Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone! I’ve got a jammed pack Weekend Blog for you.

Let’s jump right in…

Under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS this week: Creative people might secretly be

psychopaths (secretly???); movies about women are tough to finance, say indie

producers; Cannes artistic director says not to blame him for the lack of female

directors in the fest; a look at the film the raised $1.7M on Indiegogo; some musing

on the future of film festivals; why the current model of theatrical release is hurting

independent cinema; when sexuality was sexy on screen; Comcast buys

DreamWorks animation; Lionsgate makes some moves; Cannes adds to their jury;

Cameron Crowe releases a Jerry Maguire mission statement and much, much more!


In the VIDEOS section this week, I have a look at the art of casting, how to get a

cinematic look on a budget and Zach Braff on his screenwriting process.


Under TIPS, it’s entertainment law, film festival, acting, filmmaking, screenwriting

and sound design info and tricks.


For all the latest happening around the platform, check out STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE



We’re also entering the last few days of my April Content Challenge 

( You-to- Challenge-Yourself- Lets-Get-

Networking) and the results have been stunning! I’ll have more about it on the blog

this week, but those who have participated did so with passion! Let’s finish up

strong! Share that content in the Lounge. And be sure to check out POPULAR AND

INTERESTING LOUNGE discussions below. I’ve highlighted some of the best threads

from the last week.

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

Let’s get busy out there this weekend…Create. Inspire. Motivate. Pay life forward.




Announcing SydneysBuzz Coming To Stage 32 - Today, I have something really cool for the entire community. I'm thrilled, honored and proud to announce that Sydney Levine, author of the industry leading blog, SydneysBuzz, is bringing her incredible reporting to Stage 32. Sydney and her crew of associates focus on international film industry developments and analysis of the international film market related to buyers, sales agents, filmmakers, film festivals and distribution. The addition of SydneysBuzz, which for the last few years was featured on Indiewire, signals our commitment to bringing the Stage 32 community the most timely, informative and well-rounded film industry content anywhere on the web. To read more about who Sydney is, Click here! 

Stage 32 (And Our Fearless Leader) At The Writers Guild of America! - This past Wednesday our CEO, RB, was invited by the Stage 32 and WGA member Bill Taub to speak at the WGA panel aimed at examining the challenges and demands of creating and distributing a web series. RB was joined on the panel by speakers such as Joelle Garfinkel (creator, Cam Girls) with David Slack (EP/director, Cam Girls), Diarra Kilpatrick (American Koko; The Mysteries of Laura), and Sam Miller (L.A. Beer); Michael Ajakwe, Jr. (Founder, LAWEBFEST). Read all about this amazing opportunity here!

IFF Panama 2016 Winners People's Choice: Interview With The Makers Of "Salsipuedes" - The People's Choice MasterCard Award for Best Film from Central America and the Caribbean went to the 100% Panamanian fiction feature,
”Salsipuedes”, about a young boy who is sent to the United States to be kept away from the bad influence of his father, a boxer. When he returns ten years later for his beloved grandfather’s funeral, he meets his criminal father and becomes ensnared in his troubled legacy.  This was the feature directorial debut of Ricardo Aguilar Navarro and Manolito Rodríguez and of the producer Sixta Diaz C. whom I interviewed here

You Suck at Writing. Now What? - I share this story with you because you will, undoubtedly, get punched in the gut and face things like this over and over again as you write. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hit. After I published my first book, I took the editor to dinner and before the appetizers even came she said, “About your book… I would stick to speaking for a living if I were you. Writing isn’t your thing.” Read how Joleene Moody was able to turn things around here


Sundance vs. SXSW: How to Get In and What's The Difference? (Saturday, Apr 30 - 11:00 AM PDT)

In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Alex Sagalchik (Producer of 2016's highest grossing indie film and breakout Sundance hit, THE WITCH) will help you understand how to get your project ready to compete at a major film festival. He will take you from start to finish getting specific on what to do before you submit, during the festival and provide real-life case studies to give insight on the current film festival landscape.

