Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. New month, new possibilities.

Under ENTERTAINMENT AND INDUSTRY NEWS this week: Amazon and Netflix are changing the industry; the casting workshop controversy continues; faith based films continue to surge; the reasons behind Suicide Squad’s struggle; Oscar diversity news; a look at pilot production in L.A.; Red Granite fights on; Funny or Die cuts some staff; what’s new on Netflix this month; filming is on the rise in South Africa and much, much more.

In the VIDEOS section this week, Scorsese on Kubrick (from 2001), another THR roundtable and one of our talented screenwriters talks about how he found success through Stage 32 (inspiring!)

Under TIPS, how to be more efficient plus entertainment law, screenwriting, acting, producing and filmmaking tips!

We’ve had record attendance in some of our recent Stage 32 Next Level Education webinars and classes. And our satisfaction rating remains at a staggering 97%. To see everything Amanda and J’vona have lined up to help you in your career pursuits, check out STAGE 32 EDUCATION.

We also continue to set new records in the number of posts, comments, likes and overall participation in the Stage 32 Lounge! To see some of the latest and greatest threads, be sure to check out POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

And for all other happenings around the neighborhood, be sure to click away in the STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 MEETUPS and STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES sections!

As always, I invite you to not only share this blog through email or your social media accounts with those you feel might be interested, but to also post some remarks and thoughts in the Comments section below.

Enjoy the content and have a terrific and creative weekend!



What's New at Stage 32 This Week - This week we have a lot of great things happening on Stage 32, kicking off on Monday with our monthly "On Stage With RB" webcast, hosted by our founder & CEO, Richard Botto. Then, we have a lot of great things in store for our producers, financiers, creatives who live outside the U.S. and our indie filmmakers! Join me! Click here to see the video!

Discover The Power In Creating Your Own Projects!- There is incredible power as a performer when you make the choice to create and produce your own projects. By creating his own pieces and producing his own work, Douglas Taurel has been reviewed by the New York Times, received four and five stars for my performance at the Edinburgh Fringe, nominated for an Amnesty International Award, received significant film exposure at several film festivals and have dramatically strengthened my resume and network. He kind of had fun doing it and gained a lot of energy to pour back into the rest of his acting career. Click here to read the tips to get you going!

Story Development Tools & Techniques—'The Whistles and Bells Test™' – The Whistles and Bells Test™' is a quick test you can carry out whenever you get the inspirational flash of a new story idea. It is a simple, cut-to-the-chase technique that can quickly give you a sense if you have either a story or a situation. It is not a substitute for learning the difference between a story and a situation, or for working through the full premise development process, but over time, with a lot of practice, using this test you can hone a kind of sixth-sense for the presence of a story—before you start serious development. Click here to find out how to do it!


Amazon, Hulu & Netflix – What Are They & How Can You Get Your Content There? (AUG 10) Chad Miller is an independent consultant providing distribution strategy advice to a wide range of people, from independent content creators, to established production companies looking to re-evaluate their distribution process, to encoding vendors who are seeking to bridge the gap between content creators and the platforms where customers are going. In this Stage 32 Next Level seminar, Chad will be discussing the broad differences between the three of the top platforms and the hurdles that content creators face in getting their product on these important VOD shelves.

What you will learn:

  • Explain the differences between Amazon, Hulu & Netflix from a customer POV.
  • Illustrate how the business structures for Amazon, Hulu & Netflix work in terms of deal making with content providers.
  • Discuss the Amazon Video Direct (aka Create Space system). [NC-17 versus NR ratings game.]
  • Explain the differences in how Amazon, Hulu & Netflix pay the revenues.
  • The distinction between using a Content Aggregator or Distributor and self-distributing and pitfalls to avoid.
  • Realistic expectations on returns for the indie filmmaker.
  • Creating a budget for a realistic ROI.
  • How to increase your odds of breaking through the clutter of VOD/SVOD/AVOD to recoup your production and distribution costs.
  • Examples of where to find competitive intelligence on which films are winning in the VOD space and much, much more!

To read all of the details of this amazing Webinar and register, click here!

Writing Samples: Understanding What A Creative Exec Needs (AUG 11) Stage 32 has brought in Topher Rhys-Lawrence, a creative executive for Atlas Entertainment, a production and management company, which works on a variety of budgeted films such as 12 Monkeys, Get Smart, American Hustle, Batman vs. Superman and more. Part of Topher's job is to find the best writers for scripts on all types of projects… and within that comes a need for writing samples. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar Topher will go over what it means when a creative executive is interested in you as a writer, why your writing samples are important and give examples of types of samples you should have in your arsenal.

What you will learn:

We will go over each of these various types of writing samples in detail. You will be armed with a clear understanding of what each sample should look like and how a CE uses this in his or her role:

Part 1: Understanding the landscape as a writer

  • Understanding a Creative Executive's role
  • Why are they saying no?
  • What it means when a Creative Executive is interested in you as a writer
  • Why are writing samples important?

Part 2: Types of Writing Samples

  • Script samples
  • Treatment samples
  • Synopsis samples
  • Logline samples

To read all of the details of this amazing Webinar and register, click here!




Challenges From Amazon and Netflix Signal the End of the Studio System

Casting Workshop Companies Hit Back at L.A. City Attorney Probe

Hollywood Looks for Higher Ground in Film and TV

Is the Book Always Better Than the Movie? – Critics Survey

Suicide Squad's Secret Drama: Rushed Production, Competing Cuts, High Anxiety

Oscar Academy Re-Elects Cheryl Boone Isaacs as President 

Academy Craft Branches See Increase in Female Members 

SAG-AFTRA Blasts NBCUniversal’s “Double Standard” Treatment Of Talent At NBC & Telemundo 

LA’s Percentage of Pilot Production Hits Record Low 

Under Fire, Red Granite Declares It Is Still ‘Open For Business’ 

Funny Or Die Shutters Silicon Valley Outpost, Lays Off 30-Plus 

What’s New on Netflix: August 2016 

Why the Streaming TV Boom Is About More Than Just Netflix 

Film, TV Shoots on the Rise in South Africa


Martin Scorsese on Stanley Kubrick, 2001

Screenwriting Joe Downey on Getting His Script in Production Through Stage 32 

Hollywood Reporter's Comedy Showrunner Roundtable


How to Get More Done in 30 Minutes a Day

Fix It in Production: A 1st AD Tells You What Mistakes to Avoid When Shooting an Independent Film 

Cinema Law: How to Tell the Truth Without Paying For It 

2 Crucial Things American Beauty Can Teach You About Writing Characters 

How to Be a Generous Actor – and Succeed  

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