The Stage 32 Blog
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As I've mentioned before in this space, for a creative, as it relates to wish fulfillment, there are many roads to the promised land. No two success stories are the same. One never knows where a connection made today may lead in five years. We hold much of our fate in our own hands.
Darrin Dickerson can tell you a thing or two about steering one's destiny.
From sitting in a dark theater dreaming about making films to being on set making them with the great Steven Soderbergh, this is Darrin's journey.
This is the same story I'm sure you've heard before, maybe even your same story ... the story of how I always wanted to make movies.
Some of my earliest and most vivid memories are of my mom taking me and a few friends to the Alexandria Mall or the Don Theatre, just across the river from where I grew up in Pineville, La, to see Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Rocky. Close behind those memories are Simon & Simon on Thursday nights, Dukes of Hazzard on Friday nights, Magnum P.I., etc., etc. From the age of 6, I wanted to be in the business of making movies, acting, telling these stories and being these characters I was growing up with. I wrote letters to a few of the actors I admired, telling them how much I wanted to be on their show or somehow be a part of what they were doing. I'm sure each and every one of the interns or assistants who were reading their fan mail were ecstatic to receive my offer to help out. I never heard back from any of them ... however, someone from Gerald McRaney's camp did send me an autographed 8x10. That was cool.
Around the ages of 8-10, me and my buddies from the neighborhood started doing regular "stunt shows" in our backyard. We would advertise via posterboard and magic marker from the front yard. The shows usually involved us jumping our bikes over ramps made from scraps of wood we found in dad's shop, jumping out of the treehouse, jumping over (or sometimes) into the creek, staging elaborate fight scenes and the like, all for an audience perched in lawn chairs and along the brick wall around our patio ... granted, it was usually just our moms, but an audience nonetheless.
The stunt shows in the Dickerson backyard were about to go to the next level when my mom and dad purchased one of the first VCR and camera combo units. This was it!...Now I could make my own movie! At 10, we weren't concerned about a script (what's that?), nor did we understand what it took to make a movie (which is not necessarily a bad thing), we just wanted to be on the screen like Harrison Ford or Sylvester Stallone. We just wanted to ride fast, shoot guns, fight and we had a camera and a cameraman, or woman (mom).
I was ready to go, explaining to my mom that we just needed a couple of things, namely two toy machine guns from Pearsons, the neighborhood corner drug store, and a few supplies from the Ben Franklin's. This was my first realization of budgets, financing, and that it takes money to make a movie, when my mom says, "How are you going to buy those things?" Cue: Blank stare from me. Thus began my foray into producing and securing funds. I spent the next few days going door to door in my neighborhood asking for donations to make my movie. It was a simple plea for funds, and I was genuine and truthful. I told neighbors that I just needed a few dollars to buy toy machine guns and supplies for our movie, and in return they would get to watch it for free after we shot it. No contracts, no lawyers, just a simple agreement and money changing hands between friendly neighbors and a 10 year old.
That was the start of my journey in real filmmaking, and although that movie was never made, the guns were purchased and were put to good use in and around the neighborhood, including some of our later stunt shows (to which those good contributors were invited free of charge). Even though it didn't happen, this was my first "Aha" moment, my realization that it can be done, that you don't need Hollywood's permission to make a film, you can do it yourself.
My passion for making and being in films went by the wayside during Jr. High and High School, as I focused on other things that young boys do. That passion returned during my college years. I took a job as an Art Director with an ad agency right out of high school and worked there through college. This particular agency had it's own in-house film and video production department, complete with an old tube Beta cam, full edit suite (linear) and a grip truck. I began cross training into that department as a grip/electric and learning the ropes from producer Greg Mayo and a host of other freelance talent. I'd take the equipment on nights and weekends and shoot my own little mock commercials, promo pieces, etc., learning on the job and by trial and error on my own. I was officially bitten by the bug once again. I became obsessed with shooting. I loved it and wanted to be on set every chance I got.
