Your Panelists: Martin Reese, Screenwriter & Stage 32 "Writers' Room" Member Martin Reese hails from Cleveland, Ohio. The son of parents who introduced him to comic books, science fiction, and classic films he loved telling stories. In 2004 he wrote, produced and directed his first film, a horror short called SOUL POSSESSION. He published the storybook MULOGO AND HIS QUINTUPLE OF TROUBLE (Amazon), about a boy who accidentally conjures a five-headed dragon while under the tutelage of a wizard, based on his short screenplay of the same name. The short screenplay was a quarter-finalist in the 2014 Bluecat Screenplay Competition. He co-produced a short film based on his award-winning short horror screenplay THE SNEEZE (2018 Wildsound Festival Best Short Screenplay and the 2020 Madwerkz VFX Award). It was shot in LA and is currently in post production. He is the founder and administrator of the Facebook group PEOPLE OF COLOR SCI-FI FILMMAKERS COLLABORATIVE, an inclusive networking and learning space that encourages the creation of film projects in the genres of sci-fi, fantasy and horror that feature People of Color.His feature length horror script THE EYE OF OWUO was named a Winner in the Micro-Budget Horror Script Competition (2020). Martin lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio with his wife of 24 years Stephanie. Chaun Lee, Screenwriter & Stage 32 "Writers' Room" Member Chaun Lee is an Atlanta-based screenwriter with a sincere love of great stories. She has a complex background, having lived all over the world, from Alaska to Iraq. Her military and bi-racial beginnings have given her a unique perspective, which is both broad and non-ethnocentric. The projects she completed include pieces from multiple genres: romantic comedy; family, fantasy, and Sci-fi. She has a few projects underway which have a dedicated daily spot on her schedule, and, she has seen a little traction with her work over the past year. She is looking forward to and expecting great things ahead. Chris Torres, Screenwriter & Stage 32 "Writers' Room" Member Chris was run over by a train, had her head chopped off by an axe, and fed to countless vampires. This was all in service of her brother's backyard Super 8 movies. Thus, began a lifelong love affair with all things film. Born in New York, Chris spent her formative years relocating to a new locale every few years. Furthering her education in Film Studies, Chris watch classic Hollywood films and she spent countless hours fascinated by black and white screwball comedies which formed her groan worthy sense of humor and sparked her desire to share it with the world, one conversation at a time. This passion for snappy, clever dialogue (and sarcasm) carried through to College where she studied theater until her mother suggested she get a real major - philosophy. Chris paid her way through college by working as a production assistant in New York on such renowned productions as Awakenings, The Fisher King, and The Freshman. She attended law school at Washington and Lee University and graduated with her Juris Doctor. Christine joined the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office as a Prosecutor for the next six years.Never staying too far from the drama, Chris continued her education by taking classes at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts under the auspices of improving her trial skills. After all, courtroom trials are like a production - with a lot more improv.After an epiphany, and succumbing to peer pressure while volunteering at the Sundance Film Festival, Chris made the career decision to move to Los Angeles and become a filmmaker. She's never looked back. Christi Corbett, Author/Screenwriter & Stage 32 "Writers' Room" Member Christi Corbett an award-winning author of four novels. In 2019, she signed an option agreement with Higher Purpose Entertainment for her first script, an adaptation of her third novel. She will be the official screenwriter for the project as well. Christi graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Communications, and a minor in video production. She then got a job as evening news editor for a CBS affiliate in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After a while, she moved back home to the Seattle area to get married. She then worked on a few indie films, but ultimately decided to take a job as a TV commercial writer/producer in the Creative Services Department for a CBS affiliate in Duluth, Minnesota. She is the winner of the 2014 RONE Award for Best American Historical novel and the 2014 Laramie Award, lives in a small town in Oregon with her husband and their twin children. Your Moderators: Richard "RB" Botto, Stage 32 CEO Richard “RB” Botto is a producer whose films have played at dozens of festivals including the Sundance award-winning feature, Another Happy Day, starring Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore and Kate Bosworth and written & directed by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, What Lies Ahead, starring Rumer Willis & Emma Dumont, the documentary Crutch and the upcoming Rain-Beau’s End. As a writer, RB works on active writing assignments and has two features and a TV pilot in development. As an actor, his latest film On the Corner of Ego and Desire premiered at the 2018 Raindance Film Festival. RB is also the Founder and CEO of Stage 32 (stage32.com). Stage 32 is the world’s largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV & digital creatives and executives worldwide. Launched in 2011, the Stage 32 community has grown to over 500,000 creatives and features an educational library of over 1,000 hours of webinars and classes taught by over 500 industry executives. Stage 32 is recognized throughout the industry as an incubator of talent and is the official film education & networking platform of the