The Art of Manifesting: Creating Your Future – Part 2

By only asking for things for your highest good, you will raise your energy and increase your happiness.

It’s exciting that science is now looking into Eastern spiritual information and practices to understand quantum physics.  It’s a wonderful time to be alive and get to understand the power of our minds. 

Manifesting

The physicists say that you have an electric body. Your mind is electric, your thoughts electric and they are energy.

Many things Carole Dean wrote ten years ago are now proven and understood by physicists.  She wrote “The Art of Manifesting: Creating Your Future” to explain the law of manifestation and outline how to use the law of attraction to accelerate your manifestations. You can turn dreams into reality and this book shows you how.

On The Art of Film Funding Podcast, she discussed with host Claire Papin how filmmakers and others can use the lessons in the book to create their own success.

Are we manifesting daily with our thoughts and if so, just how powerful are they?

The physicists say that you have an electric body. Your mind is electric, your thoughts electric and they are energy. Your thoughts are things, they are alive, they are energy. Plus, we are living in a conscious universe. Our universe, sees everything, records everything and is part of us.

All this is proven. Currently they’re doing PSI (term used to refer to psychic phenomena, experiences, or events) experiments and they are proving so many unusual things that we’ve always been wondering about.  They are researching psychic phoneme, like premonition, when you know something’s going to happen.  Or when you talk to someone on the wind and ask them to contact you and they do. The researchers are finding that these things are natural.  They can reproduce many things we call physic phenome in the lab. If we talked more about these unusual experiences with each other, we would realize that they happen often. 

Dean Radin, head of The Noetic Science Institute has written a brilliant book called The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena where he explains his psi research. It’s amazing how many of these things we think are abnormal are being proven in the laboratory.  He concludes that we are physic and we are all connected to each other. I think we are very powerful beings and we need to recognize our powers and use them.

Are we walking WiFi’s?

We’re constantly sending things out with our thoughts. We are always asking the universe to help us with decisions. Are our thoughts contributing to our futures?  Are we sometimes dreaming things into existence?

Let’s use what physicists say and picture a universe where all around you, every inch of space around you is teaming with energy, energy that is constantly moving and refreshing itself.  It is a constant and exists all around us and incorporates us to the stars and all life on our earth and to all of our galaxy.

To give you an idea of the power of this invisible energy, if you and I were sitting three feet apart, the energy between us would be enough to boil all the oceans on the earth. Now that’s mathematically proven. This energy is called the quantum field.

This field is what connects us. We’re all connected through the quantum field and this field is constantly recording everything that happens, every movement, every sound, every thought. Here we are as electric beings, our hearts are electric, our brains are electric, and we are living in a universe teaming with energy, it too is electric.  And, we are constantly broadcasting our thoughts.

So, let’s pretend that what you’re sending out with your thoughts you are manifesting.  I know this is a big jump, but let’s consider what if.  If you are visualizing your film finished, if you can see yourself at the premier screening where your title comes on the screen, the credits roll and you are experiencing joy, gratitude, happiness, success and achievement as you watch your completed film, is this helping to create it?  That’s the question.

If you change your thoughts to those of success and gratitude daily where you have a vision of your completed film, you know it is sold, and you are profitable, then does this help you?

Why not consider they are for a month. Just pretend that all the thoughts that you send out, will manifest what you want.  Try this for a month and watch how more positive you become.  You will only want to think of harmony, happiness, success and benefit to all.  Then you will begin to see major changes in your life and the lives of those around you.

It all starts with your thoughts. What you’re sending out and what you believe.  By only asking for things for your highest good, you will raise your energy and increase your happiness.

When you come to the realization that you are living in a conscious universe, realizing that it hears your thoughts, it knows what you are doing, it knows what you are thinking, then you will want to carefully chose your thoughts to be of the highest vibration. 

Your thoughts will be for your highest good and for the good of all involved.  Now you are coalescing with the universal mind.  You are co creating with the universe and your wants and needs will be of second of importance to you.  Your first focus will be to achieve where all involved benefit and this will happen.

Tell us more about the law of attraction

According to the mathematician, Rob Solomon, in his article The Mechanics of Reality, Solomon states that “the past is finished, and the future is unformed. Both have no existence in physical reality only the now is real.”  He refers to the quantum field as the “matrix.” Hs states: “The matrix is infinite and exists outside of time. It contains, in an intangible form, every possible instantaneous configuration of physical reality, like a vast archive of film frames. It is pointless to conjecture why this is so.”

He quotes the Russian physicist Vadim Zeland who proposes that: “the matrix also contains information on alternative ways each state could develop overtime if materialized. These possible timelines he calls lifelines and refers to the potential alternative sequences with which events might unfold as scripts. Because the matrix is infinite in principle there is no limit to the scenarios and scripts an individual could potentially experience.”

Solomon says let’s take a hypothetical person and call them Ellie.  “her fixations self-image, strongly held beliefs, (some of which are self-conscious, and which she is not aware of), attitudes and opinions about how she sees her world, be collectively labeled as her “mindset.”

Where the conscious mind does not access the matrix directly, its conclusions, convictions, and strongly held beliefs can as long as they impact the subconscious mind, by possessing a powerful emotional content.”

I believe this is an important key to manifesting.  Emotions are the way to manifest your dreams to fruition. Sending feeling with emotions along with visualization of the desire you want is what produces the event. And to live as if you have what you want is what makes it happen quicker.

“The usual analogy is that our mind set acts like a radio. Ellie’s mindset “tunes in” to the corresponding region of the matrix, and lights it up. The matrix then delivers the circumstances held in the lit-up region to Ellie’s physical experience. Although there is always a time delay. Belief and expectation are important factors to the success.

If Ellie performs physical action as if her intention had already been achieved this can have a powerful impact on her belief and the realization of her intention. Action can also reinforce the following factors which can be brought under Ellie’s control and which powerfully impact the matrix, even independently of action: intention, commitment, determination, focus, emotion, excitement, enthusiasm, passion and imagination. As we now know only the present instant is real.

The only power Ellie has is to intend and form the future, preferably with excitement and enthusiasm, by behaving as if her intentions have already been achieved in the here and now. This will cause the reality film to roll in the direction that points to her desired frame in the matrix. So that by the time the future arrives– by becoming the present—- it delivers what she desires.” 

“In applying the law of attraction to achieve some desire, we should visualize, and meditate upon our desire with the excitement and feeling that it has already been achieved, with a strong sense of the present. Only the present instant is real, and it is only in the now that we have the power. We should not even imagine ourselves projected into the future with our desires fulfilled, because the future does not exist. Most importantly we should not entertain thoughts about how intentions are quote going to happen. That places desire squarely in the future and the matrix will respond by reflecting back an endless state of going to happen–one day!

Instead picture our desires fulfilled in the here and now the associated excitement and feeling will then steer the analogous matrix film strip towards a frame where our intentions have indeed been achieved. These will emerge into objective reality at the appropriate time.

Actions also, as far as possible, should be preformed as if the intention has already been achieved.  Pay no attention to the facts, existing circumstances, contingencies, or to the seemingly necessary Ways and Means. And disregard all limiting factors, be they inadequate funds, poor health etc. Dismiss probabilities, possibilities, and seeming likelihoods as irrelevant. Even business theories and practices of the material world have absolutely no place where the law of attraction is being invoked. “

I think Mr. Solomon has given us a clear, concise way to manifest and I highly recommend it.

