PBS Overview

PBS's Website

PBS does a good job of reviewing absolutely every proposal that is sent to them. The trick here is to have enough compelling material in your proposal to ensure that they review it longer than 12 seconds, or at least to get them to read past the second page. PBS doesn't require much formality in the physical aspect of the proposals. They simply recommend that you give them as much information as possible.

This is a bit misleading.

Of course, you could send them all of your scribblings in your notebooks about the great ideas you have. You could send them detailed storyboards drawn in crayon on napkins. The ability to do it does not make it a good idea. If you're really serious about your idea, you'll create a formal document for each line of the criteria that PBS recommends. This criteria is: Get ready to write!

PBS also operates with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting The main thing to notice here is that PBS is consciously trying to open the playing field to anybody-- not simply established filmmakers. The downside of this is that they don't require anything. This makes it harder to determine what exactly it is that they want. In this case, the "hoops" that you must jump through are not defined. Funding becomes increasingly difficult if you don't have a set framework with which to begin. The conclusion: PBS is a good place to go if you've already got a program that you want aired or funded after-the-fact. They're not quite the best place to go to get money from scratch.

The Independent Television Service, on the other hand, has very rigorous standards for the films they fund. As we will soon see, this can have its positives as well as its negatives.

On to ITVS...