1.Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Richard Botto but most people call me RB. I am the CEO of Stage 32 which is the world’s largest online platform for connecting and educating film creatives and content creators. I also work as a director, a writer and an actor and am the author of the book, Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd
2.What are some projects that you have worked on ?
On the producing side, a feature film called “Another Happy Day” that went to Sundance and won Best Screenplay. Another was a documentary called “Crutch”. I’ve also produced some award-winning shorts. On the screenwriting side, I have a couple of scripts in development including one called The End Game which was optioned by Covert Media.
3.How would you explain to someone what Stage 32 is and why should they join ?
Stage 32 is a platform where all film creatives and content creators can build their contact list, discuss their craft and take webinars and classes designed to help them improve their skills and navigate the industry. In my opinion, relationships are the key to shortening the path to success. From reads to jobs to finding financing, everything begins and ends with relationships.
4.Who would you like to work with on some of your projects ?
For me personally, the truly committed are the only ones worth working with. Too many people treat their creative pursuits as a hobby, and that’s just not going to cut it. Breaking into this business requires proving yourself over and over again. It requires sacrifices. But once you show you’re committed and prove that you bring value, you’ll likely find yourself as part of a tribe. That means finding work or finding collaborators becomes infinitely easier.
5.Do you have one quote that you live by?
I have three actually. “Live in the moment”,”Never surrender” and “There is a solution to every problem”. All three of them remind me to keep going and always be the best version of myself while doing the work and living life to the fullest.
6.In your opinion,what is the biggest challenge that you have encountered while writing ?
Even though I don’t believe in the writer’s block ,I do believe in getting stuck. It’s one of the reasons I outline as much as I do before typing “Fade In”. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t hit a wall from time to time. But I’ve learned that if you step away and relax – go exercise, read, cook – the ideas start flowing again. The trick is to not put too much pressure on yourself. Trust that you’re creative enough to find the narrative flow again.
7.What do you think makes a script good ?
For me,it’s any story that keeps me turning pages. Assuming the structure is down, it all begins and ends with story.
8.Careerwise, what is the biggest accomplishment to this day ?
It’s very hard to choose because I am proud of quite a few things. Taking on screenwriting and seeing results in such a short period of time is something I’m proud of. I’m also thrilled with the participation and input I’ve had on many of the films I’ve been involved with and more that are on the way. And, of course, I am very proud of Stage 32 and the community that has formed there. Finally, being asked to write the very first book on crowdsourcing and having it published has been a highlight.
9.What is the hardest thing about working in the entertainment industry ?
The hardest thing is dealing with rejection and how long projects take to materialize. But if you understand that a life in film and content creation is a marathon, not a sprint, you learn to navigate the bumps with more clarity and energy.
10.Do you have anything to say to your supporters/fans ?
I am so deeply appreciative when people take time out of their day to send me a letter or a message on Instagram, Twitter or Stage 32 thanking me for the positive vibes or the content I provide or simply for starting Stage 32. I’m always grateful for the support and for people taking time out of their day to bring me value by making me feel appreciated.
11.Who are some people who inspire you the most ?
As a CEO, there are no shortage of brilliant business minds that I admire. On the creative side, I have an enormous amount of respect for those who have been able to find longevity and even more so those who are able to adjust on the fly given the ever-changing climate. They put in the time and work, and you can’t help but hold that kind of passion in high esteem.
12.What are some of your favorite books ?
There are so many amazing books out there both for business and creatives – and, since I believe that all creatives are entrepreneurs, some of them cross over. For example: “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel and “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield.
13.What are some causes that are dear to your heart?
Certainly the mission of Stage 32. Most people understand that I started this more out of a need than in the desire to create a business. As a creative myself, I certainly understand the need for relationships, education and support. Upholding that mission is something everyone here at Stage 32 practices and preaches every day.
14.When did you knew you wanted to work in the entertainment industry ?
I always loved the business and creative side of the industry and I knew very early on that I wanted to pursue that passion.
15.What do you hope for the future ?
Well, I think we all hope the projects we embark on are pushed through across the finish line. That’s always a priority. But I also hope that Stage 32 will continue to inspire and motivate creatives to stay in the game and keep them charging on the path toward success.
Thank you so much to Richard for agreeing to the interview.He is such a talented writer and I cannot wait to see more of his work on-screen and on Stage 32.You can find him and his work on Instagram,Twitter and Stage 32.