Since starting Full Spectrum Features in 2015, Eugene Sun Park has helped secure over $1 million in grants for his films, including grants from DCASE, the Illinois Arts Council, the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Sundance Institute, and Panavision, to name a few. 
In anticipation of our workshop on Grant Writing led by Eugene and Full Spectrum Features, we’ve rounded up three thoughts on film grants from Eugene! 
 ‘When “soft money” pieces fall into place, it is an incredible feeling to be free of commercial considerations and constraints. This path requires patience, adaptability, and a heck of a lot of persistence.’ (Source)

Many films utilize investors in order to fund their budget. Traditionally, these equity investors would get all their money back with interest if the film were to earn any revenue. But, most independent features don’t earn a profit, and filmmakers themselves oftentimes feel an added financial pressure to please the investors at the cost of their own vision. Grants, on the other hand, generally aren’t tied to any demand for profit.


‘When you write a grant application, you have to explain your project to someone who is not at all obligated to like or support your work. But the result of this process is that you really have to spend some time thinking about why you are making this film.’ (Source)


When we interviewed Mary Tilden and Leah Raidt on their submission for the 2019 Community Builders Grant, they explained: “I've found myself intuiting producer questions while crafting the grant application… these applications require you to think all that stuff through.” Whether it be through the 2021 Camera Ambassador Community Builders Grant or any other funding opportunity, it might be helpful to reframe these application questions from ‘tedious’ to an opportunity to begin fine-tuning your vision and logistical planning!


‘Any granting organization that rejects you now is getting to know you through that very process. The next time around, if they see that you completed your project and are continuing to work as an artist, they may look upon your application more favorably.’ (Source)


Submitting a grant application helps kick off a wonderful relationship between you and the granting organization! For example, with Camera Ambassador, we’ve got to read some amazing applications in the past and meet several of our favorite clients through the grant process. Ultimately, we ended up building relationships that led to us working with and promoting amazing projects, such as Rough River Lake, Whole, and Lost Kings.


Need funding? We're kicking off our 2022 Community Builders Grant season with an in-depth look at grant writing with Full Spectrum Features! Learn more from Eugene Sun Park through our Virtual Workshop on Grant Writing with Full Spectrum Features.