Your Beliefs Are Your Greatest Asset

If you believe you can or if you believe you can’t, your right! – Henry Ford

by Carole Dean

If you think you can’t fund your film or that you will have a hard time funding your film, then you can’t

If you think you can fund your film, then you can.

Beliefs

It is that simple and it all starts with our beliefs. It’s the beliefs that we carry in our mind. We have been creating beliefs since we were children, and we constantly defend these decisions.

Most of us don’t know we have these belief systems running inside us.  Most do not know why we created these beliefs but we’re still hanging on to them and our subconsciousness is daily defending these outworn concepts.

If you have carried some things that have caused you to lose self-confidence, then it’s important you recognize this because you can be your own worst enemy.

Review Your Beliefs About Money

If you’re having problems raising money for your film perhaps you should consider, “what are your beliefs about money?”

It is very important for you to believe that you can raise the funding for your project. If you don’t feel it’s possible then no one can help you.  It’s up to you to change how you think.

Bruce Lipton is one of my favorite biologists/authors. He says that we have acquired many restrictions on ourselves during our youth that are based on the structure of our lives at that time.

Using Bruce Lipton’s concepts if you put two people raised in different income homes, in the same room, they would see their potential in totally different ways.

For example, if you had a funding party and in the room is a young filmmaker who grew up wealthy in Beverly Hills along with a young filmmaker who grew up disadvantaged in East Los Angeles, the Beverly Hills filmmaker will see money everywhere while the other filmmaker will feel he/she doesn’t belong.

These are based on negative beliefs acquired while young so you may have some of these beliefs and not even know it.  The question is what do you do?  How do you change these negative or limiting beliefs?

Take an Inventory of Beliefs

You might make a list of your beliefs about money and success.  By doing this you, might pull up some stored beliefs that no longer suit you or that are totally inappropriate for you.

We know that the contents of the subconscious mind are very important to us. If the subconscious has acquired beliefs like “it’s hard to make money,” or “it’s hard to raise money,” or “it’s hard to find the budget for the film,” then you can expect those things to come true because that is your belief system.

Bruce Lipton claims that beliefs control human biology rather than DNA and inheritance.  That is a powerful statement.

Realizing You Need a New Mindset

While I was touring the world with my book The Art of Film Funding, I found people who had their mind set about funding. They seem to fall into two categories, totally opposite each other.

There were those people who said, “Oh I know I can fund this film.  Or those that were totally negative with statements like, “it’s very hard to raise money for films.”  This is why I wrote the book, The Art of Manifesting: Creating your future.  It’s your beliefs that create your future.

And I often hear: “They have cut the grants and now it’s really hard to win a grant.”  They have been cutting grants for 30 years that I know of! However, we still have thousands of grants in the United States available and believe me we have a tremendous amount of people winning grants so why shouldn’t that be you?

When you look at it from this point of view it seems that it should be easy to change your belief system. However, once your subconscious mind has accepted an idea, whether true or not, it will continually feed your thoughts to support that belief.

Changing the Way You Think

Often, we are not encountering resistance from outside sources but from ourselves. If we can accept new beliefs and support them to the extent that our subconscious mind accepts them, then we can create a new reality for ourselves.

The secret to overcoming our belief system, seems to be the ability to recognize that it exists and that we are the one that needs to change the way we think.

Let’s take one of the most our most important things in filmmaking, film funding.

What if you start saying, “people love my film?” Perhaps you talk to some people about your film and get feedback so that you can honestly say to yourself, “people love my film.” Funding my film is easy.  Say this in the present tense not future tense. 

Going to Bed with Thoughts of Success

The next thing is to believe that it will be easy to fund your film. 

To get to that confidence in your ability to raise funds for your film, I suggest the information given by Neville Goddard about the way to reach the subconscious mind and change beliefs.

What he taught us was the fact that the conscious mind is the only way to reach the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind believes everything the conscious mind says.

Knowing this, then consider going to bed at night with a vision of you pitching your film to someone. 

This can be an over the shoulder shot where you can see the person you are pitching, and they are listening and nodding and smiling. You feel very confident, in fact it is fun to pitch your film, you are full of passion about your film. 

You’re watching this person intently listening to you and then they hand you a check.  What’s the amount? You pick the amount.  Make it something that is an extraordinary donation for you.

Experience the joy of this moment.  Feel the confidence you have from pitching and being rewarded.

Filling Your Subconscious with Confidence

This will instill confidence in the subconscious that you can raise money and your thought at that time that is, “raising money for my film is easy.”

