Carole Dean – The Art of Film Funding Blog
Carole Dean founded From the Heart Productions 24 years ago to help indie filmmakers get their films funded. In her blog, she shares her knowledge and advice on:
- Raising Money for Your Film
- Getting Distribution
- Manifesting Money and Success
- Fiscal Sponsorship
And more with the goal of giving filmmakers the tools to get their films produced.
She hosts the weekly podcast, The Art of Film Funding, interviewing those involved in all aspects of indie film production. She is also the author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts. See IMDB for producing credits.
June 8th, 2012
“When the mind accepts and agrees with a thing or condition, the individual decrees it into this world.” From The I AM Discourses by Saint Germain.
Where the mind goes, the attention goes. When you have the slightest doubt about financing your film or any art form, then your attention begins on the “what if” path. Once you go down that path, you’re stepping into doubt, fear, and sadness.
One of the first questions to ask at the beginning of the filmmaking/artistic process is, “Do I want to dedicate years of my life to this?” If the answer is a resounding YES, then you have made your decision from a strong base. You cannot allow any negative thought. Your mind will grab hold and you will sink into depression.
Remember who you are. You are perfection. You are here to create your art. Why would the universe not support you? They gave you all these talents and now you think they will desert you? No. You are fully supported. Your mind can create obstacles and it’s up to you to constantly stand in the knowledge that you are perfect and you will achieve your goal.
What you want, you can achieve. Where ever you let you attention rest, your mind will follow. Be sure to keep only the highest intentions on the outcome of your art. See completion in each step.
Visualize the end result because your mind is exceptionally powerful. It is through your mind and your belief in self that you can achieve your goals. Your visions can become your reality. That is a natural gift humans have. Your job is to use your power of manifesting through visualization on a daily basis, become familiar with it and institute it.
If doubt or fear creep in then remove yourself and find a quiet place. Sit and center yourself. Remember that you are a perfect human and you are here to create your art and continuously say “I am blessed” until you feel your confidence returning.
Faith funds art. It’s your faith in your art that carries you through the process from beginning to end. This can be a joyous journey when you are aware of who you are and your innate powers to create and manifest.
June 1st, 2012
How often do you brag? I mean say things like, I am really good at directing or I am an excellent writer.
In this industry, you have to be your own PR person. More importantly, you want to send your information to the “quantum field.” That is the field of all possibilities that Dr. Chopra talks about and Lynn McTaggart in her book, The Field.
So, what can happen? You will get better and better. Not necessarily as a bragger, but as a director or writer (or whatever your claim may be) Why? Because you will start to believe in you. Keep accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative and your words become manifested. You start to write or direct or act better and you can feel it.
It works. Your art just keeps getting better, ideas come to you from out of left field, and they are brilliant. You are tuned into that radio station I talked about in the Walking Wi Fi blog. You are connected and you know it and you get better and better at your work and your confidence soars.
But what will my friends say? Honestly, they will probably agree with you either secretly or openly. You are more talented than you think. So brag about it and what if someone says, aren’t you bragging? You can say yes, I am very proud of what I just wrote or directed or the part I played. I did a good job.
It’s contagious. Your partner may start to do the same thing and you will begin to hear your friends bragging. Just know that you have started something that works. We all feel better about ourselves when things are clicking and we know that we are working with an external force.
This field of infinite possibilities is there for all of us. It’s just a matter of tapping into it. One of the best ways is by bragging. You are sending your vision of who and what you want to be and the field accepts that information, i.e., a good writer, a good director. Sorry, I meant a great writer, a fantastic director.
So, it sends back ideas and confidence and keeps you moving to a higher status. You will attract better jobs and more people will recommend you and want to work with you.
Be braggadocios for a month and see what happens. I dare you!
May 23rd, 2012
You are more powerful than you realize. How you react to situations affects your health, state of mind and future. You can keep your cool in the face of adversity or get mad and take everyone down with you. An old saying goes:
It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to what happens.
