Masters of Craft: Writing & Producing Compelling Television for Today's Market with David Weddle

Hosted by David Weddle

$49

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

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$49.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Stage 32 Next Level Education has a 97% user satisfaction rate.

David Weddle

Webinar hosted by: David Weddle

Producer & Writer for Apple TV's For All Mankind and Guillermo Del Toro & Carlton Cuse at Apple TV

David Weddle is a prime time Producer and Writer with an impressive career spanning over two decades on award winning shows. David is currently a Co-Executive Producer and Writer for the Apple TV hit For All Mankind. Prior to this new Apple show, David was a Co-Executive Producer and writer on The Strain – a primetime television series created by the acclaimed writer/director Guillermo del Toro, based on his series of best selling novels, co-written with Chuck Hogan and showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost) who served at the helm. He was also co-executive producer and writer on USA's Falling Water.  David began his career working on shows such Falling Skies, CSI, and Peabody Award-winning Battlestar Galactica. He has also written and produced for such series as Alphas, Defiance, The Fearing Mind, The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is the author of two books: the critically acclaimed "If They Move... Kill 'Em!" The Life and Times of Sam Peckinpah, and the best seller, Among the Mansions of Eden. As a journalist, he has written for such publications as:Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, L.A. Weekly, Sight & Sound, Film Comment, and Variety. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

It's an undeniable fact, there is no hotter market right now than television. Over the last year, over 600 shows were broadcast on TV networks, basic cable, premium cable, and the streaming platforms. And this isn't even counting limited series, docu-series and other short form content. And with new platforms like Disney+, Apple, Facebook TV and others diving into original content, there is no peak in sight or end to this gold rush on the horizon. If anything, we may just be getting started. In fact, most streaming platforms like Netflix have made a pledge to have their entire libraries consist of over 50% original content in just a few years. Think about that! So how can you take advantage of this incredible buying and producing spree, get in a writers room, work your way up to an executive producing/showrunning position and run your own show? We're glad you asked. 

David Weddle has been at the television game for over 20 years. Over a prolific and well documented career, David has worked on some of the most highly acclaimed and longest running shows of all time including Battlestar Galactica, CSI, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Guillermo del Toro's award winning and ground-breaking series, The Strain. David has worked side-by-side with some of the top showrunners in the business including Cartlon Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel, Jack Ryan). Currently, David is a co-executive producer/showrunner and writer for the Apple TV hit For All Mankind.

In this exclusive special event Stage 32 Masters of Craft Webinar, David will take you to what it takes to build a career from writer to showrunner. He will explain the entire landscape and give you a full understanding of who does what and why. He will explain how to get into a writer's room and what to do (and not to do) once you get in. He will show you how to play the political game, climb the ladder, and earn respect. He will teach you how to think and work like an EP until you become one.

As if that wasn't enough, David will then take you through the world of showrunning. He will explain how writer's rooms are staffed. How seasons are laid out, how arcs are created and how episodes are broken down. He will explain budgets and scheduling, using real world examples from The Strain, Battlestar Galactica and CSI. He will talk hiring directors, getting your cast and making sure your show runs like a Swiss watch. And he will take you through the days and nights of being an EP and showrunner, so you know exactly what to expect and how to navigate the playing field.

Joining David to moderate this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft webinar is our very own CEO, Richard Botto, a writer and producer himself with a television pilot in active development. 

 

The world of breaking in and staying in television doesn't need to be complicated. David will show you the tricks, tips and, most importantly, the facts you need to shorten your path to success.

 

Praise for David

 

"This truly was a masterclass. I learned so much."

- Rebecca C.

 

"I was in a writer's room for 9 weeks and then our show got cancelled. I learned more today than I did being in that room for those 9 weeks."

Anthony P.

 

"David, you're a rock star."

- Pam J.

 

"Rewatching. Rewatching. Rewatching. Thank you, David and Stage 32."

- Annette F.

What You'll Learn

David will begin by discussing the evolution of the television industry over the last 2 decades and how he’s seen it change and evolve.

The Hierarchy of the Roles in the TV Landscape:

  • Staff Writer, Script Coordinator, Writers Assistant, Writers PA
  • Progressing to the next level: Showrunner, Executive Producer, Supervising Producers, Executive Story Editor/Story Editor
  • How the chain of command works and who does what

How To Ascend To The Top Spot - Paths to Becoming A Writer/Executive Producer For Television

  • What was David’s path to EP?
  • Why the writer is the king in television (as opposed to the director)
  • How to work your way up through the writer’s room
  • What are some other paths to make it?
  • Upon being hired what are EPs concerned with first and foremost? What are David’s first priorities?

