Why Every Filmmaker Needs A Mentor - Raindance

There’s never been a better time to make a film. There are hundreds of film analysis videos online that will help you understand what film as a medium is all about, as many posts about the state of the industry, and what the trends are.

You can make a film on your mobile -in fact, one of the best films of 2015, Tangerine, was shot on a bunch of iPhones and revolutionised cinematography.

Moreover, the current political climate and state of the world means that we will need good art and important films more than ever. Film has the power to change the world.

Learning by doing

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Samuel Beckett, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century coined this quote which will probably speak to anyone who’s ever undertaken any form of artistic endeavour. There is very little chance for progress in art. Some directors who made masterpieces later made absolute turds.

As a writer, I learned that the formatting of screenplays is nothing compared to character story structure, dialogue, character, and it took five scripts for me to realise I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.

Looking back, my last one was perhaps tighter and better structured than my first one. Emboldened by this, I sent that last script to a colleague.

Why you need a mentor

Two weeks later, my colleague gave me feedback which only consisted of questions. “Where’s the moral anchor? Whose story is it? What’s your theme?” The call lasted twenty minutes and I lost sleep for two weeks until I knew what I needed to do with my next draft.

Reading books will only get you so far: you’ll learn about technique in detail and that’s useful. After having read those books, you’ll want to actually do it -writing, directing, producing… whichever field you’re interested in.

But there’s only so far you can go without having feedback. Film is, at heart, a collaborative medium. Never mind what the French have told you, there’s no such thing as making a film on your own; and feedback by someone who’s been there will be crucial to go pro, if you know in your heart of hearts that this is what you want to do with your life.

This is why our short courses are taught by industry professionals. This is why our Postgraduate programme pairs you with two filmmakers to advise you throughout your self-designed programme, so you can take your career to the next level. This is why our Fast Track course puts you in the room with an experienced filmmaker who will push your project.

Because you need mentors to make your films as brilliant as they deserve to be.



Raindance aims to promote and support independent filmmaking and filmmakers.

From new and emerging to industry pros, Raindance connects, trains, supports, and promotes visual storytellers through every step of their career.

The Raindance Film Festival runs each Autumn in London's Leicester Square.

Raindance has been delivering film training since 1992. A wide range of Open Classes to a 2 year HND Level 5 BTEC in Moving Images to a Postgraduate Film Degree are delivered to students on five continents, both in person and online.