Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thinking of a film course?
the online Grand Guignol* of independent film
the 24 July 2008 edition
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This week
Benefactor Package
Upcoming courses
New Course Venue
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Raindance Logo What's New is all over the news

Become a Raindance Festival

Writer's Tip

Enhance your characters by giving them contradictory qualities to add dimension and inconsistencies...

Read more here
Ken and Elliot Become a Raindance Benefactor

The 16th Raindance Film Festival Benefactor's package has just been announced.

By becoming a Benefactor, not only will you be supporting Raindance and its future, but you'll have access to every Festival screening, all the best parties, every event, get your name into the Festival catalogue and more...

Click here to see the three Festival Benefactor packages
One Night Stand

The Short Film Project is now almost sold out.

Starting on August 12, the course involves three evenings to cover the planning and pre-production of a short film and then a whole day (Saturday) spent shooting. A copy of the film will then be sent to you once it has been edited.

Script, locations and actors will be provided.

This course will take away all the confusion about shooting short films and complications that you might think exist.

More details

Ray Winstone 60 Second Rant

"I have worked with probably more first time Directors in Independent Movies than established Directors - and they're people who break the rules because they don't know them."

See Ray Winstone's rant here:
Raindance - New Course Venue

As of the 28th of July 2008 we will be moving all our courses from The Arts Theatre to the Craven Street Rehearsal Rooms (Details are below). This is due to the re-development of the The Arts Theatre.

Course dates and start/finish times remain unchanged.

The last two courses to be held at The Arts are TV Lab sessions 5 & 6.

All other courses (including next weeks Basic Legal Contracts & TV Lab session 7)
will move to:

Craven Street Rehearsal Rooms
10 Craven St

Nearest tubes are Charing Cross and Embankment.


Last week we received the following email from Peter Finlay:

I've been a Raindance member for some years, been on a number of courses and written seven feature length scripts. But everything came together this year when Carolyn my wife, who is a nurse working on sexual health, was running her powerpoint presentation past me and when she explained one of the concepts I announced that I could illustrate it better as a short film.

So I wrote it, registered the script with Raindance of course, shot it as a spec film with friends and family as crew and cast, edited it at home, buying in a library music track and hiring a professional for the voice-over.

We've now sold it to the Essex NHS and it can be seen on YouTube here.

Thanks for all the good advice on the courses, I'll certainly be along to more. And the "Raindance Producers' Lab" was well thumbed during the planning stages.

Peter Finlay

Unbelievably British Are you in need of a guilty laugh? has three comedic shorts that will have your blameworthy self satisfied.

New on Dailymotion is Unbelievably British - a parody of five well-worn clich├ęs of modern British Cinema, including: gangsters, druggies, romantic comedies, costume dramas and the ever-victorious working-class heroes. Naturally, this spoof doesn't skip the opportunity to poke fun at Hugh Grant.

Also new on Dailymotion is Pudding Bowl. This film allows you to laugh at Ivy's bad luck, without feeling a tad in the wrong. Sibling rivalry at its finest, 9 year-old Ivy lets her imagination take flight as she refuses to be cut down by misfortune caused by her bully older brother.

For the last laugh, check out the satirical message from the Ministry of Information in Bulletin 1. This short lasts only a minute and manages to deliver a strong impression on ironic cultural symbols.

We hit the headlines last week. Read the recent press about here: news

Windy & Addy Free Membership

This week's winner of a year's free Raindance membership for a terrible film idea is Patrick Whittaker for HITLER'S PENIS.

Read it here

Can you do better? Email your idea for a terrible film to and win a year's free Raindance membership.
The Dark Knight Indie Hero

Headlines this week rally behind Christopher Nolan, and, well worth the hype, we find it more than appropriate to toast him as an indie hero.

He first met Raindance founder Elliot Grove back in his student days at London's University College. Along the way, he attended the Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking course.

He filmed four shorts while still a student. After graduation he began shooting his first feature, THE FOLLOWING, using the Film Club's equipment and storing it in the Raindance Soho office on the weekends. After 9 months, the film completed to critical acclaim.