By doing this you’re allowing new information to go into the subconscious mind; you are reprogramming the subconscious mind with the concept that you can raise money and that, “it is easy to raise money.”

Please keep doing this up at night before you go to sleep.  Keep creating short films for the conscious mind to play for the unconscious mind to rebuild your belief system.

 

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

Using Dreams to Help Fund and Finish Your Film!

Dreams will tell you when you are stuck, what you’re missing, and where you need to go

By Carole Dean

Carl Jung said, “Dreams will show you where you are and where you are going. They reveal your destiny.”

Using Dreams to Help Fund

In our bi-monthly Film Funding Guidance class for our fiscally sponsored filmmakers, we are now discussing John Kehoe’s best-selling book, Mind Power: In To The 21st Century.  John explains how empowering our dreams can be.

Did you know that the oldest written record of dream interpretation is found in the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh recorded on clay tablets in 3000 BC?

“What makes dreams so interesting,” John writes, “is that dreams are where the conscious and the subconscious meet, where the images of day-to-day living encounter the hidden wisdom of the subconscious.”

Dreams Can Help You Find Solutions.

Nobel Prize winner doctor James Watson discovered the properties of the DNA molecule from a dream. He saw two snakes intertwining by wrapping around one another. Upon awakening, he realized that this might be what is happening in the DNA.  Perhaps, he thought, it was a double Helix twisting around itself and he was right.

John Kehoe has been analyzing and studying his dreams for years. He believes that his dreams are like a personal wisdom which speaks to him.

Studies show that we dream an average of five to seven times a night. Whether you remember them or not, you are dreaming.

John suggests that we program our mind to say before we go to sleep, “tonight I will dream, and I will remember my dream.” If you repeat this to yourself 20 times before you go to sleep, he says there would be very good chance that you will remember your dream.

Next, he recommends you place a pad of paper and a pen by your night table so that you are demonstrating that you are waiting for your dreams, and you are prepared to acknowledge them and write them down.

You might also use an old handheld tape recorder that you could just turn on and punch a button and start talking without having to get up. This is the most important part, to remember what you dreamt.  Be right there in the dream so you can get every nuance, any colors, any faces, any symbols, as these matter.

Learn to Interpret What Your Subconscious is Saying in the Dream.

When you wake up from your dream, don’t jump out of bed, stay still and as your consciousness returns.  This is in between time and it is very valuable.  It’s the crack between the two worlds, your consciousness and dream state, so stay there and observe it carefully.

Try to bring as much back as possible piece by piece.  When you get a part of the dream, rerun the dream in your mind several times adding detail each time.  Then, write it down or record it.  Now you can start interpreting it.

When you’re start interpreting your dreams you want to think of yourself as an archaeologist digging up clues. You are researching and want to know what’s going on inside you. You want to find these relics and interpret what they mean to you because most of your dreams are not going to make a lot of sense. They may seem like nonsense or some foreign language.

When you persist in thinking about your dreams and try to relate them to your own life, you will have a breakthrough and find what the dream really means to you.  John says to remember that the dream used the vocabulary of symbols and allegory to convey the message. He says symbols are to intuition what words are to thoughts.

The language of dreams is more like art and poetry than linguistics. The reason for this that is that this part of your conscious mind predates language.

Once you realize that the dreams are messages from your subconscious and start thinking about how your subconscious wants to show you something about yourself, then this can become a lot of fun.

Dream Analysists Say Dreams are Always About You and Your Circumstances.

Dreams will tell you when you are stuck and what you are avoiding.  They can tell you what you’re missing, what you’re ignoring, and they can tell you where you need to go.

95% of the time all the characters, creatures, monsters, and stuff in your dreams represents aspects of yourself. For dream interpretation, please realize that all the people in your dream are you.

An actress friend of mine who studied with a dream therapist for years taught me that. The only exceptions would be if you recognize children or parents or coworkers in your dream.  Then, they could be real or they could be another part of you.

John says that a nightmare could be your subconscious trying to shock you into looking at some aspect of your life. Saying to you, “look at this, it’s urgent!”

Dreams that repeat are messages trying to break through. Once you interpret them, they will stop. You keep having them because your subconscious is trying to get its message through.

Here are Some Techniques to Interpret Your Dreams.

Give the dream a name. Or a title. Let your intuition come up with something to name the dream because then that title might give you some clues.

Go back to the dream.  Find a quiet spot to think and be sure there are no phones or interruptions.  Sit quietly, close your eyes, recreate the dream in your mind now put yourself in the dream and see how you would react.

