Basic Intro to Film Funding and Cinereach Programs


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A slide show to accompany a seminar given for the Brooklyn Arts Council and Scene: Brooklyn.

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Basic Intro to Film Funding and Cinereach Programs

  1. 1. Basic Intro to Film Fundraising Prepared by Reva Goldberg of for the Brooklyn Arts Council and Scene: Brooklyn
  2. 2. Big Picture Strategy Answer honestly: Will I dedicate years? Will I ask and keep asking? Am I committed to my film‟s life cycle? Timeline: Can I wait for funding? Can I start now? Is my project in fundable “phases”? Budget: Understand the landscape, peers Worst and best case scenario budgets Assess assets ($, time, equipment, skills)?
  3. 3. …Big Picture (contin.) Financial Approaches Donors & Grants*: Fiscal Sponsorship Some foundations require it Allows tax deduction for your donors Online tools for accepting c.c. donations Some fiscal sponsors have these Crowd-funding sites have them Managing income/expenses: Grants and donations are income Establish a DBA “Doing Business As” for your film work or your film Open a business checking account Get an accountant who knows artist/film Only pay taxes on income above $400 that you don‟t spend Fill out sales tax exemption paperwork for artists (with the state) Investors: Donated funds don‟t mix with equity Lawyer, business plan, investor deals *The focus of this slideshow is on donors and grants, not equity.
  4. 4. Seeking Donations & Grants Plans and Tools Update them all as you go: Timeline for: Crew, footage, cash flow, cuts, pitch materials, etc. Lists (& contact info): Individuals who care (close friends, crew, mom) Foundations, deadlines Like-minded Networks, Orgs (local/national) Festivals, deadlines deadlines Asking/Outreach strategy: Who to reach? How? What to ask for? Community incentives, useful content, frequent (but not too frequent) progress updates
  5. 5. …Seeking Donations & Grants (contin) Distribution: Who wants my film? When, how, where? Free? Fee? How will people know? Pitch/Application Materials (tailor to audience, address feedback): Written content: log line, proj. description, dir. statement, script/treatment, team bios, social context, audience, distribution Other documents: Budget (income and expense) Secured and Potential Funding Sources Imagery, Art (evocative or representative, high quality) Sample footage (trailer, scenes, eventually rough cut) Web presence (web site, social nets, video site, crowdsource sites)
  6. 6. Eligibility Different funders want different things. Where does your film fit: • Socially relevant subject matter? Niche audience? Hard to qualify? • Creative approach: i.e.Art or advocacy? Fiction or non? Historical or current? Topic or narrative? • Length: Short or Feature? • Level of experience (Student? Emerging? Established?) • Project phase (Development? Production? Post? Distribution/Outreach?) • Budget level: Micro? Low? Medium? Large? • Shooting Location? (USA? Foreign country? Multiple countries?)
  7. 7. Earlier = Harder It‟s hard for an inexperienced filmmaker to gain funder confidence during the earlier stages of a project. As a project nears completion, the playing field becomes more even. If you are inexperienced, you may have to „go it alone‟ during the early stages.
  8. 8. Filmmaker Experience & Funder Confidence Project Phases Development Established Early Production Emerging Late Production Unknown Early Post Late Post Distribution/Outreach 0 20 40 60 80 Funder Confidence NOTE: These are not real „stats‟. Chart illustrates general concept, not hard fact.
  9. 9. Tips for Grant Hunting Film grants: Warnings: only a handful,highly competitive a bonus, not a certainty out-dated links are everywhere! Finding them: Grantor resource lists,mailing lists:Cinereach, NYFA,Creative Capital Subscribe/Join: IFP, DCTV, D-Word, WMM, etc., Shooting People, etc. Read:Independent Magazine, Documentary Magazine, Filmmaker, blogs Other sources Individuals, small amounts from large numbers People who love you,their friends Ideas: Shaking the Money Tree; Fans, Friends and Followers, your peers Non-film Grants Topic or audience specific Advocates,campaigns who need media Orgs or brands that reach your audience
  10. 10. Cinereach Programs Vital stories, artfully told. Fiction or Nonfiction Next deadline: December 1 Next deadline: July 12
  11. 11. Cinereach Grants Program Snapshot Open to: Emerging and established filmmakers Projects in research and development, production, post production Two annual Letters of Inquiry (LOI) June 1, Dec. 1 600 – 1,000 LOIs per cycle Full proposals requested from 10% - 12% of applicants Grants: 10-15 grants awarded $5k - $50k (most are $10k - $25k) $250,000 total per cycle 6-month and 1-year progress reports are expected
  12. 12. Grants Main: How to Apply: Priorities and Guidelines: FAQ: Grant Recipients:
  13. 13. Reach Film Fellowship Snapshot Open to: Early Career Filmmakers who have a short film in “development” have completed at least one short film are committed to a filmmaking career are in or near NYC from August – April Apply in mid-July (July 12, 2010 deadline) Fellows announced by mid August Expected applicant pool between 50 – 150 Fellowship includes: $5k Grant (plus other benefits and matching) Mentorship from an experienced, indie filmmaker Advising sessions every month to help with professional and creative development Staff support from Cinereach Industry exposure, screening opportunities Other benefits
  14. 14. RFF Main: How to Apply: Guidelines: FAQ: RFF Recipients: