Make It Your Year – Go From Film Fan To Filmmaker

Happy 2018! It’s time to go from film fan to filmmaker

Here at Raindance we’ve decided that January is going to be a special month. What better month to re-invigorate your dreams than January? Of course, everyone repeats that every day, but we really mean it. Why? Assert yourself: let’s go from film fan to filmmaker.

Well, look at 2017 just gone. A glorious year full of embodied national and international pride and excitement in the forms of Brexit, the U.S. election and humanity’s survival of yet another bullshit Apocalypse, to name a few.

That’s why we’ve decided that to follow this collectivist example January will be the month of the individual. So far this year, arguably for the first time in history, we’ve become good at social activism. This month, it’s your turn to become good at something you’ve always wanted to try.

Go from film fan to filmmaker.

Raindance is here to provide some of the best practical and theoretical film courses, tutors and events around.  Kick your cinephilia out of the realm of ‘fan’ and into the world of ‘filmmaker’. We’ve got all the old favourite courses and events, along with some brand spanking new ones to keep our students the best-informed and most adaptable on the scene. Take a look below for an overview of how we’re kicking off the month.

And remember – your January can only be defined by you. Take the leap and make it a success story.

Excited? So are we. Let’s get cooking.

This man has a camera

MA Info Session 10 January 6pm-7pm

You’ve heard about our revolutionary Postgraduate Film Degree? Drop in for an evening chat on how this revolutionary programme could enhance your filmmaking career. Register for a free place here

Taster Day Saturday 13 January 11am-3pm + Networking drinks

OK, so you’ve heard that Raindance doesn’t teach filmmakers, we make filmmaking. This is your chance to meet the filmmakers who will teach you how to become a filmmaker. Eight taster tutorials PLUS a drink on us. All for a fiver (Or free for Raindance Members) Bag a ticket here

99 Minute Film School 16 January 6:30pm-8:30pm

You can’t learn filmmaking in an evening can you? Let us try to teach you with Raindance founder Elliot Grove taking you behind the black curtain. Just £25 or free for members.
Find out more here

Directing Essentials 18 January 6:30pm-8:30pm

If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a film director this is it! Take this short, sharp class on film directing basics. Just £25 or free for members.
Find out more here

Saturday Film School 20 January 10am-5pm

This is the one-day introductory film class everyone is talking about. Taken by over 15,000 wannabee’s since it’s launch a few years ago. If you’ve wanted to write, produce or direct a film, this is a must. With Elliot Grove and Patrick Tucker
Just £150 or £59 for Raindance members.
Register online here

***Writing for Comic Books and Graphic Novels 20 January 10am-5pm

Brand new and hot off the press, featuring one of the most successful graphic novelists around. It’s #1 New York Times Best Selling Author Tony Lee. Find out if your idea has legs as a comic book.  Then learn how to adapt your writing to the strictures of the graphic novel script format. Finally discover what do to with your work once you’ve finished it. Exciting.
***Save 33% Until January 2nd!

***Ate de Jong Directing Masterclass Sat & Sun 27/28 January 10am-5pm

This weekend film directing masterclass is presented with one of Europe’s most respected and seasoned film directors: Ate de Jong. He will be illustrating his masterclass with clips from his films such as DROP DEAD FRED, ENIGMA, DISCOVERY OF HEAVEN, HIGHWAY TO HELL, MIAMI VICE, DEADLY VIRTUES, LOVE IS THICKER THAN WATER and many more.
Don’t miss this chance to study with a master
***Save 33% Until January 2nd!

Raindance Foundation Certificates – London

Six different evening classes – five nights each. Pick your poison and specialise!

Filmmaker’s Foundation Certificate begins January 23rd

Writing, directing, no-budget producing all explained in this information packed evening session.
Want more?

Writer’s Foundation Certificate begins January 24th

Learn how to take that idea for a movie out of your head and onto paper in five Wednesday nights.
Don’t procrastinate!

Directors Foundation Certificate begins January 25th

The bacsics of film directing. Learn how film directors look at a screenplay, cast and work with actors, direct the shoot and oversee the editing process.
Learn how to join this class here

Producers’ Foundation Certificate –  begins February 27th

In filmmaking it’s about getting the script, then getting the money. Getting the money means getting the paperwork together. Learn how to create the business plan, plan the legal contracts, prepare the budget and schedule and finally how to get the money. Find out how.

