How to Find and Win Grants for Your Film

There are thousands of non-profit organizations offering grants each year.  Here is how to locate and win grants for your film. 

by Carole Dean

Grants are a wonderful way to fund your film.  We’ve got the best list of grants for filmmakers on our From the Heart Productions website.

Win grants

The second-best list is what you would find at candid.org.  They offer a Foundation Directory Online (FDO).  This is a database from which you can view over 242,000 granting organizations.  It is an essential resource for finding grants.  The majority of these grant makers do not have websites and would otherwise be almost impossible to find.

Getting Started with the Candid Foundation Directory

Candid offers subscription access to their database.  The FDO Professional plan at $199 per month offers the most exhaustive and up-to-date knowledge and insight on the social sector.  FDO Essential, starting at $49.99 a month, is the quickest, least expensive way to identify the grantors that will fund you. 

You can also find free access to the Candid Foundation Directory database through some local city and nonprofit organizations. We have one in Camarillo, CA.  Candid makes it easy to find a location near you with an interactive map on their website.  You can also use the map to find locations that offer free training on how to use the directory.  I strongly suggest to take a class to learn how to get the most out of your database searches.

Another free option is FDO Quick Start.  This allows you to research for specific organizations from which you’d like to seek a grant.  Through this search, you can find the foundation you’re looking for by name, EIN, location, and assets or giving range.

You can be sure if you do what I suggest you will find dozens of grants.  They say they have 24 million grants listed.  It is worth the time.   Especially for documentaries and for webisodes. Features and shorts that have important social issues may benefit too.

The Powerful Information on the 990

I highly suggest that you pick a month where you can focus only on looking for grants and just pay for one month and use it to find grants.  This should bring you additional income.

When you search the database, you will want to seek out each 501(c)3 non-profit’s government form, the 990.  This form has great benefits for you.  All nonprofits must complete this form.  It lists all donations the nonprofit receives from $5,000 and up.  And it lists the name of the person or organization that donated to the nonprofit and how much they donated! 

This is what you want.  It shows you who else is interested in the subject of your film.  You could do a letter writing campaign to these people to introduce them to your film.

Plus, you want to create strategic partners for your film.  Finding nonprofits with the same subject will benefit you in many ways.  Read my blog on “How to Find and Engage Strategic Partners for Your Film.”

Creating Keywords for Your Film

You need key words to describe your film because that is what you use to search Candid.org’s database. What are the keywords of your film? There could be 15 keywords to define your film so keep an open mind and look at all the aspects of your film and create your keywords because that’s what you’ll use to search with.  You may have used key words when you created your website.  If so, use those to begin with and keep expanding on them.

I think finding local grants and smaller grants for around five to ten thousand dollars is a good way to get started. If you’ve never applied for grants before that’s where I would start.

Consider setting up an excel chart by date of each grant deadline you intend to pursue.  That way,  you can plan ahead and apply for the grants all year long.

What Grantors Look for In Your Application

As a grantor for the Roy W. Dean Grants for over 30 years, I’ll say to you the most important thing I look for is why are you making this film?  What is your connection to the material? This information will tell me how connected you are to the project. I want someone who will stay the course and finish the film. The average documentary takes six years and two more for marketing. The average feature can take up to 10 years to find the funding.

Every grantor I know is worried you will not finish the film.  We have all funded films that were never finished.  So, your connection to the material is most important to us.  Your passion for the project must jump off the page and inspire me.  I must know that you will finish the film.

Next, and this is also very important, what’s the story? I don’t care what kind of camera you’re using or who your set decorator is, because I want to know is, what’s the story. Focus on telling me a good, engaging story in a visual manner, so that I can see the film as I read your application.

Last Minute Stuff Doesn’t Work

Every filmmaker who is part of the From the Heart Production Fiscal Sponsorship Program, can contact me and send me your granting materials.  I will read them and give you feedback before you apply.  However, I want you to come to me at least a week before the deadline. Then I can review it and discuss it with you to help you improve it.

Last minute stuff doesn’t work. I’ve seen too many people miss grants by waiting to the last minute. Their computer may have technical difficulties, they can’t get on the granting website, or it takes up so much time to complete, that they’re over the time limit and can’t apply.

Please plan ahead with grants. Give yourself lots of time and get it in before the final minute because that’s when everybody applies for the grant.  I can see this on my own grant. I can sit here on the final day of the grant and from three o’clock Pacific Time on it’s like a slot machine!

We get sometimes 50% of the applications on the last day.  This means that the computer is stressed out and there are many opportunities for problems.

The Benefits of Just Applying for a Grant

Grants are a fantastic way to raise money for your film.  Even if you don’t win the grant, I promise that you will improve your project just by applying.

Every time you apply for a grant you continue to improve and develop your film.

Even if you don’t win you have benefited.  Applying for grants is like being a salesperson.  They know that it sometimes takes 10 “no’s” to get a yes. The secret is just keep applying and go back to the same grant year after year if they let you.  Because once they give you suggestions to improve, and you do what they say, they will recognize your willingness to take direction.  You have a much better chance of winning in the second and third application.

A Grant Success Story

Rebecca Dreyfus applied for the Roy W. Dean Grant about 20 years ago and I can still pitch you her film. She wrote an incredible story. She wanted to document the largest art heist at the time. The Gardner Museum was robbed of one of the 26 known Vermeers and many other incredibly valuable pieces of art.

Rebecca told me that she applied for five grants and won four!  How did she do that? She said she carefully chose the grants that she felt she had the best chance of winning. She did not go after the NEA or some of the more difficult grants.

She put her time into writing a good story for each of the five grant she applied.  This worked for her, and I think it will work for you. 

Meeting the Grant Criteria

Be sure to include in your grant application the criteria of the grantor. Say it back to them and explain how your film fits their criteria. This may sound mundane, but it is very important.  Grantors are reading scores of grants at one time. When you can clearly tell me how your film fits my criteria, it benefits you. That’s what the judges are looking for. Grant judges want to know if you fit the grant criteria and do you have a good story to tell.

