X-mas Cheer

So you didn't get exactly what you wanted for Christmas? Here are a few things movies have taught us about disappointing Holidays.

1. You could have gotten the the gift that keeps on giving.

2. At least you don't govern one of the economically worst states in America.

Jingle All The Way in 5 Seconds

3. Its the thought that counts.

The wooden pickle from Bad Santa (2003). Click the picture to see how the kid really put some effort into this gift.

4. Santa could have just been looking out for your well being.

10 Top Trends For Indie Film in 2009

I finally have had my arm twisted and have written down the things I observed film-wise this year.

Scanning past the article right now, I realise it is already getting stale - which means I might have to write the Top Ten Trends of the 00's. (Does anyone else hate the term 'naughties'?)

And then there are the most influential this and the most influential that of the next decade.

At any rate, you might now be totally bored, or you might want to read the list I came up with for:

10 Top Trends For Independent Film 2009

Sex Spams and Filmmaking

Like many film companies and organisations, Raindance is run on intern power. A great part of my day is spent with some of the newest and brightest talent 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 is run by ex Raindance intern Charlie Burroughs who does all the hard work. I waltz along once and a while, post something kinda mediocre like this, and let Charlie pick up the pieces.

Let me tell you about one of our current interns, who has jsut, BTW, 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 seacrhc and relace for the work COCK replace 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 Uses Every Day is one of the highest visited page on our website.

From now on, both Frederica and I will be scouring sex spam emails to see what inspiration for new articles for Raindance.

What a Film Director Does After You Shout CUT!

At the end of a take, you yell CUT.
What then?

My good friend Patrick Tucker says there are 10 things you need to do immediately, and 6 of them have to be done within the fierst 10 seconds.

Read more about what a film director has to do after yelling 'CUT'.

Michigan Film Festivals

Source: Associated Press

A former school in Michigan will now be housing an indie film festival in the coming months. A new film festival, The Detroit Independent Film Festival, is accepting films for its first festival on March 3-7.

Michigan Film Industry is a booming
Grand Rapids
Blue Water
Little Murder

The Fight Scene

Source: Lindsey Curran, Raindance Indie Tip

8 Tips on how to portray convincing fights on the screen.

Tip 3 : Motion

A static fist-fight looks dated and unexciting. Fights are dynamic and violent, and to achieve this feeling you can dictate the movement of the camera by the movement of the actors as they struggle and drag each other around the room. For example, if you start with a medium shot set up alongside the actors around head height, as they struggle one actor should drag or push the other across the room, perhaps into a wall. The camera should move with the actors across the room, without changing the height, pan angle or distance to achieve the strongest feeling of movement.
The actors will not be completely even as they move across the room, and if you follow them as a pair it will diminish the sense of motion that you are trying to achieve. Instead, keep the camera focused on only one actor, to maintain the dynamic feeling of the shot. Once the actors come to a stop against the wall, you can change the height, distance or pan angle, as this will emphasize that the dynamic motion of the shot has ceased.


Hollywood's Creative World Endings

Source: The Daily Beast

Hollywood has always been obsessed with the apocaplyse. Here is a top 10 take on the best Hollywood world disasters.

They are missing a few good classics though:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

War of the Worlds (1953)

The Blob (1958)

The Tarantino Character Types

Source: Reelz Channel

Do you ever wonder why Quentin Tarantino’s films so often feature the same set of actors? And why is it that each time Samuel L. Jackson, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Uma Thurman or even Tarantino himself appear in one of his films, they always turn out to be a perfect fit for the part?

In short, it’s not only the actors who make repeat appearances in Tarantino’s films. The characters they play also appear in each one of his films, undergoing different incarnations but always fitting a clearly defined character type.

The Top 10 Tarantino Characters

A Raindance Indie Tip