Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend everyone.

Before I get started, a huge shout-out to those who have been taking part in my April Content Challenge. So many of you have taken the bull by the horns, and the result has been thousands of articles, photos, videos and other terrific content posted throughout all sections of the Stage 32 Lounge. All of this has led to increased networking and connections as well as some incredible discussions.

Remember, the challenge continues through the end of April, and you can join anytime. To learn more and to accept the challenge, click here.

This week, under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: an oral history of Taxi Driver; Richard Donner shares the inside story of Superman; Netflix may pick up the torch on the unfinished Orson Welles film; Warner Bros. looks to figure out next steps after the stall of Batman v. Superman; director Paul Greengrass defends young filmmakers; 8 essential documentaries for cinematographers; Sean Parker’s Screening Room continues to ruffle some feathers; Tribeca announces their judges; Minnesota steps up their tax incentives and much, much more.

In the VIDEOS section this week, I have interviews with J.J. Abrams and David O. Russell along with a look at the beautiful cinematography of Gordon Willis.

Under TIPS, we take a look at the habits of people with great ideas as well as some film festival, screenwriting, acting and editing 411.

As for everything else happening around the community, please take a second to check out STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 MEETUPS, STAGE 32 EDUCATION and STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES.

And to see some of the cool content being shared during our Content Challenge, and to join the conversation, check out POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

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

Enjoy the content and have a terrific and creative weekend!




A Drive To Produce The bug for cinema and filmmaking hit Simon King hard in the summer of 1970. On that hot July day, he snuck through the back door of the local theatre and ensconced himself into a rickety folding seat not more than 15 yards from the screen. The purpose of his stealthy activity was two-fold: first, he wanted to escape the oppressive heat outside and the theatre was an iceberg in the midst of a desert; second, and perhaps of greater importance, he could not just buy a ticket and walk in as the show on offer was rated “R” and he was a number of years short of meeting that requirement. He now looks back on that day as the time when a klieg light went off in his brain. He was, from that film forward, forever committed to a love of movies and moviemaking. Read all about his experiences and tips that he shares from his experiences here. 

Actors! It's Time to Quit Waiting Around For A Break! , Stage 32 Members! We are excited to introduce you all to Brian Patacca, a professional working actor, host, and the Founder of ActorSalon New York & LA. Below, are a few clips from his Actor Real Talk series that are sure to inspire and direct you to growth, wherever you are in your career. Though Brian primarily coaches actors much of his wisdom can be applied across creative positions. In this batch of short clips, Brian tackles the issue of waiting around for something to happen in your career. That's not how you make things happen. He dispenses a wealth of knowledge in these 60-second videos so pay attention! 

The First Steps Towards Professionalism - Everything started in the summer of 2013 when two 15-year-old Austrian high school students named David and Tobias (that's me) wanted to make a parody of The Walking Dead. All we had was a Sony DSLR with a kit lens and a tripod. So we got one of our friends to do the cinematography (that is, to hold the camera) and walked through the woods a bit. Click here to see what the first "trailer" of our web series "Zombie Academy" looked like and read about the valuable lessons they learned along the way. 


Short Film Master Class: Writing, Directing & Marketing Your Short Film (ON DEMAND) Stage 32 Next Level Education is thrilled to bring you this 2-part previously recorded online class taught by James Kicklighter, a multi-award winning writer and director to teach you a master class on how to write, direct and market your short film. In this 2-part course, James will teach you the art of writing a short screenplay, how to develop strong characters that will attract top acting talent, while working within a budget that the average aspiring filmmaker can afford. He will then go through the process of directing your first short, how to get the cast and crew that you want, how to raise money and setup the budget, selecting the right camera and technical equipment, and working with locations and your actors to maximize your production value. Finally, you’ll learn some insider tips for distributing and marketing your final product - a step that most aspiring filmmakers never learn. You’ll discover how to target film festivals, cultivate relationships with media, and create a launch strategy that will best serve your film in the present while preparing you for the future.

