Carole Dean – The Art of Film Funding Blog

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

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

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

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

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

How Slowing Down Produces More

October 24th, 2020

Why Connecting to the Quantum Field Can Help You Make Quantum Leaps in Your Filmmaking and Film Project

by Carole Dean

“My brain is only a receiver. In the universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength, inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.”  

Quantum Field

Having trouble finding and identifying your audience? Use the quantum field to connect with them and share your story

Who do you think said this? He was alive 100 years ago.  He was a physicist.  Who do you think knew there was a quantum field, a shared consciousness of energy and knowledge from which we are all connected, and that his brain was a receiver decades ahead of anyone else?

He’s one of the many great minds whose knowledge and insight I share with our fiscally sponsored filmmakers to help them reach their full potential.  Keep thinking on the answer to this mystery man and I will tell you. 

Saturday morning has become my favorite time of the week.  This is when we meet with our fiscally sponsored filmmakers in our Saturday Film Funding Guidance Class.  Over the last two years, we have expanded our knowledge of who we are, how gifted we are, and how to unleash our creativity. We have read and studied how to use information on the power of our minds from books like The Field by Lynn McTaggart, Real Magic and The Conscious Universe by Dean Radin. 

Currently we are enjoying Quantum Spirituality by Amit Goswami, a brilliant physicist.  Let me share some of this insightful book along with examples of how to use his teachings to help make your film and your filmmaking career a success.

The Human Condition and How to Get Out of It

“Some ways to get out of the human condition”, Amit Goswami writes, “are non-locality, discontinuity and tangled hierarchy.

“For us to Internalize information is the signature of a quantum experience. The external world of our experience, by the necessity of manifesting is approximately Newtonian and deterministic, detached from the casual world of choice. We want to look to our internal experiences, the subtle world, to find our way back from the physical machine aspect which is our running our lives to the casual creative aspect of ourselves.

“It is important to know that Non-locality is signal-less instant communication.  Instant communication means communicating with yourself, it is oneness. The quantum world view says we human beings have the potential of being one with everybody else using this non-local communication. Naturally cultivating non-locality will help shift your me-centeredness towards the Universal quantum self.”

Finding and Using Your Universal Quantum Self

When you’re making a film that has a worldwide aspect you will want to learn how to use this universal quantum self.  This is necessary if your film has an essence for a worldview that you want to share with other people.  You’ll want then to connect with them (your audience) using this universal quantum self.

Perhaps your film is an exposure of something that society needs to know about or it is a biography of a loving kind human.  These films you may want to share internationally. If your film has an essence that fits a worldview then you might be able to use this idea of the interconnectedness to reach your audience.

How? By taking the essence of your film into your meditation and asking to connect with your world audience.  Take that energy of your film, the feeling of the film, with you and ask for the universe to connect you emotionally to your audience.

Begin to resonate and feel that energy of your audience.  Ask daily for the universe to connect you with your audience.  Perhaps by saying:

  • I am my audience
  • I am connected to my audience or
  • I am expanding my audience daily

One of these could be your daily mantra.

Attaching Your Audience to Your Film

Follow that up with posting online information of one or two lines about the essence of your film.

  • Post something about the purpose for the film.
  • Post the benefits of the film.
  • Ask friends, family, and fans to re tweet for you.

Perhaps even take some of your interviews or any footage you have shot on your film and make short one-and-two-minute videos.  Post those on a new YouTube account and drive people to your website where they can join your community to help support you and your film. On your website, gave them a gift for joining. 

Now more than ever we need to get connected and these are ways you can get your audience connected to you.  People want to hear about your film and your job is to tell them.

Raise Your Energy from your Naval Chakra to your Heart Chakra

“In the brain”, Amit says, “your me-centeredness expresses itself as activities in the brain areas that neuroscientists identify as belonging to the self-agency.  The reinforced memories of ego-persona that feed your ‘me’ are stored in these areas.

“In the body your self-centeredness expresses yourself as vitality tied up to the navel chakra-the welfare of you and you alone. Narcissism. Or for women, in the heart chakra. Too much neediness, needing another to attach to.

“Practices like giving, giving unconditionally, obviously take you away from the thoughts of the Me-personas.  This is recommended and it also raises the energy from your navel chakra to your heart chakra. Giving is just one practice; another practice you can do is the practice of not taking yourself so seriously – humility. Still another one is forgiveness. All of these practices can also help when getting self-respect instead of self-indulgence.

“In the quantum world view, moment can be continuous which is familiar to you, right? Like moving cars, moving ants all move continuously in your experience.  The physicist Niels Bohr discovered in 1913 that when electrons jump from one atomic orbit to another, they jump discontinuously without going through the intermediate space. Such a quantum leap is allowed in the quantum worldview. It is via these quantum leaps of thoughts and feelings that you learn to make positive emotional brain circuits to balance negativity.”

Making Quantum Leaps

Let’s talk about these quantum leaps.  I see them all the time from people who go to college, graduate and make a quantum leap into a very good job as an acquisition person or a producer for Netflix. These things are possible. It happens to some people but not all. The question is how do you make it happen to you?

Let’s think about how you create your vision for yourself or for your film.  For your film, you create a platform, that is your deck for a feature and a proposal and trailer for your documentary.  You outline how you will take this idea that is now only a vision to a completed film. 

How can you use Amit’s information to improve this process?

The majority of documentary films take six years to make and two years more to distribute. How can you break that record? Feature films sometimes take five to ten years. How can you finish faster?

The idea is to make a quantum leap from concept to completion. Some of this can be done with:

  • The power of your mind
  • Meditation
  • Connecting to the right people
  • Finding your audience
  • Attaching yourself to money and people and information that will move you forward

I know this is hard work, and it takes unrelenting determination.  Most importantly you cannot lose faith.  If something doesn’t work, you must be prepared to back up and try it again.  Or try something new or different because you know your future is waiting for you. 

You know it’s up to you to find out how to get through these obstacles by going over them or around them.  Or by finding new ways and often, going outside of the box is the best solution.

Sometimes the Funding Comes from Your Audience

In my experience, the way people get money for their films is they connect with others of like mind who love the concept of their film.  People who love the subject matter and who want to see the film made.

Finding people with money is the most important thing to do and sometimes you need join organizations or groups.  Sometimes you need to donate time to a charity to get in the same room with wealthy people before you can begin to share your ideas with them.

How can you meet them? Consider how you might meet them on common ground.  Perhaps that is taking care of animals at a rescue shelter.  Perhaps that is a wildlife reserve, perhaps that is an organization to save and protect the oceans.

Consider finding a nonprofit you can donate time to,  something that is either in line with your film or something that is in line with your heart.  Then consider donating some of your precious time to a charity that will allow you to meet wealthy people.  You will be doing what Amit says is important to raise your energy by giving unconditionally.

Focus on the “Be” in Do-Be-Do-Be-Do

Amit says that “the creative process is do-be-do-be-do”.  “Do” is when you go out of your way to help someone. The “be” which is like in “being” is hard for us. Our tendency is to do-do-do. To make room for ‘be’ you need to engage with concentrated meditation focusing on an object. This slows you down.

Then between your thoughts you will have gaps. I always get a kick on the London metro whenever the train comes to a stop the loudspeaker warns, “mind the gap.” That’s what you do, you mind the gap between the thoughts.  The more you mind the gap, the more extended the gap gets. 

Where do you go when there is a gap in thought? In the unconscious of course. Giving your much-needed unconscious processing. The unconscious is much better at sorting out the new from all the potentialities that you have created through your conscious processing, especially when they get a chance of expanding using your ‘be’ time.”

I truly agree with Amit.   I find that my daily meditation in the morning and in the afternoon helps me slow down enough so that I do hear the information that comes in the gap between thoughts, it’s meditation that helps me “get it.”

“It” can be the slightest hint of something, or it may be an answer to a question you ask. It may be a flash of the future; it may be a message from someone. It is always an important piece of information.

And the more often you catch it, the more you stop what you are doing, I mean when you literally stop and pay attention to it and take the time to process it, and take the time to honor it and accept that it is real and important, that’s when you can incorporate this information in your life.  The more you stop and recognize and respond to these messages from the gap, the more you will get.

