Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone.

It was a great week for Stage 32 and yours truly at the South By Southwest festival in Austin this past week. I had the opportunity to mentor some very talented entrepreneurs and film creatives, which was extremely rewarding and inspiring. Also spent a bunch of time with people from the industry. What are they excited about? Well, the indiefilm revolution, streaming and the sheer amount of content being produced and purchased.

To that end, I have a number of SXSW related articles this week under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS including a look at how some of the most talked about filmmakers at the fest make a living while they work on their big break.

Also in that section this week: Sean Parker’s Screening Room idea is the topic of the week in Hollywood; SAG and AFTRA are finally merging health plans; new media opportunities continue to surge; a look at what makes the Coen Brothers tick; Relativity finds some funding; the Academy takes more steps to solve their perceived diversity issues; Oregon and Hungary up their tax incentive game and much, much more. 

In the VIDEOS section this week, more Coen Brothers! This time they’re discussing their growth as editors. I also have a look at composition in film and an in depth explanation of the Meisner technique.

Under TIPS, I have screenwriting, filmmaking, acting and producing info and tricks.

As far as everything else going on around the community, be sure to check out STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 EDUCATION, STAGE 32 MEETUPS and STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES.

And to join in on some of the coolest conversations happening around the platform, check out POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

As always, I welcome remarks and healthy debate on any of the content below in the Comments section! 

Hope you all have a terrific and creative weekend!





The Second Annual Stage 32 Happy Writers Feature Contest! By immense popular demand, we are thrilled to bring you The 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. Enter here!

Parenting a Freelance Career Through the Growing PainsAs a father, I am always proud watching my five-year-old daughter discover and accomplish things that, while innate or simple to me as an adult, are milestones for her. She is a beautiful piece of veined marble that I enjoy watching as the sculpture deep within is slowly revealed. She believes she can be anything she wants to be when she grows up and my wife and I encourage that. Right now she wants to be a 'Fire fighter Doctor', an honorable profession if there ever was one. Read Shawn Schaffer’s theory of how the metaphysical being of your freelance career parallels a child’s life here. 

How To Direct A Feature Film With NothingFor indie film, it is not only about the story. Since you don't have a named star yet, you need to break through the crowd. You need an amazing story, locations, actors, music, camera technique. Every department needs to be a wow, otherwise, it's not enough and that's why it's hard. Read Pascal’s crucial tips on how to proceed and not be discouraged in the invasion of the digitalized world here


Dilemma: Learn To Craft The Dramatic Core of Your Story - Dramatize Your Story by Using Dilemma, Crisis, Decision & Action, and Resolution (PART 4 - MAR 21) To succeed as a writer in Hollywood, whether in film, TV, or new media, you need top-notch skills as a storyteller and you need serious chops as a dramatist. The ability to find the dramatic core of your story in any genre and beef up its horsepower are crucial, and yet this is notoriously elusive. However, there is a time-tested technique of putting your protagonist in a good strong dilemma, building it to a crisis, forcing decision and action, and then ultimately resolving the dilemma, one way or the other. The full and proper use of this technique is not well known, however, but Jeff Kitchen has been teaching it for over twenty years.

What you will learn:

Week Four - Resolution

  • The protagonist actively resolves the dilemma.
  • The Resolution should be firmly fixed in finality so there’s no backsliding.
  • The resolution of the dilemma is also the end of the conflict.
  • The way in which the protagonist resolves the dilemma expresses the Theme of the story.

Click here to register now!

Demystifying the Agency World – (MAR 26) There is a cloud of mystery surrounding one of the biggest and most fundamental components of the Hollywood industry – and that’s the agency. Whether you’re a writer, director, non-writing producer, actor – and the list goes on to cover even the most obscure type of talent imaginable– it’s pretty basic knowledge that representation is necessary to launch your career. Learn directly from Morgan Long, a coordinator from one of the big six Hollywood agencies in the TV literary department where she gives you insider knowledge of the agency system and what it takes to get their attention.

