Worse, I picked an ensemble piece, which was more complicated and didn’t fit the
scriptwriting models I’d read about. Then I had to learn how to write a business plan and
start a non-profit (Cleveland Creative Filmmakers 1999) so I could funnel grant funds. I was
always scheming.”
Scheming to Dreaming: Relationships Are The Guiding Force
Words are powerful. The word “scheming,” popularly implying underhanded, then starts a
dialogue of “deficit discourse” (Gergen, 1994, p. 143-164). She was engaged in the
production process and the relational business of fund raising. “Scheming” discredits the
steep learning curve Laura navigated or the production planning she negotiated to make
the film a reality. As we unpacked her process, she was positioned with access to affluent
people who valued their relationship with her. And though one learns that they valued Laura
over the film, one doesn’t see her as “exploiting” the situation but rather speaking into the
relationship she had to the people with investment power.
She notes, “Ironically, my piano teaching of ‘over privileged children’ in the suburbs was
helpful. I met an influential Cleveland family and they invested in the film and held a donor
party. I don’t think they were particularly interested in the film but they liked me as a person
and wanted to help.” “Scheming” is when you pull something over on someone
“dreaming” is when your vision pulls people along with your shared values.
Laura was dreaming and her relationships, providing financial backing, were the guiding
force allowing her to complete the film production. Many creative folks feel indulgent for
negotiating the deal because they already feel rewarded for following their passion. Laura’s
story illustrates how creative individuals can encourage financial contribution is form of
participation that allows others to connect to a larger venue.
How Do You Put A Price Tag On Passion?
It takes courage, follow-through, and conviction of your artistic vision to apply for funding.
Laura has received many grants and is versed in the funding process. There are plenty of
community arts and granting organizations providing funding for community-based venture.
Documentarians, like Laura, are also tied into organizations like Independent Television
Service (ITVS) (http://www.itvs.org) that funds public projects linked to social change,
diversity, democracy, and the independent spirit.
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