Is Your Relationship with Money Working?

The Key to Raising Money is Learning That It’s Ok to Have It

by Carole Dean

Dr. Joe Vitale was featured in the film “The Secret” and he’s a bestselling author of many books; so many in fact that Amazon has a Dr. Joe Vitale page!  Joe has taught people from all walks of life how to manifest miracles.

Dr. Joe VitaleI recently interviewed him for my The Art of Film Funding Podcast on his book “The Awakened Millionaire”.  All of the indie filmmakers with whom I work are trying to raise money.  One of the biggest roadblocks for them is accepting that it’s OK to ask for and receive money.  Dr. Joe was able to offer great advice on how they can overcome that obstacle.

Forget “Money is the Root of All Evil”

I questioned him if people thought money was bad because of the misquote from the Bible saying, “Money is the root of all evil.”

Joe responded “Well that’s a good one to start with. As I explained in my book “The Awakened Millionaire”, that’s the one that subconsciously, unconsciously is active in everybody’s mind including your young filmmakers because people want money. They need money. They have to pay their bills. They have to pay all of the different services they use and the vendors they use. So why is it so difficult for them to actually get money or keep money or acquire or save money? The reason has to be in our subconscious mind. We think money’s bad.”

“Because we think money is the root of all evil, we unconsciously don’t want it. We put it away. We sabotage ourselves. We think that money will taint us, money will ruin us, money will corrupt us. Because of those unconscious beliefs around money, we find ways to make sure we don’t have it.

“I’ve often pointed out to people, have you ever noticed that you do receive money just in the nick of time to pay a bill? The rent’s due, the phone’s due, whatever it happens to be, but it comes in at the last minute and then you’re broke again.”

Appreciate and Be Grateful for Money

A lot of that mentality of thinking money is evil, Joe noted, was created from that mangled biblical quote. “The longer quote, that even we don’t know today if it’s accurate or not because this is from thousands of years ago, but the longer quote actually says it’s the love of money that is the root of all evil.”

“If you go deeper into this, as I do in my book The Awakened Millionaire, you find out that the really balanced wealthy people of the world that I know, including myself, we’re not in love with money. We don’t love money. We use money. We leverage money. We appreciate money. We’re grateful for money. But we’re not in love with money.”

Money is Neutral.  It is Energy

“Money in and of itself is neutral. It’s just paper. It’s just coin,” he explained.  “When we take the emotional baggage off of it or the meaning we projected onto it or that we’ve acquired over the decades from family, and culture, and religion, and government, we strip all of that away and just realize money’s a tool, then you’re free.

“You’re free to have money, use money, acquire what you need for your films, your life, or anything else.

Think of Money as a Force for Good

“Because if you really want to improve the lives of others, which a lot of filmmakers do, you can do it must faster with money, right?  In fact, I think that’s one of the best reasons to acquire money is you have causes you believe in.

“Maybe it’s your movie project but maybe there’s a movement that somebody has going on that you care about.  Well, when you have money you are a steward for that money. You can aim it, direct it, and use it where you think it will do the most good.”

Make Peace with Money to Get Money

Joe tells people “Look, you care about homelessness, you care about your project. Make peace with money because you’ll be able to bring it in and then you can use it for that project or that homeless person or whatever it happens to be.

“Again, money is a force for good. You can use it for highly idealistic spiritual reasons, but you’ve got to make peace with money.”

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

 

 

5 Goals You Need to Consider Before Marketing Your Film

Do you want to just make money with your indie film or change the world? Hybrid Cinema’s Jon Reiss explains how different goals require very different marketing strategies

by Carole Dean

Film Marekting

Seeking fame or just want to shake things up? Your goal will define how you market your film.

Jon Reiss is the author of Think Outside The Box Office and the creator and manager of Hybrid Cinema.  Drawing on Jon’s 30 years of indie filmmaking experience, Hybrid Cinema works with filmmakers to help them connect with audiences and distributors who are right for their work.

He joined me on our The Art of Film Funding Podcast and discussed how he handles clients who want to work with him.

The first thing he asks is “what are your goals for the film?”  Knowing what a filmmaker wants to accomplish is key to determining a marketing strategy for their project.   With this, he can make plans to achieve this goal.

The 5 goals he listed are what every filmmaker should consider before marketing or seeking marketing guidance for their film.  Each requires a nuanced strategy.

Financial

Financial goals mean he will work with you to make sure you make as much money on the film as possible.  You need to identify your audience and build it.  So, that when you do your VOD release you are marketing and directing them to buy online. Jon will help with the entire social media and marketing for you.

Career Advance

Perhaps money is not foremost concern and the director and producer want a career launch from the film.  Jon might advise getting a theatrical release with the main purpose being a review of your film. 

He would create your marketing and social networking around you, your creativity and your career.  Perhaps take you to Netflix as a sale because a Netflix Original would be good for career.

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Change the World

These are goals for films that often want to change belief systems and educate people with little known information.  These filmmakers want their film to have an impact. 

Jon worked with Sabine El Gameyal, past winner of the Roy Dean Film Grant for her film Generation Zapped.  She wanted this information to be seen, it is about the health hazards of wi-fi, especially on children in schools, about cancerous effects and how to protect yourself.  Jon found her 200 screenings in communities and schools.  

Getting The Film Seen  

Some filmmakers just want help getting through the maze of distribution.  They need help finding their audience and bringing them to the film.  “It’s important for you to have screenings to find who your audience is.”  Jon Says this can be very helpful once the film is finished.

Jon also wants filmmakers to tell him “what the unique nature of the film is.“ That’s important for you to use for marketing and connecting to your audience .

Developing a Direct Fan Base

This can be another goal or a side goal with your main goal.  Jon says, “this is where self-release or engaging some sort of direct-to-stand distribution will help you gain that audience.”  It will also help filmmakers keep that audience for future crowdfunding efforts and for future films.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.

5 Steps to Making a Great Film

Roy W. Dean Grant Winning Filmmaker Jason Smith Shares The Advice He Gives Filmmakers That He Mentors

By Carole Dean

Jason Smith’s Documentary “I Voted” Was Selected to the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival

What makes a great film? Jason Smith, who directed the Roy W. Dean Grant winning documentary “I Voted”, has some definite thoughts on this. Jason has worked as a voice over artist on over 100 films including Avengers: Infinity War, Thor, and Deadpool. He also mentors’ filmmakers.

Jason was recently a guest on my The Art of Film Funding Podcast.  He listed what he considers are the 5 “Be’s” necessary for a great film.

 

Be You. – There’s Only One You

Nobody can make a film like you because they’re not you. Nor can you make a film like someone else. You will always be your own best advocate so you might as well be first in line for your own fan club.

“That doesn’t mean being egotistical, obnoxious and self-centered” explained Jason. It simply means having a sense of confidence in what you do. It also means digging deep in creating content that resonates with you – because if it doesn’t resonate with you, it won’t resonate with others.

Be Open. – Change is the Only Thing That is Constant

“The best laid plans usually turn into something else” Jason quipped. Sometimes change is fortuitous, frequently it’s not. But it is inevitable and it will impact your project at every stage of your endeavor. So, flexibility is paramount. The ability to adapt is integral to success.

Be Resourceful – In Independent Filmmaking One Often Has to Cut Corners Using Borrowed Scissors.

You will most likely be asking for favors and assistance. Pay people when appropriate (which is most of the time) and respect their value. You may not be able to pay market value to professionals but pay them something.

And if you cannot come up with the funds to make your film, ask yourself if you’re presenting the project in the best light. Maybe you’re not attracting others because you haven’t fully fleshed out what you’re doing.

Be Passionate. – Showing Up is a Big Part of Any Filmmaking Venture.

“If you’re convinced, you’re making the greatest film ever, figure out how to share your vision with others” he advised. By convincing others thru your passion, you will build a team and a community. Those are necessary components for the success of your film.

“Convincing people thru passion is necessary for any artist, especially when the art is in the conceptual stage.” You will need to convince others of the value of your idea. Then, you will need to convince audiences thru your execution that your great ideas are up on the screen.

Be Honest. – While Telling the Truth is a Good Way to go Thru Life.

“Yes, you want to be honest with others and not lie. However, we sometimes lie in life – it’s part of the human condition. And the most important human that we should never lie to is…ourselves.” Jason noted.

When we lie to ourselves about our film, we run the risk of making an expensive awful mess that will lose money and damage relationships. The list of lies we can tell others runs long, and the list of lies we can tell ourselves runs even longer.

 

The Art of Film Funding PodcastCarole 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 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.

 

The 5 “P’s” of Pre-Launch Crowdfunding

Expert Analysis on How to Prep Your Campaign to Guarantee Success 

A brilliant and respected data researcher for the motion picture industry, Stephen Follows has now set his sights on breaking down what makes a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The 5 “P’s” of Pre-Launch CrowdfundingHis new book “How to Crowdfund Your Film: Tips and Strategies for Filmmakers” details the hard data filmmakers need to create a crowdfunding campaign that will hit their goals. 

On The Art of Film Funding Podcast, host Carole Dean of From the Heart Productions was joined by Stephen who shared with Carole his 5 “P’s” of pre-launch crowdfunding that are critical to a successful campaign.  

Pitch and People 

Stephen said either of these can be #1.  Both are complimentary.

In your pitch, you need to understand what is the unique compelling idea that will delight your audience that will cause them to promote or fund your film.  Is it rewards?   Is it the film’s story?

For people, you need to decide who is your audience for the film.   Who will this project appeal to that can turn into donors.  

If you know what makes your film unique, then you can find who your film will speak to the best.  If you know who your audience will be for the film, you need to figure out what would be a good pitch to them to bring them on board.

Planning

You need to do as much research as possible Stephen advises.   “In the evening or the weekend, lunch break, you noodle around looking at other crowdfunding sites that are trying to raise similar amounts, same niche, and same audience.”  Figure out what is working for them and creating their success? 

Process

This is where you are building a team.  Work out tasks for each member.  “You are sort of building a machine which is your pre-launch engine.  Think of it as pre-production.” 

Promote

“This something that can be quite tricky for filmmakers” Stephen warns.  Most filmmakers see themselves as artists and not salespersons.  “But they do have to acknowledge that the projects that work are the ones that are promoted.”  You should be the main salesperson for your film

If you feel you are not capable of selling your project, find someone else who can do it for you.  Don’t expect when you put up your crowdfunding page that the money will just come in.

Stephen suggests that you pre-launch should take up no less time than the campaign itself.   “It will take time,” he says, to get your 5 “P’s” done, “but, it will pay off.”

From the Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to educating and assisting independent filmmakers on getting funding for their projects.   They offer fiscal sponsorship with personal fundraising guidance, three Roy W. Dean Film Grants each year, and the Intentional Filmmaking Class.  

Secrets to Sensational Interviews

How an Award-Winning Filmmaker Got Her Subjects to Open Up on Camera and Reveal More Beyond Her Original Questions

By Carole Dean

Stephanie Howard was a news reporter before she became a filmmaker and created her brilliant documentary, The Weight of Honor.  This Roy W. Dean Grant winning film is a tribute to the caretakers who dedicate their lives to our wounded soldiers.

I interviewed her for my The Art of Film Funding Podcast where she shared with me her secrets for sensational interviews.

Read, Research and Learn Everything About the Topic

Secrets to Sensational Interviews

Stephanie Interviewing for “The Weight of Honor”

Before you create your questions, know everything you can about the person and the subject matter.  Write all of the questions you want and be sure to cover each of the topics you have chosen. 

Do not write a yes or no question.

Write the same question in different ways to get the answers you want them to say.  It’s often needed.  You know what you want them to say to move the film forward so write several of these critical questions in the hope of getting the right answer for the film.

You do not want to be on camera. Normally, you want only the interviewee on the camera.

If they say “as I said” or “Like I was saying” …. Stephanie stops them and reminds them that this has to be new information just for the viewer. You need to answer in the first person. Plus, she reminds them to repeat the question in the answer.

The Most Important Part of Interviewing is Listening

When you are listening, you can maintain eye contact and you know what the next question is from what they just said.  Keeping eye contact is important so they are focused on you.  They could be giving you a real jewel in the answer and you could miss it if you are focused on your list of questions.  You never know what answers you can get and how listening can open new threads of information about your subject matter. 

One of our Roy Dean Grant winners was making a historical family film.  When she was interviewing her subject, he answered her question, but then he also said something about “all those other Negros that were buried under the tree.” 

The woman who was with him said, I don’t think you want to discuss that.  Our filmmaker kept asking questions about this issue while she had him on camera and found that she was sitting on a film about scores of missing black people in the area.  This created Lily & Leander: A legacy of Violence, a brilliant documentary film, just from hearing every word. 

Ask Your Crew

Stephanie said one of the things she recommends is when you are through asking questions, say to your crew, “Do you have any questions?”   This keeps the crew listening too.  She finds that they have excellent questions. 

The crew is listening because they know Steph will want their input.  This really sets a co-creative situation.  They know you appreciate them and they want to be part of the content of the film as well as the production.

Keep the Camera Rolling

Tell your crew that even when you say, “ok kill the camera,” do not stop filming.  You can get the best information during this time.  People relax when the camera is off.  When your subject says something that you want in the film, Steph just says, “let’s fire up the camera and get that” even though it was on all of the time. 

Because you have a signed release it’s all legal material.

I heard some wonderful comments in our fiscally sponsored filmmaker Jilann Spitzmiller’s film, Still Dreaming.  She kept her camera rolling when people thought it was off and caught a conversation that added so much to the film. 

When people think the camera is off then you can get some real jewels.

 

Carole Dean is president and founder of From the Heart Productions; a 501(c)3 non-The Art of Film Funding Podcastprofit that offers 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.