Nuts, bolts, hot tips, and road-tested information from Holly Million for indie filmmakers raising money

Tag Archives: classes

News Blast for A Helluva Camp!

NEWS RELEASE Contact: Maureen Futtner
For Release: December 1, 2009 (415) 637-3280

“A Helluva Camp” provides training for nonprofit rebels and indie filmmakers

San Francisco, CA – As the economy faces a ‘jobless recovery,’ creative entrepreneurs are emerging in all sectors and industries. While gumption counts for a lot, entrepreneurs still require hard skills and information to successfully launch an enterprise. Fundraising expert and author Holly Million helps big thinkers translate their vision into practical plans with A Helluva Camp, day-long mini-conferences presented by Million’s Golden Poppy Productions. The series of workshops is designed to provide filmmakers, nonprofit idealists and other social-change agents with a solid knowledgebase and up-to-the minute information. A Helluva Camp for Indie Filmmakers takes place on Jan. 23, 2010; A Helluva Camp for Nonprofit Rebels is on Jan. 30, 2010; and A Helluva Camp on Film Production from Idea to Internet is offered on April 24, 2010. All workshops are at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, 145 Ninth Street, San Francisco. Registration ranges from $125 to $250 with discounts for early registration. Registration includes breakfast, lunch and Peet’s coffee and teas. For more information visit or call 415-902-0558.

Million developed A Helluva Camp to equip today’s change-agents with the tools necessary to transform the broken-down systems in today’s world. The series also aims to foster the “can-do” spirit emerging amid the economic shake-up. “The rewards go to the person willing to make her own opportunities, not wait for opportunity to pull up in a limo,” says Million. “If you’re a motivated, creative individual, you’ll seize this moment to start your own venture, launch your own creative project and make your own job.”

With topics such as “Caviar PR on a Baked-Bean Budget” and “How to Ask People For Money,” A Helluva Camp provides thorough and compelling content with a fired-up attitude. Million is committed to presenting relevant information in a fun and accessible format. The mini-conferences feature instructors who are not only working professionals, but also entrepreneurs in their own right.

Tom Lin, a veteran of the online advertising world for such corporations as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, participated in Million’s recent workshop on Web 2.0 tools for film fundraising. “I’m very familiar with Web 2.0 and, as a filmmaker, I’ve attended classes that speak to these tools, but none of them successfully brought it all together until I participated in Holly’s workshop,” notes Lin. “Hers was the best I’ve ever attended. Thanks, Holly!”


A Helluva CampTM is sponsored by Golden Poppy Productions, LLC, Ninth Street Media Center, A Million Images,, Women’s Film Institute, New Documentary Editing

— A Helluva Camp (TM) for Indie Filmmakers— January 23, 2010
This camp is designed for new filmmakers and people switching to the film field and presents info on fundraising, marketing, the latest technology, distribution, and much more.

— A Helluva Camp (TM) for Nonprofit Rebels — January 30, 2010
This camp is designed for people who are starting new nonprofits or who want to change the ways of existing nonprofits and presents info on fundraising, PR, the latest technology, board development, and much more.

— A Helluva CampTM on Film Production from Idea to Internet — April 24, 2010
This camp is geared to somewhat more experienced filmmakers who want information on shooting, capturing, editing, and uploading footage to the Internet to take advantage of new, affordable ways to get their media into the world.


A Helluva Camp for Indie Filmmakers Jan. 23, 2010

Register Now for A Helluva Camp™ for Indie Filmmakers

This camp is for indie filmmakers who want new ideas and new ways to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.

We spend one full day covering topics that aren’t covered in most film schools, and our instructors are working filmmakers or real-life movers and shakers in their fields of expertise.

This is a fantastic opportunity to network with other filmmakers and experts in many fields. You don’t want to miss this one!

And compared to what other camps and conferences are charging these days, A Helluva Camp is a real bargain!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

$125 by December 31, 2009
$145 between January 1, 2010 to January 22, 2010
$165 at the door

Ninth Street Media Center
145 Ninth Street (at Mission)
San Francisco, CA 94103

Breakfast and Lunch included! Featuring Peet’s Coffees and Teas!
Register Now!
Email confirmation will be sent to you.

For more information about the line-up or to sign up for this unique indie film camp, visit Golden Poppy Productions, LLC.

Sponsored by:
Golden Poppy Productions, LLC
Holly Million, Fundraising Consultant
A Million Images, LLC
Ninth Street Media and Arts Center
The Women’s Film Institute

Web 2.0 Tools for Film Fundraising Class Rocked!

I taught a three-hour class called “Web 2.0 Tools for Film Fundraising” last night through the San Francisco Film Society. That’s a picture of me with most of the class attendees. Thanks to Vance Snyder for taking the picture!

This class focused on what Web 2.0 is all about, what specific tools are out there, and how to put them to work in support of your indie film fundraising. We covered everything from blogs to wikis to social networking to folksonomies and explored the inner workings of popular sites and tools such as Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Vertical Response.

