Christopher Lockhart is Hollywood’s foremost story professional. As Story Editor at WME, the world's largest diversified talent agency, Chris curates projects for A-list actors such as Denzel Washington, reading and exploring through piles of screenplays, magazines, books, old movies, TV shows, and pitches in search of potential film projects. Chris began his career at International Creative Management (ICM), where he worked as script consultant to legendary talent agent Ed Limato, who represented industry giants such as Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Michelle Pfeiffer, Liam Neeson, and Robert Downey, Jr. Chris later moved to the venerable William Morris Agency, which eventually merged with Endeavor to form WME. As an educator and consultant, Chris has lectured around the world on the craft and business of screenwriting, and he has advised on countless feature films. Chris graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in dramatic writing and was awarded the school's Public Service Prize for his dedication to public education. He is an adjunct professor at National University's Professional Screenwriting Program. He has also taught at LA Valley College and UCLA. His writing workshop The Inside Pitch was filmed for Los Angeles television, earning him an Emmy Award nomination. Chris's creative counsel has been used on many hit films such as the 2016 Sundance Film Festival sensation The Birth of a Nation. Chris crossed over into film producing with the cult horror hit The Collector (2009) and its sequel The Collection (2012), which opened in the top ten box-office. He also wrote and produced the award winning documentary Most Valuable Players (2010) which was acquired by OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), and that Matt Roush of TV Guide reviewed as the “Sleeper of the week...Charming and disarming…A genuine treat.” Chris has set up several other projects, including A Rhinestone Alibi at Paramount, and Crooked Creek, a modern noir thriller. Chris is a member of the Writers Guild, the Producers Guild, and the Television Academy. He lives in Beverly Hills, CA and has a ten-year-old son. Full Bio »
Exclusive to Stage 32, Chris Lockhart, one of the most legendary and revered agency story editors in the business teaches for the community. Chris has read over 60,000 scripts in his career for WME and has the database to prove it!
A logline is the way your screenplay is introduced to the world. It’s rare that anyone will read your script without knowing something about it first. A-List Actors, producers, directors, managers, agents, financiers and development execs will often lean on hearing a logline before ever asking for or agreeing to read a screenplay. If your logline doesn't sing, the script doesn't get opened. Even more important, if the logline doesn't work, it's a signal to those who read screenplays for a living that the script probably doesn't either. Delving into a logline can help you identify problematic elements of a screenplay, enabling solutions to fix them.
Simply put, there is no one better to help teach this subject than Chris Lockhart. As Story Editor at William Morris Endeavor (WME), the world's largest diversified talent agency, Chris has curated projects for A-list actors such as Denzel Washington, Liam Neeson, Mel Gibson, Matt Damon, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, and countless others over the last 20+ years. He's accomplished this reading and exploring through piles of screenplays, magazines, books, old movies, TV shows, and pitches in search of potential film projects. If you've seen one of these actors in just about anything, chances are Chris was the first stop for the screenplay (of which he's read over 60,000), but only after he heard the logline and deemed it worth of a read!
Chris began his career at International Creative Management (ICM), where he worked as script consultant to legendary talent agent Ed Limato, who represented industry giants such as Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Michelle Pfeiffer, Liam Neeson, and Robert Downey, Jr. Chris later moved to the venerable William Morris Agency, which eventually merged with Endeavor to form WME. Chris is the Story Editor for A-list talent such as Denzel Washington, Michelle Williams, Richard Gere and more!
As an educator and consultant, Chris has lectured around the world on the craft and business of screenwriting, and he has advised on countless feature films. Chris graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in dramatic writing and was awarded the school's Public Service Prize for his dedication to public education. He is an adjunct professor at National University's Professional Screenwriting Program. He has also taught at LA Valley College and UCLA. His writing workshop The Inside Pitch was filmed for Los Angeles television, earning him an Emmy Award nomination. Chris's creative counsel has been used on hundreds of hit films Chris is a member of the Writers Guild, the Producers Guild, and the Television Academy.
In a jammed packed and often hilarious webinar (trust us, Chris is a character and a half), Chris will not only teach you how to write a logline, but how to tailor it in such a way that it is appealing to talent, representation and the money. He'll break down the mechanics of a logline to determine what makes one work. He'll show you what aspects A-List actors, directors, managers, agents, producers, financiers and development execs look for in a logline that makes them want to take the next step and read your script. Chris will then take you on a broader discussion of the elements of successful screenwriting and how your logline can betray what you've written or reveal the shortcomings in your script. As a bonus, Chris will then play a recording of an interactive logline pitch shop he recently held where he broke down several loglines to show what worked and what didn't. All this followed by a fun and informative Q&A filled with even more actionable information.
