Our Thoughts Are Trespassers: Interview with Lynne McTaggart

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

by Carole Dean

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

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

Lynne Mctaggart

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

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

On What Took Her on a Journey to Write The Field

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

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

How We Are All Inner-Connected

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

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

Thoughts Can Change Matter

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

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

Our Thoughts Are Trespassers

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

One physicist proved this in his experiments. 

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

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

Are we Vibrating Tuning Forks?

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

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

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

How to Make Use of Lynn McTaggart’s Lessons

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

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

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

 

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

Are You Blocking Your Money Energy?

Beware the Counter Intentions Keeping You from Realizing Your Dreams

by Carole Dean

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

Counter Intentions

Are Your Counter Intentions Blocking Your Path to Success?

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

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

Look Out for Counter Intentions

Joe refers to mental blocks as counter intentions.

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

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

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

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

Let Go of Excuses and Rationalizations

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

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

Awareness Can Instantly Release Negative Thoughts

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

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

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

When There is a Will There is a Way

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

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

 

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

Is Your Relationship with Money Working?

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

by Carole Dean

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

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

Forget “Money is the Root of All Evil”

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

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

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

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

Appreciate and Be Grateful for Money

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

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

Money is Neutral.  It is Energy

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

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

Think of Money as a Force for Good

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

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

Make Peace with Money to Get Money

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

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

 

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

 

 

“Triple Threat” Web Series Wins Fall 2018 Roy W. Dean Grant

Winner to Receive $30K in Cash and Production Services Including Film Score and Animation  

For the first time in its 26 year history, a Roy W. Dean Grant has gone to a web series.  “Triple Threat”, a comedy web series for women “of a certain age” has won the final grant available for 2018.  Awarded 3 times each year by From the Heart Productions, the Roy W. Dean Grant goes to a film that is unique and makes a contribution to society.  With the grant, writer, producer, and series co-star Gina Surles will now be able to complete post production of Episodes 3 and 4, as well as offset costs towards creating the next episode.

Fall 2018 Roy W. Dean Grant Winner

“Triple Threat”

“We are honored to award our Fall Grant to this brilliant web series.  Our judges found this to be a fresh idea for an under served audience.” said Carole Dean, president of From the Heart Productions. “The acting and technical skills in this production are excellent.” 

About the Web Series

“Triple Threat” tells the stories of three mature women searching for meaning in their lives, who become undercover detectives despite having no prior investigative experience.  The mastermind of their “missions” is Francesca Fortuna, an 85-year-old wealthy widow, philanthropist with a heart of gold.

Described by its creator as “a cross between “The Golden Girls” meets “Charlie’s Angels” (but, seriously, without the bikinis)” Triple Threat was a project in the 2017 Creative Lab Hawaii Web Series Immersive program. 

“Mature women have been under-represented in advertising, TV, movies, as well as in other industries including science, technology, and business.” commented Gina about her project. “Enter ‘Triple Threat’, for girls who still wanna have frolicking fun after 50!”

In addition to the $3,000 cash prize, the project’s producers will receive theme music and score written by composer David Raiklen, animation services from Emmy award winner Charlie Canfield , expendable, lighting or grip equipment from Filmtools, a hard drive from G-Technology, one week DSLR camera package rental from Birns & Sawyer ,  and more from many other heartfelt film industry donors.

About the Filmmaker 

Gina Surles – Writer/Producer/’Rosie’

Born and raised in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois. Gina received her B.F.A. in dance from the University of Illinois, Champaign, Gina performed with regional ballet and modern dance companies. Gina has spent the last 35 years as assistant director of Hawaii State Ballet alongside her husband John Landovsky.  She has helped train and produce some of Hawaii’s most talented professional dancers and ballet instructors.

She was elated to return to her first love, acting, and screenwriting. Triple Threat is her first project as a producer.  She has worked as an extra on films and television shows shot in Hawaii and has had roles in several UH/Academy of Creative Media films that have screened at international film festivals. Gina was thrilled and extremely grateful to have Triple Threat accepted into the Creative Lab Hawaii Web Series Immersive program under the direction of Michael Palmieri, which she views as one of the most valuable of any learning experiences on her artistic journey to date.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now entering its 27th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films.   The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers needing help to continue working on their film and to get it completed.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant that have been completed include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey, the SXSW Best of Fest Music Film The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family, Official Sundance 2019 selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, and Kusama-Infinity which is now in distribution showing in theaters around the US.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects funded and made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they offer films fiscal sponsorship which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has raised over $3 million for crowdfunding films.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

