Attracting Everything I Needed for My Short Film

I was introduced to the law of attraction and learned that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to as long as I could imagine it and believe it, having faith that it could come true..

by Joy Cheriel Brown

Law of Attraction

Joy Directing Scene From Her Short Film  

In 2012, I was digging around my home office and found a short script I had written eight years earlier when I was a Senior in college. It was a contender for my thesis film, but I had decided to put it away until later because it would have been a nightmare to find a location for it since the script was based on my first hospitalization for Schizoaffective Disorder, and I was taking a full load.

It was now years later and I had just started my production company when I found this script. I had always planned to do three shorts before I made my first feature film and the third short was always meant for the festival circuit. I would definitely need money to do this, and I had none.

I didn’t quite know how I was going to do this, but I had an idea of where I would get the money. For my second short film, I had gotten a grant from the philanthropic arm of a major telecommunications company. So I decided that I was going to get the financing for my third short film from another big company as well.

I knew that to get a grant from this company, I would have to get a fiscal sponsor because I was not a 501(c)(3) company and therefore, did not have non-profit status, which was the only way I would be able to get a grant from this company. I had no idea how to get a fiscal sponsor either.

During the summer of 2012, I was introduced to the law of attraction and learned that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to as long as I could imagine it and believe it, having faith that it could come true, and that when you have a dream, the universe moves people and circumstances to give you what you want. Because I didn’t know how to get a fiscal sponsor so I hadn’t made any attempts to get one, having so many other things that needed to be accomplished when making a film and building a team. Instead, I was applying for grants that could be awarded to individuals so I applied for the Roy Dean grant and let it go.

Several months later, after I had forgotten that I had even applied for the grant, I got a call from a woman who identified herself as Carole Dean. She told me that I while I did not get the grant, I was a good writer and she wanted to give me fiscal sponsorship. I took this as the first sign from the universe that I was going to get the project done.

I had already missed the 2012 deadline to apply for a grant from the company from which I was sure that I would get the money, so I had to wait for the 2013 deadline. When 2013 rolled around, I applied for the grant and was denied. I didn’t even bother to ask why. However, I reached out to the company again three years later, after two failed indiegogo campaigns, and this time, I got a call from a woman who remembered my application from a few years earlier and told me why they had rejected my application. So, I corrected that item and this time got it approved, even though it was hardly for the amount that I had asked for. Still, I took this to mean that I could get it done with the amount that they gave me and wouldn’t be able to pay all my cast and crew as I had hoped.

Moreover, by the time that the money would be awarded to me through the fiscal sponsor, it would no longer be the time of year that I wanted to shoot the film. The actual incident had taken place during the summertime and it was non-negotiable to shoot it at any other time of the year because I felt that it was significant. Plus, I didn’t want to rush to get the rest of the cast and crew together. Therefore, we would have to wait ANOTHER year before we could shoot, and I still hadn’t been able to find a location.

The next year, I brought on a location scout that did such a phenomenal job that I made her a producer. Previously, she would not have been available to take on such a large responsibility—ironically, I had met her the year I decided to make the film in 2012—but now timing was right. In 2015, I had met a director who would direct my first stage play who I also made a producer, and the three of us were sort of a dream team. If I had made the short in 2012, neither of these women would have been a part of the team, and I believe the film would have suffered for it.

Anyway, my location scout-turned-producer and I stumbled upon the perfect location for the film while checking out another space. The amazing thing about that was that before 2017, the space wouldn’t have been available because people were still living in it!

What I learned from this project is that everything happens in divine timing and at the right time for it to be most beneficial to you. We will release the short, N.O.S., later this year, and the universe continues to arrange people and circumstances as we complete the project.

Joy Cheriel Brown has studied screenwriting since 1991. She has an MFA from National University for Creative Writing, with a concentration in Screenwriting, and a Bachelor of Arts from Howard University, where she studied Film and English and graduated summa cum laude.

She has either won or placed in several contests and has had many of her screenplays chosen as official selections in the DC Chapter of Women in Film and Video’s Spotlight on Screenwriters catalog from 2014-2017 and has served as a mentor on screenwriting panels for DC Shorts and  Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council’s Festival of Literary Arts.

Joy also wrote, produced, and directed the short film, Figment, in 2004, and was the writer and one of the producers for the short film, One Chance, which premiered at the Bowie Performing Arts Center in 2011, and wrote, directed, and produced the short film, N.O.S., which will be completed in 2018 and was a semi-finalist in the 2015 ScreenCraft Short Film Production Fund. The feature film, Love’s Duty, is currently in development with her production company, Third Person Omniscient Productions, whose mission it is to produce quality movies, plays, and television shows that enlighten audiences about the human condition and shed light on the meaning of life.

Joy also offers screenwriting coaching to those who want to write meaningful screenplays that are ready to be produced.

