BREAKINGTED HOPE DOWN:
Ted Hope (born 1962) is an American independent film producer. He spurts on the media in the early 90’s, with declaration of intention of new and fresh stories, visions and different approaches in the world of filmmaking. He is considered one of the few producers who delivering brilliant and fascinating new works with keeping in minds platforms, times, tastes changes, reaching new audience and clarify what Independent concept means exactly. His unique career and vision is the key that leads other filmmakers to work with him. At the beginning Hope has produced his first films with commendable filmmakers like Ang Lee, Nicole Holofcener, Hal Hartley, Moises Kaufman and others. He has spent the last 30 years as producer of some movies as Martha Marcy May Marlene, American Splendor, The Savages, and Adventure Land. His dream to produce a hundred films, a result of a survey of Hop’s films viewed, he is close to seventy films in his producing journey.
Ted came to business very early, in 1996 Hope co-founded Good Machine with James Schamus as a production/sales company; this has been sold to Universal in 2002. At the same year with Diana Victor and Anthony Bregman he founded This is That production company. On the same track he founded Double Hope Films Production Company with his wife Vanessa Hope in 2010. Recently, Hope embarked on a new track in his professional career path where recently has been named as executive director of the San Francisco Film Society which started Sep 1, 2012. (Ted Hope, 2008).
CREATIVITY OF TED HOPE:
In Ted Hope’s sight, the dimensions of the film world, the content, creation, business and the audience have been changed and we should change with this transformation and that can be obvious in the aspiration and thinking of the filmmakers. One day he asked a filmmaker why he wants to do he said; I want to be in the film business but these days it’s like; I want to have a creative life. Hope learned the secret behind success is to take risks and not get stuck in doing things the right way. The important thing is to ask yourself, Am I doing the thing that I love? What is it you really love about movies? What are you striving to do that you haven’t done before? (Ted Hope, 2010). Hope also mentions the idea that instead of trying to replicate your past success, we should question; how do we structure our lives so that we’re doing things we love and we’re always flexible to be able to move towards that. The key success of Hope’s business model from creative side is he tries to make sure that he loves what he does, whom he is doing it with, how he is doing it and the terms he is doing it ( Scott Macaulay_2012)
BUSINESS, MARKETING & DISTIRIBUTION RECIPE:
In terms of business, Ted Hope does not have a special business model. He shapes the model or the movie shapes it. That’s mean different model for every movie. Alongside of marketing, Ted deals with different approaches as each film is different and it has its own approach to marketing and distribution. Ted suggests that when a filmmaker comes to this stage should consider some tips to promote the project and he finds it a good way to promote yourself at the same time: (killing two birds with one stone). (Ted Hope, 2009)
- Identify, research and engage with the audience for the film.
- Develop a distribution and marketing strategy and plan for the film in conjunction with the key principles of the filmmaking team.
- Create a budget for the marketing & distribution plan.
- As needed and appropriate, strategize and implement fundraising from the audience of the film in conjunction with or in place of traditional financing which would include: crowd funding, organizational partnerships, sponsorships and even modified versions of traditional fundraising.
- Assemble and supervise the necessary team/crew elements to carry out the plan which can include social media, publicity, marketing and distribution production crew for extra diagetic material, key artists, web developers, trailer editors, bookers etc.
- Audience research, outreach and relationship building through organizations, blogs, social media (including email collection), influencers, online and traditional publications.
- Supervise the creation of promotional content and work with the development of trans media elements in either coordination with a Transmedia Producer, or in the case where the production is small. Other elements to be created: the films website and social media sites, production stills, video assets – both behind the scenes and trans media, promotional copy and art/key art.
- Outreach to potential distribution and marketing partners including film festivals, theatrical service companies, community theatrical bookers, DVD distributors, TV sales agents, foreign sales agents as well as sponsors and promotional partners.
- Coordinate, organize and supervise the creation of traditional deliverables in addition to creation of all media needed for the execution of the release as needed including:
• Live event/theatrical: Prints either 35 or Disk or Drive.
• Merchandise: All hard good physical products including DVDs and any special packaging (authoring and replication) and all other forms of merchandise: books, apparel, toys, reproductions of props etc, and hard versions of games.
• Digital products: encoding of digital products, iPhone/Android apps etc.
- Modify and adjust the marketing and distribution plan as new opportunities present themselves during the film’s life span regarding information about audience, market, and partnerships arise.
- When appropriate, engage the distribution process, which includes the release of:
• Live Event Theatrical – Booking, delivery, of all forms of public exhibition of the film including all elements that make the screenings special events (appearances, live performance, discussion panels etc.)
