How to Use Your Short Film as Proof of Concept and Get Noticed

Friday August 13  |  3:00pm


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Amanda Toney

Amanda Toney is the Managing Director of Stage 32, the world's largest social media site and educational hub for film, television and theater creatives. As a seasoned business development and marketing executive, Amanda began her career in marketing with RAZOR Magazine, working on programs with brands including NBC, Touchstone, Disney and Jaguar. By the time she turned 30 she built The Taka Group from the ground up - her first million + dollar business, which worked on international marketing programs with some of the world's most recognized brands including Oakley, Guess?, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Ray Ban, Giorgio Armani, Nine West and more. After her exit from The Taka Group, she became a partner in Stage 32 and as it's Managing Director, oversees operations and business development for the global business. Amanda speaks all over the world at conferences such as the Cannes Film Festival Marche du Film, FEST Festival Portugal, Raindance Film Festival London and Hollyshorts LA. She is inspired by innovation and companies that change industries, something Stage 32 is accomplishing daily. Amanda is a passionate entrepreneur, avid world traveler and lives by the motto "if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."



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Blake Boyd

Blake Boyd is a Los Angeles based actor & producer who has worked in over 40 theatre, television and film productions over the past 30 years. A BBA graduate from SMU, Blake understands the value of business analytics in entertainment. From the Philippine juggles to the SoCal studios and the New York stage, he has experienced first hand the evolution of Hollywood into the digital era.


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Joe Ksander

Joe Ksander grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a child he discovered the stop-motion monsters of Ray Harryhausen and has been in love with movies ever since. He studied animation and film at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. While still in school Joe started working at the Academy Award winning visual effects studio Rhythm & Hues, where he animated and supervised animation on films like The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Yogi Bear and X-Men: First Class. When he was directing animation on the feature film 9, Joe met Kevin Adams and immediately recognized a kindred spirit. More recently, Joe has worked at Industrial Light & Magic on Cowboys & Aliens, Pacific Rim, and the upcoming Transformers movie. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he and Kevin are developing a number of projects together. As an anniversary gift, Joe's wife gave him a replica of the titanium wedding band from The Abyss, since he's still in love with movies.

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JT Mollner

JT Mollner was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. His father and mother, Duke Mollner and Ginnie Mollner, both in show business at the time, supported and cultivated his creativity from a very young age. JT was writing short stories as a small child, and became obsessed with cinema in his early teens. He was fascinated by the works of the great "outlaw directors" who emerged from movements like "The French New Wave", and subsequently the "New Hollywood" film renaissance in the 1970's. Mollner's writer/director credits include the dramatic thriller, "The Red Room", his hard hitting horror short, "Sunday Evening", and the dark western genre bender, "Henry John and the Little Bug". He just directed a music video for Filmaka and Lincoln, written by Dana Barnaby, based on the song "The Race", by the band, "The Heavenly States". JT is set to direct the feature horror film, "The I Scream Man" in the spring, starring Crispin Glover and Dee Wallace (from a script he wrote with Mikos Zavros). His production company, "NoRemake Pictures", is committed to injecting original, sometimes controversial, stories into a market that seems to be saturated with remakes and safe, formula fare. The Mollner/ Zavros company (an advocate of real film stock, and not HD) is also committed to creating films that do not rely on CGI special effects. Mollner resides in Hollywood, CA. 


Richard "RB" Botto

Richard "RB" Botto is the Founder and CEO of Stage 32 (www.stage32.com), the world's largest platform connecting and educating for film, television and theater creatives. With over 500,000 members worldwide, Stage 32 has been described by Forbes Magazine as "LinkedIn meets LinkedIn meets Facebook for film, television and theater creatives.” Botto is a screenwriter, producer, actor and author.  His producing credits include Crutch, All Things Hidden (short) and Sundance Best Screenplay winner, Another Happy Day. Botto’s latest script, The End Game, is currently in development with Covert Media. His book on crowdsourcing for film will be published by Focal Press in 2016.


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Tim Birkhofer

Tim Birkhofer spent more than a decade working in content production for clients and artists such as Audi, Porsche, Universal Music, Sony Music, as well as AVICII and Lady Gaga. After working for Paramount Studios and Fox Searchlight, he co-directed and independently produced the first documentary on crowdfunding, “Capital C”, which was released theatrically in several countries around the world in 2015 and is now available on Netflix. Currently, he is developing several documentaries and feature films with various international co-production partners. Most recently, he co-wrote and produced the live action short film “The Impossible Joy”, screening at film festivals in 2016 and is a 2016 PGA “Power of Diversity” fellow.

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Tyler Ruggeri

Tyler Ruggeri is a writer with over a decade of experience on both sides of the entertainment industry. His original screenplay THE MAKING OF ROCK HUDSON sold to veteran producers Celine Rattray (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, BERNIE) and Trudie Styler (MOON) of Maven Pictures. He is currently adapting a critically acclaimed non-fiction book and writing an original action drama.

Prior to his writing career, Tyler was a talent manager at Exile Entertainment, where he represented screenwriters and directors while developing the company’s slate of projects. He signed emerging filmmakers including Lee Patterson (Nicholl Fellowship winner for SNATCHED) and Damien Chazelle, whose film WHIPLASH was nominated for five Academy Awards (including Best Adapted Screenplay) and won three, as well as the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to WHIPLASH, scripts he developed with clients have sold to A-list producers/financiers, appeared on the annual Black List, and garnered industry attention and assignments from major studios.

Apart from screenwriting, Tyler has written advertising and web content for companies such as Baseline, AwesomenessTV, and Tool of North America. He has also served as a development consultant for independent shorts and features. His expertise ranges from story analysis and adaptation to rights issues and Writers Guild arbitrations, with a focus on shaping both the project itself and the writer's individual voice.

Tyler is a graduate of Emerson College and began his career in the development/acquisitions department of Focus Features, following dual internships at DreamWorks and Warner Bros. Pictures.