Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone.

Before I get started, a quick word of thanks to all who participated in Introduce Yourself Weekend last week. We had a record number of posts, which is inspiring enough, but the energy throughout the weekend was what really stood out to me. So many of you brought your knowledge, support and collaborative spirit to the ceremonies, and I, for one, am deeply grateful. Given the incredible and generous letters I received this week from a number of members of this community, I know many of you are as well.

Let’s begin! Under Entertainment News this week: YouTube stars and creatives with large social media followings continue to get deals; when your dream filmmaking job goes bad; in a shocking move, Midnight Rider director Randall Miller is freed; a new study says diverse films perform better at the box office; Patricia Arquette makes yet another great point about art and diversity; the merger and acquisition machine is alive and well in Hollywood; Ken Howard, SAG-AFTRA president, passes; news from the Cannes, Tribeca and SXSW fests; a look at 7 terrific films from the New Directors series; Relativity emerges from bankruptcy; reboots, remakes, spin offs…a review of what it all means; Hawaii ups their tax incentives and much, much more.

In the VIDEOS section this week, a look at the cinematography of The Dark Knight, David Cronenberg’s debut short from 1966, and why opening shots mean everything.

Under TIPS I have tricks and info regarding short filmmaking, head-shots, post-production, cinema law and screenwriting.

For all the latest happening around the platform, be sure to check out STAGE 32 NEWS.

Upcoming educational opportunities can be found under STAGE 32 EDUCATION.

Looking to take your networking to the streets? Check out the STAGE 32 MEETUPS section.

Want to be inspired, browse the STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES section (and congratulate your fellow 32’ers!)

And the easiest way to jumpstart your networking is to be visible and active in the Lounge. We've made it easy by highlighting some of the coolest conversations and content being shared under POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

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

I hope you all have an amazing and creative weekend!

Much love!



On Stage with RB (March 2016) Announced! It’s that time again! Time for the March 2016 edition of On Stage with RB! Every month our Founder & CEO, RB, brings on special guests who work in the industry, such as filmmakers and executives to offer advice to our community in an online webinar. Plus, he discusses the best way to use Stage 32 to help your career. Afterwards, he opens up the floor to you for a live 90 minute Q&A session about anything and everything in the industry. Best of all, this is FREE, exclusively for Stage 32 members... Click here to get important information regarding this exclusive offer!

Six Steps to Rewarding Professional Relationships - College party scene extras shuffled onto the set, dodging lighting standards and avoiding electrical cables, a twenty year old blonde stood beside me, she was to be my dancing partner for the shoot. Feeling like a stranger in a strange land can be disconcerting, especially when the strange land includes your chosen or hoped-for profession. How do you find your way beyond the boundaries and challenges that all professions include? How do you become a cultural insider? Read how Mark’s six steps help to build those relationships you want in the profession and how to make them count. Click here!

The Art Of The Pitch - Many of you are aware that Stage 32 hosted a bunch of film industry related panels at this past Sundance Film Festival. Today, we are releasing yet another exclusive interview (filmed live at the Stage 32 House) available to view right here on the Stage 32 Blog for free! In this 50-minute video, our Founder & CEO, Richard Botto along with Jacob Krueger (Founder, Jacob Krueger Studio) and Sophia Dilley (Dir. of Development, Route One Entertainment) discuss what it takes to deliver an effective pitch. Learn how to know when you're ready to start pitching material along with the do's and don'ts of pitching. You'll understand what it takes to get your pitch to stand out from the crowd and what your pitch needs to include to grab attention and be a solid marketing tool for your script. Click here to watch RB and Jacob discuss what it takes to deliver a successful pitch!

What I Learned From My 2nd & 3rd Screenplays – As a screenwriter, you know that the key to any success you will have starts with your writing. Many writers learn more about themselves as they progress from their first couple of scripts. You begin to find out what works for you. What keeps you on track. This is your process. In this 3-minute clip (which is part of his Film Courage interview series), RB discusses his personal growth as a screenwriter. He covers how he found his rhythm and what works to keep him on track when finishing a screenplay. To watch the video now, click here


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!


