3 Nuggets of Gold: Indie Marketing and Distribution Expert Jon Reiss

September 17th, 2014

Digital Media Strategist

Digital Media Strategist

by Elizabeth England

What’s a PMD?  Something every indie film budget needs, a Producer of Marketing and Distribution.  Carole Dean’s interview with Jon Reiss was astounding in its torrent of knowledge and ideas, giving us a glimpse of the raw curiosity that drives Jon’s filmmaking.  Daily Variety named him as a ‘digital director to watch.’ (Jon in Wikipedia.)

Check out his imdb.com!–fascinating films and subjects–Robotic Mayhem from Survival Research Laboratories; Bomb It featuring rave influencers Crystal Method and Moby; and Bomb It 2 exploring global graffiti leaders. His current project is producer and PMD (a dual role he doesn’t recommend) for a breast cancer awareness doc following the treatment choices, decision-making and post-treatment stories of several women.

This interview is so chockfull of smart info and brilliant ideas—I’ll share a few of the nuggets.  (Listen to the interview for so much more!)

Nugget 1 -  Every indie film budget needs a PMD, a Producer of Marketing and Distribution.  The PMD develops and implements a marketing and distribution strategy at the start of the project.  The PMD ensures early and ongoing engagement of the target audience through a storytelling platform, develops niche-influencer partnerships, and defines a festival, live event and digital strategy including merchandise and delivery.  The PMD starts with a low percentage of budget and high time investment and inversely ramps up over the life of the project.

At the project’s start the PMD’s focus will be audience and partnership strategy and development, a big investment of the PMD’s time.  As the project matures, the PMD’s budget will increase with live event, digital and merchandise strategy rollouts leading up to the ‘premiere’ event.  Once the film is released, 100% of the budget becomes marketing and distribution related expenses.

Basically, it’s a key job that needs to be baked into today’s indie film budget if you want to “dent the media landscape,” as Jon put it.  Makes sense, huh?

Nugget 2 – To engage, build and maintain your audience relationships, have a storytelling platform that lives alongside the film project.  The storytelling platform will build your audience community and create a win-win relationship, nurturing partnerships with like-minded influencers and organizations in your story niche.

Jon’s example: His current breast cancer project examines the controversial questions about over-screening and overtreatment, trends in lumpectomies and mastectomies, and issues of reconstructive surgery.  The breast cancer film’s storytelling platform is partnered with a like-minded charitable organization, sharing their audiences and publicity campaigns during the project.  His tip for filmmakers with controversial subjects—engage influencers early and hold off on social media promotion of your topic until there are strong strategic partners with buy-in to share in diffusing controversy. A win-win for both, the breast cancer charity will ‘inherit’ the film’s storytelling platform after the film reaches distribution–a real motivator for charity buy-in.

Nugget 3 – Think about ways to engage your audience both episodically and for your one off film premiere. There was so much good advice here I’ll just touch on it so make sure you listen to Jon’s interview for more info. Powerhouses like Netflix and HBO are tapped into consumer preferences for series, gaining the advantage of repeating promo and recurring royalties for replays—but they have the ad money for series promo.  Taking a cue from the series concept, Jon uses production and post-production to deliver a series of live events with film previews to elicit feedback, engage audience discussion and make adjustments for the desired impact.  His idea: release discreet film clips with fanfare as a series to build fan base and excitement for the final product. Using this model, the live events format could range from mini-screening parties with interactive discussions, to publicity events…whatever suits your topic…or a mix of both during post-production.  Post release, additional content not in the final cut makes great series content for ongoing audience engagement and film promotion on the storytelling platform. You can take any of this and run with it to suit your project. (This idea applies during the filmmaking and between projects, too, engaging your loyal fans until your next film is released.)

Audience development tips.

  • Make the media match the audience: know who your audience is and develop content that engages them directly as early as possible in the project.
  • Marshall geographic/regional support: If you can link your film subject to a community or region, you’ll interest local press and publicity for your project.
  • Strategic relationships: develop win-win relationships with both influencers and organizations in your niche subject.  Having the support of celebrities, bloggers, charities, civic groups or even government agencies to develop your audience should be a win-win. To develop these relationships, just introduce yourself and connect, and be prepared to answer should they ask what you have to offer and what you want from them, such as screening outreach, dvd promotion, profit sharing, co-publicity events, etc.  Jon’s breast cancer strategy started with the influencers and organizations in the breast cancer niche, then expanded to embrace influencers in women’s health.

Some last few tidbits to chew on:

  • One off films are easier to produce events around than a series because a filmmaker has more opportunity to dent the media landscape—but take advantage of series elements in your marketing.
  • Your final film doesn’t have to have a 90-minute format!  45 minutes more or less is an optimum length for a live event with publicity or a screening party with interactive discussion.
  • Check out the interesting events other indie filmmakers are doing like This American Life and HitRECord.

Jon wants to talk to you.  He made it clear in this interview that he is very curious about what you are up to – he just loves talking to filmmakers. Once again, thanks go to From the Heart’s Carole Dean for her extensive reach into the world of independent filmmaking to deliver this great interview.  Here’s more info from Jon, including how to get him on the phone for a chat:  www.jonreiss.com; Jon in Wikipedia; Think Outside the Box Office; and Jon’s Free Consultation.

 

What’s Your Hook? Brilliant Strategies for Developing An Audience That Follows You, Not Just Your Film

September 7th, 2014

By Elizabeth England

Carole Dean’s The Art of Film Funding on Blogtalkradio interview of Sheri Candler is another nugget of solid gold for independent filmmakers seeking to crowdfund or distribute their films.  Sheri is on the emerging edge of marketing independent features and documentaries in the internet era.  A digital marketing strategist, Sheri consults with filmmakers to develop an identifiable brand and audience that follows them from project to project.

As Director of Digital Marketing for The Film Collaborative,  she helps filmmakers find strategies for retaining the rights to their work, and much more.  She has co-authored two books on film marketing and distribution: Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul reveals strategies for US distribution of Indies; Selling your Film Outside the US tells the compelling stories of two case studies of film distribution in Europe.

Sheri CandlerSheri’s Message to Filmmakers:  

  • If your only way you to connect to an audience is through the filter of the funder, you are in a weak position and dependent on someone else’s audience to see your work.
  • The way of the past was to make a name for yourself and then you would be ‘picked’ to do more work for a studio (or a producer.)  It’s time to use new strategies to create your own audience and retain the rights to your products.
  • The studio/producer model is always subjective in its choice of projects – there is always a hot new thing to draw their interest!   A mindset change is required for filmmakers to achieve success now, not just for a film but for their creative work to be recognized and generate sustainable career options.
  • You don’t have to measure your success by the mainstream box office.  Most filmmakers want to express their passion, change the world or connect with an audience that loves their work.
  • You can build an audience around you, as an artist, and make the films you want because you have developed a fan base for your work.  You can make what you want as long as you are reconciled to this and can be happy with niche success rather than mass success.

Finding an Audience

Rick Dean Crop

A “name” attached to your film doesn’t need to be mainstream star. It could be a YouTube celebrity or a blogger with a large following.

How you will find your audience is key to getting your film seen, distributed and profitable.  Indy dramas will attract marketing dollars and distribution offers when they have big names attached unless the content is edgy enough to attract a major film festival or distribution offers. Or you can develop your own audience during the project that supports successful release and distribution.

A big name has a big following, but don’t limit yourself to the mainstream entertainment world. What about YouTube celebrities or blogger with a million followers? Or a film tied into an iconic figure with millions of fans.

These have an audience that wants to see their work and it’s likely you won’t have to pay top dollar for their name. A big name in mainstream entertainment may attract the marketing dollars needed to find the audience, but a huge audience isn’t required to make a film a success. Check out the case studies for examples of that.

What’s Your Hook?

Without a big name or festival, having a hook to connect with a target audience creates an audience that will show up to see the film.  When the big name and marketing dollars aren’t there to attract the audience, Sheri’s two European case studies prove that focused effort finds the target audience by getting the word out to them through social media, community, and news channels. In each case, the filmmaker developed warm, substantive relationships with their target audience and surprising success followed.

Each had one or more ‘hooks’ to defined audiences they developed with great success—one over years and the other rapidly (in the year after the film was completed!)  Both films were dramas with defined target audiences: a UK-based filmmaker with an ethnic, low budget, coming of age drama; and an India-based filmmaker with a drama released in a regional Indian dialog, with lots of interest from Europe, especially the UK.

