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 Next Level Webinars 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
"There's nothing like learning at the feet of an expert in their field. I was inspired from the beginning to the end!"
"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.
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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.
Payments plans available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. 4 of 10 Spots Remain It's hard enough to break an original story on your own, but how do the professionals do it as a group on an idea they didn't create? Working in a writers' room is the dream for many, but once you're in, the work is just beginning. This webinar shows you exactly how a writers' room operates by putting you in a mock room to try and create an episode from scratch as a team. Do you wonder what it's really like to work in a writers' room? When should you speak up versus listen? What are the different roles in a writers' room? Whether you want to write one-hour procedural or serialized television, the ability to write a close-ended episodic is an incredible skill that will benefit you throughout your career. It can be intimidating to enter a writers' room, and you want to have some knowledge to enter confidently. That's where Kate Sargeant and her exclusive Stage 32 course have you covered. In this eight-week course, you'll work with the instructor and a handful of similarly ambitious and creative writers to break an episode of the network procedural CASTLE, including the A, B, and C-story, using a virtual whiteboard. You'll work step-by-step through the process for the most in-depth experience as you work from pitch through a draft as a group together, pitching ideas and learning to communicate with one another. This format gives you invaluable direct, practical, and real-world experience to assist your long-term television career. Running your mock writers' room is professional screenwriter Kate Sargeant, who has staffed in numerous rooms, including CASTLE, CSI CYBER, NCIS NOLA, BLINDSPOT, and more. She's also directed the short films CHANGING LANES, FACING LIFE, and YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON THE INTERNET, as well as the streaming series VIRTUALLY SINGLE. You'll have access to Kate during the eight weeks in class and outside of class via email for any questions you may have. You'll also have the opportunity to develop a genuine working relationship with your classmates, networking with writers with similar goals to your own that can extend beyond class time. "Working with Kate was unlike any other! She's so fun and personable and gives the best advice." - Noella J.
If you've watched Netflix regularly, you are familiar with their top 10 list - and if you watched Netflix in the past few months, you've more than likely noticed that kids TV content like COCOMELON, CARMEN SANDIEGO and HENRY DANGER consistently dominate the platform. The truth is there's never been a better time to get involved in kids' TV, especially since networks and streamers are actively looking for new content. Yet in order to write successfully in this space or find success with your own show, you have to know who you are writing for in order to do it well. When writing for kids, you need to be just as knowledgeable and intentional on your approach as you would with any other audience. Just like adults, there are certain aspects to master on how to craft a good and engaging story that younger audiences will latch on to. When writing for kids, you may feel limited in the elements you can include in the story. However, it’s important to remember that when you are writing for kids, you are really writing for a family experience. Kids often watch television with their parents, therefore, it is important to get an understanding of how to write engaging stories that will appeal to all viewers. In order to do this, you need to know what kids are looking for, and how your story aligns with the market’s demand. You not only need to have a compelling story that connects but the tools to pitch and sell your story to producers to get them interested in bringing your project to life. We have the tools and strategies to help you venture across this bridge. Kirill Baru is a sitcom writer and executive producer who’s staffed on and sold a variety of live-action and animated comedy shows and has written in the adult space, where he’s produced series like Freeform’s BABY DADDY and the critically acclaimed animated show DAN VS. on the HUB. He’s also written and produced several series in the kids space, from Disney’s SYDNEY TO THE MAX to Cartoon Network’s MAD: THE ANIMATED SERIES. When Kirill isn’t staffing on shows, he’s developing projects with networks such as Disney and Netflix. He attributes his career to writing comedy that finds a way to have a lot of edge without ever losing any of its heart. Kirill will provide you with a wealth of knowledge and resources on how to successfully craft your TV series for Kids. Kirill will give you an overview of Kids Comedy series and where your series fits in today’s market and discuss some unforeseen obstacles you may face. He will also give you tips on writing for Kids TV such as what kids are drawn to, how not to talk down to them, the difference between Nickelodeon and Disney, how to use POV to your advantage and much more. In addition, Kirill will also teach important aspects of pitching and selling your Kids TV - what makes it different from pitching adult TV, how to create something that kids have never seen before but that is familiar, and the power of co-viewing. Once you have completed this webinar, you will feel much more confident about writing and packaging your Kids TV series and making it market ready. Kirill will walk you through the pitch document he created for his show EAGLETON ESTATES that he successfully sold to Netflix Kids and provide you with homework of what your next steps should be to sell your own project.
