Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. A quick reminder that it is also the last Introduce Yourself weekend of 2015. Don’t forget to head over to the Introduce Yourself section of the Lounge and get a jumpstart on your networking for 2016.

In this edition of the weekend blog, under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: Quentin Tarantino sounds off on Hateful Eight and #BlackLivesMatter; a very intensive and entertaining behind the scenes of the making of Spotlight; a look at all the screenwriters making the scene during awards season; an excerpt from an upcoming book highlighting the film language of the Coen Brothers; the Charlie Chaplin masterpiece that never was; Steven Spielberg talks about the resurrection of Amblin; a look back on when Frank Sinatra had it out with Mario Puzo; the unsung below the line heroes get their day (or at least their article) in the sun; Berlin and Tribeca film fest news; the story of George Lazenby’s one turn as James Bond; Indiewire’s 25 best TV shows of the year and much, much more.

Under VIDEOS, I have two more of Variety’s Actor on Actor series and a video on writing your screenplay 10 minutes at a time.

In the TIPS section, an introverts guide to networking, tips on pitching, the building blocks of story, plus agent and zero budget filmmaking advice.

Under STAGE 32 NEWS, it’s all the happenings around the site this week.

STAGE 32 EDUCATION covers all our upcoming and highlighted webinars and classes.

You’ll find all the best discussions and content under POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

Looking to be inspired? Check out STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES.

And for all the member gatherings happening around the world, check out STAGE 32 MEETUPS.

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

I hope you all have a terrific and creative weekend.

Cheers!

RB

NEWS

Where are you in your career? A few days ago, RB was interviewed by writer and Stage 32 member, Serita Stevens, who writes a regular column for L.A. Splash Magazine. In his interview, RB discusses the question: Where are you in your career? Click here

10 Things I Learned Producing a Web Series - Anyone who has ever produced anything knows the title 'producer' can also mean: writer, director, actor, wardrobe, casting director, prop master - you get the picture. Amongst all those titles, Cheryl Texiera got the lucky experience of adding 'editor' to her list.  Confessions of a Bartender marks the third installment of the 'Confessions of...' series on YouTube. It started haphazardly when Cheryl was a creatively stifled actor/stressed out bride-to-be with the series: 'Confessions Of A Bride-To-Be'. She followed that up with the appropriately titled: 'Confessions Of A Bitter(Sweet) Actress', which got nominated for a 2014 Independent Television Award for Best Web Comedy.  Cheryl lists ten things she learned producing Confessions of a Bartender and you can read it here: 10 Things I Learned Producing a Web Series

Spread the Holiday Cheer! Stage 32 is thrilled to announce our 8 days of holiday cheer! Over the next 8 days we will be bringing you some exciting deals on everything inside Stage 32. Stay tuned each day to see what we unveil! Click here for more information: Stage 32 Holiday Sale

Don’t Rip off the Alien! With such a vast library of great films to look to as paradigms, you’d think it would be easy to make a great movie. We’re in the age of reboots, adaptations and (dare I say) rip offs, all of which offer a great foundation for us to work from. So why is it that a lot of these fall short? It’s really quite simple. OK, so obviously I should elaborate on this. I’m a person who likes to explain things via analogies. So in this particular case, I’ll use four of my favorite movies of all time: 'E.T: The Extra Terrestrial', 'Jaws', 'The Graduate' and 'Mrs. Doubtfire'. These images are a part of pop culture. These images are what sell the movie. These are moments that are put on the posters or in the movie trailers. I call these moments:'movie moments'. These are the images that intrigue audience members to come see your movie. Are these important? Yes. Without a doubt they are, because these types of images and moments are what get the general audience interested in seeing your film in the first place. A great trailer has you hooked within the first one to three minutes. Jon Lee Brody is a writer/director/producer and founder of 'Iron Will Productions' (or 'Iron Will' for short). He started his career in front of the camera as an actor, appearing in movies like 'Star Trek Into Darkness', 'Pawn' (with Forest Whitaker, Michael Chiklis, Nikki Reed, Sean Faris and others) and most recently 'Furious 7'. He has won awards both as a director and screenwriter on the film festival circuit and is developing multiple projects in the Film/TV/Digital realm under his production company banner. He's worked with some of the most seasoned filmmakers and actors and is excited to share some of his knowledge with the Stage 32 community. Read his full blog discussing his four favorite movies of all time here: Don’t Rip off the Alien!