When we are in the moment of rejection or loss it’s hard to be so philosophical, but that’s what can save us. If we believe there is a greater power watching out for us then perhaps we can handle the situation without over reacting. Emotional upset is a major energy drain and it affects our self esteem. When we feel rejected or unappreciated, we take this personally. Think back to some of your worst moments, then move ahead six months and see what happened in your life.
You may find that a crisis was really an opportunity for change. And what you thought was a crisis, later became a beneficial turning point in your life. But, not all benefits are in the form of money. Look at this Chinese Parable.
The Old Man and his Horse
There once was an old man who lived with his only son at the border of the state. The old man had a strong affection to his horses and he let them graze freely in the open meadow.
One day a servant reported that a horse was missing and told him how sorry he was for him. The old man was not bothered, “Who knows? The loss may bring us good fortune.” he said.
A few months later a strange thing happened. The horse returned and brought with it another fine horse. Everyone told him how lucky he was and he replied, “Who knows?”
One day when the old man’s son was riding the new horse he was thrown off, broke his leg, and was crippled. “Who knows? This may bring us good fortune” said the old man.
A year later, the neighboring state sent troops across the border. All the young, strong men were drafted to fight invaders and most of them were killed. The old man’s son was not drafted because the riding accident had saved his life.
The old man was not attached to the outcome, either good or bad. He just knew there was a greater force that was protecting him and he had the patience and faith to wait for the outcome. He knew he had the power and he used it for his betterment.
I know that’s difficult when you put your art out and people reject it. However, if you can find a way to not react to your immediate feeling of loss or anger, it will benefit you. You are the artist and it’s you who walks out of that meeting with your many talents that the other person probably does not have. So, thank heaven for who you are and all you have.
When something happens that seems like a major loss you have a choice. You can feel guilty; lose your confidence or just say to yourself, “Who knows? This may bring me good fortune.”
It’s your choice. You have the power. Use your power to your benefit.
May 8th, 2012
Look at this scene from I Heart the Huckabees: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOgQAMdKdyg
Dustin Hoffman explains one of the most complicated ideas in a very simple way. You are connected to your art like you are to your loved ones.
Our job is to see the big picture through the blanket. We need to remember we are all connected, that’s something we can begin to accept but the hammer and the Eiffel tower are in the blanket too? That means we must move to the next level of consciousness, ok, we can do that. Dustin told us once we are there we find that everything we want or to be we already have and are. So how do we do it?
First we start each day with our daily mantra: “Move over Ali, I am also the Greatest! I can make movies, and support and nurture everything around me. I know that confidence and faith in me are paramount to receiving and understanding the blanket truth.” Never ever put yourself down. Always support and nurture yourself. Remember, you are perfect.
Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich says that a major characteristic of people who achieve their goals is that they are living at a higher level, enjoying richness in their life and they have a burning desire to achieve. That’s us. We have burning desires to achieve our art and we need to move to a higher consciousness to realize our full potential as human beings. Why do some people achieve great success and others struggle? We need to find that highway to success because we have seen others zoom ahead in the industry, so where is the on ramp?
Focus. We must remain focused and continually send visuals of our goals as completed to the universe. We need to treat our art as if it exists because it does on another plane. We see it in our heads so all we have to do is bring it into this dimension and we do that through our words and visions.
We each have a Higher Self. Get in touch with that part of you. Pay more attention to the quick thoughts that come to you. Did you ask for guidance? If so, it may be an answer to that question.
Often our Higher Self gives us ideas and ways to make each day easier. Give that information attention; believe what the Higher Self says. Take an umbrella on a sunny day. Take that invitation to a networking event, listen to this Inner Voice. I work with mine each day and it gets stronger the more you believe in it. Always give thanks for the information you get, be grateful for what you have and for your guidance.
I watched a documentary called Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows. One comment often made about Clint was he stayed on the set; he seldom left because he wanted to stay focused on all aspects of filmmaking. Clint said he liked to work from a quiet, relaxed place, that’s where you hear the Inner Voice. His peers said he had an inner knowing about directing and seemed to be able to make quick decisions accurately. That’s what it’s like when you are “in the field” where you are connected to your Higher Self, working inside the blanket.
