Q. How do I apply?
A. Applications open at the end of June and close mid August every year. During that period, clicking the APPLY button will take you to the application form. During the application period, you may also go to the NYWIFT home page and navigate to the application form.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Depending on when you apply, the application costs from $25 -75 for NYWIFT members and $50-100 for non-NYWIFT members. If selected, participants must join NYWIFT. The NYWIFT website details various levels and perquisites of membership. There is no cost for the lab however there will be fees for budgeting software.
Q. How are filmmakers chosen?
A. In Round One, a filmmaker submits a finished feature length script and a link to a short she has written and directed. If her work shows that she is ready to make the feature she has submitted, she moves on to Round Two where we evaluate whether she is a good fit for the lab. Namely, is she the kind of person who’d enjoy contributing and participating in a lengthy, collaborative workshop. She is invited to submit a recommendation from someone in the industry with whom she’s worked who’s asked to comment on what it was like to work with her and whether she’s a good candidate for this process. And she is invited to come in for an interview.
Q. When you say "collaborative" what exactly do you mean?
A. You will read everyone’s script and as we work our way through loglines, synopses, pitches, lookbooks, budgets, reels and websites, you will give and receive constructive feedback at every session. You will also make wonderful friends and artistic partnerships and support each other as we do what it takes to get our films made.
Q. How many filmmakers are in each session?
A. Approximately eight filmmakers per session; we keep it small so that everyone can share their work each week and have the time and bandwidth to be very familiar with every project. Filmmakers from earlier sessions will also drop in to help lead a session or to take part in some new opportunity we’ve found for our filmmakers. We want all the filmmakers to know each other and be able to help one another.
Q. When and where do you meet?
A. Participants receive copies of all the scripts and their first assignments in December. Sessions begin mid January and run through the beginning of June. We meet every Friday at NYWIFT in midtown Manhattan from 6-9. We break for most of the summer, giving participants a chance to rework their materials. For selected filmmakers, we pick up in October to continue refining our packages and begin meeting folks from the industry. We end before the holidays with our annual event, a presentation to an invited audience from the industry. Note – this is a general outline. The workflow and schedule is decided collectively as the workshop progresses but in general, we build our presentations during the first six months, re-work them over the summer, and take them out in the fall.
Q. If I don't live in the New York area, can I still apply?
A. Only if you can be at every session. We are considering satellite labs in other cities but aren’t there yet.
Q. It sounds like a big commitment. How much time does this take?
A. It’s a huge commitment – by joining this lab, you’re committing to make your first feature. As for how much time it takes, I’ll let the filmmakers answer: “You’ll work your ass off.”