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Open Call: Election 2008

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Put the 'public' back in Public Broadcasting this election season!

2008's presidential election contest is already one for the history books. All of America is caught up in the excitement and citizens everywhere are eager to vote. This spring, WGBH Lab's "Open Call" and P.O.V. offer you a chance to make your voice heard BEFORE the voting booths open: TELL AMERICA YOUR ELECTION STORY on PBS.

PITCH the WGBH Lab and P.O.V. your ideas for a compelling, 3-minute video short. Be creative -- we want to be surprised! If selected, we’ll give you $2,000 to make it happen. Afterwards we'll feature it online and we may broadcast it on national TV!

Your story could be about an ongoing national or local issue, memories of elections past, or insight on how our NEW president can make a change -- you decide! The WGBH Lab will post your idea online, ask the Lab community to vote for their favorites, and discuss your progress as you move forward. This is your opportunity to create content that voices your opinion, tells your story, and shows the world what issues matter to you.

In June, P.O.V. will begin broadcasting their slate of films for the 2008 season, including five documentaries related to the 2008 Presidential election: "Traces of the Trade" by Katrina Browne, "Election Day" by Katie Chevigny, "Campaign" by Kazuhiro Soda; "The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez" by Kieran Fitzgerald; "Critical Condition" by Roger Weisberg; and "Soldiers of Conscience" by Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg. The programs tell stories that deal with critical election issues like voter turnout, healthcare, the Iraq war, race relations, election reform, immigration & border security, and the health of democracy both in America and around the world. As these films roll out, YOUR short may become a part of the conversation taking place around these issues.

Submit your video pitch soon -- the deadline is May 2nd!

Election 2008 Open Call Calendar

1. Submit a Pitch

April 7th – May 2nd*

Submit your best take on the theme we’ve outlined above. We want to see your personal interpretation of the topic – we encourage films from all points of view. We’re looking for fresh ways of telling a story: a surprising visual approach, an unexpected genre, or a unique voice.

To submit a pitch, read the guidelines, check your eligibility and then fill out the online application, making sure to include your written pitch and a short video that represents your idea. This could be a 'trailer' for your short or simply a reel of your work cut in a way that represents your intended style. Be sure to only include one (1) video that you feel best represents your storytelling ability, cutting style, and overall production skills.

2. Rate Pitches

May 2nd – May 9th*

All submitted pitches will be posted to the Lab site in the order they are received. Lab users will rate pitches as they go live based on each author's video and written summary. Once the submission period has ended, there will be 1 additional week of rating pitches. With the help of the Lab users, the Lab Creative Board will select which pitches move on to the next phase.

3. Production + Blogging

May 12th – June 6th*

During this time, selected producers will be given $2,000 to make their shorts and will provide updates on their experiences via the Lab Blog. Lab users will be encouraged to interact with the producers as they follow the filmmaking process.

4. Rough Cut Review

June 9th – June 16th*

Rough cuts of the selected projects will be posted online for review by the Lab community. The WGBH Lab Creative Board, a collection of experienced members of the broadcast industry, will offer valuable feedback on the shorts and give the producers suggestions for refining their shorts.

5. Final Cuts

June 20th*

Final Cuts of the Election 2008 projects will be posted on the Lab website.

*All dates are subject to change.

Keep Up on Production

See what our Open Call producers are doing by catching the latest in the blog.