In this week’s episode we were very happy to talk to Richard Botto, AKA RB, founder and CEO of Stage 32. The world’s largest social network and educational hub for film, television & theater creatives. We had a fun talk about filmmaking and industry, but also creativity and finding balance in your life between the things that need to be done and the things you would like to do. RB was an absolute joy to talk to and it was nice to get to know him a little bit as a person, who is not just a CEO, but a represented screenwriter and producer as well. Enjoy!
Richard Botto, known to his friends as “RB”, is the co-founder, CEO, and President of Stage 32, the premier, free social network for film, television, and theater creatives boasting over 100,000 members from 185 countries. He is also an actor, voice actor, producer and screenwriter repped by David Greenblatt of Greenlit Creative. His screenplays have been semi-finalists and finalists at a variety of competitions including The Page, Nicholl, and Creative World Awards. He was an associate producer on Sam Levinson’s first film, ANOTHER HAPPY DAY which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011 and featured Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore, Thomas Hayden Church, Kate Bosworth, and Ellen Burnstyn. Prior to launching Stage 32, He was the founder, publisher and editor of RAZOR Magazine, a national men’s lifestyle magazine which had a readership of 1.5 million at its peak. He was also a sports radio host on a variety of programs on ESPN and Fox affiliates. He has been a teacher, moderator, and panelist at various colleges and conferences (AFM, SXSW, London FF, SWW) around the world speaking on a variety of subjects including screenwriting, social media, and business. Additionally, Richard has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, and other news and entertainment outlets speaking on the film and tech industries. My book on crowdsourcing will be published by Focal Press in 2015.
Best Way To Network In Hollywood by Richard “RB” Botto (Stage 32 CEO)
Along with being an actor and a producer, I’m a screenwriter. I love the process. Don’t mind the isolation. Actually find it somewhat cathartic. Like most screenwriters, however, it’s the aftermath, the procedure and ceremony of getting a completed work out into the world that is much more stressful. At least that’s the way I used to feel.
Some people say, “Let your writing do the speaking for you.” That’s a wonderful thought, no? Our writing is so damn marvelous, our script will levitate from a stack of screenplays and come to rest in a top producer/manager/agent’s lap, an amber glow permeating from the edges, pipe organ music mystically filling the room.
The reality is our scripts – on the surface, before they’re cracked – do not have legs, faces, or personalities. But we do. You have to do the speaking for you. You have to start the conversation before the genius of your script can finish it.
To accomplish this, you have to put as much time into marketing and networking as you do creating. You need to treat yourself as a brand. You need to be fearless and even a little (stressing “a little”) reckless at times. You need to take chances.
We started Stage 32 to give all creatives a chance to market their brand, to network, 24/7/365 regardless of geography or level of accomplishment. But we also built it as a support system for creatives to share experiences, work, and advice. It was built from a place of understanding. It was built with the recognition that the number one reason most creatives fail isn’t because they lack talent, but because they quit. And the number one reason creatives quit is because they lack contacts, peers who can teach, assist, and support.
Once Stage 32 launched, my networking opportunities multiplied. Further, I was able to conduct my networking during non-office hours, which proved to be a blessing. Soon, I had met a producer on the site who was willing to take a run at one of my scripts, Rocket’s Red Glare. With help with another producer, who, in fairness, I met while serving as an associate producer on Another Happy Day, we had about 1.5 million of a 3.5 million dollar budget in the kitty and feelers out to Rebecca Hall to play the lead. Ultimately, as things often do in this business, egos became bigger than the task at hand and the project fell apart. Still, this was more movement than I had seen in the previous year.
More recently, I met another producer on Stage 32 who took a liking to another of my screenplays, The End Game. With her help, we are not only in pre-production, but have already secured a distribution agreement with a company which has distributed numerous Golden Globe and Oscar nominated films. This all started with a simple conversation through the site.
Teachers and gurus will have you believe that this equation is law:
Talent + Ideas = Success.
But, I believe they’re missing a multiplier.
Talent + Ideas x Contacts = Success
– Richard Botto
BECOME A MEMBER OF STAGE 32
- FORBES – Stage 32: Lynda.com Meets LinkedIn For Film, Television And Theater Creatives
- LA BUSINES JOURNAL – Stage 32 CEO connecting writers with representation via Skype
- HUFFINGTON POST – Fostering a Creative Community