Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Miss me? Fear not. The Weekend Blog is back…with a vengeance.

This edition is bursting at the seams with content, so let’s get right to it, shall we?

Hey, guess what? Diversity and sexism in Hollywood is back in the news. Shocking, no? Our friend George Clooney has an idea or two to share. I have that article and a few others on the subjects du jour under ENTERTAINMENT NEWS.

Also in that section, the true story regarding the CIA’s involvement in the making of Zero Dark Thirty; an oral history on the life of Mike Nichols; a look at independent film maven John Cassavetes; a slew of sales and movie news out of TIFF; Indiewire names 27 fall festival films they’re dying to see; why China is giving Hollywood the sweats; 20 directors rising up the charts; entertainment tech trends you need to know; some news on new film incentives and much, much more.

Under VIDEOS this week I have the full unaired HBO Richard Linklater pilot along with Mary Harron on how to get a film made no matter what the budget and a look at Alfred Hitchcock’s use of passion in his films.

If you’re looking for filmmaking, producing, screenwriting, cinematography and editing tricks of the trade, look no further than the TIPS section.

As per usual, it’s been a busy time here on Stage 32. We’ll get you caught up on all the happenings under STAGE 32 NEWS. Additionally, all our upcoming webinars and classes can be found under STAGE 32 NEXT LEVEL EDUCATION. And, if you’re looking for a little dose of inspiration, check out our latest STAGE 32 SUCCESS STORIES.

Since we launched our new Meetup section just a few months back, over 250 Stage 32 Meetups have happened across the globe. You can see if one is happening in your area in the STAGE 32 MEETUPS section.

And finally, our incredible members have really stepped up their game in the Stage 32 Lounge as of late. You’re all sharing some amazing content and information. We’ve chosen some of the top threads and posted them in the POPULAR AND INTERESTING LOUNGE DISCUSSIONS section.

As always, I enjoy compiling all this content for you. And I appreciate all who wrote in saying how much you missed the blog! I welcome your thoughts, remarks and healthy debate in the Comments section below.

Finally, remember, this is an Introduce Yourself Weekend. Please head over to that section and make a post, but also take the time to welcome new members and use the opportunity to network. You never know when you’ll find a fit for something you’re working on or simply make a contact that can help further your creative efforts.

Have a terrific weekend, everyone.




It's that time again! We are excited to bring you the September edition of On Stage With RB - a FREE Stage 32 online webcast available to the first 2,000 Stage 32 members who register. RB will be going over some Stage 32 site features to help maximize your use of the site and then will open up the floor for a live Q&A. This month's special guests will be announced soon, so stay tuned! To read more about the September 2015 edition of On Stage with RB and to register to watch, click here: September Edition of On Stage With RB


We're extremely excited to announce that our fearless leader and CEO of Stage 32, Rich "RB" Botto has been selected as a Festival Juror for the 23rd Raindance Film Festival! RB will be viewing and judging all the films in competition at Raindance and will be involved in the process of choosing the overall best picture. In addition to his jury responsibilities, RB will also be heading up the Stage 32 Short Film Program at Raindance and leading a panel on the importance of social media for film creatives and film crowdsourcing.


Last week we announced the winners of the 1st Annual Stage 32 Short Film Contest! The four winning films along with three others will be screened in the Stage 32 Short Film Program at the Raindance Film Festival on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 in London. Additionally, 4 more films, for a total of 11, will screen right here on Stage 32 (date to be announced) for the entire world to see. To see the complete list of winners, click here: Stage 32 Short Film Contest Winners


We are extremely proud to announce that for the second straight year Stage 32 has been named as one of MovieMaker magazine’s 25 Indie-Friendly Companies You Should Know. This year we’re sharing space with such prestigious companies as Amazon, Blackmagic, Film Freeway, Glidecam and Moondog Labs to name a few. To see the list of all 25 Indie-friendly companies, click here: MovieMaker Magazine's 25 Indie-Friendly Companies You Should Know


Our 4 year anniversary month celebration continues! Last week, we asked you to send in your 4 Year Anniversary photos and videos. So far the response has been beyond incredible and we're certainly feeling the love. The best photo or video that is sent in to celebrate Stage 32's 4 Year Anniversary will receive a Stage 32 On-Set Essentials Kit, so make sure to send in your photos if you haven't already! If you haven't sent in your videos yet, do so here: Stage 32 4 Year Anniversary Photos and Videos


