Request for Proposals: Documentary Producer

Short-term contract position

Oregon Humanities is looking for an experienced video producer to help us prepare a grant application for $250,000 in funding to create a series of six to eight short documentaries (approximately 10 minutes each) on the theme of water in Oregon history. These videos will explore how conflict over water and waterways shaped the settlement of Oregon and the course of the state’s development, and how they relate to present-day issues.

The producer will work with Oregon Humanities staff and subject matter experts to prepare detailed treatments for two of the short documentaries. The producer will help us be ready to submit the proposal. Being ready looks like:

  • Complete research on the subject, including archival work and preliminary interviews

  • Scholars have been involved with creating and interpreting content

  • Complete scripts/treatments

  • Complete plans for distribution and outreach. 

The deadline for a draft proposal is June 15, 2020. A detailed list of deliverables follows. 

The producer will be expected to begin work on the project in March, with deliverables due in mid-June. Should Oregon Humanities receive the grant, the producer will likely be involved in producing the films starting in mid-2021. The projected budget for this research and planning work is $3,000 to $5,000.

Oregon Humanities believes equity, justice, empathy, and respect are essential for vital, flourishing communities. We encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds, particularly those from historically underrepresented groups, whose professional and personal experiences will help us work toward our vision of an Oregon that invites diverse perspectives, explores challenging questions, and strives for just communities.

If you are interested in this position, please send a letter outlining how you would approach the project, any relevant experience, and an estimate of cost for the deliverables listed below to Ben Waterhouse, Communications Manager, at by March 4, 2020. Please direct any questions to Ben at the same address.

The producer will be responsible for the following deliverables:

  • Contributions to grant narrative

    • One-page description of audiovisual style and approach, e.g. perspective from which story will be told, will it use voiceover or on camera interviews, dramatic recreations, etc.

    • Short description of other similar or related projects and how this project will be different 

    • Paragraph descriptions of media production teams’ experience and qualifications. At minimum, the director and writer. Encouraged to also include a director of photography and an editor.

    • Half-page description of work that has been done so far and general description of work yet to be completed.

  • Resource lists

    • List with descriptions of resources for project, e.g. interviews, archival materials, other audio or visual materials. Include potential for obtaining permissions and clearing rights for proposed materials

    • List of preliminary interviews completed

    • Detailed month-by-month schedule of work to be done during the grant period (6 to twenty-four months after funding) that includes the participation of humanities advisors

    • Collaborate with OH staff to produce one-page distribution and marketing plan

    • Contribute to bibliography of humanities scholarship

  • Detailed treatment

    • Two detailed treatments (not to exceed 10 pages each) that describes how the program will unfold, from start to finish. The detailed treatment should present a clear narrative, identify specific audio and visual materials, and demonstrate how the film would integrate the humanities analysis and interpretive content.

    • Shorter descriptions -- not full treatments -- of other films in the series.

    • You may use published humanities scholarship, archival resources, and preliminary interviews that you have conducted as the foundation for your script or detailed treatment. Clearly identify the materials sources that inform the script or treatment.

    • If you are proposing a project that explores contemporary culture, explain the basis for your script. For example, you may identify the footage that you have already shot, the preliminary interviews that you have already conducted, and the scholarly research that would serve as the foundation for your program.

  • Work Samples

    • A project that demonstrates the experience and qualifications of the media team to produce the project successfully. Describe it, including roles of media team, and include a hyperlink

  • Supporting images, if desired

    • As a single PDF attachment, including a list of images