Video: TIFF 2001 Moguls Talk With Ted Hope (aka Me)

At the Toronto International Film Festival this year I had the privilege of being asked to partake in their "Moguls" talk. Anthony Kaufman interviewed me. I think I set a record taking up the first sixteen minutes or so with my first answer. Granted it was about how MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE and DARK HORSE came together, and neither one was a simple story -- but then never are, are they? Well, it does boil down in each instance to making the movie for less than what the apparent value is, but that's the film business today, isn't it?

Just in case you are wondering, the class that I mention isn't happening when I said it was. It's happening soon though, and we will announce it sooner.

I talk about SUPER around the 35 minute mark. 41 Min: budget agnostic, genre agnostic, medium agnostic, platform agnostic. First and foremost, I want.... 42 Min: What makes a good film? 43 Min: When I was falling in love with my wife Vanessa... 44 Min: That list is this one. 45:50 Reverse engineering of Film 46:45 How can film mirror free will? 47:30 The End Of The Auteur Era Of Film 54:30 "Making Independent Films is a crime." 57:20 "There's never been a better time to shoot celluloid than there is today." 58:10 "Independent Film is a luxury good."

If you want to help me index this further, I would appreciate it.

Christine Vachon on the State Of The Indie Film Union

Okay, so the traffic is sometimes louder than the dialogue, but hey, this is Indie!  I had wanted to partake in this interview that David Poland did at TIFF this year.  There was only one hour when Christine and I were both in Toronto though, and it took a bit longer to close the SUPER deal than I had anticipated.  Christine and David paint a pretty good picture of what things are like for  indie producers these days.

9/21 Update:  Seems like the link I found for this kind of jumped the gun.  It came down as I was watching it.  I assume David Poland will post soon on the MCN website.  And hopefully the video will work again.  Hope hoping here...

Update 9/21 #2: It's up on MCN, but I can't embed it for some reason

A Community Of Theaters: Film Circuit

How come it is the film festivals that pull together the theater operators?  I am very excited about the upcoming Sundance-organized Art House Convergence in SLC prior to Sundance and the potential it offers to weave together a group of sympathetic exhibitors.  We have so much great work in this country that currently goes under-screened.  There is fabulous international work too that we never get see or even learn about.  Don't even get me started about shorts.  

We lack meaningful ways to foster discussion about all this work without having it exhibited in a group context.  They have started to change this across our northern border with FILM CIRCUIT, and hopefully we can learn from their example.

A division of the Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFFG), Film Circuit provides filmgoers in under-served communities, transformative experiences through access to Canadian and international independent films they would otherwise not have the opportunity to see. With over 190 groups in 169 communities across Canada, Film Circuit is essential in helping TIFFG lead the world in building markets and audiences for Canadian Cinema. 

Film Circuit promotes Canadian and international cinema through grassroots distribution, marketing, and exhibition. While providing filmgoers an opportunity to see films that may not otherwise be available, Film Circuit also provides distributors with an opportunity to extend the theatrical run of their films.

Recognizing that it is important that each individual community curates its own screening events to maximize community commitment and capitalize on knowledge of local demand, Film Circuit encourages collaborative programming between Film Circuit staff and individual Film Circuit Groups. Release schedules are issued throughout the year, and each group selects films according to local demand with the goal of enhancing awareness of and increasing exposure for independent cinema. The Film Circuit office then books films based on availability as determined by the distributor. Film Circuit staff arrange print traffic, provide development support, research and prepares film titles and availability lists, offer programming consulting, book guests and ensure cross-Circuit communication.
Films screened on Film Circuit are event based and generally classified as 'limited releases'; they require local marketing support to reach audiences. Some methods groups use to generate local interest in the programme include:

Flyers
Word of mouth
Membership and subscriptions
Local press (ie. Newspaper articles, radio/television interviews)
Sponsored advertising
E-newsletters

Check out the Film Circuit website.  They also feature American Independents.  Get in touch with them about your work.
Thanks to Lance Hammer for this tip!