Seasoned Indie producer Ted Hope (21 Grams, The Hawk is Dying, TrulyFreeFilm) speaks in London on the future of Independent filmmaking.  How will digital technology make films more accessible?


Film industry should be more accessible, says Hope

14 October, 2009 | By Sarah Cooper

Veteran independent film producer Ted Hope called for new film business models built on “access and transparency” in his keynote speech at the Power to the Pixel Cross-Media Forum, held in London today (October 14).

The New York based producer told the audience at the event, which is part of the 53rd Times BFI London Film Festival, that the current business models for creation, financing and distributions were based on “exclusionary practice of isolated control” and that they were “running on fumes these days.”

“How long can the controlling studio model survive when the wall of the control has already come down?” he asked.

Hope, whose credits include 21 Grams and In The Bedroom, said that producers had, for too long, been only concerned with “content and production”, but that they should be embracing what he called the “other four pillars supporting the film industry”  –  discovery, promotion, participation and presentation.”

He went on to say that it was “not just a possibility but a necessity to take part in the other four pillars. We have to embrace in these opportunities to engage in those aspects, or frankly we will lose it.”

As part of his speech, which opened two days worth of discussions dedicated to bringing the film industry into the digital age, Hope offered a list of “best practice” tips to film-makers.

These included:

* Expanding the narrative along a common thematic premise
* Opening up narratives and erasing the “ending” or giving multiple opportunities for endings, because audiences want to be able to be engaged in different ways at new and different times.
* Offering alternative points of view in the narratives, so that the experiences are no longer single character centric experiences.
* Shedding the notion that it is distancing for audiences to have the same characters played by different actors..
* Embracing collaborative brainstorming sessions with other likeminded story tellers on how to expand the narrative. For example, are supporting characters worthy of their own stories?
* Providing access to the production process at every step of the way, by pulling back the curtain and letting others see how the work is being done. This would include allowing crew and cast be broadcast in the process.
* Recognising that it is the job of film-makers to curate and reference those other works that they love.
* Offering different points of access to the audience and designing characters that will easily travel into other creators hands.