Name: Ellen Almanza
Home City: Lawrence, Kansas
Home School: University of Kansas
Studying: Communications with a Business Minor
Ambition when I graduate: To find a job that does not feel like work, and to eventually start a family.
When was I at Raindance: May-July 2018
What I did: Daily Tweets for the London and Toronto Twitter accounts, wrote a few articles, typed subtitles for videos, starred in a Youtube video, and answered the phone.
Worst moment: Being close to a Paul bakery where I got lemon tarts almost every day I worked.
Best moment: Meeting Tony Kaye, director of American History X.
Name: Li-Wei Chu
Home City: Diamond Bar, California
Home School: University of California, Davis
Studying: Cinema & Digital Media
Ambition when I graduate: To make money to support my crippling vinyl addiction
When was I at Raindance: April – June 2018
What I did: Tweet my ass off every day, move pianos, pick up Prosecco, answer the phone, and attend various Raindance events
Worst moment: My first Raindance phone call: Picking up the phone only to be greeted by the thickest Irish/Scottish accent I’ve ever heard mixed in with just a little bit of static. A lot of quizzical ‘hello????’s and ‘can you repeat that please’es were exchanged.
Best moment: Playing with the smoke machine, closely followed by chatting to people in the office. Y’all are lovely.
University: Bristol University
Studied: Film & Television MA
Post-Graduate Experience: I got the internship after moving to London for 3 months & I was looking for more experience. It’s been great as I’ve learnt a lot and tried to make the most of all the classes/events we’ve run whilst I’ve been here.
When was I at Raindance: January – March 2018
What I did: Digital marketing, assisting with running courses, writing blog posts, and making (incredibly successful/informative/viral) YouTube videos.
Worst moment: Whenever we ran out of milk for tea…
Best moment: Anytime there was cake in our videos / Re-enacting the Blair Witch Project with Ziggy as the titular character / Discovering my true calling as a Meryl Streep impersonator.
Name: Christina Craig
Home City: San Francisco, California
Home School: Boston University
Studying: Film & Television
Ambition when I graduate: To be employed
When was I at Raindance: October – December 2017
What I did:
Social media, wrote a couple blog posts
, watched a lot of Russian films. One time I made an “Out of Order” sign for the toilets.
Worst moment: When the toilets were out of order
Best moment: Any time Martyna’s dog Ziggy was in the office
Name: Frank Muñoz
Home City: Hong Kong/ Monterrey, México
Home School: Boston University
Studying: Film and Television
Ambition when I graduate: Find a paying job in the filmmaking world (wishful thinking)
When was I at Raindance: October – December 2017
What I did: Worked on Social Media, wrote a few blog posts, assisted with Raindance courses
Worst moment: Every time the wifi would cut out
Best Moment: Getting to attend the Russian Film Week premiere night
Name: McKinleigh Lair
Home City: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Home School: Ithaca College
Studying: Documentary Filmmaking
Ambition when I graduate: I think I’ll go to law school and work in media/entertainment law for a few years to fund my future filmmaking endeavors. But the end goal is to produce and edit indie docs.
When was I at Raindance: August – December 2017
What I did: Festival planning and management, video editing, filmmaker hospitality, film student communication, wrote a blog post or two.
Worst moment: Broken-toilet days
Best Moment: Spending time with creative people from all over the world
My social media: Follow me on Instagram!
Name: Kosmo W. Crocco
Home city: Boltiere, Italy
School/University/College: IED, Milano, Italy
Studying: Film and Visual Arts
What I’ll do when I graduate: Write and Direct films.
When I was at Raindance: April 2016 – June 2016
What I did: I answered the phone, helped with events like the ball (the baaaaaallll!!!), Live Ammunition and Boozin’ N’ Schmoozin’ and wrote articles too.
Worst moment: Saying bye on my last day.
Best moment: The Live Ammunition!
What I learned: I improved my communication skills, learned how a film needs attention and every step matters as the next and the previous, I learned how massive the effort to manage a great festival like Raindance is. This experience has also consolidated definitely my decision to become a filmmaker.
What I’m doing now: I am working on two scripts for features films I want to direct, sending my latest short film to festivals, developing other two plots and trying to finally step into the film industry.
Name: Kelly Chery
Home city: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
School/University/College: Ithaca College
Studying: Film, Photography, and Visual Arts
What I’ll do when I graduate: Write a film, direct the film, and maybe act in the film.
