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 usually 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.
"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.
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.
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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.
It seems like every day another film festival launches or expands. Specialty festivals are becoming all the rage and major, established festivals have been expanding to accept shorts, digital shorts, documentaries, television pilots, specialty genre content and content focused on diversity. With the market growing, so are the number of submissions to any given festival, especially those which are producing results for the connections of the accepted films. You want to make sure your screenplay is on point, that the story is a fit for the style of the festival you are entering and that the film grabs a judge's attention from the get go. Part of assuring you have a festival darling film is understanding the festival landscape, knowing the right players and making connections that assure your film is being viewed by the decision makers. But this all starts, as it always does, with the script. A majority of screenwriters do not write big budget tentpole blockbusters. They tell more intimate, character driven stories. And these are the kind of stories that most festivals adore. But why do some of these scripts attract financing, producers, and, ultimately, the attention of festival directors while others fall through the cracks? As a writer and/or producer, how can you identify the aspects of your screenplay that might be killing your chances of festival success and fix them before filming begins? And how can filmmakers and producers assure, even if they have a winning film based on a fantastic script in place, that they are entering the right festivals and navigating the circuit correctly? There is a chemistry to all of it. A mixture of the creative and the business side of things. It's imperative that you have an understanding of both. Maren Olson has represented domestic and/or worldwide distribution rights to over 70 finished films, including Academy Award winner The Secret in Their Eyes, festival favorites such as An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Natural Selection and Red Flag, and Sundance Audience Award winners This is Martin Bonner, Valley of Saints and Kinyarwanda. As a producer, she was responsible for critically lauded Short Term 12, which premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. The film went on to win 19 other awards including the Gotham Award for Best Actress and Independent Spirit Award for Best Editing. Maren currently works in the film finance division of CAA, and was formerly the President of Traction Media, where she was responsible for the creative development, packaging, production, financing and sale of independent films. To say she understands all the ins and outs of the festival circuit, what festivals look for and how they operate would be a massive understatement. Maren will teach you what kind of independent film project goes on to become a “Festival Darling” and what you can do to better position your independent film for festival success, from script to screen. She will deconstruct both the writing stage- from the major components of a festival-friendly story idea, to what to consider regarding location and characters, all the way to how to incorporate thinking about the budget when writing your script- as well as the production stage – from how to make sure your film gets properly considered by the right people, to which festivals you should submit to and when, all the way to the common ways festival friendly scripts turn into a film that no festival wants to play. She will teach you the 3 components of a festival-friendly story idea and why you must answer yes to each. She will talk budget, shooting locations and when the proper time is to bring on a producer. She will explain the mistakes people make and demystify the myths people believe when navigating the festival circuit. She will go over common pitfalls screenwriters, filmmakers and producers make that can be fatal when submitting to festivals. Maren will give you the tools to get traction on your project. She will lay out, in clear, precise terms, how to assure your project is given the best opportunity to become a "Festival Darling." "Excellent - informative. Maren brought facts and experience to a very nuanced subject about "Film Festival Darlings - offering an extremely in-depth analysis to the elements of what a writer or producer should consider when moving forward in the Indie film world. My fav Stage 32 webinar so far. Thanks." - Robert G. "Fantastic seminar. Like a good filmmaker, you kept us engaged from opening to close. Thanks again!" - Bob B. "Maren had a lot of practical information and road trap warning for indies. I appreciated the components of a festival face, comps, and specific advice that is useful." - Betty S.