Cannes Film Festival Marche du Film and AFM. Additionally, RB’s book Crowdsourcing For Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd, was published by Focal Press/Routledge under the American Film Market Presents banner and quickly became one of their best-selling titles. It has hit #1 in 6 different film and business related categories on Amazon and Audible. The book can be found at the Focal Press/Routledge booth by AFM badge registration and on Amazon and Audible, where it has garnered over 90 5-star reviews. A sought after speaker, teacher and mentor, RB has been a keynote speaker and panelist at such festivals and conferences as Cannes, AFM, Tribeca, Sundance, Raindance, Hamburg, SXSW, Cinequest, ITVFest, Portugal FEST, Trinidad and Tobago and Winston Baker. He has also taught at institutions such as Harvard, USC and Columbia University on the subjects of filmmaking, producing, film finance, screenwriting, social media, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, entrepreneurship and business. Jason Mirch, Director of Script Services & Host of "The Writers' Room" Jason Mirch is a feature film and television producer and executive with over 15 years of experience. Jason also serves as the Director of Script Services at Stage 32 where he works directly with screenwriters, filmmakers, and leading industry executives. In addition to his work with Stage 32, Jason runs production and development for a company which produced low-budget genre pictures for an international audience, as well as serves as a business advisor to a successful post production vfx company which contributed to The Peanut Butter Falcon, Crawl, Martin Scorsese's Silence, Arctic, and Let them Talk for Steven Soderbergh and HBO. Most recently, he produced a 3D animated feature film starring Jacob Tremblay, Emmy-winner Christopher Lloyd, Oscar-winner Mel Brooks, Emmy-winner Kenan Thompson, and Emmy-winner Carol Kane. Mirch was the Head of Feature and Television Development at Image Nation, a finance and production company based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. There, he supervised the Image Nation contributions in the development of Flight, The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion, Careful What You Wish For, Ghost Rider 2, and 100 Foot Journey. Prior to his work at Image Nation, Mirch was Co-Head of Development at Storyline Entertainment (Oscar-winning Chicago, Footloose, The Bucket List) where he developed a slate of feature film projects for New Line, Paramount, Summit Ent., and CBS/Paramount. He also developed and sold television projects and mini-series to CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and Lifetime. He has lectured on all areas of filmmaking, speaking on panels at the Producers Guild of America, Austin Film Festival, the Harvard Screenwriting Group, American Film Market, University of Southern California Film School, Chapman University School of Film & Television, NYU, as well as several international film festivals and markets. In addition, he has consulted brands, including Burberry and Creative Artists Agency. Full Bio »
The Stage 32 Writers’ Room has just surpassed a milestone achievement - 100 webcasts! For the last year and a half it has been the honor of Director of Script Services Jason Mirch to act as the humble host, guiding webcasts that include script and screenwriting breakdowns, virtual pitch sessions to industry professionals, one-on-one conversations with some of the biggest names in the business, and writing exercises that challenge our imaginations and sharpen our skills.
The goal of the Writers’ Room has always been to give writers all over the world the support, access, and education to thrive in their craft and career. Our recent Writers' Room guests have included Oscar-nominated Pixar writer Meg LeFauve, Billion Dollar Producer Amy Baer, AKEELAH AND THE BEE Filmmaker Doug Atchison, Universal Pictures Executive Ken Korba, A QUIET PLACE development executive Linsday Schwartz, GREEN HORNET producer Bradley Gallo, and many more - all of whom spoke and interacted directly with our members.
Several of our members have connected with each other and have swapped scripts, collaborated on projects, produced projects they have written, and writers have even been optioned by producers largely because of the Writers’ Room!
The Writers' Room is strong because of the incredible members who are serious about their craft and advancing their careers. So we are turning the spotlight over to some of our talented Writers' Room members who will tell us how they broke out in a highly competitive industry and achieved success during this Stage 32 Writers' Room Member Success Spotlight webcast!
During this webcast, Writer, Producer, Actor & Stage 32 CEO Rich "RB" Botto and Writer, Producer, and Director of Script Services Jason Mirch shine some light on members who have utilized the power of Stage 32 and the Writers' Room to achieve tremendous success in the industry and learn the secrets they have discovered for breaking out!
During this webcast the panel includes:
Screenwriter, Martin Reese, who received a $5,000 option agreement from Glass House Distribution and Trick Candle Productions for a script he developed with the help of the Writers' Room!
Screenwriter, Chris Torres, who landed representation with Manager Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment after being a part of the Writers' Room and being connected for a meeting by Stage 32!
Author and Screenwriter, Christi Corbett, who developed one of her novels into a screenplay which was then optioned by producer Brad Wilson of Higher Purpose Entertainment!
Screenwriter and Filmmaker, Chaun Lee, who used the power of Stage 32 and the Writers' Room to develop a short film which she then produced using local crew and cast in Atlanta just prior to lockdown!
