A 30-Minute Investigative Documentary from Distill Media
“If Canada could sell its crude reserves to a world market, its national debt could be retired within 10 years.” Is this true?
With the partnership of Rick Maddison (Producer/Director), and award winning storyteller/videographer Curtis Allen (Director of Photography/Editor), Distill Media is prepared to explore the facts and present the truth objectively in the form of a 30-minute documentary. This is a volatile subject that is surrounded by a lot of misinformation–it’s time to clarify the reality of the situation to the public.
Curtis Allen and Rick Maddison will explore what pipelines can do for debt retirement in Canada. Political leaders speaking directly (who are unencumbered by office), pipeline builders, environmentalists, and indigenous leaders will all have their say. Canadians can decide where the truth exists with this controversial documentary.
We’re looking to create a 30-minute documentary that investigates the role pipelines play in Canada’s future. This film will feature interviews, and will have extensive coverage of the Alberta Oil Sands and of pipeline construction. Our goal is to distill the facts, and to present a clear case as to the viability of pipelines and how they can help Canada finally achieve debt retirement.
Hours of work have already been put into this project out of our own pocket because this is a story that must be told. We already have two key interviews for the film: Dean Schlosser (President of D & F Welding) and Brad Wall (14th Premier of Saskatchewan).
It’s time to tell Canadians the truth about pipelines.
Background: Broadcaster, Columnist, Storyteller
Rick is a member of the Friday Morning Roundtable talk-show, and is featured in several TV shows, radio broadcasts, and print literature. Rick is known for his affable nature and quick-wit. With a broadcast journalism background, he is able to uncover stories that are both balanced and informative. As producer of “Canada’s Solution?”, Rick’s goal is to dispel the myths surrounding pipelines and spur on discussion about getting Canadian crude to international markets to help pay down national debt.
Background: Filmmaker, Journalist, Owner of Distill Media
Role: Director of Photography/Editor
Having produced multiple documentaries, Curtis Allen is an expert at creating compelling stories.
With 10+ years experience in video journalism (as a camera operator, editor, and reporter for TV stations in Kamloops and Vancouver), Curtis has incomparable experience telling stories that audiences can meaningfully engage with. He has produced documentaries in Haiti, Ethiopia, and Mexico–and in 2018, he was chosen to tell the story of Round Lake Treatment Centre in documentary form; a comprehensive, TV-ready story that has aired over 50 times on BC television.
Curtis is also the recipient of two awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, recognizing him for his documentary work in Haiti, as well as a piece he co-produced in Disneyland.
Utilize the tabs below for more detail.
To bring this story to Canadians, it’s going to require funding to cover the costs associated with producing a documentary film of this magnitude. These costs can be broken down into the following categories: pre-production, production, editing, and delivery. Make use of the tabs above to see more detail of each category.
We are seeking a budget of $136,710 to fund this film. In return for this investment, not only will you receive full credit as Executive Producer of the film, but retain ownership of all footage and interviews gathered in the creation of the documentary. This means that you can use the footage we capture however you want in the future, including using it to promote your company online as well as on social and traditional media.
A detailed spreadsheet showing the breakdown of costs can be found by clicking here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17hjPESbLLbZKSHjwkvpimCsYJfAN1xQSFRdM6CJSWRA/edit?usp=sharing
Drafting the perfect documentary
We know from experience that coming to a shoot prepared saves everybody time and money. Committing time to the development process helps us know exactly what we need to accomplish when we make it to the filming days: what people are needed, what equipment we will require, and what shots we need to capture to tell the story. The end result of the “designing” phase: a smooth production experience.
Included in Pre-Production:
- Time spent planning the vision
- Scheduling shoot dates and interviews
- Securing additional gear for the shoot through rentals
- Storyboarding the flow and story arcs of the video
- Conducting meetings
- Applying for any permits or filming applications needed.
- Researching grants
Equipment and Labour Sourcing
Gathering the content
This is where we put boots on the ground. Our team will be prepared to film all necessary segments with technical precision: capturing perfect video, audio, and interviews. It’s important that our team is technically proficient, but it is equally important to have a team with the social wherewithal to ensure the interview subject feels comfortable. The difference between a dry, awkward interview and a natural-feeling, enjoyable interview is in the hands of the videographers–and we’re able to provide an environment that stimulates a quality interview.