For example, if you were applying to the Roy Dean Grant our criteria is that we want films that are unique and that make a contribution to society. I love it when filmmakers tell me why their film fits my grant.  It’s that simple.

And please, put some passion in your proposal!  We want to know that you care about this story. Please put your heart on the page so we get to know you.  It’s you we are giving the money to.  It’s you we want to support. You are the artist.  You are the magic.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers the Roy W. Dean Film Grants and fiscal sponsorship for independent filmmakers. She hosts the weekly podcastThe Art of Film Fundinginterviewing those involved in all aspects of indie film productionShe is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits

“Hart of the Wild Bunch” Wins Carole Joyce Award for Excellence in Storytelling

Filmmakers Will Receive $2,000 to Use for Post-Production to Complete Their Film

From the Heart Productions, a top-rated non-profit dedicated to helping independentCarole Joyce Award filmmakers fund their projects, has announced “Hart of the Wild Bunch” has won the Carole Joyce Award for Excellence in Storytelling for the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant.

Prize is awarded to a film submitted to a Roy W. Dean Film Grant and selected as a finalist.

The short film is co-directed by Sophia Arguelles and Grace Caroline Currey.  The project will use the $2,000 award to help wrap production and begin submitting to festivals.

“What a fun and fresh take on the classic western,” commented Carole Dean, president of From the Heart Productions. “They’ve done an outstanding job of creating a compelling story in this genre from the female perspective.”

About the Film

“In “Hart of the Wild Bunch”, a wild west gang of runaway women find themselves destitute after a chain of unsuccessful heists. Benevolent leader Cassidy Hart must leverage her authority when one of her rebel followers rallies the group around a very dangerous scheme.

About the Co-Directors

Carole Joyce AwardSophia Arguelles – Sophia has been an actress and ballet dancer her whole life, but she can now additionally say she is a filmmaker and screenwriter. In the process of making her first short, HART OF THE WILD BUNCH, she has won herself a literary agent, theatrical manager, and soon will be working with a new literary manager for her two new screenplays that she has written during the post production of HOTWB.

Sophia always had a strong desire to write screenplays and direct films, but due to financial instability throughout her life, she knew college or film school would be out of the question. It was only in December 2020, when a professional screenwriter saw her potential and drive after reading her first written screenplay (with absolutely no structure she will soon learn), was her dream of becoming a screenwriter a truly possible reality.

Sophia has been under private education and mentorship under this professional screenwriter and has four production companies already looking out for her written and directorial debut work in HOTWB. Sophia hopes after the short comes out to start directing and writing music videos and commercials while her features work in pre production. Her dream is to tell the stories that dance in her head daily, knowing that the stories she dreams of can help others and leave an impact on people for the better.

Carole Joyce AwardGrace Fulton – Grace is known for her starring roles in the DC Comics movies Shazam!, as a child Grace trained as a ballerina, including a summer training at the Royal Ballet School in London. Before focusing full time on acting, she pursued both ballet and acting, including a session in the Summer Intensive program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2014.

Credits include: Shazam! 2: Fury of the Gods, Shazam!, Annabelle: Creation, Jag, Bones, Ghost Whisperer, Revenge, and coming to theaters this summer: Fall.

As Grace continues her love for dancing and acting, she is adding on the additional exploration of the art of directing. With HART OF THE WILD BUNCH as the frontier, Grace will further her directorial feat by co-directing a feature film with her father, Damian Fulton, late this summer. Though she is a superhero in big blockbuster films, at her core she is truly a detail oriented artist who strives to capture beautiful visual storytelling.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Since its inception in 1992, the Roy W. Dean Grants have awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films.  The Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant is now in its 2nd year and is awarded to fiction films under forty minutes in length. 

There are four Roy W. Dean Grants awarded each year.  They have been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, Emmy winner and Peabody Award nominee Belly of the Beast, as well as the acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity.

About From the Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects funded and made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through its fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

2022 Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant Awarded to “Love Taps”

Dramatic Short Fiction Film from MFA candidate at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Wins $3,000 Cash and Thousands More in Donated Production Services

From the Heart Productions, the 30-year-old non-profit dedicated to helping indieRoy W. Dean Short Film Grant filmmakers fund their films, is proud to announce that the 2022 Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant goes to “Love Taps” from director Derrick Woodyard.  The grant is awarded to a live action or animated short fiction film.  It must unique and that makes a contribution to society.  

An NYU Tisch School of the Arts MFA candidate, Derrick will receive $3,000 and thousands more in production services to continue help him continue his work on the project.  

“We are very thrilled to have Derrick be our first student filmmaker to win a Roy W. Dean Grant,” remarked Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “The quality of his work we’ve seen is exceptional.  We expect to see many great films from him in the future.”

In addition to the $3,000 cash prize, the winner will receive $3,000.00 in music and audio services from well-known composer David Raiklen, $6,000.00 in animation from Emmy award winner Charlie Canfield, $1,400 value (4 hours of sound mix session) from Silver Sound, and more from many heartfelt donors that love and support indie filmmakers.

About “Love Taps”

Love Taps is a dramatic short film that follows the experience of a young boy who decides to conceal his father’s affair with another man in order to get his family back together.

This is Derrick Woodyard’s film project in the NYU Graduate Film Program and continues his exploration of family themed narratives from a child’s perspective. The project is the recipient of Spike Lee’s 2021 Thesis Production fund and will also be executive produced by Lee.  

About the Filmmaker

Roy W. Dean Short Film GrantWriter/Director/Cinematographer Derrick Woodyard currently is an MFA candidate at NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a focus in Directing and Writing. His commitment to finding truth in his narratives leads him to explore the nuances of his characters through their desires, inner conflicts, and personal relationships. This search for truth is influenced by his lived experiences from which he takes inspiration. His films have investigated stories of internal moral struggles, trials of multiracial familial bonds, and the traumas of parental absence all from the lens of Black characters.

His latest project, “Love Taps” will be executive produced by veteran Director and Academy Award winner Spike Lee for which Lee has granted funding towards. This follows his last short film, “Wali & Zuri” which played at a number of film festivals around the country, for which he also received close advisement from Lee during pre- and post-production.

Derrick is a selected participant in the Facebook SEEN Black Filmmakers Program in partnership with the Blackhouse organization. He is also a recipient of the Peter D. Gould Scholarship, the Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Scholarship, and is the 2020 recipient of the Martin Scorsese Young Filmmakers Scholarship and is the 2020 BAFTA NY HBO Scholar.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

The Roy W. Dean Grant for Short Films is the most recent addition to the Roy W. Dean Grants for independent filmmakers.  The first Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant was awarded in 2021 to Lorenzo DeStefano and his film “Stairway to the Stars.

The grants are awarded to unique films that make a contribution to society.  From it’s inception in 1992, the Roy W. Dean Grants have awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services.  Three other Roy W. Dean Grants are awarded times each year to films budgeted under $500,000.

The grants have been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that need help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, Peabody Award nominee Belly of the Beast, and acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects funded and made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

Every Person is a Star

And we need to create a galaxy of relationships around us to thrive professionally and personally

by Carole Dean

All of us need to realize that personal relationships are vital to us, just like the air we breathe. We really need friends, companions, and people with whom we can share our lives.

relationships

This is especially important for filmmakers. People in our industry can be a great source of growth and support for us.  By forging meaningful relationships, we can strengthen ourselves in the process as well as enriching and empowering one another.

When we open up, people respond and accept us.

When this happens, every contact becomes meaningful.

One way to do this is to start thinking that “every person is a star.” because every person is unique. No matter who they are or what their status is we need to give them the respect they deserve. We need to see beyond what people see in themselves because everyone has this seed of greatness.

This power is transformative. Once you start treating every person as a star, wonderful things happen to you. If someone provokes you who you do not enjoy being around,  just turn it around and look at them as if they are a ray of sunshine. You can change.  When you change it will surprise you how much this will improve your relationship.

See the greatness in each person.

If you recognize people as worthy of respect and respond them accordingly, you empower people by seeing the greatness in them.

When you adopt this attitude, you will develop some meaningful relationships with everyone you meet, and it will enrich both you and the other person.

Please remember this and next time someone does something unpleasant to you.  Start asking what kind of pain they might be in? Maybe they’ve been through a loss and are having difficulties in their lives.

You want to be kind to everyone.  You can change a relationship with someone by changing your attitude and your thoughts towards that person.

I know this can be done. You need to start thinking of them as wonderful people no matter how they talk to you.  Even if they were rude to you, this can overcome their rudeness when you see them as human beings with flaws and realizing they deserve respect and consideration.

Keep being nice and smiling to them and watch them change towards you.  You can also do this as you meditate.  Send them love, they will feel it.

Change your thoughts toward people.

What happens is that as you change your thoughts towards people, then people change towards you. I have seen this happen. I know it is possible and it certainly makes for a better life especially when you need to work with or be associated with someone that is not pleasant to be around.

Making friends in our industry and keeping them is important for you to create the future you want. Everyone you meet, no matter where they are in the film industry from the lowest job, you want to treat them as “special people” and stay connected to them.

When I started in the business, I did not know one person and I knew nothing about motion picture film.

It was the lab people, the Kodak people, the filmmakers themselves that educated me.  I kept my friendships through the years with many of the people I met at the beginning of my career. This is something you can look forward to.

Make an effort to meet the people you want to know.

Being from Dallas, on a trip back home, I made a special effort to meet the Kodak Rep and we really got along well.  I kept up my friendship with short phone calls about things of interest in the film industry.  He seemed to love the fact that I highly respected him and would ask him technical questions.  He was an engineer and Kodak had him selling film!

As luck would have it, he was made manager for the Los Angeles office which was right across the street from my company in Hollywood.

I continued my friendship with him until he retired. That was nice to be able to call Kodak and go straight through to the top man.

We are all in this business alone, together. One night at one of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers formal dinners, a producer explained to me how people get into the industry and stay.

He said, “In this entertainment industry, what you find is that people may move from one company to another but once they get into film industry and love it, they stay.”

So, the person you met in film school could end up being an acquisitions person for Netflix. So, keep up with all your contacts. 

Your P.A. today could be running a studio in a decade.

As a matter of fact, I have a good story on just that. There are two women who were making a multipart story for Netflix, and they hired someone from a major film university like Columbia to be a producer for them.   This man had to moved to another city to take the job. And after a few months they fired him without notice.

He never knew why he was fired; he was never given any reason. It was about two years later when he graduated from this prestigious film school that Netflix picked him up as an acquisition manager.

He then became the person these two producers had to talk to when they wanted to do the second series. He said he loved it when they came to him to pitch this new series.

So, be aware that you have no idea where your second assistant cameraman will be in three years. He could be working at as a director of photography on Academy Award films.  I think this is one of the perks of working in the industry.

Keep your friends up close and personal.

Be sure that you wish them happy birthday and are always there at holidays.

This is one of the things Tom Malloy covers in the first part of our Intentional Filmmaking class.  Meeting people, saving their information, and creating your database of friends in the industry is important. 

He built his career on casual meetings at events, conventions, and festivals.  These friends have helped him make 18 films.

Finding, keeping, and nurturing people in the industry is very important. It is one of the best parts of the industry. Friendships in the film industry are a true blessing.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers the Roy W. Dean Film Grants and fiscal sponsorship for independent filmmakers. She hosts the weekly podcastThe Art of Film Fundinginterviewing those involved in all aspects of indie film productionShe is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits

 

Fiction Short “Lunchbox” Wins First Britt Penrod Award of 2022

Timely Story That Examines Anti-Asian Racism Receives Award for a Film That is Unique and That Makes an Exceptional Contribution to Society

From the Heart Productions , the top-rated non-profit dedicated to helping indie filmmakers get their films funded, has named Director/Writer/Editor and Actor Anne Hu as winner of the Britt Penrod Award for her short film “Lunchbox”.   This award goes to a project that was submitted to the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Spring and selected as a finalist.  Anne will receive a $500 prize that will help support her effort in completing this film.

