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Office Hours: Hope & Vachon's Killer/Hope Twitter Q&A

By Ted Hope | Hope for Film January 17, 2012 at 8:30AM

This past Tuesday Christine Vachon and I did a Twitter Q&A. For one hour we answered whatever questions the community put forth. We tracked them under the unifying hastag: #KHQA (which also happened to be a radio station's call letters, but...). These sort of Twitter meet ups are not only a lot of fun but a great way to connect and share info. I think it should become standard operating procedure for any filmmaker who premieres a film or is about to. They can also then be repurposed into a blog post so it keeps generating new content!
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This past Tuesday Christine Vachon and I did a Twitter Q&A. For one hour we answered whatever questions the community put forth. We tracked them under the unifying hastag: #KHQA (which also happened to be a radio station's call letters, but...). These sort of Twitter meet ups are not only a lot of fun but a great way to connect and share info. I think it should become standard operating procedure for any filmmaker who premieres a film or is about to. They can also then be repurposed into a blog post so it keeps generating new content!

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- TONIGHT-- Ted Hope and I answering your questions from 8pm to 9pm EST here on twitter!
-- Tonight's hashtag for Ted Hope and me is : #KHQA

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- Tonight's Twitter Q&A w me & Christine Vachon @kvpi will be using #KHQA Tweet in at 8P Eastern.
-- 30 min countdown to the 1st ever Killer / Hope Twitter Q&A. Join me and Christine Vachon on #KVQA
-- Oops. Typo on my hashtag. THe Killer Hope Q&A is actually #KHQA and not what I just typed on the last tweet...

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @TedHope are you tweeting under the influence???? you mean #KHQA!!!

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @kvpi Right you are. Not about the TWI but about the mashed hash tag. It is #KHQA. 17 minutes and counting...

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- ted is using 2 screens (I only have one computer) so I will be slower-- sorry in advance--#KHQA

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- What if you threw a twitter Q&A and no one asked a question? 6 min until @kvpi find out! #KHQA


@Swishpan (varda the message) -- @kvpi Can we submit questions now?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @Swishpan starting...now!


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi Too early to post a Q? Is there still a market for an indie film that is not integrated into a transmedia platform?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 A market yes? In fact, #Sundance is that this month. But w so many films I wonder a just-a-movie gets discovered unless they've got $
-- Okay the Q&A has started


@Armakk (Randy Mack) -- @TedHope SUPER made me think "Yup, this is definitely how a real Batman would play out. And hence nobody trying to film this before."

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- Yes, SUPER had some of the greatest cinema moments of 2012.


@kingisafink (King and Keck) -- Who's in for the @TedHope / @kvpi Q&A?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @kingisafink @kvpi We are!


@JJoshua_Johnson (Jonathan J. Johnson) -- Is it at all possible to see more $500k indie films, well developed, with both seasoned and new producers, and new talent, per year?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @JJoshua_Johnson absolutely-- we're making several right now--

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JJoshua_Johnson see? as in screen or have more made? The trick for most is how to earn a living at that budget


@JJoshua_Johnson (Jonathan J. Johnson) -- @TedHope @kvpi See them made. Making a living is always the trick. Somehow it seems there is a sweet spot in there somewhere. Thanks!

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @JJoshua_Johnson @TedHope agreed


@brianjude (Brian Jude) -- @TedHope @kvpi Where else can one go for development funds when personal connections/crowdfunding seem to have been exhausted?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @brianjude I spend years developing financing contacts. The trick is how to supply deal flow so you educate them


@passerbyco (Passerby.Co) -- @TedHope @kvpi Better indie film scene: NY or LA?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @passerbyco What's "better"? just different. LA has to be in Hollywood's shadow whereas NY is the unwanted orphan

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @passerbyco @TedHope I think both are good but LA getting more interesting--


@Swishpan (vardathemessage) -- Varda the Message asks @kvpi who/where was your 1st rock concert in nyc? best concert? Thanks for fab music films! Keep making them!

