I’ll start by being all prim and proper – Happy Holidays. I hope you are getting downtime and making space to get the rest that you need. Maybe reading these unmissable blog posts will get you fired up ready for another year too.

Reflections on 2017

I aways quietly reflect on the past year. How was this year for you?

This has been a year full of change for Raindance. We have been reflecting on the direction of our work and reconsidering where we should spend more time during the coming year. Notably, we have been revamping our education programme. And we’re focusing on VR Storytelling this year with a series of classes and events.

Two key people left the Raindance team this year and will be sorely missed. Rory O’Donnell, the London Course Director has pulled up roots and resettled in Japan. He’s teaching filmmaking in Tokyo. Tiska Wiedermann left her post as the dynamic Head of Postgraduate Film Degree to pursue her personal interests. We wish them both the very best.

Raindance hit milestones this year too. We launched the 2 Year HND Level 5 BTEC with 23 students and our innovative Postgraduate Film Degree graduated 26 talented students from around the world. The Raindance Film festival turned 25 years, and the British Independent Film Awards turned twenty. All the more remarkable given that Raindance is far too contemporary to source any public funding whatsoever.

Raindance social media hit another milestone, and now is in the top ten film festivals on Twitter.

None of this means anything without looking at you. The true joy of Raindance, and the reason we work so hard at Raindance is in connecting with you. All the content we create and all the events we produce are created with the intention of spreading greater awareness about the very best in new and innovative filmmaking and storytelling using the visual medium.

It’s your engagement with our website, our social media and our events in London, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, Brussels, Berlin, Barcelona and elsewhere that makes Raindance work. Without you, and without your comments and shares Raindance would fade into oblivion.

So a big THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your caring and sharing.

Elliot Grove and the Raindance Team

2017’s Top 11 Unmissable Blog Posts

Let’s get to it. Here, in case you have missed them and in no particular order, are the most highly rated Raindance articles this year:

On Being a Disruptive Filmmaker

In this Disruptive Filmmaking article series by Tiska Wiedermann, we look at new ways independent filmmakers and creative entrepreneurs are simply doing things differently, bucking the system, blazing a maverick trail or creating their own self-directed masterclass to get their media and film projects made and noticed. This isn’t film school. It’s film boot camp.

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16 Things Film Festivals Hate About Filmmakers

This post was simply an attempt to help novice filmmakers when submitting to film festivals – and not just to Raindance. The back-lash was fierce, and the comments hurled our way proved once again that filmmakers are tender souls easily upset.

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Net Neutrality: This concerns you too

Ken Loach isn’t known for digital know-how, but he was warning us about net neutrality in the Raindance 2013 documentary he produced about Julian Assange.

The repeal of net neutrality has huge implications. Politically, this means that Trump is once again trying to repeal what Obama did. The FCC chairman announced that “the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet”. Economically, this puts regulation of the internet in less benevolent hands. Should it go through, this means that telecom lobbies will be handed a major victory.

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Starting your own film company

At some point, the film bug will hit you. Starting your own film company is easy and straight-forward. It will also enable you to implement some money saving structures – if, and only if, you set yourself up properly from the word “GO”.

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Seven-story types professional storytellers use

Writing can be an exciting task. It can also drive you to distress. In my years at Raindance, I have learned that there are powerful thought-tools that professionals use. Identifying the type of story you want to tell is often the first step to making your writing flow easier.

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Impact Filmmaking for Social Change

In this thought-provoking piece, Tiska Wiedermann explains how to best position oneself and one’s film in order to provoke change. There is also a fascinating case study.

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Zero budget filmmaking tips

Because you can now make a movie digitally for little money it’s very easy to ignore some basic filmmaking tip that actually doesn’t require a mammoth bank loan to acquire.

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Virtual reality: New Medium, New Rules

Here’s the scary thing about VR. Everything Raindance teaches about filmmaking is totally irrelevant to VR content creators.

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Go from an average to great filmmaker

The peeps who started Netflix have many of the same qualities that you have. The difference? They polished and honed those qualities and made them shine. Why not look at the 7 qualities great filmmakers have. Then delve into yourself and see what you can work on to turn you and your career from amateur to great.

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Ten most expensive mistakes filmmakers make

This article is five years old but it keeps hitting the top 11 list. Maybe you’ve made some of these mistakes too. Or maybe, by reading this you can avoid the same dreadful mistakes I have.

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5 Habits of successful filmmakers

There is lots and lots of advice out there – but whose pearls of wisdom do you trust?  Remember, as you ponder, that Raindance doesn’t teach filmmaking. At Raindance we make filmmakers.

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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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