Few people know more filmmakers and screenwriters than Elliot Grove. Elliot is the founder of the Raindance Film Festival, British Independent Film Awards, and the Raindance London Film School. He has produced over 700 hundred short films and five feature films: the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead (2006), Deadly Virtues (2013), AMBER (2017), Love is Thicker Than Water (2018), and the SWSX Grand Jury Prize winner Alice (2019). He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia, and America.
Elliot has written three books that have become industry standards: Raindance Writers' Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers' Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).
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Hello, I'm Roy Sharples, welcome to the unknown origins podcast. Why are you listening to this podcast? Are you seeking inspiration? an industry expert looking for insights, or growing your career? I created the unknown origins podcast to provide access to insights and content from creators worldwide with inspirational conversations and storytelling, about art, architecture, design, entrepreneurship, fashion, film, music and pop culture. Few people know more filmmakers and screenwriters than Elliott perot. Elliot is the founder of the rain dance film festival, and the British Independent Film Awards and the rain dance London Film School. He has produced over 700 short films and five feature films, the multi award winning the living and the dead deadly virtues. Ombre love is thicker than water, and the South by Southwest Grand Jury Prize winner, Alice he teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia, and America. Elliot has written three books that have become industry standards, Rain Dance writers lob, write, plus sell the hot screenplay. Now in its second edition, Rain Dance producers lab low to no budget filmmaking and beginning filmmaking 100 Easy Steps from script to screen professional media practice. In 2009, he was awarded a PhD for services to film education. Hello and welcome, Elliot. So what inspired and attracted you to the creative arts and filmmaking in the first place?Elliot Grove:
I have a long story to explain how I got into film and in the creative arts. I grew up on a Amish farm outside Toronto, you know the horse and buggy people. And I was always told never ever to go to the movie theater because the devil live there. And one hot summer August day was harvest season apart, broke down on the farm and I'm the 16 year old kid I get sent into town to the little village outside Toronto to the blacksmith. And when I found out it was going to take three long hours to do the repair. You see, it wasn't worth me going all the way home and turn around and coming back. I was always told never ever to go to the movie theater because the devil lived there. And on this particular hot summer's day, I had a few coins in my pocket I had three hours to kill. And lo and behold three doors down from the house of the Lord was the house of the devil, the movie theater and I walked up, you know, they're only charging 99 cents back then to see what the devil looked like I paid my money. Now remember, I had no idea what a movie was. I was just told never ever to go to movie house. My parents would say things to me like you don't want to be caught in a movie theater when Jesus comes back to you. So walk down that paid by money walk down this tunnel into a large room, you know a bit like church with chairs lined up facing the front. I sat down about two o'clock in the afternoon. There's a couple other people there. I noticed the fabric of the chairs was red. I thought ah the color of the devil. And then then then they turn the flippin lights off. The curtains opened in the first face of the devil I saw the the most tender age of 16 was last he comes home and cried like a baby Nana rushed up to feel the screen to suffer and feel the textures is all gone and and twinkling in the vine. And it was totally hooked. The family then moved into the big smoke of Toronto, my last year of high school. I walk in that first day. I've got the stupid hat and the bad haircut and I decided to study really hard so I could get a scholarship. But instead I met a girl that's another story installed with her believe it or not. I ended up in an art school in downtown Toronto and my three year post secondary school graduation certificate proclaims me an expert with nothing that we're talking about today. I am however, a qualified technician in something called SEER paradou lost wax bronze casting the ancient art of the Greeks. And when that my pocket I came over to Britain in the first time in the mid 70s. And I worked for a while for a very famous British sculptor, Sir Henry Moore. And I'm always noted wearing sunglasses day and night. That's because for three days on a word for another British sculptor, Sir Anthony Caro, the goddess does all those steels, stainless steel sculptures and Numbers welding. I'd learned welding on the farm and at art school, but they gave me the wrong shield and I got spark chi. And over the years I actually went blind six years ago, I was totally blind. But I can see now thanks to the British National Health Service, I had my cataracts removed and a very simple 12 minute operation, which there's only two points if you ever have cataracts Roy, one is when they shove the hypodermic syringe into your eyeball to freeze it that makes you kind of hop and then I'm lying on the table feeling no pain. And I hear is this a good smell burning flesh and I realized that they were cutting open my eyeballs to put in the new pieces of plastic. But four hours later I could see perfectly except the lights from my eyes. That's why we the sunglasses