Joshua Todd James is a well-established screenwriter, playwright, and WGA member, who wrote the action feature POUND OF FLESH, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and currently has multiple projects in development with action stars like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Alain Moussi, Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White and former UFC champion Micheal Bisping, among others. He also adapted Peter Biskind’s best selling book Down & Dirty Pictures into a feature screenplay and Matthew Polly’s New York Times bestseller American Shaolin into a television pilot. Joshua has spent much of his life writing and learning the art of action writing and is excited to share his experience with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »
Have you ever sat through a movie that was filled with fights, car chases, gun battles, and explosions and yet it was all you could do to keep from falling asleep in spite of the noise? This is because good action movies aren’t just about kicks, punches, and car crashes. Celebrated recent action films like EXTRACTION or Mile 22 or classics like BOURNE IDENTITY and ENTER THE DRAGON pop off the screen because of strong writing that lends itself to the story. Action writing is an art. And to write it, you’ve got to understand how to make your story matter to the audience.
Action movies need to sustain the attention of viewers not just with suspense but with emotional appeal. It needs to have meaning. Explosive scenes are great, but action without a substantive story can only take you so far. Characters still need to have wants and desires, even if they’re armed and dangerous. The stakes need to be high and the flaws of each character apparent. If you are able to master this important balance of storytelling, your script will be a hit to those in the industry who are on the hunt for exciting action stories.
Joshua Todd James is a well-established screenwriter, playwright, and WGA member, who wrote the action feature POUND OF FLESH, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and currently has multiple projects in development with action stars like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Alain Moussi, Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White and former UFC champion Micheal Bisping, among others. He also adapted Peter Biskind’s best selling book Down & Dirty Pictures into a feature screenplay and Matthew Polly’s New York Times bestseller American Shaolin into a television pilot. Joshua has spent much of his life writing and learning the art of action writing and is excited to share his experience with the Stage 32 community.
Joshua will teach you how to write effective action with meaning for your film or series. After discussing why action doesn’t always work on screen, he’ll break down what can make action effective. Joshua will dive deep into defining character objectives, establishing stakes and crafting identity in each scene. Joshua will also spend time focusing on the elements that action must reveal and walk you through the three primary revelations of story. You’ll walk away with the resources to improve your current script, or fire off a new one.
Joshua will be using the action classic THE BOURNE IDENTITY as a case study to illustrate the elements of effective action writing that he will lay out. Everyone who signs up for this webinar, will receive the BOURNE IDENTITY script for free.
Joshua Todd James
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Do you want to make a horror movie? Horror movies have never been more in demand in the global marketplace. Horror movies don't need big name actors so their budgets tend to be lower. Scary movies translate into every language where comedies can be hard to travel across borders. A career making horror movies can be lucrative and long-lasting for you if you know the tricks of the trade. And who better for you to learn this craft from than an Academy Award nominated filmmaker who has made multiple horror movies? This exclusive Stage 32 webinar will show you how to make a scary movie from scratch - from your initial idea through prep, production and post-production. Knowing how to take your film on this journey to completion can put you in the rarified air of being a proven filmmaker and can open doors throughout the industry. Your host, Jonathan Heap, will show you how to use every aspect of the filmmaking process to tell a gripping and fresh horror tale from scratch that doesn’t rely on imitating past films, unrealized characters, or illogical stories. Jonathan is an Academy Award-nominated director, writer, and producer with a dozen feature, television, and short credits, including an award-winning horror film now playing on Amazon and Tubi. He’s also worked with major studios like Warner Bros., where he developed a project for Sydney Pollack that became the Coen Brothers’ SUBURBICON, directed by George Clooney. In this webinar, Jonathan will show you how to: Utilize the five kinds of horror films to develop your material Reinvent and generate new horror ideas we haven’t seen before Find great creative and production partners Use lighting and special effects to your advantage Up the scares in post-production By the end of your time with Jonathan, you’ll have the tools to take your scary movie idea to the next level and actually get it made! Testimonials for John's webinar: I liked Jonathan and his presentation. He offered very practical and sound advice, which is always appreciated. - John G. Very meticulous & methodical. Great instructor! - Jefferson Covered all aspects of production. I found his homemade film very suspenseful. Horror with dread and a supernatural disappearing figure plus the music and lighting. - Arthur B.
