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What is Stage 32, Anyway?

What is Stage 32, Anyway?

I’m sure I’m not the only who has been wondering exactly what website Stage 32 is all about. 
Described by Forbes as "Lynda.com meets LinkedIn for anyone working in (or with a desire to work in) film, television or theater," it’s essentially a free social network for people working in the entertainment industry. There they can search for things they need, from jobs and best practices to talent, vendors and service providers.
After Stage 32 founder and CEO Richard Botto attended the American Film Market in Santa Monica, he saw that many would-be entrants into the movie industry would show up once a year and have to start all over again from scratch the next. How could they stay in better touch with their contacts via social media and push their projects forward? There had to be a way this big audience could connect 24/7, 365 days a year. 
In April, 2011, Botto started out sending a link to the beta Stage 32 site (named after the Paramount–once RKO–soundstage where young Orson Welles filmed "Citizen Kane") to 100 friends, asking each of them to send it to five more, and give him three ways to improve the site. Stage 32 burgeoned exponentially from there, launching officially in September, 2011. They’re now tracking some 400,000 active members around the world, and recently attended the Cannes Film Festival at the invitation of the Marche du Film’s convergence of entertainment and tech
Having launched the site organically without investors, New Yorker Botto is now financing it, Mediabistro-style, by offering online educational classes and webinars; they recently acquired screenwriting education site The Happy Writers. Botto, who dabbled in theater and novel writing, has a sales and marketing background–always useful online skills–and consulted with his brother partner in a dot.com consultancy firm in the 90s. In 2000 he launched lifestyle magazine Razor, which lasted six years. He then tried his hand at producing (Sundance entry "Another Happy Day") and screenwriting. 

Read: Stage 32 and PGA Women’s Impact Network Launch Pitching Event for Female-Centric Scripts

At Cannes, Stage 32 managing director Amanda Toney told me, Stage 32 hosted a panel in the Marche du Film NEXT Pavilion on crowdsourcing and social media, attended by over 200 Stage 32 members from 20 countries including Australia, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Finland, Netherlands, India, Italy, United States of America, Malaysia, Monaco, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil. 
 
Nineteen Stage 32 members had films at Cannes, including Monaco producer Michel Merkt, who screened four of his films at the Marche, from Director’s Fortnight opener "In the Shadow of Women" directed by Philippe Garrel to Miguel Gomes’s three-film triptych "Arabian Nights."
 
London-based Stage 32 member Saranne Bensusan, a director, producer, editor and animator, screened her first solo-directed stop-animation feature film "The Hunting of the Snark." And Stage 32 members Joe Orlandino, an American producer, Italian producer/director Davide Cincis, Canadian composer Enzo De Rosa, American actor Danny McCarthy and Italian actor Vincent Papa, came to Cannes to screen short film "In My Brother’s Shoes" in the Shorts Corner, before showing it at the Vatican.

Next up: Stage 32 CEO Botto is writing a book on crowdsourcing for film for Focal Press under the American Film Market imprint.

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Comments

Evelin valdez

Modelo y actriz

Sarah Gabrielle Baron

Stage32 has been invaluable to me as a screenwriter. The discussion groups, the classes, the pitch sessions to producers, and the option to have executives give you notes and/or meetings, is unprecedented for writers breaking in to the industry. Plus, it’s an awesome place to make friends!

urshel nicol

hello

Rich "RB" Botto

So grateful to you, Anne, for this wonderfully researched and written piece. And I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support above. This is one amazing community that continues to inspire me each and every day.

William Joseph Hill

Stage 32 is the best resource for anyone in the entertainment industry. A glance through the membership reveals a plethora of talented, experienced professionals, success stories and overall a very supportive and encouraging group. There are many members from all over the world. If you’re looking for collaborators, I recommend you join the network.

Joe Moonblue

great to see

Delia Colvin

Great article on a GREAT screenwriter’s resource!

