View Full Version : Short Web-Only Series Submissions for Major Broadcaster

06-29-2005, 02:33 PM
This is kind of an informal message. My wife is a lead interactive producer for a major documentary series on a national network that both airs on TV and also has a companion site. The series is of global documentary genre. It garners a few million viewers on TV and hundreds of thousands on the web on regular basis. This is a VERY credible and high caliber site for documentary filmmakers--one of the highest in the US.

I am testing the waters for her as she would like to accept a few leading videos for non-exclusive viewing (distribution) ONLINE only as part of a new Web-Only series that are less than 15minutes. The challenge is that there are many rules and restrictions for offering a contest that makes it prohibitively beaucratic (sic).

I'm trying to gauge whether it is enough or of interest enough to accept video submissions to distribution to over 100,000 video streams in exchange (was lieu but corrected) for prominent credit, links and recognition. Do you think people would be willing to submit videos of high caliber for submission for prominent web promotion only? (Tried to see if she could offer a HVX2000 but there are so many legal hurdles that it makes it prohibitively difficult.) I apologize for not naming the new series or network but just trying to float the idea to gauge interest whether to open up submissions to some very good documentary filmmakers that come to this site.

Thanks much...Feedback is welcome!

06-29-2005, 09:59 PM
any feedback from documentary filmmakers out there? submit video for national exposure on non-exclusive web-only basis? any takers?

06-30-2005, 07:32 PM
What type of doc are they looking for? Is there any particular theme?

What length?

By non-exclusive, does that mean that the film-maker keeps the rights?

07-01-2005, 09:51 AM
"I'm trying to gauge whether it is enough or of interest enough to accept video submissions to distribution to over 100,000 video streams in leiu of prominent credit, links and recognition. "

I assume you mean "in exchange for" rather than "in leiu of" - right? I was confused until I read the poll. Not trying to be an a**hole, really wasn't sure what you meant at first.

That said, I'm guessing many would submit any project already completed which meets the format. I'm also guessing the site/exposure might have to be fairly prominent for someone to initiate a project specifically designed for this submission. At least, that's how I would feel. I think it's awesome that you're trying to help others out with your connections, no matter what. Thanks!!!

07-01-2005, 10:12 AM
hey pmark,
the docs would be under 15mins in length. Dealing with global news type or global documentary, or some common affliction in Africa or Asia that might provide an inside story on something topical.

Non-exclusive means completely filmmaker friendly. It means that you would allow your short to be shown on the "Web Series" only. You maintain and own the rights to your work and that you give permission to have the network host and distribute of your work on this particular website only with no redistribution to other entities. You have the right to sell or market your work to any and all other outlets.


07-01-2005, 10:25 AM
hi destino,
thanks. yes, in exchange of. the site exposure for this type of documentaries is extremely high in the US, is national, and is very very credible. While there is no monetary element, this is a great way for a filmmaker to get significant exposure. A lot of times people say credit and then there is a credit which last on a second or two. What my wife, the lead interactive producer, wants to do and want i told her is give the filmmaker prominent name display, link(s), bio, and perhaps a companion article/interview with the filmmaker. (to compliment the video itself of course).

But the Web now really opens a whole other great format for video and thought it would be a good idea to solicit a few good shorts from great people here to add a new perspective. when, trying to open this up as a call to action for web submission, offering a prize (thinking the new upcoming HVX2000), there were so many logistical, legal and beaucratic policies that it kind of stumped the project. So, the reason i was posting was to bring back the feedback from here, to see if there was interest in some way to compensate a filmmaker in other ways besides a prize with monetary value. So, a contest is not feasible or viable at this time.

Let me put it this way, (I am a web filmmaker myself), If I were doing a film, and I wanted to get some great exposure of something I would be extremely proud of and associated with my name, this would be a prime site. something that would get a great deal of expsoure and would be seen by many thousands on the web.

Hope this helps! And Thanks much.

07-01-2005, 10:49 AM
Forgive me if i'm direct, but this just sounds like another site begging for free content and promising amorphous "exposure". A site that can't be troubled to even give away a prize sounds like a site that isn't bothering to do too much for content providers. And this is in support of a major commercial production? Maybe you've got the best of intentions, but it smells like all the other 2-bit exploitation of filmmakers to push commercial web sites. And BTW, your screen name really inspires confidence.

J.R. Hudson
07-01-2005, 10:54 AM
Yeah you gotta change that username please. Thank you.

07-01-2005, 07:38 PM

07-01-2005, 08:03 PM
Dear Sir:

I don't know who you are or why you've come here, or essentially what you are even asking for. It is not uncommon for a broadcaster (web or television) to provide at least a small token appreciation besides credit if they intend on using the content alongside the sale of advertising.