April 24th, 2012
While delivering a speech to the senior class at Harvard, someone in the audience asked 3 time heavyweight boxing champion Mohammad Ali to give them a poem and he created this in an instant. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXQ_IjzWN7A It may be the shortest poem on record.
Ali is a great manifestor. Listen to how free he is with words; he is not afraid to commend himself. He knows that words manifest and he has never to my mind put himself down with his words. He always tells us how great he is and at the same time he is sending the universe this information on how talented he is and he just gets more talented. He always spoke with a freedom from society’s oppressive concepts.
You were probably taught, “don’t toot your own horn!” Or, “You can’t brag, that’s not nice.” Yes, it is. You should be bragging about yourself from the moment you wake up. Tell everyone how good you are at what you do. Why not? Use Ali as a guide. He did it and he only got better and better from his belief in himself. He believed what he said and we did too. We reinforced his beliefs.
Let’s pretend your words are creating your future. Now, you want to send the most positive, brilliant statements known to man about yourself. Tell everyone how great you really are. You need to build your own self confidence. Why? Because money and fame do not go to people who have no confidence or who constantly say, I can’t, I am not, I don’t, what if X happens?, etc.
You were born with an immense amount of talent. Go back to that simple life you had as a child where you manifested what you needed. Just think about the first three years of your life, you could not talk but you got what you needed. You were able to communicate with your parents without words.
Then, you learned to talk and you kept your imagination working and you daydreamed all the time. It is part of childhood. You daydreamed on getting your first bike, or skateboard and you got it. Then you learned how to use it in a flash. Was that just coincidence? No, it was your mind that created your future.
Somewhere in those early teen years controls were put on you and you began to close down your thinking. You started to criticize yourself and say, I can’t do that, I am not good at that, etc. And, guess what? You stopped any growth in those areas. Now, you can undo that simply by starting to say, Yes, I can do that, Yes, I am good at that. You have to really believe it but you can do it.
This is most important to manifesting your film and your future. You must have the highest vibration to bring what you need and want into your life. This vibration comes from the words you use. Look on Dr. Emoto’s web site and see the pictures he has of different words. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAvzsjcBtx8 )
Surround yourself with high vibrational words.
Your greatest manifestor is your mind, next are your words. You see something in your mind, like your film then how do you bring that film from your mind to this third dimension? You do it with words.
You manifest something from nothing with words. Each word has a unique energy and you want words with the highest energy in your vocabulary not negative low vibration words. Get rid of low vibrational words like no, ugly, bad, can’t, impossible, hate, kill, and daily be conscious of the words you use. They are powerful. Try this for a week and censor your words. Use only the high vibrational words: love, gratitude, honesty, integrity, great, greatest, brilliant, joy, happiness, etc.
Ali knew that. He used words that create images and build futures. He made things happen with his words. He is my greatest example of how to use words to create a future. Copy Ali. He won’t mind, he will love it. Take on his energy of “I am the greatest!” That is the first step to manifesting a brilliant future. Love thyself. Be worthy of all that the universe can give you.
April 20th, 2012
It was in the 50’s and thank heavens Sandra Lunsford had a car. We were five ladies that spent each weekend together and her car gave us so much freedom, it let us zip around Lakewood, our stomping grounds, in Dallas, Texas.
Friday nights were always special. We would pile into the old Plymouth and head for the “hot spot” which in those days was a drive-in. We would usually get a coke and French fries to share because we were not there to eat, heaven forbid! We were there to check things out, like who’s dating whom? What were they wearing? Did they have make up on? Just important life-sustaining information for a teenager.
One night the 5 of us were in the car and we were talking to the car of guys next to us as we usually did. We never got out of the car, it was our safety zone. When things got boring or there wasn’t anyone interesting, we left. This night was special because I began an interesting conversation with a nice looking man who did not go to Woodrow Wilson High School or any other school in the area
The only problem was he looked “old” but his intellect compensated for it. We must have talked for almost an hour hanging out of the car windows. I found him to be most wonderful person I had ever talked to. He won my heart when he asked “What are you doing for the rest of your life?” After that Richard Herrin and I were inseparable.
