Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone.

A quick note of thanks to all who participated in what was a record breaking Introduce Yourself Weekend. You guys rose to the occasion. The result was an all time number of posts and network request, and, based on some posts in the Lounge, the beginning of a few writing groups being formed, projects launched and even a feature film being funded. Congrats to all!

Also a reminder that the April Content Challenge rolls on. If you’re new to the site, you can read more about how you can become an active participant on Stage 32 here (I-Challenge-You-to-Challenge-Yourself-Lets-Get-Networking), here: (Content-Challenge-Update-Over-5-000-Pieces-of-Content-Shared) and here (so-you-think-you-have-nothing-to-offer-on-social-media-think-again)

Finally, the next On Stage With RB webcast is this coming Wednesday at 1PM PDT. For those not familiar with On Stage With RB, this is a FREE, live 3-hour webcast open to the first 2000 Stage 32 members who register. As always, I will have two special industry guests on the show and will be taking questions from the Stage 32 community.

To register for this month's On Stage With RB, please click here.

To view all previous On Stage With RB webcasts, please click here.

Let’s get to the blog…

Under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS this week: Tribeca’s female directors sound off at the struggles of working in a man’s world; 2 studios have no female directors working through 2018; news from Cannes; news from CinemaCon; David chase waxes poetic; the Scarlett Johannson "whitewashing" controversy; China is taking a bite out of Hollywood; Epoxy’s CEO lays down some social media knowledge; Netflix likes the idea of the Screening Room; L.A. productions are on the rise; the world’s longest film gets a 7-hour trailer and much, much more.

In the VIDEOS section this week, the best shots from 100 years of film, a look at some DSLR tips and some motivation from the movies.

Under TIPS, I have screenwriting, filmmaking, producing, cinematography, acting and composing 411.

What’s happening around the Stage 32 neighborhood? Plenty! Catch up on all of it under STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES, STAGE 32 MEETUPS and STAGE 32 EDUCATION.

And to see some of the cool content being shared during our April Challenge (and to participate), head down to POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

As always, I welcome remarks and healthy debate in the Comments section below!

Have a terrific and creative weekend!





Cannes Roll Call - Who's Going? Who Has Films? - For the 2nd straight year, Stage 32 has been invited to the Marche du Film NEXT program at the Cannes Film Festival. NEXT highlights companies bridging the gap between entertainment and tech, such as Netflix and Amazon, and we're thrilled and honored to be a featured company once again. Click here to find out all you need to know before embarking on this exciting adventure!

OFF THE PAGE - The Anatomy of a Table Read - One of the great joys for a playwright or screenwriter is seeing and hearing our stories come to life. While a full production of your screenplay might not be in the immediate future, a table read is a simple and accessible way to hear and evaluate your work.  Robert Rosenbaum recently organized a table read of his new screenplay 'The Manny'. Read how he organized the Table Read here.

Stories vs. Situations: How to Know Your Story Will Work - If I were to ask you, “Do you know what a story is?” you would probably feel a little put out. After all, you’ve probably been writing stories for a long time, in fact, you might even make your living from writing stories and you're probably thinking ' Honestly, he’s asking me that? The cheek!' 'Story' is a common term d'art in the world of creative writing — everyone knows what a story is, right? You would think so, but, alas, this is not the case.  Read how to determine if you have a story and that it can survive the long story development process from beginning to end.

2nd Annual Stage 32 Happy Writers Feature Script Contest - We are thrilled to bring you The Annual Stage 32 Happy Writers Feature Script Contest. We are looking to find the top undiscovered writers and the best feature scripts of 2016. As a result of our history with industry insiders and our global reach, we are able to connect the top writers from around the world to leading executives who can make a difference in their career. Enter here!


First Act Blueprint: Setting Up Your Screenplay For Success - Saturday, Apr 23 - 11:00 AM PDT 

In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, creative executive from Zucker Productions (director Jerry Zucker's production company), Farrell Ingle will define the importance of the ever imposing first act of a feature screenplay. He will show you how much of the groundwork for your story needs to be laid in the first act of your screenplay. If those early pages aren't up to snuff, the rest of your story will suffer, no matter how fantastic the ending is.