A New Exclusive Webinar! Learn how to package and submit your film to festivals, taught by an Oscar-qualifying festivals programmer. If you’re looking to produce and sell your own feature or short film project, film festivals will be crucial to your success. Countless filmmakers have launched successful films and careers using film festivals, such as Ryan Coogler, Quentin Tarantino, Catherine Hardwicke, Lulu Wang, Barry Jenkins, Robert Rodriguez, Wes Anderson, Chloé Zhao, and many more. For you to have the same shot at success as these renowned filmmakers, you’ll need a strong strategy for your project. And in this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, we’ll show you how. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to prepare, package, and submit your film to the gatekeepers of the film festival circuit. This process is just as vital as the final cut of your film, and it should be your priority to market yourself and your project correctly across the festival submission landscape. By demystifying this process, you’ll be able to define your goals and be prepared for the best possible outcome when you go out to festivals. Taking you behind the curtain of the festival circuit is Greg Sorvig, who leads the artistic vision and film programming department for Heartland Film and its Academy Award-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and Heartland International Film Festival events. In his role, Greg serves as the organization’s liaison with major studios, producers, and filmmakers. He is also the Senior Associate Programmer for the Tribeca Festival Shorts team. Greg regularly serves as an international film festival juror, industry panelist, and mentor for top 20 film schools, including USC and DePaul University. Greg’s many roles give him an insider perspective on what films get into festivals and why, as well as why certain films are more successful than others. And it is this insider knowledge that Greg is providing you with as you build your festival strategy. Greg will show you where and how to submit, how to avoid scams, how to know your project is ready, how to package it, how to budget and understand festival timelines, and so much more. Plus, for those who join Greg for the live stream of this webinar, you’ll be able to ask Greg any questions about festivals and your project. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn from Greg, develop your film festival strategy, and take control of your project’s future. PRAISE FOR GREG'S EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE: “It came as a big, pleasant surprise that MTV Documentary Films acquired ‘76 Days’ during the Heartland International Film Festival. Even in our challenging time of COVID-19, film festivals are continuing to play a crucial role in supporting independent films and filmmakers,” said Hao Wu. “I’m extremely grateful to Artistic Director Greg Sorvig and the Heartland International Film Festival team for having made this acquisition possible.” -- Hao Wu, Director 76 Days (Emmy Winner, Oscar Shortlist) “Greg and the team know how to not only run a slick and professional festival, but also be openly available to chat to and relax with as well. We cannot recommend this festival enough - it's got the charm, the know-how and the open arms of everything a filmmaker needs from a festival.” -- Katie McCullough, Founder of Festival Formula, Ltd.
"Lisa is honest, raw with truth and very real with her knowledge. I appreciated how candid she was with the entire documentary filmmaking process. She was so incredibly detailed in each and every section. This was by far a master class on documentary filmmaking. Thank you Stage 32 and Lisa." - Tiffany F. Learn the steps you need to make a successful documentary hosted by Lisa Vangellow, Executive Producer of DISNEY +'s recent documentary World War Shoe produced with David Beckham. It's a great time to be a documentary filmmaker. The biggest distributors are hungry for documentary material to fill the pipeline. So what the principles that make a good idea for a documentary into a great finished product? How do successful documentarians create their films from start to finish? What are traps along the way you can avoid? And how do you ultimately get your film watched? In addition to her work with Disney +, Lisa Vangellow is an independent producer and director who has a project with actor James Franco. Lisa was previously Vice President of Development and Production at Arsenal, where she worked on projects including Push, Che: Part 2, and Let Me In. Over the course of three sessions, Lisa will offer her experience from the trenches to help filmmakers master the nuts and bolts of documentary film production and share step by step instruction on how you can produce a commercially viable film from idea to post-production. First, she’ll focus on the selection of subject matter and how to gauge its commercial viability. Lisa will take you through pre-production for a documentary film hitting on areas such as how to create a budget, hire your crew, get financing and explaining why you may want a lawyer to handle the nitty gritty. From there you’ll get an overview of different documentary styles and insight on how to create your story through the use of specific examples. Finally, Lisa will explain how to survive the post-production of your film to bring the entire project together and discuss your options for distribution. You will leave with an overall understanding of the documentary filmmaking process, an idea of what makes a good documentary, and how to execute these lessons in the real world. Even if you have little to no experience or if you have narrative film experience and are looking to try documentaries, Lisa will guide you towards the goal of completing a documentary film. PLUS! YOU WILL RECEIVE THESE DOWNLOADS: Budget Template Notice of Filming Template Documentarian Ethical Truths Guide Film Funds Resources
