Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. Hope you all had a terrific week.

In this edition of the Weekend Blog, under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS a look at how to succeed in the indiefilm world; how Sean Parker took used his iPhone to create indiefilm magic; the 5-year battle to get Southpaw to the screen; the Revenant shoot is plagued by even more issues; a cool story regarding the iconic poster art for Jaws; the original article that inspired the original Vacation; the financiers of Wolf of Wall Street are under siege; the possible end of Adam Sandler; the rise of Marlon Brando; new film incentives are popping up around the U.S.; Michael Shannon and Jessica Lange take to Broadway and much, much more.

Some really cool items in the VIDEO section as well including a look an acting masterclass from Michael Caine, why David Fincher shines and screenwriting advice from Brian Helegand.

Under TIPS, I have crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, filmmaking, producing, VFX, acting and screenwriting tricks and information.

Another busy week across all areas of the site this week. We recap the latest and greatest under STAGE 32 NEWS.

The Lounge continues to be a hotbed of tremendous shared content as well as informative posts and debate. You’ll find some of the threads that caught our eye over the last week under POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

As you know, we love to shine the spotlight on those who have used Stage 32 triumphantly. The latest examples can be found under STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES.

And finally, we’ve been setting attendance records with some of our Next Level Webinars and Classes as of late. We continue to work tirelessly to bring the most qualified educators to the site to serve you better and provide you with the tools you need to accelerate your path to success. You can see all the upcoming Next Level Webinars and Classes under STAGE 32 Education.

As always, I welcome remarks and debate on any and all the content in the Comments section below. Over 30,000 people read this blog every weekend, but only a handful comment. Let your voice be heard and, as important, be seen! This is a networking site after all!

Have a fantastic and creative weekend!

Cheers!

RB

 STAGE 32 NEWS

This week we announced this year's Finalists in the Stage 32 Happy Writers Annual Feature Contest! We will be sending their script titles and loglines to our entire roster of over 400 executives to gain interest in scripts. This group of writers will also advance to the final judging round, where we will select the top 10. Our top 10 writers will have a variety of prizes, including Skype meetings with executives, classes and pitching sessions. And, the top 3 writers will receive the grand prize - they will be flown to Los Angeles to meet with 10 development executives, managers, agents or producers face to face. The top 10 will be announced August 7, so stay tuned! To read more about the Stage 32 Happy Writers Annual Feature Contest and see the finalists, click here: Finalists Announced - Stage 32 Happy Writers Feature Contest

 

The deadline is fast approaching for the Stage 32 Short Film Contest! We will be accepting short film submissions until August 14. 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, and the the Grand Prize winning director will be flown to London to attend the screening and host a Q&A. We will also be inviting all of the executives (managers, agents, producers, directors of development, etc) we work with to view the films and will facilitate meetings between interested parties and the filmmakers. To read more about the Stage 32 Short Film Contest and to submit your film, click here: Stage 32 Short Film Contest

 

The deadline is also fast approaching for the Stage 32 Happy Writers (now 2nd annual) Search for New Blood Contest! We are looking for the darkest, scary, creepy, suspenseful, mind-boggling, most twisted scripts from undiscovered writers from all over the world. We are searching for NEW blood. We are looking for the top 3 unrepresented horror/suspense/thriller writers that come from Stage 32. In addition to our prizes (including direct access to the judges and other industry executives), this year, we're creating even more opportunity. The loglines of all finalists will be posted in a special section of Stage 32 where any of the 300 industry executives will be able to view them. If there is interest beyond the logline, we will facilitate the communication between the exec and the writer. The deadline for this contest is fast approaching! To read more about this contest and to submit your script, click here: Stage 32 Happy Writers Search For New Blood Screenwriting Contest

 

If you're looking for a great read, check out the Stage 32 Blog. Specifically, this week we can an entry from producer, writer, director and the Founder of the Raindance Film Festival, Elliot Grove. Elliot has been around the industry for over 20 years through his festival and has helped debut many critically acclaimed independent films including What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Once, and even Christopher Nolan's first film The Following. In his entry, Elliot takes you on a ride that includes Syd Field, Mick Jones of the Clash, and, wait for it, Julian Assange! To read this Stage 32 Blog entry, click here: I Live For Independent Film

 

STAGE 32 NEXT LEVEL EDUCATION - UPCOMING WEBINARS AND CLASSES

This Monday 8/3 at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Home Voice Over Studios 101: How To Set Up Your Personal Voice Over Studio hosted by Dan Lenard, a 30+ year veteran of professional voice work and a recognized industry expert, known as “The Home Studio Master”, who specializes in home voice over studio set–up and problem solving! In this 90-minute online webinar, Dan will guide you through the steps of creating your own simple, but professional personal studio. You will learn everything you need to know – from how to choose the right space to convert into a studio to what kind of equipment you need – and will leave this webinar confident in successfully creating and using your personal voice recording space.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • Why you need a home voice over studio if you want to stay competitive in the market.
  • How to choose the right space for your home studio.
  • What the best microphones are for your desired results.
  • The different recording software available and which one is right for you.
  • How to record and edit in your home studio.
  • Plus much more!

