How Slowing Down Produces More

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 Navel 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

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.

The Art of Manifesting: Creating Your Future – Part 2

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

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.

 

3 Expert Tips on How to Fund Your Film

Carole Dean, author of “The Art of Film Funding”, discusses her new class “How to Fund Your Film”.  Why you need a believable budget, a killer script, and a plan to capture HNI’s.

Carole Dean’s passion and mission is teaching film funding.  She found her love and calling after creating her revolutionary first business. Beginning buying left over film from studios in the 1970’s, she sold it to filmmakers at discount helping spur an explosion in independent films. Getting to know her clients, she saw how difficult it was for them to get funding. They were artists and dreamers and not savvy in raising money from investors.  So many great films, filled with incredible life-changing stories, from talented producers and directors, were going unmade and it made her mad.

 

Expert Tips on How to Fund Your Film

Carole Dean’s new class “How to Fund Your Film” is available now on Vimeo.  You can save $10 off the price until May 31st by using the code GetFunded. 

 

In 1993, she founded and is president of From the Heart Productions, a non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers find money for their films.  The organization offers film grants, film funding classes, and fiscal sponsorship for filmmakers.  Since its creation, Carole has helped guide filmmakers to raise nearly $30 million for their projects.  In 2012, she authored the best-selling “The Art of Film Funding, 2nd Edition: Alternative Financing Concepts”.  

Her new video class, “How to Fund Your Film”, has just been released and is now available on Vimeo on Demand. In it, Carole has created a detailed, informative, and fun course for filmmakers that lays out a step-by-step plan for funding their film.

On The Art of Film Funding Podcast, Carole previewed her new class with host Claire Papin.  

Why Did You Create the How to Fund Your Film Class?

I give a lot of consultations to filmmakers. I am lucky, I love what I do. I have the greatest job in the whole world. I get to talk to filmmakers who want advice on film funding.

And one day I hung up the phone from a consultation where the woman was very pleased with what we created together. It’s always a two-way street. It’s bouncing ideas and my sharing the knowledge.  I began to realize that I have a lot of information. You know, sometimes you get used to it, but this filmmaker was shocked at the knowledge I shared.

And I thought, I really have got to get all this down. I have so many stories to tell about people who were successful by doing unique and unusual things. So, I decided to start taking all of the notes that I give to filmmakers and putting them together so I could create a new book. It really started out to help save me time. But then I realized, that there’s a lot to learn I ended up with a three hour class!

Which is the Blink of An Eye Compared to How it Takes to Make a Film

The sad news is, it’s an average six years for someone to make a documentary plus two more for marketing and distribution. So, if you knew going into a film as a documentary that it was going to take you eight years, you might think twice.

My job is to help you make it a lot faster.  I want you to know where the pitfalls are and where to put your focus. And that’s what I put in this book. The idea would be that you get finished faster.  Then, for features, it can take from 3 to 5 years and of course that’s all about finding the money.

I spent a lot of time on finding money in the class for feature makers as well as for documentaries or shorts or webisodes. It’s all the same thing. It’s raising money for your art.

Where is the Power Point?

It is on Vimeo and from the current sales I find what people do is they will watch about 20 minutes and then they’ll come back and do another 20 minutes. It is in sections to let them do as much as they want at a time. It’s all created for filmmakers with current filmmaker’s success stories.

How to Fund Your Film Has 14 Sections?

You may remember Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland said, where, where do we begin? And they said, Oh, you start at the very beginning and you’re going until the very end.

So, the very beginning of the class is when you say:  I want to make a film and it goes until the end where you have lots of information on funding, marketing and selling yourself and your film.

You Begin with Stressing the Importance of Finding the Time to Create a Film

Where will you find the time to make a film? That’s what I want you to ask yourself first.  Are you willing to put in 15 to 20 hours a week?

Because most filmmakers have a job, a usually a full time or two half time jobs and then they have their family. They have to their health. They have to take care of their health and exercise, meditate. And now you have your precious film that you want to bring into that world.

You have to make some major decisions on where to find the time. In the very beginning, we cover how to schedule your time, how to find it, what to give up. I give you suggestions, but you make the decisions.  You really want to make a commitment to creating your film.

And You Need to Make Time for All Your Rewrites

That’s the most important thing about writing. My friend Jeff, who runs The Writers Bootcamp says, when you’re finished with your script, well congratulations, but you are only 7% finished because now you have the rewrites.

I helped one man with a mystery, a thriller film, and I read 52 revisions of his script. He was very successful, he raised the money, he made his film, he won awards for it. So, it takes a total amount of focus.

You have no idea how many times you’re going to have to rewrite your script. That’s for a feature for a documentary it’s such an organic piece that you’re always rewriting it because as soon as you turn on your camera, the film takes off and it often goes in a new direction.

