At BRITDOC we want to support documentary makers of all levels. These documents are designed to connect you to the organisations you need to know to get your doc funded and make it all happen.
We understand that the filmmaking process can be daunting and you need all the help you can get. This is a growing and evolving page, so if you can think of any resources you need please e-mail your suggestions to Grants Officer, Luke Moody: email@example.com
There are many unique approaches to writing a proposal, some more successful than others. In this document we give a few pointers for basic things to include.
The world of documentary commissioning can be hard to keep up with. Remits change, slots change, people change and the amount of money available changes. There are many formatted opportunities to gain the ear of decision makers such as pitching forums, markets and networking events. There are also informal opportunities - but we don't encourage pitching to people when you're drunk at 3am. Though it may seem like the right idea at the time it's unlikely you'll pitch your project effectively.
Our main advice is be nice to decision makers: Follow the application procedures and get to know what kind of things they're looking for - research their remit, both form and content - there's no point pitching a 90 minute war documentary to a commissioner who's looking for 30 minute reality shows. Don't get angry if they don't fund this one - it is a small world and you don't want to spoil your chances for the next idea.
Being accepted for pitching forums and markets can guarantee you access to the people you want to speak to, but if you can't wait then apply to them directly, most broadcasters will have a commissioning section on their website where you can submit your proposal.
To help negotiate the myriad of decision makers out there here's a list of places where you can research the people you want to see your proposal and ultimately, fund your film.
DOKWEB INDUSTRY DIRECTORY: http://www.dokweb.net/en/documentary-network/documentary-industry-database
SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST DECISION MAKER'S LIST 2012: https://sheffdocfest.com/view/buyerslist
TV MOLE: http://www.tvmole.com/
CONTACTS - UK TV COMMISSIONERS: http://realscreen.com/2012/09/26/radarscreen-2012-uk-networks/
REALSCREEN - RADARSCREEN: http://realscreen.com/2011/10/05/radarscreen-2011-funders/
Another simple way to find out 'Who's Who' - Check the delegate lists and pitching forum guests at major festivals and markets in your region. Links to festivals can be found below in the 'Documentary Festival Dates' download.
The world of documentary funding can be frustrating, but resilience and resourcefulness are key to meeting your budget. This document provides a list of established and emerging documentary funds, crowdfunding, pitching forums, workshops and markets - Read it - Research it - Identify your targets - and please, please don't miss the deadline!
RADARSCREEN 2011 Gives a great overview of international commissioners and networks:
Media Desk UK also provide a guide to European markets and training which is worth a read:
The world of short docs (under 30mins) is forever in flux. They are like a vagrant cat: Everyone loves them but noone wants to pay for them or give them a long-lasting home. They thrive on short-term initiatives and the dedication of eager filmmakers honing their craft and satisfying sometimes quite weird pursuits of interest. Support for short-docs varies internationally thus we focus mainly on UK links here. This section provides a basic list of people currently supporting short docs through production, exhibition or discussion.
BRIDGING THE GAP: http://www.scottishdocinstitute.com/About-Bridging-the-Gap.html
THE DOCUMENTARY BLOG: http://www.thedocumentaryblog.com/index.php/category/short-documentaries/
ENCOUNTERS FILM FESTIVAL: http://www.encounters-festival.org.uk/
FOCUS FORWARD FILMS: http://www.focusforwardfilms.com/
IDEAS TAP: http://www.ideastap.com
LESS THAN FORTY: http://lessthanforty.tumblr.com/
LONDON SHORT FILM FESTIVAL: http://shortfilms.org.uk/
RAINDANCE GUIDE: http://raindance.co.uk/site/worlds-top-festivals-for-short-films
RANDOM ACTS: http://randomacts.channel4.com/
RUSHES SOHO SHORTS: http://www.sohoshorts.com/
SHORT OF THE WEEK: http://www.shortoftheweek.com/
THE SMALLS: http://www.thesmalls.com/
VIMEO AWARDS: http://vimeo.com/
WHY POVERTY?: http://whypoverty.net/short-films/
YOUR WORLDVIEW: http://www.yourworldview.org.uk/
Long form documentaries produced by artists have seen a resurgence in recent years. Through dedicated support from a number of organisations and artist filmmakers pushing the boundaries of the format and medium more funds and festivals are emerging to support this kind of work. Here are a few leads for UK based productions:
AND FESTIVAL: http://www.andfestival.org.uk
FILM AND VIDEO UMBRELLA: www.fvu.co.uk/
ISIS ARTS: http://www.isisarts.org.uk/home
IT'S GOT LEGS: http://itsgotlegs.tumblr.com/
JERWOOD FOUNDATION: http://jerwoodcharitablefoundation.org/
NO.W.HERE LAB: http://www.no-w-here.org.uk/index.php?cat=11&subcat=main
PICTURE THIS: http://www.picture-this.org.uk/
TANK TV: http://tank.tv/
Crowd funding offers you the chance to find a community of sponsors to create excitement and a campaign of support around your film project. What you have to do is post your project on a site, with a trailer tailored for the campaign, a target fund and promote the project to encourage contributions. Do your research and be aware of the differing charges and effectiveness of each site. EDN lists a number of resources on their site:
And here are a few of the leading sites:
SPONSUME: http://www.sponsume.com/ Also offers some guidance on crowd-funding
and very usefully, how to make a pitch:
READ THE SMALL-PRINT: Each has different terms and conditions in relation to revenue intake.
