Over the last 15 years Rowan Woods has worked across almost every sector of the UK film industry, from development to journalism, via distribution, festivals, exhibition and a long stint at the BBC. She currently splits her time between the British Council, where she acts as the specialist liaison between the UK production sector and the international festival circuit, and the London Film Festival, where she programs episodic work and industry panels. She also works as a freelance development and acquisitions consultant, and is frequently found moderating industry panels and talent Q&As, including for BFI, BAFTA, IFFR and SXSW. Full Bio »
The UK has a booming screen sector with world-class production facilities that have recently been home to film and TV behemoths like STAR WARS, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and GAME OF THRONES, as well as a thriving independent sector that has supported filmmakers like Steve McQueen, Andrea Arnold, Ken Loach, Joanna Hogg, Clio Barnard, Mike Leigh and Lynne Ramsay.
The UK and US industries are closely aligned due to a common language, frequent co-productions and an increasing cross-pollination of talent. But what sets the UK market apart from its US counterpart is a strong public funding system, which supports the independent sector and nurtures new talent. So how do you access this support and what kind of projects are eligible? And what about commercial financing options? How does TV fit into this? And what about Brexit and its impact on co-productions? Whether you’re a UK native or an international filmmaker, producer, it’s high time to gain a comprehensive understanding of the UK’s role in the global film and television industry. In many ways, with so many creatives focused on the American market, this is open yet unexplored territory that can be explored and mined for your gain.
Over the last 15 years Rowan Woods has worked across almost every sector of the UK film industry, from development to journalism, via distribution, festivals, exhibition and a long stint at the BBC. She currently splits her time between the British Council, where she acts as the specialist liaison between the UK production sector and the international festival circuit, and the London Film Festival, where she programs episodic work and industry panels. Over the years she has worked with BAFTA, BFI, EIFF, LSFF, BFI NETWORK, Curzon and Radio4. She also works as a freelance development and acquisitions consultant and is frequently found moderating industry panels and talent Q&As, including for BFI, BAFTA, IFFR and SXSW. Rowan’s work has given her a deep and comprehensive understanding of the UK film and television industry and is excited to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community.
Rowan will give you an in-depth overview of the UK sector, outlining the key players, the opportunities and challenges, and providing you with the knowledge and confidence to navigate it successfully. She’ll begin with a general introduction of the UK market including what makes it unique, key facts and figures you should know, and how to understand the overall structure. She’ll then teach you about their main sources of funding, both public and private, and how funding works with international co-productions. She’ll also discuss the funding opportunities available for new talent. Rowan will then outline the key film institutions of the area and what they do. She’ll then discuss the support structures in place for producers and will delve into the key players in the sales agent space and how to determine which sales agent is right for your project. Rowan will go over the key distributors in the region and what the exhibition landscape looks like in general. She will also talk about the role of online platforms today and how the UK box office operates. She will then discuss the role of critics in this ecosystem and the key critical voices. Rowan will teach you about the major film festivals in the UK and how to determine which is right for your project, whether your project is a feature, short, narrative, or documentary. She’ll also talk about good marketplaces and forums in the area. She’ll go over the most important people in the UK industry right now and will then delve into the landscape of UK television, including both public service broadcasting and streaming services and key TV production companies. Rowan will outline for you the key opportunities in the UK marketplace, as well as the key challenges that go along with them.
Praise for Rowan's Stage 32 Webinar:
"It was great information and an amazing overview of how the UK industry works. Thank you so much."
I was vague about how things get into production in the UK, but have a much better idea now. Between the seminar and the resources to fill in the gaps, I feel a lot more equipped.
I was very impressed by the comprehensive overview of the UK industry and how well Rowan presented it. I'd love to hear more from her in the future.
