Writing Horror to Scare Up the Big Bucks

Tips & Tricks For Writing Commercial Horror Features
Hosted by Scott Stoops

$39.20 $49
Black Friday 20% Off Sale
Sale ends Nov 26 - 11:59 PM PST

On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32
apply

- or -

$39.20
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Satisfaction Rate:

Scott Stoops

Webinar hosted by: Scott Stoops

Manager at Good Fear Film + Management

Scott Stoops started in the industry working at Paradigm, where he was an Agent Trainee in the Feature Literary department. Making the transition to Benderspink in 2014, Scott was instrumental in signing the comic book publisher Aspen Comics. Scott represents a variety of emerging writers and filmmakers whose films have played in festival across the world and has sold projects in both television and features. Passionate about all things elevated and genre, his favorite films of the last few years have been Wild Tales and Coherence, he loves BBC’s Black Mirror and the UK’s Utopia, and is an avid consumer of horror, science fiction, comic books and comedy Full Bio »

Learn directly from Scott Stoops, a manager at Benderspink who recently sold a pilot to CBS. Benderspink sold more spec scripts last year than any other management company and are best known for producing The Hangover franchise, The Ring franchise, We’re The Millers, Horrible Bosses 2, among many others!

With the recent success of films such as It Follows, Insidious Chapter 3, Poltergeist and The Visit, it is evident that horror is becoming one of the most profitable and exciting genres in the industry. This is because horror films can be made on the cheap and still yield spectacular returns at the box office. Horror doesn’t rely on big IP, superheroes, or movie stars – all horror needs to deliver is a compelling story, told well, packed with plenty of chills and thrills. However, delivering on this is far easier said than done, and many writers miss important story elements that keep their horror scripts dead in the water.

In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Scott Stoops, a manager at Benderspink who is passionate about genre films, will teach you what makes a horror film successful, from developing a marketable and commercial plot, to unique and scary set pieces, to properly structuring and formatting your script to tell the best story possible. You will learn high-level story concepts, tips and tricks to help make your horror script scary and effective, and get an insider perspective on what concepts and types of horror films are currently selling in the marketplace.

You will leave this webinar with an understanding of not only how to make your existing scripts stronger, but how to develop and come up with the next big horror hit film!


What You'll Learn:

  • Success in Horror: What Makes A Horror Film/Script Successful.
    • A look at what makes horror films effective, both in terms of storytelling and in the marketplace.
  • The Cyclical Nature of Horror.
    • What is “working” and what is “selling”.
    • Case studies of successful past films, current films, and predictions for successful future films.
  • What Makes A Horror Script Marketable/Sellable?
    • What the market is currently looking for.
    • How you can use that knowledge to build a strong script.
  • Making Horror Grounded.
    • Effective horror is generally grounded and relatable.
    • Tips and tricks to make your story more grounded and relatable to a wide audience, even when your story is “out there”.
  • Shades of Horror – The Different Types of Horror and How to Execute.
    • Thrillers, mysteries, supernatural, serial killers, slashers and more.
    • Sub-genres in the horror space.
    • What beats a writer needs to hit to deliver.
  • Delivering on Scares.
    • The most important part of a horror film is making it scary – we’ll talk through how to make your script as scary as possible.
  • Introducing the reader to a dark and mysterious world.
    • Setting up the first act to propel us into the second is of key importance.
    • How to set up the scares to come.
  • How to Structure your Horror Movie.
    • The classic horror ‘formula’.
    • How to employ it to make your script as streamlined and effective as possible.
  • Developing your characters.
    • Although scares are the most important aspect of the script, if the reader doesn’t care about the characters, the script will be far less scary.
  • Recorded, in-depth Q&A with Scott

About Your Instructor:

Scott Stoops started in the industry working at Paradigm, where he was an Agent Trainee in the Feature Literary department. Making the transition to Benderspink in 2014, Scott was instrumental in signing the comic book publisher Aspen Comics.

Scott represents a variety of emerging writers and filmmakers whose films have played in festival across the world and has sold projects in both television and features.

Passionate about all things elevated and genre, his favorite films of the last few years have been Wild Tales and Coherence, he loves BBC’s Black Mirror and the UK’s Utopia, and is an avid consumer of horror, science fiction, comic books and comedy


Frequently Asked Questions:

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! 


Testimonials:

Testimonials About Scott Stoops' Previous Stage 32 Next Level Course:

This was one of the best presentations at Stage 32 that I have attended. Thank you!” – CC L.

