Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone! Gearing up for Sundance and our panels and parties at the festival, so let’s get right to it!

Jumping right in…This week under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: a plethora of news out of Sundance; Idris Elba eloquently tackles the Oscar diversity issue; a guide as to were to watch the Oscar nominated films; a look at how The Hateful Eight came together; John Landgraf isn’t happy; Dick Wolf isn’t happy; Spotlight and Mr. Robot win big at the Critic’s Choice Awards; Lionsgate and New Regency sign a deal; on site production in L.A. is on the rise; dozens of SAG nominees are owed royalties; the Berlin Film Festival lineup is set; Netflix expands again; Relativity Media gets a new investor and much, much more.

In the TIPS section this week, filmmaking lessons from Goodfellas plus editing, acting, cinematography info and a few life hacks to boot.

Under VIDEOS, Ryan Coogler tackles diversity in Hollywood, a look at the best opening scenes of all-time and storytelling through cinematography.

And for all the latest happening around the Stage 32 community, be sure to check out STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 EDUCATION, STAGE 32 MEETUPS, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES and POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

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

Wishing all of you a happy and creative weekend! Enjoy!




Stage 32 Is Headed to Park City During the Sundance Film Festival! Stage 32 is excited to descend upon Park City, UT for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival! In addition to the first ever Stage 32/Jacob Krueger Studio house off of Main St., we are excited for an entire week filled with industry panels, parties and networking! Click here to get the Agenda for the Stage 32/ Jacob Krueger Studio House!

The 3 days of panels, seminars and get-togethers at the Stage 32/Jacob Kreuger house during Sundance are here: Click here for the Events Happening All Week!

Introducing the Stage 32 Happy Writers TV Writers Fellowship Stage 32 Happy Writers is partnering up with the Writers Assistant Network to introduce an incredible opportunity for working TV writers' assistants and support staff. Stage 32 and WAN are teaming up with agents and managers from over a dozen agencies and management companies to create a three month fellowship for ten aspiring TV writers. These agents and managers have created this group to mine for new talent. Eight of the ten spots will be assigned to writers currently working as writers’ assistants or other support staff on TV's hottest shows, and two of these seats will be dedicated exclusively to Stage 32 Members.

The Diary Of A Sundance-Bound Madman - Part I - Producer Ross Putman, a long-time Sundance attendee, now with a film there for the first time, will check in with us before, during, and after the festival so you can see - in his words - "the complete degeneration of his mental well-being." He also hopes that you can get a feel for the coolness and craziness of America's best film festival. Ross's film, First Girl I Loved, directed by Kerem Sanga and starring Dylan Gelula (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool) will be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival next week and we are thrilled to take the Stage 32 community to live vicariously through his journey. If you want to go to Sundance...this is your chance. To read about Ross Putman click here! 


Crash Course: Writing Dynamic Scenes (Tuesday, Jan 26) Stage 32 Next Level Education brings you Max Adams, acclaimed author and screenwriter who has worked with companies such as Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Tri-Star Pictures! In this course you’ll discover dynamic writing tools and techniques to apply to fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, teleplays, and stage plays to make visuals and action “real” on the page. You will learn how to create compelling visuals on the page that will catapult your writing into an unforgettable — and visual — experience for your readers and audience. On the page. And on the screen.

What You'll Learn:

  • How to differentiate between static (small and/or enclosed) locations and dynamic locations (wide open spaces and spaces in which characters’ motion is augmented).
  • What the strengths and weaknesses of both static and dynamic locations are and how both can work for — or against — a scene’s intensity and strength.
  • Recognizing the difference between using an event and using a location.
  • How events and locations can work together to up a scene’s intensity and interest levels, or cancel each other out.
  • Identifying the danger signs of “talking heads” scenes.
  • How to use motion and action to offset dialogue heavy scenes.
  • How action can replace dialogue to up the intensity level of emotions expressed on the screen.
  • Recognizing the importance and benefits of putting characters in rooms together when important tension elements are in play in a scene.
  • And much, much more!

To sign up for this Crash Course: Writing Dynamic Scenes Click here!

10 Essential Elements to Incorporate Into Writing Your Rom Com (Jan 27) – 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

Creating Your Film's Release Strategy (On-Demand Webinar) Jon Reiss is a distribution and marketing specialist who has worked with Paramount Pictures, Screen Australia, Film Independent, and is the year-round distribution and marketing lab leader at the IFP Filmmaker Labs. Jon will discuss the essentials that all filmmakers need to consider before marketing and distributing their film: goals and audience. We will first examine the five main goals possible for a film release followed by three steps of the Think Outside the Box Office (TOTBO) audience engagement process: identification, connection, value.

You will Learn:

  • The current market for content.
  • The current media landscape – a plethora of content.
  • What you are competing against.
  • Everything Starts with Goals – (not your creative goals).
  • The 5 Goals That You Must Consider and Prioritize 1!
  • The TOTBO (Think Outside the Box Office) Process of Audience Engagement:
  • Who is Your Audience
  • What are niche audiences and why are they important.
  • The difference between niche and core audience.
  • And much more!

To view all of the topics and view this on demand webinar, Click here: Creating Your Film's Release Strategy

Production Coordinator Master Class: Be a Unique & Efficient Production Coordinator (On-Demand Webinar) Stage 32 Next Level Education is thrilled to bring you Carol Kravetz, a veteran Production Coordinator, most recently on shows such as Breaking Bad and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, to teach you a 4-part Production Coordinator Master Class: Be A Unique & Efficient Production Coordinator!

 In this 4-part previously recorded class, Carol provides a fully comprehensive guide on how to be prepared to prepare, prepared to shoot and prepared to wrap. You will learn Carol’s personal list of Production Coordinator best practices, from the various tasks you will be expected to perform and how to execute them with precision, to how to recognize each document you will need in a mound of paperwork, to how to transition the office from pre-production to shoot to wrap. You’ll learn how everything is paid for, how to facilitate rentals and purchases for on-set departments, and the common pitfalls and traps that happen during production so you can avoid them. Carol then teaches you her networking, resume and follow up tips to help you find work and keep working past the wrap party.

 What you will learn:

  • Part 1: Who’s Who, Who Does What And Where Do We Start?
  • Part 2: How To Get Set Up And Ready To Run.
  • Part 3: Pre-Production Continues – Key Events.
  • Part 4: Looking Ahead To The Finish Line

To see the details of all of the amazing things you will learn, click here: Production Coordinator Master Class: Be A Unique & Efficient Production Coordinator








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8 Film Festival Do's and Don'ts
Part I: The Diary Of A Sundance-Bound Madman
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