Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone.

A quick reminder. I will be hosting our FREE online Oscar and Film Industry Webcast along with Alex Ferrari of Indie Film Hustle today at 3PM PST. All are invited. To tune in, click here -

In this edition of the Weekend Blog under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: Female protagonists are on the rise in Hollywood, but that’s not the whole story; the New York Times believes the Academy may be deluding itself regarding its diversity push; Netflix and Amazon continue to disrupt the independent film world; the faith based film industry remains red hot; the DGA is hoping to discover the next Orson Welles; the complete winners list from the 2016 DGA Awards; rookie writers are pushing out the vets at this year’s Oscars; a look at the cinematographer nominees and their tools of the trade; the Coen brothers and Noah Baumbach talk shop; 12 breakthroughs from the 2016 Sundance Festival as well as a look at how some of the films from 15 fared; Australia ups their film incentives; Pinewood Studios is exploring a sale and much, much more.

In the VIDEOS section this week, 9 Oscar-nominated screenwriters talk about how they got their start, Roger Deakins on Hail Caesar! and the director of Room on some of the best advice he’s received.

Under TIPS, I have editing, filmmaking, screenwriting, cinematography and acting info and tricks.

And for everything happening around the site, and let me tell ya, it’s been a busy time, check out STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES, STAGE 32 MEETUPS, STAGE 32 EDUCATION and POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

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

And remember, there’s over 100 pieces of content below! Feel free to pay it forward and share this blog with others you feel might benefit!

Have a terrific and creative weekend!




Stage 32 Happy Writers Success Spotlight: Scott Waldvogel Thanks to everybody that read our last Success Story Blog as part of our Stage 32 Happy Writers Success Stories Video Series featuring Frank Ponce! In this video series we are spotlighting Stage 32 Happy Writers success stories so you can see the benefits of using Stage 32 to it's full extent. In these exclusive interviews our most successful writers will detail their individual process and how they used what's availabile on Stage 32 to help advance their careers. Click here to view Scott Waldvogel (and his writing partner Matt DeMartini), who were just signed to Gotham Group and APA! 
Social Media For Film Creatives: Building Your Brand - Many of you are aware the Stage 32 hosted a bunch of film industry related panels at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Today, we are excited to announce that we are making those panels (filmed live at the Stage 32 House) available to view exclusively right here on the Stage 32 Blog for free! Up first is an hour-long panel on the correct way to use social media as a filmmaker to brand yourself as a creative. Our Founder & CEO, Richard Botto, led the charge with 3 accomplished industry executives: Christina Campagnola (Agent, APA); Lee Stobby (Lee Stobby Entertainment) Susan Dynner (Producer, Aberration Films); and Richard "RB" Botto (Screenwriter, CEO, Stage 32). Click here to view the video!

How to Reach Your Goals Through Focused Networking  Brandi Thomas started out on Stage 32 knowing absolutely nothing about networking. To her, it was this big, scary word that implied a strategic, artificial approach and she wanted nothing to do with that. The more Brandi worked to build relationships, many lead to getting work, the more she realized that’s not entirely true. Sure, it’s more than clicking 'add' or 'accept' and you should be aware of who you need to network with, but beyond that it’s just about interacting consistently with those people in a positive way. In this blog, She shares some tips she learned that have not only allowed her to create meaningful relationships with some pretty incredible people, but have also allowed her to maintain a steady stream of work for a little over a year now, as opposed to formerly getting one gig every year or two. Ready? Click here to read Brandi's tips! 


Deconstructing the Oscar-Nominated Script: Straight Outta Compton (Tuesday February 23) Learn directly from Patrick Raymond, a development executive at Mandalay Pictures. As a development executive in Hollywood, Patrick has a plethora of experience reading and developing various musical biopics. In his own words, he claims that, "...from a story and script level, Straight Outta Compton stands as one of the best." In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Patrick will be working through the OSCAR-NOMINATED script, identifying the key elements, characters, and plot points that make this more than just a biopic but also a statement, keeping the tone and voice consistent throughout as it relates to the subject matter. He will identify specific scenes that support the themes and identify not just specific plot points, but also highlight relevancy for the modern audience/culture.

