Raindance Interns, Sex Spams and Filmmaking

Like many film companies and organisations, Raindance interns run the show. A great part of my day is spent with some of the newest and brightest talents in the country, training them and then watching them disappear away from Raindance into the wild wild west, and the process starts over again.

This blog, for example, is run by Raindance interns who do all the hard work. I waltz along once and a while, post something kinda mediocre like this and let them pick up the pieces.

Let me tell you about one of our ex-interns, Frederica – who talked herself into a work experience position at Raindance, which means, financially, more or less, we buy her lunch.

Anyway, back in the summer of 2009, Frederica started a 6-week volunteer position, one that I was glad to see her fill as she had done such a brilliant job on a shorter placement the summer before.

On her first day, she asked me what to do, and I gave her an impossibly difficult and complex task which I hoped would take her the entire week, and thus reduce the time I needed to spend with her. To my amazement, she finished the job in twenty minutes and asked me for another job, and again finished it in record-breaking time. I could quickly see that Frederica was going to be really good, and if I was going to use her effectively, it would mean I would have to put in the effort to stay a step or three ahead of her. Exhausting.

The third time Frederica turned to me and asked for a job I was emptying my junk mail – and wow do I get a load of junk – hundreds every day. As she asked me what to do next I realised I had paused at the title of a sex spam in my junk mail folder: 5 Ways To Make Her Come Every Day.

I wondered why I was pausing at this particular headline when I realised that the phrase “5 Ways To Make… Every Day” is actually highly emotive. I opened the sex spam and saw a rather well-structured article. I copy pasted the text into word, and did a search and replace for the work COCK replaced with FILMMAKER and sent the text over to Frederica, who had no idea where this idea had come from. This new project kept Frederica silent the rest of the entire day, and the resulting article, 10 Things Filmmaker Use Every Day is one of the highest visited pages on our website.

Thus we discovered the power of the list-based article: The ten of this, the seven of that and so on. From then on,  the Raindance interns and I will be scouring sex spam emails to get inspiration for new articles for Raindance. Reader beware!



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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