How to Find and Win Grants for Your Film

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

by Carole Dean

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

Win grants

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

Getting Started with the Candid Foundation Directory

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

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

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

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

The Powerful Information on the 990

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

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

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

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

Creating Keywords for Your Film

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

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

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

What Grantors Look for In Your Application

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

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

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

Last Minute Stuff Doesn’t Work

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

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

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

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

The Benefits of Just Applying for a Grant

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

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

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

A Grant Success Story

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

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

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

Meeting the Grant Criteria

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

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

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

 

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

Every Person is a Star

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

by Carole Dean

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

relationships

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

When we open up, people respond and accept us.

When this happens, every contact becomes meaningful.

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

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

See the greatness in each person.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change your thoughts toward people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep your friends up close and personal.

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Move in to Prosperity Consciousness

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

by Carole Dean

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

Prosperity Consciousness

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

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

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

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

Do You Have Prosperity or Scarcity Consciousness?

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

Here are some ways to develop prosperity consciousness and beliefs:

Realize You Live in an Abundant Universe.

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

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

Get into Creative Consciousness and Out of Competitive Consciousness.

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

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

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

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

Life is Fun and Rewarding.

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

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

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

Reward Yourself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How One Filmmaker Used Prosperity Conscious to Create a Career.

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

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

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

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

It is My Responsibility to be Successful.

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

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

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

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

Making Money is Fun.

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

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

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

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

Program Your Mind for Prosperity and Wealth.

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

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

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

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

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

Get Yourself into Places Where Wealthy People Go.

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

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

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

 

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

Expanding your Brilliant Creativity

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

by Carole Dean

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

Creativity

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

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

Six Creative Tactics for a Successful Life

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

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

1-Be an Explorer

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

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

2-Ask Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3-Get Lots of Ideas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4-Break Rules

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

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

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

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

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

5-Use Your Imagination!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the last creative tactic for a successful life is:

6-Fill the Well

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

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

 

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

Don’t Be Afraid to Use your ESP

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

by Carole Dean

ESP

Filmmakers have excellent instincts and need to trust them

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

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

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

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

Just One Smile

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

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

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

Bob asked who’s the man with the smile?

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

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

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

Bob simply said two words “find him.”

Bring Him to Me

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

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

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

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

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

“Can I Talk to You Alone?”

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

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

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

Have You Guessed Who This Is?

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

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

Trust Your ESP

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

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

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

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

 

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

Your Beliefs Are Your Greatest Asset

If you believe you can or if you believe you can’t, your right! – Henry Ford

by Carole Dean

If you think you can’t fund your film or that you will have a hard time funding your film, then your right.

If you think you can fund your film, then you can.

Beliefs

It is that simple and it all starts with our beliefs. It’s the beliefs that we carry in our mind. We have been creating beliefs since we were children, and we constantly defend these decisions.

Most of us don’t know we have these belief systems running inside us.  Most do not know why we created these beliefs but we’re still hanging on to them and our subconsciousness is daily defending these outworn concepts.

If you have carried some things that have caused you to lose self-confidence, then it’s important you recognize this because you can be your own worst enemy.

Review Your Beliefs About Money

If you’re having problems raising money for your film perhaps you should consider, “what are your beliefs about money?”

It is very important for you to believe that you can raise the funding for your project. If you don’t feel it’s possible then no one can help you.  It’s up to you to change how you think.

Bruce Lipton is one of my favorite biologists/authors. He says that we have acquired many restrictions on ourselves during our youth that are based on the structure of our lives at that time.

Using Bruce Lipton’s concepts if you put two people raised in different income homes, in the same room, they would see their potential in totally different ways.

For example, if you had a funding party and in the room is a young filmmaker who grew up wealthy in Beverly Hills along with a young filmmaker who grew up disadvantaged in East Los Angeles, the Beverly Hills filmmaker will see money everywhere while the other filmmaker will feel he/she doesn’t belong.

These are based on negative beliefs acquired while young so you may have some of these beliefs and not even know it.  The question is what do you do?  How do you change these negative or limiting beliefs?