Using “The Conscious Universe” to Fund Your Film

How Knowing That We Are All Connected Will Improve Your Chances of Making Your Film

By Carole Dean

Every other Saturday morning at 10am, From the Heart Productions conducts a Film Funding Guidance Class for our fiscally sponsored filmmakers. As the class title suggests, the purpose of our meeting is to keep filmmakers on track to raise money for their films.  We offer them some very unique advice and lessons. 

There are not only suggestions for improving loglines and creating a great pitch, but we work to keep them inspired and motivated.  Because it’s not just important for them to know how to increase donations.  They need to believe in themselves that they can do it.

conscious universe

We are all connected to each other.  We are living in a conscious universe that hears our thoughts, knows our mind, knows what is in our hearts. 

I open the class by discussing the work of one my favorite authors that highlights how using the power your mind can create your success.  Then, Brieanne Pryse, a natural healer and intuitive contributes her insightful comments.  Carole Joyce, the Director of the Roy Dean Grants offers ways to keep moving your film forward. She is followed by Jason Smith, writer/director/producer of the award-winning documentary I Voted? who takes questions from our filmmakers.  We close the class with a filmmaker pitching us their project and getting feedback. 

(You should join us some Saturday morning if you are one of our fiscally sponsored filmmakers, we created this class just for you.)

In the last class, I dove into The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena by Dean Radin. It is a great example of what we teach here at From the Heart Productions.  

I want to share with you an excerpt from the class as the information in it is important to all filmmakers trying to get their films financed and finished. 

Notes from Dean Radin’s brilliant mind

We are starting with the section on new metaphysics. This is Willis Harmon’s proposed wholeness science with the basic assumption that the universe is a single whole within which every part is intimately connected to every other part.

He writes that “The entire spectrum of states of consciousness, including religious experiences and mystical states, has been at the heart of all cultures. These states of consciousness may be an important investigative tool, a window to other dimensions of reality.

“The question is not; how can we explain telepathy? but rather, how can we explain why our minds are not cluttered by all that information in other people’s minds?

We need to think, not how can we explain this psychokinesis? But rather, how can we understand why our minds have such a limited effect in the physical world.”

We are all connected, to each other, to the stars, to the universe

“Human beings are part of the whole and there is no justification for assuming that drives such as survival, belongingness, achievement, and self-actualization or not also characteristics of the whole.

Similarly, since we experience purpose and values, there is no justification for assuming that these are not also characteristics of the whole. The universe may be genuinely and not just apparently, purposeful and goal oriented.”

I like this concept Mr. Harmon proposes because it tells us we have been doing the right thing all these years by setting goals and focusing on achieve them. We create our to do list and are daily working on it.

This also supports our daily visualizing our positive results.  Now our understanding that achieving success is interconnected with the universe which is even more empowering. Plus, realizing that the universe hears and supports us and perhaps actually helps make things happen.  This is excellent news for goal- oriented people like filmmakers.

I am sure you have found that sometimes when you were not able to achieve your goal, that too was part of the plan of the universe. Have you ever found that the times you did not get your desired goal was because it would have brought you problems or it was taking you off your path?

I bet you always found that not getting a goal was sometimes for your better good.  I know I have.  I always say the universe knows more than I do and if I don’t get this, I will understand that what I want is not for my highest good.

Metaphysics is shifting towards a mystical worldview

Dean Radin says that “Harmon’s information reveals the new metaphysics is shifting towards a mystical worldview.  Some scientists will be suspicious of this interpretation, and yet what else are we to make of the writings of Nobel laureate physicist Erwin Schrodinger who says: I have no hesitation in declaring quite bluntly that the acceptance of a really existing material world, as the explanation of the fact that we all find in the end that we are empirically in the same environment, this becomes mystical and metaphysical.”

Dean continues, “Some of the suspicions that scientist have about the concept of the mystical almost certainly derive from its close association with religious doctrine. But that is not what Schrodinger, Einstein, James, and dozens of other eminent scientists meant. They were talking about the nature and experience of interconnectedness.”

This takes us back to astronaut Edgar Mitchell and his Epiphany when he was returning home from Apollo 14 and he felt that “moment of connection” to all the stars in the universe, to all the people, to all life on the planet, to space its self and he immediately knew that we are all connected.

We need to thank Edgar for being bold enough to admit what happened to him.  He spent the rest of his life working with physicists to prove that we are connected. Dean Raiden is running the company that Edgar Mitchell started, The Institute of Noetic Sciences.  Dean has spent most of his life working with psychic phenomena which has been beneficial to all of us. He is working at the forefront of science in understanding our interconnectedness.

I think this information is most important to all of us.  For example, when you are in a meeting and start to pitch someone about your film with the intent on getting funding or production benefits, I want you to realize that you’re already connected to this person.

The Conscious Universe is connected by the Quantum Field which records everything

That’s what this book, The Conscious Universe, is teaching us, we are all connected to each other.  We are living in a conscious universe that hears our thoughts, knows our mind, knows what is in our hearts. 

So, please, keep this in your mind when you’re creating your pitch. Perhaps you don’t look at someone as a wealthy person or as the acquisition’s manager.  Perhaps you see them as another being on the same path as you with their own set of hopes, goals and dreams just like you. Perhaps you think of them as a mirror of yourself. Would this be a good move for them?  Is so, why?  Work, create, live knowing that we are all connected.  You are not separate; you are part of the whole and so is this person.  What is best for both of you?

Find what you feel are the most important parts of your film and outline what is extraordinary about your film.  What is the real essence of your film that this person will understand?  Tell them how it benefits society and share this information with great pride and sincerity from your heart of hearts.  Make it personal.  You are speaking to another human on a journey with goals just like you.

Live with the knowing that you will find the right person to fund your film and in fact you’ll probably find many people who will fund your film. You want to relax in the knowledge that “We are all connected.”

Dean goes on to say “Underlying the isolated world of ordinary objects and human experience is another reality, an interconnected world of intermingling relationships and possibilities.

This underlying reality is more fundamental in the sense of being the ground state from which everything originates.”

We are constantly sending and receiving information

Dean share the following: “The Buddha compared the universe to a vast net woven of countless varieties of brilliant jewels, each with a countless number of facets. Each jewel reflects in itself every other jewel in the net and is, in fact, one with every other jewel. Everything is inexplicably interrelated. We come to realize that we are responsible for everything we do, say, or think, responsible in fact for ourselves, everyone and everything else, and the entire universe.

“We are those jewels, each of us reflects out to others who reflect back to us and we are all in this net together.  We are not separate; we are all inner connected.

“The deep interconnectedness revealed by modern science and described in ancient doctrine suggest a racially connected network of physical variables interacting like a shimmering weavers loom as both modern physics and ancient Buddhist doctrine suggest, deep interconnectedness embraces everything, unbound by the usual limitations of time and space.  Sir James Gene said the universe begins to look more like a great thought then like a great machine.”

Dean goes on to say that, “the information about deep interconnectedness brings up the possibility that mind and matter in our action may have been misconceived. That we’re probably not dealing with interaction between two dissimilar entities but with the single phenomenon. Meaning then when we set a goal and focus on it that action is part of who we are and fully accepted by the universe because the universe is goal oriented we are goal oriented so when we visualize what we want it’s a natural thing to do, the universe is part of us and hears our thoughts and knows our hearts.  Perhaps even, that mind can cause matter to conform to mind’s vision.

