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My New Home Means...

by Ted Hope
February 22, 2011 3:45 AM
6 Comments
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Today is my first post on IndieWire. I think it is going to be a great home, and like any home most of the value comes from opening it up to guests. As we now reside on a platform dedicated to expanding its reach, our collective voice just got a whole lot louder. It's time to expand our community.

I got into the habit of defining HopeForFilm/TrulyFreeFilm as part of my experiment in social media. When I got started blogging, the media mattered a great deal more to me than the social. As I begin my experiment v2.0 the social matters more to me than the media.

There were a lot of reasons why I felt I needed to step forward and begin blogging. Business has been bad in the film world for several years, but opportunity still remains great. The potential to have a sustainable culture and community dedicated to diverse and ambitious voices, free from mass market dictates, grows daily -- what I define as Truly Free Film. Social media is second only to the film community's desire in terms of being the necessary foundation . The community still lacks leaders with experience dedicated to an open and transparent film culture that embraces the audience and the artist alike. In fact, the majority of participants in our film culture remain dedicated first and foremost to their own individual work rather than the health of the community at large. I remain committed to the belief that we all benefit when our focus moves away from ourselves and towards true unity. Independent is the antithesis of what I hope non-corporate filmmaking can become. Artist-driven for sure, but community-centered.

I have always been a generative sort. I have enjoyed having an outlet that encourages community but doesn't require perfection. Blogging has exposed me to new ideas, new processes, and new friends. It has given me a front row seat to an ever expanding community of Brave Thinkers and committed artists. My greatest rewards have come from contact with other bloggers and offering up this platform to the community at large. The conversation we have here and the diverse ideas and methods we have are truly the initial steps towards building it better together.

The strength of a society can be seen in the culture it creates. Corporate filmmaking, driven by profit only, rarely any more gives rise to the sort of movies that inspired me, helped me empathize with people from all walks of life, connected me to individuals and communities of ambition for a better world, or exposed me to the expansive and transformative nature of the human spirit. Independent film -- as we can build it to be -- will never die out, but it desperately still needs our help to gain the foothold that can allow it to really flourish. Those days are before us, but it takes more than just lending a hand. We determine the culture we have. It requires stepping up and giving voice.

It is my sincere wish that HopeForFilmv2.0 continues to expand well beyond my own musings. I am easy to find. Let me know what needs to be said and say it. This will not be my blog. I want it to be ours.

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6 Comments

  • Christopher J. Boghosian | March 2, 2011 6:27 AMReply

    This is very exciting, Ted. Your move to IndieWire is sure to expose your vision to a lot more folks out there, which is what I hope for.

    I've said this in the past and will say it again: I greatly appreciate your commitment to the "social" aspects of our filmmaking community, values like transparency, mutual support, and mentorship.

    Godspeed!
    Christopher
    http://followmyfilm.com

  • Film Slate Magazine | February 25, 2011 6:44 AMReply

    Looking forward to learning from you, Ted. You've made some great movies over the years.
    Jamie Paszko, Publisher/Editor - http://www.FilmSlateMagazine.com

  • Ted Hope | February 24, 2011 11:54 AMReply

    Hey Bob W, I am not sure of your own background, but to think that a career in indie film is about financial gain is to not recognize the reality of what it takes to get a film made and seen. As any working producer could tell you, we work all the time with no financial compensation until the movie gets made, and long after the movie is gone we continue to work on the past projects. Individuals seeking entry, request us to consider their work which requires labor and time from us without any compensation again. A commitment to a project averages at least 5 years of our lives, of which less than 20% is compensated (and then at rates that rarely are significant). One of the great things about the indie side of things, is that most people in it are in it for the right reasons; generally the folks I know give back to organizations and individuals -- both of which if you do any research you will find a long history of it on my part. You speak of "talk", well, that ain't cheap either. Maintaining a blog like this is a real commitment and done without gain (to date). If you'd like to offer your help in moving things forward, I am sure you could do likewise. Good luck with it -- I look forward to seeing your contribution to the culture and community.

  • Bob Weinsteinberg | February 24, 2011 12:10 AMReply

    "In fact, the majority of participants in our film culture remain dedicated first and foremost to their own individual work rather than the health of the community at large."

    Ted, please show me how you're different than this selfish majority. I know you talk alot about it, but I can't seem to find any actions where you've been altruistic and helped build the community without any concern for your own personal bank account.

    Actions speak louder than words, and your actions seems to suggest that you are a part of the selfish majority.

  • Cotty Chubb | February 23, 2011 12:24 AMReply

    I'm very glad you've got this soapbox. I hope a lot more people can find your voice now. (And maybe comment once or twice.)

    Can you link to a selection of your past posts? I thought last week's New Model series was well worth reading.

    And I'm glad you kept the orange!

  • Ron Garret | February 22, 2011 11:23 AMReply

    Wheres the part where u talk about net neutrality. Want to know your views on the subject.

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