Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone.

Exciting week around Stage 32. The first weekend of our two-weekend event with the Producers guild to shine a spotlight on female-centric projects was a smashing success. This weekend is shaping up to be even better. We’re also prepping for Cannes where Stage 32 has been invited to present at the NEXT Pavilion highlighting companies bringing the gap between entertainment and tech. And we launched our new Education section. Those are just some of the happenings around the neighborhood. You can read more of what’s going on within the network under STAGE 32 NEWS below.

Speaking of our new Education section, our Director of Education and Marketing, Shannon Stegall, has lined up an amazing group of instructors to teach members of all disciplines. You can read about the latest Stage 32 Next Level webinars and classes under STAGE 32 EDUCATION.

In the STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES section, you’ll find the latest and greatest inspirational stories from members of the community who utilized the site to find work and/or further their careers. And under STAGE 32 MEETUPS, it’s all the get-togethers happening around the globe (and yes, there is one for Cannes).

Under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS, stories that piqued my interest this week include Robert Downey Jr. bashing indie filmmaking (and a rebuttal); indiefilm sensation It Follows has industry folk wondering if a new era has been ushered in; four filmmakers talk distribution; a list of the complete Cannes lineup; why Cannes filmmakers, producers and distributors are still concerned about star power; why Hollywood may have finally reached the limit of CGI overkill; Orson Welles hits the crowdfunding circuit (you heard me); a look at the best digital cameras of 2015; yet another upstart network enters the original scripted programming realm; tax incentive news and much, much more.

I also have a cool look at Martin Scorsese’s musical cues in his films as well as the trailers for Tangerine and Vacation. You can find these in the VIDEOS section.

And finally, within TIPS, it’s acting, screenwriting, filmmaking and documentary filmmaking info.

As always, I welcome thoughts, remarks and (healthy) debate in the Comments section below.

I hope you all have an amazing and creative weekend.




Stage 32 has been invited by the Cannes Film Festival Marché du Film to present its online platform as a leader in the convergence of entertainment and tech at the festival’s NEXT Pavilion! Stage 32 has also been invited to participate in the festival’s NEXT Program speaking on crowdsourcing, the importance of social media for today’s filmmaker and the rapidly changing landscape of the industry. After the panel, Stage 32 and French production company, KNM, led by Stage 32 member and producer, Michel Merkt, will host a cocktail event for NEXT filmmakers, producers and Stage 32 members. To read more about Stage 32's involvement with the Cannes Film Festival and to RSVP for the cocktail event, click here: Stage 32 at the Cannes Film Festival

This week we revealed our new and improved Next Level Education section! When RB first conceived of Stage 32, his wish was to bring education to all film, television and theater creatives regardless of skill or geography. He felt strongly that all creatives, no matter what their discipline, deserve the best tools and knowledge to help them hone their craft and increase their odds of success.Of all the resources and features the Stage 32 network has to offer, it's our Next Level Education of which our whole team is most proud. We look forward to continuing to help more creatives realize their dreams through our instructive and inspirational offerings.To see all of the benefits of our Next Level Education webinars, classes and labs, as well as a description of the new section and a video tutorial, click here: Stage 32 Next Level Education

This Saturday kicks off the 2nd weekend of the Stage 32 and Producers Guild Women's Impact Network Pitch To. W.I.N. Event! After an excellent industry panel and one-on-one pitch prep sessions last weekend, the producers will be pitching their scripts directly to over a dozen industry executives who are specifically seeking female-centric material. Weekend 1 went absolutely smashing, and we have no doubt many success stories will come from this event. To read more about our Pitch To W.I.N. Event with the Producers Guild of America, click here: Stage 32 and PGA Pitch To W.I.N.

Last month, the awesome owners of Film Courage came to the Stage 32 offices to interview our CEO, RB Botto. The wide ranging, over 3-hour interview covered a plethora of subjects including screenwriting, filmmaking, acting, distribution, indiefilm, the state or the industry, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, social media, and networking in person, online and outside of LA to name a few. Film Courage has begun releasing the interview in segments and we're happy to announce that we'll be bringing these videos to the community right here on the Stage 32 Blog! This week's video is on the subject of Mistakes Artists Make On Social Media & How To Fix Them. RB talks about the pros and cons of creatives networking on social media, why the "look at me" attitude never works and what a good approach is when using social media as a creative. To see the interview, click here: Mistakes Artists Make On Social Media & How To Fix Them



