Qasim Basir is an award-winning filmmaker whose first feature MOOZ-LUM was nominated for the NAACP Image Award. MOOZ-LUM stars Nia Long, Evan Ross & Danny Glover and is a coming-of-age tale about a Muslim boy going to college around the September 11 attacks. The film was released theatrically in 2011 and on additional platforms via Starz, Netflix and Amazon. The film gained international recognition, opening in over 25 countries. Basir wrote and directed DESTINED, starring Cory Hardrict, Jesse Metcalfe, Margot Bingham, Hill Harper, Zulay Henao and La La Anthony. DESTINED premiered at the 2016 LA Film Festival, and has garnered numerous accolades including Best Director and Actor at the 2016 American Black Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature at Urbanworld that same year. DESTINED was released theatrically and on VOD platforms. Basir recently directed and co-wrote A BOY. A GIRL. A DREAM., starring Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good. The film will have its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. A BOY. A GIRL. A DREAM. follows two people who meet on the night of the Presidential election and share feelings of panic, despair, anger, and hope in the face of a radically changing nation. Up next for Qasim is to direct the NFL Biopic ‘Hawk’ based on life of Andrew Hawkins. Full Bio »
There are many ways to forge a path toward a directing career in the film industry. But as almost any successful director will tell you, surviving and thriving takes much more than just talent. Packaging, the streaming platforms, and new and intriguing distribution channels have all but upended the independent film world. More and more filmmakers are embracing a DIY (Do It Yourself) mindset and educating themselves on the business - who's making what, what festivals matter, how a producer sees a project, what investors are looking for (and where to find those investors), who's the audience for my film, where can the film live and, most importantly, how can I use this information to build a long, lucrative, and successful career in the film industry.
Director Qasim Basir exploded onto the Sundance scene with his film A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.: Love on Election Night. The film received a massive standing ovation at its Sundance premiere which led to a bidding way, a major theatrical release, and enormous critical acclaim. The film not only takes place in once location, but is filmed in single shot. It's a masterclass, and Qasim proved that he is a talent to be reckoned with. The accolades and offers haven't stopped flowing in. Up next for Qasim is to direct the NFL Biopic ‘Hawk’ based on life of Andrew Hawkins.
Prior to his Sundance debut, he was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for his film Mooz-Lum, starring Nia Long, Evan Ross & Danny Glover, and premiered at the LA Film Festival with his film Destined starring Jesse Metcalf, Cory Hardrict and Margot Bingham. Qasim has had choices for all of his films as to how they got out into the world and where they were going to live after their release. He's chosen everything from theatrical to VOD releases, and he's learned much along the way.
Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Qasim is bringing all his knowledge including the wealth of information he learned from the dream Sundance experience to the Stage 32 community. Qasim will dive right into the deep end of the pool to discuss how to navigate this difficult industry and how to keep yourself intact. He will teach you what you'll learn along the way as you become more successful and how to use that knowledge as fuel. He will discuss short filmmaking as a calling card or as proof of concept of something bigger. He will show you how to identify and engage financiers and production companies. Then, Qasim will delve into the filmmaking process including how casting comes down to understanding the 3 P's. He will discuss pre-production, voice, tone, story, performance & camera. He will teach you how to make decisive and confident creative choices. And he will teach you how to deal with failure and disappointment, but also how to deal with success.
"People will tell you many different things in this business, but none is better than when you find what's actually right for you. Let me help get you there."
- Qasim Basir
Praise for Qasim
"I saw A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. at Sundance. The movie is brilliant and watching Qasim during the Q&A it became clear that he is as well. To be able to learn from him here on Stage 32 is such a gift. Inspiration on a whole other level."
- Monique T.
"Genius in every way."
- Tyler K.
"Qasim is my hero."
- Mikael F.
"Another home run for Stage 32. A teacher above and beyond worthy of the subject matter. More please!"
- Imani L.
A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.: Love on Election Night written and directed by Qasim which premiered at Sundance and stars Omari Hardwick and Meagan Goode with cameos by Kenya Barris and Jay Ellis which Samuel Goldwyn just acquired. The story begins on the night of the Presidential election, when An LA club promoter (Omari Hardwick) falls for a woman who challenges him (Meagan Good) to revisit his broken dreams while he pushes her to discover hers. To see the trailer, click here.
