LOADING DOCS seeks new 3-minute documentary ideas for 2016.

After another phenomenal year LOADING DOCS once again seeks proposals from New Zealand filmmakers for creative and original 3-minute documentary shorts. The theme of CHANGE will unite the 2016 collection of documentaries.

LOADING DOCS has established itself as the pre-eminent platform for the distribution of high quality short documentary, boasting over 600,000 views for the 19 documentaries created to date. LOADING DOCS’ mission is to give the best and brightest New Zealand filmmakers the chance to tell their stories with creativity, vision and passion and share them with the world.

In previous years the themes of HOME (2014) and CONNECTION (2015) have united the collections of short documentaries. Providing the umbrella for 2016 is the theme of CHANGE. Be it physical, internal, external, social, political, emotional, irreverent, or psychological each short must have a strong sense of purpose, offering a concentrated story while delivering to a big picture suitable to generate public interest and media engagement.

Telling a compelling 3-minute story is a test of creativity, skill and ingenuity. Now it’s the turn of a new crop of filmmakers to be part of a movement that is transforming the way we make, tell and view documentary shorts in NZ.

“I was stunned, delighted, knocked out. More importantly, I was moved…here, in glorious hi-def. video, are fellow New Zealanders telling stories packed with emotion.” – Grant Smithies on Loading Docs 2015, Sunday Star Times, Aug 2015.

Funded by NZ On Air and with support from The New Zealand Film Commission, in 2016 LOADING DOCS will once again partner with TVNZ OnDemand, The New Zealand International Film Festival, Toybox and Sale Street Studios.

10 films will be selected with each receiving:

• Professional development opportunities including workshops on story and creative treatment, outreach and distribution strategies and will receive hands on support from LOADING DOCS executive producers, to ensure their short reaches the widest possible audience.
• $2,000 production funding, and an additional $2,000 matched funding to support a crowdfunding campaign (we’ll match each dollar your raise through crowdfunding up to $2,000).
• A colour grade and sound-mix from Toybox and Sale Street Studios. That a total budget of over $7,000 for each 3 minute documentary.
This is an opportunity for the best filmmaking voices in New Zealand take up the challenge and be part of this cutting edge short documentary initiative.

For more information about LOADING DOCS and to watch the documentaries produced for LOADING DOCS 2014 and 2015, visit www.loadingdocs.net.

Important dates
• Saturday 21st of November: Submission deadline.
• December 2015: Selection announced.
• 23 & 24 January 2016: 2 Day development, outreach and crowdfunding workshop.
• February 2016: Crowdfunding campaign (30 days).
• March 2016: Film production officially begins.
• July 2016: Films launch and are shared and promoted in New Zealand and all over the world.

10 Top Tips for Documentary Treatments: How to Make Your Submission Shine by Irene Gardiner

  1. Know exactly what your story is and be able to tell people what it is in one clear sentence. If you can’t sell it in a sentence it’s probably not a story, or you haven’t worked out what the story is yet.
  2. Once you have written your most hooky intro sentence, explain how your story unfolds in the most clear and logical way you can. If your documentary is in multiple parts, write a summary of what will be in each part.
  3. Who are the most important people in your story? Introduce them in a clear and inviting way. Include succinct bios of main talent, but not endless pages of culled articles presented in an unfocused manner.
  4. What is your documentary going to look like – explain your visual/audio treatment, that’s shooting style, editing style, and use of graphics and music.
  5. What is special about your documentary? Make sure you have really conveyed its essence and the heart of the story.
  6. Who are the key people working on your documentary, what is their background and what will they bring to this specific project?
  7. If you are working to a set budget, think about how you can achieve the result you want within those parameters. If you are preparing a budget, make sure you ask yourself a lot of questions about how realistic it is. Be careful not to over or under budget.
  8. Set your written submission document out clearly and tidily, and don’t include un-necessary information. Network Executives and Executive Producers are busy people with limited time to read. If you haven’t hooked them with your first page, another 100 pages won’t help you. As outlined in tips one to seven, start your proposal document with your most simple description of what your documentary is about, then explain that more fully, then outline who your main talent are, then explain your visual and audio treatment, then key production personnel and budget.
  9. If you’re no good at spelling and grammar, get someone who is to help you do your final draft. It does matter.
  10. If you are doing a verbal presentation as well, get to the point quickly and keep focused. Explain your concept clearly in your first sentence, and then work logically from there. Don’t waste busy people’s time by not cutting to the chase. Let your passion for your project shine out of you.

About Irene Gardiner

Irene-Gardiner-Key-Profile.jpgIrene Gardiner is a long-time television producer and executive producer, with a particular interest in documentary production. She is a former TVNZ Head of Commissioning and currently works part-time as the Content Director for the NZ On Screen website.  Gardiner also continues to work as a freelance executive producer, with recent credits including the six-part documentary series Keeping it Pure, and the music documentaries Dragon and Rock Chicks.  Gardiner is also a regular contributor to radio and television as a media commentator and television reviewer.