So what’s your hook and how are you connecting with the community that will care about your story?  Does the community trust you and know your work? If they do, they will want to help when you make your ask for funds or support during release!

Connecting with this audience from the start of your project and asking your audience to be part of the process engages and invests them in buying and sharing the final release.  Sheri gives some great examples on how to engage your audience during the process.  YouTube is a way to connect with your audience but she warns that people understand social media for relationship building and usually find it a turnoff when used for marketing so use it wisely.  It is valuable for some topics…like sharing about a project on an iconic star or engaging fans for their feedback on the direction you’re taking in your story or soundtrack.

Don’t Worry About Distribution If You Have Your Audience

With all the digital distribution platforms now available, distribution is no longer a challenge.  But who’s going to watch it?  Marketing to your audience must be your focus from the start. Filmmakers can plan audience development and marketing at the beginning of the film.

With the speed of change on the internet, distribution agents simply aren’t able to keep up with the new digital distribution strategies. Online film review publications are now incentivized (The Guardian, The Times of India) using strategies like Distrify to earn royalties on the film reviews that result in click-throughs to view a film.

When you have a hook and plan audience development into your project, magic happens.  In one case study, the audience was so invested during the process that, when the filmmaker offered an affiliate program at release, 130 affiliates signed up immediately to help market the film and earn royalties on distribution.

He used Distrify to offer and host the film for streaming, providing affiliates with unique affiliate embed codes. Affiliates ‘prebought’ the film at buyin levels that increased their royalty with higher prebuy values – even up to 75% royalty.  WOW.  Affiliates made thousands and so did he.

There are Hundreds of Digital Platforms for European DistributionSelling_Your_Film_Outside_the_US

European distribution requirements are similar to US – they are looking for celebrity names (that are known in Europe), or films shown in a large festival, or films that have a record of large domestic distribution. Some genres attract distribution regardless of names or festivals because they have large demand, i.e. horror, thematic, sci-fi and family films. Straight drama and comedy don’t always travel well to foreign markets.

The sheer number of Video on Demand services in Europe is staggering – 447 – so many more than in the US.  That means that with some acclaim, your film can reach many viewers.  However, these revenue streams are paying less for a title so you’ll have several deals for distribution in Europe rather than one big deal as in the US market. European catalogs are looking at buying slates so these may only pay a license fee, not a transactional fee.  Collaborating with other producers to present a slate increases your film’s chance of being sold in bulk this way.

US Distribution

The Film Collaborative has a great program for US distribution.  TFC is an ‘aggregator’ for premium platforms like Amazon and ITunes.  For a flat fee, your film will be encoded and uploaded to premium platforms and you’ll receive royalties directly from TFC as a direct pass-through – no transactional fees are charged.  This is a great way to get your film into domestic digital distribution.

Be sure to listen to this great show 5 Creative Ways to Sell Your Film and check out the links below.

8 Tips from Film Funding Masters Marc Hofstatter and Carole Dean

June 23rd, 2014

By Elizabeth England

Did you know that 89% of IndieGoGo campaigns that reach their goal will overfund by 30% or more?

Or that 1/3 of IndieGoGo’s donors are international contributors from 70 countries?

These are just a few of the juicy tidbits I picked up listening to Carole Dean’s interview of IndieGoGo’s Marc Hoffstatter, Head of Film (@theoriginalhoff) on The Art of Film Funding on Blogtalkradio.

From The Heart Productions has been a partner with Indiegogo since 1991

Partnered with Indiegogo, From The Heart Productions has helped independent filmmakers raise over $1 million for their films

From the Heart has a unique partnership with IndieGoGo.  As a 501(c)3 non-profit, From The Heart provides filmmakers with fiscal sponsorship which allows donors to get tax deductions.   Filmmakers also get flexible funding.  That means they get paid even if they don’t reach their goal.  As an Indiegogo partner, From The Heart has helped filmmakers raise over $1 million to date.

I was delighted to pick up these expert insights and master tips, and give you an overview of the road map they shared.

Build Your Film Contact Database:  90% of your crowd funding comes from your list and their friends.  During pre-launch, leverage your database to create excitement and get commitments for 20% of your campaign goal from funders.  Then have a plan to get your committed funders to donate in the first two days of your campaign.  Reaching 20% of your goal in the first 72 hours will get you noticed beyond your list by IndieGoGo fans and create momentum to fund to 100% of your goal ahead of schedule.

Aim Low – Fund High: Marc and Carole recommend being conservative in selecting your

Marc Hofstatter - Head of   Film at Indiegogo

Marc Hofstatter – Head of Film at Indiegogo

goal to fund faster and stronger.  Hitting that 20% in the first few days is crucial.   It shows you’ve got support and creates momentum which attracts more donors.   So, even if you want to fund your entire feature at once, it’s best to start by funding just part of it.  Besides, 89% of the campaigns that hit their goal overfund by 30%.

Plan to Go Beyond Your Goal.  Carole pointed out that many filmmakers reach their goal early and are at a loss as to what to do for the rest of the campaign.  Marc suggested creating pre-planning stretch goals to keep the momentum going.  For example, imagine telling your fans how stoked you are that you’ve reached 100% of your goal early and now you can do what you had only dreamed of…shoot that scene in 3D with another $2,000 (or whatever your first stretch goal is.) That early success is the juice keeping your fans engaged and your campaign exciting.

Don’t Forget The Pictures:  Marc recommends that you make your Indiegogo campaign page a strong visual representation of who you are, what you are doing and your unique style and talent.   It should not be a page filled with words.   Potential donors must be visually drawn in by your campaign page.  They want to see your style and get a taste of what your filmmaking will achieve with their help!

No Time for Trailers.  Carole and Marc agree that at the start of a campaign a Pitch Video is more important than a trailer.  You need to show donors why you are making the project and why it needs to get made.   Don’t forget to have an “ask” and a call to action to ask them to donate.  But even your pitch video MUST represent your filmmaking vision and style AND give them a reason to click ‘Donate NOW.’  Chances are, they aren’t coming back, so close them NOW.

My own two cents? Consider this – Make a pitch video with two endings:  One for pre-launch promotion and the second for the campaign ask and close.  Another key element on your campaign page is your team: who is on board with you and what are their roles?  Your team inspires confidence in your ability to get the job done with their money, so let your funders know you have quality business and creative talent on board to finish the project.

Pre-planning is Critical: Marc suggests to plan what you are going to do to maintain momentum and excitement at 5, 10, 17, even 22 days into your campaign.  Work out predefined benchmarks for stretch goals, pre-written social media content for both during and beyond your campaign, and new and exciting perks that stimulate new funders.

Out With the Old Perks. Plan to introduce exciting new perks during your campaign that stimulate funding.    Some funders may prefer a credit over a premiere ticket so changing up the perks will attract new funders.  Choosing smart perks like digital downloads and experiences are easier to fulfill and have less impact on your budget than a perk you have to pay for and ship.

Your Crew is Your Team.  Mark recommends having a team on your campaign of at least four.  1- outreach to those organizations and individuals aligned with your project to get their support; 2- provide regular updates, responses and new perks on your campaign page; 3- email campaign management and response; and 4- social media content and interaction.  Carole and Mark emphasize that you are marketing your film already at this early stage–building a fan base, and hopefully attracting the attention of sales agents, distributors and advocates so treat it that way.

Other key points covered:

  • Campaign sophistication will jump in the near future with the entry of major players into the crowdfunding arena as seen in the recent campaigns for Sharknado and Rooster Teeth—this is great for getting your project noticed now by serious film fans and funders.
  • Crowdfunding blogs and thought leaders are interested in your campaign and your project—so add PR outreach to your planning.
  • Your success at funding your campaign is directly proportionate to retaining creative control of your project.  Crowdfunding averages 10% to 35% of a film’s total budget funding, with the balance from grants, equity financing, foreign sales agreements.
  • Crowdfunding is still relatively unknown and is poised for tremendous growth as market awareness explodes and the impact of recent Title II and Title III rulings make room for crowdfunding equity financing with both accredited and unaccredited investors.

The bottom line is that crowdfunding is far from maturity and is the best tool available for filmmakers to simultaneously get exposure for their talents while marketing and funding their projects.

From the Heart’s unique partnership with IndieGoGo gives you a powerful advantage:  a flexible and continuous funding platform combined with decades of experience mentoring filmmakers. Take advantage of this priceless access to this winning combination now.

Here are some cool links I found researching this article that I’d like to share with you:

June 24th Google Hangout with Marc Hofstatter:  http://www.indiewire.com/article/attention-filmmakers-learn-how-to-crowdfund-successfully-in-upcoming-google-hangout-with-indiegogo-kickstarter-and-seed-spark-20140619#.U6SBOREN9Ec.twitter

IndieGoGo’s Essential Tips:  http://go.indiegogo.com/blog/2014/06/essential-tips-for-running-an-indiegogo-campaign-part-ii.html

Title II and IndieGoGo: https://go.indiegogo.com/blog/2013/09/update-on-the-jobs-act-title-ii-and-crowdfunding.html

Rick Dean Crowd 2Don’t get lost in the crowd

Stand out and get funded with From The Heart and Indiegogo.

No penalty if you don’t reach goal, tax deductions for donors, personal mentoring and support. 

Just apply at the From The Heart Indiegogo Partner Page

 

 

Touch My Heart…And I’ll Open My Pocketbook

February 23rd, 2014

Everything in your room was a thought before it became a material object.   Thought creates matter.   So says Ken Elliott, author of Manifesting 1, 2, 3, and you don’t need 3  who we interviewed for our Art of Film Funding Show on blogtalkradio.com.

Painting by Rick Dean

Painting by Rick Dean

His information is fascinating.  He shares how he learned to send visions of his thoughts to his teacher.  From this, he went on to manifest a successful career as an artist as well as writing an important, well received book.

Does your film need funding?   You need to see what you want.   Ken says this is the first step in manifesting.  Then, “move it from your head to your heart.”   We communicate through our heart chakra.

Find this heart place to send your vision to the universe.   Remember how special you feel when someone says something that makes your hand touch your heart?  Tell me a great story, touch my heart, and I will open my pocketbook!

I think you should send your visions with emotions.  I like my requests to have“urgency”.  So I send them up with joy, happiness and gratitude.  Emotions heighten manifestation.

Ken talks about children who manifest what they want.  They see it, they say it, or point to it. and they become relentless in their request.  They get what they want through focus, focus, focus. And so can you.

Once you start focusing on a vision things happen.  In our Intentional Filmmaking Class, we focus on what we want by listing it and envisioning it as completed.  We list what we want and send our intentions/visions as if they have happened.  That seems to be essential.  You have to believe you have it.  You are living in it.  It is.  Once you step into the reality that “it is” you can “feel” it and “see it.”  This clear vision is a key to manifesting.

Ken mentions list making.  That’s what we do in our class.  We make a list of what we want.  Short and concise so that we can read it daily and these things become reality.  Ken says that a friend of his who is an out of body person could see his list of things start to manifest on the other side.  Then it comes into our reality.  I don’t know about this.  I just know that the “how” is not important.  I know the vision and imaging that you have it is the key to manifesting.

Did you know that Rhonda Burns and her crew manifested their top selling film The Secret? by using The Secret? concepts?  They manifested what they wanted. They saw this film opening all over the world at once.

At that time, there was no way to download a full film.  That’s how much faith they had.  They envisioned the outcome they wanted. While they were making the film it became possible to download a full feature and they achieved their vision.

Ken Elliott says that your biggest enemy is fear.  You can overcome it by converting your worries to action items.  Put them on your calendar.  I find he is right.  I keep a pen and paper and when thoughts come to me that could be a fear, I write an action note to solve the problem.  For some reason the brain stops worrying. Then the next day, if it is still a worry you focus on it or you let it go.

Ken says to create a movie for the future first it in your mind. Close your eyes and imagine you are in your future. See the future and live it.  Be on your couch in a lovely home sitting at the end of the day and seeing your film completed.

Use the heart now by sending feelings of love and gratitude while you see the completed film and discuss your success. He says you use one of the most powerful things in the universe: gratefulness.  Be grateful that you have the finished film. Charge it with gratitude and love.  See this movie once a day.

This manifesting is available to all of us.  Thought is real, it can create we know this from quantum physics. Why not believe you can improve your life, create more joy, make a film and fulfill your heart’s desire?  Even if for only 90 days, why not use your vision, lists, focus, lack of fear and most importantly faith to create your film?

Thoughts that Feed Your Heart

February 27th, 2013

 

Guest blog post by my brilliant friend, By Adrienne Gould

With the onset of instant communication, we live in interesting times.  The wealth of information exposes more ways for people to expand their knowledge; people are willing today, more than ever before, to accept the role “thoughts” have in realizing a better future.

Many books published in recent years give credence to the power that positive thoughts, via the use of affirmations, are directly related to your lives circumstances.

Today, there is a new way of thinking, and with Carole Dean’s class on Intentions quickly approaching, I’d like to explain the differences between affirmations and declarations.

The difference between an affirmation and a declaration is slight, but in my mind, powerful.  The definition of an affirmation is “a positive statement asserting that a goal you wish to achieve is already happening.  I‘m not crazy about this because what it does is bring an automatic response to your mind that says, “This isn’t true.”

The definition of a declaration is “to state an official intention out loud that takes on a particular course of action“.

A declaration is not saying some-thing is true, it’s stating that we have an intention of doing or being something.

A declaration, by definition, is also official.  It is a formal statement of energy into the universe and throughout your body.

Declare your intention aloud each morning and each evening. Additionally, if you do so while looking into a mirror, it will accelerate the process even more.

Now, I have to admit that when I first heard of this, I said, “No way, too hokey for me.”  But, because I was broke at the time, I decided, “What the heck, I’ll do the hokey thing, I‘d rather be really hokey and really successful than really cool and really broke.”

After achieving the goals I’ve declared, it’s no surprise that I believe in declaring intentions.

* * * * *

Here are two ‘people habits’: Doing habits and Not-Doing habits.  The way to change Not-Doing habits into Doing habits is to DO them.  Reading will assist you, but it is a completely different world when you go from reading to doing.

* * * * *

designmagic@roadrunner.com      Adrienne Gould 805-443-6826

Free Your Mind and the Funds Will Follow

February 20th, 2013

Why do filmmakers sometimes behave like fish? 

Dr. Deepak Chopra says that “If you talk to people who work in aquariums, they will tell you that when fish are separated from each other in glass tanks with a transparent partition between, preventing the fish from moving to the other tank, and then you remove that partition, the fish still will not be able to go into the other tank.  They have made a commitment in their body-mind and believe that’s as far as they can go.”

He says our sensory apparatus, like those fish in the aquarium, develops as a result of our initial sensory experiences and how we are taught to interpret them.  We function with a nervous system that reinforces and interprets what happened to us.  It’s called a premature cognitive commitment.

Then, we commit ourselves to cognitive realities which are a result of conceptual boundaries that we have structured in our own consciousness.  And our nervous system reinforces these boundaries.

I run into this daily in consultations with filmmakers.  When they need to raise money, I often suggest ideas that I know to be successful.  Many will say, No, I had a horrible time with crowdfunding or I had a party and we barely covered the cost of the food.  Once they tried something, their body-mind has made a premature cognitive commitment.

To change this is impossible in one phone call.

A New Kind of Class

So years ago, I created The Trailblazers Class.   I asked filmmakers to drive an hour to Oxnard once a month for 6 months to spend from10AM to 4PM with me in my home with lunch served.  We started with the foundation of the film, pitch, proposal and trailer and we spent a month on each of these before we moved into funding ideas.

We created a vision board together cutting pictures from magazines, listened to Chopra and his Way of the Wizard audio.  We listened to Bruce Lipton tell us how to change our thinking, how we are creating our future with thoughts.  We began to think of things as completed and realized we must send positive images and feelings when we thought about our firms and our future. So we created completed visions of the films in our minds and saw them as successful.

Was it successful?  Upon research, one woman who was just starting to make a documentary now has a brilliant, completed film and is starting another one.  One of the young men in the class has won many grants and is now teaching at NYFA.  Another woman artist did a stupendous job with her documentary and wrote a second book with her photos and it is published.

Intentional Filmmakers

That’s why I’ve now created the Intentional Filmmakers Class.  It’s a nine month online course (no trips to Oxnard necessary) to help filmmakers remove blocks.  It will have only a small group of filmmakers who will work together to discover these body- mind commitments and remove them.  I want to help filmmakers accept and embrace new concepts for funding their films.

This is a business where the only constant is change.  We must be able to adapt to new concepts and let go of old ones at the drop of a hat.   We can do this through new information from scientists, doctors and investigators such as Deepak Chopra, Lynn McTaggart, Brian Green, Stuart Wilde and Michael Beckwith.

Miracles happen every day.  I believe that we are all connected.  I believe that we care for each other and we are here to support each other.  We can create our future.   Impossible?  I don’t think so.

For more information on the Intentional Filmmaker Class, please go to http://fromtheheartproductions.com/internationalffm.shtml

 

INTENTIONAL FILMMAKING PART 1

January 20th, 2013

Movies do not get made without great intent.  Especially the ones nominated for Academy Awards.  2013 best director Oscar nominee Behh Zietlin shot “Beasts of the Southern Wild” on a shoestring budget, with untrained child actors, in a dirty swamp.  You aren’t able to do that without the will to get it done.

Intention is the greatest power we have as humans.  It’s our will power; we can will things into being.  How?  We do this by our relentless belief in the outcome of our desire.

Haven’t you heard people say, “He willed it so” when talking about someone who achieved an incredible feat?  We use this word without realizing its full potential.  Each of us has this power.  The question is how to use it to create our art.

Say it Out Loud

Once you find something that you are willing to achieve and know that you will have to put 1000% of your faith and full intention on the completion, say it out loud.

Then, ask yourself how you feel. Are you sick at your stomach?  It’s too much?  Lower your expectations.  Do you feel confident?  Then, go for it.  Deepak Chopra says each cell is a living thinking organism.  Believe me, your body will tell you if you can or can’t do that, stay away from the mind, listen to the body.

Once you have set an intention for what you believe you can achieve, then put it everywhere you spend time, on your computer, the visor of the car, inside your wallet, you want to see this and repeat it 3 times a day.  This is a one line statement of your intention as if it is completed.  Example, “My brilliant film is completed.”  Now, what’s on your “to do” list for the day?  Focus on it and expect the universe to help you.

Listen Carefully

Pay attention because the universe now believes that your film is finished and they have to catch up with you.  You may be introduced to a D.P., pitch the film, perhaps they will come on board and work with you to get the funding or lend their name.

Fred Alan Wolf says that when you are daydreaming about the future, that there is a “handshake across time” that occurs and this vision may become a reality in the future. So expect things to   happen to move your film forward.

Accept all invitations and go as if you film is funded. I want you to have that air of confidence about you.  Let them know you are doing something really cool, if they want to get involved, please join me because I am doing this with or without you.

Something that’s Never Been Tried Before

I read treatments and review proposals for over 500 documentaries and films each year.  Some apply for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant.  Some apply for fiscal sponsorship through From The Heart Productions for indiegogo.com.

Many are fantastic, can’t miss stories that have you anticipating standing in line for a ticket.  But, many of those do not get made due to doubts and fears the filmmaker has about the project getting produced and their ability to produce it.

Can filmmakers be taught to create intent?  Well, I believe they can and I have intended it to be.  I just created a class called Intentional Filmmaking.   It combines mentoring in filmmaking along with teaching how to manifest to leverage your intent.  A class like this has never been tried.  But, I know, and my intent is, that it will work.

Filmmakers need to know that our intentions (thoughts) can create things on this physical plane.  They need to intend goals that are possible.  Not to get $1 million in 30 days.  They need goals that they can honestly reach and set a timeline for achievement.    When they have the will to attain that goal, they can’t be stopped.

A Test of Faith

January 1st, 2013

About year ago Helen Hall applied for our Dean grant in NYC with her brilliant film, Pictures of Infinity about the incredible inventor, Nikola Tesla.

She was a finalist in the grant and when she didn’t win I asked her if she would like to work with From the Heart as her fiscal sponsor and let us help her raise money.  She agreed and we set to work on creating the trailer and improving the proposal. Helen was open to all suggestions and made changes and followed through after each consultation.

We gave her names of grants that I thought would fund her film and she applied to all of them.  She had a matching grant for $30, 000 that was about to expire and we were both reviewing all grants available to get that money.

After months of hard work and only 5 days until her matching grant was expiring, the mail arrived on Dec 26 and there was a check from one of the places FTH suggested. A little known granting organization had sent her a check for $30,000.00.  Can you imagine my excitement knowing that with her matching grant this meant $60,000.00 to her? 

 Here was her funding for the interviews with physicists, an even better trailer and much more!  What a wonderful holiday gift for Helen.

 See, it’s a test of faith, please never give up.  Never stop believing.  Just know it will come from wherever it is now.

 Focus on doing the work and let the universe do their part.  They will not let you down.

How to Manifest a Miracle

December 21st, 2012

Many filmmakers might consider it a miracle if their film got nominated for an Oscar or Golden Globe or a Spirit Award.  They might consider it a miracle if their film got made!  Miracles can happen.  But, creating miracles like this don’t just begin with a good story or a great director.  Creating miracles starts with understanding the universal law of manifesting.

The age of miracles has not passed.  We all have an immense power that allows us create.  Creating miracles is identifying with the universal laws to create your future. This power is not outside you, it is inside.  You are in charge.

You are eternal and infinite.  The universal law for manifesting is impartial.  It has no way of knowing what you want.  It is pure energy and takes the thoughts you send out and returns them to you unemotionally and in the form you asked for.

I meditated on the films fiscally sponsored through From The Heart Productions and asked for abundance.  I asked for hundreds of donations before the holidays.  Right after my request, we received over 100 donations in a matter of days.  However, they were mostly $10 and $20.  So you see, I did not ask for LARGE donations for my filmmakers.  It’s a learning process.

This law will give you what you believe in.  If you think it won’t work or that you don’t deserve it, you are seriously limiting yourself.  So, trust me when I say the beliefs you express as your thoughts and feelings are what you are sending to the universe.  You need to think like you did when you were a kid, i.e., that you can do anything, your powers are limitless.  Go back to your thinking before people began to say, “You can’t do that!”

We are not our bodies; we are spirit living in a body. We came to this earth as spirit.  Remembering that is part of creating miracles.  You came in with a goal and that goal is part of you. It may be as simple as learning to love you.

To manifest you need to be sending thoughts and feelings of the highest caliber about yourself.  Always know that “you are the greatest.”  Muhammad Ali tapped into this miracle manifestation on a daily basis.  We can learn from him as we daily say to ourselves how great we are.

The power of the universal law is always with you.  It will fulfill your thoughts and feelings.

The next step is look at the nature of your beliefs.  You may have established belief about what can and cannot be done.  You may believe that people can lift a certain weight and no more, run at a certain speed and no faster.

It is a matter of perception and belief.  Your ability to work miracles is predicated on how easily and quickly you can move away from world belief patterns and step above them.  You need to mentally leave where you are now and step into the unknown.

Imagine the universal law as a shipping clerk in a factory.

It gets your order and he sends out what you ask for, a request for a size 12 gets a size 12.  This energy is there to send you what you ask for.  Be aware that your thoughts and feelings are sending requests daily to the universal mind and it responds by delivering the same.  You need to be sure of what you want and make a strong “ask” with your intentions clearly defined.  The power is within you.  Use it to manifest miracles daily.

Words are in your DNA

August 18th, 2012

A brilliant Australian author, Brendan Murphy, has cleverly compiled information for us about language.  He says based on research that “human language seems to have emerged from the grammatical and syntactical structures within our very own DNA”

We know as artists that words are the most important part of our films, our written materials, and especially our “pitches.”  Finding the right words to touch hearts, engage people to donate, and support our projects is paramount to their success.

What’s so important to me about this information is that it supports what we
“think” we know and assures us that we are correct in taking care to choose the right words to reach our audiences.  If we are all coded with words then our job is to resonate with each other through these words.  Words that create visions, feelings, and emotions bring our art to life in another human.

This means phrases like, “I hope to” or “I would like to” should be dropped for “I am making” and “I am creating…”  Watching your words can improve your health and your finances.

Brendan goes on to say that “Because the structures of DNA base pairs and of language are so similar, we can alter our own genetics by simply using words and sentences as has been experimentally proven.”  That means that by repeating each day sayings such as “I am truly blessed” can benefit you.

He continues with “This finally and scientifically explains why affirmations, autogenous training, hypnosis and the like can have such strong effects on humans and their bodies.”

Inspirational author Louise Hay recorded what she said when she was diagnosed with cancer.  She found upon playback that she sounded very negative and changed her words and changed her health and she is still with us years later running Hay House.  There are many such stories available on this subject.  It’s up to us to experiment with this concept to improve our lives and create our art.

Consider saying dozens of times a day, “My art is funded,”  “I am truly blessed.”

Keep your words full of love and respect for you and all you encounter.  Remember that words are energy and if you send out good energy it will return to you tenfold.

Source of information on Brendan Murphy:

http://www.facebook.com/The.Grand.Illusion.Books