What you can expect to learn:

Part 1 - Writing, Budgeting & Pre-Production

  • How to write an effective short script
  • The business of making a short film

Part 2 - Directing, Marketing & Releasing Your Film

  • Preparing to direct and the production process
  • Marketing your film
  • Releasing your film

Click here to register now!

How to Hook the Executive in the First 10-15 Pages (On Demand) 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

The Next Steps After A Failed Crowdfunding Campaign (Apr 21) The crowdfunding landscape is incredibly exciting but also ever changing and increasingly difficult to navigate. New crowdfunding platforms are constantly being launched, new projects raise the bar and change backer expectations, and it often feels like there is an infinite amount of conflicting opinions on how “best” to run a campaign. Even after doing everything “right,” statistically, most campaigns will fail. However, “failure” doesn’t mean the end of the line for your idea – in fact, it can even lead to greater successes down the road! Having run four crowdfunding campaigns (three “unsuccessful” and one final “successful” campaign raising over $75,000) and learning first hand what works and what doesn’t, Erin will share her experience and discuss some of the tips and learnings she has picked up along the way for running a strong campaign for your unique project, including potentially reshaping your understanding of what “a successful campaign” really means. She has diverse experience spanning the past 10 years in developing games within a variety of environments, including as a developer, publisher, academic, and indie. She is passionate about the potential games have to empower, educate, and inspire players of all kinds and to make the world a better, more playful place. To this end, she founded the game studio Flying Mollusk to further pursue these ambitions.

What you will learn:

  • What to Do If Your Campaign Ends Unsuccessfully
  • Is Crowdfunding Right for Me?
  • Research
  • Wise Crowdfunding Planning/Scheduling
  • Pre-Production Action Plan
  • Launch

To register for this informative program, click here! 


Pitch Shaun O'Banion

Producer, Ravenwood Films

Friday, April 15th · 10:30 AM PDT

Specializes drama, grounded sci-fi, heist films and true story (features)

Shaun O’Banion was drawn to the film business from an early age and got his first film industry job as a set P.A. on the Steven Spielberg series “SeaQuest DSV” after sneaking onto the Universal lot for three months and asking for jobs. His latest film, The Automatic Hate, stars Joseph Cross, Adelaide Clemens, Richard Schiff, Deborah Ann Woll and Ricky Jay. The film made it's World Premiere at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival, won the Jury Award at the Mill Valley Film Festival, played at Busan in S. Korea and at the Seattle International Film Festival as well. The film will be released in N. America by Film Movement later this year. O’Banion has also produced national commercials for clients such as EA Sports, Pepsi, HIVE Lighting and Chevrolet. He produced a live event in Los Angeles alongside J.J. Abrams for The White House, Office of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Register your written pitch session here

Pitch Jordan Elizabeth Goettling

Assistant to Partners/Founders, Heroes and Villains Entertainment

Sunday, April 17th · 2:00 - 4:30 PM PDT

Specializes in horror, thriller and mystery (features & TV)

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Jordan grew up surrounded by talent and developed a discerning taste for budding writers and actors. After graduating with a degree in Marketing/PR, she pursued her passion in the entertainment industry, honing her skills and connections through executive assisting celebrities. During which time, she also worked at several boutique PR agencies eventually going on to volunteer her time working for actors and films she felt warranted the additional help and visibility. From there she worked as a producer on several low budget indies and went on to executive produce/line produce her own million-dollar feature. She recently made the move from ICM Partner's Talent division to Heroes and Villains Entertainment, where she works primarily with writers and directors. Jordan works directly under both partners on the representation side and is heavily involved in the development of in house projects. She is currently looking to build her own roster and is particularly interested in building out the horror presence at HVE.

Click here to register! 







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

To Edit Or Not To Edit - That Is The Question
A Drive To Produce
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