Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend everyone. Hope you all had a terrific week!

Before we get started, a reminder that my Content Challenge is on! I’m challenging you to share a minimum of one piece of content a day over in the Stage 32 Lounge. If you missed the announcement on the Stage 32 Blog yesterday, here’s a link to the announcement and a video from yours truly speaking to the challenge - I Challenge You to Challenge Yourself - Let's Get Networking

This week under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: Controversy abound at pay for play auditions gain dominance in Hollywood; a terrific interview with Aaron Sorkin; Donald Trump, the Coen Brothers and the decline of the American middle class; small movies that made big bucks in 2015; a look at the great Garry Shandling’s impact on the television landscape; SAG-AFTRA is moving quick in their search for a new president; the diversity issue is back in the news; Cannes makes an announcement regarding the opening film of the fest; the looming anti-gay laws in a few southern states has Hollywood lashing out and much, much more.

In the VIDEOS section this month, a look at Hitchcock’s blocking techniques in Vertigo, a look at William Friedkins use of documentary techniques and the limits of cinematic long takes.

Under TIPS, I have 10 TED Talks to make you a better you plus filmmaking, documentary filmmaking, producing, acting and screenwriting tips and tricks.

Busy week here on the platform as well. We’ll get you all caught up in the STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 MEETUPS, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES and STAGE 32 EDUCATION sections.

And finally, you guys truly got after it this week in the Stage 32 Lounge. I’ve collected some of the coolest and most viewed threads under POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

As always, I invite thoughts, remarks and healthy debate on any of the content below in the Comments section.

Enjoy the content and have a terrific and creative weekend!




I Challenge You to Challenge Yourself - Let's Get Networking  I hear from so many Stage 32 members and other film creatives who feel as if they have nothing to share on social media. Or that they simply cannot make an immediate impact. I'm here to tell ya, it's just not true. Click here and listen to my Networking Challenge challenge now!

Empty Mailboxes and Phones That Do Not Ring - Silence is defined as the absence of any noise or sound; stillness. However, for a freelancer it is the most deafening (and terrifying) noise one can experience. The absence of your ringtone, text tone, or email notification tone going off for a lengthy period of time segues into the five stages of a grief-like state for a freelancer. To read about what to do for our fellow freelancer that helps them through the stages, Click here

Six Steps to Rewarding Professional Relationships - Feeling like a stranger in a strange land can be disconcerting, especially when the strange land includes your chosen or hoped-for profession. How do you find your way beyond the boundaries and challenges that all professions include? How do you become a cultural insider? To find out Mark McIntire’s tips, click here. 


What It Takes To Get Your Project Set Up at Amazon/Netflix, Studios and TV (Cable, Network & Reality) (APR 5)In this 90-minute webinar your host Aimee Rivera will go over the steps to set up a project in various different film and television mediums. She will go over everything you need to consider - audience, domestic vs. international, commercial vs. niche. She will then go into an overview of the current marketplace and what's selling in film and television.Aimee has worked with Cindy Cowan Entertainment, Amazon Studios, Exclusive Media - Rush, End of Watch, The Woman in Black, Prospect Park (Salem, Unstoppable, Wilfred), Village Roadshow Pictures (Lego Movie, Sherlock Holmes) and more. She will go over what she learned from each company that helped shaped the knowledge she acquired on getting projects set up. 

What you will learn in this webinar:

  • Steps To Set Up a Project
  • Overview of the current marketplace
  • What projects are positioned for Amazon/Netflix medium
  • How to Set Up a Project For a Studio: Sony
  • Working With Cable Networks
  • Creating for Broadcast Networks
  • Reality Television
  • Other Alternatives For Your Project:

To see a detailed list of topics you will learn and register for this webinar, click here!  (early bird special ends April 1!)

Attaching “A” List Actors to Your Film - Separating Your Project from the Pack! (Apr. 7) Anyone who has ever tried to produce and cast a feature film is aware of the quagmire that attaching “A” List level talent represents. On one hand, you need the star power of a “name” actor in order to acquire funding and on the other hand you need the money in order to acquire the name talent. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Attaching “A” List Actors to Your Film: Separating Your Project From the Pack, Franco Sama will outline specific steps and strategies that will insure that the “A” Lister’s will at least read your script giving you an advantage over everyone else trying to secure talent but cannot. Franco Sama has Executive Produced an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films including most recently, “Guns, Girls and Gambling” starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook which is quickly becoming a cult favorite; this film was released into theaters on December of 2012 and, in January 2013, acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures.