 

5 Goals You Need to Consider Before Marketing Your Film

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

by Carole Dean

Film Marekting

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

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

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

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

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

Financial

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

Career Advance

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

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

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Change the World

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

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

Getting The Film Seen  

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

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

Developing a Direct Fan Base

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

 

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

Finalists Selected for Final Roy W. Dean Grant of 2018

21 Filmmakers in Running for Grant That Includes Film Score and Animation

Roy W. Dean Grant Finalists

Roy W. Dean Grant Fall Finalist “Constant Fleeting”

Awarded to a unique film that contributes to society, 21 independent film projects have been chosen as finalists for the Fall 2018 Roy W. Dean Grant

The grant is offered by the non-profit From The Heart Productions. The winner will receive $30,000 in a combination of cash and donated production services from film industry professionals and companies which support independent filmmakers. 

“It is truly inspiring to see the personal, societal, and environmental challenges we face in the world today being addressed so passionately by so many talented filmmakers.” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions.

Finalists include documentary, feature, short films, and a web series.  Films will now go to the judges to determine winner which will be announced in early February.

Roy W. Dean Grant Fall 2018 Finalists

View overview of project summaries and filmmakers for the 21 Roy W. Dean Grant finalists for the Fall 2018 which include:

26 Seconds (Documentary)        

La Leyenda Negra (Feature)

999 – The Extraordinary Story of the First Girls and First Jewish Transport to Auschwitz (Documentary)

Children of Concrete and Steel (Short)

America’s Other Irish (Documentary)

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (Documentary)

Triple Threat (Web/TV Series)

Becoming Music (Documentary)

Constant Fleeting (Documentary)

Days Of His Life, Days Of Our Lives (Documentary)

Ghost Empire: The Forgotten Story Of Harvey Comics (Documentary)

Ginger (Feature)

Grey Gold (Documentary)

It’s Not Who I Am (Documentary)

Out of My Comfort Zone (Feature)

Power of 7 (Documentary)

Strong (Short)

The Future of Food (Documentary)

The MicroCosmic Cartoon Show (Feature)

Transmission – Roots to Branches (Documentary)

Wax Paul Now (Short)

The grant winner will receive $3,000 in cash provided by From the Heart Productions and donations of film services and products from film industry professionals and companies.  These include $15,000.00 theme music and score written by well-known composer David Raiklen, $6,000.00 in animation from Emmy award winner Charlie Canfield, $500 in expendables from Filmtools, a G-Drive from G-Technology, and more from many heartfelt film industry donors.  

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Founded in 1992, the Roy W. Dean Grant is awarded 3 times each year.  Grant seeks films that are unique and make a contribution to society.  There is a Spring, Summer and Fall Grant.  The Spring 2019 Grant is now accepting entries.  Films submitted to the grant can be short films, documentaries, features, and web series from early stages of pre-production to those needing help in post. 

The grant has been integral in helping talented artists with great stories get their films produced.  Recent past winners of the grant include the award winning “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream”, “Kusama-Infinity”, and Emmy winner “Mia: A Dancer’s Journey”.  

About From the Heart Productions

The 501(c)3 non-profit was founded by Carole Dean in 1993.  She was prompted to act when saw how many filmmakers with important and often controversial stories were having trouble getting financing for their films.  The mission of From the Heart Productions is to educate and assist filmmakers in getting funding.  From the Heart offers fiscal sponsorship for films which allows donors to get a tax deduction for their donations.  Their Intentional Filmmaking Classes which teaches filmmakers the tactics on how to get funded is now open for enrollment.  Classes start in February. 

3 Mistakes Filmmakers Make When Pitching

by Carole Dean

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

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

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

1. Low Energy.

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

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

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

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

3. Not Knowing Enough About the Potential Investor.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

5 Steps to Making a Great Film

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

By Carole Dean

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

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

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

 

Be You. – There’s Only One You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

The 5 “P’s” of Pre-Launch Crowdfunding

Expert Analysis on How to Prep Your Campaign to Guarantee Success 

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

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

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

Pitch and People 

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

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

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

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

Planning

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

Process

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

Promote

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

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

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

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

Secrets to Sensational Interviews

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

By Carole Dean

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

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

Read, Research and Learn Everything About the Topic

Secrets to Sensational Interviews

Stephanie Interviewing for “The Weight of Honor”

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

Do not write a yes or no question.

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

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

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

The Most Important Part of Interviewing is Listening

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

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

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

Ask Your Crew

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

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

Keep the Camera Rolling

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

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

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

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

 

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