What work samples do you require for the application?

All work samples must be in English or have accurate English subtitles on screen.

First-time directors: 

  1. Must submit a sample of the project with which they’re applying
  2. (Optional) Can submit a prior work sample

Second-time directors: 

  1. Must submit a sample of the project with which they’re applying
  2. Must submit a prior work sample from their first feature-length film, on which they served as director or co-director

Co-directing teams:

  1. Must submit a sample of the project with which they’re applying
  2. Must submit a prior work sample from the first- or second-time filmmaker, if your co-directing team consists of one first- or second-time filmmaker and one veteran filmmaker
  3. (Optional) May submit a prior work sample if all directors are first-time filmmakers 

Current Project Samples

Current project samples should run between 7–20 minutes and can consist of a trailer, 2–3 scene selects or excerpts, or a combination of a trailer and scene selects.

  • Since we will be looking at your ability to construct a story, we encourage first-time filmmakers to ensure that their work samples include constructed scene selects/excerpts.
  • In our first round application review, reviewers are required to watch up to the first 10 minutes of the project sample. In this early round, 10 minutes will be sufficient to get a sense of the project, the importance of the subject matter, and the talent of the filmmaker to move into the following round. In subsequent rounds, work samples will be viewed in full. You are able to submit a sample that is longer than 20 minutes in order to avoid re-editing; however, in the first round, reviewers will only view up to the first 10 minutes

Prior Work Samples 

Prior work samples have no length limit and are mandatory for second-time filmmakers and optional for first-time filmmakers. These samples should be of a film that the applicant either directed or played a prominent role in the production of.

  • The purpose of a prior work sample is to give us a sense of the director’s visual style, storytelling ability, ambition, and follow through. 
  • Your prior work sample must be documentary, fiction-nonfiction hybrid, or other forms of nonfiction. The sample can be a short or feature-length film, including web series, animation, or experimental. Fiction work, music videos, commercial work, and PSAs are not accepted as prior work samples. We understand the creative value of this work but, because of its nature, it does not allow us to see the author’s voice and vision as a documentary filmmaker. 

First-time filmmakers: You may submit previously directed work that is not a feature-length film but this must still be documentary, hybrid, or other form of nonfiction, such as web series, animation, or experimental. If none of this is available, you may submit a work sample from a separate project in which you held a prominent creative role in the production, such as producer, A.D., cinematographer, or editor. If you are not the director, please specify your role in the creation of the completed work submitted.  Note that samples of work directed by you are strongly preferred over samples of work where you held a prominent role but did not participate as director or co-director.

Tips & Tricks

Important technical notes to keep in mind when submitting your work samples:

  • All work samples must be accessible via a downloadable URL (Vimeo, YouTube, or private hosting site). You must provide us with a link and password to review the sample.
  • Please test your links and passwords and make sure they play all the way through the samples. Please also make sure your links will stay live and be accessible through December 2021.
  • We prefer that you submit using a link and password, but if you are absolutely unable to submit online, you may email egglab_opencall@chickeneggpics.org, with “DVD submission request” and your project title in the subject line to request permission.

Important notes on trailers, character strands, scene selects, and raw footage:

  • Trailers: Trailers can often be slick, fast, and energetic, and may not give us an accurate sense of your film’s tone, character development, or story structure. If you’re submitting a trailer, we encourage you to also attach a couple of additional scenes to give us more of a chance to experience your style and get a feel for your characters, access, relationship to the material, and narrative arc.
  • Character strands: If you’ve been following a character over time and want to show their evolution or development, you might want to string together scenes that show the character’s progression. A character strand doesn’t require formal transitions or the scenes to be interwoven with others, but it should demonstrate a character’s story arc, what makes them unique, and your depth of access to them. Please do this only if the character is your lead and a major part of the story.
  • Selected Scenes/Excerpts: If you are a bit further along, you can send us a selection of edited scenes or an excerpt of an early assembly of the film. These can be edited together consecutively to tell us a part of your story (with transitions), or they can be intercut with black in between (no transitions), to show us the range of your story. Scene selects or excerpts should provide us with a feel for how your story will play out in real time; they should also offer a sense of your tone, pacing, and cinematic language.