Carole Dean – The Art of Film Funding Blog

Carole Dean founded From the Heart Productions in 1992 to help indie filmmakers get their films funded.

In her blog, she shares her knowledge and advice on:

  • Raising Money for Your Film
  • Getting Distribution
  • Manifesting Money and Success
  • Crowdfunding
  • Fiscal Sponsorship

And more with the goal of giving filmmakers the tools to get their films produced.

She hosts the weekly podcast, The Art of Film Funding, interviewing those involved in all aspects of indie film production. She is also the author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits.

Recent Blogs by Carole Dean

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Wi-Fi may be providing you with high speed internet, but it’s invisible bandwaves may be slowly destroying your health  

by Carole Dean

Monika Krajewska has been designing healthy environments for 35 years. She became Electro-Hyper Sensitive (EHS) in 2007 after moving into a 1920’s house.  As a result of chronic exposure to mold and electromagnetic radiation, she was physically debilitated for nearly a decade. She found a building biologist who evaluated her home and discovered alarming levels of high electric and magnetic fields caused by the hundred-year-old wiring.  Monika began to recover as soon as the electric circuits were turned off.

Wi-Fi

The best thing you can do immediately to sleep better is to keep your phone away from you at night.

She devoted herself after that to study the science of healthy buildings. To date, Monika has assessed nearly one hundred homes for EMFs (electric and magnetic fields), has given countless talks, and assisted hundreds of people with creating healthy home and work environments. She is often called by realtors to measure properties for home buyers and renters. She is staff with the Building Biology Institute, lectures about EMFs and is founder of Elegant Healthy Homes.

I asked her to join me on the Art of Film Funding Podcast because I believe we are all living in an unseen sea of electronics that are causing many side effects.

The Dangers of Wi-Fi

I asked her to start with an explanation of the Wi-Fi that comes off our cell phone and our printers and compute,

“We call it radio frequency radiation.” she replied.  “Wi-Fi is part of that electromagnetic spectrum. And we have found those frequencies are pulsed frequencies.  If you live in the city, you have high exposure.  Because there are not only cell phones all around you, but everything is functioning on wireless communication.  You are most likely close to cell towers and antennas that proliferate every city. Those signals are particularly harmful simply because they create oxidative stress in the body.  You are being inundated by that 24/7, especially at night.”

Monika said the symptoms of EMF, Wi-Fi, and dirty electricity are headaches, depression, tinnitus, cognitive impairment, brain fog, heart palpitation, fatigue, skin conditions and skin rashes.

Sleep Time Is Repair Time

The first thing she asks a client when she’s hired to assess a home is, “Do you have a good night’s sleep?”  She begins her investigation in the sleeping area.  At night your body is repairing itself from the onslaught of Wi-Fi and EMF’s during the day. It needs the cleanest and most pristine environment to repair you.” 

Things that Monika addresses are the wiring in the walls around your bed, your metal bed frame, and anything that’s plugged into the power outlet around and up to within six inches from the bed. You might want to use a battery-operated clock to cut down on EMF’s.

The best thing you can do immediately to sleep better is to keep your phone away from you at night.  Do not to sleep with your cell phone near you.  Leave it in another room or better yet, put in a Faraday cage bag. I got one for $18.00.  You will not truly be rid of Wi-Fi until you remove the phone.

Forget charging your phone by your bed.  When you charge your phone next to your bed at night you get the radio frequency radiation next to your brain.  You get the electric field coming off the core that’s plugged into the electricity.  This is very toxic to your body.

 

 

Say Goodnight to Your Wi-Fi

“So how can you recharge yourself,” Monika asks, “if you’re not in a clean environment? You want to get rid of Alexa and any electronic gadgets, move them far away.” She even suggests that you go to the circuit breaker board and flip the circuits to the electrical sockets near your bed. Stop any electricity coming into your bedroom and the adjoining room.

Next, you want to consider the amount of Wi-Fi in your bedroom.  I set my router to turn off at night and back on in the morning and immediately I had a better night’s sleep.

You need to find out if your neighbor’s Wi-Fi is coming in. I bought an electronic monitoring device that measures Wi-Fi and EMF. It showed that my neighbors Wi-Fi was streaming into my bedroom with a very high rating.  I put aluminum foil over the windows and that stopped it.  However, if I left even a slit of ¼ inch uncovered, it would come in via the smallest crack.  So, overlap your foil to cover every opening.

Protecting Yourself From Wi-Fi

If you’re in an apartment building, you don’t have any control over what’s going on below you. However, she says there are items you can buy that will greatly enhance your sleep. There are RF sheets (that absorb or block radio frequencies) or bed mats that go specifically under the bed at Safe Living Technologies.

There are really great quality fabrics that are specifically made called Swiss Shield Natural and Swiss Shield Daylight. These two types of fabric that are used for shielding your body. You can make curtains from this and you can buy a readymade canopy for your bed. There  is a wall paint you can use that comes from Safe Living Technologies in Canada.  Monika has a lot of resources and she is happy to share them.

I replaced my normal electric power cords, which produce enormous amounts of electric fields and bought shielded cords with a ground which was very inexpensive. This reduces your exposure around your desk and work areas. 

Monika suggested you rewire your lamps with shielded cords and she said that ACE hardware will do it for $15.00 a lamp.  It may sound like a lot of fuss but believe me it’s worth it to feel better.

Time to Clean Up Your Environment

Monika went to an EMF conference for doctors in the San Francisco Bay area in September of 2019.  The consensus is that it’s just not enough to see a doctor if you are suffering from symptoms brought on by EMF or Wi-Fi.   99% of the responsibility and success with your recovery belongs in cleaning up the EMF environment in your home and especially in your bedroom.  Once you do this, then the doctors can do their work to help you recover.

Monika recommends you see the Ted Talk by Jeromy Johnson here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0NEaPTu9oI   Jeromy  worked in Silicon Valley and became electrosensitive and has become an educator with wonderful sources of information for you, see www.emfanalysis.com 

You can reach Monika at www.eleganthealthyhome.com and on @elegantliving27 on Facebook or you can phone 805 895-4687.

 

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

 

Interview with the authors of “Bulletproof: Writing Scripts That Don’t Get Shot Down”

by Carole Dean

The partnership of the authors of Bulletproof: Writing Scripts That Don’t Get Shot Down is rooted in a 30-year friendship that dates back to their Philadelphia high school days. David Diamond and David Weissman sold their first spec script, The Whiz Kid to 20th Century Fox in 1994 and have enjoyed a very successful screenwriting career.  Together they have conceived and contributed to over a dozen movies with a combined box office growth of over a billion dollars worldwide.

screenplay

“Do not give your script to anybody in the business, any of your professional contacts, until you’re absolutely certain that you’ve done the very best that you can do on a script.”

I was lucky enough to have them as guests on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast. They shared with me some of their brilliant advice for new screenwriters for selling their screenplays in the age of streaming, getting inspired, and getting past the gatekeepers.

Selling to Streaming Services

Carole: I want to know is the pitching and the script submission the same to the new streaming services, as it was to the Hollywood studios?

David and David: Pitching is much more difficult now. In the last really 10, 15 years, development has kind of fallen on the shoulders of writers and producers without studio participation. The streamers have definitely hired a large number of executives from the feature world, to sort of run their feature department.  There’ll be a lot of continuity in selling to them.

What that means though, in practical terms for a lot of people, is that if you’re a writer and you want to sell, whether it’s to traditional studio or to one of the streaming services, you’re probably going to have to write your script.

You should not rely on pitching unless you know you’re coming in with an A list star, and an A list director. Unless you can package your movie as a pitch, you’re going to have to write that script.

The Three C’s of Script Writing

Carole: Let’s get into your brilliant book Bulletproof. One of the first things you share at the beginning of Bulletproof is the three C’s necessary for a great screenplay.  Tell us what they are and why they are so important.

David and David: The three C’s are the fundamental ingredients of an idea for a movie. And those are a character and a concept and a context.

You can’t really start writing a screenplay until you understand what the idea for your screenplay is. And that is a mistake, as hard as it may be to believe, that a lot of writers make.  They’re full of inspiration and they’re eager to get going and they start writing and they really don’t know what the full idea for their movie is.

We put out there right at the very beginning (Of Bulletproof) how important this is and what we think goes into an idea. And that is a specific person in a specific situation under very specific circumstances. And that’s really what you need to know even before you get started doing anything else.

You need to know who this character is, what is somehow broken or incomplete with this person, and what the challenge is that this person is going to be facing and the world that this challenge exists in. What is the world of your movie? You need to know.

The third C, contacts, is also sort of a question of tone and what kind of movie this is.  Because you can have a character and a concept and for instance, the idea for Groundhog Day, that same basic idea was done as a horror film. It was called Happy Death Day.  So that third element which is the genre, the tone, what kind of movie it is, is, crucial as well. 

It’s not enough just to say I’m writing a movie about a character who is living the same day over-and-over again. That can be a lot of different movies depending on context.

 

 

Know Who is Reading Your Script

Carole:  What advice do you have for writers on submitting their projects?

David and David: We have a whole chapter at the end of the book on submissions. Like what do you do when you’re done? One of the points in that chapter is you do not give your script to anybody in the business, any of your professional contacts, until you’re absolutely certain that you’ve done the very best that you can do on a script.

A big part of the perspective of the book is not just how to get a writer through the process of writing a script, which is critically important, but it’s also having in mind as you’re going through that process, who’s reading this script and what are they looking for?

And how is my script going to benefit the person who’s reading it? Because that’s how things progress to production. So, it’s not just about what you feel like doing and what’s in it for you, which is certainly important.

It’s also about the opportunities that you create for the people who are reading your script. And if you’re not creating an opportunity for the person reading your script, it’s not going to go anywhere.”  Yes, you need to know, ‘What are the benefits of the film for the reader? What opportunity is in the script for the reader?’

Where to Find Inspiration

Carole: Well, I love the book Bulletproof. And in there, you suggest writers find inspiration and information in those who have come before. Please tell us how you would do that and how it assists the writer.

David and David: That’s the best part of the whole process, Carole. One of our principal things that we do when we’re preparing to write something is, we try to take inspiration and lessons from movies that have come before that we love or admire or has something really in particular to say about either the vision or the kind of idea we’re writing.

We’ve always done that. And it can be very helpful sometimes. Really, it’s purely for inspirational purposes. You might go back and watch one of your favorite movies of all time, just to inspire you to what got you into doing this. Other times it’s really important just to see what the models are for the kind of movie that you want to write. Hollywood has inherited wisdom and knowledge from a hundred years of, cinematic history. And we take that very seriously,

This is also a literacy issue. You know, you may have in mind that you’re going to write something that’s really genre busting. If you’re not familiar with the movies in that genre, you really can’t subvert the conventions of that genre.  And, and even if you’re interested in honoring, you know, the genre and its conventions, you must know the movies.

If you are going write a romance novel, you wouldn’t set out and write a romance novel without ever having read a romance novel. But I think that that movies are the same way. You really need to know, if you’re going to contribute to the conversation, the ongoing conversation that’s taking place in the movies at all times, you need to know what’s come before you.

Getting Past the Gatekeepers!

Carole: Many producers tell me that not everyone reads a script, but everyone does read the one-page synopsis. And to me that’s the most important part of closing the money man and closing grantors.

David and David: The idea is there are really two purposes for being able to encapsulate the main points of your story in a single page. And the first one is for the benefit of the writer to have a roadmap to follow that it can keep you focused as you’re writing your screenplay.

But the other advantage of being able to reduce your story to key points on a single page is that, at some point in this process, somebody is going to have to walk into their boss’s office and say, you know, I just read something and this is what it is. And they’re going to have to be able to encapsulate that in a brief period of time.  And the more that you can exert some control or influence over what they say in that conversation, the better off you are.

So the idea is to be able to create a page that basically sums up the essential ingredients of your story,  that can be then used in situations just like the one you’re describing when people are thinking about financing something, buying something, so they know what it is even before they’ve read it. Eventually someone’s going to read the screenplay.

Certainly, in the in the studio world, movies don’t get made without the people who are buying them, reading the scripts.

But it does take surviving this process of script readers and assistants and development executives being able to describe what a screenplay is about before it ends up being read by someone who actually has the authority to spend the money to buy it. 

 

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.

“They call creative people ‘daydreamers’ because we are much more creative when we relax.”

by Carole Dean

About three years ago, I found Reiki master Sevina Altanova and have been receiving highly beneficial Reiki treatments weekly.  Her relaxation techniques have made a huge difference in my work.  Since I’ve been getting treatments, I’ve stepped up writing more blogs for filmmakers, I’m creating a new online film funding course, and designing a new eBook for filmmakers who join our mailing list. 

 

“We are over-scheduled, overstimulated, overworked, overburdened and we need a practical way to overcome the bad health effects of our high-pressure lifestyle.” Sevina Altanova

 

She recently founded her own company, Stress Management Resources.  “People who are constantly engaging their minds may not realize that this hampers their creative impulses. For filmmakers, it is very important for you to relax in order to boost your creativity.”

As a guest on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast, Sevina offered tips on how to improve your relaxation and discussed the life changing relaxation techniques I’d learned over the years.

Daydreaming Can Create your Future

 According to research in neuroscience, creativity occurs in the moments of rest rather than while we’re working on or thinking. So, do yourself a favor, schedule time to daydream. Perhaps in your daydream, you see your finished film on the screen in your favorite screening room and feel your success as you jump out of your seat and bow to your standing ovation.

Physicist Fred Alan Wolf, author The Dreaming Universe, told me in an interview, “when you are daydreaming you are really creating your future. It’s like a handshake across time.”  Later in your life when you experience this event, you feel like it has happened before.  That is because you truly experienced it in your dreaming time, which can create your future.

It created my future.  During boring school classes I put on a bright smile and took off to be on the set with my favorite movie stars and watch films getting made.  I was flying over the Great Serengeti and watching the wilder beast migrate, I was gliding down the Nile on a slow boat and riding elephants in India. 

All these things I experienced almost exactly as I had day-dreamed them.  I remember flying low over the wildebeest and in fact when I went to Kenya, I saw the same vision I had in meditation while I was ballooning over the wilder beast. It felt just like I had imagined, before I even knew what ballooning was.  These experiences all felt like they were deja vous, like I had done it before and in fact I had.

 

 

Meditation Manifests Miracles

Sevina highly recommends meditation. “Did you know that meditation is over 5,000 years old? People do meditation to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds and reconnect with their spirit. The most important things in meditation is that you are connecting with your higher self.  Meditation lets the mind relax.” 

As a 40-year meditator, I fully agree. While I was running three offices, NY, Chicago and LA I meditated twice daily.  That was a time you could not talk about meditation or they thought you were a “kook.”  Especially when you were in the business of film and talking to engineers. 

So, I learned quickly to find a quiet place, tell no one, and just disappear for 20 minutes.  In NYC, that was the air conditioner room and in L.A., the office supply room. I would put a note on the door, “taking inventory,” but they knew I was meditating as it soon became very quiet in that place.

This was the most beneficial thing I could have done to help me run three offices at once.  At some point, I read about TM, transcendental meditation, and decided to try it.  Little did I know that Seinfeld and Paul McCartney and David Lynch were all hiding in closets like me.  All of us were experiencing reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep, greater clarity, calmness and a great memory.

I still do this twice a day and now I have a pathway to heaven.  I created a super-highway in the circuits of my brain, so I go to a quiet state quickly and 20 minutes evaporates.  It is the way to live your life with less stress. 

Sevina says, “Any type of meditation that works for you is what you should do.  A walking meditation works for some people, a driving meditation works for some.”  (I always end up in some strange location so I can’t do this!) 

Find what works for you and be good to yourself, put this in your google calendar MEDITATTE MY FUTURE INTO BEING

Music Does Sooth the Beast in Us

“You can relax by listening to soothing music” says Sevina. An article by John Stuart Reid, cymascope.com, says experimentation has found viable red blood cells remained higher in number when exposed to music vs silence, indicating promising results for healing. He says that music therapy, a concept first espoused by Pythagoras of Samos 2,500 years ago, is gaining popularity for depression and relieving anxiety.

“There are millions of studies that show that meditation decreases stress. It will decrease your blood pressure and you have quality sleep. Your entire health will improve, and you will get a stronger immune system.

“When you practice meditation or relaxation, you connect with your partner much better.  You can even resolve problems easily.  Because you are coming from the perspective of love and understanding, you have this ability because now you are relaxed.”

Breathing Exercises are Perfect Before Meetings

Relaxation can decrease stress and tension in a matter of minutes.  Learn to control your nervous system through relaxation practices such as meditation, Reiki, breathing exercises and yoga.  It’s very, very easy.  Anything that brings you joy and calms you down is relaxing.

I want to share a breathing exercise that is incredibly super simple, quick, and beneficial.

You take a deep breath, hold it for three seconds and you slowly exhale. If you repeat this three-to five times, taking deep breaths and holding them for three to six seconds then slowly exhale, you will find after the fifth time your body starts relaxing.

This is something you can do anywhere, before a meeting or a at rehearsal or before you pitch your film.

Please check out Sevina’s website at www.stressmanagementresources.com.  She has meditations, deep relaxations, she does Hypnotherapy and relaxations on SKYPE.  Sevina.altanova@gmail.com.  She is dedicated to helping filmmakers improve their health and create their art.  She is also doing some mindful eating workshops soon that all of us can benefit from.

 

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.

How New Filmmakers Can Avoid Disasters in  Audio Post-Production for Their Films and Learn From an Expert How to Do it Right the Next Time

by Carole Dean

Jerry Deaton, President of AudioKut, has spent the last five years developing his company as one of the new breeds of boutique affordable audio post-production facilities. A donor to the Roy W. Dean Grants for many years, he has mastered the sound of many of our winners and our fiscally sponsored films too. His credits span from re-recording mixer, ADR mixer dialogue editor, to sound design editor, composer, and everything in between.

 audio post-production

“Hire those out of college because they probably have the gear, they have the time, and they’re willing to put the effort in. But, then also hire somebody who’s been doing it for a long time to come out to your location and just kind of check on them.”

Recently, Jerry decided to support filmmakers even more by teaching.  He now gives classes where students sit with him and learn on their own project how to fix and mix their films.  He also checks the final work if they need it.  All of this is on an hourly basis. 

Emerging filmmakers end up spending only a fraction of the cost for audio post and become better filmmakers in the process.  He walks them through all of the technical and creative steps of the process. 

I asked him to join me on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast to discuss his new class and how independent filmmakers can avoid audio mistakes that only show up when you get to post.

Choosing the Right Editing Software Can Save You Money in Audio Post-Production

Jerry said that sometimes it’s as simple as selecting the right software to save money.  The software new filmmakers choose may not do what they think. 

“I find first-or-second time filmmakers with small budgets are wearing several hats.  They are the producer, writer, director, editor and they are expected to know each of these professions intimately.  But, honestly, they don’t.  They don’t know enough so they choose the wrong software. 

“Let’s say they choose Final Cut Pro 10 to do their editing.  It may be a cheap and easy platform to work with but, after all those countless hours they put into editing, they find that when they’re ready to go to final picture lock, they cannot get the sound off in a professional manner.  

“You can’t turn it over to a post house.  You will have to do it in a very archaic manner to even get the sound out.  Then, it costs you much more money for the sound post house to basically re-cut that sound so that it’s workable in a post environment.” 

He suggests spending just a little bit more money and investing in a program like the Adobe Creative Suites or some other platform that will allow you to export your audio in a professional manner.  Just this alone will save so much time and headache down the line.

Getting Quality Sound and Saving Money for Micro Budget Filmmakers

“If an independent filmmaker is making a micro or low budget film,” Jerry suggests, “they need to be very careful in hiring a sound person. Preferably you want someone who has worked on other films.”

“However, there are a lot of filmmakers coming out of college that have been trained to do sound and in a theoretical environment.  When they get out of school and they want to get their first couple of jobs to build their resume. Then often, they’ll do an independent film for free. But what you’re going to get is somebody who may be making a lot of mistakes because they’re learning on your film. And, if I was the filmmaker, the producer, the director, I would not want that situation.”

He recommends filmmakers to go ahead and hire those out of college because they probably have the gear, they have the time, and they’re willing to put the effort in. But, then also hire somebody who’s been doing it for a long time to come out to your location and just kind of check on them.

“The expert needs to be able to tell you: ‘This guy or girl knows what they’re doing, don’t worry about it.’ Or if that expert says, ‘look, from what I see, your movie’s going to be really bad,’ then that’s worth paying for. That assurance wouldn’t cost you much. That visit could be done on an hourly basis.”

But a lot of producers and directors don’t know this is a possibility until they get to post and then they find the problems they have.

”If they called me and said, ‘this is our situation, we’re getting ready to do principal shooting in three weeks. You know, we’ve hired a sound person but we’re not sure they’re really going to be able to do the job.’ I would tell them, hire somebody from my company to come out and spot check.

“If they give a sign off, you’re good to go. And then, you can bring the package to us. This way, you will not get a bunch of surprise comments like, ‘Oh, why did that mike cut out or Oh, why is your refrigerator running during your love scene?’”

Stacking Sound Files Can Be Costly and Leave the Editor Without the Best Choice

“When editors receive their sound files from the sound mixer on location, they’re usually receiving them in a stacked formation. So, let’s just say a scene a will have eight files. That is one person talking. So, it’s eight files of that one person saying one line, but on eight different mikes or eight different situations, eight different audio captures. And then what happens is, when the editors bring those eight files into their editing platform, they tend to merge all those together. And when it gets to sound post, it’s a big problem to unmerge those so that you can choose the best recorded audio piece.

“So I would tell whoever is compiling all these sound files, it’s usually the editor or editors/director, that they should learn the technology behind doing this the right way so that when it does get to sound post, it doesn’t cost them extra money.

“These problems are created because people don’t know what to do with these files, they just look at them and think, I’ll just put them all together. It’s like, no, don’t do that.  They were made so you have the very best sound to choose from. That’s why they did it more than once.”

He thinks directors and editor/directors are learning a lot of their technical skills from YouTube tutorial videos. And that those are great because they do give you a lot of insight into the technology.

“But I still would tell a director/editor, hire somebody that’s been doing this for a long time. Bring them over to your editing suite and just have them walk you through how to navigate these waters. It would be probably the best, $75 or $100 an hour you’ve ever spent, and it would last them the rest of their career.”

Jerry Deaton’s Classes on Sound Recording & Editing

audio post-productionJerry’s new class evolved from all the errors he’s seen with independent filmmakers make on their films. He’s the one they call when they run into these massive problems.

“Some get into problems at a locked cut. If they’re at a lock cut, there’s nothing that can be done. It’s just repair mode. But if they call me before they’ve started filming and they need somebody to help walk them through the waters of sound, I do this for people.”

So, instead of waiting for calls from desperate filmmakers asking him to rescue them from a terrible sound issue, Jerry created his class.  He charges an hourly rate and will come out to the location or talk to the filmmaker in the editing bay. 

“I will say, look, do this and this, and it will help you avoid so many problems in the end.  And you can either bring it to me or you can bring it to any other sound post house who will be so grateful that you did this the right way.

“Remember five years ago, everybody had a department. Everybody was an expert in their department, so editors knew how to do this. Directors knew how to direct sound. People knew how to capture location sound and prepare for sound, post. People knew how to edit and, and deal with the audio and the post-process.

“But with one person wearing so many hats, you’re getting all these gaps in knowledge. The people that are wearing all these hats should really reach out to experts in every department of filmmaking and say, look, just give me a few hours, tell me what I’m doing wrong, let me fix it and then I’ll get back to you in three months when I’m done with my edit.”

You can reach Jerry Deaton at AudioKut.com.  You can send him an email at Jerry@audiokut.com or call 818 434 2601. 

His vision of the new Hollywood has connected him with many like minded independent film makers and support teams.  They understand big budgets do not necessarily make great films. It still takes talent, a good story and an artisan approach to technology.

 

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.

It starts by rewiring our money programming, removing money blocks, and igniting your money super powers

by Carole Dean

With over 35 years of vast experience in the corporate, government and entrepreneur sector, Olympia Hostler loves her work helping ambitious women who want to work less, make more, and live free.  Her “Mind Over Money Makeover” program is designed to help high-achieving women realize their wealth potential.

money mindset

Are you stuck with scarcity mindset that is sabotaging you and stopping you from seeking the funding you need?

