Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone, and our first Weekend Blog of 2016! (119th all-time!) As per usual, much to get to, so let’s dive right in… 

Under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS this week: A look at the bold risks 7 directors took in 2015; gender issues in Hollywood will continue to be a snowball rolling downhill in 16; The Hollywood Reporter’s Cinematographer Rountable is live; a look at 9 iconic shots from legendary cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond who passed this week;Relativity buys Trigger Street and keeps Spacey and Brunetti in charge; a look at whether this Oscar season will trigger racial backlash; a look at some of the late risers in the Oscar race; the PGA nominees have been announced; Quentin Tarantino gets sued; Stallone and Coogler discuss Creed; Kodak goes old school at CES; VR continues to make waves; why some are not smiling about Hollywood’s record box- office; the WGA asks members to amend the Guild’s constitution, Variety’s most anticipated films of 2016 and much, much more.

In the VIDEOS section, I have a Q&A with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Michael Mann, a super-cut of 120 years of cinema and Tony Zhou on ensemble staging. Under TIPS this week, filmmaking, screenwriting, editing, costuming, cinematography 411, plus how to get organized for 2016. 

Under STAGE 32 EDUCATION, I have all the upcoming webinars and classes on the schedule including our very first Master Class on the subject of crowdfunding. And for everything else happening around the site (and around the world) check out STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES, STAGE 32 MEETUPS and POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

Now, it’s a new year, right? One of your resolutions is to be more visible and active, right? Terrific! I welcome you to voice your opinion on any of the content below in the Comments section! Be heard!  Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful and creative weekend!




Stage 32 Happy Writers Success Spotlight: Frank Ponce - To be a successful writer you have to think about this as a career. You have to be proactive and continuously pull yourself out from the deafening weight of rejection and negativity. You have to keep moving forward; you have to stop making excuses. In this video series Happy Writers spotlights Stage 32 Happy Writers success stories so you can see the benefits of using our site to its full extent. In these exclusive interviews our most successful writers will detail their individual process and how they used what's availability on Stage 32 to help advance their careers.

4 Steps to Writing a Bio That Gets You Noticed Many of us feel panic and dread when we sit down to write our bios, cracking under the self-imposed pressure to paint a perfect portrait of who we are in this point in time. But what if I told you that a great bio simply started the conversation of what you can bring to a project and then motivated your reader to keep that conversation going with you – through a meeting, an audition, a Twitter follow, or a viewing of your reel? Most of us make the mistake of writing a bio that looks backward on what we've already done, instead of positioning what we've done to get the reader interested in what we're going to do in the future. Click here to find out the four steps I use to help clients create bios that they're proud to share.

Happy New Year - Let's Get Busy - What Are Your 2016 Goals? Happy New Year, everyone. Hope you all had a terrific holiday season and are now ready to launch into 2016. Those of you who have been around the site for a while know that on New Years Day we use the Stage 32 Blog to discuss and share our plans for the coming year. So what are you looking to accomplish in 2016? What are your creative goals? What skills are you looking to learn? What fears are you looking to overcome? Everything and anything is up for grabs.

What a Year! Those who know me well know that I only like to look in the rear view in an effort to learn from the past. There is always one exception to my self-imposed rule, however - the end of the year. There's no better time to take some time to reflect on and celebrate one's accomplishments. On a personal and professional level, Stage 32 was not only a terrific year for yours truly, but a banner year for many of our members. Let's take a look back together, shall we?


Advanced Crowdfunding for Filmmakers Master Class (Jan 11) - Next Level Webinar presents - Launching a crowdfunding campaign is easy – ensuring you actually reach your goal is not. Stephen Follows is an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The News Statesman, AV Club and Indiewire. In this webinar, Stephen will help 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.

You will leave the first session knowing:

  • Picking your platform based on your needs
  • Crafting a powerful campaign
  • Inspiring action in your audience and turning viewers into backers
  • How to road-test rewards, ideas and copy before launch
  • What makes people share campaigns to their friends and family
  • A model for a $1 million crowdfunding campaign

To read more about this webinar and to register, click here: Advanced Crowdfunding for Filmmakers Master Class


Creating Your Film's Release Strategy (Jan. 13) Learn directly from Jon Reiss distribution and marketing specialist who's worked with Paramount Pictures, Screen Australia, Film Independent, and is the year-round distribution and marketing lab leader at the IFP Filmmaker Labs. This webinar will cover 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’s release followed by three steps of the Think Outside the Box Office (TOTBO) audience engagement process: identification, connection, value.

What you’ll 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.
  • ◦How to create value for your audience.
  • ◦Partners, email, website, etc.
  • ◦How does your audience consume media?

To obtain more information Click Here: Creating your Film’s Release Strategy


10 Essential Elements to Incorporate Into Writing Your Rom Com (Jan 20) - In this 2 week intensive Stage 32 online course, your host Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom 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, PRODUCABLE 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 auteur'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 showrunner ends up doing

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





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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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