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Hope for Film

A Producer's Journey Across the Revolutions of Indie Film and Global Streaming

List Price: $16.95

August 18, 2020 | Paperback | 5.5 x 8.2, 384 pages | ISBN 9781640093508
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“Essential for the aspiring filmmaker,” this revised and updated edition is an inspiring, tell-all look at the independent film business from one of the industry’s most passionate supporters (Todd Solondz, director of Welcome to the Dollhouse)

Hope for Film captures the rebellious punk spirit of the indie film boom in 1990s New York City and its collapse two decades later to its technology-fueled regeneration and continuing streaming-based evolution. Ted Hope, whose films have garnered 12 Oscar nominations, draws from his own personal experiences working on the early films of Ang Lee, Eddie Burns, Alan Ball, Todd Field, Hal Hartley, Michel Gondry, Nicole Holofcener, and Todd Solondz, as well as his tenures at the San Francisco Film Society, Fandor, and Amazon Studios, taking readers through the decision-making process that brought him the occasional failure as well as much success.

Whether navigating negotiations with studio executives over final cuts or clashing with high-powered CAA agents over their clients, Hope offers behind-the-scenes stories from the wild and often heated world of “specialized” cinema–where art and commerce collide. As mediator between these two opposing interests, Hope offers his unique perspective on how to make movies while keeping your integrity intact and how to create a sustainable business enterprise out of that art while staying true to yourself. Against a backdrop of seismic changes in the independent film industry, from corporate co-option to the rise of social media and the streaming giants, Hope for Film provides not only an entertaining and intimate ride through the business of arthouse movies over the last decades, but also hope for its future.

“There is nobody in the independent film world quite like Ted Hope. His wisdom and heart shine through every page.” –Ang Lee, Academy Award winning director of Brokeback Mountain

About The Authors

TED HOPE launched Amazon's foray into feature film production in January 2015. For the next five and a half years, he oversaw Amazon Studios' prestige team and the prestige movies produced, developed, and acquired by the company. Prior to joining Amazon, Hope produced over seventy films, as well as co-founding several production companies. His films have received numerous Academy Award nominations, and three have won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize.

ANTHONY KAUFMAN is a respected film journalist and film curator who has written about independent cinema since 1997 for publications such as Variety, The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He is the editor of Steven Soderbergh: Interviews and was one of the founding editors of


Praise for Hope For Film

"I've always said that I was a 'Ted Hope-trained director.' From the very beginning of my career and over the course of quite a few films, Ted and I grew together, as he helped me find the practical path towards realizing my creative vision. I'm just one of many filmmakers who have benefitted from Ted's resources, his skill and enthusiasm. In this book, Ted Hope draws on his own experience to show you how to make a movie you can afford, instead of wasting time in development; and more importantly, he teaches you how to use limited resources to maximize creativity and artistic freedom. There is nobody in the independent film world quite like Ted Hope. His wisdom and heart shine through every page." --Ang Lee, Academy Award winning director of Brokeback Mountain

"Essential for the aspiring filmmaker -- read it before you plunk down $150,000 on film school!!" --Todd Solondz, director of Welcome to the Dollhouse

"Ted Hope's remarkable career makes for fascinating reading. He has lived in the center of independent filmmaking for almost three decades. His insight into the challenges and process of independent film offers any reader, whether you're a film student or indie movie fan, a unique glimpse into how specialized films really get made, sold and released." --Edward Burns, director of She's the One

"The book is full of behind-the-scenes anecdotes that mix grit, gumption, and charm . . . Hope for Film suggests that as long as there are passionate advocates and deeply invested, long-term thinkers like Hope, there is hope for cinema and a future for filmmaking." --Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

"In his new memoir Hope for Film, producer Ted Hope recounts his adventures in the indie film trade, working on everything from American Splendor to 21 Grams." --Hugh Hart, San Francisco Chronicle

"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." --Adam Leipzig, Cultural Weekly

"A relentlessly useful insider's guide to independent film from a longtime practitioner . . . [T]he book offers a variety of insights . . . Invaluable for film students." --Kirkus Reviews

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