Before you submit your film to a festival you have to take steps to make sure you are getting recognized within the industry. Just a few actions can determine how well your film is received and save you a lot of wasted time. Alex will share advice on how to get involved with the local film community and how that impacts your chances of success. He’ll provide an overview of workshops such as Sundance Labs, AFI and Film Independent as well as discuss smaller scale programs that are available to you throughout the country.

What you will learn:

Part One:

  • Understand the independent film landscape

  • How to become recognized by the industry before even submitting to a film festival.

  • How does a script get to a producer?

  • How a sales agent can impact your film

Part Two:

  • How to make sure your film is being screened by a senior programmer

  • Key Differences Between Sundance, SXSW, and Other Film Festivals

  • SXSW

  • Understand the other kinds of film festivals that exist. And the impact on the life of your project.

Part Three:

  • Case Studies

To get more information and register for this amazing webinar, click here


Your Guide To Fearless Film Festival Networking (Tuesday, May 3 - 1:00 PM PDT)

Stage 32 Webinar Fearless Film Festival Networking will ease your anxiety about making professional connections in the festival environment. Led by Film Festival Secrets author and film industry veteran Christopher Holland, this seminar goes beyond simply breaking the ice and teaches you how to go into an industry networking event knowing what you want and knowing how to get it.

Chris Holland is a consultant on marketing and festival strategy for independent filmmakers around the world. He is also the author of Film Festival Secrets: A Handbook for Independent Filmmakers ( For more than a decade Chris has worked on all sides of the festival circuit, including time spent at B-Side Entertainment, Slated, IFP, the Austin Film Festival and Atlanta Film Festival.

 What you will learn:

  • Pre-Event Planning

  • Festival Networking Scenarios & Tactics

  • Networking with Confidence

  • Closing "The Deal"

  • Post-Festival Maintenance

And much much more!

To receive a more detailed description of the topics and register, click here


Online Pitchfest 57: Short Scripts! - April 30th - Sunday, May 1st 

Every month, Stage 32 hosts an themed Online Pitchfest dedicated to executives looking for specific genres and formats of screenplays, and this month we're excited to bring you this exclusive opportunity to pitch your short scripts or digital series to these executives in our 57th Online Pitchfest. If you have a short script or digital series you've been itching to get made, this is your chance to pitch to these incredible executives! To get more information and register for Pitchfest click here 





Creative People Might Secretly Be Psychopaths, Scientists Warn

Movies About Women Almost Impossible to Finance, Say Indie Producers

Cannes Artistic Director on Festival’s Lack of Female Directors: “Do Not Blame Cannes”

The Film That Raised $1.7M on Indiegogo

What Does the Future of Film Festivals Look Like?

Our Dated Model of Theatrical Release is Hurting Independent Cinema

When Sexuality On Screen Was Sexy, Not Self-Destructive

NBC Universal to Acquire DreamWorks Animation

Peter Kang Taking Co-President of Production Post at Lionsgate

Film Commissioners, Producers Discuss Film Production Incentives at AFCI Show

Cannes Film Festival Adds Kirstin Dunst, Donald Sutherland, Mads Mikkelsen to Jury

Sam Mendes Named President of Venice Festival Jury

How Jeffrey Katzenberg Finally Made DreamWorks Animation a Sexy Buy

LA Film Festival Unveils 42 World Premieres

Hollywood and China: A Fad or Future of the Film Industry

Cameron Crowe Releases 25-Page Jerry Maguire Mission Statement on the Eve of the Film’s 20th Anniversary 


Don’t Overlook the Craft of Casting

Cinematic Film Look on a Budget

Zach Braff Shares His Screenwriting Process 


Clearing Copyrighted Material Before Submitting Your Film to Festivals

Actors – 6 Tips for Moving Past Perfectionism

6 Filmmaking Tips From Documentary Pioneers Robert Drew and Richard Leacock

10 Screenwriting Tips From Tony Gilroy

4 Killer Sound Design Tips From a Dude Who Knows (He’s Won an Oscar) 

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


The Record Breaking Content Challenge Comes to a Close (But Continues on in Spirit!)
You Suck at Writing. Now What?
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