One of the freelance crew I saw regularly on our commercial productions was a guy by the name of David Jensen. David is an instantly likable person, aside from being class clown of the set, he was generous with his knowledge and advice. I was a newbie, hungry for knowledge of this craft I so wanted to be a part of, and David was certainly someone to look up to. He was very professional, knew his stuff inside and out, but never missed an opportunity for a laugh. Always the actor, David would go in and out of character during the day, you never knew if it was David or a part he was about to be auditioning for. He was fun to be around and easy to learn from. I think that's another reason I was drawn to him, the fact that he was crew and also a working actor ... I loved that, that's what I wanted to do. It became my plan to better learn the process behind the camera and through that hopefully end up in front of it some.
At the agency, I was storyboarding and doing creative on a number of the spots, and eventually worked that as opportunity to direct a few projects. My seven-year stint at this agency proved invaluable for the knowledge I gained and, more so, for the friends I made. I also was fortunate enough to win quite a few Addy awards for the work I'd done, which helped lead to my next agency job.
It was during this time that I was trying to figure out what to do. I knew nobody in the business, I knew no one who had taken this route before. I came to the conclusion that I needed to go to film school to take it to the next level. After much research, I decided to submit to Florida State's Graduate film program. Using my graphic design background, I went to great lengths to put together a package that would stand out from the rest. I constructed a crate about the size of a briefcase which included the requested forms one would normally fill out, but in a handmade and personalized dossier folder, as well as my demo reel of the projects I'd done over the last couple of years in the form of a vhs tape jacketed like you'd find at the local Blockbuster (this was in the 90's). The package did it's job, as I got a call from someone in Florida State's offices telling me how awesome it was and it was a hit with everyone there. This person let me know (off the record) that I'd made it to the last cut, but had not made one of the final spots ... obviously it was not awesome enough :) When I asked why, the response was ... wait for it..."you just didn't have enough on-the-job experience." How ... wha ... wait...?? sigh.
I've always been pushed on by people telling me I couldn't do something, and this was no different. I took this personally, as a slight from the industry itself. I put a call in to the only person in the feature film business that I knew, David Jensen, and asked how could I possibly get on a set, work on a movie, anything that was "legit" (whatever that means). David was encouraging as always and said he would keep his ears open.
Literally just weeks later, I left the agency I'd started at for another as the lead Creative Director. As I wanted to pursue work on feature films, my agreement with the owner of this agency was that if I secured a short term job on a feature film, I could leave to work on it and still have my job when I returned (I'm not sure he took that seriously),...he agreed. After two weeks on the job, I got a call from David. He was working with a long time friend on an independent feature in Baton Rouge, about 2 hours south of where I lived. He invited me to come down and work with them for a couple of days and see how it went. He said he couldn't make any promises, but if his friend liked me maybe I could stay on for the rest of the show.
This director had done a few studio films, but was most famous for the Palme d'Or he'd won at Cannes for a little film called Sex, Lies, and Videotape. I'd heard the name Steven Soderbergh before, but could not have picked him out in a lineup to save my life. The film they were working on in Baton Rouge was called SCHIZOPOLIS, and it was a back to basics, barebones approach to indie filmmaking. I left a day before my scheduled start and stayed with a childhood friend now living in Baton Rouge (one of the guys who used to do the stunt shows with me).
The morning of my first day, I was a bit nervous, and made sure I was there a good 45 mins before my call time. Base camp was the offices of the producer, John Hardy (also a class act guy). Being almost an hour early, I found myself one of only a couple of people in the building. Someone directed me to the conference room to wait. There was one of the crew already there, dressed in all black, preparing for the day, he was an A.C. I assumed, as he worked in a changing bag meticulously loading the day's mags. He smiled and said, "hi". We made small talk as we waited for everyone else. A short time later my friend David bounded into the room, with his usual great attitude. He shook my hand and gave me a hug at the same time, as he always does, making you instantly feel he is genuinely happy to see you. "Hey man, how have you been, thanks so much for coming to help us" (knowing good and well he was helping me) "I see you've already met Steven." Uh, uh,...hey.
