Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. My favorite kind of weekend around these parts…an Introduce Yourself Weekend! Be sure to head over to the Introduce Yourself section of the Lounge and get your networking on!

In this edition of the Weekend Blog under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: Spike Lee goes on a 30-minute rant about diversity; why one studio is claiming that diversity is the key to its success; Bryan Cranston and 19 other actors share secrets for getting lost in character; Alexander Payne and Jon Favreau share their secrets for writing a great comedy; Hollywood’s most dangerous documentary filmmakers wax poetic about their craft; Walter Murch holds court; why one writer says he killed the industry’s appetite for Twitter shows; Christopher Doyle urges cinematographers to break the rules; Sons of Anarchy creator cancels his own show via The Hollywood Reporter; Relativity continues its march out of bankruptcy; Lionsgate and MGM make a bet on streaming; Illinois brings back its tax credits; a Memento remake is in the works and not many are happy about it (including me); Richard Linklater’s new movie is opening SXSW; The Lion King surpasses Cats and much, much more.

Under VIDEOS this week, a look at one of my more popular Film Courage segments on mistakes creatives make on social media and how to fix them, a 31-minute talk with Guillermo Del Toro, and David Lynch makes his case to save Twin Peaks back in 1991.

In the TIPS section, a couple of articles on pitching along with location scouting, editing, voice acting and screenwriting info and tricks.

And, as always, all the latest and greatest happening around the site, as well as all the best Lounge topics and convos, can be found under STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 EDUCATION, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES, STAGE 32 MEETUPS and POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

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

And, of course, I look forward to connecting with you during Introduce Yourself Weekend.




It's that time again! We are excited to bring you the November edition of On Stage With RB - a FREE Stage 32 online webcast hosted by our Founder & CEO, RB! This is available FREE to the first 2,000 Stage 32 members who register. Whether you have a been long time Stage 32 member or just joined, this is an exciting educational (and entertaining) webinar we offer once a month free to our members. To see the expert guests, learn more about this upcoming free webinar and to register to join, click here: November Edition of On Stage With RB


The Stage 32 Search For New Blood Screenwriting Contest Quarter-Finalists have been announced! This year, we received an amazing amount of quality scripts. Our judges repeatedly told us how impressed they were by the creativity and imagination of the material and how difficult it was to cut the list down to those listed below. A heartfelt congratulations goes out to all our quarter-finalists. These writers/scripts will qualify for the semi-finals, which we will announce November 23 on the Stage 32 Happy Writers Search for New Blood Screenwriting Contest. To see the list of the Quarter-Finalists, click here: The Stage 32 Search For New Blood Screenwriting Contest Quarter-Finalists


In our quest to make sure every screenwriter gets the exposure they deserve, and by popular demand, we created our Stage 32 Happy Writers Annual Comedy Contest for our comedy writers! We want to give the freshest comedic voices a shot at getting heard by people who can make a difference in your career. In addition to the incredible prizes we have lined up for the top 5 winners of each category, all of the finalists will have their loglines sent to our roster of over 400 executives we work with! To read more about this contest, see the list of awesome prizes and to submit your script, click here: Introducing the Stage 32 Happy Writers Comedy Contest


In a continued effort to make Stage 32 as useful a resource as possible, we've vastly improved the interface for posting and uploading your loglines and screenplays! Also, we've added the ability to assort your loglines in any manner you see fit. For an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to update your loglines and screenplays, click here: Post and Sort Your Loglines and Screenplays


Stage 32 November 30-Day Write Club: It’s on! We’re here to support and motivate each other to “get it done” –– whatever “it” is for you –– in a wholly directed and intentional way. In the weeks ahead we’ll have Stage 32 Write Club Check-in blogs every Sunday, starting on November 8, to monitor everyone’s progress in the comment sections. Share how you are doing, share the highs and lows, offer help to fellow writers, and share motivational quotes and tips. Plus, at the end of the month Stage 32 will give away well-earned “kudos,” including swag, free or major discounts on various services and offerings, to those who reach their goals –– an extended push forward with whatever may be next for you. For more information on our Stage 32 30-Day Write Club, click here: Stage 32 November 30-Day Write Club: It’s On!



