Recently, I’ve read some threads here on Stage 32 where members have questioned the worth of networking with creatives outside of their area. I thought I’d share a story…
A few nights ago, I was having dinner with a screenwriter friend. Let’s call him Steve. Steve is an award-winning writer. He’s sold many screenplays and a pilot or two. Some have gone into production, some haven’t. Quite a few years back, he was part of a writing team that was nominated for an Academy Award.
Like so many who have been in the industry for more than a decade, Steve has not only seen the changes in the system first hand, he’s been a victim of them. Jobs are not as easy to come by. His services aren’t as in demand. This has nothing to do with Steve’s talent, personality, or work ethic. There’s just less movies being made.
A few years ago, Steve’s agent suggested he take dinner with an Australian producer who was looking for material for an Australian cable network. Steve thought this was beneath him. He was a Hollywood writer after all. He wrote studio movies. He sold pilots to HBO. There was no way he would take this meeting.
His agent reminded him that Hollywood was just a speck on this great blue marble.
Steve took the meeting.
14 months later, a pilot Steve had written some ten years earlier premiered on Australian television to critical acclaim. Further, the same producer read one of Steve’s scripts and sent it to an American producer friend who has had a very nice string of independent film successes. Steve is now co-producing a film based on that very script.
Steve is very happy he took the meeting.
Here are some recent Stage 32 international success stories and shining examples of the power of global networking...
• INDIA DIRECTOR/PRODUCER, UK ACTOR, CANADIAN WRITER, FILM IN PRODUCTION
Director/Producer Mohen Naorem from INDIA, cast lead actor Junichi Kajioka, from the UK and hired writer Randy Brown from CANADA for My Japanese Niece. The film is in production and will be released in 2014 in 3 languages.
Says Naorem “With stage 32, I would make my next project easily without having to go out to hunt talents. It's like I am sitting in a good restaurant and choosing my favorite dishes.”
• US DIRECTOR/PRODUCER, BRAZILIAN WRITER, FILM COMPLETED, ONTO FESTIVALS
Producer Mike Chinea from LOS ANGELES commissioned a request for screenplays to produce. He chose BRAZILIAN writer Karen Kremes’s script. Believers Wanted completed filming in mid 2013 and has been packaged to international festivals.
Says Chinea, “Signed, sealed, delivered, Believers Wanted started here on Stage32 and it’s on its way to festivals. Big congrats to writer Karen K. Kremes for getting her first IMDB credit and I know this talented writer will have many, many more successes.”
• MONTREAL CANADA DIRECTOR HIRES 2ND UNIT PRODUCER IN UGANDA
MONTREAL director Alex Pop developed his documentary Softwaring Hard, which deals with what would happen if the world’s computer systems collapsed. He wanted multiple global points of view on this, so he met and hired producer, Julian Nabunya of UGANDA here on Stage 32. They are in post-production.
Says Nabunya “Alex and I met on this site this year in April. He was looking for a unit director from Uganda. Since that time we have worked out our terms and I have successfully finished filming what Alex wanted from Uganda. Thanks Stage 32.”
• LA TV DIRECTOR HIRES UK COMPOSER FROM STAGE 32 FOR HIS FEATURE FILM
LOS ANGELES director Mark Jacobs (Kitchen Nightmares, The Glee Project) opened up a search for composers to score his latest feature documentary, Mission Angels. The outpouring of response from qualified candidates amazed him. He has selected composer, Massimo Restaino Max, of the UK.
Says Jacobs “I’m completely overwhelmed by the response I have received from such an amazingly creative and talented pool of industry professionals. I look forward to taking this journey with everyone on this wonderful forum.”
Needless to say, all of these people are thrilled they “took the meeting”.
Everyone has their own method of networking. But there’s a whole world outside of your backyard…And the beauty of Stage 32 is that you can explore that world without ever actually leaving your backyard.
Limits are for the closed minded. A world without boundaries is reserved for the dreamers.
I am available for questions or remarks in the Comments section below.