Chris Connell

Stage 32 is awesome. Its lack of pretension or douchie-ness really helps it in my opinion. You can feel the actual desire to help fellow artists.

Kristi Speiser

I have contributed my expertise as an image consultant for next level webinars. The team at Stage 32 has been professional and an amazing to work with. They have a great thing going here. Looking forward to further collaborations.

Pete Stone

What I love about Stage 32 is as a writer and filmmaker it allows me to legitimately pursue my passion on two different fronts. On one front I can pitch my screenplay to professional executives and swing for the fence so to speak to have the most legitimate shot I can anyware of pitching my work. I have recieved six requests in just three months from major production companies that would have been impossible for me to do otherwise. However, in the mean time I can network with others passionate about moviemaking and take matters into my own hands at turning my ideas into productions by finding crew and talent to make it a relaity. One other aspect is the educational opportunities available from professionals. This network is has been a Blessing helping build my craft and find a meaningful way to share it with others. Best of all the creators of the website and company go above and beyond to support and encourage.

Virginia McKevitt

I’ve been a member of Stage 32 since 2012 and have watched this community grow and thrice under the leadership of CEO Richard Botto and his team the site has emerged as a force to be reckoned wit.The pitch sessions, lounge discussions and seminars offered at Stage 32 are a huge benefit. Perfecting our craft is a never-ending work and Stage 32 has become a guiding light in that process.

Dale

When I joined Stage32 I knew nothing about the movie industry. With their help, I was able to submit a written pitch and receive a followup request for the feature script. S32 offers seminars for a reasonable amount and they are like gold for a burgeoning screenwriter.

Amanda Asquith

Stage 32 is a fantastic way to meet, network and develop friendships, learn and share and collaborate with people across the whole spectrum of the global world of entertainment. The vibe is supportive, encouraging and thoroughly professional. And free to join! Thanks to RB and team :-)

Andrew Bee

Stage 32 is completely focused and professional. It’s only reason for existence is to help creatives move their careers forward in a positive manner and avoid the myriad of pitfalls offered by the digital world.

Mark Jenkins

In process of staffing and pre production of a scifi pilot. Stage 32 immediately helped us find production talent, from Nashville to LA!
The seminars are insightful and extremely helpful for anyone wanting to increase his or her own personal knowledge of this business.
Lastly, for writers to be able to place their log lines and full screenplays in a well trafficked site it is priceless. I have had folks reading my scripts that are not even members, so that in itself shows the magnetism this unique site has already generated … and I’m sure it will continue to reach across the globe!

D. VonThaer

Stage 32 is a remarkable community of creatives unlike anything I’ve seen before. The tone is upbeat, always moving always learning, a true center of support for writers, directors, cast, crew, musicians, any kind of artist you can imagine!

Actress Kathy Jean - United States

As a working model/actress and an active member of Stage 32 since July 2014, I am especially happy to see S32 being recognized and lauded in this fashion. Thanks to writer Anne Thompson for her very good article. Best, KJ

Shawn Speake

Stage32 changed the screenwriting game for me. In just one year I’ve learned so much and met so many amazing people. It’s the most supportive social network for creatives on the internet. Hope to see you there!

Tony Fisher

Stage 32 has been an invaluable source of information and feedback from fellow actors and film makers. I am very pleased and proud to be part of this community.

Frank Ponce

Stage 32 is truly a game-changer in the filmmaking community! I’m so proud to be part of it!

Tiffany Boyle

Always enjoy hearing great things about this company as they are reliable, go-getters, and lots of fun! Looking forward to seeing them continue to grow.

jose manuel de sousa silva

hey hi

jose manuel de sousa silva

momobook

Michele MacDonald

I am new to Stage 32 but see its tremendous potential. I am a screenet

Carmen Lezeth

Richard created a place for struggling, sometimes feeling defeated artists, to find support and encouragement from like-minded peers 24/7. In the past few weeks since I finally joined (have no idea why I didn’t before – I’ve been following on Twitter for years) I have changed my entire life — my energy is through the roof! And I’ve "met" so many people that I’m collaborating with and talking to offline and around the world! It’s an incredible feeling — an artist feeling supported…what a brilliant concept! Thank you Richard! Thank you also for the article..nicely put.

