Need to win a film grant? Carole Dean shares her wisdom and experience on why it helps to know your audience, nail down your story, and never give up!
By Carole Dean
Roy W. Dean Grant winner Leslie Neale and From the Heart Productions founder and President Carole Dean
Having overseen the Roy W. Dean Grant for 26 years, I’ve read thousands of grant submissions. Through my non-profit, From the Heart Productions, I’ve helped our fiscally sponsored filmmakers apply for and win hundreds of thousands of dollars in local, state, and foundation grants over the last 25 years.
I know what makes our judges and others seriously consider a grant application. Here are some tips on how you can improve your chances to win a film grant for your project.
Film Must Fit Criteria for the Grant
Grantors say this is the number one reason for denying a film a grant. So be sure you have a chance to be accepted before you put in your time.
One woman filmmaker I worked with applied for 5 grants and won 4! This was Rebecca Dreyfus and her film “Stolen” won the Roy W. Dean Grant. How did she win so many? She did not apply for hard to win grants that might have been a reach for her project. She chose carefully and put her energy into grants she felt were the best fit for her film.
Story, Story, Story
At the Roy W. Dean Grant, we fund stories. Other grantors look for great stories as well. Brilliant, heart-felt, revelatory, life altering stories with strong characters. So when creating your application for the grant, you will need a visually written proposal. It needs to let me “see” the film as I read your proposal.
For Documentaries, Tell Us What The Film Will Be About
I realize you don’t know what will happen when you turn on your camera to make a documentary. In fact, many times you are taken into an entirely different film. However, you have to tell us what you think the film will be.
We know you often don’t know and that’s ok. The filmmakers behind the award winning “Virunga” thought they were just doing a documentary on an park rangers at an animal preserve when a civil war broke out. But, we want to know that you have thought it out carefully and you “think” you know where it is going.
I can say that most of the documentary films we funded, where the filmmaker did not know what the film would be about in the end, turned out better than any of us imagined.
Why Are You Making This Film?
I want to know this up front. This information tells me if you are there for the long, hard times that may lay ahead. I want to know: Do you have the tenacity to finish? You have to allay my fears in the beginning of your proposal with your passion.
Who Is Your Audience?
Do you have any idea who the people are who will want to see your film? Do you know how you will reach them? I want you to tell me that. All of the grantors want to know this. Just making the film is not enough; you have to identify who will support it. Attach your audience to the film as you are making it. Tell us how you are doing this.
Never Give Up!!!!
It was the motto of the Suffragettes and I want you to adopt it. Know that rejection is part of the process and that you will learn each time you are rejected. Know that each grant you enter, you get better and so does your film. And, you now know the people at that granting organization and in our industry. Who you know is an asset to you.
By using the conscious mind to impress a belief on the subconscious with feelings and visuals (and using every fiber of your body), it causes the subconscious to accept that belief as truth.
What do you think of those people who get up on stage at the Academy Awards to accept an Oscar and say that they’ve been dreaming about this moment since they were kids?
You rolled your eyes and laughed, right?
Well, believe them. They used their conscious thoughts to manifest and create their success. You can too.
The Law of Consciousness
Consciousness, believes noted physicist Amit Goswami, came first in the beginning of time. First, it was consciousness and from that all things evolved.
The knowledge of the law of consciousness and the method of operating this law allows you to accomplish all you desire in life. This is the philosophy of many wise people.
However, first you need a working knowledge of this law. Then, you can build and maintain a great life, an ideal world for yourself.
The Conscious Generates Ideas
“Consciousness is the only reality”, said influential teacher and author Neville Goddard. Neville states that consciousness is personal and selective where subconscious is impersonal and non- selective.
Neville believes that the conscious generates ideas and impresses ideas on the subconscious. Also, he says that first conceiving an idea and then impressing the idea on the subconscious allows all things to evolve out of the consciousness.
This is the only way, he posits, to create your future and bring to you the future you want. Because the subconscious does not originate ideas, it accepts as true those which the conscious mind feels to be true.
This is the heart of the matter.
Getting An Award in Your Hands
Remember when those who win also say they “feel the joy and excitement of being on stage receiving this award?”
That is the result of the conscious impressing on the subconscious the future they intended to create. By doing that, it becomes a reality.
I think this is a powerful concept. By using the conscious mind to impress a belief on the subconscious with feeling and visuals (and using every fiber of your body), it causes the subconscious to accept that belief as truth.
This is how you manifest. This power to imagine and feel is original for humans.
Using Your Feelings to Influence Your Subconscious
You can get control of the subconscious through your control of your ideas and feelings.
What you feel and see the subconscious believes. This is a gift that we all have. It is important to understand that what we see and feel, our subconscious believes.
What is it you want to achieve? The first thing that we want you to do is set goals. You want to visualize and feel your goals in order to achieve them.
Consciousness creates the vision and the subconscious believes it’s real. Because your subconscious mind does not originate an original idea, it accepts as true those which the conscious mind tells it.
The next important thing to realize is that ideas are impressed on the subconscious through feeling. The filmmaker that envisioned winning the Academy Award visualized being onstage accepting the award and giving his/her speech.
It’s the energy in the feeling that creates the future. Your feeling is the most powerful medium that you have to get your ideas to the subconscious. If you’re not in control of your feelings, you could easily be impressing the wrong things on your subconscious and bringing about things in your life you don’t want.
Feelings Can Determine Our Future
Feelings are the greatest form of manifesting that we have as humans. We actually have the ability to bring our future into the present through our feelings.
Focusing on what you do want and feeling like it has already happened tells the subconscious that this truly exists. The only thing that would stop this is if it is counteracted by a more powerful feeling that it doesn’t exist, like disbelief, fear or anger.
If you are seeing yourself getting your Academy Award and you are fearful, then the chances are your vision may not happen. If fear was the more dominant feeling, then you have just nullified your vision.
Create a personal goal that you know you can achieve and a time limit that feels right to you. For example, you may need a great editor. To get that great editor, why not start saying, I love my editor. I chose the perfect editor.
Do this with the emotion of joy, success, achievement happiness and contentment. Feel very proud of yourself feel very confident that you have the right editor.
You want to live it, feel it and see it. Know your vision is coming through your feelings. Remember that all creation happens in the subconscious. What you must do is get control of your subconscious through your ideas and your feelings. The subconscious doesn’t care if you were telling of the truth or not it excepts as true what you feel to be true.
Use your mind to fund your film. Your mind is your greatest asset in film funding.
From the Heart Productions has helped indie filmmakers crowdfund over $3 million for their films. Here are some key tips on crowdfunding your film to help you successfully raise money.
Don’t let crowds scare you. Get them to help you raise money for your film.
1. Emotions Fuel Donations
Among the most important of the tips on crowdfunding your film is one you won’t find on the internet. But, I can promise you that it is most effective when raising money to use emotions.
Let’s go back to some of the earliest Indiegogo campaigns that were quite successful.
First, there was the campaign for a bus monitor named Karen, who asked for $3,000 to go on a vacation. She was responsible for the children on the bus going to school.
Someone took a camera inside the bus and recorded the vicious, demeaning, bullying statements made to her by students. She was in tears. When we saw this, we felt embarrassed and ashamed that she was being so poorly treated.
We were touched and moved and glad to donate as a way to apologize to her. Soon she had over $100,000 and then $200,000. She ended up with over $700,000. Nice vacation.
My second favorite campaign for eliciting emotion is one that did not have a trailer. That’s right, just copy on a page. However, it was professionally done with various font types and a great choice of words.
The campaigner was an admitted geek and he said that we had forgotten Tesla, the greatest geek that ever lived. He wanted to buy back the Wardenclyffe tower, Tesla’s old laboratory, and make it a museum for Tesla. He also used emotion in his campaign.
“Let’s build a Goddamn museum for Tesla.”, he wrote “We overlooked him and we owe it to him!”
He raised close to $1,300,000 That’s using only written words and the right attitude. He was demanding that we make up for our lack of attention and respect to Tesla. It made people feel sad and remiss that we’ve overlooked such a great man.
What’s unique about your film? How can you elicit an emotion with your words and your trailer? That emotion could be joy, happiness or guilt, shame, or any strong emotion that you believe will create an action from your audience. Hopefully, that action is a donation.
2. Setting the Right Campaign Goal
Finding the right dollar amount to ask for is a key to a good campaign. After running many campaigns, I can say that this is the most important part of the campaign. You need to get the goal amount right so that you can have 30% to the goal within three days of the start of the campaign. This is a must for a successful campaign.
It’s very important to create a special group of funders that can help you reach that 30%. Give them a name, like your “founding Indiegogo or Kickstarter sponsors.” You will build your crowdfunding page and send the link to only this founding sponsor group first in what we call a soft launch. You have already spoken to these people and you know exactly how much money you will raise.
Now, you launch your campaign to your entire mailing list. Post and chat on social media about the benefits of your film, why people should donate, and thanking those that do.
Sometimes you set your goal based on the amount you know you can raise in three days. Example, you talk to your family, friends, and staunch supporters and realize that you can get $6,000 in the first three days. Then, set your goal at $20,000 because 30% of $20,000 is $6,000.
Now, you know you have a very good chance of hitting that goal. That is, assuming that you have done the work needed to create a large database of people interested in the subject matter of your film.
3. Finding Your Audience for Crowdfunding
What is unique about your film? Find that and be able to talk about how special your film is because of this uniqueness.
Start listing the various audiences that your film addresses. For documentaries, it’s much simpler than features, but let’s just take an example of a documentary on organic food. Go online and start looking for organizations and groups who fit your film like vegetarians, vegans, organic consumers, benefits of organic food, etc.
Find those organizations through Facebook and Google. Make a list. You want to find the top 40 organizations and set a goal to connect to at least 20. Hopefully, they will have a minimum database of 5,000 members each. Your goal is to get them to support your film. Get them to post about your film on their database, or newsletter, or ask them to tweet about your film.
You can drive them to your website where you can collect their email address is by giving them a nice gift, something they can’t live without. Create short three minute trailers. Then, put them on your YouTube channel to drive people to your website. Once there, they can’t resist your gift and will sign up to be part of your film community.
4. You Need Connectors
Connectors are people who will help you increase your audience. Your audiences will fund your film and then come back and buy the download. You can find your audience online in groups and organizations.
Take the key words that describe your audience and search those on Facebook and Google. Then, contact the top 20 largest groups and organizations. You want to create “strategic partners ” by contacting organizations and groups that are interested in the subject matter of your film. Connecting to them is most important.
You must take your crowd to the crowdfunding. They don’t find you, you find them. My statistics show that on Indiegogo 99% of the donations come from the people who you have in your database or on your social network. In my opinion, Indiegogo does very little to bring you new donors.
Kickstarter campaigns do increase your data base. We work with a crowdfunding expert on Kickstarter campaigns who really understands how Kickstarter works and does quite well raising funds for our filmmakers. As a result, he helped raised $120,000 for a film on sound, $64,000 on a film about a music composer, and over $100,000 for another film. I highly recommend him. If you are interested, email me and I can introduce you to him.
5. Give Them a Sticky Story
A Sticky Story is one that has the elements of surprise, emotion, and it has something credible and something concrete. Give your audience a sticky story, one they can remember and repeat. One that will allow your donors to pitch to people for you and expand your data base.
6. Stay in Touch with Donors
Set up a community with your crowdfunding audience after the crowdfunding. It’s very important for you to keep them engaged and attached like family to you and the film. You’ve probably just raised money for a part of your film, maybe just pre-production or part of post-production, so you want to keep them close by to raise more money.
One woman I was mentoring said that she was writing her Kickstarter group to give them an update. She said “I don’t know what to say because I am behind on my production schedule. I told them I would be much further along at this date.”
I said why not tell them the truth? Quote Orson Welles by saying “I spend 95% of my time raising money and 5% making the film.“ She did just that and someone called and ask her how much money she needed. She told him, $120,000 and he sent her a check!
You never know how much money is available to you from this group of new people that you get through Kickstarter. Taking good care of them is paramount to future donations.
We’ve not just got his work to watch and listen to. We’ve also got his notes.
After we’ve watched and enjoyed Orson Welles classic film noir “Touch of Evil” for the 27th time, what do we remember? Is it the amazing long continuous shot that opens the movie? The dramatic final confrontation in the oil fields? How about the incredible varied and creative way he uses music in the film?
I knew the music was integral to the film. It defines characters, sets the atmosphere, and compliments the action. What I didn’t know was how Orson Welles planned out the music and how it was to be used before he shot the film.
David explained he left detailed notes for his composer, Henry Manicini, and his sound mixer. In my latest video, I cover what filmmakers can learn from those important notes on placing music in their films.
Imagine How Music Will Be Used in a Scene Before Its Shot
The opening scene is probably the longest continuous shot that’s been executed on film without CGI. It follows a bomb in the trunk of car as it heads to a border crossing down a city street filled with people.
Instead of using a traditional score, Orson wanted to use source music. He directed the scene knowing this. As we follow the action, the music appears to come naturally from car radios and musicians that are in the shot.
This music, David describes, was specifically created for A “Touch of Evil” and it creates a magical environment.
It’s not like a typical movie score. It sounds natural as it comes from sources in the shot. But, as music changes as the scene progresses, it’s jarring as well and puts us on edge.
Use Music That Fits the Characters
For example, the characters are walking down the street in a town where they have lots of live bands. The music the characters in the movie are hearing is the same music that the audience is hearing. But, because the camera is moving around to different groups of characters, the music is constantly changing.
The Mexican characters are listening to very festive mariachi music while the detective people are listening more to cool jazz.
This is the sort of thing that their character would listen to but it also tells us emotionally what to feel and gives us insight into the character. It’s source music, it’s character themes, and it’s dramatic underscore telling the story on multiple levels at the same time.
To make it happen was very complicated. Henry Mancini said it was one of the most difficult things he’d ever done. Without the notes and detail Orson Welles provided, it would have never been accomplished or attempted. That music is part of what makes that first scene so involving.
Consider How Sound Will be Mixed
Orson didn’t stop with notes to the composer. He also had a note for the mixer. While most films have a clean, high quality sound, he knew that would not be great if source music was being use.
“The characters are listening to music as they walk down the street,” Orson detailed, “and if the music sounds perfect like it was recorded in a studio, that will destroy the illusion that the characters are walking down the street.”
He suggested they take several loud speakers from your studio and put them out in the alley that’s behind the dubbing stage. Then, record the sound of the microphone traveling down the alley behind the stage on a dolly. This would be like the microphone was the character’s point of view and we’re following them down the street.
When you hear the sound in A Touch of Evil in this first street scene you will truly appreciate all of the great creative genius that went into making it. Getting your sound to enhance and support your story is paramount to a successful film.
Mastering Creative Visualization to Manifest Miracles
Using the work of author Stuart Wilde as a guideline, I’ve created a 5 part series of blogs and videos to show filmmakers how they can have a miracle happen in their life. I outlined creating a miracle action plan and its components.
The final video of my video series on How to Manifest Miracles concludes with how to complete your miracle action plan. Stuart says the final step to master for your plan is visualization.
Visualization is the ability to live as if what you asked for actually exists. You need to live and act as if it is a fact. Stuart says that the inner mind does not know the difference between fact and fantasy.
Once you can see yourself walking through a scene, you can feel you are actually a part of it.
Stuart writes “imagine this: if you can create a powerful and strong image of yourself as a miracle maker, as this wonderful, wonderful human being that has so much to give, so much to offer the world, then that being comes alive. It is almost as if, by putting that energy into the mind, you shine a light in there that stimulates the mind.”
Others will see this light in you and know that you love and support yourself and this brings miracles.
Creative visualization can benefit you when you begin to use it to see yourself living your dream life.
Whatever your life’s purpose, you want to imagine yourself living that now on a daily basis. Day dreaming is part of visualization. Use your driving time or your house cleaning time to see yourself living the life you want. Live it, feel it, see it, smell it. Use all your senses and make it real.
If you are a filmmaker, then see yourself receiving an award for your film. See you and your crew on a TV interview show discussing how you made the film. Just create imaginary scenes that could happen. Give the universe a vision of what you want your life to be.
Goal Setting with Creative Visualization
One powerful use of creative visualization is for goal-setting. Please don’t set goals that are impossible for you because if you can’t conceptualize it or feel that this can happen then you may never reach that goal.
I think setting small goals first is best. Then, when you hit that goal it truly empowers you. You set another realistic goal and hit that and you are on your way.
I like to see myself at a holiday like Thanksgiving at the table with friends. I’m sharing what the goal was and how proud I am that this has happened.
You should “feel” into a goal. If your body reacts with fear or stress, reduce the goal or give yourself more time until your body relaxes. The mind and body need to be in alignment to achieve your goals.
This visualization is the last and most important element in creating miracles. Use this information to create some exciting miracles in your lives and share them with me.
Using the Power and Energy of the God Inside of Us
Author Stuart Wilde has some incredible lessons about manifesting miracles as a means to your personal and professional success.
In my latest video based on his work, I discuss how Stuart believes that God is not just a figure outside of us. He is a powerful energy inside us all.
Learning to Use the God Inside of Us to Create Miracles
Stuart says “As you work to expand power, it is almost impossible to do so if you see God outside of yourself. If you do see God outside of yourself, then what you are saying is, “I do not control my life. Some entity above me or beyond me is controlling my life.”
There is an Indian greeting you may have seen where people hold their hands in prayer and say Namaste to each other. My Indian friend explained that Namaste means, the God inside me salutes the God inside you.
What you want to do is move to the belief that you are the creator of your own future. You are a God. That tiny part of you that never dies is a God and knowing that you are powerful is important to manifesting miracles. Your faith in yourself is paramount to creating miracles.
Allow Yourself to Receive
He says “As you push out as a miracle maker and as you begin to get your action plan going, you have to establish in your feelings the idea that, one, you are worthy and two, you can receive.”
So often in our society, we put an emphasis on giving, that it is more blessed to give than to receive but you have to understand, for every giver, there has to be a receiver.
A filmmaker emailed me recently to take me to lunch. I immediately started writing saying I would love to go to lunch but I would not let her pay….then I thought, how can I keep asking to receive, if I don’t accept?
So, for once I said OK and I want you to pay attention to gifts offered and say YES!
Keep Working on Miracle Action Plan
In your miracle action plan, you must be very specific on what you want. Don’t just say you want lots of money soon, but outline exactly what you want. Have specific dates in mind for achieving it.
Remember to use the affirmations like, I am a power, positive individual. All events in this day are for my highest good. You are saying that the power lies with you and not with someone else.
I see miracles happen every day to our fiscally sponsored indie filmmakers at From the Heart Productions. Getting a large donation from an unexpected source, getting a contract from film distributor they thought they’d never get, winning a well-deserved, but surprising grant.
I want you to know how to manifest miracles and “make a miracle happen in your life.” But, miracles aren’t random occurrences. First, you need a miracle action plan.
You also need an understanding of time and how to use your personal power. I cover these in my latest in a series of videos on How to Manifest Miracles. It’s based on the work of the brilliant British author Stuart Wilde.
Within Universal Law, There is No Time
Stuart says, within the universal law, there is no time. Things are in a state of gradual evolvement. A tree has no concept of time because its essence is eternal. It responds to the warmth of the sun. It is not in time, but it is in time with the universal law.
This law can deliver instantly. But, if your energy is not all there, it will seem to you as if it has taken time. Therefore, you need learn patience and keep moving towards your goal; knowing that your thought forms will manifest.
If You are Moving Towards One Particular Miracle and a Different Avenue Opens Up Unexpectedly, Take It.
Stuart shares a story of a friend whose goal was to be a filmmaker. After graduating, he could not get into the union and he took a job as a waiter. He met an older man who regularly ate at the restaurant. Stuart waited on him for months before he discovered that he was the head of the filmmaker organization in London!
All the time he’d been serving this man, he never gave up his mediating on his goal.
This man helped him to fulfill his dream of filmmaking. His miracle had been delivered.
When you move into an energy alignment, you can never tell what will happen. Watch for signs. Use your feelings to help you decide. If a direction is right, you will know it automatically.
Understanding Your Personal Power
You want to recognize that you have energy of power around you. To achieve complete success, you have to work constantly on your mind’s doubt. Remind yourself that you’re not your mind. You do not accept energy contrary to your goals. In this way, you establish a pattern of positive affirmation in your life.
Write down in your own words nine affirmations that express your belief in yourself and your complete fulfillment in this lifetime. There should be three affirmations for the dawn, three for the day, and three for the night.
Before reading your miracle list, read your affirmations slowly. Be sure that you feel their power and that they mean something special to you. Here are a few examples from which you can build:
I am a powerful, positive individual and all events in this day are for my highest good.
What I am is beautiful and I pull to me this day only beauty and refreshment. This day is a day of balance.
What I am is eternal, immortal, universal and infinite. I see only beauty and strength every moment of my life.
I see only beauty in all the people who are pulled to me.
What I am is infinite. I do not judge the evolution of others.
I give thanks for the beauty of this day and may the energy of this night bring rebuilding and review. So be it.
Your affirmations act like small twigs in a fire. As you rise, you begin to build energy in the day. Use your affirmations to keep that energy going.
Do you have Miracle Action Plan? Sounds funny, right? I mean aren’t miracles just supposed to happen out of the blue?
No, because as I covered in my previous blog on How to Manifest Miracles, you can create and manifest miracles. You can take control of your thoughts and desires to create funding for your film and success in your life.
But, to get there, you need a Miracle Action Plan. In my latest video based on the work of brilliant New Age author Stuart Wilde; I go over the steps you need to create that plan.
Setting the Stage for Your Miracle Action Plan
In daily life, your feelings, thoughts and attitudes are your order form. Before you decide to change your present conditions, you must be very sure what you want from life. You need write clearly and state exactly what you want.
But, before embarking on a miracle action plan, spend some time meditating on the conditions or material objects you want. The universal law is the shipping clerk waiting for your clear and concise order. The currency with which you are going to pay for it is belief.
If you can maintain that feeling of power and live as if your wish has already been granted by the universal law, your wish will be delivered, guaranteed, but you cannot be half-hearted.
Creating Your Miracle Action Plan
Stuart says that your mind is your key to attracting miracles. First, you decide carefully what you want to have or achieve. Second, you need to be able to visualize it as if it has happened. Remember the universe is impartial and unemotional, so you need to be exact with your requests.
Now, create a list of 2 or 3 things you want to have or achieve.
Faithfully, you read your miracle list 3 times a day. Early morning, noon and bedtime.
Meditate on the list and see them as if they have happened.
Don’t tell people about this. Keep your miracle action plan to yourself.
Pretend what you want is now part of your life.
Give gratitude daily for everything you have and everything that happens to you.
Be open to the instructions from the universal force. Listen to the little voice and you can learn what to do to achieve your miracle.
Smile a lot because you know your miracle is due any day.
Take actions to make it happen.
Miracles Bring You in Alignment with Goals
Stuart says understanding energy is important. Energy is power. As you work with the power, it will have a way of showing you the next move at every turn. Believe in it. Know that this inner force is so powerful that it will pull you into excitement and adventure beyond your dreams. Keep it pure, remain silent and remember to keep your method secret and never doubt.
The more you come in touch with the universal law within you the more you’re in touch with the things around you. Everything becomes a symbol and strength to you. The world helps you and the fuller you become, the more dimensions you can pull from. This is where small miracles happen to bring you in alignment with your goals.
Mr. Wilde has seen astonishing things. He believes as you work towards your miracle, watch for every sign, for every change around you and you will see the universal law communicating with you.
The more you trust it, the more the energy is encouraged to reveal itself and various unusual things begin to occur, your energy quickens and opportunities pop up like corks on a lake.
Then you will know that the power is truly with you.
Lessons for Filmmakers on How to Manifest Miracles In Their Lives and Work
For those of you who ready my blogs and watch my videos, you know I am a firm believer in miracles. I see them happen every day to independent filmmakers for which From the Heart Productions is their fiscal sponsor. I want you to know how to manifest miracles in your life.
This is why I want to introduce you to the brilliant British author Stuart Wilde. He is the author of over 20 books and best known for his works on New Age, self-empowerment, and spirituality.
Stuart believes that to understand and manifest miracles we have to look at two aspects of the universal law. First, there lies deep within all mankind an immense power. Secondly, the power is impartial and unemotional.
Call it the universal mind or what you will, it is this power that allows man the recognition of the universal life force that we call “God.” The life force is eternal; it is a part of all things. Moreover, it is a major part of each of us. Consequently, we all have within us an unlimited power.
You also need to look at the beliefs you express as thoughts and feelings. We create our reality by our beliefs and thoughts.
This reminds me of Henry Ford, who said: Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you are right! Ford knew that our mind controls our destiny.
Creating miracles in our lives becomes a matter of identifying with the power, understanding its characteristics and learning to use it effectively.
Stuart says you need to say to yourself: I’m eternal, immortal, universal and infinite and what I am is beautiful.” to lock into the power source.
The universal law is impartial and unemotional. It has no way of knowing what you want. It’s pure energy.
It accepts whatever thoughts, feelings and actions you project and reflects them back to you unemotionally in the form of events that you experience day-to-day, in much the same way as, he explains, electricity illuminates both a brothel and the vicar’s tea party. It will give you anything you believe in, no more and no less.
Letting Miracles Into Your Life
To move into your true power, you need to honor your talents and never put yourself down. Next, move yourself out of the controlling mind set of the collective unconscious into discipline and power. In this place, you can believe anything is possible.
Remember when they said no one could break the 4 minute mile? Well as soon as that happened, many more people ran broke that barrier. It was the collective unconscious that said you can’t do it. Move out of that field into the infinite knowing that you are a powerful being and connected to the God force.
Your ability to manifest miracles is predicated entirely on how easily and quickly you can give the collective unconscious the slip. It is your attachment to the collective unconscious or world belief patterns that holds you back.
Using these lessons and knowledge, you’re going to achieve your goal no matter what confronts you. Stuart truly believes your mind can create your future. Next is the Miracle Action Plan and we will cover that in part 2.
Gary takes people who have difficulty speaking in front of audiences and teaches them how to become persuasive presenters. It’s an important lesson to learn and skill to have. Especially, when trying to get investors or donors to give money to your documentary, feature, short film or web series.
What shocked me was his explaining that people make decisions about other people within 30 seconds of meeting them. Also, what you have to say is the least important aspect of gaining their trust and acceptance.
He says people decide in 30 seconds of meeting you if you’re going to be persuasive and if they are going to like you based on three key factors.
Presentation Factor 1 – Your Physical Actions and Appearance
The number one factor is how you physically present yourself. This includes your facial expressions, your eye contact, your gestures and even how you sit.
Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, says that 55% of total likability is how you physically present yourself. Do you have eye contact, are you relaxed, or are you stressed or anxious? In other words, how you look and act accounts for more than anything else in a presentation or a pitch.
People see this nonverbal communication and are receiving this while you speak. This is important information to them. It becomes critical especially when it’s incongruent with what you are saying. That’s when they will doubt you and make a decision not to trust you even before they really hear your pitch.
Gary says you need to smile, be friendly, be open and make people feel comfortable around you. Remember, donors want to know if you trustworthy. They are instantly making a major decision and asking themselves, “Are you someone that I can know, like, and trust?”
Presentation Factor 2 – How You Sound
How you sound is 38% of the acceptability. When you speak, are you enthusiastic? Are you upbeat and positive? Do you sound confident? Do you use appropriate inflection, tone, and range? All of these are important elements that should be considered when making your pitch.
Gary warns to not use fillers like uhh.. And do not pause often. This can make you seem unsure of yourself.
Personal Tip – In our Intentional Filmmaking Class, producer and co-instructor Tom Malloy always teaches filmmakers to practice the pitch until it is part of their DNA. You have to know it word by word. He suggests you get in front of a mirror and watch and listen to yourself as you are pitching. You want your pitch to be perfect with no pauses, it has to be natural. You have to believe it to get me to believe it.
Presentation Factor 3 – The Words You Use
The final 7% is what you say in the meeting. That’s it. It sounds amazing that this is so low. But, remember, we are discussing the decision that people make in 30 seconds on whether they can like and trust you.
People decide on what you say after they decide if they like you or not. This decision of likability comes from the nonverbal components that are happening once they meet you. When people trust you, then they listen to your pitch and make a decision. When they don’t trust you, they tune you out in the first 30 seconds.
If donors do trust you, this is when your pitch has to be awesome. If they trust you and your pitch is good, you get the check.
Final Thought – People Give Money to People Not to the Film
The main thing about getting a donation is the donor is giving the money to you not to the film. Your first job is to create a feeling of trust between you and the potential donor. You must get this right because by the time you get ready to give the world’s greatest pitch if the trust and the likability factor are not there you won’t get the donation.
Gary says they will turn you off and stop receiving your information early in the meeting if they don’t find that comfort zone. Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink advocates your instinct comes to you in the blink of an eye.
Your donors are operating under their instinct immediately upon meeting you. Your job is to immediately put them at easy, look then in the eye, be confident, happy, proud of who you are and excited about your film.