Write a Proposal


The next stage on the way to creating a Global Lives video is writing a formal proposal. If you are ready
for this step, congratulations! This means that your initial producer inquiry has been accepted and you are
one step closer to the unique and exciting experience of completing a Global Lives Project shoot.
Occasionally, a Global Lives shoot may need to happen on very short notice. Your crew might be on
location for another project or just have a quick window of opportunity to capture a right-place-right-time
situation. If you do a shoot without submitting an inquiry or proposal, you may retroactively submit a
proposal along with your footage. If you have carefully followed all of the proposal and production
guidelines, your proposal and footage will be reviewed and considered for acceptance into the Global
Lives Library, and in rare cases for funding as a curated shoot if it fits all of the curatorial guidelines.


Why a proposal?

The proposal is designed to help you as a producer and/or director to best prepare yourself and your
team for your shoot. Well-planned shoots tend to be the most successful, and your proposal will let us
know that in green-lighting your shoot, we will be investing our time and resources in a successful
production that will be seen through to completion.

Check out the below guide to the required proposal sections and elements, and use the proposal form
template to build your final proposal. We’ve also included a sample proposal for you to study as you
write your own.

Once you complete and submit your proposal, the Global Lives production committee will review it. In
general, the review process takes around two weeks.


What if I’m funding my own shoot?

If you are not seeking funding for your shoot, you do not need to submit a formal proposal before
completing your shoot, however you must read the below guide carefully and submit a formal proposal
for your shoot to be accepted into the Global Lives video library.


Required sections of the proposal:

  • On-screen participant
  • Production team
  • Production plan
  • Post-production plan
  • Translation plan
  • Budget
  • Supplementary materials


Sample documents and templates:


Section 1: On-screen participant

Tell us about the person you will be filming during the 24-hour running time of your Global Lives video. Some basic things to include are your participant’s home, community, region, and nation.

Please also include a description of your relationship with your participant. It’s important to get to know the participant in order to build the trust needed to shoot video of them in candid situations for the 24-hour span. If you do not know the participant well, do you have time built in to get to know him or her better? Or is there another person on the team who knows your participant well and will act as the liaison between the crew and the participant?

In addition, what is your relationship to the participant’s community? Will they accept you and your crew as you film the participant? What are some of the community activities that you may want to capture? During the shoot, who will be the point person for questions from community members?


Section 2: Production team

Who are the key members of your project team and production crew and what will their roles be? Include a short bio of each person including their years of experience, past projects and other relevant information.


Section 3: Production plan

Describe in detail the plan for executing your shoot. Detail your production schedule, including transportation, division of labor, release forms, and your plans for navigating lighting or unexpected challenges. In addition, describe your shooting style and list the equipment you will use.


Section 4: Post-production plan

Post-production is an essential part of the Global Lives process, and it can be complex, as it encompasses editing, translation, and delivery of the final 24-hour video.

You will need the support of a number of volunteers and, preferably, the support of an institution to accomplish your post-production. In your proposal, list the volunteers and institutions that have committed to take part in the post-production process. Include a post-production timeline that includes each stage and its completion.


Section 5: Translation plan

Successfully translating 24-hours of video takes careful planning from the proposal phase. Make sure you fully understand the translation process and guidelines. This section should include details about the language. How many global speakers are there of the language? Is the language a rural dialect? Is it an endangered language? Will more financial resources need to be dedicated to completing translation. How do you plan on recruiting translators? Who will be in charge of managing the translation process? We highly recommend you develop a partnership with a local institution, university, or language teacher who can help give you access to translators. Strong proposals will include a Letter of Affiliation from a translation partner.


Section 6: Budget

We have limited financial resources and depend on local producers and crews to volunteer their time and secure in-kind donations as well as cash contributions in many cases to finance their shoots. If you are applying to produce a curated shoot, see the specific guidelines for that series to determine what funding may be available from Global Lives to support your shoot.

In this section of your proposal, show the in-kind donations that you have secured for the shoot, including equipment loans, people willing to donate their labor as volunteers in the production and post-production phases, and cash contributions secured from outside sources. If you plan to use crowdfunding (i.e., Kickstarter or IndieGogo) to raise additional funds, please describe your plan here. See funding resources for ideas and support for how you can fund your shoot and how Global Lives staff can support you in this process.


Section 7: Supplementary materials

Include any supplementary materials such as video of your participant or other work samples, which help to demonstrate to the reviewers that your shoot will be of the highest quality and that your team is prepared to execute it effectively. In particular, it’s important that you include sample video shot and/or produced by each of the core members of your crew. Links to YouTube, Vimeo or other online videos are preferred over DVDs.