I highly recommend you pay attention to the little thoughts that are between the brain chatter…trust me, that is your quantum self talking to you.

Who Said That?

So, did you decide who that was who made the statement, “My brain is only a receiver. In the universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength, inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.”

This is from our beloved Nicola Tesla.  He knew how to reach the quantum field and make those quantum leaps.  I think you go into the quantum field often in filmmaking.  This is where you get your knowledge, strength and inspiration.

 

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 productionHer new class “How to Fund Your Film” is available on Vimeo on Demand.  She is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits

Connecting to Your Higher Self

October 21st, 2020

How to Find and Listen to That Little Voice Inside You to Eliminate Negativity, Stress, and Allow Your Creativity to Flourish

by Carole Dean

Every other Saturday at 10 am we have Film Funding Class for our fiscally sponsored filmmakers.  These are some of the kindest people in the world, intent on educating themselves and moving their films forward.  They allow me to share books with them on the power of our minds.

Quantum Spirituality

Some days I get on a roll and I don’t want to stop. I work too hard and end up exhausted.  After reading Amit’s work, I intend to recognize when my energy is getting depleted. I will immediately stop, meditate and take my vitamin C.

 

This week we are studying Quantum Spirituality by Amit Goswami.  There is a wealth of information in it aimed at moving you to a higher consciousness and improving your ability as a filmmaker.

From the massive amount of exercises and information Amit has in this book, you might want to read only one chapter a week and integrate that into your life.  Perhaps you could take a year of reading and integrating.  With this approach, you could become a much more enlightened being with a better understanding of your incredible human potential.

I highly recommend Quantum Spirituality.  Here are some of the highlights that will help you thrive in life and your filmmaking career.  

Realizing a Transformational Journey

Amit tells us about setting the stage for a transformational journey. He talks about the chakras and their importance.  He shows us where, via a map, they are located on our body.

“The brow chakra: the initial vital function is rational thinking for which the organ is the prefrontal cortex, right at the back of the forehead. The associated feelings are clarity of understanding when the energy moves in, and confusion with depletion of energy.”   

This is very important for filmmakers to know.  Filmmakers work long hard hours and often hit this depletion of energy.  One thing that can help you is to find a quiet spot to meditate for 20 minutes and get back on track. 

They say 20 minutes of meditating is like one hour of sleep for the rest it gives your body.  Dr. Linus Pauling said Vitamin C is a healer and that it helps clear your mind you when you get tired.  It has been proven that people do better with tests and under stress after taking vitamin C.

Amit goes on to say, “With further opening, this brow chakra is the one that funnels the intuitive energy associated with the archetypes that are attracted to you. This is why this chakra is called the third eye or the eye of intuition. The associated feelings of archetypical exploration are satisfaction, when energy is gained, and despair when energy is depleted.”

Some days I get on a roll and I don’t want to stop. I work too hard and end up exhausted.  After reading Amit’s work, I intend to recognize when my energy is getting depleted.  I will immediately stop, meditate and take my vitamin C. 

Communicating with Your Audience

Amit teaches us how to recognize signs from our body and how to restore our balance.

“This brow chakra is an important chakra for all of us because we need to be connected to our intuition.”

We are all blessed with psychic abilities, we learned that from Dean Radin in his books, and using those abilities is very important for each of us because we are connected to the universe and to each other.   

For filmmakers this is important because you need to tap into people to know what they want. 

You want to tap into what your audience likes and learn how to communicate with them. What better way to get in contact with your market and your audience then through your own intuition?

Always trust that little voice.

Building Positive Emotional Brain Circuits

Amit proposes that we need to loosen the structure of the ego by developing more authenticity as to who we are and what we’re doing. We need to understand the chakras in the body where we experience emotion and the mental thought that accompanies this.  We want to pay attention to what we feel.

He believes the science of the chakras is also very important. When doing yoga, he suggests that you need to focus on the chakra for each yoga position.  Yoga will benefit you even more when you add this newly learned behavior to your life.

All of the practices he talks about are effective to building positive emotional brain circuits.  These are good to help balance our negativity in general situations of emotional management. (Here, I think he means so that we don’t lose our cool and are able to handle a lot of stress.)

This is perfect for filmmakers who are learning to shoot with COVID-19 rules.

Imagination and Preparation

“Creativity begins,” Amit tells us, “with the stage of preparation according to creativity researchers, three “I” words play a huge role even before that: inspiration, intention and intuition. Inspiration is what we experience when, with or even without reason, the quantum self touches us, and we feel expanded.”

Amit calls this — A beginning of curiosity. 

“As we make an intention for such visits more often, it is then that we become aware of our intuitive faculty and the law of attraction: the archetypes are attracted to us. And now the word begins in the form of the four stages of creativity.  As “I” words they are imagination, aka preparation, incubation, insight, and implementation aka manifestation.”  

An Academy Award winning producer I know uses this “I” word, imagination, before each shoot day.  At night, she imagines the next morning.  She goes through everything from hearing her wind-up alarm clock along with the call from the front desk to wake her up. Then she imagines everything that should happen until she is on the set and the first shot is made. 

It is in the imagination phase that she discovers anything she may have forgotten to do or say to someone.  She catches her mistakes before they happen using her imagination. 

Grist for the Unconscious Mill of Your Mind

“Focused imagination and preparation: preparation firstly consists of catching up on existing knowledge and extending it through imagination.”  

For filmmakers, this would be doing your research using your creativity and your imagination to extend your idea and expand it to be fully creative.

He recommends that you read voraciously. Read the good books, read current materials on archetypes, read whatever you can get your hands on, and imagine, imagine, imagine. The idea is to generate new and divergent thinking, ideas that will act as fodder for the second stage of incubation which is unconscious processing.

Amit also suggests that you “listen to lectures by people of transformation, go to workshops, talk to like-minded people.  Always to generate new grist for the unconscious mill of our mind.”

Clean up the Thoughts in your Mind

He wants you to watch your mental preoccupations; if your mind is preoccupied with old stuff, clean it up.

“Clean up your unconscious,” he advises. “I am putting on a new persona to feel good about myself. So, we need to clean up our persona and eliminate inauthenticity as far as we can in our present state.”

And he recommends that we meditate.  

“Many people believe that meditation is a complicated technique to be done for hours on end, but this needn’t be the case. If you’re new to meditation start off easy, 10 to 15 minutes a day of a simple technique is enough in the beginning.”

Here is his sample meditation:

“Sit comfortably wearing comfortable clothing. Close your eyes and relax your body. Start off by paying attention to your jaw. Like almost everyone you’re likely to hold tension in this area so place your attention on relaxing your jaw.

“Then relax your belly, your shoulders, the muscles around your eyes, and allow your shoulders to drop.  Take a deep breath or two and the muscles all over your body will start to relax.  Now place your attention on the following mantra, you can coordinate the mantra with your breathing, say AUM as you breathe out and focus on staying present.

“This meditation is called concentration-meditation. It is focusing on an object. You can use your breath and focus simply on the breath or focus on a lighted candle.” 

Amit states, “The mind needs discipline while the heart needs freedom in order to explore the new. Usually we’re in the opposite situation, our mind runs freely around without control, but our heart is locked away closed to any contact with new reality.

“To change this status, we have to train the mind and bring it under control by means of practice on concentration and to learn to let the heart express freely without the mind interfering. The best way to strengthen the heart is via the exploration of love.” 

Think of some of Clint Eastwood’s films like his Oscar winning Million Dollar Baby.  That was full of love.  You left that theatre with love in your heart.  Love is contagious.

Slow Down the Mind to Hear the Thoughts in the Gap

“It is said in these spiritual traditions,” Amit writes, “that meditation appears spontaneously in the mirror of a mind that reflects a heart full of love.  The practice of concentration is relatively easy to build into a success when we love what we’re doing. If the exercises are done in a flat and boring way, without putting heart into them, success will not come easy.

“In this way the daily practice of mental concentration is very important for your health. Even if you practice a little each day the constant practice is a very important aspect of the mental training, first because the nature of the mine is to change, and this consistency in practice is helping to regain control over the mind.”    

He provides a Zen story that describes the lesson of it all.