Documentary Foundation Certificate – Begins February 28th

If you’re interested in causes or issues of social justice then learning how to create and monentise a documentary might be the route for you. Documentary filmmaking is hotter than hot right now. Don’t be left sitting on the sidelines. Get some.

Technical Foundation Certificate – Begins March 1st

Learn the basics of editing, sound, lighting, shooting with DSLR, and low budget special effects in five single evening classes. Take them all, or take the one(s) that interest you. Let Raindance’s professional tutors help you demystify the technical side of filmmaking. Get some.

Higher Film Education at Raindance

Raindance Special Events

Boozin’ n’ Schmoozin’ – Second Monday of every month

This is our monthly networking event, free to members. It’s a chance to pick up cast and crew, or commit yourself to someone else’s project. Or just get drunk and exchange business cards. Suit yourself.

Of course, this is not all that’s going on between now and the end of March. We’ve got countless more courses, events, talks, workshops and networking parties to get through. To see them all, check out the tab on the right hand side of the page here or take a look at our super-packed London Calendar.

We hope to see you at a Raindance event soon! And remember: make 2018 yours. Kick yourself from film fan to filmmaker.

The Raindance Team


The post Make It Your Year – Go From Film Fan To Filmmaker appeared first on Raindance.


VOTD: Final Cut 2017 Reminds Us That a Terrible Year Was Filled with Great Movies

Final Cut 2017

Tonight brings the end of 2017, and it couldn’t come soon enough. This year has been a nightmare for a variety of reasons, whether it’s because of hurricanes, mass shootings, or the disaster that’s currently living in the White House. Thankfully, we got some relief from this year thanks to the movies.

Nick Bosworth, an editor for JoBlo, has created Final Cut 2017, an entertaining assembly of footage from hundreds of movies released over the past year. The movies all blend into each other with the perfect soundtrack fueling the edit, including the surprising prominence of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” which was featured in several movies this year. This is the perfect way for cinephiles to finish 2017 and get ready for the new year.

Watch Final Cut 2017

Here’s what Bosworth had to say after looking back at 2017:

“It’s been a long and challenging year to say the least with a vast amount of twists and turns along the way. A year of bad decisions, good decisions and growth in ways I couldn’t possibly imagine. I couldn’t have gotten through it however without the support of my amazing girlfriend Lynn, my family, our leader JoBlo and the amazing site crew, my close friends and of course…the power of amazing cinema.

If I’ve learned anything in this past year, it’s that time, honesty, friendship and clear-thoughts are precious things that one must take great care with or you risk going down the wrong path. With that I present my return to the year-end movie mashup with Final Cut 2017 and wish everyone a brilliant and wonderful 2018.”

Indeed, the power of cinema and the strength of our relationships will be what gets us through the hardest of times. While this year was undoubtedly full of challenges, with plenty more on the horizon, we’ll get through them by protecting what we love. So in 2018, let’s continue to love movies and each other. That might seem a little saccharine, but we can all use a little sentimentality every now and then.

The post VOTD: Final Cut 2017 Reminds Us That a Terrible Year Was Filled with Great Movies appeared first on /Film.


Steven Mnuchin got a present much worse than coal for Christmas this year


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin got an early Christmas present on Saturday when a mysterious package addressed to him was found near his Bel-Air home late Saturday night.

Los Angeles Police Department’s bomb squad was called to Mnuchin’s neighborhood and, according to Associated Press, the package turned out to contain horse manure.

The manure was gift-wrapped in a box and marked as from “the American people.” 