Learn directly from Producer Michael Wormser, whose online distribution projects have reached over 30 million viewers! Never has there been a more opportune time than now for filmmakers to directly reach a global audience. YouTube has not only provided the mechanics to do so, but also provides the bandwidth, platform, and global audience - all at the low low cost of FREE hundred dollars! Yes, that's right, FREE. Thousands of people across the world are using this platform to earn a living telling their stories, creating content based on their vision and their voice… Now it’s your turn to help carry your message to the masses. Many people create wonderful YouTube channels that go unseen. Stage 32 is here to help make sure that doesn't happen to you! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, your host Michael Wormser will teach you how you can harness YouTube to create your own network of content for your film and build a massive fan base. Michael will show you brick by brick how you can turn your film into tangible content, culminating that into a functioning channel, and ultimately helping you get to your target goals and have your film reach an audience of millions of viewers. Your host Michael Wormser operates Level 10 Films, a film and digital production company. Prior to that he served as Head of Production at Maker Studios, Executive Producer at BlackboxTV and recently partnered with YouTuber/Actor Joey Graceffa to produce the hit web series Storytellers, which has received over 6 Million views to date. Michael also produced the YouTube Movie Smiley, starring Shane Dawson and Toby Turner, that currently boasts over 30 Million trailer views, and the Hulu series Tease for Fox Television Studios.
One of the common complaints with scripts is on-the-nose writing. This month, we're challenging you to convey a series of emotions without using the actual words (or synonyms - no cheating!).
Learn how to make Instagram work for you - get in front of casting directors and make income as an influencer! Exclusive 3 HOUR ONLINE CLASS with Rachel Paulson It's no secret that one of social media's most visual mediums, Instagram, is where actors and casting directors hang out. Yet, with thousands of profiles in a casting director's scroll, how do you stand out? Instagram is a powerful tool for you as an actor, one, that if harnessed correctly, can land you in front of the right casting directors plus give you opportunities to earn extra income from brand deals. So, where do you even start to build your brand on social media and how do you leverage it to start getting seen by the right people and start making money while doing it? We can help you get there. Rachel Paulson has grown up in a family of Hollywood royalty. She and her sisters, Emmy-winner Sarah Paulson (AMERICAN CRIME STORY, OCEAN'S 8) and Liz Paulson (SVP of Casting for FOX) have worked together for decades to learn every aspect of acting and casting and how to put yourself in the best position to stand out and book the job. Over her career, Rachel has worked on both sides of acting - both as a casting director as well as talent. In addition, she has been certified in social media and how you can use it to put yourself in a position to win. She is currently making a living through her social media endorsement deals and is the star of the Go Magazine series DATING ZOE, the host of the video series Drink Responsibly with Rachel Paulson, and the co-host of the podcast Gay vs. Straight Bitches with One Tree Hill alum, Lindsey McKeon. She also stars as the lead in the LGBTQ drama film GOOD KISSER on Hulu. Rachel is working exclusively with the Stage 32 acting community to mentor you and help you learn how to use Instagram to help your career. You will have the opportunity to work in an intimate setting with Rachel in an extended 3 HOUR ONLINE CLASS. You will walk away from this class with all the tools you need to work the Instagram algorithms and get seen on Casting Director's feeds, PLUS you will learn how to work with brands to supplement your income as an actor. Volunteers will be given sides and information on a product and Rachel will help coach you on how to secure a deal with the brand. Whether you’re new to acting and looking for your foot in the door, or an experienced actor who has had trouble navigating social media and building an online presence, Rachel will give you the tools and strategies you’ve been looking for and an avenue for finding acting opportunities you might have not even considered before. "I have been in the industry for over ten years, I’ve worked as an actor in commercials, as a casting director and run sessions. I have also worked IN social media, running the pages of several brands. I have started to realize why brands and companies are heading towards social media for all the new advertising tools, and what that means for you as actors." -Rachel Paulson
Learn directly from Heather Hale, an Independent Film and Television Producer, Director and Screenwriter! The entertainment industry is changing dramatically all over the globe. Now, more than ever, there are major opportunities for people who work behind the scenes on set on all types of crew positions. Below-the-line positions are crucial to the success of any film or television. This includes everything from camera operators to gaffers, craft services to costume designers, composers to editors, production assistants to script supervisors – and everything in between! No matter where you live or where you are at in your career, this webinar will help you strategize how to find the best opportunities and points of entry for you to break into the crew business; shift horizontally into new locales or formats; or move up laterally into the higher echelons of professional caliber, marquis value and budgets. Discover an empowered approach to networking to help you get on the right people’s radars, get noticed, gain momentum - and get hired. Learn time-proven techniques and new resources to proactively brainstorm where the opportunities of the moment – and future - might be, who’s doing the hiring – and trace any connections you might have to the decision makers or key players. Learn how to identify, research and prioritize a finely honed hit list of Producers Line Producers, Department Heads, Directors and Below-the-Line Agents who might be accessible to you. Figure out how to track them down, strategize the best approaches to communicate with them and how to develop the kind of track record, resume and interview skills they would most likely respond to. Learn the key words you should be using in your profiles in the online communities that might be worth your time. Below-the-line team members are the lifeblood of any production and an exciting way to work in film and television. Heather uses in-the-trenches humor, candor and real world examples to illuminate the many paths to getting hired - again and again!
