THE STAGE 32 BLOG

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Cannes Roll Call - Who's Going? Who Has Films?

Hey guys. The 70th Cannes Film Festival is right around the corner, so stay tuned for an update of Stage 32's happenings at Cannes.   In the meantime, we'd love to hear from all the Stage 32 members who are planning on attending the fest along with those who will have films playing in the festival. Last year we had an incredible 33 Stage 32 members who had films screen at Cannes - 2 of those films went on to compete for Oscars: Toni Erdmann and My Life as a Zucchini.…

Never Let Rejection Define You

If you've been around Stage 32 for any length of time, you know we believe that a positive mindset is paramount to finding success as a creative. We must draw inspiration and positivity from like-minded individuals who fully understand the challenges of the creative journey.   As you also know, we're big believers in paying it forward. Nothing is more rewarding than sharing our experiences and knowledge with others. To us, this is a major aspect of the collaborative process. &nbs…

Filmmakers: Your Payroll & Production Accountant Guide

What is payroll? Payroll is a list of a company’s employees and the amount of money they are to be paid. In the entertainment industry, most productions rely on the services of a payroll company. The payroll company is typically listed as the employer of record.  What are the responsibilities of a payroll company? Takes care of both above-the-line and below-the-line employee payments. Provides Workers’Compensation Insurance. Pay all appropriate payroll taxes and u…

Coffee & Content: Podcasts & Webcasts

To all celebrating, a very happy Easter to you. (And a very happy Sunday to everyone else!) I always believe the holidays are for sharing, so I wanted to take a minute to post some podcats, webcasts and interviews that I hope will provide some inspiration today and as you move along in your creative pursuits. There's something here for creatives of all disciplines and all those multi-hyphenates out there!   National Screenwriters Day with Spencer Robinson, Caytha Jentis, Rich…

Should I Take a Dollar Option on a Screenplay?

You get the phone call and it goes something like this: Friend: Hey, are you sitting down? (Smile in his voice).You: Yeah, what’s up?Friend: I have a producer who wants to option your script!You: (heart flutters) Oh my god …Friend: Yeah, he’s an indie producer I know—really talented, really connected.You: How much for the option?Friend: (long beat) Well, he wants a dollar option because you haven’t been produced yet. But he’s really connected, and he…

Avoid These Crowdfunding Mistakes on Social Media!

One of the more popular requests we get here at Stage 32 is information on best practices for promoting a crowdfunding campaign on social media. Recently, spurred on by the sheer amount of crowdfunding spam he was receiving on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, our CEO, RB, republished his popular Medium article: 5 Ways You Are Incorrectly Using Twitter to Promote Your Crowdfunding Campaign. Although the article singles out Twitter, these mistakes and ill advised practices are common …

13 Pearls of Wisdom From Writer/Director Alexander Payne

Yesterday, I was speaking with a producer friend of mine and he mentioned that the buzz around Alexander Payne’s upcoming film Downsizing was quite strong. (A huge shout out to our teacher Jason Roberts who AD'd the film.) That got us talking about our favorite Payne movies and his estimable skills as not only a writer, but as an actor’s director. At one point, I recalled an article I read in MovieMaker where Payne laid down some knowledge. Through the power of Google, I fou…

Stage 32's 1st Annual Online Film Finance & Producing Conference

As the leaders in online education for film creatives, we're extremely proud to introduce our 2017 Online Film Conference Series. Throughout the year, we'll be announcing events designed to give you timely, applicable information designed to help you succeed in 2017 and beyond. We kick it all off today with our 1st Annual Online Film Finance and Producing Conference!   No planes. No hotels. No expenses. No new wardrobe. No outrageous badge prices. Just you, your compute…

From USC to Sundance Labs: How Social Media Brought My Filmmaking To Life!

I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker around sophomore year in undergrad. I took this class called "Make a Movie" with Billy Field. He threw a camera in our hands and just told us to go make something. Now, the piece we made is something I'll never share, but it helped me to realize I loved filmmaking, and it's something I could do with my life, and be happy.   The best lesson I've learned throughout my films is what it means to be a leader. Yes, you need to have a creative visio…

4 Benefits of Having a Collection Account on a Film or TV Production

  Nowadays many independent film productions work with collection accounts. Institutional financiers, production partners and international sales agents often require a collection account before committing to a independent film or a TV project.  What is a Collection Account? A collection account is an account opened in the name of an independent, neutral third party collection account manager (the so called CAM), who receives the worldwide revenues generated by the exploitat…

The 2017 Working TV Writers Lab

Happy 2017 everyone! I wanted to announce an exciting new online lab that I'm bringing into Stage 32 this month. I have brought in Spencer Robinson, a literary manager from Art/Work Entertainment to be a mentor for an intensive 8-week working writers lab. Art/Work represents some of the top writers - leading and emerging - talent in the industry today including writers on Arrow, The Last Ship, Chuck & Justified, as well as feature writers like Eric Heisserer who's films include…

Stage 32'er Michel Merkt Wins the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film!

Last night was a very special one around these parts as our good friend Michel Merkt captured the Golden Globe for producing Best Foreign Film winner, Elle. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, Michel has not only been a staunch supporter of all we do here at Stage 32, but he has worked with and mentored so many 32'ers through the years.   Michel was kind enough to invite me to the premiere of Elle at the Cannes film festival last year. To be invited to be part of his tribe du…