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Grants and living expenses

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Rob GrauertGrants and living expenses
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 2:13:57 pm

If you get a big grant for a long term project, and this project requires you to quit your job so you can focus on this project, do you work your living expenses into the grant/budget? Or is that stealing/lying/cheating?

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.
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Ron LindeboomRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 2:59:48 pm

[Rob Grauert] "If you get a big grant for a long term project, and this project requires you to quit your job so you can focus on this project, do you work your living expenses into the grant/budget? Or is that stealing/lying/cheating?"

It depends upon the grant, but I for the life of me cannot figure out how it would be underhanded to try to work fulltime on a project you are dedicated to -- as is the grantor or they wouldn't be putting up the money -- and not need living expenses.

If you can ever master the art of spearheading a production project without need of food, shelter or any of the usual sundry necessities, there are plenty of people that will want to hire you. You will never be without work from that moment on.

Heck, Aaron might even finally get entrepreneurial and start that business he's been pondering, and hire you for some of his jobs.

(With apologies to Mark Szusko for stealing his comedy routine.)

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom
CEO, CreativeCOW.net

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
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First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
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Rob GrauertRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 3:47:19 pm

Well that is good to hear. I've been interested in trying to generate my own content, and that will require a lot of hard work and long hours. So it's nice to know that working living expenses into a budget is not out of bounds.

Thanks Ron

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.
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Ed CilleyRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 5:00:42 pm

What else would the grant money be used for if not to pay the people who work on the project (you or any others)? (Besides equipment rental, tape or other disposables, etc.)

It would not be out of bounds to pay a fair wage for work performed - which includes yourself. The important thing is to budget your project and make sure the funds will provide a finished product that meets the requirements of the grant.

Ed

Avid and FCP Preditor
_________________________________________________
Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield


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Rob GrauertRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 5:56:54 pm

"What else would the grant money be used for if not to pay the people who work on the project "

I dunno. I have never received a grant before. I figured grants would cover equipment, paying crew members, travel, etc. I just wasn't sure if I'd be covered if the project was MY idea - not the person funding the project, ya know.

But hey, if you guys say I'm covered, im psyched.

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
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Matthew McNultyRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 6:59:21 pm

I work in Government and have dealt with grants before... is it a Federal grant or private? Feds have very hard rules about do's and don'ts and reporting on spending and accounting... there will be blood... i mean strings. Read the paper work!





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Rob GrauertRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 7:05:24 pm

"is it a Federal grant or private?"

I don't have any grants yet. I was just wondering how they work in terms of me being able to pay my bills and such. In the future i will be sure to always read the paperwork though.

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
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Chris BlairRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 20, 2010 at 1:55:20 am

I spent 3 years in the early 90s making grant supported films. Most grant organziations, be they government, educational or corporate (and those in between), are ok with grantees paying themselves out of grants. However, most if not all granting organizations have unrealistic expectations about what filmmakers should pay themselves.

Time and again the only line item we were ever questioned about was salary for the two principal filmmakers (I had a partner). The National Endowment for the Humanities questioned it, the state arm of the same organization questioned it, Public Television even questioned it. I posted some tips on writing grants for films about a week ago.

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/17/869293

However, it's probably the most important line item you SHOULD NOT trim. If you cannot live and pay your bills, you certainly won't get the film made and the granting agencies will have nothing to show for their money. We were young and stupid and we agreed to trim when the granting agencies asked us to. It ended up taking us twice as long to get the films made and salary was a constant source of angst between me and my partner. I was on the side that we should be paid commensurate with producers who had the same level of experience we did (about 8 years at the time), while my partner would've lived in a hut and foraged for berries if it allowed her to get the film made.

There's certainly something to be said for persistance and dedication, but most granting organizations understand that you have to get paid. It's just that most (if not all) don't have guidelines or pay scales to judge whether a filmmaker's salary estimate is accurate and appropriate.

There are also some granting agencies (be they public or private) that will only allow you to spend their money on specific things, some of which are not salary related.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Rob GrauertRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 20, 2010 at 9:56:13 pm

oops! i said thanks to Chris is the thread you linked to. Thanks again!

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.
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Bob ZelinRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 20, 2010 at 11:09:21 pm

Rob -
when you donate to a charity, do you think that all the money goes to the "good cause". I have worked for UNICEF and Juvenile Diabeties when I was in NY, and I cannot believe how much money gets wasted, and thrown into CRAP, and full salaries, when the people that give think that it is going to medical research, and feeding starving children. Everyone is being so polite to you here - WAKE UP - don't be such an innocent. My very first job ever, before I got into video, was as a volunteer at Einstein College of Medicine, where I saw doctors with grants sacrifice animals to what appeared to me needlessly - but hey, they were getting my grant money ! This is when I knew that that field was not for me. It was not until years later in the video biz that I saw the waste at charities like Unicef, and Juvenile Diabeties. Never in my entire career did I see anyone have custom made cherrywood racks, other than Juvenile Diabeties for their equipment.

