<< Documentary and Series Producer's Guide

Step 2 - Proposal Development and Evaluation

Submitting a written treatment to NIFC External Affairs staff is the best way to ensure that your proposal is properly evaluated. Most of the time, we are able to gather the information we need by reading your treatment, exchanging emails or speaking on the phone. NIFC External Affairs staff are also available to meet in person if that is desired.

Although these are not the only areas we consider, NIFC External Affairs staff evaluates producer's proposals in five key areas:


Will the project enhance the professionalism of wildland firefighters? Will it convey a positive message? Does the proposal evidence a commitment to factuality? Does the proposal target an audience the agencies wish to reach?


Does the proposal appear to be logistically feasible? Does it realistically account for difficulties in gaining access to backcountry and wilderness fires? Are the technical requirements inherent in the proposal possible in a wildland fire setting? Are shooting schedules and timelines realistic for the topic?


Does the hosting agency have the staff time available to support the project? Does the proposal meet the parameters required for a commercial filming permit (usually required to film on public lands)? Is the concept likely to win the support of wildland firefighters and agency administrators?


Does the proposal evidence a robust and tangible commitment to safety during the production phase? Does the proposal include inherently risky filming objectives (air-to-air shooting, filming adjacent to crown fires, etc)? Are the members of the production crew in good physical shape?

Benefit to Agency

What tangible benefits to the hosting agency does the proposal offer? If completed, will the project assist the agency with issues like recruitment and retention of employees or education and wildfire prevention efforts? Will the project help the agency communicate programs or policies that are not widely understood?

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