You want to make a documentary, and you know how Ken Burns did it, so you google "NEH grant." Four hours go by. Who knew it took eleven steps to sign up to apply for said grant, let alone finish the 20+ pages of writing, acquire two humanities experts, and get one public television station letter-of-interest that may or may not be needed to turn it in?! (Hey, I'm no expert -- I never actually finished my application.) To help with these headaches, POV has released a handy-dandy new "For Filmmakers" page to save us from some of the pain of trying to figure out how to make content for public television from scratch.
The For Filmmakers amalgamation features everything from public media broadcasters, to lists (with actual contact info) of people who can help you get your film out there. From the programmers of POV, arguably the most exclusive PBS series:
The POV For Filmmakers site features many essential resource lists. From grant opportunities to engagement strategies, we parsed out exactly what you will need to get your documentary made and seen.
No kidding, they really did. If you navigate through the POV sidebar on the left for these lovely resources, you'll see some amazing things. Like, for example, an actual calendar of relevant deadlines of funding, festivals, and more that you can import into your own Google Calender. You'll never miss another deadline (or find out about one a few hours before its due) again!
Not to get all Ron Swanson on this, but the realm of public media can be a murky mess to sort through, especially if you're just starting out in the documentary world. As we know, it's pretty hard to get a documentary in the can, let alone on TV, and this "For Filmmakers" page should make some of the red tape slightly less confusing. While some sections are specifically for those interested in public television, most topics are relevant for all doc filmmakers. For example, they list all of the legit film festivals out there for documentaries, even being kind enough to note which ones are considered top-tier.
Think of the hours to be saved on Google searches that we can instead apply towards more of the filmmaking process -- or maybe towards making coffee and thinking about the filmmaking process and 'researching' YouTube videos (Whichever). Thanks to POV for putting this together; be sure to head on over to the website to check out this fantastic resource!
Any filmmakers out there currently navigating the world of public television? What other resources would be useful?