Are we Co-creators of our future?

Perhaps we are creating our future on a daily basis.  This is what the physicists are telling us. I’m looking for everything I can find to support these statements so that all of us feel comfortable when we set goals and create our to do list.  When we achieve our success, perhaps the universe celebrates with us!  Perhaps it is as happy for us as we are for reaching our goal.  Wouldn’t that be nice to envision?

Science is inferring that the universe is goal oriented.  So, when we’re asking for something that is a natural expansion for us, something that takes us to our goal, then the universe sees and acknowledges this.  When we are working with the universe things should come to us as a natural event.  That is a given, we should be supported. 

Let’s use this information and start realizing that this is who we are, this is how the world works.  The scientists are trying to tell us this, in fact some of these men are spending their whole lives trying to prove that psychic experiences are natural, and we are the ones that are saying … really?  Well, I’m not so sure.

I am suggesting that we jump on board and say, “OK I can play this game, so, let’s give it a try. I’m going to interact with the universe, show them what I want, then make every effort to receive it and then relish in the delight of my success.”

 

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 productionHer new class “How to Fund Your Film” is available on Vimeo on Demand.  She is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits.

 

Finalists Chosen for First Roy. W. Dean Film Grant of 2020

22 Films Selected for Grant Valued at $30K

Celebrating its 28th year, the Roy W. Dean Film Grants are awarded to films that are unique and make a contribution to society.  Awarded 3 times each year, From The Heart Productions, the nonprofit which offers the grant, announced the finalists for their Spring grant.  The winner will receive $3,500 cash and thousands more in donated production services from film industry professionals and companies.

“We were truly fortunate to have received so many outstanding submissions from around the world.” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “We got applications from Estonia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada and Argentina just to name a few.”

The Roy W. Dean Film Grant is open to documentary films, feature films, web series, and short films or a combination.  It is open to filmmakers internationally for films with a budget of under $500,000. The grant is an essential lifeline for filmmakers wishing to finish their films which can often take years.

Unique to the Roy W. Dean Film Grant is all applicants are offered 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 August.

The grant finalists are:

 

Title Type Filmmaker 
Ginga Short Film Or Schraiber
The Chemical Factory Documentary Andrew Leung
Good Time Fela Short Film Adomako Aman
Live Bum Documentary Beau Sylte
Chaperone Feature Film Zoe Eisenberg
26 Seconds Documentary Kelly Galindo
Scrap Feature Film Vivian Kerr
Seaper Powers: In Search of Bleu Jay’s Treasure Feature Film Kim Cameron
Lea’s DIY TV,Web or New Media Lea Furnion
Scared To Debt: America’s Student Loan Scam Documentary Mike Camoin
Fatima Documentary Sourabh Dutta
Hamlet/Horatio Feature Film David Wenzel
The Golden Rule Documentary Stacey Stone
Pomegranate Short Films Molly Evans
Keeper of Time Documentary Michael Culyba
Martha Feature Film Debra McClutchy
Love Me Bait Me Documentary Rachel Ward
Voice of Vanilla Documentary Maureen Maloney
Fandango at the Wall Documentary Afro Latin Jazz Alliance
Tommies Feature Film Ioanna Karavela
A Journey of a Thousand Miles Documentary Zhu Shen
Tuesday Lunch Documentary DIANE STARK

Each of the grant finalists 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  $3,500 in cash provided by From the Heart Productions the winner will also receive $500 in expendables, lighting or grip equipment from Filmtools,  a G-Technology ArmorATD hard drive with case, 30% discount in equipment rental from AbelCine Tech, Inc. NYC, and more from film industry companies and individuals.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Founded in 1992 by Carole Dean, the Roy W. Dean Film Grant seeks films that are unique and make a contribution to society that, without it’s help, might otherwise not get made.  There is a Spring, Summer and Fall Grant.  The Summer Grant is now accepting applications.  Deadline is June 30th

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, and the acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity which is now in distribution showing in theaters around the U.S. and world.

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 completed.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they offer filmmakers fiscal sponsorship which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From the Heart Productions has helped independent filmmakers raise over $10 million through its fiscal sponsorship program.  They also offer Intentional Filmmaking Class which focuses on film funding.  President Carole Dean is the author of the best-selling “ The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts” as well as the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

 

The Art of Manifesting: Creating Your Future – Part One

Film funding really starts in your mind with your faith in yourself and your film

Successful people manifest success. That is a core part of what Carole Dean, president of From the Heart Productions, has been teaching filmmakers for over 3 decades.  It has helped fund a lot of films.  It’s not enough to desire to create a film that audiences applaud or getting that check you desperately need to finish post-production.  You’ve got to have a picture in your mind of yourself in those scenarios.  Feel comfortable in it, feel you deserve it, and it will happen for you.

Art of Manifesting

Do you have a clear vision of yourself and your future? You will need it to manifest your success

Carole Dean wrote “The Art of Manifesting: Creating Your Future” to explain the law of manifestation and outline how to use the law of attraction to accelerate your manifestations. You can turn dreams into reality and this book shows you how.

On The Art of Film Funding Podcast, she discussed with host Claire Papin how filmmakers and others can use the lessons in the book to create their own success.

What prompted you to write the Art of Manifesting, Creating your Future?

I wrote this after traveling the world teaching my book, The Art of Film Funding. I began to realize from listening to filmmakers that the greatest asset they have is their mind.

I made it a point to keep a record of those filmmakers who assured me that their film, “would be funded and finished within a certain time.” I also kept track of some who told me that film funding was “very difficult and they were unsure of themselves.”   I made it a point to connect to these filmmakers and followed up to see what percentage of them finished their film. 

It was an incredibly high percentage. No matter what the subject, no matter what the budget. The fact that they believed they could do it seemed to overcome everything else. And those that said they thought it would be difficult were still looking for funding.

I had nothing in my book to support the power of your mind. I had intended to encourage people that their mind was powerful but did not focus on what is the most important asset filmmakers have, their faith.  Your belief in yourself and your belief in the completion of your film is paramount to production and funding.

The information in my “The Art of Film Funding” as well as my new book “How to Fund Your Film” must be accompanied by how to use your mind to fund your film.

I taught in South Africa, in New Zealand and all over America and I had so much fun, but the more I taught the funding book, the more it became clear that was only half of it. The real important side of film funding starts in your head. It’s all about what you think because “you are the magic.” You are what makes the film. And if you feel you cannot do it, that If you have the slightest feeling of discomfort, or if you lack confidence, this can impede your process.

Film funding really starts in your mind with your faith in yourself and your film.  It’s the most important part of funding.  As you might imagine filmmakers pitch me constantly for the film grant and to become sponsored by From the Heart. I can tell when someone calls to introduce themselves and their film if they’ve got the faith to fund their film or not. It is in their voice. It’s in their pitch, it’s in their paperwork and it is in their trailer.

Filmmakers need to be totally determined and fixed in the knowledge that their film is funded.  Their pitch to me must have that confidence.  All of us want to feel that the filmmaker can fund the film without us.  Your job is to make us feel that you are determined to make this film and that no one will stop you. That’s the level of confidence that you need to fund your film.

