Is writing a documentary proposal a collaborative work?
by Mehran Haghighi
(Edmond, OK, USA)
Question: Is the producer responsible for writing the documentary proposal or it is a joint collaboration between producer, director, and writer?
I gather the budget, production time-line (table), distribution strategy, target audience, and key personnel info are the sections that producer must provide the information and write.
Am I right to ask director to provide treatment/outline and the researcher/writer the project overview and synopsis?
Desktop Documentaries | Answer
Hi Mehran. If you are lucky enough to have a "documentary team", then yes, the proposal is definitely a collaborative process. Or at least it can be. If you happen to have a strong writer on your team who can take on the responsibility of writing the proposal, then it's up to that person to gather all the information as needed and put the proposal together. There is never only "one way" to do anything with a documentary. Use the talent and strengths of the people involved with the project and make things happen as it makes sense for your particular situation.
So as for your question: are you right to ask director to provide treatment/outline and the researcher/writer the project overview and synopsis? Sure! If that's what makes sense for your project and your team, go for it.
Does that help?
If you need some additional guidance on writing documentary proposals, you might want to check out the Documentary Proposal Template and Writing Guide