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Funding Opportunities

Lesson 35 from: Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography

Jessica Dimmock

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Lesson Info

35. Funding Opportunities

Lesson Info

Funding Opportunities

Let's talk about some funding opportunities. So I think one of the scary parts about going into filmmaking from a photography background is just how expensive some of the stuff is. It costs a lot. It's an expensive thing to kind of try to start to do. Short films, feature length films, they're costly. You gotta pay for an editor, you have to kind of, in some way, shape, or form, upgrade your equipment, even if the camera that you're using is one you already own, there's some kind of upgrade involved. You have to be thinking about all of these kind of different elements, and, you know, a lot of it is like, where am I gonna find the money to do this stuff? Well, the good news is that there is a lot of money available in the form of grants that is for filmmakers for a variety of, you know, projects for all types of different categories. This, here, is a really great resource. This is a wonderful website to go to to look up what some of these grants are, but if you don't have the opportuni...

ty to write it down right now, I'm gonna go through some of these grants, and I just want you to see just how many pages and pages and pages of opportunities there are, and we're gonna kind of read through some, just so you really get a sense that there is money out there. You might not get it round one, you might not even get it round two, but if you keep applying for these things, there are a lot of resources, and the amounts that these grants are for, for me as a photographer, were also really surprising. So yes, is this stuff expensive, do I have to spend more money than I though I would have to, you know, is there a little bit of sticker shock when you first go into videography? For sure. Then you kind of get into the amount of money that's given away in grants and the amount of opportunities that there are, and that number has jumped enormously as well. I mean, yes, there are photography grants out there, but they're for $1,000, $3,000, maybe $5,000. There are very few. There's only kind of a small collection that go beyond that. Once you get into film, the numbers really start climbing. So here's a list of just some, and we're gonna go through a bunch of them. BRITDOC, at the top. The Bertha BRITDOC Journalism Fund is an international film fund dedicated to supporting long form feature documentaries of a journalistic nature. That's wide open. Grants in the 5,000 to 50,000 pounds. That's a ton of money. You know, and that's wide open. Doesn't have to be any specific category. Then there's a Short Film Travel Grant in partnership with the BFI, the British Council Film operates a Travel Grant Fund that supports filmmakers to travel to key international festivals. Well, that's great. You know, it's like, once I have this thing, how am I gonna get out there and travel around? There are grants available for that. There are things down here for $10,000 to $50,000. Another one. There are opportunities to do work-in-progress kind of fellowships that give you mentorship from people within the industry, practice your pitching, you know, practice selling these projects. Catapult Film Fund is something that is available to filmmakers very early in the process, so one of the things you'll find is that a lot of grants, you have to be kind of farther along. You've gotta really have some material already. You have to have been shooting for a while, and then here you come along and there's a film fund that's specifically about being early in the process. It's like, no matter where you are in the filmmaking world, a short film, a long film, a thing about Asians, a thing about the environment, a thing about young people, old people, there is a grant. There are probably several grants specifically for that. Early on, later on, post, development, production, all of this stuff, and then there are tons that are just super broad. Wherever you may be, in whatever topic, based anywhere in the world, here's a grant, and this thing goes on for pages and pages and pages. $12,000, 100 to $500,000. You know, very specific things. Asain Network of Documentary Fund is a loose coalition of film festival organizers committed to supporting the production and distribution of Asian documentaries. There are funds for specifically Korean films, as well as Asian documentaries in general. Great. And this was just several pages of this long, long, long scrolling list. I'll go back to that website at the end just so people can have one more chance. $35,000 in finishing funds, which basically means you're done with the project, you've got all of this great stuff, you've maybe even edited the full thing, but you need to do a color correct and a sound design, which are expensive parts of the process. There are funds specifically for that. $5,000 to $10,000. I mean, some of these things are incredibly specific. Ocean acidification and rising seas, you know, human-wildlife interaction. Like I said, name the topic and there is a grant out there for it. $25,000. Hoo, Shaw Media Funds, my goodness. So