How much does the Rocket Fund typically invest? Is there a cap on investment requests?
The Rocket Fund invests on a project-by-project basis. Investments are based on the financial needs of the production, budget, recoupment potential and the reasonability of the request. All investment applications must be supported with documentation that clearly demonstrates a program’s merit. High dollar or percentage-of-budget investment requests must clearly outline the recoupment potential, in addition to providing a compelling reason for the larger investment amount. There is no cap on investment requests, but we encourage you to reach out to the Rocket Fund for direction before submitting applications for higher investments.
What is an Audience Development Plan? How is that different from a marketing strategy?
An Audience Development Plan is your discoverability plan and addresses how your target audience is going to discover your program. It outlines your strategy to build an audience and promote your program to that audience.
A marketing strategy addresses how you will market your program to potential buyers (i.e. Canadian and International broadcasters and distributors), and the promotional plan that will spread awareness of your program to the buyers.
For additional information on creating an Audience Development Plan, please reference the Audience Development Plan Template and the Shaw Rocket Fund Guide to Audience Success. The Shaw Rocket Fund requires a Comprehensive Plan to be submitted with your application. A Preliminary Plan is referenced in the Audience Development Plan Template, but is not required for our Fund.
Do you require pre-consultation between the Rocket Fund and Producer before submitting an application?
No, but we do like to have conversations with producers about upcoming application submissions so we can ensure that the project meets eligibility requirements and so we can help you put forward your best application. Reach out to the Rocket Fund at any point to set up a chat.
As an Indigenous storyteller, if I’m applying for content that I have permission to tell but do not own copyright, does the Rocket Fund still require a copyright interest?
We encourage all applicants to respect the guiding principles and best practices of On-Screen Protocols & Pathways. In instances where the content cannot be owned by the Indigenous storyteller, Rocket Fund will waive its copyright ownership requirement.
Does my production need to have associated digital content to apply for funding?
Yes. All audiovisual programs applying to the Rocket Fund must have a relevant and meaningful digital content plan. We understand that children and youth expect to engage in many ways with any content they watch. However, this engagement will differ depending on the nature of the program. For a feature film, the digital content plan might be as simple as a website and social media pages that allow audiences to access behind-the-scenes content and learn more about when and where the film will be shown. Alternatively, some programs lend themselves well to online games, apps, or virtual or augmented reality experiences.
Does the Rocket Fund have any restrictions on the length of content? For example, can it invest in pilots or short form episodes under 5 minutes?
There is no restriction on the length of content. The Rocket Fund has invested in both traditional lengths (i.e. feature films of 90 minutes, television series of 30 and 60 minutes) and non-traditional lengths (i.e. series with episodes ranging from 3 to 11 minutes in length). If you are applying to the Rocket Fund for financing for a pilot, there must be a compelling reason for the Rocket Fund to invest (for example, very strong creative potential, demonstrates potential for series order, etc.).
I have a feature film with some strong subject matter and language that will most likely have a rating of 14A. Is this eligible for Rocket Fund investment?
Per the Rocket Fund Guidelines, an eligible program must be targeted and relevant to children (under 13), youth (under 18) or a family audience. It is at the Rocket Fund’s discretion to determine whether a program is appropriate for a youth (under 18) audience, specifically with programs with mature content or strong language. Some elements weighed when assessing audience include: whether one of the protagonists is under 18; if the subject matter is relevant or relatable to youth under 18 (i.e. if it speaks directly to a teen/youth audience or incorporates a teen/youth point of view); if the content has any educational value or is currently part of high school or secondary school curriculum; the level of mature or sexual content; the amount of mature or strong language. Please contact the Rocket Fund office if you are unsure about your program’s eligibility.
I have a family series that will most likely be aired in prime time. Is it eligible for Rocket Fund investment?
Per the Rocket Fund Guidelines, an eligible program for a family audience must clearly demonstrate relevance to children or youth rather than a general audience. Are any of the protagonists under 18, or is the story told from a child’s or youth’s point of view? A series that is a family story aimed at a young audience, but also the type of content that parents like to watch, would likely be eligible for the Rocket Fund. A series that is a family story geared towards adults, but may be appropriate for children (i.e. no strong language or mature themes) may not be eligible. It is at the Rocket Fund’s discretion to determine whether a program is appropriate for a family audience as defined in the Rocket Fund Guidelines. Please contact the Rocket Fund office if you are unsure about your program’s eligibility.
How long after an Audiovisual / Digital Stream application deadline will we hear about decisions?
The application review process generally takes eight to 10 weeks after the deadline. This may vary depending on the number of applications received and the availability of our Board of Directors. We do our best to complete reviews and provide the Board’s funding decisions to producers in a timely fashion.