Catherine Keithley is the Vice President of Current and Development at Brian Graden Media. She produced Season 1 of INSTANT INFLUENCER with James Charles for YouTube Originals, Seasons 1 - 4 of ESCAPE THE NIGHT for YouTube Originals starring Joey Graceffa, the hour special also for YouTube Originals BAND TOGETHER WITH LOGIC and season 1 of MS. T'S MUSIC FACTORY for Lifetime. She's sold and developed a number of shows for BGM at various stages of development, casting, presentations, and pilots for networks like Lifetime, NBC, BET, POP, E!, Bravo, GSN, A&E, Fullscreen, & YouTube Originals. Before joining BGM in 2013 as the first development hire, Catherine was a Development Associate for Ellen Rakieten (Executive Producer for THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW) & Tom Forman (Executive Producer for EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION, THE GREAT FOOD TRUCK RACE & CATFISH: THE TV SHOW) at Ellen Rakieten Entertainment, a division of RELATIVITY TELEVISION (now Critical Content). During her time at Relativity, she helped develop shows like the Emmy Award winning, TRISHA'S SOUTHERN KITCHEN (Food Network), HOLLYWOOD GIRLS NIGHT (TV Guide), HIDEOUS HOUSES (A&E), TEEN TROUBLE (Lifetime), CELEBRITY DISH (Food Network) & PRETTY WICKED MOMS (Lifetime). Catherine started her career in talent management at The Collective Management Firm (now Studio71) in Beverly Hills. She was an executive assistant to a leading talent manager and handled day to day scheduling for clients like Michael Kenneth Williams, Margarita Levieva, Wilmer Valderrama, Eliza Dushku, June Diane Raphael, Cat Deeley, and Katherine Waterston. Catherine holds a B.A. in Cinematic Arts & Communication from the University of Southern California. Full Bio »
Unscripted (reality) television has burst onto cable and streaming platforms with a vengeance. In fact, reality seems to be everywhere these days with shows covering just about every subject imaginable. However, much has changed since the pioneers of reality TV came into people's living rooms (remember THE REAL WORLD and JOE MILLIONAIRE?). Gone are the days of simple formats allowing unfiltered access into the day to day lives of real people. Today, the networks and streamers are interested in shows providing a behind the curtain peak into all sorts of different subcultures. Mostly everyone can think of a time when they've thought "Wow, that would make a great reality TV" - But where do you start if you want to develop and pitch an unscripted show ?
The challenges in developing unscripted/reality shows are lengthy. Unscripted shows don’t have scripts or actors, and they deal with real people and the personal conflicts they deal with in navigating their work and personal lives. And, just like networks and streaming platforms have mandates for scripted shows, they also have mandates for unscripted shows. So, how do you plan and develop the trajectory of a show if it's not scripted? If you have a great concept and cast, it's your job to function as a producer - read: therapist and gatekeeper - to prove that you can sustain the concept through multiple seasons. You have to make sure that you have a reliable cast that's on board with your vision. And you have to know how to sell that vision in a clear and winning fashion. This all begins by understanding what networks and the steaming platforms are looking for, who's programming what, what materials you will need to have in order to pitch, and how to put together a sizzle real and/or deck that rises above the rest.
Catherine Keithley is the Vice President of Current and Development at Brian Graden Media. She produced Season 1 of INSTANT INFLUENCER with James Charles for YouTube Originals, Seasons 1 - 4 of ESCAPE THE NIGHT for YouTube Originals starring Joey Graceffa, the hour special also for YouTube Originals BAND TOGETHER WITH LOGIC and season 1 of MS. T'S MUSIC FACTORY for Lifetime. She's sold and developed a number of shows for BGM at various stages of development, casting, presentations, and pilots for networks like Lifetime, NBC, BET, POP, E!, Bravo, GSN, A&E, Fullscreen, & YouTube Originals.
Catherine will teach you what makes a network interested in an unscripted show. You will learn how to pick "characters" that are watchable and whey they'd be attractive to a buyer. She'll go over the various genres that are produced for unscripted television and break them down by network. She will take you through what goes into development for each of the genres, including what materials you will need and what your sizzle needs to look like. She will even go into detail by network on who is buying what in unscripted - breaking down budget ranges so you're fully understanding on where your unscripted idea stands.
Like what you heard from Catherine during this webcast?
Send your concept to Catherine and speak with her for half-hour by clicking here.
You will see what types of characters stand out to a network, what your pitch deck needs to look like and how you can hook someone immediately with your sizzle. Catherine will give you all the tools you need to make your unscripted pitch sing.
"After working in unscripted selling to mostly all major networks, I'll help give you the insight into what it takes to pitch a winning unscripted idea that will get sold."
- Catherine Keithley
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!