My parents were most particular about the boys I dated but they let me go out with Richard because he was old enough to respect my father’s wishes and always brought me home at 10pm, I was only 16 at the time. I had to drag war stories out of him but I was very curious to know what happened to paralyze his left hand and finally he told me.
He enlisted in the war when he was 16 and served his country well. He was decorated and had a medical discharge keeping him out of any future battles. When the Korean War began he wrote to the Commandant of the Marines asking to re enlist saying he was “fit for duty and ready to serve his country”. The Marines gladly took him.
Richard was sent right to the thick of the war and he told me stories about these “hills” they had to capture and the amount of lives lost for just one hill. He never complained he was truly patriotic and sincerely believed in what he fought for.
One night during the Korean War, Richard told me he was on patrol when he took a bullet through his neck and passed out. The next thing he remembered was the feeling of a boot on his chest and he realized a Korean soldier was standing over him pulling a bayonet out of his chest.
The Korean left him for dead and moved on to kill other soldiers. Richard worked hard to stay awake because he thought if he passed out again he would die. He was feeling very weak and close to death from the loss of blood when a medic came by. Richard said “Get me to the hospital,” the medic said, “The next flight is almost full” and walked away. Richard could hear him saying, “This one looks pretty bad, we should take someone who has a better chance of living.”
Richard knew if he didn’t get on that flight he would die and he called the medic back and said, “I already have one Purple Heart, don’t give up on me, I can make it!” That was enough to get him on the flight. His faith was incredible, he knew laying there on that cold earth that he could live if he could just get to a hospital. He willed himself on that plane, they actually squeezed him in. He was the last man they took on that flight. Richard said he let the sound of the engines lull him to sleep despite the pain, knowing he would live.
Do you think he willed himself to safety? I do. I think his faith and his passion for living got him on that plane. This will power we have is our greatest asset. It’s different than force; it’s a way to make things happen with your mind, your belief and your determination. You know all those talents filmmakers like you have. It’s up to you to use this magnificent will power to bring your film to fruition. You need to want something so much that you are part creator in achieving it. You need to will the universe to comply with your wishes. Can you be that strong and unrelenting?
You know you can do it so it’s just a matter of willing it to be. Use all of your will power conjuring up visions and feeling into the completion. It’s your intentions created by your will power that makes it happen. You probably know the story of Spielberg getting on the lot at Universal but the best part is that he knew he would be a famous filmmaker and he befriended the projectionist. He actually talked him into playing his short film, Amblin, when the dailies were over so the top people could see his work. That’s how he got his first job. He willed it so.
Richard served his country again for President Kennedy in the Bay of Pigs…but that’s another story.
April 9th, 2012
What is your potential?
Have you ever set your intentions on what you want to achieve in this life time or even in the next 6 months? How many times have you to planned to achieve something and done it?
I remember completing 10 sessions of Rolfing and at the end my Rolf practitioner shook my hand and said, “The power is in completion.” That is true; when you finish something you release some wonderful power surge. This is self appreciation, so enjoy it and compliment yourself. Make it a point to complete things.
Planning, executing and completion are our ticket to reaching our potential. One major benefit we have of staying on track is to keep listening to our inner voice. Is it supporting? Or, does it tell you that you can’t? Sometimes we have to overcome our greatest enemy, ourselves. How? By being aware of limits we put on ourselves. Listen to yourself, when you say, I can’t do that, think, why not? If John can, why can’t I? The question is “will that something take you closer to your vision?” If yes, then, of course you can. The vision is the quest and the universe will take you to your destination if you let it.
Tune into the “field of infinite possibilities” on a daily basis. Use your hunches. Listen to what people tell you, especially when you ask for help. Normally the universe will give you hunches or ideas and if you don’t listen they often send someone to tell you the answer to your question. Yes, I have seen it happen to me dozens of times. You are talking about a different subject and the other person tells you the answer to your question without knowing how meaningful it is to you.
