Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone.

Full slate this week. Let’s roll.

The Oscars (finally) came and went last Sunday evening. We’ll have the results of our 4th annual Oscars contest on the Stage 32 Blog this week (ahem, someone we all know had a very good night). In the meantime, under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS, I have 10 articles related to the Academy, including the item in the pole position regarding last year’s Best Actress winner, Patricia Arquette, and how her acceptance speech cost her jobs.

Also in that section this week: Spotlight also had a big day at the Spirit Awards; a look at how and why Gods of Egypt bombed at the box office; a look at what studios are up and which are down; China takes another run at toppling Hollywood; the brass at the WGA had a busy week; Nevada and France are luring productions with their tax incentives; Miramax gets bought; Tribeca announces their slate; Hollywood stars fail to light up the Great White Way and much, much more.

Under TIPS this week, I have screenwriting, acting, cinematography, filmmaking and film packaging tricks and info.

In the VIDEOS section, 400 movies that broke the fourth wall, a powerful video on gender inequality in film and three-peat Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki talks collaboration.

A big thank you to all the Stage 32 members who posted such unbelievable content and started so many interesting threads this week. We’ve compiled a laundry list of them under POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

For everything else going on around the community, check out STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 EDUCATION, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES and STAGE 32 MEETUPS.

Hope you enjoy all the content. As always, I welcome remarks and healthy debate in the Comments section below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Have a terrific and creative weekend! 




It's Never Too Late - The Creative Leap of Faith - We’re going to have to let you go..." were the first words that prompted my acting journey. I had been working in IT for nearly 22 years when my company down-sized and, after a testing time personally, with a difficult divorce, I made a decision. They say that as one door closes another opens, well, the door to regular and comfortable salary-earning did slam firmly shut and like any redundancy, fills you with that initial fear and trepidation. What has happened since then has seen me expand my professional and social network many-fold and I have a passion and focus that to be fair, drifted wildly. Read more on how Sean O’Connor made his leap of faith here!

5 Tips for Aspiring Music Producers and Composers - Digital Audio Workstation - Currently in this day and time, with modern computer technology, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to purchasing and using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Using a DAW, also means the use of dedicated music software, in conjunction with a personal computer and a separate pro audio interface. Some people still prefer to center their music production around a hardware based DAW, which is an all in one box for sampling, sequencing and looping. Often hardware DAWs are usually used with loop based styles of music, such as; electronic, hip hop, R&B and similar genres. If you're serious about writing, recording and eventually mixing your music, you'll need a good DAW that will accomplish all of these tasks seamlessly all the time. Read more about what the DAW needs to do here!

Announcing the Winners of the TV Writing Fellowship - Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to present our winners for this exclusive fellowship opportunity! Together with the Writers Assistant Network, we have teamed up with agents and managers from over a dozen of the industry's most influential companies to create this three month fellowship for ten aspiring TV writers! This group has been created to mine for new talent and will be closely supervised by these agents and managers. Eight of the ten spots have be assigned to writers currently working as writers’ assistants or other support staff on TV's hottest shows, with the last two reserved exclusively for two Stage 32 members. Find out who was chosen to represent Stage 32 here!


Dilemma: Learn To Craft The Dramatic Core of Your Story (Mar 7) 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. Jeff is one of Hollywood’s top screenwriting teachers, and will train you to dramatize your stories by using Dilemma, Crisis, Decision & Action, and Resolution. You will learn to:

  • Build that dilemma to its critical juncture and force the issue.
  • Crisis is all the worst things happening at the worst possible moment.
  • Put your protagonist in an impossible choice and then hyper-compress the situation.
  • Decision and Action in the face of Crisis reveals the protagonist’s true character
  • You never know who your real friends are until you've been through a crisis with them
  • The crucial distinction between Decision & Action and the protagonist’s Resolution.

Click here to learn more about this phenomenal learning experience and register!

