Welcome back to Featured Friday! I had a very exciting week filming for the Nightriders, some of you may be familiar with from a previous Featured Friday post. I just want to give a special thanks to all that helped out and made that wonderful project happen, I can’t wait to see it progress.
This week I am very excited to introduce Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance Film Festival and BIFA, as this weeks feature. I feel very honoured to have had the pleasure to talk to him and get to share our interview here. As you may know, Raindance Film Festival will be mainly online this year but don’t miss out on streaming some amazing films from 28 Oct. – 7 Nov. and some other events going on worth checking out.
Interview with Elliot Grove
What gravitated you towards the film industry, and how did you get your start?
I am a farm boy from southern Ontario, Canada. I became fascinated by movies when my stick Protestant Amish parents told me that the devil lived in the movie theatre. One day (I was 16) I snuck into the Devil’s house in the small village near where we lived. One only had to pay 99 cent back in those days.I had no idea what a movie was. I was just told never to go to the movie theatre. I paid my money and walked into a large room – a bit like church. Chairs where lined up, facing the front. The curtains opened and the first face of the devil I saw was Lassie Comes Home. I cried like a baby and at the end I rushed up to the screen to see if I could feel the bark or the fur and it was all gone in a twinkling of the eye and I was totally hooked.
I ended up in art school in Toronto where my sculpture teacher got me a short stint with Henry Moore. I am a qualified technician in cine Perdue – list wax bronze casting – the ancient art of the Greeks. After that I got a BBC job s a stage hand and worked on many iconic British TV shows like Monty Python and Dr Who. I then moved back to Toronto in the late 70’s and worked for 9 yers as a scenic artist on many truly horrible movies – ones with words like ’Slime’ Gore” or ‘Massacre’ in the title.
I moved back to London and at a moment of a total low started the festival.
What inspired you to create Raindance Film Festival?
It was really a thought experiment – can you make a movie with no money? No training? No real film experience? And people I knew like Edgar Wright, like Chris Nolan were all making films for next to nothing, with no training or NY experience. The festival was starts to celebrate their work, and very nearly filed due to the fact that Raindance was considered to be a disruptor by the establishment – and in many way still is.
Besides Covid, what has been your biggest challenges over the years to bring Raindance to what it is today?
I am often asked this question – and the answer is always the same ‘How do you create public awareness and appetite for the independent films we have at Raidance?’ No audience, no box office, no sponsorship and no money. We would have failed years ago hd it not been for the generosity of our patrons, or members, our filmmaker, and most importantly our audience.
What makes a good short film? Take me to world I already know and show me something new that makes me a better person, or, take me to a world I do not know and teach me something that makes me a better person.
What do you believe to be the pros and cons of holding the festival this year primarily online?
Creating a new distribution model in the COVID era is an exciting creative opportunity where artistry, innovation and commerces compete for my attention 24/7
Do you have any advice for aspiring filmmakers, especially while trying to navigate the current climate of the industry?
Its a terrific time to be breaking into the industry because all the big players have been stopped stone cold. And everyone is screaming for content. The opportunity is really quite simple: Make a film/web series/podcast/VR Immersive piece that is so bold fresh and original that no one else has thought of before, and thy will send the limos!
Thank you so much Elliot for joining me on Double-j-creative. To learn more about Raindance visit: https://www.raindance.org/festival/ for more information and the line up for this years festival!
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