Comprehensive survey. Rowan knows her stuff, and has walked the walk. She is a confident and fluent presenter: she can talk the talk
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In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, your host Michael Poisson will teach you how to write a kick-ass comedy pilot that will get executives’ attention. This webinar is not only about how to properly execute writing a comedy pilot, but also about how to make it your strongest sample so that it can get noticed! You will leave the webinar knowing: The 3 most important things Producers/Execs look for in a pilot as they relate to concept, structure and voice. How to properly highlight your unique comedic voice and stuff your script with laughs. How to create a crisp 1-2 sentence pitch that will get executives excited about your idea. How to navigate the competitions and fellowships. How to think from a Producer/Manager/Executives POV and understand what they're looking for so you can apply it to your script. Michael Poisson is a former Director of Development who's worked for Ryan Reynolds TV production company DarkFire TV, Krysten Ritter's company Silent Machine and CAA and is now a writer on Netflix's Raising Dion. This background gives has given Michael a unique perspective for what kind of script stands out among the hordes on everyone’s “Weekend Read” lists and he is here exclusively with Stage 32 to share that knowledge with you. PRAISE FOR MICHAEL'S TEACHINGS: He was amazing -- professional, articulate and knew his subject inside-and-out! – Jan S. It was very obvious Michael knows [his stuff]. He was very organized and I feel like he answered many questions that I've had for years. Thank you so much. – Betty S. Michael was sensational; one of the few who can actually DO a webinar and keep an interest. Nice voice inflection and tone; no distracting "um's" and such. Great material; learned a ton! - Geno S. Very informative and in great detail and explanation, Michael. Time very well spent. – Jean B. Excellent seminar with relevant information. Great job. – Matthew M. I really found the examples [he] references on current programs and series very useful. The information was concise and allowed me to visualize my next steps. – Ashanti G. He was excellent! – Tina F. Good information, well thought out, organized and easy to follow. Many useful takeaways. Thanks Michael!! – Lesa B.
They say not to speak ill of the dead. What about when the dead speak ill of you? We challenged you to deftly write a 3 page scene conveying the nuances of character reactions to getting called out for being exactly who they are, but wish they weren't.
Instagram is, of course, a visual social media platform. As such, it's a perfect platform for all creatives to showcase their personalities, collaborative mindset, reels, screenplay ideas, storyboards and other media. But it's also a fantastic arena to showcase not only the brand of your work, but your personal brand. But many creatives are intimidated by Instagram. They are afraid of falling into the void or not having anything interesting to say. You have to break free from that mindset! You just may be leaving one of your most important tools in your creative arsenal in the shed. Whether you’re working on a story for film, TV, or digital, every storyteller must use the power of social media (including Stage 32!) to promote and share their work...and currently, one of the most powerful and impactful platforms to do so is Instagram. From static posts, to video posts, to Instagram stories, to IGTV, Instagram allows you to show the scope and breadth of your creative vision, dreams, and strategies. Harnessed correctly and with the right approach, IG can bring instant and much desired attention to your portfolio. Brian Rodda knows everything there is to know about the IG game. He has vast experience in viral marketing and has worked passionately in YouTube Strategy and Social Media strategy since 2007. He is a proud member of Interactive Media Peer Group of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmys) and a founding member of an aggregator for WGA written web series. Brian has worked on promoting numerous notable digital series, including: Husbands (31,143 Subscribers, 2,145,151 views on Youtube) the web’s first marriage-equality comedy, Squaresville (31,401 Subscribers, 1,772,230 views on Youtube) and Whole Day Down ( Starring Willie Garson, Successful 40K+ Kickstarter campaign). Brian will teach you how you can quickly create and establish a personal brand on IG. He will force you to complete some truthful self-analysis to assure you know exactly how you want you and your work perceived on the platform. He will whack through the jungle of resources related to IG and show you the best of the best to not only take the intimidation and fear out of becoming a regular poster of your content, but also save you a ton of time. He will show you how to plan posts, what posts get the best engagement, and how to attract influential and desired people to your page. This is a full deep dive designed to give you maximum exposure for you and your work. PRAISE FOR BRIAN'S TEACHINGS: "I've always known the value of social media, but felt that it wasn't for me. This webinar not only removed my apprehension, but shattered my beliefs on what social media could do for me. I'm a true believer. I'm bringing my brand to the masses!" - Samantha T. "Excellent insight into a confusing world of digital. Bring Brian back!" - Michael S.