Britt Penrod Award

Still from the Making of “Lunchbox”

“Anne has done a brilliant job handling multiple jobs to bring this very personal and touching film to completion,” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. 

Currently in post-production, “Lunchbox” is a dramatic, three-part, coming-of-age short film about regret, healing, and honoring the people we love.  When a Taiwanese American woman prepares lunches from her childhood, she struggles to forgive herself for pushing away her immigrant mother. 

Based on a true story, this retelling examines the personal cost of fitting in as well as the recovery from cultural and familial loss.

About the Filmmaker

Britt Penrod AwardAnne Hu – Director, Writer, Editor, Lead Actor (Adult Shirley & Teen Shirley) Anne is a Taiwanese American, award-winning director, writer, editor, and actress. Her directing focus is in narrative film, TV, and commercials.

As seen in The Hollywood Reporter, Hu made the 2020 Alice List for Emerging Female Filmmakers Who Have Not Yet Directed a Feature.  She was selected to participate in Netflix’s Original Series Directors Development Program from 2020 to 2022.  She shadowed director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) on Netflix’s The Society.  Hu is also a fellow of the 2019 Space on Ryder Farm FilmLab.

She has directed, written, and starred in award-winning short films.  Her short CAKE was accepted into 38 festivals, earned 9 awards, and was featured in The Washington Post. As an actor, she has trained at T. Schreiber Studio, The Barrow Group, and The Freeman Studio. In CAKE, she and the cast were nominated for Best Ensemble.

Hu hopes to provide catharsis for audiences and inspire them to regard marginalized voices with their whole humanity.

About the Britt Penrod Award

The award will be presented to a finalist for Roy W. Dean Grant whose film is unique and makes an exceptional contribution to society.  The Britt Penrod Award was made possible by a donation from longtime friend of 501(c)3 non-profit From the Heart Productions and the Roy W. Dean Grants, Britt Penrod.  Results of the award have no bearing on the eventual winner of any of the Roy W. Dean Grants.

Winners for 2021 include the documentary 26 Seconds for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for the Spring Grant, The Bridge Ministry which won for the Summer Grant, and Separation which won for the Fall Grant. The Fog Catcher won for the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant.

Britt is president of Giant Entertainment & Management Inc. (G.E.M.) is a Los Angeles based Film & Television Studio design and development company with in depth experience in the United States, Europe and Asia.

G.E.M. delivers knowledgeable business foundations to Studio development projects that include; Market Analysis, Site Planning, Operating Financial Evaluation, Construction, MEP & Value Engineering, Start-up of Operations and ongoing Management Services for stage-based entertainment properties.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 30th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and that make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include new Emmy Winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, as well as acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity.

About From the Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects funded and made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

Finalists Named for 2022 Roy. W. Dean Short Film Grant

Twenty-Two Films Selected to Compete for Grant Valued at $15K

From the Heart Productions, the 501(c)3 non-profit that helps indie films get funding forRoy W. Dean Short Film Grant Finalists their projects, has announced the finalists for their Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant. The grant, now in its second year, is awarded to a fiction short film that is unique and the makes a contribution to society.  The winner will receive $3,000 cash and thousands more in donated production services to help them complete their film.

“These finalists have intriguing stories and are dedicated filmmakers.” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “We are honored to work with these highly talented filmmakers.”

Projects were submitted by filmmakers around the world including many student filmmakers.  Grant applications were received from not only the United States, but from Canada, United Kingdom, Jordan, Egypt, Slovakia, and Peru. 

As with the other three Roy W. Dean Film Grants, the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant offers all applicants a free consultation on their project. They can discuss their proposals, search for funding, distribution, or whatever they feel is needed to move their film forward.  

Winner of the grant is expected to be announced in September.

The finalists are:

Title

Submitting Filmmaker 

DIXXX Andis Solomon
Land’s End Imogen Radwan
Color Theories Devin Jane Febbroriello
Carnation Elif Nur Kayalar
Hart of the Wild Bunch Sophia Arguellis
Awakening George Akiva Penaloza
The Note Kyle Asperger
The Ladies Jill Gutowitz
Love Taps Derrick Woodyard
John Katherine Hadar
Valle Arriba Julian Garnik
Newbie Premila Puri
Without Heaven Merve Bozcu
Just Kids Alessandro Riconda
The Audition Oliver Chen
Nearly Departed Molly Quinlan
Fly Trap Sierra Nutkevitch
My Sweet Sweet Child Arnie Hicks, Jr.
Two Wrongs Jason Spagnuoli
Citizen Wong Richard Chang
Lunchbox Anne Hu
Charlie’s Freedom Georgina French

Each finalist is given the opportunity to post information on their contending film on the From the Heart Productions website.  Filmmakers can include an image from the film, filmmaker info, and loglines.  If they have available, filmmakers can include a link to their film’s website, Facebook page, or relevant social media connection. 

In addition to the  $3,000 in cash provided by From the Heart Productions the winner will also receive $3,000.00 in music and audio services from well-known composer David Raiklen , $6,000.00 in animation from Emmy award winner Charlie Canfield , $1,400 value (4 hours of sound mix session) from Silver Sound, $600.00 for your Free Closed Captioning by NetCaptioning, and more from film industry companies and individuals.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Over its 30-year history, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. Outside the short film grant, there are three other grants in Spring, Summer, and Fall.  Each of those grants is open to documentary films, narrative fiction films, short films, and web series.

The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

The winner of the inaugural Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant was Stairway to the Stars.  Past winners of the other Roy W. Dean Grants include recent Emmy winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs ,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, and acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects funded and made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through their fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

 

Move in to Prosperity Consciousness

“To you the earth yields her fruit, and you shall not want if you know how to fill your hands.”  Kahlil Gibran

by Carole Dean

Prosperity consciousness is something you need to develop; it does not happen by chance.  None of us were born with it.  It’s a state of mind tuned and vibrating to expect prosperity and opportunities everywhere. It’s a key to success in work and life.

