“… reality is more like this, you make your movies and get them honestly funded, however you are able to, without breaking the bank. Your bank, your parents or relatives bank, or your real life investors bank.”
Part 2 Attitude is Everything!
Crowdfunding takes an inordinate amount of work for most everyone. Funding of any kind takes massive effort and requires time and care. It is as time consuming (if not more) and as difficult (if not more) than making and releasing the actual movie.
Some celebrities may have an easier go of it but then, remember, they had a career path to celebrity-hood that they finally are able to utilize. As a celebrity they are now able to cash in and draw attention to charities or projects. I do not begrudge them their success or that they crowd fund. Let them, it brings more attention to the process.
As filmmakers we need to believe there is room for everyone. We need to believe that there is enough of everything for everyone.
We should not think that what we do is for a select few. Anyone may make movies. Whether they succeed depends on their talent and commitment, the gatekeeping mechanisms and whether or not the public embraces them. Everyone is welcome to try.
We should not think that there is only one correct way to do anything. There are many roads to the same destination. We should not let our thinking limit us from finding new ways and means and forging ahead as pioneers. Only a brave few will forge ahead and create new roads for the rest of us but we should celebrate those who are willing.
We must not think that money or resources are limited. They aren’t. Look around you there is plenty of money. Money is everywhere! You may not have access to it yet but it is out there. There is more than enough money! There is money available for you!
Sadly, some people think they have to divide up the pie. They think there is only so much and they have to fight to get their share. These people believe that when it is used up it is all over. They think in terms of finite resources. They usually have an ‘us against them’ mentality. In actuality, there is enough for all.
This limiting frame of mind comes from focusing on ‘lack’. They concentrate on what they do not have. It is poverty thinking. People with this mindset see resources as scarce instead of as plentiful. In the midst of the most difficult depressions and recessions millionaires and billionaires are made. It is not that there isn’t money out there, there is tons of it.
You can’t expect to climb up the hill if all your thinking is down hill thoughts. If you are focused on what is broken, or not working, or what you don’t have you will be missing what is actually potentially available. If you are thinking you won’t succeed failure is assured. If your time is spent feeling jealous or criticizing others when they succeed your success is so less likely.
Some people encounter a problem and all of their energy and thoughts go into ‘having a problem’. They think about the problem day and night, they wonder ‘why me’ and resent that there is an issue. This person is focused on the problem so guess what they see most of the time. The problem AND it looms large in their mind.
What a person needs to do is recognize when there is a problem and then focus on the solution. How can I solve this is a better question than why do I have this problem? What can I begin to do to move forward is a better question than remaining stuck. What resources do I have, who do I know who can help me through this, what do I need to learn are all better ways of thinking.
Once we truly realize that there IS plenty of money to fund our project, and that we can find it when we look for it, no matter what it takes, we operate from a position of power. We have a positive mind set and we think positive thoughts which lead to positive actions.
Since many of us already engage in limiting thinking we need to turn our thinking around. We need to free ourselves from what ‘can’t be’, and move into what ‘can be’. We have to manage our thoughts and our feelings so our energy is freed up to do whatever it takes to get the job done. So we put the poverty, limited, scarcity thoughts out of our minds.
What we really need to do is make more pies. We need to create and keep creating and demonstrate there is enough for everyone. We need to maintain a positive focus and continue to work to make our dreams come true.
Success leaves clues. One way to set yourself up to succeed more readily and easily is to learn from others who have already done what you want to do. Study the successful people to know what they did and what you might do. Study the failed campaigns to know what not to do. You will learn from both.
Seek people who can mentor you and advise you. Learning means gathering useful and accurate information and acting on it appropriately. It means enlisting others who can work with you and help you accomplish your goals. Read whatever you can, talk with others, become an intern, go to work fundraising for charities or other concerns. Learn everything you can about the world of finance and business because that IS what the motion picture ‘business’ is truly about.
Movie making is all based on commerce. It is a commercial venture. It is the creative manufacture of a product for sale in the marketplace. It is about raising money, spending money, making and losing money.
Hey, I get it. You want to make movies. You consider yourself an artist. You don’t want any part of the money side. Yes, I know. All I want to do is make movies too.
Well, if that is ALL you want to do, get your friends and a video camera, film your story and edit it. Show your friends and family. Congratulate yourself for having made a movie. If it is good and you enjoyed making the movie do it again if you like. You are a filmmaker.
If you want to compete in the marketplace of movies and media that is all about business. Movies are made, marketed and positioned in the same way a detergent is so that it ends up eye level on a super market shelf. Product is made and distributed TO MAKE SOMEONE MONEY!