Aerial footage from @NBCLA‘s NewsChopper 4 shows officers investigating a large box wrapped in wrapping paper; it’s not clear what is inside the box addressed to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

— Whitney Ashton (@whit_ashton) December 24, 2017 Read more…

More about Manure, Poop, Christmas Present, Steve Mnuchin, and Culture

One More Look Back at This Year in a Final 2017 Movie Mashup Video

2017 Movie Mashup Video

The year is almost over, there’s only a few more movies to open in these final few weeks, but that means it’s time to start looking back and appreciating the year in movies. 2017 gave us some incredible movies, big and small, weird and crazy, entertaining and emotional. This final video recap is made by the “Movie Nerds” YouTube channel, and is called (by them) the “2017 Movie Mashup Supercut“. It packs in footage from pretty much all of the big movies this year, including Blade Runner 2049, Detroit, Wonder Woman, Blade of the Immortal, Wind River, Raw, Dunkirk, Get Out, Coco, Wonder, Logan, Free Fire, and many others. These end of the year videos are great to watch now, not only to remind you of all the good times in the cinema, but give you a few hints at some movies you might’ve missed and still need to catch up with. Enjoy. ›››

Continue reading One More Look Back at This Year in a Final 2017 Movie Mashup Video

2018 will be the year cinema starts responding to the Trump election


Times being what they are, it’s been hard not to read topical commentary into just about every movie we saw this year. 

But even if the parallels were clearly there, most of those films weren’t, and couldn’t be, direct responses to Trump. Most of them were in production well before the 2016 election. (There are exceptions: Steven Spielberg’s The Post came together in the early months of this year.)

That changes right about … oh, now.

Next year’s Sundance may well be the first major film festival that is truly of the Trump era – in that it’s probably the first one with a significant number of films that were made and selected after the election. And it shows. Read more…

More about Movies, Sundance, Sundance 2018, Entertainment, and Movies Tv Shows

Official Trailer for Obama Presidency Documentary ‘The Final Year’

The Final Year Trailer

“People need to be the center of our foreign policy thinking.” Magnolia Pictures has unveiled an official trailer for Greg Barker’s new documentary The Final Year, which profiles the last year of Obama’s two-term presidency. The documentary team follows Obama’s foreign policy team as thy coordinate and discuss global politics with the President, attempting to achieve some major goals in the last year (before it all gets undone ugh). This is an outstanding documentary (in many ways) that I recently saw at the IDFA Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, and I kind of loved it. There’s some great editing and music, but it’s also just a refreshing look at extremely passionate, determined, hard-working people who just want to make the world a more peaceful, better, safer, healthier place and gave everything to do that. Don’t skip this. ›››

Continue reading Official Trailer for Obama Presidency Documentary ‘The Final Year’

Get a Full Year of Support for Your NYC-Based Media Project with the Made in NY Fellowship

Individuals, small businesses and non-profits can get twelve months of workspace, mentorship and more for their Made in NY media ventures.

The Made in NY Media Center by IFP, in partnership with The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, is accepting applications for the third year of the Made in NY Fellowships. Ten one-year fellowships will be awarded to individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations in media and technology that value diversity in the industry. The goal of the fellowships is to increase and support diversity in the media and technology industry through a variety of perspectives and experiences.

The fellowship will provide a twelve-month membership to the Incubator Workspace at the MINY Media Center by IFP, mentorship with industry leaders and Media Center staff, and access to classes and networking events at the Media Center.

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‘The Florida Project’ Might Be The Best Movie of the Year [TIFF]

The Florida Project Review

The Magic Kingdom colors almost every scene of The Florida Project. Sean Baker’s achingly beautiful and heartbreaking new film is set in Florida (obviously), very close to Disney, and nearly everything in the background advertises the The Most Magical Place On Earth. Tourist trap stores with huge painted signs advertising Disney merch constantly lurk in the periphery.

But the characters in The Florida Project occupy their own kingdom, one comprised of rundown motels and abandoned buildings. These might seem like squalid conditions, but Baker finds a way to make them seem warm and welcoming without ever trying to glamorize them. The sunsets are fierce and gorgeous, lush pinks and reds and golds, vast and seeming to stretch on for infinity. They feel like home.

Read on for The Florida Project review.

At the center of The Florida Project is Moonee (Brooklynn Prince, astoundingly good here), an adventurous child who rules over the kingdom that is the motel she lives in with her struggling mother Halley (Bria Vinaite). By day, Moonee frolics wildly through the motel courtyard and beyond with her friends Scooty (Christopher Rivera) and Jancey (Valeria Cotto). Whenever films deal with children as the primary characters they run the risk of treating the kids too precociously, or worse, portraying the children as mini-adults. The Florida Project never makes this mistake — the kids here always seem like kids. They’re occasionally bratty, occasionally cruel, but altogether good. They find adventure and fun wherever they can, and it’s often a joy to sit back and watch them act out.

