Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. Our Director of Education, Shannon Stegall, the President of the Stage 32 Happy Writers, and yours truly are down working at the Austin Film Festival, but does that stop the Weekend Blog? Hell no. Let’s get to it.

Kicking off this week is an interesting article from Indiewire that has spurred some debate – How Can Middle Class Filmmakers Make a Living? I’ve placed this one in the pole position this week and invite you to discuss in the Comments section below.

Also under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: Discussion from the Produced By conference in New York; some active industry producers sound off on a variety of issues; the lost Bond movies of Hitchcock and more; a look at why the time is right for independent television festivals; a slew of articles on the recent failings at the box office; why some recent failures shouldn’t change the early VOD experiments; more equality news and initiatives; SAG-AFTRA health plan controversy; all the new films and shows coming to Netflix in November; the possibility of Broadway On Demand and much, much more.

Under TIPS this week, a really cool must-read article from my friends Dean and Tyler Silvers on how to make a successful short film, plus budgeting, filmmaking, acting, producing and screenwriting info and tricks.

In the VIDEOS section, you’ll find an informative look at the one and two-shots in Lost in Translation plus interviews with Tyler Ruggieri and Sideways author Rex Pickett.

No shortage of happenings around the site this week. You can find all the information under Stage 32 NEWS, STAGE 32 MEETUPS and STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES.

The Lounge has been quite active as well lately. I’ve collected all the threads you need to read and join under POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS.

And finally, our Next Level Education offerings continue to be recognized as the best in the industry. You can see what webinars and classes are up next under STAGE 32 EDUCATION.

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

Hope you have a terrific and creative weekend!




This weekend Stage 32 and the Stage 32 Happy Writers descend upon Austin, Texas for the Austin Film Festival. We are proud to be a sponsor of the 2015 Austin Film Festival and we have a week filled with educational panels, events and more! We invite our Stage 32ers to come join us! To find out more about the events and to RSVP to join, click here: Stage 32 at the Austin Film Festival


The October 2015 edition of On Stage With RB is now available to watch on-demand!  This broadcast was almost 3 hours jam-packed with incredible tips and advice and a fantastic interview from screenwriting expert Jeff Kitchen! To learn more about what was covered in this broadcast and to watch it free on-demand, click here: The October 2015 Edition of On Stage With RB


Screenwriters - listen up! This Saturday the Stage 32 Happy Writers has its next Online PitchFest focused on horror, thriller and sci fi features and TV pitches! Get in the spirt and scare the pants off these execs. In this one day event we have on tap Revolver Picture Company, Dimension Films, Ghost House Pictures, former exec of Vertigo Entertainment turned manager/produer Gavin Dorman and Informant Media. To read more about this exciting pitchfest and to register to pitch, click here: Online PitchFest 48: Halloween Day: Execs Specialize in Horrors, Thrillers and Sci FI


Recently Stage 32 was featured as the top story on Variety's website. Needless to say the entire Stage 32 team is quite excited to have our efforts recognized. To see a video from RB and to read the article, click here: Stage 32 Featured in Variety


We are thrilled to announce our newest feature: IMDb importing to your Stage 32 profile! Many of you have asked for the ability to simply import your IMDB credits to your Stage 32 profile. We listened, and today we're proud to deliver this feature to our talented members. To read more about this new feature and learn how to import your credits directly to your profile, click here: Introducing IMDb Importing


Many of you have asked where you could get Stage 32 gear, and, by popular demand, we are excited to bring you the new Stage 32 store! We have over a dozen items for you to chose from including shirts, hats, totes, notebooks, coffee cups, water bottles and shot glasses (inspired by our fearless leader)! Whether you're heading to class, to the set, to the gym, or simply just lounging around, we have something for all! To see the range of products available, click here: Stage 32 Store



Thursday 11/5 Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents The Art Of Self-Distribution & The Domestic Limited Theatrical Release hosted by Franco Sama, a 15-year film finance and distribution expert with over 25 successful feature films to his name! In this webinar, Franco will teach you step-by-step how to release your film in multiple theaters across multiple cities throughout the Unites States. Plus, he will take it a step further and show you exactly how to incorporate the release into your business plan as part of your development process so you can benefit your investors and increase your film’s international value.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • Why self-distribution is an attractive option for independent filmmakers.
  • How to get your film in domestic theaters.
  • How to choose which cities and theaters your film plays in.
  • How much self-distribution costs and how it's paid for.
  • How this benefits your investors.
  • How to incorporate self-distribution into your business plan during the pre-production phase.
  • How this approach builds awareness for your film.
  • How this increases your films international value.

To learn more about this webinar, see a video from Franco and to register, click here: The Art Of Self-Distribution & The Domestic Limited Theatrical Release


Thursday 11/12 Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents How To Finance Your Independent Film & Break Even Before Its Release: Utilizing The Risk Mitigation Model hosted by Jason Mirch, a 10-year film and TV producer and former Head of Feature and Television Development and Production at Image Nation Abu Dhabi (The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion and 100 Foot Journey)! In this webinar, Jason will navigate you through the Risk Mitigation Model of independent film financing, which utilizes foreign pre-sales, soft money, and equity to finance feature film projects. Drawing from his 10 years of experience financing both independent and studio films, Jason will teach you some traditional and non-traditional financing models so you can choose the right model for your specific project and will cover what international sales companies look for when evaluating potential projects and give advice on how to position your projects when pitching to these companies.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • How to utilize pre-sales, soft money and equity financing.
  • How to secure financing from a bank (presales, bond, etc)?
  • How to set up an LLC, step-by-step.
  • The elements, attachments, and the supplementary material to include when approaching foreign sales agents
  • The difference between International vs domestic sales (limitations & opportunities).
  • How to limit your P&A exposure while maximizing your reach.
  • Development vs. Production Financing.

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Jason and to register, click here: How To Finance Your Independent Film & Break Even Before Its Release: Utilizing The Risk Mitigation Model


Saturday 11/14 Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents The Anatomy Of Iconic TV Characters: 7 Ways To Make Your Television Characters Leap Off The Page hosted by Tawnya Bhattacharya, a Writer/Co-Producer on NBC’s The Night Shift who has also written for TNT’s Perception, Lifetime’s The Client List and USA’s Fairly Legal. Tawnya is also the founder of Script Anatomy and has been a writing instructor for nearly 10 years! In this webinar she will teach you how to create memorable characters with drive, characters that provoke emotion and characters that stay with the audience long after they’ve disappeared from the screen. She will show you how to craft compelling and multi-dimensional characters by crafting their backstory, stage of life, flaw, core wound, dilemma and goal as well as how to design dynamic catalyst relationships and polarities, how to a unique world helps you create an interesting character, and how to design meaningful and emotional journeys and character arcs.
You will leave the webinar knowing:

  • What Showrunners look for when hiring a writing staff in regard to character work in sample material.
  • Tips on how to create unforgettable characters like Tony Soprano, Selina Meyer, Sterling Archer, Omar Little and Carrie Mathison – and why these characters are so effective.
  • How to create a relatable stage of life for your character at the beginning of your story.
  • Techniques for creating a compelling backstory including where your character came from and how that affects their worldview.
  • How to create an active flaw that will get your character into situations/trouble and affect others negatively and hence create conflict.
  • Tips on balancing out your character’s flaw with redeemable traits.
  • Common mistakes writes make with setting character goals.
  • Tips to create supporting characters that drive your character further toward their goal.

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Tawnya and to register, click here: The Anatomy Of Iconic TV Characters: 7 Ways To Make Your Television Characters Leap Off The Page














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