What you will learn:

  • Setting up the world from the first page.

  • Characterization

  • Story

  • Understanding your audience

 To receive more information and register for the Webcast, Click here.

The Secret to Cracking the Second Act (Thursday, February 25) Learn directly from Jason Mirch, a 10+ year film and TV producer and former Head of Feature and Television Development and Production at Image Nation Abu Dhabi (The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion and Flight)! When writing a screenplay, the area most writers struggle with is the dreaded Second Act. The Second Act is the heart of the narrative and where most screenplays crash and burn, leaving the screenwriters wondering where it all went wrong. When constructing your screenplay, it is essential to craft a tight Second Act that will power the narrative through to the climactic Third Act. What many writers don’t realize, is that the Second Act should actually be divided into 2 parts. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, students will get an in depth look into how to successfully navigate the structure of the Second Act. Students will learn techniques for crafting dialogue that moves the narrative forward, while exposing their characters’ flaws. Students will learn how to carefully order their scenes in such a way that it creates a series of authentic and escalating obstacles for their characters to overcome. The webinar will identify and explain key plot points that typically exist in a well-written Second Act, and explain how students can use these as guidelines for their own projects. Click here to register for this webinar!

 10 Essential Elements to Incorporate Into Writing Your Rom Com (On Demand)Your host Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom works in development and production. She helped to found Animal Kingdom – and there, she co-produced Destin Daniel Cretton’s SHORT TERM 12, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at SXSW 2013. She was also an incremental part of seeing films like David Robert Mitchell's IT FOLLOWS, Justin Tipping's KICKS, and Joachim Trier's LOUDER THAN BOMBS move into production - and optioned David Carr’s THE NIGHT OF THE GUN. In this series, Amanda will outline the 10 essential elements no rom com can survive without, helping you realize how to turn that bad date into legendary Hollywood fodder! (Because everyone knows that Pretty Woman is totally plausible and actually really happened!)

In this two part series you will learn:

  • The crucial elements to write a good rom com!
  • What differentiates a good rom com from a bad one
  • How to hone your own voice
  • How to originate a great idea/hook

For more information Click here: 10 Essential Elements to Incorporate into Writing Your Rom Com





Study: Female Protagonists on the Rise in Hollywood – But the Majority Are White

Why the Academy’s Diversity Push is Tougher Than It Thinks

Disruptors: How Netflix & Amazon Are Creating Greater Tumult in the Independent Film Industry

Box Office Prophets: The Rise of the Faith-Based Film Industry

How DGA is Hoping to Discover the Next Orson Welles

2016 DGA Awards: The Complete Winners List

WGA-Nominated Screenwriting Panel Generates Laughs But no Controversy

Oscar Favorites Elbowed Aside for Rookie Writers in 2016 Race

Oscar D.P. Contenders Downplay Tools, Play Up Visual Language

54-Minute Talk With Joel and Ethan Coen & Noah Baumbach About Filmmaking, Opening Shots, and More

Sundance Film Festival: 12 Breakthroughs from Park City 2016

Hits & Misses: How Seven Films From Sundance 2015 Performed

Are Limited Series Rewriting the Rules for TV Drama?

SXSW Announces Midnighters, Festival Favorites, Shorts & Special Events

Netflix Faces Challenges at It Plans a Global Launch, Particularly in Asia

Incentives Scorecard: Australia Has Long History of Global Productions

Pinewood Exploring Strategic Alternatives Including Sale


9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More

Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in Hail Caesar!

Room Director Lenny Abrahamson’s Best Advice on Directing



One Editing Rule Margaret Sixel Followed Religiously on Mad Max: Fury Road

Five Tips for Better World-Building in Your Film

Six Filmmaking Takeaways from a Novelist-turned-Director

Cinematography Tips for Horror Filmmakers

What You’re Getting Wrong About Auditioning


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


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