Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. Hope all those celebrating are enjoying their holiday weekend.


This is a jammed packed edition of the Weekend Blog with plenty of interesting content to digest and discuss.

New York Times reporter, Maureen Dowd, caused quite a stir with her fascinating look at Hollywood sexism, The Women of Hollywood Speak Out. It’s a compelling and complete read.

Also fueling controversy, a female television business assistant gave a first person account to Deadline as to why she resigned from her job after making a discrimination complaint.

Not quite as controversial, but certainly as compelling, The Hollywood Reporter has begun publishing their annual Roundtable series. So far we have actresses, actors, composers and producers sharing their tales.

All of these articles as well as 14 more can be found under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS.

Under TIPS this week, filmmaking, documentary filmmaking, acting, screenwriting and motivational advice.

We’ve had quite a few new members who found Stage 32 through the interview I filmed with Film Courage. As such, many have asked where they could find more clips. I’ve posted three of the most popular segments from that series under VIDEOS.

And, of course, all the happenings from the past week as well as upcoming events here on Stage 32 can be found under STAGE 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES, STAGE 32 MEETUPS, POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS and STAGE 32 EDUCATION.

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


Happy Thanksgiving! - On behalf of the entire Stage 32 family, I'd like to wish all celebrating a very Happy Thanksgiving. We're extremely thankful for this amazing community and all the inspiration you provide all of us every single day. As I mentioned last year, while today is all about spending time with family and friends and counting life's blessings, I always take a few minutes every Thanksgiving evening to reflect and take stock of my creative goals. With 5 weeks left in the year, I find this the perfect time to do so. My hope is to figure out a way I can make an impact on the unfinished goals I set at the beginning of 2015, but also get a head start on laying the foundation for what I hope to accomplish in 2016.   Whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving or just a standard Thursday, I invite all Stage 32 members to join me in setting the stage for the remainder of 2015 and beyond. Enjoy the company, food, football and introspection!

Major Announcement - Top Comedy Icons Working With Stage 32! The beauty of comedies is that a good comedy can make you forget about your troubles. Your problems seem to dissipate as you laugh along with and at the characters on the screen. When I think of comedies that pull this off successfully I think of Old School, Airplane!, Starsky & Hutch, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Naked Gun and The Hangover. So when Stage 32 Happy Writers decides to launch a comedy contest, we decided to go right to the filmmakers behind these comedy classics, and today we bring you a HUGE announcement! The grand prize winner of our 2015 Stage 32 Happy Writers Annual Comedy Writing Contest will have a face-to-face meeting with comedy icons Scot Armstrong and, just added, Jerry Zucker! Our grand prize winner will meet with comedy icons - Scot Armstrong (Old School, Hangover II) and Jerry Zucker (Airplane, The Naked Gun)! That’s right. We are looking for the funniest comedy features and comedy TV pilots in our community. Is your comedy the next big thing? Is your comedy script going to put you on the map? Check this great opportunity out to get more information: Top Comedy Icons Working With Stage 32


Why Quitting Acting is never an option  - An actor walks into an audition and says to him or herself, “If I don’t get this part, that’s it. I am giving up acting.” The list of successful actors that have thought of quitting is long. The path is filled with rejection. You have to know that.  Every time you put yourself out there, know that it may be "no" for now, but your big "yes" could be just around the corner. Today, I'm going to go over some famous faces that almost gave up, and, if they had, we'd miss out on some of the best characters on screen. If you’ve chosen the path of acting, that’s because you either feel you’re good at it, or you’ve been told you’re good at it and you know deep in your heart you love it. Click to read the entire article on Why Quitting Acting is never an option 

Welcome To Hollywood: Talking the Talk - Last time, Dennis Coleman gave you important introductory pointers on how to conduct interviews. Most importantly, he talked about researching your subjects, holding a conversation and not an interrogation, keeping eye contact and making your interviewees feel comfortable. Dennis shares a few more tips that have helped him over the years in his article Welcome To Hollywood: Talking the Talk - Tips on Celebrity Interviews Part 2

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

Stage 32 November 30-Day Write Club: After three weeks of maintaining progress, staying motivated, working through setbacks and pushing forward, Stage 32 Write Club participants have reached the precipice, the climax, the final battle of our November writing exercise. The end is right around the corner. The final week: How are you doing? Has your project changed or grown? Any last hurdles to jump over? Or will you coast through to the finish? Will your month’s achievements get you one step closer to an overall goal? Read - Stage 32 November 30-Day Write Club



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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As always, we welcome thoughts and remarks on ANY of the content above in the Comments section below...


Stage 32 November 30-Day Write Club: The Finish and Beyond
Wishing You and Yours a Very Happy Thanksgiving
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