SHAKE YOUR MONEY MAKER
Filmmaking. Ew-la-la. Sounds sexy, right? Well, allow me to be the bearer of bad news – it’s a business. Sure, there’s passion and yes, those “magic” moments can still take place during the creative process. But at the end of the day, making a film is much like running a commercial enterprise, which calls for a constant foraging for funds and there’s nothing sexy about that – AT ALL.
I recently attended a C.I.D. fundraising workshop – facilitated by non other than the guru of green himself, Morrie Warshawski http://www.documentaries.org. He’s the author of, “Shaking the Money Tree” http://www.warshawski.com. The title alone says everything you need to know about this guy and his readymade pitch for filmmakers to drum up grants and other sources of funding. To hear him tell it (and I actually think this is a direct quote), “everyday we walk through a sea of money” – its all there waiting for us… like “money growing on trees”. Morrie seems to suggest that all we need to do is (A) find the tree and then (B) shake it. Simple. Who knew it could be so easy! Right? So why isn’t my film awash in cash? And why is it such a challenge to ask strangers (foundations, etc) for the moolah?
In this tanking economy, Morrie sees lucrative opportunities abound (oh what I could do with just a negligible slice of the stratospheric bailout package for the fat cats on Wall Street, the auto industry, et., al…). In my reality, I see people losing their homes – their jobs – their savings. In this economic environment, I see what used to be reliable funding for the arts drying up. It’s during times like these that I feel only steps away from walking the streets with my cardboard sign that reads: “FILMMAKER NEEDS FINISHING FUNDS FOR DEEPLY PERSONAL DOC. – SOME DONATIONS MAY BE USED FOR WINE.” But Morrie, the sage of how to get the loot, would reassure us that before we, strapped-for-cash filmmakers, resort to such desperate measures as dodging traffic with our cardboard signs, we consider the following. In a room filled with wide-eyed and needy folks, who, by the way, paid to attend the workshop (not to mention shelling out a small chunk of change for his book and DVD), we were asked to map out our charitable spending patterns and assess our comfort zone of giving. What most of us discovered is that WE DO GIVE to worthy causes and to those who ask – even in these difficult times. Wow! He is a god.
So let’s test Morrie’s theory. As an independent filmmaker, I am an endangered species, under the constant threat of extinction. In order to complete my film, FAMILY AFFAIR, I need your help to raise finishing funds for my project. Any amount you can contribute is greatly appreciated and will help bring FAMILY AFFAIR to festivals, broadcast and theatrical release. To make a secure online donation, please visit the following site: https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=10065
If this blogosphere fundraising campaign is a success, I’ll be sure to host my own workshop… maybe even write a book titled, “Shake Your Money Maker.”