Over the last six weeks Chris and I have been building our flagship community, #Docland, a membership platform which provides documentary filmmakers like you, with step-by-step tutorials, samples, templates, resources and connections, to support you in realizing your filmmaking potential and goals.
Why we built it
We built #DocLand because we are documentary filmmakers, just like you, and have faced a great many challenges throughout our filmmaking careers. We know how it feels to not have the knowledge, funding, resources or community to help support and drive our filmmaking projects forward.
Who we built it for
#DocLand is a resource for anyone making a documentary film, regardless of experience. We hope to have a healthy mix of seasoned professionals and newbies as part of the community.
However, #Docland is especially beneficial to any filmmaker beginning their documentary filmmaking career who would benefit from a step-by-step foundation of making a documentary film.
What’s inside #DocLand?
We’re not going to make your documentary film for you,
but we will do everything we can to empower you to make it.
How? By providing you with the knowledge, mindset, tools and resources to plan, fund and share your documentary film. In addition, we’ll give you tips and advice on how to live your own documentary life; a lifestyle that supports your documentary filmmaking endeavors.
What does that look like?
We’ve split #DocLand into 4 sections – Plan, Fund, Make, and Share, and here is a breakdown of each:
Planning your film
By going through each section in the planning phase and dedicating the time, effort, research and vision required, you will be setting your project on the most stable foundation to ensure it’s success.
Why plan? We’ll look at why it’s important to set a foundation for your film and take a look at each of the planning documents we will construct in the planning phase.
The Idea You may already have your idea or you may need help forming one. You may spend five years or more living with, working on and building out your documentary film so you want to ensure it’s the right topic or idea for you.
Synopsis & Treatment We’ll help you build your synopsis and treatment, the backbone of your film’s story and how you’ll tell it.
Elevator Pitch ‘A brief, 30-second to one minute, statement of your film, orally delivered, with colorful description from which listeners can easily visualize your film’. Every filmmaker needs one. We’ll teach you how to construct yours.
Budget One of the most crucial elements in the filmmaking process. We’ll advise you on how to build your budget and provide you with industry standard templates to do it. (*Coming soon)
Production Schedule Making a film is notorious for taking longer than planned, but plan we must. By setting out a realistic production schedule you have much more chance of meeting it. (*Coming soon)
Proposal (& downloadable sample) An essential tool, which incorporates many of the other elements we’re building in our planning phase. It is effectively your business plan, which will assist you in the making, funding and sharing of your documentary film.
Over the next few months we will also be adding tutorials on your company set up (for your film) and film art, to name just two.
Funding Your Film
You may be feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of how you will garner all the funds necessary to make, complete and share your film, so forming having a fundraising strategy early on will take away some of that fear and help to build a strategic plan with which to move forward.
Before you seek funding Filmmaking is a marathon, not a sprint. There is some key groundwork you must cover before jumping on the fundraising train.
Fundraising Strategy You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, so don’t attempt to fund your film without a strategy. We’ll teach you how to develop one.
Individual Donations They make up to 75% of charitable giving in the US each year so it stands to reason you’ll want to know how to garner donation from individuals. (*Coming soon)
Grants & Foundations From local or regional to nationwide, we’ll teach you how to find, organize and prepare for your grant writing endeavors. (*Coming soon)
Crowdfunding A valuable resource for independent filmmakers. Promotion, engagement and some much needed funds await.
Fundraising Events Get them right and they provide seed money for your film’s endeavors. Get them wrong and you’ll be wasting your time, energy and resources. We know what you’d prefer, and we’ll help you get there.
Over the next few months we will also be adding tutorials on how and why to develop partnerships for your film and advice on choosing and building your fiscal sponsorship relationship.
Making Your Film
#Docland is not a resource in which you will learn the technical aspects of documentary filmmaking, such as which gear to use or how to set up your lights or equipment, it may eventually include that, but right now that is not the focus of this site. There are many places you can garner that information, this site is based on the systematic, organizational and business elements of documentary filmmaking.
The Interview We’re not going to teach you how to shoot your interview, but we will help you plan for it and administer it in a professional and organized manner.
