Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone.

Let’s rock.

You may have noticed that the ENTERTAINMENT NEWS section is now named INDUSTRY AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS. As you know, I think it’s vitally important, and a part of your job, to be informed on happenings within the industry and with the guilds. Over the past few months, I have been listing more articles geared toward industry news. That trend will continue, thus the change. Hope you find the articles informative and helpful.

In that section this week: Comic book movies are killing the industry (see the related video under VIDEOS); how independent studios are taking back their power; indie producers are not happy with California’s tax incentive program; the Academy’s diversity problem and 100 people who might be able to help; The Hollywood Reporter releases two terrific acting roundtables; Amazon Japan releases its ambitious slate; the 20 best director debuts of the last 20 years; WGA and IASTSE news; Apple makes a push into new media and much, much more.

Under VIDEOS this week, why the Hollywood crash is coming, a look at old school old makeup and a fun, behind the scenes glance at The Big Lebowski.

In the TIPS section, 9 skills successful people practice every day plus screenwriting, acting, cinematography and filmmaking tips and tricks.

As for all the happenings around the site, be sure to check out STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES, STAGE 32 MEETUPS, STAGE 32 EDUCATION and POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

As always, I urge you to step up and be visible by posting remarks and thoughts on any of the content below in the Comments section!

Enjoy the content and have a terrific and creative weekend!




Hard Truths and Etiquette - My name is Erik. I'm Stage 32 Happy Writers coordinator, a writer and the son of a father born to excel in the corporate world – and as a Senior Executive at one of the most prestigious hospitality companies in the world, he did. You can tell I'm classy because I say “hospitality company” instead of “hotel chain”. My upbringing was one of reason, commerce, and common sense which, despite the specific machinations of economy and industry, Corporate America lives and dies on. I know there are writers screaming “foul” at the idea of treating writing like a business. After all, we writers deal in art. We write to fulfill an undying need to communicate: a story, a heartbreak, a triumph; lingering thoughts and voices until we finally put them to the page all in the pursuit of something above ourselves. Truly worthy goals...The counterculture movement is over. Punk's dead, Pete Townshend sucks live, and there's a McDonald's in Vietnam. Capitalism is king. Read closely, take these terms of etiquette to heart and let them take you farther in this industry than any clever piece of dialogue (or prose).

Worldwide Stage 32 Short Film Program Screening - Last year marked the first annual Stage 32 Short Film Contest, which produced entries from our members in 29 countries. We brought in an impressive lineup of judges to help us curate our inaugural Stage 32 Short Film program. These judges included some of the brightest minds behind productions such as WHIPLASH, SHORT TERM 12, UNREAL, SUNDAYS, HENLEY, and more (to read more click here). 

The result was curating an impressive lineup of 6 short films, represented by 3 different countries, which screened theatrically at the 2015 Raindance Film Festival to critical acclaim. Read some of the coverage by clicking here!

Sydney's Buzz - Pulling Back the Curtain On the International Movie Biz -  As we mounted the stairs of the Red Carpet for the last time, the Closing Night Awards for the Cannes International Film Festival were announced by the Jury President, George Miller, Director of “Mad Max: Fury Road”. The eight additional members, four women and four men --Arnaud Desplechin, Kirsten Dunst, Valeria Golino, Mads Mikkelsen, László Nemes , Vanessa Paradis, Katayoon Shahabi and Donald Sutherland presented the awards. Surprise of the evening was that the German Competition film, Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann”, clearly an audience favorite and snatched up immediately for the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics, received no award at all. However, it was a great evening for IFC/ Sundance Selects who has the U.S. rights to three winners, "I, Daniel Blake", "Graduation" and "Personal Shopper".  Read the entire Blog here!


Short Film Master Class - Learn To Take Your Idea From Concept To Post-Production (June 6) -Jason Mirch is a feature film and television producer and consultant based in Los Angeles, California. Most recently, Mirch founded Destructo Productions and is currently producing a feature film based on the New York Time best selling memoir Odd Man Outby Matt McCarthy. This intensive 5-week course will give students the tools and techniques necessary to produce a world class short film. Each week will be dedicated to a different aspect of the short filmmaking process, including, concept development and writing of your short, budgeting and scheduling, understanding and drafting production agreements, pro-tips on directing actors, and how to get the most out of the post production process. You are strongly encouraged to come with ideas for a short film, which will be developed over the course of the 5 weeks, so by the conclusion of the class, you should have a screenplay ready for production! To review the entire course topics and to register, click here!

Introduction to Documentary Film Production (June 8) Producer/director Lisa Vangellow (currently working on a documentary film centered on actor James Franco) will share step by step instruction on how to produce a commercially viable documentary film from idea to post-production. If you have little to no experience or if you have narrative film experience and are looking to try documentaries, Lisa will guide you towards the goal of completing a documentary film.  Lisa Vangellow is a producer and director with a penchant for character driven features, documentaries, and television. She holds an MFA in Producing from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and a B.S. in Marketing from the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU.

Lisa will offer her experience from the trenches to help filmmakers over the course of her 3-week class. First, she’ll focus on the selection of subject matter and how to gauge its commercial viability. Lisa will take you through pre-production for a documentary film hitting on areas such as how to create a budget, hire your crew, get financing and explaining why you may want a lawyer to handle the nitty gritty. From there you’ll get an overview of different documentary styles and insight on how to create your story through the use of specific examples. Finally, Lisa will explain how to survive the post-production of your film to bring the entire project together and discuss your options for distribution. Filmmakers will leave with an overall understanding of the documentary filmmaking process, an idea of what makes a good documentary, and how to execute these lessons in the real world.  To register and get a complete list of topics you will learn, click here!