You Mention in Your Class a Very Clever Method to Getting a Great Final Script

I want to see a script that is a dynamite script because a good script will not make a good film. It has to be a dynamite script.

So, when you finish that script, get some coverage, get people, not your friends or family. Don’t send it to anyone you know.  Send it to a professional reader for coverage.

You can find them on Craig’s list. Please, get some honest feedback and you have to continue to do that until you really have a strong, incredibly good script because your whole future depends on the power of that script.

And it is the same with the documentary. I say put some passionate in your proposal. Because when we are judging films, we’re sitting here, reading one proposal after another for the grant.  When we hit one with passion, we jump out of our seats with joy and want to share with the rest of the judges. I want passion that jumps off the page.

You Give Advice on Why Filmmakers Need a Believable Budget

Oh my gosh, yes. That’s when everybody freaks out, but the whole secret is that it must be believable. You want a believable budget.

And for the grant I get a lot of budgets that are even numbers and I know they’re guesstimates and I will accept them, but I don’t know about other grantors. I think that for your own self being and the peace of mind, you really need to know what your budget is.

And You Tell Them How to Get One

So, I have put in How to Fund Your Film Class people to call people that are donors to our Roy W. Dean Grants. I recommended David Raiklen for music,  Sam Dlugach for color, Jerry Deaton for sound and more people for the New York area.

These people are exceptionally talented, and their prices are reasonable. And they love documentary filmmakers and independent filmmakers.  Especially ones that come through From the Heart Productions.  

And that’s what you want, is you want someone who will love your film and take on the same passion you have for it.  And that I’ve seen that happen with all three of these people with sound, color, music and more. You always want to put a brilliant team together.

And, and I’ve explained to how to do that.  To get a believable budget, you really need to call people and say, here’s what I’m doing and what do you think this will cost?  Give me an estimate. And I know that,  as I get closer, I can get to the penny.

You want to get a believable number because you never know when you’re going to get in an office or at a luncheon with some person who says, well, really how much you need?

And you can say $56,000 is what I need on my budget and bring up the budget on your phone and say, here it is. And you can defend every line.

You’ve Also Mentioned the Importance of Networking for HNI, High Net Worth Individuals

Well, this is the next phase. You get your believable budget, your incredible script, your killer script and your brilliant outline impeccably done for your documentary or short or webisode. And you have the pitch, the proposal, the paperwork. Now what are you going to do?

Well, you’ve got to get out on the street and meet some wealthy people. And so how do you do that? Well, you’ve got to become part of their world.  So, you want to identify community organizations where wealthy people could belong.

And many of these organizations offer a low-priced membership that you could afford. And yes, they have some gala events, but that may be worth it at the end of the year.

But the main thing is that if you join and you really put in some time and give of yourself to that organization, let’s say that it was a for the humane society, that’s something that simple.

You might be walking dogs right alongside of someone who’s worth a couple of a billion dollars!

Carole Dean’s class “How to Fund Your Film” is now available on Vimeo on Demand.  You can save 10% if purchased by May 31st by using code GetFunded

Extraordinary Filmmakers Project

We Invited Our Fiscally Sponsored Filmmakers to Share Stories of Moments that Changed Their Lives

By Carole Dean

Every two weeks for over two years, I’ve conducted our Film Funding Guidance Class for all or fiscally sponsored filmmakers. 

In it, my board and invited guests and I impress upon our filmmakers the power they have in their minds and how to use their intentions to complete their film.  We give practical advice on how to help keep them motivated moving forward.  Each week, a filmmaker is invited to pitch their project.  They get invaluable advice from us and other filmmakers on how to improve it.

Extraordinary Filmmakers

Our fiscally sponsored filmmakers share what inspired them and their films

With the sudden onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was easy to tell from my conversations with them that our filmmakers were distracted and worried.  They were concerned about the health and welfare of friends and family.  They were also very down that with many of their projects were now on hold. 

I wanted to do something that we could do as a group.  Something that would support other artists and filmmakers.  It would need to be a project that would lift all our spirits, bring us closer together,  and put our filmmaker’s brilliant minds to good use.

Extraordinary Filmmakers

We discussed many options and one that had the most resonance for them was for each of us to write a chapter in a book.  They keep the rights and let From the Heart Productions publish the eBook. 

I suggested a working title of Extraordinary Filmmakers.  

They could write about anything spiritual that happened to them.  Or, they could write about something extraordinary in their lives, even the moment when they knew they had to be a filmmaker/storyteller. 

First Meeting

It was agreed that we’d meet once a week.  We had our first meeting via conference call and the turnout was great.  So many attended that we’ll be able to have 12 chapters of the book. 

Some key decisions were made. 

Our deadline for edited copy will be July 24th, 2020.  Filmmakers will break up into groups to help each other with chapters.  We’ll appoint editors to review the work during the 3 months until project end.  In each meeting, we’ll discuss the most recently finished chapters and offer advice for any improvement.

Giving Back to Other Filmmakers

It was also decided that the book will be for sale.  The profits will go to an emergency fund for filmmakers in need. 

I could not be happier with the response, excitement, and energy surrounding this project.  It is a great opportunity to put in writing important moments in their lives and inspire others.  Also, I’m very glad that any money generated will be used as well to help other filmmakers.

 

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

Setting and Achieving Goals in Uncertain Times

How to move your film, film career, and life forward through an unsettled future

by Carole Dean

This is a special moment in all our lives. Nearly all of us are hunkered down at home during a pandemic.  How do we continue with our lives and keep funding our films with daily cancellations of events and the fear of being close to people and of even going out? 

Now more than ever, we need to focus on our future.  We need to have goals and the confidence we can reach these goals after we emerge safe and secure from this crisis. 

Filmmaker Pandemic

Film shoot on hold? Film festivals canceled? Use your shelter-in time to set goals.

I asked Breianne Pryse to join me on The Art of Film Funding Podcast to give us suggestions on creating and implementing goals.  Brianne Pryse is a natural born intuitive impasse, healer, coach, speaker, and writer.  

She is also a regular on our Film Funding Guidance Classes advising filmmakers how to continue to progress on their projects.  As a lifelong student, she’s been trained in many different modalities. Since 2002, she’s been a full time healer and coach.   

Here is her advice from this interview.

Setting Little, Medium, Big and Almost Impossible Goals

One of the things that I really recommend is to set goals.  But you also must revisit them because sometimes we write them down on a piece of paper and never look at our goals. I believe you must look at them every day or at least every week and you need to be able to connect with them.

I also recommend you have four types of goals. You have the very small ones that you can check off almost daily, so it shows you that you’re getting things done. Then you have the medium goals that have a little bit of work, where you can still check these off easy too.

Then you have the bigger goals where you’re doing a film and working on funding. Getting your film funded may be a big goal.  It’s important that you ask for money and give specifics, like you want to say the dollar amount of your funding goal. Getting your crew, that’s a whole different big goal too. So, you write these down.

Now, the fourth one that I feel is very, very important. It is that you ask for a goal that is just beyond what you think is possible. For example, is your goal beyond impossible possible? And maybe something like, I get an award-winning editor on my film, or I raise $50,000 for my fee. Something just beyond what you think you can do. Because what that does is expand your energy and it helps you connect to the quantum field in a different way.

Examples of Goal Setting

Well, a little goal is, ‘I get up at six o’clock in the morning and write for an hour before work.’  ‘I spend a day without going on Facebook and wasting time.’ Goals like this are good because it tells the universe that we’re in, that we are serious about our goals and we’re making changes.

And it’s all about change. Right now, we are in a very, very high energy year. So that means we need to keep on top of things, or we will get swept away in the negativity and in the craziness, which we do not want to do.

So, these are examples of small productive goals. And then medium goals may be that you write a certain number of pages that day or that week. Because as a filmmaker, most of the time you’re writing your script or you’re writing your promotional material or emails or grants, etc.  And put down actions too.  Ones like I contact three people today for funding, this is also a medium to large goal.

 

 

Why “The Secret” Did Not Work for Many People

I attend a lot of classes where we are told, ‘Oh, you just sit in the chair and you say you’re a millionaire and millions come to you.’ And we know that’s not true, but it is absolutely true that we can create anything we want. We just need to get out of our own way.

It’s feeling into the energy and talking about it to the universe. And just looking at the numbers like, let’s say I need $100,000 for myself. Okay, I’m going to choose to go for this. All right? And then you create that goal and then you start asking questions of the universe. 

What energy can I be today, universe, that would create this? Where can I go to find this funding? What can I do today in this moment to really, really get progress on this goal?

Because what also happens with goals is, as we set expectations.  We all do it regardless of whether we admit to it.  Sometimes we get disappointed because our expectations are not met in the timeframe that we would like. So, the more we can just be in the energy, talking to the goals, allowing energy to move and showing us and asking the universe to show us what’s stopping us is a really, really big thing.

One of the big exercises that you can do is, get a journal, and draw a line down the middle. On the right you write what is happening. And on the left you write what you would like to happen.

An example is, I write on the right I have more bills than income. And on the left I write I would like to create money to pay off all my bills

Now you start asking, okay, so what am I doing wrong? What is going on that is creating the opposite?  And just see what happens and what you hear because the universe is happy to tell you the problems, but we need to be open to hearing it.