I created a class document that I emailed to all the students after the class that contained hotlinks to all of the dozens and dozens of sites I shared during the class. What a deal!

I’ll be offering the class again in coming months, so either stay tuned on this blog, or sign up using the form on the right-hand side of the blog to receive email announcements.

For two hot examples of how indie films are doing exciting, bold, and brilliant things with Web 2.0, check out the website of low-budget fright phenomenon Paranormal Activity and the site of polar opposite The Yes Men Fix Everything. You will be amazed at what Web 2.0 can do for your film.

If you are interested in learning more about connecting your film to the Internet, consider signing up for A Helluva Camp on Film Production from Idea to Internet, taking place on April 24, 2010. For more information or to register, visit Golden Poppy Productions, LLC.

Put the Web to work for you!

In fundraising solidarity,
Holly Million

A Helluva Camp Featured Presenter — Richard Levien

Editor and filmmaker Richard Levien is presenting at two different camps I am organizing in 2010. Richard will present on “A Low-Budget, Kick-Ass Trailer” at A Helluva Camp for Indie Filmmakers which is taking place in San Francisco on Saturday, January 23, 2009. He will also be part of the four-person team of experts presenting at A Helluva Camp on Film Production from Idea to Internet on Saturday, January 30, 2009.

For more information about both camps or to register, visit Golden Poppy Productions.

Richard has a PhD in theoretical physics from Princeton University, but has found his real passion in film. As a freelance film editor, he co-edited the feature documentary D Tour, which won the Golden Gate award for Best Bay Area documentary at the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival, and will appear on the PBS series Independent Lens in Fall 2009. He edited and did motion graphics for the short film On the Assassination of the Presidentwhich premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. He also edited the cult Internet hit Store Wars, which was seen by 5.5 million people in the first 6 weeks of its release.

Levien’s first film as a director is Immersion (2009), a short film about a ten-year-old immigrant from Mexico who speaks no English, and struggles to fit in at his new school in the U.S. “Immersion” debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2009. It has also played or will play at the San Francisco International, Seattle International, Sarasota, Palm Springs Shortfest, Mill Valley, Chicago International Children’s, Media that Matters, New Zealand International and Brussels International Independent Film Festivals. It won the “No Violence” award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the Golden Gate award for Best Bay Area short film at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

At the same festival, Levien won the $35,000 San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grant, the first in a cycle of grants that will infuse $3 million dollars into narrative feature filmmaking in the Bay Area in the next five years. Levien won for screenwriting and script development of La Migra, the story of an 11-year-old girl whose mother has been taken away by U.S. immigration police. He is working with author Malin Alegria on this project.

Levien was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1968. He enjoys a good cup of tea and follows the (mostly ill) fate of the New Zealand cricket team. He is one of the few New Zealanders who played no part whatsoever in the making of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

For more information about A Helluva Camp or to register, visit

A Helluva Camp Featured Presenter — Rod Minott

I’m organizing A Helluva Camp for Indie Filmmakers on January 23, 2010 in San Francisco. For more information on this and other camps in the series, visit Golden Poppy Productions.

One of our featured presenters at the camp is Rod Minott, who will be presenting on the subject of “Grant Proposals That Don’t Suck.” We could all benefit from a discussion on that topic!

Rod Minott is the founder of Glisan Media, a San Francisco-based media company that focuses on video-journalism story production as well as consulting services for independent producers interested in producing programs for public television. Rod began his broadcasting career in 1984 as an on-air daily news reporter for the Boise, Idaho CBS station affiliate, KBCI TV2. In 1985 he joined public television as an on-air reporter/producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. Rod has also been a reporter/producer for public television stations KTEH in San Jose, and KCTS in Seattle. From 1994 until 1999, Rod served as the Seattle-based on-air correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. From 2005 until 2007 he worked at the Independent Television Service (ITVS) in San Francisco as Program Manager for the LINCS (Linking Independents and Co-Producing Stations) funding initiative. He also oversaw ITVS’s online digital initiative, “Electric Shadows.” Rod lives in San Francisco. He can be contacted at: phone-(415) 553-5969 email: His website is:

Register now for A Helluva Camp for Indie Filmmakers and gain exciting knowledge from presenters like Rod Minott!

For more information or to register, visit

In fundraising solidarity,
Holly Million

A Helluva Camp for Indie Filmmakers x 2!

Hey, filmmakers!

I have launched some special camps to satisfy your jones for real information that’s useful and up to date! Plenty of opportunity to network with your peers as well as experts in many avenues of the film field.

To find out more, visit You can also register on the website.

A Helluva Camp™ provides condensed, content-rich, cutting-edge, & fun mini-camps & mini-conferences. Our goal is to give you information & training you can’t find anywhere else about subjects that are exciting, practical, & up to the minute! Our goal is to fire up the can-do person in all of us.

Register now for our upcoming camps!

