Dan Wiedenhaupt is a former Creative Executive at Atlas Entertainment. Wiedenhaupt began his career with the company in 2010 under William Green, the head of Atlas Independent, assisting him with Atlas Independent's full slate of projects from development through production including working on location in NYC for Atlas Independent's first film, REVENGE FOR JOLLY! which premiered at Tribeca in, as well as working on GET LUCKY and KNIFE FIGHT. Dan also associate produced the Atlas Independent feature OPEN GRAVE that was released by Tribeca Film, spending 2 months on location in Hungary for the shoot. During this time, Dan also worked with William Green on over 40 different commercials and music videos for clients that included Lenny Kravitz, Bud Light, Dr. Pepper, Heineken, AXE, Verizon, Smirnoff Vodka, JEEP, Jaguar, Microsoft, Dodge RAM, Footlocker, Jack Daniel's, Panasonic, Svedka, Target, Diesel, Burger King, and Old Navy. His commercial work has taken him all over the world, including shoots in Prague, Las Vegas, and New Orleans, working for award-winning directors such as Paul Hunter and Melina Matsoukas. In June of 2012, Dan was promoted to Creative Executive, working on a wide variety of films - both high budget blockbusters for Atlas Entertainment and the grittier, genre films for Atlas Independent. Full Bio »
Stage 32 is extremely excited to exclusively present They Said "No" - Why Did They Pass on My Material taught by Dan Wiedenhaupt, former Creative Executive of Atlas Entertainment (WONDER WOMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE, SUICIDE SQUAD, AMERICAN HUSTLE, THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY)
Many filmmakers and writers look forward to that exciting moment when they get their work in front of executives. Once in front of an executive, it's exhilarating waiting for the decision makers to view a reel, hear a pitch, or read a script. Then, when the call comes and the decision has been made, sometimes it's a "pass" or "no" and the only question left on a filmmaker or writer's mind is "Why?" Why did they pass on my material?
Says Dan, "After reading thousands of scripts and hearing hundreds of pitches, I found that there are many common problems and red flags in scripts and presentations that nearly everyone makes - problems which will immediately make me, or another executive, pass on the script or idea. This is something that affects every single director or writer at any stage of the process - whether you're a first-time filmmaker or a Hollywood veteran.
I have spent several years working in all aspects of film, television, and commercials - from both a physical production and development angle. I've seen the best of the best and I've seen some of the worst. After this time of cultivating my taste and my thick skin, I'm ready to pay the wisdom forward. I will be brutal, direct and to the point, and hopefully a little funny, pulling back the curtain of the development process."
Dan will teach you why you are not receiving the response you are looking for from your film or screenplay pitch and how to fix those issues immediately. He will show you the do's and don'ts related to introductions and openings of a pitch or submission. He will teach you the red flags within your pitch including your story, presentation and personality. He will dive into what execs are looking for, how to assure you're tailoring your pitch to who you're pitching and navigating the "Culture of No" (and giving them a reason to say "Yes".) Dan will even show you examples of pitches he's passed on and pitches that had him begging for more. That's just some of what Dan will tackle, and rest assured, he'll leave you not only with a wealth of actionable information, but a ton of inspiration as well! Please note Dan elected to not to not be on camera, but you will see his full presentation.
Dan will explain to you exactly what it looks (and sounds) like from an executive's side of the table. He'll give you the tips and tricks to assure that your film or screenplay pitch is on point and attractive to representation, buyers, producers, financiers and development execs.
PRAISE FOR DAN'S TEACHINGS:
"There's nothing like learning at the feet of an expert in their field. I was inspired from the beginning to the end!" -Marla O.
"There's nothing worse than being rejected. Except now understanding WHY I've been rejected. Thank you, Dan, for making me see the error of my ways and helping me course correct." - Terry G.
"Worth 10 times the price. Gold." - Thom P.
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but thanks to Dan, I can't wait to pitch. What was pure horror in my mind has now turned to an abundance of hope."- Tasha P.
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"Worth 10 times the price. Gold."
- Thom P.
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but thanks to Dan, I can't wait to pitch. What was pure horror in my mind has now turned to an abundance of hope."
- Tasha P.