What you will learn:

      • A bullet Proof method for insuring that the agent/manager puts your script into the hands of the “A” Lister and that they READ IT!
      • Do not underestimate the fact that even the top “A” Lister’s want to work all the time and will often sign on to lower budget independent feature films if they are attracted to the material.
      • How to turn an “LOI” (Letter of Intent) into an “LOC” (Letter of COMMITMENT)!
      • Making the offer – How to make it, when to make it and under what conditions.
      • The Offer – We will Dissect an example of an actual, physical offer to an “A” List Actor.

And Much, Much more! Click here to register now!

10 Essential Elements to Incorporate Into Writing Your Rom Com (On Demand) - Your instructor, Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom has spent her career working in development and production. She helped to found Animal Kingdom – and there, she co-produced Destin Daniel Cretton’s SHORT TERM 12, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at SXSW 2013. She was also an incremental part of seeing films like David Robert Mitchell's IT FOLLOWS, Justin Tipping's KICKS, and Joachim Trier's LOUDER THAN BOMBS move into production - and optioned David Carr’s THE NIGHT OF THE GUN. In this 2 week intensive Stage 32 online course, your host Amanda will outline the 10 essential elements no rom com can survive without, helping you realize how to turn that bad date into legendary Hollywood fodder! (Because everyone knows that Pretty Woman is totally plausible and actually really happened!)

The objective of this course is:

  • To give you the tools you need to write a funny, heartfelt, PRODUCIBLE romantic comedy – so that you can see your name in lights (and let’s be real… get paid!)
  • To learn how to identify your voice and perspective as a writer – and realize what differentiates you (in a good way). And to have a succinct answer to the ever-elusive question of: what is your brand?
  • Learning how to write a great script that turns into a great movie – and what the pitfalls are along the way.

For more information Click here: 10 Essential Elements to Incorporate Into Writing Your Rom Com


Pitch Rachel Crouch – April 2 10:00 - 12:30 PM PDT

Specializes in sci-fi, comedy, horror and thriller (features & TV).

A Midwest native and Hoosier alum, Rachel Crouch originally pursued acting on moving out to LA. After a couple years – and an internship at Miranda Bailey’s former company, Ambush Entertainment – she realized her real passion was in working with writers and developing stories. For over 2 years Rachel has been working in development at Cold Iron Pictures. Cold Iron Pictures is a boutique film financing company that embodies the spirit of independent film making. They look for innovative scripts, auteur directors and cast-driven projects.

Pitch Daniel Seco – April 3 10:00 - 12:30 PM PDT

Specializes in comedy, drama, coming of age, thriller, action (features & TV).

Daniel Seco previously worked as an assistant for a motion picture literary agent at CAA. He also worked at Resolution where he started as an intern before working in the mailroom, as a floater, and in the motion picture department for a talent and literary agent. He currently works at Writ Large which is a leading management and production company! Their clients include Writer/Producer Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra), Writer/Actor Kelvin Yu (Cloverfield, Bob's Burgers), and Director/Producer Daniel Sackheim (Game of Thrones, House M.D., Life)

Pitch Benjamin Scott - April 6th · 2:00 - 4:30 PM PDT

Specializes in sci-fi, action, intellectual horror/thriller features and all types of TV pilots.

Scott co-founded the independent production company Infinite Cre8tions Inc. Since 2003, he has produced live events, commercials and shorts for Amp3 PR, Tippi Hedren’s Shambala Fundraiser,, Vision movies, Plug LA Daily, Chill Promotions, and The Production Group Studios. He wrote, produced and directed the award winning pilots, The Munchies, American Surf Design, You be the Judge, and the sitcom The Au Pairs before working as the VP of Development for Eclectic Pictures on Playing For Keeps with Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Dennis Quaid.  






Like this blog post? Please share it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email etc) by using social media buttons at the top of the blog. Or post to your personal blog and anywhere else you feel appropriate. Thank you.

As always, we welcome thoughts and remarks on ANY of the content above in the Comments section below...


The First Steps Towards Professionalism
I Challenge You to Challenge Yourself - Let's Get Networking
register for stage 32 Register / Log In