 

 

Short Film “Christmas Dance” Wins Britt Penrod Award

By a margin of just 31 votes out of more than 1,200 votes cast, director Ping-Wen Wang’s short film “Christmas Dance” has won the 2nd Britt Penrod Audience Award for 2014.   7 indie film finalists for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Summer competed for the award with voting taking place on Facebook from Sept 12th to Oct 12th.  The winner’s prize of $250 will help her complete production of her project.

Christmas Dance- Promotion Animation from Ping-Wen Wang on Vimeo.

The Britt Penrod Audience Award is open to finalists for the Roy W. Dean Grant.  Seven out of the 22 finalists for the Summer Grant competed by posting trailers for their films on Britt Penrod Audience Award App on the Roy W. Dean Grant Facebook page.  Registered users of Facebook including film fans and followers of the artist and grant can then view and vote on their favorite.

“It feels great,” Ping-Wen said upon learning she had won, “and the award is truly for my Taiwanese and LMU family and friends. With their support we are able to continue and building upon our dream.”

What does she plan on doing with her prize money?

This is the first money we’ve raised for the film. We plan on pooling it with the rest of the funds we raise to help pay our crew who will, for the most part, be working for credit and meals.”

Projects that were up for the award included short films, documentaries, and features. As with all submissions to the grant, the projects are all works in various states of production.  They all adhere to the goal of the grant which is to fund unique films that make a contribution to society.

“It is a great opportunity for the talented artists applying for the grant to have their works in progress exposed to a wide audience”, commented Carole Dean president of From The Heart Productions which oversees the Roy W. Dean Grant.  “These are important projects that need to be seen and supported.”

About Christmas Dance

Christmas Dance is a 15-minute short fiction film about a lonely old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s who enters a dream world and meets her long lost family and friends on Christmas Eve. She must relive her most important memories with her daughter and let go of all her regrets before she forgets everything. The 15-min short film, currently in pre-production, is a PingWen’s graduate thesis project for Loyola Marymount University.

Christmas Dance is a personal journey inside an Alzheimer’s patient’s mind. Because the disease causes her to no longer remember who she is, her mind fights tirelessly to hold on to her memories. She enters a dream world where she can be herself and share one final dance with her daughter.

By telling a touching story between a mother and daughter, Wang attempts to draw public attention to the disease as well as comfort and honor Alzheimer’s patients and their families. While most films about Alzheimer’s tend to show the sadness and the cruel nature of the disease, Wang wants to bring hope to those involved. As Ella Chen, granddaughter to an Alzheimer’s patient, states in The Long Goodbye, “I don’t know how much my grandmother can remember, but I think they’re all the happiest memories”.

Now, crowdfunding on indiegogo, you can check out the campaign for the film and contribute at  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/christmas-dance

You can also learn more about the film on their Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/christmasdancefilm or on the film’s website at  http://christmasdancefilm.com/

About Director Ping-Wen Wang

A female director hailing from Taiwan, Ping-Wen Wang is dedicated to telling LGBT and PingWenwomen’s stories through the power of cinema.  Wang’s first short “The Clown” won the Jury Award in the International Student Film Festival Hollywood, was nominated at Film Outside the Frame (FOF), and screened on Public TV in Taiwan. Her latest work “Between Us” is an official selection of the Palm Springs International ShortFest, Boston LGBT Film Festival, Barcelona International Gay&Lesbian Film Festival, Hong Kong International Gay&Lesbian Film Festival, Taiwan International Queer Film Festival and won the Special Prize of Excellence at the Screwdriver International Short Film Contest in Taiwan.

About the Britt Penrod Audience Award

Founded this year, the Britt Penrod Audience Award is a $250 prize awarded to a finalist of the Roy W. Dean Grant with the best trailer.  It is only open to finalists for the Roy W. Dean Grant.   Results of the award have no bearing on the grant, but give the contestants an opportunity to increase awareness of their project.

The award’s namesake, Britt Penrod, has been a good friend and longtime supporter of the Roy W. Dean Grant.  When Britt made a very generous, sizable personal donation to Grant, it was put it to use in the creation of the award.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 23rd year, the Roy W. Dean Grant is awarded 3 times each year to films that are unique and make a contribution to society that, without its help, might otherwise never get made.  Films submitted to the grant can be short films, documentaries or features from early stages of pre-production to those needing help in post.

The grant has given out over $2 million in a combination of cash, goods, and production service discounts from industry donors to date.  It has been integral in making sure that talented artists with great stories get their films produced.  Recent past winners of the grant that have been completed include the award winning “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream” and “The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family” which is now showing in film festivals around North America.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions, which oversees the Roy W. Dean Grant and the Britt Penrod Award, is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has raised over $1.3 million for crowdfunding films as a partner with Indiegogo.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of “The Art of Film Funding” which is now in its second edition.