Take an Inventory of Beliefs

You might make a list of your beliefs about money and success.  By doing this you, might pull up some stored beliefs that no longer suit you or that are totally inappropriate for you.

We know that the contents of the subconscious mind are very important to us. If the subconscious has acquired beliefs like “it’s hard to make money,” or “it’s hard to raise money,” or “it’s hard to find the budget for the film,” then you can expect those things to come true because that is your belief system.

Bruce Lipton claims that beliefs control human biology rather than DNA and inheritance.  That is a powerful statement.

Realizing You Need a New Mindset

While I was touring the world with my book The Art of Film Funding, I found people who had their mind set about funding. They seem to fall into two categories, totally opposite each other.

There were those people who said, “Oh I know I can fund this film.  Or those that were totally negative with statements like, “it’s very hard to raise money for films.”  This is why I wrote the book, The Art of Manifesting: Creating your future.  It’s your beliefs that create your future.

And I often hear: “They have cut the grants and now it’s really hard to win a grant.”  They have been cutting grants for 30 years that I know of! However, we still have thousands of grants in the United States available and believe me we have a tremendous amount of people winning grants so why shouldn’t that be you?

When you look at it from this point of view it seems that it should be easy to change your belief system. However, once your subconscious mind has accepted an idea, whether true or not, it will continually feed your thoughts to support that belief.

Changing the Way You Think

Often, we are not encountering resistance from outside sources but from ourselves. If we can accept new beliefs and support them to the extent that our subconscious mind accepts them, then we can create a new reality for ourselves.

The secret to overcoming our belief system, seems to be the ability to recognize that it exists and that we are the one that needs to change the way we think.

Let’s take one of the most our most important things in filmmaking, film funding.

What if you start saying, “people love my film?” Perhaps you talk to some people about your film and get feedback so that you can honestly say to yourself, “people love my film.” Funding my film is easy.  Say this in the present tense not future tense. 

Going to Bed with Thoughts of Success

The next thing is to believe that it will be easy to fund your film. 

To get to that confidence in your ability to raise funds for your film, I suggest the information given by Neville Goddard about the way to reach the subconscious mind and change beliefs.

What he taught us was the fact that the conscious mind is the only way to reach the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind believes everything the conscious mind says.

Knowing this, then consider going to bed at night with a vision of you pitching your film to someone. 

This can be an over the shoulder shot where you can see the person you are pitching, and they are listening and nodding and smiling. You feel very confident, in fact it is fun to pitch your film, you are full of passion about your film. 

You’re watching this person intently listening to you and then they hand you a check.  What’s the amount? You pick the amount.  Make it something that is an extraordinary donation for you.

Experience the joy of this moment.  Feel the confidence you have from pitching and being rewarded.

Filling Your Subconscious with Confidence

This will instill confidence in the subconscious that you can raise money and your thought at that time that is, “raising money for my film is easy.”

By doing this you’re allowing new information to go into the subconscious mind; you are reprogramming the subconscious mind with the concept that you can raise money and that, “it is easy to raise money.”

Please keep doing this up at night before you go to sleep.  Keep creating short films for the conscious mind to play for the unconscious mind to rebuild your belief system.

 

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

Creating Your Future With Your Thoughts

After reading many books on the power of the mind, it is clear that we are much more powerful than we believe

By Carole Dean

We’ve never been taught how to use the power of our minds.  It is our most valuable tool in guiding us through life, but did you ever see a class on it in high school?  Or a college course on creating your future? Or learning how to use the power of thought?  No, they just don’t teach this in schools.

Believe that you are creating your future with your thoughts.

When you look at filmmakers like Spike Lee, Scorsese and Spielberg you wonder what is the common thread.  What did they do to become so famous?  We know they’re highly talented, but what did they do to propel themselves to their destiny?

They used the power of their mind.

Each knew they were talented and believed in themselves. They studied their craft daily.  They put their attention on creating the future they want.

There are some great techniques using the power of the mind that filmmakers can use to achieve success.