Prosperity Consciousness

Many of us, unfortunately, were born with a scarcity consciousness.

That the case with my childhood.  I grew up in a home with little money and always wondered why some people had so much money and other people had none. When you look at it from a child’s perspective, it is a good question, i.,e., what is the difference between the wealthy and not so wealthy people?

And one of the answers is prosperity consciousness.  Those who have it see money everywhere. I had to let go of scarcity consciousness when I started my business. I had to believe that I could achieve my goals, believe in myself and my business.  

It’s all about your faith and your belief in yourself.

Do You Have Prosperity or Scarcity Consciousness?

If you are living under scarcity consciousness, then you must get rid of it.  It can be like a ball and chain pulling you back or holding you down.  It could prevent you from achieving. To develop the necessary prosperity consciousness takes focus.

Here are some ways to develop prosperity consciousness and beliefs:

Realize You Live in an Abundant Universe.

Look at our universe and discover how much abundance there is. All around me in Ventura, California are massive farms bursting with strawberries, cabbages, and celery.  There is abundance in nature.  Start to notice that the universe is abundant there is plenty for all.

Scarcity consciousness believes that there is not enough for all of us. Scarcity consciousness believes that we must compete for everything.  There is not enough to go around.  When we can see abundance all around us, we can realize that is not true. We must recognize that we are not taking anything from another person.  There is plenty for all of us.

Get into Creative Consciousness and Out of Competitive Consciousness.

Your creative consciousness knows no bounds. You see more possibilities than most people.  But, when you find yourself shutting down, saying or thinking scarcity, ask the creative part of you to take over.  You must look for the good side and how you can make this situation an opportunity.

Meditation can help you with more ideas.  Always take your worries to your meditation, state them and ask for help. Ask for creative ways to handle the situation. Then let go of it and let the universe work. Stay open for answers as you will surely get them. 

Sometimes they are very clear and come to you as Dr. Deepak Chopra says, “in the gap between thoughts.” 

Sometimes they come to you from a statement made in a movie!  Yes, you can get your answers from many places, billboards, neighbors, friends, the newspaper!  Just keep listening for the answers and you will have them.  Ask and you shall receive.

Life is Fun and Rewarding.

Many people, including me, were taught you can have what you want but you need to work hard to get it.  Somewhere along the line it dawns on you that the people you know who have money do not work that hard. They have a nice balanced life between work, family, and entertainment.

The rich people take time to exercise, to eat right, and they take good care of themselves. While those who were taught you must work hard are not taking time for themselves. We need to realize that in prosperity consciousness, you can have what you want without working yourself to death.

Prosperity consciousness looks for fun and joy in life and always finds it. When problems come, they look at them as challenges and opportunities. Prosperity conscious people appreciate life and know that with every new challenge comes reward, new adventures and more fun. This is a wonderful way to live.

Reward Yourself.

Let me ask you, how often do you reward yourself? When you win a grant do you give yourself a bonus? When you make an ask for funding and someone gives you a nice donation, do you pay yourself first? 

Prosperity consciousness loves rewards. I highly recommend that you set rewards for yourself. You decide you want to go after a grant.  You spend a month on candid.org searching. Give yourself an award for the time, effort, and success in finding that grant.  Take yourself to a spa or a massage. Treat yourself in some way that is fun.

Keep paying yourself on an ongoing basis while you’re making your film. When you sell your film, you may only get a small amount of money down. Please, you must always get your money for your work as the funds come in. Think, me first!

A filmmaker who won our grant called me once she got her check.  She said, “I have credit card bills I charged for production to get me to this point, can I use some of this money for my credit card?”  “Yes, I said of course.”  You are the film.  Without you it would not exist.  Take care of yourself first. 

There Are a Staggering Number of Opportunities in Every Aspect of Life.

Scarcity consciousness believes there are no opportunities.  They believe there is very little money and no opportunity. 

Let’s look at grants. I hear filmmakers say, “there are fewer grants.”

I suggest you open your mind on this subject and realize there are hundreds of thousands of grants available. It’s a matter of searching for the grant that matches your film.

If you get onto the large database at candid.org you will be shocked. First, you really need to take a class on how to use their giant search engine. There are so many grants that you need to have your description clearly defined. Search using key words of your film to find the grant that matches your project. Once you use your key words, you will find it is overwhelming how many grants are available for a film like yours.

Now, I admit, that more grants are for documentaries and short films than for features. However, I have seen features get many grants through us.  They are available. 

We had one feature film where the protagonist was a drug user.  The filmmaker found that his state had a grant to bring out the dangers of drug use.  His feature had what they wanted.  He found several nice $60,000.00 grants by his research.  Keep an open mind and stay in the creative not the competitive consciousness.

How One Filmmaker Used Prosperity Conscious to Create a Career.

There’s a story I want to share about a woman I highly admire for her skill in manifesting her desires. She decided to get into filmmaking at an advanced age and is determined not to let age bother her. She moved to Los Angeles to be near the film industry and had a high paying job and they closed her division. She went on unemployment.

Now this would put some people in a dither because they’ve lost a really good job. She didn’t take it that way.  She saw this as an opportunity, got online, and found a class at UCLA on how to produce films. Telling her unemployment agent about this class, she showed him that there was a grant for taking the class. The unemployment agent got her this grant.

It cost others over $7000 and was 6 months of study. She used this time between jobs to study and improve herself in the area she wants to manifest a job. That is living in a prosperity consciousness.

There are tens of thousands of grants available. It does require your time to find them.  I want to assure you grants are out there waiting for you to find them.

It is My Responsibility to be Successful.

Scarcity consciousness believes that having tons of money is wrong. It has you believe you only need enough for your basic needs and anything beyond that will deprive other people.

