Writing Horror to Scare Up the Big Bucks

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

$49

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 Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$49.00
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:

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:

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!

Deconstructing the Oscar-Winning Script: Manchester by The Sea

When people think of Manchester By the Sea, they think of an independent film drama that finds comfort in its misery. There is a stoic color palate that highlights the depressing grey of New England and its melancholy protagonist. The script (and film) are also filled with a certain quirkiness and comedy typical of the American working class city by the sea. Through its incredible pain, there are rays of sunshine and humanity that are delicately written and incredibly effective. We've brought in the Development Executive for Mandalay Pictures, Patrick Raymond, to deconstruct this Oscar-winning script. What we will discuss and uncover is the process and elements required that enabled a film as seemingly small and intimate, like Manchester, to become a commercial and critical success. We also will address the elements of writing that attract A-level talent and help create characters that support great performances. Patrick looks forward to the discussion. All attendees will receive the Manchester by the Sea script and we highly recommend you read it in advance of the webinar. 

How to Create a Long Term Studio Writing Career

Learn directly from 30+ studio veteran Michael Colleary (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Face/Off, The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents & more)!   You have a high concept screenplay. You control some blockbuster intellectual property. Or perhaps you have the next big trilogy or breakthrough character idea. You want to be a studio writer. But how do you break in and sustain such a career? Landing a studio job as a writer is NOT an impossibility. It's about knowing your path from completed screenplay to getting in the room. It's about knowing how to secure a manager, agent, attorney - a team designed to help you succeed. In this exclusive 90 minute Stage 32 webinar, How to Create a Long Term Studio Writing Career, Michael Colleary, writer of such big budget blockbusters as Face/Off & story creator of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, will take you through everything you need to know about breaking in and sustaining a career.

Get In the Writer's Room: Becoming a TV Staff Writer

Breaking into the Television industry is tough, but perhaps the most difficult area of the TV business to enter is the writing staff. And yet, it’s not impossible. In fact, many people from all walks of life and from different educational and professional backgrounds find their way onto writing staffs everyday and go on to build lucrative careers in this cutthroat enterprise. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, TV Writer/Producer Charlie Charbonneau will teach you how you can too! Your host, Charlie has worked on the writing staffs of three different CW genre shows, including The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and its spin-off The Originals, and he has mentored many eager young writers desiring to write for TV. In this webinar, he will explain why it’s so notoriously difficult to ‘get staffed’ by identifying the budgetary, political, and practical craft constraints of the television writing landscape. Then, he will detail the wide array of different tools, methods, and pathways to surpassing these obstacles. Among other topics, he’ll discuss the benefits of different educational institutions and industry work-shop programs, how to get your foot in the door with different entry-level jobs, which support jobs in a writers’ office lead to paid writing, as well as what material to write and how to get the right people to read it. No matter your background or level of experience, all students will come away with a deeper understanding of the obstacles and the many surprising solutions to getting and keeping a spot at that big scary table in the Television writers’ room.

Writing the Cinematic Protagonist: Creating Multi-Dimensional Lead Characters

Learn directly from Tyler Ruggeri, a writer, story consultant, and former manager who has developed and sold screenplays to top producers, including his own The Making of Rock Hudson to Maven Pictures! Tyler managed Damien Chazelle, whose film Whiplash was nominated for five Academy Awards (including Best Adapted Screenplay) and won three, and also won the Best Director Academy Award in 2017. "Extremely articulate presenter. It really helped to have such specific information about how a character can be multi-dimensional." - Becca Boyd "I took pages and pages of notes, thank you! Very well delivered, the lecturer had clearly a vast knowledge of the subject. I really enjoyed it!" - Natalie Ekberg Audiences have been introduced to a number of singular, fully fleshed out lead characters. From the surprisingly dimensional Joy in Inside Out, to two distinct Brian Wilsons in Love & Mercy, to the female road warrior Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, films continue to provide an endless amount of potential for diverse protagonists. But these characters are often the exception rather than the rule. With a constant parade of franchise sequels, remakes, and reboots, it’s become harder than ever to create a unique and nuanced lead that audiences feel they haven’t seen before. And in a marketplace crowded with more of the same, it’s never been more essential (and potentially lucrative) for screenwriters to set their work apart. So how can writers create characters that appeal to a wide audience without sacrificing the very qualities that make them singular? In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, we are thrilled to bring back Tyler Ruggeri to discuss how to write interesting and complicated characters that audiences can root for without sacrificing depth. Having worked both on the writing and management side in Hollywood, Tyler brings uniquely qualified, invaluable experience on Writing The Cinematic Protagonist. In this webinar, Tyler will focus on studying (and deconstructing) the building blocks of movie protagonists in a straightforward, fun, and easy to digest format. He’ll discuss character in a macro-level approach while zeroing in on recent examples from popular films. Participants will learn that there’s no one way to create a memorable protagonist. But by knowing and staying true to what’s special about your story (and your lead character), you can shape a screenplay that’s fresh and unexpected while remaining accessible to all kinds of viewers.

How to Write a Film Based Off an Original Idea or Comic Book Adaptation

To see a video sample of the class, see below! 3 part class taught by Jordan Barel, who works TV Coordinator for Verve Talent and Literary Agency! In the past four years, we have seen The Avengers, Batman Vs Superman, Deadpool, Captain America, Man of Steel, The Amazing Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, The X-Men, The Dark Knight and many other comics turned into major studio films that smash the box office. There is no doubt that there is a demand for super hero and comic-based stories. Have you found a comic that you think would make a great film? Have you ever read a Marvel or DC comic and thought “how did they screw up the movie so bad?” Do you have your own comic series that you think would make a hit movie? Do you dream of being a writer but don’t yet have your angle? Or do you want to write a Major Summer Tentpole based off an original idea? Stage 32 is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 3 part class: How to Write a Film Based Off an Original Idea or Comic Book Adaptation taught by Jordan Barel, who works in Development at Paul Scheer's company, Abominable Studios. Jordan gives you a how-to on translating comic books into film writing, and how to write a summer Tentpole based off an original idea. He covers everything from story structure and dialogue, from legal issues to pitch packets. Here's a sample of what to expect in this exciting Stage 32 Next Level Class: Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Jordan is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In