And thus was my introduction to Steven Soderbergh, a quiet, calm, collected, and unassuming man who you feel comfortable to be in the room with. From that very first encounter with him, he made me feel welcomed and important. He had a way of encouraging you by example, and the next few days working for him would just prove to solidify the dreams and path I'd chosen. This very first day in that conference room in Baton Rouge, LA was my "Aha" moment. It was the moment I realized a big Hollywood director was just a normal guy from Louisiana, just like me. It was the moment I realized I could do it, it could be done.
Part II of "A Kid Who Just Wanted To Make Movies and My Aha Moment in SCHIZOPOLIS" will run tomorrow.
Darrin Dickerson is a working Director/DP/Storyteller doing commercial, music video, and feature work through his production company Ghostwater Films since 1996.
Darrin is available for questions and remarks in the Comments section below.
Today's guest post comes from screenwriter, founder of The Great American PitchFest, and one of the hardest working people anywhere on the planet, my friend, Signe Olynyk.
As The Great American PitchFest enters its 10th year, Signe has taken a moment to look back and reflect on the people who have helped not only make the enterprise a success, but assisted in making her a better screenwriter.
I love this blog. I absolutely love every heartfelt word. And I learned a great deal along the way.
I hope you do as well.
PS - Please see the close of the blog for an exclusive offer to all Stage 32 members for GAPF's exclusive, all encompassing screenwriting seminar, Your Career in a Day.
Ten years. That's how long I have been running the Great American PitchFest (GAPF) and Screenwriting Conference. Many people do not know that I started the event in Canada, before expanding it into Los Angeles and most recently, London. That makes a grand total of 14 events in a decade.
I am one of the luckiest people I know. During this time, we have been welcomed into a community of screenwriters with more than 2,000 people coming out to our event each year. Time and time again, established screenwriters and special guests have generously donated their time to speak to aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers, never hesitating to share their wisdom with others. Most of our classes are free. Some of our bigger workshops have a small fee. All of them are excellent.
I started this event because I wanted to make a difference to the lives of other writers, their careers, and the screenwriting dreams that we all share. I have written and produced my own feature film, with a second one (written by my brilliant producing partner, Bob Schultz) going into production next month. And I have met some of the most talented, generous, and fascinating people I've ever known as a result of this event. I am very fortunate to call many of them close friends. Happy anniversary indeed!
It is a tradition of mine to write 'thank you' notes on my birthday to friends and family who helped to make my life the amazing ride that it is. As I remember the past ten years, I feel compelled to reflect on some of the lessons I have learned from many of the excellent speakers and special guests we have had over the years.
Thank you to Pilar Alessandra, who came to support the very first Great Canadian PitchFest by helping writers learn how to hone their scripts and pitch to the industry. Pilar taught me that pitching can be as simple as filling out a 'fill in the blank easy to pitch' template, to build confidence and take the nerves out of pitching. She explained that the simplest pitch is just a story about a hero character with a specific goal, who overcomes the obstacles in their way - just like all of us. She taught me that when describing characters, to write about their 'essence' instead of their physicality. 'Chubby man' becomes 'never met a jelly donut he didn't like'. 'Paint pictures with select, hand-picked words, and your scripts crackle with interest.
Karl Iglesias taught how to make my script leap off the page, by using visual power words that have sounds. Words like 'smacks', 'booms', 'bursts' or 'smashes'. 'A car drives by' is improved with 'A red Ferrari blasts by, boombox blaring.' Use present tense to give more energy to the read.
Shane Black taught me to back my characters into corners, and make them fight for their lives, or for someone they care about. He once described a scene he saw where one of Charlie's Angels was tied up, and her captors tossed cards into a hat while she chewed through her ropes. No. Threaten her. Increase the jeopardy, and do it every moment you can. Tie Geena Davis to a giant spinning wheel that splashes through the water, and nearly drown her. Have her struggle to untie her hands. Strain to reach the gun. A true do or die moment, where she has to save herself and defeat the bad guys. When you want to show your characters growing closer, have them touch, even if it is inadvertently. And as you climb the ladder that is your career, reach down to pull those up with you as much as you reach up for a hand. That's how you build a career. And even if you can't live in a 'pad of guys', find like minded people who will support you, but make sure they think differently enough to challenge you.
