Film Funding Guidance Class
To be successful at film funding, you need to first determine your mission. As an independent filmmaker, it is the foundation of your work. To find it, you need to ask yourself questions like “Why am I making this film?” And, “Does this film I’m making really fit my mission as a filmmaker?”
In her recorded Film Funding Guidance Class, Carole Dean, president and founder of From the Heart Productions, covers the importance of defining your mission, having a vision for yourself and your film, and how to set goals.
Defining Your Mission
“Defining your personal mission as a filmmaker”, explains Carole, “will help you be productive and strategic. It will help you decide what to do and how to do it.”
Your mission can tell you:
- How most effectively you can spend your time and money
- What function in your life is working
- How to stay productive, strategic, and forceful in your efforts
“You need to clearly define your mission so you can clearly forecast your future.”
Having a Vision for Yourself and Career
Having a vision tells you what you need to do to get what you want out of your future.
Filmmakers “put a lot of time, energy and resources into they’re working on. Unlike many other artists, filmmakers can take years to create their art. More time is involved in producing a film than any other art form.”
“You need to have a vision of the future so you can be thinking of the next 2 or 3 projects you will producing.”. This will allow you to maximize your time, resources, and contacts so you can consider how they can help you in the future.
Once you’ve got your mission and decided on your vision, you need to set a financial goal to achieve both. It needs to be a realistic goal of what you can raise. Once you’ve figured that out, you need to figure out how to get it.
“When setting goals its important that you write everything down in the present tense, not the future tense, not the past tense,” Carole advises. “You want to create it in the moment.”
She likens it to a game she used to play as a child called “Let’s Pretend.”
Filmmakers should “pretend you already have the money” and “keep busy thinking of what you need to spend it on. Think how you’ll feel when you get it”
“Feel the joy of receiving a very large donation”, suggests Carole. “That is exciting!”
Visualizing yourself already having the cash in hand, writing checks, making your film, makes it that much easier, and fun, for you to reach your goal. Because, in your mind, you’ve already done it.
Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers fiscal sponsorship for independent filmmakers. She hosts the weekly podcast, The Art of Film Funding, interviewing those involved in all aspects of indie film production. She is also the author of The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.