5 Ways To Give Yourself
An Olympic Gold

By Elliot Grove

London 2012 Olympic Gold Medal I watched Danny Boyle's Olympic extravaganza from New York City and tonight I'll be watching from the telly here in London. I know a few of the performers and it's interesting that their main motivation for dancing in the Closing Ceremony is so they can crash the after parties, which, rumour has it, are spread out across the entire city, and ranked from A+ to Z-.

It's interesting to see the British reaction to their record breaking haul of gold medals this year. As an ex-patriot Canuck, I am certainly not too proud of my motherland's paltry medal haul. I'm keep telling myself that Canada is a winter games specialist. But no what? winning gold sure beats coming in second.

So, here I am thinking, in my non-athletic way, what we can learn from the huge contingent of amazing atheletes from around the world. Could it be that by some secret magic we could conjure up an Olympic Gold from our own filmic efforts?

I think so. But let me lay down some ground rules:

1. The loneliness of the long distance runner

Tony Richardson's direction of the script based on the short story by Alan Silitoe and starring Tom Courtenay is one of my favourite movies for the way it emphasises the way an artist must be able to deal with solitude.

Crack this one and you have cleared on of the hurdles to a personal gold.

2. Discipline

Did anyone ever say winning a gold would be easy? Of course not - it's a lot of hard work every single day. If you are going to win with your screenplay or career you are going to ahve to dedicate time every day to your craft.

It's easy to monitor. Be honest with yourself and track how many minutes you spend each day on your dream script or film.

It doesn't matter how humble your surrounding. Look at the gym these American gymnasts use.

3. It's about building the muscle

By that I mean - it's about specialising and getting so good at one area that everyone thinks you are the best. whatever it is you want to achieve - if you can narrow your focus down to a tight beam until you get know as the best in your field, you will likely win gold.

Who's the fastest man in the world right now?
Usain Bolt, of course.

What's your specialty?

4. You gotta play for the team.

Filmmaking is a collaborative effort. Whether you are a writer dreaming up ways to inspire the team, to the director getting cast and crew motivated or to crew trying to get the job done the best way possible, everyone is on a team.

Look at how these Olympic women atheletes sync their movements to win gold. Can you match their collaboration in your field? If so, award yourself a gold.

5. Keeping a perspective

Just because you are the best in today's marketplace doesn't mean that time will stand still. You need to learn where you stand in relationship to your competitors and to those who have gone before. Back to Usain Bolt for a minute. This fascinating video places his achiements in perspective from runner who have gone before and to school kids in America.

Learning how to keep a realistic perspective is so difficult that when you can achieve it - it always deserves a gold.

Fade Out

Artists aren't atheletes by any stretch of the imagination. But many of the daily routines of successful atheletes seem to match those of successful artists.

Why are you reading this when you could be out making your film and going for gold!

Happy filmmaking
Elliot Grove





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About Elliot Grove

Elliot GroveCanadian born Elliot Grove founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007, the Raindance Postgraduate Film Degree in 2011 and Raindance Raw Talent in 2013.

He has produced over 150 short films, and 5 feature films incuding his latest feature film, Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe. Japan and America.

He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008),  RAINDANCE PRODUCERS LAB (Focal Press 2013) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication next year.

Open University awarded Elliot and Honourary Doctorate for services to film education in 2009.
He is regularly interviewed. Here is an interview for Canadian television

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