“Once women ignite their money super powers, wealth shows up in a steady flow and in more ways than they could have imagined,” she told me when she was a guest on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast

She shared with me the secrets and methods she gives her clients to help them create wealth and thrive by changing their money mindset.

It’s Not Enough to Will It

She was quick to say that using will power or brute force does not work.  Change has to happen at the source to get the results and wealth you want.  The source of “money blocks” is our internal programming and usually that is imparted on us by our well-meaning parents, friends, family and the media.  We often take on what they believe.

Another change she adds that we must make is removing old conditioning that we did to ourselves. When we have certain experiences and we draw conclusions and we make rules, that becomes our conditioning that we put on ourselves. And most of us adopted our parents’ beliefs, thoughts and habits, because, it is a primal instinct. The question is, are these conditionings working for you?

Unblocking Your Money Beliefs

Olympia says that money blocks come from a money programming process.  It is the programming we get from our parents, authority figures, society, media and friends. This programming becomes a self-sabotaging virus and affects all areas of our life. This feeds into having false beliefs, limiting decisions, unprocessed fears and faulty conclusions. 

These limiting beliefs exist on three levels of our being; our body, mind, and heart.  You must shift all three of these back to your “factory settings” to transform your well-being, your health and your wealth. 

Resetting Your Programming

“This is where you undo the years of dangerous programming and get to be yourself again.”

She says we need to realize that the mind controls our behavior, thoughts and emotions. That the heart is responsible for love, gratitude, receiving, connection and support, compassion and community with other people. That the body holds stuck emotions, traumas, stress and fear that affect our physical health.

“You remember that deep person inside who is full of joy, hope and love, that person for whom things come easily and naturally for sustainable wild wealth. It’s when the magic comes back to you and wealth shows up in your life in big ways and in ways that you could never have imagined.”

Changing the Scarcity Mentality

Money myths are lies that Olympia believes our scarcity mentality feeds us and we accept as true.  It’s your scarcity mindset that is your self-sabotaging, inner programming that is holding you back and keeping you small.

She explains that its our scarcity programming that feeds us & we accept scarcity as truth. We think that there will never be enough whether it is success or money. This keeps us stuck and holds us back from living our lives on purpose with passion. It stops us from sharing our gifts with the world and other people who depend on receiving our gifts to fulfill their purpose.

They are the basis for thinking and behavior that makes us say NO to a lot of opportunities and not even recognize some opportunities. We also say YES to things that do NOT serve us, keep us busy and distracted from our greatness.

Meditation

Another way Olympia advises that we change our thinking is through meditation, aerobic exercise, and novelty.

Meditation is super important to keep us mentally, emotionally and physically clear; relieve stress; improve our health; receive guidance; regulate our nervous system and so many more countless benefits.

“In meditative states, we go into our theta brainwaves which lowers stress and anxiety levels, as well as facilitates healing and growth.  Meditation is a single pointed focus, you can do it while walking, and at any time.  You are most productive when focusing on one thing. 

“For best results – it is imperative that we prioritize goals and tasks – then do them one by one.  We are so much more efficient, productive, happy and healthy that way. Twenty minutes is the ideal meditation.

“Novelty is learning and experiencing new things as well as doing the same things differently or changing your habits.”

Being a BFF with Money

Olympia teaches, “You can change your relationship with money to be your BFF.  In my online course, I call this section ‘For the Love of Money’. Changing your relationship with money begins with believing it’s possible.”  

What actions, thoughts, fears, … are standing in the way of being BFFs with money?  Olympia suggests asking yourself if you knew you would succeed beyond your wildest dreams, what would you do, be, or have? If you knew you could not fail, what would you be, do or have?

Would it be what you are doing now?  Something different?

She advises to give yourself permission to be wealthy right now. Commitment starts the snowball.

 

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.

When you realize what a colorist does, it’s easy to understand why no one knows they exist. 

by Carole Dean

Sam Dlugach won our Roy W. Dean Film Grant in 1996 and is one of the best colorists in LA.  He has over 30-years’ experience working with all types of films.  Sam works for a major production company, but moonlights helping indie features and documentaries. He generously gives us his time to serve as a judge for the grant and donates he services to the winners. 

Colorist

I recently interviewed him for my The Art of Film Funding Podcast and asked him how to help filmmakers understand how important a colorist is for their film. 

What Does a Colorist Do?

Sam equated the coloring of a film as the same as mastering is for audio. After a song has been recorded and mixed, then mastering is the final process before it goes to distribution. That’s like putting the final polish on your films’ audio. Well, that’s what coloring is for the image.

“We can take some beautifully photographed work,” Sam said, “and enhance it just that extra 10% or 15% to make it even more impactful in terms of emotion that we want the audience to feel.”

He explained that no matter what you’re shooting, whether you’re shooting a documentary, short film, or a feature film, you’re probably using multiple cameras, multiple lenses, and you’re going to certainly have all sorts of different lighting conditions. At the very minimum, what a colorist does is make all that stuff match.

Actually, when you realize what a colorist does, it’s easy to understand why no one knows they exist.  When they finish their job, the film looks perfect. Every single shot is lit perfectly, and all your shots match, each scene flows seamlessly, and the audience is fully engaged in the film never realizing all the work the colorist did.

Enhancing the Story and Setting the Mood

“In a more creative sense,” he noted, “I’m part of the storytelling process.  I’m helping the director and the director of photography set story beats in terms of the look of the film, in terms of the mood of the lighting, and the contrast ratio and certainly the color imagery.

“I have a day job where I work on TV commercials, so a lot of what I’m doing daily is emphasizing the product and de-emphasizing the background or bringing out people’s faces. There’s a lot of very specific stuff that I’m doing on a psychological level to direct people’s eyes.

“That same sort of artistry and science works in storytelling as well whether it’s episodic television, or a music video, or short film, or feature film, or documentary. Anything that I can do visually to help tell the story is my main job.”

 

 

Matching Scenes and Matching Visions

If filmmakers bring great footage, then the colorist can look great as well.  But many times, filmmakers have challenges on the shoot.

“They may have had problems with lenses, problems with cameras,” Sam explains, “or very different lighting setups from shot to shot that have to be evened out and made to match. It’s a collaborative process at best.  When you’re working with a team of people, if everybody’s got a singular vision of what this film is supposed to be, and everybody’s just working towards that one image, it can be a really great experience, and the rewards for the film can be great.

“I’ve always loved working with filmmakers and directors of photography because I work to achieve their vision.  And a big part of what I do is to interpret what I’m being told.  Some people come in, and they have a better understanding of what happens in the color bay, and some people really are intimidated, or they don’t understand the process.

“It’s my job to deal with all levels of filmmakers and all levels of people that walk into my room and understand what they are trying to tell me so we can find a way to achieve their vision.”

What First Time Filmmakers Need to Know about Working with a Colorist

Typically, after you finish your edit, you would send Sam a version of the edit with a decision list and it will refer back to your original footage.  He creates the edit timeline.  He on the Baselight system and uses a $40,000.00 monitor.  Sam sees everything with this monitor that your audience will see.

The first thing he does when he meets someone new is to talk about the story before he ever looks at the film.  Together with the director he makes notes of scenes and shots by writing down what they mean and exactly how they are telling the story.  They discuss the color journey of the entire movie.

Sam will look at the timeline of the move and talk to the director about the story.  The main question is “what is the story we want to tell?”  They will stop and look at shots of each scene.

“What is the emotional tone?” Sam will discuss with the director. “What are we going for here? How does this flow into the next scene? How does it relate to the previous scenes?” Sam and the director start very basically coloring from raw camera information to a finished look for that single shot.

By the end of the first session when the filmmaker leaves, they should have a good feeling about how the movie will look.  They will have seen scenes from all over the movie that tell the story they have painted together. 

The filmmaker goes away and Sam works for a week or two coloring.  When they come back, Sam will have filled in the holes, done the coverage, and stitched the film together.  Then, Sam watches it with the filmmaker and makes notes to do a trim pass and sometimes a second trim. 

Sam works with people outside of Los Angeles area.  He colored a fiscally sponsored film of ours in Hawaii.  You can transfer files very easily now so you don’t need to be in the same city as your colorist.

Seeking Passionate Storytellers

Sam loves working with independent and documentary filmmakers that are passionate and really have a story to tell.  

“In a perfect world I’m invested in that story too. I care about what they’re trying to say, and so I tend to gravitate lately to unique stories about human nature, about people.” 

Sam wants to work with filmmakers that have something to say about the times we are living in.  “I love working with documentarians because they’re usually trying to right some wrong. They’re usually trying to expose something that needs to be exposed.”

“I get a charge out of working on projects that make a difference, and so I do tend to be a little picky about the projects that I get involved with independently. There’s a great thing about knowing you came through from the Heart Productions. The people that gravitate to what you’re doing at From the Heart tend to be great people and tend to be impassioned storytellers with their heart in the game, and they’re not just in it for the money. They’re not just brazenly commercial. They’re doing something that matters.

Gift to Filmmakers at From the Heart Productions

“I’ve met so many wonderful people from the work that you’re doing (at From the Heart Productions) and from the outreach that you do with independent filmmakers.  I encourage people that are in your program, and your funding programs, and your writers that you work with and filmmakers that find you to come talk to me.

“My door is open, and like I said, advice is always free.  You can reach same at Samdcolor@gmail.com and the time to interview and hire a colorist is early on in production.”

 

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.

Conversation with award winning filmmaker Karen Day on the importance of being your film’s advocate and getting the upper hand with a film distributor 

by Carole Dean

Karen Day is a very successful writer, photographer, and filmmaker because she made it happen.  She is always working on creating a successful future for herself.  She focuses on humanitarian issues in exotic locales like Afghanistan, Cuba, Myanmar, pre-war Iraq, pre-Madonna Malawi, Hollywood, and Washington, DC.  They’ve offered her exciting opportunities to dodge bullets and write for national publications like More Magazine, O, The Los Angeles Times, and The Pentagon.

Film Distributor

Director Karen Day on location with cast and crew from “Nell Shipman: The Girl From God’s Country”

Winner as writer and producer of the Roy W. Dean Grant for Nell Shipman, The Girl from God’s Country, she joined me on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast.  She offered advice to independent women filmmakers just starting out on which we both agreed. 

While it’s important to seek out others for advice, independent filmmakers need to take active control of the future of their own work to have a successful career and to make any money.

The Harry Potter Effect

Karen says one of her real joys is being able to mentor women, young women beginning their career in filmmaking. “It’s a real tipping point right now in the industry. There’s so much opportunity. And it’s difficult to find a mentor.”

“But, Carole, you know better than anyone, and I think you’re one of the major voices in how to manifest and believe in yourself that you can get things done. I call it the Harry Potter effect. I put my mind to an idea and start whipping results out of the ether. I might as well have a master wand.”

This is very true.  Karen realizes that your faith in yourself and in your film is paramount to a successful production.  Your attitude towards yourself and your film must always be of the highest level as you deserve to be funded.  Belief and faith will carry you a long way in the film industry “and make doors open where there were no doors before.” 

The Dark Web of the Film Festivals

Karen was at Raindance Film Festival with her latest film Bamboo and Barbed Wire, a documentary that chronicles the life of a 17- year old Syrian refugee girl in Idaho.  She says that Raindance is a premier festival and they give filmmakers an amazing amount of support. There are distributors there from around the world.

But, she warns, don’t assume that just by getting accepted and networking will get you a deal for your film. 

“There’s a lot in the film festival world that independents still have to learn the hard way. You think oh, ’I’m going to get accepted, and then I’m going to be distributed, and then I’m going to be famous.’ No, actually, there’s a lot of innerness and I call it the dark web, the dark world of politics that goes on in film festivals.

“It’s a good way to meet people and make connections, but it’s not as simplistic as it appears. Film festivals and film distributors are in the business of making money on movies, and producers and writers and directors and cinematographers are in the business of making movies. And it’s a hard lesson to learn that there are two different businesses.”

She is right.  The distributors want to buy the film for the cheapest price possible and filmmakers think they will get prices near what was quoted in Variety for recent sales.  However, these prices are normally exceptional prices.  Distributors and Netflix and Amazon are paying low prices unless you have a known actor in a feature or a documentary.  In that case, it’s a bit higher but not what they were paying a few years ago. 

The information I get from our fiscally sponsored filmmakers is that by the time they get to a festival, usually they are tired from years of producing and are ready to let go of the film.  Once they get an offer, they are so excited that someone loves the film and wants to help, that they often make poor decisions.  Distributors are offering egregious contracts and very low up-front money these days. 

 

 

Finding Out What Your Film is Worth

Because of the horror stories I have heard from filmmakers about bad contracts, distributors not complying with contracts and people selling their film for 20% of the cost, I started a search for who is paying what for films.  That search turned into a blog.

It’s very important that we know the current selling price for docs and features. So, if you want to share any information on what the current prices are for films and docs, please contact me.  All info will be kept confidential.

Karen says that going to the festivals and talking to other filmmakers is the best way to find what happened to other filmmakers, what prices they were paid, who are the worst distributors and who to watch out for.  You won’t find this information in print, only word of mouth or in our blog talk shows where some filmmakers will offer up the truth about their poor distribution deal.

Find Leverage with a Film Distributor

Karen said that getting a distributor as an independent is not always what you thought it would be. Often, people think that a distributor will change your life.  You need to know what money you can make and you need leverage to negotiate.

“The one thing I can say is, if you do have a distributor that’s interested, immediately contact several distributors to see if they will be interested.  Because then, you have more power to negotiate a minimum guarantee.  Number one thing I say to independent filmmakers is, your MG, your minimum guarantee with the distributor may be the only dime you ever see.  So, make sure that you negotiate that.   And the best way to do it is to get more interest than one distributor.

“I did that, and so I was able to negotiate more money than I was originally offered. And I naively thought, oh, well, this is going to be a cakewalk now.  But what’s true is my distributor is in the business of making money on movies, and they’re like a shark. They have to keep moving to pick up more films and compete with all these distributors to find the next great documentaries.

Be an Advocate for Yourself

“I literally had to become a thorn. I’ve been working with the major network media for a long time, so I know what it’s like to push. And some people don’t have that advantage, because I’m older, too. It’s not like I’m 20. I’ve been around the block, as they say, about 4,000 times.

“The bottom line is, none of it’s easy. It was a daily process of what are you doing, what’s happening? Otherwise, you seep into the carpet and you’re thinking, oh, it’s going to happen for me. Mm-mm (negative).

“I can definitely say there have been a couple of great films. The great film Sonita, which is about the Afghan rapper who escaped an arranged marriage. Somebody was doing a documentary on her and they bought her out of the marriage.  It won an Audience Award at Sundance, and it was sold to PBS National.  I can’t divulge how much it was, but I would say it’s not enough to buy a used car.

“I really feel that the art of film negotiation is the number one thing, and the art of film funding. You have to be your own best advocate, and you just want to say, ‘Oh, I’m an artist.’ Well, you can be a starving artist all you want, but you better learn to be a business person too if you want to make a living at your art.”

 

 

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.

Yes, miracles do happen that can help you fund your film.  It begins with using the power of your mind.  

by Carole Dean

In our bi-monthly Film Funding Guidance Class for our fiscally sponsored filmmakers, I’m in the middle of a 6-part series on how to begin creating miracles in your life.   Your mind is your greatest asset and knowing how to use it is the key. 

Creating Miracles

You should brag about your achievements.  Be very proud of what you have done and don’t be afraid to tell us.   

In our most recent session, I covered the importance of having a positive self-image and the need to treat yourself with respect.  Miracles won’t happen in an environment filled with negativity and doubts. 

Here are some steps you can take in your life to creating miracles. 

Never Put Yourself Down

Always hold yourself in the highest esteem.  Muhammad Ali was asked to give a short poem about himself.  He said  “Me….Wheeeee”  So take a lesson from the champ and tell yourself daily “I am the greatest.”  It worked for Ali and it can work for you.

If you are late for a meeting, never put yourself down to anyone. Not even you!  You are the film, you are the creator, the manifestor and you must love you.  With all your heart and soul.  Love you first then you can give that love to others through your brilliant heart chakra.

I want you to honor yourself.  Honor who you are and give gratitude for your many talents.  I talk to filmmakers daily and they are writers/directors, some are writer/producer/editors.  Loving yourself is highly important to let miracles come to you. 

Know You Are Worthy

Sometimes miracles come in the form of money.  This where a lot of people stop incoming money and miracles because they don’t feel worthy.   I want you to brag about your achievements.  Yes, be very proud of what you have done and don’t be afraid to tell us.   

Each day when you look at your to do list and perhaps you had 10 items to do that day and you only completed 3 say “Good job, this is wonderful.” 

Compliment yourself and say “tomorrow I will complete even more and it will be effortless.   The universe is helping me with the film, they are my invisible partner, clearing problems and making my efforts complete easily.” 

Stop Asking How

Another step that stops people from receiving miracles is the “HOW”.  We all want to know how will it happen, where will it come from.  That can be a block for many people.  This How will it happen, will act as your resistance to receiving and believing. 

Your job is not to think about the “HOW”.  Your job is to know it will happen and do all the things you know to do to make it happen. By believing it will happen, you are totally open to receive. 

Seeing is Believing

The next step to receive miracles is my favorite, it’s visualizing.  It’s the ability to pretend like you did when you were a child when you wanted something.  Often you got what you wanted and that was partially because you were visualizing it daily. 

Remember when you would think about what you were getting and how excited you could get just by the visualization of receiving and using it?  You were sending joy and excitement and gratitude to the universe when you saw yourself receiving it.  Emotions with visualizations are paramount to receiving.  Emotions are the key to visualization. 

I have had many filmmakers call me when they are crowdfunding and say, “I am only a few days away from the deadline and I am $6,000 short or $4,000 short I don’t think I can make this goal.”  That’s when your visualization is a great asset. 

All of the people that called me in such a panic listen to me and they all hit their goals.  It’s very easy.  You need to focus on the end result.  See yourself with what you want and send up joy, success, gratitude and happiness.  Do not, get into the how….just visualize you with what you want achieved. 

Feel the success and know you deserve this and are worthy of it.  Visualization is the icing on the cake. It will take you home to any goal and definitely any miracle.  Please include these things in your daily life. 

Daydreaming is In!

Visualize what you want on a daily basis, daydreaming is in! 

Fred Alan Wolf said in an interview with me, that daydreaming is a handshake across time where once you see it, feel it and send that vision to the universe you are creating your future.

 

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.

Dealing with his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s, filmmaker Eric Gordon created a documentary to guide others.  He got help in finishing it by finding those that cared including his fiscal sponsor.

Over the past six years, award winning filmmaker Eric Gordon has produced, shot and directed the feature-length documentary, “When All That’s Left Is Love.”  It’s an emotionally gripping film about his aging mother’s determination against nearly impossible odds to care for her Alzheimer’s husband at home.

The film gives viewers an unprecedented behind-the-scenes understanding of a medical dilemma that currently has no cure, but has patients who depend heavily on the heroic tenacity and love of the Alzheimer’s caregivers.

 

community outreach

When All That’s Left is Love is the emotionally gripping story of a wife’s determination to care for her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband in their home. With unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access, the film reveals the toll that the disease takes on families coping with Alzheimer’s, while also showcasing the power of love that sustains both patients and caregivers.

 

Many times, Eric was on the brink of running out of funding.  Using his resourcefulness, belief in his film, and important lessons from his fiscal sponsor, Eric was able to find financial support and an audience for his film.  Through his community outreach, his film is now being shown to thousands who can learn from his mother’s and his experience caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. 

On The Art of Film Funding Podcast, Eric shared his story with host Carole Dean.  He offered advice to other filmmakers on how to rally others around your film by thinking outside the box, by believing in yourself, and your project.

“Eric, Something’s Going on Here, You Need to Start Filming”

It started with a call from his mother telling him his father was lost.  He found out his father had Alzheimer’s.  Realizing his mother could not care for his father by herself, he moved in and started helping his mother care for his father for about five or six years.

“Eric, something’s going on here, you need to start filming,” he thought as his film-making instincts kicked in.  His father was starting a research political trial program.  He approached Dr. David Watson from the Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment Center and asked if he could film the program.

The total project took six years to make. Eric filmed for about four years of the total filming and with editing alone the production did over 900 editing hours in an editing suite. “It turned out to be a lot deeper and a lot more heartfelt than I could ever have imagined because, unfortunately, we captured the complete breakdown of a caregiver.”

“And, because of the access that I had, I was fortunate to have other caregivers who are dealing with the same situation to allow me into their lives as well and we built an amazing trust together and that’s how the project began.”

Donors Like When Their Money Goes to One Specific Thing

Dr. Watson allowed him into his office to film.  Eric would keep him involved with the whole process of the film.  As he got closer to completing his documentary, he noticed money was running out.  “I started seeing the costs involved to finish the film because I was getting ready to hire a composer for the music score and I was a little shocked by the costs involved for a composer.

“So, because of my deep relationship with Dr. Watson, I shared with him.”  He had been following Eric’s  hard work and appreciated his dedication to bringing attention to the effect the disease has on families.  

“You know, I need help with getting money for the composer,” Eric mentioned.  Dr. Watson took care of the funds for the composer.

“Now that’s really what it’s all about,” Carole Dean pointed out.  “Donors are giving money to you and the guy saw how hard you worked and dedicated, and yes, he wanted to help you. And I think a lot of donors like it when they know that their money goes for one specific thing.”

Finding Guidance from Fiscal Sponsor From the Heart Productions

“I didn’t have a grant proposal or a budget and I said, ‘Eric, your funds are running out.’ I worked very hard at my day job and any extra money I had, I used for the making of this documentary.  My funds were running out because I had a lot of bills.  You start seeing these enormous costs involved with a documentary, you realize you better start doing something.”

Eric considers Carole Dean and From the Heart Productions pivotal in changing his thinking and making him get money.  He put together a budget and a proposal.  He reached out to her and her organization for their fiscal sponsorship program.  Their program offers personalized advice and film funding strategies. 

“I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart, because From the Heart Productions is why I’m where I’m at today.”

“You were giving me guidance and Carole Joyce, who is also part of From the Heart, mentioned to me to think outside the box.  I said to myself, ‘You know, my film deals with death, unfortunately, which comes with Alzheimer’s.’ And at the end of the film, we deal with the emotional distress of dealing with funerals and the death of a patient.”

He thought, what an important issue he could discuss with caregivers about pre-needs and the costs involved.  He realized  that a lot of people don’t realize how expensive it is when you pass away

“So, I reached out to various funeral homes to tell them, ‘My goal is to educate caregivers and I want to share this with the world and I would love for you to come in.’ Dignity Memorial, Melissa and Michael Tavers, were unbelievable. They have a foundation and the foundation vetted my film and they also believe in educating caregivers, not just about getting business, and they gave us a National Community Engagement sponsorship.”

 

 

Making A Screening an Event

Eric is a believer that any screening you have that you need to make your screenings like a show.  Even if you’re starting out with your first rough cut screening or you finally add music.

“I make it an event and an experience and I invite various different people that I think would want to be part of the film. I don’t think just money at first. I think, ‘How can we build a relationship together?’ And so, at these screenings, I would invite all of these different various organizations, whoever it may be.

“For example, I invited a few funeral homes.  Once they saw the film, I was able to take them to lunch, tell them my goals, and the importance of educating people in the community and nationwide.”

He told them how he could get them in front of thousands of people, their target audience.  From that, they vetted him. It took months, but they believed in his passion. “They believed in the project and I’m so grateful and humbled and fortunate to have them part of my team.”

Making the Most of Every Connection

Near the end of production, looking at the budget at the funds needs to finish, calculating the costs involved with outreach, Eric started to think “How am I going to fund this film?”

He was outside at the Center for Doc Studies.  It was 3:00 in the morning, freezing cold, and he was having a smoke when he met up with a gentleman who said he was here as an Alzheimer’s researcher.

“Are you going to the Alzheimer’s Summit?” he asked Eric. 

“What’s the Alzheimer’s Summit?” Eric responded

“It’s in D.C. You need to be there.”