• Merchandise – Distribution of all hard good physical products created for the film.
• Digitally – oversee all sales of the film in the form of 0s and 1s: TV/Cable/VOD/Mobile/Broadband/Video games etc.
• This not just in the home territory – but also internationally.
- Ramp up the marketing of the film to coincide with the release, which includes:
• Content rollout
• Additional Social Media activities such as contests, soliciting screening demands, posting press mentions .
• Publicity including feature stories, interviews, reviews
• Organizational Relationships
• Sponsorship Relationships
• Affiliate and Email Marketing
• Media Buys (as warranted)
• Seeding trailers and other video content.
• Any specific marketing especially tailored to the film ( Ted Hope, 2009)
SOCIAL MEDIA ENVIRONMENT:
Where social media networks play a vital role these days, add to his great role and efforts in independent film production, Hope is utilizing different social media platforms to promote himself and his projects as well. He is having a great influence on social media voices, followed by more than 20,000 Twitter followers, posting usually on Facebook and on his blog Hope For Film about various topics and secrets of the independent films production, giving advices to the new filmmakers who just came to the field, consults on the future of cinema especially the future of independent film industry, and sharing people about his experience. He also co-founded HammerToNail.com site. It is a review site concentrates more on independent films. Ted Hope is about to launch an app which is designed to increase the value of film’s business and culture. “You have to be able to reach out to where everyone is, where people congregate and communicate, and you have to work to speak their language, you need to build community, and this is one of the best organizing tools we’ve found so far.” Hope said ( Pam Grady_2012)
A COIN WITH TWO FACES:
Ted Hope says; while you are working in film business, do not think all the time about money because what you get back from work that is not money is more worthy for you. It does not mean we are not rewarded for our work but you can get various benefits like earn knowledge, get an experience, build relationships, learn new skills and sharpen or hone your talent may be by hard working or by asking questions in the field where you will find some people to answer you. And that happens if you are just starting out or you consider yourself as an expert, the more you work on movies the more you will be known, leader, respectable and will have a value in the film business. So, all these things might open new doors to new opportunities to work on the next project or film with different production company and maybe in a better position (Ted Hope, 2011).
LET’S DEVELOP OUR PRODUCING SKILLS:
Ted Hope has such great methods to develop the process of producing a film. He follows the method of asking questions to find out what works with the writer, director and the story itself. He thinks the whole process is all about what happens between those questions and essentially where the relationships with others are emerged. Alongside of the development process Ted says; we learned that it is not only how to make the story or the script better but it is to know what is most important to your director. It is about acquiring and securing the confidence among each other, the movie will not work unless you accomplish this, in case you cannot, so it may not the one you should stay with. Hope is emphasizing that in the development process the producer may ask a punch of ” what if…” questions to know where the story might trend where you are not really have a final choice till you know that choice exists.
The Producer is responsible to exhibit the consequence of choices in business terms and to the process of development creatively and basically, we do not want the writer and director to follow each way and see how it may play out. In sight of Ted the producer should protect the relationships between all crew and their world which automatically will protect the audience. Everything should become one of your counts for the benefit of the movie, regardless it’s the top priority of the writer and director or not. Ted found that it helps to pause before sharing a realization and ask what good comes from discussing it now, and really examining where the creative flow is headed at the time. You can always make notes to discuss later, and difficult choices have a way of addressing themselves over time. Through the development process, you learn both what you all want to happen in front of the camera, but often also what the director wants to happen behind the camera. These closed door discussions reveal a great deal what the public creative side of things will later be. The process continues until there are no more questions that can be asked that haven’t been answered and are relevant ( Ted Hope, 2010)