Writers' Room 100th Webcast Celebration Panelist & Moderators
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!
It’s no secret that many creatives are looking to take the necessary steps to work on a TV show or break into a writers' room. Stage 32 and Jon Stahl, HBO’s Emmy-Award Winning Veep script coordinator, have the answers to help you find your way. We're taking you inside the room of one of the top comedy shows on television today (Veep) to learn what it's like to break in and expectations once you get there. Your host Jon Stahl spent the last decade working in television, with the last third of it in comedy. Working alongside the writers of television’s best comedy, Jon not only knows what it takes to write great comedy, but also what is needed to take a seat at the table with the rest of them.
Now that the barrier to entry is lower than ever to start creating your own content, it's imperative to learn how to capitalize shooting on digital. Whether it's understanding the needs of digital services like Netflix, or platforms like YouTube, there is a spot in the market for you to make it a career. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar your host Stephen Balsley will be going over the technology side of the Industry, with a specific focus on the shift from Film to Digital. We will also be learning to look at Media as a whole, from how each piece is interconnected, to how technology is affecting extraordinary change in every area of Media. We will go over specific examples of Filmmakers who have successfully capitalized on the shift to Digital, and will provide useful steps to ensure your projects are taking full advantage of the available Technology to give you the best possible chance at creative success. The Technical side can be one of the most difficult and daunting areas of any Industry (like opening up the hood of a car), but Stephen's goal for this webcast is to inspire an overall curiosity into all of the change that is currently happening, and to begin to gain a firm understanding of how the Industry works around, and is very often driven by, the Digital Age in which we live. Stephen Balsley began his career at a RED Digital Cinema nearly 9 years ago, and has watched it grow from a small startup company into one of the leading Cinema brands in the world. During that time, the RED One camera was largely credited with driving the shift from Film to Digital, with RED cameras now being used in a large number of films and other projects across the Industry. Although Stephen’s expertise is in RED, he is well experienced in all types of cameras, including Arri, Canon, Nikon, Blackmagic, and more.
Chris Moore has done and seen it all. During a career spanning over 30 years, Chris has produced films that have had multiple Oscar nominations and wins such as Good Will Hunting and Manchester by the Sea, to studio blockbusters like American Pie and The Adjustment Bureau, to independent darlings such as Waiting, to creating and starring in the critically acclaimed industry television shows Project Greenlight alongside Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and The Chair. One of the secrets of Chris' longevity in the business is a full understanding of the business. He's as plugged in as they come and he knows how to adjust quickly, swiftly, and successfully as the landscape changes - which seems to happen on a daily basis these days. Most importantly, Chris is known in the industry as a take-no-prisoners, no bullshit guy. He tells it like it is and pulls no punches, which, in this business, is welcome and refreshing. And now he's here exclusively for Stage 32 to teach you how to build a lasting career in today's entertainment industry. With the evolution of the industry causing dramatic shifts in the way you create and consume content (film, television, digital) and more content being created, bought, sold, screened, broadcast and streamed than ever before, there are more and more opportunities are being presented for a creative career. But you have to know where to look, how to position yourself, how to best present yourself and show that you have a complete understanding of where the industry is headed and how you can add significant value. Chris will discuss the current state and the shifts in the market to help you make educated decisions on the path you should take with your career in the industry to not only assure success, but satisfy the lifestyle you desire. He will also discuss where he believes the future is headed so you can be ahead of the curve in making the right decisions for you and your career. Then, Chris will make the proceedings interactive, workshopping with select attendees and discussing primary and alternative paths for their wants and goals. Some examples: For filmmakers having trouble gaining traction, Chris will go over alternative ways you can break in and gain your footing. For screenwriters who have been at it a long time and haven’t gotten their break, Chris will discuss alternatives and lifestyle choices for the current industry. For cinematographers (or other creatives) looking to move from digital shorts to streaming TV, Chris will present a path and strategies to make it happen? This is a no nonsense, detailed filled, strategy packed session designed to help ALL creatives and professionals! "Undoubtably, my favorite Stage 32 webinar yet, and that's saying something. Wow, was this a welcome kick in the ass. I love Chris' style, passion, and energy. Obviously, his experience and success speaks for itself, but as a teacher, he's a master. This was a huge land for Stage 32. I hope you bring him back again!" - Ronnie W. "I like the way Chris organized all the changes in entertainment so it was easy to understand. It's overwhelming trying to figure it out and I appreciated Chris taking the time to explain it. I also appreciated the workshopping advice. Thank you Chris." - Marisa S. "The brutal truth how Hollywood operates was eye opening, but it's best that I'm aware as I try to find my place." - Wolf O. "Chris Moore is a hero. He saved me from my doubts." - Julia C.