4-PART IN-DEPTH CLASS (OVER 8 HOURS OF EDUCATION) Join veteran screenwriter Brian Herskowitz and receive sample feature script outlines and scenes while learning how and why professional outlining can set your work above the rest! Includes Exclusive Handouts Only Available For Those In Brian's Class! You may have heard the screenwriting phrase “story is structure.” Many writers reject the idea as they feel it’s too rigid or restrictive, holding you back from being your creative self. But it’s actually the opposite - the structure if your friend! In this exclusive Stage 32 class, you’ll learn how to formulate your idea, concept, and theme, using the principles of structure that will allow you to be your most creative self and create the best story. Over four sessions, you’ll learn how to develop your script using story as your guide as you build from concept to beat sheet and, ultimately, an outline for your feature script. Outlines aren’t just documents that help you blueprint your script for when you start writing. They’re also documents that many development executives require as they work on projects with writers and something managers use to asses their clients’ progress. Taking you through this vital process is writer and producer Brian Herskowitz. Brian has completed over a dozen feature films, including the low-budget slasher film DARKROOM. He’s also worked with top-tier Hollywood talent, such as Academy Award-winner Jason Alexander and RUSHMORE’S Jason Schwartzman. For the past 30 years, Brian has shared his screenwriting knowledge with students through the WRITERS’ BOOT CAMP at UCLA Extention and Boston University in Los Angeles. He’s also the author of the essential screenwriting resource PROCESS TO PRODUCT: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR THE SCREENWRITER. Now, he brings his decades of hands-on experience to you in this Stage 32 class. Brian will provide you with sample script breakdowns, including SHREK, a cheat sheet of his 12 Guideposts for a great screenplay, and more. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn from an industry veteran with a proven process for screenwriting success. You’ll finish these sessions with a professionally crafted story and the structure to strengthen every script you write in the future. Testimonials for Brian's Teaching and Stage 32 Education “As a collaborator with Brian and a guest in his class, I am hugely impressed with his screenwriting knowledge. I heartily recommend him and his course.” - Jason Alexander (Seinfeld, Pretty Woman, Listen Up) "I have a master's degree and a doctorate, Brian is by far the most caring and best teacher I have ever had." "The course was everything I needed and then some. An excellent course." "Mr. Herskowitz is very knowledgeable, patient, and superb at discerning problems and helping us solve them." "A solid course in which I felt I had learned a LOT by the time it was over."
Budgets, Cash Flows and Cost Reports, oh my! Have you ever looked at one of these documents and just seen numbers? Have you ever tried to fill out tax incentive pre-qualification form and been overwhelmed? All of these things can be confusing for any filmmaker, whether you're a seasoned veteran or doing them for the first time. They are documents every project uses but most people don’t know how to read them, never mind make them. We're here to help make this easier for you as a filmmaker. Stage 32 is thrilled to bring you the previously-recorded 2 part class: Navigating a Film's Financials: Budget, Cash Flows & Cost Reports taught by award-winning line producer, Maura Anderson. Maura takes you in depth on the financial side of a film; learn how to create a budget and cash flow, navigate cost reports, accounting, tax incentives and more! Maura Anderson production managed Academy Award nominated Winter’s Bone, Sundance nominated On The Ice, Max Winkler's Ceremony starring Uma Thurman, Night Catches Us in competition at Sundance, produced The Innocent Man and Ada Twist, Scientist on Netflix and The Most Dangerous Animal of All on Netflix. "It's obvious that she is an experienced and working UPM/Producer. She is a great blend of knowledge and approachability! I really appreciated that she always presented with honesty and sincerity without ever once "bs-ing" Thanks Stage 32, you provided a real pro!” – Michael S. "Terrific! Very informative. Could never have learned this from reading a book. Thanks so much! Will recommend this to others.” – Sherrie S. "Clear and pointed information. A great validation for all the line producers out there. I loved your comment about being a working member of the team and setting the tone for being approachable and a solution oriented individual. Thank you so much. – Vicky B. "Thanks for a very interesting presentation. It was clearly quite comprehensive and pointed me to things I would likely have forgotten (to my peril). – Daz K.
