Tips & Tricks - The Development Paradox
25 February 2021

Tips & Tricks - The Development Paradox

In the third article in our series on getting prepared for the next Creative Europe Programme, we focus on artistic material and The Development Paradox. 

The Development Paradox
This is a conundrum we often grapple with. You are applying for Development Funding and yet you need to submit well-developed and appealing artistic material with your application. We know you are applying for funding so that you can do this kind of development work but the reality is that the competition for this funding is keen and you will be competing with other European companies – some better resourced than you - so how you present your project is critical.

Who is reading your proposal?
The reader will be non-national and English will most likely not be their first language. So review your artistic material (and your application generally) to explain any culturally specific information and acronyms that you may use for national applications. Think of the reader as your first audience – an international audience – so it must be clear that your project has universal appeal even if it is a very local story.

Which artistic material to choose?
The type of artistic material that will be requested for your application has not been confirmed yet. Even though you may have a completed script, you may not be able to include it.

Think about what other kinds of documents best sell your project to a European reader. Differentiate between documents that are useful for your company in working with a Writer, Script Editor or Director and a Selling Document designed to leverage funding. They may not be the same or they may need to be re-worked for a MEDIA application. The same is true for applications you have previously made to national funders – they may need to be re-worked to ensure they have a European and international focus.

A strong treatment will be important including Notes on mood, tone, visual style and also how the project will sound – even think about the music you intend to use. Director’s and/or author’s notes are key to these applications. They give you an opportunity to explain the importance of a project and to show the passionate reasons for making it. The documents you include should also give the reader a very clear and strong sense of your project so they can accurately evaluate the application against your strategies and budget.

Visual Material
Aim to make your artistic material as visually attractive and compelling as possible. Still photographs that capture the mood of your project can be used for Drama projects. Stills that give a sense of the story for Documentary projects and of course Artwork is key for Animation and Video Games where it’s vital to present the characters and the world in which they live.

There will likely be memory limitations to what you can attach with your application so think carefully about the best images to use to sell your project  and make sure that the material is condensed to the smallest size possible without losing quality.