Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. Hope you’ve all had a great week.

In this edition of the Weekend Blog under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS, a few hot filmmakers share what they learned along the way; Vince Gilligan shares some sage advice to aspiring writers; why indie horror movies are hotter than ever; a look at the Relativity implosion; a young Tom Hanks pleads for a job; why National Lampoon lost its luster; TV casting directors want a little spotlight of their own; the ins and outs of union vs. non-union; the SAG-AFTRA election heats up; Netflix finds themselves in another battle; a documentary filmmaker heals himself by visiting famous film locales, Scott Rudin brings Arthur Miller back to Broadway and much, much more.

Under VIDEOS this week, Tarantino, Hanks and Hardy share filmmaking, acting and cinematography tips respectively.

Speaking of TIPS, in that section you’ll find a plethora of screenwriting, filmmaking, acting, cinematography and demo reel production 411.

Want all the latest and greatest happenings from around the site? Check out STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 EDUCATION, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES, STAGE 32 MEETUPS and POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS to get all the info you need to keep your networking and honing of your craft moving full speed.

As always, I welcome thoughts, healthy debate and discussion in the Comments section below! Speak up!

In the meantime, here’s to a very happy and creative weekend.




The July edition of On Stage With RB is now available on-demand! This over 3-hour edition of On Stage With RB is jam packed with tons of information, tips and advice! RB has on 2 special guests, 12-year studio executive and story/script consultant Jen Grisanti, plus producer of 25 films, Franco Sama! Then, RB opened up for over 90 minutes of Q&A. This was one of the best On Stage With RBs yet. To watch this broadcast free, click here: July Edition Of On Stage With RB


This week we released another great clip from RB's interview with Film Courage. This week's video goes over all the emotions that come with script coverage, and then gives a big dose of reality to the business of writing. In the clip you will learn how to absorb, digest, and be honest with yourself when it comes to script coverage. If you're looking for a gut check on your script, or a script you are producing or directing, we highly encourage you to watch. To read more about the interview and watch the clip, click here: Advice On Receiving Script Coverage


The deadline is fast approaching for the Stage 32 Happy Writers (now 2nd annual) Search for New Blood Contest! We are looking for the darkest, scary, creepy, suspenseful, mind-boggling, most twisted scripts from undiscovered writers from all over the world. We are searching for NEW blood. We are looking for the top 3 unrepresented horror/suspense/thriller writers that come from Stage 32. In addition to our prizes (including direct access to the judges and other industry executives), this year, we're creating even more opportunity. The loglines of all finalists will be posted in a special section of Stage 32 where any of the 300 industry executives will be able to view them. If there is interest beyond the logline, we will facilitate the communication between the exec and the writer. The deadline for this contest is fast approaching! To read more about this contest and to submit your script, click here: Stage 32 Happy Writers Search For New Blood Screenwriting Contest


The early bird deadline has passed for the Stage 32 Short Film Contest, but you can still submit your film! We will be accepting short film submissions until August 14. The top 8-10 films will be screened in a special Stage 32 theatrical Shorts Program Showcase at the Raindance Film Festival in London this September, and the the Grand Prize winning director will be flown to London to attend the screening and host a Q&A. We will also be inviting all of the executives (managers, agents, producers, directors of development, etc) we work with to view the films and will facilitate meetings between interested parties and the filmmakers! To read more about the Stage 32 Short Film Contest and to submit your film, click here: Stage 32 Short Film Contest



Registration is still open for How To Hook Your Reader In The First 5 Pages, a 3-week online class taught by producer and former studio executive Regina Lee! In this 3-week class, host Regina Lee will teach you what executives are looking for, the typical paradigms for a script’s opening, what an opening must deliver, and how you can give executives what they want to see and get them hooked on your story. Using real scripts from successful films and TV shows as case studies, Regina will teach you how to create an opening for your story that grabs your reader's attention from page 1! PLUS - you will write your first five pages during the class and receive personalized coverage from Regina!
Special perks for this class:

  • The class is about the first 5 pages, which are crucial, but you can submit up to 15 pages (up to Inciting Incident) for notes.
  • Regina will make a list of up to 5 agent/manager names who might be a good match for your logline, and she will give you a brief reason why. This will help you in all future decisions on how to query managers.
  • She will also review your query letter in addition to the first 5 pages OR will read the first 5 pages of TWO different scripts.

To learn more about this class, see a video from Regina and to register, click here: How To Hook Your Reader In The First 5 Pages


Starting this Saturday 8/8, Stage 32 Happy Writers presents Breaking In With Your Second Act: Battling (and Winning) the Toughest Part of Your Script, a 4-week class taught by Scott Stoops, manager at Benderspink who recently sold a pilot to CBS! In this class, Scott will break down everything that comprises the second act – how to maintain focus and tension, how to develop characters, how to introduce subplots and supporting characters and how keep the reader excited and engaged. You will learn the Do’s and Don’ts of the second act and tricks of the trade to help you write an excellent Act 2. Having read well over 1,000 scripts during his career, Scott excels at developing a writer’s voice and is excited to help you with your script!
What you will leave this class knowing:

  • The difference between external and internal conflict and how to balance both.
  • How to keep act two tight and fluid without any dreaded lulls.
  • How to keep the emotional crescendo escalating and tips on how to keep your act two pacing on point.
  • What you can do to make sure your act one blends into act two seamlessly without it feeling like two separate movies.
  • How to pitch your story successfully to executives.
  • Plus much more!

To learn more about this class, see a video from Scott and to register, click here: Breaking In With Your Second Act


Wednesday 8/19 at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents How to Finance & Produce a Film in the $250K-$2M Range hosted by Franco Sama, a 15-year Film Financing and Distribution Expert with Over 25 Films To His Name! In this webinar Franco will teach you how to approach your film from the “investor’s point of view” so you can not only get the money you need for your project, but how your investors can get that money back. You will learn how to build a team around your project and who is crucial for that team, how to approach investors and above all how to protect your investor’s money. You will leave this webinar with a clear understanding of how to produce and finance your project!
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • Why it's important to approach your film from the "investor's point of view".
  • The Do’s and Don’ts for approaching financing.
  • How to find development funds.
  • The different types of investors and what kind will be best for your project.
  • How to monetize tax rebates and credits.
  • Plus much more!

To learn more about this webinar, see a video from Franco and to register, click here: How to Finance & Produce a Film in the $250K-$2M Range


Saturday 8/22 at 11am PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents The 7 Pillars Of Creating A Sellable Story: Fundamental Story Components To Take Your Script from Good to Great hosted by Jen Grisanti, Acclaimed Story/Career Consultant, Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, and a Former 12-year Studio Executive! In this webinar, Jen will teach you the 7 Pillars of Story and breakdown the fundamental, but often incorrectly used, story components that exist in all great scripts. Plus, for Stage 32 members, she will provide case studies for you to learn from! She will be using examples from her clients’ work and how they successfully implemented the 7 pillars to get their scripts sold. Under the guidance of Jen, you will leave this webinar fully prepared to write a marketable story that can help you go from good to great and make the move from non-working to working writer!
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • How to understand your “why” for telling the story that you are telling.
  • How to understand the “why” of your central character.
  • How to implement the 7 Pillars of Story into your existing and future scripts.
  • How to implement these techniques for screenplays and TV Pilots.
  • Plus much more!

To learn more about this webinar, see a video from Jen and to register, click here: The 7 Pillars Of Creating A Sellable Story: Fundamental Story Components To Take Your Script from Good to Great















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