Couple of things, first current.tv is a broadcaster which offers regular contests for short concept films which attract hundreds of filmmakers who are looking to cash in on the $5000 cash prize and a "deal" to make more of them.

Second, Barry_S does know a thing or two about contests, after all he started and maintains DVXfest.com, the "official" monthly festival for DVX filmmakers. This months prize is a $500 microphone provided by a sponsor.. You know, this is just a small website (compared to national television) yet even this group has enough leverage and visibility to attract sponsors. You're saying the management at this television broadcaster doesn't? Or, maybe it isn't worth their time? I'm not pointing fingers, but honestly I would be more inclined to enter a DVX fest.

Third, in rare instances filmmakers are willing to sign over broadcast rights for credit-only. One such example was the HBO series "30 by 30 Kid Flicks" in 1999 which highlighted many award winning films made by high school students. My cousin and I both entered festivals in 1998 and were involved. We both won first place, in different categories, and hers was selected to be played on the HBO show. It was really cool, but because of the high cost to secure rights to the copyrighted music, which was within fair use for a student film project, was outside the scope of what the network was able to afford to broadcast it. The subject film was about the L.A. Riots and was heavily pop-music driven. They had to change every single music selection in her video to make it airable. Point is, yes she got credit for it and it looked good on her college applications, but they weren't able to play the film that she had made.. If a network can't even offer a filmmaker a free battery, how/why would they secure music rights?

Your posts are confusing and this seems like a terribly bad idea.. from a forum regular. On the surface this appears little more than a phishing exercise to make a reel out of other people's materials. I'll give benefit of doubt that it is not, but that's just what it looks like from a mile away. I'm sorry your wife's company lacks the vision to see things viable enough to invest in/get the idea off the ground. :undecided

07-01-2005, 08:25 PM
Forgive me if i'm direct, but this just sounds like another site begging for free content and promising amorphous "exposure".

Hey, that's okay. The number-one problem when fundraising is showing that your doc will get exposure. This is just another avenue for that. However it's important that the filmmaker be allowed to also be able to broadcast elsewhere, as the more places you distribute or broadcast the better in terms of being able to get grants and sponsorships.

Since a few production companies have a stranglehold on the cable networks, web broadcasting is the only option left in most cases (besides festivals, but even those are becoming scammy.)

It still needs to be legit, however.

07-01-2005, 09:45 PM

07-02-2005, 07:34 PM
Leofish, check your private mail. I sent you a pile of questions.

discs of tron
07-05-2005, 09:29 AM
umm, dudes...
chill. really. this guy comes here with a poll, to gauge the interest among potential producers in a new web-based doc series. he's not asking you to send him any content, not asking for money, etc. he very clearly stated what he's doing here, and you're attacking him like he represents some mass-spamming erection-pill company. presumably, if the thing gets off the ground, we'll know who the network is. so what's the problem?

as for the prize thing, i like the idea of prizes. an hvx200 would totally make my day. but don't jump down the guy's throat- he explained that contests involve a lot of bureacracy when working within the confines of a tv network. anyone who's had any involvement with tv stations knows that going to the frickin bathroom can involve many layers of bureacracy. and let's not assume that prizes are the mark of legitimacy. i mean, how many of you here regularly click on those "click here to win an ipod" pop-ups? yeah, prizes are nice, and international exposure from a reputable broadcaster is nice too. the guy asks whether the exposure alone would (HYPOTHETICALLY) motivate you to consider submitting something and you react like somebody just beat you up for your lunch money.

my personal response is this: if the parameters that he defined are assumed to be true, then yes, that sounds interesting to me. would i rather have my work on, say, frontline's website or in the monthly dvxfest plus a $500 mic? no disrespect to the dvxfest, but i'm thinking frontline looks a little better on the ol resume.

like i said, no disrespect- i think the dvxfest is great, and all sorts of other film festivals are great. but a prize is really nothing to get bent out of shape about. i'd rather be IN sundance than be the all-time grand mega-prize gold medalist in the east teaneck, nj industrial short film competition. wouldn't you, even if the nj prize included a camera and a set of socket wrenches? sometimes the association is the most valuable thing, and that's what eatme (i agree about the name, btw,) is asking you via his web poll. again, his poll, not his solicitation for money or his request that you send him every master tape you've ever produced.

i figure we should at least consider just answering him.

ps- dustino- i love your avatar. i have a scan of that at my desktop at home. do you know who the artist is? i think it might be maurizio catelan, but i'm not sure.

07-05-2005, 01:43 PM
It was decided that, based on the earlier feedback on this forum, not to open up to outside submissions for a web-only documentary series. I am posting under a new moniker as my previous one was banned due to reasons mentioned earlier by the moderator

Thanks again for your feedback in trying to gauge interest (and thanks discs of tron and pmark). Maybe it will be done at a later time and under different rules/circumstances.

Moderator: You can close this thread.