A NEW EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR Learn How To Improve, Fix and Perfect Your Film In The Edit Room From An Award-Winning Editor Real-world case studies of visual and audio materials examples will be referenced and used by Won! No matter how well your shoot goes, there’s a high probability that when you go to piece the footage together in the edit room, you’ll find yourself wishing you had gotten more takes, more angles, another line read, and simply more elements than what you have. But there is usually no way to go back and reshoot what you now feel you need. This is a where it becomes vital to have an editor who knows how to work with the footage you have, and employ the many tricks of the trade at their fingertips, to edit together the great story you want to tell. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you’ll learn why the phrase “fix it in post” is commonly used in Hollywood as you learn editing tricks, visual hacks, and simple effects that can solve numerous problems in post-production. The edit room is a new chance to perfect your story so in this essential webinar you’ll also cover how use these techniques to strengthen the overall story as you and your editor take on the role of post-production “writer,” “translator,” and “technician” while editing your project. Taking you through these need-to-know editing tips and tricks is Won Novalis. With 15 years of experience in screenwriting and editing in feature films, commercials, and short form, the awarding-winning editor leads his team at the production company, Cry, to deliver the quality polish of a big post-house at a fraction of the cost. He’s worked with numerous major companies, including commercial clients GE and United Way. Won is a fast-paced, meticulous editor who envisions the end goal and uses feeling and intuition to craft stories to their final stage. Whether you’re an editor looking to improve your craft or you’re a filmmaker looking for solutions for your project, you'll leave this webinar armed with many tricks of the trade that you can start implementing today. PRAISE FOR WON'S PREVIOUS STAGE 32 EDUCATION: "I've cried so many times over long editing days. Novalis is so smart and passionate, and gives the best feedback on edits that I know I'll never have those same issues again!" -Jack K.
Learn how to protect your content online directly from Jaia Thomas, an Entertainment Attorney who specializes in federal copyright registration and licensing as well as film financing, production and distribution! Content creators are increasingly relying on digital and social media platforms to build their brand. Whether you’re a screenwriter, an actor, comedian, or anything, creating content for platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, TikTok, and Instagram can be a powerful way to be discovered, find fans, and give yourself the chance for bigger opportunities. Yet despite the positives, the internet isn’t exactly the safest place, and having your work stolen or plagiarized is unfortunately far too common. Keeping your content protected on online platforms can be complicated but if you put your own work online, it’s crucial you first understand how to best legally protect yourself. Just because your work is posted and widely accessible on platforms like Twitter or Instagram doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to have it protected. The internet can be tricky, but it’s not the wild west it once was. Understanding how to be safe and what happens to your ideas when they’re posted can make all the difference. For instance are your YouTube videos protected under the U.S. Copyright Act? Who owns your tweet or snap? And what steps can you take from the outset to dissuade people from stealing your work? Better understanding the legal side of this world and being aware of the steps you can (and should) take is incredibly important if you’re interested in building your online presence and putting your own ideas out there for everyone to see. Jaia Thomas is an entertainment attorney with over ten years of legal experience who has brokered deals with companies like ABC, NBC, HBO, and Bravo and has been quoted as a legal expert in such publications as The New York Times, USA Today and ESPN. Jaia regularly assists clients with transactional and intellectual property matters and counsels filmmakers and producers on all aspects of film financing, production and distribution. She also regularly assists content creators with federal copyright registration and licensing and has had several works published in the American Bar Association, National Bar Association and multiple law journals. Through her many years specializing in federal copyright registration and licensing, Jaia has become an expert on how creators can keep their work safe, and is going to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Jaia will equip you with the tools necessary to protect your work and ideas in an increasingly online world. She will first outline the copyright registration process and how it applies to online content She’ll even go through step-by-step how to get your online work registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Next she will delve into specific online sites and platforms, discuss their terms and conditions and give you tips on how to protect your work on each. This includes YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Faceboook. Jaia will discuss legal issues surrounding the ownership of social media posts. She will also highlight recent infringement lawsuits in the entertainment industry surrounding content being shared on social media platforms. Lastly, Jaia will discuss the requisite steps necessary to remove infringing material from the web.