Independent producers have the opportunity to apply for a potentially lucrative grant from the MEDIA Development Fund to develop movie projects that have international marketing potential. In 2014 MEDIA launched the fifth round of its Program Creative Europe with a budget increase of 4 Million Euro. The aim of the program: To strengthen Europe’s audiovisual industry. Individual projects in the area ‚Movies‘ can apply for up to 60.000 Euro. Bonus points are awarded, for example, to projects aimed at the Under-16’s. However, competition for these program funds is intense. If you wish to be successful nonetheless, you should consider the following:
Do not submit too soon
Only enter your project into the race when the material has taken concrete shape and you’ve attached a number of partners (internationally renowned creatives, co-producers or distributors) to your project. Formal letters-of-intent from your partners will strengthen your application.
Clearly identify any weaknesses of the material submitted
Rather than gloss over any weakness, do identify problems and articulate concrete suggestions for solutions. Be clear about the direction you wish to take your project.
Identify and name the partners you wish to attract to the project to add value to your script
For example, if your author has been unable to deliver a convincing exposé, treatment or first draft script, then look for a strong partner who will significantly improve the quality of the project. Identify and name the script consultant or dialogue writer you’ve attracted to the project and add their letter-of-intent and filmography. Explain clearly why you’ve chosen this particular person to join the creative team.
Make sure your MEDIA submission is coherent
We notice time and again that the proposed project phases do not match proposed costs in the requested funds calculations. A likely reason for this is several people, such as production manager and producer, will have contributed to the submission. It is therefore important that the whole application is carefully proofread for consistency and coherence. Check whether all proposed tasks have been sufficiently considered in the costs.
Do a detailed time plan
Include a time plan in your submission. You should allow sufficient time for each phase of development. Take care to make this time plan realistic, such that everyone involved in the development of your project is able to stick to it and deliver.
Identify your target group as closely as possible
You should reveal and elaborate on who the specific target group for your movie is. Explain which measures will be taken to reach this group. Consider who could be an attractive partner when it comes to marketing your film. Examples would be interest groups or forums.
„BuchScout – Agency For Film Adaptations“ is headquartered in Berlin. It specializes in screen adaptations of novels and in the development of feature films for the national and international market. Its tasks include searching for novels, analysis of adaptation potential, negotiation of film rights and contracts, film script creation and analysis, editing, support, and development of presentations for media outlets, distributors and funders in German, English and French. Most recently BuchScout‘s Suzanne Pradel has worked on the feature film „Galloping Mind“ by the Belgian director Wim Vandekeybus (first cinema release: September 2015 in Belgium) and on the adaptation of Hape Kerkeling’s German best-seller „Ich Bin Dann Mal Weg“ („I’Am Off“. Cinema release: December 2015, German box office hit).
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