Attaching “A” List Actors to Your Film - Separating Your Project from the Pack! (Apr. 7) Anyone who has ever tried to produce and cast a feature film is aware of the quagmire that attaching “A” List level talent represents. On one hand, you need the star power of a “name” actor in order to acquire funding and on the other hand you need the money in order to acquire the name talent. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Attaching “A” List Actors to Your Film: Separating Your Project From the Pack, Franco Sama will outline specific steps and strategies that will insure that the “A” Lister’s will at least read your script giving you an advantage over everyone else trying to secure talent but cannot. .Franco Sama has Executive Produced an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films including most recently, “Guns, Girls and Gambling” starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook which is quickly becoming a cult favorite; this film was released into theatres on December of 2012 and, in January 2013, acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures.

What you will learn:

      • A bullet Proof method for insuring that the agent/manager puts your script into the hands of the “A” Lister and that they READ IT!
      • Do not underestimate the fact that even the top “A” Lister’s want to work all the time and will often sign on to lower budget independent feature films if they are attracted to the material.
      • How to turn an “LOI” (Letter of Intent) into an “LOC” (Letter of COMMITMENT)!
      • Making the offer – How to make it, when to make it and under what conditions.
      • The Offer – We will Dissect an example of an actual, physical offer to an “A” List Actor

And Much, Much more! Click here to register now!


Pitch Private Pitch 57 - Sunday, March 27th · 2:00 - 4:30 PM PDT - Specializes in elevated dramas, historical, and sci-fi TV pilots (no fantasy, no alien abductions.) Click to Register
Pitch Catherine Keithley - Wednesday, March 30th · 10:00 - 12:30 PM PDT - Specializes in game shows, reality shows of any genre, and docu-series (TV). Click to Register
Creative Executive, Schorr Pictures - Saturday, April 2nd · 2:00 - 4:30 PM PDT - Specializes in all genres of TV pilots (hour and half-hour). Click to Register

    How Studios Are Cashing In on YouTube Stars
    Here’s What Happens When Your Dream Filmmaking Job Ends Up Being a Nightmare
    Midnight Rider Director Randall Miller Freed From Jail in Shock Ruling
    Diverse Films Perform Better at Global Box Office, Study Says
    Patricia Arquette: “Art is Suffering” Due to a Lack of Diversity
    Why 2016 Could Be a Banner Year for Hollywood Studio Mergers and Acquisitions
    Ken Howard, SAG-AFTRA President, Dies at 71
    Cannes Film Report: New Films From Refn, Wenders, Dolan Tipped for the Croisette, But no Light Between the Oceans
    Tribeca Film Fest Adds Digital & Online Content to Its Market Mix
    Critics Picks: The 5 Best Films of SXSW 2016
    7 Great Films From the 2016 New Directors/New Films Series
    Shot for Shot: DP Danny Cohen Discusses Three Key Scenes From The Program, Room and The Danish Girl
    Why Netflix is a Better Option for Many R Rated Movies, According to One Major Director
    Reboots, Remakes, Spinoffs: What Hollywood Means By These BS Terms
    Relativity Emerges From Bankruptcy After Judge Rules it Has Met Conditions
    Disney Threatens to Boycott Georgia Over Anti-Gay Bill
    Incentives Scorecard: Hawaii Says Aloha 


    5 Tips on Making a Short Film as Powerful as a Feature
    The 4 Jobs of a Headshot
    10 Tips for Video Post Production
    Cinema Law: What Does “Work for Hire” Mean for Moviemakers?
    Screenwriting: Why Story Structure Formulas Don’t Work


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    Six Steps to Rewarding Professional Relationships
    On Stage With RB (March 2016) Announced!
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