Stephanie Palmer, thank you for confirming the importance of making sure the relationships I develop with others are 'real' and meaningful. It's easy to meet a lot of people, but sharing with others and putting yourself out there is the only way to truly develop relationships with others. Invest in real relationships and get to know others by giving of yourself. Don't ask what they can do for you. Give to others first, and you'll be amazed how much you receive in return.
Mark Stolaroff, thank you for the gift of the lessons you share in your 'No Budget Film School'. I made a low budget film because of what I learned from you. Among other things, I learned to look for the 'movie worthy' resources in my own life that I could weave into a script and shoot on a limited budget. I learned to hire people who were looking for 'step up' positions who could contribute resources in exchange for opportunity, and to make the first ten minutes of a film as exceptional as possible because that's as much as many distributors will ever see before making a purchase decision.
Pen Densham, you rode an alligator, and you believe in the possibility of others. You are always encouraging and speak directly to people's hearts with your words. You tell about dropping out of high school and how 'if you can make it in this business, anyone can'. I don't believe that to be true. But you've taught me that when someone else believes in you, anything is possible. You inspire me. And someday, I want you to show me that alligator trick.
Julie Gray, you taught me that we live in the future and that we can write movies from anywhere. That no matter what heartaches and challenges we face, writers can deal with anything if they just keep writing. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. What matters is what you know to be true in your heart.
Gary Shusett, you gave me advice once that if you want to get to know someone, find photos of them, and then find a way to get to know the people who they are with. You are dogged, and persistent. You pick up the phone and are not afraid to ask for what you want. I learned that if you ask often enough, sometimes you even get it.
Jerrol LeBaron, you taught me not everyone has the same interests at heart in the screenwriting community that we all share. There are people out there who will steal your ideas. I have learned from you that sometimes you have to watch your back. That there are those will plagiarize the hard and sincere work that others do for their own community, and then attack them without provocation with information that is knowingly inaccurate and false.
From Luke Ryan, I have learned that the opportunities for writers have grown more than ever. It's not just about being a screenwriter any more - it's about creating a 'world' for your story that can brand itself as a comic book, a webisode series, a feature film, and dozens of other platforms to reach audiences in ways never seen before. Build your audiences from the beginning by finding followers and supporters who believe in your work. Involve them in the entire process, from Kickstarter campaign through production, and then follow through with fulfillment. If your audience is there and you are smart and prepared about how to reach them, you can find each other. Being a writer today means much more than it did five years ago, or even six months ago. You must also be prepared to be a producer, a filmmaker, and whatever else it takes to see your work realized. Above all, you must become an entrepreneur.
For Haley, Dylan, and Jordan, I thank you for helping me to see that my best work sometimes happens when I am doing nothing at all. To be a great writer, you must live. To write great stories, learn your craft to the best of your ability, but don't forget how to play. It is only by having as many experiences as possible that we can grow and become 'more'.
Drew Yanno, you taught me how to focus on my 'third act' and by doing so, I can't help but strengthen the first and second acts. I learned that figuring out my ending is often a better way to start.
Kathie 'The Fonger' Yoneda, has taught me in her gentle way, that to write roles that A-list actors want to play, you want to try and personalize moments within your script to appeal to the actor you are trying to attract. Want John Travolta? Research him to discover he enjoys piloting small aircraft. Consider attributing that trait to the character in your script to draw potential interest.
Michael Hauge, you taught me how to write characters that are relatable. By creating protagonists that are funny, likeable or respected by others, or by creating sympathy, audiences will identify with that character and want to follow them until the end.
Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, everything I learned about Twitter, I learned from you. I still don't get why anyone cares about that time I put pretzels, Nutella, and peanut butter on a bagel (it was delicious!), but I respect that they do. I learned that connecting directly with my audience and my community is empowering and enriching. My writing and the PitchFest has developed mightily through the ability to connect directly with others, and I have you to thank for showing me the tools available.
