Don’t Let the Naysayers or Lack of Money Stop You From Pursuing Your Dream

The most important thing I can give you is a lesson I learned early.

Back in the 70’s, I created a multi-million-dollar a year sales company with an investment of $20.00 (from my grocery money) and a good idea.

intentional class separating the wheat from the chaffIf I had let money or the naysayers stop me, I would have never created a $70 million a year industry consisting of buying leftover, discarded, what everyone called waste “short ends” of film stock.

Those who insisted it would never work didn’t know that there were thousands of talented independent filmmakers, desperate to make their features and documentaries, that needed every penny available to get it on the screen. These budding producers and directors snapped up the “short ends” at a fraction of the cost of new Kodak stock, made their films, and started a revolution in filmmaking.

My greatest asset was the fact I knew I could do it.

I never doubted that I had a good idea. I found ways to make it work. I needed cash to buy film stock so I would find where film was available for sale. I’d buy it on a handshake, and then sell this same film using the money from the incoming sale to pay off the purchase. In the beginning, I can remember days when I had the seller in one room and the buyer waiting to pick it up in another room!

This idea developed into three productive sales offices in NYC Film Center Building, Hollywood and downtown Chicago. I managed all three of them. I ran this business for 33 years until I had almost 10 million dollars a year in sales.

Why only 10 million? Because I hired a VP from ABC Television News Division as an advisor and he said that “Getting over 10 million a year in sales was very hard.” I found that to be true. But, now I know that this information of hitting a wall at $10 million was his experience. Unfortunately, it became my belief and then the outcome.

Please be careful of what you hear and what you believe.

Remember, when listening to other people, that what they are telling you is not your experience, it is theirs. The universe could have something different in mind for you. You must know you can create a better outcome for yourself with your belief.

Discern what is fact and what is belief.

What do you believe you can do? Think about that. Can you make this film? If yes, then what’s the actual budget you need? Can you raise that much money?

Consider, are other films made with that budget? If the answer is “yes” then it’s a fact that this amount has been raised for other films, right? So, it must be your belief that says you can’t do it because it is a fact someone else has raised this money and made a film at this place in their career.

Work from this principal to separate belief from fact. Work from fact, not your own belief system. That’s something you created early in life probably from your parents or society. You may have unconscious programming to overcome and you can do this by separating fact from belief.

Your belief in yourself and your film are paramount to production and completion.

You must know that you can raise the money to make you film and then you will find a way. Turn your filmmaking creativity into funding creativity. All that talent you have you can use to find ways to fund your film.

That includes finding high net-worth Individuals or investors for features to using funding parties, grants and donations for docs. Have fun with it. Look for lateral ways to fund your film and your distribution.

You have the talent, it’s a matter of believing in yourself and the quality of your film.

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

Your Mind is Your Greatest Asset for Filmmaking

Use Your Knowledge and Intention to Get Films Funded

by Carole Dean

In the beginning was the word…..

I am lucky to be able to teach indie film funding in our Intentional Filmmaking Class with actor/writer/producer Tom Malloy. Tom is owner of Trick Candle Productions and part owner in Glass House Distribution. He has raised over $25 million for his films as well as having produced Screamers, In Vino, and Fair Haven.

We both believe that your mind is your greatest asset for filmmaking.

RD IntentionIn a recent episode of my podcast The Art of Film Funding, Tom covered How to Devlop a Feature Film From Scratch.

“Everything you can see was an idea at one time” he started,” that chair you are in, the computer you are using, everything in your room started as an idea.”

“When you get a compelling idea for a film he says you should feel the energy of the universe in it. That’s when it can be powerful.  That’s when it’s worth the time to seriously consider it.  You need to be completely sold on this idea and know that it can be made and you are the one to make it.”

Once you feel an idea this strongly you need to get it on paper.  Moving that thought from your head onto paper will start the process of bringing your film into this third dimension where you can birth it.  Pull out your notebook and start to write about it.  Put down all the information you get.

Then start considering, is this something that I could really create, is this for me?  Start visualizing yourself making the film and see how it feels.  If that works then go to the next step start to develop it.

Most importantly, don’t tell anyone about this in the writing stage.  Keep all of that energy inside you and use it to create.  You are not ready for rejections.  Just use this energy for creating.

I know from reading many applications to the Roy Dean Grant that this is where the rubber hits the road.  Many people have ideas and only a few have really developed them.

Tom puts his full attention on the project when he gets that idea and feels the universe is behind it.   Documentaries and features.  He stays on the project while the energy is there and he knows that it will work.

This has helped him make many films. The secret seems to be, “is this project for me?”  “Is it worth my full time and attention over everything else in my life?”  It’s either dive in with 100% dedication or let it go.  Only you know the answer.

In our Intentional Filmmaking class Tom and I take people by the hand and walk them through the funding and the attachment process.  It’s amazing to watch how filmmakers develop themselves while developing their film.

Our next class starts in late September 2016.  I teach the Trailblazer Class for documentary filmmakers and Tom is my co-instructor for the Mastermind Class for Short and Feature filmmakers.  Full information is at

If you are passionate about your project this class will take you to the next level.


