LMW1 Project Proposal Guide

Instructions for writing the “About the Project” page on your project website. (3-5 paragraphs)

This is an important document in the class. We will refer to it during your midterm and final presentations. You should develop it along with your site — by the end it should be a fully formed written description of your project.

  • Required by end of lab: you must get instructor approval for your first draft. A solid draft of your proposal is due for the midterm. 
  • The scenario: you are writing to generate interest for potential funding for your project.
  • You will need lots of photos and an audio interview, and be able to develop this into a pitch for a nonfiction short video.
  • Start with a name and place right up front. Give us concrete facts, provide us with convincing evidence of your ACCESS.

Make headings for each of the HEADINGS below. Use the headings as your template.


State your CORE CONCEPT at the top in one or two sentences. What is this project about? Is there a core question guiding the project? Is there a conflict or some unusual point you are looking at? What’s your P.O.V. or special angle?


Discuss the access you have to make your project viable. Person, place, thing?


Discuss your project in terms of your TOPIC as a background for a STORY. This is the hard part, and will likely take the most development. Story concepts will be a focus of your final project in the class. What story do you wish to tell? If you don’t know yet, how do you think a story will emerge from your research?


Name each person involved, tell us who they are and why they are important to your project. Tell us how we will get to know them. Are there acknowledged experts? Looking ahead to your project a documentary short, it is typical to have a main person at the heart of your project.


Name the location(s) at the heart of your project. Give us addresses, tell us why these places are important.


Is your project about an object, idea or cultural phenomenon? Describe it and tell us how it relates to the people involved in your project. You might have a topic about a game (video or otherwise), a tool, a social media related topic, an event or a meetup group. Tell us what it is.


Does your topic have a history? Current event? An event you wish to attend? Tell us about it and why it is important. How does time play a role in your topic?

Time is an important story element as well. Is there a period of time important to your topic/main character? A period of transition or change? How do you think of past/present/future in relation to possible story elements?


Tell us who your key audience is and why they will care about your project. Instead of saying “this is for everyone”, specify your demographic: tell us about other similar projects, movies, websites, online channels, movements, communities, etc.


Tell us how you will approach your project. What style do you wish to use? What will your role be? Regarding ACCESS, are there practical obstacles to consider?


Why are you interested in the project and why should your audience be interested? Why does this project need to exist?



  • Any topic is okay, understand that some topics are better than others because you need ACCESS to do the assignments. If you don’t have ACCESS, you probably should choose another topic.
  • Focus on the media: what will your media look like? What will it sound like?
  • Tone: use a tone or writing style that is formal but not academic. Write with your audience in mind. Be clear and descriptive. Use active language. Be generous and forthright with your audience.
  • We know you are writing about something that is just getting started, that you have a lot to discover. Use your best guess. Do not use words like “probably” or “I would like to” — write as if it is going to happen.



for generating ideas

If you have nothing, put pen to the paper anyway.


Try some free association. Just write words. Try writing the wrong stuff first.


Start with anything, “I like… Crest toothpaste” A question like, What do you like? to generate slightly less random answers.

To get to the topic….

In any form, lists or writing and circling each word, connecting ideas with lines


Name the people involved. Name anyone, whether you know them or not.

When we say anyone, we mean anyone. Your brother?

Who do you know that is interested in the same topic?

Who would you like to meet?

Who do you know that might be willing to be interviewed?

Who do you know who might give you photographs you could use for your topic.

Keep narrowing.


PLACES aka Locations

Name any location associated with your topic.

When we say any, that means any. Interior, exterior, large, small, important, (seemingly) unimportant. Your bedroom? Your mom’s kitchen? The sidewalk?

These could also be virtual spaces – websites, game spaces, etc.

Name any local location that has something to do with your topic.

Name a location you could photograph.



Name things associated with the topic.

Narrow until you have things to photograph.