Censorship happens to indie filmmakers too

I got home last night and was tooling around on the internet when I stumbled onto an interesting article by British filmmaker Chris Jones. He, like me had DVD copies of his movies destroyed in the Sony warehouse fire during the summer riots.

I was shocked to read his blog about his deal offer from Love Film

Read the Chris Jones' post BANNED by legal action: What Is Your Film REALLY Worth To Love Film? bit.ly/u70dY0

How Film Directos Screw Editors

Our in-house post-production maestro, Christian Bell has been banging his head against the wall over the complete lack of film directors' understanding of how film editors work.

Read: 6 Ways Film Directors Screw Editors

Never Ask A Filmmaker These 7 Things

With the Raindance Film Festival underway for the 19th time, and with almost 300 filmmakers attending, it's important to know what (and what not) to say to filmmakers at the festival

I've had a whole lot of experience with filmmakers, and made every mistake under the book.

Read 7 Things Not To say To Filmmakers

Filmmaking: The Terrible Job Everyone Wants

We are getting ready to launch the 19th edition of the Raindance Film Festival with a stellar lineup of 100 features, nearly 150 short films from a record-breaking 36 countries.

Thats about 250 heart breaking stories from the participating filmamkers about how hard it is to make it.

Want more? I dare you: Read Filmmaking: The Terrible Job Everyone Wants

To LIve od Die In LA

One of the great thing about the Raindance Film Festival is you get to reconnect with filmmakers from all over the world - a bit like a mini-Cannes

One such filmmaker is Justin McGoldrick who worked his butt off here in London last year as one of our fabulous interns - and then went back to the States where he just finished another 6 month internship

He has written up some excellent advice

5 Things I Learned As A LA Film Intern

Chop The Price Of Filmmaking Softeware

Chop the price of film software

When film editor and shooter extraordinarire Christian Bell joined Raindance last spring we noticed he had the best filmmaking software kit of anyone we knew: just about every programme a filmmaker could ever need.

Then we found out it was all FREE! and legal!

It took a bit of arm-twisting, but Christian put together a Software Suite worth over £15,000.

And better yet, these are all Free and Legal versions.

Download Christian's Zero Budget Software Guide

I Just Got Rejected - Again

Raindance got turned down again for a UK BFI Festival grant this week. It's the 29th time our film festival, nearly 20 years old, has been refused public funding.

It's so easy, isn't it, to bet bitter and twisted after you have been rejected for that prized moment?

So I wrote an article about it - this one is going viral:

3 Ways To Reject Rejection


Need An Excuse Fo A Party?

A bit over 10 years ago the UK film Council was created to disperse UK lottery as well as UK government money. Raindance started applying, not just to the UK Film Council heqad office in London, but to regional offices and related programmes funded by public money.

The first one, the second one, the one that wasn't even opened, the one that was late, the one that didn't meet criteria set, the ones unfairly adjudicated, the ones faitly adjudicated until two weeks ago, we received (to no great surprise) our 28th rejection - this time from film London's Audience Development Fund. Strange, because we definately met all the criteria posted and were better qualified than all but 2 of the 6 film festivals who did receive assistance. And this wasn't even for money.

which leaves me here:

Application 29 is currently with the BFI. They have a special fund for film festivals who have lost money due to the economic crunch. Do we ever have the qualifications for this one, and I wonder if the new team at the BFI will give us a fair look on this, our 29th application.

And on Friday we whizzed off funding application number 30 to Skillset with just 8 minutes to spare - number 30.

Now, I'm thinking - 30 rejections from public bodies in 10-ish years is course for celebrations isnt it?

And given that Skillset themselves say they take a good solid 8 weeks to consider applications (quick by most standards) that would put their decision and likely rejection right into September. Add a couple weeks for the usual tooing and froing - I'm thinking

God damn - Lets have a P A R T Y !

30 applications for support for Raindance!
30 rejections!

Timings about perfect to celebrate Opening Night of the 19th Raindance Film Festival

Lets Reject Rejection
And Party All Night!
Wednesday 28 September!

7 Things Filmmakers Eat For Breakfast

A few years ago I was wondering why I was always having a serious case of the blahs about 3pm each day.

Then I realised I was eating the wrong diet, and since then I can out lift, out slug, out think or out run about everyone I know.

