Habits of sucessful filmmakers

I have been watching festival submissions and cleaning out my old files this bank holiday Monday and there are 2 things I thought I would like to share with you:

The first is an article titled The 4 Habits of Successful Filmmakers.

The second is a unique problem solver. The ultimate way to shift the buck: I am definately going to hang this one on the office wall tomorrow.

Ho hum. Back to watching submissions for this year's Raindance Film Festival.

My hero: Henry Moore

Went to see the Henry Moore exhibition at the Tate Gallery - OMG.

I used to work for him as one of 40+ technicians amany moons ago.

I've written a piece I call Lessons Filmmakers Can Learn From Sculptor Henry Moore

I'm back from Cannes Film Festival

It was a very good Cannes this year - and excellent for the Raindance Film Festival - thanks mainly to the really hard work by the Raindance team: Rory O'Donnell, Julian Chappelle, Amelie Thille, producer Joe Pearshouse, Chris Presswell and director of programming Suzanne Ballantyne. Quite a team! Or, as one party host said - 'That's a lot of canapes!'

I'm still meeting tons of Cannes newbies who are making the same mistakes year after year.

Here's a list of lessons independent filmmakers can learn from Cannes Film Festival

Canon The Story Beyond the Still Contest

It's the first ever user-generated HD Video Contest where photographers become filmmakers, and we all see beyond the still.

Vote for films for the next chapter and watch previous all Canon shot shorts.

Cannes Survival Toolkit 2010

In celebration of the Cannes Film Festival, Raindance has assembled some terrifically useful information.

You might want to have a look at, either to make your trip to Cannes easier, or, to make your thoughts of Cannes more interesting, especially for independent filmmakers.

Brussels Short Film Festival

I have just left the after party of the Brussels Short Film Festival - and quite a party it was with free Chimay and hor's d'oevres!

Should you ever want to come to the Brussels Short Film Festival (and I highly reccommend it) there are 2 hidden secrets about Brussels that you should remember before you alight in this fascinating and dynamic city:

There are 2 thing that are virtually impossible to find: Cash Points, and toilets. Hilariously - at every party or soiree event I would be told on arrival what the toilet facilities. I was even drawn maps and shown arrows point o a variety of convenience points in private property and further. Once that detail was out of the way, parties are pretty much the same as elsewhere.

Why Brussels Short Film Festival?

There are 4 reasons filmmakers should attend film festivals

The World's Top 100 Festivals For Shorts


Elliot Grove
Raindance Film Festival

A pitch guide: Live Ammo attendee

By Paul Bryan

Paul attended a Raindance Live Ammo event in February of 2010. Here are his thoughts and tips for newcomers.

I really enjoyed the Live Ammo session. It was my first time at such an event and I came away thinking, 'there's nothing scary here'.

I made some notes that were basically 10 short bullets of learning that I took from the night to guide me when I do a pitch.

This was my take on it...

1) Be Brief

If it takes 2 minutes to say - you are most probably waffling. The best pitches were about a minute long.

2) Stick to Concept

Many pitchers are so in love with their ideas they feel compelled to spell out unnecessary detail such as character names, ages, traits and interests. Pitches should be at the concept level only.

3) Make use of Pigeon-Holes

The panel wanted a fast orientation on the project so that they can pigeon-hole it into one of several business propositions they can understand - so don't start by revealing the story. Tell them ... it's a low budget comedy for the indie market targeting the kind of audience who liked film XXXX. Don't start with ...Jonny is a 28 year old loner who meets an emotionally damaged go-go dancer...

4) Keep it Original

Most ideas are highly derivative of existing work at the plot and character level and so require exceptional execution to find interest from the panel - which is almost impossible to convey in a pitch unless you have an existing reputation in the business. Focus on original situations/settings and the moral pulse of the underlining story.

More tips from Paul