What does manifesting mean?

The Miriam Webster dictionary says:

Manifesting: apparent to the senses, especially to the sight, apparent, distinctly perceived, hence obvious to the understanding, apparent to the mind, easily apprehensible, plain, not obscure or hidden.

In other words, you can’t say to the universe one day, okay, I am making a feature film and this is my plan, and then the next day I say, well, you know, I’m not sure if I want to make that film. I think I might make a documentary. You need to clearly define what you want to manifest.

This is the most important part of manifesting. It goes back to the definition, “evident to the senses.” You need to feel it, see it, know it, believe it. All the senses are involved.

You want to be able to talk about your film as if it is a fait accompli. This comes through your voice as someone who is most confident. Your body language must be very positive, this comes from your mind, you know that you can make and fund this film and you carry yourself with great confidence.

As for vision, you need to be able to see the completed film. You need to know what you want the film to look like so that you can describe it.  Funders, grantors, donors and crew members want to know your vision of the film.

It’s best to think about what you want, make a commitment to yourself and the universe and say, okay, this is it. I’ve found what I want. Now you start manifesting. Now you start creating the vision, you have clarity on what you want to create. 

To manifest you set goals, short and longer term, like a three-month goal, then a six months goal, etcetera, and start moving forward. That’s how you make it happen.  (Goal setting is fully explained here: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/film-funding-guidance-class/)

From the beginning, knowing what you want, and starting out on a strong foundation with clarity and vision. That’s how you manifest because you are manifesting every day with your mind. Think about this, often, at night, when you go to bed, you say, tomorrow at 8am I am on conference call, my goal is to close this investor, you go over the next day, you visualize it and then the next day you manifest your plan.

When you go back and look at the physics of how things in this universe work, we are the magic. We are what stops a particle.

They say particles are never at rest. They’re always moving even at zero-degree temperature. When a human looks at a particle, they can stop it. Now how does that work? I think it is because we are the magic. We are the power.

Understand the power of your mind and realize how powerful you are so that you can use that power to make your film. Your belief and faith in yourself are the most important part of filmmaking. To believe and have this confidence and have a clear vision of your finished film is how you manifest.

Why do you say that artists need to know the market for their films early in production?

Let’s say if you were going to drive from LA to New York, the first thing you do is to create a route to get to your destination.  You would not get in a car and start driving not knowing where you were going.

Your destination is the most important thing. Too many filmmakers start out to make a film and they’re not sure where they can sell their film. They’re not sure where it’s going to be screened or shown or what the distribution would be. They don’t have a destination in mind.

And you need to identify your audience at the beginning of production.  And don’t say “everyone” will love this film.  We want to know specifically who your audience is.  Give us a composite of the person who represents your audience.  Where do they hang out?  What clubs and what organizations online do they belong to?  How do they get their news?  NY Times or Buzz Feed?

You want to identify and connect to your audience because these people will fund you and they will buy your download. Once you Identify your audience then you can connect to organizations where there are more people interested in the same content as your film.

You need to connect to these people, attach them to your mailing list and keep them informed on the progress of your film. This is how you expand your database of contacts. Your contacts in film production are the lifeblood of funding and marketing your film. This is your audience.

Once you identify the audience then you can ask, “who would be interested in buying the film? Where, which channel? Which cable station, which streamer? Which one of these places would want to buy my film? You need that destination.

Downloading is going to be even more prominent in the future because of Covid-19. We may not have as many theaters when they reopen, we may have a smaller number, and they will be dominated by the major distributors. Now, more than ever, filmmakers need to have the knowledge of how and where to distribute their film. 

It’s times like this, during a crisis, that your creativity can soar, and you can find new ways of distributing your film and end up making more money than you would have before Covid 19. Look at this as “a shake up of the old way” and you become an innovator for the new ways to distribute your work.

You book says you must have relentless faith to manifest, we want to know why.

Faith is one of the great keys to a successful life and I am sure it’s the greatest key to filmmaking. Faith in yourself, faith in your film, faith in the knowledge that universe will support you to raise the funds to make the film. If you read one of my favorite parts of the Bible, Matthew 17:20, it says:

For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

I don’t expect you to move the mountain, just move the Hollywood sign a bit.

 

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 production. Her new class “How to Fund Your Film” is available on Vimeo on Demand.  She is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits.

 

Covid-19 Filmmaking: Answers on Legal Issues Facing Filmmakers

Entertainment lawyer Robert L. Seigel on the need to review contracts, what to expect from insurance companies, and the what the future will look like for film production

by Carole Dean

Robert L. Seigel, Esq. is a brilliant film entertainment lawyer.  He has been helping and supporting filmmakers for over thirty years and is a donor for our Roy W. Dean Grant.  His expertise has helped many filmmakers beginning with production through negotiating successful distribution contracts.  

Covid-19 Filmmaking

I interviewed Robert and asked him to share some of his wisdom on where the film industry is going with the new coronavirus restrictions.

Robert, many standard contracts have what is called “boiler plate.” Should all these contracts be reviewed and modified under the threat of the new Coronavirus situation?

We have a couple of issues. One issue is regarding productions that were pre-virus and then we have post virus.

To give you an example, I have a client with a production where we had four days left and eventually the two leads and their representatives just didn’t feel comfortable continuing. So, he had to stop production. And then we were reworking their contracts saying that they’ll pick up subject to professional availability and good faith negotiation.  We thought that was a reasonable way of doing it.

Then, we got this bizarre letter from SAG-AFTRA that was stating, “For the first three weeks after the interruption, you pay people half their salaries and then you pay them the full salaries until it’s over.”  We don’t know when it’s going to be over. If we keep paying them, we’ll pay them more money than the budget probably.

So, the producers contacted SAG-AFTRA and said, “That’s not going to work. We would continue working when everyone is comfortable, and when that is, we don’t know.  Basically, we would try to schedule and just finish the shoot.”

That’s just the most reasonable way of doing it at the moment. Then SAG-AFTRA said, “We have to give some thought and we have to come back to you.”  We are waiting to hear from them before we can finish revising the agreements. That’s a very concrete example.

Will insurance cover the cost of the shut down for the virus?

Going forward, I think all insurance companies are going to say that the Corona virus or things like that are not going to be covered in most production insurance policies.

You might think something like shutting a film down would be covered by many insurance policies for independent productions. Well, no, not really because most insurance, especially for independent productions, is bare bones. You have workman’s comp to protect people who work on the project for usual injuries.  And then you have property damage and other basic types of insurance.

But something like coronavirus, which is not foreseeable, a lot of insurance companies are not going to pay off because it’ll be listed among a list of exclusions.

People say, “Oh, it’s business interruption.” Well an example of business interruption is when a theater on Broadway is shut down by New York  because you’re not an essential business. That’s business interruption of production. And you know what, you can calculate that by the attendance on the average for a Broadway theater or even a movie theater. But, for a production, you don’t know how well financially the production is going to do.

It’s just too speculative in nature.  That’s the issue.

Insurance companies will cover if you have a fire or a typhoon or, or some kind of “act of God” like lightning or an earthquake. Now you have basically a lot of arts organizations and other companies all trying to put claims in and they’re all getting bounced back because the insurance companies are saying, “If we pay everybody, we’re going to go bankrupt.” And we are saying, “All these years you’ve been issuing policies and we have been paying premiums and now something like this happens and you’re saying ’You’re not going to pay?’”

They’re actually going to court. The problem is most people really can’t afford to go up against insurance companies in order to get payout and the question is, what is the payout going to be? It could be a hundred thousand dollars; it could be millions.

I just read a story about The New York Metropolitan Opera. It didn’t have any provision like this because it was cost prohibitive. And that was the case with a lot of these small film productions. They weren’t going to cover all the possibilities. I remember after 9/11, there was anti-terrorist insurance, but later they said eventually it became something that was a risk of doing business.

What can we expect to see in the film industry going forward?

I think for productions, especially narratives, there will be a waiver of liability. You’re going to have fewer crowd scenes and only after a period of time when there is more testing or possibly a vaccine. And that’s a whole separate issue. There will be these waivers saying that there is density and there is the possibility of contracting something like the Corona virus and you assume the risk in order to take the job.

What producers, networks and studios are going to say is “If you don’t sign this, then you don’t work. Life is a risk.” There is something to be said for that. Basically, there will be some kind of waiver in all of these provisions. And I think in terms of casting a crew, at the moment there aren’t any really any laws. You have OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration with basic guidelines for any industry, not just film.

I think what the studios and the networks are going to do is they’re conventionally going to put together a series of protocols in order to move forward, such as limiting the crew.  Shooting as much in house, not on location, but using studio facilities and separating out into groups. people possibly will be quarantined for certain period before they can come onto sets. Maybe they will have their temperature taken and/or they are going to be giving rapid response tests.  Now we have such an issue now with testing that this is something that is going to have to really get much, much better before it’s doable.

In Europe where film and theaters are starting to open, theaters are saying people in rehearsals must be at least three feet away, not even six feet. And if they’re close, they must wear a mask. How do you rehearse? How do you do shows with people wearing masks? I think a lot of people are going to basically in the case of symptoms of fever with  live actors and directors, they may just say, “we may have to wait until there is more extensive testing or there’s a vaccine.” It will be January, maybe later than that before we may have all we need, now it is undetermined, it is unknown territory.

Tell us the meaning of force majeure in contracts.

The idea of force majeure is an interesting situation because sometimes it’s better to have a very broad force majeure and sometimes it is better to have a very narrow one. The wording for force measure is going to be redefined to talk about foreseeable and unforeseeable.

The idea with force majeure is that is that it’s an excuse for when or if you can’t perform so you won’t be held in breach or if someone else doesn’t perform so they won’t be held in breach. It’s a defense against claims of breach of contract. That’s what force majeure, is. It’s not necessarily a kind of a golden ticket in order to get money from an insurance company.

Here is an example.

If an actor  doesn’t want to act, producers and insurers are  going to say that’s not force majeure because they’re concerned about their health.  When the state shuts down production because it’s not an essential business, then that’s something that could be considered either a business interruption or possibly a force majeure, because it’s something that’s out of producer’s control as the state is basically shutting you down.

That’s the argument whether the insurance company is going to agree to it given the fact that if the insurance company pays one policy it will have to pay a lot of claims, and they say we’re going to go bankrupt.

What will happen to the window for theatrical release?

The experience of going to a movie theater is unique and special, especially for certain types of films such as science fiction, blockbusters, the superhero films and comedies. However, the idea of opening a theater with 25% capacity limitations, is it worth it?

I mean, that’s a question restaurants need to deal with too. Is it worth opening up when you can only seat a limited amount of people? This is a question that goes beyond just the theaters. Companies such as AMC, for example, are talking about filing for bankruptcy.  The AMC chains find during the week fewer people come the weekend and they don’t have a packed weekend audience, are the theaters going to survive?  

But, if we take a step back, then realize that attendance was really going down. We have a whole generation of people that watch things just on phones, TVs and computers screens. Basically, this audience uses streaming services. When movie theaters do open, they must deal with reduced capacity.  How well that will work? I don’t know.

The new releases are now available on Amazon for $19.95 to stream it at home. if you have a family of four that’s very reasonable, so perhaps the streamers will be the new initial release window and not the theaters for many films.

Going forward what should we expect?

Basically, filmmakers have got to really sit down with their attorneys before they start shooting to get clear on how to issue their contracts, how to write their contracts or change their contracts. They need to consider how to hire people and what conditions to put together on the set.

It’s really the set conditions. Certain items may not appear necessarily in a contract, but there will be  a kind of a protocol that producers will use because of business concerns and liability.

And what’s been interesting is in the trades, like in Deadline and Indiewire, there have been a series of articles about reopening and they’ve had different producers giving their tentative plans for how they will move forward for productions. And some of them are really detailed. They started naming some of the elements in terms of cast and crew size and sanitizing and basically no more buffets, you need food that’s pre-wrapped, having doors that are without handles, ones that push open. I mean it’s getting really complicated.

The Florida film commission does have a very good website where they have a series of trade articles, from the trade publications concerning going back into production. There is a large amount of homework that’s involved.

There’s an article that has to do with how the Europeans are handling COVID-19. And Sweden says the maximum number of people allowed is 50, which is a good number because in the US it can’t be more than 10 or 20 on set depending on the state. The restrictions in the US are how to handle interior shots that deal with maintaining social distance.

I think you’re not going to see many projects with multiple performers on screen. You may see people shooting one actor at a time and then maybe editing them into one scene in a two shot or limiting the number of actors in the frame. How do you shoot a two shot with social distancing? When the testing has been hopefully perfected, maybe they’ll be a certain comfort level so they can have two shots or three actors in a scene.  Again, this is speculation for the moment.

Mediamakers are using zoom for production meetings, so development is doable. Post-production is somewhat doable because it can be done remotely as well as distribution especially online. Production will be small crews with safety protocols, getting waivers of liability and things will take longer and cost more. You now need to buy sanitizers and packed lunches and your production schedule is going to be stretched out because you may have to do it in shifts to prevent crowd density.

Tell us about waivers of liability.

As I stated before, I believe there will be waivers of liability that would protect production if someone gets ill during the shoot so that they could not sue the production. That’s the idea of a waiver of liability. You’re taking a risk when you put people on the set.  To minimize your risk, you need to put protocols in place.  

People will say I’m taking a risk just getting on the set, so what are you doing to help  me be more safe and secure? What protocols are you putting in place to minimize my risk? Without this the actors may not show up. Then the next question is, will the audience in the theaters show up? There’s a lot of unknown territory at this point. For mediamakers, it’s trying to spot the issues, create protocols and get waivers of liability.

So, until there is more information, this is a work in progress, which is to be continued.

 

Robert L. Seigel can be reached at rlsentlaw@aol.com   From the Heart Productions highly recommends him.

 

How Donors to Fiscally Sponsored Films Benefit from Covid-19 CARES Act

In Creating the CARES Act, Congress Gave Everyone the Opportunity to Be a Little More Charitable

by Richard Kaufman – Guest Contributor

In crafting a response to the disastrous economic impact caused by the Covid-19 crisis, Congress created the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (known as the CARES Act).  Most of us are familiar now with its Emergency Small Business Loans, Paycheck Protection Program, and disaster loans.  (And most of us who applied for those are familiar with not getting a response to our applications)

Did you know the CARES Act also boosted tax incentives for charitable giving? 

