Thursday, May 01, 2008

the online Apple Box* of independent film
the 1 May 2008 edition
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This week
Upcoming courses
Bus 174
Work it
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Raindance Logo

Ah, the Month of Three Milkings at last.

Don't forget that our Open Evening is coming up on 8 May (next Thursday) at The Arts Theatre London.

Find out all about Raindance, meet the tutors, ask us questions. Bring your buddies, the more the merrier.

Email to let us know you're coming.
heavens gate Heavens Alive

Heaven's Gate, directed by Michael Cimino, has gone down as one of the most notorious screen disasters in the history of film.

Described as the worst film ever made, critic Joe Queenan wrote: "This is a movie that destroyed the director's career. This is a movie that lost so much money it literally drove a major American studio out of business. This is a movie in which Jeff Bridges pukes while mounted on roller skates. This is a movie that has five minutes of uninterrupted fiddle-playing by a fiddler who is also mounted on roller skates. This is a movie that defies belief."

Is it true that Michael Cimino was such a perfectionist that by the fifth day of filming they were already four days behind schedule?

Did Cimino really keep an armed guard posted outside the editing room?

Was the battle scene in the original cut really as long as a full-length motion picture?

Ask Kelvin Pike.

The Raindance Kodak Masterclass takes place at BAFTA on Saturday 10 May, 2-4pm. Tickets cost £10. more

Veteran cameraman Kelvin Pike, whose work includes 2001:A SPACE ODYSSEY, THE SHINING, STAR WARS:THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE EXORCIST, DR STRANGELOVE and HEAVEN'S GATE, will give us a behind the scenes look at what it was like working on some of the most iconic films of the 20th Century.

Click HERE to book a place or ring 020 7287 3833.
Change Your Life

Want to dip your toe in the water and see if a career in film is for you?

We have the perfect entry-level courses coming up:

The Filmmakers' Foundation Certificate
Have the film industry demystified in five evenings and learn the basics of writing, directing and producing.

Starts June 3
£145 + VAT (Raindance Members get 15% discount)

Pay Now


The Writers' Foundation Certificate

A simple, practical introduction to the art, craft and mechanics of screenwriting.

Starts June 4
£145 + VAT (Raindance Members get 15% discount)

Pay Now


The Directors' Foundation Certificate
Designed to provide new directors with the basic techniques and information needed to direct a short film or feature.

Starts June 5
£145 + VAT (Raindance Members get 15% discount)

Pay Now
deadline Early Deadline Is Here!

Today is the early deadline for submissions.

If you're quick enough, you can still make it as long as your film is postmarked by May 1st.

But don't fret, if you're bogged down in the editing suite there is still time to submit to the 16th Raindance Film Festival.

Our Late Deadline is June 6th and our absolute, Final Deadline is June 20th (but only by submitting through Withoutabox). No ifs, ands or buts.

To submit visit

On Joost:

RAHIL'S SECRET: follow a little girl, Rahil, as she struggles to find her identity along the railway tracks of Italy.

BAL CAN CAN: a dark comedy about a refugee named Trendafil. The story begins when his wife Ruza's mother dies on the side of the road and the two of them have to roll her body into an Oriental carpet to get her through the checkpoints.

On Babelgum:

Jarl Olson's series of comedic shorts, MINISTRY OF INFORMATION advise the population about a variety of social issues, ranging from advice on pregnancy and breeding to race issues. With seven shorts featured you will have taken a good dose of your prescribed social medicine.

On Blinkx:

The adventures of Mickey Mouse in Croatia after leaving the USA unable to cope with George Bush's politics in BEING MICKEY
bus 174 Public Tansport is Such a Drag

BUS 174 is a fantastic documentary recounting what happened when a bus was hijacked in Rio de Janeiro. The entire episode was broadcast live on Brazilian television, capturing the attention of an entire nation. This film offers a shocking portrait of violence, examining police incompetence and the role the media comes to play.

'A stunning indictment of Brazil's social meltdown, this startling documentary plays like City Of God - except this time the bullets are real.' The Times

8 May 2008, 7.30
Tickets: £7/£5
Rich Mix Cinema, 35-47 Bethnal, Green Road, London, E1 6LA.
E: | T: +44 (0)020 7613 7490
jolly boys The Canadian Connection

If your indie comedy isn't getting the sales you'd hoped, Richard Symons of Spirit Level films suggests...try Canada.

Indy comedy THE JOLLY BOYS LAST STAND starring (a then) unknown Andy Serkis, Milo Twomey and Sacha Baron Cohen made no headway on the UK festival scene until Canadian ex-pat and Raindance founder Elliot Grove tuned in to its off-beat humour and gave it an airing at the Raindance Film Festival in 1999.

