Frequently Asked Questions
How much experience or produced work makes a good candidate?
Members of CoLAB are typically post-grads coming from various backgrounds and levels of experience in the field of non-fiction, with a diversity of arts disciplines including liberal arts, journalism and traditional forms of documentary. While access to some basic equipment is provided, knowledge is freely shared, and cooperation is encouraged, this program does not provide specialized technical training. Rather, it is designed for resourceful individuals who learn by doing and do not view technical aspects as barriers to creativity and production. If necessary, we can recommend several local organizations that can provide technical training to complement your involvement in the CoLAB. There is no specific amount of work or type of experience that makes a good candidate. Though we will definitely look for demonstrated passion and commitment to the documentary arts, we are also attempting to assemble a good team and looking for individuals who will truly benefit from participation.
How much time will the CoLAB take?
The CoLAB operates on a fall/spring schedule similar to universities, though work on the annual project will extend into the summer. When the season is in full swing, the program will be between 15-25 hours of meetings, masterclasses, seminars, screenings, discussions and production. There will be additional events that will be open for CoLAB participants to attend, which are a useful part of the experience, but not an expectation. Also consider the individual production time required for producing a portion of the group project, which will vary from person to person and on the scale of the project pursued.
Would it be possible to do both the CoLAB program and a full-time masters program?
You likely would be over-committing to consider participating fully in both programs. That said, a few people have been involved in grad programs and successfully participated at UD over the years. Others have found it overwhelming. This a question of personal scheduling and the particulars of your university.
How is the annual project funded?
In general, participants will be responsible for raising any extra funds necessary to produce their individual contribution to the group collaboration. Given the endeavor’s openness to the particular format and scale of each component, UnionDocs cannot assume this expense. Very few of the previous CoLAB projects have required additional funding. UnionDocs supplies the basic resources it possesses and provides access to a media facility for digital post-production. CoLAB project’s are fiscally sponsored by UnionDocs, allowing them to seek tax-deductible contributions and to apply for specific grants only open to non-profits. In addition, the CoLAB Program Directors and UnionDocs staff will, with support from the participants, apply for grants for the exhibition and distribution of the project as a whole.
What living expenses should I anticipate in New York City?
UnionDocs recommends that participants in the program budget for living expenses in New York City. In addition to program fees, participants need to account for living expenses such as housing, food, transportation, telephone, and other expenditures.
Basic Monthly Living Costs in New York City:
Housing & Utilities