Sometimes the universe makes you aware of where you’re overspending, where you’re emotionally spending, where you’re not allowing other people to contribute to you. Now you can write these down under what you don’t want and then you start looking at the behaviors that you can change to solve the problem.

Setting Boundaries for Yourself

One of the biggest things I ever learned was setting boundaries.  Here’s what I recommend people do.

Before you get out of bed in the morning you take a deep breath.  Say, ‘I hear by now and forever on all levels of my being set 100% healthy boundaries on people, negative energy and negative self talk.’ Then, take a deep breath and blow it out.

This pushes people’s energy out of your field. Now you add anything and everything to that. If you’re fighting with an ex, you put boundaries on that person, on their energies. If you’re doing negative self-talk, if you’ve got a specific thing, like your relationship like with your mother. You can put boundaries on your relationship with your negative self talk relationship with your mother. And if you start doing that, that will help you get clear thinking.  You can focus more on your goals and be present in the now.

The more you can set the boundaries, the more you can think clearly. And it was life changing when I figured that out about 15 years ago. Now it also helps when you are feeling great and then you’ll talk to somebody and you feel like you were hit by a bus. That’s a boundary violation. So, you walk away, you say I set 100% healthy boundaries on that person and all their energies and then inhale and exhale and remove it.

Carole, I love your filmmakers and I believe that film is one of the few forms of freedom of speech we have left. Through films people are more willing to look at important issues. I think it’s awesome and  I love and I support the work you do at From the Heart Productions.

 

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

How Indie Filmmakers Can Survive California’s AB-5 Labor Law

The New Law Disrupts How Non-Union Cast and Crew Are Employed.  We Invited An Expert to Answer Questions from Filmmakers on Navigating the Changes.

by Carole Dean

Veteran entertainment attorney Mark Litwack’s practice includes work in the areas of copyright, trademark, contract, multimedia law, intellectual property and book publishing. As a producer’s representative, he assists filmmakers in arranging financing, marketing, and distribution of their films.

AB-5

Your Freelance Crew on Your Film Are Now Your Employees

Mark has packaged movie projects and served as executive producer on many feature films. He has provided legal services or worked as a producer rep on more than 200 feature film. He’s the author of six books that are all invaluable for filmmakers.  Mark has been a generous donor to the Roy Dean Film Grant for years.

I invited him on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast to help us understand the recently enacted California Assembly Bill AB-5.  The bill went into effect January 1st, 2020 and will impact the employment status for many on nonunion film productions.  It will restrict the use of 1099’s.  Employers are now required to use what is called the ABC test to determine if an employee should be classified as an independent contractor.

Here are the edited highlights:

Can you give us some background and overview of the new law, please?

The California legislature passed this law to codify the principles of a recent 2018 court decision that’s referred to as the Dynamex case in which the Supreme court revised the prior test called Barrello for determining which workers are considered employees and which should be considered independent contractors.

The reason for this new law was to stop some labor practices that were considered abusive.  Namely companies in the gig economy like Uber and Lyft who would hire drivers as independent contractors then deny them benefits that employees have, such as a minimum wage, overtime, rest breaks. In addition, employees compared to independent contractors have the right to form a union.  Independent contractors must pay all the social security and Medicare costs.  They are also not eligible for unemployment insurance.

Basically AB-5 creates an assumption for employers. Consider all workers as employees, unless the employer can prove the worker’s role is an independent contractor according to the state’s new criteria.

Most independent filmmakers, if they wanted to play it safe, would hire a payroll company and pay most, if not everyone, as an employee to avoid any potential penalties. The prior law SB -459, enhanced the penalty for employers who misclassify personnel penalties range from $5,000 to $15,000 per violation.  Where there was a pattern or practice of violations, the penalty could increase from $10,000 to $25,000 per violation.

My guess is there’s an awful lot of independent filmmakers with people they hired as independent contractors when they should have been employees.  It just never surfaced or came to light.

Much of the change has to do with government wanting to make sure taxes get collected.

The government is more likely to receive taxes if they were automatically taken out of an employee’s paycheck than if the gross amount is paid to an independent contractor. That’s why the IRS takes the position that, for most people working on film production, they should be classified as employees, not independent contractors.

They obviously want taxes withheld. If the person is being employed through a loan out company, then the loan out company will withhold taxes. This should not pose a problem for the producer. Moreover, if the person is being hired, not just for their time but, but also equipment is being supplied, it is more likely to pass muster as an independent contractor. But simply calling a person you hire an independent contractor or using an independent contractor form of contract does not by itself give you much protection.

