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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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.

 

In Receiving Miracles 3, Carole Dean Covers The Final Step You Need to Take to Receive Miracles in Your Life and Your Filmmaking

Forgiveness can be one of the most powerful healing tools

In Receiving Miracles 1 and 2, we covered 6 things to improve your life and that will open you for receiving miracles. 

First, was about giving gratitude daily for the many things you have. 

Second, we learned how powerful your words are and to remember to watch your thoughts because they become words.

Third, was to hold yourself in the highest esteem at all times

Fourth, love yourself.  Praise yourself daily for the smallest thing you do.

Fifth, when you ask for a miracle don’t worry about the “HOW”! Focus on your to do list to achieve a miracle.

Six is visualizing.  It’s the ability to pretend like you did when you were a child. I want you to pretend you already have what you want….that is powerful.

Now, I want you to forgive.

Hoʻoponopono

There is an ancient Hawaiian ceremony called hoʻoponopono that is a powerful tool for transformation.   It can clear your DNA.  It can clear your lineage for 12 generations back. 

The word hoʻoponopono means “to set things right.” You do this by connecting to the source within you and accepting responsibility for choosing and creating this life.

Forgiveness can be one of the most powerful healing tools. Letting go of old hurts brings new energy and vitality to everyone.  Forgiveness-Hawaiian style teaches us to forgive not only in the moment but all the way back to our ancestors. The past is cleansed and our future is made free.

Hoʻoponopono is a practice of making things right and restoring the natural flow of life. We use it to release old hurts and painful memories, realigning one’s self with Spirit to strengthen our awareness of God within.

Four Short Sentences

I love you.  I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you. 

You want to repeat this dozens of times daily for the situation you want to mend or for things you want to achieve.  With them you can break down any barriers. 

I love you.  I am sorry. Please forgive me.  Thank you. 

These magic words will help you forgive anyone or heal altercations.  They will help you find answers to problems you face.  They can be used to help you heal your body. 

They can be used in emergency situations to resolve an issue.  They can be used to make your film.  To help you attract the right crew, to help you find the right scripts or to find the right subjects for your documentary film.  These words can be used to help you fund your film. 

I suggest you work on yourself first, keep forgiving yourself and visualize any problem solved.  Say these words with conviction and mean them.  Using this magic prayer can release hidden blocks in you, can help heal your body, heal your relationships and heal your film.

I love you, I am sorry. Please forgive me.  Thank you.

Please write these down and begin saying them daily.  Know that you can work on any part of your family or work on any resistance that keeps you from achieving your desires.  Your life will improve with forgiveness.  Please use this brilliant tool to improve your lives and create your film.

I want you to expect a miracle.

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.

Carole Dean Interviews Art Neill on His New Legal Guide Book For Small Businesses Creative Professionals 

 

I interviewed Art Neill on my Art of Film Funding podcast about his brilliant book, Don’t Panic : ) A Legal Guide (in plain English). Art works with New Media Rights which is a non-profit, independently funded program of California Western School of Law. They provide legal services, education, and public policy advocacy for creators, entrepreneurs, and internet users. They worked with Dianne Griffin and Erica Jordan who are fiscally sponsored by From the Heart for their successful film, Painted Nails.

New Media Rights is also offering From the Heart readers a special 20% off Don’t Panic for a limited time. Use the code “by using this code “EHCBPZHD” at this special link to get a discounted copy.

I recommend the NewMediaRights.org website for information and I especially recommend this information packed book.  Art and his team at New Media Rights are specialists in fair use and an excellent source for filmmakers.  They have an APP that you can use for free that will interact with you on what is fair use and what is not.  Plus, they take on fair use cases at a reasonable fee.

Art explained “transformation” of material saying that although it’s not defined in the copyright law, transformation typically means to use or alter an original work, to provide new meaning to your message. The more you transform the original work to have a new voice message or meaning the more likely it is to be transformative and the more likely it is to be fair use. So, what does a transformation look like?” Here are a few samples:

Art Neill explained the Buffy versus Edward Twilight remix video by Jonathan McIntosh. “This is a particularly great example of fair use because McIntosh takes a series of very small clips from the entire Buffy the vampire slayer TV series and mashes it to gather with tiny bits of the twilight movie to create a new original story, changing the message of the original clips from stories about vampires to a cultural critique of gender roles in vampire pop culture.”

“Pretty woman” by 2 live crew

“The rap group 2 Live Crew reused the guitar riff and some of the lyrics from Roy Orbison’s Oh Pretty Woman to create a parody of the song. This particular parity is an excellent example of fair use not only because, as the court put it, ‘juxtaposes the romantic musings of a man whose fantasy comes true, with degrading taunts, a bawdy demand for sex and a sigh of relief for parental responsibility,’ but also because of the socio-economic and racial juxtaposition between the two songs.

Reusing something in a transformative way is critical to a finding of fair use! If your reuse is not transformative it is unlikely that you will be considered fair use unless all of the other factors are in your favor.”

Information taken from Don’t Panic:) sold on Amazon $14.99 or Kindle $9.99 or NewMediaRight.org

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.

 

by Carole Dean

Who is your audience for your film? It’s a common question that we ask of independent filmmakers submitting their documentary, feature, or short film to the Roy W. Dean Film Grant. 

We find that 80% of our applications cannot correctly answer this important question. 

Who is your audience? Don’t say “everyone”!

What Do You Say When Asked to Describe Your Audience?

Some who submit to the grant say “my audience is ‘everyone’” (which I encourage you not to do).  Grant judges will drop your proposal like a hot potato!

Some say “men and women from 18 to 48.”  That’s too broad.  We want to know everything possible about this audience.  If you had a description for your typical audience member like a “soccer mom in Indiana”, we would love it.

Why should you get so up-close-and-personal and know who is your audience and know as much as you can about them?  Your money for your film is now in their hands.  You will need to get dollars from them for research, for production, and again for post.   Plus, they will pay to download your film and probably help you put people in seats for theatrical on demand.

Ok, Carole, How Do I Find My Audience for My Upcoming Project 

Start by getting to know your present audience.  That is people in your database from different walks of life, who are not filmmakers, and who love the subject of your upcoming film.  Be sure it’s not family or close friends, you want information from people you don’t know.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • 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?
  • What kind of music do you listen to?
  • What blogs do you follow?
  • What organizations do you belong to?

Knowing what organizations they belong to gives you an idea of what organizations you can join and you can begin to chat about your film online to expand your data base of names.

  • How do you spend your free time?
  • When you watch movies, how do you watch them? Do you go to the theatre?  Do you watch movies only on your laptop or your mobile phone?

How they watch movies may mean you don’t need that expensive camera and you can reduce your budget.

With the answers to these questions, you begin to understand where you can reach other people for your new audience.

Now you know where they hang-out online, how to speak to them based on what news they read, and what blogs they pay attention to.  You have a sense of how they pay attention to things.  A headline from New York Times for instance is very different than a headline from BuzzFeed.  Now, you have a better understanding of how to communicate with your potential audience.

Use this information to know where and how to find your audience.

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 production. She is also the author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.

by Carole Dean

The key to getting your indie film funded is to master manifesting money and enhance your manifestations.  In my Intentional Filmmaking Class and blogs, I teach that your mind is your greatest asset for filmmaking.  

Faith funds films

Faith funds films.  Yes, it’s your faith in you and your film that brings you the money.  You are the key to funding, not anyone else, so know that to start with. 

Knowing how to manifest and to enhance your manifestations will maximize your film funding potential by clearing a path for its success will help you get your film made.   

3 Basics of Manifesting

You must have these covered before you can move on to enhance and magnify your manifesting.

# 1 You must have a clearly defined goal.  That is one sentence with a clear, concise description of what you want.

#2 You have a deadline for manifesting, tied to a holiday like July 4th or thanksgiving.

# 3 You know you can do it. 

Pay Attention to Your Thoughts

Now, that you’ve got the manifesting basics down, do you honestly think you can raise $200,000.000?  How do you feel when you say that out loud?  Do you feel sick in your stomach?  Or do you feel confident? 

I have to get you to the confident stage.  That comes from recognizing any blocks you have with money! Pay attention to your thoughts.  Once you see old stuff come up about money, recognize it and say “that’s resistance!” and let it go.

Watch for the mind chatter saying, “How will you ever do this?”  Or you say to family, “I can’t work on my script today, I have to get the car washed”….that’s resistance.

Believe in Yourself…And Have a Good Plan

It’s the plan that makes you feel you can do it. 

You want to be sure you have:

  1. Your pitch perfect.
  2. Your deck for a feature or your proposal for a documentary that is very well developed.
  3. Your script now is a “Killer script,” not just good; it’s a knock-them-dead-script.
  4. The budget must be flawless and believable and the lowest you can make the film for, not the kitchen sink budget.

R vs I

You need to remove any insanity from your package.  Tom Malloy calls it R vs. I.  Reality vs. Insanity.   It’s ok to manifest something you’ve dreamed about.  But, it’s not going to happen if it’s not based in the real world.

Example, this is your first film.  Your budget is $20 million and you want to direct it. 

That’s insanity.  Start with a low budget film.  Don’t expect to raise that much money on your first film and live, for now, with being an unknown director.  Reality would be a $100K budget and you direct it with a killer script.

Once you have these elements in place you are ready to ask for money.  

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 production. She is also the author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.

by Carole Dean

Loving yourself is highly important to let miracles come to you

In my previous blog, Receiving Miracles, I covered 3 things that are necessary for independent filmmakers to bring miracles into their life.

  • Give Gratitude Daily for the Things You Have
  • Don’t Let Your Unconscious Mind Sabotage You
  • Don’t Let Negative Thoughts Turn into Negative Words

Master those and you’ve got a good start.  But, there are 3 more things, equally as important, to receiving miracles in your life. 

The first one is very simple, but difficult for some to achieve. 

Love Yourself

Yes, you need to 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/actors/director of photography and even craft service!  This is an amazing amount of talent for one person.

Realize this, you are a major talent.  Loving yourself is highly important to let miracles come to you. And sometimes miracles come in the form of money. 

This is where a lot of people stop money and miracles from coming to them.  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.   

At the end of each day, you go over your to do list.   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.  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….Whee!” So take a lesson from him and tell yourself daily “I am the greatest.”  It worked for Ali and it can work for you.

Don’t Worry About How it Will Happen

Another step that stops people from receiving miracles is the “HOW.”  All of us want to know how will it happen.  Where will it come from?  This 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 you should do to make it happen.  By believing it will happen you are totally open to receive. 

Visualize

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.  They are powerful. 

Let me tell you a story of a filmmaker who is fiscally sponsored by From the Heart Productions.  She is making a historical documentary film and needed to do her next shoot on location.  She applied for several grants and then began prepping for the trip planning every minute of how the shoot would go just as if she had the money. 

I called her just before Christmas and said what are you working on?  She said her budget for the locations shoot.  She was down to the penny for what to spend, where to stay, everything was ready. 

I asked her, “How much do you need?” Her answer was $30,000.  How wonderful, I said, you just received a grant for this exact amount!  She was elated.

This is how it works, she did not ask how, she did the work, she knew she would be on locations soon and was perfectly ready to receive.  

I want you to give daily gratitude for what you have now, be careful to never put yourself down and to watch your thoughts, you want positive successful thoughts.  Be sure to compliment yourself daily for your many achievements and your talents, loving yourself is a priority.  Next, visualize what you want and see yourself getting it and experience those great emotions of joy, success and confidence. 

Believe me; this will bring you a miracle.

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 production. She is also the author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.

by Carole Dean

Miracles do happen daily and especially to filmmakers.  What’s the secret to attracting miracles?  What do I have to do to wake up every day expecting a miracle?

You may have seen the Secret, seen some other films on manifesting, or ready my book The Art of Manifesting, and thought about attracting things to you.  Perhaps you tried some techniques and it didn’t work and that’s ok. 

I want to share with you some missing steps to receiving miracles.  Things that work and that will make you feel good and bring more joy to your life.  

Realize how much you currently have and be grateful for it.

To Attract Miracles, Be Grateful

The first step to receiving miracles is to realize how much you currently have and be grateful for it.  Because gratitude is a powerful emotion that opens you up for receiving even more from the universe. 

We need to feel how lucky we are for what we have before we start looking for more. 

Try this next month, stop looking at what you don’t have and focus on what you do have and say a thank you to the universe daily.  Maybe it’s for your car or your job or your apartment. 

Whatever possessions you have, you need to be thankful for them.  I want you to feel that “emotion” of gratitude.  It’s a lovely feeling that fills your body with joy. 

Please make it a daily event to give gratitude for what you received that day.  Believe me, this puts you into a new mind set where you will begin to be grateful for even small gifts that come your way.

Don’t Let Your Unconscious Mind Sabotage You From Receiving Miracles

Many people have tried the law of attraction and they think they can just send out their desires with their minds and things will come to them.  Sometimes this can happen. 

But, to be receiving miracles daily, you need to remember you have a conscious mind and an unconscious mind.  Even if your conscious mind is focusing on what you want, your unconscious could be sabotaging you.   

Your mind could be harboring the unconscious thoughts that have been said to you like, “you don’t deserve money” or “you can’t raise $200,000 to make a film!”  These are samples of things that could be in your belief system that are not working for your highest good.

To find these hidden saboteurs, pay attention to your thoughts.  When you are thinking negative thoughts or thoughts that say “this will not happen or no, they would never agree,” you need to stop yourself, change your thoughts to say yes, this is possible.  All things are possible. 

Don’t Let Negative Thoughts Become Words

Remember the film The Iron Lady?  

In it, Margaret Thatcher said, “Watch your thoughts, for they will become words. Watch your words, for they become actions.  Watch your actions because they become habits; watch your habits because they forge your character.  And watch your character, for it will make your destiny.”

So, please, watch your thoughts as they become your words.  Please start listening to your thoughts and when they are negative, change them to possibilities. 

Please keep your words positive because once your words are positive you feel better.  This leads to a more positive character and opens you up for the universe to bring you miracles.  

That’s what I want.  I want you to “Expect a Miracle.”

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 production. She is also the author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.

by Carole Dean

What is Game Mechanics? 

Author Jonah Berger explains in his book “Contagious” that they are the elements of a game, application or program including rules and feedback loops that make them fun. 

Good game mechanics keep people engaged, motivated and wanting more.

Good game mechanics keep people engaged, motivated and wanting more.  They understand where they are compared to others in the same game.

You can use this to create a larger audience and increase donations to your film.

Game Mechanics Motivate on an Interpersonal Level by Encouraging Social Comparison.

People care about their performance in relation to others. 

You probably belong to an airline loyalty program.   Each time you fly on the airline you’ve selected, you accumulate points related to the miles you’ve traveled.    There are levels to reach where the reward gets greater. 

People care about hierarchy.   You try and reach the top level of your airline program to get that first class ticket to Katmandu.  This is game mechanics. 

Using Game Mechanics to Fund Your Film 

Game mechanics helps us generate social currency.  Social Currency is the info we share that others find cool and want to share as well.   You brag about that first class ticket to your friends.  Post it on social media.  It makes us and those that share it look and feel good.  That is social currency. 

Here’s some great ways to use Game Mechanics to increase donations to your film:

  • If you are crowdfunding, you can give an award at the half way point to the person who referred the most people to your campaign. This keeps everyone working for you to win that prize.    
  • Or, you might have something on your web site like an Icon for how much donors have contributed to your film. You could have platinum, gold and silver classifications on your site and list donor names. 
  • On your Facebook page, create a message board with names of whoever donates $100.00 and over. Make up different colored name tags for different amounts.  If you donate $100.00, you get a yellow tag, $300 is orange, and $500 is red tag.

Create a Simple System That People Understand and Create Social Currency

Example: Burberry let people send in photos of themselves in their coats and put them online.  Everyone who posted shared it with their friends who shared it with people they knew.  It drove their sales up 50%.

Word of mouth is generated through the voting process.  Putting films, actors, or locations up for people to vote for works to build interest.   For documentaries, try putting up questions about how people fell about your subject and letting them vote. Contestants spread the word about the site to get votes. 

This is social currency and game mechanics at work.

Think of ways you can you gamify your film funding watch your donations increase.  

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.

How Sharing Something Remarkable and Unique About Your Film Can Bring Attention…And Money

By Carole Dean

What we talk about influences how others see us.  When we talk about cool things, others want to repeat what we’ve told them to their friends. 

That is called Social Currency and you can use it to get people to notice your film. 

Get People Talking About Your Film to Get it Attention and Funding

What is Social Currency?   

People want to share compelling, exclusive content that makes them look smart and in on a secret.   That type of content is social currency.   

Wharton professor Jonah Berger, author of the brilliant book “Contagious” explains how, by using social currency, you can get more people talking about your product or idea.

Here’s an Example

Crif Dogs, a NYC Hot Dog restaurant, has a vintage phone booth in the corner.  When you enter and dial the ancient rotary phone, a voice answers and asks if you have a reservation.  If you are lucky enough to have one, a hidden door opens and you find you are in a posh 45 seat exclusive restaurant no one knows about.

The name?  Please Don’t Tell.  It makes you feel like you found a great secret.  There is no sign on the street or ads for it.  It takes bookings only for each day and only at 3pm.  By 3:30, all spots are gone. 

The restaurant does not publish its number.   It’s all word of mouth; the most powerful way to market. 

Rules of Social Currency:

  1. People share things that make them look good to others.
  2. People share things that make them seem entertaining and clever.
  3. People use social currency to achieve desired positive impressions among friends & family.

How to Mint Social Currency for Your Film

Find your film’s inner remarkability.   Give me some astonishing facts or an incredible statement I can repeat.

The Key to finding inner remark ability is to think about what makes something interesting surprising or novel. What is interesting about your film or your cast?  What is remarkable about your characters?  What is remarkable about the subject of the film?  

How about is it fiscally sponsored? 

You want to create social currency so people talk about your film and your crowdfunding campaign.  You want them to say I donated to a film and I got a tax deduction.  Or I donated to a film that raises awareness of Veterans suicide. 

That may be what gets people to talk about your film.  Then, they donate too because it’s cool to support your film and it’s cool to get a tax deduction.

By finding your film’s inner remarkability, you can use it to go viral and create social currency.

Do it right and you will end up with a different currency to use to make 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 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.

by Carole Dean

Ok, you’ve got a great idea for a film.  You’ve created a fantastic proposal and you’ve perfected your pitch.  You’re next move should be to create a captivating trailer.

Now, you need a plan of attack because now you need to start raising money.

Your Mission to Get a Great Trailer Needs a Plan of Attack to Get Funding

As I mention in my book, The Art of Film Funding, 2nd edition: Alternative Financing Concepts, there are so many things to do when you start to make a film.  You need to know the order of your priorities because they come at you from every direction.  When you just work with these immediate items you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

You must have a fantastic trailer to make money.  So, how much is that going to cost you?  For a doc your budget should be around $10,000 and for a feature about $20,000.  This must be your first and foremost goal, especially for a documentary, after you get your proposal and pitch to a brilliant level.

Alright, Now How Do I Get The Money?

