Tongal and Spitfire team up to create a crowdsourced documentary

tonagl-spitfireOh snap.  Sh*t’s about to get real over on Tongal.  The documentary film production arm of Exclusive Media, Spitfire pictures, has teamed up with Tongal in an effort to create a crowdsourced documentary.  The contest’s project page says “AT LEAST one filmmaker is going to get their feature-length documentary green lit and have Spitfire Pictures as their producing partner – all the way through the completion of production and (hopefully) through procurement of a distribution deal, bringing your masterpiece(s) to the masses…and earning you a share in the profits.”

Like all Tongal contests, this one is being run in several stages.  First up is the Subject Phase.  From now until October 17th, Tongal members can submit up to two ideas for a documentary.  The folks at Spitfire will select 5 ideas and then filmmakers will get the chance to submit pitches based on those ideas.  (Or you can do a “wildcard pitch” and pitch a totally new idea.)  Eight pitch phase winners will be selected and each will be awarded $2,500.  Those winning filmmakers will then use their prize money to create sizzle reels (a sizzle reel is sort of like a trailer for a movie that hasn’t been made yet.)  The two directors who create the best sizzle reels will receive $35,000 each so they can go out and shoot their movies.  And finally, Spitfire will give an extra $15,000 in finishing funds to at least one of the two winners so that they can create a final cut of their documentary.

I don’t usually talk about my non-video contest work here on VCN but documentary filmmaking is sort of my hobby/passion.  A few years ago I produced and directed a documentary feature about the world of “geek rap” entitled Nerdcore For Life.  It got a lot of press attention and the doc screened in some decent film fests.  The movie even wound up on Hulu which was personally a huge deal for me.  Shooting and promoting the Nerdcore movie was a super fun experience and I’d love to do it all again.  But I put more than $10K of my own money into Nerdcore For Life and there’s no way I could afford to self-fund another feature.  So I’m really psyched about this new Spitfire contest.  I just need to narrow my list of 10 un-produced documentary ideas down to two, solid submissions.  But really, I’d even be happy if I won the chance to shoot someone else’s idea.  There’s still about 24 days left in the Subject Phase so if you want to suggest a topic head here:  http://tongal.com/project/Spitfire


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One Response to “Tongal and Spitfire team up to create a crowdsourced documentary”

  1. Shane Free says:

    I am going to enter into the wildcard pitch. I don’t want to submit an idea and have another filmmaker make it. I am already producing and directing a documentary at the moment, but hoping I can use this contest as a way of securing funding and distribution for the 2nd half of production.

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