How to Get Funding for Your Travel Documentary | Buff Tech

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How to get financing for your travel documentary

Should you’re merely seeking to go on an journey and movie your self or a good friend, then there’s not a lot stopping you from hitting the street and doing it. But when he needs to create one thing larger, like a documentary function movie or a collection, he might want to discover methods to finance his documentary.

In MZed’s latest course, Journey Movies with Russ Malkin, producer/director Russ brings a wealth of information from over 30 years creating journey documentaries for community tv and streaming platforms. In a lesson, “The best way to Discover the Cash,” Russ outlines the method to financing an journey film, present, or internet collection.

Do you need to learn extra about this course? Right here is our latest article on journey movie with Russ Malkin.

Why are you doing this present?

The very first thing Russ recommends is to suppose lengthy and onerous about why you are decided to make a journey documentary. For instance you’ve gotten a good friend planning to interrupt a world file and also you need to come and movie the journey. Do you actually need to make it into one thing massive with a giant finances, or might you inform the story with none exterior funding?

If there’s a option to self-finance a journey manufacturing, even when it isn’t as massive a manufacturing as you want, then there’s actually nothing stopping you. And by committing to a challenge with out in search of exterior funding, you are creating an expertise for your self and your expertise that could be the ticket to a much bigger challenge sooner or later, one that may’t be executed with out funding.

Charley Boorman, Ewan McGregor and Russ Malkin. Picture Supply: Russ Malkin

However for those who actually consider in a terrific thought, then it is time you bought critical in regards to the pursuit of cash. First, you will have to determine on the small print: how lengthy is the present, is it a function movie or a collection, what are you able to shoot, what might you get out of it.

Should you’ve by no means executed something like this earlier than and for those who’re fully new to journey documentaries, you will probably need to associate with a manufacturing firm that already has expertise. That means, a financier can make certain that the manufacturing is occurring.

Moreover, skilled manufacturing corporations will probably have already got contacts with commissioned editors on streaming platforms or streaming networks, which is able to enhance the probability of their challenge being picked up within the first place.

One factor Russ emphasizes is that if a funder has ever turned down a challenge, it is extremely unlikely that they’re going to ever rethink funding your documentary except one thing actually drastic has modified in your pitch. So give him the very best likelihood of getting the inexperienced gentle the primary time.

commissioning publishers

Each tv community or international streaming platform has commissioned editors who’re ready for folks such as you to pitch their thought. Instantly, they need to see a one-page doc that lists the title of your present, what you intend to do, how lengthy it’s going to final, the place you will be going and when, your expertise, some photographs, and an announcement of why you suppose this present might be profitable. attention-grabbing to see.

Along with the one web page doc, you will need to think about making a presentation ribbon. Consider it as a drill, a possibility to experiment and form your thought, however extra importantly, a option to take a look at your expertise.

How to Get Funding for Your Travel Documentary | Buff Tech How to Get Funding for Your Travel Documentary Battle
Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in “Lengthy Method Up,” Picture Credit score: Russ Malkin/Apple TV

As Russ says, 90% of a present is normally the character and the way they react to the folks and locations they journey to. The chemistry between folks is what piques the viewer’s curiosity, and infrequently probably the most unlikely folks work very properly on digicam. The teaser tape lets you see in case your expertise will work and, extra importantly, it’s going to give the editor in cost a style of the present’s potential.

In fact, making a teaser will price you cash, and if you cannot self-finance this a part of the challenge, you will want to search out somebody who can put money into your thought earlier than it will get off the bottom. Additionally, you will want acceptance of your expertise to take part and make the advance.

If all goes properly, you will have a face-to-face assembly with the editor in cost and likelihood is your expertise will present up too. Come ready as it’s important to have a solution to each attainable query. It isn’t that commissioned editors need to say “no”, it is that they must be positive they’ll get a terrific present that folks will need to see.

Your ardour for the challenge might push you over the sting and into the reunion, however to safe funding and promote the challenge to a commissioned editor, you both need to have the expertise or rent a workforce that has the expertise.

Distribution corporations

As a substitute for commissioned publishers, it’s possible you’ll need to think about approaching a distribution firm. Traditionally, they’d take their completed program and promote it everywhere in the world. However in keeping with Russ, increasingly distribution corporations need to get entangled at the start of a challenge and accompany a documentary manufacturing all through the journey.

In fact, all of it is dependent upon the challenge, in addition to the monetary prospects of the distribution firm, however it’s value a attempt.

How to Get Funding for Your Travel Documentary | Buff Tech How to Get Funding for Your Travel Documentary Force
Episode 11. Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor in “Lengthy Method Up”. Picture Credit score: Russ Malkin/Apple TV


There are various corporations that could be occupied with supporting your challenge if it aligns with their mission and enterprise pursuits. For instance, if you’re producing a journey documentary collection that focuses on the atmosphere, you might method corporations within the environmental area.

Now discovering the cash with sponsors means you almost certainly will not get a broadcast deal on your present, however you possibly can nonetheless entice an enormous viewers with internet distribution, streaming platforms, and even social media, particularly with the help of a giant firm. sponsor.

How to Get Funding for Your Travel Documentary | Buff Tech How to Get Funding for Your Travel Documentary Videogames
Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in ‘Lengthy Method Up’. Picture Credit score: Russ Malkin/Apple TV

There are much more corporations to method for funding than broadcasters or streaming platforms, so you’ve gotten extra potential companions. And receiving monetary backing from a company model doesn’t suggest they’re going to get entangled in directing your present. However take into account that their enterprise is not video manufacturing, so it’s possible you’ll want to assist them slightly extra alongside the best way to verify their journey film goes in keeping with plan.

One other factor to think about is whether or not product or model integration interferes with the integrity of your program. In some instances, this could possibly be a deal breaker. However nowadays, with branded films changing into the norm, audiences are used to seeing nice content material that they know was made partly with the help of manufacturers, so seeing embedded merchandise is not a giant deal.

On the finish of the day, company sponsors are simply as occupied with actual, genuine human tales as a lot as we’re, and for those who’re selecting a associate or product that is the very best match for the job, then it’s going to make sense. for everybody concerned. You will probably find yourself speaking to a model supervisor or advertising and marketing workforce when pitching your thought, so there might be some extent of negotiation to keep up the integrity of your challenge, but it surely’s a really professional option to fund your enterprise.

Alternate options to financing a documentary

Within the lesson, Russ additionally discusses different methods to fund documentaries, reminiscent of tourism authorities, philanthropists, and grants. In reality, the present “Excessive Frontiers with Charley Boorman” was partially financed by the tourism authorities.

The important thing to any pitch is to be persistent and assured, and as Russ emphasizes, solely pitch one thought at a time. It is onerous for folks to just accept an thought for those who’re not totally behind the thought your self.

What else do you get with MZed Professional?

As an MZed Professional member, you additionally get entry to over 300 hours of movie training, together with Journey movie with Russ Malkinplus, we’re consistently including extra programs (a number of in manufacturing proper now).

For simply $30/month (billed yearly at $349), here is all you will get:

  • 40+ programs, 600+ high-quality classes spanning 300+ hours of studying.
  • Extremely produced programs by educators who’ve a long time of expertise and awards, together with a Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award.
  • Limitless entry to stream all content material for 12 months.
  • Obtain and offline viewing with the MZed iOS app.
  • Reductions on ARRI Academy on-line programs, solely at MZed.
  • Most of our programs present an industry-recognized certificates upon completion.
  • Shopping for the programs outright would price greater than $7,600.
  • Course subjects embody cinematography, directing, lighting, cameras and lenses, manufacturing, impartial filmmaking, writing, modifying, shade grading, audio, and even how one can launch a YouTube channel.
  • 7 day a refund assure for those who determine it isn’t for you.

Be part of MZed Professional now and begin watching immediately!

How to Get Funding for Your Travel Documentary | Buff Tech How to Get Funding for Your Travel Documentary
Picture Supply: MZed

Full disclosure: MZed is owned by CineD

How to Get Funding for Your Travel Documentary