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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'.…

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…

Attack of the Three-Act Structure: Run for Your Lives!

I've tackled many popular writing myths and memes over the last several years: writer's block, the idea of the high-concept, that outlining is a bad thing, that writing groups work, to name just a few, but now, I think we are ready to grapple with the granddaddy of all writing memes: the three-act structure.  Whether it's three, five, six, or seven acts, it doesn't matter. 'Acts' are all useless to writers, as storytellers. For many, when I say this with such certainty, with such s…

10 Ways to be a Successful Storyteller in Today's Film Industry

There is a wonderful book written by the outstanding African author Tsisti Dangarembga called Nervous Conditions. The shocking first line of the book is: "I was not sorry when my brother died". She wasn’t sorry, because it meant she could now go to school. I feel like that about what is happening in our business. I am glad we are in a disruption and that the old model is falling apart, because I feel the new data driven e-commerce model allows more diversity and this gives advan…

Finding Success by Paying it Forward

We see posts here on Stage 32 and elsewhere posing the age-old question of how critical it is to live in LA to be a successful screenwriter/filmmaker and the usual replies are that it is probably beneficial but not necessary. Kinda like if swimming in the ocean is your thing, you should probably live near one. But that overlooks a larger question: How do you define “successful”? If the Holy Grail is Hollywood, get your butt out there. But I’ve discovered other definit…

Coffee & Content - Inspiration, Motivation, Determination

Happy Sunday to all.  Hope you are having a fun, relaxing and creative weekend. As you know, we've been selecting some of our favorite blogs written by members of the Stage 32 community and sharing them with the global audience of Medium.  We always ask our members to share the content we publish here on Stage 32, and by posting these articles on Medium, we're practicing what we preach. Today, we have 3 articles designed to inspire, motivate and educate.  I hope you enjo…

Fear: Friend or Foe?

When I was first approached to write a blog, an emotion I know all too well hit me - fear. After many hours of trying to figure out what am I going to write about and reflecting on my journey into this crazy business, I realized I can't be alone. No matter how successful or how green we are, fear comes knocking on everyone's door, even if no one talks about it. Regardless of what we do, the thought of putting our work out there for all to see, for all to judge, can be frankly....terrifyi…

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