Fiscal sponsorship is a great foundation to build your fundraising.  I know because my non-profit, From the Heart Productions , specializes in fiscal sponsorship for filmmakers.  We’ve helped them raise millions for their films.

Under fiscal sponsorship, you will align your project with a non-profit that will give your donors a tax deduction for the money they donate to your film.  That means more and perhaps larger donations.

When filmmakers apply to From the Heart Productions for fiscal sponsorship, they’ve got a choice on how to get paid.   We tell them that if their checks are to be made to them personally we must issue a 1099 at the end of the year for miscellaneous income. Or, they can get an LLC.

The LLC filing at www.ehow.com is inexpensive.  You can get one online under $300.00.  You can also get a DBA (Doing Business As) from the city you live in.  It’s even less money. Both of these take about 4 to 6 weeks to complete.

You Mentioned Something About a Plan? Right?

1. Start by getting your bank account.  Where’s the money to open the account? Try your mother or grandmother and tell them you need this to become an entrepreneur.

2. Now, you’ve got a film bank account and/or an LLC or your DBA, so you are a real company.  Find a fiscal sponsor that you like, that supports filmmakers, will give you help, and be available to answer any questions you may have.

Did I mention that From the Heart is a great fiscal sponsor for filmmakers?  Ok, maybe I’m prejudiced.  But, it does fit perfectly the necessary criteria I just listed because From the Heart Productions was created specifically to help filmmakers get funded.  We’ve done a really good job of that too for the last 11 years.

We are constantly putting information on our web site to help you raise money. We also review your proposal and your trailer and tell you the honest truth about your chance for success and we give ideas to improve what you have.

You really need this. You are out there in a vacuum and you need people who see hundreds of proposals and know what grantors want. This is where a thick skin is required.

I know from talking to hundreds of sensitive artists that we’ve fiscally sponsored or who’ve applied for our Roy W. Dean Film Grant that when you start telling them that their favorite scene in the trailer doesn’t work; most of them just grin and bear it. They don’t have to take my advice, but many do.

In fact many people just apply for the grant to find out what we think of their materials. That’s a very good thing to do. I recommend you apply for lots of grants and get feedback, that’s how you learn to improve your work.

When looking for a fiscal sponsor, say to yourself, “What’s in it for me?” Make sure you feel you are getting something for your 5 to 7% fee.

3. Time to start building an audience and network of potential donors.  Facebook is a must to fund your film. Create a fan page for your film.  Use their landing page to advertise your film and collect fans.  Start a dialogue.  Try out artwork, ads, and even ask for advice.

Use Google to search for organizations, website, bloggers, and forums on your subject matter.  Post on these forums and reach out to the bloggers.  Get information out about your project and send people to your Facebook page and web site. Try to get as many people that are interested in your subject to join your page.

Read my blog, Mining Your Audience for Gold as another way to discover who your audience really is.

4. Create a budget for the trailer. See the chapter on film budgets by award winner Norman Berns that I’ve reprinted on our website.  Check out Norman’s site www.reelgrok.com and Maureen Ryan’s www.producertoproducer.com site for sample budgets for features and documentaries.  Stay focused to get that brilliant money-making trailer made.

5. Set up your email names on an email marketing site.  You want to stay in touch with your donors every other month by always giving them the latest and greatest news on your film.  I use www.constantcontact.com.  They are very helpful. (work with a fiscal sponsor that already uses Constant Contact and you’ll get a discount).

Don’t think its way above your level to create a fantastic newsletter, it’s actually easy.

6. Decide how best to use your time. Morrie Warshawski, author of “Shaking the Money Tree” draws a circle and says you usually get 60% of your money for docs from people. So, how much time do you want to put into people?

If you decide to put 50%, then cut the pie in half and write PEOPLE. Next how much time to you want to spend on grants? Is your film a good fit for a lot of grants? If so, put 20% GRANTS. How about Corporate donations? What amount of time do you want to give that? Put it on the chart.

Letter writing is a brilliant way to get money.  Funding parties can bring you people to support your film and money. Chart it out and tell yourself what you will do with your time. If you are making a feature then you know it’s 100% from people.  I don’t always recommend a trailer for features for many reasons.

7. “What’s in it for me?” Crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo have shown us how much people will give if they get something back. We always knew it was all about, “what’s in it for me” and they are using that gift to the donors to raise tons of money.  So, think about what you can give back to your donors and put it on your web site and your Facebook page.

Example; an Indian man I know was making a film called Bollywood to Hollywood.  In our brainstorming session, he revealed that his mother and brother are excellent cooks. So we set up a price for him to come to your house and cook an authentic Indian dinner for 6 people.  Use the idea of your film as much as possible and create gifts around it to make people want to gi ve you the larger checks.

8. Now you need to collect some sponsors and partners for your film. This means you look for nonprofits that are supporting your same issue. Kitty Farmer was making a film on the healthcare, or lack of, that the US Government promised the American Indians. She calls it her circle of partners. She focused on this for several weeks and each day got on the phone and pitched her film to like-minded organizations and she came up with 20 organizations who want to support her film.

How does this help you? Well, if each organization has 2000 members or more multiply that by 20 and now you have a large data base of people who care about your issue following you. Your job is to keep them informed with your newsletter or email blasts of the status of the film while you are making it.  Your real support will come when they can see some of the content of the film and fully support you.   Always list these names on your grant applications and on your web site as strategic partners.

Finding these people is easy. Start with some of these nonprofit web sites like www.guidestar.org and www.councilofnonprofits.org for the subject matter of your film. Each organization has instructions on site to help you. Then, get on the phone and pitch that brilliant money making pitch you created.

You want them to know you are making this film and usually the first contact is to introduce yourself and tell them about your film.

Remember, they don’t know you from Adam and this is your first contact.  They don’t need you, you need them.  At this point only ask if you can keep them informed about your film as you make it.  Once you have a trailer to show them then send that and keep your contact going until they learn more about you and trust you.  Then they will put you on their web site and mention you in the newsletters, etc

9. Now you need the money to make the trailer. Your platform is set, you have a bank account, a pitch and proposal, sponsors, web site, Facebook page, perhaps a blog and you have people connected to you and your film. That’s perfect.

Review your time table telling you how much time you want to put into each area of fund raising. You may want to focus on the PEOPLE section first. Decide if you want to call people to donate to a yard sale, create a funding party or a dinner funding party or do a letter campaign.   Make plans, set dates for these events and start your first funding adventure.

10. You may want to listen to my online information on Manifesting and creating your future at www.fromtheheartproductions.com it’s very important at this phase to be able to receive. You want to be sure that you are functioning at the highest level possible and as Dr. Chopra would say that you must know there are “infinite possibilities” waiting for you.

11. Before you shoot anything for your trailer, I recommend you have a consultation with a trailer editor and find out just what he/she advises you to do to get what you need before you go out to shoot. 

12. When you shoot your trailer you will have an outline of just what you want before you shoot. After your trailer editor is finished, add this trailer to your web site and post daily about producing the trailer in your blog.

Consider creating a 90 second trailer for sponsors to put on their web site to send people to your site. Now you are really networking.  Remember the people reading your web site and blog don’t know that filmmaking is 90% hard work and 10% filmmaking. So dazzle them with production information so they keep coming back to your site or Facebook  page. Then tell them where you are now in the funding process and make another “ask” as you need more money.

13. Look for development money from places like www.sundance.org or http://www.thefledglingfund.org or  www.chickeneggpics.org and go to the back of the book for a list of funding organizations.

14. Celebrate you have just reached your first milestone. The rest can be a piece of cake.

Remember, it’s the journey not the destination. Enjoy every moment.

 

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.

Use Your Knowledge and Intention to Get Films Funded

by Carole Dean

In the beginning was the word…..

I am lucky to be able to teach indie film funding in our Intentional Filmmaking Class with actor/writer/producer Tom Malloy. Tom is owner of Trick Candle Productions and part owner in Glass House Distribution. He has raised over $25 million for his films as well as having produced Screamers, In Vino, and Fair Haven.

We both believe that your mind is your greatest asset for filmmaking.

RD IntentionIn a recent episode of my podcast The Art of Film Funding, Tom covered How to Devlop a Feature Film From Scratch.

“Everything you can see was an idea at one time” he started,” that chair you are in, the computer you are using, everything in your room started as an idea.”

“When you get a compelling idea for a film he says you should feel the energy of the universe in it. That’s when it can be powerful.  That’s when it’s worth the time to seriously consider it.  You need to be completely sold on this idea and know that it can be made and you are the one to make it.”

Once you feel an idea this strongly you need to get it on paper.  Moving that thought from your head onto paper will start the process of bringing your film into this third dimension where you can birth it.  Pull out your notebook and start to write about it.  Put down all the information you get.

Then start considering, is this something that I could really create, is this for me?  Start visualizing yourself making the film and see how it feels.  If that works then go to the next step start to develop it.

Most importantly, don’t tell anyone about this in the writing stage.  Keep all of that energy inside you and use it to create.  You are not ready for rejections.  Just use this energy for creating.

I know from reading many applications to the Roy Dean Grant that this is where the rubber hits the road.  Many people have ideas and only a few have really developed them.

Tom puts his full attention on the project when he gets that idea and feels the universe is behind it.   Documentaries and features.  He stays on the project while the energy is there and he knows that it will work.

This has helped him make many films. The secret seems to be, “is this project for me?”  “Is it worth my full time and attention over everything else in my life?”  It’s either dive in with 100% dedication or let it go.  Only you know the answer.

In our Intentional Filmmaking class Tom and I take people by the hand and walk them through the funding and the attachment process.  It’s amazing to watch how filmmakers develop themselves while developing their film.