So your mind set is definitely important! Define yourself and your career. Are you a carefree artist? Would you be happy making movies to show to a few in the desert or a you filmmaker attempting to break into the commercial world of filmmaking? Whichever it is, pursue it. One choice is much easier than the other, unless you decide as an artist, that you need to raise money to make your movie. Then BAM you are back in the world of finance.
When you take money from people, UNLESS it is a NO STRINGS ATTACHED GIFT (rarely if ever IS that the case) YOU have a responsibility to return their money and them some (or at the VERY LEAST make every reasonable attempt to) if they invested or you have to deliver on the perks and promises of your crowdfunding campaign. Either way you OWE those who supported you.
So mind set and attitude is important. Having the proper confident mindset will see you through the easy times and the difficult times. Having a winning attitude, a can do attitude means you have learned the ability to stay focused on what you want and seek solutions when the going is tough or everything around you is crumbling.
Because raising money, by whatever means, takes a lot of work you have to go into it believing you will succeed. You should be optimistic and expect good results. You should expect it to be tough and take time but you should know that it IS possible and that you can do it. You have to believe in yourself and be confident. If you don’t know what you are doing be assured you can learn how to do it and do it well. One thing about people that is certain is that we can learn to do anything if we will apply ourselves and seek out useful resources.
You want to be certain you put together the right team for your fundraising project. Everyone should be on the same page about what you are attempting to do and this requires excellent communication skills. You need to make certain everyone understands what your plan is and agrees on the plan. It is ok for people to have alternate ideas and to sort through them.
You want to get positive input from people. You want people to suggest reasonable ways that work. You do want to be able to think outside the box, as well. You want to put everything on the table and sort it out prior to implementing your plan. Once you come up with a good plan you work the plan. You want everyone understanding what the plan is all along the way and working the exact same plan. Likewise, you want everyone making the same movie, when it is in production, not the versions they have of it in their heads.
Not all plans work so you may need to adjust along the way. Since raising money is a lot of work you want to make sure your team is loyal and committed and that each does what is required of them so that everything goes smoothly.
If you go into this expecting to divide the work evenly among committee members and then everything ends up on the shoulders of one or two people no one is going to be very happy. You don’t want skirmishes to rip your team apart once you begin so do everything you can in the beginning to make sure you have all the right team members. No one ever actually succeeds alone.
So you want to be careful about the ‘bad apples’. For whatever reason some people can create an awful lot of discord and you want to maintain a positive team and frame of mind. If you have to let someone go, if a person or two is not a fit or a good team player, let them go respectfully. There is never a reason to create enemies. Keep goodwill. You may suggest that you work together at another time on a more suitable project for both of you.
Fundraising is tough but if you focus only on how tough it is, it will only be tougher. This is why you need to be dedicated and committed, educated and confident that you are able to succeed. Stay cheerful in both the good times and the not so good times. Keep your eyes on the end goal when times are tough. Attitude is everything so keep your chin up. Investors can tell when you are low or if you don’t fully believe in yourselves or your project. You need to believe your project is worth making and that you can get it made.
Work on developing a powerful positive mindset. There is more to a positive mindset than a’rah rah’ cheerleading squad type motivational shout up. You should learn what you need to do, learn how to do it, be confident that with the right mentors and practice you will get better and that you will be able to reach your goal. Remember always that you can do it when you work at it. Work smarter not harder.
As you inch closer and closer to making it happen it is natural and good to be enthusiastic. Don’t lose sight of what you are working to achieve. Make it happen and enjoy it.
A good team leader has the right mindset all the time. A good leader needs to be able to be enthusiastic when times are tough so that the team is not discouraged. A good leader needs to be understanding, compassionate and a great motivator. A truly great leader leads by example not by orders. When people are around someone who walks the talk they want to walk it too. Bottom line, if your goal is to add value to all and be an inspiration to all you will be working well whether the team leader or a team member. Again, attitude IS everything.
Believe that you can do it. Henry Ford said, ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are right.’ No sea captain starts a voyage thinking they won’t get to their destination and neither should you. It doesn’t matter how difficult it is if you keep at it, if you are open to feedback and adapt your plans as may be necessary, you can make it happen.
Some projects don’t get funded right away, some do and then lose funding. Any number of things can happen that can make the going tougher than one imagined but don’t you quit if this is truly important to you. When you stick with it, with the right attitude, you will find another way. Stay focused on the goal, the solutions and believe in yourself, your project, your team and that you will prevail.
Consider this: Movies get funded and made every day.
I repeat: MOVIES GET FUNDED AND MADE EVERY DAY!
Sure, it is tough but it happens. Projects get green lit from the studios, independent films find their funding, crowdfunded pictures get their money to move forward, and more.
These happen all the time. It all boils down to a simple thought: If others can do it so can you! Keep the faith.” Rex Sikes
Next time well will discuss what I believe are some important factors in launching your projects and determining how to move ahead to fund it.
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