How to Craft Competitive Work Samples to Get Your Film Funded

Posted on February 2, 2016
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Filmmaker Aaron Wickenden (Right)

The deadline for Open Call is quickly approaching!  Before every deadline, we offer a series of webinars geared to help filmmakers become stronger applicants. Last week, we held a webinar on creating competitive work samples.  We were joined by two incredibly skilled editors: Aaron Wickenden and Eileen Meyer.  Aaron has had a prolific career as a documentary editor (Finding Vivian Maier to The Interrupters) but fundraising for his own film was a whole new experience. 

He shared the work sample for his film Almost There and talked about the difficulty of balancing the issues of outsider art and filmmaker-subject ethics in just ten minutes.

And while Aaron was one of the editors of Best of Enemiesit was his co-editor Eileen who had the arduous task of creating multiple fundraising reels for the film.  And despite being helmed by an Oscar-winning director, they struggled at first to translate the film into a short work sample.  Watch their conversation as they talk about editing challenges and how to incorporate feedback. 

Yesterday, we held our bi-annual Open Call Live Chat with N’Jeri Eaton (Content Development & Initiative Manager) and David Eisenberg (Associated Director of Production & Supervising Producer). Over 135 filmmakers attended to get their burning questions answered. If you’re still confused about what makes a strong treatment or what budget mistakes to avoid, watch the video below. 

If you still want to learn more about writing the ITVS treatment or crafting a budget, be sure to check out the webinars that we have previously posted here

The deadline for Open Call is this Friday at 4 pm PST. If you have questions about Open Call, please email Programming Coordinator Alexandra Cantin ( To keep up to date about future webinars, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


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