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Book Review: “Shaking The Money Tree”, by Morrie Warshawski.

Filmmakers all over the world face the same problem: funding. “Shaking the Money Tree” guides you, step by step, on how to get grants and donations. It stresses the need for filmmakers to personalize their approach; it focuses on the crucial role of networking; it provides tips on applying for grants; it underlines the beneficial impact the internet has on fundraising and all the little helpful tricks that you might have missed.

Morrie Warshawski, a consultant and writer, demystifies the art of fundraising for independent projects. In six chapters, entailing sub categories, with bullet points and several reference notes, the book is handy to read. The appendix has two examples of grant proposals and a list of reference websites that can help the search for funding.

Nobody wants to work with or funds a filmmaker, who doesn’t have a clear idea of what he/she wants and the message of his/her project. So, step one is to have a clear vision of the project. Warshawski draws a map to follow for finding potential donors – individuals, government entities, private foundations, corporations, small businesses and other non-profit organizations – and suggests means to reach them, communicate with them and ultimately convince them.

The author dwells on the research involved in selecting parties to approach, in a personalized way. He goes from traditional forms of funding to alternative ones, relying mainly on social media or house parties fundraising events.

Testimonials from filmmakers are inspiring and make you think out of the box.

“Shaking the Money Tree” is a good reference and practical with plenty of ideas and advices that could help any filmmaker in the difficult maze of funding.

Note: “Shaking the Money Tree” is available at the RFC’s Film Library. The book has already been edited three times.

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