Example, if you had a dream that you were driving a car recklessly on a curved road, you might put yourself back in that dream behind the wheel and begin to ask yourself questions like, why are you driving so fast?  Are you getting away from something? Are you rushing to get someone? Is this good? See what answers you can get from yourself.  And you can react any way you want in the dream now that you’re in it. You could slow the car down and feel into this situation. You could decide if you were running away from something or recklessly driving to save someone.

Break your dream down into acts.  What is act one?  What is the situation and who are you?  What is act 2? What is the trouble? What is act 3, the resolution?  Ask yourself how you feel in each act in the dream. Feelings are a major information source in dreams.  Example, do you feel relieved, confident, terrified, threatened?

What are the symbols in each act that can help you decipher the reason you are driving recklessly?

Perhaps you felt relieved when you took the wheel in the dream and slowed the car down to a reasonable speed. Perhaps you have lost control of some situation in your life. That could be the meaning of the dream. Or it could be that you were trying to get away from something that bothered you.  And now your job is to find out what is bothering you that you want to get away from.

Analyzing Your Dreams Can Greatly Benefit You.

You may be able to figure this out quickly if you are open to receiving shocking or sometimes unpleasant news from yourself about your life.  Dream interpretation takes focus and so don’t be surprised if you can only decipher 30% of your dreams. You are doing quite well if you can interpret this much of your dreams. Your success will increase as you work on dream interpretation, it is something you can learn.

Don’t be afraid to give time to the analysis of your dream because it is a wonderful way for you to give you important advice. It’s a wonderful way for you to face what you’re not facing in your day-to-day reality.

Going back to the dream of driving recklessly, perhaps you find that you are trying to get away from something. With questions you may find that perhaps you hired a cinematographer that is not the right person and rather than face replacing him/her you’re running away from it.

If you take control of the car in your dream and decide to turn around and go back to where you came from you may be able to find answers. Perhaps by going back you find that you were running away from a decision that you made that was wrong and you need to face it and resolve the situation.

Dreams can be this beneficial. This is a wonderful way to talk to your subconscious. The subconscious is trying to talk to you. 

When you stop and listen, magnificent things can happen

 

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

Recipe for Film Funding Success

As shown in the new HBO Max Julia Child Series, the ingredients to achieving your goals include a burning desire and belief in yourself

by Carole Dean

I love the film reviews in the New Yorker magazine. Recently they had a review on a new series on HBO Max on Julia Child. It told of her extraordinary rise from a humble housewife who had written a cookbook to the crown jewel of PBS programming slate.

film funding success

Every night my daughter Carole Joyce and our friend Tommy Adams and I watch a movie. I thought this film would be something they wouldn’t like so I started watching it by myself.  I found it to be lots of fun and now all of us are watching it.

What is clear from this series is that Julia Child created her future.  She wanted that television show. She made it happen.

And the tools she used are available to you to achieve film funding success and get your film made.

Cook Something Up.

It all started when she was invited to go on the PBS station WGBH in Boston to be interviewed for her cookbook.   At the interview, Julia walked on to the set with a shopping bag full of stuff and plopped it down next to her chair.  When the well-known book intellectual, who was appalled at having to interview her asked the first question, Julia started unpacking her bag. 

She promptly crawled on the floor with her rear facing us while she plugged in a hot plate.  Then, she began to make an omelet for everyone to see how simple it was.

By doing this, she stole the show.

Ask For What You Want.

This interview happened because a WGBH associate producer at the bottom of the production ladder somehow found Julia and invited her on the show.  After this interview, Julia took the initiative and wrote this producer and proposed a cooking show.  

That associate producer knew she could have a hit show with Julia.  After all, Julia’s impressive creation of a three-egg omelet on camera had generated 13 letters to WGBH from people saying they loved Julia. The associate producer took the letters into a meeting and began pitching a Julia Childs show.  She said that the mandate for WGBH was education, and a cooking show would be perfect for them. 

The head of WGBH liked Julia and asked the head producer to run the numbers for what it would cost to do a show with her.  The head producer did, invited Julia back, and told her it was too expensive for them.

“No, sorry,” she told Julia, “We can’t do the show.”

Julia replied, “Looking like I do, has taught me to never take no for an answer.” 

That “no” was the beginning of a negotiation for Julia!  What determination that shows us, right? 

That’s a good lesson for all of us.  Had she not sat there and talked this out with the top producer she would never have gotten that show.

Be Bold and Go for It!

When the producer explained that he said no because of the enormous cost of building a set with a working kitchen, Julia Child said, “I’ll pay for that set if you will do the show.  In fact, I’ll pay for the whole show.”