Our next class starts in late September 2016.  I teach the Trailblazer Class for documentary filmmakers and Tom is my co-instructor for the Mastermind Class for Short and Feature filmmakers.  Full information is at https://fromtheheartproductions.com/intentional-filmmaking/

If you are passionate about your project this class will take you to the next level.

 

LinkedIn Groups are Great For Sharing Filmmaking Info, Getting Tips, and Finding Work

by Carole Dean

Independent filmmakers seeking for social networking opportunities should not overlook LinkedIn Groups.   (And no one should overlook LinkedIn now that Microsoft paid $26 billion to purchase it).

LinkedIn Group Members Can Get and Give Advice on Story Structure, Budgets, and Funding

LinkedIn Group Members Can Get and Give Advice on Story Structure, Budgets, and Funding

There are groups to join for documentary, feature, and short films as well as crowdfunding and financing.

On my weekly Art of Film Funding  Podcast , I was lucky to spend some time with a cherished friend, Norman Berns, an Emmy award winning producer who is head of the LinkedIn group for Film & Television Professionals.   They now have over 200,000 members.

Norman shared with me his insights and tips on how best to use LinkedIn Groups.

Why should filmmakers join online groups?

“Why do people go to the town square and hang out for the evening? You do it because that’s where the people are.” suggests Norman.

“If you want to find out from filmmakers, where do you find a whatever, anything from a prop to a location to a producer, those are the people you would ask.  And if you sell it well enough, if you present the information well enough, you’ll get a good answer.”

What should you do when you join a LinkedIn Group?

“Alright, we have this town square”, said Norman “If you rush into the town square and you say, ‘I’m here, I’m here, look at me,’ people will wander away.  You have given them nothing.”

The best way to start is to share something that you learned.  Share your experiences in filmmaking.   The easiest thing people can do in groups is to share knowledge and come off as the wisest person in the room.

How can you get people to give you advice on your film?

If you want people to look at your film, if you want to utilize the group, explain what you did.

“Say, ‘Look, we had to go to this location, we only had xxx dollars. We climbed a mountain. We used this camera and these lenses and we put the camera “here”.  You tell me how difficult it was to film in this location. Then I’m interested.”

But, just saying “Hey, look at my film!’” Norman warns, “Doesn’t work well.”

So, if you’re free with information, if you give, before you ask to get, you will get a good response.

How do you market yourself and actually make money for a professional4 service in a group?

Norman said his group has a lot of people in it who work closely with story structure, who teach writing, who talk about protagonists, antagonists, all the pieces that make up a good story.  They’re really incredibly generous and some have workshops.

But, if you want to get people into your workshop, you have to set out a lot of breadcrumbs of wisdom to attract them.  As they come in picking up all these bits of knowledge you’ve laid out, they will eventually come through your door.  It takes some effort.

This is the helpful and the respected way to promote yourself online in groups.  Then you can tell people when you have a seminar and you have a much better chance to get customers.

How do you promote your talents to get work?

Norman’s advice is to answer:  “Who are you? What are you talking about?”

“If you come to me and you say, ‘I made a film for $20,000. I had these people in the cast. We shot for these many days, and I used this special crane that I had my grips build.’

Well, all of a sudden I really am interested, I really want to know.”

The people who say, “hire me, hire me”, are missing the point.

“If I like what you’re telling me, if I like the product that you’re delivering, I’ll hire you. But, I’m not going to start the conversation by hiring you, and then figure out whether I like your stuff.”

Can you talk about funding for your film?

Norman said that he limits this discussion to technique rather than making an “ask” from the group.

What’s fair and acceptable is for someone to say, “If I were looking for money for my film, where would I go?”  That’s worthy of a discussion.

“But please do not say,” Norman chides “Go to my Indiegogo campaign and donate!”

You can check out the entire Art of Film Funding podcast with Norman Berns for insights on LinkedIn and producing.

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.

Let Go of These 5 Myths to Raise Money for Your Film

by Carole Dean

The reward for crowdfunding your film comes not just in money, but knowing that others support you and your work. 

At From the Heart Productions, Carole Joyce and I work with filmmakers to help them create their own unique crowdfunding campaign.  We provide lots of crowdfunding resources to engineer a successful campaign as well as fiscal sponsorship that allows tax free donations.

But, the campaigns we help only succeed when we’re able to get filmmakers to let go of these crowdfunding myths:

Myth 3 – I’ve got 45 days reach my goal so I can take my time.

Myth 3 – I’ve got 45 days reach my goal so I can take my time.

Myth 1 – You build it and they will come. 

Nonsense.  No matter how fantastic a campaign page you create, how important the cause, or how great the concept, you need to bring your crowd to the crowdfunding campaign.  You will probably get 98% of your funds from you own email list.  Not from Facebook, Twitter, or any of your social networks.  Just from people you know. 

Getting your crowd to send your emails to their friends is paramount to success.  Focus on how to ask ahead of time for this favor and find ways to reward people for sending your emails to their lists.  

Myth 2 – My film’s budget is $85,000 so that is where I need to set my campaign goal. 

Your film’s budget has nothing to do with where you should set your campaign goal. Raising money is not easy so why set your goal for an amount you will have trouble getting.  Break it up into achievable segments.

How to know what you can raise?   Use the number of names in your data base and multiply by 5% for the number of donations you will get.  Example: Let’s say you’ve got 1,000 names.  1,000 x 5% = 50.  So, you can expect 50 people will give you money.

At From the Heart, we have an average of $100 per donation.  That means for 50 donors you can raise $5,000.00 (per those 1,000 names).  

Don’t plan on getting much from your name on your social networks.  Only about 2% of your social media contacts who will donate.  Still, you want to be on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to bring attention to the project

The money is in your close friends, family and your data base.  Focus on your data base where you can send emails every 5 days.  These are your prime donors.

Myth 3 – I’ve got 45 days reach my goal so I can take my time.

You may have a 45 day campaign, but it’s critical to hit 30% in first 72 hours.  If you hit that, your campaign has an 80% chance of succeeding.   

What amount can you raise in 3 days?  $3,000.00?  You may want to work backwards and use this calculation to set your ultimate goal.  If you think you can raise $3,000 in first 3 days, then you ask for $9,000 and you can probably hit it.

Lots of work?  Yes, but the payoff is more in marketing than you would ever imagine.

Myth 4 – If I don’t hit goal, I still get money so that’s ok, right?

Hitting your goal is essential.  The record of how your campaign performed and how it was accepted by others will be out there forever.  While not necessarily an accurate judgement on how successful your project will ultimately be, it will be seen by some that way.

Distributors want to know you understand social networking.  They think crowdfunding is an example of how good you are at marketing so they judge you by your success.  Be prepared for this.

Myth 5 – T-Shirts make great perks.

I like gifts that are personal and I like you to be part of the gift.  Send me something personal.  One filmmaker crowdfunding wrote a poem for those who donated to his campaign and he was very successful.

Make your gift something that sets your project apart and makes other take notice.  One crowdfunder asked his potential donors, “Where is your dream vacation?”  Then, he took a picture of you and put you in that location.  He did very well because people posted these items on Facebook.  That got him new leads who eventually donated because of the extraordinary gifts.

Need a Consultation?

Tailoring your campaign to your film is essential.  We can do that in a consultation.  If you are fiscally sponsored by us, you have a free campaign consultation.  

If not, arrange a consultation with me.  I will read all of the materials of your film.  Then, we spend 40 minutes discussing your campaign with you.

Whatever you do on your campaign, let go of the myths and you will be much more successful.

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 is also the author of The Art of Film Funding: Alternative Financing ConceptsHer Intentional Filmmaking Class teaches filmmakers on how to get their films funded.  

The US government gives filmmakers a great gift at the end of 2015 in the recently signed budget

by Carole Dean

Just before Congress dashed out for their end of year holiday vacation, Section 181 of the tax code of 2004 was reinstated.  For a filmmaker, this is going to be an important tool to attract investors.

Corky Kessler - Entertainment Attorney and Expert on Section 181

Entertainment Attorney and Section 181 Expert Corky Kessler

Enacted originally in 2004, Section 181 allows you to eliminate your investor’s tax bill by what they’ve invested in your film.   It permits a 100% write-off for the first $15 million of the cost of producing a film in the U.S.   It had expired at the end of 2014, but Congress instead extended it to the end of 2016 and made it retroactive to the beginning of 2015.

Entertainment lawyer, Corky Kessler, is one of our best film attorneys, an expert on Section 181, and one of its biggest advocates.   He has used Section 181 seventy-four times to help filmmakers.   He revealed more highlights and new benefits of Section 181 during my interview with him on my Art of Film Funding Podcast.

Section 181 is for shorts, documentaries and features up to $15 million and some up to $20 million dollars.

It covers all films started or finished in 2015, if you know how to apply for it.  Section 181 also can cover films that finish in 2016.

How it works.   For example, if $500K is spent on your film in 2016 and your investor is active in the production or made active, they can write it off as an expense against their taxes.   If that investor is in a 30% tax bracket, they will save $150K from that $500K investment.

That is because you can create 100% of a tax loss when you invest under Section 181.

Depending on what state you decide to film in, you can minimize your investors risk considerably.

For example, let’s say you are shooting in a state with 40% state rebate your investor is using Section 181.  If that investor is in the 35% tax bracket, then they could have an assurance that 75% of the money is returned to them.

States like Georgia, Louisiana, California and NY all have great incentives.  To protect your investor Corky, recommends finding a state to shoot in with a good incentive.   Some states like Louisiana allow you to bring people in to work on your film from out of state and you still get 30% benefits.

Section 181 is fairly simple if you have a good lawyer and accountant who can advise you on how to use it.

If your accountant is not well versed in Section 181, you can lose this benefit.  For example, if the accountant capitalizes the production expenses you can lose this.  Also, if your accountant does not file in the first year that you intend to use the 181, you cannot use it.  Knowledge is the key to using this.

Also, for the first time, Section 181 includes theatre.  Certain rules about theatre are still to be revealed.  The good news is that you have until the end of 2016 to get your projects grandfathered in case this is not extended again.

Get started before you do your taxes. 

“If you want to use 181 for an upcoming film you need to complete a form this year when you do your taxes.” Corky explained.  “This form tells the IRS that you intend to use it for your film to shoot in 2016.  That’s the most important thing to know now before you do your taxes.”

You also need to have your paperwork completed for the film.  Your lawyer will know what papers are required.  Put aside a week to get these done so that you can file that extension and be eligible for this great tax incentive offer for your investors.

You can contact Corky via email at kessler@dlec.com and or call him at 312 853 8448 For an accountant, he recommends Todd Hein with Crowe Horwath  who knows how to do the election and file properly.

Carole Dean is the president and founder of From the Heart Productions and author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  She hosts a weekly podcast, The Art of Film Funding, with guests offering tips and advice on indie filmmaking. 

Her unique, innovative Intentional Filmmaking Class teaches filmmakers how to get their films funded.  Corky Kessler is a guest speaker for the class.   New classes begin February. . 

by Carole Dean

When 16 year old Chris Strachwitz left Germany and came to the US in 1960, he played his radio every day because he was so impressed with the music in America.  He loved it all!

This Aint No Mouse Music 2He listened to Mexican music, soul, and blues, jazz and accordion music.  Chris developed a very good “ear” for music.  He knew how to discern talented people.  But, many of the artists he liked were older musicians whose work would be lost when they went away.

He decided to dedicate his life to record them to save their music.

In the documentary “This Ain’t No Mouse Music”, we follow Chris from teenage music lover to a restless archivist who discovered and preserved the work of many great songs and artists.

He started on a shoestring.  He began to record music exactly where he found it.  In front yards, restaurants, bars, by the lake.  Wherever the musicians played, that’s where Chris recorded them.

Chris never had a studio.  He never wanted one.  He wanted to record the music just where he found it.  This brilliant idea really worked, you can hear it in the recordings.  It’s natural and the outside or surrounding sounds belong.

Music was the life blood in the heart of these deep rooted communities. People loved their music and loved their musicians.

Chris started his own record label Arhoolie Records.   Arhoolie is the word for a field hand in the south.   He became a folk, blues and soul music detective combing Texas, Louisiana & Mississippi for musicians and also for local records.

During his search for music, he found folklorist Mac McCormick who became a brilliant partner to help Chris in his quest.  Chris & Mac were not afraid to ask anyone for the names of musicians.  Once they had a name, they used their detective skills and went to work to find them.

This desire to find folk music in the South would cause him to find some of the greats.   He found Fred McDowell, Aakka White, and Big Mama Thornton, who sang Hound Dog and I Smell a Rat.

He found Richard Thompson, John Jackson, Mance Lipscomb, Charlie Musclewhite and Big Joe Williams whose great song is Sloppy Drunk!

Chris took many of these people to the folk festivals and on tour to either create or resurrect their careers.   He took Big Mama Thornton overseas where she recorded on of her best-selling record Big Momma Thornton – In Europe.

He recorded Country Joe and the Fish singing their anti-Vietnam War song I Feel Like I’m Fixing to Die Rag.  Chris recorded this in his home and when they were leaving they said, “What do we owe you for the recording?”

“Well, you don’t have a publisher,” Chris replied “So, let me be the publisher.”

They signed a contract which brought Chris a lot of money.  Chris used this income to cross the country and find us these marvelous musicians.   Years later, when they next met, Chris gave the publishing rights back to the artist.

Chris is a one-man-band by finding the talent, producing, recording, editing, marketing, selling and promoting.  He even shows you how to wash your records!

If you love music, musicians and good bio pics, this is a wonderful film for you.

Songs truly are the poetry of the people…

The podcast Dissecting Docs with Carole Dean and Don Schwartz is dedicated to our most precious and beloved filmmakers, the documentary filmmaker.  Each week, the show honors these brilliant creatives who give of their time, energy, and sometimes their freedom to bring us the truth.  They are our last vestige of sincere, unbiased reporters who put their heart into their films.

 

 

Creating a Marketing Plan Early Can Increase Donations and Help Target Audience

by Carole Dean

In the Intentional Filmmaking Class on film funding that I teach, I usually start with marketing.  It’s something filmmakers often overlook until the film is finished.

I know from working as a fiscal sponsor how marketing your film early brings you money for donations, major discounts, and in-kind donations.

Marketing Plan

“Filmmakers must realize they are not making a movie just for themselves”

 

But, I believe if I was on a stage and my class was sitting in front of me, they would be throwing things at me (well, it’s an online class so maybe they are throwing things at their computer screen!). Filmmakers don’t want to hear the fact you need to market your film while you make it.

On my Art of Film Funding Podcast we interviewed Sheri Candler, a film marketing genius, who shared her brilliant, clearly outlined concepts.

Sheri explains how and why you need to identify your film’s market during the early stages of production.

Why You Need to Start Focusing on Marketing in Development

I understand this seems like a business thing that they don’t really want to get involved in,” Sheri says referring to the block creative people put up when dealing with business matters.

“But what I normally say to them is, if you are planning on having a career beyond this project, you need to pay attention to marketing because part of show business is not just the show, it’s also the business.

“You want to get money to make your projects, you want people to see your projects and you want to be able to make other projects, so you have to face the marketing and distribution questions that go with your project.”

Why You Need a Marketing Plan to Create a Strong Budget

Sheri asks that filmmakers need to realize that they are not just making a movie for themselves. If that were the case, it would be a hobby or something to put on shelf to look at.

 If people are making it for people to see, you need to know who those people are. Who are you making your story for?

“Because you won’t be able to reach them if you don’t know who they are, and that is really the basis of what marketing plan is.

“It identifies the audience that you need to reach, and explains how will you reach them and what’s the budget you need to do that.  You want to connect your work with the audience that you hope will watch it and enjoy it, and spend money to see it and tell other people about it.”

How Working on Marketing Early Will Help Film Reach its Audience

As Sheri explains, “there is just so much competition these days for the audience of the film.”  Filmmaking has gotten cheaper, the equipment has gotten cheaper and the ability to edit and even to distribute your film is cheaper too.”

“But it also means so many more people are doing it, so we have this glut of content where there is just tons of it in the world and it’s very difficult to just release a film and hope it does something for you.”

“It isn’t enough to target men or women or even an age group like 18 to 35. You need to know exactly who your story is going to appeal to and describe these people.

“There’s got to be something at the heart of and at the emotional core of your film and you need to start from there.”

Marketing Questions You Need to Ask Yourself about Your Film

Sheri provided a list of essential questions filmmakers need to ask as they embark on marketing their film.

What is it about your film that is attractive, not just genre wise, but attractive to the kind of people who like this story?

Why are you attracted to this story?

What is about you that wants to tell it?  Start really identifying those things in yourself like:

Where do I like to hang out?

What do I like to read?

Where would I go on vacation?

What would I wear to the premier of the film if it wasn’t mine?

With these answers you can start to find those communities where you would go online and it would be much easier for you to join them because you are like them.

“It is very authentic and human rather than the advertising base model that we had for so many years which is: I make a film in secret, and then I throw it out into the world and try to advertise my way into an audience.

“Hollywood still does that, very much so, but a low budget independent film cannot do that, will not have the funds to do that, so they can’t even approach their filmmaking from that perspective.”

Carole Dean is the president and founder of From the Heart Productions and author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  Her unique, innovative Intentional Filmmaking Class teaches filmmakers how to get their films funded.  New classes begin September.  Discount for early enrollment. 

 

 

by Carole Dean

When can you use Songs, News Clips, and Plays in Films

You know that song you hear that you can’t get out of your head?

What if you can’t get it out of your film?

Then, it becomes a question of fair use and a question for entertainment attorneys Michael Donaldson and Lisa Callif  (who happen to be the leading authorities on fair use).

While they were both guests on my podcast The Art of Film Funding , I asked Lisa an important question I hear often in my Intentional Filmmaking Class.

Is the music in your film incidental or non-incidental?

Is the music in your film incidental or non-incidental?

If a documentary filmmaker is shooting a film and a song is playing in the background of the location is it possible to claim fair use and if so for how many seconds?

“That answer has a couple of questions, “responded Lisa “depending on how the music was captured”

Incidental vs. Non-Incidental

The first example she gave is of a filmmaker shooting in a bowling alley and music happens to be playing in the background.

“If you capture it completely incidentally and you don’t edit the scene to the music, it’s just there, the filmmaker, as a director didn’t make any creative choices about the music, it probably is going to be fair use under our incidental tests.”

But, if is not incidental?

“If the filmmaker had any creative decision to what music was being played or how long it was being played, how loud it was, then it wouldn’t be fair use.  It’s a little different, it’s a lot different than our three step test, it’s really isn’t incidental use, purely incidental or not.”

Incidental vs. non-incidental is a very important part of the fair use doctrine.

Michael and Lisa just worked on a fictional film by a very famous director which was shot outside a music festival.   A lot of the music from the festival bled through during the shoot into the dialogue scenes.   There was no way to separate it out.

“We said it was fair use as long as it was contained only as background.” Michael answered. “as they were talking not used as any kind of underscore which was what Lisa was talking about earlier. Using somebody else’s stuff as underscore is never fair use in the US.”

What about using news clips in films?

Another question filmmakers in my class ask is about using news clips in their films.  Can they claim fair use or should they buy them?

“The test is exactly the same.” responded Michael referring to the incidental as opposed to non-incidental qualifier. “That test isn’t just for feature films or just for photographs or just for sculptures, it’s for anything you use in your film and documentaries often use news footage.”

He pointed out that a filmmaker needs to avoid the temptation of using news footage to tell or advance a story.  That would not be allowed under fair use.   The news footage needs to illustrate the story.

“You can’t get lazy and say, I will just stick in the ABC story that night that says: So and so got killed. You have to make that point by some interviewee or someway, and if it is appropriate, you can tell it straight from the news footage.  A lot of the docs we work on use news footage, it always has to illustrate or support a point you are already making.”

Is it possible to film a theatre play and claim fair use?

Yes, if the use of the play is to illustrate your point you are making.

A documentary they were assisting was about a local theater that showed how the creation of one of their productions.  It started with casting of local talent, building sets, rehearsals, etc.   Songs were used all the through.  Then, they go to opening night which, of course, is an actual production of the play.

But, it turned out that was ok to use.

“If you have to make a documentary what it’s like for a local theatre to put on a musical, you can’t tell that story without showing something of opening night.” Michael explained.

“You just have to make sure that you don’t overdo it. You are not substituting footage for entertainment value, but rather to show what it is like, when local people, non-professional decide to put on a major Musical.

“We did a wonderful thing for Michael Yuri, he runs a contests in Texas… where high school students read scenes from famous plays.  Obviously, if you are making a documentary about this phenomenon in Texas, you show them reading the scenes.

“There is a lot of circumstances with excerpts from plays, but the rules are exactly the same: Plays, music, film, broadcast television, cable shows, architecture, photos, the rule is:

“Are you using it to illustrate the point you are making, the use is reasonably appropriate and is that connection clear?”

Carole Dean is the president and founder of From the Heart Productions and author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  Her unique, innovative Intentional Filmmaking Class teaches filmmakers how to get their films funded.  New classes begin in September.  Discount for early enrollment.

3 Questions To Ask When Using Material From Other Sources in Your Film

by Carole Dean

Entertainment attorneys Michael Donaldson and Lisa Callif are the leading authorities on fair use.  Michael, in fact, is often referred to as the “fair use Guru”.  His “Clearance and Copyright” is used in over 50 film schools and has become the standard reference book for the industry.

Entertainment Attorney Michael Donaldson has been called the

“The Fair Use Guru” – Entertainment Attorney Michael Donaldson

I interviewed them recently on my podcast The Art of Film Funding and Michael provided me with insights and questions that a filmmaker should ask about fair use as it relates to their film.  Once you have the answers, you can use fair use comfortably in your film.

Michael says you need to ask these three questions:

  1. Are you using somebody else’s material to illustrate a point you are already making in your documentary, pretty simple- yes or no.
  2. Did you only use what’s reasonably appropriate? That’s got a lot of elasticity in it and that’s good.
  3. Is the connection between the point you are making and the material that you are using illustrated clearly to the average viewer?

“If you get a yes to all three questions,” Donaldson says, “you land up in what we call a Safe Harbor. It’s unassailable.  There is no way anybody is going to successfully argue that it’s not fair use.

“There is still a lot of fair uses: You know if the connection isn’t all that clear but when you explain it, it’s there, if you have a little bit of wobble room in the length that still might be a fair use, but it is not that solid safe harbor where nobody can get you.”

You may remember there was a lot of publicity lately about the film, “Los Angeles Plays Itself” saying that no one thought it could be released on DVD.  The documentary was made up of clips from other movies showing how Los Angeles was portrayed in each one.

Michael Donaldson got involved and cleared it. I asked him about this film how he was able to clear it.

“It’s funny because this was far from the most difficult film that we have had by a long shot.  It was a good example of the three questions.

“Thom Anderson (the writer/director), from start to finish talked about how Los Angeles plays itself in movies and he would mention specific films.  And as he mentioned the films, clips of those films played over his voice.

“You never see his face the entire film.  What you see is clips from all these movies and they just keep rolling for 90 minutes. Clips from other films, but each one separately, individually, is an illustration of what Tom Anderson is talking about so it’s a classic case for safe harbor fair use for each and every clip in that film.”

I asked Donaldson if this was a good film for us to watch to visually see what is Safe Harbor for fair use.

“It’s a very good film to watch for very safe fair use. Another one is “Room 237”, where 1/3 of the film is clips from the “Shining”, but each clips illustrates exactly what the interview subject is talking about. Very safe.”

Michael Donaldson’s “Clearance & Copyright” is available as an ebook with film clips to support his simple as 1-2-3 questions.  It also comes with many downloads of contracts and agreements you need for your film. http://www.donaldsoncallif.com/books

Carole Dean is the president and founder of From the Heart Productions and author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  Her unique, innovative Intentional Filmmaking Class teaches filmmakers how to get their films funded.  New classes begin in September.  Discount for early enrollment. 

 

 

 

How do we see our future and then meditate it into being?

by Carole Dean

Back in the 70’s I was a big fan of Rajneesh, an Indian mystic who taught the importance of self-awareness, meditation, and creativity.  (That was before he moved to the US and became addicted to Rolls Royce’s.)

One of his saying that stayed with me the most is:

Sitting silently, Doing nothing

Spring comes and the grass grows by its self

Luke 12:27: “Consider the lilies of the valley, they toil not nor do they spin, yet even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Luke 12:27: “Consider the lilies of the valley, they toil not nor do they spin, yet even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Wait a minute!  What about working to till the soil, plant and water the seeds?  You mean that you can sit and think about the grass growing and it does?   Or, are you saying that your mind can control things?  Are you saying that we have the power to imagine something and actually cause it to happen?  Could this be true?

This is as good as a Koan.  (a paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment)

Then, there is the great Bible saying,

Luke 12:27: “Consider the lilies of the valley, they toil not nor do they spin, yet even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

What does this mean?   That we can have what we want by just being?  Or is it because the plant knows who it is or what it is, it just becomes its self?  Is it possible that we are much more than we realize?  Do we have powers that we are not using?  Can we sit and meditate on something we want and bring that into our future?

Jack Canfield, author of the inspirational book “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, held a funding party at his home for a filmmaker we sponsor at From the Heart.  During a break at the event, I ended up in the kitchen alone with him and he told me that when he moved into this multi-million dollar home he had no furniture at all.

He and his wife took a leap of faith. They bought the house and knew they could furnish it properly with future income.  Now, they had so many works of art that they have to store half of them and rotate them in and out of the house.

He is also the same author who “decided” to sell a million copies of the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book.  The story goes that he began to meditate on selling a million copies.  He saw himself incredibly rich and successful from the sale of this book.   Fast forward to one day when he was speaking at a book signing and a saleswoman for the National Enquirer said, “Why not run an ad with us?”   That did it.  That took him to the sale of the million books.

So, how do we do this?  How do we see our future and then meditate it into being?   How can we use our minds to create our future?  We know the possibility is there because you hear it at every Academy Award ceremony,” I envisioned myself receiving this award when I was 5 years old and now, here I am.”

Is it an inner knowing that you can do this that makes it work?  What if all of us could do this?   What if we had the power to intend something and actually make it happen?  Then we could fund our art, have a great time with our family and make an excellent living.  Actually, there are a lot of people in the film industry who do just that.   So where do I sign up?  What’s the first thing I need to do?

Perhaps it’s as simple as believing that you can do it.  Perhaps the grass grew by its self because it knew it was grass and knew intuitively how to grow.  Perhaps the lilies knew what lay ahead for them; they saw themselves in their full glory and just became their full selves.

Jack Canfield owes his success to not just a great idea, but his belief in that idea and believing it would bring him success.

What is it that you can do to bring yourself to your full potential?

Think on this: what is the right action for you to take to become your true self, with all of your talents in full bloom.  Can you do less and think more and achieve even more success than you imagined?  Just who do you think you are?

Carole Dean is the president and founder of From the Heart Productions and author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  Her unique, innovative Intentional Filmmaking Class teaches filmmakers how to get their films funded.  New classes begin in September.  Discount for early enrollment.  

by Carole Dean

 

“Who is your audience?”

It’s a common question that we ask of independent filmmakers submitting their documentary, feature, or short film to the Roy W. Dean Film Grant.  We find that 80% of our applications do not answer this important question.

Who is Your Audience

Do you know your audience?

Some say my audience is “everyone” which I encourage you not to do.  Judges will drop your proposal like a hot potato!

Some say “men and women from 18 to 48.”  That’s too broad.  We want to know everything possible about this audience.  If you had a description for your typical audience member like a “soccer mom in Indiana”, we would love it.

Why should you get so up-close-and-personal with your audience?  Your money for your film is now in their hands.  You will need to get dollars from them for research, for production, and again for post.  Plus, they will pay to download your film and probably help you put people in seats for theatrical on demand.

Ok, Carole, then how do I find my audience for my upcoming project?  Start by knowing more about your present audience.  These are fans of your other projects (hopefully you’ve got their names and emails or kept in touch with them on social media)

On a recent episode of my podcast The Art of Film Funding, Erica Anderson of Seed & Spark suggested to “get the names of 10 or more of your current fans and ask them questions.”  Mine your audience.

You want people in your database from different walks of life, who are not filmmakers, and who love the subject of your upcoming film.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • 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?
  • What kind of music do you listen to?
  • What blogs you follow?
  • What organizations do you belong to?
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • When you watch movies, how do you watch them?
  • Do you go to the theatre?
  • Do you primarily stream movies to your TV from some device?
  • Do you watch movies only on your laptop or your mobile phone?