This rather beautiful infographic outlines the innovative, growing and mutating fields for documentary distribution. The term no longer means simply showing your film on TV, in the cinema and on DVD once it is complete: An expanding web of organisations, partnerships, platforms, tools, spaces and people can connect your film to an audience from conception to completion. For example - if you crowdfund your documentary's development offering merchandise, credits and other incentives you begin to create an audience and film identity from day one. So don't just think about making your film, think about making your audience.
Hit the 'Download File' button below for our 'Distribution Options' infographic!
Below we also note some innovative UK and International documentary distributors that you may wish to contact to get your film out in the world.
DOC ALLIANCE: http://dafilms.com/
PETER BRODERICK: http://www.peterbroderick.com/
ROCO FILMS: http://www.rocofilms.com/
ROOFTOP FILMS: http://rooftopfilms.com/
SUNDANCE INSTITUTE ARTIST SERVICE: http://www.sundance.org/artistservices/theatrical/resources/
FURTHER LIST OF DISTRIBUTORS: http://festivals.documentaryfilms.net/Category/filmmaker_resources/documentary_distributors/
SCREENDAILY DISTRIBUTION NEWS: http://www.screendaily.com/news/distribution/
SHOOTING PEOPLE ENGAGE 101: http://www.slideshare.net/Bnewman01/shooting-people-engage101
There are lots of documentary festivals out there. They vary in programming style, audience, location and quality. We've put together a list available to download below with some pointers for dates of submission and dates of event. For updated information go to the respective websites. You may also want to check out DocHouse, EDN and filmfestivals.com for more extensive resources.
In the last 10 years, documentaries are increasingly being recognised as a key medium for communicating social justice issues and inspiring social change. How to measure the social impact film of a documentary making real change in the world is still a maturing task. Below we provide some links to recently published reports and tools: Templates for other film projects giving best practice examples of gathering and presenting quantitative and qualitative data.
Tools and Advice:
ACTIVE VOICE: http://www.activevoice.net/
FILM SPROUT: http://www.filmsprout.org/
FLEDGLING FUND IMPACT PAPER: www.thefledglingfund.org/media/pdf/ImpactPaper.pdf
FLEDGLING FUND: http://www.thefledglingfund.org/resources/impact
GFEM / MEDIA IMPACT FUNDERS: http://www.gfem.org/resources
HARMONY INSTITUTE: http://harmony-institute.org/
ITVS ENGAGEMENT: http://www.itvs.org/engagement/films
ITVS FIELD REPORTS: http://www.itvs.org/funding/resources/report-from-the-field-top-five
POV - ENGAGEMENT STRATEGISTS: http://www.pbs.org/pov/filmmakers/engagement-strategists.php#.UYIw8CvthJH
SPARKWISE APP: http://sparkwi.se/tour/
WORKING FILMS: http://www.workingfilms.org/
ACTIVE VOICE: http://www.activevoice.net/casestudies.html
BRITDOC EVALUATION REPORTS: http://britdoc.org/real_good/evaluation
DOCUMENTARY AUSTRALIA CASE STUDIES: http://www.documentaryaustralia.com.au/case_studies
Technology can be amazing, and it can be a headache. Don't waste time and money on it: Seek advice from professionals for free via the good old internet.