Prosperity consciousness says that bringing wealth to yourself will enable you to do a world of good for other people.  Once you have money, you can use money to benefit others. Bringing your ideas into this reality is beneficial to you and to others.

I see the benefits that steel magnet Andrew Carnegie created with his income over 100 years later. We’ve received grants from Carnegie of over $300,000 in the last two years. This was money that he made when he was using the ideas in the book by Napoleon Hill, Thank and Grow Rich.

Because Carnegie aligned his thinking with acquiring wealth and his achievements, his riches are here a century later to be shared with others. He handled his wealth in such a way that it is still giving and supporting film makers 100 years later. Just think of what you can do with the wealth you can make.

Making Money is Fun.

Becoming wealthy is easy for creative people. Please put your thinking in the creative consciousness. This is a way to solve problems and move into financial security.  It’s also a way to use your many talents, not only for you and your own family, but for future generations through your generous donations.

Remembering these prosperity beliefs can be beneficial to all of us.

  • It is an abundant universe.
  • Life is fun and rewarding.
  • There are a staggering number of opportunities in every aspect of my life.
  • it is my responsibility to be successful

These can be statements you print out and look at daily. You need to shore up your own confidence.

Program Your Mind for Prosperity and Wealth.

You can make this fun. Go to some of the great hotels and sit in the dining room.  Have a cup of coffee and order the cheapest thing possible. You want to feel the energy around rich people. You want to know that you are welcome in expensive hotels and restaurants. Realize that this is the life you were meant to have.

If you live in LA, you might consider driving up toVentura for a fun day and go to the splendid Miramar Hotel in Montecito.

There is a place there for you to sit by the ocean and have a light lunch for a very reasonable fee. The point is you belong in this hotel.  You want to go there and feel this lavish type of living. This can be a place for you to stay in the future.  It is there for you.  Get used to this luxury energy.

If you are in NYC, go to the Waldorf for breakfast.  It is full of wonderful wealthy people.  Yes, it may cost you $50.00.  I have been there and just had coffee and toast and it is such a wonderful experience. 

Look around the room and ask yourself, what’s the difference between me and them? Notice how nice most people are and how they look just like you.  There is no difference. Say to yourself, “this is where I belong.  I am in the success conscientious.”   My success can help many people.

Get Yourself into Places Where Wealthy People Go.

Feel into that energy and become part of it. Know that the universe put you on this earth at this time to be here at the most beneficial time in the history of mankind for filmmakers. This is the digital revolution.

Filmmaking is exploding. They are building sound stages and sets all over the world. Everybody is making films and you are needed. You are the talent. You are the creators.

Empower yourself with the knowledge that you are here at the right time to achieve exactly what you came here to do, create your art, and become wealthy.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers the Roy W. Dean Film Grants and fiscal sponsorship for independent filmmakers. She hosts the weekly podcastThe Art of Film Fundinginterviewing those involved in all aspects of indie film productionShe is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits

“Invisible Children of LA” Wins Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Spring 2022

Documentary Feature Explores How Homeless Children Cope and Survive in Their Daily Lives

From the Heart Productions, the top-rated non-profit dedicated to helping indie filmmakers get their films funded and completed, has announced the first Roy W. Dean Film Grant of 2022 goes to Invisible Children of LA.  Presented four times each year, the grant goes to a film that is unique and that makes a contribution to society.  Maryana Palmer, the film’s director and producer, will receive cash and production services to continue work on the project.

Roy W. Dean Film Grant Winner for Spring 2022

“With her film, Maryana has shown a light on a sadly neglected segment of the homeless, the children.” commented Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “With this poignant and hearfelt documentary bringing attention to their plight, hopefully more resources can be focused on them to improve their lives.”

About the Film

Invisible Children of LA is a documentary featuring three homeless children  and their families in Los Angeles. It is a heartfelt, intimate, emotional film where we learn about the kids daily lives, how they cope with homelessness, how they feel about being homeless, what brings them joy and their hopes and dreams for the future.

Today there are over 5,000 homeless children on any given night in Los Angeles County. In the film, the personal stories of the children are interwoven with homeless advocates letting us know the reasons for homelessness, the systemic reasons, what needs to be done to eradicate this tragedy. LA City Councilman, Kevin de Leon is included as well as Pete White of LA CAN in skid row, and Morgan Blanchard who is a social worker for L.A. Family Housing.

As you get to know these amazing children, you will love them and recognize the importance of ending this terrible situation.  

About the Filmmaker

Roy W. Dean Film Grant Winner for Spring 2022Maryana Palmer – Producer/Director – Maryana has been a psychotherapist for thirty-eight years, specializing in working with cancer patients. She has made two educational short videos, twenty years ago. One was a six minute video on an organization that helped students in the schools feed homeless people in Venice beach. The other was a short film on collaborative poetry with 3rd graders on the Rain Forest.

Invisible Children of LA is Maryana’s first professional film.  The short version has won ten international awards. She has always been a peace and justice activist and homelessness has always been her major concern.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

From it’s inception in 1992, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Winners of the grant include recent Emmy Winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs, the award winning narrative feature Cadejo Blanco,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, the acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects funded and made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

Expanding your Brilliant Creativity

Six Creative Tactics for a Using Your Creativity to Thrive and Enjoy a Successful Life

by Carole Dean

In our bi-monthly fiscal sponsorship Film Funding Guidance Class, I share books with our filmmakers that teach the power of our mind.  Currently, we have been studying the number one bestselling book, Mind Power into the 21st Century: Techniques to harness the astonishing powers of thought.

Creativity

Author John Kehoe says that we all possess creativity and it’s our nature to be creative.  From working with so many talented producers and directors, I know that independent filmmakers are the most creative people on the planet!

John writes that unfortunately many of us were told at an early age that we were not creative.  We need to make sure that we overcome any of this type of programming.

Six Creative Tactics for a Successful Life

It’s important for us to realize that all of us are creative. I think we use creativity to get through the day, through the week and through the month.  With all the changes we are living with we need to believe that no matter what happens, we have our creativity to rely on.

