PICTURE START 2012/2013
Download: 2012/2013 Picture Start Application Kit (PDF).
Deadline: July 23, 2012
PICTURE START is a professional development program targeted at emerging producers, directors and writers. This comprehensive skills enhancement program employs a project-oriented methodology whereby participants learn by working with established filmmakers and film industry professionals. This hands-on approach will be complemented by a series of workshops prior to principle photography aimed at enhancing the participants’ filmmaking savvy. Local and national experts will conduct workshops, and senior filmmakers will mentor junior filmmakers throughout the development, production and post-production phases of the project.
Key components include:
— formal instruction (through specific workshops conducted by industry professionals);
— individual mentorship (where senior filmmakers guide the emerging filmmakers in both creative and logistical matters);
— the practical application of emerging filmmaker skills in all aspects of film production (developing a concept, scriptwriting, budgeting and financing, production, post-production and marketing).
The short, live action films produced through the program are expected to perform in the marketplace in a quantifiable way – either through festival participation, festival recognition or awards, broadcaster interest or other sales. As per NIFCO policy, copyright in the film remains with the filmmakers.
Upon completion of the program, the participants are expected to have acquired the level of skills necessary to move forward in their film industry careers.
Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency dedicated to the development and promotion of the Canadian audiovisual industry. Telefilm provides financial support to the private sector to create distinctively Canadian productions that appeal to domestic and international audiences. The Corporation also administers the funding programs of the Canadian Media Fund.
The Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Cooperative (NIFCO) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of media arts in Newfoundland and Labrador. Formed in 1975, the association supports the local film industry by providing expertise, resources, equipment and space to its members and offers beginners a chance to explore the medium of film through its programs.
There are two main objectives of PICTURE START:
— To give current independent filmmakers who already have preliminary training and experience, and who are career-oriented in the film industry the immediate opportunity to develop as future above-the-line leaders.
— To sustain and increase the growth of the Newfoundland and Labrador film industry by fostering future professionals who will establish production companies and continue to create programming based in this province.
In addition, Picture Start encourages a development component for crew members. Each applicant is urged to think about ways in which their project could work within a structure of a key crew position mentoring less experienced crew members.
Program Format and Timeline
The next deadline for applications is July 23, 2012 at 5pm. Successful applicants will be notified by Monday Sept 24th, 2012. Scripts will then be sent out for a first read and set of notes by a professional story editor. Starting in late-October 2011, the applicants will work with the Picture Start Mentor on additional funding applications, script, financing and scheduling their prep, shoot and post-production periods. The series of Intensive workshops will be scheduled for early January and mid-February 2013. Attendance at these workshops is mandatory. Principal Photography
will take place in March-April 2013. The final delivery date for all productions will be June 30, 2013.
In consultation with the Picture Start Mentor, prospective above-the-line project teams will submit an application to the program to make a short film of a minimum running time of 6 minutes and maximum running time of 15 minutes. A minimum of three projects, each with a producer, director and writer team (minimum two people) attached, will be selected by jury and then approved by the NIFCO Board of Directors.
***If you are not able to find a Producer or Director and wish to apply please speak to the Picture Start mentor in advance of the deadline date. We will do our best to find a suitable candidate for your team.***
Participants in Picture Start will receive guidance in establishing a critical path for their short film: from script re-writes, preliminary casting, budgeting, scheduling and fine-tuning of financing and marketing plans, through to production and post-production.
This will be accomplished through a combination of classroom group training sessions and on-going team-specific development and individual mentoring.
Using their own concepts and creativity, successful applicants must complete the financing of their projects within a budget range of $25,000 to $75,000. A standard budget and financial structure form will be supplied as part of the application. Line items that may be covered by Picture Start will be identified: e.g. mentors, trainees, equipment, post-production services. Applicants can expect 30 % to 50 % of costs – with a project cap of $20,000 – to be covered by Picture Start depending on the budget level and the applicant’s access to other financing from sources outside of
Before any production begins, the group will receive classroom instruction in the form of a series of workshops covering a range of topics aimed at the roles of producer, director and writer. These workshops will be designed to strengthen the team prior to principle photography. Final details of the workshops will be made available in early January 2013.
