Center Working Papers

Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian

Get the Money and Shoot: The DRI Guide to Funding Documentary Films, second edition (1986) ISBN 0-931627-00-1

When Get the Money and Shoot: The DRI Guide to Funding Documentary Films was first published in 1981, American Cinematographer described it as "a practical source of data on how and when to apply for government, foundation and corporate grants." Moving Images said, "Intelligently written and no-nonsense in style, the book leads the grant seeker along the difficult path from project conception to grant application." The Independent said, "From the top, let me say that every independent filmmaker should read this book, and every documentary filmmaker should own a copy."

The book quickly became a standard in the independent documentary filmmaking community. It went into a second edition (1986) and four printings. By the early 1990s, the technology had changed (fewer and fewer documentarians were working in film) and so had the funding opportunities (fewer and fewer government agencies were willing to fund independent artists of any kind). Jackson and Christian stopped making documentary films and the book went out of print. There were many requests for a new edition, but the authors weren't familiar enough with the cost bases and editorial process of video production to revise those detailed sections of the book.

Requests for reprinting continued from people who said that the budget categories and amounts were out of date, but the long sections on how to write grant applications and deal with funding agencies remained as useful as ever. In 2007, Nancy Kalow, who teaches documentary video production and other courses at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies, offered a compromise: she would prepare Adobe PDF scans of the entire 1986 edition of the book and those could be made available to people who needed what Get the Money and Shoot had to offer.

The PDFs she prepared are in five sections, to facilitate downloading. They are free for anyone who wants to use them for personal or educational purposes. They may be reproduced, so long as proper credit is given and the original copyright acknowledged. Anyone wishing to incorporate any of the material in other texts should contact Bruce Jackson or Diane Christian.

Get the Money and Shoot: The DRI Guide to Funding Documentary Films, revised edition (1986)

pages 1-34 (2.2MB)

pages 35-68 (2.2MB)

pages 69-103 (2 MB)

pages 103-141 (2.2MB)

pages 142-154 (656KB)

Center Working Papers are works-in-progress, archival holdings, or edited texts of interviews, lectures and symposia presented by the Center for Studies in American Culture, a unit of the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Editorial board: Howard S. Becker, Alex Bitterman, Diane Christian, David Felder and Bruce Jackson

for further information contact