by Charmaine Gorman –
Today we celebrate Raindance Berlin!
The Raindance Film Festival began in 1992 in London when Elliot Grove decided he wanted to inspire and harness the filmmaking talents of anyone who wished to make film, even if they had no official training or money to put behind it just because everyone deserves the chance!
Moving on a meagre 23 years, Raindance Film Festival has grown to Raindance TV and Web and is represented in over 10 cities around the globe as an accessible and respectable film school where you can take short courses and accredited post graduate courses in all aspects of filmmaking. We at DUB are excited because since 2011 it has been here in Berlin! Berlin regularly hosts many different courses in scriptwriting and camera work, writing for television and editing, making a low budget movie, and even how to make a film on your phone. Brilliant! (see info below on the next courses!)
Scottish native and all round superwoman Amanda Clark runs Raindance Berlin. Even Elliot Grove realises he can’t be in every city at once and, naturally, needs like minded passionate film people to take the reigns wherever Raindance may be needed by the filmmaking industry and public. And so, we see Amanda around the Berlin film lovers haunts and today we want to share some of her insights about moving to Berlin, Raindance awesomeness and harnessing the inspiration of film. Ladies and gents – 10 questions with…..Amanda Clark!
1. How did you come to be a part of Raindance Berlin?
So coming from the U.K. and having studied film I knew all about Raindance – that filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Guy Ritchie had taken their courses, and that films like Old Boy and Memento had premiered at the festival. After moving to Berlin I took part in one of their screenwriting courses. About a year later I found out from the director of the Berlin branch that his position was becoming available and he wanted to put me in touch with Elliot Grove, the founder of Raindance. I took over the Berlin hub a month or two later.
2. What are your favourite kinds of film to watch?
It depends on what mood I’m in. I’m more likely to watch films that’ll make me laugh if I’m at home. I like to watch more dramatic films at the cinema.
3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was really young I wanted to be an artist. I loved drawing and painting. I also wanted to be a vet and a director.
4. How many courses a year does Raindance Berlin run?
Last year there were eight, ranging from intensive weekend workshops in documentary filmmaking to 7-week courses on How to Make a Low-Budget Movie. We’re actually repeating that one again because it was so successful so that’ll start on the 8th of March. I’m scheduling more this year and introducing new courses like the upcoming Make a Short Film on Your Smartphone weekend workshop which starts on the 31st of March. I’m looking forward to that because the participants get to make a 1 to 3-minute film using just their phones in one weekend. It shows people that money isn’t the most important factor when it comes to filmmaking. If you want to tell a compelling story all you need is imagination, ingenuity, drive, and a bit of know-how.
We also host a filmmakers’ networking event called Boozin’ ‘n’ Schmoozin’ every month. These events are really informal and they’re the perfect place to meet other filmmakers or future collaborators and establish industry contacts. Plus, they’re a lot of fun.
5. Are you a film festival fan?
Yes, I love them. I don’t make it to the cinema nearly as often as I used to (even though I’ve made more of an effort in the past year) but I like being able to immerse myself in films at a festival. And ones that I might otherwise never get to see at a cinema or online. And although everyone’s there to work, there’s this congenial atmosphere at certain festivals which makes it easy to develop connections. It’s so nice meeting people from all over the world who are passionate about the same thing as you.
6. How beneficial is it to become a Raindance member?
I’d say it’s really beneficial. For €50 a year you’ll get at least 15% off all film training courses in Berlin and throughout all of our hubs (many of which offer online courses), as well as discounted submissions to the Raindance Film Festival, 30% off Final Draft software, free or discounted entry to the Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards, and access to online training videos, script database and resources.
7. How long have you lived in Berlin?
Five years in counting.
8. Are your courses run by industry professionals?
Yes, all of the courses are taught by working filmmakers and industry professionals who are also experienced teachers. If you’ve thought about filmmaking but don’t have any training, or you feel intimidated by the technical stuff, or just don’t know where to start, that’s OK – the courses are designed to be fast, information-packed and interactive to teach you what you need to know in order to get out there and start making your film or writing your script. We want the participants to achieve their own specific learning goals, whether that’s finishing off a script or learning how to finance their movie. And all of the classes take place on evenings or weekends so that you can learn to how to make films even if you have a full-time job.
9. What are your favourite films of all time?
Rear Window, Jaws, Point Break, Psycho, Die Hard, Clueless, Casablanca… I could go on.
10. Favourite saying to get you through the day/month/year?
‘You can’t look at a glass half full or empty if it’s overflowing.’ – Kanye
To read all about what courses are upcoming in the year head to the Berlin website, or check out the Raindance Berlin facebook page for updates and news. Raindance have a pretty awesome blog too with lots of interesting reads. See you at the movies!
Charmaine Gorman is an Australian actress and writer living in Berlin with her family. As a content writer and editor, she works for many clients around the world, she also facilitates the Robert Marchand acting and directing workshops in Berlin.
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