film independent directing labSure, as filmmakers, feedback and collaboration is an essential part of the art. However, sometimes when your best friend/cinematographer/cousin with questionable taste in movies tells you that he just doesn't get why your main character does [insert crucial plot point here], you may wonder if this is exactly the feedback you need to grow as an artist. Participate in the 2014 Film Independent Directing Lab, and along with stipends, rental packages, and a community of peers, you can get a year of mentorship from seasoned film professionals -- if you can get your application in by October 7th! Keep reading to find out what you need to submit to be considered for this year's FIND Directing Lab.

The 13th Annual Film Independent Directing Lab is a 10-week experience where filmmakers have their current narrative film project nurtured by industry professionals. With previous Lab participants ranging from Robbie Pickering’s Natural Selection to Cherien Dabis’ Amreeka, you know good things happen here. But like all good programs, it's a tight competition to get in, with only 8 lucky filmmakers being selected each year. Here is a brief description from Film Independent of what the winter Directing Lab is all about:

Designed to help directors who are prepping their independent feature films, the Directing Lab is an intensive ten-week program that runs in Los Angeles in February and March. Under the guidance of the Lab Mentors, Directing Lab Fellows receive script feedback, discuss the vision for their films, and select short scenes from their scripts to workshop. Fellows cast actors and go through an in-class rehearsal of their scenes. Finally, each Directing Lab Fellow goes through a mini-production, learning how to break down a script into a shot list, collaborate with cinematographers, and construct a scene in the editing process.

In addition, filmmakers receive stipends to shoot their scenes, camera and sound packages, passes to the Directors Close-Upand Los Angeles Film Festival, and support for the rest of the year from the mentors at Film Independent. You don't have to be a Los Angeles based filmmaker, but you will need to be in L.A. for Lab (and the application is cheaper if you are a member of FIND). The Film Independent Directing Lab can be applied for online, and you will need to supply these elements to complete it:

  • Cover Letter explaining your interest in the Directing Lab
  • Complete feature-length screenplay
  • Logline and synopsis
  • Bios of key cast and crew attached
  • Project status and history
  • Prior work sample (DVD or online link)
  • Non-refundable application fee ($45 Film Independent Member; $65 Non-member)

If for some reason this article hasn't left you completely fulfilled about the whole thing, check out the Lab FAQ page for more details. Don't forget, the October 7th deadline is just around the corner. Don't spare the horses!