“So, I went there and from that I found out about the Alzheimer’s Association Conference. I didn’t know why I was going there at first, I just knew I needed to be there. And somebody at the conference said to me, ‘Eric, you need to meet with these foundations. They have funding available and they love to support different various projects that would educate caregivers.’”

“And I was walking down an aisle five minutes later, incredible story, and I walked up to the Roskamp Foundation Institute booth and they say, ‘Hi, how are you?’ And they say, ‘What do you do?’ And I said, ‘I’m a filmmaker. I just finished a documentary on Alzheimer’s caregivers.’

“They looked at each other strange, and they turned to me and they said, ‘We were just talking about backing some type of media project.’”

Always Bring Something to a Meeting or Screening

“I called them a week later, drove over to Sarasota with a big heart cake, showed them the film, and from there it’s history.” Eric said.

“You never walk into an office without bringing something,” Carole added. “You always bring a gift of something, right? People love that. In my teaching class, Stuart Wilde talks about the fact that you give to people.  You open people’s hearts through your giving and they get to know who you are, so I bet the cake was something they loved, right?”

“They really loved it.”

“I took your advice and I’m making little chocolate hearts that say “love,” so anywhere I go, I think it’s really important that as a filmmaker, as an Indie filmmaker, any screening that we have … For me, if it’s one person or 10 people or 100 people, even one more person to watch my film is important.

“It’s crucial for a filmmaker to go to any screening they can, possible, and give something, hand something out. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it makes them a little curious. It makes them a little bit happier and they’ll show up to your films.”

“From my past experience, you never know what’s going to happen from one person watching your film. All the other doors that could open or just the fact that you’re impacting them, making a difference in their life.”

Getting Friends to Make Introductions

Eric wanted to get in contact with Brian and Steven from Senior Information Centers. His mother had visited them years ago, years before, because they help seniors with legal issues or finding nurses and doing their pharmaceutical drugs. 

He approached Arlene Rossman who was one of the caregivers who’s in his film. She had a really close relationship with Steven and Brian and she got him a meeting with them.  He showed them a few clips of the film.  They believed in what he was doing.

“They are one of our main sponsors now, as well. And without them, I don’t think I would have been able to finish the film because they paid for all the funds to get the documentary finished.”

Creating a Package for Community Outreach

When Eric started realizing the enormous costs involved with outreach, He decided that he needed to make a grand proposal.  He also needed to make a budget. “It was really was eye-opening for me.” Eric commented when realizing the enormous expense, he was facing in marketing his film.

“Thank God, that I met From the Heart Productions. Again, I go back to that because that was so pivotal for me focusing and really changed my life because I realized how important it was to envision and realize that the power of your mind is so important.”

“And so I made my vision board. I listened to those classes that you have on Saturdays. I listened to everything Carol Joyce and you told me and I followed those directions.  Plus, utilizing my own experiences and since I was the event coordinator and sponsorship development officer at Clear Channel, I knew the importance of branding and putting together a package.”

Find Your Target Audience

“People want to see that they’re going to receive value for what they’re giving. So, I started thinking outside the box and I realized, as a filmmaker, and I want to share this with other filmmakers, it’s really, really, extremely important to know your target audience.”

Eric remembered the lessons he heard during From the Heart Productions bi-weekly film funding guidance classes.  That your film “can’t be just for everybody.  You have to have your target audience.”

He started thinking about people that would want to get in front of this target audience.  They might be medical professionals, Alzheimer’s caregivers, people who have a loved one who have Alzheimer’s.  He started to develop a package for these people so they would get their logo on the website.  They would get announced at these screenings. They would get their logo on the film. He thought of all of these different ways that he could help their organization.

“I gave them my passion and love and told them how important this was for me to educate caregivers and they followed suit and they all came on board. Every single one of these organizations have gotten new business directly from our film.”

Calculate the Costs of Outreach

Eric found the costs for outreach rivaled the production cost of his film.

“Most of my production costs, people jumped in and devoted their time because they wanted to get a screen credit.  But when you run into outreach, you’re running into such enormous costs.

“Posters, press kits, graphic designers, trailers, festival fees, that can run over $5,000 for festival fees. Social impact producers. You need a DCP, which is a digital cinema package to project. Publicity, publicity stills, private screenings, traveling, broadcast cuts and they add up. 

“They could go over hundreds of thousands of dollars.  That’s what why it’s so crucial that you find people that believe in your project and show them the love, and they will see your vision and help get that project out into the world.”

Benefits of Working with a Non-Profit

“And another thing that I’ve learned is that I’m keeping it much simpler by going through a nonprofit, which I think is really important, not only for direction. Foundations love to give other foundations monies to educate people in the community, as I stated before.”

“They feel secure that the foundation they’re giving to will make sure that you follow through” added Carole, “because heretofore, there were a lot of films that got financed, but never got finished. So, nowadays, they want to make sure that you finish the film, so you’ve done all that. You’ve got a gold star, as far as most of your donors are concerned.”

“Carole Dean, I just love you and your organization” Eric responded. “I can’t think you enough for the guidance you’re giving me and the places you’re sending me to go to. You’re incredible and, again, I’m not just saying that. I really mean that from the bottom of my heart.”

Attracting a Team with Your Passion for Your Project

“Having an amazing team is really important. I hope filmmakers realize that and if you show the passion in what you’re doing, you don’t have to pay full fees.” Eric advised.  “You can get people to help consult on your projects. They’re more than happy to answer questions.

“For example, when I first reached out to you”, he said to Carole, “I was calling you … I Googled amazing fiscal sponsors, found you, and asked you a question and you had no problem answering and helping me and that’s how, for example, I built my relationship with you.”

“I wasn’t a brilliant grant-writer, so I found an amazing grant-writer to help consult. Normally, it would astronomical charges, but because I did a lot of the work, they jumped in and helped consult. So again, I want to thank, for example, Carol Rainey.

“I have an impact producer that has been crucial in guiding me. She’s amazing and she’s so brilliant. Christina Lindstrom.  And then I brought in a marketing team to help consult, and so I think these are key things to remember that, for outreach, that collaborating and building a really strong team is very important.”

Advice for Caregivers and Filmmakers

“One thing also I learned, and I hope this can help caregivers, is take a deep breath. You have this. You can do this. You need to believe in yourself. Believe in your project. Be passionate. You will do this. It will happen.

“And it takes a lot of time. It takes years, and years, and years, but look for giving programs from corporations. Think outside the box and I believe that all of us, as filmmakers, will succeed.”

Teaching filmmaking to Michael Jackson, how let go of the fear of creating, and using your iPhone to create a storyboard

by Carole Dean

The classic book on filmmaking “Shot by Shot: Visualizing From Concept to Screen” is celebrating its 25th year in publication this year.  Author Steven Katz joined Claire Papin and Carole Dean on The Art of Film Funding Podcast

Lessons for Indie Filmmakers

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash – You can create storyboards by shooting photo boards using your iPhone or any other camera to shoot it.

He shared some stories and what he’s learned about filmmaking over the quarter decade since the film book was first published:

What He Taught Michael Jackson on Filmmaking

“At one point, I taught Michael Jackson and I had to be sensitive to the fact that he was Michael Jackson. But, a couple of times after I got to know him, I said, ‘Michael, you can pay for anything.  If you wanted to make a film for $35,000, you can do it!

“And yet, so much of what we’re working on together over these many months, we’re circling, coming to getting started to making a film, why aren’t we making a film every day? Why aren’t we making a film every week?’… And I’m talking about making a short of some kind, that’s how you learn.  

“For new filmmakers, if you’re at that age when you can take weeks off, months off, or use weekends and not have too much else to do except your love of filmmaking, then you ought to be doing that. Whatever is the gene that prompts you to be highly self-motivated and not fearful is good for filmmakers.”

How to Get Over the Fear of Creating

“When I was in China, it’s a very mimetic culture, they copy everything, and it was a difficult habit to break with the artist I was working with. I did bring 20, 30 people to the room and say, ‘Okay, let’s just talk about how you generate an idea, and where they come from.’

“I would just pull people at random out of the class and say, ‘Okay, well how did you get to work this morning? What happened?’ ‘Well I biked, and I did this, and it’s eight miles for me.’ ‘And where did you get food?’ ‘Oh, I did this,’ and out of that, I would start to pick little moments. I would say, ‘What if this had happened?’ And I would build a story out of the events they’d be telling me.

“And the whole point of it was, Hey, every day you do something. Go to lunch and something interesting happened, and if it didn’t happen figure out a place where it could’ve happened and then let your imagination run.

“I think a lot of the fear that people have about going out and just making something, is where their ideas come from and is the idea too big? You do get better at it. You get better by doing small ideas, that’s the first thing you have to learn is, you don’t have an unlimited budget.”

 

 

Creative Ways to Storyboard

You have a script. You’re a director, you get this (script) and you’re reading it and of course what’s happening is, you’re having all these pictures in your head.  If you want to say, ‘I want to start with a close-up and I want to pull back and then we’re going to cut to Nancy over here for a close-up. And then we’re going to go wide.’ Well that doesn’t mean very much. It has to be seen visually, so visualization is getting it from where it is in your head, where you see it, onto a new form.

“There are many different ways to do that and storyboarding is one of them. You can go out and shoot photo boards, like you can use your iPhone or any other camera to shoot it. You have a scene in a diner, well get your friends, you’ll buy them lunch and then you go around shooting them from all different angles.

“Now you’ve got all these shots, now you may not even be recording the dialogue, you’re not doing the video either. You’re just getting individual frames. Then you’ll bring back your shots and put them into an editing package. You’ll start to put something together and that’s a photographic version of a story. These are all things you’re doing to be able to present the material to other people, but it’s also for yourself.

“With a pencil and a sheet of paper and you can draw stick figures. So, if you’re a director and you don’t draw, you can make up this very primitive looking thing but believe me, that primitive thing when you write dialogue underneath tells you so much. And what happens is, people say, ‘Wow, I didn’t understand why this didn’t work. I got two close-ups in a row, that’s not good.’

How the Directing Greats Protected Their Work

“Alfred Hitchcock would design all his shots in a storyboard. He would go shoot those shots and he wouldn’t really shoot many alternative ways of doing things. And it was the way he could ensure the control of how he wanted to do his movie and the studio couldn’t step in as they often do today and take control.   So, say you shot 45 different shots, but you only at the end need eight of them. And you can endlessly try different versions of them.

And there was a story of John Ford, I forget what picture, it was with Maureen O’Hara, one of his later pictures. He was being asked in an interview about a famous shot where the Maureen O’Hara’s very close in a carriage, and very, very far away is one of the most prominent characters and they’re silhouetted in the distance and tiny in the frame.

“So, someone asked John Ford… ‘I remember that shot. It was so great, but it was done in such an unconventional way, why didn’t you go and get the close-up? Did you get that? Did you cover that in the shot in case the long shot didn’t work?’ He said, ‘No, I didn’t shoot it’ And he said, ‘Well why?’ He said, ‘Because the studio would have used it.’ “

Just do it!

“Look, you want to become a filmmaker? You’ve got to make films, that’s it. That’s the shortest answer. There are a phenomenal number of resources out there, YouTube, and anything online with courses.

“If, you don’t go to film school another option is to do something like the New York Film Academy. There are a number of those and many of the colleges are now offering shorter programs for people who just want to train to get the basics of filmmaking and they’re not looking for a degree.”

 

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.

I’m on mission to solve a mystery that is preventing independent filmmakers from fully realizing financial success. And, I need your help

by Carole Dean

It’s basic business 101.  When you start a business, you need to know how much money you will make from selling your product.  As an independent filmmaker you should know, before you even start, what you can expect to get when selling your film. Right now, that is nearly impossible. 

Let’s fix it.  

Selling Your Film

Photo ©Tokyo Lee Productions, Inc – Director Heather Lenz with artist Yayoi Kusama during production of Heather’s documentary “Kusama-Infinity”

Determining Your Profit

When I started my business, Studio Film & Tape, I knew exactly what to expect as profit.  I know because I set it. 

Back before the world of image capture went digital, you needed motion picture film to create a feature, documentary, or television series.  I bought back leftover motion picture film from studio productions.  I called that film short ends.  From buying millions of feet of short ends off of features and selling them at a discount to new film to independent filmmakers, I eventually created the one of the largest privately woman owned business in US. 

I decided that I could sell short ends of Kodak film stock if I put the selling price very low.  So, I set my purchase price accordingly.  I wanted a 45% gross profit and I was able to achieve that. Gross to me was the selling price less the cost of goods.  I had my books set up for this on a monthly basis.  If I did not see a 45% profit, then it was caused by one of two things: a mistake in the inventory or thief.  Believe me, I experienced both.

Filmmakers Are in the Dark

It is very simple to run a business with clarity like I just described.  Now, fast forward to today’s world with filmmakers creating budgets to make their features and documentaries.  As head of the non-profit, From the Heart Productions, we support hundreds of filmmakers each year.  I find most of them have no idea of what they can sell their film for. 

They are sure they will get into one of the top 10 film festivals. They are also sure that a distributor will take their film and pay prices paid at Sundance.  Some filmmakers think their film is perfect for Netflix.  But do they know the price Netflix will pay?  No.

They only know what they read in the papers when Netflix or Amazon makes a gigantic purchase at Sundance or Toronto.  Then, they use that number as a reference and believe that Netflix or Amazon will pay them the same price.  Please do not do this.  Anytime a selling price is in the papers, that means it is extraordinary.

Here is Where I Need Your Help

Filmmakers need to know what to expect from a sale of the finished product when preparing their budget.   How can you create a budget for a film when you don’t know if you will ever get that money back?  You can’t really or shouldn’t. 

I am asking every one of my filmmakers who has sold a project, “what did you get paid?” But I really want to gather as much information as possible.

This is where every filmmaker who reads this comes in.  If you sold your film, please, let me know the selling price.  You can be anonymous.  I just need numbers to create a data base for filmmakers to know what they can expect when selling their project.  Once I get enough reliable data then I can release it to everyone.  With this information, you can create a budget that will give you a profit.

What I’ve Heard So Far About Selling Your Film

Distributors that I’ve spoken with tell me that VOD (Video on Demand) will get you $3,000 to $5,000.  If you spend a lot of time and money marketing, you might make $15,000.00. 

What??? I thought VOD was the financial replacement of the DVD and that you could definitely get some of your $300K budget back.

Many filmmakers say to me, “I am sure Netflix will love my film.” That may be, but I am told by a reliable source that they pay $1,000 per completed minute for films with known actors and docs known actors voices or interviews.  That would mean your 90-minute feature or doc is now worth $90,000?   Since that is a buyout, how can you make back your budget if it’s over $100K?

One film distributor said that Netflix recently paid only $25,000 for a completed feature.  And that Hulu just paid $22,000 for a finished feature.  This is not good news.  I think it is interesting that both of them paid almost the same price.  How did that happen? 

Strength is Real Numbers

We need to find out what amount can be expected from a film sale.  Do you know? If not, please do some research.  Call people with similar films, ask them, “what did you sell your film for?” Please share with me. If they are reluctant, say, “Was it over $100K or under $100K?” Try to get an idea. You owe this to yourself so you can make a profit.

We must band together and find what are the current selling prices of films.  We have to be honest with each other and share this information. It’s not fair to those who are spending 6 years making documentaries or features who end up with a brilliant film and then ask, “Where’s the money?”  I find that It’s just not there for 90% of the filmmakers.

#WhatisYourFilmWorth

Together we can solve this mystery.  You can email me at CaroleLeeDean@gmail.com  and give me your selling price or some general idea of what it was.  You can be anonymous.  We need a central organizing place for all of us to talk about the amount paid for films.  I want to be this place.  You can call me as well at 805 201 2080.

Don’t mind letting let others know what you got for selling your film?  You can also let me know via Twitter.  We are at @fromtheheartprd.   Let us know what you got for your film with the hashtag #whatyourfilmisworth You will be helping us and others as well.

I see hundreds of films going through my film grant.  There are so many talented filmmakers there are across America.  I want them and all filmmakers to know the potential selling price when they create their budget.

Your time and talents are too valuable to give away. 

 

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.

In advertising and marketing, they call it your USP.  Finding your Unique Selling Point is what will set your film project apart and make it stand out from all your competitors.

by Carole Dean

Heather Hale is a film and television director, screenwriter, and producer with over 60 hours of produced content, including 20 brand new episodes of the television talk show Lifestyle Magazine.  She joined me on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast to talk about her brilliant new book, Story Selling: How to Develop, Market and Pitch Your Film & TV Projects

Unique Selling Point

“What are you doing that’s fresh and different, that we haven’t seen before, that makes this film stand out?”

Heather believes a great pitch is the key to raising money for your film and it must include your USP (Unique Selling Point) to be effective.  She discussed how filmmakers can define and create their USP then maximize it to win investors and an audience. 

What is the Unique Selling Point for Filmmakers?

For filmmakers and content creators, Heather says that ideally your USP is in your log line. “Simply elegantly, and above all quickly conveying what will compel your target audience to pay to view your film or TV show.”

How Do You Find Your USP?

“It’s what’s fresh and different about your film that we haven’t seen before,” she advises. It could be your unique point of view, your unique subject matter expertise that you bring, or your frame of reference.  It could be the way you’re telling the story as there are many non-linear story telling techniques now.

“What are you doing that’s fresh and different, that we haven’t seen before, that makes this film stand out?  Think of films like This Is Us with the two parallel story lines, and even Jane the Virgin.  It’s a telenovela, but we’ve never seen anything with that kind of fun, tongue-in cheek, campy style.  Ask yourself, ‘What makes your film fresher and more relevant to today’s audience?’”

Your USP is what bonds your film to your audience and builds rapport. She offers Game of Thrones as an example.

“There’s so much social media discussion over that, because people root for it, they get emotionally engaged.  What is your point of entry that makes for rabid fans? Viral is not a business plan, you can’t make something go viral, it has to catch on.”

How to Build the Spine of Your Log Line

A simple way to build your log line, Heather suggests, is to start with the six questions journalists have used since the beginning of news to tell a story.  “Sometimes they call it the five W’s, who, what, where, when, why, and sometimes how. It’s the inverted pyramid that inherently forces you to stick to the spine of your story. So, you start with the most compelling details first before funneling down to the rest of your pitch.”

“For example, who is the main character. It’s the protagonist. It’s also who stands in his or her way, the antagonist.  Sometimes this could be a what, like an antagonistic force, but you’re always better if that is personified as a who. Next is what happens to him or her? That’s your catalyst or inciting incident.

“’What’ could also refer to what he wants or she wants.  What is the protagonist’s goal and what is the problem? What’s the conflict? What are the obstacles and stakes?  The climax is the most important what. It’s the most important moment in the script. The where and when is where the story is set, the story world, the milieu or the backdrop. That should influence all the other elements of the script.

“How does the main character overcome all that adversity? Well, there’s your plot. How does your protagonist or other characters evolve psychologically?  There’s your transformational arc. How does he or she resolve the conflict?  That’s how your story ends, which drives back to your climax. Ultimately, the why is why should we care?  That’s the theme. So, I often think the plot is what a story is about, while the theme is what the story is really about, the undercurrent.”

“Why do we care? That’s the theme. Yeah, why? Why would I watch this? Why would the protagonist put him or herself through all that? That’s the why, the driving force, the theme. And typically, your plot, and your character arc are a metaphor for that theme.”

How Important is Your Log Line to Selling Your Project?

“It’s critical.  It’s everything boiled down to that one sentence and it’s sometimes all that anyone will hear. And it’s what gets pitched over the phone, across the credenza, across conference room tables. In markets and meetings, that’s one line that people will use to default to. So, you want to be the one who’s crafted that perfectly.”

 

 

Log Lines with Irony Create a Great Sales Pitch

When watching a movie or a television show, Heather notes, viewers like to proactively add two plus two for themselves, to try to figure out the mystery, to figure out who will end up with who, second guess the plot, and the antagonist’s plan.  

“So, just as you try to make the script an engaging fun read, you want to allow the story to unfold similarly for your pitch listener. So, when the log line is an intriguing puzzle to solve, and inherent in that conflict is the juxtapositions of irony, that’s the arc that launches this inevitable climax, and it shows what the character arc is going to be.

“Irony not only is fantastic in a log line, it’s a really terrific re-writing tool, because you can work backwards and forwards from log line to script and back again, minding the collision of sub-text to explore maybe missed creative opportunities, and where you could be pushing boundaries. It would be more obvious about what the character has to learn and overcome. It would be more obvious about the contrast between characters. That irony is a really critical.”

Your Log Line is Like a Great Reduction Sauce

“I don’t know if you’re a cook or a foodie, but a reduction sauce could be a sweet sauce drizzled over a dessert or a savory gravy dolloped over protein or vegetables.

“It starts with this huge terrain of raw ingredients, like your screenplay, like your documentary, like your reality TV show. Whatever it is, you have this huge amount that is slowly boiled down over time, reducing each flavor to its core essence. And then ultimately strained into this rich, dense, fully saturated, but completely original new puree, and that’s your log line.

“So, if you see a Broadway musical or an opera, the overture reveals snippets of all the music and moods to come, and the log lines are this alluring tease. It’s a synthesis of all the essential ingredients. So, writing that log line is like a microcosm of your script. Just as editing a moving piece of content. I think reverse engineering backwards and forwards enhances both. One informs and improves the other.”

The Importance of a Great Tag Line

Tag lines are understood within the context of the title and the log line, and when they’re accompanied by key art, they give you the whole picture.  Film is a visual medium and tag lines help viewers or readers understand the whole picture in an instant.

“If you remember the Social Network, about Facebook,” Heather gave as an example, “the tag line was, ‘You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies’. That sets up what some of the conflict is in the world. I had a bunch listed in the book. Chicken Run; ‘Escape or die frying.’ That’s a pun that also shows you the stake in the film.

Tag lines just allow you to give that extra angle or that extra twist.  Heather suggests to look on IMDB at a comparable project and look below the storyline and you’ll see plot keywords and tag line. And you can click to see what are the project’s tag line.

“What were the keywords that they used and then brainstorm using other people’s tag lines. Not remotely are you cloning or stealing or using someone else’s idea, you’re just looking at different angles to push it to see what’s been explored or not explored. It can be a really rich fertile territory for brainstorming.”

 

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.

The more the merrier and rewarding when you identify your film’s audience because 98% of your donations will come from your database

by Carole Dean

One of the most important questions to ask yourself before attempting to crowdfund your film is “How do I enlarge my database of contacts?”  It’s crucial as 98% of the donations to your project will come from your contacts. 

Film's Audience

Our fiscally sponsored film “Saving the Rabbits of Ravensbruck” found their audience and surpassed their goal on Kickstarter

 

The first step in growing your database is to define and find the audience for your film.   How do you do that while you trying to make your film?  Here’s information from my book, The Art of Film Funding and Stephen Follows book, How to Crowdfund your Film

Who is Your Audience?

What is it that attracts people to your film?  Start by interviewing some of the people who already love your project.  This does not include family and friends (as the reason they love your project may just be you!). 

Some questions you might ask include:

  • What social media platforms do you hang-out on?
  • Where do you engage with people online?
  • What kind of news do you pay attention to?

Check out my blog, “How to Mine Your Audience for Gold” to get a list of right questions to ask.  Then, use the answers create a profile of your real audience. Remember, your audience needs to be motivated by the subject matter of your film.

Is Your Audience Big Enough?

Is your existing audience big enough to fund your campaign?  Gerry Maravilla, Head of Crowdfunding at Seed&Spark, told me filmmakers can expect to get 20% to 30% of their contact list to donate. 

The most popular donation is $25.  So, if you are lucky enough to have 500 names, that will be at most 150 donations.  Multiply that by $25.  That’s $3,750. Is that enough to reach your campaign goal?

If it is not, then you need to add more names.  This audience will need additional reasons to donate because they don’t know you.  To get their donations, you need to create likability and trust.

Locate Communities or Groups

What is unique about your film? Find that and be able to talk about how special your film is because of this uniqueness.

Start listing the various audiences that your film addresses.  For documentaries, it’s much simpler than features, but let’s just take an example of a documentary on organic food. Go online and start looking for organizations and groups who fit your film like vegetarians, vegans, organic consumers, benefits of organic food, etc.

Find those organizations through Facebook and Google. On Facebook, there are thousands of groups set up around nearly every topic imaginable. You can find films or subjects that closely resemble yours.

