Shit Or Get Off The Pot Filmmakers Advice | Raindance

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My mum used to hate indecision and dithering. Whether it was one of us kids playing while on the loo, or my farmer dad trying to decide which crops to plant in the spring, my mum would always say ‘shit or get off the pot.’

It’s about commitment. Isn’t it strange how one’s life accelerates when we commit to a dream? Days, weeks and months flash by as if nothing.

Indecision causes a paralysis that is numbing and soul-destroying. Indecision is often caused by fear. The fear of what happens if you fail to keep your dream alive.Or the fear of failure.  When I look at my own life’s regrets they are almost always caused by indecision. I have gotten very good at resisting making a choice.

What you resist, persists.
Carl Jung

I have written countless emails and web posts about the extraordinary training sessions at Raindance. I have endlessly applauded the spectacular films and filmmakers we have screened at our amazing festival over the decades. What is really hard for me to convey in words is how Raindance can give you a boost and a lift that you simply won’t get elsewhere.

Joining Raindance is like joining a tribe. A tribe of like-minded people. Opportunities like Raindance don’t come along very often – opportunities where people like you and me can make massive changes to our career and our lives.

But Elliot, why did you start Raindance?

People used to ask me why I started a film festival. They’d say we have London Film Festival here in London, and TIFF in Toronto. I was told I hadn’t the ‘balls’ to continue after the first horrifically hard years. But I did – thanks in large part to the support and kindness the Raindance community has shown.

While the Raindance Film Festival is an outstanding cinema experience for audiences and filmmakers alike, Raindance is so much more.

Raindance is an outstandingly original and powerful professional development initiative. Raindance is also an innovative film school that has shaped the careers of hundreds of writers, directors and filmmakers.

Here I am going to start sounding sentimental. Or perhaps evangelical like my family before me.

What is the goal of Raindance?

Everyone involved in Raindance has exactly the same goal. We want you to succeed. We want you to take a stand and express yourself creatively.

If you do join us here at Raindance, you will also be joining with hundreds of other creative people all over the world. All of us trying to reach our creative potential together.

Now, about the public health crises…

Everyone is understanably worried about the viral pandemic. But here’s the trap. News headlines blaring doom and gloom provide the perfect excuse for indecision.

I too suffered indeciseness the first ten days of the lockdown. But not any more. Here’s what those ten days taught me:

Your vision and your ideas are more important now than ever before. With Raindance you can become fully self-expressed. I don’t want to see anyone I know shut down and dispossessed of creative expression. And remember, we are living in very troubled times – a world filled with cynics who do not see the meaning of creativity and art. Plus this health crises which is giving politicians the power to dismantle our democracy.

It’s totally fine to disagree

You don’t need to agree with me. I’m all for debate. And you don’t need to feel excluded if you don’t have creative ambitions either. Many of our patrons feel that way. But they believe what Raindance is about is so important they contribute as patrons to help Raindance be what it is.

Raindance isn’t about giving you some sort of elixir that will zoom you to the top. It’s about welcoming you to a whole new peer group that will hold you to higher standards, inspire you to let your full creativity explode.

For these reasons, Raindance exists. To share knowledge, experience and to encourage each other to raise our game and continue the journey to success, however we individually define it.

Are you ready to move beyond the fear of the current crises?

Let’s kick some ass. Now, are you ready to get off the pot?



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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