Ally Matteodo

I can’t get enough of Stage 32. The community is incredibly supportive and inspiring. I read RB’s weekend update religiously to stay on top of industry news. I knew from the inception of Stage 32 that it was something special.

Richard Toscan

No question, Stage32 has developed into one of the best sites for anyone with a serious interest in the business.

Nkosi Guduza

I think Richard is somebody who sees much further. Stage 32 is not only a site, but it is furtherment, it is real, and Richard Botto is ‘real’.

Alverne Ball

Stage 32 helped me get my pilot into the hands of an executive at a major studio. Executive didn’t bite, but I got a note from the executive stating, "Very good writing". More fuel to the fire!!!!

Michael

I’ve been on stage 32 a couple of years and the amount of advice and information is fantastic. Would encourage everyone to try it out

James Norris

I wish I had discovered Stage 32 months/years ago! I’ve been on it for 3 days, and I think I may be able to put together a teleplay critique group in the next couple of weeks!

Eric

I love Stage 32 I’ve networked with creatives all over the world. It’s a great website for collaborations, discussing the craft, and possibly being discovered.

Matt Harrison

This is fantastic! Stage 32 is an incredible resource for crew, talent and education on the industry that you just can’t get elsewhere. Nice to see it being recognized as such!

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

I am a very grateful to stage 32, I am a screenwriter, and it has helped me a great deal. A resource that rivals the education of any film school out there.

Stephen E. Barber

Stage 32 is not just a platform for like-minded creators; it’s a vehicle that drives professionals towards their open-minded peers. The intelligent community that exists because of Stage 32, are not just anxious to help their peers, they’re also grateful for the ability to have a place that awards people who take action. It’ll change your life if you let it.

CJ Walley

In a sea of services reaching out to take everything you have, Stage 32 reaches out to lead you to everything you need.

Rich "RB" Botto and his amazing team have redefined networking for film, television, and theater creatives globally.

s.l. metheny

Thompson, thank you for staying on top of things, and making me aware of this unique
and valuable resource.

Boomer Murrhee

Stage 32 has been a source of inspiration, education and a connection with creatives across the globe. It has become a part of my writing life, and couldn’t imagine getting along with it. I’m thankful to RB and his staff for their dedication to the film industry. This is a global asset. May the success of Stage 32 continue to grow and blossom.

C. D-Broughton

Aside from the obvious asset of being able to network, for a first-time producer, what Stage 32 really offers is exposure.

In a time when everyone is trying to get you to look at a YouTube clip or website, I’ve received great support for our project and our site is pulling in a healthy 3,000+ views per month.

Rest assured, once full funding is secured, Stage 32 will be one of the places used to advertise for cast and any crew vacancies, and utilised continuously to build up buzz.

A free service, filled with agreeable people, who can fault it?

Elisabeth R. Meier - Screenwriter

It can’t be esteemed high enough what ‘RB’ did for us creative souls. I joined five weeks ago and am still overwhelmed how fast this network works and you get involved into new projects and paid jobs. ‘Happy Writers’, implemented by Joey Tuccio, is a section on stage32 which gives every screenwriter the chance to pitch to real, professional producers, agents, TV stations etc. – a fantastic chance.
So, what is stage32 exactly? It is much more than just another network. It is a place where like minded creative people really collaborate, develop new ideas, support each other, give advice and critic of course and simply reach out their arms to work hand in hand around the earth. No wonder that Richard Botto is loved by everyone here. It’s love and fun – although the business of course is still hard work.

