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Richard Botto Answers: What is the Best Way to Pitch my Project to Netflix or Amazon?

When a writer wants to know the best way to pitch his or her project to Netflix or Amazon, it's important that they recognize something before they even entertain the notion: Know thy people around you, first. During his free webinar, "Ask Me Anything," RB answered this question frankly and thoroughly. If you think your show has the legs to get a meeting with Netflix, there are three key questions you need to ask yourself first: 1) Why you?2) Why now?3) What value are you bringing? C…

How Two Writers With No Track Record Sold "BlacKkKlansman"

"Finding out that the rights were available was a small victory in our minds. Yet, we still had to prove ourselves to gain Ron’s blessing. After all, to him, we were just a couple of young, idealistic strangers with a Hollywood pipe dream. We had no track record." Ron Stallworth was a police officer in the 1970's who managed to weasel his way into the good graces of the Ku Klux Klan undercover, convincing them he was white supremacist. Later, he wrote a memoir about his experienc…

My Clone's An A-Hole - The National Lampoon & Stage 32 Winning Script

Well, that title caught your attention didn't it?  As you know, the National Lampoon brand was acquired by Palm Star Media last year and the new owners and management have been passionately seeking new comedy voices - We're thrilled that they partnered with Stage 32 and recognized our amazing community of talented writers as the place to find such talent through the Search for Comedy Gold Screenwriting Contest. One word - The writing talent in this contest wasn't good, it was off t…

Coffee & Content - Screenwriting: How to Handle Exposition & How David Fincher Hijacks Your Eyes

Happy Sunday to all.  Hope you're enjoying your weekend.  How about some coffee and complimentary content? First up, for a screenwriter, handling exposition can be a bitch.  In this new video essay from the good people at Fandor, we'll take a look at how some very talented screenwriters managed this very difficult task with cool, calm and creativity. Next, a look at one of my favorite directors, David Fincher, and, namely, how he hijacks your eyes.  Short and sweet,…

Do You Struggle Writing a Business Plan as a Filmmaker?

Most filmmakers, creatives, and writers involved in the filmmaking industry don't take the time to sit down and write out a thorough business plan. It's a harsh truth that could cause issues. From creating an outline showing how money will be allocated to make the film, to building out what it takes to pay your team, distribution costs, marketing, and every other line item that needs to be considered, business plans are often overlooked for various reasons, including the fact that they …

Writing Your First Screenplay is Easy [Said No One Ever]

I first met Tyler Silvers at South by Southwest (SXSW) about half decade ago. I knew Tyler's dad Dean very well. Dean was David O. Russel's first producer, shepherding Spanking the Monkey and Flirting With Disaster to the big screen. He was also a very early supporter of my vision for Stage 32 and contributed some fantastic material to the Stage 32 Blog. I was meeting with Dean to discuss a couple of ideas and initiatives regarding the platform. We had blocked out a half hour. Dean show…

Announcing Our 4th Annual TV Writing Contest

It's almost the most magical time of the year. You know what I'm talking about. All the bright lights, the festive decorations. That's right! Pilot season. Which means we're happy to announce our 4th Annual TV Writing Contest! Stage 32 contests, simply put, are the best in the industry - giving you unparalleled opportunity for exposure. TV is bigger than ever, streaming has allowed more original voices to be broadcast around the world and with the future holding opportunity in an unn…

Richard Botto Answers: How Do I Make Connections in the Film Industry When I Don’t Live in L.A.?

During his free online webinar, “Ask Me Anything,” Richard “RB” Botto cut right to the chase when he was asked, "How Do I Make Connections in the Film Industry When I Don’t Live in L.A.?” His answer will open your eyes to the reality of what networking is all about, both online and off. In an industry where everyone stands up and says, “Look at me! Look at my script!” he pulls back the curtain on what gets screenwriters noticed, what doesn…

Is Your Story a Chronicle or a Plot? [Understanding The Difference]

In Aspects of the Novel, novelist E.M. Forster wrote, “The king died and then the queen died. The king died and then the queen died of grief.” The first sentence describes two events of a story, while the second sentence describes two events of a plot.   What's the Difference Between Story and Plot? As many writers and critics have noted, the essential difference between a story and a plot is that a story is a series of chronologically ordered events while a plot is …

The Re-Emergence of Romantic Comedy

With the tremendous box office success of CRAZY RICH ASIANS, BOOK CLUB and THE BIG SICK and the streaming successes of SET IT UP, SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER, and TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE, romantic comedies are making a huge comeback for all types of audiences. Variety called Rom-Com's the "Hottest genre" for 2018 and beyond. If you have been sitting on a Rom-Com script or been thinking about writing one, now's the time to get it exposure and we have the perfect opportunity for you. …

Coffee and Content - All Your Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Acting, Industry Questions Answered (& More!)

Happy Sunday, everyone. This is going to have to be a quick one. As the official film networking and educational partner of the conference, it's been wall to wall for the Stage 32 team at the American Film Market (AFM), and this morning I am leading a talk on independent film financing with the CEO's of Hyde Park Entertainment, Bold Film, Cold Iron and the President of Millennium Entertainment. So, in short, time has been limited. But you know I wouldn't leave you hanging with just you…

What Does it Take to Pitch a TV Show?

If you have an idea for a TV show and you're ready to pitch it, there are some elements that you need to have in place before you sit down. Even if your pitch is with an indie producer, you gotta know your stuff. What "stuff," you wonder? Stephanie Palmer, a former executive with MGM Pictures, offers a detailed overview of what each writer should have prepared before he or she has a conversation. Basically, you need to know your story inside and out, and be prepared to answer any quest…

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