John Kehoe gives us six creative tactics for a successful life:

1-Be an Explorer

It’s one thing to be open to new ideas and it’s another thing to actively seek them out. An explorer is forever trying novel and different ways of doing things. They believe that there are new worlds, new options new product, new services and ideas waiting to be discovered.

An explorer is not afraid of the unknown. They believe that success and happiness come not from following others but in finding their own unique way, so they forge ahead always on the lookout.

2-Ask Questions

Yes, question everything. The word question comes from the Latin word QUARERER to seek. John says the creative life is a continued quest.  Asking questions is indispensable to growth. “Don’t take anything for granted, be naïve, question everything” said Buckminster Fuller.  John says to ask questions like these: Why am I living like this? Why am I doing this job? Why am I not exercising? What have I been neglecting? 

I want you to ask: How can I develop my film today? What actors can I attach? Why can’t I get an A list actor? What would that really cost me?  Remember actors want to work.  They like to take parts in good independent films.  Don’t be afraid to ask for who you want. 

I did an Everything You Want to Know on Film Funding Webinar with Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant Winner Lorenzo De Stephano.  He got 2 well-known actors for his short film.  How? Because he believed he could.  He made the effort and convinced Sean Young and Quinton Aaron to come to Los Angeles to shoot his film.  It can be done.

Author Kehoe says don’t censor yourself no matter how impractical or outrageous the question or the answer sounds. This allows for fresh insights to reveal themselves. We are the creatures of habit and fall easily into routines.

He writes that our future depends directly on how well we question and examine our beliefs, actions, values, goals, and way of living.  I think this has a lot of merit especially for us in the film industry.

Too often people decided they can’t have an A-List actor or can’t have an actor that would get them distribution. Please question this.  Ask yourself, why can’t I get the actor I want for this part? Perhaps you need to raise extra money and are worried about this cost. But this decision would allow you to sell your film faster and definitely make more money. 

Think, how can you get a saleable actor? Begin to question these things and do some research.  Why not spend this next week questioning everything and see what happens Maybe you’ll make a breakthrough and find brilliant new ideas for your project?

3-Get Lots of Ideas

Linus Pauling, the Nobel Prize winning chemist said, “if you only have one idea and one solution to the problem, you’re facing then you only have one course of action.”

In a world where flexibility is a requirement, that is risky and I don’t like that.  That’s when I go to my meditation, and I say, “here’s the problem and here’s some solutions. What do you suggest?”

I leave it with my spirit guides.  I let them think about it.  Then I relax and meditate and usually I get the answer within 24 to 48 hours.  The answers the universe gives me are 10 times better than my ideas.

Edward De Bono wrote in his wonderful book, Lateral Thinking to have group meetings in which no negativity is allowed.  Anyone can say anything as crazy as it seems. Then the next person can build on that craziness and when you get through you may have some incredibly brilliant ideas.

The main point is not to stifle each other’s creativity but to enhance it, to build on it, and to expand each other’s ideas and just be kids again.

You may have read my blog on the “mastermind class” where people get together and brainstorm ways to improve situations.  This is what Napoleon Hill teaches in his brilliant book, Think and Grow Rich

This is exactly what the U.S. President does. He has his mastermind group of advisers from the corporate world who come to him monthly. The richest people in the world have their mastermind groups. That is how millionaire Andrew Carnegie made all this money in the steel world. That’s how Henry Ford made all his money, through mastermind groups.

Try creating a mastermind situation with your film crew or your associates. Even if there’s only two of you then you have the beginning for this mastermind meeting on a bi-monthly basis where you can get together and brainstorm. Be creative. Think outside the box just let yourself go. Creativity knows no boundaries and the greatest creativity in our industry comes from those who do something different.

I remember reading an article about John Ford our great director. He told a young cinematographer that when you’re able to put the camera where the horizon is and not in the center of the film you just took your first step to becoming a good director. If you look at Ford’s work, it’s stupendous. He chose some of the most unusual places to put cameras and that is the highlight of his work for me.

I saw a western where he put a camera in the middle of a river because he wanted a master shot of his two stars sitting on the bank of the river talking to each other and the only way to get that scene was to stand in water and shoot it and that’s exactly what he did. It was an incredible scene and it was all one take of about 4 minutes of dialogue.

4-Break Rules

This is what I love about the brilliant filmmaker Werner Herzog.  In the description of one of the classes he taught on documentary filmmaking, he includes lessons on lock picking!  Yes, lock picking is one of the items he teaches

Also, I remember seeing something like faking bureaucratic paperwork.  I’m sure he teaches how to steal shots without getting permits.  He teaches breaking the rules.  

John says sometimes you should consider breaking rules. Because being creative means breaking out of old patterns to create new ones.  Sometimes by experiencing new ways you totally break into a whole new creative place.  

Think about changing things in your daily routine.  Consider, what habits or rules can you break? I know I’ve set a lot of rules for myself.  I must be up at a certain time and I have to do things by the clock.

Perhaps breaking personal rules can get you into a more creative place.  Try breaking some of your rules this week and see how you feel, does it free you?  It’s all for the sake of expanding your creativity!

5-Use Your Imagination!

All of us have brilliant imaginations. Please use this like you did when you were a kid. When you were a kid, anything was possible, you could be anyone and do anything. Don’t let the collective unconscious tell you that you can’t do what you want to do!  Who cares if no one has done this before?  What is it that you want to try?  We need to believe that anything we can conceive, we can achieve.  How is that for a great mantra?  Anything I can conceive, I can achieve!  This is using our mind to create our future.

Here is another idea. Imagine how other people would do it. Think about your favorite director and imagine how he/she would set up that shot.  This could be a lot of fun for you. Also think about the qualities you admire in people. Who do you respect for creative achievement? 

