How do I create a strong STORYHIVE application?
You’re all signed up and ready to apply—but how do you create the strongest application possible? In this article, we’ll walk you through some tips and tricks for the key portions of your application to ensure that your submission shines.
Let’s get started!
One of the best things you can do to strengthen your application is to read (and then reread) the edition’s Submission Guidelines, FAQs and these guides. These resources will give you a clear idea of what we’re looking for when it comes to eligibility and content. Becoming familiar with the Edition will help you shape your pitch and speak directly to the Edition’s themes and requirements.
In the next sections, we’ll tackle some of the submission sections individually, but we always recommend referring back to these resources—and your own artistic voice and passion—when you put together your STORYHIVE application.
A short summary of your story idea in 120 characters or less, your logline helps set the tone for the rest of your application. A strong logline entices us to read more. Dive into the heart of your project, whether that’s a teaser of what makes your story unique, the question your project will ask or a juicy hook.
Here are some examples of great loglines. Get creative and make it your own:
Finding Big Country: Diehard Vancouver Grizzlies fan Kat Jayme is on the hunt for her controversial and reclusive childhood hero Big Country.
Red Chef Revival: 3 chefs travel across BC & Alberta to unapologetically tell their people's story through modern Indigenous cuisine.
You’ve got us hooked with the logline, now expand it out and tell us more! A strong synopsis balances giving a broad overview and sharing specific, compelling details. By definition, a synopsis is brief, so it’s those precise details that will help us quickly understand your project—and why it stands out. When drafting your synopsis, think about the roots of your story, the aspects that ground it. We also recommend incorporating how your story is locally reflective. Let us know where this story takes place!
For documentaries, the program must be fair and balanced. Try and use this space to give us insight into how you'll represent all the stakeholders in the documentary.
Remember! STORYHIVE projects must stay under a PG rating. Make sure your synopsis stays G or PG-friendly, too.
Here are some examples:
Finding Big Country: It’s been 17 years since the Vancouver Grizzlies left town with Bryant "Big Country" Reeves taking most of the blame, but superfan Kat Jayme still isn’t over it. Now she’s on a mission to find her reclusive childhood hero.
Five Acres: Five Acres explores the history and significance of a small urban farm in a rapidly developing area of Nanaimo. The farm is an inclusive learning space, where knowledge spreads like seeds. Community grows here, but will it continue to flourish?
If your project includes interviews, we want to know all about your subjects. Give us a clear idea of who each interview subject is and what they each add to your story. Tell us if the interview subject has confirmed they will be a part of the project. If they are not confirmed, what are your plans to secure these interviews? How are the interview subjects tied to your local community?
Check out Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny's project page for a great example of an interview roster.
Production design / visual style
The visuals of a project are often as crucial as the story itself. Show us how your visual style will contribute to your project and how it captures your community ties. And then tell us about it!
If your project will include reenactments or animation, give us details on these pieces. Share images that give us a sense of what the animation, reenactment or general style will look like and tell us how these elements tie into the overall project. Why is this the best way to visually convey your story?
Check out Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny's project page for a great example of production design and visual style.
Inclusion happens both in front of and behind the camera. When drafting your inclusion statement, be attentive to both spaces and tell us how you’re committing to inclusion across your production. Inclusion statements don’t have to be long or fancy. What’s more important is to be direct, honest and specific. Check out this great article from Seed&Spark for eight examples of effective inclusion statements.
Title card and box art
A strong title card and box art conveys the project’s visual style, and immediately grabs our attention. Treat it like a visual teaser! Get us excited to click through to your project and see it in action.
As these images will be resized, ensure that the project title is legible and well contrasted against its background. And, of course, make sure you only use images you own the rights to.
You can see great examples of title cards and box art by viewing the project pages of My Father's Footsteps and No Filter.
My Father's Footsteps - box art
My Father's Footsteps - title card
No Filter - box art
No Filter - Title Card
A pitch video might sound intimidating, but it’s nothing to be afraid of. Anyone can make an amazing pitch video. Your pitch video should answer three questions: Why this story? Why Now? Why you? We want to support stories that haven’t been heard before, by communities that know how to tell them best. Highlight why you’re the best person to tell this story. Share your personal connection to the story and community, what your team offers and why this idea is new, fresh and relevant. We want to know why this story needs to be told now, and why we should be so excited to be on board.
It’s really all about the basics. Ensure your pitch video is no longer than 60 seconds and has clear audio. If you’re using your phone to film your pitch video, remember to hold it horizontally. Prepare, practice and then let your passion come through!
Here are two examples of pitch videos we loved:
For great advice on pitching your pitches, check out these resources:
Let’s get personal. Show us how you fit into this story. Why is this story important to you? Why are you the best person to tell this story? What is your connection to the community involved? For example, if the story is culturally specific, what is your connection to the culture your project seeks to represent?
For projects involving Indigenous communities, cultures, concepts and stories, we encourage applicants to consult the Indigenous Screen Office’s On Screen Protocols & Pathways before answering this question.
Anyone can put together an amazing application, and we hope these tips, tricks and examples have helped you hone in on how you want to share your story. So get pitching! We can’t wait to hear all about your project.