"Chris, without question, is not only one of my favorite people in the industry, but one of my favorite people on the planet. His knowledge of screenwriting is beyond compare and his ability to break down every aspect of the writing process beginning with the logline is something to behold. He's smart, engaging, and funny as hell. And he's right about everything...Just ask him!"
- Richard Botto, CEO (and screenwriter), Stage 32
"Amazing seminar loved it. It was the best I have ever watched or ordered!"
- Robert M.
"Chris was clear, concise, helpful, and focused. Loved his enthusiasm and humor."
- Lori H.
"Oh my god, I was laughing all the way through. In between writing about 10 pages of notes. SO much fun and a wealth of knowledge."
- Denise G.
"I went into this thinking it was going to be yet another of those dry logline classes. I was upended. This wasn't just the best thing ever regarding loglines, but the best screenwriting class I've ever taken."
- Robert S.
"Excellent! Very practical and useful!"
- Kathi W.
Chris speaking at the Seattle Film Summit with Sean from Broken Road Pictures, Josh Adler from Circle of Confusion and Kevin Parker from Artists First Management.
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.
Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.
Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer
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!
Chris was so bang on with his advice for crafting a logline. I redid my two most cumbersome ones within ten minutes after this webinar. In turn, that process has prompted a whole cascade of new scenes to fix everything within those screenplays! - Sarah G.
Chris was clear, concise, helpful, and focused. Loved his enthusiasm and humor. - Lori H.
Excellent webinar. Really helped with my logline. - Martin R.
Very informative. Clarified a lot of questions I've always had regarding loglines. Well worth the money. - Emmit R.
It was very informative and insightful. - Mays S.
You've put in months, maybe years of effort planning, raising funds and shooting your film. You're incredibly proud of your efforts. Now all that remains is getting the film seen and returning some profits to your investors. But what's the best path? Should you enter festivals? Hire a sales agent? Go for theatrical distribution? Attempt to navigate the streaming and VOD platforms? In short, how do you know what's the best route for your film in 2017? Deciding on how to monetize your project can be very complex. With so many options out there it’s sometimes hard to know what is important and what you can skip. This Stage 32 Next Level Webinar will be your one-stop crash course on how to navigate the marketplace! Your host Bradley Gallo, Chief Creative Officer at Amasia Entertainment (known for The Call, Fear, Inc., Mr. Right, Careful What You Wish For, and the award-winning indie The Road Within) will discuss what options are available for your project once it's complete and help you decide if VOD, theatrical, a festival circuit run or hybrid strategy is best for your film. After giving you the lowdown on options, Bradley will quickly discuss the benefits of each and provide you with a gameplan depending on the path you decide to pursue. Whether you’re selling the film yourself, looking for independent representatives to bring on board, or trying to get into a festival, it’s important to know the steps involved in selling a film, no matter your role in the filmmaking process. Indie films are getting produced and distributed every day! It’s time to learn how to take your film to the marketplace and show it to the world! Your host, Bradley has produced a wide variety of films independently, guided some through the festival markets and sold directly to distributors. He will share his knowledge and real-life experiences exclusively with the Stage 32 community! You will walk away with a sense of the marketplace of today including an overview of how to approach the festival circuit, who should/should not rep your film, how to deal with distributors, VOD vs theatrical and so much more!
This was by far the best webinar on pitch documents that I have experienced. I've seen others where they give certain advice that she warned not to do! - Tiffany C. This is the age of peak TV and you have an incredible, original idea for a show! You have it all planned out: the setting, the characters, what the show will be about... maybe you've even written the pilot script. Now it's time to pitch! Perhaps you have a meeting with a manager or a producer, or someone is already interested in your idea and has asked you to send some "pages." Or you've signed up for a Stage 32 pitch session with the perfect exec who's looking for a show just like yours. You will learn how to write a professional pitch document that can serve as the outline for your in-person pitch to a manager, producer or studio executive, or be sent after your meeting - using the template and requirements the big agencies and studios use. You will also learn how to translate that into a shorter version for Stage 32 pitch sessions, contests, or just to be able to briefly pitch your idea as you're networking. PLUS! Anna will include these handouts for you to download: Stranger Things Pitch Document New Girl Pitch Document New Girl Short Pitch Document Example Lookbook Example This was my first Stage32 webinar, and it exceeded my expectations, both in terms of quality (and quantity) of information and overall value. Anna was personable, knowledgeable, and organized. The slide deck was helpful, and her overall presentation hit all the key topics. Anna and Stage3 2 delivered the goods. - John R. What a thoughtful, thorough and inspiring webinar. It's clear that Anna Henry put an enormous amount of work into this presentation. Not only was the content there, but the structure was also superb. I feel educated and inspired to go back to my own work and do better than what I thought was my best. What could possibly be better than that! Thank you Anna for your genius and your generosity. - Crispin L. See more testimonials below!