Pick a role model, someone you would like to emulate.  Perhaps Jane Campion, Baz Luhrmann, Orson Wells, Fellini, Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow, or Sophia Coppola.                                                                         

Once you pick a role model, imagine this person is in your position faced with your problem or challenge. Imagine this person in your body because your imagination is not bound by real world constraints.  Let this person be in your body and take over your situation. 

He or she is now able to live your life, what would they do? Let’s say if Orson Welles took over your body and you said “Orson how do I solve this problem?” Just listen for the answer. This is a fun thing to do.

You might want to ask some of our greatest producer’s, actors, writers, directors, important questions. Think about it, they would not be bound by a lot of things that you consider important. They might jump immediately into something unique and unheard of. This process can be valuable to move out of self-imposed restrictions.  

John Kehoe quotes the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and says that Napoleon would choose nine men whose lives and life work had been most important to him like Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, just before going to sleep at night. 

He would close his eyes and see in his imagination this group of men seated with him around his counsel table.  In these meetings Hill said, “here I had not only an opportunity to sit among those who I consider to be great, but I actually dominated the group by serving as chairman.”

Napoleon Hill did say this was all his imagination and the ideas generated through this process were very real and “they led him into glorious paths of adventure and wealth.” This process helped Hill to become a very wealthy man.

And the last creative tactic for a successful life is:

6-Fill the Well

Nurture yourselves. Please take good care of yourself.  Think of how you can treat yourself better.  Are you eating the best food?  Are you taking walks and exercising daily? 

Please realize that fun and diversity are great stimulators for the Muse within.   Give yourself gifts, like flowers, facials, massages, lunch at a new restaurant.   Or even give yourself time to read a great book. Just getting away from filmmaking for a few hours a day can make you more creative.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers the Roy W. Dean Film Grants and fiscal sponsorship for independent filmmakers. She hosts the weekly podcastThe Art of Film Fundinginterviewing those involved in all aspects of indie film productionShe is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits

Don’t Be Afraid to Use your ESP

Some call it instinct, others a gut feeling.  Filmmakers should rely on it to advance their careers

by Carole Dean

ESP

Filmmakers have excellent instincts and need to trust them

I find that driving to and from appointments can be very boring. Because I have lived in Oxnard for years and drive an hour into LA weekly for meetings, I learned that this can be valuable time. I use it to listen to people in our industry.

Currently, I have been listening to former Paramount Pictures executive Robert Evans as he dictates his audiobook entitled “The Kid Stays in the Picture.”

His stories of running Paramount in the late sixties and early seventies are incredible.  While he was head of the studio, the movies they produced include Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Serpico, Chinatown, and many others.  He is a highly talented man, a brilliant writer, and his personal delivery of the information is spellbinding.

One of the things that made him successful as a studio executive is how he trusted his instincts.  One story stood out as an example of how important that is to achieving success.  It told how he changed the life of a movie extra to a star we know and love today.

Just One Smile

Bob put his attention on every phase of filmmaking for all the films made at Paramount. He was in on all the casting, wardrobe, set design, everything!  He was married to Paramount and worked day and night.

The story he tells is about when he was casting the final person for big feature.  Bob had seen scores of people and wasn’t satisfied with anyone he had seen.  The agents finally said, “we found the right person.  This actor is the next James Dean, we think you will love this actor.”

When they showed Bob the scene, it wasn’t the James Dean actor that he liked.  It was an extra in the scene who walked in the door, handed the James Dean actor an envelope, looked at the girl, smiled, then turned around and walked out.

Bob asked who’s the man with the smile?

No one knew who he was. They said, “don’t you like the James Dean character?”

“No” said Bob, “I want to meet the guy with the smile.”

The agents kept coming back to him saying we can’t find him we don’t know who he is.

Bob simply said two words “find him.”

Bring Him to Me

Finally, one of the agents came to Bob and said, OK we know who he is.  Currently he is working for Roger Corman.  He is a writer/actor, and we hear he even does the books for Corman they say he does everything Roger Corman needs.

Right now, he’s in Cannes selling a motorcycle film.

Bob said, “bring him to me when he gets back.” The agent finds the actor and they show up at Bob’s office with the guy with the smile.

Naturally this man’s agent was so thrilled to be in the same room with Bob Evans that the agent kept pitching his client. Bob says he talked for 15 minutes, and he did not understand anything he said.

So, Bob stops the agent and says, “let him talk.  I want to know who he is.”

“Can I Talk to You Alone?”

He said, “I want to know who you are, tell me about yourself.”  Bob listened intently, and he liked the guy and right on the spot he offered him a job in a picture for Paramount.

He offered him $10,000 for the part.  The actor just looked at him and smiled.  Then he said, “please can I talk to you alone?”  Bob walked the actor to the side of the room.  The actor said, “Can you please make that $15,000?  I have an x-wife, a new baby girl and I really need the money.”

Bob said, how is $12,500.00? And the actor said, “You really mean this?  I will never forget it.  I honestly need the cash now.”  Then he broke open with that beautiful smile that Bob loved.

Have You Guessed Who This Is?

Well, it was Jack Nicholson. Jack’s the guy with the smile.  Bob Evans got him a job in his first major motion picture.

Jack Nicholson did a great job on that film.  It was On a Clear Day with Barbara Streisand.  Jack went on to make more films with Bob Evans (one of which was Chinatown!).

Trust Your ESP

The point of the story is that Bob Evans followed his instincts.  Evans was determined to meet Jack as his natural instincts said this man is a good actor, a natural.  You might say it was Evan’s ESP or his psychic feeling or his gut feeling, whatever you call it.

From working with filmmakers every day for many years, I know that filmmakers have excellent instincts.  Bob Evans used his instincts to create his success as a studio executive and create classic films.

I am here to encourage you to use your instincts. Use your ESP.  

Use it for your career, for most decisions and trust it like Bob Evans did.  It will bring you lots of luck and good fortune.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers the Roy W. Dean Film Grants and fiscal sponsorship for independent filmmakers. She hosts the weekly podcastThe Art of Film Fundinginterviewing those involved in all aspects of indie film productionShe is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits