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

Unleashing the Power of the Film Crew

Why You Need to Create a Mastermind Group For Your Film

by Carole Dean

One of my favorite books is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  It is a masterwork and best seller that focuses on how to use the power of your mind to achieve success.  This includes creating a mastermind group which will accelerate the growth of your business using the talents and knowledge of those with whom you work. This is perfect for filmmakers. 

Mastermind Group

Organized and Intelligently Directed Knowledge Equals Power

“Power is essential for success,” Napoleon writes, “in the accumulation of money. 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, with the 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.

Understanding the Power of the Mastermind

To better understand the potential power available to you through a properly chosen mastermind group, Napoleon says you need to understand the powers at work.  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.

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

The Billionaire Behind the Mastermind Principle

The mastermind principle, or rather the economic feature of it was first called to Napoleon’s attention by the industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Discovery of this principle was responsible for the choice of his life’s work.

“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 who has accumulated a great fortune, and many will show you that they have consciously or unconsciously employed the mastermind principle.”

How Hollywood Has Embraced 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 about filmmaking.  You’ll see that in watching the dailies or the rough cut there’s always a group of people in the screening room offering input. Not just one person, but a group of them giving ideas and using this mastermind power to improve the film.

Hollywood was built on the mastermind concept.  These traits were used by Carnegie as well as Ford and Du Pont. They were also used by the heads of the Hollywood studios.

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

They knew that two minds together, working towards one goal, held the secrets of the universe.

Nature’s Building Blocks

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

Wow, that is quite a statement.

“I want 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.”

Presidents And the Mastermind Principle

Our presidents do this, they have boards of wealthy successful businessmen who give them basic ideas and guidance. 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 when he was shot down over the Himalayas.

He became friends with Chiang Kai-shek and actually flew him around China.  Then at 23, he took over all the imports to China back in the 40’s. 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.  The board contained some of the top brains in the United states. 

So be aware that US presidents use this mastermind concept for guidance, advice, and direction. 

Functioning in Harmony to Reach Goal

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.  

In the group, you will take on habits and the power of thought of those with whom you associate in a spirit of sympathy and harmony.

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.

 

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

Your Relentless Desire Will Bring Success!

“Many people desire riches, but desiring riches must include a state of mind that will not take no for an answer.” Napoleon Hill

by Carole Dean

It’s amazing how many people have cited that their success came from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  This book was published in 1937, can you believe that?  It has been a bestseller for almost 100 years. I teach the still relevant advice it contains to the filmmakers in our Film Funding Guidance Class. 

That’s just what you need to make your film.  A true obsession.  You need to clearly see the finished product. Back your obsession with a plan. 

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

With this information, they were able to achieve their goals.  (For anyone who hasn’t set goals, I created an outline for goal setting on how to make the statements in the now as if it is already existing.)

Napoleon Hill says that “there are six definite, practical steps to achieve your goals.” Setting goals is crucial to fulfilling them and for the universe to understand that in your mind it is a fait accompli, it is finished.  I sincerely urge you to create one or two goals.  Perhaps one to take you till September and the second goal to take you until the beginning of 2022.

Your Desire Must Become an Obsession

Hill says that “many people desire riches, but desiring riches must include a state of mind that will not take no for an answer.  It must be an obsession.”  That’s just what you need to make your film.  A true obsession.  You need to clearly see the finished product. Back your obsession with a plan.  You want a definite list of things to do to take you to the goal. 

In our industry, flexibility can be your greatest asset. I see filmmakers who start out going one way and can make quick changes like a bird in flight.  They seem to change their mind and immediately change direction.  This is often what it takes for you to find the money. 

“First is the total dedication,” he writes, “then the belief that your desire is achievable. Don’t share your goals and desires with other people. They may not support you and that lack of support could pull you down. Keep these things inside you where the energy stays and grows and takes you with confidence to achieve your goals.”

The Universe Works Like a Shipping Clerk

Napoleon Hill’s first of six steps in achieving your goals is to “fix in your mind the exact amount of money you want to raise.”   

It’s important to recognize that the universe works like a shipping clerk. When it hears you say that you want six pair of pants size 12, then that’s what they ship you.  If you tell them you’d like some lovely pants that fit, you may never get what you want. You must be very specific outlining exactly what you want.  

Just saying you want to become a millionaire does not work.  We all want that.  The universe works on numbers and visions and beliefs.

Universe, Let’s Make a Deal

The second step is to determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money.  I think that’s important to recognize that the universe wants you to have what you want when you are adamant about it.

Somehow, I got this concept as young girl.  I was always making deals with God and would promise to do certain things if God would do a very specific thing for me.  I knew when I had a deal.  In every bone in my body, I knew immediately that the universe had accepted my request.

I was always very clear with what I wanted and would clearly visualize exactly it. Example, if it was a diamond ring, I could see it, feel it and I would pretend I was wearing it.  If it was the bicycle, I wanted I could see the color, the basket. I could see every item on the bike and would not be shocked when it appeared at the next holiday.

I am sure you did the same thing when you were a child.  Most of us were manifesting all the time and this is how the universe works. You need a burning desire and you need to specifically outline what you want. AND most importantly what you will give in return. 

Perhaps you decide to give a percentage of the funds to your favorite charity or to someone in dire need.  Tell the universe what you will do.  You may want to give something up, like take sugar out of your diet or eat less meat, now is the time to promise that.  Or take a class that will help you in your career.  Promise to do that.

Make a Short Film in Your Mind

You might want to raise money for the film.  You might want to raise $30,000.  Before you settle on an amount and deadline, you want to feel into this amount and see what “feels” right. Pay attention to how your body reacts.  If you go into fear or feel a sick stomach, then reduce the amount or extend the time. 

You can find what your body and mind agree that you can do.  Perhaps you find the right number.  If you think you can do it by Thanksgiving, then see yourself at a Thanksgiving dinner sharing your success with your family. You need to visualize the entire meal.  Visualize who will be there and what they are wearing. Visualize all the food on the table. Even think about what the conversations are. 

Make a short film of it in your mind.  Then swell with pride when you announce how you achieved your goal.  They will be very supportive and so will the universe.  Believe me, the universe is listening to you daily.

You may offer to give your time to a nonprofit that supports the concepts of your proposed film project.  By donating time to a charity, you may be working next to wealthy people.  Often, they donate time to these organizations.  They surely go to the charity events and you can get into them too.  Put yourself where you can meet wealthy people and do good at the same time.

Deals with the Universe are Time Sensitive

Third, Hill says, “Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.”  Yes, we must fully understand that to manifest, we must have a set end time.  We know that deals with the universe are time sensitive.

One of my best girlfriends always said, “when my ship comes in” we will do this and that. Well, her ship never came in because that was the future.  It was always planned to come in sometime in the future.  It never came in during her entire life.

It’s fun to set your goals and tie them to holidays. This can also be birthdays.  It should be times when you’ll be celebrating or be with family and friends who love you. This is the time two envision your goal as completed and you are announcing it.

Define Your Plan and Goal

“Fourth, create a definite plan,” he writes, “for carrying out your desire and began at once whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.”   

“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.”

Now you need to make an outline of how you intend to get the funding.  You know the ways to raise money, so let’s cover them:

  • Family and friends.
  • Crowdfunding
  • Peer to peer funding via emails.
  • Letter writing to wealthy people to ask for guidance, not for money, yet.
  • One on one asks for funding from wealthy people.
  • Major production houses.
  • Nonprofits and organizations who are interested in your subject matter.
  • People you meet while you are donating your time to nonprofit organizations.

Choose one or more of these ways and get to work with a “To Do” list to achieve your goal.

Repeat Twice Daily

“Sixth: If your read your written statement aloud twice daily. Once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. As you read— see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.”

See, feel, and believe.  All three are needed to bring this to fruition. This is very easy for filmmakers as we are all strongly connected to Neptune, which is imagination and illusion. Neptune is the planet that rules.

Hollywood and most filmmakers are strongly influenced by this wonderful energy to imagine.

 

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.