Watch Your Thoughts

Believe that you are creating your future with your thoughts. Watch your thoughts so that they’re full of the future you want, not what you don’t want.  Believe that thoughts are energy bundles waiting to manifest.

Edit what you think.  Stay positive.  Watch your thoughts and believe they are manifestors.  That each thought is waiting to manifest.

Give more attention to your thoughts, in fact get in control and even “edit” your thoughts.  Use your creativity to carve out that future just like you would write a script.  Why not?

Take Spike Lee.  His grandmother told him from an early age that he would go to college.  As he was growing up, he saw her each month put aside money for his education.  She assured him that he could do anything he wanted.  Spike chose film.  Don’t you think he was daydreaming about making films?  Sure, he was.

Don’t Dismiss Your Daydreams

Daydreaming is a form of creating your future.  Remember how you daydreamed what you wanted for your birthday and you got it?  Well, that’s something you can continue to do.  You can see your future and daydream about it.  Pretend you have the future you want. See yourself living it.  Feel yourself on the set directing, producing, loving every minute. 

Do not succumb to “where will the money come from?  How can I do this?” 

You didn’t let the “Where” or the “How” get into your wish for the bicycle you wanted.  That was not important.  You just saw yourself riding the bike.  That’s the same thing you want to do now. 

Just cut to the chase.  See yourself on the set, see yourself at the premier and most important see yourself getting a coveted award for your film!  Yes, create the vision of the future you want then feel it, believe it, and know in your heart this is your future.

Now you have renewed vigor to get up each day and keep developing your project.  It can become part of you.  It is not a dream; it is a reality.

Let the Child in You Be Your Advisor

This very moment is the time to sit down and book 15 minutes a day for daydreaming time. Yes! Let Google remind you that it is time to turn off your cell, get into a nice quiet place, sit up straight, quiet your mind then start living the future you want by daydreaming.

You are a filmmaker so create stories of how you find the world’s greatest director of photography who can do incredible shots for you.  Stories of how you attached the best actors and what joy that brought to you and your crew.

Use your daydreaming time to bring your film to life.  Find that child within and let it loose.  Let the child in you become your advisor, your advocate. 

The best filmmakers on the planet let their little child create their future.  It has an unencumbered belief system that all things are possible and believe me, they are!

 

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

Using Dreams to Help Fund and Finish Your Film!

Dreams will tell you when you are stuck, what you’re missing, and where you need to go

By Carole Dean

Carl Jung said, “Dreams will show you where you are and where you are going. They reveal your destiny.”

Using Dreams to Help Fund

In our bi-monthly Film Funding Guidance class for our fiscally sponsored filmmakers, we are now discussing John Kehoe’s best-selling book, Mind Power: In To The 21st Century.  John explains how empowering our dreams can be.

Did you know that the oldest written record of dream interpretation is found in the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh recorded on clay tablets in 3000 BC?

“What makes dreams so interesting,” John writes, “is that dreams are where the conscious and the subconscious meet, where the images of day-to-day living encounter the hidden wisdom of the subconscious.”

Dreams Can Help You Find Solutions.

Nobel Prize winner doctor James Watson discovered the properties of the DNA molecule from a dream. He saw two snakes intertwining by wrapping around one another. Upon awakening, he realized that this might be what is happening in the DNA.  Perhaps, he thought, it was a double Helix twisting around itself and he was right.

John Kehoe has been analyzing and studying his dreams for years. He believes that his dreams are like a personal wisdom which speaks to him.

Studies show that we dream an average of five to seven times a night. Whether you remember them or not, you are dreaming.

John suggests that we program our mind to say before we go to sleep, “tonight I will dream, and I will remember my dream.” If you repeat this to yourself 20 times before you go to sleep, he says there would be very good chance that you will remember your dream.

Next, he recommends you place a pad of paper and a pen by your night table so that you are demonstrating that you are waiting for your dreams, and you are prepared to acknowledge them and write them down.

You might also use an old handheld tape recorder that you could just turn on and punch a button and start talking without having to get up. This is the most important part, to remember what you dreamt.  Be right there in the dream so you can get every nuance, any colors, any faces, any symbols, as these matter.

Learn to Interpret What Your Subconscious is Saying in the Dream.

When you wake up from your dream, don’t jump out of bed, stay still and as your consciousness returns.  This is in between time and it is very valuable.  It’s the crack between the two worlds, your consciousness and dream state, so stay there and observe it carefully.

Try to bring as much back as possible piece by piece.  When you get a part of the dream, rerun the dream in your mind several times adding detail each time.  Then, write it down or record it.  Now you can start interpreting it.

When you’re start interpreting your dreams you want to think of yourself as an archaeologist digging up clues. You are researching and want to know what’s going on inside you. You want to find these relics and interpret what they mean to you because most of your dreams are not going to make a lot of sense. They may seem like nonsense or some foreign language.

When you persist in thinking about your dreams and try to relate them to your own life, you will have a breakthrough and find what the dream really means to you.  John says to remember that the dream used the vocabulary of symbols and allegory to convey the message. He says symbols are to intuition what words are to thoughts.

The language of dreams is more like art and poetry than linguistics. The reason for this that is that this part of your conscious mind predates language.

Once you realize that the dreams are messages from your subconscious and start thinking about how your subconscious wants to show you something about yourself, then this can become a lot of fun.

Dream Analysists Say Dreams are Always About You and Your Circumstances.

Dreams will tell you when you are stuck and what you are avoiding.  They can tell you what you’re missing, what you’re ignoring, and they can tell you where you need to go.

95% of the time all the characters, creatures, monsters, and stuff in your dreams represents aspects of yourself. For dream interpretation, please realize that all the people in your dream are you.

An actress friend of mine who studied with a dream therapist for years taught me that. The only exceptions would be if you recognize children or parents or coworkers in your dream.  Then, they could be real or they could be another part of you.

John says that a nightmare could be your subconscious trying to shock you into looking at some aspect of your life. Saying to you, “look at this, it’s urgent!”

Dreams that repeat are messages trying to break through. Once you interpret them, they will stop. You keep having them because your subconscious is trying to get its message through.

Here are Some Techniques to Interpret Your Dreams.

Give the dream a name. Or a title. Let your intuition come up with something to name the dream because then that title might give you some clues.

Go back to the dream.  Find a quiet spot to think and be sure there are no phones or interruptions.  Sit quietly, close your eyes, recreate the dream in your mind now put yourself in the dream and see how you would react.

Example, if you had a dream that you were driving a car recklessly on a curved road, you might put yourself back in that dream behind the wheel and begin to ask yourself questions like, why are you driving so fast?  Are you getting away from something? Are you rushing to get someone? Is this good? See what answers you can get from yourself.  And you can react any way you want in the dream now that you’re in it. You could slow the car down and feel into this situation. You could decide if you were running away from something or recklessly driving to save someone.

Break your dream down into acts.  What is act one?  What is the situation and who are you?  What is act 2? What is the trouble? What is act 3, the resolution?  Ask yourself how you feel in each act in the dream. Feelings are a major information source in dreams.  Example, do you feel relieved, confident, terrified, threatened?

What are the symbols in each act that can help you decipher the reason you are driving recklessly?

Perhaps you felt relieved when you took the wheel in the dream and slowed the car down to a reasonable speed. Perhaps you have lost control of some situation in your life. That could be the meaning of the dream. Or it could be that you were trying to get away from something that bothered you.  And now your job is to find out what is bothering you that you want to get away from.

Analyzing Your Dreams Can Greatly Benefit You.

You may be able to figure this out quickly if you are open to receiving shocking or sometimes unpleasant news from yourself about your life.  Dream interpretation takes focus and so don’t be surprised if you can only decipher 30% of your dreams. You are doing quite well if you can interpret this much of your dreams. Your success will increase as you work on dream interpretation, it is something you can learn.

Don’t be afraid to give time to the analysis of your dream because it is a wonderful way for you to give you important advice. It’s a wonderful way for you to face what you’re not facing in your day-to-day reality.

Going back to the dream of driving recklessly, perhaps you find that you are trying to get away from something. With questions you may find that perhaps you hired a cinematographer that is not the right person and rather than face replacing him/her you’re running away from it.

If you take control of the car in your dream and decide to turn around and go back to where you came from you may be able to find answers. Perhaps by going back you find that you were running away from a decision that you made that was wrong and you need to face it and resolve the situation.

Dreams can be this beneficial. This is a wonderful way to talk to your subconscious. The subconscious is trying to talk to you. 

When you stop and listen, magnificent things can happen

 

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

You Need to “Feel It” to Achieve It

It’s not enough to visualize yourself succeeding, you need to seed those visualizations with emotions

by Carole Dean

In our Film Funding Guidance Class for our fiscally sponsored filmmakers, we’re currently reviewing the book, Mind Power by John Kehoe.  The book teaches us about the power of visualizations in achieving success and how to apply them in your life.

visualize success

John believes that one of the secrets to achieving success is to visualize everything that would or could happen to you and live as if it really is happening.  You should see yourself in situations that normally give you difficulty. 

In this visualization, you should see yourself at ease confident and performing well.  You might picture your friends and associates complimenting you, congratulating you on your newfound confidence.

“Seeding” Your Visualizations

“Seeding” is adding feelings. Feelings with visuals are like movies with soundtracks.  They are more passionate, more emotional and contain lots of good energy. 

You should visualize your success using emotions like completion, pride, confidence, enthusiasm, and most importantly, faith.  Faith that this will happen, faith that your future belongs to you, and faith that you will successfully manifest your vision.

Remember the film, Bruce Almighty, when Jim Carrey was God and prayers were yellow post its?  He would find his room full of those yellow post it’s each morning.  Then he would go to work answering prayers. I think that seeding them with emotions would turn the post its from yellow into hot pink so they would stand out. 

Emotions are powerful.  Please be sure to use emotions when you are visualizing.  Send your visions to the universe with tons of “feeling.”

Shakespeare said “My words fly up; my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”  Shakespeare knew that you had to have “feelings” with thoughts to bring you the future you want.

Visualize Your Pitch Presentation Before You Pitch.

A few days before you go to pitch your film, you should take the time to start visualizing your meeting. See yourself in an over the shoulder shot.  You are pitching your film.  Your potential donor is smiling and nodding their head like they’re enjoying and receiving the information you’re sending.

See yourself with pride, enthusiasm, and confidence. You should take this into your meditation and visualize the outcome you want with emotions.  Please remember how powerful emotions are and put a lot of emotion in this visualization.

You should be prepared for them to ask you questions. I want you to feel very proud of yourself because you have the answers.  To do this, you want to know what your budget is and be able to defend it. You want to know where this film will be distributed. You want to explain where this donor or investor will see your film.

See Your Future and Claim It.

Be fully prepared for all kinds of questions and be totally confident that you will get funded.  Live with that belief; that you have what you want.

You need to “feel” successful, to “feel confident.” Let these feelings be part of your vision.

Remember, all we have is the present.  Do not say, “I will have,” that puts it in the future. Please pretend it is real this very moment. You are living your dream. You are living with the life you want to live in your mind. Keep that thought as present not future.

In Mind Power, the author tells us how important affirmations are. He is reminding us that our statements and our constant belief in our achievements are important to us.

“Affirmations,” he says, “are simple statements repeated to yourself silently or aloud. You can do them anywhere, like, in your car, waiting in the doctor’s office, while you are walking, when you are lying in bed before you go to sleep.”

Affirmation’s Work!

With affirmations, you are influencing the thoughts in your mind and filling your mind with thoughts that support your goal.

John suggests when you’re doing your affirmations that you have to be consistent.  You want to keep your affirmations going until you have achieved what you are affirming.

I suggest that you use the powerful two words “I am” and start with things like:

  • I am an award-winning filmmaker.
  • I am fully funded.
  • I am having a lot of fun making my film.
  • I am getting weekly donations.
  • I am receiving surprise donations.
  • All the mental work that I am sending to the universe brings me money from sources I never expected.
  • I am fully funded.