Qasim’s follow-up to his feature film directorial debut Mooz-Lum, Destined tells the parallel stories of Sheed and Rasheed the same actor played by (Cory Hardrict) as they explore the idea of destiny as well as how the smallest incident can manifest itself into a life changing event. Premiering at LA Film Festival in June 2016, the film went on to the American Black Film Festival immediately after where it won Qasim a Best Director award and Best Actor for Cory Hardrict. It has since won 4 more awards, for a total of 6 and continues its festival run.
"Shampoo” meets “Medicine for Melancholy” (or “Before Sunrise”) in Qasim Basir's two-hander “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.” - Variety
"A visually sensuous, dreamlike film" - Sundance Institute
"Intoxicating" - Hollywood Reporter
"One-shot film of great beauty" - Birth Movies Death
"Anchored by nuanced, natural, absolutely beautiful lead performances" - Paste Magazine
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The television landscape is constantly changing, with new technology, new networks, new trends, and new players. Yet a constant throughout the years has been the popularity of the situational comedy. From I LOVE LUCY all the way to MODERN FAMILY and THE GOOD PLACE, there has always been an appetite for new sitcoms, funny stories and beloved characters to come back to week after week (or binge all at once). As a result, if you have great idea for a sitcom and a great pilot script to go with it, networks are always going to be interested. But first you have to write that pilot. But you can't build a house without a blueprint. That's why it's so important to understand the sitcom pilot script on a fundamental level. A written TV pilot is not something physically tangible. You're selling the network an idea, an episode, and, really, an entire series without ever shooting a single frame. That alone is an overwhelmingly huge task. This is why people often struggle writing a pilot script. Putting too much into the script, or not enough. Properly setting up the world. Getting your audience attached to your characters. Including enough jokes and still having a prominent story. All of these elements make crafting your sitcom pilot difficult and the overall process intimidating. Yet shining a light on the pilot process can help reduce the fear and better equip you when writing. David Shecter has has been working in the television industry in production, development, and as a writer for over a decade. He has written on many shows, including season 5 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. His experience and success on that show landed David on the pilot of the CBS smash hit 2 Broke Girls, where he worked his way up as a staff writer on the 6th and final season of the show. Since 2 BROKE GIRLS, David has served on the FOX sitcom OUTMATCHED starring Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson and was named a WGA TV Writer Access Honoree for his script For Worse. David’s continued work in the sitcom TV world has lent him a keen understanding of what makes these shows successful and how to make the most of your sitcom pilot. David will break down how to write a great sitcom pilot that can build your world, show your style, and appeal to both executives and audiences. He’ll give you tips on how to find your sitcom’s tone and decide where it lies on the comedy spectrum between comedy and drama. He’ll discuss the differences between premise-based and character-based sitcoms and teach you how to find the balance between jokes and story. Next David will delve into the proper structure of a sitcom pilot, looking at length, episodic vs. serialized and if commercial breaks are still a thing. He’ll give you tips on how to start writing your sitcom pilot and break down the anatomy of a sitcom scene. He’ll share tips on how to build effective sitcom characters and will finally teach you how to best establish your world through the pilot and how to pack everything neatly into your script. David will even offer a deep dive of the pilot script for HBO's Emmy-nominated sitcom BARRY, analyzing why this script works. Everyone who signs up will receive a free download of this script. David is excited to show you the proper tools so you can start building the world of your sitcom from the ground up with complete confidence and create a product that can help you find the success you’re looking for.
Congratulations – you’ve finished your first draft! But now comes the real work. The old adage goes that ‘writing is rewriting’ and that is absolutely true in film and television. A big part of screenwriting is learning how to receive feedback and how to implement it. Most professional writers go through numerous drafts and rounds of feedback before taking their scripts to the market. Just think about the first time you tried anything new – a new instrument, a new workout program, or a new screenplay. Unless you’re a natural, your first attempt isn’t usually your best. It’s the practice – or in this case, the rewriting – that helps you get better and will allow you to create something truly special. Too many aspiring writers think the hard work is over after the first draft. A first draft is a milestone accomplishment, but ultimately just one rung up the bigger ladder. But rewriting and polishing is not always an intuitive process – it’s hard to determine what to change or how much to change it. A big part of rewriting or polishing is learning how to listen to others, and realizing that even a solo screenplay can become a collaborative process. 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, Mandalay, and IM Global, amongst others. His short film, Monsters, that he wrote and directed, has amassed over two million views online and screened in over 100 film festivals worldwide, winning 45 awards. Steve has found his voice as a sought-after screenwriter by mastering the art of the rewrite and his excited to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Exclusively for Stage 32, Steve will give an in-depth and practical deep dive of the art of rewriting and polishing that you can take back to your own screenplay or pilot. Steve will share how best to utilize feedback and explain the difference between a rewrite and a polish. He will go through the psychological components of rewriting and show you how to make an effective plan to go through the rewrite process, and then how best to execute it. Next Steve will talk about how to actually trim your script by focusing on scenes and characters and how to work with producers and executives, including how to receive notes and maintain communication. He will then give you tools you can use to determine when you’re actually done. Expect to walk away with a slew of tools and ideas you can use to rewrite your own project and make it the best it can be. 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.
If you’re tired of your soul-sucking job or you have your own entrepreneurial venture but need to make more money now (because you’re tired of stealing your neighbors car and living off of Ramen Noodles), this webinar was built for you. During this jam-packed 90 minute teaching, you’ll learn how to find paid speaking, teaching, and writing opportunities that you didn’t even know existed. The best part is, you can start finding them right away and making more bankroll almost immediately. These opportunities not only bring in more money for you, they allow you to live your life on your terms and your timeline so that you can focus on building your career as a writer, actor, director, producer, fill in the creative blank. The fun doesn’t end there. If you sell a product or service, but find people are constantly trying to undercut you or get you to do it for mere pennies, we’re going to talk about what you can say and do to turn that around. You’re done giving yourself away. You deserve to be paid what you’re worth. Aside from my time on the streets of Syracuse chasing criminals and crooked politicians (as a reporter, people, mind out of the gutter), I’ve had the pleasure of speaking on stages, hosting masterminds and workshops, and putting up live events for the past fifteen years. As a writer, I ghostwrite blog posts, books, and other content marketing pieces for other Creatives. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to find these kinds of opportunities, too. The best part? You don’t need prior writing experience. I’ve discovered that these multiple streams of income are the answer to creating a lifestyle that affords me the time and space I need to write my own scripts and take off for auditions or roles I’ve been cast in. If you’re tired of the crap job, you want to watch this. If you’re struggling to get your own small business off the ground, you want to watch this. But most of all, if you want to learn what it takes to create multiple steams of income that give you the time, money, and space you need to stay true to your talents, you really, really want to watch this.
Get one-on-one mentoring from an accomplished producer and favorite Stage 32 educator on writing your historical television pilot! Limited Class Size - Only 2 Spots Left! Historical shows are more popular than ever. From THE GREAT to CHERNOBYL to BABYLON BERLIN, these stories from yesterday are winning raves today from fans and critics alike. It’s never been a better time to write your own historical television pilot, and in this exclusive Stage 32 lab will help you do just that. Over eight sessions, you’ll study how to write a historical television pilot under the guidance of accomplished producer, Anna Henry. Throughout the class, you’ll study successful period shows depicting both real and fictional characters in historical settings, and cover crucial writing topics, such as: How to find the right story engine for your show Different approaches to historical subjects How to use source materials How to generate current appeal with yesterday’s stories Adding, altering, and conflating real people World-building Budget and production considerations Striving for authenticity over accuracy Challenges of writing exposition Avoiding anachronisms Common pilot problems And so much more Best of all, you’ll have time scheduled throughout the course to work one-on-one with Anna and ensure that your pilot has everything it needs and you walk away with an industry-vetted script to add to your portfolio. Anna is a producer and development executive who has set up projects at AMC, Amazon Prime, Starz, HBO, Sony, Fox, EOne, ITV America, and OddLot Entertainment, among others. She’s worked at CBS, ABC, Nickelodeon, and multiple production companies, as well as in management at Andrea Simon Entertainment where she worked with writers. Anna is also an instructor for Netflix & Stage 32 Creating Content for a Global Marketplace Program. Spots to work one-on-one with Anna in this unique opportunity are limited, guaranteeing you focused attention and the ability to network with your fellow writers. Don’t miss out on this incredible chance to develop your pilot with an industry veteran and leave with a fantastic historical pilot script. Payment plans available - contact email@example.com for details TESTIMONIALS FROM PREVIOUS STAGE 32 EDUCATION FROM ANNA: "Anna's webinar was fantastic. I am writing my first one hour drama pilot so this webinar was packed with the exact information that I will be immediately putting to use in my rewrite. The slides were clear, concise and informative. The speaker was excellent at conveying the information I needed." -Bobby C. "It was really great information. Anna was a terrific host, very knowledgeable and shared a lot of information and tips." -Marla H.
