Screen NSW has launched a new initiative to unearth filmmaking talent and content creators from regional NSW, SEED: Regional Shorts.
A partnership between ABC Regional and Screen NSW, SEED: REGIONAL SHORTS offers ten emerging creative teams grants of up to $4,000 each to create a short-form production.
Applications for SEED: Regional Shorts are open from Thursday 27th October 2016 until Sunday 8th January, 2017.
For further information, including guidelines and application details, go to:
Below Screen NSW Development and Production Executive, Andrea Ulbrick and Bronwyn Purvis, Partnerships Lead, ABC Regional answer questions you might have about the fund.
How will successful applicants be supported through SEED?
Bronwyn Purvis: ABC Regional will be providing a mentor for all the factual teams that are successful in this initiative so that means someone on the ground who will offer them support throughout the different stages of developing their project and producing it.
Andrea Ulbrick: Screen NSW and the ABC will be providing creative and strategic advice all the way through the production cycle. For the non-factual shorts, we will provide support through a range of industry experts. We will be giving lots of feedback across key stages of production, post-production and beyond and I think what’s exciting, is that we are also going to provide guidance at the backend of the timeline to help new filmmakers plan and execute their publicity and social media requirements. It’s a full package of assistance and feedback, which is quite unique for an emerging filmmaker.
If I was someone who never had this film before, but think I could make a great one, how do I get started?
Andrea Ulbrick: Filmmaking is all about vision and story. I believe the best way of starting out is to write your one page synopsis. Ensure that your story has a beginning, middle and end - then you can approach scriptwriters, particularly if it is for fiction or animation. Start networking so you create strategic alliances with your key creatives at the early stage and then start working on your application. On that front, SEED will be offering a special online application workshop, where we will be inviting all the proposed applicants to talk with us about how to best manage their applications, to make sure that it's in the best possible shape before submission.
We anticipate that SEED will be a particularly competitive initiative, so we want to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row, so you give it your best shot to be one of the ten filmmakers who get selected.
Bronwyn Purvis: ABC Regional will host the online application workshop with Screen NSW, where we will have experts available to answer questions and provide templates and other resources for developing your project. You can also check out the ABC Open website that also has some good resources in terms of story making and developing up ideas.
Can I make a full web series through SEED or just one episode?
Andrea Ulbrick: It would depend on the length of the episodes and the scope of the story you’re planning. You could write a mini pilot if you have a web series in mind. Let us know that it is just the beginning of a bigger strategy for a web series and we will certainly be supporting applications that think big.
The grant through SEED is $4,000, but my project might cost more than that. What other ways can you suggest I might source funding for my project?
Bronwyn Purvis: A key thing to think about is in-kind resourcing, particularly for regional filmmakers. I do think it is an advantage being outside the capital cities, in that you know your community, and you know people that might be able to help with things like locations, transport, film gear and catering. It means really thinking outside the box with who might be able to source and support your project, whether that’s in sponsorship or in-kind.
Andrea Ulbrick: We will be encouraging people to seek other sources of funds to finance their project, where needed. Each grant will be $4,000, so we are inviting you to talk to us about how to leverage other finance. Consider ways you can source more finance such as crowdfunding, sponsorship or grants that may be available in your local area, and third party investment. The Screen NSW funding may not necessarily constitute the full budget and we will be able to explain this more in the online application Masterclass.
Bronwyn Purvis: Your project would be something that your local Council might be interested in. Local Councils generally aim to support local cultural activities, and as part of that they may have resources to support your project. Also your local regional arts groups may be interested in supporting the project.
Do the stories explored in SEED have to be set in regional NSW or is it just the applicant who needs to be based in regional NSW?
Andrea Ulbrick: Specifically the applicants do need to be based in regional or rural NSW. The definition of that is that they need to demonstrate that they have lived continuously in regional NSW for 6 months of the last 12 months at the time of application. In terms of storytelling, we invite people to think big, be original, try and think of something that is distinctive that is innovative - and if that involves a character leaving remote or rural NSW to go to the city, then by all means you can travel as far as you like. Keep in mind that you need to manage the vision and treatment within the budget.
My story features a few different characters - can you suggest how I get actors to star in it?
Bronwyn Purvis: It’s really about doing your research around the actors that you are interested in having take on the roles - seeing if this is something that they have done in the past and might consider doing again. It’s also really about selling your vision and getting people inspired about what you are hoping to do.
Andrea Ulbrick: We would encourage people to approach casting agents and get networking. Your key creative team may very well have experience working with actors so they could start helping you, as a first time filmmaker, explore those options.
Bronwyn Purvis: There is nothing like the six degrees of separation. Someone who knows someone that can get you a meeting or that can get you a conversation with the actor you want.
Andrea Ulbrick: I also like to encourage newcomers to the industry to remember that if you are the applicant, you need to be the passionate person spearheading and driving your project. Your passion and focus will encourage others to join you on your, hopefully, lifelong journey.
I need to have a woman in at least one key creative role, what does this mean?
Andrea Ulbrick: At Screen NSW we are committed to gender equity, so for this initiative, at least one of the key creative roles must be female - the writer or director or producer.
Can I enter my short film into a festival?
Andrea Ulbrick: Absolutely. We encourage you to think big and think about a film festival strategy. This is one way of truly maximising your audience. What we want to do is encourage filmmakers to research how to reach a wide audience and the contracting will potentially allow a world premiere at a festival before ABC publishes the films on its online platforms.
Who will own the rights to the film I make through SEED?
Andrea Ulbrick: As part of the application you will need to demonstrate that you own the rights to the story, this is called a ‘chain of title’, so you need to demonstrate to us that you have the rights to the story. You will retain 100% copyright of the film.
Bronwyn Purvis: The chain of title outlines who retains the copyright. ABC will be granted non-exclusive rights to broadcast the film across all ABC platforms.
What sort of projects are you looking for in SEED?
Bronwyn Purvis: From an ABC perspective, ABC Regional’s vision is to be the champion of regional voices in Australian cultural conversations and stories, so we want to hear those stories from Australians that live outside the capital cities. The unusual perspectives, the unique perspectives and voices from outside of Sydney.
Andrea Ulbrick: Importantly we are looking for narrative short form stories up to a maximum of 10 minutes. We are looking for drama, documentary, animation, experimental - and this will be for online and small screen delivery so webisode series, transmedia, interactive, online documentary. So it’s important that your story has narrative. Good luck! We look forward to hearing from you. We hope SEED will unearth a new generation of Australian filmmakers.
SEED: Regional Shorts is intended as a program for first time filmmakers. The grant of $4,000 is intended as seed funding, to support emerging filmmakers to leverage other funds and resources to make a short form project.
GENERATOR: Emerging Filmmakers Fund, which offers grants of up to $30,000, is intended for more experienced filmmakers with professional credits. More on GENERATOR here: http://www.screen.nsw.gov.au/funding/production-support/seed-regional-shorts