What have I done differently?

Find out how: Read 7 Things Filmmakers Eat For Breakfast

6 Ways Film Directors Screw Editors

Team Raindance might be losing it.

Maybe it's because Friday 17th is the last, no-excuses deadline to submit to the 19th annual Raindance Film Festival.

Here's what happened:

Christian our film editor (with headphones) sat staring silently at his screen for three wholes days. Then on Wednesday he let out a might roar and struck his head on the desk.

An hour later he wrote:

6 Ways Film Directors Screw Editors

Why 3 Act Story Strucutre Will Kill Your Story

I have been working with screenwriters at Raindance since 1992 The most common question new writers ask me is: 'Why can't I finish my script?'

If this sounds familiar, pause.
Is this because you lack talent?
Have you been taught wrong?

Pause a moment and reflect:
Why 3 Act will Kill Your Writing


Presenting Yourself To A Film Festival

With Cannes Film Festival around the corner it definitely is Film Festival Season

If you have a finished film, why not take a look at this new tip sheet:
Presenting Yourself To Film Festivals


The 11 Day Weekend Movie Competition

A bit tongue in cheek - but we were sitting around in the office yesterday and came up with the idea of making a movie during this insanely long 11 day weekend.

Then of course, how to make it a 'film competition' So we thought: Include a bit of the royal Wedding - next Friday - and now it's 'time stamped' so to speak.

Anyway, we have cobbled together some prizes. And we hope it inspires you to get out there, get off your butt and make a movie!

The info here: The 11 Day Movie

Getting Film Finance

For all of us living in the UK today was kind of a weird day. The banks (and bankers) have decided to start charging us Brits more money for their services so they can stockpile a larger cash mountain in case they screw up again.

Perhaps indie filmmakers should do the same as well.

But Hola. There is loadsa money about. And the UK tax credit scheme for private investors into qualifying businesses (of which filmmaking is one) probably have the best system in the world.

The question is, how do you approach those investors.

Here's my handy little guide on How Filmmaker's Should Approach Investors.

Hope it works for you.

Cool Little Vodcast

Lotta fun - I just did The Production Show: It's archived here:

Are You A Professional Or Amateur?

I was thinking around New Years Eve, 2009, looking at all the bits and pieces I had managed to do out of the Raindance office - it was quite a collection. The I realised I was nothing more than a hobbyist - I had ony spent an average of 2 hours a week. In 2010 I moved up the scale to 'talented amateur' with a grand total of 10 hours per week.

What makes semi pro?

read more details about my quest to move from amateur filmmaker to professional

Major Film MArkets

Berlinale starts this week, and with it, the European Film Market - the first major film market of the year.

Here's a job for Sunday: research and plan all the events where films are bought and sold in 2011 and see which one's dovetail into your career plans and budget!

The world's major film markets: http://bit.ly/gmcdMS

9 Ways Filmmakers Develop Legendary Careers

OK it's the W/E and I have had a proverbial few. All this by way of trying to explain that I hop I am not sounding too pompous.

Anyway - the farmer side of me - the side that looks at patterns, has come up with somethiong I thought you would be interested in:

9 Ways Filmmakers Develop Legendary Careers

Apps for Fillmaker: The essential Dozen

OK - really brief:

Apps are great. smart phones are great.
Here are the 20 top apps for filmmakers

10 Key Film Trends for 2011

My 2 main pre-occupations are the Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. Every waking moment I, and the fabulous Raindance team, do nothing except watch films, read scripts and talk to filmmakers, agents, financiers and distributors.

There were a number of troubing and currently unresolved issues this year. The continued implosian of the world's bankers thanks to their indiscriminate greed coupled with awe-inspiring lack of judgement. I fear they haven't changed a thing, and that we could be in for another total whammy.

And secondly, what we are doing to the environment causes me huge concern. And finally, what of our personal freedom and the freedom of the internet as ably and aptly pointed out by the entire Wikileaks fiasco. In fact I think there are many things filmmakers can learn from Julian Assange's Wikileaks.

Here are the key things we think matter to the world of independent film, in no particular order:

1. Alternative Content in Cinema

Digital and 3D screens are being installed in many British cinemas in a trend which will sweep the world.

Read the rest...