COVID-19 Care Package for Filmmakers

COVID-19 Care Package for Filmmakers
How To Survive (and Thrive) During a Crisis

With the COVID-19 crisis, massive shifts are underway for filmmakers and creatives.

Film festivals cancelled, premieres postponed, productions halted and gigs lost. There's a great sense of vulnerability, fear and insecurity. And thankfully some humor too.

Below is a (virtual) care package of ideas to help get you through the coming days, weeks and months.

The Gift of Curiosity

In times of chaos and uncertainty, when everything is falling apart around us... it's our job -- no it's our NATURE -- as filmmakers, photographers, creatives and journalists to look around us with awe -- to observe, document and translate.

Embrace your curiosity, embrace the unknown, embrace the fear.... that is YOUR GIFT as a creative.

This is the gift the world is calling on you to share right now.

People need your perspective. They need your ideas. They need your ability to gather, document, translate and share in YOUR unique voice.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath.. and remember, this too shall pass. So grab a camera, pencil, audio recorder, paintbrush, webcam or whatever tool you choose and start documenting, journaling and recording.

Emergency Loans, Grants and Resources

Obviously, if you're in survival mode you may not have the luxury to create right now.

So if you've suddenly found yourself unemployed or your freelance work has dried up, these emergency resources may help.

COVID-19 Grants Directory for Documentary Filmmakers (IDA)

Filmmakers Guide To Applying For Coronavirus Relief (IDA)

Applying For Federal Coronavirus Relief as a Filmmaker - Webinar Recording

Sundance Institute Launches $1-Million COVID-19 Relief Fund For Indie Artists

Field of Vision - Documentary Freelancer Relief Fund - $250,000 total available w/ up to $2,000 individual grants.

POV Emergency Fund For Documentary Filmmakers - offering $500 rapid response grants.

Creative Capital - A list of funding resources for artists. is issuing 0% interest emergency loans for small businesses. Benefit Finder: Fill out the questionnaire to see what kind of benefits you may be entitled to. Disaster Unemployment Assistance - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest loans to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Paypal Working Capital may be an option for those with a decent Paypal history.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – What We Know & Where to Apply

How Your Business Can Take Advantage of the $2T Stimulus Package

Massive list of COVID-19 resources for freelance artists


Canon EOS Webcam Utility Beta Software - Allows select EOS cameras to become a high quality web cam. See if your camera is on the list.

Final Cut Pro X Extends Free Trial to 90 Days - No discounts on a purchase here. But you can download and use Final Cut Pro X for a 90-day trial period rather than the normal 30 days.

FilmLocal – Key Membership Free for All Filmmakers For (At Least) 2 Months

Free Temporary QLab Licenses - Free temporary licenses for teachers and students

AVID Free 90-Day Licenses - Avid offering free 90-day licenses to help (qualified) customers impacted by COVID-19.

Free Documentary Starter Kit

Adobe - Providing "at home" access to Creative Cloud for students in higher education and K-12 programs.

Zoom - video conferencing platform is lifting the 40-minute time limit on free Basic accounts for K-12 schools.

COMCAST offering 'Internet Essentials' Package free for low-income customers for 60 days

AmazonPrimeVideo Streaming Kids Movies and TV for Free

Online Events & Webinars

The Future Of Video Production (Hosted by Panasonic) - Live Virtual Broadcast May 6, 2020 @ 11am EST

The Future Of Distribution: Streaming, Virtual Cinemas, and Beyond (Hosted by IFP) - Live Virtual Event May 14, 2020

Cash Flow For Filmmakers at Home (Hosted by DOC NYC) - Live Webinar April 7th, 2020. Replay now available.

New Strategies for Film Distribution (Hosted by DOC NYC) - Recorded March 27, 2020. Replay now available.

Jobs & Cash-Flow

Documentary | Video | Film Jobs (Latest Listings from Indeed)

25+ Sites For Finding Remote Work

Tongal's Global Creative Platform - Search current/open projects and get paid to produce video content.

Fiverr - Quickly and easily post your skills for hire.

Upwork - For freelancers. Post your bio & skills and find work.

Employing Artists (Public Facebook Group) - Jobs platform for cast, crew and creatives

Trade, Buy, Sell Your Gear

Start An Online Business

Crowdfunding - While you're stuck at home, a great time to organize a crowdfunding campaign for your documentary (or other creative project). Try, or Seed&Spark.

Check out these creative fundraising ideas ("Inside Voices") on Kickstarter specifically geared around the 2020 pandemic.

Hidden Freelance Opportunities - In a crisis, people don't have time to post job descriptions. Keep an eye out for companies or individuals who could use some video help (video message from CEO, comic-relief videos, company CV-19 response videos, streaming video set-up, family history videos, etc). Offer your services, you never know!

Repurpose existing materials - Got extra interviews? Repurpose them into an ebook/Kindle version. Got unused footage? Create a new film or stand-alone release of a concert/event. Got extra photos? Create a photo book. What about the music track from a past film, give it a proper release. Get creative! Assess all your assets and how they can be repurposed into a new product. 

How To Support Freelancers - Share on social media and with clients

Inspiration & Creative Ideas

During this time of upheaval and un-knows, it's a great time to explore, discover and create.

Vimeo Stories in Place - Staff picked filmmakers chronicle small businesses as they navigate a world in flux. Created remotely in just 12 days these stories show how these small business are adapting to the new environment.

Download Free Video, Film, Audio and Media Sources - Create a film or trailer using free archival footage and media. There are millions of free media clips available across the internet.

Join the Coronavirus Footage Pool Facebook Group - The German Documentary Association / AG DOK is inviting filmmakers worldwide to capture and share footage documenting the realities of the ongoing 2020 pandemic.

Write Your Documentary Script - With the extra time at home, now's a great time to work on your script.

Create Your Documentary Proposal - Use these tips to work on your pitch and craft your proposal.

Explore Documentary Film Grants - Explore grants and apply for funding.

Document the COVID-19 Story - Pick up a camera, conduct webcam interviews, start a video journal. None of us know where this story is going or what's going to happen. Document now, figure out the story later. 

Set Up Your LLC - Great time to check off some business essentials such as registering for an LLC, building a website or setting up an email marketing account.

Brainstorm at the D-Word - Join a filmmaker discussion and share your ideas about COVID-19 and other topics with fellow doc filmmakers.

Vuze VR GalleryWatch 3D, 360 videos & Virtual Reality experiences as inspiration for your next project.

Your Thoughts, Ideas & Recommended Resources

Please share below in the comments any thoughts, ideas or helpful resources:

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