Happy Monday, Stage 32 Creative Crew! We're just coming out of another incredible "Introduce Yourself Weekend" on Stage 32. If you missed it, there is still time to jump in the Introduce Yourself Lounge and make a post! This is also a perfect time to highlight the success of a Stage 32 member who used the power of the platform to network, make connections, learn and improve the craft, and eventually get hired on a writing assignment!
Alex Moreno is based in Miami and has been a part of the platform since 2015. Alex reached out to me in late October to let me know that he had been hired to be a writer on the 2021 slate of Absurd Hero Productions. The initial connection came through an ad that the principals of Absurd Hero Productions placed on Stage 32!
Absurd Hero Productions is a full service boutique production company focusing on films, music videos, commercials and brand integrated content.
Alex had already been utilizing Stage 32 Next Level Education to improve his pitch deck! As Alex says, "From my Pitch Deck class I took with Ewan Dunbar, this company [loved] my idea and we are negotiating our next steps. Super exciting!"
And beyond that, Alex has been using Stage 32 to make connections with other writers as well as producers. He is part of a writers group of which 4 of the 6 members were found on Stage 32. Just like the subject of last week's blog, CHICK FIGHT writer Joe Downey, Alex is not based in LA, and works primarily outside of the entertainment industry. But using the power of Stage 32, Alex is now working with a production company looking to develop and produce his material! It is just more proof that the power to break into the industry is largely in your hands, no matter where you are in the world.
Take it away, Alex!
You look down at the DELETE key, sensing its magnet power drawing you in. You sigh, asking why keep going? You hear the echoes in your brain - "This is crap, get rid of it, you’ve been at this for years, give it up…" You move towards the Delete key…asking yourself - "Why do you do this writing lark…?"
I have been a member of Stage 32 since 2015. I’m not much for social media, and initially would tell my friends I’ve joined "Facebook for the Industry."
I am in a quite unique situation as a screenwriter. I have famous friends in the Industry but won’t lean on them until I know my writing has reached the A grade level (recommends/ placing as a finalist in a competition etc.). If you find me on IMDB.com, you’ll see I have been involved in a few cool projects. I enjoy producing, but screenwriting is my first love.
I tend to write every day (within reason- I’m a director at a STD clinic. Someone has to pay the bills -LOL) but when I am just not in the mood, I’m always writing down ideas, reading scripts, read Scriptshadow’s blog, or look out for writing opportunities.
So, I’d like to share a recent story about how you - my peers - can utilize Stage 32 to help you along in your career. The first thing I did, was to form a writer’s group called the Circle (4 of 6 members came from Stage 32); it is going pretty well. Then I decided to use the site a little more, took some cool webinars, and networked. One day - in May 2020 – I responded to an ad on Stage 32 from Absurd Hero Productions asking for pitches.
[The add stated, "We're currently accepting unsolicited scripts from aspiring non-union screenwriters for our 2021 slate. If myself or one of the other Producers like what we see, we'll set up a call in the next week or so to talk discuss further...We're currently focused on creating Proof of Concept films to develop into features... reach out to learn more!"]
They gave criteria such as one location, limited cast size and YA content. So, I sent in one of my ideas: Butcher’s Bill.
Four months later, I received an email from one of the assistants at Absurd Hero Productions. They wanted to schedule a meeting. Wow! I was so surprised because I had just taken a Pitch Deck class on Stage 32 from Ewan Dunbar and thought about putting something together for the Butcher’s Bill idea.
Absurd Hero Productions is a Los Angeles based production company founded by filmmaker Matt Boda.
I met with one of the Executive Producers, and he asked for my first episode; I had pitched a YA TV series in Quibi style episodes. After he read that, the other Executive Producer contacted me and invited me on as a writer for their 2021 slate. Our next step is to trim my episode (all of 8 pages) into a tight 6-page proof of concept script. That gets shot. The finished proof of concept is what we use to find financing for the project.
So, my fellow peers, I’m here with sage words of wisdom. Write, write, write.
Everyone who knows me could probably list some good qualities I posses and probably a few more bad ones. I agree my biggest challenge is having patience (it must be the kid in me), but I will leave you with something I heard from [Stage 32 Founder and CEO] Richard "RB" Botto. “Being in the Industry is a long game," RB says.
Remember that (I am working on it each day). Have patience, and in between that keep writing. You just never really know which of your projects may open the biggest door for you.
I can be viewed at: www.onthemoveproductions.com
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