Brooklyn Prince’s performance as Moonee is the glue that holds all of this together. The Florida Project plays coy with just who its main character is at first — at the start of the film, all of the kids seem to be receiving equal time. Yet as the film progresses, it becomes more and more about Moonee, and about how her world is in danger of falling apart while she remains cheerfully oblivious. I’m not sure how much of Prince’s performance as ad libbed, but all of it feels 100% genuine; the type of raw, lightning-in-a-bottle performance that actors twice her age can only dream of. An outsider might look at Moonee’s living conditions and worry, but to Moonee, every day is a wonderful adventure. There’s so much to do, and there are so many waffles to eat.

Baker keeps the camera low to the ground often, putting us firmly into the visual field of a child — we’re down there with them, and the whole adult world is looming above. That adult world includes Bobby, the kindly motel manager played by Willem Dafoe. Dafoe is an acclaimed actor with an impressive career, yet it cannot be overstated how phenomenal he is in this movie. There’s an unmitigated goodness to Bobby, a weary but kind soul who wants to do the right thing. A character like this would be easy to cheapen and turn maudlin, but Baker’s script and Dafoe’s performance never performs this disservice. It’s a quiet performance, and much of the power comes from the somewhat sad, knowing glances Dafoe gives to the world around him. But just as often there’s kindness — Bobby can grow frustrated with the kid’s shenanigans, yet he’s always willing to give them a second chance.

Moonee’s mother Halley will never be a candidate for parent of the year. She sells knock-off perfume and stolen goods to make ends meet, and when that isn’t enough, she turns to even less desirable methods. It would be easy to portray this characters as a monster; a terrible person doing terrible things. But that’s not how The Florida Project works. Halley is flawed, yes – at times almost devastatingly so. But Baker doesn’t judge her, and Vinaite’s performance – blunt and at times even abrasive – is pitch-perfect. Halley is flawed, yes, but she’s trying.

Everyone here is trying. Trying hard to get through their day to day lives; trying to find magic in a frequently unmagical kingdom. Late in the film, Moonee and Jancey are sitting on a tree having lunch. Baker keeps the camera in close on the two girls, not really giving us a good look at the tree they’re perched on. “Do you know why this is my favorite tree?” Moonee asks her friend. “Because it tipped over and it’s still growing.” At this point, Baker cuts to a wide shot, showing a huge, sprawling, toppled willow. It’s a breathtaking moment, and the line lingers, perfectly summing up the characters in the film. They may have all fallen at one point, but they’re still growing.

The final moments of The Florida Project unfold breathlessly — tension is mounting, and there’s the queasy sense that something terrible is about to happen, like a destructive storm about to break. And then Baker does something magnificent — he follows Moonee and Jancey on one last adventure before the credits roll. Is it real or is it fantasy? It doesn’t matter. It’s magic. We can all do with a bit more magic in our kingdoms.

/Film Rating: 10 out of 10

The post ‘The Florida Project’ Might Be The Best Movie of the Year [TIFF] appeared first on /Film.


How the DIY Safdie Brothers Shot the Genre Thriller of the Year on 35mm Cinemascope

In ‘Good Time’, the Safdie brothers use their characteristic scrapyard DIY to bring Robert Pattinson into the ‘warped moment.’

“We wanted it to feel like lightning,” Josh Safdie said of his new film in an interview with No Film School.

And it does. Good Time is electrifying: every turbocharged moment of the bungled heist film has a lightning rod’s power to transform or destroy. Co-directors Josh and Benny Safdie, brothers who are known for their gritty, homemade movies, put the audience through its paces. Their film teems with manic energy, breathless performances, neon and strobe lights, and a pulsing synth soundtrack from Daniel Lopatin that underscores the film’s relentless experience.

In fact, watching Good Time is like riding the Coney Island Cyclone: it’s a genre film, or a “pulp movie,” as the brothers describe it—a thrill ride old as time. Its rickety structure threatens to collapse at every turn, and you emerge from the theater with whiplash.

“Once the movie starts, you have no option but to just accept it as, ‘I’m in the crazy story and I’m experiencing it.'” — Josh Safdie

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