How do you decide who is an employee and not an independent contractor?

In determining whether or not an individual is providing service as an independent contractor or an employee, it can be basically distilled down to what’s called a control test. Simply put, an employee is an individual who the employer has the right to exercise control over the manner and the means by which they perform their services.  An independent contractor is sort of being hired for the end result.

So, if you hired a painting company to come and paint your house, they show up at your house.  You will often supply the paint, although you often get to choose the color.  They supplied the ladders, they supply the equipment, they supply the painters, and they paint your house. And maybe it takes a week and then they leave. And you, the homeowner, you’re not in the painting business and you can just pay them as an independent contractor. They’re in the painting business and that painting company, if they hire people, you know who worked for them, those people should be classified as employees.

So, in a movie, the director pretty much controls how everyone on the set does their job. Actors can’t change their role. They can’t decide when they want to show up. Everything is tightly, should be tightly choreographed, otherwise, you know, the shoot is going to be a disaster.

Exactly. Let’s go over that ABC test. Can you tell us what that is?

The ABC test requires that the hiring entity establish each of the following three factors to classify workers as independent contractors.

The first is “A”, that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work.   

“B” is that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity, the employer’s business.

“C” is that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.

This new law creates specific exceptions and says the law can be applied somewhat retroactively. The exceptions fall into several different categories. (There are) certain exempt occupations, contracts for certain professional services, specific businesses, certain business to business contracting relationships…

But there is no specific exemption for filmmakers or those who work in film or television.

 

 

We’re still out here trying to figure out how to work within these laws. Most of my questions I’ve taken from filmmakers and I so appreciate your helping us to get clarity on this. One filmmaker asks, how does AB-5 affect non-union films?

It affects both union and nonunion films, but union productions already pay 95% of their workers as employees, not as independent contractors. And for this reason, unions believe that this law does not affect them. The unions have also said that they don’t think this law affects using loan out companies, but some attorneys are not so sure. For nonunion employees who were paid as independent contractors, the employer can be liable. The filmmaker can be liable if they are misclassified.

The safest thing to do, frankly, is to hire a payroll company. And let the payroll company deduct taxes and social security.

Some of the filmmakers are wondering should they create their own loan out company like create an LLC or an S Corp or even a single member LLC. If they decided they wanted to become a loan out company, what would you suggest they consider? Which type of a corporation?

What are we talking about crew now? People being hired? Yes. Well, it appears that they can.  They can set up a separate loan out company, which is considered a separate legal entity from them personally. And the purpose of loan out companies is basically to save on taxes.

When an actor sets up a loan out company, they usually own it 100%. When they get hired by a studio, they say to the studio instead of hiring me directly as an employee, I want you to contract through my loan out company for my services. So, the studio enters into a contract with the loan out company, which is 100% controlled by the artist. They also get the artist to sign what’s called an inducement agreement which binds the artists directly to the obligations.  The studio can pay a flat fee to the loan out company.  The loan out company hires you and pays you. But, the loan out company is your employer. They are the ones who should be deducting and paying taxes.

A lot of people want to, if they’re in the business, they want to set up a corporation or an LLC.  That gives them some insulation.  Because if things go bad, you could find yourself in a lawsuit.  As a sole proprietorship, even if you founded it as DBA.  A DBA is just a fictitious business name. It doesn’t give you any legal protections at all.

Let’s talk about labor versus gear rental fees. For freelance cinematographers, can they receive a 1099 for their gear rental and a W2 for labor on the same job?

Yes, they can. When you rent equipment, you’re not hiring someone. There’s no employment relationship there because you’re not hiring someone.  These rules about whether you’re an independent contractor or an employee have to do with hiring people to provide services. When you’re renting equipment that’s totally different.

Right. Okay. Got it. Part of the law says collaborating with the same people often could demonstrate that you are dependent on that one job and therefore an employee. What if you’re working as an adviser and most of your work is for one company?  But you have no call time and you can work when you set appointments. How would you classify this?

Well, this is gray areas here. And you know, one of the problems with this whole scheme of treating employees and independent contractors differently is it’s not always crystal clear whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor.  They could fall within this gray area where it’s not so clear.  So, there’s dangers.

My advice is if you’re concerned about being fined the safest thing to do is to hire them through a payroll company. Hire them as an employee and have taxes deducted. There’s no risks for that. It’s only if you hire someone who’s deemed an employee and you pay them as an independent contractor then you have some risk.

So, it’s much cheaper for you to just abide by the law until it’s amended to include the film industry or new laws are made. The safest thing you can do financially is to either start the loan out company or just hire a payroll company.

