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Richard Botto Answers: What is the Best Way to Pitch my Project to Netflix or Amazon?

When a writer wants to know the best way to pitch his or her project to Netflix or Amazon, it's important that they recognize something before they even entertain the notion: Know thy people around you, first. During his free webinar, "Ask Me Anything," RB answered this question frankly and thoroughly. If you think your show has the legs to get a meeting with Netflix, there are three key questions you need to ask yourself first: 1) Why you?2) Why now?3) What value are you bringing? C…

How Two Writers With No Track Record Sold "BlacKkKlansman"

"Finding out that the rights were available was a small victory in our minds. Yet, we still had to prove ourselves to gain Ron’s blessing. After all, to him, we were just a couple of young, idealistic strangers with a Hollywood pipe dream. We had no track record." Ron Stallworth was a police officer in the 1970's who managed to weasel his way into the good graces of the Ku Klux Klan undercover, convincing them he was white supremacist. Later, he wrote a memoir about his experienc…

Do You Struggle Writing a Business Plan as a Filmmaker?

Most filmmakers, creatives, and writers involved in the filmmaking industry don't take the time to sit down and write out a thorough business plan. It's a harsh truth that could cause issues. From creating an outline showing how money will be allocated to make the film, to building out what it takes to pay your team, distribution costs, marketing, and every other line item that needs to be considered, business plans are often overlooked for various reasons, including the fact that they …

Richard Botto Answers: How Do I Make Connections in the Film Industry When I Don’t Live in L.A.?

During his free online webinar, “Ask Me Anything,” Richard “RB” Botto cut right to the chase when he was asked, "How Do I Make Connections in the Film Industry When I Don’t Live in L.A.?” His answer will open your eyes to the reality of what networking is all about, both online and off. In an industry where everyone stands up and says, “Look at me! Look at my script!” he pulls back the curtain on what gets screenwriters noticed, what doesn…

What Does it Take to Pitch a TV Show?

If you have an idea for a TV show and you're ready to pitch it, there are some elements that you need to have in place before you sit down. Even if your pitch is with an indie producer, you gotta know your stuff. What "stuff," you wonder? Stephanie Palmer, a former executive with MGM Pictures, offers a detailed overview of what each writer should have prepared before he or she has a conversation. Basically, you need to know your story inside and out, and be prepared to answer any quest…

On Being Famous: How One Actors Career "Reads Like a Horror Novel"

I was the kid who couldn't wait for Family Ties night. That show was everything to me. From having a crush on Michael J. Fox to wanting Justine Bateman's hair to attempting to write my own episode with me in it, the show was the stuff that TV dreams were made of. But Justine Bateman, the co-star who played Mallory Keaton, says living that kind of life was far from a dream. Her reality was distorted, she said. And while many young actors have a different perception of what it's like …

Richard Botto Answers: How Do I Keep Momentum as a Screenwriter After a Contest Placement?

How does a screenwriter keep his or her momentum after they've completed a script? What do they do next as they wait to hear from potential investors or executives? RB answered this very question for Nicholas, a Stage 32 member and semifinalist in the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship Contest. Nicholas garnered attention after his win, and wanted to know what he should do with the handful of inquiries and read requests he got as a result. RB gives it to him straight. And his response i…

The Birth of the Collective Journey: Is the Hero's Journey Over?

"For centuries, every agency, company, studio, and writer has relied on the Hero’s Journey as a standard for storytelling. But nonlinear, trans-platform communication has entirely disrupted that model. To rising generations, the standard tropes of classic storytelling have begun to feel slow, obvious, and dated. We yearn for a new, far more dynamic and participative approach…" Jeff Gomez, producer, writer, and CEO of Starlight Runner, is turning the Hero's Journey on its h…

How to Establish Boundaries With Potential Clients

If you're reading this post, you're in business for yourself. Most indie creatives are. You are an entrepreneur and you work for you. Therefore, you are responsible for just about every aspect of your business. I am a screenwriter, actor, and ghostwriter (with a small job on the side at a bookstore). As an entrepreneur, I have to manage my books, track my mileage, invoice my clients, and market myself. Really, that's just a fraction of what I do. I also have to establish boundaries wit…

Psst. We Still Need You (For Real and For True)

A few months back I published a post looking for blog contributors. I'll be doing that from time to time because, quite frankly, the Stage 32 Blog wouldn’t exist without any of you. So many of you answered the call. You told us your stories. You shared your experiences. Your expertise.Your wins, your losses, and your even better wins that come after the losses. We want to hear from you again.Our posts from you educate and inspire. And with over 500,000 Stage 32 members (and gro…

The Birth of the "Mini Writer's Room." Helping or Hurting?

For many of us here on the Stage 32 platform (myself included), sitting at the table with other writer's to flush out a season for TV is more than just an image glued to a vision board. It's a dream. It's why we get up in the morning and flush out storylines and story arcs and practice the art of bible writing until we're blue in the face. It's why we take the part-time job or work the night shift.It's why we sacrifice living large until our words are noticed. And all the while, as we …

Actors With Disabilities: One Writer Makes Room For Everyone

Katie O'Reilly is changing the way the world views people with disabilities. She's writing them onto the stage, leaving their disabled stories out and normalizing them with the same hopes, fears, dreams, and realities that any other human being would face. A hearing-impaired actor uses sign language during a stage performance. The playwright said, "Disabled characters are often metaphors or tropes, representing very negative aspects of what it is to be human. So you’re evil pers…

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