The Thrill of Winning at Raindance - Raindance

We received this message from Rebecca Graham and thought we’d share it with you. Rebecca is the director of Dance4Me and the winner of last year’s Raindance Web Fest.

My name is Rebecca Graham and I am the director of Dance4Me. I had heard about Raindance Film Festival but never had heard about the web series competition before and so when Dance4Me was born it was simply an idea conceived within a team.

After writing scripts for a number of years and turning those scripts into short films, my team and I had generated a new idea. Everyone likes dance right? In addition, everyone likes drama. So why not combine the two! Dance4Me was born out two genre’s reality TV and dance and it was my job to script a narrative that felt as those it wasn’t a script as well as directing it. I went about creating a fictional world. What was new about it though was that I based the storylines of the characters according to whom we auditioned and gave the parts to. So in essence they were only playing themselves and in a contrived situation.

There was over 8 weeks of dance rehearsals for two songs. Everyone had busy lives after all and these were professional dancers as well. The rehearsals were all real. All the jokes, the tension and the flirting within the dance studio was authentic and so I kept the camera rolling always. This generated new storylines and in essence, we were already filming.

I wrote the wrap around scenes that took place outside of the studio. All these were scripted yet I allowed everyone to improvise their lines. This made the situations even more realistic.

We finished filming and it came down to myself and the camera operator to edit, Emilie Dubois. That we both found the Raindance Webfest Web series pilot competition. I looked at all the footage. We had more than enough to create a 5-minute piece. We decided to go for it and we had less than 2 weeks.

Frantically editing day after day we managed to pull together a 5-minute piece that we thought had potential and so we entered the competition.

I don’t think I was quite prepared for one week of campaigning to get votes though. We hit the ground running though. I can honestly say I woke up at 3am nearly every night in a cold sweat checking online to see how our voting was going. We had a frantic twitter campaign going. Facebook as well. Emails were going far and wide. Our university marketing department was tweeting it out and even the tutors and students were voting. I littered my campus with posters and beamed Dance4Me on the big screens for all the students to see with a link for them to vote.

At the final closing, we had 2630 votes and was in second place. It was still anyone’s game.

Emilie and I attended the weekend of very insightful seminars and screenings all geared towards web series. I highly recommend going to them! On the last day they announced the winner by playing the winning pilot. As I heard the music of Dance4Me blast out into the cinema room I screamed with delight!!

It felt unreal. We’d actually won!

Since winning the prize of £2,500 and use of the Dailymotion editing suites in Paris. It has opened new doors and possibilities. The prize money went on to fund more than one project that has includes short films and a short documentary entitled ‘Pride, Pole & Prejudice’ that has already won an award as I pitched it to a live audience and a panel of industry filmmakers and funders. ‘Pride, Pole & Prejudice’ has also been screened at the newly revamped Regent Street Cinema.

Winning Raindance web series pilot 2014 also started conversations with commissioning editors at BBC and Sky TV.

The possibilities and outcome of winning this award are endless and the experience of taking part is priceless. My advice to anyone taking part in this competition is to keep your story current and fresh. It is a great opportunity, so really go for it.

Here are links to Rebecca’s work:

Pride, Pole & Prejudice


There’s no reason for you not to submit your work now, is there? Check out how to apply to Raindance’s DailyMotion Web Series Pilot Contest.