PROPOSAL/TREATMENT CHECK LIST
This is the basic format I use for writing a documentary or series proposal. I change it, add to it and rearrange it as needed. Please note that most places where you will submit your proposal, especially for grant funding (check out the Grants and Funding category), will ask for specific information.
- Title – think long and hard about your title. It should be short, sweet and to the point.
- Project description - what makes this idea special?
- Overview of story – step by step, how will the documentary or series unfold? Include sample segments and/or episodes.
- Story-telling style – how will you convey the story (interviews, still photos, graphics and charts, music). Help the reader SEE your idea.
- Need or importance of project – why should this story or series be made?
- Target Audience – who are they and why will they watch?
- Project timeline – a brief calendar outlining the workflow from development to delivery.
- Distribution plan (including Website and New Media) – how and where will viewers be able to see your documentary or series?
- Budget with fundraising plan including any funds already raised (read the Sample Budget blog to see how a budget is laid out).
- Personnel bios or resumes
- Key production staff involved
- Key interviewees
Note: Any pictures that can be inserted into the proposal or video that can be sent with the proposal always helps.
- Trailer or funding reel if you have it. It should be polished.