Tuesday May 12th at 1pm PDT Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Voicing Commercials Part 2 hosted by David H. Lawrence XVII, VO and screen actor with over 50 film and TV credits, including Heroes, Lost, CSI, How I Met Your Mother, Men In Black III, Iron Man and more! In this webinar, you will continue your education on the most common category of voice over auditions and performance: radio and TV (and now web!) commercial copy.Using what you learned in Voicing Commercials Part 1 about auditions, equipment and slating, you will dive into the structure of copy, looking at lists, setups, payoffs, dialogue reads, and endings. This webinar will round out your education on how to connect with a listening and viewing audience on a visceral level, taking your execution of commercial VO to a deeper and more satisfying level!
You will leave the webinar knowing:

  • How to keep your sentences tightly woven.
  • How to perform excellent dialogue and couple reads.
  • What are voicing lists and how to use them?
  • Setups and payoffs in commercial VO.
  • When to start acting and when to stop.
  • Endings - conclusions, questions and wistfulness

To read more about the webinar, see a video from David detailing what he will cover and to sign up, click here: Voicing Commercials Part 2

Thursday May 14th 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 May 16th 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, see a video from Joe detailing what he will cover and to sign up, click here: Inside Writing Development: Three Horror Genre Case Studies

Starting Tuesday May 12th the Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring you a 2-week online class with an awesome twist How To Write A Short For Animation To Be Submitted To Nickelodeon hosted by Nikki Levy, feature film executive who served as the Vice President of Wedge Works Worldwide at FOX where she oversaw the animated film Epic starring Beyoncé Knowles, as well as others such as Rio and Ice Age! Stage 32 is thrilled to announce that we are now working with Nickelodeon to discover up and coming talent! This hands on, intensive two week course will teach you how to write a compelling and unique 3-5 page animated short that you can then submit to Nickelodeon’s Script First contest. Nickelodeon is also going to award the top THREE (3) Stage 32 applicants with a meeting with a Nickelodeon executive and a chance to get your work produced!
You will leave this class knowing:

  • How to properly structure, format and present a short geared towards animation which could act as your new calling card to get attention.
  • How to flesh out the trajectories of characters and convey a full story in a limited number of pages.
  • The mechanics of how to write a short in any format (animation or live action).
  • Tips on how to eventually expand your short into a full feature script.

To read more about this class and how Stage 32 and Nickelodeon are working together and to sign up for this class, click here: How To Write A Short For Animation To Be Submitted To Nickelodeon

Starting Wednesday May 13th the Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring you Comics to Film: How To Write and Adapt A Comic Book Into A Major Motion Picture hosted by Jordan Barel, who currently works in the TV Department at Abominable Pictures (Burning Love and Children’s Hospital on Adult Swim) and owns his own graphic novel company, Loaded Barrel Studios, which was founded as a way to translate comics to films. Jordan's comics have been optioned with producers such as David Uslan, Brendan Deneen, Jeffrey Erb, and Aaron Berger!In this 3 week intensive online course, you will be exploring in-depth how to translate comic books into film writing, digging deep into your stories to write a compelling piece that can live on the big screen. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards strengthening your pages, PLUS designated office hours where Jordan will review your concept, logline, and/or treatment, you will get immediate feedback on your writing and learn how to write a spectacular comic adaptation.
You will leave this class knowing:

  • Story structure/ different uses of voice over, dialogue, pacing for the comic world and the film world.
  • How to brand or acquire your IP into something that you can retain, as well as all the legal issue that you are presented with along the way.
  • How to write a comic book movie the right way: incorporating characters while not drowning in history moviegoers wont know about.
  • How to write a film from concept to completion.
  • To prepare your pitch packet and where to go with your material.

To read more about this class, see a video from Jordan detailing what he will cover and to sign up, click here: Comics to Film: How To Write and Adapt A Comic Book Into A Major Motion Picture

Starting Tuesday May 26th the Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring you How To Create An Outstanding TV Drama Pilot hosted by Conrad Sun, TV Literary Manager and Development Executive for Meridian Artists, who has worked in development with companies like Epix, Hasbro Studios, Gran Via Productions (Breaking Bad), New Wave Entertainment and Motion Theory Films!In this 2-week interactive course, you will learn what separates the good dramas from the great ones, and how all the great ones use very simple concepts to compel audiences. From there, you will learn the different functions of dramatic scenes and how to use them to create a sellable free-flowing pilot. Conrad will also breakdown the pilot scripts for Breaking Bad and Fargo so that you can observe how all the concepts learned apply to already successful TV series.
You will leave the class knowing:

  • The concepts used to devise a sellable premise.
  • The different purposes of dramatic scenes.
  • How to construct a dramatic scene.
  • How to create compelling characters.
  • How to scenes come together and create an outstanding pilot.
  • How Breaking Bad and Fargo apply the concepts learned.

To read more about this class, see a video from Conrad detailing what he will cover and to sign up, click here: How To Create An Outstanding TV Drama Pilot














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A Reminder: Stage 32 at The 2015 Cannes Film Festival
Mistakes Artists Make On Social Media & How To Fix Them
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