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @Swishpan best concert-- clash at BOND'S (6 times!)
-- @Swishpan first concert: AMERICA in central park!


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi So, is a project with a sort of "transmedia development plan" more likely to get a prod co interested?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 @kvpi for a budget below $5M & w/o financing, I ONLY want to consider one with a transmedia plan


@FalseCheese (False Cheese) -- @TedHope What would be an artist's best bet in getting work in a film's art dept? Is sending a portfolio to a prod co advisable?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @FalseCheese Yeah I think having a great portfolio AND great connections is best to get on art dept. It's what I wanted 2do but had neither!


@averagejenn (Jennifer Liao) -- Paying personnel fairly & not breaking budget: Can it actually be better to budget more days rather than know there will be crazy OT?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @averagejenn but the problem often is the financier won't approve a budget that way. People blv you'll hit OT no matter what

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @averagejenn yes-- if you have the choice-- problem is the bond co often holds you to the fewer days scenario)


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi How do you structure a team to dev a project that is anchored in film and "grows" in diff directions in multiple media ?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 It's a lifelong process: surround yrself w good ppl talentd in many varied fields & sharing ideas & being willing to brainstorm


@tanktv (tank.tv) -- @TedHope @jcle1 @kvpi might sourd stupid here but what is a transledia dvpt plan

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @tanktv Transmedia development plan= how to extend story world to different platforms & forms of engagement byd core


@averagejenn (Jennifer Liao) -- @kvpi @TedHope Thank you both! Follow up: Is there anything novices overlook in what crew most appreciate when working low budget?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @averagejenn Respect, preperation, organztn, good food, good examples & leadership, personal sacrifice, sense of humor, quality


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi What role does potential global mkt/media exploitation play in your decisions to dev/prod a project? What are key terr for u?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 I do my own P&L and foreign estimates; compare vs. "experts" -- US & the six major territories are key always


@AquariusFilmsOz (AquariusFilms) -- @TedHope @tanktv What are some good examples of excellent transmedia models for film Ted and Christine? To use as case studies

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @AquariusFilmsOz @tanktv True, we need good transmedia models and beyond TV they are few& far betwn


@cinemamusings (Cinema Musings) -- Your best advice for a producer bringing their first film to a festival.

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @cinemamusings which festival? important to set your goals, know who your audience will be there--


@myjumpsuit (Cort Johns) -- Have you looked at the reworked 2012 Michigan film incentives?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @myjumpsuit Briefly. Shame that minimum was raised but glad they brought back. Tax incentives are job stimuli

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @myjumpsuit no-- can you give us all an outline?


@WZRichard (Zack Richard) -- @TedHope Any advice for a DP looking to shoot bigger budget indie features? Just bought an EPIC.

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @WZRichard Buying an EPIC is a great start. Where are you located? I am sure there are filmmkrs who need a DP!

@WZRichard (Zack Richard) -- @TedHope I'm in NY.


@reelclever (reelclever.com) -- What are 3 main questions a filmmaker should ask when looking to attach a producer to their film project? How to choose right one?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @reelclever 1) Do they want to make the same movie as me; 2) Can we eat dinner together & grow; 3) Can they make it happen

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @reelclever make sure you both want to make the same film first and foremost--


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi Can you envision a time when you'd anchor a project on the INternet (webisode/stream) and use other media as ancillary?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 @kvpi Absolutely. Both @kvpi & I are platform, budget, genre agnostic


@Armakk (Randy Mack) -- @TedHope @kvpi My concern: directors will "cut the corner" to marketing, create films around hype/controversy/etc & those'll dominate

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @Armakk @TedHope the real filmmakers won't-- and audiences really want authenticity


@JJoshua_Johnson (Jonathan J. Johnson) -- @kvpi @TedHope Audiences, esp online, seem to be increasingly content hungry. Can't get enough. Could reward prolific indie producers.

