Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone.

This week, sadly, saw the passing of producer, Jerry Weintraub. Jerry was a legend in Hollywood, a self made guy who defied all the odds and became one of the industry’s most powerful producers. Along the way, Jerry promoted Elvis and Sinatra to name a couple and always found a path from impossible to possible with a smile and charm to spare.

For those of you who weren’t familiar with Jerry and love a good showbiz story, I urge you to pick up his phenomenal (and hysterical) book, When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories From A Persuasive Man. I promise you, you won’t regret doing so.

Jerry was the last of a dying breed. A guy’s guy. A producer who made everyone feel like an equal. He’ll be missed.

Under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS this week, I have a few articles about Jerry. I hope you enjoy them. Also in that section, Dustin Hoffman trashes today’s cinema; Michael Douglas trashes today’s American movie actors; a look at what happened to that Tim Burton Batman movie that never made it to production; a look at what screenwriters are earning these days; the Animation Guild strikes a deal; Paramount also makes a deal closing the window of time between theatrical and home viewing release; the app that made the infamous shot-on-an-iPhone 6 Tangerine possible; Netflix announces their first feature film slate; Broadway box office turns cold and much, much more.

Also, under TIPS this week, I bring you a plethora of acting, editing, producing, screenwriting and filmmaking (courtesy of Kevin Spacey and Adrien Brody) information.

In the VIDEOS section, you’ll find Martin Scorsese discussing the pros and cons of digital filmmaking and the trailers for Brooklyn and Bridge of Spies.

As it relates to happenings around the site, you’ll find all the latest and greatest from the past week under STAGE 32 NEWS, the coolest conversations in POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS, some inspirational tales of triumph under STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES and all the get-togethers happening around the world under STAGE 32 MEETUPS.

Finally, a personal request – As posted on the blog the last couple of days, I am co-producing a documentary called Crutch. We are entering the homestretch of our Kickstarter campaign and, of course, every dollar counts. But so does every post, Tweet, and shout out the window. It’s a personal project to everyone involved. I ask that you support this project in any way you can. Thank you. You can see the project page here: Crutch The Documentary

Remember, I welcome remarks and healthy debate on any and all the content below in the Comments section. I do hope you enjoy.

And I also hope you have a fabulous and creative weekend.




This week Stage 32 announced our involvement with a film project that is near and dear to our hearts. This project is a documentary titled Crutch and chronicles the life of Bill Shannon, an internationally renowned artist, break dancer and skateboarder, who wields his crutches as tools of expression and weapons of provocation. Bill provided the filmmakers with over a decade of access, plus a lifetime of archival footage, to allow them to depict him from his early years as a disabled child who refused to sit idle and watch able-bodied kids play, to his rise as an award-winning dancer and cutting-edge performance artist whose work finds outlet at prestigious venues worldwide, including Cirque du Soleil, the Sydney Opera House, the Tate Modern, and the Chicago MOCA.This is a truly inspiring story and one that we are so proud to be associated with. This will be the first film where our entire Stage 32 community will be thanked in the credits, and we ask that, if you feel so inclined, you please share this story and get it in front of as many people possible. You can read more about the documentary and Stage 32's involvement here: Crutch: The Journey Of A Disabled Artist

Introducing the Stage 32 Short Film Contest! From now until August 14, the Stage 32 Short Film Contest will be accepting short film submissions which will be judged by industry talent. Films reaching the final round will be judged by industry executives who have all been involved in either signing filmmakers off a short or shepherding a short film into a feature. The top 8-10 films will be screened in a special Stage 32 theatrical Shorts Program Showcase at the Raindance Film Festival in London this September! The films will also be showcased in a special global online screening exclusively on We will also be flying the Grand Prize winning director to London to be at the theatrical premiere of his or her film where he or she will have a live Q&A session with our CEO and Founder RB. To read more about the contest, see the rules and judges, and to submit, click here: Stage 32 Short Film Contest

