360 Incubator + Fund Guidelines
NBPC’s 360 Incubator and Fund was established in 2015 to help launch non-fiction multi-part (two to three parts) projects for broadcast, as well as webisodic stories and interactive/transmedia about the Black experience. The 360 incubator and fund features training, mentorship and funding support for producers of color, designed to harvest and pipeline important, engaging stories.
We are looking for projects produced with wide creative latitude and a range of artistic styles about travel, current affairs, contemporary stories on social issues of importance to African Americans, lifestyle or DIY, highlighting unique, larger-than-life, unforgettable subjects with specific points of views. We are looking for situations and personalities that can sustain a series, fun, outrageous and innovative content with national potential and with a concept strong enough to become a widely recognizable TV show brand; not a “one-off” and we want to understand why viewers will want to come back to watch more than one episode. Scripted content is only eligible to be considered for the web and only non-fiction genres will be considered for broadcast. Non-fiction genres are also eligible for the web.
Examples of non-fiction, multi-part broadcast programs are:
- 180 Days: Hartsville (http://www.pbs.org/black-culture/shows/list/180-days/series/hartsville/)
- Freedom Summer (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/freedomsummer/player/)
- Freedom Riders (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/freedomriders/watch)
Examples of non-fiction and scripted projects for the web:
Examples of Transmedia/Interactive Projects (web-based digital explorations that offer a deep dive into specific stories, histories, and topics):
- Hollow (http://hollowdocumentary.com)
- More Than A Mapp (http://www.morethanamapp.org)
- The World in Ten Blocks (http://losttimemedia.com/povprototype)
The application for 2016 Open Call opens online February 1, 2016 and closes on March 28, 2016 at 11:59 pm PST. The NBPC has available online a series of informational webinars for producers interested in applying. Through these general information web sessions, industry professionals and the NBPC staff provide producers with important they need to consider for their application – including audience research tactics, marketing considerations, turning long-form stories into multi-part content, preparing episodic web content for television broadcast and walking through the general guidelines for preparing the best application possible. The NBPC team will also make itself available for regular “digital office hours,” every Wednesday at 7pm, starting on February 17th through March 23rd, where producers can have their questions answered in a more one-to-one setting as they prepare their applications. A of the webinars can be found on the 360 home page under the “For Producers” tab.
- At least one or more of the producers must be a US Citizen or have permanent residency status and/or least key one member of production team must be US citizen of African decent.
- Persons age 18 or older
- Persons with some previous film or television production experience in a principal role (director, co-director, producer, co-producer) as demonstrated by submitting a previously completed work sample.
- Projects for which the domestic television broadcast or web rights are not available will not be considered.
- Thesis projects or student films that are co- or solely-owned or copyrighted, or otherwise editorially or fiscally controlled by the school are not eligible.
- Projects or production entities, which are foreign-based, owned or controlled will not be considered.
- Industrial or promotional projects are not eligible for funding.
The 360 Incubator and Fund is for producers and projects that are farther along in development than the “idea phase.” Projects must have substantial research already completed, and acquired necessary intellectual property rights.
Applications will be made available online for 360 Incubator between February 1, 2016 through March 28, 2016 at 11:59pm PST. All applications must be completed online and when submitting your application you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Project basics including a logline, synopsis and the project’s format (multi-part series for broadcast, webseries or transmedia).
- Project treatment, scripts, and letters of support. Including mockups, wireframes, and visual prototypes for interactive projects.
- Project status and timeline information.
- Project budget information including an itemized pilot or prototype budget, funds raised, and any additional project support anticipated for project completion.
- Outreach, distribution and audience engagement plans, as well as planned online presence for the project.
- Producer, Director, Writer, Developer (for transmedia/interactive projects) resumes and contact information for all lead production team.
- No more than three (3) approximately 7-10 minute video samples of the project, or previous work belonging to lead producers in the production team.
Some additional project guidelines to consider:
- While multiple applications are accepted by a single producer or production team, each project must be submitted separately, and no more than one project from any producer will ultimately receive support.
- Project pilots must be completed within six months of funding. All pilots that receive series funding activities must be completed within a maximum 18-month.
- Multi-part content non-fiction TV series, scripted and non-fiction web series and interactive web projects are the main focus of this round of the 360 Incubator. No other project types will be considered.
- Applicant must hold artistic, budgetary and editorial control and must own the copyright of the proposed project.
What to Expect in the Incubator
After applications are reviewed up to ten (10) projects will be selected and invited to a three-day preparation “bootcamp” where they will be given an orientation, assigned a mentor, and attend hands-on workshops and meetings with mentor to assess project needs and identify resources for preparing projects during the incubator to be pitched. Producing teams will have six (6) weeks to work on their projects and prepare their pitches.