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JJoshua_Johnson @kvpi But are audiences willing to pay for great content or even good content? I think so if they respect creator


@myjumpsuit (Cort Johns) -- What's the best no-name approach to fundraising?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @myjumpsuit I think crime & bribery are great fundraising approaches as long as no one gets hurt or finds out

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @myjumpsuit be more specific


@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @kvpi what was the most difficult decision you had to make on a film?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @TedHope always when to walk away
-- @TedHope what's yours?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @kvpi My most difficults were firing actors, putting an actor in rehab, calling Health Dept about hepatitis outbreak


@Christina8ryant (Christina L Bryant) -- @TedHope @kvpi Emerging writer w/ list of SW labs/contests to enter, but looking at past winners, all loglines sound same. Thoughts?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @Christina8ryant Orgs generally support artists like the others that succeeded. Best to always differentiate yourself. but may not win


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi What's the most amount of time you put into a project before you abandoned it

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @JCle1 @TedHope Boys Don't Cry had 7 years, Savage Grace almost 15-- we don't abandon, we just pull back!

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 I like to see ppl stick it to the pricks & never give up


@AquariusFilmsOz (AquariusFilms) -- @TedHope @JCle1 @kvpi But aren't revenues generally higher from other platforms for indie films?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @AquariusFilmsOz @JCle1 @kvpi Yes theatrical is generally a loss leader and ego builder


@averagejenn (Jennifer Liao) -- @kvpi @TedHope Really enjoying this Q&A! How do you gauge the readiness of the script? External reads, mutual agreement among team?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @averagejenn @TedHope unless its very high concept I say script necc

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @averagejenn To get financing, you MUST make it "feel" inevitable. Script goes a long way + image book + attachments + projections


@kingisafink (King and Keck) -- QUESTION: What's more valuable for screenwriters: getting agent/manager OR getting screenplay produced on an indie level?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @kingisafink obviously getting a (good) screenplay produced!


@Rebeckakaka (Rebecka Pitman) -- For an aspiring producer about to graduate. What is the best way to learn the film industry? internship or make independent films?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @Rebeckakaka Jump in and do it. Don't ask permission. Always b student learning. B prolific. Ask how 2 stay motivated despite haters

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @Rebeckakaka ha-- both! you can't REALLY learn the biz till you are in it, film school is a fake place for a producer-


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi Do you think there are themes/ideas you care about personally that come through ea of your projects? If so, what?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 Mostly I like stories that have emotional truth and take me somewhere I cant get on my own
-- @JCle1 I love stories that make me care about someone I don't think I hv much in common w


@kingisafink (King and Keck) -- @kvpi Thanks so much for answering my question! Do producers watch other ppl's work, approach writers based on produced work?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @kingisafink absolutely-- all the time!


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi Is it easier to pick projects since you've gained some success (and $$) or more difficult?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 "easier?" I have made so many commitments I rejoice when I have the space to take on something new


@passerbyco (Passerby.Co) -- @TedHope @kvpi Biggest risk you've taken in your career (and outcome)?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @passerbyco @TedHope I have taken so so many-- taking some as we speak! 1st time directors, unknown actors- DPs/PDs on their first gigs..

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @passerbyco Biggest risks? Each movie is a testament of faith in artist & humankind in general
-- @kvpi @passerbyco Even taking on rent and employees is a risk in this time of economic collapse!
-- @passerbyco Each film is a five year minimum commitment (often MUCH longer) & world could end b4
-- @passerbyco But I have claimed several times I could do things I did not know how to do in order to get the opportunity


@ Swishpan (vardathemessage) -- @kvpi I still regret missing Clash at BONDS!

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @Swishpan yeah, it was pretty awesome...


@AquariusFilmsOz (AquariusFilms) -- @TedHope @kvpi @passerbyco How do you keep the costs down but still keep up with the workload?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @AquariusFilmsOz @kvpi @passerbyco Yeah, that's the challenge: job description increase tenfold. Billfold reduces 10x further!


