Using the Mighty 990 to Fund Your Film

Before You Apply for a Grant, Take a Peek at Who Grantors Funded in Past

by Carole Dean

Where do you start? I read thousands of proposals a year for my Roy W. Dean film grants. I know what wins grants and what turns judges off quickly. Getting it right can be a piece of cake.

Documentary film funding starts with a well-written, organized proposal. It outlines your film’s story, background, and need. It also outlines the approach, structure and style in four to eight pages of dynamite passion.

It continues through finding the right grant for your film, by investigating a funding organization’s 990 as well as reaching out to the right person at that organization who can help you get funded. 

Getting started may be the hard part, when really, this is the best part

Just write page after page of your visions for the film. Don’t worry if you only need a 6 page proposal and you now have 25 pages, just keep putting down what you “see” happening in your film. Focus on your vision of the film.

I realize that you are not sure what your subjects may say in the interviews, but if you did your research thoroughly, you know the subject matter. So, tell it to us as a compelling story and any people you have secured for the film, tell us their story.

Your proposal needs to be a visual description of your film

It’s there somewhere in those 25 pages of written material so read them carefully and find the best visual sections to paste into your proposal. Now, read it over and create your first three dynamite paragraphs that tell me a compelling story.

Put time into this because it is my introduction to your film. You may have been working on it for over a year, but this is my first look. You need to condense the film to three paragraphs to engage me because the first paragraphs are the most important part of the application. It tells me you are a good writer and it shows me your vision of the film.

Don’t start by writing in your proposal how much this film is needed

With our Roy W Dean Grant, we fund stories about interesting characters and concepts. The biggest mistake is to tell us the history in the beginning or to tell us how much this film is needed or that you want to send a message.

Remember, Harry Warner said, “If you want to send a message, go to Western Union, if you want to make a picture, tell me a story!”

That’s just what we want, stories, keep telling us the story and let me see the film it as I read the story.

Who is your audience?

Now, take those 25 pages, cut and paste the information into the background, and keep that separate from the theme and separate from the approach, structure and style. We also want to know how you will market your film. Only 1 in 1000 docs gets a theatrical release and that does not always have a financial return.

Creative filmmakers are building audiences for their films on the web by organizing communities around the film’s issues and these people are donating to their films and waiting to pay for downloads. You should consider distributing it yourself to sell on your website.  Instead of a percentage of each download, you will make the full price.

What are your marketing plans? 

Outreach is a major key to socially oriented films; we want to know that the people who need the film will see it so put outreach in the budget. Did I lose you with that last word?

Well, you have to face the music and go to the left brain now and do a budget but never fear Maureen Ryan www.producertoproducer.com  is perfect for you.  Maureen is an award winner producer of many great documentaries including Dick Johnson is Dead

Her website has sample budgets on her website which is dedicated to supporting independent film producers by sharing helpful and essential information about practical film production.

Using 990’s to find grants that match your project

Finding grants that match your material is paramount to the funding process. Go to
www.grantsmart.org and search for granting organizations by key words.  Once you find them; go to https://candid.org/.

You want to find and check out the Corporations 990 form which is part of their income tax, and candid.org has a slick 990-PF that shows you exactly where the most important funding information is located.  You can find the most recent 990’s at https://www.guidestar.org/

I know is sounds sneaky, to look into some corporation’s income tax, but all is fair in love and doc financing. You can access info on over 200,000 U.S. private and community foundations for free and you will find how much an organization donated in contributions, gifts and grants for prior years.

Don’t enter grants you don’t think you can win

Find a potential funder that matches your film and find the name of the operations officer and, most importantly, find who won last years and prior year’s grants. Is your film a fit? The biggest complaint is that too many people apply for grants that do not fit. See if you can find the prior winner’s web sites, they might even be willing to give you tips on entering this grant.

Don’t enter grants you don’t think you can win. Your time is too valuable, it is best to find grants you think you have the best chance of winning and then write a few more paragraphs in your proposal to tailor it just for them.

I know when someone reads my grant web site information because they say, “My film is unique and makes a contribution to society.” That’s my mission statement and I like to see this because I know they read the guidelines.

While you read each potential funder’s site, keep looking for questions that are not answered, like how many apps did they have last year and what is the amount of money they are giving this year.

Don’t be shy

Now comes the best part of funding. Get the list of corporations or non-profits you think are the best ones to submit your film. Find your question that was not answered on their web site.  Then, search for the name of the granting officer and phone number because you are going to call them!

Don’t be shy. You would never enter a grant without first making contact with the grantor. This is your great opportunity to introduce yourself and make an important connection.

Place your call in “prime time” from 10 to 12 or 2 to 4 and ask to speak directly to the operations officer in charge of the grant. If they don’t answer, try again later or get information on the best time to reach them.

“Touch my heart and I reach for my pocket book.”

Your job is to touch them, remembering that we communicate through the heart chakra.
I say, “Touch my heart and I reach for my pocket book.” Keep this in mind when creating your short pitch. This connection puts energy to your application; it is the voice behind the film.

Now what will you say when you get them on the phone? Go back to your 25 pages and create two lines that bring your film to life and tell them this story as your pitch. Tell them the title of your film and give them this short pitch. Don’t over pitch, that’s the worst thing you can do. Just tell them enough of the story line for them to remember you and the pitch.

You read this person’s bio on the site and you know the films she/he funded in the past.  You want to compliment them on their past selections, for their on-going contributions, and support of filmmakers.  Ask your question that was not answered on the web site.

Be relaxed, have your check list of these things in front of you and make a good impression and keep this phone call under three minutes. Be sure to listen to what they say. Let them talk.

Don’t forget to write and never give up

Once you hang up the phone, write them a nice Hallmark card and mail it that day. Be sure to thank them for the information. Give them your short pitch again in the card. You now have two connections with this person and when they see your application they will remember you through the call and the card and the story of your film.

Realize that we want to fund you; we are looking for emerging and established filmmakers with engaging stories to tell.

We know you are talented, most of the people who give grants are not filmmakers, we are your admirers, and we are astonished at your talents.

The golden rule in applying for grants is “never give up.” Keep going back, I have funded 2 films that entered my grant 3 times, I love filmmaker’s tenacity.

 

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 

How Your Film Team Can Become a Mastermind Team

Take your film production team and turn it into a powerful “creative machine” to help you fund and finish your film  

by Carole Dean

I am sharing the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, with our Film Funding Guidance Class. We have the class every two weeks for filmmakers who are fiscally sponsored by From the Heart Productions.

This book could have been written entirely for the film industry.

Mastermind Team

The Power of the Mastermind as The Driving Force for Success

“Power is essential for success in the accumulation of money” states Napoleon Hill. “Plans are inert and useless without sufficient power to translate them into action. Power may be defined as ‘organized and intelligently directed knowledge.’

“Power, as the term is used here, refers to organized effort, sufficient to enable an individual to transmute desire into its monetary equivalent. Organized effort is produced through the coordination of effort of two or more people, who work towards a definite end, in a spirit of harmony.”  

You could not identify a film production crew any better than that statement.

When the director, producers, and cinematographer work together as a unit with a vision they are the power of the mastermind, a driving force. Even if there are only a two of you on the project right now, the two of you together create a mastermind, the driving force to riches.

Economic vs Psychic Mastermind Group

Napoleon goes on to say that, “to better understand the potential power available to you through a properly chosen mastermind group, we want you to understand one of which is economic in nature and the other is psychic. 

“The economic feature is obvious. Economic advantages may be created by any person who surrounds himself with the advice, counsel and personal cooperation of a group who are willing to lend him wholeheartedly aid in a spirit of perfect harmony. 

“This form of cooperative alliance has been the basis of nearly every great fortune. Your understanding of this great truth may determine your financial status.”

No Two Minds Ever Come Together Without Creating a Third

The psychic phase of the mastermind principle is much more abstract, much more difficult to comprehend because it has reference to the spiritual forces.

“No two minds ever come together,” Napoleon writes, “without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind. Keep in mind the fact that there are only two known elements in the whole universe, energy and matter likewise they are units of energy.” (This book was written 100 years ago.)

“The human mind is a form of energy a part of it being spiritual in nature. When the minds of two people are coordinated in a spirit of harmony, the spiritual units of energy of each line form an affinity, which constitutes the psychic phase of the mastermind.

“The mastermind principle, or rather the economic feature of it was first called to my attention by Andrew Carnegie over 25 years ago. Discovery of this principle was responsible for the choice of my life’s work.”

The Wealthiest Men in America Made Use of This Concept

Mr Carnegie’s mastermind group consisted of a staff of approximately 50 men, with whom he surrounded himself, for the definite purpose of manufacturing and marketing steel. He attributed his entire fortune to the power he accumulated through this ‘master mind.’”

“Analyze the record of any man,” Carnegie claimed, “who has accumulated a great fortune, and many will show you that they have consciously or unconsciously employed the mastermind principle.”

Hollywood Was Built on the Mastermind Concept

This is how films were made in Hollywood in the twenties and the thirties. Studios had groups of writers in one room.  It was not just one writer but sometimes five or even eight men were sitting there coming up with ideas it was common to have these mastermind groups write scripts.

Look at the old films and you’ll see that in watching the dailies or the rough cut there’s always a group of people sitting in the screening room and they are all giving their input. Not just one person, but a group of them giving ideas and using this master mind power to improve the film.

The Warner Brothers knew about the mastermind concept.  They knew that, when two or more were gathered, to use their power to focus on a successful outcome, that this is when the third mind, this psychic mind, the God mind, would appear with brilliant ideas and powerful suggestions.

They knew that two minds together, working towards one goal brought out the God mind which held the secrets of the universe.

Napoleon Hill says, “Great power can be accumulated through no other principle!” 

Wow, that is quite a statement.

Masterminds Can Convert Energy into Matter with Brilliant Ideas

Napoleon goes to say “energy is nature’s universal set of building blocks, out of which she constructs every material thing in the universe, including man and every form of animal and vegetable life through a process which only nature completely understands, she transforms energy into matter.

“Nature’s building blocks are available to man in the energy involved in thinking! Man’s brain may be compared to an electric battery. It is a well-known fact that a group of electric batteries will provide more energy than a single battery.

“The brain functions in a similar fashion. This accounts for the fact that some brains are more efficient than others and leads to this significant statement — a group of brain coordinated (or connected) in a spirit of harmony will provide more thought energy then a single brain, just as a group of electric batteries will provide more energy than a single battery.

“Through this metaphor it becomes immediately obvious that the mastermind principle holds the secret of power wielded by men and women who surround themselves with other men and women of brains.”

Our Presidents Use this Mastermind Concept for Guidance

Our presidents do this, they have boards of wealthy successful businessmen who give them basic ideas and advice.

A friend of mine, Sonny Fassoulis, was on the president’s Advisory Board for his knowledge of the Far East.  He walked across China getting back to his squadron after he was shot down over the Himalayas during World War II.

He became friends with Chiang Kai-shek, a politician, revolutionary and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China. Sonny actually flew him around China and then at 23 he took over all the imports to China.

He knew China and the surrounding areas and was of much help to our Presidents.  Sonny would fly at his own expense to Washington monthly and join an advisory board which contained some of the top brains in the United States. 

Minds Working in Harmony

When a group of individual brains are coordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance becomes available to every individual brain in the group.

Men take on the nature and the habits and the power of thought of those with whom they associate in a spirit of sympathy and harmony.

The chief source from which power may be attained is infinite intelligence. When two or more people coordinate in a spirit of harmony, and work towards a definite objective, they place themselves in position, through that alliance, to absorb power directly from the great universal storehouse of infinite intelligence.

This is the greatest of all sources of power. It is a source to which the genius turns. It is the source to which every great leader turns.

What is paramount to success is to understand that, to achieve the greatest results, you need to stay on a positive track even though someone suggests an idea that is outrageous you do not negate it; you build on it.

You build on an idea to something even more outrageous.  And, before the night is over, you have some incredible new ideas. Edward de Bonor wrote about this in his book Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step. It is very important that you keep negativity outside of these meetings. Let your imagination go free and have fun and once it is over you can find the jewels and implement them.

Wooing Money

Napoleon says something that’s very important for us and those of us who are in the throes of fund raising already know this very well.

“Money,” Napoleon comments, “is as shy and elusive as the old-time maiden. It must be wooed and won by methods not unlike those used by a determined lover, in pursuit of a girl of his choice.

“And coincidental as it is, the power used in the wooing of money is not greatly different from that used in wooing a maiden. That power when successfully used in the pursuit of money must be mixed with faith. It must be mixed with desire. It must be mixed with persistence.”

With that persistence, use your faith and desire to achieve your goal.  Never stop until it is achieved.

Money Goes to the Person, Not the Film

You really need to woo your potential donors. They need to know who you are because they need to like you and trust you.

This can take six months to a year maybe two years.  Tom Malloy, indie producer and co-instructor in my Intentional Filmmaking Class, talks about spending hours and sometimes even weekends with potential donors and finally getting the money.

He tells the story of a time when he had been wooing a potential donor for many months.  When, on a Saturday night, he was all comfortable at home with his family and the phone rang.  The potential investors said, “come over I want to talk to you.”

Tom got up from his comfortable couch, got dressed, and drove over to the investors home.  He spent the evening with him and guess what? He received an investment of $100,000 that night.

Think about it.  You’re not going to jump at an offer when you meet someone. I don’t care if it is the best offer you ever heard. You are giving your money to that person not to that film.  So, you want to know who is this person? Have they made films before? Are they trustworthy?

Think of a Donor or Investor as a Potential Soulmate

A good investor would want to spend time with that person before they wrote a large check.

You can’t just walk up to someone, show them your trailer, ask for a large donation and expect to walk away with it. You need to think of the ways that you woo potential partners and apply those to wooing your donors. 

For women, think of what you would do if you met someone that you thought might be your soulmate. What would you do? That’s exactly how you want to treat a donor or an investor.

Napoleon says, “When money comes in quantities known as ‘big money,’ it flows to the one who accumulates it, as easily as water flows downhill.”

You see that when someone does a good film, and they get a three-picture deal.

Getting Into the Flow of a River Going Downstream Brings Financing.

According to Napoleon Hill, there exists a great unseen stream of power.  It is like a river.  One side flows in one direction carrying all those onward and upward to wealth.  On the other side of the river, flowing in the opposite direction, are those unfortunate enough to get into it and not be able to extricate themselves from it.  This side flows downward to misery and poverty.

I am sure you have met some of those people. 

Remember in the film, Star Wars, where Han Solo, before leaving Yavin 4, said to Luke Skywalker “May the Force be with you.

This is the same thing Napoleon Hill is saying, get in the river that flows carrying all upward and onward to wealth.

 

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 

In Film Funding, Pleasant Persistence Pays Off!

Persistence is willpower and a good habit that will lead to success

by Carole Dean

Persistence is the habit of concentrating one’s thoughts upon building plans for the attainment of a definite purpose.   Persistence is a direct result of habit. Your mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experiences upon which it feeds.

Persistance

Using persistence to raise money and create your film takes a lot of courage. I see it all the time in the filmmakers we fiscally sponsor at From the Heart Productions and who apply for our Roy W. Dean Grant.

You want to believe in your heart that people really want to hear from you.  You want to believe that you are inviting them to join you in making your film. That you’re inviting them to join you in your distribution. 

If you are contacting them again for the second or third time consider this email to be a reminder, a gentle reminder, because persistence pays off. Persistence is the trait of any top salesperson.

Here’s how to develop persistence.

Go Until No

Producer Tom Malloy, who has raised millions for his films, his own saying that describes his belief in the power of persistence.  Go until no.  You want to keep asking until someone says, “absolutely no!  I will not fund your film.”

Then Tom says OK, I understand you won’t fund this film, but can I contact you when I start my next film? And always they say yes!  That is true persistence.

What is your motivation to contact people the third or fourth time?  To reach your goal.  Always work with your intention in mind.  Why do you need to send this email?  What is the benefit for you?  What is the benefit for the donor?  They need to be equal. 

You need to offer them something. Like putting their name on your website or listing their name in a rolling credit on the film or posting on social media the fact that they gave you money.  Find something to give to them.

Creating the Habit of Persistence

There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of persistence. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and little time or effort.

They are:

  1. A definite purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment. What is the amount of money you intend to raise at this time?  That is your burning desire, to hit that goal.
  2. A definite plan expressed in continuous action. Yes, you have a list of people to contact that you know like you and trust you and could contribute to your film.  Your plan is to get a large percentage of them to donate.  The normal rate is 5% of your data base.  You might set a goal of 30% of your data base will donate.  That is part of your plan.  Your persistence now is based on a plan to get 30% of your email base to donate.
  3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Definitely don’t discuss your goals with others, keep them to yourself.  People can’t understand how you can raise over $100K to make a film.  Set goals that you believe you can hit.  Because each time you hit a goal it empowers you.
  4. A friendly alliance with one or more person who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose. This could be your producer, your social networking person, your best friend. Many times, producers will take on a mentor even if they only talk to them once a month so that producers can empower through these conversations to feel comfortable to continue asking for money. Use someone who give you good feedback and someone that you enjoy talking to and always feel better after you talk to them.

Napoleon Hill, is his masterwork Think and Grow Rich that has guided thousands to success over nearly 100 years, says these four steps are essential for success in all walks of life. The entire purpose is to be able to take these four steps as a matter of habit. These are the steps by which one may control one’s economic destiny.

They are the steps that lead to freedom and independence of thought.

They are the steps that lead to riches, in small or great amounts.

They lead the way to power, fame, and worldly recognition.

They are the four steps which guarantee favorable breaks.

They lead to the mastery of fear, discouragement, indifference.

“There is a magnificent reward for all,” Napoleon Hill writes, “who learn to take these four steps. It is the privilege of writing one’s own ticket and making life yield whatever price is asked.” 

Why You Need Sticky Story

When you are sending out emails asking for donations, you need to be persistent.  People are all in a hurry, often over caffeinated so you want to make it very easy to send the money and make your “ask” emotional. 

Tell me a sticky story that the person can remember.  Dan and Chip Heath wrote a brilliant book, called Made to Stick.  After reading their book I created, with their approval, what I call a sticky story which has the elements mentioned in their book and I wrote it for filmmakers.

In a “sticky story”, you take all the knowledge you have on your film and transform it into a simple story that is easy to remember. The first rule is to keep it simple, find the core of the idea. You may have volumes of fascinating information but keep taking things away until you can’t take anything else out or you lose the essence.

How To Create Your “Sticky Story”

Find the Core

Think of journalists who create lead copy for articles, and you get the story in a few words, they prioritize. So, can you.

Something Unexpected

This simple story needs something unexpected; this is to be sure you get their attention.

You might ask a question that the film needs to answer. It can be a surprise like a shocking fact or a point of interest they will remember or a massive change in direction for the film.

Something Concrete

You need specific people doing specific things or give them some facts. Concrete ideas are easy for people to remember and they create a foundation.

Credible Information

This is what makes people believe your story. This can be a place for truthful core details and please make them as vivid as possible. We need to see your film from the words you use.

Find the Emotional Heart

I say, “touch my heart and I reach for my pocketbook.” We communicate through the heart chakra, so touch me with your story.  You can do this through one of your characters, let me feel them.

When you pitch me your “sticky story,” I want to walk away with your film in my mind forever. Then I can tell my friends that I invested/donated to your film and brag about it on my social media.

Remember, you have carried this film for several years and your audience is just hearing about it. That’s why brevity and a sticky story are needed to transmit your knowledge.

Don’t Forget to Write

First write down your story.  Next, begin to say it, so that you can put these elements into your own words.  That should give you a good pitch, an outline for a written “ask” for emails or letters.   I get letters all the time from organizations I donate to.  Letter writing is still appreciated. 

I understand that wealthy people always open a hand addressed envelope first.  Use good stationary, find paper with texture.  I like to think about people being in three categories.

Audible, you can hear this in their conversations, I heard, He said, did you listen to….

Visual people say I see what you mean, they visualize everything…

Kinesthetic people are the “feelers.”  For them you want textured paper.  It’s the feel of something that they use to judge you by.    That’s why I always pay a bit more for textured paper with our stationary.

You may also want to put a special stamp on the envelope.  The post office normally has stamps for the Arts that are beautiful and will really set your envelope aside from all other mail.  You might get some of artistic looking stamps to use for any correspondence.

Do You Really Deserve This Money? 

Now, it is up to you.  Are you open to receive?  Do you deserve $100K to fund your film?  Why should people give you money? 

You want to be totally open to receive.  You may have to convince yourself that YES, you are worthy, yes you will be honest and use the money to the benefit of all concerned and produce an excellent film.

Remember, fear is the worst of all enemies and can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage. I agree it is an act of courage to ask someone for money for your film.

I’ve never met a filmmaker who wasn’t a self-starter.  it’s your persistence and your willpower that creates your success with funding and finishing your film. 

 

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 

Using Your Subconscious to Create Your Future

If you can imagine and believe that you are already a successful filmmaker, you have taken the first step of being a successful filmmaker

by Carole Dean

One thing that nearly every filmmaker has is an abundance of creative imagination.   If you are seeking to prosper as a director, producer, or screenwriter, this is the resource which you need to tap.  And I don’t mean just using it to create a great story for a great film, but using it to create the reality in your mind that you are in the midst of a great career as a filmmaker.

 

 

As my fiscally sponsored filmmakers and readers know, Napoleon Hill is one my favorite authors.  I teach lessons from his monumental best-selling book Think and Grow Rich in our Film Funding Guidance Class every two weeks.

Through his work and others, we’ve learned that by using your imagination, you can create your desired reality in your subconscious.  By making it real to yourself there, it will become real in your life as well.

Using auto suggestion from the conscious to the subconscious

In Napoleon Hill’s chapter on auto suggestion, he goes into detail to explain that material cannot get into the subconscious mind without coming through the conscious mind. The reason you want to get information into the subconscious is because this is how you create your future.

Nature, he writes, has so built man that he has absolute control over the material which reaches his subconscious mind through his five senses. But the fact he does not exercise it explains why so many people go through life in poverty.

I impress upon our filmmakers the importance of writing out your desire and to read it aloud twice daily.

By following these instructions, you communicate the object of your desire directly to your subconscious mind in a spirit of absolute faith. Through repetition of this procedure you voluntarily create thought habits which are favorable to your efforts to transmute desire into its monetary equivalent.

Here is how Napoleon Hill suggests that you create your future:

FIRST: Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. You do not want to say I want plenty of money, you must be definite. Pick a number and state that number. Personally, I like to say a number, but I say over that number so I’m not putting any limits on what I can receive.  You must have a number; it is very important.

SECOND: Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. This might be you want to raise over $20,000 for your film. Next you have to promise that you’re going to work on your film so many hours a week in order to achieve that goal so promise 15 or 20 hours a week as a minimum promise because you need to put the work in to create the funds.

THIRD: Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire. Believe me, the universe is time sensitive so you need a month and a year when you want your return.

FOURTH: Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once whether you’re ready or not to put this plan into action.  I call this the “To Do” list.  Write down what you need to do to get that funding.  Like: expand your data base, create emails to “ask for money”, etc.

FIFTH: Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

SIXTH: Read your written statement aloud twice daily once before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. As you read it, see, feel, and believe yourself already in possession of the money.

You need to believe what you want so much that it happens

Napoleon explains that you must believe it when you say it. You must feel that it already exists and know this in your body and in your mind. This is a fact of such importance as to warrant repetition in every chapter of his book. And here he is absolutely right.   Repetition is important as this is a key to achieving your goal.

Author Neville Goddard, teaches us that you have to pretend like you have it.  I tell our filmmakers to go to bed at night with a “movie” of you in a new life and send that from the conscious to the unconscious. This is how we reach the unconscious which is a very important aspect of creating your future.

Napoleon says that man may be the master of his own earthly status and especially his financial status when he becomes able to influence his own subconscious. That is the most important thing we have to get across to ourselves today that the subconscious is running the show. Our job is to get the subconscious to believe we have what we want.

Creative imagination is a talent filmmakers have

Imagination is a key to your success. 

Napoleon says there are two forms of imagination.  One is synthetic imagination. This is arranging old concepts, ideas, or plans into a new combination. This creates nothing, it works with the material of experience, education and observation. It is most used by the inventor with the exception of the genius who draws upon the creative imagination when he cannot solve his problem through synthetic imagination.

The other is creative imagination This is the faculty through which hunches and inspiration are received. It is by this faculty that all basic and new ideas are handed over to man.  It is through this that thought vibrations from the minds of others are received. It is through this that one individual may “tune in” or communicate with the subconscious minds of other men.

Wow, that’s quite a statement from 100 years ago.   

Your brain is not just for storage 

In Lynne McTaggart’s The Field, we learned that the brain may be considered a sending and receiving unit rather than a storage facility. The brain receives information and sends it back out. From what we understand information comes from the quantum field.  Meaning that the quantum field has stored the knowledge since the beginning of time.  And, when we are using our true imagination, we can ask for guidance, or for a solution from this massive database.

This information will eventually come to you.  I’ll say it has been my experience that this comes to me in various ways.  Sometimes I get the though in my head, sometimes I hear the answer in a movie, or someone tells me the answer in a nonrelated conversation.  Just know when you ask, you will receive.               

What you want to look for is a strong desire that comes over you. It may be stimulated by what someone said or through a series of events, but it is so powerful that it has overtaken you.

The overwhelming desire is your creative imagination at work

This overwhelming desire is what you want to pay attention to. When I started my business of buying and selling motion picture raw film stock in the 1970’s, I just was overwhelmed with the knowledge that I could make a living buying short ends leftover from the studios and selling it to emerging independent filmmakers. No one could talk me out of it. And the fact that I didn’t have any money didn’t stop me because I was so determined that I knew in every bone in my body that I would be successful. 

People said you’ll never sell any film that doesn’t come direct from Kodak. And I had to totally ignore them. They said, “You don’t know raw stock, you don’t understand ASAs.”  They were right. I began researching and   I found a book from Kodak with the film stocks and just used that book.  It was simple.  The most important thing I learned from this is that your inner knowing is right.  Follow that “feeling.”

When you get an overwhelming feeling, you may want to put your mind to it and say OK this is what I want to do.  Say this is what I intend to do, so, now how do I do it?  And those are the questions that you take to the quantum field in your meditations, on your daily walks, when you are swimming, whatever you do where you can be completely open to ask and receive. 

Give yourself meditation or thinking time during the day.  Time you are all alone with no interruptions because sometimes the information comes like a flash out of the blue. This quiet time lets you receive. Through this you can get the guidance that you need to turn those strong desires into reality.

Use your creative imagination that you use for the film into your creation of your future

Napoleon Hill says the great leaders of business industry, finance, the great artists, musicians, and writers became great because they developed the faculty of creative imagination.

I think independent film makers were born with a creative imagination that tops the charts. You all are the most creative people that I have ever met in my life.  All of you just explode with creativity when you open yourself and receive it. You were born with this great gift of imagination.

Ideas are the beginning point of all fortunes. Ideas are products of the imagination.  

The story of Frank Gunsaulus                       

Napoleon Hill shares a story of a doctor, Frank Gunsaulus. This man was a preacher in the stockyard region of Chicago.  While he was going through school, he observed many defects in our educational system which he believed he could correct.

At this time his deepest desire was to become the directing head of an educational institution in which young men and women would be taught to learn by doing. He made up his mind to organize a new college in which he could carry out his ideas. He realized he needed $1,000,000 to put the project together.

Every time he thought about where he could find $1,000,000 he stopped right there.  And every night he took that thought to bed with him, that he needed $1,000,000, and he got up in the morning and he thought about it all day.  But then he recognized the only limitation is that which one sets up in one’s mind.

The only way to make something happen is to take an action on your dream!

He said finally I have a great idea, but I can’t do anything with it because I can never procure the necessary millions.

But one Saturday afternoon in his room, thinking of ways and means of raising the money, he said to himself “I’ve been thinking about this for two years, but I have done nothing. The time for action has come!”

He made up his mind that he would get the $1,000,000 within a week.  After he made this decision, he called the newspaper.  He announced that he would preach a sermon the following Monday morning entitled, “what I would do if I had $1,000,000.”

He wrote and rewrote his sermon and had it in perfect shape for the church. Next morning, he got up, he prayed, and he felt assured that the money would be forthcoming.  In his excitement, he didn’t recognize that he’d forgotten the sermon at home until he got to the church.  He couldn’t go back home for it was too late.  He had to just talk from the top of his head and from his heart.

“Reverend I liked your sermon.”

He delivered a wonderful sermon and quietly went to sit down on the front row.  At that time a man from the back of the church came down towards the pulpit an extended his hand and said, “Reverend I liked your sermon. I believe you can do everything you said if you had $1,000,000 to prove that I do believe in you, if you come to my office tomorrow morning I’ll give you the $1,000,000. My name is Phillip D Armor.” 

The pastor went to the office, got the check, and he founded the Armor Institute of Technology.  Mr Gunsaulus stopped dreaming about it and he finally took an action on his dream. That’s when it happens.  When you do something to make your dreams a reality.

So, what action do you have to take to get your film moving? Are you worried about crowd funding because you don’t have a large enough database?

My How to Fund Your Film class has nearly 3 hours of lessons, advice, and tips that I’ve used to help filmmakers raise over $30 million for their films.  If you have watched this class and have any questions, please email me at caroleleedean@gmail.com.

 

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 Passionate Pitch

Tips from Authors and Scholars on How to Successfully Pitch Your Film Project to Land Donors and Investors

by Carole Dean

One of the best books for filmmakers seeking funding is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  In his book, he explains how 500 men became wealthy by using the concepts he describes. 

Pitch Your Film

The key to selling your film to others is your faith. You need to have unwavering faith in yourself, in your film, and faith in your ability to pitch your film.

Many filmmakers want to become successful and rich.  They want knowledge and riches.  So why not use the material that made so many other successful people?

Film Pitch Advice…From Gandhi?

In a chapter on faith, Napoleon Hill shares the story of Mahatma Gandhi. Starting his career as a lawyer in India at the dawn of the 20th century, Gandhi eventually became a leader and inspiration for hundreds of  millions in India and around the world for civil rights and freedom.  

He writes that Gandhi wielded more potential power than any living man at that time despite the fact that he had none of the orthodox tools of power, such as money, battleships, soldiers or materials of warfare.

Gandhi, Hill writes, had no money, no home, no suit of clothes, but he had power. How did he come by that immense power?  He created it out of his understanding of the principle of faith and through his abilities to transplant that faith into the minds of 200 million people.

This is very similar to your job as a filmmaker, which is to create faith in your potential donors when you pitch your film.

You want people to believe in you and have the faith and believe that you can perform and deliver a successful film on time and on budget. They want to believe that you will successfully complete your film.

Have Unwavering Faith in Yourself

The key to selling your film to others is your faith. You need to have unwavering faith in yourself, in your film, and faith in your ability to pitch your film.

I have many filmmakers call me for questions and when we’re talking, I often say, “pitch me your film.” They say well I’m not good at pitching, but I will read you what I have, or I will try to give it to you.

This is not what it takes to fund your film.  People must hear your enthusiasm, your confidence.  You need to learn how to sell your film with your pitch. Don’t miss a good opportunity to pitch your film for any reason.

You want to have total faith in you and your film. If you do not have faith in yourself and in your film, people will feel unsure about you.

You’ve Got Just 30 to 60 Seconds

Your film pitch should be part of your DNA. You always need to carry it with you.  You need know in every fiber of your being, that you can successfully pitch the Queen of England or the homeless man on the street. That faith inside you will come through in your language, your eye contact, your posture.

You want to be excited about your film and let me hear that excitement in your voice. Your whole body should light up when you start to pitch because you are talking about your precious art.

Albert Mehrabian is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, who researched the importance of verbal and nonverbal communication.  He says that people make decisions within 30 to 60 seconds of meeting you.

The first decision they make is whether they like you and trust you. That’s the most important decision they’re going to make.

You must get through that like-you-trust-you barrier in order for you to get a donation or a discount or the best DP for your film. Everything you want comes from the way you pitch your film.

People Give Money to People, Not to Films

Professor Mehrabian says that 55% of your potential donor’s decision is made by how you present yourself.

Do you have direct eye contact? Can you look someone right in the eye and pitch them without ever wavering and show total confidence and total belief in you and your film?

He says that your posture is important.  You must sit up straight be proud of yourself and carry yourself with dignity and confidence.

I know from pitching donors for the grant that you want to feel 100% confidence in yourself. You’re asking someone for their hard- earned money.

The point is that people give money to people not to films. That’s what they think.  They decide if they trust you and then they give the money to the film.

Keep in mind that you are the film. When you are pitching your film, it is part of you, and your goal is to make people feel they can trust you.

You may not realize that your body language gives off subliminal clues that your donor will pick up immediately. You need to be absolutely relaxed, confident, assured that you will be able to raise the money for the film. Any doubt that you have could be detected easily by donors.

Calm Down, Chill Out and Be Your True Self

While your physical actions represent a 55% chance of success or your audio, your voice represents 38% of the decision-making process to your donor.  This is based on what you say and most importantly how you say it.

You need to be excited and thrilled about your film. You need to be spreading this joy and happiness and success to the donor.  Make them want to be part of your film.

If you are the least bit depressed, sad, or not in a good mood, don’t go to a meeting and don’t get on the phone to pitch someone.  It may be the only opportunity you have with that person.  Don’t take a chance.

Just say this is not the day and then get yourself back in shape because you must be happy, successful, joyful, confident, and thrilled with the opportunity to share the information about your film. 

Your voice is an important decision maker for them. If you seem disinterested, slow down too much, or if you’re dragging your feet and pausing too much in your delivery, you will turn them off.  They will feel that you are not confident.

If you’re not excited about a project, how can they get excited?

You want your pitch to be so well delivered that you have no doubt that you can fund your film and that you can create a film that is even better than they can imagine.

To do this, you need to get across to the potential donor or investor that they can trust you. They need to like you and trust you.

Practice, Practice, and then, More Practice

Now the shocking part of Mehrabian’s information is the percentage given to the pitch. What percentage of persuasive power is in the words of the pitch? Only 7%. So, this is a very important number for you to realize. Your posture, your confidence, your belief in yourself are the key to funding your film.

The most important thing is to create faith for yourself and in your film through your posture, your appearance, your voice, your enthusiasm and finally through the words of your pitch. The best way to do this is practice and more practice. A good mantra for you to keep saying is “Practice makes perfect.”

Tom Malloy who has raised more than $25 million practices in front of the mirror. That’s right, he’s an actor, yes, but he’s also a writer, a film producer, and now he has directed his first film.  All of that is due to his belief in himself.

Tom knows that you must be excited and passionate when you pitch. Your passion really should help you be exploding with high energy.  You want to be able to answer any questions quickly, confidently, assuredly, and never say oh well that’s not my job that’s what the accountant does. 

Your job is to know everything about the film. You should know the budget inside and out and be prepared to defend every line item. You should know everything about your team members be very proud of them and the prior work they have created. Everything is a matter of faith in yourself and in your film.

Convince Your Subconscious That You are Living Your Dream

Author Neville Goddard was one of the pioneers of the concept of The Law: “imagining creates reality.” He says that to get your dreams to come true you must believe they already exist.  You need to pretend that you are living the life you want. 

Believe that you are the greatest film presenter in the world.  You are getting checks hand over fist.  Once you start visualizing this and “feeling” into this confidence and success then you want to imprint this on the subconscious. 

The importance being that the subconscious mind runs the show. It believes everything that the conscious mind tells it.  For a filmmaker that is wonderful. 

Just imagine a story where you are pitching to high network individuals and rich donors and getting large checks.  Take that believe and energy into bed with you at night.  Start playing a film of your successful pitch and see checks being handed to you.  Play this for the conscious mind while you are feeling like that is your current life.  The conscious takes this to the subconscious and you shore up your confidence from inside.

What would your life be like if you were having a wonderful time raising money, it’s easy for you, it’s a joyful experience?  Tapping into that energy and nightly giving it to the conscious mind as the current situation, you will get this imprinted in your subconscious and things will begin to happen for you.

Mantras for Your Mirror

Consider putting these mantras on the mirror so you see them every day.

I am perfect at pitching my film.

I love myself.

People know I am dedicated to my film.

People see me as a talented award-winning filmmaker

Put your faith in yourself and in your ability to make this film and achieve the aims that you have set out for yourself. 

Your future is waiting for you.

 

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.

Faith Funds Films

How to tap the greatest resource you have to raise money for your film…belief in yourself

By Carole Dean

Three years ago, we started a bi-monthly Film Funding Guidance Class for our fiscally sponsored filmmakers that evolved more ways than we expected. Together, as a group, we learned and now believe that we can use our minds to create our future. 

I love this class; it is one of the most exciting events at From the Heart Productions.  It is every other Saturday morning.  We all feel part of this incredible energy that moves us forward. 

Faith Funds Films

We have read and covered many books on the power of your mind in this class.  There is a wonderful understanding of how powerful we are and that together we just keep improving ourselves.  I want you to join us by reading this information from our recent class.

Faith Funds Films

There was a great Jim Carrey movie back in 2003 called Bruce Almighty.  This picture left me with images that I want to share with you.  When people prayed or intended for their dreams or for emergency needs, the prayers were shown as yellow Post-Its stickers.  Bruce Almighty was faced with thousands of Post-Its each day and he had to try and answer all these prayers.

Don’t you wonder why some prayers are answered and some don’t?  It’s amazing the things that I get and amazing the things I don’t get.

We teach filmmakers that they should be intending receipt of the funds they need to make their films.  Intentions are powerful and carry the same energy as prayers. Our belief is that your mind is your greatest asset in fund raising.  You should have faith in yourself and know in your mind that with your talent and determination, you will get your film funded.  Believing in that outcome and knowing you can make it happen, will make it happen.

They call you independent filmmakers because you need that independence to grab an idea and run with it.  You should not be required to get an approval from anyone but your potential audience.  You need faith in yourself to choose the right project and know you can do it.  Faith is the bottom line.

Listening to That Little Voice in Your Head

There is a lot of information on “manifesting” and “The Law of Attraction” available.  In our class we have read and studied Lynn McTaggart’s book The Field and two of Dean Raiden’s brilliant books, the Conscious Universe and Real Magic.

Currently we are reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (the over 100-year-old bestselling book that presaged The Secret and inspired Andrew Carnegie).  Napoleon Hill says that “when faith and love are blended, they have a way of ‘coloring’ the vibration of thought in such a way that it instantly reaches the subconscious mind, where it is changed into its spiritual equivalent, the only form that induces a response from Infinite Intelligence.” 

I love the use of the word coloring the vibration it’s just like the yellow post its in Bruce Almighty but they are now hot pink to alert him that this is very important.

The interesting thing is that all of the books we have read seem to point to several facts that we need to include in our lives to achieve our dreams.

The most important of which is that all of us were born with ESP.  Dean Raiden stated, after 30 years of parapsychological research, “We all have natural abilities of ESP or intuition, just believe it and accept it.” 

If we do accept that we have a sense of ESP, then that means, I believe, that we are listening to that little voice between our thoughts that is often right.  This is when we know something and there is no valid reason for it.  If we take Dean’s information and believe it, how can that hurt us? 

It’s worth accepting that we do have the ability to make excellent decision when we “feel” into the issue and listen to our inner voice.  This is a beginning step to a happier life.  And it is a good beginning to get on the fast track to funding.  If there are 10 grants to go after, which are the best ones for you? 

Why not ESP it?  Why not read up on each one and see what hits you as a definite yes. If yes, you must apply as this is perfect for you and your film.  Find the ones that clearly match you and your film and that you “feel” are perfect and put 120% of your efforts into those few.

Just Pretend Your Film Already Exists

From studying The Field, we learned information from physicists that the quantum field is the recorder of all things past, present, and future. The quantum field is a vast sea of energy through which we are all connected through our conscious and unconscious thoughts.  All our thoughts are recorded to that field. 

So, how do we create our future using this knowledge and remembering Jim Carry as Bruce Almighty with thousands of these requests? 

One way of creating our future is to focus on what we want intently and keep pretending that it already exists.  That causes things in our life to change and opportunities come to us that lead to the future we want.

Pay Yourself First

You must not forget yourself because you as an Independent filmmaker are our greatest asset. Without you we would not know what is happening in the world. Too many important issues are not covered by the news. You are our journalists; you are our Tom Brokaw’s our Edward R Morrow’s. 

Some of you are investigative reporters who dig into stories and show us the truth and let us make decisions. We need you and we know for you to survive; you need to make a living. We want you to have a successful career and be able to afford whatever you desire.

To achieve this, it starts with how you see your future and what you want in your future. It starts with how you visualize your new life and how easy it is in this new life to fund your film. Like visualizing how easy it will be to find the right team to support you. These things are truly up to each of us to imagine, to intend, to pray for, to visualize and create. 

Make a Movie about Making your Movie

To have the future we want requires time to see the future.  It means you need to be able to visualize it and feel it and know what it is like to live in the life you want.  

So, how do you do this?  You need the faith of Job. You must believe it to achieve it. Keep visualizing your future.  Perhaps creating a film with you and your partner as stars in the film. You are using this mental movie to manifest your movie.

In the movie, you are pitching people who are nodding and then writing and handing you a large check.  You are opening the mail and shouting with joy at the news of winning a grant.  You are busy on Facebook talking to your giant audience about your film.  You are connecting with your audience and your super fans who are funding your outreach.

Realize that you have the talent to do it so it is just a matter of creating a mental movie that you can see, experience, and feel the future you want. Include in your movie the emotions of joy, success, happiness, and freedom. 

Use Your Emotions When Visualizing Your Success

If we use emotions with our intentions, then we get results faster.  Perhaps our emotions can turn these yellow stickers into hot pink where they get immediate attention.  Perhaps emotions can benefit us when we create our future.  Emotions are strong feelings and putting those strong feelings with the emotions of faith, love and forgiveness can be very powerful. 

Neville Goddard taught us that the subconscious believes what the conscious mind tells it. So, it is our job particularly when we go to bed at night is to play the mental movie you created to make your movie!  Send this movie information to the subconscious via the conscious.

Then, through your faith in yourself and your confidence that you are living the life in your movie, the universe sends you the opportunities.

By pretending nightly that you are living your dream you can create your future. This is the secret on how to create what you want.  And your faith in yourself and your dream all become part of your DNA.

Do Not Feel Helpless, You Are in Control

Napoleon Hill says, “there are millions of people who believe themselves doomed to poverty and failure, because of some strange force over which they believe they have no control. They are the creators of their own misfortunes because of this negative belief which is picked up by the subconscious mind and translated into its physical equivalent.”  

So, you can become your greatest enemy when you say things that are opposite or detrimental do what you truly want.  Reverend Ike always said, “money has ears!”  He is 100% right.

Well, you might say, “Carole how do you handle things when you don’t have any money?” You put your faith and your belief ahead of reality. Know that you were destined to be a filmmaker. You have these extraordinary gifts and you intend to use them and since the majority of you intend to use them for the betterment of mankind, why would you not be able to do this?

Do you really believe the universe would put you on this earth with your many talents and then not support you? No, there definitely is an angel support team for you. You must have the faith to daily assure yourself how important you are to all of us. Your health and your wellbeing are of paramount importance to us.  Your faith and belief in yourself become a magnet to you for people, finances, and opportunities.  I think this quote is very important to remember.

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down”. Mary Pickford

 

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.

Using Your Mind to Fund Your Film

Nearly a century ago, a brilliant author spurred by a self-made millionaire, provided a path that others have followed to build great businesses and obtain their dreams…including me

 by Carole Dean

“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” ― Nikola Tesla

This is a great statement for funding films.  Clarity of thought and purpose are paramount to success in any venture. Especially in the film industry.

I was invited to Portland Oregon to teach my book, The Art of Film Funding, and after the event I stayed to talk to filmmakers.  Everyone wanted to pitch me, and I love this part of filmmaking.

manifesting success

Creating Your Future Means Living as if You Have Achieved Your Goal

One couple told me that they were raising funds to go to Australia and create a film on the mating habits of leaches. I immediately started laughing, thinking they were joking.  I thought they were saying to me, how can anyone pitch this film?  However, I soon realized they were serious. In fact, very serious, and so I gave them my card and asked to please let me know how their funding worked for them.

It was about six months and I got a post card from Australia saying they raised the funds and were there shooting!  So, look at how easy it is to pitch your film compared to raising money for a film on leaches.  If they can find the money for that film, you can certainly find it for yours.

Filmmakers are Entrepreneurs. They are Business Owners.

In our bi-monthly Film Funding Class we are reviewing the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It’s amazing how many people have cited their business success came from Napoleon Hill’s information.  This book was published in 1937, can you believe that? It has been selling for almost 100 years.

This book conveys the experiences of more than 500 men of great wealth who began with nothing and became wealthy.  All they had were ideas and clearly defined visions for what they wanted to achieve.  Napoleon Hill tells us how they were successful once they understood, the “secret” that his book contains.  With this information they were able to achieve their goals. 

Let’s see how this can help with film funding.

In the beginning of the book, the author, Napoleon Hill, reminds us that riches cannot always be measured in money.  Money is wonderful and gives you the power to help those in need but some of the greatest riches can be in terms of lasting friendships, harmonious family relations and understanding between business associates.

I totally agree because I relish my relationships with people in the film industry.  To me, this is one of the greatest joys life has to offer, having good associates in business with a loving family surrounding you and long-term friendships which you will find in our film industry.  Just know that the people you meet in the industry will be here with you and as you grow in achievement so will they.  You are always connected to them.

For example, I took filmmaker Jahangir Golestan to independent film distribution guru Peter Broderick back in 2005 with his documentary on the earthquake in Bam, Iran.  I have been friends with Peter since then. 

Keep everyone’s card.  Always keep up with the new people you meet in the industry.  They are friends and you want to stay in touch even if you only see them once a year.  This is the business of film.  Always remember, this is a business and they are your business associates.

Andrew Carnegie Commissioned Napoleon Hill to Teach his “Secret” to Those Who had a Vision

In the beginning of Think and Grow Rich, the author, Napoleon Hill, relates a conversation with Andrew Carnegie who he calls, “the lovable old Scotchman.” In the early days of the 20th century, Carnegie famously overcame his poor beginnings to become one of the richest men on earth.  When Carnegie realized that Hill quickly grasped Carnegie’s secrets to wealth, he asked Hill if he would be willing to spend 20 years preparing himself to share the secrets to the world.

Carnegie wanted this information placed within reach of people who do not have the time to investigate how men make money.  He believed the formula should be taught in all public schools and colleges. Carnegie came to this decision after hiring many young men with little schooling and coaching them in the use of this formula which allows them to develop excellent leadership qualities.  His experience with a young Charles Schwab and other ambitious men convinced Carnegie that much of what is taught in schools is of no value whatsoever in connection with the business of earning a living or accumulating riches.

His coaching made fortunes for everyone who followed his instructions.  He does say that the secret cannot be had without a price.  It cannot be given away it cannot be purchased for money.  Mainly because it comes in two parts and one part is already in possession of those who are ready for it.  I believe that is a burning desire to achieve something which all of us have. This secret equally serves those who are ready for it.   

Just How Committed are You to Your Vision?

I know this to be true.  When I was married and raising a child at home, I could see that there was a market for those little old short ends of film left over from production.  I knew there was a business buying and selling them.  Once I started that business and got it moving, two engineers came to me to be partners and finance them in the business of buying and selling used video tape.  I agreed that this could be a good business. I could see how it would be easy to sell and knew I could do it. 

We were already selling used 16mm film stock to TV stations and now we would have another product for my existing customers.  I thought it would be easy and sometimes that’s the best way to think.  If I had known how difficult this expansion was, I would never have done it.  I think that’s how the universe tricks us sometimes, we don’t know how much there is to do to achieve our visions and that’s why a true dedication to your vision is needed.

Another reason I jumped for this idea is that I had no failure history. I had no one telling me I could not do this.  Those things help.  So, I said yes, I will go into business with you.  I had an office in Studio City and one in NYC.  They wanted to put in time and their knowledge of video tape as cash to buy into the business and I was to cover all expenses. 

All of this was agreed on as I would house them in my office but when we came to the final contract they said no, we want to do this in our office north of LA.  I said no, I can’t get there often, it’s too far.  They withdrew their agreement.   

I was left with a machine to repack 2” video tape called a Recortec that at that time cost more than a Mercedes 450SL.  I called the company to return the machine and they said sure, but you will pay a 20% restocking fee.  Woah!! That was a hefty fee on top of my lawyer’s fee and the time I put into this expansion.

So, I had a talk with myself.  If I believed in this business before why do I not believe it now?  I know I can do this.  Now the doubts came up.  You don’t know tape.  You will have to learn the technical qualities, the language and only heaven knows what else, I thought.  This is not easy.  Then I caught myself and said, I can do this!  So up to the home office of Recortec I went to learn about the machine and how it worked.

They picked me up from the airport and we were in their office at about 10am.  When the salesman started talking, I thought I had just arrived in some foreign country!  I did not understand a word he said.  So, I began stopping him asking what is a relay?  What is a diode? 

Needless to say, they took me to lunch at 11am!  Then put me on an early plane home.  The owner called me to say that if he had known I was a woman they would not have sold me the machine.  Being from Texas and growing up in the “good old boys world” I always signed my letters as C.L. Dean, so most people thought I was a man.  Sorry guys, but this helped me to meet a lot of people and learn much more.

What Do You Do When You Don’t Know What to Do?

I decided that I should get this machine out of LA and take it to NYC where I could put it in my rented brownstone and work on it, night and day as Cole Porter would say.  I did just that and I hired a woman with engineering knowledge who had worked for NBC.  She and I began to figure what this machine could do.  We ran tests, if you clean tape once you get this percentage of drop outs.  If you clean it twice you get less.  So, some of the tapes we cleaned 10 times.  Eventually we found that twice was good enough. 

We were all celebrating after we made a break-through sale of tapes to a top Ad Agency in NYC.  They loved the tapes at first, then called to say that they played them back once and then there was no signal.  They said it’s like someone took off all the oxide.  I think I know who that someone was.

To learn more about tape, I took myself to Montreux, Switzerland to go to a video tape convention.  On the first morning, I had my yellow pad and pens and went to this lovely hotel, walked into this room with about 150 engineers, and I was stunned.  They were all dressed in black, with white shirts, most had black horn-rim glasses and plastic pen holders in their pockets next to their slide rulers.  There was not another woman in the room.

I was so shocked that I just asked the universe for guidance and I went to a row and walked over a dozen people and sat by a man in black with the plastic pen holder.  I began to listen to the speaker, and I took notes.  The speaker said CCD more than anything else, so I asked this man next to me what is a CCD?  He said, “a charged coupling device.”  I said, “what is a charged coupling devise?” and his face lit up with a big smile. 

He said, take lots of notes and I will explain everything.  I had found my engineering angel.  With his education, guidance, and my determination to get my money’s worth from that machine, my company became the largest recycler of video tape in the US in 5 years.

So, this is the first part of the secret.  You have a vision, you have a strong desire with a clearly defined goal, once you have this then you are ready for Napoleon Hill to give you “the secret.”

Once You have an Idea, a Vision, and are Confident You can Do It, What’s Next?

Now back to Think and Grow Rich.  We can learn from the success of these normal men who became wealthy and successful.  Knowing what they did and how they did it can only aid us in producing our art and achieving financial success.

“Education has nothing to do with it,” Napoleon Hill says. The secret had found its way into the possession of Thomas A. Edison and he used it so intelligently that he became the world’s leading inventor although he had but three months of schooling. This secret was passed on to a business associate of Mr. Edison and he used it so effectively that although he was there making $12,000 a year, he accumulated a great fortune and retired from active business while still a young man.

