Diane’s Diary #37: Writing Proposals — Part 1
Note: This is Excerpt #37 in Diane’s Diary. If you would like to read previous excerpts, you can find Diane’s Diary 1-36 here.
I know that all this budget talk isn’t sexy. It’s the least fun part of making a film (for me anyway), though I’m doing my best to put a smile on my face and make it fun.
But it’s really important, because without funding, there’s no film. And until you know your budget, you don’t know how much funding you need. I was happy to fund the mini-documentaries that we have already produced.
The docuseries project, however, is really big. (Really really big.) And now I turn my attention to foundations that have grant money, corporations who are aligned with our mission, as well as individuals who are interested in supporting the project.
Now that the budget was coming together, it was time to start writing grant proposals. I was thinking I needed to write a proposal for a film grant. Basically, there are film organizations that fund filmmakers. The proposal explains what is going to happen in your film and why they should fund you.
Since my initial thought was to apply for grants for filmmakers, I started writing out the vision of the film and docuseries. Honestly though, I had no idea how to do this properly. Fortunately, I met someone over the summer of 2020 who does. Her name is Joanna Rabiger, and she is brilliant. We spoke on the phone a few times, I shared everything I had with her, and she turned it into something poetic.
Once we started fleshing out the stories though, I realized that there was even more that I was going to need to film. So I went back to my line producer, Theresa, who had been helping me with the production budgets and we modified budgets once again. Now I had a more accurate picture of how much money I need to raise.
It was kind of crazy how I met Joanna. I had been introduced to a filmmaker who introduced me to another filmmaker who suggested I contact Joanna. Isn’t it amazing how we find our way to the people we are supposed to meet?
But I didn’t end up applying for any film grants (yet) and I’ll tell you why in the next Diane’s Diary post.
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Before the pandemic (when this was filmed), therapy animals were making finals week just a tad bit less stressful for college students. Can you imagine how excited students will be when these visits resume in person?