CARES Act

Congress realized that the crashing economy needed help beyond what they could provide.  While millions have been thrown out of work, many others are still getting a paycheck working from home or at essential businesses.  And, there are others who need not worry about working.  So, they created a perk to get them to donate to charities.

The New Benefit for Donors

While charitable giving comes from the heart, there have always been tax incentives to encourage donations.  Recent changes in the tax law have made it more difficult to get a deduction for giving.  

Under the current tax law, if you itemize on your tax return, you can deduct donations to registered charities up to 60% of your adjusted gross income.  Most people, however, don’t itemize and claim the standard deduction.  Those who do this can’t deduct charitable contributions they make during the year.

But, now, as explained by in NPQ (Non-Profit Quarterly), the rules have changed temporarily under the CARES Act providing several benefits:

The stimulus bill also contains a one-time, above-the-line deduction for cash contributions of up to $300 made to certain qualifying charities. All taxpayers would be eligible to take the deduction, even people who use the standard deduction. The incentive applies to contributions made in 2020 and would be claimed on tax forms next year.

So, anyone, even if they itemize, can deduct up to $300 in charitable giving.

For the eight percent of individual taxpayers who itemize their deductions, the bill would suspend for 2020 the normal limit on deductions for contributions, ordinarily 50 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) or 60 percent for cash.

This means that charitable contributions equaling up to 100% of your adjusted gross income are now deductible on your 2020 tax return if you itemize on it.

Of course, most people can’t afford to donate 100% of their income.  But those HNI’s (high net worth individuals) will now have greater reason to part with their savings in order to help good causes.

Finally, corporate donation limits were raised as well. 

For corporations, the limit on deductions for contributions, ordinarily 10 percent of AGI, is elevated to 25 percent for 2020.

What the CARES Act Means for Fiscally Sponsored Filmmakers

Having your film fiscally sponsored means your project has been accepted by a 501(c)3 non-profit, like From the Heart Productions, into their fiscal sponsorship program.  This allows those making donations to those films to get tax deductions for their donations. Just like they would for other donations to any other charitable foundations.

And, under this new bill, donors can give more, get larger deductions, and get deductions where previously one had not been possible.   This will make it easier for these filmmakers to continue to get funding and get funded faster.

Why Donate to a Fiscally Sponsored Film?

Films that are fiscally sponsored must fall under the mission statement of the non-profit under which they fundraise.  For films fiscally sponsored by From the Heart Productions, these are films that are unique and make a contribution to society.  They are important, life-changing films, by filmmakers with a passion for their work. 

As Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions, says “Film is one of the most important art forms and it takes the longest to create.”  These independent films take years to produce from conception, through pre-production, to finished product.  A gap in their funding might mean some filmmakers would need to give up their projects.  Especially, when they are under the weight of having to make a living right now as well.

What Fiscally Sponsored Filmmakers Should Do Right Now?

Make these changes in the tax law known to your potential investors.  Include it in your pitch and on your crowdfunding pages. 

Focus on going after large companies and wealthy individuals in 2020.  This offer by the government for these new tax deductions is good for this year only. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to make the most of it

3 Expert Tips on How to Fund Your Film

Carole Dean, author of “The Art of Film Funding”, discusses her new class “How to Fund Your Film”.  Why you need a believable budget, a killer script, and a plan to capture HNI’s.

Carole Dean’s passion and mission is teaching film funding.  She found her love and calling after creating her revolutionary first business. Beginning buying left over film from studios in the 1970’s, she sold it to filmmakers at discount helping spur an explosion in independent films. Getting to know her clients, she saw how difficult it was for them to get funding. They were artists and dreamers and not savvy in raising money from investors.  So many great films, filled with incredible life-changing stories, from talented producers and directors, were going unmade and it made her mad.

 

Expert Tips on How to Fund Your Film

Carole Dean’s new class “How to Fund Your Film” is available now on Vimeo.  You can save $10 off the price until May 31st by using the code GetFunded. 

 

In 1993, she founded and is president of From the Heart Productions, a non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers find money for their films.  The organization offers film grants, film funding classes, and fiscal sponsorship for filmmakers.  Since its creation, Carole has helped guide filmmakers to raise nearly $30 million for their projects.  In 2012, she authored the best-selling “The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts”.  

Her new video class, “How to Fund Your Film”, has just been released and is now available on Vimeo on Demand. In it, Carole has created a detailed, informative, and fun course for filmmakers that lays out a step-by-step plan for funding their film.

On The Art of Film Funding Podcast, Carole previewed her new class with host Claire Papin.  

Why Did You Create the How to Fund Your Film Class?

I give a lot of consultations to filmmakers. I am lucky, I love what I do. I have the greatest job in the whole world. I get to talk to filmmakers who want advice on film funding.

And one day I hung up the phone from a consultation where the woman was very pleased with what we created together. It’s always a two-way street. It’s bouncing ideas and my sharing the knowledge.  I began to realize that I have a lot of information. You know, sometimes you get used to it, but this filmmaker was shocked at the knowledge I shared.

And I thought, I really have got to get all this down. I have so many stories to tell about people who were successful by doing unique and unusual things. So, I decided to start taking all of the notes that I give to filmmakers and putting them together so I could create a new book. It really started out to help save me time. But then I realized, that there’s a lot to learn I ended up with a three hour class!

Which is the Blink of An Eye Compared to How it Takes to Make a Film

The sad news is, it’s an average six years for someone to make a documentary plus two more for marketing and distribution. So, if you knew going into a film as a documentary that it was going to take you eight years, you might think twice.

My job is to help you make it a lot faster.  I want you to know where the pitfalls are and where to put your focus. And that’s what I put in this book. The idea would be that you get finished faster.  Then, for features, it can take from 3 to 5 years and of course that’s all about finding the money.

I spent a lot of time on finding money in the class for feature makers as well as for documentaries or shorts or webisodes. It’s all the same thing. It’s raising money for your art.

Where is the Power Point?

It is on Vimeo and from the current sales I find what people do is they will watch about 20 minutes and then they’ll come back and do another 20 minutes. It is in sections to let them do as much as they want at a time. It’s all created for filmmakers with current filmmaker’s success stories.

How to Fund Your Film Has 14 Sections?

You may remember Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland said, where, where do we begin? And they said, Oh, you start at the very beginning and you’re going until the very end.

So, the very beginning of the class is when you say:  I want to make a film and it goes until the end where you have lots of information on funding, marketing and selling yourself and your film.

You Begin with Stressing the Importance of Finding the Time to Create a Film

Where will you find the time to make a film? That’s what I want you to ask yourself first.  Are you willing to put in 15 to 20 hours a week?

Because most filmmakers have a job, a usually a full time or two half time jobs and then they have their family. They have to their health. They have to take care of their health and exercise, meditate. And now you have your precious film that you want to bring into that world.

You have to make some major decisions on where to find the time. In the very beginning, we cover how to schedule your time, how to find it, what to give up. I give you suggestions, but you make the decisions.  You really want to make a commitment to creating your film.

And You Need to Make Time for All Your Rewrites

That’s the most important thing about writing. My friend Jeff, who runs The Writers Bootcamp says, when you’re finished with your script, well congratulations, but you are only 7% finished because now you have the rewrites.

I helped one man with a mystery, a thriller film, and I read 52 revisions of his script. He was very successful, he raised the money, he made his film, he won awards for it. So, it takes a total amount of focus.

You have no idea how many times you’re going to have to rewrite your script. That’s for a feature for a documentary it’s such an organic piece that you’re always rewriting it because as soon as you turn on your camera, the film takes off and it often goes in a new direction.

You Mention in Your Class a Very Clever Method to Getting a Great Final Script

I want to see a script that is a dynamite script because a good script will not make a good film. It has to be a dynamite script.

So, when you finish that script, get some coverage, get people, not your friends or family. Don’t send it to anyone you know.  Send it to a professional reader for coverage.

You can find them on Craig’s list. Please, get some honest feedback and you have to continue to do that until you really have a strong, incredibly good script because your whole future depends on the power of that script.

And it is the same with the documentary. I say put some passionate in your proposal. Because when we are judging films, we’re sitting here, reading one proposal after another for the grant.  When we hit one with passion, we jump out of our seats with joy and want to share with the rest of the judges. I want passion that jumps off the page.

You Give Advice on Why Filmmakers Need a Believable Budget

Oh my gosh, yes. That’s when everybody freaks out, but the whole secret is that it must be believable. You want a believable budget.

And for the grant I get a lot of budgets that are even numbers and I know they’re guesstimates and I will accept them, but I don’t know about other grantors. I think that for your own self being and the peace of mind, you really need to know what your budget is.

And You Tell Them How to Get One

So, I have put in How to Fund Your Film Class people to call people that are donors to our Roy W. Dean Grants. I recommended David Raiklen for music,  Sam Dlugach for color, Jerry Deaton for sound and more people for the New York area.

These people are exceptionally talented, and their prices are reasonable. And they love documentary filmmakers and independent filmmakers.  Especially ones that come through From the Heart Productions.  

And that’s what you want, is you want someone who will love your film and take on the same passion you have for it.  And that I’ve seen that happen with all three of these people with sound, color, music and more. You always want to put a brilliant team together.

And, and I’ve explained to how to do that.  To get a believable budget, you really need to call people and say, here’s what I’m doing and what do you think this will cost?  Give me an estimate. And I know that,  as I get closer, I can get to the penny.

You want to get a believable number because you never know when you’re going to get in an office or at a luncheon with some person who says, well, really how much you need?

And you can say $56,000 is what I need on my budget and bring up the budget on your phone and say, here it is. And you can defend every line.

You’ve Also Mentioned the Importance of Networking for HNI, High Net Worth Individuals

Well, this is the next phase. You get your believable budget, your incredible script, your killer script and your brilliant outline impeccably done for your documentary or short or webisode. And you have the pitch, the proposal, the paperwork. Now what are you going to do?

Well, you’ve got to get out on the street and meet some wealthy people. And so how do you do that? Well, you’ve got to become part of their world.  So, you want to identify community organizations where wealthy people could belong.

And many of these organizations offer a low-priced membership that you could afford. And yes, they have some gala events, but that may be worth it at the end of the year.

But the main thing is that if you join and you really put in some time and give of yourself to that organization, let’s say that it was a for the humane society, that’s something that simple.

You might be walking dogs right alongside of someone who’s worth a couple of a billion dollars!

Carole Dean’s class “How to Fund Your Film” is now available on Vimeo on Demand.  You can save 10% if purchased by May 31st by using code GetFunded

Why You Need a Covid-19 Film Production Plan for Fundraising

The biggest challenge filmmakers have now in getting money for their project is proving to investors that they can make or finish a film during a pandemic

By Richard Kaufman – Guest Contributor

Your film investor is reaching for their Amex card after you’ve made your brilliant Zoom meeting pitch for your dream film project.  They like your experience, your passion, your story, but they are asking themselves what everyone asks who ever thought of giving money to a privately financed independent film project.

“Is this film ever going to get made?”

Covid-19 Film Production Plan

Will you be able to make sure everyone on set wears a mask?

In Spring 2020, that question has a new ominous twist fear behind it.  We are in the middle of a health crisis that has put a hold on all our lives and filmmaking.  Virtually no projects are being produced right now.  No one is sure when anyone will start filming again. 

Covid-19 Film Production Plan

Which is why, when you fund raise now for you film, you need Covid-19 Film Production Plan for investors and donors. 

You need to be able to show anyone who is willing to give money to you for your feature, documentary, short film or web series that it will get produced and completed.  If not soon, then sometime in the near future.  

This plan, or least the mention of it, should go in all fundraising materials, crowdfunding pages, and in your pitch. 

Pandemic Precautions May Last 4 Years

In a study published in the journal Science , researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have warned that, in the absence of a vaccine or an effective treatment of the coronavirus, social-distancing measures may be required through to 2022.  It’s possible, they say, that we may need do this until 2024.

If you’ve made a movie, you know that social distancing on a set will be a challenge.  Your investors and donors know how hard that is to accomplish social distancing in their daily live when take walks or navigate supermarket produces aisles avoiding others grabbing for the same avocados.  They also know they’ve not been back to work as the places of business may not be able to accommodate social distancing or other requirements needed for employees to stay healthy.

What will make your business, your film project, different.  How can everyone on it go to work, not become ill, and get it finished?    What steps will you take to insure everyone stays healthy?

Do Your Research

Fortunately, the entertainment business is filled with creative minds sharing ideas to get production started.   There are many plans and proposals circulating from producers, directors, and unions. 

Variety Magazine recently wrote about how Producers Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Chris Ferguson — from the companies Automatik (“Honey Boy,” “Bad Education”) and Oddfellows (“Child’s Play”), respectively — have created a proposal titled “Isolation Based Production Plan.”

In their proposal, they raise issues that you will should think about address in production of making your film.

  • Quarantining Cast and Crew – The entire cast and crew would be in a two-week quarantine before they would begin production, and would be tested.
  • Quarantining Costumes, Props and Sets – Locations and sets would be dressed, and then sealed for three days (or whatever the most conservative estimate is) “to allow viruses on surfaces to die.”
  • Limited Hair and Make-Up Contact – Instead of working on multiple actors at once, the proposal suggests there would be a single person working on one actor at a time — and not on set. “Makeup application tools & supplies will be purchased per cast member and used only on that individual cast member.”

An article in Deadline called Reopening Hollywood, brought up other areas that need to be addressed including:

  • No More Cafeteria Style Craft Service Meals – Meals will only be doled out in single-serving pre-wrapped fashion. There will be no shared utensils. Lunch breaks will have to be staggered, to cut down on density.
  • Protecting Talent and Directors on Set – Below the line personnel coming into contact with actors or directors will have to wear masks and gloves at all times.
  • Eliminating Extras and Day Players – Perhaps cut out crowd scenes or if necessary, use green screen.

More Guidelines and Covid-19 Film Production Ideas

Production safety protocol suggestions from studios, trade groups, and film commissions.

Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Office at Netflix, offered his thoughts on How film and television production can safely resume in a COVID-19 world.

The Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) just issued their department specific production guidelines.

Film Florida released a list of detailed recommendations for safe sets.

Independent film crew members discuss what is on their wish list for a healthy and safe film set in Indiewire

What Covid-19 Film Production Plan Works Best for Your Film

The Covid-19 situation and what we know about the disease changes daily.  The production needs for every project is different as well.  Some require locations and some sound stages.  Maybe on your project, the director and DIT can work remotely. 

