countries is a complicated endeavor and brings with it challenges and hurdles you wouldn’t have to face otherwise. Potential pitfalls are plentiful, but then again, so are opportunities. It comes down to putting in the work ahead of time, covering your bases, and making sure you know what you’re doing before diving in head first. Working across countries is hard enough when you’re part of a studio or large corporation. There are still contracts to hash out, politics to navigate, and differences in cultures to understand. But when you’re an independent producer or filmmaker looking to cross country lines, it can feel impossible, an overwhelming prospect where you don’t even know where to start. After all, you don’t have the backing of a legal department and you don’t have experts on payroll. You just have you. So where do you start? Is an international co-production worth it for you? What steps should you take to get the ball rolling and how can do you protect yourself along the way? With more than twenty years in the industry, Alexia Melocchi has worked in nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry. Alexia is currently a producer at Little Studio Films, a representation and production company with more than 25 films and series credits. She serves as Partner and Producer, involved in all aspects of company operations, including distribution and co-production deals, managing production activities, and film and television marketing. Alexia is well versed in the art of international co-productions and will share the secrets, tips, and lessons she’s learned over her two decades in the industry exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Alexia will walk you through the nitty gritty of starting international co-productions and the things you need to know before jumping in. She will begin by going over the pros and cons of producing overseas, both for film projects and television, and when to determine if an international co-production is the right call. She’ll tell you the four aspects of your project you should focus on before making this call. She’ll then discuss what makes a story international and how to use this to your advantage. Alexia will then go over the advantages of having international settings in your script. Next she will focus on tax subsidies and credits in different countries, how these can be targeted, the challenges that come with claiming them, and the rules and requirements you’ll generally need to meet to qualify for them. She’ll also discuss the prospect of working with international broadcasters or producers. Then, Alexia will give an in-depth and detailed rundown of the benefits and challenges of producing in six major countries: Italy, Spain, Canada, UK, and Australia. She’ll offer a breakdown of the specific costs that go into overseas productions, as well as the legal ramifications of these projects, including how international cooperation might affect ownership of your IP and rights. Alexia will discuss what an effective timeline of a successful co-production deal might look like and will finally give you tips on how to work international markets like Cannes to find the partnerships you need. This webinar is useful to producers considering an international co-production as well as writers, actors and directors who feel their talent or material might work well on an international scale Like what you heard from Alexia during this webinar? Send your script to Alexia and speak with her for an hour by clicking here. Praise for Alexia’s Webinar “Alexia had so much specific and helpful information that I’m going to be able to use moving forward” -Karen H. “Alexia is the best! I’m so glad I got to see this webinar” -Hannah E. “I was impressed with how much the instructor knew about this topic. I have a lot of ideas and tools I can take with me for my own projects now” -Jerry B.