day and night. I also worked for a while back in the 70s on the at the BBC is de Chien I worked on the last year of Monty Python for example, many of the other of the iconic shows. Then I went back to Toronto. I thought for three weeks a distant relatives had died. But ended up meeting this girl getting married having kids. During this time I worked as a scenic artist on many of the films being made in Toronto at the time. I have rare title, credit Kroll credits on 68 features in over 700 commercials and shorts have lost track of those. Now these short films were the sorts of films I hope you never see ROI. If you're ever googling late at night and see a film made in the late 70s, early 80s. With one of these words in the title I likely worked on it a word like slime or Gore or massacre. These were simply dreadful films that I worked on. I did however, is one of 40 artists done a tendency working on Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And I've never met Steven Spielberg. And then in Toronto, I was the lead cynic on a feature film called Equis based on the stage played by the British playwright, Peter Shaffer. And it was while working in that film, I wondered how any film ever ever got made. You see that film starring Richard Burton. And at that time, it was battling addiction, and suffering from heartache. He just passed up with Liz Taylor. Yeah. And if we had an ad on call, we were lucky if he showed up at midnight or that day. And if he did, he was usually so off his face. He couldn't work but that film to get made. I was the guy that turned the white studio walls into what looks like period barnboard stapling boards using the decorative paint techniques I learned in art school. Anyway, I moved back to London in the 80s fancied myself a property entrepreneur. And I went totally bust in the last big British recession in 1991. And I spent a whole year moping around feeling sorry for myself. But at that time, I was living in a big national trust property just outside London was a meter thick, 1000 year old place. It's where the Last Crusade left. And the tenant farmer the surrounding 50 acres of thought the sheep. He was old. I mean, he died about 10 years ago at the age of 104. He was actually a barber in World War One. And a few Roy ever met anyone living was anything in World War One. They just got to be old, right? And he knew I'd gone bust and he saw me moping around. And one day he called me on it. He said, Elliot, no doctor in the world can help you as long as you're feeling sorry for yourself. So I sought the wisdom of this wise old man. And I said, What should I do? And he said, Do what you love. We'd love movies. I remember that that moment, my experience with Lassie comes home. But I lost all my contacts both in Britain and back home in Toronto. But I am Canadian. And I did some research and I figured out that British people but they'd like more than anything else. Our membership cards to semi secret membership organizations, and thus was born the brain dance membership scheme, which is still going strong today with about 3000 members all around the world. And then I started bringing so called gurus over from the States people to teach. Now this is 1992. And back then you needed about a million dollars or pounds to make a film. But this guy was saying you make a film pretty much next and nothing. In my intern the first nine months was a guy called Edgar Wright, who's done rather well. And then about a year later, I met a young, late teenager. He was about 1920 at the time, who had made a big mistake at the age of 16. He told his mom and dad he wanted to be a filmmaker and said why do you want to do that this was a really middle class British family. And so in order to make peace with mom and dad, he was getting a degree in English at a university They don't turn London. So if his filmmaking dream didn't work out, at least he could teach English somewhere up north, you know, in high school. And while he was at university, he joined the Film Society because they had a cupboard full of free equipment. And every Friday night, he check it out, come to my office in the centre of London near Piccadilly Circus. And I'd give him the key and he would shoot Friday night, Saturday, Sunday, Monday morning, he would give me back the key. And he at that time, he was working part time as a shelf stacker and boots. The chemist which is in Piccadilly Circus, if you've ever in London, are very familiar with it. Yeah, yeah, you can go pay homage. Anyway, he did that on consecutive weekends for nine long months, made a feature film on the borrowed equipment from the film side, 16 millimeter black and white, for about 4000 pounds was that five or $6,000 called the following, which he remained nine months 18 months later in Los Angeles called memento. So I'm calling and talking about Chris Nolan. So I basically started brain dance as a thought experiment. Can you make a movie with no money? We were all flat broke. Can you make a movie without any experience? Chris Nolan, Edgar Wright. None of these guys have been to film school nor azurae. And can you make a film with no film experience? Some like me and worked on lots of other people's films, but never as a writer, director or producer. So Raindance got going. Started the festival. People came from all over the world British people thought it was kind of crazy that there was another film festival no one thought it would succeed. There was the very famous Edinburgh and London Film Festival long going. But we are still here. 30 years later. Despite the fact that no one thought we could it hasn't been easy. I must say it hasn't been easy. But that's roughly. That's roughly how I got into that. Also, since I went to art school, I've always managed over