In 2000, his next film, MEMENTO, bent the rules of linear progression, earning indie and critical awe - despite his adoring mother, who was overheard at the Raindance screening saying, "Nice film Chris, but what was it about?"

Now, miles from his no-budget debut, he has co-written and directed the biggest opening film Hollywood has ever seen, resurrecting both the Batman franchise and box office with The Dark Knight.

Congratulations and a big Raindance 'Well Done' to Chris Nolan!
Smooth Negotiating

Stellar Network have organised a cross-industry event for Wednesday 30 July that will give you the opportunity to hook up with fellow professionals, gain inspiration, drum-up support and come away with numbers and the seed of future collaborations.

If you've the seed of an idea, project or need (or all three), take the microphone to tell the group all about it.

Book at

Free for Stellar Network members
£3 for non-members
£5 on the door
Distribution in the Wee Hours

Stacey Parks, author of The Insider's Guide To Independent Film Distribution, is just back from her World Book Tour and wants to give everyone who was unable to attend one of her distribution talks in person, an opportunity to attend one 'virtually'. Due to the time difference, you might be virtually asleep, but here are the details anyway.

Tuesday, July 29
6pm PST/9pm EST/1am GMT

On the Virtual Book Tour call you will learn:

# The benefits of considering Distribution BEFORE you make your film and how to accomplish it

# What you can do to compete in today's overcrowded marketplace and make a more 'distributable' film (and this doesn't mean compromising your art)

# The Distributor's predicament in the current landscape and how filmmakers can turn this to their advantage

# A step-by-step system to follow to get the best results for your film, whether you are targeting traditional distribution, self-distribution, or both

# The 5 most important guidelines to follow when making a film that will increase chances of getting distribution or make it easier to conduct your own campaign

Click here for more information

Smokin'! Elsewhere

UK films increased takings by 50% last year

Were the 70s the high point of American cinema?

The British Medical Association attacks the film industry - Keira Knightley leads fightback.

Alumni II

We also received this email yesterday from Zuzana Jochman, who took a Producer's Diploma last year:

This weekend whilst shooting my next project - UNDERGROUND ("love strikes before a bomb") - in one of the highest security spots in the St James Park area, a stone's throw from Westminster Abbey and Scotland Yard, with no permit for exteriors (to be a real "underground" filmmaker), I was stopped for a while by the Royal Court of Justice security who were about to confiscate my tapes.

This was a hilarious opportunity for me to put on one of my most innocent of faces and I just said "this is a student film" and like all of your tips it worked! The troops melted away and I carried on shooting.

I was praised as an extremely organized, creative producer and genius director who "takes the actors' skills to a higher level" and who always shoots on budget and ahead of schedule.
Get Connected Connecting Wit Da Yoot

Get Connected, a charity that provides a helpline for young people, are launching Nobody's Perfect, a new website for young writers, actors and directors to showcase their talents to professional writers, producers and directors.

Young people between 16 and 25 can submit film, scripts and music to win the chance to produce six short films that address issues like self-harm, sexuality and bullying.

The finished films will then receive a premiere in the capital at the Odeon Covent Garden.

For more information, go to
Guerilla Reportage

NOISE Festival 2008, the Europe-wide media showcase for young creative people aged 25 and under, is searching for the unheard opinions of young creative people in the UK and Europe.

Here's your opportunity to be a Guerrilla Reporter for your generation, your culture, your way of life and to champion your vision. It's your chance to stand up and be heard. Helping to bring your issues to the public and create some NOISE.

The challenge is to reinvent the definition of Reportage.

Outcomes for the best entries include: a mentorship programme with your local BBC Station; the chance to develop and get your piece aired nationally across all media; NOISE "Dream Job" placements at BBC, Film24 and a £1,000 worth of creative equipment if your piece covers where your live and your heritage.

