Screenwriter & Producer Now In Pre-Production After Connecting On Stage 32

Screenwriter & Producer Now In Pre-Production After Connecting On Stage 32

Screenwriter & Producer Now In Pre-Production After Connecting On Stage 32

Ronika Merl
Ronika Merl
16 days ago

Last year, Stage 32 was kind enough to publish several blog posts, in which I described my career path, going from an unknown writer in a small country to now being able to have a career in filmmaking.

And Stage 32 did what it does best - it sparked connections.

A producer based in LA noticed a few of my blog posts, and then noticed my insight on a topic. He decided to get in touch via Stage 32, asking what I was working on. And then, magic happened.

Within a month, I had a meeting with him. We talked about filmmaking in general, and then the question happened. That question that every aspiring writer always hopes to hear: “So, what are you working on? Anything interesting?”

Now, when that question happens the first time, you must be ready.

Screenwriter  Producer Now In PreProduction After Connecting On Stage 32

As writers, we are so lucky. We are the starting point for any project. We are what sparks the first thing, we are the first step. And when the stars align, and an established producer who just found you online on Stage 32 asks you what you got cooking - well… you better have a few sparks lined up.

Luckily for me, I did.

I had about 20 feature-length scripts ready. Most of them were not really good, and some of them were not what the producer was looking for - but 5 of them had something.

I, of course, had pitch decks ready for all five of them, and I happily sent them on their way. Knowing, that this was a shot. This was the first big shot I’d ever had.

We had another meeting, in which he gave me a knowing little smile, and said “I like them all. But I think… I think The Closing should be the first one we look at.”

I smiled back.

And I knew. I had sparked something.

Screenwriter  Producer Now In PreProduction After Connecting On Stage 32

The Closing had been conceived just a few weeks earlier, a haunting thriller set on an island off the West Coast of Ireland. And I agreed with the producer, it was probably my strongest script, my strongest project.

“Do you want to direct it?”, he asked. It had never occurred to me. Of course, I had directed short films before, had learned my craft, had been involved in productions, and worked on sets. I was confident that I could. But this incredible man was now suggesting that I should.

“It’s your film”, he said. And just like that, I had a producer attached to my debut feature film. And not only that, I had a producer who was giving me creative freedom and full license over my project.

Nine months later, we are deep in preproduction. And the project is now spearheaded by an incredible woman, who had also found our producer through Stage 32, Leigh Ariana Trifari.

We have almost all of our cast aligned, and The Closing will exist.

It will exist because of the work that Stage 32 has been doing, the networking that is possible here, and the true magic this platform has always sparked for my career - and continues to spark for all its members.

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About the Author

Ronika Merl

Ronika Merl

Screenwriter, Producer

Stage 32 Community Leader. Screenwriter. Producer. Author. Co-Founder at Aicearra Management. I work in Ireland as an independent screenwriter and producer, and actively seek to build a new pathway for Irish talent (both on screen and behind the camera) to be recognized internationally....

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