Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. And, remember, it’s an Introduce Yourself Weekend as well! Be sure to head over to the Introduce Yourself section of the Lounge and get your networking on. Remember, it’s not just about introducing who you are, but greeting and connecting with other members of the Stage 32 community!

Busy week. Let’s roll.

Under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: How the Duplass brothers built their low-budget empire; a look back at Silence of the Lambs on its 25th anniversary; industry insiders reveal their Oscar vote; how Oscar voting truly works; the split in the Guild Awards has kept his Oscar season the most wide open in some time; a look at the nominated editors and production designers; Ennio Morricone waxes poetic; an AI script reading program makes its debut; Michael Mann takes a look in the rear view;; what’s happening two years after the Sarah Jones tragedy; the complete list of BAFTA winners; news from the Berlin Film Festival; NY ups their film incentives and much, much more.

In the VIDEOS section this week, Kate Winslet talks acting, a look at how you can use any camera to make a film and the importance of camera movement in film.

Under TIPS, I have an interesting article on a topic raised quite often in the Stage 32 Lounge – Is working for exposure ever worth it? Also, screenwriting, filmmaking, and on-set tips plus some hacks designed to raise your emotional intelligence.

In addition to Introduce Yourself Weekend, there is a ton of other activity happening around the community. To get caught up, check out STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 MEETUPS, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES, STAGE 32 EDUCATION and POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

That should keep you busy!

Remember, I very much welcome your thoughts, remarks and healthy debate on any of the content below in the Comments section. Be heard!

Have a terrific weekend. And best of luck with the networking!




Oscars and Film Industry Webcast Now Available for FREE! Stage 32 Founder & CEO, Richard Botto and Indie Film Hustle podcast host, Alex Ferrari, got together last week to broadcast a LIVE 2-hour Oscars and Film Industry webcast breaking down and analyzing the upcoming awards! Now, it's available for you to watch on-demand! From diversity to the industry standards to snubs to shoe-ins and possible upsets, this is one fun and exciting webcast. Click here to see who the gents are picking to rule Oscar night!

The One Thing You Need To Do To Succeed Is To Keep Going Forward - When you hit a low point and trust me we all do, there’s only one way out —  through. You must get back to work. It’s a grueling, painful process, doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result. Most people tell you you're insane. Yet, as artists, that is exactly what we have to do. You must practice your craft over and over again, because every drawing, every line, counts towards your continued growth as an artist. Click here to see what Walt Disney and George Lucas did to move forward!

The Diary Of A Sundance-Bound Madman - Part III - Today we bring you the 3rd and final installment of The Diary Of A Sundance-Bound Madman. The 2016 Sundance Film Festival is over and Stage 32 producer Ross Putman screened his film The First Girl I Loved for the first time. Directed by Kerem Sanga and starring Dylan Gelula (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool), the film received critical praise in the trades. In addition, Ross decided to start a "little" Twitter account calling out Hollywood for the way women are portrayed in scripts. Needless to say Ross has made a splash with his first film premiering at Sundance and he's here today in Part III to wrap his experience up for the Stage 32 community. Click here to see - in his words - the conclusion of "the complete degeneration of his mental well-being."


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.

  • Reasons why most Second Acts Fail
  • Using Elements of a solid Act One to set up Act Two
  • Identifying the Protagonist’s Goal and Obstacles
  • How Act Two fits into the 3 Act Structure
  • Structuring Act Two
  • Attempts and Consequences
  • How to Effectively Weave in a Meaningful Sub-Plot
  • Constructing a believable “All Is Lost” Moment
  • Propelling your narrative into Act 3

Click here to read more and register for this webinar!








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