With the answers to these questions, you begin to understand where you will reach others for your new audience.

Now you know where they hang-out online, how to speak to them based on what news they read and what blogs they pay attention to. You get a sense of how they pay attention to things.

Erica said “a headline from New York Times for instance is very different than a headline from BuzzFeed.” Now you have a better way to communicate with your potential audience.

Knowing what organizations they belong to gives you an idea of what organizations you can join.  You can begin to chat about your film because the content of this organization should be concerned about the same issues.

This same info can give you names of nonprofits to contact for strategic alliances if you are making a documentary and possibly for a feature.

Erica also says that “The last piece really is where does your audience see their movies? If it’s primarily on their laptop, that could change the way you are going to shoot the film, that could change the camera you choose, and how big your production value needs to be.  So, it can ultimately change the budget of your film.”

This mining effort can pay off with valuable information, donations, or investments.  Now you know what to put under audience on your grants and now you know what to do for marketing your film, tweeting it and how to write your posts on social media.

You are talking to your audience, so give them a name. I want you to know them like a character in a film.

 

Carole Dean is the president and founder of From the Heart Productions and author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  Her Intentional Filmmaking Class teaches filmmakers how to get their films funded.  New classes begin in September.  Discount for early enrollment.  

 

Creating Ideal Audience Profile is Essential in Marketing Your Film

 

Jason Brubaker 2Jason Brubaker is an expert in independent film distribution.  He has put together a new educational site, howtosellyourmovie.com, which offers a step by step distribution system for marketing your film.  He’s also a donor to the Roy Dean Film Grants.

In his interview with Carole Dean on The Art of Film Funding podcast, he showed a unique way of how to create an avatar to represent your film’s potential audience.  An avatar will represent the likes, characteristics, and demographics of the audience or donors you are trying to reach.  He explained how if, for example, your film involved frozen yogurt.

“Once you figured out that, hey, I am going to go after college age women who love frozen yogurt” Jason explained,” that’s even still pretty broad, but once you start to drill down a little bit more, then you start to find these communities, then you can create as you said a database of influencers.”

The next step would be getting out a spreadsheet and finding the top 50 blogs that are geared towards college age women who love frozen yogurt.  But, he points out, that it’s better to be as detailed and specific when creating an avatar.

“Ok, I want college age women who love frozen yogurt, who have a preference for chocolate yogurt, and then I would go down even more and say, okay, and they have a sister.  All of that kind of stuff factors into the thought process.”

“Once you create an avatar, the next step is to give it a name, okay, like Jo. I am marketing for Jo because Jo loves chocolate frozen yogurt, she is college age and she has a sister. So, how many Jo’s are in this world?  Well there is a lot of Jo’s. “

“So, how do I find the Jo’s, and those factors all feed into refining exactly who you are talking to.  Because this is what marketing really is.  It’s just a conversation where you are connecting with people who have similar interests.”

You can check out the entire podcast below.   Jason and Carole Dean also cover:

  • How to Build Buzz around Your Film
  • The Importance of Film Festivals in Marketing
  • Transactional On-Demand
  • Distributing Your Film to Schools, Cruises, and Oil Rigs

 

Check Out Film Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Art of Film Funding on BlogTalkRadio

Expanded Crowdfunding Opportunities for Fiscally Sponsored Filmmakers Through New Partnership

Oxnard, CA From the Heart Productions, a 5.01(c)3 non-profit which has helped filmmakers raise millions of dollars for their projects through their fiscal sponsorship program and in partnership with Indiegogo, is now partnering with crowdfunding platform Seed&Spark to give filmmakers another great option where they can crowdfund and benefit from being fiscally sponsored by From the Heart.

Seed&Spark Logo 2

“We had many of our filmmakers inquire about crowdfunding with Seed&Spark which focuses exclusively on helping filmmakers raise money.” said Carole Dean, president and founder of From the Heart Productions.  “Since we share the same focus at From the Heart, this partnership is an excellent match.”

By being fiscally sponsored by From the Heart, a filmmaker is able to use their non-profit status for their project.  This gives donors a tax deduction for donations which is a powerful incentive for them to contribute to the project.  Working with From the Heart as a fiscal sponsor and crowdfunding with Seed&Spark, affords filmmakers many other advantages to help get their films made:

  • Guidance and planning in creating a crowdfunding campaign from both From the Heart and Seed&Spark.
  • In addition to financial contributions, a project’s supporters can also loan or gift the items a filmmaker has listed on their Seed&Spark WishList.
  • Discounts on marketing services, production insurance, hard drives and more from From the Heart fiscal sponsorship program donors.

Seed&Spark has added From the Heart Productions to their partner page. From the Heart has two projects already working with Seed & Spark.  Once they have three projects that are raising or have raised funds with them, Seed & Spark will create a curated crowdfunding page for From the Heart.

Fees are a flat 3% credit card fee and Seed&Spark’s fee is 5%- however supporters are automatically offered the opportunity to cover Seed&Spark’s fee at checkout and the majority of people keep that box checked which means platform fees are usually less than 2%.  From the Heart’s fee is 3%.  Filmmakers get funded when they reach 80% of their goal and get paid after the end of the campaign.

For more information on working with From the Heart, please email info@fromtheheartproductions.com

About From the Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects made.  Besides working with filmmakers to crowdfund and raise money for their projects, From the Heart also offers a film grant 3 times each year.  For over 23 years, the Roy W. Dean Film Grant has given away to filmmakers $2,000,000 in a combination of cash and donated services.  The grant is awarded to films that are unique and make a contribution to society.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of “The Art of Film Funding” which is now in its second edition.

The response to the recent Art of Film Funding podcast featuring Indiegogo’s Kristen Konvitz was tremendous.  Kristen shared 3 top tips for Indiegogo success called “The Trifecta”.  These tips were used by a film crowdfunder to raise over $640,000 over 2 campaigns.

Indiegogo's Kristen Konvitz

Indiegogo’s Kristen Konvitz

Many listeners wanted to know more and sent us questions. Kristen, Indiegogo’s New York based Manager of Film, was kind to give us the answers.

How far is press and publicity important for a crowd funding campaign? Filmmakers regularly write blogs and post updates during the campaign, but I am wondering can getting press articles written and video interviews about you and your film help the campaign and how does one go about it.

Press is great for getting eyeballs to your campaign page, however, that does not necessarily translate to contributions. It is certainly better than no eyeballs though! Since there are so many crowdfunding campaigns out there, the best way to get press is if you have a hook (i.e. some sort of press-worthy item attached)

What are the important things as a filmmaker you need to imbibe/ learn/ perform to become successful at crowd funding? Are there any special personality traits one need to imbibe?

Be genuine and passionate about your subject. This is what always shines through in successful campaigns. People give to people – not to projects. Social media is another trait to hone. It can be difficult, but building your audience and engaging with them will only help your career in the long run. Even beyond a crowdfunding campaign.

Does Indiegogo help all projects in their preparation for the crowd funding campaign? How is this choice made? Does the filmmaker approach Indiegogo or Indiegogo chooses projects whom they want to support with feedback and overall preparation for the campaign?

We are an open platform and will help any campaigns that ask for it.  Film campaigns can reach out to me at kristen@indiegogo.com

From the Heart Productions is a partner with Indiegogo and has helped filmmaker’s raise over $1.7 million to date.   We offer discounted crowdfunding fees, tax deductions for donors, and campaign assistance.  For more information, our Indiegogo Information Page.

How much planning should go into your film’s Indiegogo campaign?

Are the perks you picked going to attract donors?

Have you created a plan to share interesting, relevant content?

To get answers on these questions and how to create a successful crowdfunding campaign, Carole Dean interviewed Indiegogo’s New York-based Manager of Film, Kristen Konvitz.

About The Art of Film Funding Podcast               

From the Heart is a partner with Indiegogo and has raised over $1.7 million to date for filmmakers.  Hosted by the president of From The Heart and author of “The Art of Film Funding”, Carole Dean, the weekly podcast focusing on bringing to filmmakers the best advice, knowledge, and expertise on film funding and filmmaking.

You can check out all the podcasts at The Art of Film Funding on Blogtalk Radio.

In this latest podcast, she interviews Indiegogo’s Kristen Konvitz.  Her role at Indiegogo includes acquiring projects in varying stages and overseeing them through all stages of their campaigns.   She is instrumental in building relationships between both established and up and coming talent.

Kristen reveals the three top tips to a successful crowdfunding campaign as well as details on Indiegogo’s new partnership with Vimeo.

You can listen to the entire podcast here

Three Top Tips for Success on Indiegogo

Kristen draws on the success of the Indiegogo campaign for Iron Sky for her 3 tips.  Iron Sky has run two very successful campaigns on Indiegogo.  The first raised over $160,000 while the second raised over $480,000.

Iron Sky called their three tips the “trifecta” (although, maybe after realizing its importance to their success, they now call it “The Holy Trinity”).

Unique Perks

To stand out, you can’t just offer hats or t-shirts.  Those are standard items and won’t really generate any excitement or buzz about your project.  Offer perks that are very personal to the film, filmmaker, or story.   Think of what would tie in to the film that you could not get any were else.

Some perks that are experiential will create interest in your project.  Iron Sky offered a part in the film where you would be chased by a dinosaur.   Even if you did not choose that perk and donate, it was shared by many on the internet creating awareness for the project.

Constant Updating

Prepare yourself as much as possible for the campaign.  That includes mapping out a campaign strategy for the content you will share.   Plan out different photos, videos, interviews,  as well as new perks that you will release during the campaign.