@Armakk (Randy Mack) -- @TedHope @kvpi What're the most common mistakes in thinking you've seen in young/new producers lately?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @Armakk @TedHope that theatrical is the holy grail and only thing worth making

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @Armakk Common new producer mistake? Not collaborating w many, not staying prolific, not increasing skill set, not audience bldg


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi What would you say are the key successes of your particular business model? Creatively, financially, operationally?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 I try to make sure that I love what I do, whom I am doing it with, how I am doing it, & the terms I am doing it under

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @JCle1 @TedHope I don't HAVE a particular biz model-- different one for every movie!


@myjumpsuit (Cort Johns) -- @kvpi What did you learn producing Hedwig and Velvet Goldmine?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @myjumpsuit how FUN it is to make music driven movies-- still love doing them, LCD Soundsystem movie at sundance this year


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi Better ... what do you find are the key challenges to raising financing NOW and how are you addressing those

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 Financiers & collaborators are risk adverse. What gets funded easiest is not what I want to invest my time in


@Groovyfokker (David Hughes) -- @tedhope @kvla If you had a Martha Marcy May Marlene-style script (The Bends) but no ambition to direct, who should you point it at?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @Groovyfokker I would definitely give it to Sean Durkin, Antonio Campos, & Josh Mond. Or Michael Heneke


@Groovyfokker (David Hughes) -- I've optioned an unproduced Peckinpah script, 40 years old but with many modern themes, and low budget. How do I go about casting it?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @Groovyfokker Even great projects need 2hv a coalition behind em. Get ppl to recognize it's greatness first. You can only reveal once

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @Groovyfokker if its a great script it won't be hard


@passerbyco (Passerby.Co) -- @TedHope @kvpi Who helped you launch your careers? Key early mentor or moment?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @passerbyco closest to a mentor was Jill Godmilow. Lindsay Law was great help. But the directors are who launched my career


@kingisafink (King and Keck) -- @TedHope: enjoyed yr talk at @FlywayFilmFest, yr mention of The Bible as greatest #transmedia idea ever. Question...

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- Thanks @kingisafink @FlywayFilmFest Thanks 4 reminding me that The Bible as greatest #transmedia idea ever


@myjumpsuit (Cort Johns) -- @TedHope @kvpi what are your feelings about seasoned producers lending their name to up&coming producers?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @myjumpsuit we do it a lot IF we like the movie. I think its a great way to help each other--

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @myjumpsuit "lending" name diminishes everyone. Either be in or not at all I feel


@kingisafink (King and Keck) -- @TedHope QUESTION: How involved are u w/ transmedia for yr projcts? Do u bring in experts / ppl w/ good transmedia track record?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @kingisafink I am working with @LanceWeiler on one. Is he an expert?


@grking (Gary King) -- @kvpi @TedHope what are some of your favorite film fests that you like to attend?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @grking sundance of course--- love venice and sarajevo--

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @grking I like film festivals best when they have cultivated a real community w artists & audiences


@ Swishpan (vardathemessage) -- @kvpi @myjumpsuit And to have made a must-see rite of passage for teens! If it's ok, can you tell us if G has seen Hedwig and/or VG?

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- @Swishpan she's seen hedwig-- not VG yet--


@averagejenn (Jennifer Liao) -- @kvpi @TedHope Really enjoying this Q&A! How do you gauge the readiness of the script? External reads, mutual agreement among team?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @averagejenn script is ready when the director can answer all of my questions. when it is true.


@JCle1 (Just J) -- @TedHope @kvpi Just curious ... Why did you each want to do this Q&A?

@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- @JCle1 @kvpi did this Q&A for those that could not attend our masterclass & because ppl give us so much. People need answers


@TedHope (Ted Hope) -- Thanks to all for joining the Q&A with @kvpi and me. It was fun and hopefully helpful. Let's do it again sometime! Gotta go

@KVPI (Christine Vachon) -- thank you for participating!