On the back on the BIFA's 2013, we are reminded of the great talent the British Film industry has to offer; some of the nominees and winners were fresh new faces and others were regulars to our TV and cinema screens. Many film makers come and go through the film industry and, unfortunately, the industry is not always a kind one. However there are steps you can take to equip you with the knowledge needed to make it in the film industry, take heed of these wise words; they will be of use to you in future:
1. Their Scripts And Screenplays Don't Tell Stories
One of the most common failings with films submitted to the festival is that they lack structure; if there's no story, people won't watch it.
This is the same for documentaries; the best documentaries have a strong and engaging story with a beginning, middle and end.
Once you have the bones of your story, try to condense it down to one or two lines which are at it's heart, this helps to keep focus and ensure that everything you write links back to that.
2. They Don't Clear Music Rights
Music is an integral part of a film and can really put your film on the map. But remember: You can't put someone else's music in your film without their written permission. If you do, you are in breach of copyright laws in every single country in the world.
3. They Don't Understand Social Media
Social media has grown to gargantuan proportions and can be intimidating to tackle. Getting a firm handle on what you need to do to build a following of people for you will be invaluable for gaining support. Here are some articles to help you:
4. They Don't Move With The Times
The films that people love to watch are ground-breaking, either with regard to topic or techniques used. Films like Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity have inspired many Film-makers and played on trends of the time.
Take a look at what you need to know with our 14 Trends Film-makers Watch in 2013.
5. They Don't Have a Marketing Strategy
Successful Film-makers can visualise the film buyer and distributor of their film BEFORE they make it. To successfully market and promote your film, you need to know exactly who you are promoting to.
The article below will give you the essentials for that all important press kit.
6. They Don't Network
It's a people's industry. If you don't talk to that person sitting next to you, you may miss the opportunity to work with the producer/director/writer you're looking for.
They may not be able to work on your project, but they might know someone or they might be able to give you the advice that will solve your problem.
Get started by coming along to our next Boozin' and Smoozin' on the 2nd Monday of each month!
7. They Don't Make Films/Write Scripts
Practice makes perfect. The cheapest way to learn is to learn from your mistakes and successes! If you can't write a short script, no one will commission you to write a feature. No matter where your talent lies, start filmmaking.
Get together with a few mates and film something on someone's mobile phone. Then, with whoever still wants to do it, make another. And another. Your first mobile phone film may not have been BIFA worthy, but with a couple of films under your belt you'll be rapidly improving.
There's no better way to learn how to make films than by making films.
If you're hitting a wall when making your film and want to learn how to get through it, Raindance offers many courses to help you. If you are shooting your first few films, perhaps try this one:
99 Minute Film School which is £15 or FREE for Raindance Premium members
8. Don't expect handouts from government
The government has slashed arts funding over the last five years and we may have to expect more cuts to come.
Do not rely on government funding!
Use social media, use contacts, and use your initiative.
9. They Don't Train
Everyone makes mistakes when they're starting out, but you can minimize these by learning useful techniques and talking to people who know their stuff!
Film theory won't help you when you're learning to make films, but listening to people with practical filming experience can. They've done it before and they can give you hints which will help you avoid some of the nightmares that first time film-makers often face.
If you feel there are gaps in your knowledge, there are plenty of courses Raindance offers to help you:
10. The Favourite Whine of Failed Film-makers
"We can't make a film, or write a screenplay because..."
Don't make excuses. Make Movies. Write Scripts.
They Say 'But I don't know how anything works'
Google and Youtube are wonderful inventions; if you don't know something, find out! There are loads of classes available and hundreds of websites with hints about every aspect of filmmmaking. Our indie tips include articles on everything from special effects to directing.
11. They think "I'll fix it in post"
With all the advances in post production technology, you can now do almost anything in post. And with software getting cheeper all the time, it's easy to rely on it to fix our mistakes, but don't be fooled.
Whether you're dubbing the audio or getting rid of a boom in shot, fixing stuff in post should only be used as a very last resort. If there's any way that you can fix it during production it will almost always work out quicker and easier than sorting it in post.
If you get everything as good as it can possibly be then post-production will be a calm and stress free proccess
12. They Alienate Their Crew
The words please and thank you cost nothing yet so many people forget them. If you're making a low budget film then the chances are that most, if not all, of your crew are working for nothing because they love your project, so be nice to them.
Try to get them decent food and decent coffee. When you're frustrated that the sun has gone in on that perfect shot, don't take it out on your DoP. When a train goes past just as you're filming a pivotal moment, don't take it out on your sound engineer.
It's simply good manners!
13. They Don't Get Permission to Film on Location
The rules on where you can and can't film in London are notoriously complicated.
It mostly depends on which borough you're filming in and how much disruption it will cause, but it's best to do your research well in advance of filming. The last thing that you want is to have your schedule disrupted because you suddenly discover that you cannot film somewhere.
You'll also need to make sure that you have permission to film on any private property, and be clear on whether your location is private or public property.
14. They Don't Consider Other Opinions
If you show someone your script and they have constructive criticism don't ignore it - you may not agree but consider whether it will improve your script. The same is true if someone on your crew has another idea of how to achieve an effect.
People who have worked on different projects will have different approaches to a problem, but make sure you give someone's idea full consideration.
15. They Don’t Consider Other Opinions
If you show someone your script and they have constructive criticism don’t ignore it – you may not agree but consider whether it will improve your script. The same is true if someone on your crew has another idea of how to achieve an effect.
People who have worked on different projects will have different approaches to a problem, but make sure you give someone’s idea full consideration
16. They Believe Their Own Press Kit
Being narcissistic is part of the artistic personality. One needs a certain amount of arrogance as an artist. How else does a painter know where to put the brush?
Sometimes, however, one’s judgement gets clouded and you need to recognise this and be open to criticism. It’s also a good idea to surround yourself with a couple trustworthy friends ballsy enough to kick you in the pants when you spend too much time on your high horse.
Now, back to your writing and filmmaking.
Hope to see you and your film at the festival
😉 Now, back to your writing and filmmaking.
Raindance Film Festival is now open for submissions until 20th June 2014 at the latest. For more information on how to submit a film for Raindance Film Festival 2014, visit out website
Hope to see you and your film at the festival!