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…

7 Things I Learned on How to Build an Audience as Indie Filmmaker in the Midwest

After 10 years in Hollywood, writing and producing sitcom pilots and full length features, my friend Ted Trent asked me to fly to his hometown of Belleville, IL to write a fictional movie in which he could star. I didn’t know a Belleville from a Bellevue, but I did welcome the chance to write and direct a film in the Midwest, since I had grown up in Michigan. I remembered my people to be kind and helpful, and whenever you met another Midwesterner in Los Angeles (which is daily) you…

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 …

Filmmaking - Follow Your Heart

For some time now I thought it would be great to do a series of blogs, which follows my journey as a filmmaker. The experiences I have encountered have been so varied, some good, some bad, some tragic! I thought it would be nice to start with how I got into filmmaking. I call this first blog ‘Follow Your Heart’. I’ve been passionate about filmmaking since I was nine years old, that’s almost 29 years ago now. I grew up on a rural apple orchard in the countryside. …

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…

Crowdfunding for Filmmakers - A Career for Breakthrough

Fundraising for a movie is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I am an Emmy-award winning director and member of the Directors Guild of America. My films have screened at Cannes and I made a feature film in 35mm, yet, even with all I have accomplished, there has been nothing more difficult and, at the same time, more helpful for a director then a Kickstarter. Because it's not just about the money, it's all the PR packaging that a fundraise can give you. I knew abo…

Quentin Tarantino's INGLORIOUS BASTERDS Screenplay - The Elements of Suspense

Hey guys. Happy Friday. Also, Happy Introduce Yourself Weekend. I wanted to share a video I found most intriguing. It's a look at the elements of suspense within Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds screenplay, most notably its 17-minute opening scene. What makes this scene so effective? Why does it work so well? I look forward to your thoughts in the Comments section below.     Like this blog post? Please share it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email…

Winners Announced! European Co-Production Match Making Program

Stage 32, US/France-based Little W Productions, Scandinavian Locations, and the European Film Commission Networks (EUFCN) are pleased to announce the eight winning filmmakers of their Global Matchmaking Program. In addition to having the opportunity to present their projects presented at SXSW in Austin Texas during an Official US/European Co-Production panel, these filmmakers will also continue to receive coaching from Truls Kontny & Mikael Svensson, the President and the Gene…