Right.  And by the way, those penalties are for violating the law.  There could be additional penalties. For instance, if you hired someone as an independent contractor and they should have been employees and they also worked a lot of overtime.  Now, you might also be liable for violating the overtime statute. So yeah, there could be a whole, a whole bunch of potential problems.

Oh my gosh. A letter I received said an option to consider is hire an entertainment law firm. If you’re a producer that has employment contracts in place drafted after 2020, you could potentially be subjected to tax penalties and lawsuits by both city and state of California. Does this mean that even if you have contracts in place, you could be fined if you were paid wrong?

Yes. When the courts look at a contract, if the contract says this is a contract for the sale of a duck, but it’s obvious what you bought instead was the chicken. The court’s not going to be fooled. you know? So, if you say this person is an independent contractor just because the contract says this person is an independent contractor, then it doesn’t make right.

If they should have been an employee, the contract’s not going to fool anyone. I’m not sure most independent filmmakers need to hire an entertainment law firm specifically for this. I would say hire a payroll company. 

If you hire a payroll company, you will probably be okay because this is exactly what the payroll company has expertise in.

If you’re uncertain about what to do, you can hire an attorney. But my guess is that most of the time, if you just had a payroll company that would solve the problem.

 

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

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

How an invitation to a movie set changed my life and helped spark a revolution in independent filmmaking

by Carole Dean

It was early 1970 and a lovely Friday morning, my favorite day, because I was going to my favorite hairdresser in the valley.  Connie Stevens was a movie star in the 70’s and she owned this lovely salon with the best hairdressers in LA.   My curly hair would be straightened and then piled on top of my head in a “beehive” of cascading curls.  It was a time when straight hair was in, some women were actually ironing their hair to get the last kink out of it.

Short Ends

Driving home with my hair full of spray net, I was totally focused on what to wear as this was a special night.  Mike Joyce had invited me to go to the set of a top TV show.  Mike was a camera man who loaded the film on the camera and handled the distance finder.  

He met me at the gate and escorted me to a captain’s chair saying Visitor…and put me near the action. David Jansen was at his height of power as the Doctor chasing the one-armed man who had killed his wife and Jansen was being charged with the murder. 

Once seated the fun began.  It was lights, camera, action and then it was Reloading….and I saw Mike take this large magazine that held the unexposed raw Kodak film stock off the camera and go to the dark room.  He was soon back with what looked like the same magazine and once it was back on the camera, the Director of Photography said,” Ready” to the Director, who said, Lights, and the set lit up, camera and then action. 

And in just a few minutes and they did the same thing all over again.  This happened 4 times in a row and David Jansen was all upset.  He was stomping around the set saying his lines out loud, and then the same thing would happen again.

The Invention of “Short Ends”

Once we were off the set, I asked Mike what was happening.  The set fiasco was more exciting than watching them shoot The Fugitive, that was boring.

Mike explained that David was flubbing his lines and it was a long scene.  So, when David got the lines wrong, they had to put in a new roll of film to get the entire scene at once.

Well, what do you do with those little old “Short Ends” of film I asked?  We write the footage on the can, tape up the cans them send them to the film department and get new rolls.  What?  You don’t use that film, no, said Mike.  One mistake in this business and you are history.  I can’t take a chance that the film is good.  But Mike you just loaded it yourself.

Mike said, “Not one assistant cameraman will use those, what did you call them?  Short Ends.  No, we know we can get new rolls.” 

My mind was spinning, I had been looking for something that I could do, and this seemed like it was a business in the making.

Well, what if I bought that stock and sold it to these new independent filmmakers?  No, Mike said, no one in their right mind would ever buy film stock that did not come from Kodak.  Forget about it.  Waste of time.  That will never work.

My $20 Business Idea

He was adamant.  But I was not convinced.  You know how you feel when a light bulb goes off inside you and you know this is a good idea?  That’s just how I felt.  I knew I could create a small business buying this left-over stock and selling it to the independents.

All of the union filmmakers like Mike were horrified at the growth of the independent film business.  Those people were not in the union and the word was to never deal with them, don’t help them in any way. 

The cameraman’s union was father to son.  It was only because Mike Joyce’s father was a cameraman that he was allowed to get into the local 659 union.  These independents could shoot films much cheaper and steal shots without permits.  They were brilliant at finding up-coming actors and directors to work for them for peanuts.  The proletariat said they were the dirt of the earth and had to be stamped out quickly.

How do you start a business?  I called city hall and they helped me find how to get a business license and it was very cheap to get a Doing Business As certificate.  Next,  I found I could rent a typewriter for $10.00 a month and off I went to the library to get copies of the Hollywood production companies.  I also copied the animation people., I was not sure what they did but I knew I had to include them.