Viki King, you taught that a screenplay can be written in 28 days, and a reasonably decent one at that. You taught me I should ask a question on page 3 that I answer on page 85. And that it should be a question that I personally need to explore. Hopefully by the time the script is complete, I will have been changed as much as my characters.
Linda Seger, you taught that the reason why writers need to avoid writing stereotypes is because it doesn't elevate anyone's writing, or life. Create unique, interesting characters who audiences haven't seen before. We've all had crackers before. Give us crackers with Nutella, peanut butter, pretzels, and well, more Nutella. That's something to get excited about. It's the same way with characters.
From Ruth Atkinson, I learned that the reason audiences go on journeys with the characters we create is because they want to experience change through the eyes of others. Characters need to change as the story progresses. They need to be different at the end of the story than they were when it started, and often, the complete opposite.
Pamela Jaye Smith, you taught me that 'shades of gray' are often more interesting than characters who are all 'good' or 'bad'. That sometimes our antagonists are driven by evil, but aren't necessarily evil. When you put them on an oily hill coated in evil and give them a little push, the hellish slide down can be a fascinating ride. I've learned that the dark side can bring amazing richness to my characters, both protagonists and antagonists.
Heather Hale, you are the queen of networking. There is hardly anyone I meet who hasn't crossed paths with you. You taught our writers the art of conversation. You ask a question. They respond. You listen and respond to reflect that. Then it is their turn. Small talk is a dance, and both partners need to participate. Some are better dancers than others. From you, I learned how important it is to 'make relationships before you need them'. You never know who you might meet today who could influence your career tomorrow.
Carole Kirschner, you are a more recent addition to our journey, and you make yourself so approachable to others. From you, I have learned how approachable a studio exec can be. I've learned every exec really is hoping my script is amazing, and that I am a good match for their needs. If we have worked hard to master our craft, written great material, and if we are decent 'real' people to work with, there are opportunities. We need to have confidence in our work, our abilities, and not be afraid to ask for the opportunities we want.
Ellen Sandler, you have mentored a number of the writers you have met at GAPF, and you even produced a webisode series and a couple other projects with others. You are a writer's best friend, and you lift the curtain and let writers have a peek at the mysterious inner workings of a TV Writer's Room. From the lessons you shared as Co-Executive Producer on 'Everybody Loves Raymond' and your experience mentoring other writers and producers, I've learned that 'Everybody Loves Ellen'. For good reason.
Richard Botto, you came out last year for the first time and I'm thrilled that you will once again be joining us. You know how to build a community, and that is reflected in the thousands of writers who are part of the magnificent and global Stage 32 network. Thank you for all you do for the community, and for providing a forum for love letters such as this so I can thank so many, and share some of the lessons I've learned from them all.
And of course, as in any decade-long journey, we have lost some dear friends along the way:
Ray Bradbury, you taught me to 'get a day job in an art gallery' or somewhere that doesn't leave me so exhausted that I am unable to write at the end of the day. When you are a writer, you have no choice in the matter. You must write, and do what you must do. But even when you are waiting for your muse to speak to you, show up. Sit at the computer and do the hard work of developing your craft so that the muse knows where to find you, and so you know what to do when she appears. And then just do what you have to and keep up with the voices in your head.
Blake Snyder, you changed the industry by redefining genre, and giving us a new guide for structure. You taught me to handle my exposition with fascinating 'Pope in A Pool' type scenes to make my stories more interesting and digestible. And to really look hard at the point of each scene to make sure the exposition was even necessary. Or the dialogue, for that matter. You taught me that my characters must face 'the point of no return' and commit further to their goals, with increasing stakes at each turning point. You also taught me how important it is to experience today. There is no guarantee of a tomorrow.
Ray and Blake, our community is diminished by your loss, but the immortality you have achieved through your writing and your lessons to others serves to inspire us, and gives us tools to inspire the next generation of writers who follow us. That is a debt that can never be repaid, except by living up to the example you have offered us.
To those I may have missed, please forgive me. We have had hundreds of exceptional speakers over the years. You have all been mentors in my own professional development, many of you without even knowing it. I also thank all of our partners over the past decade. I thank you all for your commitment to helping others and elevating the craft of screenwriting overall.