Scott is so much fun to watch... his energy and passion are undeniable. Love it.” – Sylvia L.

Scott has a lot of energy that keeps me rapt and writing notes…he has initiative. I am skimming my writing mentally when he's speaking and afterwards to see how I've applied his teaching.” – Betty S.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • It's been a while, but I really enjoyed the talk. The information was helpful and encouraging. I'm hoping to find a few hours to replay it and refresh my memory.
  • Maybe a little disorganized at the start, but still it was very informative. I especially liked to focus on what's marketable.
  • Nothing overly new here. Basically examples of scary films, especially The Ring (How old is The Ring?). Put your characters in peril, and infuse really scary scenes and situations. At times Scott did not seem very prepared, especially when trying to think of examples. Lots of "I'm thinking of a film, but can't remember the title". "That scary scene in that movie, skips my mind, but I'll remember later" type stuff, etc. Slow unorganized start to presentation. E-mail interruptions throughout were annoying and took things off-track. Scott seemed to lose his train of thought several times. Lots of time wasted on commenting on basically useless questions, especially the time spent on which horror film fit into which horror film genre. Scott also has a habit of using the term "ummm" quite often... like an insane amount of times. Should have had very detailed notes and pinpoint helpful examples, given his presentation, and held off any and all questions until he was done with his presentation.This webinar was worth at most $25, certainly not $59.
  • He basically gloated about his favorite films. It's ok for newcomers and outsiders but hardly useful to advanced writers and hardcore fans of the genre. No inside track info whatsoever.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Pro Tips For Producing A Winning Short Film

Every successful filmmaker has, at some point in their career, written, directed, and/or produced a short film. For filmmakers who are just starting out, a short film is the best calling card to showcase their unique talent and vision. It is important to remember that short filmmaking is different from feature filmmaking, with challenges unique to the process. Even so, producing a short film may seem daunting, but there are several key secrets to getting the most out of your project. This intensive 5-week course will give students the tools and techniques necessary to produce a world class short film. Each week will be dedicated to a different aspect of the short filmmaking process, including, concept development and writing of your short, budgeting and scheduling, understanding and drafting production agreements, pro-tips on directing actors, and how to get the most out of the post production process. Students are strongly encouraged to come with ideas for a short film, which will be developed over the course of the 4 weeks, so by the conclusion of the class, the should have a screenplay ready for production.

How to Create Short Form Content That Will Get You Noticed for Feature Films

If you’re reading this and you’re an aspiring storyteller, you’re probably well aware that no path in this business follows a straight line. There’s no recognizable ladder to climb. No standardized “five-year” plan. There are so many questions – How do I get my start? How do I tell stories that inspire me? What’s the right story to tell? How do I find an audience? How do I get recognized? So many questions and no hard and fast “right” answer.  With the rise of digital technology, storytellers now have access to a new and incredibly valuable set of tools to help sell their ideas. Shooting a compelling short film, web series, or proof of concept has never been easier – and it is one of the most effective ways to practice your craft, showcase your voice and set your work apart from the rest of the pack. But there’s a catch – the increased accessibility of these tools has lead to a dramatic increase in the amount of content created and it has become much harder to cut through the noise and really stand out.  We've brought in studio director, writer & producer Tyler Gillet to share his own path and how utilizing these tools helped him move from directing zero-budget digital shorts to directing and producing feature films and TV. Along the way, we’ll discuss how to conceptualize and create low-budget, high-quality short-form content that will wow financiers and producers and help you sell yourself and your ideas to a larger audience.

Short Film Master Class - Learn To Take Your Idea From Concept To Post-Production

In this 5-session online master class, learn from leading producer Jason Mirch, and his special industry guests on how to take an idea for a short film from concept all the way to post-production. Every successful filmmaker has, at some point in their career, written, directed, and/or produced a short film. For filmmakers who are just starting out, a short film is the best calling card to showcase their unique talent and vision. It is important to remember that short filmmaking is different from feature filmmaking, with challenges unique to the process. Even so, producing a short film may seem daunting, but there are several key secrets to getting the most out of your project. This intensive 5-week course will give students the tools and techniques necessary to produce a world class short film. Each week will be dedicated to a different aspect of the short filmmaking process, including, concept development and writing of your short, budgeting and scheduling, understanding and drafting production agreements, pro-tips on directing actors, and how to get the most out of the post production process. You are strongly encouraged to come with ideas for a short film, which will be developed over the course of the 5 weeks, so by the conclusion of the class, you should have a screenplay ready for production! Every week your host, Jason Mirch, will be bringing in special guests to help teach you, including: Christina Snider - Casting Associate, Susan Edelman Casting (Melrose Place, Malcolm in the Middle, Drop Dead Diva, Wonder Years) Michael Carney - Director (Same Kind of Different As Me) Brian Swanson - editor and sound designer  Abeer Abu Schmeiss - Marketing Director, Image Nation (He Named Me Malala, Flight,The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)