the years to do about 15 minutes a day on my artwork. And in the last couple of months, I've been doing a lot more to the point where I could have a show. Now to give you an idea of the creative journey, Roy. I tell you a couple of stories. One about Henry Moore, the sculptor I don't know if that name rings a bell. Yeah. So I worked with him for about four months. I was one of 40 technicians you get there at eight o'clock in the morning, you put on your overall score to the largement studio with a big sculptures were made. At about nine o'clock 930 The chief technician would come out to make sure that we weren't screwing up and a half hour later Sir Henry Moore himself would walk up from the simple house he lived at the end of the lane, bow tie white shirt, blue apron, and he'd work and about 11 o'clock every morning like clockwork he turn around, go back to the house for tea. I think British people call it's breakfast actually. And what every time he left to go back, I noticed some walking not the direct route down the lane but through the meadow where there was a stream. And I would see him bending over picking up stuff and putting in his pocket. And I just thought, you know British people noted for be eccentric. But what is that? So one morning, I get sent into the house to send a message while he's having breakfast or tea. And there is my hero. Eating is having eggs and on a shelf above his table are all these little things you've collected from the stream, pebbles, bits of bone, there's an abattoir just up stream and he was sketching them like mad in a big moleskin. One after the other one after the other. And I said to him, and words of this effect out Sir Henry Moore, creator of monumental sculptures, feature films known over the world for your bronze your stone, your wooden sculptures, or why are you of all people sketching these humble little bits of bone and stone? And he said to me, I am building up my vocabulary of shapes, which is terribly inspiring. Yeah, you see what he would do for me would do 500 or whatever, these little sketches, thumbnail sketches doodles ready. And he picked two or three, he'd worked them up into large drawings, really done 100 of those he picked two or three. And then we would make little he would make little Max wax MCATs little models. When he done 100 of those. He picked two or three and that was my job scaling them up into the bigger things take your cast into bronze. It's a bit like writers coming up with ideas come up lots of ideas, developing them, always refining honing, and or that's my story but Henry Moore and I think it's great advice for any creative artists to view your artifact that you're creating better A short story or a novel or a sketch or a little film, not as an Oscar winning, or Pulitzer Prize winning piece of work, but as a part of your vocabulary of shapes. Yeah. So that's one story. I'll tell you the other story about a few years ago, I'm in Tokyo doing a screen reading seminar. And this, this was a huge learning to me. And it's really affected how I've worked since then both at Raindance, and my own work. Anyway, there was a group of about 20 filmmakers, one of them and all the guys 74. He was a fisherman, but he's had over 50 of his feature film scripts are turned into yakuza movies. One of them was bought by Tarantino on that became killed Bill I was very honored to, to be with this man. And at the end of the week, I said to the group, what makes a good story and he said to me through a translator, Elliot said, your body is 75% water. And a good story, a good movie forces your body fluids out of an appropriate pour. In other words, the emotion if there's no emotion, you've got nothing. So we don't always succeed to sit in the rain dance trailers, some are very emotional, some don't quite hit it. But that's what makes a great movie I guess. You see, you remember, emotion you don't remember information, pictures are information. And but and in my visual art, too, I'm always trying to think of the emotion What will people think of what what will hit them in the heart, not the eyes, but in some in the art in the heart. Anyway, I don't know if that makes sense or not. But that's my story. And I'm gonna stick with it.Roy Sharples:
That triggered me Maya Angelou's probably overusedpoint:
I've learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel. So make the emotional and human connection first and foremost. That is what makes the invisible visible. A well told story engages the mind, heart and soul. It's how we connect emotionally with a story and relate it to ourselves by bringing genuine moments to life and celebrating relationships between people rather than just facts about things we can tell inspiring stories, we look for meaning and stories because we tell stories, they don't tell themselves. One of the things that really stands out is you know, how things like hardship, melancholy adversity, really do inspire creativity. So people that have suffered alienation or oppression, poverty, or other life challenges, realize that it fuels their genius when they are able to focus it. And that primal desire that we have is humans to survive the odds with our ability to have have extraordinary intellectual ability, mental toughness, grit, and ultimately, creative productivity, which fuels our insatiable drive for self actualization. And, and it's really about how do you channel your passion and, and energy into creativity? AndElliot Grove:
I started Raindance when this farmer said, do what you love, and I decided to work in film. And I started doing courses and then the festival. It's none of it's been been been easy. So yeah, but you have to keep going. And there's been many, many times when everyone around me wondered why I was continuing financially was very, very challenge, a big challenge. But it's still a challenge, to be honest. But the other thing I had to learn if I can tell you yet another story I have is monetizing your work is always always the challenge of an artist. Yeah. So some I know teach, some of them are just on welfare, and feeling miserable. But back to another story. So I'm eight years old, I'm on the farm. It's a dairy farm. And for generations that glass bottles had gone to the market with growth dairy, written on the side of the glass. My dad used to leave every morning early and come back at lunchtime having sold the milk and but one month they sent glass bottles with Grove dairy written in orange, not in blue. And he said I can't use these because we've always been blue, but he had to and he noticed that that day he got back an hour earlier from the market and the next time the next day. end of the month they said blue bottles an hour later he couldn't figure out why. With the orange bottles he was an hour earlier until he stood one bottle orange labeled and one blue labeled, fill them up with milk I'm not at all kid watching him. And he said, You know what? The milk in the orange labelled bottle looks creamier. And I think that's great advice for anyone in the creative industries, you need to make your content look creamier than anyone else's. It's fiercely competitive right now. And sometimes it's just a very simple little tweak to your social media messaging or your marketing messaging that will make people buy your work or commission your work, or watch your work or buy the movie, whatever.Roy Sharples:
Every single creative will tell you that there is no ON and OFF button for creativity. It is a constant that happens naturally by design, or by accident, and our everyday lives. Though the creative process may seem magical, especially where ideas can come from, and how they are brought to form in life, that are proven techniques, tools, methods, frameworks, and approaches to the art and science of applied creativity that make it happen. Eliot, what is your creative process? How do you make the invisible visible by dreaming up new ideas, developing them into concepts, and then bringing them to actualization?Elliot Grove:
Well, today different ways I'll talk about my personal work. And also the work that rain does is a very highly creative, other the artifacts are different. My personal work, I have sketched 100 1000s of little ideas, everyone, every once in a while, I'll see an image or someone will say something and I got up, and then I'll develop that up. So I do some pieces that are quite large, the results of dozens, hundreds of drawings and sketches, and so on, until I'm happy with the finished artifact, both the craftsmanship, the colors, the composition and so on, that that's how I work. And also I do creative writing as to working and working on a honing and honing trying to force you should you read a Roy your body fluids out in an appropriate pour the emotion in terms of the festival, David and I this morning, for example, just at the 2022 Random sponsorship package, which took several days, actually, you would then we had old templates. And when we looked at them, it just realized they were terrible. But the main question that got us on the right track, and it was Who are we sending us to? And when we realized who we're sending it to its brand managers, people who might be spending some money on sponsorship. And how, what what you want them to do? Well, David and I are really good in one to one meetings. So we didn't want to put too much detail into the actual package. We wanted to make it so juicy so creamier, to use the font, to get them to call us. So we've just sent that out literally last hour to a few of our leads, will know whether or not we succeeded. But we have How have I worked with David for 10 years and over the years, every year we keep learning and how to hone down the message with the imagery in the words to evoke emotion and also interest, forcing people to actually make the big effort of clicking up on the email or picking up the phone and giving us a holler. And that that's I guess the difference between my own personal work and the work I do in rain dance is once you know who your audiences, it makes it a lot easier. And we don't always know who our audience isRoy Sharples:
Right! Knowing your audience helps you better tune your content and message that people actually cared about. So once you have an idea of what to see, knowing your audience helps you better gauge the right tone and voice for how to best communicate and land your story. What are the critical skills needed to survive and thrive as a creative leader in leading filmmaking events on the wards.Elliot Grove:
First of all, you have to have stamina, I think to get three hours sleep a night for six weeks, you need to be able to handle that and if you can't, you're probably in the wrong business. Good communication skills I would put that very very top of the list. You need need to be able to communicate your vision for the event to all the people the talent that you might want to attract down to the the the the interns and volunteers you're helping execute whatever needs to be done shifting boxes or stuffing goodie bags or cleaning cinemas, seats or you know, front of house people whatever. So good communication skills and making sure that your vision is one that other people buy into. So I was really lucky when I started rain dance. Everyone thought it was a great idea. But over the years sometimes we lost a bit of our desires and went a little too mainstream and we've And when we did that we started losing audiences and losing respect from the people that yeah, was our audience. So we keep trying to put the rock and