Today, more than ever, self tape auditions are an integral part of the casting process. This is even more true in the age of social distancing. Additionally, due to the convenience self tapes provide and tight deadlines casting directors often operate under, more roles are cast via self tape auditions than ever before. Understanding how to set up, craft, and shoot a self tape can be the difference between landing more roles or having your talents fall by the wayside. When a casting director requests and accepts self tapes to assist in their casting process, they inevitably wind up with tapes of varying quality and content. Whether it's picture quality or sound quality fails, a bad self tape immediately gets bypassed. Actors often think that their talent will always win the day. In a room, that might be true. But on a self tape, quality matters. Fortunately, there are some very simple, but comprehensive steps you can take that will make a massive difference in what you present to a casting director. The goal is to keep the attention off cosmetic or sound flaws and on your acting, where it belongs! Marin Hope, CSA is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director, who won the 2020 Artios Award for Casting. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Over her storied career she has seen thousands of auditions and hundreds of casting self-tapes and she's back here exclusively on Stage 32 to impart her wisdom on what can help you get a leg up on the competition when it comes to your self tape. Marin will talk about the need for self-tapes and why they are an essential part of today's casting process. You'll get insight as to why some jobs rely on it vs. others who require in-person auditions. She will go over your question on whether or not you should use a self-tape facility or film from home. When it comes to shooting at home, you will learn background, lighting, angles, wardrobe choices and equipment you will need, as well as whether or not you should film horizontal or portrait. Finally, Karen will teach you the do's and don'ts of a self-tape and share with you examples of good and bad auditions. You will learn all of this from an esteemed casting director's perspective which will give you the unique insight into how your own self-tape is viewed. PLUS! Marin will share with you: Videos clips of do's and dont's for casting videos A resource sheet of tools and equipment that can help you with the look of your casting tape Praise for Marin's Stage 32 Webinar: "I thought I was just going to revisit what I already know about self-taping but Marin brought forth valuable new information." -Michele C. "I think Marin's webinar is excellent and covered everything that an actor would want or need. I like her no nonsense approach. Takes a lot of the fear factor away." -Sondra C. "The information was informative, Marin gave a lot information that is extremely invaluable to me in this industry and I look forward to many more webinars with Stage32 because of this." -Michael C. "Well, done. I have made it into several movies and missed getting into others. There are several things I learned which I will incorporate in future auditions." -Kenneth W.
Learn directly from Kristy Maurer, VP of Development, who’s worked on Looper, Side Effects, and Academy-award nominated An Education. So you want to make a film but don’t know where to start – sound familiar? You have this great idea for a film. Or, you’ve found the script, maybe attached some talent, and are ready to get things in motion for production. But what are your next steps? How do you get from script to screen? What is the difference between pre, post, and good old regular production? What about financing? How do you market it? So many questions! Producing, and especially independent producing, can be very complex, and with so many options out there it’s sometimes hard to know what is important to know and what you can skip. Here is your one-stop crash course on Indie Film Producing - Indie Film Producing 101, if you will. Whether you’re producing the film yourself, looking for independent producers to bring on board, or have signed a deal with an independent production company, it’s important to know the steps involved in producing a film independently, no matter your role in the filmmaking process. Indie films are getting produced and distributed every day, and it’s time to learn how to take your vision for your film and make it a reality! Kristy Maurer is currently the Director of Development at Endgame Entertainment (Looper, Side Effects, An Education) and has worked in a wide variety of production positions for film and TV. Having worked on network shows, such as Friday Night Lights to independent films, such as Elvis and Annabelle, starting Blake Lively, she knows the ins and outs of producing and can help you learn all you need to know to get your film produced and made. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Kristy will walk you through every step of the production process, from where to start with the script, to creating production plans, to marketing, even adding in case studies of independent films in the past few years that have made a profit and how they did it. This will be your go-to guide for all things Indie Film Producing and give you a great foundation for understanding the process of production on an Indie scale.
So you’ve finally fleshed out your ideas for your next TV project and you’re off to the races developing your next screenplay. While working on your pilot, you’re constantly reminded of the one thing that every executive looks for: CHARACTER CHARACTER CHARACTER. Every executive says they want to read compelling characters. But what exactly does that mean? And how do you accomplish this? Literary Manager Conrad Sun represents TV writers in all genres for shows such as Blindspot, Two Broke Girls and Bojack Horseman and is a master at building character in scripts. In this top rated Stage 32 Next Level Webinar Conrad will teach you how to bring your characters to life and go from good to GREAT. You will learn empathy vs. sympathy and how the best characters invoke both feelings from your audience. Conrad will breakdown real-life examples from characters on shows such as Fargo, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and more. And, most importantly, you'll walk away learning how to apply character development to your own writing. This webinar is vital to help you strengthen your TV pilot!