To the executives who give up a weekend each year to make themselves available to new writers at our event, thank you for being such an important part of the community. As writers, we all want someone to give us a chance, and that's what you do by participating at GAPF. To the execs who have optioned scripts from our new writers, hired them for writing assignments, or signed writers for representation, thank you for being open to new writing talent. There are a lot of us out there, and we are working hard to create great work.
To all our volunteers, I thank you for making the GAPF feel more like a family reunion each year than the massive undertaking that it is. This event really is a labor of love for everyone involved. I have met some tremendous people through GAPF - talented writers who also believe in the community we are building, and in what we are all trying to achieve. For giving of yourselves and helping to support others to reach their own screenwriting dreams, I thank you for showing me that the impossible really can be done, year after year.
And most of all, thank you to Bob Schultz. Bob is my best friend and he has been at my side for every GAPF, except for the very first Great Canadian PitchFest when we hadn't met yet. He showed me when my script was a BOSH (Bunch of 'Stuff' Happening) and how to fix it. From Bob, I have learned to appreciate the method of 'dirty headlights' writing - when you write without an outline, following your characters around until they do something interesting. Writing makes my heart sing. So does Bob. (And, well, lizards and baby seals, too.) Thank you, Bob. For everything you do. And often, for what you don't!
And to those who come out to participate each year, thank you for making the Great American PitchFest & Screenwriting Conference the very special event that it has become. I also hope you will share some of the lessons you have learned over the years in the comments section below.
Signe is available for questions and remarks in the Comments Section below.
I am happy to announce that Stage 32 has secured a $10 discount for the Great American Pitchfest's exclusive, all encompassing seminar, Your Career in a Day. 15 speakers, 9 hours, a lifetime of information.
I will be speaking at the event and very much look forward to meeting all attending Stage 32 members face to face.
Your Career in a Day takes place Saturday, June 1st from 9am to 6pm at the Burbank Marriott. Please click here for more details: The Great American PitchFest Presents Your Career in a Day
- A Kid Who Just Wanted To Make Movies and My Aha Moment in SCHIZOPOLIS (Part II)
- A Kid Who Just Wanted To Make Movies and My Aha Moment in SCHIZOPOLIS (Part I)
- A Decade's Worth of Lessons
- Pursuing Your Dreams - What Have You Done Today?
- ...good intentions.
- Acting Saved My Life; Like a Fish Needs Water
- Jump on a Plane You're in Pre-Production
- Sh*t Or Get Off The Pot
- Is This My Audience? (Part II)
- Is This My Audience? (Part I)
- 10 Tips to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign (Part II)
- 10 Tips to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign (Part I)
- Simplifying the Crowdfunding Marketing Process
- The ABC's of Getting an Agent
- Wine, Dogs, and Networking
- Lighting Yourself on Fire
- Get Up
- Snatching Andy Warhol - An Independent Film Journey
- For the Love of Acting
- Stage 32 App Update
- Grip It
- Shhhh Don't tell Mom...
- Super Bowl Success Story of a Workaday DP
- Film Is History
- A STAGE 32 Special Event
- Industry Outsider
- Academy Award Contest Results
- Landing Lincoln
- Stage 32 Academy Award Contest
- 56 Up - A Night With Michael Apted
- Branding Yourself Successfully As An Actor
- Stage 32 Screenwriter Optioned (and other success stories)
- Scared Stiff Reviews interviews Stage 32 CEO Richard Botto
- China Syndrome
- Stage 32 iPhone App Now Live!
- ACTOR MUSCLE: Handling "Rejection" & "Failure" & Surviving Yourself (Part II)
- ACTOR MUSCLE: Handling "Rejection" & "Failure" & Surviving Yourself (Part I)
- How To Pitch Like A Pro (And Avoid Sounding Like A Rookie)
- Table Read My Screenplay Winners!