This changed WGBH’s mind.  She was set for one show.  Now, the problem was that when she agreed to pay for the kitchen set, she did not even look at the budget for the amount. 

Once out of the meeting, she saw the cost.  She realized that she did not have enough money.

Get Creative Finding Funding.

Even though her father was very rich, she had to do cooking classes on the side.  She had to use her cookbook income and still she was in the hole for money. 

She told her female friends how much she wanted to cook on TV, and they rallied around and helped her.

To achieve this show, Julia, like all of you found creative ways to get the money.  You do the same thing.  You find people who love you and love your film and they give you their heart and minds.  Right?

The astonishing thing is that Julia didn’t own a TV set.  When she went to buy one, the HBO Max series showed Julia standing in front of 20 television sets in a store.  Each TV had a different program on them. 

As Julia stood there, she began to see herself on TV.  Soon, every TV in the store had Julia Child on it.

Send Your Visions to the Universe.

This is the visualization that I discuss with our fiscally sponsored filmmakers in our Film Funding Guidance Class.  Our job is to teach you how to visualize to create your future. This is exactly what it takes to create your future.

Julia took the initiative.  She wrote the letter she saying she wanted to do a TV show to teach Americans how to cook like the French.  She did not take no for an answer.  This was her vision; and she was relentless in getting that first show made so much so that WGBH came on board.

Remember, she had to learn how to cook for the camera.  She had to learn how to stand in front of hot lights, be original, humorous, and keep our attention while she beat eggs or stirred her cakes.  Although she made mistakes, that was the best part of the show.  She was human! 

She captured us with her honesty.  Everyone quotes her for saying, “You are all alone in the kitchen. No one but you knows what goes on.”

We saw chicken parts flying across the room and flambés light up like a three-alarm fire.  We saw her cut herself and keep on going while she was bleeding all over the WGBH kitchen.

That’s when Dan Ackroyd began to mimic her on Saturday Night Live.  Her career took off like a NASA rocket to the moon. 

I found this HBO film, Julia, to be empowering.  It is a true representative of what it takes to be an independent filmmaker.

It takes talent and tons of guts.  Never give up is a good mantra for all indie filmmakers!

 

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

Think and Get Film Funding

Lessons on Woo Film Donors and Investors from Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”

by Carole Dean

Napoleon Hill, author of the bestselling self-improvement masterwork Think and Grow Rich, wrote brilliantly about how to use your mind to fund your film. 

Well, actually, he did not know he was writing his book with that purpose.  But the ideas and stories contained in his work, provide valuable lessons for filmmakers on how to achieve their goals of getting money for their films.

You will need to woo your potential donors for weeks or months. They need to know who you are because they need to like you and trust you.

Please read this with the thought in mind, “will this work for me and help fund and finish my film?”

Building on Outrageous Ideas for Success

The list of the chief sources from which power may be attained is headed by 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.

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 that idea to something even more outrageous and, before the night is over, you have some incredible new ideas. Edward de Bono wrote about this in his book Lateral Thinking. 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.

You Need to Pursue Money as Passionately as You Would a Relationship

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.

He says, “money 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.”

Well, he wrote his book in 1937 and stories of old-time maidens may have still been fresh then!  But the power used in pursuit of wooing of money is not greatly different from that used in wooing a lover.  That power when successfully used in the pursuit of money must be mixed with faith. It must be mixed with desire and persistence.

It must be applied through a plan, and that plan must be set into action. You need to use your faith to achieve your goal. Concentrate your desire is to reach the goal. You need persistent desire to achieve your goal and the persistence to go after your goal.  Never stop until it is achieved.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

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, a very successful independent film producer (and co-instructor in my Intentional Filmmaking Class), tells the story of a time when he had been wooing a potential donor for many months.  On a Saturday night, when he was all comfortable at home with his family, the phone rang. The potential investors said, “come over I want to talk to you.”

He got up from his comfortable couch, got dressed, drove over to the investors home, and 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?

A good investor would want to spend time with that person before they wrote a large check, and this is exactly what happens.

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. 

Money Goes to Money

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.  That truly is money flowing downhill right into your bank account.

“There exists a great unseen stream of power,” Napoleon writes, “which may be compared to a river, except that one side flows in one direction carrying all those who get into that side of the stream onward and upward to wealth and on the other side —-the river flows in the opposite direction carrying all who are 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. 

You Want to be in the Flow  

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

This is the same thing Napoleon Hill is saying, he is using river instead of “the Force”.  You want to get in the river that flows carrying all upward and onward to wealth.

Filmmakers are the most creative group of people on earth.  There is nothing they can’t do once they put their focus on their vision.

 

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

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.