Each project will receive the services of a professional story editor who will be contracted to provide written notes as well as story meetings and oversee a table read with Professional actors and the Picture Start teams.
In addition to the mentorship provided throughout the fundraising, production and post-production phases of their projects by the part-time staff person, team specific mentoring will be provided in areas of their own choosing, in consultation with the Picture Start Mentor.
Picture Start will provide access to equipment, staff and services at NIFCO, including surround sound and high-definition picture editing and delivery.
Evaluation is an important component of Picture Start. Participants will be required to complete two written evaluation forms: one immediately after completion of the film which will focus on evaluating the quality of the experience of various aspects of the program, and one a year later which will focus on the performance of the film in the marketplace and the career development of the participant.
All films produced through Picture Start shall acknowledge the support of the program and Telefilm Canada in the form of a credit on the production and on all promotional materials.
Picture Start is open to NIFCO members who wish to enhance their filmmaking skills in order to pursue or continue to pursue, at higher levels, a professional career in the industry. The program is particularly but not exclusively aimed at those who have already availed of NIFCO’s successful entry-level programs.
Note: The program is intended to be inclusive of all eligible emerging or mid-level filmmakers. The necessary qualifying criteria are the same basic filmmaking proficiency required to become a member of the co-operative. ***Someone who is
not a member of the co-op but has the prerequisites, will be able to apply for membership to NIFCO and will thus be automatically eligible for Picture Start.***
Please see the NIFCO website for information on membership requirements.
— Project must have a finished running time of no less than SIX minutes and no more than FIFTEEN minutes.
***We will accept projects OVER 15 minutes in length ONLY if the production has already secured Canada Council funding at the time of application. We will NOT accept longer projects if a Canada Council application is PENDING. Please clarify with Picture Start mentor if you have questions on this.***
— Projects must be live-action dramatic scripts. Unfortunately Picture Start CANNOT support a documentary or animation project at this time. ***Please direct any questions on eligibility to the Picture Start Mentor***
— Theme and subject matter are up to the applicants. NIFCO will not accept any project that contains excessive violence, sexual violence or sexual exploitation.
— Projects can be shot on any professional industry standard format. Please check with the Picture Start mentor if you have questions regarding shooting formats.
How to apply
Please complete ALL sections of the application form in full and include ALL the documents listed below.
— A complete script with a projected running time of 6 to 15 minutes.
— Fifty word synopsis
— Director’s vision statement – this should include your visual & sound plan for the film as well as personal notes on the project
— Proposed production budget ** Note: You must use the budget template for Picture Start ** this is will be provided by the Picture Start mentor and be completed with the mentor near the application deadline.
— Proposed financing structure ** Note: the Picture Start Mentor will advise applicants on potential funding sources and partnerships as part of the budget preparation process.
— A letter indicating WHY you want to participate in Picture Start, WHAT you hope to get out of the program and WHAT you feel you can contribute. **Please note that ALL members of the applicant team must include a letter.
— Preliminary Festival/marketing plan for the film
Please note: We will be holding interview style pitch sessions with each of the applicant teams as part of the final jury process. These will take place in mid-late September 2012.
The deadline for applications is July 23, 2012 at 5 pm. Projects will be selected by a jury made up of representatives from Telefilm Canada, the NLFDC and NIFCO. Decisions will be based on creative content, feasibility, the team and support documentation. All projects will be finally approved by the NIFCO Board of Directors. Successful participants will be notified no later than Monday, September 26th, 2011.
Please submit completed application via mail or hand delivery to:
40 Kings Road
St. John’s, NL
If you have any further inquiries please direct them to:
709-753-6121 ext 222
Picture Start Mentor