roll back into rain dance. This year, we had an amazing opening event. Our movie starring Michael Caine, lives near London. And he's at at his retire. But we decided how great if he would come to the festival, which he ended up doing. He didn't go to the film. But he came to the after party at the Dorchester Hotel in the heartland. And he suffered suffering from mobility issues. So we had to hire someone to study his arm and his cane. And we gave him the Icon Award. Now, right before he came on, he was backstage with his wife, Shakira, and some other kids and mother in law's whatever. And as the PR took me over to meet him, he put his hands up to stop me. And I paused and he looked around, and I heard him say to his wife, thank God, I'm with my family. And I thought what it says so much about the man. And then he came up front, everyone cheered, and he did a little speech. And I said, don't call just yet. We want to sing you a song, seven white. So 300 People saying him For he's a jolly good fellow. And tears started rolling down his cheek. And that was truly an iconic moment. Yeah. And whatever the money is what I do, it's never very much very good. But you cannot buy a moment like that. That was just say it was just very fulfilling. But back to your skills, question communication skills, you have to keep your ear to the railway tracks to see if you can see what the next trend are coming. Rain dance in 2022 is very different from Raindance in 1992. Because there's been so many changes back then you needed million dollars to make a film on 35 millimeter, it pretty much always went into cinemas and would recoup on home video. But then we had digital. And then you had the streamers. And now we've got NF Ts and virtual reality. Each of these things have huge impact on our on the film business. In fact, all businesses now digital and NF T's how can you adapt? How can you change how you can you see what they mean to what your business is or not? When digital came, everyone started making movies on their cell phones even when suddenly there's so much content. And when those dreamers came, suddenly the cinemas are becoming very, very selective in the movies they put in you need a big star to get in a movie theater. And even that doesn't work. Michael Caine's movie, we had a rain dance even with Michael Caine was not considered star driven enough to go into movie theaters in America. So wow, all this stuff is on Netflix or one of the other streamers, Amazon, whatever? And how do you monetize that it's a very different monetization policy. And back when I started rain dance, I didn't have a Twitter or Facebook because it didn't exist. But God damn, if you don't have that today, as an artist, no one's gonna know who you are, or what you're doing, until the smell drifts into the hallway. And they break down your door and find whatever, whatever it is you've been doing under your bed that no one knows about. So I think social media has become a very important part of telling your story, marketing, your whatever, whatever it is that you create. And it's not just the movie industry, with the distributors the big distributors publishing to why would you wait and wait for a penguin or whoever to publish your book when you could Self Publish? And if you self publish, why would you just limit yourself to the printed book? Wouldn't you go on Amazon and create an audio book? My friends here in London are making $15,000 a month on the audio books, they self published and self produced the audio files but they're spending one or $2,000 a month on ads promoting a book. And once they've got five or six, novel ads, you know, 60 80,000 words up on Amazon doing well now they're getting calls from movie producers looking for the rights to the books because it's proven successful and another medium. So that's that's a very different thing from what it was 30 years ago, or even 10 years ago. And it's really really exciting. The ability to make movies to talk only about movies has become so democratic anyone when I mean you're the new iPhones iPhone, whatever it is 13 Oh my god the image quality on their head. You got a camera that could take that image Quality the Eurostar train as you would have paid $50,000 or more, and that you get for free with your telephone subscription service, making movies that are technically extremely proficient,Roy Sharples:
A few points there that really resonatedthe ability to see the future coming by having a knack for, and proactively identifying trends and determining future scenarios that anticipate market and audience shifts by identifying changes and tastes and preferences. And that's a real skill. Also, another word that you use there that really resonated was the democratization. And the digital revolution has completely democratized information and accelerated the pace of change. It is a world that is increasingly technology mediated, changing how we live, learn, work, and get things done. And it's blurred the boundaries between physical and virtual existence. And the impact of technological disruption in the creative industries alone has been profound. And that has, or should I say, still is reshaping how we live and work. And so things like art, filmmaking, journalism, music, photography, production, and many more, has have been disrupted. And television disruption, for example, has been overturned by digital disruption platforms like Netflix and Hulu, Apple, Amazon and Spotify have provided more convenient, accessible and affordable solutions for consumers to stream music on demand in the music industry. And so numerous industries and professions have been disrupted, reimagined, reinvented, or, in the worst case abandoned. Take journalism. As one example, it has seen a rapid move to media by