In the September 2015 edition of On Stage With RB, he talks about what’s in store for Stage 32 filmmakers at the 23rd Annual Raindance Film Festival, where we are featuring 6 Stage 32 filmmakers in a short film program.
Then, he welcomes Paul Barry, an LA-based Australian actor, director, writer and acting teacher. Clients of Paul’s are repped by: CAA, UTA, Abrams Artists Agency, The Gersh Agency, ICM Partners, Paradigm, and managed by: United Management, Principal Entertainment, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Untitled Management, having worked at: MGM, CBS, NBC, C20th Fox, MTV, ABC and more…. Paul has taught in the vicinity of three thousand actors over the past 19 years, in both Australia and America.
Paul and RB talk about if you should you take free jobs to build your reel. Paul talks about why you shouldn’t put up a substandard reel because you’re trying to build an attractive product that will help you sell yourself. Always aim for quality and try not to be cheap. There are inexpensive affordable resources that are available to creatives, you just have to be willing to work for it. You have to have quality in the others that you collaborate with. Get your art out, if people criticize it, get more art out. Control what you can control. Paul gives you advice about being on social media as a creative and what you should focus on. Paul talks about building relationships through networking by: contact, content and commitment. Paul goes over what it’s like to be on the casting director side of the table.
Take away advice: “Never draw attention to what you don’t have.”
Then next up RB has on Scott Stoops, a manager at Benderspink who recently sold a pilot to CBS and was instrumental in signing the comic book publisher Aspen Comics. Scott reps a variety of emerging writers and filmmakers whose films have played in festivals across the world. He also represents several directors who have done short films that were turned into feature films. Scott has sold projects in both television and features. Prior to Benderspink Scott was with Paradigm in the Feature Literary Department.
Scott talks about the importance of IP right now and public domain topics. Writing TV is much different is much different than feature writing so determine what genre do you want to write. For TV we’ve seen feature films turned into mini series and big IP shows are oozing into television. Scott talks about if someone with a TV concept should have a fully fleshed out series, or just a pilot with an idea. As a first time writer, having a script is enough to get signed, but if you are planning to go into a studios and networks, you should have a wealth of ideas. A page about 1st season, a page about 2nd season and beyond. They want to be able to see the show. Scott answers if you have a TV pilot concept, what should a writer have prepared. He answers how many scripts do you as a writer you need?
Take away advice: “I work for you”
Scott even took a couple of questions from the Stage 32 audience, including:
I've written a full 90-mintue script, how would I go around this, as a lot of agencies don’t like unsolicited material?
How important is a good pitch and being good in a room?
Then for almost 2 hours, RB opened it up for an in depth Q&A from the audience including:
- What do you/most actors look for in a character role when reading a script. Do you decide by page 10, or do you need to see the entire arc?
- How important is it to have your IMDb profile up?
- Are you happy with how far S32 has progressed in just 4 years?
- What can a Director do for new talent on a film, (that he won't need to do for more seasoned talent), which will help them understand their character more, help them develop their role and feel confident on set with what they are bringing to the production?
- I'm brand new to the group and love what I see so far. I'm very passionate about filmmaking and have been doing it full time for over 2 years now. Business has slowed down and I'm trying to get more diverse. My experience is camera operator with some audio and lighting experience, what do you see the industry of commercial video production lacking?
- Etiquette question... if I am pitching something that already has a bit of interest in it (ie. a proposition of financing if a prominent director/actor is attached, do I bring that up if talking to a producer? I know there is no right or wrong (just consequences), but what do you think?
- When prepping for a Stage 32 pitch session, often an exec will say 'looking for the $$ - $$ range'. How do I figure out how much my spec would cost to make?
- What should you do when you sign with a manager that isn't a good fit? Other than whackin' 'em out?
- I was the assistant production coordinator for REVENGE that was filmed on your lot – I just wanted to say hello and thank you for Stage 32! Hope there’s still parties on the patio!
- Hi, I am an aspiring filmmaker located in the middle of the woods, two hours in each direction of a major city. I'm still young (20), and there isn't much of a film community where I live. What is your best advice to get started, and how I would proceed to major work?
- Is there a market for Ethnically diverse shows? I am currently writing a pilot for sitcom based on Indian family? How do I go about pitching it?
- Does completion of courses from different screenwriting schools carry more weight than another?
- When Scott talked about writing in one genre, is that a common rule for screenwriting, or just a specified preference for a writer to be credible?
- I know that everyone has their own methods, but I'd like to hear about your personal writing process RB and the steps you take as you develop a script.
- If you have a great theater show and you're looking for a booking manager for a particular venue to shop your show. Where would I look to find the best manager to present my product (show) to?
- In terms of working with Distribution Companies, should the filmmaker expect transparency from the distributors re their 'expenses'? As royalties tend to be a percentage to the filmmaker, minus their 'expenses'?
- I’ve worked on 12 features in production, and I want to move to the “A-list” – how do I attach an A-list actor or director involved in the next production I’m working on?
- First of all thanks for Stage 32. I don’t care for Facebook. I stumbled upon Stage 32 from Google! I’m an electrician by trade and I’m interested in getting into gaffing for film or TV sets – any advice? I’m based in Chicago.
- What are your thoughts about Howard Rodman becoming WGA West President?
- I was at the PGA mixer this week and saw the Women’s Impact Network, are you still
- working with the PGA?
- Should you include spec projects in progress on your IMDb profile or only projects in production?
- Is a writer, who has not sold the rights to his or her manuscript, always allowed on the set of a film or TV to give suggestions, make changes to the script, etc.?
- What’s a good way to become more creative? or what do you look to for inspiration and creative growth?
- Is the AFM pitching session worth pitching a script to?
- Is there such a thing as targeting too many different audiences on social media? What if your interests don't completely relate to one another? (ex.: film, positivity, composing, and anti-bullying).