To learn more about this webinar, see a video from Dan and to register, click here:Home Voice Over Studios 101: How To Set Up Your Personal Voice Over Studio

 

Starting Thursday 8/6, Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to present How To Hook Your Reader In The First 5 Pages, a 3-week online class taught by producer and former studio executive Regina Lee! In this 3-week class, host Regina Lee will teach you what executives are looking for, the typical paradigms for a script’s opening, what an opening must deliver, and how you can give executives what they want to see and get them hooked on your story. Using real scripts from successful films and TV shows as case studies, Regina will teach you how to create an opening for your story that grabs your reader's attention from page 1! PLUS - you will write your first five pages during the class and receive personalized coverage from Regina!
You will leave this class knowing:

  • What readers are looking for when they read your material
  • What their considerations/criteria are as they evaluate the market viability of your project.
  • Effective paradigms typically used to open scripts, including teaser openings, openings which set up the protagonist, openings which convey the backstory and mythology of a new world, and openings which are set-pieces unto themselves.
  • Genre expectations.
  • How to use the opening to fully set-up the protagonist.
  • How to use the opening to establish tone.
  • Plus much more!

To learn more about this class, see a video from Regina and to register, click here: How To Hook Your Reader In The First 5 Pages

 

Starting Saturday 8/8, Stage 32 Happy Writers presents Breaking In With Your Second Act: Battling (and Winning) the Toughest Part of Your Script, a 4-week class taught by Scott Stoops, manager at Benderspink who recently sold a pilot to CBS! In this class, Scott will break down everything that comprises the second act – how to maintain focus and tension, how to develop characters, how to introduce subplots and supporting characters and how keep the reader excited and engaged. You will learn the Do’s and Don’ts of the second act and tricks of the trade to help you write an excellent Act 2. Having read well over 1,000 scripts during his career, Scott excels at developing a writer’s voice and is excited to help you with your script!
What you will leave this class knowing:

  • The difference between external and internal conflict and how to balance both.
  • How to keep act two tight and fluid without any dreaded lulls.
  • How to keep the emotional crescendo escalating and tips on how to keep your act two pacing on point.
  • What you can do to make sure your act one blends into act two seamlessly without it feeling like two separate movies.
  • How to pitch your story successfully to executives.
  • Plus much more!

To learn more about this class, see a video from Scott and to register, click here: Breaking In With Your Second Act

 

Wednesday 8/19 at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents How to Finance & Produce a Film in the $250K-$2M Range hosted by Franco Sama, a 15-year Film Financing and Distribution Expert with Over 25 Films To His Name! In this webinar Franco will teach you how to approach your film from the “investor’s point of view” so you can not only get the money you need for your project, but how your investors can get that money back. You will learn how to build a team around your project and who is crucial for that team, how to approach investors and above all how to protect your investor’s money. You will leave this webinar with a clear understanding of how to produce and finance your project!
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • Why it's important to approach your film from the "investor's point of view".
  • The Do’s and Don’ts for approaching financing.
  • How to find development funds.
  • The different types of investors and what kind will be best for your project.
  • How to monetize tax rebates and credits.
  • Plus much more!

To learn more about this webinar, see a video from Franco and to register, click here: How to Finance & Produce a Film in the $250K-$2M Range

 

Saturday 8/22 at 11am PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents The 7 Pillars Of Creating A Sellable Story: Fundamental Story Components To Take Your Script from Good to Great hosted by Jen Grisanti, Acclaimed Story/Career Consultant, Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, and a Former 12-year Studio Executive! In this webinar, Jen will teach you the 7 Pillars of Story and breakdown the fundamental, but often incorrectly used, story components that exist in all great scripts. Plus, for Stage 32 members, she will provide case studies for you to learn from! She will be using examples from her clients’ work and how they successfully implemented the 7 pillars to get their scripts sold. Under the guidance of Jen, you will leave this webinar fully prepared to write a marketable story that can help you go from good to great and make the move from non-working to working writer!
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • How to understand your “why” for telling the story that you are telling.
  • How to understand the “why” of your central character.
  • How to implement the 7 Pillars of Story into your existing and future scripts.
  • How to implement these techniques for screenplays and TV Pilots.
  • Plus much more!

To learn more about this webinar, see a video from Jen and to register, click here: The 7 Pillars Of Creating A Sellable Story: Fundamental Story Components To Take Your Script from Good to Great

 

STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES

 

 POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS

 

STAGE 32 PLANNED AND PROPOSED MEETUPS 

 

 ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

 

 VIDEOS

 

 TIPS

 


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