Whatever you feel is necessary to make your film under current conditions, write it down.  Modify your script if necessary, to accommodate safe working conditions. 

Let your investors and donors know that you have a plan.

 

Extraordinary Filmmakers Project

We Invited Our Fiscally Sponsored Filmmakers to Share Stories of Moments that Changed Their Lives

By Carole Dean

Every two weeks for over two years, I’ve conducted our Film Funding Guidance Class for all or fiscally sponsored filmmakers. 

In it, my board and invited guests and I impress upon our filmmakers the power they have in their minds and how to use their intentions to complete their film.  We give practical advice on how to help keep them motivated moving forward.  Each week, a filmmaker is invited to pitch their project.  They get invaluable advice from us and other filmmakers on how to improve it.

Extraordinary Filmmakers

Our fiscally sponsored filmmakers share what inspired them and their films

With the sudden onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was easy to tell from my conversations with them that our filmmakers were distracted and worried.  They were concerned about the health and welfare of friends and family.  They were also very down that with many of their projects were now on hold. 

I wanted to do something that we could do as a group.  Something that would support other artists and filmmakers.  It would need to be a project that would lift all our spirits, bring us closer together,  and put our filmmaker’s brilliant minds to good use.

Extraordinary Filmmakers

We discussed many options and one that had the most resonance for them was for each of us to write a chapter in a book.  They keep the rights and let From the Heart Productions publish the eBook. 

I suggested a working title of Extraordinary Filmmakers.  

They could write about anything spiritual that happened to them.  Or, they could write about something extraordinary in their lives, even the moment when they knew they had to be a filmmaker/storyteller. 

First Meeting

It was agreed that we’d meet once a week.  We had our first meeting via conference call and the turnout was great.  So many attended that we’ll be able to have 12 chapters of the book. 

Some key decisions were made. 

Our deadline for edited copy will be July 24th, 2020.  Filmmakers will break up into groups to help each other with chapters.  We’ll appoint editors to review the work during the 3 months until project end.  In each meeting, we’ll discuss the most recently finished chapters and offer advice for any improvement.

Giving Back to Other Filmmakers

It was also decided that the book will be for sale.  The profits will go to an emergency fund for filmmakers in need. 

I could not be happier with the response, excitement, and energy surrounding this project.  It is a great opportunity to put in writing important moments in their lives and inspire others.  Also, I’m very glad that any money generated will be used as well to help other filmmakers.

 

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.

Making Your Film With Your Audience

From the Heart Productions thanks Roy W. Dean Grant Winner Helen Hall (“Pictures of Infinity”) for generously sharing with us tips for filmmakers on how to use Facebook to build a community for their film as well as how to use it to maximize their films crowdfunding campaign on our new WeDidit Platform 

By Helen Hall

Within our present situation of isolation and uncertainty, my thoughts as a filmmaker immediately returned to one of the many ways of moving forward with our films you have shared with us from the beginning: that we are no longer making films for an audience, but with them.

 

Facebook for Filmmakers

Helen Hall’s documentary “Pictures of Infinity” explores the work of great visionary scientist, engineer and humanitarian Nikola Tesla

 

I believe this time we have now is ideal for creating and building community around our films, and so I am sharing some of the tools I think might be useful for other filmmakers, as we are also migrating this month to a new fundraising platform filled with new possibilities.

I had created a Facebook page for my film “Pictures of Infinity” years ago, but didn’t know where to begin to connect with a larger community.  I learned so much from a crowdfunding expert that I was connected to by From the Heart Productions about how to do exactly this.  Now, I am posting regularly and engaging with a community of 17,700+ like-minded souls on the page.

A few months ago I was contacted by a marketing expert from Facebook.  They offered to guide me through some of the tools that make it possible both to create ad campaigns with specific goals in mind, and with them to extend the reach of the audience.

I have learned it is possible to reach the audience with a combination of targeted ads and posts to the page that are boosted for maximum impact.

Here are some of the tools I am learning how to use:

Facebook – Audiences

On the Facebook page for our film (known as a business page) there is a tab at the top called ‘Ad Center’. On the left of the Ad Center page are three vertical headings: Overview / All Ads / Audiences. Click on ‘Audiences’ and on the top right is the option to ‘create audience’. It is possible here to create custom audiences for your film, and to save them for future use.

Facebook Ads – Formats

Image formats: ideal size for images = 1,200 X 628 Px, in JPEG or PNG format.

If the image includes text, the text can be no more that 25% of the image, or Facebook will not run it.
(see link to tool to measure text on images for Facebook)

Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel is a code that collects data to help track conversions for Facebook Ads.
Look under ‘Business Settings’ for ‘Events Manager’. Click ‘create a pixel’ and follow instructions.

WeDidIt – Fundraising Platform

The Donation page is divided into ‘content’ on the left, and a donation menu on the right.  The content section is 690 Px. wide.

The page accepts video files – MP4 format, and images in JPEG and PNG formats. Video and image files will automatically resize when uploaded. There are traditional text options for choosing fonts, sizes and colors.

I was told by tech support at WeDidIt that there is no limit to the amount of content for this page, most films include a fundraising trailer, a few images and a short synopsis of the film.

Facebook Pixel – look for the ’Settings’ section in the vertical menu on the left of the page near the bottom. Click ‘Analytics’ and add the Facebook Pixel.

Here is a link to video tutorials to help with the WeDidIt platform and a list of links for learning more about how to use Facebook for our film projects:

Video Tutorials – WeDidIt:
https://wedidit.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360039175052-Platform-Video-Tutorials

 

Facebook Creative Inspiration:

 https://www.facebook.com/business/inspiration

 

Facebook Ads Guide:

 https://www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide

 

Facebook – Free Online Training Courses:

https://www.facebookblueprint.com/student/catalog

 

Facebook – Advertiser Help Center:

Step-by-step instructions. Please refer to the Advertiser Help Center to find answers or contact support, if you have trouble.

https://www.facebook.com/business/helpv

 

Facebook Ads:  

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/facebook-ad-sizes/

 

Image format for Facebook Ads:  

 

Check ratio of text to image here:

https://en-gb.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay

 

 

Facebook Audiences:

About the Reach Objective –

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/218841515201583?id=816009278750214

 

Increase awareness of your business or brand by using the reach objective.

 

Understand how your Reach Objective performed

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1639908612985580?id=816009278750214

 

About Connections Targeting

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1819812758298988?id=176276233019487

 

About Detailed Targeting

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/182371508761821?id=176276233019487

 

About Lookalike Audiences

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/164749007013531?id=401668390442328

 

Facebook – Client Services Link:

 https://www.facebook.com/business/resources

 

Helen Hall is a Montreal-based composer who explores an intuitive understanding of music as energy in her varied works for voices, instruments, electroacoustics, dance, theatre and film.

Her music is inspired by natural, acoustic phenomena such as the rhythm of breathing (Circuits), the harmonics and interference patterns of multiple saxophones (Fluvial), and the natural frequencies of the earth’s magnetic field (Infinity Maps).

In recent years her work has become more research-based, and she has been extending her music into film. Powerlines, her first film, is a documentary about the mystery of electromagnetic fields, which began as a musical score based on the sound waves of artificial electromagnetic radiation. Pictures of Infinity, her second film, is a feature documentary about Nikola Tesla’s unique understanding of nature and its inherent connection to acoustic principles of energy.