With the current heatwave melting filmmaker’s equipment, we thought it a good idea to remind ourselves how independent filmmakers are cool!

While independent filmmaking can be challenging, there is no doubt that being an independent filmmaker is the coolest of cool occupations and an independent film can become the flavor of the month amongst the cultural elite.

1. Everyone Digs A Filmmaker

Filmmaking has got to be just about the most glamorous job there is. But don’t fall into the trap of wannabee athletes who adorn themselves with expensive kit with numbers of their favorite players and then parade around trying to look cool. To be cool, you have to do it.

2. Independent Filmmakers Do What They Like

Is this cool or what? You get to put each of your ideas onto a screen, large or small. And if you do it right, you can get paid for it as well. Sure beats stacking shelves at the supermarket.

3. Independent Filmmakers Don’t Need Cold For Snow

Want to raise some eyebrows in the middle of a heatwave? Learn how to make fake snow!

4. Independent Filmmakers Don’t Need Money To Make A Movie

You used to need a mil or three to make a movie, but now filmmakers can make movies good enough to play in a cinema shot on their cellphones. Like Dicke Madchen’s movie Heavy Girls shot on a cellphone for €500 and played theatrically in German cinemas.

Watch the trailer here:

5. Independent Filmmakers Never Sit In Stuffy Classrooms

Filmmaking is about doing. And learning by doing. If you ever get stuck websites like No Film School, Filmmaker IQ, Filmmaker Magazine, Mentorless and Philip Bloom have dozens and dozens of tutorials on how to make movies. Of course if you want some individual mentoring and tutorials, check out the Raindance Higher Education programmes.

6. Nothing Like Hollywood

Sure, Hollywood filmmakers get all the headlines, but that doesn’t make them cool. It makes them subjected to a whole raft of rules, protocol and restrictions that independent filmmakers can ignore. Independent filmmakers are cool because they do what they want to do, not what they’re told to do to preserve some gol-darned image and need.

7. Independent Filmmakers Fear Not The Apocalypse

Read any newspaper and you will see daily stories about how screwed up our planet is. Independent filmmakers fear not the apocalypse because it makes filmmaking a whole lot easier! Read how filmmaking works in the post apocalyptic world.

8. Filmmakers Get To Surf All Day

That’s right. Independent filmmakers these days spend almost their entire day on the web. whether it is building their social presence, managing their online reputation or researching their latest dream, filmmakers have become successful users of the web. Isn’t that cool? The networking site filmmakers like me use is Stage32.com.
But hold on a minute! I just got an important Facebook message. Back in a minute!

9. Self Distribution

God how we at Raindance hate the term ‘self’ film distribution! Doesn’t it imply some sort of failure and therefore ‘lack-of-coolness’? But if you call it alternative distribution, or better yet, just plain old-fashioned distribution, then a filmmaker distributing film themselves becomes cooler than a cucumber. Read the 7 deadly sins of self distribution and see if you have the fortitude to call yourself cool, wear sunglasses day and night and dress all in black [I’ve been told that is cool].

10. You get to change people’s lives

In what other walk of life do you get a chance to make people change their ways? Novel – maybe. Health ‘how-to’ book? Maybe.

But a proper grown up movie, properly executed, and with a message that can speak to a wider theme, and which transcends genre can actually make people think twice. And then change their ways.

What a terrific power and scary responsibility. And nothing is cooler than this one.

[read the 10 elements of award winning movies]

Fade Out

OK, I didn’t go to film school and I didn’t manage to go to university. so, dear reader – what have I missed out. Please leave your thoughts, suggestions, omissions, ideas and otherwise in the comments box below.

Yours in filmmaking,

Elliot Grove

 

 

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PS: What are you doing reading this post when you could be out writing, producing, directing a film and looking really cool!

About 

Elliot Grove is the founder of Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. He has produced over 700 hundred short films and also five feature films, including the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead in 2006, Deadly Virtues in 2013 and AMBER in 2017. He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance trailer 2017

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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