When I was at Raindance: January 2016– April 2016
What I did: I mostly worked on blog posts. I also contacted perspective clients and students to promote what Raindance has to offer such as room bookings and the MA program. And of course, I did what most interns do and answer telephones and run errands.
Worst moment: Talking to Michael Jackson.
Best moment: Talking to Michael Jackson.
What I learned: Most of the blogs I wrote were reccomendations for films. Having to reccomend films in a way enhanced everything I have learned when analyzing a film. I had to switch back and forth from the mind of a filmmaker to the mind of a spectater, something that comes more naturally since working here. My communication skills also grew because I had to speak with people on the phone and relay messages to my co-workers. Working here at Raindance also reinforced what I already knew and that is I want to be a filmmaker.
What I’m doing now: I am working on a script for a feature film I hope to direct in the nearer future. I am also working on finishing my kast few semesters at College.
Name: Dilek Osman
Home city: London/Essex
School/University/College: Birmingham City University
What I’ll do when I graduate: I’m hoping to get more experience in the film industry and work my way up.
When I was at Raindance: July – October 2015
What I did: Anything anyone wanted me to do really, there was always something! A lot of the time I was taking phone calls, working on social media and organizing spreadsheets. Being an intern during the festival period meant it was very busy which was great.
Worst moment: Wouldn’t say there was a terrible moment, but having to crop film stills for the Vue website and saving them on a very slow shared drive was pretty bad, thanks Harvey!
Best moment: It’s pretty hard to choose because the whole experience was great. I finished on the day of the Closing Gala so it was really nice for my final weeks to be spent at the festival. I really enjoyed working with such great people in the office.
What I learned: The whole experience was a definite eye-opener to how film festivals run and how much there is to get done behind the scenes. I’m now a lot more confident when speaking to industry professionals, and with my writing, I was terrified to post my first article on the website.
What I’m doing now: I’m in my final year of University, working on a couple of personal projects and my dissertation.
Home city: Cambridge (Royston, actually but no one knows where that is)
School/University/College: The University of West London
Studying: Film Production
Post-Graduate Experience: I got the internship right out of graduating from Uni. I have enjoyed so far collaborating with the team as well as sharing the experience with my plus ones.
When I was at Raindance: July-October 2015
What I did: I filmed and edited the weekly update web series videos, along with other announcements including Dailymotion Web Fest Nominations and Course trailers. I edited trailers for “Showing Tomorrow…” Preludes that were shown during the festival and Raindance Awards nomination videos that were shown at the ceremony of the Festival. I was asked to edited footage taken behind the scenes from “Deadly Virtues” and make “The Ties That Bind : A Look Behind the Scenes,” which features on the DVD extras for which I was credited as Editor and Music. I also subtitled a couple of trailers that came without subtitles and learned how to make neon signs on photoshop. I learned a lot and hopefully contributed just as much.
Worst moment: The printer during the festival conked out and we had to print and cut out name badges by hand! It was the biggest disaster I have ever experienced in an office in central London.
Best moment: It was great to see my edits on the big screen. On the Friday of the Awards ceremony I had another job in Milton Keynes but I made it back for the last 6 minutes of the show and I saw my “Best International Features” nomination clip in a cinema full of people.
What I learned: I didn’t know anything about DCP’s before joining and I saw behind the scenes in lots of aspects of running a festival.
What I’m doing now: I am working on a few of my own projects, comedy scripts and various freelancing jobs. This may or may not include abusing my photoshop abilities.
Name: Dora Ash Sakula
Home city: London
School/University/College: University of Exeter
Post-Graduate Experience: Escaped from the post-graduation pressure by running off to Mexico. Came back, made a doc with a colleague about a group of artists in Cambodia [https://vimeo.com/124645519], had a few internships, which brings me to the incredible time at Raindance.
When I was at Raindance: July-October 2015
What I did: I most updated social media especially Twitter and Facebook (I left the instagraming to Baptiste), answering the phones, dealing with room bookings. I loved writing articles for the blog, usually about whatever interested me at the time. Writing reviews for the festival catalogue was a great job, what could be better than watching films and writing about them. I was very lucky to be there during the festival, a chaotic but exhilarating time. I got to help out and attend all the events, see any films that weren’t booked up and attend the the various panels and talks going on.
