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Hope for Film: From the Frontline of the Independent Cinema Revolutions Hardcover – August 5, 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A relentlessly useful insider’s guide to independent film from a longtime practitioner." —Kirkus

"Filled with tidbits of earned wisdom and stories from the proverbial trenches..." —SF Weekly

"For anyone who is a producer, dreams of being a producer, or just wants to understand how the movie world really works, this book is a must-read…Hope for Film is written in an admirably honest, conversational voice..." — Cultural Weekly

"One of the things I like about Hope's assessment is the way he looks at...the larger ecology, in this case, the sustenance provided by journalistic criticism..." —Culture Crash

"Hope for Film: From the Frontline of the Independent Cinema Revolutions by Ted Hope is required reading for anyone that aspires to enter the world of filmmaking." —Flicksided

About the Author

Ted Hope is one of the most respected voices in independent film. As the creator, editor and regular contributor to HopeForFilm.com blog, Hope provides a must-read forum for discussion and engagement about the critical issues faced by filmmakers, artists, and the film industry in today's global, market-driven economy. A true expert in the field, a survey of his 65 plus films includes many highlights and breakthroughs in independent cinema, including Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm, " Shari Springer vBerman and Robert" Pulcini's "American Splendor, " Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "21 Grams, " Todd Solondz's "Happiness, " Sean Durkin's "Martha Marcy May Marlene, " and Greg Mottola's "Adventureland, " amongst many others. In 1990 he cofounded with James Schamus the production and sales powerhouse Good Machine, which was sold to Universal in 2002. Known within the industry for having an extraordinary ability to recognize emerging talent, Hope has more than 20 first features to his credit, including those of Alan Ball, Todd Field, Michel Gondry, Hal Hartley, Nicole Holofcener, et al. In September 2012, Hope left a lifetime in New York City to take leadership of the San Francisco Film Society as Executive Director, where he is providing a launchpad for film lovers and filmmakers to participate in the broadest definition of cinema by creating innovative programs for the creation, appreciation and monetization of the art form. He is also an exciting and prolific voice on Twitter with over 30,000 followers, and has contributed to numerous publications, including "The New York Times" and "Filmmaker Magazine. "
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (August 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619023326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619023321
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Harper on August 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Whether you love independent cinema or just can't pass up a good story, Hope for Film draws you in with its engaging combination of film school explanations and personal memoir. Ted Hope is clearly someone who knows the business of making movies on a shoestring budget, and he shares his experiences in working the system with such well-known indie directors as Ang Lee and Nicole Holofcener. Through the book we follow his own growth from PA to respected executive producer to visionary determined to change the way things are done. Each chapter is somewhat self-contained, reflecting on a formative film-making experience that teaches Hope another lesson. By the time you reach the end you'll be convinced we need as a culture to find a way to preserve the art of film in an increasingly commercialized business. Fortunately it appears that here is the man to make it happen.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Way better than I even expected. The insights and lessons learned during a life (so far) in film producing. As an independent filmmaker I found all of it fascinating and thrilling and highlighted a lot of lines. The changes and contractions and shifting in indie film are hard and non-stop, this might give you some guide points along your own way.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book twice-- I was so blown away by it! Veteran producer Ted Hope's war stories in the field were endlessly fascinating and inspiring. As someone who grew up in NYC, the changing landscape of cinema mirrors the changing landscape of the city.

As a filmmaker, I cannot help but imagine what it was like to shoot Claire Denis' first short film in NYC. Ted saw something in her even at that nascent period in her life as artist. This book was a revelation- the creative collaboration between the producer and the director. To hear Ted's dedication to understanding the directors process- like giving Ang Lee time to think and translating his method to a crew that might grow hostile--was inspiring.

Ted's questioning of filmmakers' rush to make compromises even before we begin shooting and the detriment it has on creative process and ultimately the film was truly something to contemplate. The films Ted Hope made early in his career are truly artifacts of a cultural moment that will far outlive us. They are important works of cinema to be entered in the canon of world cinema. This book made me reflect as a filmmaker- in times where the viewers demand instant gratification and access to creators- can a safe be imagined for writer/ director/ producers to not just make products but to question the status quo?

Another thing Ted's book did for me was to articulate so much of the frustration of minority/ women filmmakers. Why is it that a great director like Nikki Kassel has a decade between films? How many women/ minority directors have internalized that maybe they aren't good enough or their work not strong enough to continue in this industry?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fans of Independent Film will find this retracing of its origins up to its current state, both informative and entertaining. Mr. Hope has dedicated much of his personal and professional life to the advancement of culture and art via the independent film movement, so reading his very personal accounts of this journey is part history lesson, and part memoir. This is a must read for all filmmakers navigating the indie landscape, and a primer for what's to come.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked the book overall, but the title should almost be No Hope for Independent Film. This is a well written and engaging memoir by one of the great producers of independent cinema. Ted Hope lays out the state of affairs of current independent film business. Distribution is tied up by established players and until technology is adapted in a way that can keep some of the profits for creators - I'm afraid were going to see more of the same. Independent cinema is not sustainable. If creatives can't participate in the revenue stream, they're not going to be able to make movies. His main thesis is that something has to be done. But the existing players are so entenched - the game is stacked on the side of the distributors. Not an encouraging read if you're an aspiring filmmaker. Mr. Hope paints a bleak picture.
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By Jason on September 9, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ted Hope knows his stuff. He's got some good ideas and I think this is a great read (esp the list of 100 something ideas at the end) for anyone who is in the industry to understand what could make them better business people.
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Format: Hardcover
This book epitomizes the heart and soul of every film Ted Hope has produced. It's so much more than a book about the past. It's an urgent call-to-action. What can we learn about the great indie filmmakers? And how can we use that knowledge to create a more creative and sustainable future for cinema? Such an enjoyable read. So many great life lessons learned.
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By KR on September 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hope for Film is one of the most phenomenal books you can read about the independent film scene -- its past, its present, and musings on its future. The stories inside are personal, and yet also universal filmmaker life lessons, hard-earned. Ted Hope documents the ever-changing rules of the marketplace and the impact that technological changes have wrought on low-budget films, both inside and outside of the studios.

With each year that passes, the opportunities for independent filmmaking expand due to advances in technology, yet the possibility of monetizing any of these films -- or even getting them seen -- shrinks. Ted Hope explores all of the angles of this conundrum, first as a producer, then from inside a festival organization, and finally as part of the brave new world of digital distribution.

After you've followed his journey, and taken in all of the knowledge gained from his experiences, he sets down a list of challenges that the indie film world now faces. They're problems that the film community as a whole must solve, but you'll see issues here articulated for the first time --- and in such a way that it inspires you to start finding solutions. An incredible read, profoundly inspirational.
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