THE STAGE 32 BLOG

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How NOT to Land a Part in a Major Production

On set last week with Ben Stiller   You've got big dreams to be an actor. You do bit parts here and there until one day, an opportunity arises that could take you from EXTRA to EXTRAORDINARY. Unless, of course, you let your ego get in the way and pull crap that blows up in your face. Last week, I spent a few days on the set of 'Escape from Dannemora', an 8-part Showtime miniseries directed by Ben Stiller. It stars Patricia Arquette, Paul Dano, and Benecio del Toro. First of …

Bust the Top Ten Creative Writing Myths to Become a Better Writer: Part 2

My last blog, part one, looked at five of the top ten creative writing myths responsible for much of the pain associated with failed writing and derailed storytelling . We examined, in reverse order of destructiveness, the myths ten through six: #10: Show don't tell. #9: The blank page is the enemy. #8: Write what you know. #7: Real writers write every day. #6: Storytelling and writing are the same. Now, we look at the top five myths, the worst of the worst and break down the lie a…

Busting the Top Ten Creative Writing Myths to Become a Better Writer - Part 1

We live in the age of click bait, sound bites and viral memes. On any given day, hour, minute, or second on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you can find any number of cat videos or fortune-cookie platitudes meant to bolster one or another emotional cliché or bubble-gum metaphysical insipidity. They reflect our moods and emotional states, reinforce happy thoughts, or confirm our darkest vulnerabilities. We read them, consume them, have a laugh or a wistful shrug of self-reflection…

Want To Make Your First Feature? Read This First.

There are about 34,000 films made every year worldwide. And that number is growing. Why are so many films being made these days? Well, one reason is that since the dawn of the digital revolution (about 16 years ago) anyone with an idea and an HD camera or smartphone can now make a film for about $1.25. Did you know that 13,782 films were submitted to Sundance this year? Yep. That's not a typo.   Don't get me wrong. I think this digital revolution is a great turn of events. For s…

Stage 32 Success Story - Coffee: A Hitman Story

I had been trying for years to find someone to collaborate with on a screenplay. After all, collaboration is what filmmaking is all about, so why not collaborate on the very writing process that gets it all started. But I always seemed to run into the same problem. I would be more interested in the idea than the other writer and they would soon drop out, leaving me to finish the screenplay by myself. That all changed when I saw a post on Stage 32 by J.G. Blodgett titled 'Collaboration'.…

Creating 'In Loving Memory' - A Cross-Continent Film (Russia & India)

I love the smell of success in the morning. While spending some networking and connecting time in the Stage 32 Lounge, I came across a post from producer Bhavana Goparaju from Mumbai, India. Bhavana shared a story from the New India Express about her film In Loving Memory which came together through connections made on Stage 32 and which involved members from Russia and India - How cool is that?  Even cooler, the entire Memory team was generous and thoughtful enough to credit …

How the Hollywood Narrative is Ruining Your Chances of Succeeding

Is it just me, or does it feel like Hollywood is set up to make you fail? Obstacle, after obstacle... Rejection, after rejection... It's *almost* not even worth trying. and I can say 'almost' because those of us who still believe in the magic of our dreams, have a passion so strong that we are going to go for it, despite all of the hardships we hear about. If you are one of those people, like me, I want you to really listen to what I'm about to tell you. Because you could be d…

Nine Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Script

As a producer/director, I'm asked to read scripts all the time. What I mostly encounter are scripts that aren't ready for production. No even close. How do you know if your script is production ready? Here are nine questions to ask yourself about your script:     1: Does your screenplay use a Three-Act Structure? The Three-Act Structure is a classic hero's journey that divides your story into three parts (or Acts); Setup, Confrontation and the Resolution. I'm recommending…

Working With Actors: The Actor's Journey

Actors are amazing. They willingly thrust themselves into the persona and life experiences of another character. Directors are constantly challenging them, provoking them and inspiring them to fully embody the emotional states of their characters. Yet, many directors are not aware that actors change as they go through three distinct stages in the filmmaking process: Audition, Rehearsal and Production. Each stage puts different stresses on the actors, to which they respond in different w…

4 Rules To Financially Protect Your Film With Indie Distributors

First of all, let me introduce you to the existence of Independent Film Predators. They are less-than-legitimate indie film distributors that want to distribute your film and unfortunately, there's a bunch of 'em. In fact I can vouch for their existence personally. 3 OF A KIND, my recently completed psychological thriller, premiered at the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival. It's a film we literally scraped and clawed financially to get done. We ultimately had to take out per…

Dreams, Fears, Communism and My Trip to The Other Side of the World

Dreams are an interesting phenomenon. They are available to everyone to dream them, but there are only a few who go chasing them and fulfill them. Why is that? Why doesn't everyone grasp their dream and be what they want to be or do what they really want to do? Well, in my case, this question came a little later in my life, (let's say I'm not in the first flush of youth), but what's more important for me is that I took my time and efforts to answer it and the answer for me personally was…

It's Show Reel Share Day - Share Your Reels With the World

Today on Twitter and Instagram, it's #ShowReelShareDay - That means whether you're an actor, filmmaker, cinematographer or other creative with a reel, today is the day to showcase your talents to the world. Let's show the social world that we are the most creative community on the planet! We're asking all our members who have reels and either a Twitter or Instagram account (or both) to help promote Stage 32 while promoting yourselves!  All you have to do is share your reel link her…

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