Many of the men that Napoleon hill researched had very little high school let alone college. Henry Ford never reached high school. Hill says as a final word of preparation before you begin the first chapter, “may I offer one brief suggestion which may provide a clue by which the Carnegie secret may be recognized? It is this – – all achievement, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea! If you are ready for the secret, you already possess one half of it, therefore, you will readily recognize the other half the moment it reaches your mind.”

Now you want to fund your film or documentary, so you have half, you have an idea that you want to achieve, i.e., the production of your film.  Now, it is only a matter of finding how this works.

Having the Conviction to ask for What You Want and Expect to Receive It

This is our first clue. Thoughts are things and powerful things when mixed with persistent purpose and a burning desire to transfer these thoughts into riches or material objects. We want to remember how powerful our thoughts are.

Thoughts are energy. Today science can read your thoughts with a machine that doesn’t attach in any way to your body.  A machine near your body can pick up your thoughts they are electric they are alive.  They can bring you want you want or don’t want, it’s up to you.

The introduction of Hill’s book covers the story of Edwin Barnes, “the man who thought his way into partnership with Thomas A. Edison.” Hill says that we must learn “that thoughts are things.” And powerful things when they are mixed with definitiveness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches or other material objects.”

Edwin Barnes wanted to work with Edison not for him. This is another part of the secret, clarity of thought; know exactly what you want. 

Young Mr. Barnes had two difficulties, one he did not know Mr. Edison and two, he did not have enough money to pay his railroad fare to Orange, New Jersey.  However, Barnes was so determined that he traveled on a freight train and presented himself at Mr. Edison’s laboratory and announced he had come to go into business with the inventor.

Years later, when Mr. Edison talked about their first meeting, he said Barnes looked like an ordinary tramp.  But there was something about the expression on his face which conveyed the impression that he was determined to get what he came for.

Edison was a smart man and he saw that “special something” in Barnes.  He thought this man was willing to do anything to get what he wanted and Edison was open to receive

So, let me ask you, are you open to receive what the universe has to offer you?  Think about this and get open to receive.  It comes disguised sometimes.

Though Barnes was disheveled and poorly dressed, it was his intent and his strong desire that caught the attention of Edison.  Because of the young man’s traits and total determination, Edison gave Barnes a chance.

I guess that’s what my engineering angel, Eugene Leonard, the inventor of the Chyron, saw in me; determination, and a will to learn.  Whatever it was, he knew I could create this video business.  He saw something in me that allowed him to put in an enormous amount of time teaching me.

Creating Your Future Means Living as if You Have Achieved Your Goal

Napoleon Hill said the most important thing was what Barnes thought.  He believed that he could become a partner with Edison.  His intent was so strong that it overrode his financial condition at the time. Desire wins above all else.

Barnes did not get a partnership with Edison at first but he did get a chance to work in the Edison offices for a nominal wage and this gave Barnes an opportunity to display his “merchandise“ where his intended partner could see it. Every day Barnes continued his thought of being Edison ‘s partner. He did not give up his vision and daily saw himself as his partner.

An opportunity came but it was not what Barnes was expecting. Edison had perfected the Edison Dictating Machine and his salesman were not enthusiastic over this machine because they didn’t believe it could be sold.

However, Barnes knew he could sell it, so he suggested Edison give him a chance and he did. Barnes was so successful in selling these dictating machines that Edison gave him a contract to distribute and market all over the US. During this time a sales statement was created that said: “made by Edison and installed by Barnes.” This business alliance lasted more than 30 years and Barnes became very rich.  Hill said Barnes proves that one can think and grow rich.

To recap: Barnes had a clearly formed idea.  He knew exactly what he wanted. He had the purpose and determination to get to Edison’ office and let Edison see his commitment to his genius. Edison took advantage of this by hiring Barnes and it brought them both a consider amount money.

The secret here is that Barnes would never give up his belief that he could be an associate of Edison’s.  He kept that believe even though he was not sure how it would work out.  This is where we can use our knowledge of current quantum physics and understand that there are literally millions of ways that things can happen. You and I can’t think of them we can only think of a few ways, but the universe has a broader scale on everything.  The fact is his determination, his desire and his clearly defined future are what brought Barnes success.  He knew he wanted to be a partner with Edison and he made it happen.

What do you want with all of your heart?  Find that.  Write it out so you have a clearly defined goal.  Begin to live as if it has already happened. Know that thoughts are energy and your thought are all positive, your thoughts coincide with your goals.  You are confidence you can do this. 

Do what you need to do to achieve your goal on a daily basis.  Keep the universe thinking you already have this in your life. Then pay attention to what the universe sends you and be ready to receive. 

 

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.

Manifesting; A Misunderstood Process

There are many ways to get your film funded.  But all of them rely on believing in yourself, your talent, and having the faith in yourself that you can manifest it.

by Carole Dean

I love David Spangler’s excellent little book, The Laws of Manifestation.  Discussing its lessons and how it applies to creating success in your work and career, is a regular part of what I teach filmmakers in my classes.

His explanation of manifesting and his explanation of the universal laws governing it make sense.

Manifesting

The more you believe in yourself and your film, the easier it will be to fund it and find the right crew

Levels of Manifestation

David says there are several levels of manifestation. “The mechanics of manifestation depend on a person’s level of consciousness. An understanding of this throws light on what is meant by laws of manifestation.

“The physical level is experienced by everyone and it represents our most obvious level of manifestation. On this level physical energy is expended through some form of labor. This is the means used to bring manifestation about. We call this working for a living. And we work obviously with these laws to accomplish our manifestation.

“They are natural, economic, religious, social laws and we do not consider them to be supernatural. This denotes a willingness to expand physical energy through the appropriate form of work and labor. There’s also a new dimension where the energies of the emotional realms are added. This might be the manifesting of good health when physical or medical attention is not available or it is ineffective, this could be faith healing.

“There is also the need for requests where you ask in prayer for what you want and release it to the universe with the faith that it will return to you.  This factor is a manifestation of faith and the energy of devotion. Where there is faith there is trust, security, lack of tension or worry. Your work becomes a joy and one is more open to being guided into the kind of labor that is truly fulfilling.”

I see this a lot with filmmakers once they have gotten into the state of mind that their film will be funded. They trust that the money is available for the film and they know they will bring the film in on time and under budget.

She Willed it So and it Happened

Here is an example I can share with you. One of our fiscally sponsored filmmakers was making a film about the drugs in her small town and the film discussed how a large percentage of the population were on drugs.  Her goal was to show the film to express the need that we work together to help heal these people from addiction and prevent more from falling into drugs. 

She raised $180,000 and quite a bit of it was during the Covid-19 pandemic.  She never stopped funding. For funding parties, she did everything she had planned as if Covid-19 would not prevent her and it didn’t.

She had the faith that people would support this film and she “willed it so”  and applied for and won grants. I should have mentioned early on that she’s a first-time filmmaker.  She just didn’t know that she couldn’t do it.  Sometimes that’s the best place to be.  Not to know you can’t do it.

Never did she have this fear and worry thinking that no one will give me money during a public international health crisis. Her thinking was of course they’ll fund this film.  It’s urgent and we must solve this drug problem.  This is the right attitude for raising money. 

Please consider outlining the benefits of your film.  Remember them daily and use these benefits to create your self-confidence and maintain it.  You are greatly needed to bring us important information on documentaries and brilliant films to keep us entertained and enlightened.

I know this is a hard time for independent filmmakers but now is the time to have the faith of Job.  You must know that your film will be funded, and it will be seen.

Don’t Get in a Spin Over Your Film

In his book, David Spangler brings up one of my favorite parts of the Bible. It’s from the sermon on the mountain, Matthew 6:28.

‘Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore if God so clothes the grass of the field which grows today and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you.’

When times are tough, you need to read this statement and “feel” into its meaning.  If the plants do not work, they toil not, and they don’t get in a tizzy, “neither do they spin and yet I say unto you that even King Solomon in all his glory,” meaning how well he lives and dresses and his riches, that these lilies of the field are as beautiful as King Solomon in all his wealth. 

Perhaps it’s because the lilies know how beautiful they are.  They know that to us they are pieces of art.  They know their job is to bring us beauty and they do that without any toil.  This means that you with all your many talents can also bring us your art without so much toil.  Your faith is what you need. 

Once you lock onto the benefits of your film you know how important it is to get your story to the masses.  The more you believe in yourself and your film, the easier it will be to fund it and find the right crew.

The Importance of Faith in Manifesting

This takes me to one of my favorite poems.  It was written by Matsuo Basho who was the most famous poet of the 17th century Edo period in Japan. He is recognized as the greatest master of haiku.

His poem is:

Sitting silently, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.  

Your meditations can bring you money.  That’s right.  By taking your film to a silent place for a 20-minute meditation. 

It is very simple.  At the beginning, as you sit down and get comfortable, you make a request to the universe to help you do what is necessary to fund your film.  Just make an ask of the universe and then let it go.  Now you want to listen to the little voice inside you.  When you hear the little voice say, call Sarah, and see how she is. 

Then do it! You may find that Sarah just inherited some money and wants to help fund your film.  You have asked so you can expect an answer.  It will come to you.

I know that is a little far out, but all of this is to explain to you how important faith is in manifesting. It is the cornerstone of manifesting you really need to believe you can get what you want. You want to feel it, know it, and use your emotions to pretend it already exists.

Emotions like joy, confidence, and happiness, always work in your favor. When you are constantly sending up love and gratitude to the universe and thanking them for the small and important things you have in your life then you are living in faith. 

Create Mantras to Pretend You Have What You Want

When you are going to bed at night, tell the subconscious that your film is fully funded. When you are visualizing that you’re sitting in the theater watching your film on the screen with a packed house, when you’re constantly sending out emotions of success, achievement, and joy, then these emotions help the universe to move the energies around so that what you need is brought to you.  Pretend you have what you want.

You want to be saying, “my film is winning awards, people love it, and I am successful.”  Now the universe is very clear on what it is that you want.  They can easily send more opportunities to you. It’s up to you to be looking for them.

It’s just as if someone in a tennis game hits a serve, a really great serve.  You know your job is to return it, so you must be there and be present. You must be prepared to return it. You must be on your toes and moving in whatever direction is needed to successfully return that ball.  That’s what you want, to be in a position where someone is interested in you and asks about your film.  Now, you have what you want, an opportunity to pitch your brilliant film and engage someone.

When a friend calls and says I’m attending a zoom party tonight, do you want to join me? Before you say I’m too tired or I don’t know I had a bad day, say who will be there? Are there any people that might fund my film?  Find out if the universe is behind this request and if so, please attend.

In most film groups, there’s always someone that you can talk to about your film.  Remember when people ask what you are doing, you want to say I’m raising money for my film. I’m looking to raise $40,000 on my documentary, we’re in the production stage, and I need funding to shoot.  Or I’m in the post-production stage and I need $40,000 for my archival footage. Let them know your passion, you might say, “I’ve already put in two years of work and my brilliant film is coming together quickly.”

People want to work with filmmakers who are talented. Remember you need to realize how talented you are and never let on how much hard work is involved in filmmaking. Maintain the idea that it’s all glamour and glitz and bring people in by your enthusiasm and your love of the film industry. 

Let them know of your many talents. Staying positive is the key to funding your film. No matter what’s going on in your life this is where your faith comes in.  This is paramount to funding, your faith in yourself and your abilities, your faith in your script or your documentary.  These feelings and beliefs must be part of your DNA.  You must have the faith of Job, be full of confidence and exude success.  

Faith vs. Hope

Faith is quite different from hope. Faith is a powerful energy to put in your proposal and your deck. The faith you need to have is that the money is there, and you will finish the film. Hope means your wishing this will happen.  There is a lot of power in your proposal and your speech when you use the word faith. We know that you will do the work and feel confident thank you can achieve the end result, i.e., completing and funding your film.

Hope means to me (and a lot of other grantors and funders), that you’re not sure. It’s a lack of belief.  You hope something will happen or hope you can make the film.  What we want to hear in your proposal is confidence and faith in yourself and your project.

Never put hope in a proposal or an outline or anything you give to anyone. Always keep very positive statements in your paperwork. You want to say we’re shooting on this date, we are doing post on this date, and we are releasing the film on this date.  There is no hope about this, it is a fata accompli.

I can honestly say that I have seen people that willed things to happen. Their faith and belief were so powerful that they saw what they wanted and they did what they had to do to achieve it.  They firmly believed daily that the funding was there, and they made the film. They willed it to happen.

We as human beings have that potential, we can will something into being and that is part of manifesting. This is truly your faith in action. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who says I know I can do it those are the people you want to work with.

Making this Film With, or Without You

When I ran my film business, I had a dear friend named Frank Smith who worked at Kodak. In my opinion, he was the best dressed man in Hollywood!  He always looked sharp.  Frank was a lovely man, and he was the person that people had to pitch when they wanted free film. 

I asked Frank one day “how in the world do you make a decision on who gets it and who doesn’t?” And we were good friends, so he was honest with me.  He said that when a filmmaker called him and started to pitch the film, he would lean back in his chair, get comfortable, put his feet on the desk, and be ready for 10 minutes of information.  That is exactly what happens when people pitch me. I’m used to it. We just relax and listen to what you have to say because we’re listening to every word believe it or not.

While we are listening, we are thinking, will this person finish the film? How powerful is their belief in themselves and the film? We’re not thinking, hey this guy has never made a feature, he has only made three shorts, and he wants to do a feature?  That might be a minor part of it but the real thought is how convinced is he or she?

Frank said, “I listen closely and when they get to the point where they say or infer, I’m doing this with or without you, I pay attention.” 

Frank said that was when, “the feet come off the desk and I sit up and I say OK now wait a minute. Let’s talk about this.”  Then he starts asking questions like who is the director, who is your DP and what is your plan for attachments? Because his job is to find the up-and-coming filmmakers. He could not miss one and let them go to my company where we would sell them short ends or, heaven forbid, they go to Fuji film.

He knew that if we saw their potential, we might give them a great deal on new and short ends.  And he could not lose a filmmaker to anyone. He had to be very discerning on who he chose and when they said I hope to raise the money, or I should be able to raise the money and especially, I HOPE TO FIND THE MONEY, that’s when he said my allotment for the year is gone or some other excuse.

Please recognize the fact that if you’re not 100% positive it comes through in your words and your slightest lack of faith in any area will be picked up immediately.

You must be up, enthusiastic, happy.  Stay up and in that place of absolute knowing that I am making this film with or without you.

 

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.

Section 181 Reinstated: Good News for Filmmakers!

Tax Law Extension Provides Major Tax Benefits for Investors of Film and Television Productions

by Carole Dean

In my recent interview with entertainment lawyer Corky Kessler, he was excited to tell us that he helped reinstate IRS Revenue Code Section 181 for five more years.  The reinstated Section 181 offers tax benefits for digital media producers.  This tax law is most beneficial for features and documentaries with budgets up to 15 million or 20 million.  It will greatly help producers of those projects attract financing.

Section 181

Expense Production Costs

The reinstated Section 181 is straightforward. It’s the same law that was created for the Jobs Act of 2004.  It’s been extended and approved for five years until 2025. It allows investors in a media production to expense all production costs when it is paid.  This creates a loss for the production which creates an immediate tax benefit.

The rules are that 75% of the costs of the film or television project must be spent and performed in the United States.  The balance of 25%, can be shot anywhere.  This means you can take advantage of other countries tax deductions like Canada or Germany.  Many countries have good tax incentives for you to shoot in their country.

US Tax law 168 is still in effect so you have a choice of using the reinstated section 181 or the 168.  The 168 has no limit on the size of the budget and you must “Put the film in service” to get the write off.  Those are two main differences and you can only use one of these, 168 or 181.

Cover Your Investor’s Money

“The good thing about the 181 is that I can cover the investor’s money.” Corky explained. “I can tell the investor that I can cover almost every dollar that the investor puts in. I can cover 70 to 76 cents on every dollar, which is amazing. There’s no other business that you can cover their investment, 70 to 76 on the balance.”

The 181 law allows up to a $15 million loss. Or you can go up to a $20 million loss if you spend a significant amount in a low-income or depressed area. For the person who has a 15 or $20 million dollar movie or even lower, the 181 is still better and you can grandfather your films.

Need Just One Day of Photography to Get Grandfathered In

“So, as soon as you have a screenplay, “ Corky says, “ and you have a summary budget, you are ready. You do one day of photography with some dialogue that doesn’t have to remain in the project. And you need your investment documents, which I can prepare, but you don’t need investors. Once you have these things, you can get grandfathered into 181 forever. That will never expire.

“Now when your film is grandfathered, you can change your screenplay or teleplay.  If it’s television, that’s acceptable. You want one day of photography with some dialogue. You can shoot it on your iPhone. It doesn’t matter, and you don’t have to use it in the project. Also, the investor documents that I prepare, those can change. Once you have these set up, you are grandfathered forever. There’s no end date.”

How to Learn More and Take Advantage of Reinstated Section 181 for Your Film

Filmmakers that want to know more about Section 168 or the 181 benefits and how to grandfather their films,  can contact Corky via email at Corkykessler@aol.com or on his cell phone at 312-925-2110.

For more information on both the 168 and 181 see this blog: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/how-to-get-your-film-funded-with-new-tax-law

 

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.

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.