So far, this was not too expensive.  It was a $20.00 investment.  Now the hard work started.  I hand typed 250 letters and send them to the companies and animators in Hollywood. I got one phone call. 

Vick Shank was an animator in the valley, and he said he would take a chance on 2000 feet of 35mm raw stock.  Fantastic!  I closed him, got the agreement he would have a check ready for me, and said that in 2 days I would deliver the film.

High Heels, Long Legs, and Need for Film

Now, I had the sale but no raw stock.  This was I felt the easy part, to buy the stock.  It never entered my mind that I could not get the stock.  From what I heard they sold it for the silver content for pennies.

Bill Wiedmeyer was the head of Columbia Pictures Studios.  Everyone said he was a nice man, so I call and got an appointment with him.  Walked in with my new mini skirt dress, with my long legs in high, high-heels and my hair in the famous be hive.  He pulled a chair up next to his desk and had me sit there next to him.

He immediately opened his drawer and took out the scissors and said, Lean over here.  I did and he cut off the price tag of my new dress.  At first, I was embarrassed but forget that, I was on a mission, so I just let that go and hoped he would hear me out.

Bill was a delightful man, we chatted for about 20 minutes on the state of the industry at that time and discussed our favorite films.  A Man and A Woman, was the French film that everyone was discussing and he loved that I had seen it.

Finally, I asked him if he would consider selling me some short ends of film.  I told him about my new business.  He thought that was wonderful and I gave him a good price for the film because I had already sold it and I was ready for a nice negotiation.

But he didn’t negotiate.  He took me to the vault and showed the thousands of cans of film and I was in heaven!  Here was my inventory, all I had to do was sell it.

Now, the only problem was I didn’t have any money.  So, I said let me have 3,000 feet today and I will be back and buy all your film.  He started to laugh.  You want me to take a check for $90.00?  I will have so much explaining to do, they will never believe me.   Now was the time to convince him that he would be so happy when I sold all his film and he just sat back in his seat and looked at me.  I knew he was thinking so I sat very still and let him think.

Yes, I will do this for you, he said, and got up and went to the vault again and pulled some cans of the shelf, took my check and I was in business.

Completing My First Short Ends Sale

If I was fast enough, I could get to Vick’s office today.  So I ran home, cleaned the film cans with Comet then rubbed them down with tea towels to make the shine.  I asked Vick to get my check ready.  I delivered the film and got to the hank to deposit his check to cover my check to Columbia because I did not have $90.00 in my account!

That was a memorable day.  It was empowering.  It meant that yes, there is a market for this film. I just needed to find the people who will buy it.  Vick said to try other animators as 100 fee was a day’s work for him, so he was set for weeks.

Now, it seemed to me that to get more customers I needed to have a reference.  So, each day I created a reason to call Vick.  What I really wanted to know was if the film was good and to see how he was and if he was enjoying using the short ends.  Finally, I got up the courage to ask him if I could use him as a reference.  “I will agree on one condition,” “OK, I said, anything you want Vick!”  He replied, “just stop calling me so I can do the work!”

Now armed with a vault full of film stock, one reference, and lots of confidence all I had to do was get on the phone and learn how to sell these little old short ends.

Helping Independent Filmmakers Finally Get Their Films Made

This little ‘ol short ends business took off.  Kodak loved me because I put value to their left-over stock.  They often sent me customers. 

What really happened is that many directors of photography who are now revered as some of our “greatest” started with the short ends we provided.  By providing film stock they could now afford, we helped many directors, writers and producers create their future.  It gave them a chance to make their movies. 

We sold to Cassavetes and Roger Corman who started the careers of Martin Scorsese and James Cameron.  Rudy Ray Moore, “Dolemite”, was able to shoot his features with our film stock.  We took credit cards too!  Robert Townsend and other filmmakers loved this. 

We ended up with three offices. Hollywood on Highland Blvd off Sunset, The Film Center Building in New York City, and one in downtown Chicago. 

Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do what you know you can do!!  Just smile at critics and do it anyway.  Where there is a will, there is a way.

 

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

 

How to Use Relaxation to Unlock Your Creativity

“They call creative people ‘daydreamers’ because we are much more creative when we relax.”

by Carole Dean

About three years ago, I found Reiki master Sevina Altanova and have been receiving highly beneficial Reiki treatments weekly.  Her relaxation techniques have made a huge difference in my work.  Since I’ve been getting treatments, I’ve stepped up writing more blogs for filmmakers, I’m creating a new online film funding course, and designing a new eBook for filmmakers who join our mailing list. 

 

“We are over-scheduled, overstimulated, overworked, overburdened and we need a practical way to overcome the bad health effects of our high-pressure lifestyle.” Sevina Altanova

 

She recently founded her own company, Stress Management Resources.  “People who are constantly engaging their minds may not realize that this hampers their creative impulses. For filmmakers, it is very important for you to relax in order to boost your creativity.”