“A student went to his meditation teacher and said, my meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, my legs ache, or I’m constantly falling asleep. It’s just horrible.

“It will pass, the teacher said matter of factly.

“A week later the student came back to his teacher. My meditation is wonderful I feel so aware so peaceful so alive is just wonderful.

“It will pass the teacher said matter of factly.

“And indeed, although my day-to-day experience would differ as described above with time, I found that there was more space between my thoughts, my mind was slowing down.

This is exactly what you want because, “slowing down the mind allows the information from your extrasensory perception to make itself heard.” Deepak Chopra has always said, “listen to the voice in the gap between your thoughts.”

However, when your thoughts are moving rapidly it’s hard to hear your little voice.  When you slow down your thinking, the little voice becomes easier to hear and that enhances your intuition.

I have found that the more I use my intuition the stronger it becomes and the more information I get.   

It’s as if they know I use it and then they give me more information.  I always feel like I am being guided,

I know that I am never alone. 

 

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 productionHer new class “How to Fund Your Film” is available on Vimeo on Demand.  She is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits.

Why Creativity Thrives on Relaxation and Meditation

July 18th, 2020

How meditation removes barriers, fears, and can take you on the trip of your lifetime

by Carole Dean

I have been meditating daily since the ‘70s. This was the only way that I could run and manage my film company offices in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.  I found quiet places in each office to meditate. In New York, it was our air conditioner room.  In Los Angeles it was the office supply room.

meditation

A good meditation is amazing. It’s like being in this magic library full of ideas and thoughts.

I used to say I was taking inventory, but they knew I was meditating.  So, I just put a sign on the door saying “meditating” and they were as quiet as church mice.  They knew I needed peaceful time alone.  They knew this was good for me because I always came out of those rooms much happier than I went into them.

Connecting to the Quantum Field

Sages have been telling us for centuries that it’s in the quiet that we connect to our higher self. I think it’s more than that.  I think we’re connecting to the quantum field, that incredible field physics tells us is invisible and yet it surrounds us and fills the air with heightened energy from here throughout our entire universe.

This quantum field is said to be the record keeper of all time.  It remembers everything, it hears everything, it sees everything. It’s an archival storage unit for all of us to tap into.

It’s like finding your favorite radio station. When you find it you normally remember how to tune back into it.  Once your body finds this magic spot it will remember, your body remembers and creates a pathway back to the field so you can go there again and again.

Becoming Part of the Conscious Universe

When you get into a completely relaxed state, magic happens! Your whole body seems to dissolve into nothingness.  You are just this little particle; your true self, and you realize you are part of a vast supporting and caring universe.  You realize this is a conscious universe we live in. There is so much knowledge and information available to you in this place that you need to find your way in and experience for yourself what I’m talking about.

A good meditation is amazing. It’s like being in this magic library full of ideas and thoughts.  All you have to do is tune in to this place where you’re totally relaxed.  You’ll forget you have a body and the next thing you know 20 minutes is gone and you’re sitting there thinking, “Gee that was easy.”  

You now have an answer for what seemed like a perplexing problem in the beginning.  If you don’t have an answer or any ideas immediately, you will get them soon. 

Releasing Your Creativity

You will notice daily how your creativity is improving.  Somehow you have less blocks. Your creativity soars and grows more confident daily.  It is directly tied to meditation.  The more you meditate the more creative you become.  Somehow this removes any barriers or fears and opens you to your normal creative self.

In meetings you can better express yourself.  You become a much better problem solver and are the first one to focus on the problem and a solution.  You seem to be very clear on identifying problems and finding solutions and you use your creativity in doing these things.

Sometimes I go into a meditation presenting a problem and then offering a solution or two.  Normally another option pops into my head that is much better than anything I offered. I thank the quantum field; I thank our Conscious universe and I give gratitude for the incredible support they give me.  All of this is available for you too.

The Benefits of Slowing Everything Down

So, what’s so important about relaxation and meditation Carole? We’re living in a world that is fueled by caffeine. We love our daily espressos and lattes and cold flats and anything to get us revved up. So why slow down?

It’s in the stillness that you heard the little voice.

Getting quiet allows you to relax your entire body and the benefits to the organs of your body are incredible. A 20-minute meditation for the body can be the same as almost two hours of rest according to the Transcendental Meditation people have done a lot of research on meditation.  Many of our actors and filmmakers us TM to relax and learn to meditate.  This is a great option for you.

You don’t get into the quantum field driving a Ferrari.  You get there by totally relaxing, chilling out and getting into your true self, which is that tiny bit of you that came into this body and that will leave this body, that eternal you.

Taking The Trip of a Lifetime

Finding that true self and going on journeys with it into the quantum field are the greatest treat in life. If you’ve not tried this, I guarantee you there’s nothing more exciting and more fulfilling then to sit in a quiet place totally relax and then through your meditation, have the trip of a lifetime.

You come back from your meditation totally relaxed and with knowledge, confidence and realizing that you are supported. Your mind is lazar focused.  You know what your priority is and how to do it.  You’ll feel very confident.  Believe me, it’s empowering to meditate and get centered and focused.

You will know there is a place for you to go to tap into the akashic records.  This place where all information is stored, it’s a library of thoughts and knowledge.  There are solutions to problems with abundant knowledge; it is all there to empower you.  It has been accumulating information for you since the beginning of time.

Scheduling Your Meditations

Relaxation and meditation are things that the more you do them the better they get.  In the beginning you need to put meditation in your calendar but before long, your body and your mind will remind you because they love it.  Your body has 20 minutes to rest and regroup.  Your mind gets to clear out the “stuff” and then can help you clearly focus on what you need to do.

Giving this time to yourself is a wonderful gift.  It will return you many beneficial rewards.  Getting started is the hard part.  You need to have consistency with meditation.

Meditation advances with each sitting and soon it makes what Chopra calls “quantum leaps.”  That’s when you really know you are hitting the motherload.  The more you do it the better it gets.

Getting Help Winding Down and Relaxing

I want to recommend a person who has relaxation and meditation videos that you pay for once and they are yours forever.

For years I have worked weekly with Sevina Altanova.  Sevina helps me relax and gives me Reiki sessions on a weekly basis. I use her yoga exercise video in the morning to keep my body in shape and, sometimes I use her meditation tapes in the daytime to take me on a wonderful guided tour.   

Sevina is an actress who immigrated from Bulgaria with her director/writer husband and two lovely boys.  Please check out her website. https://stressmanagementresources.com/    Look under “Meditation” for her 11 Science-based reasons for meditation.  Check out her “Relaxation” information and be sure to take advantage of the free meditation.

 

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 productionHer new class “How to Fund Your Film” is available on Vimeo on Demand.  She is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits.

 

The Art of Manifesting: Creating Your Future – Part 2

July 5th, 2020

By only asking for things for your highest good, you will raise your energy and increase your happiness.

It’s exciting that science is now looking into Eastern spiritual information and practices to understand quantum physics.  It’s a wonderful time to be alive and get to understand the power of our minds. 

Manifesting

The physicists say that you have an electric body. Your mind is electric, your thoughts electric and they are energy.

Many things Carole Dean wrote ten years ago are now proven and understood by physicists.  She wrote “The Art of Manifesting: Creating Your Future” to explain the law of manifestation and outline how to use the law of attraction to accelerate your manifestations. You can turn dreams into reality and this book shows you how.

On The Art of Film Funding Podcast, she discussed with host Claire Papin how filmmakers and others can use the lessons in the book to create their own success.

Are we manifesting daily with our thoughts and if so, just how powerful are they?

The physicists say that you have an electric body. Your mind is electric, your thoughts electric and they are energy. Your thoughts are things, they are alive, they are energy. Plus, we are living in a conscious universe. Our universe, sees everything, records everything and is part of us.

All this is proven. Currently they’re doing PSI (term used to refer to psychic phenomena, experiences, or events) experiments and they are proving so many unusual things that we’ve always been wondering about.  They are researching psychic phoneme, like premonition, when you know something’s going to happen.  Or when you talk to someone on the wind and ask them to contact you and they do. The researchers are finding that these things are natural.  They can reproduce many things we call physic phenome in the lab. If we talked more about these unusual experiences with each other, we would realize that they happen often. 