you get the idea. Gonna do one more page of it. Fulbright, FRONTLINE, Frameline. Frameline is a completion fund, 5,000, and some of them are smaller, but small thousand in this world is $5,000. In the photography world, you know, that's kind of average, if not high. There are a couple of photography prizes that are more than that. There are not many. There just aren't that many to begin with. So, you know, if you're feeling overwhelmed and you're like, all of this is exciting, but however would I be able to do it? There are grants out there, and these are grants that are available to you. They're not grants that are available to other people with more experience. They're grants that you can apply for and get. You have to work on your writing. Writing is an incredibly important part of this. Of course, they'll look at materials. They'll look at images and they'll look video, but they'll also look at your writing, and so as you get started on this, you have to think about, you know, really honing in on your writing, asking for help, possibly even working with grant writers to kind of help you along in this process, but these are things that are available. Okay? So I'm gonna go back to that site real quick, just in case anyone wants to write it down while we move to the next topic. Yeah. Just to further, 'cause I know grants is a huge topic, but do you have any further top-of-mind resources that people can go to just to kinda get a grasp on what types of things they might even need to start putting a grant together? Where do you have to be with regard to the project? That's a great question. You know, I'd say, in general, you can really be at any stage of the project. There are not a lot of grants that exist for just an idea. There are a couple, but there are not many grants out there that exist where you say, basically, I've got a project and I wanna go do it. All of this, you know, requires a little bit of a leap of faith on your part, which is that you might have to go out, shoot some stuff, collect some stuff, get a handle on what your material is, come home, think about it, maybe find an editor to cut a little bit of something, maybe bring an editor on for some type of understanding that if the project gets greenlit, you'll hire them later, but you might not necessarily have money upfront to hire them now, but if its a hungry editor that's really looking for work or believes in a project, that might be a situation you can work out, and you might have to kind of have some stuff in the can, so to speak, before you can get a grant. Once that process has started, though, it can really snowball, so, you know, early on in production, early on in a project, it's possible. Again, not having done anything and just saying, I have an idea, it's a little tough, 'cause everyone has ideas. Everyone would love to go and shoot a movie. A lot of this takes some kind of demonstration, okay, I'm gonna go off and do that, but once that process starts, it really can go not only through production and post-production, let alone development. Production, post-production, but finishing funds, grants for festivals, grants to help bring subjects of your documentaries to the festivals, or grants for audience engagement. You've got a film that really has a specific call to action, you wanna make sure that outside of just film festivals, it goes into church basements, and community groups, and things like that. There are grants out there that can help you spread your film all over, create kind of audience engagement projects, calls to action, all types of things. I mean, up until way past your film being done, there are grants available, which is great.

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I have been waiting for a course like this. Purchasing it was a no-brainer. Taught by an accomplished professional in the field, with a strong track record of high level work, Jessica Dimmock, I feel, is exactly the type of instructor Creative Live should be giving air time to. I have watched other Videography classes on Creative Live, and this was the first one that I felt was worth purchasing due to how much info was being shared, in a very methodical, easy to follow (but not dumb downed) fashion.

a Creativelive Student

This class has left me feeling very encouraged and inspired about getting into videography. Jessica has made some great work, in her short career with video, and was able to share what she learned through those experiences. She started out as a photographer and has now incorporated video into her skill set and it seems to have expanded the diversity her opportunities and has enriched what she produces and shares with the world. I look forward to doing the same thing in my own way. Thanks CL for another wonderful class.


Simultaneously broad and deep, the information Jessica covers and the way she delivers it really give you the feeling you can jump into video right away. Professionalism in every area, from prep steps to workflow in the field to clean organization and processing, inspires confidence in the value of her methods. She clearly learned most of this in the field over years of work, which means the rest of us now have a huge leg up on our first projects. Thank you so much!

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