Author Topic: This Awesome Grant  (Read 8267 times)

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Reinhold

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This Awesome Grant
« on: June 26, 2005, 06:48:01 PM »
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a federal grant for buying equipment to produce a historical documentary

the guidelines and forms for that grant

it's a US federal overnment grant for making a piece that documents part of US history.  there's a shitload of money there. you can write a grant to get the equipment you need for a project... make a project that will qualify you for the grant, and then keep the equipment for your own future projects.

i'm going to apply for a grant for a camera with an idea for a documentary about the US military draft.

 whaddy'all think?
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

cowboykurtis

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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2005, 07:08:28 PM »
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thats pretty cool - it says there are 35 expected awards for the 5,000,000 pot - which leaves 142,857.14 - per film.

its not too much money for an all-in project.

however,  if you're doing this to aquire some equipment, it could be wroth it.

These grants are very competitive - a history of doc production will definately take precedent.
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Reinhold

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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2005, 07:40:37 PM »
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yes, but i don't want a ton of money. $2-10k. the equipment would be my whole budget for a 60-minute documentary.

nothing ventured = nothing gained. i'll go for it.

edit: modest travel expenses, too.

train tickets into/out of new york city to interview people.
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

cowboykurtis

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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2005, 08:06:00 PM »
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Quote from: Reinhold Messner
yes, but i don't want a ton of money. $2-10k. the equipment would be my whole budget for a 60-minute documentary.

nothing ventured = nothing gained. i'll go for it.

edit: modest travel expenses, too.

train tickets into/out of new york city to interview people.


you'd need much more than 10,000 for proper equipment
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Reinhold

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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2005, 08:55:19 PM »
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a gl-2 will be fine for shooting this. i've already got the computer. anything else i'd need i could borrow from the college. the point is just to get a camera out of it.

it's a decent idea for a project, but i don't know how much money it's worth. i'm not a NPO or an educational institution. to them, i'm just some guy with no experience trying to score $10k.
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

cowboykurtis

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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2005, 09:12:07 PM »
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i know many doc filmmakers who depend on grant funding -- it's their livelihood. So by association, I've learned a thing or two about how these work.

If you apply for this and your bid more or less says "I'm going to shoot on a GL-2 and do some interviews and cut on my computer", so on and so forth - you will not get it.

The reason that our government funds grants of this nature, is not to subsidise art funding, but to have a product - a visual document, of the highest possible quality for archival purposes. They want extremely well produced and concieved peices, because it is what they will use years from now to educate/remember/reference.

I'd imagine most of these are shot on 16 or HD.

The reason they have split the allocated 5 mil into 35 "winners" is because they want films that are quality - they WANT the filmmakers to spend 100,000. They don't want a film shot on a GL2 that cost 2 grand to make.

Just some advice before sending your application away.
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Reinhold

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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2005, 09:42:58 PM »
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i thought that the grant was for subsidising the arts. i don't know nearly enough about grant writing to make a case that i'm worth a hundred thousand dollars for the budget of one documentary about the US military draft and its affect on american veterans. i don't have credentials yet.

of course i'd love to do it with all of the right equipment and pay the people i interview or use professors from Columbia or Cornell or Yale instead of my dad's friends from the history or psychology departments at SUNY Brockport.

as for content, i don't know what i'll have until i conduct the interviews. i want the piece to be an honest look at what the draft was and what it did, good and bad, for people. i think that it's something that everybody american should understand when they're trying to understand the US's military history, when they're making flash-judgements about a veteran or a draft dodger, or when they're considering voting for a politician that has one view or another about the draft.

if i had the right tools to do it, i would produce it to the quality of a PBS documentary. ... but how the hell can i convince the people with the money that i'm worth more than $2,000 for a GL-2 and a cut on my computer?

edit to avoid double post:

this has got to be my niavete speaking, but where could $142,000 go on a not-for-profit PBS archival-style documentary? Studio time for editing is free if you know where to get it. Suitable equipment wouldn't run that much. Rights free music, public domain combat footage, volunteer interviewees, self-fact checking, i'm not paying an editor or a director or a DP. ... what the hell costs that much money?

ps: i've seen some library of congress documentaries before. they aren't anything that screams "HIGH QUALITY!" perhaps it was just the VHS rips of them, but they didn't seem to be anything that would be above shooting on a GL-2
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

cowboykurtis

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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2005, 09:57:38 PM »
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i think you win them over with the idea.

experience is arbitrary in a sense. Hire a good DP and Editor. If you can find collaborators with some experience, it will help validate the project.

