fti

Support & Advice

Need help with your application?

Got some questions about funding? The Production Support department at FTI provides advice, assistance and funding to FTI Members and other WA based filmmakers and screen content creators for independent production projects.

FTI provide funding support through various programs. To find out more and to see if you’re eligible, visit the funding area.

We get many people asking for help with preparing an application for one of our many funding initiatives. It is a large task preparing an application and of course you want to have everything done correctly to ensure you are in with a chance!! Have a look through these documents and if there is other info you’d like us to include, please email us.

Lynda is the Production Support Manager and can be contacted for inquiries relating to Hyperlink, Link, Town of Vincent, Raw Nerve and OOMPF or any general inquiries.

 

We can be contacted by email, Production Support, or by telephone on (08) 9431 6700.

How do I get a project started?

All films start with a great idea… but it takes time and effort to get it to the screen and it is often a long process. To start, you need to have a written concept that you can present to potential producers.

Here are four ways to get a project started (of course there are more!)

1. Write a script yourself. If you have never written before, perhaps you could consider doing a screenwriting course to get started. Also, there are many books / resources available to assist you (check out FTI’s bookstore).

2. Find a screenwriter who is willing to write a script based on your idea. You will also need to find a producer and director who are interested in pursuing it too…

3. Find a script that has already been written – talk to the writer about making it into a film.

4. Find a short story / poem / image / almost anything and get a writer to adapt it for screen. You could do it yourself too…

The Australian Writers Guild (AWG) has a list of writers and their pay rates. You can also download useful documents from the Screen Australia website that will show you the correct way to format your script and other info about getting started in the industry.

Crew

You will need to have a Producer and Director locked in when submitting your application. Having a Producer allows the writer or director to concentrate on the creative elements, and the producer can take care of everything else, like managing the other key creatives.

A Director will provide information on HOW the film will look, what processes will be used in order to achieve the ‘look’. Basically, what the final project will be like.

It is great if you can have other key crew locked in – such as a Director of Photography, Production Manager, Sound Department and Editor.

If you have cast in mind, provide stills of them.

BE READY TO GO!

How do I prepare the required statements?

Here are a few tips to help you write statements for your application. Be sure to write ONLY 1 – 2 pages for each. LESS IS MORE! Be succinct and precise with the content. Remember, the panel read through many applications!

Writers statement
What is the film about? Whose story is it (which character is the voice)? What is happening? What are the challenges faced by the characters? What is the resolution? What are the themes? Why is this film important?

Directors statement
How will the story be told? what conventions will be used? what is the visual style of the film? if referencing styles /. films – HOW will you achieve the look / feel? Will colour or other thematic conventions be used to convey themes / ideas? How do you envisage the finished film? Are there actors chosen or in mind to participate? Where do you think the film should be filmed? What is the genre(s)?

Producers Statement
How will the film be made? Locations? Actors? Costumes? SFX? Safety? Money allocated to all of these if required? Is the crew sorted? How will the film be marketed – what are the plans once the film is finished? Which film festivals will the film be entered into? What is the target audience? Have you allocated money in the budget for festival entry? Think ‘what needs to organized & thought of in order to make this film the way I want?”

MISCELLANEOUS
Some additional statements that may help (project specific). Include notes on processes and how to achieve with budget. A few reference images are always a great idea. – SFX artist – Costume Designer – Production Design – Make-up

Budget

A copy of the A to Z Budget can be downloaded from the Screen Australia (SA) website or you can enlist the services of a production manager or producer to prepare a budget for you. There are many publications and resources to help you with your budget.

Remember, if you are using the A-Z budget, please only print out the cover pages. As the budget is small, there are many empty fields and the panelists don’t want to look over blank pages (plus it is a waste of paper!)

We have a template Excel budget for OOMPF, Raw Nerve and Town Of Vincent. Contact us for a copy.

How is my project assessed?

The Film & Television Institute uses panels for all funding rounds. The panel consists of three professional industry practitioners, chosen by Production Support. Each panelist is sent all applications and supporting material to read and assess. The panel members then convene at FTI to discuss each application with focus on the script, the budget and the merits of the creative team.

The panelists will assess projects in terms of:

Story

The quality of the script and originality of the idea. The story, the exploration of form and narrative. The potential for direction and performance. Is it well developed and production ready? How long is the script? Is it 8 – 13 pages? Is it innovative?

Team

Team composition and their ability to deliver within the proposed timeline and budget. Do they have a good show-reel? Do they have a good track record? How are the Directors and Producers statements?

Budget

Have they provided a realistic budget that adequately reflects the project’s requirements?

Marketing

Is the film likely to do well at festivals? Who is the target audience?

Handy Tips

FORMAT THE SCRIPT CORRECTLY
Not hard! Email Lynda for a script template. Or download from the Screen Australia website.
READ THE SCRIPT OUT ALOUD
Is the dialogue naturalistic? Do people talk like that? Then neither should your characters! How long is the film? Does it make sense? Read out directions also – don’t describe too much. Only include directions that help reader to understand character development. We DON’T need to know every minute detail.
HOW LONG IS THE SCRIPT?
Raw Nerve projects should be around 5 minutes long – this means the script should be no more than 6 – 7 pages long. OOMPF projects should be 9 – 13 minutes long. Scripts should be no more than 13 pages.
Scripts over 15 pages in length will NOT be accepted.
DO A SPELL CHECK
This is not hard! Spelling errors really irk panelists and are so easy to avoid!
DON’T SAY IT – SHOW IT!!!
Convey information visually. Dialogue communicates backstory, background information and any facts that are necessary to the story.
For example: Throughout the film a character could wear a wedding ring and have pictures of himself with a woman and child in his wallet and in his house. Yet you never see this family in person. The audience will surmise that the character has been through a divorce or separation.
BEWARE OF EXPOSITION OVERLOAD!!
Early career filmmakers worst enemy! A very common occurrence in submitted projects. Don’t have the majority of exposition too early in the script. It lessens the opportunity for shocking revelations and plot twists towards the end.
Try to disperse exposition evenly throughout. Only include what is necessary for the audience to understand the story…but no more. Anything not required to help the audience understand the story right away can be saved for later.
INCLUDE A PRODUCTION TIMELINE
You don’t have to include dates – periods of time are ok. How long will you allow for Pre / Production / Post?

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