Do you suffer from writer’s block? Do you ever get stuck on a scene — at odds with how to proceed, what your character should do or say — for hours, days, sometimes weeks? Do you ever read a scene and think, something’s just not working? Join the illustrious club of every writer ever. Luckily, this very common problem has a simple solution. In this webinar, you will dig down to the building blocks of excellent scene work, those elements which are fundamental to establishing character, advancing plot, capturing tone, and planting memorable moments. By using iconic scenes from landmark film and TV and by citing examples from his 5+ years of TV writing and producing experience, Charlie will offer an array of tools and skills that will harden any writer against the obstacles and pitfalls that come with attacking any scene. Perhaps more importantly, participants will come away with some vital ways to overcome the feared writer’s block that plagues us all.
With the help of producer Jason Piette, we'll be taking a look at a few different Writers' Room pitches and giving live feedback to help improve each pitch while simultaneously guiding each of you in your craft.
The big streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV) are leading the charge in original programming. The number of new shows being produced has never been higher. However, these platforms have different needs, different expectations and different boundaries and mandates than those of traditional broadcast networks. So how does a creative navigate the big time streaming world? And how does a writer stand out to get staffed or sell a standout drama series? This webinar will explain in comprehensive detail how drama series are pitched, developed, and sold to streaming platforms and what you can do as a writer to position yourself to get noticed. With so many writers vying for an opportunity to sell or be staffed on a show, it’s incredibly important to understand the changing landscape and know the best ways to operate within it. Having a clear sense of how executives at streamers think and what they’re looking for will give you a distinct advantage in adjusting your script to pique their interest or in presenting yourself more effectively to sell your show or get staffed on one of their growing number of series. Spencer Robinson is a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment who's been in the industry for over twenty years. His clients have been in films with directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski and more. In the TV world, his clients have been regular cast members on shows for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, and TBS, to name a few. His writing clients work in both features and television on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms. He currently has a client writing on two Netflix series, and another client who just sold a show to Amazon. He also reps a writer who currently has a project at Aggregate Films, which has a deal at Netflix. Spencer will use his extensive experience working with writers and selling their shows to streamers to share some of the do’s and don’ts of writing a drama pilot for streaming television and outline how to tailor your script to make the best impression with the executives at these platforms. He will do this by first laying out how the streaming platforms differ from one another and what exactly they're looking for. Not all streaming platforms are created equal and it's imperative you know the difference. From there, Spencer will dive into script structure and formatting, specifically analyzing what you should be considering before you write your pilot. Next, he will tackle staffing and sales, so no matter what your goal whether to be in a writer's room or selling your pilot, you have all the information you need to position yourself correctly and with the best chance of success. Spencer will even get into the difference between streaming platforms and broadcast networks so you can determine where your material might be a best fit. Expect to leave this class with a comprehensive understanding of the shifting industry of streaming television and a toolkit to better excel within it. Like what you heard from Spencer during this webcast? Send your script to Spencer and speak with him for an hour by clicking here. Praise for Spencer's Stage 32 webinar: Spencer was awesome! Super informative and detail driven - providing great insights. Packed so much into a short amount of time which I'm super grateful for! -Eric C. Spencer Robinson has high energy and packs a ton of information in his lecture. Most importantly Spencer gives realistic advice while encouraging writers to move forward fully informed of the terrain. -Oweeda N. Spencer opened my eyes to how the TV world works with broadcast and streaming. What a great crash course! -Ricki L. "Very enlightening. Gave a realistic view of how difficult it is to get a pilot made but was just inspiring enough to give hope. :)" -Clive M.
Find out what it takes to get into the elusive Television Writing Fellowships from ABC-Disney, NBC, Warner Bros., and more from the Vice President and Head of Warner Bros. Television Workshop! Writing fellowships are a proven way to break into the entertainment industry. These writing fellowships (hosted by NBC, Paramount, ABC-Disney, WB, and others) train you to work in TV writers' rooms and eventually run your own show. But what are these programs looking for? How can you stand out? What mistakes should you avoid? In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, you’ll go behind the scenes and find out how to get into one of these elite TV writing fellowships directly from the Vice President and Head of Warner Bros. Television Workshop, Rebecca Windsor. In addition to her work with the WBTV Workshop, Rebecca launched the Warner Bros. digital brand Stage 13, where she oversaw SPECIAL, which premiered on Netflix and garnered four Emmy Nominations. Previously, she was the Creative Producing Initiative Manager of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program. She was pivotal in coordinating the Screenwriters and Directors Labs, Episodic Story Lab, and the Creative Producing Lab and Summit. There is a lot of misinformation and confusion surrounding what it takes to get into these fellowships, but Rebecca will provide accurate insight based on her many years of experience working in this arena. She’ll take you through what you need in your portfolio to apply, how to choose what to write, what makes a great personal statement stand out, the selection process, how to nail your interview, and more. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn directly from someone who has significantly shaped the fellowship process and knows what you need to stand out from the crowd in your application! Praise for Rebecca's Stage 32 Next Level Webinar: Rebecca was fantastic and her advice was so helpful. She obviously knows this topic well and was able to provide meaningful instruction. - MacKenna V. Great insight on details involved in compiling and completing applications and how to be prepared. - Angelique W. It was awesome and informative. Rebecca is so incredibly knowledgeable about this industry and really chisels away at script structure. Great learning from her! - Greg P.