Take the money and run - it's part of the game.

Bob Zelin




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Ron LindeboomRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 20, 2010 at 11:37:39 pm

I couldn't agree more, Bob. I once did a print project for the United Way in which they were putting on a gala fund raising dinner and they were blowing through money like there was no tomorrow. They did things in print -- multiple die-cuts, foil-embedded embossing -- to degrees that I have never seen before or since. It scarred me against giving blindly to charities. I check them out now and find out what they do or do not give.

Later, I watched the Red Cross raise over a billion dollars during the 911 catastrophe, under the guise of helping the families, only to later announce that they were not chartered to assist the families *after* the event, and were only chartered to do emergency relief. They kept the money for "other needs."

The Salvation Army was doing the work, while the Red Cross was busy fund raising and doing the photo ops.

I do not give a dime to the United Way or the Red Cross.

I do support the Salvation Army. They pass along 75% of the monies they raise to the causes they support. If you remember Hurricane Katrina, the news was showing the Salvation Army trucks on the scene almost immediately after the catastrophe, a couple of days before you saw the first Red Cross trucks. In my experience of nearly 60 years, it is always that way.

But hey, you can always count on the Red Cross to be there for the photo ops, and to crank up their PR machine to get on TV and all the news channels to beg for your money. ;o)

When we set the ground rules for the Creative COW Foundation, which is being set up as a federally registered 501c3 non-profit with a charter to raise money for scholarships and educational grants for students in the fields of film, broadcast and related fields, we set it up wherein ALL costs associated with the operation are borne by Creative COW LLC. The Foundation is separate and all its operational costs are the COW's. The monies raised by the various programs supported by the Foundation, are 100% passed on -- there will be no deductions from the funds whatsoever. Part of our commitment and donation to the Foundation's operation will be to bear its expenses.

Why?

Because I think charities are largely a racket today. I think it's time that people took back the causes they believe in and made some hard demands on the ones who are supposedly operating as charities.

Ron Lindeboom


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Rob GrauertRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 21, 2010 at 2:11:15 am

As always, thanks for the advice Bob and Ron.

To add on to what you said, Ron, one of my teachers from college has a similar opinion about the Red Cross. He was in the military when he was younger. I forget what country he was based in, but the Red Cross was giving out blankets and stuff to the soldiers. The only catch was that the Red Cross was actually CHARGING the soldiers for those products. Some charity, aye? When he saw that, he also decided he'd never give a dime to the Red Cross either.

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
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Steve WargoRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:58:00 pm

Robert, no matter what job we're doing, we pay ourselves and spend the money on exactly what you mentioned. It's all good.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .

Ask me how to Market Yourself using Send Out Cards


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Rob GrauertRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 3:26:30 pm

Thanks Steve.

By the way, I like your website and reel. I noticed your are from AZ. What is the video industry like out there, if you don't mind me asking? Moving out west has crossed my mind a few times, and a few friends of mine took a road trip to AZ and had a real good time. So we've been thinkin about it. I heard they don't have good pizza though.

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
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Steve WargoRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:12:25 pm

We have great Pizza. We just don't buy it from Pizza Hut.

We have 5 film schools and a glut of video/film people who will work for free. Of course, the quality level is all over the map.

We have a great state which is buried in debt but at least if you're homeless, you probably won't freeze to death.

It's warm in the summer if you consider 117 to be warm. Some think it's hot as Hell. I think that Hell is probably around 125 - 130. It's been 122 here, but only for one long miserable day.

We actually have more forest land than desert but we keep that a secret (Don't tell anybody).





Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .

Ask me how to Market Yourself using Send Out Cards


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Rob GrauertRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:15:44 pm

"It's warm in the summer if you consider 117 to be warm."

hahah, I dunno man. Have you been to the east coast? I think I would enjoy 177 degrees in AZ more than 80 degrees with high humidity on the east coast.

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
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Steve WargoRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 6:05:43 pm

I'm from Ohio. I've lived in Florida, in the summer so I've seen 95 degrees and 100% humidity.

At 117, we work under shade and try to start early and finish early.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .

Ask me how to Market Yourself using Send Out Cards


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Rob GrauertRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:44:09 pm

ahh, ya beat me.

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
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David Roth WeissRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 2:06:32 am

[Steve Wargo] "At 117, we work under shade and try to start early and finish early."

Now that's a bit wimpy Steve. I'm really shocked...

I once shot exteriors in Old Tucson, in Late July, when the temp. was 125. We shot all day, from sun up to sun down, for a week. We were real men in those days...

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

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Todd TerryRe: Grants and living expenses
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 3:20:11 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "I once shot exteriors in Old Tucson, in Late July, when the temp. was 125."

Oh, but it was a "dry heat."

Love when people say that.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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