NOTE: Not to be read by the faint of heart)
The printer has finished printing and I have stopped breathing. Dread fills the air. Another film funding application lies on my desk which creaks with the weight of so many pieces of paper. My dog, fearing the desk will collapse, runs for cover. I am frozen in ice cold terror. As my mind calculates the amount of work I will need to do to complete this application, my hand slowly reaches for an easier way out - a long USB cable - with which I could make a noose. BUT NO!!! Life is short but films last forever. Now more than ever I must complete this application and take the first step in completing my next film. Another ordeal begins anew.... The application is huge and it wants so many things from me, first of which, is my name: Marc Beurteaux.
WATCH MARC BEURTEAUX'S AWARD WINNING FILM: ROBOTA
At least one question answered correctly. This is followed by questions about credits, technical information, plot, synopsis, detailed outline, rationale, creative treatment, what is the capital of Iowa, crew list, demo reels, write a concise history of Byzantine yodeling, resume, timeline, my script, storyboard, sound treatment and I also need to include one kidney per application. But the most horrible thing they ask for which is so terrifying, that to even write the thrice-cursed demon spawned word has made my bladder drain: what is the film's budget? AHHHH!!!!
The pain is intense! My mind burns! I don't know! I don't know! The room spins. Delicious darkness eases the pain. Some weeks later, I awake, only to find that I have but a few short days to complete the application. Now the heat is on and I must write. I write with intent and purpose. I know my film inside out and I must show the funding agency that Marc Beurteaux has a VISION. I know my story and characters. I know what my film will look like, will sound like, will taste like. I know it.
My job now is to convince people to believe in my film as much as I believe in it. There is no room for bullshit of any kind - funders can smell it instantly. I keep my descriptions and reasons to the point. I think about the ever-suffering jury who have to read all of these applications so I make mine easy to read and short. Maybe they'll give me money just because I made their job easier....maybe! If they want demo reels and excerpts of music and resumes I gotta make sure it's all there, every little thing they ask for - I don't neglect anything.
The real trick to getting funding is to make sure the jury doesn't have any questions about your project - that they know it as well as you do. Most importantly I must show that: I WILL FINISH MY FILM AND NOT WASTE THEIR MONEY. I will not make the funders look bad to THEIR funders. Remember, the funding body's jobs are on the line, too. No one ever wants to look bad. One other thing that makes my task more difficult is that I am making an animated film and a lot of jurors know diddly squat about animation. My job is to make sure they know what type of animation I'm doing and how it's done. It also helps to show that I know what I'm talking about.
When I think I'm done I go over everything again and check my page numbers, spelling, grammar and all that other crap that I neglected to learn in high school. After it's all printed out, I get the damned thing in before the deadline. Even if I have to hold it in my teeth and crawl on all fours up to the reception desk to hand it in, I get it in. Finally, when I'm back home and I've stopped crying, I just forget about it. It might be three or four months until I hear whether I've got the funding or not. However, I rest easy with this one thought: at least we can get money to make films, at least there is a system in place for me to do my thing. So let's keep it that way.