Dean Radin, head of The Noetic Science Institute has written a brilliant book called The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena where he explains his psi research. It’s amazing how many of these things we think are abnormal are being proven in the laboratory.  He concludes that we are physic and we are all connected to each other. I think we are very powerful beings and we need to recognize our powers and use them.

Are we walking WiFi’s?

We’re constantly sending things out with our thoughts. We are always asking the universe to help us with decisions. Are our thoughts contributing to our futures?  Are we sometimes dreaming things into existence?

Let’s use what physicists say and picture a universe where all around you, every inch of space around you is teaming with energy, energy that is constantly moving and refreshing itself.  It is a constant and exists all around us and incorporates us to the stars and all life on our earth and to all of our galaxy.

To give you an idea of the power of this invisible energy, if you and I were sitting three feet apart, the energy between us would be enough to boil all the oceans on the earth. Now that’s mathematically proven. This energy is called the quantum field.

This field is what connects us. We’re all connected through the quantum field and this field is constantly recording everything that happens, every movement, every sound, every thought. Here we are as electric beings, our hearts are electric, our brains are electric, and we are living in a universe teaming with energy, it too is electric.  And, we are constantly broadcasting our thoughts.

So, let’s pretend that what you’re sending out with your thoughts you are manifesting.  I know this is a big jump, but let’s consider what if.  If you are visualizing your film finished, if you can see yourself at the premier screening where your title comes on the screen, the credits roll and you are experiencing joy, gratitude, happiness, success and achievement as you watch your completed film, is this helping to create it?  That’s the question.

If you change your thoughts to those of success and gratitude daily where you have a vision of your completed film, you know it is sold, and you are profitable, then does this help you?

Why not consider they are for a month. Just pretend that all the thoughts that you send out, will manifest what you want.  Try this for a month and watch how more positive you become.  You will only want to think of harmony, happiness, success and benefit to all.  Then you will begin to see major changes in your life and the lives of those around you.

It all starts with your thoughts. What you’re sending out and what you believe.  By only asking for things for your highest good, you will raise your energy and increase your happiness.

When you come to the realization that you are living in a conscious universe, realizing that it hears your thoughts, it knows what you are doing, it knows what you are thinking, then you will want to carefully chose your thoughts to be of the highest vibration. 

Your thoughts will be for your highest good and for the good of all involved.  Now you are coalescing with the universal mind.  You are co creating with the universe and your wants and needs will be of second of importance to you.  Your first focus will be to achieve where all involved benefit and this will happen.

Tell us more about the law of attraction

According to the mathematician, Rob Solomon, in his article The Mechanics of Reality, Solomon states that “the past is finished, and the future is unformed. Both have no existence in physical reality only the now is real.”  He refers to the quantum field as the “matrix.” Hs states: “The matrix is infinite and exists outside of time. It contains, in an intangible form, every possible instantaneous configuration of physical reality, like a vast archive of film frames. It is pointless to conjecture why this is so.”

He quotes the Russian physicist Vadim Zeland who proposes that: “the matrix also contains information on alternative ways each state could develop overtime if materialized. These possible timelines he calls lifelines and refers to the potential alternative sequences with which events might unfold as scripts. Because the matrix is infinite in principle there is no limit to the scenarios and scripts an individual could potentially experience.”

Solomon says let’s take a hypothetical person and call them Ellie.  “her fixations self-image, strongly held beliefs, (some of which are self-conscious, and which she is not aware of), attitudes and opinions about how she sees her world, be collectively labeled as her “mindset.”

Where the conscious mind does not access the matrix directly, its conclusions, convictions, and strongly held beliefs can as long as they impact the subconscious mind, by possessing a powerful emotional content.”

I believe this is an important key to manifesting.  Emotions are the way to manifest your dreams to fruition. Sending feeling with emotions along with visualization of the desire you want is what produces the event. And to live as if you have what you want is what makes it happen quicker.

“The usual analogy is that our mind set acts like a radio. Ellie’s mindset “tunes in” to the corresponding region of the matrix, and lights it up. The matrix then delivers the circumstances held in the lit-up region to Ellie’s physical experience. Although there is always a time delay. Belief and expectation are important factors to the success.

If Ellie performs physical action as if her intention had already been achieved this can have a powerful impact on her belief and the realization of her intention. Action can also reinforce the following factors which can be brought under Ellie’s control and which powerfully impact the matrix, even independently of action: intention, commitment, determination, focus, emotion, excitement, enthusiasm, passion and imagination. As we now know only the present instant is real.

The only power Ellie has is to intend and form the future, preferably with excitement and enthusiasm, by behaving as if her intentions have already been achieved in the here and now. This will cause the reality film to roll in the direction that points to her desired frame in the matrix. So that by the time the future arrives– by becoming the present—- it delivers what she desires.” 

“In applying the law of attraction to achieve some desire, we should visualize, and meditate upon our desire with the excitement and feeling that it has already been achieved, with a strong sense of the present. Only the present instant is real, and it is only in the now that we have the power. We should not even imagine ourselves projected into the future with our desires fulfilled, because the future does not exist. Most importantly we should not entertain thoughts about how intentions are quote going to happen. That places desire squarely in the future and the matrix will respond by reflecting back an endless state of going to happen–one day!

Instead picture our desires fulfilled in the here and now the associated excitement and feeling will then steer the analogous matrix film strip towards a frame where our intentions have indeed been achieved. These will emerge into objective reality at the appropriate time.

Actions also, as far as possible, should be preformed as if the intention has already been achieved.  Pay no attention to the facts, existing circumstances, contingencies, or to the seemingly necessary Ways and Means. And disregard all limiting factors, be they inadequate funds, poor health etc. Dismiss probabilities, possibilities, and seeming likelihoods as irrelevant. Even business theories and practices of the material world have absolutely no place where the law of attraction is being invoked. “

I think Mr. Solomon has given us a clear, concise way to manifest and I highly recommend it.

Using “The Conscious Universe” to Fund Your Film

July 5th, 2020

How Knowing That We Are All Connected Will Improve Your Chances of Making Your Film

By Carole Dean

Every other Saturday morning at 10am, From the Heart Productions conducts a Film Funding Guidance Class for our fiscally sponsored filmmakers. As the class title suggests, the purpose of our meeting is to keep filmmakers on track to raise money for their films.  We offer them some very unique advice and lessons. 

There are not only suggestions for improving loglines and creating a great pitch, but we work to keep them inspired and motivated.  Because it’s not just important for them to know how to increase donations.  They need to believe in themselves that they can do it.

conscious universe

We are all connected to each other.  We are living in a conscious universe that hears our thoughts, knows our mind, knows what is in our hearts. 

I open the class by discussing the work of one my favorite authors that highlights how using the power your mind can create your success.  Then, Brieanne Pryse, a natural healer and intuitive contributes her insightful comments.  Carole Joyce, the Director of the Roy Dean Grants offers ways to keep moving your film forward. She is followed by Jason Smith, writer/director/producer of the award-winning documentary I Voted? who takes questions from our filmmakers.  We close the class with a filmmaker pitching us their project and getting feedback. 

(You should join us some Saturday morning if you are one of our fiscally sponsored filmmakers, we created this class just for you.)

In the last class, I dove into The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena by Dean Radin. It is a great example of what we teach here at From the Heart Productions.  

I want to share with you an excerpt from the class as the information in it is important to all filmmakers trying to get their films financed and finished. 

Notes from Dean Radin’s brilliant mind

We are starting with the section on new metaphysics. This is Willis Harmon’s proposed wholeness science with the basic assumption that the universe is a single whole within which every part is intimately connected to every other part.

He writes that “The entire spectrum of states of consciousness, including religious experiences and mystical states, has been at the heart of all cultures. These states of consciousness may be an important investigative tool, a window to other dimensions of reality.

“The question is not; how can we explain telepathy? but rather, how can we explain why our minds are not cluttered by all that information in other people’s minds?

We need to think, not how can we explain this psychokinesis? But rather, how can we understand why our minds have such a limited effect in the physical world.”

We are all connected, to each other, to the stars, to the universe

“Human beings are part of the whole and there is no justification for assuming that drives such as survival, belongingness, achievement, and self-actualization or not also characteristics of the whole.

Similarly, since we experience purpose and values, there is no justification for assuming that these are not also characteristics of the whole. The universe may be genuinely and not just apparently, purposeful and goal oriented.”

I like this concept Mr. Harmon proposes because it tells us we have been doing the right thing all these years by setting goals and focusing on achieve them. We create our to do list and are daily working on it.

This also supports our daily visualizing our positive results.  Now our understanding that achieving success is interconnected with the universe which is even more empowering. Plus, realizing that the universe hears and supports us and perhaps actually helps make things happen.  This is excellent news for goal- oriented people like filmmakers.

I am sure you have found that sometimes when you were not able to achieve your goal, that too was part of the plan of the universe. Have you ever found that the times you did not get your desired goal was because it would have brought you problems or it was taking you off your path?

I bet you always found that not getting a goal was sometimes for your better good.  I know I have.  I always say the universe knows more than I do and if I don’t get this, I will understand that what I want is not for my highest good.

Metaphysics is shifting towards a mystical worldview

Dean Radin says that “Harmon’s information reveals the new metaphysics is shifting towards a mystical worldview.  Some scientists will be suspicious of this interpretation, and yet what else are we to make of the writings of Nobel laureate physicist Erwin Schrodinger who says: I have no hesitation in declaring quite bluntly that the acceptance of a really existing material world, as the explanation of the fact that we all find in the end that we are empirically in the same environment, this becomes mystical and metaphysical.”

Dean continues, “Some of the suspicions that scientist have about the concept of the mystical almost certainly derive from its close association with religious doctrine. But that is not what Schrodinger, Einstein, James, and dozens of other eminent scientists meant. They were talking about the nature and experience of interconnectedness.”

This takes us back to astronaut Edgar Mitchell and his Epiphany when he was returning home from Apollo 14 and he felt that “moment of connection” to all the stars in the universe, to all the people, to all life on the planet, to space its self and he immediately knew that we are all connected.

We need to thank Edgar for being bold enough to admit what happened to him.  He spent the rest of his life working with physicists to prove that we are connected. Dean Raiden is running the company that Edgar Mitchell started, The Institute of Noetic Sciences.  Dean has spent most of his life working with psychic phenomena which has been beneficial to all of us. He is working at the forefront of science in understanding our interconnectedness.

I think this information is most important to all of us.  For example, when you are in a meeting and start to pitch someone about your film with the intent on getting funding or production benefits, I want you to realize that you’re already connected to this person.

The Conscious Universe is connected by the Quantum Field which records everything

That’s what this book, The Conscious Universe, is teaching us, we are all connected to each other.  We are living in a conscious universe that hears our thoughts, knows our mind, knows what is in our hearts. 

So, please, keep this in your mind when you’re creating your pitch. Perhaps you don’t look at someone as a wealthy person or as the acquisition’s manager.  Perhaps you see them as another being on the same path as you with their own set of hopes, goals and dreams just like you. Perhaps you think of them as a mirror of yourself. Would this be a good move for them?  Is so, why?  Work, create, live knowing that we are all connected.  You are not separate; you are part of the whole and so is this person.  What is best for both of you?

Find what you feel are the most important parts of your film and outline what is extraordinary about your film.  What is the real essence of your film that this person will understand?  Tell them how it benefits society and share this information with great pride and sincerity from your heart of hearts.  Make it personal.  You are speaking to another human on a journey with goals just like you.

Live with the knowing that you will find the right person to fund your film and in fact you’ll probably find many people who will fund your film. You want to relax in the knowledge that “We are all connected.”

Dean goes on to say “Underlying the isolated world of ordinary objects and human experience is another reality, an interconnected world of intermingling relationships and possibilities.

This underlying reality is more fundamental in the sense of being the ground state from which everything originates.”

We are constantly sending and receiving information

Dean share the following: “The Buddha compared the universe to a vast net woven of countless varieties of brilliant jewels, each with a countless number of facets. Each jewel reflects in itself every other jewel in the net and is, in fact, one with every other jewel. Everything is inexplicably interrelated. We come to realize that we are responsible for everything we do, say, or think, responsible in fact for ourselves, everyone and everything else, and the entire universe.

“We are those jewels, each of us reflects out to others who reflect back to us and we are all in this net together.  We are not separate; we are all inner connected.

“The deep interconnectedness revealed by modern science and described in ancient doctrine suggest a racially connected network of physical variables interacting like a shimmering weavers loom as both modern physics and ancient Buddhist doctrine suggest, deep interconnectedness embraces everything, unbound by the usual limitations of time and space.  Sir James Gene said the universe begins to look more like a great thought then like a great machine.”

Dean goes on to say that, “the information about deep interconnectedness brings up the possibility that mind and matter in our action may have been misconceived. That we’re probably not dealing with interaction between two dissimilar entities but with the single phenomenon. Meaning then when we set a goal and focus on it that action is part of who we are and fully accepted by the universe because the universe is goal oriented we are goal oriented so when we visualize what we want it’s a natural thing to do, the universe is part of us and hears our thoughts and knows our hearts.  Perhaps even, that mind can cause matter to conform to mind’s vision.

Are we Co-creators of our future?

Perhaps we are creating our future on a daily basis.  This is what the physicists are telling us. I’m looking for everything I can find to support these statements so that all of us feel comfortable when we set goals and create our to do list.  When we achieve our success, perhaps the universe celebrates with us!  Perhaps it is as happy for us as we are for reaching our goal.  Wouldn’t that be nice to envision?

Science is inferring that the universe is goal oriented.  So, when we’re asking for something that is a natural expansion for us, something that takes us to our goal, then the universe sees and acknowledges this.  When we are working with the universe things should come to us as a natural event.  That is a given, we should be supported. 

Let’s use this information and start realizing that this is who we are, this is how the world works.  The scientists are trying to tell us this, in fact some of these men are spending their whole lives trying to prove that psychic experiences are natural, and we are the ones that are saying … really?  Well, I’m not so sure.

I am suggesting that we jump on board and say, “OK I can play this game, so, let’s give it a try. I’m going to interact with the universe, show them what I want, then make every effort to receive it and then relish in the delight of my success.”

 

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 productionHer new class “How to Fund Your Film” is available on Vimeo on Demand.  She is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits.

 

“Keeper of Time” Wins First Roy W. Dean Grant for 2020

June 21st, 2020

Winner to Receive $30,000 Cash and Production Services to Complete Project

From the Heart Productions has announced that the winner of their Spring 2020 Roy W. Dean Grant is the documentary “Keeper of Time”.   Awarded 3 times each year by the non-profit organization, the grant goes to a unique film that makes a contribution to society.  Director Michael Culyba and his team will receive $3,500 cash and thousands more in donated production services and products to help them complete post-production.

 

Roy W. Dean Grant Winner

 

“This is such a beautiful and thoughtful film” commented Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions which sponsors the grant. “All of us at From the Heart Productions are very excited that we are able to help this film get completed.”

“Keeper of Time” is a feature length documentary film that explores the history of horology, mechanical watchmaking and the very concept of time. With interviews from top horological experts and the finest watchmakers in the world, it delves into the world of timekeeping by examining the planets and stars above, the astonishing engineering of mechanical watches, the sophisticated atomic clocks that keep our modern world running and much more.

All the while, “Keeper of Time” contemplates the theoretical and physiological notions of time, aging, and human mortality with interviews from cutting-edge scholars in the fields of theoretical physics, quantum mechanics and philosophy.

In addition to the $3,500 cash prize, Michael Culyba will receive an G-tech ArmorATD drive from G-Technology,  40% deduction on color, editing, and sound & all production services from ProMedia NYC, 30% discount in equipment rental from AbelCine Tech, Inc. NYC,  and more from many other heartfelt film industry donors.

About the Filmmaker

Michael Culyba – Director/Producer/Editor – Michael has been editing documentary films in New York City for over seventeen years.

Some of his credits include Dixie Chicks: Shut Up & Sing (Toronto International Film Festival 2006), Gary Hustwit’s Urbanized (Toronto International Film Festival 2011), Running from Crazy (Sundance Film Festival 2013) and My Own Man, produced by Edward Norton (TriBeCa Film Festival 2014).