In terms of producing Ted suggests things we can all do on our film productions that would make life & art better, safer, & more satisfying like, provide housing when someone has worked an excessive day, print less, use less paper, email call sheets, provide production packages (shooting schedules, breakdowns, lists, etc.) online, send crew lists as address cards, so they can instantly be input in one’s phone. Hire people who are not like you, who come from different backgrounds, who have had different opportunities, who have different genders, politics, race, class, beliefs than yourself, Give people a true day off. Restrain yourself from sending emails or making calls one day a week. Instead gather those needs, requests, ideas, and hold onto them for 24 hours before sharing them. Emergencies do happen, but a well-rested team performs better. Actively try to get jobs for your top five performers on the cast or crew, particularly if they are not yet well known. Don’t just take the talent with you. Promote them to others; maybe help them get an agent or other representation. Don’t wait for new productions to call, but call them. Write those letters of recommendations in advance and give them to the superstars to take with them (Ted Hope_ 2012)
TED’s INTUITION FOR THE FUTURE OF CINEMA:
Ted sees major shifts coming in so many different aspects of cinema: discovery, consideration, value/return, participation, collaboration, transitioning, immersion, and many others. The fact that this far downs the road of a connected culture we have not wed social and content together may speak of the resistance to change, but also of the tidal wave that will one day hit us. That all said, Ted thinks that all of us; creators, appreciators, entrepreneurs, & passive audiences members, are going to truly be best served by another aspect all together. The end of the dominance of the feature film form is coming. Ted sees many trends leading to feature-length linear-narrative passive-engagement work’s decreasing relevance, along with many indications that it won’t be a bad thing when all participants in both the film industry and culture look at a far widening realm of creation, participation, and consumption (Ted Hope, 2012)
The Following clip Ted Hope Discusses the Future of Finding Film Audiences
ACHIEVEMENTS & SUCCESSES
Ted Hope won such great prizes, awards and honors in different film festivals and events. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Vision Award from the LA Filmmakers’ Alliance, as well as the Woodstock Film Festival’s Trailblazer Award. His films have received some of the industry’s most prestigious honors like, Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winners by” What Happened Was …” (1994), “The Brothers McMullen” (1995), his films “American Splendor” (2003) and Happiness (1998) have won the Critics Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival. And other films are quintuple Academy Award nominee “In the Bedroom” (2001), double Academy Award nominee and quintuple BAFTA nominee “21 Grams” (2003), double Academy Award nominee “The Savages” (2007), and most recently ” Martha Marcy may Marlene” (2011) and “Dark Horse” (2011).
Hope is consulting and giving lectures on independent film production and the future of cinema around the world for instance, Forbes Global CEO conference and as the keynote speaker at Sundance’s Art House Convergence and the Power To The Pixel trans-media conference in London and Sundance’s Art House Convergence. Ted participated in many international film festivals juries like SXSW, Sundance and TV channels like CCTV in China, Fox News, CNN, NPR, A&E, Sundance channel and other media outlets. Ted is an academic at NYU graduate film school teaches the future of film and he opened the cinema research institute there ( Pam Grady_2012)
TED HOPE’s Credit
Pam Grady, 2012, sfgate, viewed 6th Spt 2012,<http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Producer-Ted-Hope-to-run-SF-Film-Society-3772810.php#ixzz23FbWMN24.>
Pam Grady, 2012, sfgate, viewed 6th Sep 2012,<http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Producer-Ted-Hope-to-run-SF-Film-Society-3772810.php#ixzz23Fc381b8>
Ted Hope, 2008, ‘ About me’, Hope for film blog, weblog, viewed 1st Spt 2012, <http://hopeforfilm.com/about-ted>
Ted Hope, 2010, ‘ office houre: Hope & Vachon’s killer/ Hope Twitter Q&A, Hope for film blog, weblog, viewed 1st Spt 2012, <http://trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com/tag/christine-vachon>
Ted Hope, 2008, ‘ About me’, Hope for film blog, weblog, viewed 1st Spt 2012, <http://hopeforfilm.com/about-ted>
Ted Hope, 2009, ‘ Marketing & distribution’ , Hope for film blog, weblog, viewed 1st Spt 2012, <http://hopeforfilm.com/about-ted>
Ted Hope, 2011, ‘ How Much Does An American Indie Producer Get Paid?’, indiewire blog, weblog, viewed 8th Sep 2012, <http://blogs.indiewire.com/tedhope/how_much_does_an_american_indie_producer_get_paid>
Ted Hope, 2010, ‘ Ten Rules On The Producer’s Role In Development’, Hope for film blog, weblog, viewed 1st Spt 2012, <http://trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com/2012/08/ten-rules-on-the-producers-role-in-development.html>
Ted Hope, 2012, tribecafilm, viewed 5th Spt 2012, <http://www.tribecafilm.com/tribecaonline/future-of-film/Ted-Hope-15-Steps-to-The-Better-Way-Vs-The-Easy-Way-In-Film-Production.html>
Ted Hope, 2012, ‘ What Is The Great Hope For The Future Of Cinema?’ , Hope for film blog, weblog, viewed 1st Sep 2012, <http://hopeforfilm.com/about-ted>
Scott Macaulay, 2012, filmmakermagazine, viewed 3rd Spt 2012, <http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/news/2012/08/ted-hope-hired-as-new-s-f-film-society-executive-director/>
Reel, 2009, ‘ Ted Hope Discusses the Future of Finding Film Audiences’, vimeo, viewed 12th Sep 2012,< http://vimeo.com/4981506>