This doesn’t even get into the issues of equipment, mobile bandwidth, remote labour, and gear maintenance. Our experience in producing documentaries means we are comfortable with layering contingencies upon contingencies to ensure a filming process devoid of unnecessary, preventable delays.
Production costs include:
- 15-20 Filming Days
- Shooting in various locations
- Rick Maddison’s services as Producer & Host
- Conducting Interviews
- Narrating documentary
- Film Crew of 1-3 (Director of Photography, Assistant, Audio/Lighting Engineer)
- Multiple Cameras for interviews
- Logging shots in Digital Asset Management System
- Local & Off Site Backups of all footage
- Re-Shoots or extra shots needed to complete the film
- Drone Operator’s Fees (In compliance with Transport Canada Regulations)
- Stock Footage Licensing
- Traveling to filming locations (Fort McMurray, Vancouver ect)
Labour Hours (Field Crew)
Travel, Accommodation, Per Diems
Repair and Maintenance
Mobile Bandwidth (Field Back-Ups)
The Editing Process
A good documentary is all about a strong narrative. This all happens in the editing bay: threading together all the different elements to not only just present the information, but to showcase the information in a way that is engaging, palatable, and dynamic.
The bulk of this process is stringing together the initial edit. We call this the “story edit”, as it shapes the arc of the project. This will then go through multiple revisions both internally, and with the client, before adding supplemental footage, licensed music, on-screen graphics, and any other finishing touches.
The editing process requires:
- Shot Listing
- Preliminary Editing (Rough Cut)
- Advanced Editing (Finished Cut)
- Basic Audio Editing
- Special Effects (animated maps, diagrams)
- On Screen Graphics
- Creating Subtitles & Captioning
- Mixing / Mastering all audio
- Mixing for Stereo & 5.1 Surround
- Making audio conform to broadcast standards
- EQ, Compression, Sound Effects
Initial Story Edit
Story Edit Revisions
Final Edit and Revisions
Soundtrack Licensing and/or Composition
Graphic Design (On-Screen, Thumbnails, Streaming)
Promotional Trailer Edit/Revisions
Delivery to Distributors
When the project is fully assembled, it becomes important to consider how it should be distributed. Streaming services, network providers, publishing platforms, advertising, and marketing are all elements that require thorough thought and tact.
Broadcasters and streaming services have a very high standard of quality. If we don’t invest the time and money to produce this film in a way that meets these standards, we limit the potential size of our audience and miss out on the opportunity to distribute through these channels.
Beyond the documentary’s initial distribution, the assets created need to be stored somewhere safe, secure, and future-proof. For an undertaking of this size, the digital assets will be large. Having back-ups of the project (both digital and physical) is paramount to extending the shelf-life of the work completed.
- Pitching finished film to TV Networks like CBC, Bell Media, Global, Shaw, Omni, Corus, City TV and others.
- Pitching finished film to Streaming Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crave etc.
- Submitting film to Film Festivals
- Media appearances by Rick Maddison to promote the film
Marketing (Promotional Assets)
Liaising with Streaming Providers/Networks
One of our goals with distribution is to recover the investment made by the Executive Producer. If we are successful in selling broadcasting rights to a streaming service or television broadcast network, we can expect a return on investment. In this scenario, you can expect 100% of the profit earned from distribution to be returned to you until you fully make back the money you invested in this film.
If we are able to make more money on this film than was invested, we propose a profit-sharing model split between yourself, Rick Maddison, and Curtis Allen of Distill Media. We are also seeking ways to fund this film through grants (either in full or in part) to help offset the total cost of producing the documentary. It is, however, important that we have approved funding so that we can continue work on this project immediately.
If it can’t be done right, it’s not worth doing. Our reputation for precise and unparalleled visual storytelling hinges on this belief: you get what you pay for. Canadians deserve to hear the truth about pipelines and Canada’s financial future. We are in a unique position to tell that story.
Let’s work together.