Bootcamp (September 2016)
Two key members of the top producing teams will be gathered for a three-day orientation retreat for an intensive orientation that outlines the goals of the program and NBPC’s expectations of the projects. Each producing team will be assigned a mentor who will work with them during the entire period of the incubator and, if the team’s project is selected for the pilot stage, will continue to mentor the team through to production. During the boot camp, the producing teams and mentors will breakdown the project concept; develop a timeline for how the producing team will use the incubator to prepare for the pitch phase; and identify what additional training, equipment or other support they will need. The 360 producers also will receive training on how to use NBPC’s online producer reporting system, which tracks each project’s progress, compiles project-specific reports and allows producers to upload presentations, and media for review by mentors and NBPC staff.
Incubator (September to October 2016)
After the boot camp, the producing teams will have six (6) weeks to craft a revised treatment, bio, and proof of concept video to pitch to industry professionals. Outcomes of the pitch will determine which three to four projects will move onto the pilot phase of 360. All teams will be provided workspace; access to editing stations, video and audio equipment.
During the duration of the incubator, producing teams are responsible for devoting full time to developing their projects, meeting regularly with their mentor and attending workshops. Mentors will be tasked with reassessing the needs of their assigned projects at every stage of development during the incubator to make it a viable concept for the pilot stage. Each mentor will also be responsible for helping further refine project concepts; assessing additional production support teams will need; and providing guidance on story, script, and editorial consultation. Producing teams will receive additional support in the form of periodic hands-on workshops that NBPC staff will organize based on the needs of the projects selected. The workshops may address integrating technology and social media tools into video projects, audience development, marketing and branding, media training, crowd-funding, grant writing, and pitching.
During the last week of the incubator, producing teams and mentors will meet with NBPC to review their proposals, sample reels and presentation material for their pitch. Based on feedback, 360 producers will further refine presentation materials and rehearse their pitches. Each team will be required to do a weekly run-through of their pitch before NBPC staff, mentor and invited industry professionals.
Pitch (October 2016)
The producing teams will then present their pitches before a panel of industry executives and an audience of public media, cable, commercial and VOD professionals in New York City. A high profile panel of technologists, distributors, and industry professionals, ultimately, will select three to four projects, to move forward to pilot stage. Each project will receive a project license between $50,000 and $100,000, depending on the project budget.
Pilot (November 2016 to May 2017)
The producing teams of the three winning projects will return to their home base and over the next twelve weeks produce a pilot. The pilot project will be assigned a public television station and between $50,000 and $150,000 in funding to cover production costs. The producing team, EP and station will agree on the appropriate episode to pilot and outline the remaining episodes, production plan, market research and budget that supports a primetime broadcast slot.
Each project will be encouraged to cultivate an online following that lobbies for their selection and demonstrates that there is an audience for the project. Projects must also develop a beta of any transmedia components for their project during this phase. If additional funding is needed, crowdfunding will be encouraged to close the gap.
At the end of the pilot production and station collaboration phase, each pilot will be presented to CPB, PBS and a team of representatives from producing public television stations and other distribution outlets.
It is NBPC’s expectation that all other projects incubated in the 360 program also will be presented to other high profile public media stations and other broadcast institutions to be picked up.
Funding License General Terms
National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) funding is subject to terms and conditions mandated both by NBPC as well as underlying requirements and conditions required of NBPC by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). If your project is selected, the funding you receive shall be pursuant to a licensing agreement in which you grant NBPC certain exclusive domestic public television distribution rights for a proscribed period and territory, the exclusive right to package and promote the program through NBPC and/or public broadcasting outlets, and, for new media programming, the exclusive distribution rights over NBPC and/or public broadcasting websites and social media sites. This includes among others, the exclusive right to premiere the program via public television broadcast stations in the U.S. and its territories, the right to cablecast on a noncommercial, sustaining basis on cable channels programmed by PBS, and certain distribution rights in connection with use of the programming in the educational and public television marketplace (including, school use of an off-air recording for one year from the date of each broadcast). Additionally, there can be no other distribution of any NBPC-funded program in the U.S. and its territories prior to the initial release by U.S. public media. Any program for public television broadcast must be cleared for a minimum of six (6) releases during the four (4) year period commencing on the initial release of the program by NBPC.
The independent producer agrees to complete the program according to the proposed schedule, project description, and budget, and agrees to certain oversight rights and accountability obligations to NBPC. The producer also agrees to royalty participation by NBPC in a percentage of net revenues from ancillary distribution based on NBPC’s total financial contribution.