He suggests you keep your affirmation short, and I fully agree.  Use things like:

  • I am healthy
  • I am wealthy
  • I am happy

I love these affirmations because they will get you through any day with lots of joy. 

“I Am the Greatest” Worked for Muhammad Ali.  It Will Work for You Too!

This is where we need to remember and not to make statements against ourselves like oh, I never do that right.

I’m so sorry I always get it wrong.

I’m a disaster.

These are things you should remove totally out of your vocabulary.

“I am” are the two most powerful words in the dictionary. Especially when used to create your future because they will bring you what you want.

Love Yourself.

We are very quick to see our failures and not our success. John says that when we get successes, we are happy for a few days and then we go back into forgetting our successes.

Let’s make a point of remembering our successes. Let’s reuse that success energy from past achievements again and again and expect very positive results.

For example, let’s suppose you wanted to get into a Film Festival and succeeded.  Even if it was three years ago, think about that energy that you felt when you received the notification you had been accepted. That’s the energy you want around you. You want to keep bringing that up that wonderful memory of acceptance and support.

When you get great compliments or when people give you wonderful feedback, please live on that for a weeks.  Take it inside you and feel it.  Enjoy it.

Let All the Positive Stuff You Hear Stay with You.

You need to be in the place where you feel that you deserve the donation. Be in the place where you know that you have a brilliant project.  Where you know that you will complete the project. 

By feeling these things and having them as part of your DNA you become the perfect person to give a donation.  That’s what people are looking for.  They want to support a winner, a creative, they want to support you. 

It’s your job to show them you are that creative, that brilliant artist and you deserve to be funded.

When You Are in My Aura; You are Reading My Mind!

People start picking up your thoughts when they get inside your aura and your aura stands 6 feet from your body.  When you sit next to someone to talk to them even if you had a table between you, it would probably still be within six feet.  You would be in a place where they can read you and they will know how confident you are.

That’s where they start making decisions.  They make decisions from their “inner feelings” about you. UCLA Professor Mehrabian, analyzing what makes a successful pitch, said in his research: that only 7% of what you say affects their decision making. 55% of the decision-making process is based on how you walk, how you talk, how you carry yourself, how much confidence you have. 

Did you look them in the eye?  Are you positive in your statements?  Do you sit up straight? Are you a happy person?  Are you excited and enthused about your project? Answer “no” to any of those questions and you probably failed on your pitch.

38% of the decision-making process is your voice, how enthusiastic your voice is, and this is most important because people are reading these signals.  If you show any depression and uncertainty or lack of knowledge, if your voice quavers, you are creating a feeling of uncertainty.  

Watch how you talk.  You do not want to say “you know” you do not want to use eeerrr  or ahhhhs.  These are the things that work against you. The voice and the things you say are 38% of the decision-making process.

You Can See that the Most Important Thing to Work on is You.

You are the film.  Shore up your belief in you. You need full self-confidence to close a donation, to get that discount or to hire that person you want.

Ok, you may be thinking, wow, Carole, this is a lot to do. Yes, I know it is but let’s look at the benefits.

Joseph Campbell says: “When you are on the right path, invisible hands will come to your aid.”  That’s the prize you get.  Don’t try to figure it out.  Don’t ask how, just know it will happen. 

This is the most important part of creating your future, faith.  Your faith must be relentless.

 

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

Recipe for Film Funding Success

As shown in the new HBO Max Julia Child Series, the ingredients to achieving your goals include a burning desire and belief in yourself

by Carole Dean

I love the film reviews in the New Yorker magazine. Recently they had a review on a new series on HBO Max on Julia Child. It told of her extraordinary rise from a humble housewife who had written a cookbook to the crown jewel of PBS programming slate.

film funding success

Every night my daughter Carole Joyce and our friend Tommy Adams and I watch a movie. I thought this film would be something they wouldn’t like so I started watching it by myself.  I found it to be lots of fun and now all of us are watching it.