Log into your Facebook profile. Enter a relevant keyword in the search box at the top left of the page. Then, click the Groups tab to see a list of groups related to your search term. Click on the name of the group to learn more, or click join to become a member of the group.

Make a list from your Facebook and Google results.  You want to find the top 40 organizations and set a goal to connect to at least 20.  Hopefully, they will have a minimum database of 5,000 members each.

Your goal is to get them to support your film. Get them to post about your film on their database, or newsletter, or ask them to tweet about your film.

Twitter and Instagram

Author Stephen Follows in “How to Crowdfund Your Film” suggests doing research and marketing via Twitter.  He advises to search for key people around the theme of your film and use tools like Socialbro or Rival I Q to understand more about that audience.

“Look at who is following these big people”, he writes “and look at who the big people are and find who is the most active with communicating.  Look specifically to see if they recommend other projects because if they do you want to contact them early to get them on board and promote your film as well.”

He recommends to seek tweets which motivate the audience to retweet and comment.  For example, “It might be that people are talking about dogs but it’s only when they get to talk about how to look after dogs that created a lot of people sharing and commenting this will help you understand the language and the sub topics that inspire action.”

Instagram can also be useful with the visuals answering questions like what are the common things with the images on your topic? How professional are they?

Capturing Your Audience

Ok, you’ve got a good idea who the audience is for your film.  You’ve socialized with them on social media, in their communities, and made yourself known.   Many seem really interested in your project and are likely to support it.

Sign up with an email marketing platform such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, etc.  Through them, you will get an opt-in link for others to sign up to get more information on your film in exchange for their email address.  We use Constant Contact at From the Heart Productions.  They have a text to join feature as well.

Don’t ask people to join a mailing list.  Ask them to join your community that revolves around your film as well as its subject.  No wants to be on a list. 

Include this opt-in link on your Facebook page.  Facebook has the call-to-action feature. This button appears near the “Like” button on your cover photo and is another great way to encourage email sign-ups.  Add the “Sign Up” button and link to your online sign-up form so your Facebook visitors can join your mailing list easily.

Add your opt-in link to your Instagram Profile and your website if you have one.  Also, make sure it is in your signature in your emails. 

You can drive them to your website where you can collect their email address is by giving them a nice gift, something they can’t live without.  Create short three-minute trailers.  Then, put them on your YouTube channel to drive people to your website.  Once there, they can’t resist your gift and will sign up to be part of your film community.

Reaching Out to Your Audience

By now you should have the audience profiled.  Try to list them by groups.

I always say when you ask for money you often get advice but when you ask for advice, this can sometimes lead to money.  So, with your first emails don’t ask for a donation.  They may still not be sure who you are yet.  They may not trust you even though they may be interested in your content. 

I’d ask them to give you feedback on your film. You might say, ‘I making a film about dogs and I wonder how you feel about these various topics and what information you would like to see in a film of this nature.” Do you like what I’ve written? If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know.

You might get feedback and it could be very good.  I’ve had a lot of filmmakers say they were impressed with the return information. And, you can find that as this person gets closer to the film through their relationship with you, they may eventually donate.

Remember, You Need a Lot More Than Money

Make a list of the things you need that could be donated other than money. Airline ticket miles, social networking, a PA for the shoot. Craft service on the shoot etc. etc.  Some filmmakers put this information on their website to encourage people to contact them to become part of the film’s community and donate their time.

Identifying, contacting and entertaining your audience is key to crowdfunding.  You want to take your crowd to the crowd funding.  They will follow you and donate and support you if they like and trust you and are interested in the subject matter of your film.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

How to Keep Your Environment and Emotions From Holding You Back

by Carole Dean

Breianne Pryse is an intuitive life strategist and business coach trained in many modalities. She specializes in helping people get beyond their limitations and create what they desire.  Born with many intuitive gifts, she excels at moving people and businesses into places they never thought possible. 

 

Financial Goals

Toss Your Past Traumas and Current Negativity Surrounding You Into a Bin and Take Back Your Energy

In my The Art of Film Funding Podcast interview with Breianne, she provided these 5 ways to exceed your financial goals.

Keep Your Energy Clear

If you’re working from your house and it doesn’t feel good, this can be a sign there’s too much energy there.   It could also mean there is too much negativity or it’s a sign you have not released your energy correctly.

“With all the political stuff going on, the weather, we are constantly bombarded with energy. We have to own that,” Breianne suggests.  “We say to ourselves ‘All right, I am really bombarded by the energy. Universe, I’m feeling crap today. All right, I’ve got to change this. I have life to live and more important things to do. I need to change it. I’m going to change it today.’”

She points out that there are very basic things that you can do to change the energy around you. “Spraying rosewater around an environment is really great.  Roses are the flowers of angels, so doing that is very good. I like to flood myself with white light as that really helps.”

“Putting boundaries on energy, changing your space. Think of going down to the beach one day and working, instead of sitting in front of your computer in your office. A lot of people have modalities, prayers, rituals that make them feel good and shift their energy. Salt baths and showers are really excellent, because it cleans out your auric field and it cleans out your skin.

“But, is really super important that you honor that you feel like crap and you can change it.  Because as we know, we can get caught up in the nastiness so much, and we forget that we can change it.  We really need to be in our power, and in our awareness and we can do that by changing the energy.”

Clearing Your Mental & Emotional Past

Breianne believes our past traumas not only affect who we are today. They also affect our thoughts and our feelings.  

“Most of us are energetically sensitive people,” says Breanne. “Sometimes when we go to create something awesome, we can feel like we hit a brick wall. Or we’re trying really, really hard and it doesn’t work.  Well, a lot of times that’s some sort of mechanism, some sort of energy within us from our past, that is preventing us.”

Start by Identifying the things that are limiting you.  She offers “one fun exercise that you can do is to imagine in front of you a bin of velvet white, or purple light, and it’s burning really, really bright. You want to find any past traumas stored in your body.  You want to ask, ‘All right universe, what stuff did I pick up from my mom that prevents me from having the money that I want to have right now?’”

“Feel into that energy, and you start picking it out of your body, and physically throwing it into the bin. You can do the same thing with your father.

 

 

“One of the things that was very helpful to me is, I had a lot of feedback and energy from people with old sayings from Oklahoma and Arkansas, because that’s where my family is from originally. One of those was, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.’ Well, that might really be affecting me now, and even though I don’t consciously buy into that, I can remember my grandmother saying that. So, I pulled that and I put it in the bin.”

She believes your ancestry plays a part in this, too. Usually by the age of two, where your parents were financially gets ingrained in you.  So, if they were struggling, and usually when they’re starting a new family, there is a lot of struggle, that energy can be in you and make it hard to make money.

To overcome that, Brieanne likes “talking to the traumas and saying, ‘All right, trauma. Thank you very much. I’m reclaiming my energy. I’m stopping you. I am choosing to create money to help me, my family, humanity.’”

“Throwing everything in the bin is awesome because that’s just saying you no longer need it, and you no longer want it. Now, with this, you need to go back to that magical word, truth. What I notice with a lot of people is that they did not get rid of it. What they did is, they just put it in a box. They did something else with it, so they can’t find it anymore, but it’s still there running the show.

“What I do is, I invite all the energy from all the things that I’ve ever thought I’ve cleared, all the things from all the modalities that I thought I’d zapped. I bring it all up, pull it up from inside my body and I just throw it in the bin. That helps clear it.”

Refine Your Ask

Before embarking on their project, Breianne advises filmmakers to ask “All right, universe, is it time for this film? Will this film have the impact that I want it to have at this point?”  

“It’s all about asking and refining your ask, but you have to remember to ask.” She reminds people that they’ve got to ask every day and ask consistently.  “Because the universe hears everything. Ask the universe ‘How can we make more money today? What can I do to make more money for my film today?’”

“Please don’t say ‘Oh my God, it’s so hard to make money. Things don’t work for me.’  You need to basically be asking daily, and you keep asking, as you refine your ask. Are we asking for the right thing? And just see what happens.

“One of the things that was explained to me was sometimes what you’re asking for is too small. Sometimes, things don’t show up because we’re asking for $10,000 for a film. Maybe we should be asking for $100,000 for two films. Back to that magic truth energy of what is working and what is showing up.”

Be Aware of What Shows Up

“If you’re asking for something, and something else shows up, pay attention,” Breianne warned me.

“Carole, I know that you’ve had this experience too. With me it’s like, I want new clients. So, I send fliers out in the west. Well, all the clients come from the east. Nothing comes from those fliers. It’s all about telling the universe that you want something, but not being attached to how it shows up. I’m sure you’ve had the stories from your filmmakers many times, they’ve spent all this time and energy trying to get money one way, but then it magically appears from somewhere else.

“We have to be aware of that, and say, ‘Wonderful universe, how can I magically receive more energy?’  We have to shift, because if we’re so ultra-focused on one way, we’re not going to see all the opportunities.

“What’s wonderful about this day and age is there’s a zillion and a half ways to make money, we just have to choose. We have to choose what works for us, and go with that, okay? Then that brings it to the fifth way.”

You Have to Put Energy and Action into What You Want to Create

That’s just how the universe works, regardless of what anybody tells you.

“Years ago, when the film, The Secret, came out, there were a lot of people who loved it.  I had a psychologist.  She said, ‘Oh yeah, we have The Secret Syndrome.’ I said, ‘Well, what does that mean?” She says, ‘Well, it means people said they asked for something, like they wanted a million dollars.  Then they went, and sat in their armchair for a year, and got mad because they didn’t get their million dollars!’”

“But the million dollars wasn’t going to find them sitting in their armchair, watching TV. So, it was such a phenomenon that they had to create a syndrome for it.

“It’s basically taking action. Now, sometimes that action can be going down to the local coffee shop, because you might meet the person who is going to give you the money.  Sometimes, it could be going down to the beach, spending some alone time meditating, contacting an old friend that you had, you know?  It’s all about just looking for energy, opening the energy, keeping it open and following it, because that’s how the magic happens, is just following the energy.

“Choose to be in the energy of a successful filmmaker, of a person who makes good use of other people’s money. Go back to number one about keeping your energy clean. You keep your energy clean, you keep your focus, and you keep yourself in that wonderful money energy.  Allowing yourself to stay there, regardless of what craziness people are doing around you, stay focused on your goals.”

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

 

Author of “The Field” Discusses Her Reasons for Writing it and How Our Thoughts Can Change Matter

by Carole Dean

Lynne McTaggart is a brilliant author.  I fell in love with her mind when I read her book The Field.  She has an incredible way of transforming difficult information from physicists so that we get it. 

We study The Field in our Intentional Filmmaking Class where we intend our future with the science found in Lynne’s book.  One filmmaker, Diane estelle Vicari, took my class and went on to study with her. 

Lynne Mctaggart

“A thought is a thing that affects other things…It’s trespassing into other people and things and changing them.”

Diane connected me with Lynne McTaggart and I was very lucky and honored that she agreed to an interview on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast.  Here are highlights:

On What Took Her on a Journey to Write The Field

“I was curious about why spiritual healing works.“ Lynne explained. “I run an international magazine called What Doctors Don’t Tell You, we look at the science of what works and what doesn’t work in conventional and alternative medicine. I kept coming across really good studies of spiritual healing and I kept thinking to myself, if that’s true, if you could take thought and send it to someone else and make them better, that undermines everything we think about how the universe works.”

“So, I decided to go on a quest to try to figure out what was behind all of this. Do we have human energy fields? What else do we have?  So, I began to speak to a number of pioneering scientists in consciousness research and I soon realized that each of them had made a small discovery that was revolutionary in its impact and its implications and together compounded into a completely new view of the world, a totally alternative view of reality where we are not separate entities as we’ve been told.”

How We Are All Inner-Connected

“We’re not these kinds of little billiard balls just independently operating according to fixed laws in time and space but we are one giant connected entity, thanks for a thing called “the zero-point field” and the zero-point field is essentially a quantum energy field that unites us all in its invisible web.

“But some of the other things they discovered are kind of an outgrowth of that too, that our minds may not be locked inside our heads but be out there in the field, that we are very interconnected with everything, that we have an enormous and vast human potential for extending well beyond our five senses and also the thing that tickled me the most, that thoughts are an actual something with the capacity to change physical matter. “

Thoughts Can Change Matter

“I’m at my heart an investigative reporter, very interested in fact-finding and evidence and so the reporter in me was sort of saying, well, are we just talking about shifting a quantum particle or are we talking about curing cancer with our thoughts? How far can we take this?

‘And also, what happens when lots of people are thinking the same thought at the same time and that shifted me to creating the intention experiment but it was really that kind of left-over question. It was an itch I needed to scratch, left over from the field that propelled me onto my other work.”

Our Thoughts Are Trespassers

“We’re creating all the time. One of the things that came out of my research is the idea that thoughts are trespassers. I mean, a thought isn’t just a thing; a thought is a thing that affects other things and it’s affecting all of the time. It’s trespassing into other people and things and changing them. So, we are co-creators essentially, every moment.”

One physicist proved this in his experiments. 

“The amazing Fritz Albert Popp was absolutely brilliant. He discovered accidentally, when looking for a cure for cancer, that there is a very subtle current of light that’s emanating from all living things and moreover, that other living things are beaming back synchronistically. 

“He found that this light was a communication system inside the body.  So, if something was going on in one place, it would simultaneously let the rest of the body know what was going on. It was coming out of DNA but also it was communicating with the outside and the outside was having a conversation back and so that is a huge, huge thing and may account, to some degree, for why thoughts affect us outside, why they’re affecting other things outside of us.  Popp found that highly cohesive light existed in living things.” 

Are we Vibrating Tuning Forks?

“I believe we may be a tuning fork resonating with other things at the same frequency.  Maybe through these ‘tuning forks’, we set a resonance frequency for what we want and we attract it to ourselves through our relentless focus and faith. 

“You see this all the time, where someone achieves something difficult and we often say ‘He willed it so.’ Or you may know people whose focus allows them to bring the future to the present so that doors open were there were no doors before. 

“People who move up rapidly and always seem to be in the right place at the right time, we have to wonder, are they highly functioning “tuning forks” bringing things to them to achieve their relentless vision?”

How to Make Use of Lynn McTaggart’s Lessons

I want filmmakers to consider using some of this brilliant science.  For example, you could see your film finished and envision yourself at the end of filmmaking at a major screening room and hearing a standing ovation for your film. This nightly vision could begin to attract what you need to make the film. 

That might be money, goods, services, connections, mentors, strategic partners, all of the things you need to make a film.  You attract them with your vibration that comes from your vision of the future as you want it to be.

Who knows?  I do believe that we are all vibrating strings, so perhaps it is all about finding those people and things who are vibrating with you by your relentless visions.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers fiscal sponsorship and the Roy W. Dean Grants 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.

Beware the Counter Intentions Keeping You from Realizing Your Dreams

by Carole Dean

Dr. Joe Vitale was featured in the film “The Secret” and he’s a bestselling author of many books including The Miracle, Six Steps to Enlightenment, Zero Limits, and the one I recently interviewed him about, The Awakened Millionaire

Counter Intentions

Are Your Counter Intentions Blocking Your Path to Success?

In this book, Joe says that mental blocks might be the cause of our inability to even imagine ourselves standing in awakened abundance. 

When he joined me on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast, I asked him what were some of these blocks and how they could be overcome.

Look Out for Counter Intentions

Joe refers to mental blocks as counter intentions.

“The whole concept of counter intentions,” Joe states, “is something I originated and I believe it is kind of my claim to fame. I think it’s an insight to why people say, ‘Well, self-help doesn’t work,’ or, ‘The Secret didn’t work for me,’ or, ‘The Law of Attraction doesn’t work for me.’

“It’s the idea that there’s two things going on at any moment in our mind. The first is we have intentions. Our intentions are usually good.  Our intentions are things like, ‘I want to make a movie that makes a difference.’ ‘I want to start working out and exercising.’ ‘I want to start dating.’ “I want to be healthier.”  “I want to make more money.’  Those are our intention. They are noble, they’re good, they’re positive and we all want them and like them.

“But, inside our subconscious mind are what I call counter intentions. The counter intentions are limiting, negative beliefs, most of which we’re not even aware of until we start to explore and look for them. It explains why in January there’s a rush to join the gym and by the end of January nobody’s in the gym. At the beginning the intention was there. ‘I’m going to join the gym. I’m going to get fit.’ That’s a great intention, but why didn’t we go back?

“Unconsciously we had things like, ‘Well, this isn’t going to work for me. I’ll always be this way. Working out is too hard. The gym is too far away.’ I mean there’ll be all kind of things. Those are counter intentions.”

Let Go of Excuses and Rationalizations

“With filmmakers, it’s very much the same with anybody that wants to write a book or some of the other people I hear from who have dreams. They’ll say, ‘I have a dream. I want to make this movie.’ I’ll say, ‘Great. Let’s make the movie. That sounds exciting.’ But then you’ll start to hear the counter intentions like, ‘Well I’m too old.’ ‘I’m too young.’ ‘I don’t have the connections.’ ‘I don’t have the money.’ ‘I don’t have the experience.’ Those excuses, rationalizations, as believable as somebody can rationalize them and argue for them, are actually counter intentions.

“Those are the reasons we don’t know what we’re going to do. There’s always going to be counter intentions. You can look at anybody at any time and they can stand there and say, ‘Well, I’m going to join the gym.’ Then they’ll say, ‘I’m too old.’ ‘I’m too young.’ ‘It’s my DNA.’ ‘It’s the weather.’ ‘It’s my whatever.’ Those are counter intentions. What we want to do is become aware of them and release them so we can achieve our dreams, including making films.

Awareness Can Instantly Release Negative Thoughts

Joe says that awareness is really a simple thing. When people read his book “The Awakened Millionaire” or his free book, “Attract Money Now”, a lot of the counter intentions disappeared because awareness of them alone helped blow the whistle on them.  They started to release their counter intentions when they realized those are just excuses and old beliefs.

“It is important to become aware of the beliefs because most of them aren’t even ours,” he explains. “We’ve downloaded beliefs from our family. I tell people, ‘Were your parents Mr. and Mrs. Buddha? Were they enlightened?’ No.

“Our parents came with their own limiting beliefs and they passed them onto us. Good-naturedly, I mean they were looking out for us. They weren’t trying to program us for lack and limitation or don’t go for our dreams or money is bad. They had those beliefs and just simply passed them on. We as little kids don’t know any better. We download all that information thinking, ‘Well this is the way life is.’ I’m here to tell you that’s not the way that life is.’”

When There is a Will There is a Way

“I teach people to expect miracles. I teach people to go for their dreams. One of my latest books is called ‘The Miracle: Six Steps to Enlightenment.’ Even the book you’re referring to, ‘The Awakened Millionaire,’ is all about the idea of breaking free of limitations. Another book I wrote is called Anything Is Possible and it’s from the philosophy that today, I don’t know that there’s anything we can’t have, do, or be.

“We may not know how to achieve it or create it but I bet there is a way or we can create a way. I come from the mindset that nothing’s impossible, nothing. You want to make a movie? You want it to be a blockbuster? You want all kinds of success from it? Why not? That’s the new mindset. This new mindset comes from eliminating those limiting beliefs, breaking free from the trance of limitation.”

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

The Key to Raising Money is Learning That It’s Ok to Have It

by Carole Dean

Dr. Joe Vitale was featured in the film “The Secret” and he’s a bestselling author of many books; so many in fact that Amazon has a Dr. Joe Vitale page!  Joe has taught people from all walks of life how to manifest miracles.

Dr. Joe VitaleI recently interviewed him for my The Art of Film Funding Podcast on his book “The Awakened Millionaire”.  All of the indie filmmakers with whom I work are trying to raise money.  One of the biggest roadblocks for them is accepting that it’s OK to ask for and receive money.  Dr. Joe was able to offer great advice on how they can overcome that obstacle.

Forget “Money is the Root of All Evil”

I questioned him if people thought money was bad because of the misquote from the Bible saying, “Money is the root of all evil.”

Joe responded “Well that’s a good one to start with. As I explained in my book “The Awakened Millionaire”, that’s the one that subconsciously, unconsciously is active in everybody’s mind including your young filmmakers because people want money. They need money. They have to pay their bills. They have to pay all of the different services they use and the vendors they use. So why is it so difficult for them to actually get money or keep money or acquire or save money? The reason has to be in our subconscious mind. We think money’s bad.”

“Because we think money is the root of all evil, we unconsciously don’t want it. We put it away. We sabotage ourselves. We think that money will taint us, money will ruin us, money will corrupt us. Because of those unconscious beliefs around money, we find ways to make sure we don’t have it.

“I’ve often pointed out to people, have you ever noticed that you do receive money just in the nick of time to pay a bill? The rent’s due, the phone’s due, whatever it happens to be, but it comes in at the last minute and then you’re broke again.”

Appreciate and Be Grateful for Money

A lot of that mentality of thinking money is evil, Joe noted, was created from that mangled biblical quote. “The longer quote, that even we don’t know today if it’s accurate or not because this is from thousands of years ago, but the longer quote actually says it’s the love of money that is the root of all evil.”

“If you go deeper into this, as I do in my book The Awakened Millionaire, you find out that the really balanced wealthy people of the world that I know, including myself, we’re not in love with money. We don’t love money. We use money. We leverage money. We appreciate money. We’re grateful for money. But we’re not in love with money.”

Money is Neutral.  It is Energy

“Money in and of itself is neutral. It’s just paper. It’s just coin,” he explained.  “When we take the emotional baggage off of it or the meaning we projected onto it or that we’ve acquired over the decades from family, and culture, and religion, and government, we strip all of that away and just realize money’s a tool, then you’re free.

“You’re free to have money, use money, acquire what you need for your films, your life, or anything else.

Think of Money as a Force for Good

“Because if you really want to improve the lives of others, which a lot of filmmakers do, you can do it must faster with money, right?  In fact, I think that’s one of the best reasons to acquire money is you have causes you believe in.

“Maybe it’s your movie project but maybe there’s a movement that somebody has going on that you care about.  Well, when you have money you are a steward for that money. You can aim it, direct it, and use it where you think it will do the most good.”

Make Peace with Money to Get Money

Joe tells people “Look, you care about homelessness, you care about your project. Make peace with money because you’ll be able to bring it in and then you can use it for that project or that homeless person or whatever it happens to be.

“Again, money is a force for good. You can use it for highly idealistic spiritual reasons, but you’ve got to make peace with money.”

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

 

 

Do you want to just make money with your indie film or change the world? Hybrid Cinema’s Jon Reiss explains how different goals require very different marketing strategies

by Carole Dean

Film Marekting

Seeking fame or just want to shake things up? Your goal will define how you market your film.

Jon Reiss is the author of Think Outside The Box Office and the creator and manager of Hybrid Cinema.  Drawing on Jon’s 30 years of indie filmmaking experience, Hybrid Cinema works with filmmakers to help them connect with audiences and distributors who are right for their work.

He joined me on our The Art of Film Funding Podcast and discussed how he handles clients who want to work with him.

The first thing he asks is “what are your goals for the film?”  Knowing what a filmmaker wants to accomplish is key to determining a marketing strategy for their project.   With this, he can make plans to achieve this goal.

The 5 goals he listed are what every filmmaker should consider before marketing or seeking marketing guidance for their film.  Each requires a nuanced strategy.

Financial

Financial goals mean he will work with you to make sure you make as much money on the film as possible.  You need to identify your audience and build it.  So, that when you do your VOD release you are marketing and directing them to buy online. Jon will help with the entire social media and marketing for you.

Career Advance

Perhaps money is not foremost concern and the director and producer want a career launch from the film.  Jon might advise getting a theatrical release with the main purpose being a review of your film. 

He would create your marketing and social networking around you, your creativity and your career.  Perhaps take you to Netflix as a sale because a Netflix Original would be good for career.

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Change the World

These are goals for films that often want to change belief systems and educate people with little known information.  These filmmakers want their film to have an impact. 

Jon worked with Sabine El Gameyal, past winner of the Roy Dean Film Grant for her film Generation Zapped.  She wanted this information to be seen, it is about the health hazards of wi-fi, especially on children in schools, about cancerous effects and how to protect yourself.  Jon found her 200 screenings in communities and schools.  

Getting The Film Seen  

Some filmmakers just want help getting through the maze of distribution.  They need help finding their audience and bringing them to the film.  “It’s important for you to have screenings to find who your audience is.”  Jon Says this can be very helpful once the film is finished.

Jon also wants filmmakers to tell him “what the unique nature of the film is.“ That’s important for you to use for marketing and connecting to your audience .

Developing a Direct Fan Base

This can be another goal or a side goal with your main goal.  Jon says, “this is where self-release or engaging some sort of direct-to-stand distribution will help you gain that audience.”  It will also help filmmakers keep that audience for future crowdfunding efforts and for future films.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

by Carole Dean

Tom Malloy teaches the Intentional Filmmaking Class with me. He’s a brilliant actor, producer and writer. He is a triple hyphenate and he has earned it.

3 Mistakes Filmmakers Make When PitchingAs someone who has also raised over $25 million for his features and documentaries, Tom knows the value of a good pitch. He’s given quite a few and been on the receiving end of some good…and some not so good ones.

In our class, he talks to students about the three mistakes people make when pitching. With his permission, I share them now with you.  

1. Low Energy.

Not showing enough excitement for your film. If you consider 10 as the top of the chart for a full energy pitch, then you want to practice and get to a 9 where you are loaded with passion and excitement. Because when you get in front of someone important, you will naturally be nervous and you lose a bit of your top energy.

Remember, you need to be full of passion for your film. You want to be super excited over your project when pitching or why should the investor/donor get excited? Your excitement is contagious and you want to excite your investor to close them.

2. Not Being Fully Prepared, Your Project Needs More Developing.

You think you have a great project and you don’t. Don’t get in front of someone with an unprepped project. You will be labeled an amateur and you will never get in front of them again. If you are prepped and do a good pitch, even if they don’t buy anything you can pitch them another time.

3. Not Knowing Enough About the Potential Investor.

This is when you have a great pitch and a dynamite film, but you are not prepared with enough knowledge about the potential investor. You need to know what their interests are, like family films or mystery films or the Dodgers. You need to have a general idea of what type of films they like.

If this investor came from a referral be sure to ask, “what do they like, what are they passionate about?” And, how do they act in a meeting? Do they sit quietly or do they interrupt and ask questions? You want to know if they like sports or like true crime movies so you can pitch what they like.

Be sure to Google and find all you can about them before the meeting. To really have a good meeting, you need to be aware of who they are and what they like. You can also use this research to create dialogue with them and they will appreciate the fact you researched them. Know everything about the investor possible.

Tom suggests you find some subject of interest to get the investor to talk to you before you start your pitch. Let him be part of the conversation. You need to get him to open up about who he is.

He says he will ask questions about things on the investor’s wall or on the desk to start a conversation.  Or, he will use something he found on line about them. Ask about their company usually they love to talk about their business.

 

The Art of Film Funding PodcastCarole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

Roy W. Dean Grant Winning Filmmaker Jason Smith Shares The Advice He Gives Filmmakers That He Mentors

By Carole Dean

Jason Smith’s Documentary “I Voted” Was Selected to the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival

What makes a great film? Jason Smith, who directed the Roy W. Dean Grant winning documentary “I Voted”, has some definite thoughts on this. Jason has worked as a voice over artist on over 100 films including Avengers: Infinity War, Thor, and Deadpool. He also mentors’ filmmakers.

Jason was recently a guest on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast.  He listed what he considers are the 5 “Be’s” necessary for a great film.

 

Be You. – There’s Only One You

Nobody can make a film like you because they’re not you. Nor can you make a film like someone else. You will always be your own best advocate so you might as well be first in line for your own fan club.

“That doesn’t mean being egotistical, obnoxious and self-centered” explained Jason. It simply means having a sense of confidence in what you do. It also means digging deep in creating content that resonates with you – because if it doesn’t resonate with you, it won’t resonate with others.

Be Open. – Change is the Only Thing That is Constant

“The best laid plans usually turn into something else” Jason quipped. Sometimes change is fortuitous, frequently it’s not. But it is inevitable and it will impact your project at every stage of your endeavor. So, flexibility is paramount. The ability to adapt is integral to success.

Be Resourceful – In Independent Filmmaking One Often Has to Cut Corners Using Borrowed Scissors.

You will most likely be asking for favors and assistance. Pay people when appropriate (which is most of the time) and respect their value. You may not be able to pay market value to professionals but pay them something.

And if you cannot come up with the funds to make your film, ask yourself if you’re presenting the project in the best light. Maybe you’re not attracting others because you haven’t fully fleshed out what you’re doing.

Be Passionate. – Showing Up is a Big Part of Any Filmmaking Venture.

“If you’re convinced, you’re making the greatest film ever, figure out how to share your vision with others” he advised. By convincing others thru your passion, you will build a team and a community. Those are necessary components for the success of your film.

“Convincing people thru passion is necessary for any artist, especially when the art is in the conceptual stage.” You will need to convince others of the value of your idea. Then, you will need to convince audiences thru your execution that your great ideas are up on the screen.

Be Honest. – While Telling the Truth is a Good Way to go Thru Life.

“Yes, you want to be honest with others and not lie. However, we sometimes lie in life – it’s part of the human condition. And the most important human that we should never lie to is…ourselves.” Jason noted.

When we lie to ourselves about our film, we run the risk of making an expensive awful mess that will lose money and damage relationships. The list of lies we can tell others runs long, and the list of lies we can tell ourselves runs even longer.

 

The Art of Film Funding PodcastCarole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

 

Expert Analysis on How to Prep Your Campaign to Guarantee Success 

A brilliant and respected data researcher for the motion picture industry, Stephen Follows has now set his sights on breaking down what makes a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The 5 “P’s” of Pre-Launch CrowdfundingHis new book “How to Crowdfund Your Film: Tips and Strategies for Filmmakers” details the hard data filmmakers need to create a crowdfunding campaign that will hit their goals. 

On The Art of Film Funding Podcast, host Carole Dean of From the Heart Productions was joined by Stephen who shared with Carole his 5 “P’s” of pre-launch crowdfunding that are critical to a successful campaign.  

Pitch and People 

Stephen said either of these can be #1.  Both are complimentary.

In your pitch, you need to understand what is the unique compelling idea that will delight your audience that will cause them to promote or fund your film.  Is it rewards?   Is it the film’s story?

For people, you need to decide who is your audience for the film.   Who will this project appeal to that can turn into donors.  

If you know what makes your film unique, then you can find who your film will speak to the best.  If you know who your audience will be for the film, you need to figure out what would be a good pitch to them to bring them on board.

Planning

You need to do as much research as possible Stephen advises.   “In the evening or the weekend, lunch break, you noodle around looking at other crowdfunding sites that are trying to raise similar amounts, same niche, and same audience.”  Figure out what is working for them and creating their success? 

Process

This is where you are building a team.  Work out tasks for each member.  “You are sort of building a machine which is your pre-launch engine.  Think of it as pre-production.” 

Promote

“This something that can be quite tricky for filmmakers” Stephen warns.  Most filmmakers see themselves as artists and not salespersons.  “But they do have to acknowledge that the projects that work are the ones that are promoted.”  You should be the main salesperson for your film

If you feel you are not capable of selling your project, find someone else who can do it for you.  Don’t expect when you put up your crowdfunding page that the money will just come in.

Stephen suggests that you pre-launch should take up no less time than the campaign itself.   “It will take time,” he says, to get your 5 “P’s” done, “but, it will pay off.”

From the Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to educating and assisting independent filmmakers on getting funding for their projects.   They offer fiscal sponsorship with personal fundraising guidance, three Roy W. Dean Film Grants each year, and the Intentional Filmmaking Class.  

How an Award-Winning Filmmaker Got Her Subjects to Open Up on Camera and Reveal More Beyond Her Original Questions

By Carole Dean

Stephanie Howard was a news reporter before she became a filmmaker and created her brilliant documentary, The Weight of Honor.  This Roy W. Dean Grant winning film is a tribute to the caretakers who dedicate their lives to our wounded soldiers.

I interviewed her for my The Art of Film Funding Podcast where she shared with me her secrets for sensational interviews.

Read, Research and Learn Everything About the Topic

Secrets to Sensational Interviews

Stephanie Interviewing for “The Weight of Honor”

Before you create your questions, know everything you can about the person and the subject matter.  Write all of the questions you want and be sure to cover each of the topics you have chosen. 

Do not write a yes or no question.

Write the same question in different ways to get the answers you want them to say.  It’s often needed.  You know what you want them to say to move the film forward so write several of these critical questions in the hope of getting the right answer for the film.

You do not want to be on camera. Normally, you want only the interviewee on the camera.

If they say “as I said” or “Like I was saying” …. Stephanie stops them and reminds them that this has to be new information just for the viewer. You need to answer in the first person. Plus, she reminds them to repeat the question in the answer.

The Most Important Part of Interviewing is Listening

When you are listening, you can maintain eye contact and you know what the next question is from what they just said.  Keeping eye contact is important so they are focused on you.  They could be giving you a real jewel in the answer and you could miss it if you are focused on your list of questions.  You never know what answers you can get and how listening can open new threads of information about your subject matter. 

One of our Roy Dean Grant winners was making a historical family film.  When she was interviewing her subject, he answered her question, but then he also said something about “all those other Negros that were buried under the tree.” 

The woman who was with him said, I don’t think you want to discuss that.  Our filmmaker kept asking questions about this issue while she had him on camera and found that she was sitting on a film about scores of missing black people in the area.  This created Lily & Leander: A legacy of Violence, a brilliant documentary film, just from hearing every word. 

Ask Your Crew

Stephanie said one of the things she recommends is when you are through asking questions, say to your crew, “Do you have any questions?”   This keeps the crew listening too.  She finds that they have excellent questions. 

The crew is listening because they know Steph will want their input.  This really sets a co-creative situation.  They know you appreciate them and they want to be part of the content of the film as well as the production.

Keep the Camera Rolling

Tell your crew that even when you say, “ok kill the camera,” do not stop filming.  You can get the best information during this time.  People relax when the camera is off.  When your subject says something that you want in the film, Steph just says, “let’s fire up the camera and get that” even though it was on all of the time. 

Because you have a signed release it’s all legal material.

I heard some wonderful comments in our fiscally sponsored filmmaker Jilann Spitzmiller’s film, Still Dreaming.  She kept her camera rolling when people thought it was off and caught a conversation that added so much to the film. 

When people think the camera is off then you can get some real jewels.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

How our Fiscally Sponsored Filmmaker Got Help from a Kickstarter Expert for Her Crowdfunding Campaign and Hit Her Fundraising Goal

by Carole Dean

Our fiscally sponsored filmmaker, diane estelle Vicari, feared her fundraising campaign was set to fail.   diane (both her first and middle names begin with lower case letters) is the founder of Dites-Moi and winner of the Pare Lorentz Grant for her film Sugihara, Conspiracy of Kindness.  

Kickstarter Expert

“SHADOW MAN: The story of Sammy Nestico”

Her new film, Shadow Man: The Story of Sammy Nestico, needed to raise money to finish her edit.  It had a great story.  It is a feature-length documentary film that explores the music, art, humanity, impact, and life of Sammy Nestico.  He helped mold the careers of many jazz greats.  Sammy recently turned 94 years young. His most recent Grammy nomination came only a year ago, at the age of 93!

But, she only had 3,000 names on Facebook.  You should only expect to get about 1% of your social media followers to donate.  So, obviously, that was not going to get her to her goal.  And, with Kickstarter, if you don’t reach your goal, you get zero.

Her non-profit fiscal sponsor From the Heart Productions came to her rescue.  We hooked her up with our Kickstarter expert.  Working with him as a team, she grew her social media followers, reached a larger audience, and surpassed her funding goal.  She asked for $61,500 and got over $75,000!

On The Art of Film Funding Podcast, she shared with me her experience and what she had learned.

Realizing You Need Help and Accepting It 

diane had 3,000 names on Facebook and knew she needed help to reach her funding goal.  She took the leap of faith to do a crowdfunding campaign with From the Heart Productions and our Kickstarter specialist.  

After speaking with the expert, diane realized he was right for the task as “he knew money and how to get it.”  To make this campaign work, she realized she was the artist and he was the money man. 

She began to feed him stories every day about the film and introduced him to the subject in the film.  He met Sammy and saw his loving, generous energy.  After that, the Kickstarter expert was able to help diane build the Facebook numbers up to 6,000 followers by the end of the campaign.

Facebook to the Rescue

Once she got Sammy on Facebook with the heightened energy from the campaign it was a magical time.  Sammy had never heard of Facebook.   diane had to drive hours to his home and do the postings for him.

Getting him involved on social media attracted lots of followers.   Sammy talked to people all over the world who love music and even some who had read his music books written for schools.  

This participation was the key to their last days where they raised over $10,000.00.   People are more likely to support you when they can chat with you online. 

diane posted a video of Sammy watching his trailer on Kickstarter and seeing the funds come in on the campaign.  People loved it.  She thinks he was the oldest person on Kickstarter.

Choosing the Right Amount for the Goal…Even If It’s Less Than You Need

diane knew from her Kickstarter adviser that she could not raise the full amount she needed for her final edit with her data base.  They set a goal they thought they could reach.  She did not get enough for the full edit. 

She thought she could get at least a few months of editing with these Kickstarter funds.  But after consulting with D-Word’s Doug Block, she realized that was not a good idea.  Hiring someone for 2 months and then terminating them to look for more money might mean you could not get that same editor again. 

He suggested she view all of the footage for the last 16 years and hire an assistant editor.  Then, raise the balance needed, hire the editor, and do the edit all at once.

However, now she has a successful campaign behind her.  She has lots of new donors and followers on which to build her next campaign.  Her trailer was the most watched on Kickstarter and a copy of it is on our crowdfunding page. 

Sammy was the oldest person on Kickstarter and people loved him.  There were featured by Kickstarter.  diane had 511 rewards to fulfill and she had to handle all that herself.

After 44 days of working 10 hours a Day on Her Campaign, I Asked Her “Would You Do This Again…Is It Worth the Stress?” 

Looking back over the ups and downs of the campaign, diane says “Yes, I will do this again, even with the craziness and the stress.”

“Look at the benefits we received.  We found and connected to our audience with Kickstarter.  We now have people all over the world who want to see this film made.   They stayed with us to the very end to see we hit both of our goals.  People are still finding us even weeks after the campaign and they want to donate.”

She and Sammy are dedicated to keeping their audience.  They are continuing to work on Facebook.  They are keeping their fans up-to-date on the progress of the film and Sammy is personally talking directly to his audience. 

This experience took him into a new world. He is writing again.  He has found how much people love and appreciate him. 

I believe this magic of connecting with people personally will insure another successful campaign.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

An Award Winning Filmmaker Decided to Write a Book.  Here is What She Learned and Her Outside-the-Box Way of Getting a Great Deal to Write the Screenplay

by Carole Dean

Many filmmakers tell me they want to write a book to go with their film.  And they want to know if the book should be published first. I decided the right person to ask is Alexis Krasilovsky.

Filmmaker to AuthorAlexis won the Roy Dean Film Grant for her global documentary feature: Women Behind the Camera, which won four “Best Documentary” awards. She also directed a second global documentary, “Let Them Eat Cake” (2014), She is a member of the Writers Guild of America West.

Written under her “nom de plume” Alexis Rafael, her most recent book is “Sex and the Cyborg Goddess”.  Set in 1969, it tells the story of Ana who arrives at Yale just as it’s going co-ed.  It tackles sexual liberation and sexual assault on campus, as well as sexual harassment in the film industry.

I interviewed her on The Art of Film Funding Podcast about filmmakers writing books.  How important is it for your film?  Here are some tips from this podcast.

What Advice Do You Have for Going from Filmmaker to Author?

“It’s often a good idea to write a book first,” suggested Alexis.  “It not only helps you to solidify your ideas, but by getting a book published first, your readership becomes your potential audience for the movie.”

“If it’s a women’s topic, that can be especially significant.  Women comprise 75% of the readership of novels.  Even though the film industry is still very male-dominated in terms of who decides what gets produced and what doesn’t, they are finally recognizing that it can be very good business to produce a film based on a book written by and for women.”

Did You Base “Sex and the Cyborg Goddess” on Your Own Experiences?

“Sex and the Cyborg Goddess” is a work of fiction, set against the backdrop of the sexual liberation era, anti-Vietnam protests and Black Panther demonstrations. It’s a portrait of a filmmaker, Ana, as a young woman who won’t let sexual harassment stop her.” 

But I am not Ana.  Unlike the Ana of this novel, I did let sexual harassment stop me.  I retreated into academia instead of going to bed with the last producer I worked for in Hollywood. The books which I wrote while a professor became a kind of R&D – research and development – for creating the character of Ana as she moves forward through the 1970s and 1980s in L.A. and N.Y.” 

But some of what Ana experiences did come from my own life. Like Ana, the Yale student, I protested against the war in Vietnam in Washington, although the real me didn’t drop acid.”

What Do You Want People to Take Away From the Book?

“I want readers to find affirmation in their right to pursue consensual sex, as well as their right to live without sexual violence. 

For those readers who are part of the “#MeToo” movement, I want my book to provide healing by furthering the discussion about Ana, a relatively isolated character, and young women today, who belong to a Sisterhood.”

What is the Unique Strategy You Are Using to Get a Deal to Write the Screenplay?

“Before embarking on the screenplay, I took time off – including a research fellowship and a sabbatical – to write a nonfiction book entitled “Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling.” It was published by Routledge in NY and London last fall.” 

As a member of the Writers Guild, I thought that by establishing myself as an international expert in screenplay adaptation, I’d get a better deal on the screenplay for “Sex and the Cyborg Goddess.”  I’ve been speaking about adaptation at CBS Studios and on panels around the L.A. area.  In January, I’ll be giving a screenplay adaptation workshop at the International Academy of Film and Media in Bangladesh.”

I hope that strategy pays off. After teaching screenplay adaptation as a screenwriting professor for over two decades, you can imagine what a thrill it is to sit down at the computer, open up Final Draft, and finally, finally, go to work on my own screenplay.” 

I just sit there and laugh and laugh – not all of “Sex and the Cyborg Goddess” is tragic.”

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

Author Alexis Krasilovsky Explains When it’s Been Right to Move Adaptations Beyond the Original Material

by Carole Dean

AdaptationsAre you thinking of making a film or documentary by adapting a book, magazine article or TV show?  You’re not alone as many academy award winning films, Emmy winning movies, and series began as adaptations. 

There’s a ton of pitfalls.  Some, of course, are legal that could stop you before you start. Or, you could get tied up in lawsuits after you’ve invested time and money.  Other traps are creative.  How far should you or can you go in changing any aspect of the original?

Fortunately, on my recent The Art of Film Funding Podcast, I had an expert on adaptations to offer tips and guidance on adapting material. 

Roy W. Dean Grant winning filmmaker Alexis Krasilovsky is the author of Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling.  Educated at Smith and Yale, with an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, her book is a compendium for anyone wanting to adapt a story from almost any source. 

How To Keep Adaptations From Being Stifling

“A good student will memorize the storyline and analyze the characters and some of the things they say – whether it’s a graphic novel, a short story, a play or a novel” noted Alexis.  “But a great student — or a professional screenwriter — needs to honor the spirit of the work without just regurgitating its storyline and dialogue.” 

The original work needs to come alive in a new medium.  Alexis says an adaptations calls for a close relationship with the original author.  But, you don’t want to be slavishly married to the book.

“It may mean divorcing yourself from the material you’re adapting in order to discover your own voice in the process,” she explains.  “That fresh perspective can be the key towards involving your audience so that they’re excited by the story and what you do with its characters, setting, and time frame.”  

How Important Is It to Stay with the Original Setting of the Story?

“Moonlight”, based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play “In the Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”   was shot in Liberty City, Florida.  It’s the Miami suburb where both director  Barry Jenkins and author grew up.  But, Alexis mentions, before filmming began, there was talk about setting a in Chicago!

For some stories, like “Moonlight”, the original location is an integral part of the story and should not be altered.  Likewise, it’s hard to imagine Trainspotting taking place somewhere other than Edinburgh, “The Milk of Sorry” in any place other than Peru, or “Wuthering Heights” outside of England (although Luis Bunuel’s “Wuthering Heights”, renamed “Abismos de Pasion”, takes place in Mexico).

But many times, the creativity of changing a setting is what makes a film a winner.  One is example is Nobel Laureate Naguib Mafouz’s novel, “Midaq Alley”  The original story takes place in a run-down alleyway in poverty-stricken Cairo, Egypt.

Mexican Filmmaker Jorge Fons reset the location in his film “Midaq Alley” (El Callejon de los Milagros).  His film explores the parallel lives of characters in a run-down alleyway in Mexico City.  The film won 11 Ariel Awards in Mexico – the equivalent of our Oscars, and dozens of other international awards and nominations. 

It’s a great example of a story without borders:  It’s a story that resonates with poverty issues in both Egypt and Mexico but is also universal.

Adding to Original Material

Akira Kurosawa was famous for his many adaptations.  Alexis told a story contained in his cleverly named autobiography, “Something Like an Autobiography” in which talked about how  he combined different original stories to create a classic.

“As I cast about for what to film,” Kurosawa recalled, “I suddenly remembered a script based on the short story “In a Grove” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. .. written by Hashimoto Shinobu.  It was a very well-written piece, but not long enough to make into a feature film”

Later the memory of it jumped out of one of those creases in my brain and told me to give it a chance.  At the same time, I recalled that “In a Grove” is made up of three stories.  I realized that if I added one more, the whole would be just the right length for a feature film.”

Then, I remembered the Akutagawa story “Rashomon.” Like “In a Grove,” it was set in the Heian period…The film Rashomon took shape in my mind.”

Kurosawa felt, that in order to write scripts, “you must first study the great novels and dramas of the world.  You must consider why they are great.”

“I’ve tried to do just that in while writing my book, “Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling,” said Alexis  “I hope it will be helpful to others.”

Bonus – Alexis Krasilovsky Negotiator’s Legal Checklist for Film Adaptations

There are six basic questions that negotiators can discuss and check off when working on film adaptations:

  1. Is the basic story under copyright?
  2. Who owns the rights?
  3. Have the rights been previously granted to a third party?
  4. If in public domain, have other versions been previously made and released.
  5. Monetary negotiation with owner or agent of copyrighted version.         6.  Non-monetary negotiations (such as territory, script approval, sequel rights, credits, etc.).

Attorneys can be very expensive and therefore doing one’s homework prior to your consultation can be a worthwhile investment. The answers are discussed in detail in “Great Adaptations,” in the second chapter.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

Hoʻoponopono, the Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness and reconciliation, can release your creativity

by Carole Dean

Hoʻoponopono

Forgiveness is a higher vibration than love

“My enemy has come to ask me for forgiveness.” 

I was in the hospital with my father who had just had a stroke.  We did not know if he would live.  Dad was staring at the door to his room when he said those words.

I said Dad, you have to forgive him and let him go.  “Darling”, he said, “I forgave him long ago.  He must forgive himself.” 

That was one of the most important moments in my life.  Since then, I have learned that forgiveness is a higher vibration than love.  It is the vibration that we all want to reach while we are on this planet. 

Then, I found a wonderful Hawaiian prayer.  It has been an important tool for healing myself and forgiving others.  It brought balance in my life and I owe much of my success to its lessons.

I teach it to filmmakers in my Intentional Filmmaking Class.  It has helped them move past the frustrations and anger artists encounter. 

It’s allowed them to be heard, be creative, and get funded.

Hoʻoponopono

‘I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you’.

Those are the few and powerful words of the Ho’oponopono prayer.  The literal translation of the prayer from Hawaiian is ‘to put to right; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, make orderly or neat.”

Many people believe Hoʻoponopono to be a mantra of mental and spiritual cleaning that could be compared to Buddhist techniques for clearing karma.  According to the Hawaiian worldview, “errors of thought” are the origin of problems in the physical world.  The prayer begins the process of cleansing them.

When we forgive others, we are really forgiving ourselves.

Money Has Ears

Ok, how can this help you fund your film?  If you feel like you have a strained relationship with money, you can use this powerful meditation to break through personal blocks.  Creative differences, funding falling through, or family issues distracting you from reaching your goals?   This prayer can help get all of that behind you. 

With Hoʻoponopono, you take total responsibility for your own actions and everybody else’s too.   You must let go of your ego when using this prayer.  Connection, clearing, and forgiveness are much more important than ego concerns about who is right and who is wrong.

This will move you out of any feeling that you have been victimized.  It will release anger that is blocking you from moving forward.

Rejection is a Daily Occurrence for Filmmakers

Each of you has to deal with rejection on a daily basis.  Healing and forgiving are partners in this Hawaiian prayer.  When you have been rejected by a donor or a grant, this can help you accept it and move on. 

There is power in release of trauma, power in release of anger, power in the release of frustration.   All of this power you have is now being used to handle, to keep in place, all of these emotions. 

You can heal yourself and remove any unpleasant situations, rejections or loss, with Hoʻoponopono.  This is asking a lot from a prayer and I believe it works. 

Bring up a rejection of a donation to your film or bring up a confrontation with someone.  Then, say this prayer daily for a week or until you feel you are in balance with this person or issue. 

You will begin to heal that hurt and soon you can say their name without any hurt feelings.  That is when you know you’ve forgiven them.

Give it a Two Month Try Out

Those of you who want to try this, please join me and let’s do it for the months of August and September.  This would give us lots of prayers to forgive people including ourselves. 

You might use a memory trick to tie new things to some habit.  For example, like when you brush your teeth, remember your Ho’oponopono prayer! 

Give yourself time to start saying it before the day comes on you or when you go to bed.  Pick someone, some event, that you want to heal and begin your forgiveness prayer. Say it at least 5 times for one person. 

I will do it with you.  This opens up our creative forces.

Look Online for a Guided Ho’oponopono Meditation

There are prayers on line from 7 minutes to over an hour that you can use.  I suggest you find one that works for you.

I am a long-time meditator.  I put myself into a quiet place or I do this when I go to bed.  In my mind, I bring up the person or event.  Then I say Ho’oponopono, their name, and then I slowly and sincerely repeat these words:

I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, I thank you. 

I suggest you do this 3 to 5 times for each person.  I send them forgiveness with each prayer, even when I think I am the wronged person! It does not matter, I know I must forgive them and I must forgive myself.

Forgiveness is the highest vibration on the planet and that’s where creatives want to live, where we are vibrating with the resonance higher than love.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

 

Hidden in New Tax Law are Incentives For Film Donors and Investors That Could Help Finance Your Entire Film

 

by Carole Dean

Get Your Film Funded

Did you know that when President Trump signed into law the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in January, 2018, new incentives for film investors were created that could help get your film funded?  I didn’t and I’m pretty sure most filmmakers we work with at From the Heart Productions did not know either (and since many in Congress had not even read the new law before it was enacted, they may be clueless as well).

Corky Kessler, Esq. is one of the top film attorneys in the US and he knows better than anyone how filmmakers can take advantage of tax laws.  When I interviewed Corky on The Art of Film Funding Podcast, he brought this incentive to my attention and revealed you can use it to get your film funded.

Bonus Depreciation

The part of the new law that relates to film, television and theater and is called “bonus depreciation, section 168.”  Bonus depreciation means when a film is first shown, at the end of that year, the investors get a 100% depreciation.

As a result, that means the investor can take a loss of 100% for the amount invested.  For example, say your donor invests in 2017 and in 2018 you have your first screening.  At the end of 2018, your investor can get his 100% depreciation for the total amount of his investment.

What a great way to attract major donors or investors to your project by giving them a massive tax deduction.

Take Advantage Before They Put Restrictions on This New Law

Before there was bonus depreciation, there was Section 181 of the tax code.  Enacted in 2004, Section 181 allowed you to eliminate your investor’s tax bill by what they’ve invested in your film.  

Corky says that, when section 181 was introduced,  it had no rules or regulations until February 2007.  Those first years were wonderful.  It was like the wild, wild west with lots of opportunities to help film investors.

This new law replaces Section 181.  And, just like the early days of that law, there are no rules and regulations for the new law.  So, the field of how to interpret things is wide open.  This is good for filmmakers.   

Putting Your Film “In Service”

Your film needs to be “put in service” to get the depreciation.  But, right now, there is no definition of what that exactly means.  We know it has to be shown somewhere.  The law just isn’t clear on where that somewhere needs to be.   A festival could qualify.  You could rent a theater, charge people a dollar, and the film is “in service.” 

But, wait.  The law does not say if it has to be shown in a theater.  It does not even say how long the film has to be shown.  

Corky says it could also be shown on YouTube or social media. The law is triggered when the film is “put into service” meaning the time that a film is first shown.   For television, it is the year it is first aired, for theater it is the year of the opening night of the theater.

The Sky is the Limit

Under  Section 181, said you could expense up to 15 or $20 million.  This new law has no limit. It could be $100 million.  Better yet, the law is retroactive and begins in 2017.   

The New Law is Excellent for International Co-Productions

One carryover of Section 181 is that 75% of your service wages of the film have to be performed in the United States.  25% can be in any country you want.   

So, in theory, let’s say we have a $10 million movie.  You could spend $2,500,000 in service wages in Canada or England and take advantage of their excellent tax incentives for filmmakers. Plus, you could shoot in France with their 25% incentive or the Dominican Republic with a 25% incentive.

We can go any place that we want and spend the 25% and still qualify for the US incentive.

Bonus Deduction

Part of the new tax law is Section 199A.  It gives you a 20% deduction on taxable income for money coming back to you.  If I return a dollar to you, you pay tax on only $.80.  So, you make 20% on the incoming funds.   I believe you can write off a maximum of $350,000.

Get a Good Accountant and Lawyer

There are limitations on what you can do under this.  So, please make sure to talk to your accountant to understand them.

A good lawyer to guide you through this is advisable as well.  Corky Kessler works at Rubenstein Business Law with his partner David Rubenstein.  He can be contacted at ckessler@rubensteinlaw.com   From the Heart highly recommends him and his services for filmmakers.

He’s been in the business for many years and he is intelligent, creative and a lot of fun to work with.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

 

 

No Other Crowdfunding Platform, Not Kickstarter or Indiegogo, Can Claim This. What is The Secret to Seed&Spark’s Success?

by Carole Dean

Seed&Spark

Web Series “One True Loves”

The films that get fiscal sponsorship at From the Heart Productions have consistently received the “green light” on Seed&Spark.  This means they hit their crowdfunding goal and get the funding they raised.  This occurs more often at Seed&Spark than other crowdfunding platforms.

Recently, I welcomed Gerry Maravilla, Head of Crowdfunding at Seed&Spark, to my The Art of Film Funding Podcast.  He revealed the advice they give to filmmakers on how to have a successful crowdfunding campaign. 

Goal Setting on Seed&Spark

This is a crucial part of the entire crowdfunding campaign.  Getting this right is a one of the keys to success.

It begins with a surprising statistic and comes down to simple math.

“There’s traditionally a 1% conversion rate from social media share to a donation.”Gerry states.   This means, if you have 1,000 Facebook followers, you can expect only 1% of them to donate! 

He says that you can get 20 to 30% from your email lists.  This must be a personal email to each person, not an email blast that would bring you much less.  Personalization is the key to getting the highest percentage rate from your list.

 

 

Gerry suggests you ask your crew for their email lists.  Ask your family too for any names they will let you use to crowdfund.  Put all your names together.      

So, how much can you can raise?  The most popular donation amount is $25.00.  So, consider that 30% of the list will give you $25.00 each.  Multiply the number of names on your list by 30% and then by $25.00.  This is a goal you know you can hit.

“But this is nowhere near my budget,” you say?  Yes, but setting a goal at $100,000 when you can only expect to raise $1,000 will result in a failed campaign and no money. 

Take what you can get from this campaign.  Use the money move forward with the film and begin expanding your email list for your second campaign.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make an “Ask.”

Seed & Spark recommends that you reach out early to your list long before you start crowdfunding.  Let them know that you are planning a campaign to fund your film and give them the start date.  Say you need them to commit to make a donation for you in the first few days as that is the critical time.   

“Once you hit that 30% in the first week you can easily hit 60% in the second week,” Gerry says. 

Get your list excited and committed.  Ask them, “Can I count on your support?”  Let them know how much you need them. 

Be sure that each email you send is full of gratitude.  Gratitude is a key word in crowdfunding.  Donors appreciate this and the energy in that email will be totally different with your heart on the page.

Creating interesting emails is key to keeping people motivate.  Even if they have donated, you want them to be involved and you want them to read every email because you want them to donate again.  Use creative titles in your subject line, that will get you a higher opening rate.

Seed&Spark

Our Fiscally Sponsored Film “Two Weeks” Hit Their Goal and Were Able to Start Filmming

Campaign Preproduction is a Key to Success

Sounds crazy?  Right?  Yes, you have to treat a crowdfunding campaign just like a film.  Gerry believes this preproduction work is another important key to their 80% success rate.

You need to prepare by building your email list and putting it on a mailing platform.  (We like Constant Contact at From the Heart Productions, but there are other good ones as well).   

Find the “uniqueness” about your film.  What makes it special?  Start marketing it with that in mind.  Send links to the film or your campaign video to your list.  Let them know you will be crowdfunding soon and ask if they can share this on social media to support you.

Contact Seed&Spark early and discuss your film with them.  They’ve got great instructional videos on their website.  Learn how to build your audience.  Get your social networks and your email list ready for your campaign. 

Give yourself several months.  Study successful campaigns and learn from other filmmakers.  Don’t rush into this, plan the campaign and it will bring you a greater return.

Give Your Donors an Immediate Tax Write-Off with From the Heart Productions

Our non-profit works closely with Seed&Spark.   We are a partner with them and offer the lowest fees of any fiscal sponsor when using their platformHaving fiscal sponsorship allows donors to the campaign to get tax deductions for their donations.   That creates a powerful incentive to donate.

Gerry says you want to be sure to mention your nonprofit name on your page.  This shows your donor that a nonprofit has reviewed your film and accepted it. 

Many donors like the fact that a nonprofit is involved to see that you use the funds for the film.  They feel that you will finish the film.  We believe that sponsorship gives you more credibility with donors. 

Gerry Maravilla is available for more information at crowdfunding@seedandspark.com.  Anyone wanting information on crowdfunding can email CaroleLeeDean@gmail.com

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

Strategic partners are key to crowdfunding and marketing your film.  Connecting with them is a key to audience building for crowdfunding and selling your downloads.

by Carole Dean

Strategic Partners

You May Not Need to Stand On Your Head to Land Strategic Partners, But You Need to Make a Concerted Effort

Strategic partners are groups or nonprofit organizations online whose members would be interested in the subject matter of your film.

Because I run From the Heart Productions, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, I’m quite aware of how careful and protective nonprofits are of their mailing lists. We never give it out.  It’s hard work getting donors who’ve gained your trust. 

Most nonprofits live off of their mailing list.  They are very familiar with their top donors and take good care of them. That includes only sending them pertinent emails regarding their mission.

But, if you follow these steps, you can build a group of strategic partners of your own. 

Start Small, Finish Big

I suggest that you make a list of the top 20 potentials for strategic partners.  Some of these will be the largest organizations online that are interested in the subject matter of your film.  

However, I wouldn’t start with any of the largest in this group. I would start with some of the smaller nonprofits.  Find out what works and what doesn’t with them.

Calling Strategic Partners – What Not to Say When You First Call

When you call these nonprofits or organizations, who can become major “connectors” to your audience, don’t say “Hi, I making a film that your members would really love.”  You will not be quickly received. Expect them to immediately close ranks unless you do this right.

They want to know a lot about you and the film you’re making.  Also, they will want to know how it will be received by their members.  You want to create a long-term relationship with the organization.  What you say and how you introduce yourself is most important.

Build Trust

It might take you more than a year to gain the trust of strategic partners.  I suggest the first call is to introduce yourself.  Tell them who you are and what you’re doing. Make it short, sweet, and engaging.

The goal is to be able to communicate with them on an on-going basis, like every 4 or 5 months, to keep them informed of your film’s development.  You know that this nonprofit’s audience is interested in the content of your film.  What you want to do is to create a relationship.  Begin building trust so they will share your film with their audience. 

Create a Script

Before your first call to potential strategic partners, get prepared and write down what you want to say and how you want the call to go.  Do not read it.  This is to remind you of the highlights you want to say.  

Establish credibility.   You want to introduce yourself as an award-winning filmmaker or someone who graduated from film school or someone who is very passionate about the subject matter.  Make clear you are determined to create this important documentary or short film.

Next, you want to give them an under a two-minute pitch of your film making sure that they get the “essence” of your film. Consider using sticky story content so that you leave them with key elements they can remember.

Don’t Ask for Help…Yet

Get the person’s name and title and ask her if you can continue to communicate with her on the progress of the film.  Don’t ask for anything else.   Hopefully, you’ve introduced yourself and your film in a charming way to create a long-term relationship.  That’s what you’re after.

This is why I want you to only contact them once you have committed to your film.  This is a key to increasing your audience for you personally as a filmmaker and for the film.

Stay in Contact

Every 3 to 5 months find something wonderful to tell them.  Call after 2 expressos and be upbeat.  Convey that you are excited about your film.  Make a good impression of you as a filmmaker and how important your film can be to their audience. 

Keep it under 3 minutes.  Your budding strategic partners will appreciate your concern for their time.  If it is hard to get them on the phone, then send a brilliant email.  Don’t expect to get a reply because you probably won’t get one. 

But, they will read it.  I know because people who apply for my grant email me all year with updates.   I read them and enjoy them but I don’t always respond because of time.  However, when they do call me or apply again to the grant, I remember them and the film.  That’s what you want.

When to Get Them Involved

After about a year, you will begin to hear the interest they have for you and the film in their voice.  This is when you can begin to decide when you can ask them to get their audience involved in your film. 

Don’t ask too soon.  You should be able to know when to ask them to post something about your film on their website or drive their audience to your website to see your trailer and you get their email address.

This is a Worthwhile Endeavor

I spoke to filmmakers who created such a great rapport that the nonprofit actually introduced him to their top donor who helped fund his film.  Anything is possible.  Create a vision of what you want from them and move towards that.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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 think of crowdfunding as asking for money.  Think of it as inviting people to join your community.  You’ll be a lot more successful 

by Carole Dean

Inviting

“Invite People to Join Your Community” When Crowdfunding

When you are crowdfunding, you may think you are just asking friends, relatives, your dentist, for donations.  But, you are inviting others to join together to support you in the making of a film.  

Asking people to “join your community to make a film” is a totally different energy than asking people for donations.

This is the energy of inviting.

When Creating Your Crowdfunding Page Write it Like an Invitation.

People love films.  And hopefully, they will love yours enough to join accept your invitation. 

Every film has something remarkable about it. What is remarkable about your film?  What is it about it that will make people join together and make it happen?

Use the concept of a “sticky story” (make this a link to the article) so that people can remember what you tell them.  Create a story with something emotional, something shocking, something concrete and something very credible so they can remember and pitch your film to their friends and earn social currency.

Make a List of What You Need People To Bring

You need more than money to make a film.  The benefit of bringing a community together is gathering together those with different talents and skills.   Talents and skills you need to make your film.

You should list exactly what you need.  That might be people to help you with social networking, a personal assistant, a driver, or someone to help with food on the production, etc.  Think of the things that you want and ask for them on your page.

How to Answer “What’s In It For Me?”

You can’t invite someone to join in making your film without expecting to give them something in return.  Donors always want to know “what’s in it for me? “   

This is where you can get off the charts creative with your gifts for supporting your film.  You could have standard gifts like t-shirts, mugs and social media shout outs, but I really, find these are boring gifts.  

Think of something unusual and exciting.

Gifts That Donors Share With Others

Here’s one great example.  One person on a crowdfunding campaign was very talented with the Photoshop.   He asked people who donated “where do you want to be?” Then,  he took a photo of them and photo shopped them to that dream location. 

One person was put on the moon and another in the South Seas.  Another was place on an expensive yacht.  Of course, the donors loved these photos and they quickly posted them on Facebook, twitter, all over social media.  They also and drove new people to the filmmaker’s campaign and this created new donors.  This is what you want. You want your donors promoting you.

Recently, I had a filmmaker offer a hand-drawn portrait for $100 on her network for good campaign.  I couldn’t resist!  So I donated and she sent me a precious hand-drawn photo.   It was well worth the hundred dollars and the fun of seeing a personal rendering of a photo.

Use Your Creativity

Use that brilliant creativity of yours for your crowdfunding.  Don’t just focus on how you can get money out of someone.  Think about how you can get them to accept your invitation to help you and others make your film a reality.  

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

Need to win a film grant?   Carole Dean shares her wisdom and experience on why it helps to know your audience, nail down your story, and never give up! 

By Carole Dean

Win a Film Grant

Roy W. Dean Grant winner Leslie Neale and From the Heart Productions founder and President Carole Dean

Having overseen the Roy W. Dean Grant for 26 years, I’ve read thousands of grant submissions.  Through my non-profit, From the Heart Productions, I’ve helped our fiscally sponsored filmmakers apply for and win hundreds of thousands of dollars in local, state, and foundation grants over the last 25 years.    

I know what makes our judges and others seriously consider a grant application.   Here are some tips on how you can improve your chances to win a film grant for your project.

Film Must Fit Criteria for the Grant

Grantors say this is the number one reason for denying a film a grant.  So be sure you have a chance to be accepted before you put in your time.

One woman filmmaker I worked with applied for 5 grants and won 4!  This was Rebecca Dreyfus and her film “Stolen” won the Roy W. Dean Grant.  How did she win so many?  She did not apply for hard to win grants that might have been a reach for her project.  She chose carefully and put her energy into grants she felt were the best fit for her film. 

Story, Story, Story

At the Roy W. Dean Grant, we fund stories.  Other grantors look for great stories as well.  Brilliant, heart-felt, revelatory, life altering stories with strong characters.  So when creating your application for the grant, you will need a visually written proposal.  It needs to let me “see” the film as I read your proposal. 

For Documentaries, Tell Us What The Film Will Be About

I realize you don’t know what will happen when you turn on your camera to make a documentary.  In fact, many times you are taken into an entirely different film.  However, you have to tell us what you think the film will be. 

We know you often don’t know and that’s ok.  The filmmakers behind the award winning “Virunga” thought they were just doing a documentary on an park rangers at an animal preserve when a civil war broke out.  But, we want to know that you have thought it out carefully and you “think” you know where it is going. 

I can say that most of the documentary films we funded, where the filmmaker did not know what the film would be about in the end, turned out better than any of us imagined. 

Why Are You Making This Film?

I want to know this up front.  This information tells me if you are there for the long, hard times that may lay ahead.  I want to know:  Do you have the tenacity to finish?  You have to allay my fears in the beginning of your proposal with your passion.

Who Is Your Audience?

Do you have any idea who the people are who will want to see your film?  Do you know how you will reach them?  I want you to tell me that.  All of the grantors want to know this.  Just making the film is not enough; you have to identify who will support it.  Attach your audience to the film as you are making it.  Tell us how you are doing this.

Never Give Up!!!!

It was the motto of the Suffragettes and I want you to adopt it.    Know that rejection is part of the process and that you will learn each time you are rejected.  Know that each grant you enter, you get better and so does your film.  And, you now know the people at that granting organization and in our industry.  Who you know is an asset to you.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

By Carole Dean

By using the conscious mind to impress a belief on the subconscious with feelings and visuals (and using every fiber of your body), it causes the subconscious to accept that belief as truth.

 

SubconsciousWhat do you think of those people who get up on stage at the Academy Awards to accept an Oscar and say that they’ve been dreaming about this moment since they were kids?

You rolled your eyes and laughed, right?  

Well, believe them.  They used their conscious thoughts to manifest and create their success.  You can too. 

The Law of Consciousness

Consciousness, believes noted physicist Amit Goswami, came first in the beginning of time. First, it was consciousness and from that all things evolved.

The knowledge of the law of consciousness and the method of operating this law allows you to accomplish all you desire in life.  This is the philosophy of many wise people. 

However, first you need a working knowledge of this law.  Then, you can build and maintain a great life, an ideal world for yourself.

The Conscious Generates Ideas

“Consciousness is the only reality”, said influential teacher and author Neville Goddard.   Neville states that consciousness is personal and selective where subconscious is impersonal and non- selective. 

Neville believes that the conscious generates ideas and impresses ideas on the subconscious.  Also, he says that first conceiving an idea and then impressing the idea on the subconscious allows all things to evolve out of the consciousness.  

This is the only way, he posits, to create your future and bring to you the future you want.   Because the subconscious does not originate ideas, it accepts as true those which the conscious mind feels to be true.

This is the heart of the matter.  

Getting An Award in Your Hands

Remember when those who win also say they “feel the joy and excitement of being on stage receiving this award?”

That is the result of the conscious impressing on the subconscious the future they intended to create.  By doing that, it becomes a reality.

I think this is a powerful concept.  By using the conscious mind to impress a belief on the subconscious with feeling and visuals (and using every fiber of your body), it causes the subconscious to accept that belief as truth.   

This is how you manifest.  This power to imagine and feel is original for humans.   

Using Your Feelings to Influence Your Subconscious 

You can get control of the subconscious through your control of your ideas and feelings.

What you feel and see the subconscious believes.  This is a gift that we all have.  It is important to understand that what we see and feel, our subconscious believes.

What is it you want to achieve? The first thing that we want you to do is set goals. You want to visualize and feel your goals in order to achieve them.  

Consciousness creates the vision and the subconscious believes it’s real. Because your subconscious mind does not originate an original idea, it accepts as true those which the conscious mind tells it.

The next important thing to realize is that ideas are impressed on the subconscious through feeling.  The filmmaker that envisioned winning the Academy Award visualized being onstage accepting the award and giving his/her speech. 

It’s the energy in the feeling that creates the future.  Your feeling is the most powerful medium that you have to get your ideas to the subconscious.  If you’re not in control of your feelings, you could easily be impressing the wrong things on your subconscious and bringing about things in your life you don’t want.

Feelings Can Determine Our Future

Feelings are the greatest form of manifesting that we have as humans. We actually have the ability to bring our future into the present through our feelings.

Focusing on what you do want and feeling like it has already happened tells the subconscious that this truly exists.  The only thing that would stop this is if it is counteracted by a more powerful feeling that it doesn’t exist, like disbelief, fear or anger.

If you are seeing yourself getting your Academy Award and you are fearful, then the chances are your vision may not happen.  If fear was the more dominant feeling,  then you have just nullified your vision.

Create a personal goal that you know you can achieve and a time limit that feels right to you.  For example, you may need a great editor.  To get that great editor, why not start saying, I love my editor. I chose the perfect editor.

Do this with the emotion of joy, success, achievement happiness and contentment.  Feel very proud of yourself feel very confident that you have the right editor.  

You want to live it, feel it and see it. Know your vision is coming through your feelings.  Remember that all creation happens in the subconscious.  What you must do is get control of your subconscious through your ideas and your feelings. The subconscious doesn’t care if you were telling of the truth or not it excepts as true what you feel to be true.

Use your mind to fund your film.  Your mind is your greatest asset in film funding.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

 

From the Heart Productions has helped indie filmmakers crowdfund over $3 million for their films.  Here are some key tips on crowdfunding your film to help you successfully raise money. 

6 Tips for Crowdfunding Your Film

Don’t let crowds scare you. Get them to help you raise money for your film.

1. Emotions Fuel Donations

Among the most important of the tips on crowdfunding your film is one you won’t find on the internet.  But, I can promise you that it is most effective when raising money to use emotions.

Let’s go back to some of the earliest Indiegogo campaigns that were quite successful.

First, there was the campaign for a bus monitor named Karen, who asked for $3,000 to go on a vacation. She was responsible for the children on the bus going to school. 

Someone took a camera inside the bus and recorded the vicious, demeaning, bullying statements made to her by students. She was in tears. When we saw this, we felt embarrassed and ashamed that she was being so poorly treated. 

We were touched and moved and glad to donate as a way to apologize to her.  Soon she had over $100,000 and then $200,000.  She ended up with over $700,000.  Nice vacation. 

My second favorite campaign for eliciting emotion is one that did not have a trailer. That’s right, just copy on a page. However, it was professionally done with various font types and a great choice of words.

