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MediaMaker Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What's included in the MediaMaker "in kind" package?
BAVC MediaMaker Fellows:
- Participate in approximately three full-day MediaMaker workshops throughout the year, designed to provide guidance in advancing your project, as well as training and mentorship in documentary storytelling, project development, emerging technologies, and multiplatform storytelling.
- Participate in MediaMaker Fellows Labs to screen works-in-progress and receive feedback from fellow MediaMakers and invited industry experts. Each fellow receives an evening Development Lab designed to get feedback and input specifically on their project. Participation in the other fellows' labs also helps to shape your project and gives you great ideas for your own. The collegial and supportive community created around each group of MediaMaker fellows is a creative and highly collaborative atmosphere in which to share ideas and insights on documentary projects in development.
- If needed, fellows may request additional BAVC facilities access for project development, focus groups, work-in-progress screenings, mentor meetings, professional postproduction, or testing.
- Receive numerous exposure opportunities including serving as a guest blogger for the BAVC web site and newsletter, highlighting your project, your creative process, screenings, events, and community engagement plans.
- Are eligible for assistance from BAVC-trained media interns who will assist MediaMaker fellows in creating a short "behind the scenes" video documentary about the MediaMaker’s project to be used in presentations, funding proposals, and project promotion. (For samples of these see http://bavc.org/node/647954 or http://bavc.org/stream.) This video will also be distributed on BAVC’s local cable channels and web sites to educate and inspire other aspiring mediamakers and to promote your work.
- Be included in the MediaMaker Showcase – an event for the BAVC MediaMaker Fellows to share their projects to local funders, broadcasters, and community organizations. Most fellows choose to hone their projects and ideas in preparation to share them with a larger group of stakeholders; part of our workshops help you to prepare to share your projects and develop materials for presentations and proposals.
- Inclusion in BAVC’s creative programs alumni network, a group of seasoned makers who have all developed work at BAVC.
- A small cash stipend ($500) to support your participation in the program and as a thank-you for meeting program commitments.
What is the commitment required during the fellowship?
Applicants must be willing to be an active participant in monthly labs and quarterly workshops, an annual exhibition, pitch/showcase, and ongoing online forum. Applicants must commit to citing BAVC along with other major funders of the project that they develop through MediaMaker (such as in project credits, in any “About,” “Funders,” or “Sponsors” page of a project web site) with BAVC logo and link; and must commit to participating in the production of a short promotional case study video about their project (with assistance from a BAVC-trained intern, provided through the in kind award). Each fellow must also write one guest blog about their project and complete the program evaluation to receive their stipend. Note: These commitments are all designed to “help us help you” as a fellow, and we frequently use these materials to gain exposure opportunities for your project at conferences, public forums, funder presentations, and other events.
Do I have to complete my film during the year of my fellowship? What am I expected to present at the final showcase?
Not necessarily. We hope that the fellowship will help you make great progress with your project, and that what you learn and the relationships you form will help guide not only your current project, but also your career and creative work. At the showcase event, each fellow shares some kind of trailer or clip from a work in progress with the attendees, who consist of the fellows and invitees from the media arts funding, production, technology, and distribution communities. Fellows share something of what their trajectory has been over the course of their fellowship: where they began the year, how the project changed through the MediaMaker, how the fellow’s creative process was influenced, where the project is now, and where it is headed. Like the fellowship itself, each presentation is unique to the project and fellow, and invites more industry leaders to support it and follow it through to completion and success.
Can more than one person from a team participate?
Each project is expected to have a primary applicant and project lead; that person if accepted would become the “MediaMaker fellow” featured on our web site and would be the primary point person for your project who is responsible for communication and deliverables. If you are working in an equal partnership, you may apply with a "co-applicant," and there is a section of the application to add this individual's information. Co-applicants must both commit to participating in fellowship events and workshops, and should share creative/editorial control over the project. Co-applicants must both be BAVC members to apply joinly. Although it is expected that each project has a team behind it, and that your team members will be invited to join us for key events such as your project's Lab session or the final presentation event, we limit the number of partner applicants we select each year due to capacity limitations.
Who is eligible for MediaMaker?
Any Bay Area BAVC member working on a noncommercial project is eligible for the MediaMaker Fellows program. For further information about the types of mediamakers and projects we support, see http://bavc.org/mediamaker.
What types of projects are appropriate for MediaMaker? Can I apply with only a film?
All media projects are eligible. Reviewers will look favorably upon strategic content plans for the subject matter and project. A preference is given for social issue documentary and transmedia projects, but MediaMaker is not limited to these genres. The most important criteria is that you have a great project with the potential to engage a lot of people, and a strategy for reaching the audiences you intend to reach and to affect change among them. It also helps to have an open mind and an eagerness for feedback, input, community, and collaboration, because the MediaMaker labs help artists to envision new directions and approaches for their work.
What are the geographic limits for eligibility?
MediaMaker is a program for Bay Area mediamakers. There are no geographic limits for eligibility, however each recipient is expected to attend nearly twelve in-person events each year. If a key project producer or director (must be a decision-maker and lead artist/visionary) is located in the Bay Area, that person may apply on behalf of the project and attend the events.
