Writing proposals can be difficult because you, the creator of this film, have so much information and the question is; how to get all of that information into three dynamite paragraphs? The beginning of your proposal or the introduction is a key to funding. This is where you tell me your story and engage me in such a way that I will always remember your film. Itís a short concise, visual description of your film. I can actually see your film as I read it. This beginning is the most important area thatís not just what I think but what other grantors say they want too. I like when you knock me off my seat with your story. Thatís a good introduction.
The next mistake many filmmakers make is to put the history in the wrong area or to tell me at the beginning how many awards you have won. I want you to tell me a story, we are here to fund stories and they seem to get lost amongst technical information and bios and things that donít belong or that can take you away from the heart of the story.
I read about 1000 applications each year for the grant. I can tell when there is a good story and thatís what we fund, stories. Having an award winning crew is wonderful but having no story will not make a good film, even with the best Academy Award winners involved. The Art of Film Funding has a format that is being used in film schools and thatís what we work with. It clearly sets out and identifies the areas of importance to grantors:
Introduction (those first 3 paragraphs)
Background and need
Approach, Structure & Style
Audience, Marketing and Distribution
I put chapter 3 from the Art of Film Funding on the site here
I suggest you use this format for your grant applications.
From the Heart recommends Dana Rutscher as a grant writer. You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is her bio:
With an MBA and Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Business, Dana Rutscher has successfully raised over $400 million of debt and equity for companies in a variety of industries. Ms. Rutscher served for ten years as Vice President in the Corporate Finance Department of an investment banking group that was merged with JPMorgan Chase & Co. She has written over 100 business plans for companies raising capital or seeking buyers.
In addition to her extensive writing experience, Ms. Rutscher was responsible for providing merger and acquisition and financial advisory services to clients, marketed debt and equity transactions to a wide variety of banks and equity funds, conducted thorough industry research and negotiated closing of transactions.
Most recently, Ms. Rutscher served as a freelance editor for VC Experts, a private equity website with over 15,000 subscribers including venture capitalists, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Along with providing editing services, she was responsible for conducting research and contributing weekly interviews with high-profile individuals in the private equity industry.
Ms. Rutscher is currently a grant writer for From the Heart Productions' film project called Seeds of Inspiration.