Six months later the BRITPICS festival in Toronto heard about the Raindance screening and booked Jolly Boys for a 6pm Tuesday night screening.

Despite the film's zero profile in Canada, 600 film fans packed the hip Bloor Cinema to see what the fuss was about.

Still no territory sale. Just when the producers had almost given up selling the film, acquisition scouts from new Canadian distributor PEACE ARCH contacted Britpics' programmer Oliver Groom to suggest any films that had screened well at the fest. Groom described how Jolly Boys had gone down a storm and the label picked it up for Canada and The US.

In the meantime, we still love to hear from anyone in the UK...

Richard Symons
the smalls Are You Ready For Your BIG Break?

The Smalls are yet again teaming up with Paramount Comedy and long standing partners Creative Review for The Comedy Smalls, a unique short film competition devoted to the discovery of new comedy talent.

New to this year's competition is that American channel Comedy Central also is along for the ride. This means double exposure on both sides of the pond for the winner and shortlist as Paramount Comedy will show the shortlist on air, and Heads of New Talent and Commissioning from both channels will be on the judging panel.

There is a real opportunity here for new talent to get their big break. Last year's winners went on to get a ten part series commissioned by Paramount Comedy and other participants had their work licensed by the channel.

This year's theme is WORK, and films can be no longer than 5 minutes. Use your wit and artistic license to interpret the theme, e.g. a piece of work, a work of art or simply someone who is work shy. The only criteria is that it has to make our esteemed judging panel laugh.

For more info, and how to enter go to
cine-excess Cine-Excess II

From 1 May the ICA in London will be hosting Brunel University's second international conference on global cult film. It will feature seminars on everything from grindhouse to gross-out, kung-fu to kitsch, blaxploitation to sexploitation, weird world cinema and beyond. There are some great events and special screenings that can be booked through the ICA.

Special Panel: The New Spatpack - 6.30pm, 1 May
Leading film critic Kim Newman will be interviewing leading Brit horror directors Julian Richard, Stephen Parsons and Robert Pratten.

P2 (Frank Khalfoun) - 8.45pm, 1 May
Stuck in an underground car park with that creepy bloke from American Beauty. Not ideal - grab that axe quick.

Timber Falls (Tony Giglio) - 7.15pm, 2 May
Classic case of well-to-do city couple ambling foolishly into them-there hills. Satisfyingly gruesome.

Mind Flesh (Robert Pratten) - 6.15pm, 3 May
Smart British horror with a taxi driver fallen prey to aliens who seem to have a working knowledge of freud.

King of Cult: Roger Corman / Summer Scars (Julian Richards) - 8.15pm, 3 May
The King of Cult: Roger Corman on stage, followed by a creepier, darker, British take on Stand By Me-style teen drama.

Click here for info on screening tickets / events.

If you'd like to be a delegate at the conference go to
2008 Zone Horror CUT! Competition

We believe in fostering new filmmaking talent which is a proud tradition of the Zone Horror channel. A number of Hollywood's current A-List directors developed their skills in low budget fright flicks.

Zone Horror is delighted to be able to provide a platform to showcase the work of talented newcomers and launch their careers in a cut-throat industry.

Below is the short brief on the competition:

* keep your film under 2 minutes
* The competition will be judged by an elite panel
* The winning film will be showcased at FrightFest (UK's biggest and most reputable horror film festival)
* The winning entry gets a prize of £5000
* CLOSING DATE: 13th JUNE 2008

For more details visit: zonehorror

"Always be yourself, unless you suck."

Joss Whedon
Working the Net

Got something? Want something? Email


Help needed for historical documentary

I made a documentary film under the title of 'The story of London Upon Thames' in 1963. I was a student at that time. I have the relevant commentary for the twenty-five minutes of 16mm, 24fps colour film. I could not afford to transfer the commentary on the film.

Therefore, I would now like to have the help of someone to put the commentary on the film. The film has been digitised.

Ramanlal Morarjee (Now 71 years old)

Please email if you can help:


Production Manager needed

I am in pre-production for a feature set within the teenage suburban rave scene. I'm looking for a production manager/line producer to get on board with this film. At the moment we can only offer expenses with possibility of a bonus. This could be a great opportunity for someone who has assisted producers in the past and is looking to step up a rung.

Rene Harriman
cruise *
An apple box is used to raise, stabilize or level props, scenery and/or people in a picture or frame.

"Ok, time for Tom's scene. Better get the apple box"

Yours etc
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Joe Pearshouse and the Raindance team
Elliot Grove
Suzanne Ballantyne
Will Pearce
Jesse Vile
James Merchant

In Memory Of Albert Hofmann
and his medicine for the soul
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