Overview Of Expected Responsibilities Of An Executive Producer On Primetime Television:

1) Staffing and Running The Writers Room:

  • Not every room is organized the same.
  • Learn what is most important to Executive Producers and Showrunners when staffing their writer’s room. Is what’s on the page most important? Or, is it all about who you know and what you’ve done?
  • Learn how an Executive Producer/Showrunner will guide their writers room through setting out the season arcs, outlining episodes and breaking them down by theme as well as assigning episodes to writers.
  • David will lead you through the experiences he has had on both sides of the table as a writer and as the man doing the hiring. Learn how to impress and what you can do as a writer to establish a positive relationship with your EP or Showrunner.

2) Scheduling:

  • Gain an in-depth look at how TV shows are run day in and day out. David will walk through how a TV show gets organized and provide examples from his time on FX’s The Strain created by Guillermo del Toro, Battlestar Galactica, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

3) Budgets:

  • Learn how budgets are put together, who oversees them, and what happens when you go over budget. David will give a thorough look at how Executive Producers manage their budget, wrangle for more and deliver everything on time.

4) Getting The Directors And Crew Set For The Show:

  • David will speak to the priorities and challenges Executive Producers and Showrunners face when building the team. He’ll give an overview of working with directors, the art department and everything else vital to producing the TV show. He’ll talk about building the team and deciding on how to delegate responsibilities

5) Casting:

  • Gain insight on how some of the most iconic shows make their casting decisions. How much importance is placed on finding the right guy/gal? Who’s in charge of casting main parts? Does an EP decide before or after other departments?

7) Bringing It All Together: The Life Of An Executive Producer:

  • Daily operational tasks and how to accomplish them
  • Handling the Network: How to interact with the network executives, build beneficial relationships, taking notes for episodes
  • Planning for the long-term needs of a project
  • Dealing with the unforeseen and any hidden responsibilities

Plus, exclusively for Stage 32 David will open the floor to answer any questions you have!

About Your Instructor

David Weddle is a prime time Producer and Writer with an impressive career spanning over two decades on award winning shows. David is currently a Co-Executive Producer and Writer for the Apple TV hit For All Mankind. Prior to this new Apple show, David was a Co-Executive Producer and writer on The Strain – a primetime television series created by the acclaimed writer/director Guillermo del Toro, based on his series of best selling novels, co-written with Chuck Hogan and showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost) who served at the helm. He was also co-executive producer and writer on USA's Falling Water

David began his career working on shows such Falling Skies, CSI, and Peabody Award-winning Battlestar Galactica. He has also written and produced for such series as Alphas, Defiance, The Fearing Mind, The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

He is the author of two books: the critically acclaimed "If They Move... Kill 'Em!" The Life and Times of Sam Peckinpah, and the best seller, Among the Mansions of Eden. As a journalist, he has written for such publications as:Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, L.A. Weekly, Sight & Sound, Film Comment, and Variety.

FAQs

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! For a live webinar, you will be given the link within 2 business days after the live session.

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.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Developing and Packaging Your Mini Series

Learn directly from Development & Production Executive Jake Detharidge, a feature film executive that has recently made a splash into the mini-series space with projects set up at History Channel, Spike, and MGM! "Jake's feedback is so valuable. I enjoy every webinar and class Jake does. He's always informative and always presents information in a very smart and succinct way. Great webinars/classes..." - R. Canty "Seldom have I met execs in LA who know what they're talking about but don't throw around their ego. Jake loves the process, nice perspective with a positive spin." N. Kellis "This was one of the more beneficial seminars with current relative information in the industry. Really enjoyed it." - M. McLinn In this Stage 32 Webinar, host Jake Detharidge will first take you through a brief history of the ‘Mini Series’ in the US, along with analyzing the current television marketplace (Event Series vs. Limited Series vs. Mini Series), and why this platform is experiencing resurgence. After, Jake will break down the creative and development process for several different, current projects, to help you understand and identify the right stories, IP and general concepts that are viable right now. This will make up the bulk of the webinar, breaking down the creative/development/packaging process, in hopes that any and all who attend will leave with a formidable understanding of how they might create their very own compelling Mini-Series project. Don’t get confined to one narrative structure, feature or TV series, look for bold new ways to tell stories – the possibilities are endless! You Will Leave The Webinar Knowing: What exactly is a Mini-Series, versus a Limited Series and Event Series and why each is unique? Why did the ‘Mini-Series’ disappear for the most part from US television and why is it now making a strong comeback? What is the current landscape for this platform – the nuts and bolts. The major companies and players around town currently looking for these types of projects and what moves the needle for them. Narrative Basics – what and why certain stories, ideas and concepts are better suited for a mini-series versus the traditional feature film or scripted television series. What types of IP you should be looking for and how you can obtain the rights to potentially develop it. Developing – what goes into this step and exactly how much…or how little…do you need before trying to sell, and where to sell. Packaging – what the process is for a mini-series, and what elements you can attach to add value that are obtainable. Outside the box ideas!' Your host Jake Detharidge will take you through the realities and pitfalls of navigating the exciting resurgence of a classic narrative platform. Jakes comes primarily from a feature film background, but he recognized – along with the rest of the industry – the creative domination currently taking place in television and forged a way to put his skill sets to work. He has developed, packaged and set up half a dozen mini-series projects with more on the way. Through his unique viewpoint on narrative structure and current audience viewing trends, Jake believes the Mini-Series resurgence is only just beginning.

