You might wonder how I decided to write an article on plagiarism.

We have a fabulous postgraduate film degree here at Raindance. It's probably the most unique and flexible of any film degree programme anywhere. We've developed this painstakingly with our education partners at Staffordshire University.

Revolutionary or not, our postgraduate film degree must still meet stringent university education guidelines. This led me to - a website for educators . has an app for detecting plagiarism. I was very curious. I've just this month had a competitor who has taken one of our exciting new courses and claimed it to be their own. Sure enough, the plagiarism app confirmed the truth. Most of their web page had been copied from ours. Kerching. has an excellent website on the different types of plagiarism. While much has to do with academia I thought there were several points of relevance to screenwriters. For example, in the writing courses I teach I am constantly amazed how often the same idea is rehashed and rehashed. calls this 'self-plagiarism'.

So, fasten your seatbelt and have a quick scan down the page to see if any of the 9 'circles' of plagiarism strike an accord. Once alerted, you can now avoid!


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.

He founded the Independent Filmmakers' Ball in 2014

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.