Film Courage: Steve in an interview with the Sundance Institute you said you believe there is no financial incentive to draw the documentary process out past a year but obviously this [film CRIME + PUNISHMENT] took four years to make. I’m wondering how are you able to put in four years of time and not run out? Or did you run out of money several times and have to apply for grants?
Stephen Maing, filmmaker of CRIME + PUNISHMENT: Yes, I think most people working in non-fiction are finding themselves in situations that are shooting for years in order to prove to funders that they have a credible story or kind of like a proof of concept on hand. You hear it many times, you submit grant applications or to funders and they’ll say Well, come back when you have more, this looks really interesting to the point where people want rough cuts of work. It’s really a difficult path to finish an independent documentary because you are expending all of your personal savings or resources. Everybody is accruing (or most people are accruing) massive amounts of personal debt on credit cards and what not and so it’s very hard to justify.
But yet when you feel like you are finding yourself in the crux of a kind of, perhaps never-before-seen story or access to individuals who have not had their stories told, that’s a compelling reason to find any reason to continue shooting. Luckily to be able to freelance in film for other projects was thankfully a way to sustain myself when times were tight. And then ultimately I was able to get funding thankfully from these really amazing organizations and individuals.
WATCH CRIME + PUNISHMENT
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