What Makes Me Interested In Your Script? A Development Executive's Perspective

Agustine’s day-to-day role is to help develop screenplays and projects. Whether it’s shaping the story of a script in order to attract a director or actor, breaking down a script in an effort to maximize its marketability, or simply working with the writer to ensure that the script has the best chance of success, Augustine is hands on in every step of the creative process. But before Augustine, or any other executive, can get to work, he has to love and see the potential of the material. And that raises the question: What makes someone like Agustine interested in a script? Understanding every aspect of how and why a film goes from the page to the screen is crucial to being a professional in the film industry. It truly can make the difference between a “Pass” or a “Yes”. If you are a writer looking to learn what exactly gets a Development Executive interested in your material or if you are a producer and want to understand the mindset of a Development Executive as it relates to developing your project, look no further – you will learn the entire truth straight from someone working in the trenches every single day. This is material designed to give you a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace! And as if that wasn’t enough, Agustine hosted a Q&A session as well!  

How To Rock TV Staffing Season - Get Read and Crush it in the Room

Staffing season is a high-intensity, high-stakes time. With more shows than ever looking for writers, the opportunities have never been greater, but that also means the competition has never been higher. To be considered to be part of a writing staff, you need to not only show your chops as a screenwriter, but display what you'll be like in the room. So how can you stand out to the executives and producers hiring and prove that you're going to be a team player, while bringing an original, independent voice to the table? To be staffed in the competitive world of TV writing, you must first understand what opens the door and what keeps you in the room. Your writing must not only be on point, but you have to also be able to display a comprehension of the art of the meeting. Executives and producers are going to meet dozens if not hundreds of writers. You have to learn how to connect with them, fill their needs, and make their jobs easy! In short, you and your writing need to be sharp, interesting and memorable. Over her very decorated and successful career as a development executive, Marla White has sat across more writers than she can remember. Marla was not only the development executive for Emmy-Award Winner Peter Tolan's Fedora Entertainment, but she's also worked with hundreds of writers who have sold pitches and shows to, and/or been staffed by, Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and just about every premium cable channel and streaming platform you can name. Marla will discuss what executives are looking for in your writing. Whether "good" is good enough to get you in the room. Whether it's better for your work to be more memorable or sellable. She will take you through the thought process of what executives are looking for when you walk in the room. She'll discuss all aspects of a general meeting and a staffing meeting and arm you with all the tools necessary to be "good in the room" in all situations, each and every time. Plus, she'll also talk about "do's and don'ts" and how you can get invited back for the all important pitch meeting. This webinar provides pertinent and actionable information for every level of writer. If you're just starting out in your career, what you'll learn will not only prepare you for everything mentioned above, but for preparation when speaking with managers and agents. If you're a working writer on a show looking to move to a new show and need tips on playing the networking game and how to navigate the politics, this one is for you as well!   This is some straight shooting, no B.S. information. I'm grateful that Marla pulled no punches and told it like it is. Next meeting I get, I'm owning it! - Samantha W.

Visas & Beyond: How to Navigate Cross-Border Co-Productions

International co-productions, or “co-pros,” can be the perfect tool for bringing dream projects to life. But these ventures come with their own unique rules and requirements, which not everyone has experience with. In this webinar, attorneys Lorraine D’Alessio and Liz Profumo will deconstruct the co-pro process, sharing practical tips for launching a successful cross-border production. Participants will learn about key steps such as finding business partners, capitalizing on tax incentives, protecting creative rights, and securing work visas for foreign staff. The webinar will also explore the impact of current U.S. policies surrounding trade and immigration. Lorraine has practiced law since 2010, with a particular focus in entertainment immigration. She is the Founding Partner and CEO of D’Alessio Law Group, a global firm which has helped thousands of artists and entertainment professionals to launch careers in the U.S., Canada, and beyond. Born in Canada, Lorraine was a successful Ford model before turning her focus to law. Her entertainment background, as well her personal experience with immigration, allows her to deeply understand the legal and logistical needs of global artists. She is excited to partner with the Stage 32 community and help support its members in achieving their goals.