If “the zero point field”(http://bit.ly/I89BNR) contains all the information of what is and what will be, it’s your job to keep putting your future into that field. What’s more fun than day dreaming? We did it as kids.
Pretending that you are doing what you want to do creates a pathway in consciousness. It’s important to believe that this vision is happening in the present. The vision you daydream stays in the field and it becomes a potential. Now it’s up to you to keep listening to your little voice to achieve that potential. Plus, you have asked for something so things will change in your life to bring that to you, move with the changes.
When in doubt ask your higher self for guidance. Find a quiet place and outline the situation then give two possible options for resolution. That’s all you need to do, leave it to them. Normally, within 24 hours you will have a 3rd option that is much better.
You are not alone. You have a team working for you on the other side. They want you to reach your potential even more than you do. So, call on them. Remember gratitude is one of the highest vibrations in the universe. When you thank them for their support your gratitude raises your vibration and you feel like a million dollars. It is self love and gratitude that propels you to achieve your potential.
April 9th, 2012
No, we have no nocebos today.
We have heard the power of the placebo and how it works in trials even more than the actual pills. Just one example is a California interior designer who was given a placebo for her 30 year depression and x-rays proved her prefrontal cortex showed marked improvement. Her belief in the pill cured her. (Leuchter, et al, 2002) “When the mind changes it absolutely affects the body.” Bruce Lipton—Biology of Belief
Ok, so what about the Doctors who tell someone they can’t be cured and they die soon afterwards? That’s called the nocebo effect, the power of negative beliefs. This can be a dangerous road to travel.
In 1974, Dr. Meador was on the Discovery Health program “Placebo Mind over Medicine” and he told the story of a Nashville salesman who was suffering from cancer of the esophagus. He was treated and appeared to recover but everyone in the medical profession expected his cancer to return and they told him if it came back he would die. That’s just what happened.
The salesman began to have some symptoms and he thought it was cancer and so did Meador. He died very quickly because of his belief in the medical world. The autopsy showed that he did not die from cancer! Meador said he still worries that he may have removed hope of recovery through his words.
Ahh, now we are at the heart of the matter. Words, it’s all about words. As filmmakers we know how important it is write each word to fit the energy of the film and move the story forward. Now we need to realize how important our every word is. Each word you speak has energy. It can be negative or positive. If you consider that each word has a different vibration and gives a different formation (See http://bit.ly/Ivimwx for Dr. Emoto) then what type of energy are you sending out with your words? Are they placebos, making my film is the easiest thing I have done… or nocebos… I am having a very hard time making this film. My efforts are not working.
Watch your words. They can help you create your film and your future. Each one has a different energy. Find the words that best describe your film and use them over and over. This puts a new meaning to the log line. These words need to visually show me the story as you speak them.
Please, see your film each time you pitch it and keep watching that vision come to life when you read your script and say your log line. Let your words create your film like placebos create wellness, through their energy and your belief system. And watch your words, no nocebos, please!
April 9th, 2012
Your beliefs act like filters on a camera, changing how you see the world. And your biology adapts to those beliefs. —-Bruce Lipton The Biology of Belief
Do you see yourself as a writer or as a high school teacher? When someone asks you what do you do, how do you answer them? What information are you sending to the universe? That’s important.
Once I began saying I am a writer things began to change for me. As I wrote my Art of Film Funding book, each day I said, “I love my publisher” over and over knowing full well I did not have a publisher and that I would publish the book myself and I did. Then, after teaching this book a few months, honest to God, Michael Wiese Publications contacted me and said, “Carole, we would like to publish your book.” I was expecting it.
A key element for any writer’s success is to believe and to live in the consciousness that what you want has already happened. I promised myself when writing the book that I would publish it and I put the money aside to prove it. Do you see your script as a finished film? Are you looking at it from the beginning with the credits rolling? I think you need to go to your favorite screening room; I love Raleigh’s, and sit there by the controls and pretend the room is packed.
