Creator in Residence FAQ
1. Do I have to reside in the USA or Canada to be eligible?
Yes. The program is currently open ONLY to residents of the USA and Canada. At this time we do not have any additional information on future availability outside of the USA and Canada.
2. Do I have to be 21 years or older to be eligible?
Yes. If you are not at least 21 years old at the time of the application, you are NOT eligible to win.
3. When is the deadline for submitting an application?
All applications are due by September 15, 2019 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.
4. Do I need to use a Sony camera already to apply?
No. Applicants can be users of any camera brand. If a winner doesn't currently shoot on Sony, we will provide her with new state-of-the-art gear upon acceptance.
5. Are you interested in specific types of photographers or videographers?
We are not. We welcome any and all specialties. The goal is to select the five best candidates from the applicant pool who can most benefit from the program.
6. How would you describe the ideal candidate?
The ideal candidate meets the following foundational criteria:
1. She is a full-time professional photographer or videographer, or filmmaker.
2. She is committed to the pursuit of this career and understands the hard work required to achieve success.
3. She has made progress on her own, and has a clear vision for what her career should be, but has encountered specific roadblocks that this program would help her overcome.
4. She is committed to being successful and taking full advantage of the Creator-in-Residence program to advance her career.
5. She is ready to work with a Mentor and is open to learning and building her skill set.
6. She has the ability to travel at least three times during the program to participate in program activities.
7. Is this a full-time gig?
No. Your full-time gig is your full-time gig. The Creator-in-Residence program is a complement to your career pursuits if you’re a photographer or videographer, or will help you get your short off the ground if you’re a filmmaker, and our goal is to help you grow your career, not to replace it with a different pursuit. There will be a variety of activities during the program, including industry events and networking events that you will be invited to attend.
8. Am I required to shoot my application video in a specific way?
No. You can shoot your application video in any way you prefer, including with your computer's camera, or with your phone. The video is meant to give us a great sense of who you are and to have a visual introduction to your persona. It is up to you if you’d like to submit your video exactly as you shot it, or if you’d like to edit it using other footage as well. The only requirement is that you are on camera introducing yourself, and not just a voice-over.
9. I feel like 500 words won't be enough for me to give you a great sense of who I am and what I'm hoping to achieve.
Our hope for the application essay is to get an overview of your current struggles, your vision, and what you aim to achieve. We will have an opportunity to get a more in-depth sense of who you are once you make it into the finals.
10. The application asks for photos or videos that represent my best work. What does that mean?
We're asking to see photos or videos that show your best work, that demonstrate your skill, that show where you'd like to take your art going forward. There's no specific topic or subject we're looking for, we just want to see who you are at your core as a creator.
11. I'm related or friends with a Sony Artisan of Imagery, a member of the Alpha Imaging Collective, or a member of the Sony team, can I still apply?
Absolutely. Our community is made up of extraordinary individuals, and we believe that birds of a feather flock together. This is an exciting, unique opportunity, and we fully expect our Alpha Family to introduce this program to their friends, family, and followers. We also expect that our Alpha Family's community is replete with talented individuals well suited for this program. So please apply, but please don't expect to receive a leg up as a result of your affiliation with a member of our community.
12. How will you choose the winners?
Choosing the winners will be a multi-phased approach. In phase one, we will narrow down the pool of candidates based on their ability to meet application requirements. If the application is missing any of the required pieces or fails to meet the relevance requirements of the submission, the candidate will be disqualified. In phase two, a team of Sony stakeholders will review the qualified candidates and will rate them based on the quality of their written application and photo/video submissions. In phase three, a select team containing Sony stakeholders and potential mentors will review the final 25 candidates, and will make the final selection. In the event that additional assistance is necessary before reaching a decision, candidates may be invited to participate in a Skype-based interview.
13. Am I required to physically move/live somewhere specific for this program?
No. The "Residence" piece of the program is virtual, not a physical location. We want the winners to know that we are committed to their success, and we expect them to be committed to the program as well for the six months they're in it.
14. Are the winnings taxable?
Yes. As the law currently requires, the winnings you receive will be taxable according to your current tax bracket. We will release a 1099 form or other necessary documentation for you to use for tax purposes.
15. How detailed should my budget be?
Your budget should reflect the line items you expect you will need to use the budget for. More detail will get us a better indication of your plan, and in conjunction with your essay, it will help us understand your vision. We fully expect that your budget plan will change after you win based on conversations with the Sony team and your mentor, so you shouldn’t worry that you’re committing to a plan you haven’t had a chance to be super-detailed about. Your vision is what we’re after.
Please note that your winnings are taxable at the rate assigned to your tax bracket, so we recommend you take that into account when making your plan.
16. Are travel expenses covered or should I include them in my budget plan?
If you're traveling for a Sony-organized Alpha Female activity, such as an industry event, a networking event, or a shoot, then we will cover your travel expenses.
If your proposal includes a need to travel to achieve your career goals during the program, then those should be accounted for as part of your budget plan.
17. What are the winners' responsibilities during the program?
The winners will be expected to create a series of content that helps our audience follow their journey. While some pieces of the content will involve diary-type videos, the majority of the content will be created in collaboration with a Sony team. The content could be behind the scenes footage, interviews, or written articles.
18. Will Sony own or have use rights to my photo submissions?
No. Sony does not use photos or videos without explicit consent from the author. For this application, the photos you submit remain your property, and the only way we will use them is to help us make a decision about the application. Sony will not publicly use any submitted materials without the prior written consent of the owner of the materials.
19. I have an unanswered question, who can I ask?
Please send your questions to AlphaUniverse@sony.com. Please note that you will only receive a reply if your question is deemed critical to your understanding of the process. We will not be able to provide advice, pointers, or any information that would allow you an unfair advantage over the rest of the applicants. Please do not email us just to introduce yourself or let us know you applied, as those emails will not be taken into account during the decision process.