Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone.

In this edition of the Weekend Blog, the 2015 festival season is in full swing. Under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS I have all the winners out of Tribeca as well as the full slate of films playing at the Cannes Film Festival.

Also in that section: Sexism in Hollywood is a hot topic once again; Julianne Moore lashes out against the studio system; a look at one of the most notorious Hollywood producers of the last 30+ years; no one is above getting the boot, even name composers; a slew of tax incentive news including the latest out of California; a review of why the Coen Brothers’ films always sound so terrific; YouTube says they’re the medium of the future; the reason why Twitter users are more likely to be at the theater this weekend than regular moviegoers; the complete list of Tony Award nominees; 7 Shakespearean actors who became well known for much easier roles and much, much more.

This is also a good weekend to get your knowledge on. Under TIPS, I have some info and training ideas in the realms of feature, indie and short filmmaking as well as screenwriting, composing and acting.

In the VIDEOS section you’ll find a video essay highlighting the smart storytelling of Back to the Future along with the trailers for Woody Allen’s new one, Irrational Man, and the Tom Hardy starrer Legends.

We have a plethora of cool webinars and classes on the docket for May. You can read all about them under STAGE 32 EDUCATION.

In the POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS section, I have some of the coolest threads and conversations from the Stage 32 Lounge.

Within STAGE 32 NEWS, you’ll find all the latest and greatest happenings from around the site.

And finally, it’s been another inspiring and rewarding week in the neighborhood. See how your fellow community members are making things happen by checking out the STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES section.

As always, I invite remarks and debate on any of the Weekend Blog content in the Comments section below. I look forward to your thoughts.

Hope you all have an amazing and creative weekend! Enjoy!



Save the date! On May 20th at 4pm Stage 32 is officially being featured in the NEXT Pavillon at the Cannes Film Festival, which features the next generation of filmmaking. Keep your eyes on the announcement section for more details next week!

This Sunday Stage 32 Happy Writers is bringing you executives looking for family films, comedies and/or animation! On tap we have Panay Films, producer Andrew Carlberg and Vanguard Films.All writers who participate will have their logline seen by all executives participating in this Online PitchFest at no additional cost.Also, by signing up for any pitch session you will receive interviews from all the executives from that Online PitchFest. To sign up now, click here: Online PitchFest- Comedies/Family Films/Animations

This weekend starts week 1 of the Stage 32 and PGA Women's Impact Network Pitch To W.I.N. event! This Saturday we will be holding panels and pitch classes for PGA members. There will be over a dozen industry executives in attendance who are specifically seeking female-centric material. We have no doubt many success stories will come from this event! For PGA members interested in attending, the password is in the PGA newsletter and you can sign up here: Pitch To W.I.N.



Tuesday 5/5 at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents The Actor's Image: The Actor's 5 Steps To Success hosted by Krisit Speiser, certified image consultant and life coach for actors! In this webinar, Kristi will show you how to understand how you are perceived by others so you can learn to make the right impression and connect on a deeper level with casting agents, producers, and ultimately your audience.
You will leave the webinar knowing:

  • How your clothing effects communication.
  • How to match your voice to your character or image.
  • How your communication style and behavior is affecting your ability to connect with casting directors.
  • How your relationships shape your overall image.
  • How to market yourself and your image effectively.
  • How to treat your image as a business.

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Kristi detailing what she will cover and to sign up, click here: The Actor's Image: The Actor's 5 Steps To Success

Thursday 5/7 at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Developing and Packaging Your Mini Series: Know the History, Know the Current Marketplace - Know How to Spot and Develop Your Idea hosted by Jake Detharidge, Development & Production Executive that has recently made a splash into the mini-series space with projects set up at History Channel, Spike, and MGM! In this webinar, Jake take you through a brief history of the ‘Mini Series’ in the US, along with analyzing the current television marketplace (Event Series vs. Limited Series vs. Mini Series), and why this platform is experiencing resurgence. He will then break down the creative/development/packaging process, in hopes that any and all who attend will leave with a formidable understanding of how they might create their very own compelling Mini-Series project.
You will leave the webinar knowing:

  • What exactly is a mini-series, versus a Limited Series and Event Series and why each is unique.
  • Why did the ‘Mini-Series’ disappear for the most part from US television and why is it now making a strong comeback.
  • What is the current landscape for this platform – the nuts and bolts.
  • The major companies and players around town currently looking for these types of projects and what moves the needle for them.
  • Narrative Basics – what and why certain stories, ideas and concepts are better suited for a mini-series versus the traditional feature film or scripted television series.
  • What types of IP you should be looking for and how you can obtain the rights to potentially develop it.
  • Developing – what goes into this step and exactly how much…or how little…do you need before trying to sell, and where to sell.
  • Packaging – what the process is for a mini-series, and what elements you can attach to add value that are obtainable. Outside the box ideas!

To read more about this webinar and to sign up, click here: Developing and Packaging Your Mini Series

Thursday 5/14 at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Product Placement: Friend or Foe? hosted by David Paterson, Writer/Producer of the upcoming The Great Gilly Hopkins (starring Glenn Close, Kathy Bates, Octavia Spencer and Julia Stiles), Disney’s Bridge To Terabithia and the Sundance Award Winning Love, Ludlow! In this webinar, David will explore the most underutilized financial element of both independent and studio feature films: product placement. He will go in-depth about approaching companies to secure cash or “in kind” services, and how to make the most of the pre-production phase. He will explain the politics of “soft approach” techniques when dealing with companies and their “front door” approval representative, as well as back door access to companies and their product representatives.
You will leave the webinar knowing:

  • The different types of product placements (it’s more than just products!).
  • How to secure product for your film.
  • How to lose product from your film.
  • Product placement for festival use vs. commercial release.
  • How to utilize product placement legally and the ramifications of unauthorized use.
  • Why pre-production is everything with product placement.

To read more about this webinar, see a video from David detailing what he will cover and to sign up, click here: Product Placement: Friend or Foe?

Saturday 5/16 at 11am PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Inside Writing Development: Three Horror Genre Case Studies hosted by Joe Russo, Director of Development for Level 1 Entertainment (Rendition, Strange Wilderness, Grandma's Boy) who has worked on productions for FOX, SyFy, A/E, Lionsgate Films and Universal Studios! In this webinar, Joe will take you behind the scenes of two horror films and one horror pilot. This webinar will be an honest, unapologetic look at the successes and struggles during the writing development process for each case study so you can you learn what to mimic and what to avoid for your own project.
You will leave the webinar knowing:

  • An understanding of how each film and TV project came to be.
  • An understanding of the different strategies used to package each project and how they were introduced to the town.
  • A comprehensive look into the notes process so you can learn what went right and, more importantly, what went wrong.
  • Clear advice on how to apply these lessons to your own script or project.

To read more about the webinar and to sign up, click here: Inside Writing Development: Three Horror Genre Case Studies















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