Perfecting the Basics of Screenwriting

Learn directly from 12-year veteran Mary Cybriwsky, who's worked on films such as THE DARK KNIGHT, GET SMART, THE INTERNATIONAL and THE BANK JOB and has recently produced BURYING THE EX (Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene) and STICKY NOTES (Ray Liotta, Rose Leslie). With any script, setting up a strong foundation is key to a good story. In screenwriting, the craft is your foundation to a more successful journey. All working writers take the craft very seriously and have spent time perfecting their art. Too many writers try to jump into this insanely competitive field with little to no training. Executives can tell by page 5 if a writer knows the basics of screenwriting and they will not take a writer seriously if there are glaring mistakes. Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you our first ever 4-week "Perfecting the Basics - Introduction to Screenwriting" online class taught by manager Mary Cyrbwisky from Scooty Woop Entertainment. Mary has been one of our most sought out executives through our Coverage Program and has helped many writers better their craft (and even signed one!). Finding such a mentor to teach the basics of screenwriting is crucial and we are thrilled to have Mary for this class. Whether you are brand new to the screenwriting profession, or a seasoned writer, this class is intended to go over the basics of screenwriting to perfect your craft. The objective of this 4 week class is to cover basic screenwriting formatting, 3 act structure, characters, plots, themes, what to write and what NOT to write, but Mary will go over so much more! All of this is done in a friendly, interactive, fun online atmosphere. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Mary is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!

Robert Mckee Presents: Storynomics - Exclusively for Stage 32 Masters of Craft

ONE DAY ONLY! Live Online Webinar - September 12, 2017  In a rare online appearance and for the 2nd time Stage 32 is proud to bring back the award winning author and teacher Quincy Jones calls "Aristotle of our time" Robert McKee. Now, for the first time online with Stage 32 he'll be going over concepts from his latest book, STORYNOMICS! "You just don't get Robert McKee like this for this kind of price. Kudos to Stage 32 and thank you Mr. McKee" - Burton B.

Adapting a Book Into a Film or Television Program

Learn directly from award winning non-fiction producer, Jim Young, who's produced 8 films based on books, including Lovelace (James Franco, Amanda Seyfriend), The Man Who Know Infinty (New York Times best Seller), The Catcher Was a Spy and Layover Some of the recent best feature films were based on books, including Hidden Figures, Lost City of Z, Unbroken, American Sniper, Inherent Vice, Wild, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything. Some of the top recent television series based on books include Game of Thrones, True Detective, Pretty Little Liars, The Leftovers, Boardwalk Empire, Justified, True Blood, Dexter, the upcoming Fresh Off the Boat. As you can see, great books often make for great films and TV programs. The first step to beginning an adaptation is to find a book that lends itself to being turned into a film or television project. Discovering an adaptation-worthy subject can be as simple as stumbling across an interesting title at a bookstore or airport newsstand. Another way to find possibilities include reading the magazine Publisher’s Weekly, which profiles new books hitting the market each week along with short synopses. Many other magazines and newspapers give mentions of new titles each month as well. In this on-demand Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Jim Young will go over how to adapt a book into a film or TV series! Jim will cover everything from acquiring the rights, to script development, to pre-production, to production, all the way to the finish line. Having produced films such as Lovelace (starring James Franco, Sharon Stone, and Amanda Seyfried) and The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, and Stephen Fry) and the upcoming The Catcher Was a Spy (directed by Ben Lewin and written by Robert Rodat) and Layover (written and to be directed by Toni Kalem) all based on books, Jim knows how to adapt a book into a film and TV series from start to finish. Jim Young is an independent producer and the president of Animus Films. He has produced over eight films, with upcoming productions including Cut Throat City, directed by RZA. Young is currently developing many other film and television projects with independent companies including Lynda Obst Productions, Ruby Films, Tollin Productions, Tribeca Productions, Underground Films, and Pressman Films.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In