In this jam-packed Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Demystifying the Agency World, Morgan will take you inside the walls of a premier Hollywood agency to shed light on the inner workings of how deals get made, how agents think and ultimately, how you can take steps in your career towards securing the holy grail that is representation.

You will leave the webinar knowing:

  • The types of representation
  • The different departments within an agency and how they work together and function independently.
  • The types of jobs for TV clients
  • Identify the players we sell to
  • What sells in the marketplace?
  • What is packaging?
  • An agent's day-to-day
  • What agents want in potential clients (the brutal, honest answer)
  • Finding representation
  • Moving forward without representation.

To register and learn more about this amazing presentation click here!

How to Work the Film & TV Markets (MAR 31) This webinar takes independent filmmakers, television and digital content creators on a virtual tour of the circulatory system of the global media landscape - essentially the entertainment industry’s trade show circuit – where content is bought and sold around the world, year after year. Heather demystifies these markets, makes them less intimidating, less confusing, less overwhelming - and shows you how to strategize and navigate these events, making them far more accessible, productive – and fun! She contextualizes her state-of-the-art, from-the-trenches insights into immediately implementable practical advice – whether you’re hitting the markets - or not.

This webinar highlights the most significant annual entertainment industry events around the world, dossiers all the players you will run into – and how to best work with them there - before, during and after. She reveals the elements that establish the market value and predict profitability of entertainment properties – and how you can raise the bar for your projects.

What you will learn:

  • Understand how entertainment content and properties (film, television, web series, etc.) are developed, monetized, produced and promoted around the world.
  • Gain perspective on how the Annual Calendar of Events impacts workloads, budgets and attention spans – and what the best timing might be for your pitches and releases.
  • Which film, TV and digital events are the most significant – and why
  • How the annual cycle of awards shows impacts the next generation of content
  • Discover the co-production markets that offer financing and development support to emerging independent producers

And much, much more! Click here to get the full details of this webinar!





    SXSW 2016: How Do This Year’s Filmmakers Make a Living? 

    SXSW Film 2016 Reveals the Gaps of the Hollywood System 

    SXSW Film 2016 Honors the Past While Facing an Exciting, Gaudy and Uncertain Future 

    SXSW Complete List of Winners 

    Controversial Screening Room Enlists Martin Scorsese, Taylor Hackford, Frank Marshall to Investor/Advocate Roster 

    James Cameron & Jon Landau Slam The Screening Room’s Day-and-Date Release Program 

    Art House Theaters Protest The Screening Room in Open Letter 

    5 Hurdles Facing Sean Parker’s $50 Home Movie Service 

    SAG and AFTRA Health Plans to Merge by January 

    Diverse Creators Turn to New Media for Production Opportunities

    The Coen Brothers: Clooney, Bridges and More on What Makes Them Tick 

    Relativity Assembles $75 Million in New Funding, Pushes Back Release Slate as Kevin Spacey Exits

    Relativity Says it Has Closed $400M Financing Deal With Maple Leaf Films

    Lionsgate Links With Comic-Con on Comic-Con HQ, New SVOD Channel and Content

    Sky Poised to Enter Theatrical Distribution Market for Local Titles in Italy

    Academy Eyes More Changes to Boost Oscar Diversity 

    Oregon Expands Tax Credits for Filming 

    Incentives Scorecard: Hungary Lures Productions With 25% Rebate


    Joel and Ethan Coen Discuss How Their Editing Has Evolved Over 30 Years

    Composition in Storytelling

    What is the Meisner Technique?


    7 New Scripting Tips, Straight From Oliver Stone, Mark Duplass, Cassian Elwes and David Seidler

    How to Create Stunning Hyperlapse Videos 

    5 Things Every Actor Needs to Land Theatrical Representation

    Directing Tips from Sam Mendes

    10 Tips for Successfully Producing a Micro-Budget Feature


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    What I Learned From My 2nd & 3rd Screenplays
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