- Making It
- Happy Holidays
- The GladiActor
- A Stage 32 Exclusive: Q&A with Sam Haskell
- The Power of "No"
- A Stage 32 Exclusive: Our Year of Living Famously (Part III)
- A Stage 32 Exclusive: Agency Business Yesterday and Today (Part II)
- A Stage 32 Exclusive: Agency Business Yesterday and Today
- "Rare Stamps: Reflections on Living, Breathing and Acting" Kindle edition FREE today and tomorrow
- A Thanksgiving Wish
- The Indomitable Spirit
- A Stage 32 Exclusive: Our Year of Living Famously - Part II
- A Stage 32 Exclusive: "Our Year of Living Famously" by Judi Levine, Producer of "The Sessions"
- Making Movie Magic
- Have You Found Your Community Yet?
- What's New at 32
- Five Must-See Man In A Box Movies
- Stage 32 "Invite a Creative" contest
- Recent Activity
- A Filmmaker's Harvest: A Journey in Distribution
- Stage 32: The Inspired and Inspiring
- The Actor's Challenge to Make a Living
- Remembering Michael Clarke Duncan
- Happy Birthday Stage 32
- Q&A with acting legend Terence Stamp - Answers Part III
- Q&A with acting legend Terence Stamp - Answers Part II
- Congratulations, RB!
- Q&A with acting legend Terence Stamp - Answers Part I
- My True Romance with Tony Scott.
- Introduce Yourself Weekend a Smashing Success
- Q&A with acting legend Terence Stamp
- Six Degrees of Stage 32, AKA - It's a Small World After All
- Going Blind - A Filmmaker's Journey
- Film Festival Strategy: Withoutaclue to Withoutabox in 16 Steps (Part 2)
- Film Festival Strategy: Withoutaclue to Withoutabox in 16 Steps (Part 1)
- Breaking Through
- Indie Source PDF
- Indie Source Magazine interviews RB
- Inspiration from a Slaughterhouse
- The Cutting Room Floor
- First Impressions
- Hollywood's Best Just Oughta Hang Out at Stage 32
- The Bones of Pitching
- Bernie Comes Full Circle
- Fade To Black - Now What?
- Even more power of networking...
- The Power of Networking
- Balls of Steel
- Web of Intrigue
- Chatting with Chris LaMont of the Phoenix Film Festival
- The Silent Majority
- Writer Held Hostage (Part V)
- Writer Held Hostage (Part IV)
- Writer Held Hostage (Part III)
- Writer Held Hostage (Part II)
- Writer Held Hostage (Part I)
- Postscript to "My Life on Spec: the Writing of Sideways"
- My Life on Spec: The Writing of Sideways (Part VI)
- My Life on Spec: The Writing of Sideways (Part V)
- My Life on Spec: The Writing of Sideways (Part IV)
- My Life on Spec: The Writing of Sideways (Part III)
- My Life on Spec: The Writing of Sideways (Part II)
- My Life on Spec: The Writing of Sideways (Part I)
- A STAGE 32 EXCLUSIVE - Rex Picket: My Life on Spec - The Writing of Sideways - Foreword by Richard Botto
- Guest post - The Secret to an Ideal Relationship with Your Agent
- Guest post - The Key to Genuine Networking: Introductions
- Guest post - More Stories from the Trenches (Tom Cruise Told Me Not to Name-drop - Part 3)
- Guest post - Mission: Impossible 3 (Tom Cruise Told Me Not to Name-drop - Part 2)
- Guest post - Tom Cruise Told Me Not to Name-drop (Part 1)
- Like Crazy
- Guest Post -- Prescott Film Festival (Nov. 2-6)
- Guest Post by Mark Netter - TV Comedy Writer Search Contest
- Guest Post by Robert Pilkington - There's No "I" in Indie?
Richard "RB" Botto is co-founder of Stage 32 and CEO of Fair Warning Productions. In 2010, he was an Associate Producer on Sam Levinson's first feature, Another Happy Day. Previously, he was the founder, publisher, and editor of Razor magazine. His latest screenplay, Rocket's Red Glare, was a top 10% finisher in the 2011 Nicholl Screenwriting competition.