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



We just began our 3-week interactive online class Avoid Stock Characters: How To Create Memorable, Compelling Characters hosted by Melissa Daykin Cassill, VP of State Street Pictures (Faster, Beauty Shop, Barbershop, Notorious, Nothing Like The Holidays)! There is still time to signup for this class if you are interested! Upon registration you will receive the recording of Week 1 so you are ready to jump in Week 2. In this class, you will learn how to set up a character arc so the character’s change is compelling, how to develop supporting characters who support the story and compliment your protagonists, how to avoid stock characters and scenes and how to adjust what you already have to make your work better.
You will leave this class knowing:

  • What should actually be on the page when presenting characters.
  • How to create wording that takes up very little space but fully explains the character’s bio.
  • Building character through contrast in your supporting cast vis a vis your protagonist.
  • How to create meaningful and effective supporting characters by linking their worldview to the film's premise.
  • How to use supporting characters to subtly enhance your protagonists’ arc, as well as the story as a whole.

To read more about this class, see a video from Melissa and to register, click here: Avoid Stock Characters: How To Create Memorable, Compelling Characters


Monday 9/21 at 1pm PST Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents On Set Producing: How To Bring In Your Movie On Time & On Budget -10 Ways To Make Sure Your Set Runs Smoothly hosted by Nick Phillips, Studio and Independent Producer for nearly 20 years (Straw Dogs, Country Strong, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, the Project Greenlight film Feast)! Drawing from his 20 years of experience, Nick will share his tips for on set producing, from location scouting to hiring to shooting days all the way to the wrap party. This webinar will be all encompassing and you will leave confident and ready to manage your set!
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • How to effectively communicate boundaries and set realistic expectations.
  • How to firmly establish your budget and shooting schedule.
  • How to decide where to shoot and whether to use union or non-union crew.
  • How to secure a tax rebate before production starts by choosing the right location.
  • How to plan the most effective way to set up and break down your locations in the least amount of time.
  • Why you should never underestimate the importance of a good 1st AD

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Nick and to register, click here: On Set Producing: How To Bring In Your Movie On Time & On Budget -10 Ways To Make Sure Your Set Runs Smoothly


Wednesday 9/30 at 1pm PST Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents Navigating Voice Over Recording & Editing Software: Home Voice Over Studio 102 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 voice over business and his expertise in home studio setup, Dan will show you all the necessary steps to creating professional recordings, including setting proper microphone levels, recording your audio, making sure its recorded properly, editing and using any processing or filters.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • The different types of recording software and what is right for you.
  • How to set up your software with your computer.
  • How to set proper microphone levels.
  • How to understand what you are looking at as you record.
  • Common problems and troubleshooting.
  • How to edit your recordings.
  • Processing and understanding audio formats.

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Dan and to register, click here: Navigating Voice Over Recording & Editing Software: Home Voice Over Studio 102


Tuesday 10/6 Stage 32 Next Level Webinars presents How To Navigate Your Film Through The Ratings System: What Indie Filmmakers Need To Know hosted by Barry Freeman, former 10-year MPAA board member who has rated over 8,000 films! Many filmmakers think they don't need to worry about their film's rating only to later fall victim to wasted time and money needing to adjust the rating to meet distributors' preferences. In this webinar Barry will explain how the ratings system affects you as a screenwriter, producer or director. You’ll learn how each of the ratings (G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17) has box office implications and Barry will talk about each of the ratings elements – language, sexual content, violence, theme and smoking – and provide examples of how they can affect a ratings category. He’ll take you through the process of submitting a film to the MPAA and your options all of the way through to acceptance of the ratings certificate.
You will leave this webinar knowing:

  • The 5 film ratings and their financial implications
  • Descriptors – the modifiers that accompany the ratings
  • What to be aware of (depending on your title)
  • A recent example of film submission, editing and acceptance
  • Pitfalls for filmmakers – time, expense, content loss and aggravation
  • A few words on International film ratings

To read more about this webinar, see a video from Barry and to register, click here: How To Navigate Your Film Through The Ratings System: What Indie Filmmakers Need To Know















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