Theater closures brought on by the global pandemic are now leading exhibition and distribution communities to work together and think outside-the-box in order to preserve the arthouse theatrical landscape. Imagine a world without arthouse theaters. It’s a bleak concept for cinephiles and filmmakers alike. In a world where landing a traditional, theatrical commitment from a distributor is like winning the golden cup, what are our options when none of those theaters are open? More so, how do we keep independent theaters, already operating on thin margins, alive to fight another day and provide filmmakers, producers and financiers viable options to make profits on their films? Thankfully, there's a new an exciting option to explore. Navigating a successful theatrical release is an enormous challenge, in and of itself, when exhibition is operating normally. Add in a global pandemic and those challenges rise even higher. What are the options? Does your distributor simply claim force majeure and rush you into the home entertainment landscape? Will the home entertainment revenues be hurt by the lack of theatrical exposure? How do theaters survive and make money when they can’t have patrons at their physical locations? In times of crisis, it’s always impressive to see innovation born of necessity. Behold the birth of the "virtual theatrical" release, which has emerged and become a key player in these virtual times. But what is that exactly? How does it work? Can you make money and are other digital platforms willing to accept theaters playing in their sandbox? It’s the new Wild West. Kristin Harris is a seasoned entertainment executive who has spent the past 15 years in the independent distribution space. She has held key acquisition, development, and production roles at Starz Media, Overture Films, and Cinedigm Entertainment Group. Kristin currently serves as VP, Distribution and Acquisitions at Good Deed Entertainment, where she oversees all aspects of the company's distribution arm and manages the release slate, which includes EXTRA ORDINARY, JOURNEY’S END, Spirit Award Nominee, TO DUST, and the Academy Award nominated, LOVING VINCENT. Kristin has been at the forefront of this emerging distribution option "virtual theatrical" and will bring her experience to the Stage 32 community for you to understand what it is, how you can make money for your film from it and if it's right for you. Kristin will go over the current theatrical distribution landscape which has been affected by the COVID19 pandemic and discuss current available options for your film's distribution. She will introduce a brand new type of distribution, virtual theatrical, and break down the players, how it works from a macro and micro level and how it makes money. She'll go over how to navigate this new reality and how virtual theatrical folds into traditional and non-traditional release plans, reporting and logistics. She'll go over the pros and cons of a virtual theatrical release and help you decide if it's the right thing for your film. She'll also discuss what the future holds for distribution and buying habits in the current environment. These are challenging, yet exciting times for the industry and especially for those working in independent film. Kristin will give you all the current information and guide you through all scenarios including virtual theatrical to assure that your film has the best chance at profitability. Praise for Kristin's Stage 32 Webinar "Very informative and have learned a great deal. Will definitely put to use for our Feature Film Projects. Thank you!" -Haskell A. "The webinar was cutting edge and valuable information" -Angela G. "Very good practical information detailed enough to get the lay of the land on this topic." -James P. "Great info in a new age." -Mary M.