If a film production is going to use talent that belongs to a guild, you will need to adhere to labor related matters when it comes to residuals. Residuals are how you pay your guild talent and a key component of any production. These payments have a strict way in which they need to be handled in order to make sure that your talent is being compensated properly - whether it's payment upfront or payment on the backend. Conversely, if you are in a guild you need to ensure that your contract lays out the correct components with residuals to make sure that you are paid properly. Whether you are the person paying or the person receiving, we're talking about money here and you don't want to get it wrong. Understanding residual payments in some of the world's key film markets (US, UK and Canada) is vital to your production. As you are putting together your budget and ensuring that your production comes in at or under your budget you have to know how residuals work. Working with guilds can be tricky, but as long as you are clear upfront on how to pay their members and how that flows into your budget you can ensure success. And, if you're talent that belongs to a guild you want to ensure that you are getting every payment that is owed to you for your service on a project. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will teach you what exactly residuals are and go over a comparison of them in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. He will go into a deep dive example on a US example where he will discuss options for payments of residuals and how the calculation works. You will understand how the payment for residuals is secured in security interest, the collection account or the payroll house. He will even go over the agreements you should know that are related to residual payments. He will even dive into residual and media allocation and the recoupment schedule. You will leave with a clear understanding of how residuals work and how to best protect yourself on both sides when dealing with them. With this webinar you will receive free template downloads: DGA Basic Agreement SAG AFTRA Security Agreement SAG AFTRA Standard Agreement SAG AFTRA Television Distributors Assumption Agreement SAG AFTRA Television Buyers Assumption Agreement WGA Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement Standard CAM Agreement International Multi-picture Rights Distribution License Agreement Sample Webinar Resource Sheet Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.
Almost every successful filmmaker today—from Ava DuVernay to Rian Johnson to Chloe Zhao to Ryan Coogler—got their start by writing and directing their own short films. It’s so common of a springboard for creatives that most managers and executives actively incorporate scouting short films as part of their recruitment model when looking for new talent or new ideas. If you're an aspiring writer or director ready to make a living as a filmmaker, mastering the art of crafting a short film can be the perfect launching tool for your career. Simply putting together any short film isn’t going to be your instant ticket into the industry, however. Tens of thousands of filmmakers produce new short films every year. With so much competition, how do you make your own film stand out? How can you avoid the mistakes that riddle the writing and directing process of making a short film? Once your film is made, how do you get it out to the world aside from just uploading it on YouTube and hoping people view it? And what can you do to convince investors and producers that you're ready to make the leap into bigger projects? James Kicklighter is a multi-award winning writer and director whose work has been recognized by the world’s press, including The Hollywood Reporter, The Times of India, Film Courage and FilmInk Australia. He has directed nine short films that have found success at film festivals around the world as well as through distribution. He is currently developing projects with Richard Saperstein (THE MIST, SE7EN) and Beau Turpin (COUNTERPUNCH). His latest feature film THE SOUND OF IDENTITY, about the first transgender woman to perform as Don Giovanni in a professional opera, was released this year and is produced by Emmy Award-winning producers Russ Kirkpatrick & Andy Kinslow and executive produced by Golden Globe-winner and Academy Award-nominated Josh Bachove (MINARI, THE LITTLE HOURS). In this 2-part exclusive Stage 32 Masterclass, you will learn: How to write, direct and distribute your own short film The art of writing a short screenplay How to develop strong characters that will attract top acting talent, while working within a budget that the average aspiring filmmaker can afford. The process of directing your first short How to get the cast and crew that you want How to raise money and setup the budget, How to select the right camera and technical equipment, How to work with locations and your actors to maximize your production value. Insider tips for distributing and marketing your final product - a step that most filmmakers never learn. Hw to target film festivals, cultivate relationships with media, and create a launch strategy that will best serve your film in the present while preparing you for the future.