Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Hope you all had a fabulous week and are ready for the weekend. Up ahead, my usual collection of news, tips, tricks and more. I do hope you’ll take the time to share the Weekend Blog with those you believe would benefit from the content. And, as always, I welcome your thoughts, musings or rantings in the Comments section below.

Have a terrific and creative weekend!




Just Finish The Book!

For the last 30 years I have been writing poetry, lyrics and songs, yielding some great achievements along the way, mostly with my songs, but I have had two poems published in the past and have continued to write for the sheer joy and love of writing.

I've always enjoyed poetry and it's a shame that over the centuries, it has dwindled as a definitive form of communication, but people do still enjoy writing it as a way of expressing feelings and events that maybe are difficult to express verbally. Read More!

SXSW Roll Call - Who's Going? Who Has Films?

Hey guys. As we all know, yesterday SXSW announced their 2017 film lineup. For the 5th straight year Stage 32 will be at SXSW. This year is exciting for us as we are part of a panel with the European Film Commissions Network, Scandinavian Locations and Little W Productions featuring 8 Stage 32 filmmakers that we are entering into a Global Co-Production Matchmaking Program (more about that here).

If you're headed to SXSW and/or have a film playing at the festival, Click here!

Stage 32 Announces $20k Winning Script in Short Film Contest

Stage 32 and the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission are pleased to announce the grand prize winner of their Short Film Script Contest, screenwriter/director Tanya Carleton Lovrics for her screenplay DOLPHIN GIRL. Lovrics will be flown to Florida and mentored by Sundance alum writer/director, JT Mollner. Production company, Digital Caviar will manage production.

A native of Niagara Falls, Canada, Lovrics is a graduate—with honors—from Sheridan's Illustration Program and has worked as an illustrator, designer, and owned and operated her own art gallery before concentrating her creative energies on screenwriting. Read more here! 


Advanced Crowdfunding For Filmmakers Master Class

This exclusive Stage 32 Master Class comes from one of my favorite people on the planet, Stephen Follows. Stephen is not only a filmmaker, screenwriter, producer and educator, but also a master statistician. In fact, I first became aware of Stephen when I discovered (and found myself lost for hours in) his incredible blog where he chronicles the results of his extensive research into data and statistics related to the film industry. So taken was I by Stephen's work that I sought him out prior to my trip to London for the Raindance Film Festival and requested a meeting. Not only did Stephen accept, but he kept our meeting in spite of a horrible cold, ultimately spending 2 more hours than planned. That's the kind of guy Stephen is. But his mind, as you are about to discover, is another story entirely.

I'm thrilled and honored to announce that not only will Stephen be contributing a number of columns for the Stage 32 Blog, but he will be teaching the first ever Stage 32 Master Class in early 2016. Stephen's Master Class will be on crowdfunding, and I promise you it will be the most inclusive, insightful and factual (backed by more stats than you could imagine) class ever taught on the subject. Stephen has analyzed over 50,000 film crowdfunding campaigns -- yes, you read that right -- and is bringing his findings to the Stage 32 community EXCLUSIVELY. Never before has this extensive of research and discovery been taught on crowdfunding for filmmakers.

What you will learn:

Session 1 – Campaigns That Connect and Convert

Stephen helps 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.

Session 2 – Video as a Professional Tool

We 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.

Session 3 – Marketing and Outreach

All crowdfunding filmmakers need to reach new people but if you’re going to run a big campaign then you’ve got 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.

To register for this amazing opportunity, click here!

Development: Defining The Producer-Writer Relationship

Learn directly from Gotham Award-winning Producer Shaun O’Banion who's worked with Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Joe Wright and Judd Apatow. Shaun’s first feature was one of an early group of independent films picked up for Netflix, and remained in the Top 100 for 5 years before airing on such networks as Showtime, The Movie Channel, ComCast On Demand, Time Warner Cable On Demand and Hulu.

Navigating the maze of getting a screenplay read by people who can make it a reality is one thing, but moving into the realm of getting material financed and produced by those people is another game altogether. In this Next Level Class, you will learn from an award-winning producer's perspective what producers look for, how doing your research matters, and how collaboration with your new partner is the key to it all. Plus, learn the differences between setting up a short and setting up a feature.

