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How to Maximize Audience Engagement Consistently in Movies

Has science found the answer to maintaining audience engagement consistently during a movie, by eliminating filmmakers 'blind narrative spots?' Although a scientific approach to filmmaking can provide an evidence based framework to maintain audience engagement, many filmmakers perceive a scientific approach to filmmaking as ineffective, which limits creativity. However, scientific research studies can determine what engages audiences, by measuring viewers reactions to different story s…

How I Made "Under the Influence"

You know when you’re a filmmaker and you move to Los Angeles away from all of the resources you’ve worked tirelessly to secure? A fresh start? No? Oh... Me neither...   Just kidding.   Earlier this year, I moved to Los Angeles with my best friend and co-collaborator, Courtney Birk, from Baltimore, Maryland. A 2700 mile drive to further pursue my film career. Being in a brand new city, I was at a loss for cast, crew, and locations. After finally getting settled (…

3rd Annual November Write Club: The Key is to Just Write

The ides of November are here and it's time to count pages. I'm at 44, and have been for about week. I felt stuck and haven't quite progressed in my latest feature. This one is new for me, and it's scaring me a little. I typically write comedy, albeit horror comedy, sci-fi comedy, action comedy, and things that are full of humor and don't take themselves too seriously. I wanted to challenge myself this month by writing one of my favorite genres of all time, the sci-fi adventure film. Yes…

The 3 Step Process to Unlock Your Creativity

One of the biggest challenges filmmakers and screenwriters face is to keep their creative energy fresh and high, while working on projects that ask years of endurance and at times don't feel creative. What often drove us toward filmmaking - the excitement of creating stories - can quickly become the thing we connect with the less as we work toward building our careers: handling deadlines, finding an agent, raising money, applying to festivals, answering casting calls and the 100 other t…

Emerging Filmmakers: Enter your Short Film for a Chance at Up To $50K in Prizes

I've been working with David Okamoto from AT&T for over a year now and have been incredibly impressed with how he is helping short film filmmakers create and move ahead in this growing world of DIY film. When David told me that AT&T was opening up a call for submissions for the next generation of filmmakers to submit their work I was excited to bring it to the Stage 32 community. Not only is AT&T giving filmmakers who have shot a film on a phone a chance, but t…

Coffee & Content - Up Your Storytelling Game & The Art of Creativity

Happy Sunday, everyone.  Let's brew some dark roast and enjoy some content.  How about it? My first video today comes from Teppo Haapoja who lends some thoughts on how to up your storytelling game by grabbing all the shots you need to assure you're not getting caught short in the editing room. Next, I have an oldie but a goodie.  It's a fantastic TEDx talk from visual artist, actor, writer and director Taika Waititi called The Art of Creativity.  Consume, bookmark, …

Literary Editing - Stage 32 Success Story

I received an amazing testimonial recently that really humbled me and gave me such a feeling of success and achievement, that I really feel as though I have 'made it'. There's a saying that says something like... 'Everyone is famous among those they know' and I really do honestly feel like that right now, the testimonial really lifted me and made me feel as though I must be doing something right and I'm so chuffed with it, my head really is too big to get through the door and I am unasha…

Creatives, Prepare to Get Motivated - Film Trooper Podcast

We want to give a huge shout out to Ron Newcomb for having our fearless leader, RB, as a guest on the Film Trooper podcast. This is an inspirational and motivating podcast filled with a ton of advice and information to help you as a creative. RB talks about how many filmmakers get wrapped up in how to "crowdfund". Most filmmakers are too focused on having people give them money to help make their movie. Most filmmakers don't stop and ask, "What can I give back to…

3rd Annual November Write Club: Get After "It"

There is nothing I love more than checking in on Stage 32 every day and seeing our community get after it. Whether it's making a connection that is helping you move ahead, finishing a draft that has been lingering on your computer for far too long, or just taking the time to learn something new, it always serves as fuel to inspire me. Whatever "it" is for you, I hope you are seriously going after your goals with fervor.    And, I'm especially talking to you - o…

Stage 32, the Coen Brothers + Jeff Bridges Walk into FestForums

Well, we are really, really excited to announce a new relationship with Fest Forums in Santa Barbara. If you are not familiar with FestForums it is a festival conference for food, beverage, music and film festival industry leaders that takes place biannually in Santa Barbara, CA and New York City. FestForums brings together festivals and events of all sizes including representatives from such great organizations as Toronto International Film Festival, Seattle Internat…

Coffee & Content - Brand Building for Screenwriters & Jordan Peele's Inspiring Keynote

Sorry I missed you guys last week! It's been a whirlwind these last few weeks attending and speaking at iTVFest, Austin and now AFM. It's also been enormously rewarding. Never gets old meeting so many inspiring and talented Stage 32 members. Further, it's been fascinating to hear the tales and strategies of various creatives and executives as it relates to this ever-changing landscape of writing, filmmaking and distribution. I hope to share more in the coming weeks. In the meantime, how …

5 Reasons Why Newbie Content Creators Should Attend a Television or Film Festival

"I'm not good enough to attend a film or television festival. I don't have shit. All I have is a half written screenplay and another stupid idea about intergalactic robots that survive on small children and peanut butter." That's what you're saying about your stuff right now, I just know it. You're thinking: 'I'm not good enough'. You believe what you have is crap. Therefore, because you think it's crap, you stay home and eat Cheetos. Or pizza. Or peanut butter. (Don't eat small child…

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