I am always working on ‘deals’ – trying to rustle up money for the film festival, or trying to attract new sponsors to Raindance.

This morning, walking into work, I realised there are 5 stages to the deal making process.

1) The Flirt
A pitch to one’s network of the basic idea. You flirt, you try to get their attention, and when you do you try to get them to tell their network of friends and contacts about you. What you are hoping for is a reference to someone who might be able to help you.

Some of the best ‘deals’ at Raindance have started with a flirt with a friend or acquaintance in the most unlikely of circumstances.

2) The Tease
A formal pitch outlining specific deal points to one targeted individual. In this meeting you tease the target, and hope that they will take your propsosal back to their company for serious consideration.

3) First Kiss
The first complete pitch – a one-shot meeting – where questions are answered or not!
She either loves the kiss – or not. No amount of technique can make her change her mind, either!

4) Jump Into Bed
Deal negotiation – it’s about the style and motion. You either get along or you don’t

5) The Wedding
Close the deal, seal it with a kiss or a bottle of champagne.

A friend of mine saw this and said, thinking of the analogy: “What about Stage 6 – The Annulment – when they take you for every cent you have?”

But that’s not very Raindance, is it? I’m sticking with 5.


Photo Credit Jay Brooks / BIFA 2015

Elliot Grove is the founder of Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. He has produced over 700 hundred short films and also five feature films, including the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead in 2006, Deadly Virtues in 2013 and AMBER in 2017. He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance trailer 2017

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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