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Request for proposals: Jobsite Digital Shorts

On March 13, when we began this all-too-long of a pause, we didn’t anticipate that the closures would possibly last this long. A month? Two months? Sure. We’re now at 6 months and growing …

As we eye the fall and accept the relative certainty we will not be able to re-open “as usual,” we are excited to unveil a new series to entertain audiences and provide regional artists meaningful work.

Enter Jobsite Digital Shorts.

What are we looking for?

To be honest, anything of quality and potential interest to a paying audience. Maybe you’re a singer-songwriter, have a cabaret act, do animation, or fancy yourself a short film-maker. Storytelling/spoken word/one-person shows (think Spalding Gray or Mike Daisey), organized lectures a la TED Talks, instructional videos (cooking, DIY, music), and, sure, we suppose traditional theatrical formats like scenes/short plays or monologues would fit the bill as well. 

These shorts will be a cut above what we’ve previously offered audiences at no cost and we encourage artists to think beyond standard theatrical monologues recorded in a bedroom/against a blank wall or Zoom readings of scenes from published plays. We are still actively accepting submissions of content like that for the Socially-Distant Soliloquies and One From the Vaults series and encourage you reach out if interested in one of those opportunities.

How it works, the quick and dirty:

  • We’re accepting proposals through Aug. 28 from regional artists (loosely defined as the Greater Tampa Bay area). Collaborations that can be done safely in our conditions are encouraged.
  • Projects should be roughly 3 to 30 minutes in length and cannot be work previously shared with the public in this format.
  • Projects should be of the anticipated quality for commercially distributed work.
  • If selected, we will negotiate with and contract the artist/s including a commensurate fee  based on the number of artists involved, time, and scope of work.
  • Guaranteed negotiated payments will be made 50% on signing, 50% on delivery, with 100% of net profit from on-demand views going back to the artist/s.
  • Completed projects will be made available exclusively through Jobsite’s new on-demand service for a set price, and possibly later rolled over to a subscription channel once we have built a library.

Our priorities:

  • Preference will be given to proposals that center or otherwise amplify historically marginalized voices.
  • Preference will also be given to proposals from current members of the Jobsite Ensemble, defined as any artist  contracted by the company this season or over the past two seasons.
  • Preference will finally be given to artists who reside in the Greater Tampa Bay area.
  • While the above are priorities for us in how we make final selections, we encourage anyone interested to submit even if they may not fit into any of these categories.

More for artists to consider:

  • Maybe you have the seed of an idea but it’s not germinated, that’s ok. If it’s in a shape you can communicate to us, we’d still like too hear it.
  • Perhaps you need assistance in executing this project, that’s ok, too. We’re willing to assist the best we can to connect artists, loan equipment, help with shooting/editing, etc. As long as you are firmly in the driver’s seat, we can try to provide support.
  • Our theater nor any part of the Straz campus is currently available for shoots.

Are we already interested in anything?

Without giving away specific proposals, here are a few loose ideas already posited by ensemble members we feel can be done well and are of potential interest to a paying audience (these are not yet under contract, but are provided as examples):

  • A music video featuring a song creatively set to thematic nature footage.
  • A travel shorts series featuring a beloved pet as the “star.”
  • A series of short, fun instructional cooking videos.
  • A spoken word performance.
  • A unfinished short film originally created as a pilot offered as a stand-alone release.
  • A movement piece shot in a socially-distant manner set to original music.
  • An actor and visual artist teaming up to collaboratively tell a story through both mediums at once.

How to apply:

We will accept applications from the general public Sat., Aug. 1, through Fri., Aug. 28. 

Click here to send your proposal.

Proposals should be sent as a *single* PDF attachment (no Word or Pages files or links to Dropbox or Google Drive, please) and contain:

  1. The tentative or working title of the project.
  2. Anticipated approximate length.
  3. A description of your idea in 50 words or less.
  4. Verification the project has not already been previously distributed (including via social media).
  5. Area of origination: confirmation the project originates from the Greater Tampa Bay area or disclosure that it does not.
  6. Treatment: a clear statement of how you see your story told from beginning to end considering your structure, genre, theme, format, voice, and point of view.
  7. Episodes: if this is an idea for a series, summarize the planned episodes.
  8. Timeline: provide a rough production schedule from greenlight to delivery.
  9. Needs: if you require our assistance in connecting with other artists, resources, equipment, or services like editing please make those clear.
  10. Key Personnel: Provide biographies or resume information on any key personnel for your project.
  11. Jobsite is committed to pursing projects that embrace the core values of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA). Please address if/how this project aligns with that commitment.

What’s In This For Us?

Jobsite was founded as an artists’ company, an ensemble theater that serves as an artistic home for like-minded folks in this region. We have also focused on the fight for a living wage for a number of years.

Since the beginning of the pandemic almost 98% of American artists have reported the loss of paying work, and over 2/3 are currently completely unemployed.

If you’re not aware, most regional artists are independent contractors, folks who largely live as “gig-life” workers. We have a very small staff (one full-time, one part-time) and generally low overhead, but we know the region’s artists are sincerely hurting. Traditionally, artist pay has been tied to specific grants (which usually need to be written far in advance) or ticket sales (in a time we cannot gather) for theatrical events and we are trying to come up with something new to compensate those in need until we can return to the theater.

This plan allows us to pay artists up front for their time and talent and then put the responsibility on us to to find the paying audience for this content to cover it. It’s that simple.

And, obviously, we hope to entertain folks and continue to contribute to the catalogue of American art and culture.

Who knows, if this series is successful enough maybe we keep it going after we can re-open as another point of entry for audience members.



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