Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. This is also our first Introduce Yourself Weekend of 2016. I urge everyone reading this to head over to the Introduce Yourself section and get involved. Remember, who you know is as important as what you know!

On to the blog!

Under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: 5 trends Hollywood will be paying attention to out of CES; a plethora of Oscar news including the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and other snubs; the BAFTA and DGA Award nominees have been announced; another study of female directors working in the industry paints a bleak picture; a look at 8 essential performances by David Bowie; a look at Kevin Spacey, studio head; MovieMakers 4th annual guide to digital distribution has been published; MovieMaker also wonders if Joseph Campbell is no longer relevant to screenwriting; Georgia lures back producers with attractive incentives; Sundance announces some festival talks and panels and much, much more.

In the VIDEOS section this week, Ridley Scott talks working with actors, Scorsese and Spielberg talk Bridge of Spies and a video essay on the framing in some of 2015’s most critically acclaimed films.

Under TIPS this week, 30 ways to kick your creativity back into overdrive plus crowdfunding, filmmaking, screenwriting, cinematography and acting advice.

Activity on the site has been at an all time high, and that means more terrific conversations and content being shared by our members in the Stage 32 Lounge. We've highlighted some of the best under POPULAR AND MOST INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

The tales of triumph for our members have been on the rise as well. We've summarized a few of them under STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES.

We've been lining up a who’s who of educators in an effort to continue furthering our status as the online leaders for educating film, television and theater creatives. You can see what webinars and classes are on the horizon under STAGE 32 EDUCATION.

Our Manhattan Beach Meetup had 94 RSVP’s and was packed with talented creatives looking to network. Check to see if one is happening in your area (or start your own) by checking out STAGE 32 MEETUPS.

And finally, for all other happenings around the site, give STAGE 32 NEWS a gander.

As always I welcome comments and remarks on any of the content below in the Comments section. Let’s get talking!

And, of course, I look forward to networking with you over in the Introduce Yourself section of the Lounge.

Hope you all have a fantastic and creative weekend. Happy Networking!




10 Things I’ve Learned as a Scoring Assistant on 'Ride Along 2' - Dara Taylor recently had the pleasure of working as Christopher Lennertz's scoring assistant for Universal Picture’s Ride Along 2 (coming out - Friday, January 15th, 2016!). Dara has worked on many projects in this role, but being a scoring assistant on her first big studio film taught her many lessons. Read all about the lessons she learned during this opportunity!

Should A Screenwriter Spend Money On A Contest or Coverage? - When considering your options with a script you've written (or even one that you are producing) it's important to consider all avenues for its exposure to development, including contests and coverage. Today our Founder & CEO, RB, goes over why it is important that you know the keys to each. In this five minute interview, RB goes over the #1 one most important criteria to consider when entering a screenwriting contest. In addition, gives 3 pieces of advice as to whether or not you should enter lesser-known contests that you have an easier chance of winning...and he follows it up with tremendous advice on the best way to spend your money to give you the best chance for success.

10 Tips On How To Survive as a Creative Professional In Entertainment (and Not Go Crazy In The Process!) - One of the biggest challenges we face as artists is how to balance the creative and business demands that are required to have a successful career. Often, it is these difficulties that lead us down a path of 'getting a real job' or 'settling down' – and giving up on our dream, but, if you’re in this industry, you’re in it for a reason – because you HAVE to be. Living a life of comfort and stability is nice, but not if the cost is your dream. Read all about the tips that By Alvin Cowan has learned in the last ten years.


 Working with Difficult Production Personalities - Losing Battles to Win the War (Jan 19) - Working in the entertainment industry means you’ll inevitably come across all different types of people – most of whom are passionate, opinioned and sometimes very stubborn. This will inevitably produce confusion, tension, drama, and tough choices all along the way. What to do when faced with the notorious “difficult” personality? What to do when you learn YOU’RE the one labeled as such?  Adrienne Biddle, former SVP at Rogue Pictures received her Masters degree from the Peter Stark Producing Program at The University of Southern California, and began her career at Jersey Films, where she worked on several projects including Man On The Moon, Caveman’s Valentine, Garden State, How High and Erin Brokovitch. In this webinar, Adrienne will teach you how to spot the troublesome ones, be less troublesome yourself, and generally learn some important tools of the trade when faced with the difficult personality. The goal is to teach all different types of creative people how to work better together so your project doesn't fall apart in these moments of crisis.

 What You'll Learn:

  • How industry professionals define “difficult.”
  • How to avoid being labeled as “difficult.”
  • When is being “difficult” not only ok, but the best course of action?
  • What are three key things to understand when confronted with a “difficult” personality?
  • As a writer, how should I take notes, as well as fight bad ones, while still keeping my job?
  • As a creative, what are some important red flags to look for before choosing my collaborators?
  • What are some crucial steps to take in order to get the best out of your creative team
  • How to find a way to work with a difficult writer or director
  • How to navigate the suits
  • How to understand and get the best out of actors
  • If I sell my project, how to handle the financiers

For more information Click here: Working with Difficult Production Personalities

10 Essential Elements to Incorporate Into Writing Your Rom Com (Jan 20) - Your instructor, Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom has spent her career working 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 2 week intensive Stage 32 online course, your host 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!)

The objective of this course is: 

  • To give you the tools you need to write a funny, heartfelt, PRODUCIBLE romantic comedy – so that you can see your name in lights (and let’s be real… get paid!)
  • To learn how to identify your voice and perspective as a writer – and realize what differentiates you (in a good way). And to have a succinct answer to the ever-elusive question of: what is your brand?
  • Learning how to write a great script that turns into a great movie – and what the pitfalls are along the way. 

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

 A Show-runner's Guide to Unscripted Programming (Jan 21) - Learn directly from Adam Matalon, award winning executive producer, show runner, director and creator who's worked on over 20 projects on cable and network television. In this presentation he discusses how the unscripted and reality genres are becoming more and more fragmented and producers are forced into more and more niche areas of expertise. This is creating a vacuum in which producers wanting to step into show-runner roles are unable to do so because they lack the overview expertise. In this Next Level Webinar, Adam Matalon challenges that notion and investigates the role of the show runner in today's current climate of television.

What you will learn:

  • ◦How scripted and unscripted programming are very similar
  • ◦Understanding the chain of command and avoid unnecessary confrontations
  • ◦Day-to-day operational tasks and how to accomplish them
  • ◦How to move a show forward after being greenlit
  • ◦budgets, prepping each department, communication with networks, etc.
  • ◦Taking an amateur's approach to reality; why a 'voice' is so important
  • ◦Building your team and strong delegation techniques
  • ◦Developing your personal management style
  • ◦Proper communication with your team and the network
  • ◦Understanding audience trends and long term needs of your project
  • ◦Hidden tasks every show runner ends up doing

To register or for more information click here: A Showrunner's Guide to Unscripted Programming








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    On Stage With RB (January 2016) Announced - Kicking Off The New Year!
    10 Things I’ve Learned as a Scoring Assistant on 'Ride Along 2'
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