Let’s face it, attaching the right actor (or actors) can make or break the success of you getting your project off the ground. Putting the right talent in the pole position will greatly increase your chances of gaining finishing funds, selling a project, securing meaningful distribution and more. But to stand out in a sea of offers that quality talent receives on an almost daily basis takes knowledge and understanding. So how do you get your project in front of the right actor and give yourself the best chance to get a “yes”? In the independent filmmaking world understanding how to formulate and put together talent offers is vital. With actors getting more offers than ever from streaming platforms, cable networks and alternative programming it’s imperative that your offer stands out from the crowd. You can push your project to the top of the decision making pile if you know how to put together the right offer. In what has been a wildly successful career, Jim Young has produced nearly 20 independent films. How did he get so many made? By attaching talent such as Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Dev Patel, Cuba Gooding Jr., Amanda Seyfried and more. Nobody understands how to attach talent better than Jim. And now he's ready to share his tried and true approaches with you so you too can attach meaningful talent to your projects. Jim will delve into the process of attracting and signing talent to your film. This will include a primer as to the roles of casting directors, talent agents, lawyers, and foreign sales agents and how each operates. He will show you what additional materials and information you need to send along with the script and the actual offer. He will also discuss elements to consider when negotiating talent deals to make sure you have a competitive advantage. Plus! As an added bonus Jim is including downloadable templates for you to work from as you put together your own deals! These invaluable documents are yours to keep.
Join Nick and Allen for the Writers' Room Year-End Webcast where we celebrate all things Film, TV and Screenwriting from 2018 and look forward to making 2019 the best year for your writing ever!
About this time in a normal year, filmmakers from around the world would be locking down their plans to travel to Santa Monica and attend the internationally renowned American Film Market (AFM). One of the biggest film acquisition, development and networking events in the world, AFM has provided a forum for thousands of films to find funding and acquisition deals since its founding in 1981. Yet this year will be different. Like most events right now, AFM has made the shift to virtual, and with that comes new rules, new expectations, and a new landscape. If you’re hoping to attend the AFM this year and leave with a deal in hand, it’s important you understand what the market will look like and how you can adjust your strategy to find success. With the AFM moving virtual, it will be even more competitive and challenging to access sales agents, buyers, and potential international partners. You will need to know who the players are and how to get their attention - all while working on different time zones and communicating virtually. Trying to understand this new way of doing business adds another layer of complexity as you navigate your market strategy, but don't worry. This new form of market is intended to be fruitful for all - and, most importantly, fun! Alexia Melocchi is a partner at Little Studio Films, and for over two decades has produced and sold award winning movies that have earned nearly $1 Billion dollars in box office returns worldwide. Her clients have bought and partially financed films such as LA LA LAND, PEPPERMINT, THE BOY, TWILIGHT, TEEN SPIRIT and THE BANKER. Amongst her personal producing credits are the DURAN DURAN documentary directed by David Lynch, SERVICE TO MAN released through Entertainment Studios, and SOL DE MEDIANOCHE released on HBO. Alexia is also the host of THE HEART OF SHOW BUSINESS podcast, where she discusses the behind-the-scenes of how Hollywood truly works. Alexia has built much of her success on attending major film markets and intimately knows what it takes to stand out and get the deals you’re after in these forums, whether virtual or otherwise. Alexia will guide you through how to work this virtual edition of the American Film Market to get the meetings you’re after and find success for your project. She will begin by outlining the cultural differences that you can expect at this year’s AFM and the global market shifts that are taking place. Then she’ll delve into AFM as a whole and what their new virtual format is going to look like this year, including their Industry Offices, LocationEXPO, On Demand Theatre, Conference, Networking Pavilion, and Advisor Network. She’ll provide you with a rundown of the specific sales agents, distributors, and producers attending AFM this year that you should know. Alexia will then teach you how to handle the virtual obstacles taking place at the market this year, including the online meeting landscape how to work Zoom like a professional, and how to handle time zones. She’ll give you tips on how best to prepare for AFM, how to make appointments ahead of time and select your target list, how to access your targets, and how to use database platforms to hone your plan, including AFM Connect, Cinando, IMDBPro, and Variety Insight. Next Alexia will explain how you should approach buyers. She’ll walk you through the perfect approach for buyers and how to get your message across in a limited time frame to the right person. She’ll also show you what you really need to have ready before AFM begins and other relationship building tips to keep in mind beyond AFM. Finally, Alexia will expand to show you current trends overseas. She’ll talk about production challenges and updates in a COVID-19 era and why you should be planning ahead for the good times. The path to success continues to alter, and the push to virtual is challenging for everyone, but with the lessons and tips that Alexia will provide, you will leave with a solid understanding of how to roll with the punches and find the opportunities you’re after. Praise for Alexia's Stage 32 Webinar "Really great. Actually useful, practical advice. Wasn't full of bullshit platitudes, Alexia shot straight with us, but was also positive and encouraging. All in all, really appreciated the way she gave an overview of AFM and how to best take advantage of it." -Max W. "Alexia did a fantastic job of making it all relatable and cutting through the noise." -Clint G. "I really did gain some needed information on how to address this film market online" -Craig H. "Alexia is clearing very experienced & she is so gracious in sharing her wisdom with all of us. I'm truly grateful that you all put on this webinar!" -Becca G.
