Become A Boring Filmmaker In 10 Easy Steps | Raindance

How terribly and drippingly cool to work in the creative industries. You get to wear the coolest clothes, sport the strangest hair dye and give yourself the most glamorous sounding job description imaginable – and get away without proving any real talent or ability. Yet here I am about to tell you how to become a boring filmmaker!

Another defining aspect of the creative industries is there is no code of conduct which means anyone can say pretty much anything about themselves without having any proof to back themselves up.

This creates a situation where filmmakers in particular have become boring.

Here, tongue firmly in cheek, are 10 ways to become a boring filmmaker:

1. Use complicated film industry slang words

Why speak clearly and sensibly when you can, in fact, roll the simplest concept into a series of complicated scenarios. Brush up on film industry definitions – both technical and financial. Sprinkle these terms liberally through each sentence that you speak or write. The more obscure the term the better.

2. Sound really important

When asked any question, respond by lowering your voice, clearing your throat slowly and meticulously – and then begin to speak. Speak in phrases that sound meaningful (but aren’t). Stab the air repeatedly for emphasis.

If you are writing, remind the reader repeatedly how fortunate they are to be able to access the high pinnacles of your ability.

Whatever you do, don’t poke fun at yourself. After all, no-one dares to approach the altar of your ego without bowing down. And that’s not ever going to be funny.

3. Ramble on and on and on

Why answer with succinct and precise answers when a simple concept can be expressed with paragraph after paragraph? If you really want to know how to be really boring, take tip number 3 and practise it day in and day out until your are very confident, that no matter how simple and short the answer could be, you are able to extend it into a response many lines long. After all, you have such an intellect that a mere mortal may be unable to understand the logic behind your short and brilliant response. Therefore, by taking a short answer and expanding it with great detail and spiced with repetition you are merely reducing the chances of being misunderstood.

While you are at it, remember that a subset of this rule is to go on and on about anything way too long.

And that includes writing blocky and chunky paragraphs on websites and in letters.

4. The tyranny of the vanity business card and job title

What ever you do, get two business cards. Get one that lists your name and occupation – say, film journalist, or photographer. Then go to a film organisation and get them to give you another business card and a vanity job title, like “Consultant”, or “Creative Director” or “Executive Contributor”.

Film organisations fall for this all the time. Even Raindance dishes out vanity cards with swishy job titles to try and impress other boring people at other film festivals.

By the way, it doesn’t stop with the actual business card itself. Once you have duped someone into giving you a swishy title, you can start to fabricate imaginary CVs and career accomplishments and plaster them on your website. Boring.

5. Ignore the audience

Resist the urge to speak or write naturally. A quick way to be boring is to completly ignore your audience and speak as if you are addressing an audience of one – yourself. If anyone challenges you and accuses you of being boring, remember that you don’t care.  Rise above such petty criticism. Because you are too beautiful.

6. Get some pictures

How many times has a friend come back from holiday, sat you down for a Friday night “catch up drink” and started the conversation with: “I have got to show you some photographs!”

This is a time-tried and tested technique to make you boring.

Get lots of pictures of you with famous people – even if you have to photoshop yourself into them. Get other pictures of you swanning around at film festivals (holding your vanity business cards of course). For added boring bonus points, make sure that these photographs are sited in as many exotic places as possible.

7. Branded sunglasses

Make sure you constantly flip on sunglasses with a large major design log on the shaft. Make sure everyone sees the logo. If necessary, nonchalantly gesture to it, or tilt your head 45 degrees to make sure they see it. Carry the glass case in your hand for everyone to see. Don’t put it in your bag. Why hide your lights under a bushel?

If possible, don formal wear whenever possible. Girls: a slinky party dress mid-morning makes you boring almost instantly. And guys – haul out the shirt and tie. It’s been true for generations: a suit, especially with a tie knotted a bit too large and a suit cut a little bit too wrong will make you the dullest gent on the street.

8. Name dropping

This tip is as old as the hills and barely merits mentioning. Dropping names of important people into your conversation is a sure fire way to become the biggest stiff on the street. For added marks, never use the surname. For example “when Quentin and I…” or, “Marty said to me…”

9. Let others fill in the blanks

Why substantiate your statements when you can make a statement, and close off with “well, you know…” and let the listener or reader decide what it was you are referring too.

Naturally you are by this point hoping that everyone you meet will be so awed by your intelligence that they won’t have the balls to challenge you. And that, my friend, is really boring, you know…?

10. Bad mouth others

If you want to get the “best bore around” label, start badmouthing everyone you can think of to as many people as possible all the time. You will quickly get known as the most boring person there is.

Fade Out

I hope that these are some useful tips on how to become the most boring person around. I thought I would expand on points number 2,3,5 and 9 above and add one further pointer:

Bonus: Celebrate continuously

Never go out for a social drink. Instead ‘celebrate’ for example, repeatedly announce things like:
‘Yippee, I won!  Time for champagne.”
Now isn’t that boring?

I am pretty sure I have forgotten a way that a filmmaker can be boring. Can you think of anything? Let me know.

Yours in filmmaking,

Elliot Grove



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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