Machelle and I (Jerry Hartman) have been consulting with a project in Equador. The central conflict is extraction industries who have been given exploratory mineral rights that also overlap with the Los Cedros Reserve that the government also set aside for ecological protection. The current project is a conservation trip where scientists will be doing research and gathering data to show the biodiversity of the region as part of a National Geographic Explorer Grant. The grant had “raising awareness” as one part of the outcomes of the trip. One of the team members, Dan Thomas (who works at Whitman College) saw our poster about our work in Suriname, and approached us about working with the media team on their project. We have been consulting on ideas and also about how to possibly use part of the community directed filmmaking process. They are very interested in working with indigenous in the area. We are not planning on traveling at this point, but are working with a documentary filmmaker Dylan Stirewalt who lives in Oregon. Also, Clayton Kruse, a senior Film, TV, Media major at Walla Walla University is also going on the trip as part of his senior project. More on this project as it develops. This project has been voted on by the Eclectic Reel board of directors and is an official project of our non-profit.
I’ve been recommending these to my students and I thought I’d share them here as well. I have used the following apps and recommend them. Or my friends in filmmaking have used them and recommend them.
Remember: An app does not do the work or make decisions. That’s up to you!
Note: Direct links are at the end of this post.
PREPRODUCTION APPS LINKS
PRODUCTION APPS LINKS:
POST PRODUCTION APPS LINKS
I’m writing this post, mostly for myself. There is money to support creative documentary projects. There is even money out there that matches the goal of our nonprofit, Eclectic Reel. I am writing this to remind myself that I could take time to do more research on finding and applying for those.
Before the list of resources let me begin by saying. . . the overarching goal should be to find funders that already have an existing goal that overlaps with your documentary project idea. And yes, I would say that it’s best to have a rough plan for a documentary film idea. Know your theme. Know the story that will tell your theme in an interesting way. I would encourage you to at least do a bit of writing on those two ideas. You can then go look for funding sources that match that goal. Alternatively, you could spend some time looking at the resources available and then reverse engineer the process. The danger here is that you may be less passionate about the idea (unless you really find a funder that matches your vision as a director).
Also, know that grant writing takes time and rejection should be an expected part of the process. Write Grants. Seek feedback when you are rejected. Adapt. Rewrite. Try again. No just means that you haven’t found the right match for your documentary idea (or that you have not communicated that idea clearly or communicated it in a way that the funder can see that it matches their own funding goals).
Places to start?
First, I recommend local nonprofits in your area that overlap your vision as filmmaker (or organization). Don’t underestimate the power of local community contacts. Also, don’t forget that most faith communities are nonprofits. If you can find one to collaborate with this can turn in to a long term collaboration effort. Much of the funding for our films have come from faith communities that support human rights work and indigenous organizations.
Next, expand that search to your region. Many times there may be specific grants (or tax incentives) by state or region. In Washington state there are two resources you should know about:
Here’s other places that will give you a start for funding:
Good luck and if you see me ask me how my grant writing is going.