Worst Moment: When the card machine for the festival passes broke and we had to print them and cut them all out by hand. Cutting straight is much harder than it looks…
Best Moment: Before the festival started I would say posting a letter to Martin Freeman was my most exciting moment. But after seeing him the flesh that took a backseat. Getting to attend the masterclass with one of the best screenwriters of our time, Guillermo Arriaga, was probably the high point.
What I learned: The internship gave me a great insight into the inner working of a film festival. I never quite realised how much work was put into such events. It was a great experience working with the Raindance team. Talking to indie filmmakers at the festival has inspired me and I have learnt that if you have a vision go for it.
What I’m doing now: Working on a few of my own projects and looking for a researcher/runner job in a production company. I will definitely be making full use of the experience and connections I gained at Raindance.
Name: Baptiste Charles
Home city: Toulon, France
School: Kedge Business School, Marseille
Studying: Cultural management
Ambition when I graduate: Write novels and films, get better at directing, and if that doesn’t work out, work in the film industry.
When I was at Raindance: July-October 2015
What I did: Basically, anything that was needed around the office, and also lots of social media as I was quickly noticed as the intern with the Instagram addiction. So I helped with the marketing, helped around the courses as well. I was lucky to be around at the time of the festival, which was an exhilarating time -so exciting and nerve-racking at the same-time.
Worst moment: There really was no bad moment during my internship, but if I had to choose one hard moment, I’d go for a time I picked up the phone to someone who had an accent I couldn’t understand. I had to make them repeat three times their name and what they were calling about. But that’s about as bad as it gets.
Best moment: I was lucky to work during the festival, so there were many exciting moments. Meeting Martin Freeman was quite exciting, though. There’s a picture of him on the red carpet being asked which fans are the best, from Captain America, The Hobbit or Sherlock (to which he replied Sherlock, obviously); if you look at the background, I’m in there trying not too look starstruck. Other than that, attending Guillermo Arriaga’s master class was fun. At one point, he showed a clip of “21 grams” and sat in the audience, and chose the seat right next to me. So I watched Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro on the screen utter lines the guy next to me had written. I loved that he laughed at his own jokes when watching the movie.
What I learned: Ahead of the festival, everyone is running around in a hurry, and everyone will be stressed out. So I learned how to be more efficient with my questions, which is a great asset, to be honest. Also, the amazing thing at Raindance is that there are many nationalities in the team, so it allowed me to actually put a finger on what it’s like to work in a multicultural context in a way no class could have taught me.
Home City: Brighton, UK
School/University/College: Open University
Ambition when I graduate: I’d like to work in the film industry but not sure exactly how yet! I would also love to be involved in festival programming or film reviewing, probably because I am a judgmental person who loves to criticise stuff, especially films. Ultimately I would like to be in a position where I can make my own documentaries, specifically really funny character documentaries like The King of Kong.
When I was at Raindance: April—July 2015
What I did: I primarily helped with the British Independent Film Awards, which involved a lot of researching of British films. Also lots of social media, answering phone calls, logging film submissions and generally doing whatever what was asked of me. That didn’t include making any type of hot beverage – this intern stereotype thankfully does not apply to the Raindance experience.
Worst moment: When I was given the task of stuffing about 200 envelopes and was informed around 150 envelopes in that they were self-adhesive and therefore, I did not need to lick them. I felt both silly and quite nauseous.
Best Moment: It’s hard to pick one, it really has been such a great experience! I really enjoyed the hours of conversation that with my fellow interns (and Harvey), we covered practically every single topic known to man, sometimes twice. While working of course, we’re just really great at multitasking. I also really enjoyed answering the phone and helping people, trust me its not as scary as it seems. Oh, and we got free donuts once.
What I learned: I learned that I definitely still love everything about film, that people working in this industry are really nice (at Raindance, at least) and I am leaving feeling even more inspired to pursue this line of career than ever before. I also finally learned how to use twitter, sort of. Ok I still don’t really understand it.
What I’m doing now: I finish my degree in October so I’ll figure it out then, that’s like 4 months away which is practically forever! I’m considering gaining a bit of filming experience to try and get onto a Filmmaking Masters program. Then I can become the next Alex Gibney or Werner Herzog, minus the cool voice.
Name: Matt Howsam
Home City: Medway Towns, Kent.
School/University/College: Royal Holloway, University of London.