Intellectual property (IP) has become a critical aspect in creating new content and selling projects within the film and television landscape. At this point it’s almost feels like a prerequisite for a project to be tied to some sort of pre-existing property before it’s picked up by a studio or network. Whether it’s a book, graphic novel, podcast, article, life rights, or anything else, IP can give executives the confidence they need to move forward with that next show or movie. After all, with IP, they have a working blueprint of how the finished product could look, they have a built-in audience with the fans of the original property, and they have something substantial to show talent, investors, and the higher-ups looking at the bottom line. This inclination towards IP can make it harder for you as a writer or filmmaker to sell a fully original project, but at the same time it can give you opportunities to better build, package, and sell your next project. If you can find and acquire exciting new IP, you’re going to have a distinct upper-hand in getting people to notice your project and are well on your way to it actually getting made. There’s no denying the value of IP in today’s industry, but navigating this world can take some finesse. If you’re not in the business of constantly tracking and consuming new books and media, it might be hard to come across that property that is perfectly suited to you. And even if you find that standout book or article, how do you get the rights to it in the first place? How can you get that original author to trust you? For the writers and filmmakers not interested in adapting existing material, creating your own IP could be an effective solution, but what does that even mean? Those who are understanding and embracing this new concept of creating your own IP have a major competitive advantage in selling their scripts right now. It’s high time you learn what you need to know about IP in today’s climate. Alex Creasia is a literary manager and producer at Pathfinder Media where he represents writers and directors around the globe, focusing on all formats of TV, film, books, podcasts and digital media. He has sold multiple properties for his clients based on all different types of IP to places like Netflix, Amazon, HBO, ABC, Freeform, Disney +, Marvel, MGM, Imagine Entertainment, AGBO, Facebook Watch, Snap, and more. Alex has become an innovator when it comes to sourcing and creating IP for scripts that big companies want to buy. Alex will teach you all the ins and outs of finding and obtaining intellectual property to position your next project for success. He will begin by giving a rundown of what IP is and the three typical types seen in entertainment. He’ll then provide you with specific and helpful tips to find available IP that’s right for you and what to do if it turns out the property you’re after is unavailable. He’ll then discuss idea of creating your own IP in order to better sell your story as a film or series and how to enhance your IP by finding it a following in order to give it more clout and notice. Finally Alex will delve into the world of life rights and the different ways you can get permission to tell a real person’s story.You will have plenty of fresh, modern and unique IP options to make your project more marketable in today’s climate. Praise for Alex's Webinar "Informative! A good presentation!" -Susan D. "This gave me so many ideas of how to get my current project noticed" -Regina G. "Alex made something I always thought of as scary and impossible feel easy and achievable. I'm so glad I saw this" -Jeff E. "I feel totally inspired to find my own IP now. Thanks, Alex!" -Jose G.
