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 »
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 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.
"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."
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:
How To Ascend To The Top Spot - Paths to Becoming A Writer/Executive Producer For Television
Overview Of Expected Responsibilities Of An Executive Producer On Primetime Television:
1) Staffing and Running The Writers Room:
4) Getting The Directors And Crew Set For The Show:
7) Bringing It All Together: The Life Of An Executive Producer:
Plus, exclusively for Stage 32 David will open the floor to answer any questions you have!
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"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."
"David, you're a rock star."
- Pam J.
"Rewatching. Rewatching. Rewatching. Thank you, David and Stage 32."
- Annette F.
History is littered with the bones of many failed films which fell apart due to conflicts between the director and producer. While you'll often hear how important it is for a filmmaker to have relationships with all the vital players and department heads on his or her set (and it certainly is), the reality is that the relationship between the director and the lead producer is the one that will begin the earliest and last the longest throughout a particular project. A healthy, cohesive relationship between the film director and the producer will show the cast and crew that a united front has been formed and that everyone is pulling in the same direction. An unhealthy, bifurcated relationship will put the cast and crew on their heels, which will inevitably hurt the project. Directors and producers are often people of vision and power. Harnessed correctly and collaboratively, that combination can bring out the best in everyone and help to make a project stay on time, on budget, and on message and voice. Harnessed incorrectly, ego and hubris take over. It may seem obvious that communication is the key to assuring that the relationship flourishes, and that's not totally untrue. But the key to a productive and positive relationship between the director and producer is understanding all aspects of what needs to get done, recognizing what the other person's needs are, defining what's worth standing up for and what's worth letting go, and recognizing that at the end of the day, you're both fighting for the same result. As President of Production at Zero Gravity Management, Tai Duncan oversees film projects from inception to completion encompassing all aspects of development, casting, finance and production. Zero Gravity is a production and management company based in Los Angeles that boasts a strong client list of screenwriters, directors, actors and financiers for feature films and television. Tai recently produced PROUD MARY for Screen Gems starring Taraji P. Henson and HOW IT ENDS for Netflix starring Theo James and Forest Whitaker, HONEST THIEF starring Liam Neeson and THE MARKSMAN starring Liam Neeson. Zero Gravity produced the Warner Brothers, Ben Affleck starring action/thriller THE ACCOUNTANT, the drama A FAMILY MAN starring Gerard Butler and Willem Dafoe and Executive Produced the hit Netflix television show OZARK starring Jason Bateman. Needless to say, as an on set producer, Tai knows a thing or two about the director/producer relationship including the pitfalls and the paths to glory. Beginning with pre-production, Tai will take you what steps you will need to take from moment one to forge a productive relationship that will last through post and beyond. Tai will talk about the steps you need to make to assure you are communicating clearly and effectively. He will talk you through script notes, casting, hiring crew, location scouting and scheduling. Moving on to production, Tai will teach you how to keep things smooth on set, how t manage disagreements, scheduling and money issues, and the push and pull between what a director wants and what he or she has in the can. Tai will then move on to post, and how to manage expectations during the assembly cut and the director's cut. He will discuss scoring, sound and color, sales and marketing, festival approaches, and even distribution strategies so that everyone is fully communicating and staying on the same page throughout. "Don't allow a failed relationship, miscommunication or misplaced ego sabotage all the work and effort that's gone in to putting a project together. Cohesiveness begins at the top and must continue throughout the project. I'll show you how to get it done." - Tai Duncan
This month you were challenged to write a scene in 3-5 pages that tells a story with no dialogue. The idea is to use character intention, action, obstacles and the scene setting to tell a story.
A NEW EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR Learn about the Hero's Journey and how your screenplays can use this imperative tool from the Academy Award nominated writer of TOY STORY, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, GOODBYE LOVER and more... Plus! A Hero's Journey Worksheet and Exclusive Script Downloads For You! STAR WARS, THE MATRIX, HARRY POTTER, TOY STORY... countless successful films use "The Hero's Journey," a storytelling archetype promoted by author and professor Joseph Campbell. You've likely heard or maybe even read about it, but Stage 32 is here to walk you threw what it takes to apply this essential archetype to your own writing! In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Alec Sokolow will take you through the Hero's Journey so that you fully understand how to use it to elevate your scripts. Alec is a master of the Hero's Journey having applied it throughout his career to his blockbuster films, including TOY STORY, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, EVAN ALMIGHTY, and many more. He's also produced feature documentaries, directed animation shorts, and written children's books, successfully applying Joseph Campbell's mythical structure with his work netting over $2 billion in worldwide receipts. The Hero's Journey is bigger than Luke Skywalker, and following this archetype isn't about following a cookie-cutter story. It's about understanding dreams we all share and heightened realities. It leads to star-making roles that actors are dying to play. It's about raising the stakes and challenging your protagonist to change on multiple levels by pushing them beyond their limits. To truly understand the nature of your writing, it is vital to understand the heroic journey you are constructing for your protagonist and go on your own journey as you craft your script. In the process, you'll have a deeper understanding of how to write these journeys, be able to elevate your writing to something that grabs producers and talent, and prove that you're ready for a career in writing big-screen stories. Where else can you learn about this imperative story structure directly from a successful screenwriter who applies it to their work every day? Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn from Alec Sokolow and start your own Hero's Journey. PRAISE FOR ALEC'S WORK AND STAGE 32 EDUCATION: “Alec Sokolow is one of the world’s great storytellers, screenwriters, and teachers and that’s a wonderful combination for anyone to learn from.” -- An Award-Winning Producer "Wonderful insights. Made lots of notes. Thank you." "Alec is the best! What a world of knowledge!" "Great session with Alec. Thanks for the insights and wisdom from your storytelling experience. Oh, and for the films!"