Shooting B Roll An integral part of your film that is often underrated or an after thought, but is actually an important storytelling component. We’ll tell you why.
Behind-the-scenes There are multiple ways you can leverage your behind-the-scenes footage. We’ll teach you how and why BTS should be part of your plan.
Film Abroad It can be one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences a documentary filmmaker can have, but it can also be the most challenging. We’ll give you the tools and know-how to thwart the obstacles and make the most of your filming opportunity. (*Coming soon)
Film Wear & Supplies ‘Be prepared’. It’s not just a motto for the boy scouts, it’s a motto for documentary filmmakers too. (*Coming soon)
Sharing Your Film
Planning, funding and making your film are only the first part of the process, then comes the challenging and rewarding process of sharing it. Unless you’re making a documentary film for yourself, your family or your community, you’ll want to create a means of getting your film out into the world. Having an eye on how you’ll share your film and build your audience is an integral part of the filmmaking process and one which we will help assist you with in #DocLand.
Your film website A valuable resource, your film website is the online hub of your documentary film. Make it work for you, in so many ways.
Social Media Your audience is waiting. Find and engage with them immediately. We’ll assist you in deciding which platform and content you will administer and give you advice on how to be consistent.
Email List As they say “the money’s in the list” and we’ll help you build yours. (*Coming soon)
Press kit / Release Make it easy for journalists, influencers, bloggers and others to write about, share and promote your project. We’ll teach you what you need to know.
Distribution The playing field is shifting and never before has the documentary filmmaker been more empowered to distribute their film projects. (*Coming soon)
Online Platforms With a plethora of online steaming platforms and the ability to utilize your own film website, making money from your film online is more than just a possibility. (*Coming soon)
Film Festivals An opportunity to showcase your film, network, win awards, possibly find distribution and grow as a filmmaker. We’ll help you navigate the film festival world and get the most from it. (*Coming soon)
*Each of the sections listed above which state that they are ‘*coming soon’ are currently under completion and will be posted and available to view within two weeks of the launch date (by Monday 26th February). We appreciate your patience as we put together the best content, tutorials and resources possible to assist you with your documentary endeavors.
And what else?
We will be holding live monthly webinars, most often accompanied by an industry expert or guest, who will be on hand to answer any of your questions. We have already lined up several of our previous podcast interviewees who are happy to come back and give you more valuable information and context on all aspects of documentary filmmaking. The important difference being that this time you will be asking the questions!
We also have a dedicated Facebook Community page which we would encourage you to join. Here you will find insight, guidance and like-minded folk to assist you as you navigate your filmmaking course.
Launch and Pricing
Tomorrow Monday 12th February, #Docland will have it’s soft launch. What is a soft launch? “The release of a new product or service to a restricted audience or market in advance of a full launch”.
Although technically we haven’t restricted the #DocLand audience, we also haven’t promoted it. The only places it has been featured is in our #DocLifer Weekly newsletter and on our podcast, The Documentary Life. And there are several reasons for that:
- We want a chance to share it with our current #DocLifer community. You guys have been so supportive of what we have done up to now and we wanted to share it with you first.
- We only started building this platform 6 weeks ago. That includes building the site, the sales page, all the content formation, research and recording of the tutorials. We know it will be even bigger and better in the months to come, but only if we leaving the distracting process of promoting it until later.
- It allows us to offer it to our core #DocLifer community at a much-reduced rate. It will never again be priced where it is right now. Later (probably around late April) we will have a hard launch of #DocLand, where we will organize and orchestrate a complete promotional campaign and build out the community, but for now we want to invite our core #DocLifers in at an awesome price.
Is #DocLand for you?
Only you can answer that! But if you are making a documentary film and feel that you could use some guidance, advice and support then you will hopefully find just what you need in #Docland.
And if not? There’s no risk. We offer a 30-day money back guarantee because we want you to feel happy, inspired and supported in your documentary home. If #DocLand isn’t the place for you, then just let us know and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.
How do I join?
We look forward to seeing you inside
For everyone coming on this journey with us… A huge, warm welcome to the community! We can’t wait to share this with you and look forward to seeing you inside. ~ Stephanie & Chris