Development: Defining The Producer-Writer Relationship (Mar 9)  In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Class, award-winning producer Shaun O’Banion will take you through all of this and more! Over the course of 2 online sessions you will learn about the process of getting material produced from the producer's perspective. You will also learn about the development process from the mind of an established indie producer who will give you a new set of tools to get your material in top form! Shaun O’Banion who's worked with Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Joe Wright and Judd Apatow. Shaun’s first feature was one of an early group of independent films picked up for Netflix, and remained in the Top 100 for 5 years before airing on such networks as Showtime, The Movie Channel, ComCast On Demand, Time Warner Cable On Demand and Hulu. Topics include:

  •  · How To Write To Get Read. What hooks a producer, development exec or reader?
  • · What is “development” really and how long can it take?
  • · Initial Contact: Where do producers look for material?
  • · You’ve been optioned/hired... Now what?

To receive more detailed information taught in this seminar, Click here.

Is There A Market For Your Short Film? Distribution, Recognition & Monetization (Mar 10) In this Stage 32 Webinar you will learn directly from David Paterson, accomplished writer/producer of short films that have been seen in over 100 film festivals throughout the world. Having written, directed, produced several award winning shorts, David knows that "marketing" of your short begins before the first word of the script has been typed out. And as an advisor to four major film festivals as well as a juror on several short film contests, David can share with you the most successful ways to market your short to film. What you will learn:

  • What actually is a short film? What film festivals DO NOT tell you about your short film when considering it.
  • What are the differences between a trailer and a short film? (Can they be both?)
  • Who and where should one market their short film and what is most effective? (Festivals, Producers, Ad agencies, Managers and Agents, Distributors)
  • How to use festivals to market your film, not simply screen it. (Have them work for you!)
  • How to determine the "festival lifespan" of your short film.
  • How to minimize festival application costs (research=discount)
  • How to use "honest" and critical feedback to make a better short film.
  • How to understand "artistic expression" can limit the "marketability" of your short film.
  • And much, much more!

To find out all of details and how to registers, click here!





    Gender Equality: Patricia Arquette’s Oscar Speech Cost Her Jobs 

    Hollywood’s Casting Blitz: It’s All About Diversity in the Wake of #OscarsSoWhite

    Oscar Winners 2016 – The Complete List

    5 Lessons From the Spotlight Big Oscar Win

    Why Spotlight’s Best Picture Win is a Triumph of Excellence Over Ego

    Why ‘Best Picture’ is Now Meaningless

    Oscars’ Ugliest Smear Campaigns Ever

    Brutally Honest Response To Brutally Honest Oscar Voters: "Watch the F—kng Movies"

    Your (Very Early) First Look at 2017’s Oscar Contenders

    Hollywood Isn’t in the Morality Business

    Spotlight Leads Spirit Awards 2016: Complete Winners List

    Gods of Egypt: Anatomy of a Big Budget Bomb

    Studio by Studio Profitability Report: Who’s Up, Who’s Down

    China Box Office Pulls in Massive $1B in February, Toppling North America6

    Pilot Locations 2016: Los Angeles Continues Rebound, New York Tally Slips

    WGA East Urges Link Between NY Film / TV Tax Credits and Diversity

    Gawker Staff Ratifies Digital Media’s First WGA Contract

    Incentives Scorecard: Nevada a Safe Bet for Production Perks

    France’s 30% Tax Rate Expected to Lure More U.S. Productions

    Miramax Acquired by Qatar-Based beIN Media Group

    Tribeca Film Festival Releases Competition Slate

    Why Are Movie Stars Struggling to Sell Broadway Tickets?


    17-Minute Supercut Showcases 400 Movies That Broke the Fourth Wall

    This powerful Video Essay Highlights Gender Inequality in Hollywood

    Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki Describes His Approach to Collaboration


     "Your Query Sucks:" 10 Reasons Why Your Screenplay is Being Ignored by Readers

    Acting – Can Clothes Really Book You a Job? 

    Oscar-Nominated Roger Deakins on One of the Best Ways to Learn How to Be a Cinematographer 

    10 Things to Know About Starting A Production Company 

    The Truth About Package Fees 

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    4th Annual Stage 32 Oscars Contest Results
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