There’s A Tree For That, Right?

Posted on by AshleeS

I wish! But, actually no — there isn’t. And yes, I’m talking about money — that stuff that ‘makes the world go round’. For those of us in the independent film/video production industry we know how contingent funding is on the successful completion of a project.  Whether it’s a big budget film or a short PSA, without financial backing the cameras don’t roll.

Starting out in the industry it can be challenging to know where to look for money to get your film or video project off the ground.  Fear not. There are dozens of grant and funding programs available to launch your project off the ground or to supplement any private sponsorship as well.

Many government and private sector groups have annual or quarterly Requests for Proposals where groups and/or individuals can apply for funding. The kind of project you’re seeking funding for will determine which grant stream you should submit your application to. Film and video projects are usually broken down into a few categories such as Television/Theatrical, New Media and Corporate/Commercial.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most common funding sources:

Canada Council for the Arts

Canadian Media Fund

Film Nova Scotia

Independent Production Fund

For those producers who are looking for first or second broadcast windows for distribution of their film or TV series, most televisions stations offer programming envelopes for new ventures. Generally producers are required to submit a project synopsis, full treatment, shooting schedule and completed budget when seeking network development money and most application forms are downloadable online from the network website.

There is also a surprising amount of money available for video production ventures in the not-for-profit sector. As a make a difference video company, Pink Dog Productions often partners with charitable agencies to produce online web content, informational and educational video resources and public service announcements. Many provincial and federal government funding agencies issue Requests for Proposals to fund community initiatives that support their mandates. Very often the primary applicant must be a charitable organization, and video projects are a great way for groups to collaborate to raise awareness and make a difference in their communities.

Funders such as Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Status of Women Canada, the RCMP Foundation, and the NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage to name a few, all offer funding programs that support a wide variety of national and community-based projects, in which the power of video can play a big role.

So yeah, in the costly world of film and video, production and development money definitely doesn’t grow on trees. But as you’ve seen here there are still many resources available to easily find it. You just have to be willing to shake the bushes.


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