Most recently he edited two-time Oscar winning director Barbara Kopple’s film This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.  Keeper of Time is his directorial debut.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

From it’s inception in 1992, 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 that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, and the acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity which is now in distribution showing in theaters around the US and world.

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 film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

Finalists Chosen for First Roy. W. Dean Film Grant of 2020

June 9th, 2020

22 Films Selected for Grant Valued at $30K

Celebrating its 28th year, the Roy W. Dean Film Grants are awarded to films that are unique and make a contribution to society.  Awarded 3 times each year, From The Heart Productions, the nonprofit which offers the grant, announced the finalists for their Spring grant.  The winner will receive $3,500 cash and thousands more in donated production services from film industry professionals and companies.

“We were truly fortunate to have received so many outstanding submissions from around the world.” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “We got applications from Estonia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada and Argentina just to name a few.”

The Roy W. Dean Film Grant is open to documentary films, feature films, web series, and short films or a combination.  It is open to filmmakers internationally for films with a budget of under $500,000. The grant is an essential lifeline for filmmakers wishing to finish their films which can often take years.

Unique to the Roy W. Dean Film Grant is all applicants are offered a free consultation on their project. They can discuss their proposals, search for funding, distribution, or whatever they feel is needed to move their film forward.   Winner of the grant is expected to be announced in August.

The grant finalists are:

 

Title Type Filmmaker 
Ginga Short Film Or Schraiber
The Chemical Factory Documentary Andrew Leung
Good Time Fela Short Film Adomako Aman
Live Bum Documentary Beau Sylte
Chaperone Feature Film Zoe Eisenberg
26 Seconds Documentary Kelly Galindo
Scrap Feature Film Vivian Kerr
Seaper Powers: In Search of Bleu Jay’s Treasure Feature Film Kim Cameron
Lea’s DIY TV,Web or New Media Lea Furnion
Scared To Debt: America’s Student Loan Scam Documentary Mike Camoin
Fatima Documentary Sourabh Dutta
Hamlet/Horatio Feature Film David Wenzel
The Golden Rule Documentary Stacey Stone
Pomegranate Short Films Molly Evans
Keeper of Time Documentary Michael Culyba
Martha Feature Film Debra McClutchy
Love Me Bait Me Documentary Rachel Ward
Voice of Vanilla Documentary Maureen Maloney
Fandango at the Wall Documentary Afro Latin Jazz Alliance
Tommies Feature Film Ioanna Karavela
A Journey of a Thousand Miles Documentary Zhu Shen
Tuesday Lunch Documentary DIANE STARK

Each of the grant finalists is given the opportunity to post information on their contending film on the From the Heart Productions website.  Filmmakers can include an image from the film, filmmaker info, and loglines.  If they have available, filmmakers can include a link to their film’s website, Facebook page, or relevant social media connection. 

In addition to the  $3,500 in cash provided by From the Heart Productions the winner will also receive $500 in expendables, lighting or grip equipment from Filmtools,  a G-Technology ArmorATD hard drive with case, 30% discount in equipment rental from AbelCine Tech, Inc. NYC, and more from film industry companies and individuals.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Founded in 1992 by Carole Dean, the Roy W. Dean Film Grant seeks films that are unique and make a contribution to society that, without it’s help, might otherwise not get made.  There is a Spring, Summer and Fall Grant.  The Summer Grant is now accepting applications.  Deadline is June 30th

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, and the acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity which is now in distribution showing in theaters around the U.S. and world.

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 completed.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they offer filmmakers fiscal sponsorship which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From the Heart Productions has helped independent filmmakers raise over $10 million through its fiscal sponsorship program.  They also offer Intentional Filmmaking Class which focuses on film funding.  President Carole Dean is the author of the best-selling “ The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts” as well as the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

 

The Art of Manifesting: Creating Your Future – Part One

May 30th, 2020

Film funding really starts in your mind with your faith in yourself and your film

Successful people manifest success. That is a core part of what Carole Dean, president of From the Heart Productions, has been teaching filmmakers for over 3 decades.  It has helped fund a lot of films.  It’s not enough to desire to create a film that audiences applaud or getting that check you desperately need to finish post-production.  You’ve got to have a picture in your mind of yourself in those scenarios.  Feel comfortable in it, feel you deserve it, and it will happen for you.

Art of Manifesting

Do you have a clear vision of yourself and your future? You will need it to manifest your success

Carole Dean wrote “The Art of Manifesting: Creating Your Future” to explain the law of manifestation and outline how to use the law of attraction to accelerate your manifestations. You can turn dreams into reality and this book shows you how.

On The Art of Film Funding Podcast, she discussed with host Claire Papin how filmmakers and others can use the lessons in the book to create their own success.

What prompted you to write the Art of Manifesting, Creating your Future?

I wrote this after traveling the world teaching my book, The Art of Film Funding. I began to realize from listening to filmmakers that the greatest asset they have is their mind.

I made it a point to keep a record of those filmmakers who assured me that their film, “would be funded and finished within a certain time.” I also kept track of some who told me that film funding was “very difficult and they were unsure of themselves.”   I made it a point to connect to these filmmakers and followed up to see what percentage of them finished their film. 

It was an incredibly high percentage. No matter what the subject, no matter what the budget. The fact that they believed they could do it seemed to overcome everything else. And those that said they thought it would be difficult were still looking for funding.

I had nothing in my book to support the power of your mind. I had intended to encourage people that their mind was powerful but did not focus on what is the most important asset filmmakers have, their faith.  Your belief in yourself and your belief in the completion of your film is paramount to production and funding.

The information in my “The Art of Film Funding” as well as my new book “How to Fund Your Film” must be accompanied by how to use your mind to fund your film.

I taught in South Africa, in New Zealand and all over America and I had so much fun, but the more I taught the funding book, the more it became clear that was only half of it. The real important side of film funding starts in your head. It’s all about what you think because “you are the magic.” You are what makes the film. And if you feel you cannot do it, that If you have the slightest feeling of discomfort, or if you lack confidence, this can impede your process.

Film funding really starts in your mind with your faith in yourself and your film.  It’s the most important part of funding.  As you might imagine filmmakers pitch me constantly for the film grant and to become sponsored by From the Heart. I can tell when someone calls to introduce themselves and their film if they’ve got the faith to fund their film or not. It is in their voice. It’s in their pitch, it’s in their paperwork and it is in their trailer.

Filmmakers need to be totally determined and fixed in the knowledge that their film is funded.  Their pitch to me must have that confidence.  All of us want to feel that the filmmaker can fund the film without us.  Your job is to make us feel that you are determined to make this film and that no one will stop you. That’s the level of confidence that you need to fund your film.

What does manifesting mean?

The Miriam Webster dictionary says:

Manifesting: apparent to the senses, especially to the sight, apparent, distinctly perceived, hence obvious to the understanding, apparent to the mind, easily apprehensible, plain, not obscure or hidden.

In other words, you can’t say to the universe one day, okay, I am making a feature film and this is my plan, and then the next day I say, well, you know, I’m not sure if I want to make that film. I think I might make a documentary. You need to clearly define what you want to manifest.

This is the most important part of manifesting. It goes back to the definition, “evident to the senses.” You need to feel it, see it, know it, believe it. All the senses are involved.

You want to be able to talk about your film as if it is a fait accompli. This comes through your voice as someone who is most confident. Your body language must be very positive, this comes from your mind, you know that you can make and fund this film and you carry yourself with great confidence.

As for vision, you need to be able to see the completed film. You need to know what you want the film to look like so that you can describe it.  Funders, grantors, donors and crew members want to know your vision of the film.

It’s best to think about what you want, make a commitment to yourself and the universe and say, okay, this is it. I’ve found what I want. Now you start manifesting. Now you start creating the vision, you have clarity on what you want to create. 

To manifest you set goals, short and longer term, like a three-month goal, then a six months goal, etcetera, and start moving forward. That’s how you make it happen.  (Goal setting is fully explained here: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/film-funding-guidance-class/)

From the beginning, knowing what you want, and starting out on a strong foundation with clarity and vision. That’s how you manifest because you are manifesting every day with your mind. Think about this, often, at night, when you go to bed, you say, tomorrow at 8am I am on conference call, my goal is to close this investor, you go over the next day, you visualize it and then the next day you manifest your plan.

When you go back and look at the physics of how things in this universe work, we are the magic. We are what stops a particle.

They say particles are never at rest. They’re always moving even at zero-degree temperature. When a human looks at a particle, they can stop it. Now how does that work? I think it is because we are the magic. We are the power.

Understand the power of your mind and realize how powerful you are so that you can use that power to make your film. Your belief and faith in yourself are the most important part of filmmaking. To believe and have this confidence and have a clear vision of your finished film is how you manifest.

Why do you say that artists need to know the market for their films early in production?

Let’s say if you were going to drive from LA to New York, the first thing you do is to create a route to get to your destination.  You would not get in a car and start driving not knowing where you were going.

Your destination is the most important thing. Too many filmmakers start out to make a film and they’re not sure where they can sell their film. They’re not sure where it’s going to be screened or shown or what the distribution would be. They don’t have a destination in mind.

And you need to identify your audience at the beginning of production.  And don’t say “everyone” will love this film.  We want to know specifically who your audience is.  Give us a composite of the person who represents your audience.  Where do they hang out?  What clubs and what organizations online do they belong to?  How do they get their news?  NY Times or Buzz Feed?

You want to identify and connect to your audience because these people will fund you and they will buy your download. Once you Identify your audience then you can connect to organizations where there are more people interested in the same content as your film.

You need to connect to these people, attach them to your mailing list and keep them informed on the progress of your film. This is how you expand your database of contacts. Your contacts in film production are the lifeblood of funding and marketing your film. This is your audience.

Once you identify the audience then you can ask, “who would be interested in buying the film? Where, which channel? Which cable station, which streamer? Which one of these places would want to buy my film? You need that destination.

Downloading is going to be even more prominent in the future because of Covid-19. We may not have as many theaters when they reopen, we may have a smaller number, and they will be dominated by the major distributors. Now, more than ever, filmmakers need to have the knowledge of how and where to distribute their film. 

It’s times like this, during a crisis, that your creativity can soar, and you can find new ways of distributing your film and end up making more money than you would have before Covid 19. Look at this as “a shake up of the old way” and you become an innovator for the new ways to distribute your work.

You book says you must have relentless faith to manifest, we want to know why.

Faith is one of the great keys to a successful life and I am sure it’s the greatest key to filmmaking. Faith in yourself, faith in your film, faith in the knowledge that universe will support you to raise the funds to make the film. If you read one of my favorite parts of the Bible, Matthew 17:20, it says:

For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

I don’t expect you to move the mountain, just move the Hollywood sign a bit.

 

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 production. Her new class “How to Fund Your Film” is available on Vimeo on Demand.  She is also the author of  The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts.  See IMDB for producing credits.

 

Covid-19 Filmmaking: Answers on Legal Issues Facing Filmmakers

May 30th, 2020

Entertainment lawyer Robert L. Seigel on the need to review contracts, what to expect from insurance companies, and the what the future will look like for film production

by Carole Dean

Robert L. Seigel, Esq. is a brilliant film entertainment lawyer.  He has been helping and supporting filmmakers for over thirty years and is a donor for our Roy W. Dean Grant.  His expertise has helped many filmmakers beginning with production through negotiating successful distribution contracts.  

Covid-19 Filmmaking

I interviewed Robert and asked him to share some of his wisdom on where the film industry is going with the new coronavirus restrictions.

Robert, many standard contracts have what is called “boiler plate.” Should all these contracts be reviewed and modified under the threat of the new Coronavirus situation?

We have a couple of issues. One issue is regarding productions that were pre-virus and then we have post virus.

To give you an example, I have a client with a production where we had four days left and eventually the two leads and their representatives just didn’t feel comfortable continuing. So, he had to stop production. And then we were reworking their contracts saying that they’ll pick up subject to professional availability and good faith negotiation.  We thought that was a reasonable way of doing it.

Then, we got this bizarre letter from SAG-AFTRA that was stating, “For the first three weeks after the interruption, you pay people half their salaries and then you pay them the full salaries until it’s over.”  We don’t know when it’s going to be over. If we keep paying them, we’ll pay them more money than the budget probably.

So, the producers contacted SAG-AFTRA and said, “That’s not going to work. We would continue working when everyone is comfortable, and when that is, we don’t know.  Basically, we would try to schedule and just finish the shoot.”

That’s just the most reasonable way of doing it at the moment. Then SAG-AFTRA said, “We have to give some thought and we have to come back to you.”  We are waiting to hear from them before we can finish revising the agreements. That’s a very concrete example.

Will insurance cover the cost of the shut down for the virus?

Going forward, I think all insurance companies are going to say that the Corona virus or things like that are not going to be covered in most production insurance policies.

You might think something like shutting a film down would be covered by many insurance policies for independent productions. Well, no, not really because most insurance, especially for independent productions, is bare bones. You have workman’s comp to protect people who work on the project for usual injuries.  And then you have property damage and other basic types of insurance.

But something like coronavirus, which is not foreseeable, a lot of insurance companies are not going to pay off because it’ll be listed among a list of exclusions.

People say, “Oh, it’s business interruption.” Well an example of business interruption is when a theater on Broadway is shut down by New York  because you’re not an essential business. That’s business interruption of production. And you know what, you can calculate that by the attendance on the average for a Broadway theater or even a movie theater. But, for a production, you don’t know how well financially the production is going to do.

It’s just too speculative in nature.  That’s the issue.

Insurance companies will cover if you have a fire or a typhoon or, or some kind of “act of God” like lightning or an earthquake. Now you have basically a lot of arts organizations and other companies all trying to put claims in and they’re all getting bounced back because the insurance companies are saying, “If we pay everybody, we’re going to go bankrupt.” And we are saying, “All these years you’ve been issuing policies and we have been paying premiums and now something like this happens and you’re saying ’You’re not going to pay?’”

They’re actually going to court. The problem is most people really can’t afford to go up against insurance companies in order to get payout and the question is, what is the payout going to be? It could be a hundred thousand dollars; it could be millions.

I just read a story about The New York Metropolitan Opera. It didn’t have any provision like this because it was cost prohibitive. And that was the case with a lot of these small film productions. They weren’t going to cover all the possibilities. I remember after 9/11, there was anti-terrorist insurance, but later they said eventually it became something that was a risk of doing business.

What can we expect to see in the film industry going forward?

I think for productions, especially narratives, there will be a waiver of liability. You’re going to have fewer crowd scenes and only after a period of time when there is more testing or possibly a vaccine. And that’s a whole separate issue. There will be these waivers saying that there is density and there is the possibility of contracting something like the Corona virus and you assume the risk in order to take the job.

What producers, networks and studios are going to say is “If you don’t sign this, then you don’t work. Life is a risk.” There is something to be said for that. Basically, there will be some kind of waiver in all of these provisions. And I think in terms of casting a crew, at the moment there aren’t any really any laws. You have OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration with basic guidelines for any industry, not just film.

I think what the studios and the networks are going to do is they’re conventionally going to put together a series of protocols in order to move forward, such as limiting the crew.  Shooting as much in house, not on location, but using studio facilities and separating out into groups. people possibly will be quarantined for certain period before they can come onto sets. Maybe they will have their temperature taken and/or they are going to be giving rapid response tests.  Now we have such an issue now with testing that this is something that is going to have to really get much, much better before it’s doable.

In Europe where film and theaters are starting to open, theaters are saying people in rehearsals must be at least three feet away, not even six feet. And if they’re close, they must wear a mask. How do you rehearse? How do you do shows with people wearing masks? I think a lot of people are going to basically in the case of symptoms of fever with  live actors and directors, they may just say, “we may have to wait until there is more extensive testing or there’s a vaccine.” It will be January, maybe later than that before we may have all we need, now it is undetermined, it is unknown territory.

Tell us the meaning of force majeure in contracts.