A Helluva Camp™ for Indie FilmmakersJanuary 23, 2010
(Info on fundraising, marketing, the latest technology, distribution, & much more)

A Helluva Camp™ for Nonprofit RebelsJanuary 30, 2010
(Info on fundraising, PR, the latest technology, board development, & much more)

A Helluva Camp™ on Film Production from Idea to Internet April 24, 2010
(Info on shooting, capturing, editing, & uploading your footage to the Internet)

* Each camp is one full day.

* Includes breakfast, lunch, & free Peet’s coffee & teas.

* To see the line-up of presenters, find out more details, or to register for any of the three camps, visit

* Or, email for more information.

Upcoming Film Funding Classes

Obama embraced fundraising like no political candidate before, raising over $750 million in the course of his campaign. That’s the real secret to successful fundraising — embrace it!

Want to become more intimate with the intricacies of fundraising? I’m teaching several film fundraising classes through the San Francisco Film Society throughout the rest of this year. Need to learn how to pitch? Want to find out how the Internet can enhance your film fundraising? I have the straight dope for you.

I’m teaching my long-running, popular class “How to Ask People for Money” on August 29 and September 12. The first session is sold out, but space is still available for the second class. This is an eight-hour-long, hands-on experience that has you learning what goes in to donor prospect identification, cultivation, and direct asks. By the end of the day, you are pitching your film to a live panel of real film experts who give you gentle, constructive feedback to improve your odds the next time you go out to bat!

I’m teaching a reprise of “How to Ask People for Money” on October 17 and again on December 5. I teach a simplified version of the class as a webinar on November 7.

I’m also teaching “Using Interactive Web Tools for Indie Film Fundraising” on October 21. Filmmakers are embracing blogs, tweets and social networking to help cast, market, distribute and raise money for films. Find out how Web 2.0 tools can enhance your donor cultivation and communication.

So there are plenty of class dates to choose from. Register now!

In fundraising solidarity,
Holly Million

(Obama artwork by Petr Kratochvil)

How to Ask People for Money Webinar

Are you tired of barking up the same old foundation trees for grants for your film? Have you noticed that the well of grant funding has shriveled and dried up? That’s why you need to learn how to ask people for money.

Individuals are certainly feeling the pinch of the economy, but unlike institutional funders, individuals have more discretion with how they spend their money, even in bad times, and there are different factors that motivate them to give in good times or bad.

I’ve been teaching a popular class called “How to Ask People from Money” through the San Francisco Film Society for over a year. Now, I am proud to introduce a webinar version of the class. The webinar takes place Saturday, June 13 from 10 AM to Noon and is hosted on The webinar is a bargain at $25 per SFFS member and $35 for non-members, and you will leave with greater knowledge and power over your individual donor fundraising than you ever would have imagined.

Asking people for money….it’s easier than you think! Come take my webinar. Click this link to register.

Drink up knowledge at my upcoming classes!

Because knowledge is power, especially in these tough times, check out my upcoming fundraising classes.

For filmmakers, I’m offering my tried and true, highly popular “How to Ask People for Money” class through the San Francisco Film Society again in the next couple of months. First, I’m introducing a new webinar version of the class on June 13 for the low, low price of $35. This is a condensed version for people who want their information like their breakfast drink, in “quick,” or even “instant” form so you can chug it and run.

I’m also offering a live version of “How to Ask People for Money,” which is known for its action-packed format, on August 29 through SFFS at $200 for non-SFFS members and $180 for SFFS members. I’m developing a new version of this class for the staff and board of nonprofit organizations and will deliver it in webinar form on August 15 and October 3 from 10 AM to noon.

For all your friends working in the nonprofit field, or for yourself if you are curious, I am offering my new class “An Actual Emergency: How to Fundraise in an Economic Meltdown” in webinar form on June 20, August 8, and October 23 from 10 AM to noon Pacific Time all three days. The enrollment fee is a bargain at $35! I’m also teaching a more hands-on, live version of the class on September 12 for a fee of $90 per person.

For more information about the nonprofit classes or the film classes, please email me at You can learn more about my fundraising consulting or my classes at

Take My Class at SF Film Society

Want to get hands-on experience asking people for money for your film? Sign up for my fundraising class offered through the San Francisco Film Society. Information on the class follows, along with sign up instructions. Hope to see you there!

How to Ask People for Money
Taught by Holly Million
Tuesday, December 2; Wednesday,
December 3; 7:00–10:00 pm
San Francisco Film Centre, Conference Room
39 Mesa Street, The Presidio
San Francisco CA 94129
Enrollment limited to 16; $180 for SFFS members/$200 for non-members

Class description: The universe of foundations that support films rarely changes, except that it is shrinking. At the same time, new filmmakers emerge every day, and all of them are applying to exactly the same places. That is why you must do individual fundraising. Individual fundraising gives you more control, easier access and more solid long-term relationships that keep paying off in the future. This class features a lively, hands-on process to help filmmakers craft the messages and tools they need to approach individual donors. You will put this information to work during the class and become prepared to take your show on the road. The second night of the class includes a mock pitch session with a panel representing potential funders.

Enroll and pay class fees online at For further information, contact Filmmaker Education Manager Michael A. Behrens, at, or call at 415.561.5000.