In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Class, award-winning producer Shaun O’Banion will take you through all of this and more! Over the course of 2 online sessions you will learn about the process of getting material produced from the producer's perspective. You will also learn about the development process from the mind of an established indie producer who will give you a new set of tools to get your material in top form!

What you will learn:

Session 1:

    1. Where do producers look for material?
    2. If you’re a producer, selecting the right writer for your story.
    3. Should you really sign up for those websites that claim to get your stuff read?
    4. What makes a producer decide to read your material?
    5. How to get past the measures designed to keep you on the outside.
    6. Repped vs unrepped.
    7. How many projects is a producer developing at any one time?

Session 2:

    1. From big budget films to indies, the time period can vary wildly. What are the factors? Is there a way to “beat the system” and ensure your film gets going?
    2. Building your relationship: Working with a producer or development exec. can be a stressful process. Learn how to navigate this so that you end up with the best version of your project.
    3. Fighting/Making up/Moving on. So you’ve hit a wall. They want more changes and you’re not willing to go there. How to move past the inevitable speed bumps and get going again.
    4. Is being replaced inevitable?

To get the full list of things you will learn in this amazing opportunity, click here and register!  


The Stage 32 Fantasy & Sci-Fi Screenwriting Contest is searching for the best original Fantasy & Sci-Fi feature screenplays. Super powers. Outer space. Mystical Creatures. Bring it!

Taking our stories out of this world is nothing new, but it’s definitely generated some of the most prolific and biggest blockbuster films to date, and let’s not forget have brought some of the most iconic film lines ever. Stage 32 is happy to provide a brand new opportunity for our Fantasy and Sci-Fi screenwriters to get their stories out there and read by some of the top industry players. Show us what new fantastical worlds and outer depths of science fiction you've created, because we want to read it! To sign up for this contest, click here!

Pitch Opportunities

Samantha Schoen - Assistant to Head of Production - Morgan Spurlock's Warrior Poets Saturday, February 4th · 11:30 - 1:10 PM PST Specializes in drama, comedy, history, period, musical, sci-fi, and fantasy features.

Libby Meyer - Assistant to Michael Shamberg - Masproduction Saturday, February 4th · 1:30 - 3:10 PM PST - Specializes in all genres, all formats.

Kyle Hancher - Creative Executive, Quadrant Pictures - Sunday, February 5th · 2:30 - 4:10 PM PST Specializes in horror, thriller, sci-fi, and drama features & TV!

Ghislaine Devoy - Television Department, Pico Creek Productions - Sunday, February 5th · 2:30 - 4:10 PM PST - Specializes in drama and horror TV pilots, and horror features.





Women Directors Rule at Sundance 

Critics' Conversation: At Sundance 2017, One Movie Soared Above the Rest 

Critics' Picks: The 15 Best Films at Sundance 2017 

Critic's Notebook: Sundance Needs to Go on a Diet 

2017 Sundance Film Festival Awards: The Complete Winners List 

#OscarsSoMale? Lack of Female Nominees Highlights Another Industry Problem 

Female Filmmakers Are ‘Grossly Underrepresented’ When It Comes to Directing Opportunities, New Study Finds 

Scorsese, Stone, Spielberg Pushed Aside as Oscar Makes Way for New Generation 

Unscripted Producers Feel Squeeze of Growing Expenses, Reduced Pay 

As Technology Matures, Digital Revolution Turns Into Editorial Evolution 

‘La La Land’ Wins Producers Guild Award, Stays on Top in Oscar Race 

Producers Guild Awards: The Oscar Implications of the 'La La Land' Win 

Emma Watson and Miles Teller lost 'La La Land' roles for being too demanding 


Sony to Take $1 Billion Writedown on Movie Business 

Sundance Sales Market: Netflix, Amazon Returned With Deep Pockets 

Pedro Almodóvar Named 70th Cannes Jury President 


How Aaron Sorkin's Famous Dialogue Balances 'Flash' and 'Substance' 


18 Effective Habits of Highly Successful People 

Things I’ve Learned as a Moviemaker: Cinematographer Nancy Schreiber 

Directors Without Borders: The Producers of Lion give the Lowdown on International Co-Production 

7 Ways to Crack the Code of TV Writing, from Writers of 'Transparent,' 'Six Feet Under,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' and More 

Need to Give Your Shots More Depth? Change Your Camera Angle 

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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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