Ask Me Anything with Stage 32 CEO Richard "RB" Botto

Hello Creative Army!   Over the last few months, the entire team here at Stage 32 has been working tirelessly to help you stay connected, creative, motivated, and informed. As always, we are committed to bringing you networking opportunities, education and mentoring from top-level industry executives and professionals, and access to decision-makers around the globe all from the safety of your own home.   Since the beginning of the quarantine mandates brought about by the spread of COVID-19, I've promised you free education designed not only to keep you inspired and entertained, bit to provide up-to-date, no BS information regarding how the industry is handling business during the better at home orders and give you a glance into what lies ahead. We have brought in top executives in television and animation for state of the industry roundtables, partnered with film festivals to bring you top of the line virtual panels, and even hosted a virtual happy hour and table read, to name just some of our COVID-19 free education initiatives.   Every day, the Stage 32 team is on the phone and communicating with industry professionals. Our goal is to have our finger on the pulse of what's happening in the moment. Additionally, since launching Stage 32 Screenings I have had the privilege of speaking with hundreds of entertainment industry creatives and professionals including festival directors, distributors, sales agents, financiers and other executives to get their take on how they're navigating these challenging times. I can think of no better time to host another free AMA (Ask Me Anything) so I can share what I've been hearing and experiencing in my personal creative pursuits and to take your questions on all things craft and business.   In June I hosted a new AMA. You brought your questions and energy and I provided a couple of hours of no-holds-barred shop talk. All creatives were welcome to join no matter their profession(s), skill level, or geographical location. We came together for some inspiration, motivation, and community. I had fun spending quality time with you all.   As always, registering for my AMA is completely FREE! And the more the merrier, so do invite any of your fellow creative friends and peers to watch. Should any of your contacts not be members of Stage 32 already, you can send them an invite here!   If you missed my last few AMA's, you can view them here!   Cheers!   RB

Exploring New Distribution Models for Independent Films Including the Latest: Virtual Theatrical

Theater closures brought on by the global pandemic are now leading exhibition and distribution communities to work together and think outside-the-box in order to preserve the arthouse theatrical landscape. Imagine a world without arthouse theaters. It’s a bleak concept for cinephiles and filmmakers alike. In a world where landing a traditional, theatrical commitment from a distributor is like winning the golden cup, what are our options when none of those theaters are open? More so, how do we keep independent theaters, already operating on thin margins, alive to fight another day and provide filmmakers, producers and financiers viable options to make profits on their films? Thankfully, there's a new an exciting option to explore. Navigating a successful theatrical release is an enormous challenge, in and of itself, when exhibition is operating normally. Add in a global pandemic and those challenges rise even higher. What are the options? Does your distributor simply claim force majeure and rush you into the home entertainment landscape? Will the home entertainment revenues be hurt by the lack of theatrical exposure? How do theaters survive and make money when they can’t have patrons at their physical locations? In times of crisis, it’s always impressive to see innovation born of necessity. Behold the birth of the "virtual theatrical" release, which has emerged and become a key player in these virtual times. But what is that exactly? How does it work? Can you make money and are other digital platforms willing to accept theaters playing in their sandbox? It’s the new Wild West.  Kristin Harris is a seasoned entertainment executive who has spent the past 15 years in the independent distribution space. She has held key acquisition, development, and production roles at Starz Media, Overture Films, and Cinedigm Entertainment Group. Kristin currently serves as VP, Distribution and Acquisitions at Good Deed Entertainment, where she oversees all aspects of the company's distribution arm and manages the release slate, which includes EXTRA ORDINARY, JOURNEY’S END, Spirit Award Nominee, TO DUST, and the Academy Award nominated, LOVING VINCENT. Kristin has been at the forefront of this emerging distribution option "virtual theatrical" and will bring her experience to the Stage 32 community for you to understand what it is, how you can make money for your film from it and if it's right for you. Kristin will go over the current theatrical distribution landscape which has been affected by the COVID19 pandemic and discuss current available options for your film's distribution. She will introduce a brand new type of distribution, virtual theatrical, and break down the players, how it works from a macro and micro level and how it makes money. She'll go over how to navigate this new reality and how virtual theatrical folds into traditional and non-traditional release plans, reporting and logistics. She'll go over the pros and cons of a virtual theatrical release and help you decide if it's the right thing for your film. She'll also discuss what the future holds for distribution and buying habits in the current environment. These are challenging, yet exciting times for the industry and especially for those working in independent film. Kristin will give you all the current information and guide you through all scenarios including virtual theatrical to assure that your film has the best chance at profitability.   Praise for Kristin's Stage 32 Webinar   "Very informative and have learned a great deal. Will definitely put to use for our Feature Film Projects. Thank you!" -Haskell A.   "The webinar was cutting edge and valuable information" -Angela G.    "Very good practical information detailed enough to get the lay of the land on this topic." -James P.   "Great info in a new age." -Mary M.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In