I have some experience in the Documentary field, but I admit I’m still a student and will try to covey advice as best I can from my experience, but more so from the knowledge of others in the field, and hopefully readers like yourself. Thank you.
Many a times it can be a gamble between cash flow, and creative control. Nearly all producers are going to have their own ideas in mind with what they want to see, and hopefully this will not differ too much from how you see your film turning out.
So you have accepted that you may lose some control but you just know that underwater shot of a whale shark will make or break your film, and you just know the only thing between you and it is a cool 10k. But where to start; where can you go to gain such unfeasible funds?
Well one way you can make your dollar is by using kickstarter this website allows fans, friends and family to fund projects that they would like to see come to life.
It works by the artist setting a monetary amount as a goal. Once that goal is reached the money is sent and the artist can begin their project; simple as that.
The program allows artist to keep full creative control of their project while the only drawback is that if the goal is not met by a set time no funding is received it’s an all or nothing kind of thing.
WVU grad Elaine McMillion used this method to make her film Hollow: An interactive Documentary
Another way to make money is to get help form organizations that support you type of film. The Center for Independent Documentary offers funding to documentary that focus on social or cultural concerns, and has been around since 1981.
Or you can try your luck with The Film Collaborative. the first non-profit organization for funding of independent films.
I mentioned both of these organizations last post.
However you do it there are tons of opportunities to get your funding and get your message out there.