the masses by having countless contributions from non journalists, and one regularly reads the social reviews and commentary rather than the story itself, which begs a question, who's in control now? Who is that the journalist we live in a consumer land instantly gratified celebrity culture that fuels the world we live? Everyone looks the same. Everything is for sale. Social media mobility, and the Internet dominate life where people have an insatiable appetite to be engaged by a curiosity for authentic experiences and content. And we have become increasingly driven by our primal need to be social and, and gain social recognition and celebration. Western society in particular, has become more augmented by interactive digital content and information Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tik Tok, and LinkedIn have become the fabric of our lives and part of our social routine. But how can you best cut through all this noise and communicate with your audience when they're being besieged with content, and more often than not, the quality of that content and its integrity is questioned.Elliot Grove:
I don't care what you're doing. It's about getting noticed. And it's so noisy right now with so many different as you said, digital revolution has made it so easy to create content, and a lot of it is absolute rubbish. Yeah. So filmmakers that we notice your render, so we had 12 and a half 1000 submissions last year, we showed 54 features and about 200 shorts. To give you an idea of the hit rate. Some filmmakers tried publicity stunts. If you remember blair witch project that was a publicity stunt. The movie itself is okay. But it's not fabulous. But the marketing behind that that publicity stunt they pulled off was amazing. Which we had that around that center quite a lot about how they pulled that off pack at the Sundance Film Festival. But or do you want to go extreme like some of the French New Wave use really quite brutal sexual images, which I don't agree with. Or violence you know that these are some of the techniques filmmakers trying or artists try? So what is it that you've got that touches people? What is it that you can do to get it out there despite all this terrible, terrible noise? How can you get other people talking about your work? And I know a few musicians to rolling gift to find your own cannibals took a 10 year break to look after his kids. And when he came back he released an album that flopped because everyone had forgotten who rollin gift to find on cannibals was and he still had Is a man managed to to reinvigorate his music career, He now plays on, you know, British television, New Year's Eve shows and music shows and so on. Which is fine. But the what I'm trying to say as the traditional distribution techniques of, of distribution, both film and music have gone, you know, the it's all completely different now than it was 30 years ago.Roy Sharples:
Eliot, upon reflection, what are your lessons learned in terms of the pitfalls to avoid, and the keys to success that you can share with existing and also aspiring creative leaders and filmmaking events, and awards?Elliot Grove:
One thing I regret is not documenting the early years of Raindance with some of the most amazing guests and events that we have just gone there, some might have the I still have people and it's amazing how quickly you forget what you've done. So I don't care what it is you're doing, be very anal about documenting what you're doing and putting it somewhere safe. Because you never know when you want to go and get back that wonderful moment you had with a Ken Loach, or Terry Gilliam, or whoever it is, you know, Edgar Wright, and so on. The second thing that I regret is I've got two young kids that I was raising at the same time. And I didn't do enough networking. People all knew who I was, but I didn't spend time in social settings. And you could do that every single night that we can drive yourself crazy. But I didn't go to you know, the right kind of industry parties or things, although I got to Ken every year, and people say, Oh, you're Elliot from rain, and so that disappear for another new 11 months. So I think I think being aware of how you manage your personal branding, I think that's really important. It's not your website, or whatever it's it's you and what people think of you. That that's an important thing. I guess I've been really lucky to that I've always liked out with some of the most amazing collaboratives people have joined the rain dance team over the years. There's been quite a few of them now. But they've all contributed things and helped shape rain dance into what it is today, which is very different from what I imagined it. You see, when I started I was only thinking about survival. Yeah. And survival is good. But really, in order to grow any organization like rain dance, you really have to think about beyond the horizon. And one thing I do remember that very first year, the festival, a friend of mine, la said, Go big or go home. In other words, be ambitious. And ambition has a lot of downsides too. You can really overstretch the mark and piss off your pain, as I've done many times, but also when maybe, maybe this ROI, there's a kind of a tacky way to describe ambition. But if you plan an event, and you're not ambitious, and someone from the public attends, and you've run out of toilet paper, they bitch and complain. On the other hand, if they come to an event, they can see the scope and the ambition. And there's no toilet paper, they'll help you find that. Yes. That's, that's why I can describe it. Something I've learned. So being ambitious, I think it's a really important thing. The downside of ambition too, you can come across as an egomaniac with delusions of grandeur, which usually turns people off. So it's a fine balance of, of managing your ambition with your ego, I guessRoy Sharples:
That is a deadly sin - self-serving your ego and the unbearable posturing of that. That is a creative deadzone because complacency and greed kick in with that mindset. And the key is to stand on shakingly aware and resilient by constantly keeping perspective evolving and innovating. Tilting forward by navigating into the future, what's your vision for the future of filmmaking and the role of creativity?Elliot Grove:
I'm going to answer this in a rather oblique way if I am Tommy Roy, if they said some America and I I don't care if you're a painter or novelist, an actor, a playwright, or a filmmaker, or for that matter and advertising executive, or newspaper editor. We are all storytellers. But storytelling in different media, and storytelling is what everyone wants. Everyone loves a story You turn on the CNN of this road, the news channels, you get the news stories, the terrible things that are happening right now, which is very immediate, and also usually distressing. But a story that changes people's lives, I think is what we as artists should, amen. And there's two different ways of going into the story. One is to take people to a world that we do not know. And teach us something that we can bring back home and use in our daily life. Or a second kind of story is a story about something that's happening right here right now to everybody that's universal. But you have a new unique look at it. So that when someone sees the story that you've created, we will learn something to Make Our Life Better become a better person in our day to day life. So stories are how people learn. And storytelling is needs to be entertaining, of course, or we get bored and switch off or click off. But storytelling that teaches you something people will, I found really, really focus. We did the British Independent Film Awards on Sunday night. Here in London, December 5, that was resolved at the British Pakistani actor. Yeah, who's about to head he's just about to turn 40. We gave a got an award. And he did an eight minute speech, which I thought first of all, he was going to talk about how British Asians are really prejudices against which they are. But he didn't. He said, I'm a storyteller. And I have realized we are all one people. I don't care the color of your skin and your religion. We're all one people. And he himself takes five times a day to leave his ego behind and seek the wisdom of his God. Praying Muslim, I guess Yeah. And he said at that moment, when it works, he realized his ego is meaningless, that he is one and I thought what a beautiful way he did that. It's not online yet, but it is on put it out on our Twitter. We haven't cut that bit out yet. In practice for distribution, but it was just so wise. Yeah, so to be a storyteller, to make the world a better place. I mean, come on, who's not going to sponsor that?Roy Sharples:
There's so many reference points there that we can point to that proves what you've said there yet. You know, and, but in a nutshell, stories are the oxygen for communication. Storytelling is a language, that your points can be universal and that unites the world and brings us together, it helps us understand our past and reach toward the future. But well tell story. And it's back to your point around getting that creating that emotional spark, that emotional feeling, engages the mind, heart and soul and into us to refer to thatancient proverb saying:
"Tell me a fact and alarm. Tell me the truth. And I'll believe but tell me a story. And it will live in my heart forever."Elliot Grove:
Yes. Yeah, and that's a good one. You know, we live in troubled times in cinema is the most powerful medium. I think what's causing all this hatred in the road is lack of misunderstanding how other people live and work and play in other cultures. And what better way to learn how people live and work and play and other societies or cultures then through cinema,Roy Sharples:
Every culture has its own unique story, and narratives to educate, entertain, preserve, and guide moral values. They communicate joy, passions, fears, sadness, and hardships, like music. Stories are universal. They convey purpose and meaning, and help us understand ourselves and find common ground with others. Storytelling makes meaningful connections across history and time, uniting people by helping them make sense of themselves and the world. Inside spread knowledge from one generation to another, linking traditions, legends, myths, archetypes, culture, history and values, which unite communities and societies. We exist in time, our lives of beginnings, middles, and endings, filled with ups and downs, sudden reversals and unexpected successes. Conflict is the engine of narrative. It's what keeps us listening. Details of the hope, frustration, and joy, inherent and any journey, deepen our narratives impact. We tell stories to share and understand human experiences, building connections and passing on wisdom from the Mesopotamia To the Inca civilizations, the clients of the Hebrides to the Galapagos Islands, around campfires in poetry, song and throughout venues, stories celebrate our shared humanity and film is one of the most powerful mediums that helps bring this to life. Do you want to learn more about how to Create Without Frontiers by unleashing your creative power? Then consider getting CREATIVITY WITHOUT FRONTIERS. How to make the invisible visible by lighting the way into the future. It's available in print, digital and audio on all relevant book platforms. You have been listening to the Unknown Origins podcast. Please follow subscribe, rate and review us. For more information go to unknownorigins.com. Thank you for listening!