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Your Mind is the Key to Your Success

By Carole Lee Dean

Henry Ford said, "If you think you can, or if you think you can't, you're right." He knew that the mind is a key component to success. Are you using your mind to fund your film?

My job is to read hundreds of film proposals for the Roy W. Dean film grants. I stay in touch with many applicants, even those who don't win, to follow their progress. Some projects are so heartfelt and the filmmakers so determined that I just want to help them in some way. You would be shocked at how many brilliant films are never made and how many "strange ones" get funded and distributed!

So you can understand why I jumped off my seat while reading Bruce Lipton's book on The Biology of Belief when he said that placebos work better than real pills. Just the thought that a sugar pill will cure you was enough for people to use their minds to heal themselves.

The placebo effect was also the subject of a knee operation experiment. Subjects who did not get the knee operation, but went through the procedure, meaning they were actually cut open and sewed back up, healed perfectly. Now, don't tell me that you mind is not the greatest asset you have when funding your film.

Okay, so how do you do it? Well, if it all starts in your head then I suggest you begin working on your vision of the film. Ask yourself, what will it look like? And I don't necessarily mean the cinematography.

Why not visualize the credits at the beginning of the film? Or start at the end and work backwards as Dr. Chopra tells us in his Way of the Wizard. See yourself at a Sony Studios screening room with standing room only. Hear the applause as the film finishes and feel the power of completion.

Remember when you were a kid and you spent time daydreaming? Well, go back to that. Yes, give yourself daydreaming time. Fred Alan Wolf in his book, The Dreaming Universe tells us that when we daydream we may actually go into the future and create what we dream about. He says a "handshake across time" occurs during daydreaming that may actually create your future. Things soon begin to happen in your day-to-day life that you may call synchronicity, but actually these events are exactly what you need to create your dream.

Next, how's your confidence? Do you feel like you could be a success? Is it still totally non-existent from the last grant rejection or the last time your best friend said, "Do you really think you can raise all that money?" This illusive lady of confidence has to be your best friend and never leave your side. Film funders can smell fear 10 feet away.

How do you treat yourself? Always putting your self down for the least little thing? Filmmaking demands you respect yourself. It's time you realized your brilliance.

How about your pitch? Do you feel confident about it? If you don't, then you can be sure open checkbooks and cash will be replaced by yawns and disinterest no matter how good the story. Is it working? If it is working, people are asking you questions and are willing to donate time, money and services.

Your pitch is the major foundation for your funding. If your pitch is all over the place it won't work because people have to see your film when you talk about it. A visual pitch of an engaging story means the person you pitch can remember it and tell his or her friends, and they can become advocates and help find additional funds.

Does your proposal/synopsis knock me off my seat with its opening? Do you tell an engaging story that I can easily repeat? Have you gotten to the heart of the film? If not, get closer to the subject matter until you actually become the film. You and your film must be inseparable, and then you become the pitch. When you live and breathe your film and every pore in your body is immersed in the visions of your film, no one questions your completion. In fact, they all want to get on board this train because they know you have a destination, a time table and nothing will move you off your course.

What are you manifesting in your life? Problems? Or are your days full of joy where things just fall into place? Sometimes you manifest what you don't want because you are not focusing on what you do want. Get a vision of your future and begin to see it on a daily basis. Write down your vision and keep it with you so that when you are driving, standing in line, etc. you can be creating your future. Quantum physics says that sound has vibration so use it to manifest. Shout out what you want in your back yard!

See yourself with a fat bank account and hear yourself negotiating with Paramount for distribution. Act like you did when you were 10 years old, when you knew you could have anything. All you had to do was to see it, know it and then there it was, like magic you materialized it. Right? Think back, I bet you materialized your first bike and your first car. That was before you had to get out and make a living. Well, that magic is still there and it's waiting for you.

Manifesting is much easier when you have a plan of action to achieve your goals. This plan needs daily input and focus. It becomes your "to do" list. I like to put things I need to do on the left side and things I need help with on the right side. That way I can tell the Universe to help me and almost always I get some flash of genius that makes that potentially difficult item very simple or it just goes away.

What do you want to achieve over the next 6 months and what do you want to be doing one year from now? Write these things down and write them in the present tense, as if they are happening now. Say them out loud with passion and enthusiasm. Once you believe its real then the Universe begins to move heaven and earth to support this vision.

When Bruce Lipton was asked, "Is it really about mind over matter?" Bruce replied, "Yes, this new perspective of human biology does not view the body as just a mechanical device, but rather incorporates the role of a mind and spirit. This breakthrough is fundamental in all healing because it recognizes that when we change our perception or beliefs we send totally different messages to our cells, causing a reprogramming of their expression."

If you're not using your mind to help you with your filmmaking, you are not alone. It has been a problem for a long time, but the list of ideas I have given you will hopefully get you moving in the right direction. Even Cassavetes saw this problem back in the '60's.

"What happens to artists is that it's not that somebody's standing in their way; it's that their own selves are standing in their way. The compromise really isn't how or what you do, the techniques you use, or even the content, but really the compromise is beginning to feel a lack of confidence in your innermost thoughts." - John Cassavetes

Meet the Author: Carole Lee Dean


Carole Lee Dean runs one of the largest independent film grants in the US, where she reads hundreds of applications a year. Carole created an industry with film short ends and was the world’s largest tape recycling supplier in NYC, LA, and Chicago. She is the entrepreneurial producer of over 100 programs.