What is clear from this series is that Julia Child created her future.  She wanted that television show. She made it happen.

And the tools she used are available to you to achieve film funding success and get your film made.

Cook Something Up.

It all started when she was invited to go on the PBS station WGBH in Boston to be interviewed for her cookbook.   At the interview, Julia walked on to the set with a shopping bag full of stuff and plopped it down next to her chair.  When the well-known book intellectual, who was appalled at having to interview her asked the first question, Julia started unpacking her bag. 

She promptly crawled on the floor with her rear facing us while she plugged in a hot plate.  Then, she began to make an omelet for everyone to see how simple it was.

By doing this, she stole the show.

Ask For What You Want.

This interview happened because a WGBH associate producer at the bottom of the production ladder somehow found Julia and invited her on the show.  After this interview, Julia took the initiative and wrote this producer and proposed a cooking show.  

That associate producer knew she could have a hit show with Julia.  After all, Julia’s impressive creation of a three-egg omelet on camera had generated 13 letters to WGBH from people saying they loved Julia. The associate producer took the letters into a meeting and began pitching a Julia Childs show.  She said that the mandate for WGBH was education, and a cooking show would be perfect for them. 

The head of WGBH liked Julia and asked the head producer to run the numbers for what it would cost to do a show with her.  The head producer did, invited Julia back, and told her it was too expensive for them.

“No, sorry,” she told Julia, “We can’t do the show.”

Julia replied, “Looking like I do, has taught me to never take no for an answer.” 

That “no” was the beginning of a negotiation for Julia!  What determination that shows us, right? 

That’s a good lesson for all of us.  Had she not sat there and talked this out with the top producer she would never have gotten that show.

Be Bold and Go for It!

When the producer explained that he said no because of the enormous cost of building a set with a working kitchen, Julia Child said, “I’ll pay for that set if you will do the show.  In fact, I’ll pay for the whole show.”

This changed WGBH’s mind.  She was set for one show.  Now, the problem was that when she agreed to pay for the kitchen set, she did not even look at the budget for the amount. 

Once out of the meeting, she saw the cost.  She realized that she did not have enough money.

Get Creative Finding Funding.

Even though her father was very rich, she had to do cooking classes on the side.  She had to use her cookbook income and still she was in the hole for money. 

She told her female friends how much she wanted to cook on TV, and they rallied around and helped her.

To achieve this show, Julia, like all of you found creative ways to get the money.  You do the same thing.  You find people who love you and love your film and they give you their heart and minds.  Right?

The astonishing thing is that Julia didn’t own a TV set.  When she went to buy one, the HBO Max series showed Julia standing in front of 20 television sets in a store.  Each TV had a different program on them. 

As Julia stood there, she began to see herself on TV.  Soon, every TV in the store had Julia Child on it.

Send Your Visions to the Universe.

This is the visualization that I discuss with our fiscally sponsored filmmakers in our Film Funding Guidance Class.  Our job is to teach you how to visualize to create your future. This is exactly what it takes to create your future.

Julia took the initiative.  She wrote the letter she saying she wanted to do a TV show to teach Americans how to cook like the French.  She did not take no for an answer.  This was her vision; and she was relentless in getting that first show made so much so that WGBH came on board.

Remember, she had to learn how to cook for the camera.  She had to learn how to stand in front of hot lights, be original, humorous, and keep our attention while she beat eggs or stirred her cakes.  Although she made mistakes, that was the best part of the show.  She was human! 

She captured us with her honesty.  Everyone quotes her for saying, “You are all alone in the kitchen. No one but you knows what goes on.”

We saw chicken parts flying across the room and flambés light up like a three-alarm fire.  We saw her cut herself and keep on going while she was bleeding all over the WGBH kitchen.

That’s when Dan Ackroyd began to mimic her on Saturday Night Live.  Her career took off like a NASA rocket to the moon. 

I found this HBO film, Julia, to be empowering.  It is a true representative of what it takes to be an independent filmmaker.

It takes talent and tons of guts.  Never give up is a good mantra for all indie filmmakers!

 

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