Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, July / August 1997
As I sat down to write this column for the "cyber-doc" issue of ID magazine, I went on-line. Although I am far from expert at using the Internet, I have found a few sites which I find invaluable.
I have two sites that I go to in that never-ending search for money. My first stop is often the Foundation Center at fdncenter.org. Without leaving my desk, I can review annual reports, recent grants, search for possible funds, and jump to foundation home pages. If you haven't visited the Foundation Center site, go there now-it saves time and can bring in money.
When I'm looking to the corporate world, I like to search Hoover's Company Profiles. If you have access to America On Line, jump to Hoover's at keyword hoover. Here you will be able to pull up historical, financial and biographical information on hundreds of companies. This information can be truly valuable if you have a project that is right for corporate sponsorship or funding.
Recently I needed to find some archival footage on a specific event and decided to give the web a go. I was rewarded with some fast and reliable resources. By entering the web through Yahoo, I did a simple search for "stockfootage."
Within seconds, my monitor displayed some 55 sites and links to 20 stock footage libraries. When I went into the libraries, the amount of detail and ease of search varied, but I was able to narrow my search to specific archives very quickly.
While the National Endowment for the Humanities has been a favorite of documentarians for funding over the years, the NEH also has a terrific list of distributors on its site. To get the distributor list, go to http:/1188.8.131.52/index .html and follow the prompts. Many distributors have their own sites as well, listing titles, makers and synopses. This can be great help in selecting the right distributor for your next film.
If your film is finished and you're looking for a television release, you can find sites for all the major American companies such as HBO, Turner, A&E, as well as the BBC, Channel Four, Dutch, Australian, German and Japanese television. Search "television networks" and jump to home pages to find program listings, commissioning editors and contact information.
Finally, when you can't remember that festival deadline or just need to look at the field to determine your strategy, go to filmfestivals.com. At this site you will find 18 information listings, 64 European festivals, 74 North American festivals, 5 Central and South American links, and 9 in Asia and Australia. Jump to the festival home pages and you’'re sure to find information of value. While this short tour can't begin to introduce the more than a half million "documentary film" sites one search engine posts, I do hope you will begin your own exploration of the web right after you finish reading this issue of ID!