In an industry built on storytelling there’s nothing more valuable than ideas. A good idea or good story can take you far in Hollywood, but it also makes you vulnerable. From Avatar to Empire, hundreds of films and television shows have been faced with infringement and idea theft lawsuits over the years. While the film and television industry can be an exciting and supportive place, this is not always the case and it’s more common than it should be for writers’ ideas or stories to be stolen. Without the proper protection and forethought, this can leave creatives at risk. As the saying goes, it’s a jungle out there, and the risk of having your ideas stolen is unfortunately always a possibility, as is the possibility of being accused of doing this yourself. It’s important to always be vigilant and aware of these dangers. Yet this does not mean it’s open season on creators. Whether you’re concerned about having your idea stolen or facing lawsuits of your own, there are important steps you must take to ensure you and your intellectual property remain protected. There will always be a risk of being taken advantage of, but better understanding the dangers as well as how to protect and copyright your work will put you in a much safer and more secure position. 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 projects safe, and is ready to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Drawing from her many years of legal experience successfully assisting filmmakers with transactional and intellectual property matters Jaia will provide you with all the legal tools necessary to protect any and every type of script and screenplay. She will begin by discussing copyright registration. She’ll explain how to register a script with the US copyright office and explain the legal advantages of doing this. She’ll also debunk common misconceptions such as the “Poor Man’s Copyright”. Next she will explain what goes into Writers Guild registration. She’ll outline how to register a script, idea or outline with the Guild and explain the legal advantages and disadvantages of doing so. She’ll also delve into the key distinctions between registering with the US Copyright Office and Writers Guild. Jaia will then go over idea protection and theft. She’ll teach you how to protect a television show or reality show in its idea form and will outline the legal requirements for filing an idea theft claim in New York and California. She’ll even go through a case study of the seminal idea theft court case Desny V. Wilder from 1956. Finally Jaia will provide you with additional precautionary measures you can take in protecting yourself, including mobile apps, digital watermarks, confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements. Expect to leave knowing exactly how to protect your current and future ideas, scripts and projects. Praise for Jaia's Stage 32 Webinar "Highly informative. Thank you Jaia Thomas!" -Patrick D. "Great webinar with invaluable tips and advice. Great presentation and presenter. Very pleased and satisfied." -Robert F
It's an undeniable fact that we're in a gold rush of television content. Last year, over 500 television shows were produced and a thousand more were shot either as pilots or proof of concept. This means the need for accountants and those who can work with television budgets, incentives, payroll and other facets associated with the accounting of a television project is higher than ever. This also means that many backroom people who have worked for years on feature films are making the jump to the television side. But, between the two mediums, the work is varied and seemingly changing by the day. Being an accountant for television requires a knowhow of the entire landscape. Between networks, premium cable and the streaming platforms, every deal has its own parameters and variables that need to be fully absorbed and understood. Whether it's working with a variety of different unions and dealing with fringes or simply deciphering and interpreting the every growing and wide ranging array of incentives available globally, you must be on top of everything happening at the moment to assure that the back end of the project runs smoothly, efficiently, and with no fiscal catastrophes. Jonathan Siebel is the Director of Budgeting & Estimation for Paramount Network. Prior to joining Paramount Network and working on their slate of television projects, he also worked in budgeting and accounting on Berlin Station, produced by Anonymous Content on Epix, and on The Unknown starring Dominic Monaghan for Crackle. He began his career working in accounting on major studio films such as Bridesmaids, Django Unchained, Thor and more. In addition to working on the studio level, Jonathan also works in the independent space, having written, directed and crowdfunded his own independent film BREAK THE WILL. He's worked on all types of projects small and large and is bringing his extensive knowledge to the Stage 32 community. With his vast and varied experience, we're thrilled to have Jonathan teaching this extremely important subject exclusively for Stage 32. While inside Movie Magic Budgeting software Jonathan will detail all the differences between a P&A and an AIO budget and show you which would be best for your project. He will teach you everything you need to know about globals, including setting up the schedule, rates, and pay hours to be used on all globals. He will define and explain fringes including state, federal and union fringes including IATSE, WGA, SAG and DGA. He will simplify and take away the anxiety of dealing with the wide world of incentives to make sure your paperwork is in line and that you're getting the best bang for your buck. Jonathan will make the complex easy and get you on the path to working consistently in television accounting and budgeting setup.
Learn directly from Mark Allan, who currently works in TV Talent development at one of the "Big Six" Hollywood agencies! He'll give you specific insider knowledge of the how to find agency representation if you're a foreign actor. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will learn how you can increase your chances of finding an agent as a foreign actor new to the U.S. market. Using his experience working in the talent department at one of the "Big Six" Hollywood agencies, Mark Allan will guide you through what it takes to secure representation if you're hoping to make the jump. First, he'll cover what you should currently be focused on before arriving in the U.S. and building your career. He'll examine why agents prefer talent that is already established elsewhere over new foreign unknown actors and how you can use your old representation to get U.S. agency attention. Mark also plans to give an overview of the visa process, including the challenges of doing it alone, getting a sponsor or hiring an attorney. Mark will then give you an overview of what to your agency will expect from you. He'll tackle the issue of working on improving your accent to appeal to wider audiences and why this is so important to your chances of securing representation. As well as how you can use your accent to your advantage and how the growing need for diversity can improve your chances as a foreign actor. You will walk away knowing how to approach building your career as a foreign actor seeking to establish yourself in the U.S. marketplace.