Thursday, February 12, 2009

Documentary Funding

So, I've been looking around for funding for the "Mule Days" doc, and by extension "Alperman" and other shorts. Here's a small list of links. This is just to give you an idea what I've found.

ITVS
PBS
American Doc
Sundance

I'll post some of the smaller, more obscure ones shortly. I'm waiting for some responses from UCLA librarians.

Oh, and just for kicks, here's a link to the Equestrian Nation Mule Days DVD. I think that's us, blurry in the background left.



So, 2 things I want to talk about: 1. Funding, 2. Finishing.

1. Funding.
I think there's a lot of potential with these type of grants. If we can get some amount of money, my plan is to use that first just to pay rent and bills. We don't have many new expenses to cover come post-production, so I'm just looking for enough money to treat the documentary like a job. We can focus, say, month by month on having someone's living expenses paid in order to let them put 40+ hours a week into editing. If we have any money left over (which is looking way, way down the road) we can use grant cash to purchase music rights.

The thing that has been a consistent requirement of each grant is either A. previously finished work or B. work in progress of 20 minutes. This brings me to

2. Finishing.
It looks like in order to get these grants, we need to have at the very least:
A trailer for the Mule Days Doc.
A proper example of a finished work by a key member of the creative team that shows our skills as they stand now. This means, something we've written that makes sense and looks good. This disqualifies "Sounds of Silence" (crap story, looks great thanks to Ryan), that short we did for Adam's reel (makes total sense, shot in 3 hours and looks like crap, unfortunately is the only competed thing we have to show), and, to an extent, "Strong Men" (makes only some semblance of sense, looks great thanks to Ryan).

Basically we just need to fucking finish something.

Between Shawn and I, we have plenty of material to film, we just need to do it. I can think of half a dozen possibilities off the top of my head. Film or digital.

1. Windy Tennis
2. Old Rose Hotel
3. A sequence from "Be Handsome," such as Adam telling the story about Roger at the dinner table (you know, the one about the groping and the home made balloon).
4. Slowjam Infinite
5. Holy Shit
6. There has to be more, right? I guess "Alperman" is disqualified by location, as is any "Outer Dark" scene.

So, here's what I propose.
We choose the thing we want to do most, and give ourselves a deadline to shoot it. Quick and dirty is okay (in fact, I prefer it). Let's say we're about to shoot it by the ides of March? That gives us about a month. More than enough time to prep, I think. Then we can use it for the proposals along with an edit of the Mule Days trailer.

Mike Toberer called me today. That's what got me thinking about getting on top of it. I'm going to figure some of our scheduling out before I call back.

Suggestions welcome.

UPDATE:

Here is a huge list of potential grant-givers.

And with a California focus.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

exciting stuff!


Slow Jam Infinity