DOCUMENTARY TECH: http://documentarytech.com/
DV INFO: http://www.dvinfo.net/
POV BLOG POST: http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/2011/08/camera_kits_on_a_budget/
BAFTA GURU: http://guru.bafta.org/craft/docs-factual
BFI SIGHT & SOUND: http://sightandsounddigital.bfi.org.uk/
CENTRE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA INTERVIEWS: http://centerforsocialmedia.org/making-your-media-matter/showcase
DOC CHANNEL BLOG: http://blog.documentarychannel.com/
DOHA FILM INSTITUTE FILM 3.0: http://www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmtalk/dfi-education/film-3-0
DOK REVUE: http://dokrevue.cz/en
DOX MAGAZINE: http://dox.mono.net/
FILM PANEL NOTETAKER: http://thefilmpanelnotetaker.com/
ICO INDUSTRY BLOG: http://www.independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/blog/
INDEPENDENT FILM PROJECT: http://www.ifp.org/resources
POV BLOG: http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/
THE DOCUMENTARY BLOG: http://www.thedocumentaryblog.com/
SCREEN AUSTRALIA PODCASTS: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/filmmaking/inspirations.aspx
STRANGER THAN FICTION: http://stfdocs.com/news/
SUNDANCE INSTITUTE ARTIST'S SERVICES: http://www.sundance.org/artistservices/blog/
TED HOPE BLOG: http://hopeforfilm.com/about-ted
TRIBECA FUTURE OF FILM: http://www.tribecafilm.com/tribecaonline/future-of-film/
CANADA NFB: http://films.nfb.ca/capturing-reality/
SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST: http://www.youtube.com/user/sheffdocfest
SUNDANCE INSTITUTE: http://www.sundance.org/video/playlists/meet-the-artists/
Web based documentaries in some form have been around for a while now, often offering interactive elements or narrative options for the viewer. Things have moved on rapidly from the days of cd-rom hypermedia on your Commodore Amiga: Recently technology has caught up with and even surpassed ideas of 'filmmakers' offering new platforms and software to explore. Here we list some examples of completed works and resources.
AN ARCHIVE OF WEBDOCS: http://www.interactivedocumentary.net/interactive-documentary-archive/
NFB WEBDOCS: http://www.nfb.ca/interactive
ARTE WEBDOCS: http://www.arte.tv/fr/6560776.html
MOMENTS OF INNOVATION: http://momentsofinnovation.mit.edu/
MIT OPEN DOCUMENTARY LAB: http://opendoclab.mit.edu/
OBSDOC REPORT ON NEW DIGITAL PLATFORMS: http://www.obsdoc.ca/recherches.e/portrait2011/
SCREEN AUSTRALIA TRANSMEDIA PRODUCTION BIBLE: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/filmmaking/digital_resources.aspx
TFI SANDBOX: http://sandbox.tribecafilminstitute.org/
TMC RESOURCE KIT: http://www.tmcresourcekit.com
WEBDOCS - A SURVIVAL GUIDE: http://notsocrazy.eu/
MOZILLA POPCORN: http://popcornjs.org/
Here are further links to resources available for free online. We'll try to refresh these details regularly to keep you up to date. Something missing? Send any reccommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org
AFCI (FILM COMMISSIONERS): http://www.afci.org/production-resources
ASSEMBLE WEB/DISTRIBUTION TOOL : http://joinassemble.com/
BRITISH COUNCIL: http://film.britishcouncil.org/resources
CANADA NFB: http://films.nfb.ca/capturing-reality/
CINEREGIO NETWORK OF FILMS FUNDS: http://www.cineregio.org/
THE COMMUNITY CHANNEL: http://resources.mediatrust.org/producers-paperwork/
DIGITAL BOOTCAMP - SHOOTING PEOPLE: http://digitalbootcamp.wikispaces.com/Funding
DOKWEB PRODUCER’S CALENDAR AND INDUSTRY DIRECTORY: http://www.dokweb.net/cs/
DOCUMENTARY AUSTRALIA FOUNDATION: http://www.documentaryaustralia.com.au/resources
FILM COLLABORATIVE: http://www.thefilmcollaborative.org/resourceplace/
FILM INDEPENDENT: http://www.filmindependent.org/category/resources/
GFEM / Media Impact Funders: http://www.gfem.org/resources
ICO INDUSTRY BLOG: http://www.independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/blog/
ITVS CASE STUDIES: http://www.itvs.org/funding/resources/report-from-the-field
KORDA FUNDING DATABASE: http://korda.obs.coe.int/archives/index
NFTS FILM CLINIC: http://www.nftsfilmclinic.co.uk/
PETER BRODERICK: http://www.peterbroderick.com/writing/writing.html
POV BLOG: http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/
SUNDANCE ARTIST SERVICES: http://www.sundance.org/artistservices/
TED HOPE BLOGS: http://hopeforfilm.com/about-ted
TRANSMEDIA RESOURCES: http://www.tmcresourcekit.com/category/transmedia-how-to/
UK MEDIA DESK PUBLICATIONS: http://www.mediadeskuk.eu/about-us/publications/
WOMEN MAKE MOVIES: http://www.wmm.com/resources/for_filmmakers.shtml
WORKBOOK PROJECT: http://workbookproject.com/
WORKING FILMS: http://www.workingfilms.org/article.php?id=149
BBC NETWORK GUIDE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/filmnetwork/filmmaking/guide/
Save hours of searching for support, click the links below and you'll find an international community of documentary lovers, makers, supporters and funders.