Your host, Farrell will lay out the many pitfalls writers stumble into without necessarily realizing it while they craft the set-up of their story. Using examples of classic films, you will understand how top notch writing creates multitudes of subtext, character development, and plot advancement with each scene. We will also discuss what constitutes an "act" and why it's so very dangerous to hold yourself within the box of a rigid structure.

What you will learn:

  • Importance of the First Act
  • Nail the SETUP of Your Story
  • Things You Must Accomplish in the First Act
  • How 3 Act Structure informs your storytelling
  • Other Formats to consider
  • Understanding the importance of Act Breaks and How to Use them
  • The Inciting Incident - what does that really mean?
  • Focus On Your Characters
  • Define the world your character believes in
  • How to introduce a character
  • How to set up characters effectively - and much, much more!
Click here to register for this event!

Learn the Ropes Of Film Music Clearances Tuesday, Apr 26 - 1:00 PM PDT

Stage 32 Next Level Education is excited to present Anna Grannucci, a Los Angeles-based film producer and music supervisor and Yale School of Drama graduate, with more than a decade of experience working on films such as WHIPLASH and STICKY NOTES for the jam-packed 90-minute Webinar Learn the Ropes of Film Music Clearances. You will learn a variety of valuable information starting with the types of other source music available for film, television, advertising, video games and every other digital media source, which also includes public domain music, royalty free, original composition, and score. You will learn how to gauge what songs are licensable or not for use in your film or project. Once you've chosen your music, you will learn music rights, the clearance process, the difference between festival, theatrical, DVD/VOD and advertising clearances and more!
You will walk away from this Webinar with a clearer understanding of your music planning and the understanding of the music clearance process you need in order to make your film's music soundtrack a success! And, who better to educate you than the Music Supervisor for both the WHIPLASH short and feature film who controls the music library associated with the film - we bring you only the best instructors at Stage 32!
What you will learn:
• Learn the difference between Festival and Theatrical music rights for film, television, DVD/VOD and advertising
• Learn what types of rights there are
• Learn the music planning steps for film, docs, television, advertising and streaming
• Learn the difference between Film Festivals and Film Markets and what rights clearances are acceptable for each
• Learn how the inner workings from music publisher to record label function thru the music clearance process
• Learn how several writers per one song must all be in agreement for a music clearance to be approved
• Learn the difference between a Master Use and Synchronization Use license
and much, much more!
Click here to register! Don't miss out!

Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4-part class: How to Hook the Executive in the First 15 Pages taught by Lee Stobby literary manager and founder of Lee Stobby Entertainment. This class will give you the much needed tools to craft a killer opening to keep the executive engaged and excited about your script!

What you will learn:

  • Part 1 - Importance & Mistakes - The most important elements of the first 10-15 pages including tone, giving your protagonist an interesting opening, setting up flaws, normal routines and a compelling inciting incident
  • Part 2 - Committing to Tone - Lee discusses tone and different ways a writer can make the tone clear in the first 2 pages.
  • Part 3 - Characterization - He runs through how long the normal routine section should be as well as common mistakes writers make during the sequence and some tips on how to hold the executive's attention.
  • Part 4 - Plot - Lee discusses the importance of the inciting incident, including what page this should take place on, how heightened it should be based on tone and some ways your hero should react to this event.

Read more details about what you will learn and register here


Pitch Adam Neuhaus
Director of Development, ESPN Films and Original Content
Saturday, April 23rd · 10:00 - 12:30 PM PDT
Specializes in comedy features and dramatic 1-hour pilots.
Click here to register!

Adam Neuhaus is a Creative Producer for non-scripted, digital, scripted, film, gaming, experiential and sponsored content.
He currently works as the Director of Development for ESPN Films and Original Content overseeing the 30 for 30 short films and a variety of ESPN storytelling initiatives. Among his outside projects includes the narrative video game, 1979 Revolution by Navid Khonsari and the short documentary, Saving Happy Birthday, directed by Jenn Nelson which will air on The Guardian this spring. Previously, Adam was head of development for Radical Media helping launch the THNKR digital channel and creating its hit series, Prodigies. Prior to that, Adam worked at Original Media developing non-scripted projects including shows such as BBQ Pitmasters and Dual Survival.
Adam has served on the Board of Directors and currently serves on the Advisory Board for The Ghetto Film School.
Pitch Maggie Lane
Interactive Coordinator, Robert Kirkman's Skybound Entertainment
Saturday, April 23rd · 10:00 - 12:30 PM PDT
Specializes in graphic novels, features & TV pilots of all genres (except comedy). Click here to register!
Skybound Entertainment is an entertainment company headed by Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead. Maggie Lane has over 5 years of development experience. After graduating from Columbia University in 2009, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked for The Jim Henson Company, Warner Bros. and Fox. From 2013 until early 2016, she served as the Development Coordinator for Pukeko Pictures (Weta Workshop’s production division). There she managed all submissions, met with writers and talent, and ran point on projects from finding IP through pitching to networks. Currently, she is the Interactive Coordinator for Robert Kirkman's Skybound; where she develops video games and VR. She belongs to several entertainment networking organizations, including JHRTS and Next Gen Femmes.
Pitch Mark Finley
Manager/Owner, Metric Talent & Literary Management
Sunday, April 24th · 2:00 - 4:30 PM PDT
Specializes in indie Comedy/Drama features ($2MM - $8MM budget range). Click here to register!

Metric Talent & Literary Management (MTM) is a Los Angeles-based talent and literary management company run by Mark Finley. In just three years his client list includes Paul Guay, Carla Robinson, and Doug Eboch. Mark came to Los Angeles after earning degrees in business and economics to accepted a position as an account manager at the IT consulting firm, JBA. He was responsible for maintaining relationships with major clients including IBM, Nationwide Insurance, and Nissan. His first foray into the entertainment industry was forming a music label with an investor and music manager. Mark formed MTM at the tail end of 2012 and has quickly built a respected roster of represented writers and actors.





Tribeca’s Female Directors Take a Hard Look at Women’s Struggles in a Man’s World

20th Century Fox, Paramount Have No Female Directors Through 2018

9 Shockers From the 2016 Cannes Film Festival Lineup: Snubs & Surprises

Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2016 Lineup

Vegas Winners, Losers, Oscar Contenders, and How CinemaCon Got Taken Over by the ‘Toons – The Week That Was

6 Takeaways From CinemaCon 2016

David Chase on The Sopranos & Potential Prequel, His New HBO Project, James Gandolfini & Terence Winter’s Vinyl Exit

Scarlett Johansson Ghost in the Shell: Japanese Industry, Fans Surprised by "Whitewashing" Outrage

SAG-AFTRA Keeping December’s Cuba Trip Under Wraps

China is the New Hollywood, Says James Schamus

Are Hollywood Blockbusters Losing Their Punch at China’s Box Office?

Netflix Says it Would Offer Original Films to The Screening Room

Filming With Drones Raises Safety Concerns in Hollywood

Epoxy’s CEO on Social Media Marketing: Create Entertainment, Not Marketing

On Location L.A. Film Production Up Nearly 24% in Q1

Hollywood Hiring Programs Aren’t Enough to Solve Diversity Problem, Says SMPTE Panel

Ambiance: The World’s Longest Film, Gets a 7-Hour Trailer


100 Years, 100 Shots: A Century of Film Via the Best Shots Each Year

5 Simple Tips & Tricks to Shoot Better DSLR Video

Remember Your Dream – Motivational Video


A Script is No Longer Enough: Why First-Time Feature Directors Must Make a Proof of Concept

Fear Factor: How Should a Director Overcome Big-Name Actor Intimidation?

8 Tips on Being a Better Cinematographer

Acting: 10 Qualities You Need to Book the Job

How to Compose a Killer Film Score, by Michael Giacchino

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