EDUCATION

The Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring you a 3-week online course Avoid Stock Characters: How To Create Memorable, Compelling Characters so you can learn how to create the memorable characters your story deserves. Featuring Melissa Daykin Cassill, VP of Development and Production at State Street Pictures, a production company with a first look deal at Fox 2000 Pictures.  Melissa loves is working with writers and developing exciting, compelling projects and she’s excited to be here teaching with Stage 32 to help you develop compelling characters in your story! In this class, you will learn how to set up a character arc so the character’s change is compelling, how to develop supporting characters who support the story and compliment your protagonists, how to avoid stock characters and scenes and how to adjust what you already have to make your work better. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared toward strengthening your characters, you will leave this class knowing exactly how to create memorable characters for your stories.

In this three week course you will learn:

  • How to create your characters before you start writing
  • Techniques on how to define your protagonist as well as the characters around him or her
  • Archetypes – what are they and how can they be useful?
  • Defining your web of characters
  • Desire vs. need

Week #2: Creating Strong Supporting Characters

  • What should actually be on the page when presenting characters
  • How to create wording that takes up very little space but fully explains the character’s bio.
  • Building character through contrast in your supporting cast vis a vis your protagonist.
  • How to create meaningful and effective supporting characters by linking their worldview to the film's premise.

Week #3: How To Connect & Compare The Supporting Tribe Of Your Movie To Enhance Your Entire Project

  • Volunteers will present their supporting characters
  • How do they most effectively assimilate into the world of the protagonist?
  • How to they assimilate into the world of the story overall?
  • How to adjust your concept, plot and story to connect the characters.

Click here to get started immediately in this three week course: Avoid Stock Characters: How To Create Memorable, Compelling Characters so you can learn how to create the memorable characters your story deserves

Monday, Jan 11 Next Level Webinar presents: Advanced Crowdfunding For Filmmakers Master Class - Launching a crowdfunding campaign is easy – ensuring you actually reach your goal is not. Especially if you need to raise a large amount or you’re competing in a crowded marketplace. Hosted by Stephen Follows an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The News Statesman, AV Club and Indiewire. In Session one, Stephen will help you build the best possible campaign based on research into over 50,000 film crowdfunding campaigns, conversations with filmmakers and interviews with key people behind major crowdfunding companies.

You will leave the first session knowing:

  • Picking your platform based on your needs
  • Crafting a powerful campaign
  • Inspiring action in your audience and turning viewers into backers
  • How to road-test rewards, ideas and copy before launch
  • What makes people share campaigns to their friends and family
  • A model for a $1 million crowdfunding campaign

To read more about this webinar and to register, click here: Advanced Crowdfunding for Filmmakers Master Class

Monday, Jan 18 Next Level Webinar presents: Advanced Crowdfunding For Filmmakers Master Class – Session 2 - Hosted by data researcher Stephen Fellows an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The News Statesman, AV Club and Indiewire. In our second session Steven Fellows will study what makes the most compelling video message, what other types of videos you should be making and the results of Stephen’s research into 5,200 top performing crowdfunding videos.

You will leave the second session knowing:

  • Systematically building a high-converting video from scratch
  • How to decide on your style and approach
  • Creating the personal touch in a professional manner
  • Measuring the effectiveness of humor
  • Video adverts and seeding
  • Hard-learnt lessons from the professional online video frontline

To read more about this webinar and to register, click here: Advanced Crowdfunding for Filmmakers Master Class

Monday, Jan 25 Next Level Webinar presents: Advanced Crowdfunding For Filmmakers Master Class – Session 3 - Hosted by data researcher Stephen Fellows an established data researcher in the film industry in Session 3 – Marketing and outreach he will show that all crowdfunding filmmakers need to reach new people but if you’re going to run a big campaign, a bigger task than most. But by using the tools of professional marketers you can reach millions of people and convert them into the backers you need.

You will leave the third session knowing:

  • Identifying your key audience groups
  • Building brand awareness with a tiny budget
  • Professional lead generation
  • Facebook marketing
  • Retargeting to follow your audience online
  • Metrics for success and benchmarks
  • Special industry expert guest
  • Live Q&A with Stephen

To read more testimonials about this master workshop and register for the three part program, click here: Advanced Crowdfunding for Filmmakers Master Class

 STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES

 POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS

STAGE 32 PLANNED AND PROPOSED MEETUPS

 ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

 VIDEOS

 TIPS

 


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