Chicken & Egg Pictures is turning ten! Join us for our 10th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, October 22 at the Art Directors Club in New York City.
The evening will feature the launch of an interactive installation that will bring to life five Chicken & Egg Pictures grantee films.
Tickets go on sale soon, and proceeds will benefit Chicken & Egg Pictures’ programs in support of remarkable women storytellers.
Visit www.chickenegg10.org for ticket information and event details.
The deadline for the 2015 Accelerator Lab Open Call is fast approaching. Applications are due this Wednesday, June 10, 2015, by 5:00 PM EDT.
If you’re only just getting started on your application, don’t worry – we’ve compiled the below tips to help you get up to speed fast:
Overview: For those of you that want a full breakdown of this whole process, please review our Grants page and Frequently Asked Questions, both of which provide very helpful and thorough information. If you still have questions, please email email@example.com with your project title in the subject line.
Funding and mentorship: This Open Call for funding is the process that determines which films will be selected for our 2015 Accelerator Lab. If you are selected to receive a grant, you will also participate in the lab, which is a year long intensive mentorship program (with possibility for extension). It is not a goal of the lab for the films to be completed in that year; that is the length of time you’ll spend with us receiving mentorship. The lab will be structured around 3 to 4 retreats that the granted directors are required to attend, with travel support from us. The lab will be more intensive and tailored than our past mentorship programs, but if you want some insight on our mentorship style in general, take a look at our mentorship page or our blog.
First- or second- time filmmakers: When we say first- or second- time filmmaker, we’re talking specifically about your experience as a director or co-director of feature-length documentaries. You are still eligible if you’ve already made a few shorts, or done fiction work, we’re looking for directors who are making their first or second feature-length documentary. By feature length, we mean 40 minutes or more. Read more about this in our Frequently Asked Questions.
Early production: For this round, we’re only accepting projects between development and early-production (with no more than 40% of the footage shot) because we want to ensure that we have the greatest opportunity possible to make an impact on the film and on your development as the director. If you’re having trouble figuring out what percentage you’ve shot, think about the big picture of your finished film, where you are now, and what you need to do to get to that finished project. What do you have in the can, and how much more shooting do you think you have left to do? That’s how you’ll assess if you’ve reached the 40%. We’re not keeping count, but we hope you’ll respect the guidelines and be honest with yourself when considering applying.
Work samples: In a nutshell, the short work sample should grab our attention and show the project’s potential; the long work sample should give us a deeper sense of your directorial style, characters, and pacing of the film; and the prior work sample should tell us about your experience and your ability to follow through. The short and long samples should consist of pieces of the project with which you’re currently applying, whereas the prior work sample is from a different film you’ve worked on in the past.
No footage shot yet: We have a strict requirement of at least 7 minutes of footage for applicants. If you can, shoot something quickly before the deadline or maybe ask your subjects to shoot some verite or interview of themselves for you, but only if you think it will be good enough to represent your project in our review process. We do not accept unsolicited updates, so the application is the only opportunity for you to show us what you have. If it doesn’t seem you can get it all together before the deadline, it might not be the right time for you to apply for this round.
Parting shots: Here are a few last items to keep in mind:
- For this round we are not accepting interactive projects or series. Stay tuned for announcements on an upcoming program geared toward these formats in 2016. Join our mailing list, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
- If you’re unsure what makes a documentary a hybrid, check out this great article from the POV blog. Please also note that just because your film is based on a true story, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically a hybrid.
- For guidance on the written application, be sure to look at the help text on the right side of each question. Please also note that the word count for many of the essay based questions is 2300 characters, including spaces. Trust us, brief is better.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the name of your project in the subject line.
Filmmaker discussions and Q&As are a great way for you to connect with the people who care about your film, and audiences love the chance to engage with you and discuss your film.
Glenn Raucher, Director of Theater Operations at the Film Society of Lincoln Center has seen countless film talkbacks; below, he and his staff shared with us stories of Q&A pros who used every possible chance to connect with their audience.
“John Waters, upon hearing that we were turning away 100+ people (!) from a stand-by line (sure to be disappointed, at best), offered to go out and greet them all, giving them a great experience, despite being turned away. Pedro Almodovar did the same before his ridiculously sold-out Amphitheater Talk” – Glenn Raucher, Director of Theater Operations.
“In 2002 Gary Sherman brought in his own print of “Deathline,” (uncut and very different from the theatrically released 1974 version that was re-titled “Raw Meat”). As a result, the audience got to see a version of the movie that had rarely, if ever, been shown in the United States. He was also patient and cooperative with the staff and his fans.” -Fletch Cossa, House Manager
“During a screening of “Jauja” in the New York Film Festival, the subtitling for the film failed momentarily, causing us to have to pause the film. Viggo Mortensen stood up, and cheerfully talked with the crowd while they waited, also communicating that…s**t happens, and it’s all good! It diffused the tension until the computer issue was fixed and the film resumed.” -Glenn Raucher, Director of Theater Operations
“Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as Borat, offered a “Brazilian” to everyone taking an elevator backstage with him, including our house manager. He was also, out of character, unfailingly friendly and polite.” -Karim Allick, House Manager
“A woman approached me and asked if I could help her convince Jean Dujardin to record a brief message of uplift for her very sick husband, a friend of the Film Society’s. Dujardin had flown in that day, and was clearly exhausted, but after a brief explanation, he said “of course!” and recorded a charming and funny get-well message.”- Glenn Raucher, Director of Theater Operations
These stories remind us that you don’t have to be a celebrity to make a great impression on your audience. House Manager Patrick Ng shares 3 overall tips to keep in mind for your Q&A:
- Keep your answers brief, unless you have an awesome anecdote to tell. This allows for more questions to be taken from the audience, and keeps the momentum moving. First time filmmakers tend to be more long winded in their responses, while the pros take the “less is more” approach. Short answers also provide the best quotes used in press and social media.
- Share your insight. People will remember your Q&A more when they can walk away with a nugget of insight that will inspire them, motivate them, make them look at something in a different way.
- Schedule permitting, make yourself available after the Q&A (in the lobby, not the theater!) to take more questions. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable asking a question in front of a full house and would prefer a more intimate circumstance.
Programmers and executives from HBO, Candescent Films, POV, and IFP shared their favorite ways filmmakers follow up:
Re-introduce yourself and your project.
Send a short email with where we met and a one page sheet with all the info about your film.
If you send a link, make sure it’s downloadable and easily accessible.
If it can’t be downloaded for security reasons, explain and ask how many DVDs you should send. Make sure your link has a very easy password so people don’t get frustrated opening it.
Know when to give them some space.
Send another quick email if you don’t hear back but back away after 3 follow-up emails.
If you see the programmer or executive, be friendly. Don’t tell them they didn’t respond or remember you. If they can’t help you personally, they still can be a friend to the project by connecting you with other people who can help you, so keep the lines of communication open and courteous.