January – 2016

From the Heart Productions

Roy W. Dean Spring 2016 Grant Now Accepting Submissions
Girl From North Country – 2015 Spring Grant Winner
Now in its 23rd year, theRoy W. Dean Film Grantseeks films that are unique and make a contribution to society.
The winner receives $3,500 cash and close to $30,000 in donated film products and services they can use to complete their film.
Films can be documentaries, short films, features, or webisodes. Deadline for submission is April 30th, 2016.
Each applicant receives a consultaion on their film from Carole Dean or a From the Heart board member.
   Short Ends Newsletter
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Don’t Myth Up Your Crowdfunding Campaign

By Carole Dean
5 Myths to Overcome to Reach Your Funding Goal
At From the Heart Productions, we’re partners with Indiegogo and have helped filmmakers raise over $2 million for their films.
But, that money did not always come easy.  We provide lots of resources to create a successful campaign and fiscal sponsorship  but it took work and dedication from filmmakers.
And that only happened when we got them to let go of the myths they have about crowdfunding.
Myth 1 – You build it and they will come.
Nonsense.  No matter how fantastic a campaign page you create, how important the cause, or how great the concept, you need to bring your crowd to the crowdfunding campaign.

Create A 6 Month Film Funding Goal

Learn How to Make a Successful Action List For Raising Money
You’ve got a great film project, but where are you getting the money?   Do you know what to say in your pitch?   Is the trailer you have generating interest?  Why not?
“Thank you so much for a wonderful class.  What I learned from you and Tom was invaluable”
Kerstin Karlhuber Director “Fair Haven”

The Intentional Filmmaking Class will help you solve those problems, clear mental roadblocks, and put you on the road to getting your film produced.

Over the 4 month class, you will also get instruction from film funding experts on:
  • Creating a killer proposal
  • Closing your donors
  • Finding distribution
Carole Dean teaches the Trailblazer Class for Documentary Filmmakers and is joined by Producer/Author Tom Malloy in the Mastermind Class for Feature or Short Film Filmmakers.
Class is $695, but enroll by February 21st, and save $100 and pay just $595.   Payments can also be arranged by emailing Carole Dean at
Class is limited to just 10 members so enroll soon .
Save an additional $65 if you a grant applicant or are fiscally sponsored by entering code INTENT65 when purchasing the class.

 New Spring Grant Donor Promedia

NY Full Service Production and Post-Production Facility
Welcome to our newest Roy W. Dean Grant donor and supporter of independent filmmakers, Promedia.   Located in Manhattan, projects they’ve recently worked with include the feature “Birdman”, and TV shows “Louie”, and “Blue Bloods”.
President/CEO Joe D’Imperio is offering the grant winner a 40% deduction on color, editing, and sound services as well as the same 40% deduction to all production services….”including our lighting truck.”

Manifesting Money for Your Film Part 2

You’ve probably been manifesting your whole life and never realized it
Did you get the bicycle you always wanted? Did you get a computer you craved?  A new car?  You decided what you wanted, made a plan, and made it happen.  You just didn’t call it manifesting.
Manifesting Money for Your Film Part 2

Creating a pitch package for your film, a website, a business plan, is part of the process of manifesting money for your film.  In her latest video, Carole shows you how to get it done.


New Home for Our Fiscally Sponsored Films

All Our Films Get Their Own Fundraising Page

As a film fiscally sponsored by From the Heart, you can

Documentary U Htein Lin _ Mr. Bright and Shiny

create a page on our funding platform dedicated raising money for your film.

On your page, you can:
  • Add video, pictures, call to actions.
  • Set your own donation amounts.
  • Have donors cover all fees.
We’ve got over 60 films on our site.


This Month On Indiegogo with From The Heart  

Aviatrix is a documentary film about Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, who was one of the first Chinese women to earn a pilots license in the United States during the Golden Age of Aviation.
In Token of Love, an estranged mother and daughter come together through the power of love… and weed. A veteran bent on vengeance for his sister’s killing is visited by angels in Hometown-Salute A Soldier’s Story.  A dark comedy, the short film Irish Goodbye is based on a true story about a self-destructive man and his eccentric community.
View More

Recent Art of Film Funding Podcast interviews include:
Dissecting Docs -What’s Hot to Watch with Carole Dean and Don Schwartz
Hot Marketing Tips for Actors, Screenwriters & Filmmakers with Dr. Melody Jackson, founder of the full-service marketing and consulting firm Smart Girls Productions.
Section 181 35% Tax Rebates for Films in 2015 and 2016with entertainment lawyer Corky Kessler.
In case you missed them, you can access any of the podcasts on our website at The Art of Film Funding Podcast.
Click on book to buy on
The Art of Film Funding is the best selling fundraising book
for independent filmmakers.  With a daily to do list, it puts you on the fast track to financing your film.
What’s new in the 2nd Edition:
  • Secrets to successful crowdfunding
  • How to market your film online
  • Tips for creating a trailer to attract investors.
  • Peter Broderick on new ideas for marketing films
  • Norman Berns on Budgeting
  • Maureen Ryan on Music Rights
  • Michael Donaldson on Fair Use
  • Corky Kessler, Paige Gold and Mark Litwak on Legal
  • Creating your Trailer by Bill Woolery
  • Tom Malloy on Feature Film Funding