The campaigner was an admitted geek and he said that we had forgotten Tesla, the greatest geek that ever lived. He wanted to buy back the Wardenclyffe tower, Tesla’s old laboratory, and make it a museum for Tesla.  He also used emotion in his campaign.

“Let’s build a Goddamn museum for Tesla.”, he wrote “We overlooked him and we owe it to him!”

He raised close to $1,300,000  That’s using only written words and the right attitude.  He was demanding that we make up for our lack of attention and respect to Tesla.  It made people feel sad and remiss that we’ve overlooked such a great man. 

“Touch my heart and I’ll open my pocket book.” is one of my favorite expressions for fundraising. I think that people communicate through the heart chakra.  

What’s unique about your film? How can you elicit an emotion with your words and your trailer? That emotion could be joy, happiness or guilt, shame, or any strong emotion that you believe will create an action from your audience. Hopefully, that action is a donation.

2. Setting the Right Campaign Goal 

Finding the right dollar amount to ask for is a key to a good campaign. After running many campaigns, I can say that this is the most important part of the campaign.  You need to get the goal amount right so that you can have 30% to the goal within three days of the start of the campaign.  This is a must for a successful campaign.

It’s very important to create a special group of funders that can help you reach that 30%.  Give them a name, like your “founding Indiegogo or Kickstarter sponsors.”  You will build your crowdfunding page and send the link to only this founding sponsor group first in what we call a soft launch.  You have already spoken to these people and you know exactly how much money you will raise. 

Now, you launch your campaign to your entire mailing list.  Post and chat on social media about the benefits of your film, why people should donate, and thanking those that do.

Sometimes you set your goal based on the amount you know you can raise in three days.  Example, you talk to your family, friends, and staunch supporters and realize that you can get $6,000 in the first three days. Then, set your goal at $20,000 because 30% of $20,000 is $6,000.

Now, you know you have a very good chance of hitting that goal.  That is,  assuming that you have done the work needed to create a large database of people interested in the subject matter of your film.

3. Finding Your Audience for Crowdfunding

What is unique about your film? Find that and be able to talk about how special your film is because of this uniqueness.

Start listing the various audiences that your film addresses.  For documentaries, it’s much simpler than features, but let’s just take an example of a documentary on organic food. Go online and start looking for organizations and groups who fit your film like vegetarians, vegans, organic consumers, benefits of organic food, etc.

Find those organizations through Facebook and Google. Make a list.  You want to find the top 40 organizations and set a goal to connect to at least 20.  Hopefully, they will have a minimum database of 5,000 members each. Your goal is to get them to support your film. Get them to post about your film on their database, or newsletter, or ask them to tweet about your film.

You can drive them to your website where you can collect their email address is by giving them a nice gift, something they can’t live without. Create short three minute trailers.  Then, put them on your YouTube channel to drive people to your website.  Once there, they can’t resist your gift and will sign up to be part of your film community.

4. You Need Connectors

Connectors are people who will help you increase your audience. Your audiences will fund your film and then come back and buy the download. You can find your audience online in groups and organizations.

Take the key words that describe your audience and search those on Facebook and Google. Then, contact the top 20 largest groups and organizations. You want to create “strategic partners ” by contacting organizations and groups that are interested in the subject matter of your film. Connecting to them is most important.

You must take your crowd to the crowdfunding. They don’t find you, you find them. My statistics show that on Indiegogo 99% of the donations come from the people who you have in your database or on your social network. In my opinion, Indiegogo does very little to bring you new donors.

Kickstarter campaigns do increase your data base.  We work with a crowdfunding expert on Kickstarter campaigns who really understands how Kickstarter works and does quite well raising funds for our filmmakers. As a result, he helped raised $120,000 for a film on sound, $64,000 on a film about a music composer, and over $100,000 for another film. I highly recommend him.  If you are interested, email me and I can introduce you to him.

5. Give Them a Sticky Story

A Sticky Story is one that has the elements of surprise, emotion, and it has something credible and something concrete.  Give your audience a sticky story, one they can remember and repeat.  One that will allow your donors to pitch to people for you and expand your data base.  

6. Stay in Touch with Donors

Set up a community with your crowdfunding audience after the crowdfunding. It’s very important for you to keep them engaged and attached like family to you and the film.  You’ve probably just raised money for a part of your film, maybe just pre-production or part of post-production, so you want to keep them close by to raise more money.

One woman I was mentoring said that she was writing her Kickstarter group to give them an update.   She said “I don’t know what to say because I am behind on my production schedule. I told them I would be much further along at this date.”

I said why not tell them the truth? Quote Orson Welles by saying “I spend 95% of my time raising money and 5% making the film.“ She did just that and someone called and ask her how much money she needed.  She told him, $120,000 and he sent her a check!

You never know how much money is available to you from this group of new people that you get through Kickstarter. Taking good care of them is paramount to future donations.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

We’ve not just got his work to watch and listen to. We’ve also got his notes.

After we’ve watched and enjoyed Orson Welles classic film noir “Touch of Evil” for the 27th time, what do we remember? Is it the amazing long continuous shot that opens the movie? The dramatic final confrontation in the oil fields? How about the incredible varied and creative way he uses music in the film?

On my The Art of Film Funding Podcast, I interviewed award winning composer and Roy W. Dean Grant donor, David Raiklen. We both share a love of movie scores, Orson Welles, and his classic thriller “Touch of Evil”.

I knew the music was integral to the film. It defines characters, sets the atmosphere, and compliments the action. What I didn’t know was how Orson Welles planned out the music and how it was to be used before he shot the film.

David explained he left detailed notes for his composer, Henry Manicini, and his sound mixer. In my latest video, I cover what filmmakers can learn from those important notes on placing music in their films.

Imagine How Music Will Be Used in a Scene Before Its Shot

The opening scene is probably the longest continuous shot that’s been executed on film without CGI. It follows a bomb in the trunk of car as it heads to a border crossing down a city street filled with people.

Instead of using a traditional score, Orson wanted to use source music. He directed the scene knowing this. As we follow the action, the music appears to come naturally from car radios and musicians that are in the shot.

This music, David describes, was specifically created for A “Touch of Evil” and it creates a magical environment.

It’s not like a typical movie score. It sounds natural as it comes from sources in the shot. But, as music changes as the scene progresses, it’s jarring as well and puts us on edge.

Use Music That Fits the Characters

For example, the characters are walking down the street in a town where they have lots Orson Wellesof live bands. The music the characters in the movie are hearing is the same music that the audience is hearing. But, because the camera is moving around to different groups of characters, the music is constantly changing.

The Mexican characters are listening to very festive mariachi music while the detective people are listening more to cool jazz.

This is the sort of thing that their character would listen to but it also tells us emotionally what to feel and gives us insight into the character. It’s source music, it’s character themes, and it’s dramatic underscore telling the story on multiple levels at the same time.

To make it happen was very complicated. Henry Mancini said it was one of the most difficult things he’d ever done. Without the notes and detail Orson Welles provided, it would have never been accomplished or attempted. That music is part of what makes that first scene so involving.

Consider How Sound Will be Mixed

Orson didn’t stop with notes to the composer. He also had a note for the mixer. While most films have a clean, high quality sound, he knew that would not be great if source music was being use.

“The characters are listening to music as they walk down the street,” Orson detailed, “and if the music sounds perfect like it was recorded in a studio, that will destroy the illusion that the characters are walking down the street.”

He suggested they take several loud speakers from your studio and put them out in the alley that’s behind the dubbing stage. Then, record the sound of the microphone traveling down the alley behind the stage on a dolly. This would be like the microphone was the character’s point of view and we’re following them down the street.

When you hear the sound in A Touch of Evil in this first street scene you will truly appreciate all of the great creative genius that went into making it. Getting your sound to enhance and support your story is paramount to a successful film.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

by Carole Dean

Mastering Creative Visualization to Manifest Miracles

Using the work of author Stuart Wilde as a guideline, I’ve created a 5 part series of blogs and videos to show filmmakers how they can have a miracle happen in their life.  I outlined creating a miracle action plan and its components. 

The final video of my video series on How to Manifest Miracles concludes with how to complete your miracle action plan.  Stuart says the final step to master for your plan is visualization. 

Using Visualization

Visualization is the ability to live as if what you asked for actually exists.  You need to live and act as if it is a fact.   Stuart says that the inner mind does not know the difference between fact and fantasy. 

Once you can see yourself walking through a scene, you can feel you are actually a part of it.  

Stuart writes “imagine this: if you can create a powerful and strong image of yourself as a miracle maker, as this wonderful, wonderful human being that has so much to give, so much to offer the world, then that being comes alive.  It is almost as if, by putting that energy into the mind, you shine a light in there that stimulates the mind.”

Others will see this light in you and know that you love and support yourself and this brings miracles.

Creative Visualization

Creative visualization can benefit you when you begin to use it to see yourself living Creative Visualizationyour dream life. 

Whatever your life’s purpose, you want to imagine yourself living that now on a daily basis.  Day dreaming is part of visualization.  Use your driving time or your house cleaning time to see yourself living the life you want.  Live it, feel it, see it, smell it.  Use all your senses and make it real. 

If you are a filmmaker, then see yourself receiving an award for your film.  See you and your crew on a TV interview show discussing how you made the film.  Just create imaginary scenes that could happen.  Give the universe a vision of what you want your life to be.

Goal Setting with Creative Visualization

One powerful use of creative visualization is for goal-setting. Please don’t set goals that are impossible for you because if you can’t conceptualize it or feel that this can happen then you may never reach that goal. 

I think setting small goals first is best.  Then, when you hit that goal  it truly empowers you.  You set another realistic goal and hit that and you are on your way.

I like to see myself at a holiday like Thanksgiving at the table with friends.  I’m sharing what the goal was and how proud I am that this has happened. 

You should “feel” into a goal.  If your body reacts with fear or stress, reduce the goal or give yourself more time until your body relaxes.  The mind and body need to be in alignment to achieve your goals.

This visualization is the last and most important element in creating miracles.   Use this information to create some exciting miracles in your lives and share them with me.   

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

by Carole Dean

Using the Power and Energy of the God Inside of Us

Author Stuart Wilde has some incredible lessons about manifesting miracles as a means to your personal and professional success.

In my latest video based on his work, I discuss how Stuart believes that God is not just a figure outside of us.  He is a powerful energy inside us all.   

Learning to Use the God Inside of Us to Create Miracles

Stuart says “As you work to expand power, it is almost impossible to do so if you see God outside of yourself.  If you do see God outside of yourself, then what you are saying is, “I do not control my life. Some entity above me or beyond me is controlling my life.” 

There is an Indian greeting you may have seen where people hold their hands in prayer and say Namaste to each other.  My Indian friend explained that Namaste means, the God inside me salutes the God inside you. 

What you want to do is move to the belief that you are the creator of your own future. You are a God.  That tiny part of you that never dies is a God and knowing that you are powerful is important to manifesting miracles.  Your faith in yourself is paramount to creating miracles.

Allow Yourself to Receive

He says “As you push out as a miracle maker and as you begin to get your action plan God Inside of Usgoing, you have to establish in your feelings the idea that, one, you are worthy and two, you can receive.”

So often in our society, we put an emphasis on giving, that it is more blessed to give than to receive but you have to understand, for every giver, there has to be a receiver.

A filmmaker emailed me recently to take me to lunch.  I immediately started writing saying I would love to go to lunch but I would not let her pay….then I thought, how can I keep asking to receive, if I don’t accept? 

So, for once I said OK and I want you to pay attention to gifts offered and say YES!

Keep Working on Miracle Action Plan

In your miracle action plan, you must be very specific on what you want.  Don’t just say you want lots of money soon, but outline exactly what you want.  Have specific dates in mind for achieving it.

Remember to use the affirmations like, I am a power, positive individual.  All events in this day are for my highest good.  You are saying that the power lies with you and not with someone else.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

by Carole Dean

Understanding Time and Personal Power

I see miracles happen every day to our fiscally sponsored indie filmmakers at From the Heart Productions.   Getting a large donation from an unexpected source, getting a contract from film distributor they thought they’d never get, winning a well-deserved, but surprising grant.

I want you to know how to manifest miracles and “make a miracle happen in your life.”  But, miracles aren’t random occurrences.  First, you need a miracle action plan

You also need an understanding of time and how to use your personal power. I cover these in my latest in a series of videos on How to Manifest Miracles.    It’s based on the work of the brilliant British author Stuart Wilde

Within Universal Law, There is No Time

Stuart says, within the universal law, there is no time. Things are in a state of gradual evolvement.  A tree has no concept of time because its essence is eternal.  It responds to the warmth of the sun.   It is not in time, but it is in time with the universal law.

This law can deliver instantly.  But, if your energy is not all there, it will seem to you as if it has taken time. Therefore, you need learn patience and keep moving towards your goal; knowing that your thought forms will manifest.

If You are Moving Towards One Particular Miracle and a Different Avenue Opens Up Unexpectedly, Take It. 

Stuart shares a story of a friend whose goal was to be a filmmaker.  After graduating, he could not get into the union and he took a job as a waiter.  He met an older man who regularly ate at the restaurant.  Stuart waited on him for months before he discovered that he was the head of the filmmaker organization in London!

All the time he’d been serving this man, he never gave up his mediating on his goal.  

Understanding Time and Personal Power

This man helped him to fulfill his dream of filmmaking.  His miracle had been delivered.  

When you move into an energy alignment, you can never tell what will happen. Watch for signs. Use your feelings to help you decide. If a direction is right, you will know it automatically.

Understanding Your Personal Power

You want to recognize that you have energy of power around you.  To achieve complete success, you have to work constantly on your mind’s doubt.  Remind yourself that you’re not your mind.  You do not accept energy contrary to your goals.  In this way, you establish a pattern of positive affirmation in your life.

Write down in your own words nine affirmations that express your belief in yourself and your complete fulfillment in this lifetime.  There should be three affirmations for the dawn, three for the day, and three for the night.  

Before reading your miracle list, read your affirmations slowly. Be sure that you feel their power and that they mean something special to you.  Here are a few examples from which you can build:

  • I am a powerful, positive individual and all events in this day are for my highest good.
  • What I am is beautiful and I pull to me this day only beauty and refreshment. This day is a day of balance.
  • What I am is eternal, immortal, universal and infinite. I see only beauty and strength every moment of my life.
  • I see only beauty in all the people who are pulled to me.
  • What I am is infinite. I do not judge the evolution of others.
  • I give thanks for the beauty of this day and may the energy of this night bring rebuilding and review. So be it.

Your affirmations act like small twigs in a fire. As you rise, you begin to build energy in the day. Use your affirmations to keep that energy going.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

By Carole Dean

How to Get Started on a Miracle Action Plan

Do you have Miracle Action Plan?  Sounds funny, right?  I mean aren’t miracles just supposed to happen out of the blue? 

No, because as I covered in my previous blog on How to Manifest Miracles, you can create and manifest miracles.   You can take control of your thoughts and desires to create funding for your film and success in your life. 

But, to get there, you need a Miracle Action Plan.  In my latest video based on the work of brilliant New Age author Stuart Wilde; I go over the steps you need to create that plan.

Setting the Stage for Your Miracle Action Plan

In daily life, your feelings, thoughts and attitudes are your order form.  Before you decide to change your present conditions, you must be very sure what you want from life.  You need write clearly and state exactly what you want.  

But, before embarking on a miracle action plan, spend some time meditating on the conditions or material objects you want.  The universal law is the shipping clerk waiting for your clear and concise order. The currency with which you are going to pay for it is belief. 

If you can maintain that feeling of power and live as if your wish has already been granted by the universal law, your wish will be delivered, guaranteed, but you cannot be half-hearted.

Creating Your Miracle Action Plan

Stuart says that your mind is your key to attracting miracles.  First, you decide carefully what you want to have or achieve.  Second, you need to be able to visualize it as if it has happened.  Remember the universe is impartial and unemotional, so you need to be exact with your requests.

  • Now, create a list of 2 or 3 things you want to have or achieve.
  • Faithfully, you read your miracle list 3 times a day. Early morning, noon and bedtime.
  • Meditate on the list and see them as if they have happened.
  • Don’t tell people about this. Keep your miracle action plan to yourself.
  • Pretend what you want is now part of your life.
  • Give gratitude daily for everything you have and everything that happens to you.
  • Be open to the instructions from the universal force. Listen to the little voice and you can learn what to do to achieve your miracle.
  • Smile a lot because you know your miracle is due any day.
  • Take actions to make it happen.

Miracles Bring You in Alignment with Goals

Stuart says understanding energy is important.  Energy is power. As you work with theMiracle Action Plan power, it will have a way of showing you the next move at every turn.  Believe in it. Know that this inner force is so powerful that it will pull you into excitement and adventure beyond your dreams. Keep it pure, remain silent and remember to keep your method secret and never doubt.

The more you come in touch with the universal law within you the more you’re in touch with the things around you.  Everything becomes a symbol and strength to you. The world helps you and the fuller you become, the more dimensions you can pull from. This is where small miracles happen to bring you in alignment with your goals.

Mr. Wilde has seen astonishing things.   He believes as you work towards your miracle, watch for every sign, for every change around you and you will see the universal law communicating with you.

The more you trust it, the more the energy is encouraged to reveal itself and various unusual things begin to occur, your energy quickens and opportunities pop up like corks on a lake.

Then you will know that the power is truly with you.  

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

By Carole Dean

Lessons for Filmmakers on How to Manifest Miracles In Their Lives and Work

For those of you who ready my blogs and watch my videos, you know I am a firm believer in miracles.  I see them happen every day to independent filmmakers for which From the Heart Productions is their fiscal sponsor.  I want you to know how to manifest miracles in your life.

This is why I want to introduce you to the brilliant British author Stuart Wilde.   He is the author of over 20 books and best known for his works on New Age, self-empowerment, and spirituality.

In my first in a series of videos, I cover how you can begin to understand, create, and let miracles happen for you and your films.

Understanding Miracles

Stuart believes that to understand and manifest miracles we have to look at two aspects of the universal law.  First, there lies deep within all mankind an immense power.   Secondly, the power is impartial and unemotional.  

Call it the universal mind or what you will, it is this power that allows man the recognition of the universal life force that we call “God.” The life force is eternal; it is a part of all things.  Moreover, it is a major part of each of us.  Consequently, we all have within us an unlimited power.

You also need to look at the beliefs you express as thoughts and feelings.   We create our reality by our beliefs and thoughts. 

This reminds me of Henry Ford, who said: Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you are right!  Ford knew that our mind controls our destiny.

Creating Miracles

Creating miracles in our lives becomes a matter of identifying with the power, How to Manifest Miraclesunderstanding its characteristics and learning to use it effectively.  

Stuart says you need to say to yourself: I’m eternal, immortal, universal and infinite and what I am is beautiful.” to lock into the power source.  

The universal law is impartial and unemotional.  It has no way of knowing what you want. It’s pure energy.

It accepts whatever thoughts, feelings and actions you project and reflects them back to you unemotionally in the form of events that you experience day-to-day, in much the same way as, he explains, electricity illuminates both a brothel and the vicar’s tea party.  It will give you anything you believe in, no more and no less.

Letting Miracles Into Your Life

To move into your true power, you need to honor your talents and never put yourself down.  Next, move yourself out of the controlling mind set of the collective unconscious into discipline and power.  In this place, you can believe anything is possible. 

Remember when they said no one could break the 4 minute mile?  Well as soon as that happened, many more people ran broke that barrier.  It was the collective unconscious that said you can’t do it.  Move out of that field into the infinite knowing that you are a powerful being and connected to the God force.

Your ability to manifest miracles is predicated entirely on how easily and quickly you can give the collective unconscious the slip. It is your attachment to the collective unconscious or world belief patterns that holds you back.

Using these lessons and knowledge, you’re going to achieve your goal no matter what confronts you.  Stuart truly believes your mind can create your future. Next is the Miracle Action Plan and we will cover that in part 2.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

By Carole Dean

3 Key Factors That Will Make or Break Your PresentationGary Hankins is the author of The Power of the Pitch and an expert on creating a persuasive presentation.  He shocked me when I started my interview with him on my The Art of Film Funding podcast The Perfect Pitch, What it is and How to Create it.

Gary takes people who have difficulty speaking in front of audiences and teaches them how to become persuasive presenters.  It’s an important lesson to learn and skill to have.  Especially, when trying to get investors or donors to give money to your documentary, feature, short film or web series.

What shocked me was his explaining that people make decisions about other people within 30 seconds of meeting them.   Also, what you have to say is the least important aspect of gaining their trust and acceptance.

He says people decide in 30 seconds of meeting you if you’re going to be persuasive and if they are going to like you based on three key factors.

Presentation Factor 1 – Your Physical Actions and Appearance

The number one factor is how you physically present yourself.  This includes your facial expressions, your eye contact, your gestures and even how you sit.  

Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, says that 55% of total likability is how you physically present yourself.   Do you have eye contact, are you relaxed, or are you stressed or anxious?   In other words, how you look and act accounts for more than anything else in a presentation or a pitch. 

People see this nonverbal communication and are receiving this while you speak.  This is important information to them.  It becomes critical especially when it’s incongruent with what you are saying.  That’s when they will doubt you and make a decision not to trust you even before they really hear your pitch.  

Gary says you need to smile, be friendly, be open and make people feel comfortable around you.  Remember, donors want to know if you trustworthy.  They are instantly making a major decision and asking themselves, “Are you someone that I can know, like, and trust?”

Presentation Factor 2 – How You Sound

How you sound is 38% of the acceptability.   When you speak, are you enthusiastic?  Are you upbeat and positive?  Do you sound confident?   Do you use appropriate inflection, tone, and range?  All of these are important elements that should be considered when making your pitch.

Gary warns to not use fillers like uhh..   And do not pause often.  This can make you seem unsure of yourself.

Personal Tip – In our Intentional Filmmaking Class, producer and co-instructor Tom Malloy always teaches filmmakers to practice the pitch until it is part of their DNA.  You have to know it word by word.  He suggests you get in front of a mirror and watch and listen to yourself as you are pitching.   You want your pitch to be perfect with no pauses, it has to be natural.  You have to believe it to get me to believe it.

Presentation Factor 3 – The Words You Use        

The final 7% is what you say in the meeting.  That’s it.  It sounds amazing that this is so low.  But, remember, we are discussing the decision that people make in 30 seconds on whether they can like and trust you.

People decide on what you say after they decide if they like you or not. This decision of likability comes from the nonverbal components that are happening once they meet you.  When people trust you, then they listen to your pitch and make a decision.   When they don’t trust you, they tune you out in the first 30 seconds.

If donors do trust you, this is when your pitch has to be awesome.   If they trust you and your pitch is good, you get the check. 

Final Thought – People Give Money to People Not to the Film

The main thing about getting a donation is the donor is giving the money to you not to the film.  Your first job is to create a feeling of trust between you and the potential donor.  You must get this right because by the time you get ready to give the world’s greatest pitch if the trust and the likability factor are not there you won’t get the donation.  

Gary says they will turn you off and stop receiving your information early in the meeting if they don’t find that comfort zone.  Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink advocates your instinct comes to you in the blink of an eye.

Your donors are operating under their instinct immediately upon meeting you.  Your job is to immediately put them at easy, look then in the eye, be confident, happy, proud of who you are and excited about your film.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

In my series of videos on The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace D. Wattles’ pioneering work on using the power of your mind, I’ve covered his steps to creating your success.    Now, in Part 8, it comes together as we learn about receiving riches.

Thinking Stuff

Wallace says there is a thinking stuff from which all things are made. 

In its original state, it permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.  A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought.  Wallace says we can form things in our thoughts. 

Then, by impressing our thought upon what he calls the formless substance, we can cause the thing we think about to be created. 

Passing From Competitive to Creative Mind

In order to create, we must pass from the competitive to the creative mind.  Otherwise,Science of Getting Rich (Part 8) Receiving Riches we cannot be in harmony with the formless intelligence which is always creative and never competitive in spirit.

We may come into full harmony with the formless substance by entertaining a lively and sincere gratitude for the blessings it bestows upon us.  Gratitude unifies the mind of man with the intelligence of substance, so that man’s thoughts are received by the formless.  We can remain upon the creative plane only by uniting ourselves with the formless intelligence through a deep and continuous feeling of gratitude.