The June 2015 edition of the On Stage With RB broadcast is now available to watch On Demand! In this jam-packed over 3-hour broadcast, RB had on 2 special guests - Timothy Andrew Edwards, a composer and music supervisor with over 75 credits, and Steve Desmond, a professional Screenwriter and Filmmaker who has written or developed projects with Imagine Entertainment, Level 1 Entertainment, The Walt Becker Company, DreamWorks Animation, and The Disney Channel and who recently raised $30k on Kickstarter for a short film he directed from an initial raise of $16k. After that RB opened up for almost 2 hours of Q&A! To read more about this informational broadcast and to watch it on-demand for free, click here: June 2015 Edition of On Stage With RB

Last week we called for a Mid-Year Check In to find out what the community has been up to and how everyone is doing with their projects. Are you on track? Do you need a push? We hope you take this opportunity to not only check in, but to assist one another. Perhaps there are collaborations to be made, advice to be shared or simply support we can lend. If you haven't checking in with us yet, let us know what you're up to here: Stage 32 Mid-Year Check In


This Saturday 7/11 at 11am PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Writing Strong Female Characters, hosted by Jake Detharidge, Head of Development and Production at 3311 Productions (In A World... starring Lake Bell, Eva Longoria and Big Sur starring Kate Bosworth). In this webinar you will learn the current industry landscape for female driven content so you can understand how to analyze, create and execute genuine female characters. Jake will focus mainly on the deeply ingrained, cultural, spiritual and philosophical ideology surrounding female characters so you can learn how to properly write them into your stories.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • The current industry landscape for female driven content.
  • How to analyze, create and execute genuine female characters.
  • An in-depth case study of a successful film Jake worked on with a strong female character - what worked and why.
  • The tricks and loopholes to take advantage of when writing.
  • Writing and creative mistakes most people consciously – and more importantly, subconsciously – make when tackling female characters.

To read more about this webinar, see a video from and testimonials about the instructor and to register, click here: Writing Strong Female Characters

Tuesday 7/14 at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents 11 Things You Must Do Before Approaching Distributors: Surviving Clearances hosted by Stephanie Weier, 20 year expert on Clearances, Script Breakdown Reports & Research who has worked on films such as Crazy, Stupid, Love (Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell), Edge of Darkness (Mel Gibson), Gimmie Shelter (Vanessa hudgens) and Ray (Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington) to name a few! In this webinar, you will learn how to make sure your delivered project is a rockstar with distributors, and why a little more work in this area during pre-production and production can save you lots of time and money down the road. You will leave this webinar with confidence and a true understanding of the importance of doing clearances and production research correctly, and why you need to make this area of production one of your top priorities.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • The difference between a script breakdown report and a clearance.
  • Why you need Clearances before approaching distribution.
  • The difference between copyright and trademark law.
  • What is considered Fair Use.
  • Complex clearances like magazine covers and clips (playback).
  • The importance of "delivery" to a distributor.
  • What happens if someone you are trying to clear gets denied.

To read more about this webinar and to sign up, click here: 11 Things You Must Do Before Approaching Distributors: Surviving Clearances

Thursday 7/16 at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents How To Use Crowfundfunding To Turn Your Film Project Into A Reality hosted by Steve Desmond, a filmmaker and professional screenwriter who recently completed a successful crowdfunding campaign and nearly doubled his initial raise! In this webinar, Steve will draw from his own experience and teach you how to craft a compelling pitch, build an online audience, and maximize your project’s potential. He’ll also go over the pros and cons of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other major crowdfunding sites, so that you can pick the one that’s best for you.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • Kickstarter or Indiegogo: Which should you choose?
  • How to set your target budget.
  • How to craft your pitch video for your campaign.
  • How to capitalize on Stage 32, Facebook and Twitter to expand your project’s scope.
  • How to have a successful launch.
  • What to do during your campaign - why your effort determines your results.
  • The crucial last 48 hours that will determine whether your project makes it or breaks it.