It's no secret that television is a red hot medium right now. Over the last few years, the average number of shows broadcast has been well over 500. With the advent of even more streaming options (HBO Now, Disney+, and more), some experts expect that number to double or even possibly triple over the next 2-4 years. That doesn't even account for the number of television projects that get sold or brought to pilot that never get picked up! In short, the amount of television pitches being greenlit in the room and the amount of television scripts being optioned and sold has never been higher. But, as is the case with just about anything, the bigger the gold rush, the more people seeking the gold. The content is one thing, how you pitch the content to networks, development execs, financiers, producers, managers, agents and other decision makers is quite another. Experienced professionals can spot an amateur pitcher within the first 30 seconds, if not sooner. You have to be able to stand out. And we're here to help you do just that. So, you have a great idea for a show, now what? How do you get it to the right people? What to do/how to present it to them? What most people don’t understand, is that once they’re in the door they need to think about the other side of the table. Who they’re pitching to, how many pitches that person reads/hears and how best to position themselves to stand out. Busy producers and executives get pitched all the time - honestly...All. Day. Long. Whether oral, written or Skype, you basically have 30 seconds or the first paragraph to keep them interested. And for both, the format matters! Don’t let your great idea fall on deaf ears or eyes! If you’re a writer or someone who works with writers, you need to know how to orchestrate a good pitch. Bret Slater has worked as a producer on such acclaimed shows as the multi Emmy nominated Boardwalk Empire and Ballers for HBO. Bret has worked alongside such talent as Steve Buscemi, Mark Whalberg, Russel Crowe, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Steven Levinson (Entourage), Catherine Zeta Jones, Ryan Phillippe and many more. Bret has been reading and listening to television pitches all day and just about every day since he broke into the business over a decade ago. He's seen every style, heard every idea, and knows as well as anyone what makes a television pitch a winner. Bret will teach you the entire landscape regarding pitching a television pilot or idea. In what is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of the pitching process, Bret will take you inside the mind of the pitchee, the person hearing the pitch. What are they looking for in the first 30 seconds? What are you portraying when you walk in the room? What details matter and which make the person you are pitching to zone out? How do you craft your pitch to producers, managers and agents? He will teach you the 3 basic, yet much overlooked, rules that must be in every pitch along with the #1 rule on how to deliver your pitch. Bret will break down written, oral and online/Skype pitches and the do's and don'ts for each. He will teach you how to open, and more importantly, close your pitch so that you leave the person or people you are pitching to wanting more. Bret will even show you the proper etiquette for following up after a pitch. Bret will provide all the tools that will help lift the anxiety and doubt of pitching for television and give you the confidence to deliver your pitch in a mannered, informed and professional way. PRAISE FOR BRET'S TEACHINGS: "Yet another winner from Stage 32." - Patricia C. "So much quality information. There were at least 3 things I was absolutely doing wrong with my approach when pitching. This clarified the mistakes I was making. Thank you, Bret." Marty T. "Having spent nearly 10 years in the feature world, I recently wrote a pilot and quickly realized the landscape is much different. My old tricks for pitching features didn't apply for TV. It's a different animal. Now I'm ready to get back on the attack." Milos S.
Many beginning filmmakers, even many accomplished ones, remain confused about “the market”, when it comes to short films. But the true question is not “Is there a market?” but rather “Is there a market for me, my film, in the short film world?” The answer is an unconditional “Yes.” Short films are more popular than ever. With more and more film festivals catering to short films, increasing outlets for distribution, and online platforms offering the promise of revenue sharing models, the appeal of making a short film is on the rise. But how do you market your short film? How do you increase your chances of not only being seen, but even making a return on a short film? The answers are out there, if you know the right questions to ask. David Paterson, is an accomplished writer, director, and producer of short films that have been seen in over 100 film festivals throughout the world. David knows that the "marketing" of your short begins well before FADE IN. And as an advisor to four major film festivals as well as performing as a juror on several short film contests, David is an expert at the most successful ways to market your short film. David will discuss not only the many marketable elements of a short film, but how you can develop and cater that film to best benefit you as a writer, filmmaker, or producer. He will show you how, by focusing on your talents and profession within the short film, you can maximize "the bang for your buck". Further, David will cover the holy grail that all filmmakers want to master: Distribution, Recognition and Monetization of their short film. None of these three objectives come without pitfalls. In comprehensive fashion, David will walk you through those pitfalls, how to avoid them, and put you on the road to recognizing and obtaining that perfect "market" for your short film. PRAISE FOR DAVID'S TEACHINGS: "I find the market for short films daunting. While I love the process of making a film, getting it seen and the idea of making money off of my work has always been a black hole for me. This information made me realize that I've been taking an "all or nothing" approach instead of a targeted one." - Maya V.