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 and does not have a “standard” investment level. 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 Producers to reach out to the Rocket Fund for direction prior to 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, and 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 Rocket Fund’s Guide to Audience Success.
The Audience Development Plan Template links to a Budget Template – do we need to fill that out and submit as well?
If you are financing your Audience Development Plan separately (i.e. the budget is not included in your overall project budget which you are currently applying for), please do include a separate budget and proposed financing structure for the ADP. If you have included costs for your ADP within your overall project budget, please just note/include what budget accounts cover your ADP.
Do you require pre-consultation between the Rocket Fund and Producer before submitting an application?
We do not require pre-consultations for applications, 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 Producers put forward their 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 encourages all Applicants to respect the guiding principles and best practices of the On-Screen Protocols & Pathways Media Production Guide. 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 or complementary content to apply for funding?
Yes – all audiovisual programs applying to the Rocket Fund for funding must have a relevant and meaningful complementary content plan. At the Rocket Fund, 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 complementary 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?
No, there is no restriction on the length of content that the Rocket Fund invests in, and in the past 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 a 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 discretion of the Rocket Fund to determine whether or not a program is appropriate for a youth (under 18) audience, specifically in regards to programs with mature content or strong language. Some of the specifics that are weighed when assessing audience include: whether or not 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 a 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 if your program meets eligibility requirements.
I have a family series that will most likely be aired in prime time. Is it eligible for a 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 would 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) it may not be eligible for a Rocket Fund investment. It is at the discretion of the Rocket Fund to determine whether or not 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 if your program meets eligibility requirements.
How long after an Audiovisual / Complementary Content Stream Application deadline will we hear about decisions?
The application review process generally takes between 8 to 10 weeks after the application deadline, but this may vary slightly depending on the number of applications received and the availability of our board of directors. The Rocket Fund does its best to complete their reviews and provide the board’s funding decisions to Producers in a timely fashion.