However I'd believe that the strength of the idea is what one would go on. Make sure you ideas are very clearly outlined and researched. Bring on a History Professor as a "supervising producer/consultant"

Do some leg work - you have until October.  your pitch needs a very apt budget, shcedule, timeline, and valid contacts of subjects you wish to interview -  The more prepatory work you can do, the more it will take their eyes from you lack of experience.

Surround yourself with people who have experience and let your ideas steer the boat - easier said than done, but definately possible.

applying for grants is very exhausting - people pay consultants to help them with grant applications - as i said the competition is stiff - If this is just about getting a free camera - there are less labour intensive endeavours.

but if this subject really interests you - i wish you the best of luck.
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cowboykurtis

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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2005, 10:20:50 PM »
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i just realized you're the one that likes the boondock saints. fuck me. I wish i didn't just right that. FUCK!
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Reinhold

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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2005, 12:09:51 AM »
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re: Boondock Saints

jesus. did anybody see what i wrote? "FOR WHAT IT WAS, it was a great movie..."

it wasn't bad for a low budget vigilante movie. and even people who have their gripes about the movie can admit that there are funny parts about it. i admit that i haven't seen it since i began to develop a discerning eye for good cinema, but i do remember seeing and liking it. i even own it, even though it hasn't been in my house for about two years because i've been loaning it to different people. stick it on my list of guilty pleasure movies next to Overboard, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead, and Big Trouble in Little China.

there. that's dead.
-------

back to the grant thing:

no, it's not just about the camera. i would like to do something that sets me apart from other filmmakers my age, and i'd also like to deliver a quality documentary. yes, i'd like to score some equipment in the process, but that's not the point. mostly, i see an opportunity here for the possibility of an 18-year-old kid producing a professional documentary, complete with every learning experience implied.

i'd be comfortable editing it myself. i understand the importance of pacing and semantics and the other things that can make it good or fuck it up. no need for a professional editor. the DP and a supervising producer are great ideas.

i've got a couple questions. first... is it possible to retain a DP, a lawyer, and the consultants without any money? without the grant, i'd have a budget of zero. i'm not going to go into the hole applying for a grant that i'm relatively certain i'm not going to get.

writing out the idea of the documentary persuasively won't be a problem. i've got a little experience with veteran interviews and america's ignorance of the draft's significance is something that i feel strongly about.

i'm highly motivated, but i confess that i don't know what i'm doing in the legwork end of it. i can find books for what to include in the budget proposal and realistic cost estimates, but the reality is that i'm still an amateur. you've already been very helpful. i just wish i wasn't such a fucking newby to all of this stuff.
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

Reinhold

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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2005, 10:35:39 AM »
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Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

Pozer

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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2005, 12:23:14 PM »
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Quote from: cowboykurtis
i just realized you're the one that likes the boondock saints. fuck me. I wish i didn't just right that. FUCK!

I just realized you're the one who wrote RIGHT that.  Fuck me.  I wish I didn't read your post.  FUCK!

Reinhold

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Re: This Awesome Grant
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2006, 02:09:02 PM »
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anybody know where i can start looking for money for a documentary project this summer?

premise: a small group english-speaking american college students is going to europe for a month with no solid plan and very little money.

we'd like two reasonably good mini-dv camcorders and in the neighborhood of 150-200 dv tapes so that we can cut it into a documentary. any suggestions?
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

Pubrick

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Re: This Awesome Grant
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2006, 08:35:00 AM »
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premise: a small group english-speaking american college students is going to europe for a month with no solid plan and very little money.
no offense, but that's a really shitty premise.
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

md

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Re: This Awesome Grant
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2006, 02:05:51 PM »
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premise: a small group english-speaking american college students is going to europe for a month with no solid plan and very little money.
no offense, but that's a really shitty premise.

Watch Hostel. 

I live very close to Brockport College, if you really wanted to do this, then I'd suggest you hit up film students at either RIT or U of R.  Your only 18? A GL2 is relatively cheap, why not just get a job for a month, hunt on ebay, then just make your documentary.  With these grants, you might have that bitch called expectation to live up to.  Good luck.

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