As a guest on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast, Sevina offered tips on how to improve your relaxation and discussed the life changing relaxation techniques I’d learned over the years.

Daydreaming Can Create your Future

 According to research in neuroscience, creativity occurs in the moments of rest rather than while we’re working on or thinking. So, do yourself a favor, schedule time to daydream. Perhaps in your daydream, you see your finished film on the screen in your favorite screening room and feel your success as you jump out of your seat and bow to your standing ovation.

Physicist Fred Alan Wolf, author The Dreaming Universe, told me in an interview, “when you are daydreaming you are really creating your future. It’s like a handshake across time.”  Later in your life when you experience this event, you feel like it has happened before.  That is because you truly experienced it in your dreaming time, which can create your future.

It created my future.  During boring school classes I put on a bright smile and took off to be on the set with my favorite movie stars and watch films getting made.  I was flying over the Great Serengeti and watching the wilder beast migrate, I was gliding down the Nile on a slow boat and riding elephants in India. 

All these things I experienced almost exactly as I had day-dreamed them.  I remember flying low over the wildebeest and in fact when I went to Kenya, I saw the same vision I had in meditation while I was ballooning over the wilder beast. It felt just like I had imagined, before I even knew what ballooning was.  These experiences all felt like they were deja vous, like I had done it before and in fact I had.

 

 

Meditation Manifests Miracles

Sevina highly recommends meditation. “Did you know that meditation is over 5,000 years old? People do meditation to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds and reconnect with their spirit. The most important things in meditation is that you are connecting with your higher self.  Meditation lets the mind relax.” 

As a 40-year meditator, I fully agree. While I was running three offices, NY, Chicago and LA I meditated twice daily.  That was a time you could not talk about meditation or they thought you were a “kook.”  Especially when you were in the business of film and talking to engineers. 

So, I learned quickly to find a quiet place, tell no one, and just disappear for 20 minutes.  In NYC, that was the air conditioner room and in L.A., the office supply room. I would put a note on the door, “taking inventory,” but they knew I was meditating as it soon became very quiet in that place.

This was the most beneficial thing I could have done to help me run three offices at once.  At some point, I read about TM, transcendental meditation, and decided to try it.  Little did I know that Seinfeld and Paul McCartney and David Lynch were all hiding in closets like me.  All of us were experiencing reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep, greater clarity, calmness and a great memory.

I still do this twice a day and now I have a pathway to heaven.  I created a super-highway in the circuits of my brain, so I go to a quiet state quickly and 20 minutes evaporates.  It is the way to live your life with less stress. 

Sevina says, “Any type of meditation that works for you is what you should do.  A walking meditation works for some people, a driving meditation works for some.”  (I always end up in some strange location so I can’t do this!) 

Find what works for you and be good to yourself, put this in your google calendar MEDITATTE MY FUTURE INTO BEING

Music Does Sooth the Beast in Us

“You can relax by listening to soothing music” says Sevina. An article by John Stuart Reid, cymascope.com, says experimentation has found viable red blood cells remained higher in number when exposed to music vs silence, indicating promising results for healing. He says that music therapy, a concept first espoused by Pythagoras of Samos 2,500 years ago, is gaining popularity for depression and relieving anxiety.

“There are millions of studies that show that meditation decreases stress. It will decrease your blood pressure and you have quality sleep. Your entire health will improve, and you will get a stronger immune system.

“When you practice meditation or relaxation, you connect with your partner much better.  You can even resolve problems easily.  Because you are coming from the perspective of love and understanding, you have this ability because now you are relaxed.”

Breathing Exercises are Perfect Before Meetings

Relaxation can decrease stress and tension in a matter of minutes.  Learn to control your nervous system through relaxation practices such as meditation, Reiki, breathing exercises and yoga.  It’s very, very easy.  Anything that brings you joy and calms you down is relaxing.

I want to share a breathing exercise that is incredibly super simple, quick, and beneficial.

You take a deep breath, hold it for three seconds and you slowly exhale. If you repeat this three-to five times, taking deep breaths and holding them for three to six seconds then slowly exhale, you will find after the fifth time your body starts relaxing.

This is something you can do anywhere, before a meeting or a at rehearsal or before you pitch your film.

Please check out Sevina’s website at www.stressmanagementresources.com.  She has meditations, deep relaxations, she does Hypnotherapy and relaxations on SKYPE.  Sevina.altanova@gmail.com.  She is dedicated to helping filmmakers improve their health and create their art.  She is also doing some mindful eating workshops soon that all of us can benefit from.

 

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