The idea of force majeure is an interesting situation because sometimes it’s better to have a very broad force majeure and sometimes it is better to have a very narrow one. The wording for force measure is going to be redefined to talk about foreseeable and unforeseeable.

The idea with force majeure is that is that it’s an excuse for when or if you can’t perform so you won’t be held in breach or if someone else doesn’t perform so they won’t be held in breach. It’s a defense against claims of breach of contract. That’s what force majeure, is. It’s not necessarily a kind of a golden ticket in order to get money from an insurance company.

Here is an example.

If an actor  doesn’t want to act, producers and insurers are  going to say that’s not force majeure because they’re concerned about their health.  When the state shuts down production because it’s not an essential business, then that’s something that could be considered either a business interruption or possibly a force majeure, because it’s something that’s out of producer’s control as the state is basically shutting you down.

That’s the argument whether the insurance company is going to agree to it given the fact that if the insurance company pays one policy it will have to pay a lot of claims, and they say we’re going to go bankrupt.

What will happen to the window for theatrical release?

The experience of going to a movie theater is unique and special, especially for certain types of films such as science fiction, blockbusters, the superhero films and comedies. However, the idea of opening a theater with 25% capacity limitations, is it worth it?

I mean, that’s a question restaurants need to deal with too. Is it worth opening up when you can only seat a limited amount of people? This is a question that goes beyond just the theaters. Companies such as AMC, for example, are talking about filing for bankruptcy.  The AMC chains find during the week fewer people come the weekend and they don’t have a packed weekend audience, are the theaters going to survive?  

But, if we take a step back, then realize that attendance was really going down. We have a whole generation of people that watch things just on phones, TVs and computers screens. Basically, this audience uses streaming services. When movie theaters do open, they must deal with reduced capacity.  How well that will work? I don’t know.

The new releases are now available on Amazon for $19.95 to stream it at home. if you have a family of four that’s very reasonable, so perhaps the streamers will be the new initial release window and not the theaters for many films.

Going forward what should we expect?

Basically, filmmakers have got to really sit down with their attorneys before they start shooting to get clear on how to issue their contracts, how to write their contracts or change their contracts. They need to consider how to hire people and what conditions to put together on the set.

It’s really the set conditions. Certain items may not appear necessarily in a contract, but there will be  a kind of a protocol that producers will use because of business concerns and liability.

And what’s been interesting is in the trades, like in Deadline and Indiewire, there have been a series of articles about reopening and they’ve had different producers giving their tentative plans for how they will move forward for productions. And some of them are really detailed. They started naming some of the elements in terms of cast and crew size and sanitizing and basically no more buffets, you need food that’s pre-wrapped, having doors that are without handles, ones that push open. I mean it’s getting really complicated.

The Florida film commission does have a very good website where they have a series of trade articles, from the trade publications concerning going back into production. There is a large amount of homework that’s involved.

There’s an article that has to do with how the Europeans are handling COVID-19. And Sweden says the maximum number of people allowed is 50, which is a good number because in the US it can’t be more than 10 or 20 on set depending on the state. The restrictions in the US are how to handle interior shots that deal with maintaining social distance.

I think you’re not going to see many projects with multiple performers on screen. You may see people shooting one actor at a time and then maybe editing them into one scene in a two shot or limiting the number of actors in the frame. How do you shoot a two shot with social distancing? When the testing has been hopefully perfected, maybe they’ll be a certain comfort level so they can have two shots or three actors in a scene.  Again, this is speculation for the moment.

Mediamakers are using zoom for production meetings, so development is doable. Post-production is somewhat doable because it can be done remotely as well as distribution especially online. Production will be small crews with safety protocols, getting waivers of liability and things will take longer and cost more. You now need to buy sanitizers and packed lunches and your production schedule is going to be stretched out because you may have to do it in shifts to prevent crowd density.

Tell us about waivers of liability.

As I stated before, I believe there will be waivers of liability that would protect production if someone gets ill during the shoot so that they could not sue the production. That’s the idea of a waiver of liability. You’re taking a risk when you put people on the set.  To minimize your risk, you need to put protocols in place.  

People will say I’m taking a risk just getting on the set, so what are you doing to help  me be more safe and secure? What protocols are you putting in place to minimize my risk? Without this the actors may not show up. Then the next question is, will the audience in the theaters show up? There’s a lot of unknown territory at this point. For mediamakers, it’s trying to spot the issues, create protocols and get waivers of liability.

So, until there is more information, this is a work in progress, which is to be continued.

 

Robert L. Seigel can be reached at rlsentlaw@aol.com   From the Heart Productions highly recommends him.

 

How Donors to Fiscally Sponsored Films Benefit from Covid-19 CARES Act

May 25th, 2020

In Creating the CARES Act, Congress Gave Everyone the Opportunity to Be a Little More Charitable

by Richard Kaufman – Guest Contributor

In crafting a response to the disastrous economic impact caused by the Covid-19 crisis, Congress created the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (known as the CARES Act).  Most of us are familiar now with its Emergency Small Business Loans, Paycheck Protection Program, and disaster loans.  (And most of us who applied for those are familiar with not getting a response to our applications)

Did you know the CARES Act also boosted tax incentives for charitable giving? 

CARES Act

Congress realized that the crashing economy needed help beyond what they could provide.  While millions have been thrown out of work, many others are still getting a paycheck working from home or at essential businesses.  And, there are others who need not worry about working.  So, they created a perk to get them to donate to charities.

The New Benefit for Donors

While charitable giving comes from the heart, there have always been tax incentives to encourage donations.  Recent changes in the tax law have made it more difficult to get a deduction for giving.  

Under the current tax law, if you itemize on your tax return, you can deduct donations to registered charities up to 60% of your adjusted gross income.  Most people, however, don’t itemize and claim the standard deduction.  Those who do this can’t deduct charitable contributions they make during the year.

But, now, as explained by in NPQ (Non-Profit Quarterly), the rules have changed temporarily under the CARES Act providing several benefits:

The stimulus bill also contains a one-time, above-the-line deduction for cash contributions of up to $300 made to certain qualifying charities. All taxpayers would be eligible to take the deduction, even people who use the standard deduction. The incentive applies to contributions made in 2020 and would be claimed on tax forms next year.

So, anyone, even if they itemize, can deduct up to $300 in charitable giving.

For the eight percent of individual taxpayers who itemize their deductions, the bill would suspend for 2020 the normal limit on deductions for contributions, ordinarily 50 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) or 60 percent for cash.

This means that charitable contributions equaling up to 100% of your adjusted gross income are now deductible on your 2020 tax return if you itemize on it.

Of course, most people can’t afford to donate 100% of their income.  But those HNI’s (high net worth individuals) will now have greater reason to part with their savings in order to help good causes.

Finally, corporate donation limits were raised as well. 

For corporations, the limit on deductions for contributions, ordinarily 10 percent of AGI, is elevated to 25 percent for 2020.

What the CARES Act Means for Fiscally Sponsored Filmmakers

Having your film fiscally sponsored means your project has been accepted by a 501(c)3 non-profit, like From the Heart Productions, into their fiscal sponsorship program.  This allows those making donations to those films to get tax deductions for their donations. Just like they would for other donations to any other charitable foundations.

And, under this new bill, donors can give more, get larger deductions, and get deductions where previously one had not been possible.   This will make it easier for these filmmakers to continue to get funding and get funded faster.

Why Donate to a Fiscally Sponsored Film?

Films that are fiscally sponsored must fall under the mission statement of the non-profit under which they fundraise.  For films fiscally sponsored by From the Heart Productions, these are films that are unique and make a contribution to society.  They are important, life-changing films, by filmmakers with a passion for their work. 

As Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions, says “Film is one of the most important art forms and it takes the longest to create.”  These independent films take years to produce from conception, through pre-production, to finished product.  A gap in their funding might mean some filmmakers would need to give up their projects.  Especially, when they are under the weight of having to make a living right now as well.

What Fiscally Sponsored Filmmakers Should Do Right Now?

Make these changes in the tax law known to your potential investors.  Include it in your pitch and on your crowdfunding pages. 

Focus on going after large companies and wealthy individuals in 2020.  This offer by the government for these new tax deductions is good for this year only. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to make the most of it