Are previous MediaMaker and/or Producers Institute participants eligible?
Yes. As long as the project itself is new to MediaMaker.
Does participation in MediaMaker make the participant ineligible for Producers Institute?
No. The programs have slightly different focuses. Generally, it would make more sense to apply to MediaMaker prior to participating in Producers Institute, as MediaMaker will help you to explore the concepts and approaches to your project and the program tends to develop and advance projects at any stage. Producers Institute is more about making those approaches a reality.
What stage of the project should an applicant have attained before submitting?
There is no requirement that you have a media project at a rough cut stage before applying to MediaMaker, but a work sample of some kind is expected. Most applicants have something of their current project to show when they are applying, which helps the reviewers to envision and understand your project and where you are trying to go with it. So not having a related work sample or work-in-progress puts you at a disadvantage compared to other applicants. However, if you have a strong track record in completing previous work, and have momentum on your current project (meaning some funding, a strong team, an amazing idea or untold story, partnerships, advisors, production underway, or even a committed exhibitor), MediaMaker could be the perfect launch pad for your project and would likely advance it a great deal.
The application indicates that I must have one other funder for my project before applying. What counts? If I’ve already spent some of my own money or time on it is that enough?
The reviewers want to see that your project has the ability to draw funding and move forward to completion. If you are the only person who has invested in your project to date, it may put you at a disadvantage compared to other applicants. However, if your project has no other funders and the budget is small, or if you have already completed a strong work sample for your project without obtaining other funding, reviewers will take those factors into consideration, so lack of funding is not necessarily a disqualifying point for an otherwise compelling work-in-progress. The key point is that you must raise the reviewers’ confidence that you will raise your full budget and complete the project in a "reasonable" amount of time. Your belief/hope/expectation that you will eventually raise your budget doesn’t do much to increase that confidence. Your ability to fund and complete past work, and your ability to raise some outside funding for your current project does.
Do I have to have a fiscal sponsor to apply to MediaMaker?
No. MediaMaker is an in-kind package of training, services, equipment and facilities, consultation, and support. The stipend is given to you as a participant and is not itself a grant. If you are accepted to the MediaMaker program and need a fiscal sponsor in order to obtain other trants, BAVC may consider you for BAVC’s fiscal sponsorship program. BAVC only fiscally sponsors projects that we have some other affiliation with through our creative programs.
What is the timeline?
- Application available: Friday, January 4, 2013
Information session: Wednesday, January 9, 6:00 - 7:30pm at BAVC
Early application deadline: Wednesday, January 23, 5:00pm
BAVC Membership (any level) required, no entry fee before this date and time.
Final application deadline: Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 5:00pm
BAVC Membership (any level) required, plus $40 late entry fee.
- 2013 Fellows announced: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Welcome reception: Friday, March 1, 2013, 5:30 - 7:30pm
- Workshops, labs, and other in-kind support: March - December, 2013
Who is on the review committee?
Each year the review panel for MediaMaker is approximately eight reviewers, half of them being BAVC staff members and half being external industry experts such as funders, broadcasters, technologists, and programmers. We do not reveal who the panelists are in advance of the announcement of selected fellows. Panelists are required to sign a statement obstaining from reviewing any application that they already have a relationship with. Jen Gilomen, Director of Independent Media for BAVC, manages the review process and program, and will facilitate the application for all applicants but will not serve on the review committee. Feel free to use her as a resource if your questions are not answered here. Producer-level BAVC membership also includes a free Creative Consultation which can be useful for assistance in shaping your proposal for MediaMaker and other grants and awards.
What are my chances?
In the past few years, we have received approximately 30-40 applications each year from applicants who meet the basic eligibility criteria. The review panel selects between 6 and 8 fellows per year, depending on the quality and scope of applications received. In addition to the eligibility requirements and judging criteria, reviewers are asked to consider factors such as diversity of applicants and projects (subject matter and formats) and to recommend a strong overall slate.
What should I submit for my work sample?
You may submit up to two links for your work sample(s). Work from the proposed project is preferred. If you do not have a rough cut or work-in-progress from the project you are proposing, it is to your advantage to submit something visual from it. Samples can be video content, a web site, images/screen shots, an audiovisual presentation, or anything that aids the reviewer in envisioning your project and your ability to complete it. The description field of the application form has room to explain your work sample, your role on it, and how it is related to the project you are proposing for your MediaMaker fellowship. If the link is password-protected for privacy, please clearly provide the password in the first line of the description.
How long should my work sample be? How long will reviewers spend reviewing my sample?
Reviewers are instructed to review applications for up to 15 minutes each, including both written materials and any work sample(s) provided. If necessary, give direction to the reviewers on which portion of a link to view. For example, if you want them to watch the first two minutes of your first link and four minutes from your second link, skip to a specific portion of a longer work, or review a certain portion of a web site or slide show, please specify so in the description. If your sample is a web site or something other than video content, please suggest a specific path to navigate or task to perform on the site.