On February 1st, the Independant Production Fund (IPF) released the first year review of its web series funding program. At the announcement held at INIS, fund recipients and broadcasters alike spoke of what went well and not so well with the first projects funded by the program.
An article published in the Lien Multimédia gives an account of the evening. The article is only available to subscribers, but here are the highlights:
- Out of the 166 projects that were submitted, only 11 were funded.
- The budgets went from $500 to $5,900 per minute.
- The French speaking productions funded were :
The overall assessment is that, despite the IPF’s existence and support, funding remains scarce.
For the Dakodak production, the main issue was negociating with the Union des artistes, “The actors’ fee was already our largest budget item and it doubled during production,” noted Julien Roussin Côté, producer at 33mag.
As for Juliette en direct, although the experience was fruitful for everyone, the whole team (crew and actors) had to be generous, said Télé-Québec’s Julie Duhaime. We also called on some interns from UQAM (Québec’s state university in Montreal).
The situation is indeed challenging, and we could probably say the same for English producers (the INIS event focused on the French segment).
In short, the IPF makes it possible for more projects to receive funding, but the demand is great and getting greater. We can only hope for the arrival of new players on the scene or the creation of a different business model to make all of this viable in the long term.
Last December 15th, the IPF announced it renewed this program for a second year (PDF). The next deadlines for Requests for Proposals are March 1st and May 2nd.