10 Google Shortcuts Filmmakers Use - Raindance

How many times a day do you search on the internet? If you are like the hardworking team here at Raindance – dozens of times. We are always searching the internet looking for new ideas, new people and fact-checking films in preparation for the film festival this autumn.

How do you use the internet? Do you keep typing words into Google until the right article pops up? We used to. Until we started pooling our tips to make our work easier. This list is going to make your life a whole lot easier.

Shortcut #1 Word definitions

If you ever need the definition of a word, just type in the word define: followed by the word you need a definaition for.
Do it like this:

Shortcut #2 Specific File Formats

Here’s one that Frederica uses all the time. She’s taking some extra courses and is usually in the office before sunrise reading and researching away. Let’s say you are looking for a screenplay online, like Tarantino’s new script, Django Unchained. Most scripts on the internet are in PDF format.Do it like this:
Do it like this:
“Django Unchained”filetype:pdf

Shortcut #3 Searching A Specific Phrase

Let’s say you are interesting in narrowing down your search from, say, film directing, to filmmaking on your phone. The quotation marks cause Google to search using that exact and entire phrase, rather than bring up webpages that about filmmaking that also mention using your phone to call someone
Do it like this:
“filmmaking on your phone”

Or, suppose you really want to know which are the top film festivals to apply to.
Do it like this:

“world’s top film festivals”

Or, lets say you have just finished a short film, and don’t know where to send it.
Do it like this:
“world’s top 100 film festivals for shorts”

Shortcut #4 Excluding Words

Lets say you want to do a search for something but want to exclude a specific word to narrow down the results and save time. Lets say you want to research film festivals, but for whatever reason you don’t want to submit to a french film festival.
Do it like this:

film festivals -france

Shortcut #5 Similar Words and Synonyms:

Suppose you are searching a word, but want to include similar words (NB, this is a tilde (wiggly) not a dash))
Do it like this:

raindance writers ~studio

Shortcut #6 Fill in the blanks:

Use the * symbol as a placeholder for any words you can’t remember, or don’t mind interchanging on a search.
Do it like this:
raindance live *

Shortcut #7 Numeric Range

This nifty and rarely used tool allows you to search for specific words or phrases within a numeric range. Lets say you want to search for opening night films between 2009 and 2011.
Do it like this:
raindance opening night 2008..2011

Shortcut #8 Calculator

If you are in a real rush and need a quick answer just type in the expression into Google.
Do it like this:
355 * 1.75
The answer will pop up in the search window

Shortcut #9 Area Codes and Telephone Numbers

Let’s suppose you have a missed call and you don’t know who it is. Simply type the telephone number into Google, and you will see who has called you
Do it like this:
020 287 3833

Or say you want to know which country is +252.
Do it like this:

Shortcut #10 Search Within a Specific Website

Great for if you want to find an article or some information within one website, rather than the whole web.
Do it like this:
Raindance site:indiewire.com

Bonus Shortcut #11 Google Alerts

Be the first to know!

We use this all the time to track people or key phrases we are interested in. Enter in a name of phrase you want to monitor, and you can choose daily or weekly updates. Never be left out in the cold again.

Do it like this:
Raindance Film Festival

Got your own?
Send it in to feedback@raindance.co.uk



Photo Credit David Martinez / BIFA 2018

Few people know more filmmakers and screenwriters than Elliot Grove. Elliot is the founder of Raindance Film Festival (1993) and the British Independent Film Awards (1998). He has produced over 700 hundred short films and five feature films: the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead (2006), Deadly Virtues (2013), AMBER (2017), Love is Thicker Than Water (2018) and the SWSX Grand Jury Prize winner Alice (2019). He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance BREXiT trailer 2019

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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