Good Content

The content you plan and share for your project can’t be spam.  It can’t be “support my campaign” or “donate now” over and over.   It can include that every so often, but the content should be interesting and make people want to share it.   It can include stories about the cast and crew.  Photos of the project in pre-production.  Also, include articles about events or news related to your project (Doing a documentary on fashion?  Include related stories on fashion industry)

Iron Sky prepared videos in advance featuring a character for their film.  It was like a mini trailer, but each was unique and increased interest in the project which lead to increased donations.

vimeo indiegogo

Indiegogo’s Partnership with Vimeo

Announced in January, this partnership was created to give filmmakers who raise funds on Indiegogo a chance to be seen. Indiegogo realizes that most films will not get a traditional theatrical or VOD distribution.   This partnership allows eligible films to shown on Vimeo and get needed exposure.

Vimeo’s new Creator Fund will commit up to a million dollars in matching funds for select Indiegogo film campaigns in 2015.  Vimeo will contribute digital marketing spend and social promotion for campaigns in the matching funds program and other selected Indiegogo film campaigns.

For these funds, Vimeo will get a 60 day digital exclusive for that film.  It does not preclude the film later getting a theartrical release, for example, at a film festival.

The partnership is off go a great start.  It has received 166 submissions so date.  You can read more about the partnership at Indiegogo and Vimeo Partnership.

 

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart… Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Jung

By Carole Dean

Reading film proposals for indie features, documentaries, and short films is a passion of mine.  That’s a good thing since I read over five hundred proposals and view over a thousand trailers a year for my Roy W. Dean Film Grants.  Filmmakers frequently ask me how they can improve their applications.

Roy W. Dean Grant Winner “The Mosaic of Life”

Film Grantors or investors are usually under a deadline to read and make a decision on something that should never be judged: your art. Your potential funder is probably reviewing hundreds of proposals, one right after the other, so you need to find a way to make your proposal unique.

The Right Introduction

The introduction or synopsis is the most critical element in the proposal.   It is the first thing I read when I pick up a new film proposal.  It tells me how compelling the project is and reveals how passionate the filmmaker is about it.

It should tell me a visual story of the film.  Sponsors use the synopsis during the selection process as a way of categorizing and separating one type of film from another. If your synopsis is dynamic and is strategically placed on your application, it will remain active in the sponsor’s mind.

This is where your sticky story works for you.  It’s important to have a concise overview of the film that gives us that visual description and tells a story with emotion, surprise, concrete information, credibility, etc.  I can pitch you films that entered my grants over 10 years ago because I can remember a sticky story.

Let a Picture Help Tell Your  Story

This is a visual industry, yet only 10% of the applications I receive include pictures.  That always amazes me.  Since the person reading your proposal is probably very visual, consider dropping a few pictures or graphics into your proposal.

Or, how about submitting a picture of yourself with your application? Include a photograph taken during your last film shoot –something that shows you in action, behind the camera or giving direction. Even if it’s just your student ID, put that shining smile on the page and let us see who you are! Passion, perseverance, and personalization are what you need to win grants, so don’t be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve to win that grant!

Have You Been There Before?

How many grants have you entered?  Tell us about them so we can see how determined you are to make this film. Do you really want this grant?  Are you willing to dedicate the next three years of your life to produce this film?

Make it Personal

Find a way to communicate your dedication in your proposal.  Include a personal film statement. Tell us what is driving you to make this specific film.  That tells us you are in for the long haul.  No matter if things get tough, this film is so important that you will not give up.  I must feel that in your words.

 

 

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

/ Carole Dean Blog

By Carole Dean

The Bible says “love thy neighbor as thyself.”  I believe that this means you need to love yourself more than anyone.   This self-love allows you to love others.  Operating from self-love allows you to move to any situation with confidence.  That includes talking to a room full of investors.

Filmmakers are often hardest on themselves.  I want you to think of all the talents you have.  Most people would literally give their right arm to be able to act or produce or direct and you probably can do all three of these incredible feats.

Are you confident when you walk into a room full of investors?

Are you confident when you walk into a room full of investors?

Loving yourself and exuding confidence is key to funding your film.  When you walk into a room people should feel your presence.  They should know from your actions that you are confident and in-charge.  That’s what investors and donors want.  They give the money to you, not the film.

So, who are you?  Are you confident?  How do you talk?  Are you saying, “Well, we hope to….” or “What we want to do is….” If so. you just lost the money person.    They need to hear exactly what your plans are and how you will achieve them in a confident manner.  If you’re not sure, how can they be about giving you money?

Most wealthy people belong to a group that operates their lives around mission, visions, and values.  They have carefully created their one sentence life mission statement.  They have a vision of what they want to achieve with deadlines they often hit.  Their values are clearly defined and they live by them.  They are self-starters and high achievers. They have detailed to-do lists to work from daily.  They are looking for people who are like-minded, who have a mission and clearly defined goals.

I want you to show how much you love yourself through your self- confidence.  Be like a conductor on a train from one of those great 1940’s movies.  Your train is on a track at Grand Central with a clear destination.  You have to get others on board.  This is much easier when you operate with self-love and the confidence that your film is fully funded.

Money loves confident people.  Confident people have a high regard for themselves, they love themselves and this love is a major asset.

by Carole Dean

The Divine Record: Within the Divine Record of every individual there is registered all constructive experience.  Therefore when a necessity requires it and the wisdom is there to be used, naturally that is the first place to draw from.  For instance if you had a book giving certain formulas of activity, you would not go to another individual who had the same kind of book, but you would look into your own book and save the time and energy.  If mankind had not forgotten the Wisdom and Force stored within their consciousness, they would much more readily call upon that which is already at hand.

Ascended Master Instructions by St. Germaine Volume 4 (Page 33)

The answers to our specific questions on our personal needs are waiting for each of us.  We have only to go inside to find it.  I have been successful in getting answers for many problems because I know that the universal knowledge I need is available.

It’s also a great way for filmmakers to solve the myriad production, artistic, and financial decisions they need to make every day.

All you need to do is ask.

The secret is to know that you can get the information you need by asking.

The secret is to know that you can get the information you need by asking.

For me, this means that I take the issue with at least two solutions and go to a quiet place. It could be a major decision or just a small decision that I need help with.  The secret is to know that you can get the information you need by asking.

Like all practices, it works better if you put yourself into a relaxed state.  That may be hard to do on a film set so find a quiet place off somewhere.  First I do some regulated breaths to clear myself.  I inhale to the count of 8, hold my breath for the count of 8, release my breath for the count of 8 and begin again.  After three rounds I can feel my body relax.   You have much greater access when you still the mind and relax the body.

Now focus on the issue you need to resolve.

State the issue as you see it.  Maybe you can’t decide on an ending for your script or you’ve got an investor offering money, but with lots of strings attached.  Now, state two possible solutions. Then leave it.

Give the universe time to analyze it.  Stay relaxed for a while then go back to your work.  The answer will come.  Most of the time it will be a third way to solve the problem or handle the situation and it will be much better than what you had offered.

Sometimes it comes when you are doing the dishes or walking the dog.  It just comes into your consciousness and you know that’s the answer.  You feel excited when you get it and you feel joy in the knowledge that you have this power inside you.  It is your own force that can seek out answers.

Once you have your answer you will feel empowered.  Yes, you now realize that you have an abundance of wisdom inside of you.  You feel humble knowing that all your questions can be answered.  You will find great confidence through the act of going inside for knowledge.

Always know that you are more than your physical body.

You are spirit.  As such you have much information stored inside you.  You have complete access to information that can serve you well.  Simply go inside for the answers because you do have wisdom and force stored in your consciousness.

/ Carole Dean Blog

After filmmaker Nick Aquilino failed for a 3rd time to win the Roy W. Dean Film Grant with his documentary, he presented From The Heart Productions President Carole Dean with a question that intrigued and touched her.

It also gave birth to a new $500 film award for independent filmmakers.

"Not With Standing" directed by Nick Aquilino

“Not With Standing” directed by Nick Aquilino

Nick’s submission was on the history of the AIDS crisis in northern California.   His work was superior.  But, due to the many other exceptional works that applied, he did not make finals list.

When this news was relayed to him, he wondered what would happen to his project and others like his that hunger for recognition.   He had been working on this very important project for years.  But, it was increasingly difficult to him to keep going without some support, both personal and financial.

He asked Carole if she could come up with perhaps a new micro-grant.  It would be for filmmakers who for years have been working on unique films that contribute to society whose projects have gone unrecognized, but should be.  Winning just one grant, one award, he told Carole, “would get the other organizations to take note” of his project and others like it.

It is what has made the Roy W. Dean Grant so essential to filmmakers.  The grant funds significant films that are in the process of being created.  Winning the grant bestows on a filmmaker proof of concept of their project and honors their talent.  This moves their films to the top of other grant consideration and funder lists.

So, the Roy W. Dean Grant Jury Award has been created.   With it comes a $500 prize.  Nick Aquilino is the inaugural recipient.

“I know it take tenacity and unrelenting faith to keep applying for grants” said Carole Dean. “Especially when you are turned down and told you did not win.  We want to honor independent filmmakers who keep going against all opposition, who have undying faith in themselves and their films.”

The Roy W. Dean Grant Jury Award will be given to an applicant of the grant who has been working on their project for 3 years or more, shows exceptional work which adheres to the grant’s mission, and who has yet to win a grant.

Another Jury Award will also be given out in this year’s Roy W. Dean Fall Grant.  Deadline for applying to the grant is September 30th.   Filmmakers can enter using the Roy W. Dean Grant online application form.   Entry into the grant enters you in to competition for the Jury Award provided requirements for the award are met.  One winner will be chosen from every subsequent grant.

For more information on the Roy W. Dean Grant Jury Prize, please go to Jury Prize Information Page

/ Carole Dean Blog