Writing a great screenplay is a gargantuan effort, and putting together something like this doesn’t just happen willy nilly. No matter how good of an idea you have, how fantastic your characters are, or how mind boggling your plot twist is at the end, none of it matters without a solid structure and clear plan. Structure is often the hardest aspect of writing for screenwriters of all levels and requires a large amount of discipline and trial and error to get right. This is why, whether you’re a brand new writer or someone with tens of screenplays already under your belt, outlining is an essential tool. Mastering this skill can elevate your next project to new heights and convince more people to take notice in your story. Yet it’s not enough just to outline; you have to outline well. At its best, an outline can show you how your story should be shaped—what to cut, what to keep, where to place your beats, and how to take your audience to the perfect ending. Yet an outline can also do the opposite if you’re not careful. It can mire down your story in unnecessary scenes or can help you justify keeping aspects that really should be cut. To have a successful plan and structure for your screenplay, it’s crucial to know not only how to outline, but to read what that outline is telling you about your story. Let’s take a closer look. Sophie Azran is a producer and Creative Executive at ImageMovers, Robert Zemeckis’ production company, where she has developed projects including THE WITCHES for HBO Max., BIOS with Tom Hanks, PINOCCHIO, ARES, MANIFEST and PROJECT BLUE BOOK for History Channel, and many others. Previously, Sophie worked at Warner Bros., Tom Hanks' company Playtone and Trudy Styler's company, Maven Pictures. As an independent producer and through her role at ImageMovers, Sophie works with countless writers in developing and improving their scripts and will share exclusively with the Stage 32 community the structural and organizational practices she works on for her own projects. Sophie will walk you through how to successfully create an outline for your own feature project. She’ll begin by discussing the items you’ll need in addition with your outline, including the logline, comparisons, and character descriptions. Next she will discuss how an outline should work and at what point you should start outlining. She’ll lay out tips on how to actually get an outline started, including how it could be formatted. Sophie will then do a deep dive on structure and how each step should be incorporated into your outline. She will show an example of what an effective outline looks like and will talk through common pitfalls to avoid when outlining. She will also discuss what a completed outline can teach you about your own story and how to move forward once you have a finished outline, including transitioning to index carding and how to use your outline to start writing pages. Outlining and structuring your story is never easy, but Sophie will give you a rundown and a series of strategies to make it much more possible. "Prep work isn’t just for novices—all the great professionals do it. That’s why I’m so excited to talk about outlines, which are the foundation of all screenwriting; helping you iron out structure, character, tone and more." -Sophie Azran
Learn directly from Claire Winters has spent the last fifteen years working as an actor, film and acting teacher, and writer/editor. Testimonials: "Thank you for challenging me to find the best in myself to present to industry professionals. I appreciate your encouragement to embrace all dimensions of myself in how I communicate. It was a pleasure to take your class." - Nikki Jacobs, Actor "It’s not just her writing skill that made working with Claire such a great experience (though she has that in spades), but her insightful questions really got at the heart of what I wanted people to feel when reading my bio. Her knowledge of the entertainment industry also meant that she curated which work experiences the bio highlighted in an effective way. I now have something that I’m proud to share." - Sarah Sido, Actor Do you sit down to write your bio and become paralyzed with fear and second-guessing? Or do you wonder who that blow-hard is you've created staring back at you from the computer screen? As careers in the entertainment industry become ever-more entrepreneurial, it's essential for every creative to have a bio that presents her in her best light. Yet, unfortunately, many bios are too impersonal to make an impact, or too self-effacing to engender confidence, or so egocentric that they turn their readers off. How can you write about your career in a way that sparks interest and begins a professional relationship on the right foot? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you'll be lead through exercises on how to tell the story of your career with creativity, intelligence, wit, and, most importantly, in your own distinct voice. Not only will you emerge with a framework for a bio you'll be proud to share, but you'll also have deeper self-respect and inspired ideas for your next steps.
Part 1 - Overview of the Staffing Process Amanda discusses the strategy and steps of the staffing process from the studio, network and production company perspective. You will gain incite into what producers are looking for from a staffing sample and how to improve your chances of standing out in crowd. Part 2 - Tips for Writing an Original Pilot A discussion on the creation of a strong, unique and memorable original pilot; Choosing the right concept to display your original voice, crafting characters who can last for seasons and improving dialogue skills. Part 3 - Pilot Format, Structure and Plotting Amanda details structure and formatting techniques, for drama and comedy, as well as the importance of a strong, steady plot and why you need to keep the reader engaged with big plot moments every few pages in a staffing sample. Part 4 - Spec Scripts & Next Career Steps Amanda answers why it’s important to have a spec script to send as a follow up to your original pilot, and how to write a spec script through copying an existing show’s voices and format. She also covers reaching out to agents, managers, and studio training initiatives with your writing samples. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Amanda is no longer handing out or reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!