Good Morning Stage 32 Family! Welcome to December and the month of this decade! Can you believe it?! I have seen so many posts and photos floating around the Socials recently, “Me in 2009 vs Me in 2019.” I find it so interesting that we take great effort to consider how our physical appearance has changed, but don’t really consider how other aspects of our lives - especially our creative endeavors - have evolved over the course of the last 10 years. Granted, it doesn’t make for quite as sexy an Instagram side-by-side comparison, but I think it is worth reflecting on where you were at 10 years ago in your creative endeavors - especially the creative goals you set for yourself in 2009 - and juxtapose them against where you are at currently.
Speaking about my own journey, in 2009, I had just joined Image Nation, one of the wealthiest and most active film finance and production companies in recent years. Over the next 5 years, I would come to run the entire Feature and Television Development & Production division for the company, supervising the Image Nation contributions to films including The Help, Contagion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Flight. It was a master class in filmmaking that changed the course of my career. And in 2009, I had no idea that 10 years later I would take that knowledge with me as I joined Stage 32 as the Director of Script Services. I realize now that every job I have had in the past, has informed my work with the writers of the Stage 32 community.
And my guess is that no matter where you are in your creative endeavors now, you almost certainly did not envision these circumstances in 2009. So let’s take this opportunity to think back over the last 10 years to celebrate the progress we made, challenges that forced us to adapt, the goals that we accomplished, and the failures that we embrace as agents of change and growth. And as we look to the decade ahead, let’s remember that over the next 10 years we will continue to evolve in our craft, refine our natural talent, and be presented with opportunities that we can only imagine today.
As we consider how rapidly circumstances can change, I would like to congratulate some folks in the Stage 32 community who are experiencing wonderful success over the course of the last month. Recently, Stage 32 announced that screenwriter Eric Jeske was the Grand Prize Winner of our 2019 Feature Writing Contest for his project, Avalanche, and last week, we announced that screenwriter Kimberly Britt was Grand Prize Winner of our 6th Annual Search for New Blood Screenwriting Contest with her project Desperate Times. Both Eric and Kimberly will be sent on a round of meetings around Los Angeles with managers, producers, filmmakers, and studio executives by Stage 32. As Eric says, “I am pretty pumped for this next phase,” which is a sentiment we definitely share.
I also want to take a moment to highlight some of our members who experienced leaps forward with their projects during the month of November, in the form of requests, reads, and meetings. Producer David Harris of Harris Films requested to read Secret Skin by Andy Gilchrist and The Machinist from Steven Bratter after connecting through a Stage 32 Pitch Session. Tatiana Kelly of Serena Films also connected with screenwriter Staton Rabin for the project Saving Mark Twain during a pitch session. Literary Manager Daniel Seco requested to read No Angel by Joshua Katz, Madam Toy by David Sylvester, and With Love, Lucy from Heather Magee. Executive David Hurst requested to read Prophet Hunters from Ben Mansbridge. Director and Producer Jason Koffeman asked for Romani from Saoussen Jebali.
Executive Lorenzo Keels at MGM (which just dropped the trailer for the latest Bond film last week) asked to connect with Josh Hatkins for the script, The Lost Boy and Starring John Dillinger from Bill Walker, after consultation calls with the writers. Rose Glaeser at Abrams Artists asked to meet Tom Morash after reading his script 2Bro2b. And writer Emily Aspland was connected to both Audrey Knox at The Cartel and Sarah Cornelius at Whitewater Films through a Stage 32 pitch session. Overall, just in November, there were 29 connections made between creatives and executives through Stage 32.
For those of you keeping score at home, that means that so far this year, there have been over 300 writers and other creatives who have made connections and experienced success through Stage 32! And we are not even half way through December yet! I know I speak for the entire Stage 32 team when I say that is incredibly exciting to be a part of. As we charge forward through December and into the new year, and new decade, remember that you have the Stage 32 team and the entire Stage 32 community behind you.
Sound off in the comments section and let me know where you were in 2009 with your creative endeavors and where you are now. I want to hear where your journey has taken you!
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