BFI INDUSTRY: http://industry.bfi.org.uk/
CREATIVE ENGLAND SUPPORT: http://www.creativeengland.co.uk/
SCOTTISH DOCUMENTARY INSTITUTE: www.scottishdocinstitute.com/
UK Screen Agencies
FILM LONDON: http://filmlondon.org.uk/
FILM AGENCY WALES: http://www.filmagencywales.com/
MANDY PRODUCTION RESOURCES: http://www.mandy.com/
NORTHERN FILM AND MEDIA: http://www.northernmedia.org/
NORTHERN IRELAND SCREEN: http://www.northernirelandscreen.co.uk/
SCREEN SOUTH: http://www.screensouth.org/
SCREEN YORKSHIRE: http://www.screenyorkshire.co.uk/
iREP DOCUMENTARY FORUM: http://www.irepfilmfestival.com/
SOUS L’ARBRE A PALABRES: http://souslarbreapalabres.org/?lang=en
There are many books out there covering production, fundraising and methodology. With so much information, screenings of masterclasses, podcasts and ebooks available free online you don't need to spend lots of money to get good advice. Here we list some recent publications and other people's reading lists.
DER lists books on documentary filmmaking: http://www.der.org/resources/#production
CENTER FOR SOCIAL MEDIA offer a wide range of articles on production issues: http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org
KINO-EYE list a wealth of books and other resources on their site: http://kino-eye.com/reference/documentary-resources/
Advice on creating your documentary fundraising trailer: FERNANDA ROSSI - Trailer Mechanics
The basics of visual storytelling: NANCY KALOW - Visual Storytelling
Tips for filmmaking in the digital age: MATTHIEU LIETAERT - Webdocs: A Survival Guide for Online Filmmakers
Various books on new distribution: JON REISS - http://jonreiss.com/books/
DOCUMENTARY AUSTRALIA FOUNDATION - Understanding Documentary Budgets
ITVS - Production Manual
We list a number of masterclasses and workshops in our 'What Next?' funding guide as many of these events culminate in opportunities to pitch for finance. If you're looking for a further education course in documentary film, visual anthropology or similar, then try searching through the below directories.
Courses can range from BA to MA, Short Introductions to Masterclasses. If you're interested in meeting people who can help you make your film perhaps look out for local film clubs, community courses or join networks like Shooting People and DFG
BFI MEDIA COURSES DIRECTORY: http://www.bfi.org.uk/education/talkscourses/mediacourses/
HOT COURSES: http://www.hotcourses.com
MEDIA GUIDE TO EU COURSES: http://www.mediadeskuk.eu/assets/Uploads/Downloads/MEDIA-INITIAL-TrainingGuide2012-WEB.pdf
SHOOTING PEOPLE COURSE DIRECTORY: http://shootingpeople.org/directory
SKILLSET TRAINING: http://www.skillset.org/film/training_and_events/
UCAS COURSE FINDER: http://www.ucas.ac.uk/students/coursesearch/
Paperwork: Nobody loves it, particularly not filmmakers. If you don't have a genius producer helping with your project and you want to plan your budget, schedule and cover your back legally; we advise that you follow procedure and print a few of these off.
DEPENDENT FILMS offer a number of free downloadable templates here:
THE PRENUPS gives you the lo-down on new forms of film-funding and building relationships with funders:
The below documents provide a basic toolkit for use in development and production. There are many variations of these documents so we offer basic examples to adapt for your own purposes.