Sylvia Marie Llewellyn - Screenwriter

I joined in December 2012. Where else can you pitch to studio executives, managers and agents directly on Skype or send in written pitches. I’ve had seven script requests so far. The Educational Department is truly phenomenal… all the execs involved are at the top of their game… and we have access to them through Joey Tuccio, President of Stage32/Happy Writers banner. RB and the entire Stage 32 team work very hard to keep us all in the loop and assist in any way they can to elevate our careers. Members from around the world are now our extended family.

MarkMancini

Richard Botto has created the perfect platform for aspiring artists in film/theatre. Couldn’t be any happier to be a Stage 32’er

J. Carlos Portela

I think stage is great but..either I am in the stage 32 that is in USA or there no much in uk base..as I was looking for many actors and actress..and found all in usa..I am sure I am not using the website right..is a great website..but all I get is usa base..Help? ?

Dianne Greenlay

Stage 32’s The Happy Writers offers an incredible opportunity for those of us who write to pitch our stories to TV/film agents and producers – these opportunities would not be possible without the Stage 32 connections for members. It is n invaluable resource for me and my book series has had 7 requests from companies because of the pitch opportunities.

Cali Gilbert

Stage32 has been a beacon of light for me as I transition from international bestselling author to now writer/director of my first short film. I have only lived in LA for less than two years and was thrilled to discover this group of like-minded individuals who support me along this new path. What makes it even better is that I am able to support them as well with my gifts and talents from the publishing industry. I am learning so much about film and the entertainment industry. It truly is a win-win. I have been to Cannes a few times in the past, but now excited about attending as a filmmaker. Thanks to RB and Stage32, I now believe that is possible.

David Rountree

Stage 32 is a fantastic resource and RB is terrific. My last 2 films (CUT! and 108 Stitches) both saw theatrical releases in the last year, which was largely in part to the 40+ Stage 32 members who contributed. Such a great resource and not a more genuine guy around than RB.

Larenzo Simmons

Stage 32 is a great tool for any entertainment professional & anyone interested in the industry. It has been a great asset to me as a actor. I have made some great connections & created valuable networking with many talented professional people in the industry. It has been another avenue to get my work seen by many in the industry & has been great for exposure for me. It has been especially helpful with me relocating from a major city like Chicago with a big market to Madison, Alabama with a much smaller market & with me not having connections & getting work & having knowledge of the industry like I did in Chicago. So with that being said Stage 32 has been very instrumental in me making connections here in Alabama & in the south! & yes I have gotten projects through Stage 32,heck my current talent manager I have now has come thru networking thru Stage 32. Bottom line if you are in the industry you need to add Stage 32 to your arsenal!

Nan

There is a place for a thousand "Stage 32" impersonators however Stage 32 provides their content in an easy to navigate fashion and offers "Reasons " to return. I am a very happy subscriber of Stage 32

Timothy Vandenberg

I cant say enough good things about the team at Stage 32. They have been a fantastic resource for bridging the accessibility gap between filmmakers and producers/production companies. RB and Joey are truly unique!

Laurie

Stage 32 is a must for anyone ‘in the biz,’ I’m on the site every day and have been attached to quite a few projects. The services offered to writers is the best there is in the crowded cottage industry. But more than either of these two things, the site is top notch. RB and his team work tirelessly to constantly offer more and improve upon what they have.

Sebastian Parowa

I’ve been on Stage 32 less than a year. I have connected with interesting individuals via their private messaging and met a lot of them in person. Their meetups and jobs section is on my daily to-do checklist. Great article – I’m a huge supporter of Stage 32 and its community.

Seb

Beth Fox Heisinger

Stage 32 is a must for everyone in the film industry and for those aspiring to be. Not only does Stage 32 bring teams together, it also emboldens creatives to face the challenges of whatever looms ahead. Stage 32 has given me and countless other members something so few other sites manage to deliver — hope.

Ronald R Bush

Yes, there are things you pay for if you want to. But, getting involved with other people’s projects or promoting your own is free. I’m talking people all around the world. So, if you can afford a vacation in a another country , volunteer to help on someone’s film or you may find a paying gig. Cast, crew, produce or get crewed if you want to make your own film in another country.

Henry A.

Stage 32 is nothing short of the single most useful site in entertainment. Stage 32 is inspiration, it is business, it is family. The Stage 32 team is extraordinarily passionate about what they do. All their success is a result of good karma and hard work! Stage 32 inspired me to pick my head up and get back in the game. Now I’m in development for a fully funded film. Thanks! –HA

Marty Lang

I had the pleasure of teaching a webinar at Stage 32 in December, and the entire process was a joy. Site members are excited about filmmaking, and eager to learn more about both the art and the business. Stage 32 is an amazing resource for anyone interested in film, and can help you at any stage of your career. I’m proud to be a part of their team.

Kathryn Rushent

With the networking, educational, pitching and social possibilities offered by Stage 32, I’ve seen my screenwriting career go from "nowhere" to "reality". RB and Joey Tuccio of the Happy Writers are friends, mentors, and guides for hundreds of thousands of film, television and stage folk – Stage 32 is the best!

David

It’s been amazing to see the growth of Stage 32! This is exactly what we all need!

Nick Phillips

Stage 32 is a great way for film industry professionals to connect and stay connected. The people who run it are dedicated to what they do and have a passion for the creative process. I’m on it everyday!

Jessica Sitomer

Stage 32 is a MUST for entertainment industry professionals! RB has created a site where you network the way you would on other social media platforms only on Stage 32 EVERYONE is in entertainment. And the education segment is excellent which is why I love to teach next level webinars. The members who attend ask great questions and are there to take their careers to the next level!!

Nick Hoffa

I am incredibly impressed with the strides these guys are making. And the opportunities to reach out. It’s really new and exciting.

Richard Haylor

As a new member to stage 32, I am enjoying finding my way around the site, and building a network of like minded creative professionals.Its the perfect site for newcomers and experienced industry professionals alike.It’s full of interesting,informative and inspiring articles and discussions.
Great job RB !

Frank D'Angeli

I joined Stage32 in October 2014, and since then I’ve been able to pitch to a multitude of executives that were out of reach to me on my own. Matter of fact, my sci-fi thriller novel, STRANDED, was picked by Vast Entertainment after I was able to pitch it to Lane Shefter Bishop. The people I’ve dealt with at Stage32, both the staff and my fellow members, are friendly and helpful.

Brandi Thomas

Stage 32 has allowed me to start my career in film scoring while I am still finishing up my undergraduate degree! It has been an invaluable resource for me in terms of personal and professional growth, and I don’t know how I lived without it. I have been hired on to thirteen different jobs through the site in the past year and a half alone and am currently starting to line up projects for 2016, all through Stage 32. I have never seen anything like it and would highly recommend this site to anyone pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. It’s the best!

Joe Orlandino - Producer

Stage 32 has become my "go to" source for much of my cast & crew needs. I’ve hired writers, composers, AD’s and actors from this exceptional resource. "In My Brother’s Shoes", now in competition in the Vatican Film Festival, had five Stage 32’ers in the cast & crew. S32 is like LinkedIn for film makers. Also, Lucia Mauro was the writer/director of "In My Brother’s Shoes."

Kristin Michaels

I’ve watched Stage 32 grow since 2011 and it’s incredible what they’re doing for the filmmaking community. They’re changing the game!

Frank

Stage 32 has literally changed my life. Due to their services and accessibility to actual Hollywood decision makers, I am now a represented screenwriter (Circle of Confusion, CAA) with two scripts in development. Doesn’t happen without this amazing network and the hands on support they offer.

Dave M

Great to see Stage 32 get the recognition it deserves. Quite simply the best tool in my arsenal for staffing my films and making useful connections.

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