How to Enter: You can submit stories using words, illustration, blogs, mobile phone pics/clips, photos, film/video, podcasts or animation.
You can enter an existing piece of work that fits the Reportage Brief or produce an entirely new one.

For further information, and to download the brief please visit


Cinema Extreme is now Open!

Dear Filmmakers,

I am glad to inform you that the UK Film Council, Film4 and The Bureau's award-winning short film scheme CINEMA EXTREME, in association with Skillset, is now open for applications.

If you are interested in submitting your scripts or ideas, please read the regulations that has been attached, or visit our website.

In 2008/9 Film4 and the UK Film Council will select and fully finance up to 4 shorts films. The maximum budget per short film will be £50 000. This year we will be considering scripts and one page ideas.

All info and application form are available on our website:

Call closes 12th September 2008
Chuck Palahniuk Quote

"Did perpetual happiness in the Garden of Eden maybe get so boring that eating the apple was justified?"

Chuck Palahniuk
Working the Net


Music Video Directors Wanted

Seeking talented and creative music video directors.

Showreel is a must.

Apply if you know you can deliver on budget and on time.

When applying for the position, please include:

* a bit about yourself
* links to where we can get your showreel or see your work, website / myspace / videos
* your CV



LIGHTING CAMERAMAN with own equipment (Sony Z1 - and any lighting is a
bonus) needed to shoot a 2nd location for music video on 26/27 July.

I cannot offer any money but food, expenses and a great crew are offered -

Please email me on for more information.



Your clips wanted for art installation

Dear British Filmmakers,

We would like to ask you for your support: we are looking for some 15-secs videoclips for our medial art project STUMBLINGBULB.COM!

Until october 2008 we are going to construct a full-dome-video-installation in our studio in munich (germany) which intends to merge cinematic visions from all over the planet. Our call is addressed to you, your friends and everybody else who is interested!

STUMBLINGBULB preserves short moments, individual instants that move us, excite us, unsettle us or bring us out of balance.

We are looking for beauty and irritation, we are seeking for an immediate truth which remains beyond the intimate visibility. Just let your minds wander, there must not be any limitations to your fantasy, as long as your clips are of exactly 15 seconds length and work without spoken words.

Upload and watch all clips at

We are really looking foreward to explore your point of view!

kind regards,

Max Fey & Jan Gassmann


Cast and Crew Needed

Looking for cast and crew for low budget feature film, in particular experienced sound person, music scoring, sound and light equipment.

Check out

We have DOP from Columbia Tristar and a production team with very good credits (BAFTA nomination, Berlinale talents, Pathe Entertainment, BBC and Golden Compass), a TV star in the cast and Sony as sponsor. Filming end Sept - mid Nov. Deferred payment.

CREW: Please email your CV to . Please mention in the subject : 'CREW - the role(s) you apply for - your name'

CAST : Please email your CV + PHOTO or your SPOTLIGHT LINK to Please mention in the subject : ' CAST - the role(s) you apply for - your name'.

Let's Get Lost Competition

The Oscar-nominated LET'S GET LOST starring Chet Baker and directed by Bruce Weber is released on DVD on 28th July, and to celebrate, we have five copies to give away.

LET'S GET LOST uses excerpts from Italian B movies, rare performance footage, and candid interviews with Baker, musicians, friends, battling ex-wives and his children in what turned out to be the last year of his life.

Click here for details of how to enter

*Grand Guignol
literally meaning 'large puppet' in French; originally a reference to the famous classic shock Parisian theatre (during the 1900s) which specialized in gruesome melodramas with gory special effects; the term now refers to a play/film with sensational, macabre, horrifying, dramatic, and gothic content
Examples: Mad Love (1935), The Devil Doll (1936), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Theatre of Death (1967), Interview with the Vampire (1994)
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Joe Pearshouse and the Raindance team
Elliot Grove
Suzanne Ballantyne
Will Pearce
Jesse Vile
James Merchant
Natasha Carlos
Katherine Waters
Zoe Carter
Amelie Thille
Chris Hill

In Memory Of Kermit Love

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