Film Pre-Production Step by Step Guide (June 11) Pre-production is the most important time for filmmakers. How you plan and the crucial decisions you make will determine the success of your production and ultimately, your film. No matter what experience level you are at, pre-production can quickly become an overwhelming process. To make the most of this valuable time to prep you'll want to take it step by step to ensure no loose ends come back to derail your film. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Rachel Crouch will use her experience from Cold Iron Pictures to help ensure your pre-production process runs smoothly. She will provide an overview of the prep and planning that will need to happen during the pre-production process. Then she will break it down to help you understand how to hire the right crew, put in place your department heads and why communication every step of the way is so vitally important.

Rachel Crouch began her career with a rather unconventional start working a variety of jobs all over Los Angeles. After interning with Miranda Bailey's former company Ambush Entertainment, she landed a job as a producer's assistant at the film financing and production company Cold Iron Pictures. While at Cold Iron, she has worked on such films as the Spirit Award-winning The Diary of a Teenage, this summer's Swiss Army Manstarring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, Time out of Mind starring Richard Gere,and Mike Birbiglia's latest Don't Think Twice, as well as produced a series of short YouTube videosin her "off" time.  To register for this great event, click here!


2nd Annual Feature Screenplay Contest

By immense popular demand, we are thrilled to bring you The 2nd Annual Stage 32 Happy Writers Feature Script Contest. We are looking to find the top undiscovered writers and the best feature scripts of 2016. As a result of our history with industry insiders and our global reach, we are able to connect the top writers from around the world to leading executives who can make a difference in their career. We develop and champion the best new writers in Hollywood, and executives across the industry love discovering talent from Stage 32 - click here to see what they say about us. Also, our success stories speak for themselves.  To read about this contest and register before the June 15th Deadline Click here!

Pitch Sam Schulte  - Literary Department, Abrams Artists (Saturday, June 4th · 9:30 - 11:10 AM PDT)

Specializes in all genres, all formats.

The Abrams Artists Agency literary division represents some of the most sought-after writers, directors and producers in the business. Their highly coveted clients have written and produced hit shows such as Modern Family, Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, American Dad, Family Guy, Devious Maids, Raising Hope, Covert Affairs as well as many others. Their directors have worked on NCIS: New Orleans, 30 Rock, Ground Floor, Undateable, Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, Scandal, and The Fosters. In the children’s space, their clients have worked on some of the most popular television series, such as Jesse, Henry Danger, K.C. Undercover, Bella and the Bulldogs, The Thundermans and Bunk’d. They are always looking for fresh and exciting voices to add to their expanding roster! Click here to register! 

Sam works in the literary department for Abrams Artists. Prior to joining Abrams, Sam worked for Plan B Entertainment, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Media Talent Group and Blue Star Entertainment.

Executive Mentoring Program

Your choice of executive will call you for an hour long private one-on-one call to mentor you and answer any questions you have about your projects, the industry, any everything in between. Not sure which of your ideas to pursue next? Wondering which of your projects has the best chance in the marketplace? Get these questions and more answered from our exclusive list of experienced, hand-selected executives. The executive will mentor you on how to make sure you are positioning your scripts correctly, how to perfect your pitch and story ideas that will give your script a competitive edge. This is your hour, and you can ask the executive any story-related or business strategy question you have to make sure you are heading in the right direction. Executive Mentoring Programs do not come with a script read. Purchase Executive Mentoring Program - On Sale $175.00





Comic Book Movies Are Killing the Movie Industry

Amblin TV: One Example of How Independent Studios Are Taking Back Their Power

Indie Producers Say They’re Getting Shortchanged By California’s Tax Incentives Program

Here Are 100 People in Hollywood Who Could Help Fix the Academy’s Diversity Problem

Academy’s Diversity Push Crashes Into the Math and Definitions

The Hollywood Reporter’s Actor Roundtable

The Hollywood Reporter’s Tony Actress Roundtable

Director Debuts: The 20 Best First Films of the Last 20 Years

Amazon Japan Unveils Ambitious Original Content Slate

WGA West Pencils In $4 Million Surplus for Fiscal 2016

WGA East Blasts Billionaire for Funding Hulk Hogan’s Legal War With Gawker

IATSE & Producers Reach Deal for New TV Commercials Contract

UTA Targets “Whining” CAA’s Richard Lovett in Agent-Poaching Lawsuit

Apple Contemplates a Push Into Media 


The Hollywood Crash is Coming 

‘Old Age Makeup’ Video Essay Compares How Actors Like Brando Were Styled, Versus How They Actually Aged 

The Big Lebowski Making Of Special 


The 9 Skills Successful People Practice Every Day 

First Draft: Three Pros and Cons of Outlining Your Screenplay 

There is No “Right” Way: 14 Things Directors Need to Know About Directing Actors 

Acting: Silence is Golden 

5 Practical Cinematic Lighting Tutorials


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Worldwide Premiere of the Stage 32 Short Film Program - Today Only
Worldwide Stage 32 Short Film Program Screening
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