Getting a job in Hollywood can seem hard...but it doesn’t have to be. If you feel like every job application you send in is a shot in the dark, you may want to rethink your process. Luckily, there are many tangible strategies that can make the job search more efficient. Ultimately, the key is to find a way to stand out in the pack. And we’re here to help you do just that. During this 90 minute session, you’ll learn how to build a robust network, job search tactics that will get your resume into the right hands, how to craft effective resumes and cover letters, and tips to help you ace any job interview. Whether you’re just starting out or are hoping to transition into a new position that will move you closer to your goals, this course is for you. We are professional resume writers, dedicated to helping Hollywood hopefuls find their dream jobs. But unlike most professional resume writers, we are not recruiters or HR executives. Instead, we have actually worked in and hired for entry-level positions across Hollywood. After conducting hundreds of interviews and weeding through even more resumes over the years, we've learned that many qualified candidates simply don't know how to pitch themselves for the Hollywood jobs they want. And, in an industry where most jobs are filled through internal referrals, it’s crucial to impress not only the recruiters, but those in the actual departments that are hiring -- and we know what they’re looking for because we’ve worked in those departments ourselves. We’re excited teach you the proven networking strategies, resume and cover letter writing techniques, and and interview skills that we have used to succeed in our own careers and watched countless others use to succeed in theirs.
We are turning the spotlight - and the microphones - back over to you during the Write Now Challenge webcast!In this challenge, you were asked to write a scene (3 pages) in which a character anticipates the arrival of one character, but instead, an unexpected visitor shows up, and that visitor is the absolute most wrong person. Your main character then needs to come up with a creative lie to get rid of the unexpected visitor. Ask yourself, why is that person the most wrong person in that moment? What tactics does he or she use to try and get rid of the unexpected visitor? How does the tension escalate between characters? How are you conveying the differences in the characters' voices in your writing?
Learn what you need to attract financing through packaging with a producer who has worked on over 25 feature films! Instead of approaching investors with a script and a sales pitch, this Stage 32 exclusive webinar will teach you the tools needed to make an impact so that financiers see your film as an opportunity. You'll be shown how to break this daunting concept of creating a film package into manageable steps, using the resources available to you with minimal expenditures, starting with things you can do for free. You'll learn how to develop your material to what investors need, what elements you must include in your package, what resources to utilize and how to use them, sell your project at festivals and markets, and create sales projections budgets, and more. Guiding you is Michelle Alexandria, a PGA member and producer at Light Year Pictures. Michelle has personally worked on 25 feature films $6MM and under and 3 television projects in various capacities including producing, line producing and executive producing. Michelle has spoken on the topic of raising financing at the Cannes Producers Network and other prominent film festivals and markets including MipCom, Berlin, Buenos Aires, UniFrance, Sundance, and AFM. Her knowledge is extensive and her advice actionable, and now she's here to deliver the goods exclusively on Stage 32. You'll walk away confidently knowing how to build your film package, how to make your project appeal to investors, how to access investors, and, most importantly, you'll know how to do it all without breaking the bank. Praise For Michelle's Stage 32 Education "Sure, everyone wants Leo or George in their films. Sure, everyone thinks their film is the next My Big Fat Greek Wedding or some other independent blockbuster. Sure, everyone believes that they have THE idea that is going to get them the money. Michelle just gave me the map as to HOW to get the money by being REAL. I can't wait to get started and to bounce ideas off my team. This was so much fun. Thank you!" -- Denise P. "The amount I learned in just 90 minutes from the webinar is astounding. Michelle is very educated and well spoken. No matter where you fall in this industry, you should take this course!" -- Anthony M.