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Indie filmmaking breaking the bank? How about a grant? Part 1

As we all know, we don’t get rich making film shorts. For many the process is an exercise for making a jump to features. For others it is a labor of love. Well, kiddies, have you ever thought of creating a portfolio and have someone else foot the bill? Try getting a grant.

Grants come in many forms. They can be from local communities, state or federal governments, foundations, or non-profit organizations. While the Internet provides a vast array of information, I thought I might help this group with the basics. So, hold on to your hat, we’re going for a ride…

(I’ve taken this info from experience, websites, friends, and other grant-writers)

Preparing for the Grant
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The biggest part of grant writing is in the initial stages. The time you spend getting your information together is the longest, but can be re-used for future applications. Work hard at this stage so your writing is simplified later.

TIP ON PERSPECTIVE: Even if a grant application takes six months to write, do it. The six months will go by anyway, and at the end of it you won’t look back with regrets.

The first step falls under preparation. Your mission statement does a lot to make clear your objective, so write it well. For yourself, write out the objective of your grant search, and this will help you to keep focused, especially when you are irritated with the whole process.

Determine the broad project goals, then identify the specific objectives that define how you will focus the work to accomplish those goals.

Example:
Goal: Improve production quality.
Objective 1: Recruit advanced production talent.
Objective 2: Train mid-level producers.
Objective 3: Upgrade production equipment.

Did you notice that these goals and objectives suggest the proposal will request support for recruitment activity, production training, and equipment purchase.As an alternative, a different proposal, while having the same goal might focus only on equipment upgrades.

Draft expected project outcomes in specific measurable terms.

Make sure you draft a timeline that includes your planning phase, the period of time you search for funds, proposal writing, and the project start date. Periodically update the timeline as you learn more about submission deadlines, etc.

Next we will talk about “How to identify which funding sources to go after.” Hope you benefit from this.

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