We must form a clear and definite mental image of the things we wish to have, to do, or to become; and we must hold this mental image in our thought, while being deeply grateful to the supreme that all his desires are granted to him. 

Receiving Riches

The man who wishes to get rich must spend his leisure hours in contemplating his vision. Too much stress is laid on the importance of frequent contemplation of the mental image, coupled with the unwavering faith and devout gratitude.  This is the process by which the impression is given to the formless substance and the creative forces set in motion.

All that is included in this mental image will surely be brought to the person who follows the instructions given and whose faith does not waver.

In order to receive,you must be active.  You must keep in mind the purpose to get rich through the realization of your mental image.  Every day you must do all that can be done that day.  Take care to do each act in a successful manner.  You must give to every person a use value in excess of the cash value you receive so that each transaction makes for more life to all that you touch.

The men and women who practice these instructions will certainly get rich; and the riches they receive will be in exact proportion to the definiteness of their vision, the fixity of their purpose, the steadiness of their faith and the depth of their gratitude.  This concludes Wallace’s brilliant book.

I sincerely thank you for watching these videos.  I believed that Wallace’s wisdom when applied can benefit all of us.  Knowing that you have the power to create your future is a key to a successful and prosperous life.  Please take this information to heart and use it. 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

Wallace D. Wattle, author of the Science of Getting Rich, believed that by Acting in the Certain Way, our thoughts are the impelling force which causes the creative power to act.  Wallace was a pioneer in realizing and writing about the power of your mind. 

In part 7 of my video series on his groundbreaking work, I cover how by Acting in the Certain Way it will bring riches to you.  But, he says, you must not rely upon thought alone; paying no attention to personal action.  The failure to meet thought with personal action is the downfall of many people.

Acting in the Certain Way

What is a Certain Way?   Rebecca Fine of the Science of Getting Rich Network describes it as “basically knowing that you are creating your own experience with your thoughts and the actions that grow out of those thoughts.”

So, we must not only think, but we must act on our goals too.  By thought he believes, you can cause the gold in the hearts of the mountains to be impelled toward you.  But it will not mine itself, refine itself, or coin itself into double eagles and come rolling along the roads seeking its way into your pocket. 

Wallace says that your thought makes all things animate and inanimate work to bring you want you want; but your personal activity must be such that you can rightly receive what you want when it reaches you.

The scientific use of thought consists in forming a clear and distinct mental image of what you want; in holding fast to the purpose to get what you want; and in realizing with grateful faith that you do get what you want.

Impress Your Thinking on to the Formless Substance

That Formless Substance, explains Wallace, has the same desire for more life that youScience of Getting Rich (Part 4) Thinking in a Certain Way have; upon receiving your vision, sets all the creative forces at work in and through their regular channels of action but directed towards you.

Therefore, you must act in a Certain Way so that you can appropriate what is yours when it comes to you.  You can meet the things you have in your picture and put them in their proper places as they arrive.

This is the crucial point in the Science of Getting Rich where thought and personal action must be combined.  Now you must provide for the reception of the thing you want when it comes.

By thought, the thing you want is brought to you; by action you receive it.  Put your mind into present action. Think in the now and begin to make ready for the reception of what you want. And your action, whatever it is must be in your present business and must be upon the persons and things in your present environment.

Use Vision and Faith to Set Creative Force in Motion

Hold with faith and purpose the vision of yourself in the better environment.  But, act upon your present environment with all your heart and with all your strength and with all your mind and act now.

Your vision and faith will set the creative force in motion to bring it toward you and your action will cause the forces in your environment to move you toward the place you want.  Remember, Wallace says there is a thinking stuff from which all things are made and which in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.  A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought. 

In order to do this, you must move from the competitive to the creative mind.  You must have a clear mental picture of what you want.  Hold this picture in your thoughts with fixed purpose and unwavering faith. 

And you must act now and take efficient action which we will cover in the final part 8.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

by Carole Dean

 

Wallace D. Waddle’s incredible book, The Science of Getting Rich, details how you can manifest success.   Written in the early 20th century, Wallace was a pioneer in realizing and writing about the power of your mind. 

In Part 6 of my video series on The Science of Getting Rich, I analyze his belief on the further use of your will in attaining that success.  

Wallace says that you cannot retain a true and clear vision of wealth if you are constantly turning your attention to opposing pictures. 

Don’t Focus on Past Troubles

Do not tell of your past troubles of a financial nature, if you have had them, do not think of them at all.   Do not tell of the poverty of your parents or hardships of your early life.  This will check the movement of things in your direction.

Put poverty and all things that pertain to poverty completely behind you.  By following Wallace’s theory of the universe as being correct, you are resting all your hopes of happiness on its being correct.  Your faith will bring this to completion.

No matter how horrible things appear in other countries, do not spend your time thinking about them. Please, interest yourself in your future.  Wallace wants you to give your attention wholly to riches.  To become rich, he writes, is the noblest aim you can have in life, for it includes everything else. 

Attaining Physical Health

On the competitive plane, the struggle to get rich is a Godless scramble for power over Science of Getting Rich (Part 4) Thinking in a Certain Wayother men; but when we come into the creative mind, all this is changed.  All that is possible in the new way of greatness and soul unfoldment, of service and lofty endeavor comes by way of getting rich.

If you lack physical health, you will find that the attainment of it… is conditional on your getting rich.

Only those emancipated from financial worry, and who have the means to live a care-free existence and follow good health practices, can have and retain health.

Moral and Spiritual Greatness

Moral and spiritual greatness is possible only to those who are above the competitive battle for existence.  Only those who are becoming rich on the plane of creative thought are free from the degrading influences of competition.

You can aim at nothing so great or noble, I repeat as to become rich; and you must fix your attention upon your mental picture of riches, to the exclusion of all that may tend to dim or obscure the vision.

You must see your life moving forward toward fuller expression and more complete happiness.

Read The Science of Getting Rich each day and commit it to memory.  There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made.   In its original state it permeates, penetrates and fills the interspaces of the universe.  A thought in this substance producer the thing that is imaged by the thought. 

Form and hold your clear mental picture of what you want and hold this relentlessly in your vision.  Wallace says you must live and act in a Certain way and we cover this in part 7.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

by Carole Dean

Peter Broderick on Film Distribution Peter Broderick is an expert on film distribution for indie films.  His company, Paradigm Consulting, helps filmmakers design and implement state-of-the-art financing, distribution, and outreach strategies.

He can review your film and give you excellent advice on your film’s potential market.  I advise every filmmaker who has the opportunity to seek his advice.

He joined me on my Art of Film Funding podcast “How Not to Negotiate a Distribution Deal” and shared his film distribution wisdom with us.

Think of Film Distribution as a Partnership

“In many cases, in the past, the relationship between distributors and filmmakers has been a kind of master/slave relationship” Peter explained. “ All the power was in the distributor and all the decisions were made by the distributor.  The filmmaker just had to kind of follow whatever the distributor decided.”

Peter considers that these days, in the newer world of distribution, we should really think about partnerships that are win/win.  “It’s good for both sides.  They appreciate what the other partner brings to the situation and they want to maximize the relationship.  Have it work for both sides.”

Create a Customized Film Distribution Plan

Before filmmakers get that distribution offer, Peter recommends that they have designed a customized distribution strategy.  Customize it to their goals, their target audiences, and the avenues of distribution and the versions of the film.

You should be specific about what rights you want to give to the distributor. You also need to be clear about the rights you want to retain. This could include the right to do screenings, and the right to sell downloads, streams, and DVDs directly from your own website.

By creating this, you can show it to a distributor and say, “We’re really interested in working with you. This is what we’d like to do.  Can you partner with us using our customized distribution plan?”

This gives the distributor a clear understanding of what you want to give them.  It importantly outlines what you want to keep.  It puts you in a stronger position for negotiating.

Ask Before You Sign

When a film is finished, the filmmaker too often wants to get the film seen.  They sometimes can take a distribution deal they later regret. 

“Of course you want to hear lovely things about your film.”  But don’t, Peter warns, be seduced by the distributor’s flattery.  Be diligent in finding people who are working or have worked with this distributor.  Don’t rely on the references distributors give you, since all distributors will have at least a few clients that like them.

“Find filmmakers online” he suggests, “who have worked with the distributors you’re considering.”  Peter  recommends speaking with 3 to 5 filmmakers about each distributor you’re seriously considering. He recommends asking pointed rather than general questions.

For example, instead of asking “do you like your distributor?”, ask if they’ve made as many sales as they expected to make and if the filmmaker has received the amount of revenues they expected to receive.

Don’t ask, “Do you like your distributor.”  Do ask, “How much money have you made?” 

Ask “Is the distributor working for you?” “How often do they call you or communicate?” “Do they treat you as a partner instead of an annoyance?”  Make sure they are treating other filmmaker the way you want to be treated before you consider making a deal.

“You’re bringing knowledge, you’re bringing some core audiences, you’re bringing expertise in the area that your film is made within and they should value that.”

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

by Carole Dean

Wallace D. Waddles, author of The Science of Getting Rich, understood that to harness the power or your mind to manifest your success you needed to know how to use the will.   

In my previous videos, I’ve covered some of the principles he outlines needed to attain that success.   In Part 5, How to Use the Will, I cover the important principle of using your will.

 

 

How to Use the Will

To set about getting rich in a scientific way, you do not try to apply your will power to anything outside of yourself. 

Wallace says it’s wrong to apply your will to other people to get them to do what you wish.   Do not to use your will power upon another person…….. even for his own good.  The Science of Getting Rich does not require you to apply power or force to any other person.

You do not need to apply your will to things, in order to compel things to come to you.  The Substance, Wallace explains, is friendly to you and is more anxious to give you what you want…. than you are to get it!  

To get rich, you need only to use your will power upon yourself.  When you know what to think and do, then you must use your will to compel yourself to think and do the right things.  That is the legitimate use of the will in getting what you want. 

Creating a Mental Image

To use it in holding yourself to the right course.  Use your will to keep yourself thinking Science of Getting Rich (Part 5) How to Use the Willand acting in the Certain Way.

Use your mind to form a mental image of what you want and hold that vision with your faith and purpose and use your will to keep you mind working in the Right Way.

The more steady and continuous your faith, the more rapidly you will get rich because you will make only Positive impressions upon Substance.

As this impression spreads all things are set moving toward it’s realization.  Every living thing every inanimate thing, are stirred toward bringing into being that which you want.  All forces begin to be exerted toward bringing into being that which you want.

You can stop all of this by starting a negative impression in the Formless substance.  Doubt or unbelief is as certain to start a movement away from you as faith and purpose are to start one toward you.

Focus Your Will on Desired Outcome

If you want to get rich you must not make a study of poverty.  Things are not brought into being by thinking about their opposites. 

Wallace says, Get rich; that is the best way you can help the poor.  Don’t fill you mind with pictures of poverty…….. use your will to keep your mind and faith fully on your desired outcome.

You can become right by creation, not by competition.  Every man who gets rich by creation opens a way for thousands like him to follow and inspires them to do so.  Use your will power to keep your mind off poverty and keep it fixed with faith and purpose on the vision of what you want.

There is more information on the use of your will to achieve your goals in our part 6 of Wallace D. Waddle’s book The Science of Getting Rich.  

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

by Carole Dean

It’s not enough just to want something to manifest it.   You’ve got to try “thinking in a certain way” to attain it.  

Thinking in a certain way is how Wallace D. Wattles, author of The Science of Getting Rich, describes the need to have a clear image of your goal.  In my latest video based on his work, I explain how it can work for you.  

Wallace was a pioneer in realizing and writing about the power of your mind.  In his book, he explains and shows us how to use that power to better our lives, become successful, and to expand our creativity.

Thinking in A  Certain Way – Desire is Not Enough

Remember the man in the Gratitude video # 3 who formed the mental image of his house in order to manifest it and you will have a fair idea of this initial step towards getting rich.  In other words, its important to create a clear and definite mental picture of what you want; you cannot transmit an idea unless first you have it yourself.

You must have it before you can get it.  Many people fail to impress “thinking substance”Science of Getting Rich (Part 4) Thinking in a Certain Way because they themselves only have a vague concept of the things they want to do… to have.… or to become.

It is not enough that you should have a general desire for wealth, everybody has that.  When you try to impress your thoughts on Substance, remember that it must be done by a coherent statement; you must know what you want, and be definite.  You can never get rich, or start the creative power into action, by sending out unformed longings and vague desires.

Form a Clear Mental Picture

Go over your desires just as the man I have described went over his house; see just what you want and get a clear mental picture of it as you wish it to look when you get it.

You must have that clear mental picture continually in mind as the sailor has in mind the port toward which he is sailing the ship.  Spend as much of your leisure time as possible in contemplating your picture.  The clearer your picture and the more you dwell upon this picture the stronger your desire will be and the stronger your desire, the easier it will be to hold your mind fixed upon this picture of what you want.

Behind this clear vision must be the purpose to realize it.  See the things you want as if they were truly around you all the time.  See yourself using them.  Dwell on your mental picture so it is clear and then take the mental attitude of ownership with the faith that it is yours.  And remember gratitude and be thankful for what you are visualizing as if you already possessed it.

You do not make this impression by repeating a strings of word; you make it by holding the vision with unshakable PURPOSE to attain it with unrelenting faith.

Remember it is faith and purpose in the use of the imagination which make the difference between the scientist and the dreamer.  And having learned this fact, it is here that you must learn the proper use of the Will.  We will cover that in part 5.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

by Carole Dean

As important as it is to celebrate getting financing for you indie film, it’s necessary to show gratitude to those that gave you the money.  

Showing or giving gratitude, is principal 3 in Wallace D. Wattles book The Science of Getting Rich.   Long before “The Secret”, Wallace’s book pioneered  how to use power of our minds to better our lives, become successful, and to expand our creativity.

In my third video in analyzing his work, I go into the rewards and benefits of gratitude in creating success.

Ask Largely

Wallace says do not be afraid to ask largely.  Do not look upon poverty as part of the plan.

Wallace shared the story of a poor man living in a rented house having only what he earned from day to day.   He decided to ask for a new rug for the floor of his best room and a coal stove to heat the house. 

Following Wallace’s instructions to use the power of his mind to form in his thoughts that which he wanted, he obtained these things in a few months.  Then it dawned upon him that he had not asked enough. 

He went through the house and planned on what he wanted and holding this picture in his mind and living in the Certain way he began moving toward what he wanted.  Now, he owns the house and is rebuilding it to his mental image.

Gratitude Will Lead Your Mind

You need to relate yourself to the Formless Intelligence in a harmonious way to bring Science of Getting Rich (Part 3) Gratitudeyou into perfect unity with God.  You must first believe that there is one Intelligence substance; second you believe this this substance gives you everything you desire and third you relate yourself to it by a feeling of deep and profound gratitude. 

Therefore, the soul that is always grateful lives in close touch with God. The mental attitude of gratitude draws the mind into closer touch with the source from which blessings come.

Principal 3 of Wattle’s The Science of Growing Rich is Gratitude and this will lead your mind along the ways by which things come. 

The Law of Gratitude

It will keep you in close harmony with creative thought and prevent you from falling into competitive thought.  There is a law of Gratitude and it is absolutely necessary that you should observe the law if you are to get the results you seek.  The law of gratitude is the natural principle that action and reaction are always equal.  The outreaching of your thankful praise will bring an instantaneous movement towards you.

The moment you permit your mind to dwell with dissatisfaction upon things as they are, you begin to lose.   Your fixed attention upon the ordinary, the poor and the mean and your mind takes the form of these things and attract them to you.  We are thinking substance and thinking substance always takes the form of that which it thinks about!

The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best and tends to become the best.  Also, faith is born of gratitude.  The grateful mind continually expects good things and expectation becomes faith.  Please be grateful for every good thing that comes to you and give thanks continuously.  Your rewards will be many.  You life’s energy will increase and your respect for your fellow man will be enhanced. 

We will continue with Principal 4 in the next episode of Wallace D. Waddles the Science of Getting Rich.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

by Carole Dean

Getting funding for your indie film is not going to happen unless you do two things.

You’ve got to believe it can happen and believe you can make it happen. 

It all starts with manifesting your success.  In my previous blog, I introduced Wallace D Wattles and his book The Science of Getting Rich.  Written in the early 1900’s, Wallace was a pioneer in discovering and writing about the using the power of the mind in changing your life, creating your success, empowering your creativity.

In my new video, The Science of Getting Rich Part 2,  I go into how Wattles explains how everything you see on earth is made from one original formless substance.  This substance is a powerful energy that we’ve yet to harness. 

First Two Principals of The Science of Getting Rich

Wattles says Man can form things in his thoughts and, by impressing his thought upon what he calls the formless original substance of energy which forms the universe, he can cause the thing he thinks about to be created. 

For you to do this you need to acquire the ability to think the certain way; this is the first step toward getting rich. 

Wallace says the second principal is “To think according to appearance is easy; to think truth regardless of appearances is laborious and requires the expenditure of more power than any other work we are called upon to perform.”

Nothing Harder Than Sustained Thought

There is no labor from which most people shrink as they do from that of sustained Science of Getting Rich Part 2thought; it is the hardest work in the world.  This is especially true when truth is contrary to appearances. 

Every appearance in the visible world tends to produce a corresponding form in the mind which observes it.  This can only be prevented by holding the thought of the TRUTH. (meaning that everything is perfect)

For example, to look upon the appearance of disease will produce the form of disease in your own mind, and ultimately in your body, unless you hold the thought of the truth, which is that there is no disease it is only an appearance and the reality is health.  To do this requires power.   He who acquires this power becomes a MASTER MIND.  They can conquer fate; he can have what he wants.

Every Thought Becomes a Form

We must grasp the truth that every thought held in this substance becomes a form.

The universe desires that you have everything you want.  Your purpose must be in alignment with nature.  Therefore, you want to get rich in order that you may eat, drink and play a good part in helping the world to find truth.  You can help others by making the most of yourself than in any other way.

Most of all, this “original substance” will make things for you but it will not take things away from someone else and give them to you.  You are here to create, you are not here to compete for what is already created. Get rid of the thought of competition.  Become a creator to get what you want.  Supply is not limited.  Please believe this.  It frees you to create.

Keep Your Mind on Your Vision

Know that the money you need will come. Always look at the limitless riches in formless substance and KNOW that they are coming to you.  Never worry.  Keep your mind on your vision.  You can create form from the formless structure around you.

Example, if you want a new machine, hold the mental image of it with the most positive certainty that it is being made or on its way to you.  After forming the thought, have the most absolute faith that it is coming.   This thinking substance has created all the machines already made and will cause the creation of one for you when you set it in motion by desire and invincible faith.

What and how to you ask for things?  We will cover that in part 3 of Wallace D. Wattles brilliant book the Science of Getting Rich.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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.

By Carole Dean

For indie filmmakers seeking film funding, the fantastic book The Science of Getting Rich contains advice on a fantastic tool that is often overlooked and underused.  

The power of your mind to manifest success.  

Before the film “The Secret” or before the book “Think and Grow Rich”, there was author Wallace D. Wattles. 

He was a serious man who wrote the Science of Getting Rich and other important books about using the power of your mind.  He realized its power in the early 1900’s. 

In my newest video blog, and in subsequent videos to follow, I will share the amazing information gleaned from his book with you. 

His groundbreaking discoveries can be used today to enrich your life, bring you success, and if you are a filmmaker, it will help you realize your full creative potential.

Science of Getting Rich

Wallace D. Wattles says that to fully make use of your creative powers you need to be rich.   With money…… you can use your creativity for your art and your family. The object of all life is development and to be developed you need money.  He thinks every man and woman should have money to unfold their soul and develop talent.

Wallace contends our right to life means our right to have free and unrestricted use of all things necessary to our fullest unfoldment of our right to be rich. 

Everyone should have that which can contribute to the power, elegance and richness of life.  It is perfectly right that you should desire to be rich so you should give your best attention to these teachings. 

How to Make The Science of Getting Rich Work for You

Science of Getting RichCertain laws, Wallace determined, govern the process of acquiring riches and, when they are learned and obeyed, you will get rich.  No matter how poor you may be, if you begin to do things in the Certain Way, you will begin to get rich and you will begin to have capital.

He wants us to understand that everything you see on earth is made from one original substance which he also calls the formless substance.  The original substance is a powerful energy that we’ve yet to truly harness or master.  Wallace says there is no limit to the supply of this “original substance.”  The universe is made from it, the spaces in and between the forms of the visible universe are permeated with it, and the universe is filled with the original substance. 

We know today that quantum physics says this is true.  It says that if we are sitting 3 feet apart the energy between us is enough to boil all the oceans on earth. 

So, Wallace was right.  And he believed the resources of the Original substance are at the command of every man or woman who will act and think in a certain way.

Proving the Science of Getting Rich

Wallace says you need to use his ideas as if they were proven because they are. He believes you can prove their truth by acting on a set of principles that he has outlined.

The first principle in the science of getting rich is to understand that thought is the only power which can produce tangible riches from the Original or Formless Substance.  A thought of form, your imagination for example, produces the physical form.  We live in a thought world which is part of a thought universe.

No thought of form can be impressed on original substance without causing the creation of the physical form. 

We are a thinking center and we can originate thought.  All the physical forms we fashion with our hands must first exist in our thought; we cannot shape a thing until we have thought that thing. 

Thought in thinking substance, produces shapes.  We can communicate our thought to original thinking substance and we can cause the creation or formation of the thing we think about.

We can form things in our thought, and by impressing our thought upon formless substance, can cause the thing we thinks about to be created.

To do this, you need to acquire the ability to think the certain way; this is the first step toward getting rich.   We will cover this first step in part 2.

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers 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 money theatrically distributing your documentary has been an elusive goal for filmmakers.  Except for one. 

3 Steps to Making Money Distributing Your Documentary

Build Your Audience Before You Finish Your Film

I recently interviewed Christo Brock, writer/director of the documentary Touch the Wall, on my Art of Film Funding Podcast.  He has perfected a 3 part formula to pull it off that resulted in his film being screened 363 times to date. 

Be determined to build your audience before your film is finished.  Find a champion. 

As a basis for their film, Christo Brock and his partner Grant Barbado chose to follow two Olympic swimmers as they trained for the London Olympic Games.  One of his swimmers, Missy Franklin, became an international sports star when she won four Gold Medals and broke two world records. 

Christo & Grant, like many other documentary filmmakers, seem to have the Midas touch by choosing people who become famous in their field.  This often makes the years invested by the filmmakers profitable.  That’s what I like to see, filmmakers who make money on documentaries.

Building an Audience Before Your Film is Finished

Christo raised $119,000.00 (see below for bonus crowdfunding tip) through Kickstarter.  He says it was a real blessing because this connected him to his major portion of his audience. 

He discovered more of his audience while creating the documentary.   Each time they filmed a swim event, both he and Grant spent time meeting people, getting names and especially looking for groups and organizations.  Then, they would follow up and connect to them. 

They were constantly adding names to their database and keeping their audience informed about the film.  They also hired people to help with outreach and had them focus on contacting swim clubs and making savvy posts online.  They worked hard to engage people and which would later paid off financially.

Finding a Champion

He then took Peter Broderick’s advice and found a champion in USA Swimming which is the governing body of amateur swimming in the US. 

In the interview, Christo reiterated what producer Tom Malloy and I teach to filmmakers in our Intentional Filmmaking Class. Find an audience to become dedicated champions.  Find groups or people that care about the project early on because they have a stake in it. 

USA Swimming wanted to see the film completed.  They were there to donate, follow the film, and help fill up theaters for screenings.

Bonus Crowdfunding Tip

I asked Christo for a good tip on crowdfunding.  He says  for his new film, on every interview he makes sure they take lots of behind-the-scenes footage, both stills and video.  He asks  the interviewee to give him a pitch for his Kickstarter. 

When he runs his campaign, he will have these “asks” from people in the film.  He has them say things like “Hey, I am John Smith and I hope you support this film about craft beer.”  Just that short and it works.

Check out his web site to see how he used shots of Missy Franklin on his web site for funding his swim film. http://www.touchthewall.com/film-clips

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers fiscal sponsorship for independent filmmakers. She hosts the weekly podcast, The Art of Film Funding, interviewing 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.