You tell the projectionist to “roll it.” And you sit back and watch the titles come up and beam with pride. Say to yourself, “Yes, I chose the right director!” “Yes, that set designer is brilliant,” and keep sending bundles of joy and success to the universe as you sit in a room imaging your successful screening of your finished film.
Once you have the feel of the room, you can recall that at night as you go to sleep or while walking and driving. Just continue to see and feel that success and the completion of the film. Let’s prove to Bruce Lipton that your beliefs can change your biology. You are a happy person having just screened your favorite screenplay. Keep basking in that feeling of success. Believe that money is all around you. Know that on a daily basis, you attract the right people, money and services to create your film.
You need to remember that things will change in your life to bring you what you are asking for. Be open to taking invitations; make all the calls referred to you. Always take the time to chat with people you accidentally meet. Your angles may have spent a lot of time getting both of you in the same place.
Fred Alan Wolf in his book, “The Dreaming Universe” says that “when you are daydreaming it’s like a handshake across time.” Your vision, coupled with your belief and conviction will make things in your current life change to bring what you want. Watch for new people to come into your life.
Expect a miracle. It will happen. You can have your cake and eat it too. But you have to claim your rights.
Who are you? A writer. Claim it, own it, and be proud of it.
March 23rd, 2012
We often hear sages say this, but, what does it mean?
It means each of us has our own signature, we are all different, and we are all unique. Each of us carries a different frequency; we vibrate to a different drummer if you want to think of it that way. Quantum physics say we are all created with vibrating strings, each of our atoms and molecules have a vibrating string inside. So what does this mean and how can we use this?
We need to keep ourselves in a “higher vibration.” The frequency of joy and gratitude are very high vibrations. Just look at Dr. Emoto’s frozen water crystals. He put words on jars with water so the water would vibrate to that word. Then he froze the water and cut it up into crystals. This page shows a crystal of love and gratitude. http://bit.ly/GGEPrp If you want to feel as beautiful as this crystal, then stay in that energy.
One of our greatest assets is our emotions. Just think how you feel when something wonderful happens to you and you are in “joy.” That takes you closer to who you really are, a spiritual being, that’s who we all are, spiritual beings. Yes, we are spirit inside this wonderful body. We are spirit, “that all knowing essence.”
We have this inner knowing, some people call it intuition. We know when the timing is right for things. We know when to chill out. We have this wonderful sense of timing and we seldom speak about it
Using this gift is tantamount to creating our films. We need to know when to ask that rich person and we need to know just what to say. Tuning into our higher selves gives us an advantage. It allows us to move forward with confidence because we trust our inner self.
Living our lives in joy and gratitude is one of our best assets. Each day we thank the universe for all of our marvelous gifts. The home we have, the food we eat, and the family we love. All of these things are our daily blessings and we honor them. Through gratitude we touch on our higher selves and through joy we rise above the controlling factors that are always “telling us we can’t do this.” We know we can.
When you consistently live in gratitude and joy, people sense it. They listen to you talk about your film and you allay any fears immediately because you are coming from a place of truth, joy, faith. Once they “feel” that you are sincere they become more interested. When you are operating in fear and lack that is easy for them to “read.” They too have a higher self who is tuning into you. If and when they sense your lack of confidence, they pull back and fear takes over them!
It’s our higher selves that know how creative we really are because it knows the creativity we came in with. Imagine that while you are talking to a potential donor/investor. Your higher self is talking to their higher self. I know it’s crazy but what if that is happening? What if their higher self is reading your body language and your confidence or lack of? That would give them an edge, right? They would sense your lack of confidence and end the conversation.
However, through living in joy and gratitude, we can achieve even above our dreams. Remember Oprah said that the universe had much more in store for her than she ever dreamed of? She put no restrictions on her creativity; she knew she would be successful. Why not be another Oprah? Why not let the universe support your dreams. Know that you are a special being with an incredible amount of talent and creativity. Thank the universe each day for all your blessings and each day look for something joyous. When you use gratitude, joy and faith in yourself on a daily basis, you will come across as confident, talented and the magnificent being that you really are.