My favourite things of 2016 become ever more important in this tumultous year. Brexit and Donald Trump?

The danger is the sharp turn to the right will mean a death of the arts. A world without art and artists is a sobering thought. Here are some of my art heroes of the past year:

Favourite things: Music

I love music of all sorts. 2016 saw the loss of two of my all-time favourites: David Bowie and then fellow countryman Leonard Cohen. Website A.V Club has a great list of the top 20 albums of 2016 - it's well worth a browse.

Somehow they've missed out my favourite: Future Standards by the inimitable Howe Gelb. Here's my favourite track where Howe is joined by Lonna Kelley.

Favourite things: Art

David Datuna was a juror at this year's Raindance Film Festival. His revolutionary work has to be experienced to be believed. Seizing on the madness of the recent American election capaign Davis has created a stunning piece of cenceptual art in November.

Favourite things: Film

I saw La La Land last night (December 17th) at BAFTA followed by a Q&A with writer/director Damien Chazelle , composer Justin Hurwitz and Emma Stone. It really blew it away. Again to mention my motherland, but Ryan Gosling is awesome (as is Emma Stone). I also love the story of how La La Land nearly didn't get made.

Favourite things: 360/Virtual Reality

Samsung VR Camera

Samsung Gear VR camera costs about £300.00

Back in January I realised there wasn't anyone teaching how 360/VR could be used for story. I bumped into the most amazing 360/VR filmmaker, Jonny Johnson of SpeedVR.

The Raindance Saturday 360/VR Film School was born. Jonny demonstrates and talks about the ins-and-outs of shooting in-the-round in a unique one day class.

The kit we use on courses is this little beauty which edits and loads onto Youtube in seconds. It's ideal for learning and for proof-of-concept. Yes, Raindance will earn about a fiver if you buy it >HERE<

Favourite things: Dance

You don't need to like dance to like Michael Clark Company. Your only pre-requisite is to adore David Bowie and to love dancers doing things with their bodies you never thought possible.

Favourite things: Health

Health is energy.
I've always had tonnes of energy. I'm pretty easy on myself actually. I've a few simple rules I follow diet and exercise-wise. I walk about seven or eight miles a day and watch what I eat.

I also follow a couple of blogs:

My current favourite is a new one CalmingCrohns.com.  There's always inspirational messages, health tips, recipes and ideas that work for everyone, Crohn's sufferers or not (luckily I'm not).

Ecology

Two things keep me up at night: Politics and the horros in the East. and the ecological damage we are wrecking on the planet.

I became near-vegan before I started Raindance because of the ecological damage a carnivorous diet does to the environment. Most think of me as a nutter (or nut-eater). Here's an interesting read from Terence Blacker: The awkward ecology around eating meat.

I could go on. I will likely add to this later. Have you some favourite things? Let me know >HERE<

 

Elliot Grove
Elliot Grove founded Raindance a quarter century ago as a thought experiment: Can you make a film with no money, no training and no experience, he asked? When people like his first intern Edgar Wright started making movies he founded the Raindance Film Festival to celebrate their work in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998.

Here you can see Elliot with a very happy Slumdog Millionaire crew at the British Independent Film Awards

Elliot has produced over 700 short films, and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 (1997) was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of £278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe, Japan and America. In 2006 he produced the multiple-award winning The Living and the Dead.
In 2013 he relaunched the production arm: Raw Talent with the cult film director Ate de Jong. Their first venture was the psychological thriller Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. finished late 2013.

He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008), Raindance Producers' Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking (Focal Press 2013) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). He was awarded a PhD in 2009 for services to film education. His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication next year.

Elliot teaches several courses at Raindance including Lo To No Budget Filmmaking and Writer's Foundation Certificate.

Read articles by Elliot Grove.