Learn directly from leading creative executive at Mandalay Pictures, Patrick Raymond! Every screenwriter has a goal they set out to accomplish. The mark of a great screenplay usually depends on whether or not this goal was achieved. Aside from being a visually arresting film, 'Ex Machina' stands apart as one of the great recent screenplays and finds its success in bringing forth engaging ideas, strong characterization and lofty goals. What is it about this intriguing and unsettling piece that resonates with audiences across the globe? What makes this ambitious screenplay cinematic as opposed to something we can watch on television or other formats? We are going to dig deep into the pages to identify the mechanisms and components that are utilized by Writer/Director Alex Garland the really bring the pages to life. I'm excited to take this journey with you and look forward to our discussion.
Your pitch deck is the most important tool in your initial stage of obtaining financing for your script. A pitch deck is also used as an aid to attaching an actor or director you are interested in. As a tool, your deck is the first impression of your film condensed so the investor can become familiar with your project and determine if this is an opportunity for them. To close the deal or at least garner meaningful consideration and interest, your pitch deck has to stand out. It has to not only tell the story of your project, why it should be attractive to talent, and what the true potential audience may be, but, most importantly, it needs to show a true and realistic path to profitability. And this is where so many decks fail. Sure, you want to paint a rosy picture with your investor pitch deck. But here's the thing, most investors who have put money into films before know BS from reality. They will know if you are overshooting your estimates (an extremely common tactic), whether your film comps are ridiculous (they almost always are) and if you're exaggerating who your potential audience will be (nearly always the case). A great investor pitch deck is filled with equal parts optimism and reality. Sure, every investor wants to dream of unbelievable riches and success, but what truly makes them open their wallets is believing in the team, the project, and being presented a realistic worldview as to the potential return on their investment. Michelle Alexandria knows a thing or two about raising money. As a producer and Head of International Sales and Acquisitions for Glasshouse Distribution, Michelle has raised or assisted in raising funds for dozens of films and other projects. She has personally worked on 25 feature films $6MM and under and 3 television projects in various capacities including producing, line producing and executive producing. Michelle has spoken on the topic of raising financing at the Cannes Producers Network and other prominent film festivals and markets including MipCom, Berlin, Buenos Aires, UniFrance, Sundance, and AFM. Michelle will teach you how to create an investor pitch deck that doesn't have that same dusty feeling of so many decks and which fits the current climate of raising funds. She will show you what elements truly matter for an investor and which you can leave out of your deck entirely. She will discuss the value (or lack thereof) of artwork and posters. Additionally, she'll dive into loglines and synopsis to assure that you are giving your potential investors the true vision of the project. She will teach you how to put together a realistic cast list and film comps. She will discuss budgets, scheduling and how to incorporate those elements into your deck. She will talk to you about putting together the right team and how those team members can send the right or wrong signal. Michelle's knowledge is extensive and her advice actionable, and now she's here to deliver the goods exclusively in this Stage 32 on-demand webinar. As an added bonus, Michelle will share examples of pitches decks that have helped secure millions in financing! PRAISE FOR MICHELLE'S TEACHINGS: "Clear, concise, and brilliant." - Mario D. "No BS, straight to the point information. Loved every second." - Patricia H. "I have a deck for my film. It's going in the garbage. I will be starting over tomorrow with this wealth of information flowing in my head. Remarkable job, Michelle!" - Phil M. "Sure, everyone wants Leo or George in their films. Sure, everyone thinks their film is the next My Big Fat Greek Wedding or some other independent blockbuster. Sure, everyone believes that they have THE idea that is going to get them the money. Michelle just gave me the map as to HOW to get the money by being REAL. I can't wait to get started and to bounce ideas off my team. This was so much fun. Thank you!" - Denise P.