Studying: Media Arts.
Ambition when I graduate: The ultimate goal is to direct a distinctive short/ feature for festival circulation and if I can collaborate with my film mates and make this happen every year then I will be very content. I would love to work on set in several capacities or write about cinema. It’s a tricky industry to crack as, we all know, it requires a combination of skill, contacts and luck. I’m confident that I have a grounding in two out of three of these, just need some luck!
When I was at Raindance: May – July 2014
What I did: Everything and anything you can get your hands on. The placement at Raindance was so rewarding because I could constantly alter what jobs I was doing and there was no shortage of work to get stuck into! We get involved with the organisational side of the company such as booking people onto courses and answering customer queries. Yet, you can write web articles on practically anything that interests you in the world of film. It was fantastic to have this creative freedom and to shift from organisational work to creative thinking. Another great part to the internship was working as an assistant on the Raindance courses – I learnt so much from Patrick Tucker’s ‘Hands on Directing’ class. I also got to watch some amazing short films that were entered into the festival and give my own feedback on them which was a great opportunity.
Worst Moment: Not being able to understand a customer on the phone or being unable to provide them with the information they require is the biggest low you will feel in the office. It gets stressful on the first day but do not be too hard on yourself, like everything, it gets easier as you become a connoisseur of all things Raindance.
Best Moment: Definitely the people that you meet; the Raindance office is full of lovely, keen film enthusiasts so it is great to get into big creative discussions. It was a privilege to be part of the Independent Film movement.
What I learned: If you do not know something, ask. If you do not have anything to do, take the initiative to ask for something rather than just sit back. Learn as much about the company as you can before and during your placement. Apologise if you make a mistake. Always smile. Get stuck in. Oh and bake a leaving cake and you will be loved forever.
What I’m doing now: I have recently been asked to be 1st A.D on a short film being made this summer by an award-winning director that I am very excited about! Similarly, I am developing my own short to direct this summer. Also, I will be writing my university dissertation on Wim Wender’s ‘Paris Texas’. So thankfully I have a very busy summer ahead and then it’s back to university for my third and final year.
Name: Hayley Twyman
Home City: Tallahassee, Florida
School/University/College: Florida State University
Studying: English Literature
Ambition when I graduate: This very question strikes fear deep into my soul. So thanks for that. To put it in cinematic terms, I’m going through a The Graduate- like crisis. Well, minus the ambivalence and scandal. While I am unsure of what the future holds, I know that I love film, music, art, and literature. If I could find my way into any one of those fields, I would be thrilled. I’ll probably make an appearance at graduate school, too. There is, however, one thing I do know, and that is I will not be going into plastics.
When I was at Raindance: January – April 2014
What I did: I can corroborate my fellow interns’ story on this one: we do a bit of everything. I answered phones, replied to emails, booked people on to courses, watched films, greeted visitors, wrestled with spreadsheets, researched contacts, and did the occasional stapling. I was also fortunate enough to write articles for the Raindance website, which was great fun and put my English training to practical use. So don’t be fooled, it only seems like Raindance goes into winter hibernation after their busy autumn calendar. No, the good people of Raindance are still quietly working away beneath the feet of millions of tourists on their way to Trafalgar Square, and I can guarantee they’re working on something pretty special for you, the makers and patrons of independent film.
Worst Moment: Again, I’m going to have to jump on the bandwagon here: the (apparently) universally dreaded phone. But don’t worry, it gets better. Yes, answering the phones can be intimidating and stressful, but that lovely, grateful person you are bound to speak to will seriously brighten your day.
Best Moment: I really do apologize for my lack of originality, but the other interns have this answer spot on as well. My best moment is less of a moment and more of a schmaltzy feeling, but I have to say becoming a part of the Raindance team. It was a privilege to work with so many talented and creative people. And then there were my fellow interns—they were the best. It’s as simple as that.
What I learned: I don’t quite know where to begin, and if I get started I probably won’t know where to stop. In the interest of brevity, I’ll just say that I learned how to be a better human, professionally and personally. How’s that for an incomprehensibly vague answer? But it’s true.
What I’m doing now: Goodness gracious, you people with the terrifying questions. I’m headed back home to the red clay hills of Tallahassee to participate in Florida State’s graduation ceremony. And then I am going to breathe. Breathe very deeply, and take on the world, I suppose.