So You Wanna Be a Filmmaker?

Start with your own web TV series


Tight budgets. Wonky weather. You know how tough it can be to make films in Alberta. And you live in Alberta.

But it’s incredibly exciting, too. You know. You’ve been on set, watching the action. Maybe you’re part of it. And you know the players, or at least a few. The actors, the sound guys and camera crews.  Like them, you go to all the local film festivals, and sometimes you submit your work. You dream. You’re an indie filmmaker with big ideas, after all. You’re a director, perhaps, or a screenwriter in search of your big break. And you live in Calgary.

Then perhaps it’s time for you to make a web TV series.

First, go to It’s a place where you can submit your idea and apply for $10,000 — yes, cash — toward video production grants. To enter, you just have to create a multimedia application, plus a production plan for a web pilot series. From now to Nov. 3, you can apply online at Each application is free; it costs nothing but your time to apply. Then, from Nov. 10 to Dec. 1, you can vote (and encourage all your friends and family to vote), for the Top 15 web pilot projects. Yes, that’s why the folks at STORYHIVE refer to what they do as a community-powered film funding program created by TELUS. For more information, check out or follow @STORYHIVE on Twitter or go to Facebook and search “storyhive” and then like the page.

In December, the Top 15 projects will be announced at Each Alberta winner will receive a $10,000 production grant. They will also be given the opportunity to make a pilot webisode, three to eight minutes in length. Each web pilot will be distributed on Optik Local (TELUS community programming) via TELUS Optik TV on Demand and other online venues.

But STORYHIVE doesn’t stop there. A similar competition in British Columbia saw another 15 people chosen as finalists. During Stage 2 of the competition in Spring 2015, all 30 competitors — 15 from Alberta, 15 from BC — will compete again, against each other. One lucky finalist from that group will win $50,000, plus training and mentorship to turn their idea into a complete web series. To be eligible to apply for round one of the STORYHIVE program, you must be at least 18 years old at the time of registration, and you must live within a TELUS Optik Local Calgary or Edmonton territory. In Calgary, that includes Calgary (of course), plus the surrounding Alberta communities of Didsbury, Canmore, Okotoks, Harvie Heights, Airdrie, Cochrane and Chestermere Lake. Plus, it probably goes without saying, but you can’t work for TELUS or any other broadcast distribution company.

In Spring 2014, 20 people won grants to turn their film dreams into Optik TV reality. Check them out at Do you still have questions? is a great source of information, but if you still have questions about the grants, your potential eligibility, CRTC guidelines or general feedback, email

Get Funded. Get Help. Get Seen
We sponsored Nicole’s new project, “Let’s Make a Web Series: The Web Series”. Think you can do better? Pitch your web pilot idea on



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