Learn directly from Melissa Daykin Cassill, Vice President of State Street Pictures (Faster, Beauty Shop, Barbershop, Notorious, Nothing Like The Holidays) The Hangover, Bridesmaids, Little Miss Sunshine. What is it, exactly, that makes these comedies stand out from the crowd? With so many different types of comedies in the marketplace, it is becoming the toughest genre to break into. More executives are turning to A list comedians to write than actual screenwriters, so how do you get an executive's attention? How do you get past executives that have different senses of humor, jokes that don't translate internationally, and storylines that can easily get deemed outdated a year later? Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you our 4 week online intensive class How To Write A Fresh, Stand Out Comedy taught by the Vice President of State Street Pictures, Melissa Dayin Cassill. In this hands on 4 week course, you will learn the importance of the emotional crescendo of a comedy script, how to balance the comedy with the humanity of the characters, and how to pitch your comedy script once you're ready, all while molding your pages under Melissa's supervision. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards strengthening your pages, this class will help you craft your writing into a fresh stand out comedy script that will grab executives' attention! Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Melissa is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.
Voiceover work is a hot and highly in-demand job for creatives, and one that keeps growing. From audiobooks to animated features and series, to advertisements, voiceover for the visually impaired, and so much more, there are endless possibilities and ways to make income! If you’re an creative looking to stretch your horizons and talents, it’s definitely an area you’ll want to learn and get into. Plus, you can often work from anywhere in the world! One of the challenges facing voice actors starting out though, is not knowing where to start. There are so many factors that go into having a successful voice acting career, but building a strong foundation and learning the basics is a must if you want to get anywhere. You’ve been using your voice your whole life, but do you really know how to use your voice? What happens during a recording session? There are a few things every voice actor must learn before getting started, and we’ve got a veteran voice actor to teach you all you need to know! Van Gunter has been a Cannes Gold Lion award-winning voice actor for over 20 years and co-owns Boutwell Studios, a Post Production Audio Facility. Boutwell produces commercials for television, does custom sound design for video or motion pictures, original music scoring for jingles or soundtracks, and works on specialized projects, such as ADR, podcasts or radio dramas. He’s voiced for NASA, Valvoline, BBVA Bank and Pandora, among many others. Van is a true voice over professional and is excited to share his years of experience with the Stage 32 community. You will leave this webinar with an overview of how to prepare your voice, how to work with a voice script and know how to explore your career options.
Learn directly from an editor from HBO Max! Putting together a great trailer for your own film or series can make all the difference when it comes to building an audience, getting eyes on your film, or even convincing distributors, executives and more to be interested. And editing trailers seems easy enough. It’s just the coolest bits of the movie with some awesome music behind it, right? Then why is it that when you try this yourself, the trailer just feels flat, no matter how good the track is? Why is it so difficult to make your project look engaging in a trailer when you’ve done the elevator pitch for this story more times than you care to count? Why is it that you were able to edit a whole long-form movie together, but this 2-minute trailer is giving you so much trouble? The truth is: a successful trailer is so much more than your best shots with your best music behind them. There’s a reason that there are entire agencies dedicated to just trailers and promos along with a whole roster of “trailer editors” who specialize in this medium. Trailer editing is really its own unique art form with its own rules and its own skillsets required to make it work. This doesn’t mean you can’t make an effective trailer of your own film, but you’re first going to need to learn how to navigate this medium and approach your film with new eyes to make the trailer sing and get your project the attention you’re looking for. Stephen Boyer is a film and video editor with nearly 10 years of experience in post-production and currently serves as a trailer editor for HBO Max, where he recuts modern trailers for existing films in the platform’s catalogue. Through his career, Stephen has edited feature films, documentaries, commercials, music videos and nearly everything in between and has cut for a litany of influential brands such as Netflix, Microsoft, SiriusXM, Nintendo, Blizzard Entertainment, and Warner Bros. A Los Angeles native with a lifelong passion for filmmaking and music composition, Stephen is well-versed and passionate in the art of trailer cutting and is bringing his years of experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Stephen is going to break down what makes an effective trailer today and the steps you should take to create a great trailer for your own film or television project. He’ll first discuss what good trailers look like in general and will then delve into how to re-approach your film with new eyes to begin building your trailer and find the right clips to include. He’ll also go over how you can identify the right pieces of music for your trailer and will teach you how to build out the trailer’s story. Stephen will go over polishing the trailer with sound design and will explain the fine tuning and rewrite process necessary for any trailer. Stephen will identify some of the most common pitfalls trailer editors should avoid and will even share a case study of a real trailer he edited for HBO Max of a notable film and explain how it came together. Through Stephen’s lessons and case study, you’ll gain a series of new strategies and techniques to tackle your own project’s trailer with confidence and create something that will stand out from the crowd.