Monday 11/30 Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Low-Budget Producing In The UK hosted by Laurie Cook, Producer and Head of Development at Bigscope Films, who's produced 6 feature films that have sold theatrically worldwide! Having produced 5 low-budget films in the past few years within the UK, which all received worldwide theatrical distribution, Laurie will teach you his tips and tricks for producing low-budget, high production value feature films and how to best utilize UK resources. From development ideas to sources of finance, production tips to the ever-changing distribution landscape. This will be your go-to guide to navigating the low-budget U.K. film market, with an open question and answer throughout the webinar for maximum interaction.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • What is “low-budget?" - Low Vs. Micro, Short Vs. Feature, Expectations.
  • Developing a Low-Budget Film - What Kind of Stories Work Best On a Low-Budget?
  • How to Finance at a Low-Budget - U.K. Sources of Development Finance
  • Low-Budget Production Tips
  • Post-Production

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Laurie and to register, click here: Low-Budget Producing In The UK


Wednesday 12/2 Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Crash Course: High Concept Writing hosted by Max Adams, 20-year screenwriter and acclaimed screenwriting coach! In this webinar, Max will teach you how to create compelling concepts and re-craft existing concepts so that they garner instant attention through one sentence descriptions alone. Dubbed “Red Hot Adams” by Daily Variety for selling three pitches over a Christmas holiday, she will teach you how to pull a story out of the “been there seen that no thanks” file and into the “I have got to read that” file. You’ll learn how to break your story into individual components to find its strengths and weaknesses, which gives you tools to analyze your future writing projects and raise stories’ impact.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • High Concept vs. Box Office.
  • Breaking a story down into its core parts to evaluate each part’s concept level. Immediate core parts include:
  • Juxtaposing protagonist with story location and arena to up story.
  • How to add recognition factor to stories.
  • How to use universal arenas to add a recognition factor to a new twist on a story.
  • How to work with genre to up mundane story lines
  • How to identify expected protagonist roles.
  • Removing filters that separate audience from story.
  • Identifying instant indie anchors that drag concept down
  • Identifying stakes factors in a story and exploring ways to elevate them
  • An examination of the King of Concept, Michael Crichton.

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Max and to register, click here Crash Course: High Concept Writing


Thursday 12/10 Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Navigating Voice Over Microphones: Finding The Best Microphone For You hosted by Dan Lenard, a 30+ year veteran of professional voice work, recognized industry expert, known as “The Home Studio Master,” who specializes in home voice over studio recording and Vice President of Technical Standards for the World-Voices Organization! Drawing from his 30+ years in the professional voice over business, Dan will give you a breakdown all of the different models and uses of voice over microphones! He will discuss the different types of microphones, how they work, what each are for, how to pick one for yourself, and most importantly, HOW to use them. This is the information you need to finally stop worrying about "What’s The Best Microphone For Voice Over?” and start working on the most important part of voice over... YOU!
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • The different types of microphones.
  • How they work.
  • The many manufacturers and the models they make.
  • What to look for that works best for your voice.
  • How to "Audition" mics.
  • How NOT to buy a voice over mic.

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Dan and to register, click here: Navigating Voice Over Microphones: Finding The Best Microphone For You


Saturday, 12/12 Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Writing the Producible, Low-Budget Script hosted by James Kicklighter, a multi-award winning writer/director who is currently developing projects with Richard Saperstein (The Mist, Se7en) and Beau Turpin (Counterpunch) and whose films have been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, The Times of India, Film Courage and FilmInk Australia! In this webinar, James will teach you how to develop a film that can be made without large budgets and resources. He will arm you with the knowledge to create a scene that shows the narrative arc without telling it, as well as go through simple elements that often drive up budgets, elements that have been forgotten or unconsidered by filmmakers of all experience levels. You will learn how to optimize your script to show and not tell the story with nominal resources, providing valuable guidance for the novice and a refresher for the experienced veteran. You will leave this webinar knowing exactly how to write a producible, low-budget script!
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • How to understand the marketplace
  • How to choose material
  • The process of creating compelling characters
  • Optimizing the screenplay for production
  • Writing accessible locations
  • Shifting the shooting schedule
  • Showing and not telling
  • Modifying the script in production
  • Building partnerships for release
  • Attaching talent

To read more about this webinar, see a video from James and to register, click here Writing the Producible, Low-Budget Script











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Stage 32 November 30-Day Write Club: The Homestretch - Week 4
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