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Steve and read his testimonials and to register, click here: How To Use Crowfundfunding To Turn Your Film Project Into A Reality

Saturday 7/18 at 11am PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents 7 Insider Tips To Becoming A Working Film & TV Composer: How To Network and Get Work hosted by Timothy Andrew Edwards, Composer, Musician and Music Supervisor with over 75 credits in Feature Film and Network Television, including two Emmy award winning shows! In this webinar, Timothy will break down the steps in the general composing and networking processes and reveal his insider tips on how to build a professional career as a film or TV composer. You will learn how to get in the door enough to build steady work and what you should be doing to build your career.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • The "not so hidden" secret resource that can get you working as a composer regardless of where you reside.
  • How to properly build your reel and credits to "make work from work".
  • The most common mistakes composers make and how to avoid them.
  • How to connect authentically and effectively when networking.
  • How to use limitations to build your sound and stand out from the crowd in independent film.

To read more about this webinar and to register, click here:7 Insider Tips To Becoming A Working Film & TV Composer: How To Network and Get Work

Tuesday 7/21 at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents How To Understand, Identify & Secure A Sales Agent hosted by Simon Graham-Clare and Ricky Margolis, Producers and Consultants at Future Films USA who have financed and/or produced over 200 films & TV shows! In this webinar, Simon and Ricky will explain why you do in fact need a sales agent - even for smaller budget films - if you're looking to get distribution. You will learn exactly what a sales agent does so you can know what to expect when working with one, and will demystify the world of distribution so you can have an easier time obtaining your goal - getting your film seen.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • What a sales agent can do for you that you can't do for yourself.
  • How and where sales agents sell: the formats they sell (theatrical/SVOD/VOD/HV/TV).
  • How to vet a sales agent and find the right one for you project.
  • How and when you should approach a sales agent.
  • How the partnership between filmmaker/producer and sales agent works.
  • How sales agents get paid - what to expect.

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Simon & Ricky and to register, click here: How To Understand, Identify & Secure A Sales Agent

Thursday 7/23 at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents 10 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Casting Director Workshops hosted by Jessica Sitomer, acclaimed International Entertainment Industry Speaker, Career Coach, and Actress, as well as Producer of three TV shows, author, produced writer and development associate! As episodic season is about to start, so are Casting Director workshops, and in this webinar Jessica will reveal how much more value you can get from Casting Director workshops than you’re currently getting. Instead of performing, leaving and sending a thank you note, usually never hearing from the CD again, learn how to stand out in the room and make a lasting impression!
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • Unique questions to ask during the Q&A portion of the workshops.
  • How to brand yourself for the specific CD in the room.
  • How to know when you’re annoying a CD.
  • Jessica’s proven campaign follow up strategy.
  • Jessica's personal “Casting Director Attractor” relationship building strategy.

To read more about this webinar, see testimonials about this instructor and to register, click here: 10 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Casting Director Workshops

Starting 7/18, the Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring back our 8 Week Working Writer's Lab From Concept to Ironclad Outline hosted by Patrick Raymond, Creative Executive at Mandalay Pictures! Patrick has assisted a number of our writers on strengthening their scripts and he is excited to help you bring your concept to life. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards bringing your concept to life, plus ongoing contact with Patrick in between classes, your experience writing has never been easier.
Under the guidance of Patrick Raymond you will:

  • Pick a unique and commercially viable concept.
  • Craft engaging, unique characters that pop off the page.
  • A solid structural skeleton that successfully carries your concept.
  • Cinematic set pieces that will give your story that much-wanted theatrical feel.
  • A fully realized outline highlighting every major plot point in your script.

To read more about this 8-week lab, see a video from Patrick and to register, click here: From Concept to Ironclad Outline







Like this blog post? Please share it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email etc) by using social media buttons at the top of the blog. Or post to your personal blog and anywhere else you feel appropriate. Thank you.

As always, we welcome thoughts and remarks on ANY of the content above in the Comments section below...

#1 Reason Why Actors (& Creatives) Get No Results From Social Media
The Perks of Not Being a Wallflower
register for stage 32 Register / Log In