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November 13 at 4:00pm

You Are Going To Be Denied The Work Of Our Most Brilliant Filmmakers.

By Ted Hope

Imagine a world without the work of Agnes Varda, Ang Lee, Catherine Breillat, Christopher Nolan, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Gus Van Sant, Kathryn Bigelow, Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodovar, Quentin Tarantino, Sofia Coppola, Spike Lee, Steven Soderbergh, Steven Spielberg, Takashi Miike, The Coen Brothers, Werner Herzog, Wes Anderson, and Wong Kar-Wai.

Flavorpill did us all a favor by running a great post on why all those filmmakers make movies — in their own words (check it out).  I love their movies. I love movies.  I particularly love that great filmmakers have the resources to make work, get it seen, and allow them and their supporters to be be fairly rewarded for their work.  Unfortunately those days are dead and gone.

I would like nothing more than to use my labor to support artists, particularly emerging ones, to create the best work they are capable of.  That’s why I have stopped producing specific projects for the moment.  If we don’t address how we must change the infrastructure, business proposition, relationship with the audience & community, and art form, we will continue to diminish cinema and its potential.  And if you are not on the bus, you are part of the problem.  It is a long road, but it doesn’t need to be.


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3 Comments

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  1. Lucano Matta / Nov 13 at 4:00pm

    I still don´t quite understand why are “WE” gonna be denied the work of this filmmakers? BTW Spielberg practically owns Hollywoods filmmaking industry, like have you seen his office inside Universal?? so unless Obama is gonna ban him… Then the problem is the mass media aiming for the retarded pop culture, but I can assure you with full confidence that emerging indie filmmakers are hotter than ever before and I could say Mr.Q (Tarantino) had a big contribution to that.

  2. Iain Marcks / Nov 13 at 4:00pm

    wait a minute. how can you say the days of filmmakers and their supporters being rewarded for their work are dead and gone? and what is the reward for their work? money? fame? or the opportunity to make more films? i’m all for a call to arms, but one does not simply change cinema because it doesn’t conform to your personal standards. if that’s your agenda, then where’s your manifesto? where’s your vision? the french new wave had one. so did dogme 95. you’ve been a producer on some pretty great films, for some pretty great directors–how does ang lee feel about this? or Iñarritu? or hartley?

    the only conclusion i can come to is that must art and society’s needs must conflate in order for any kind of change to happen. people need to have something to say, something that galvanizes an audience. look at wenders, herzog, and handke and the rest of the german new wave, revitalizing a culture of cinema that had all but been destroyed by the Nazi propaganda machine.

    look at our own independent cinema culture in the 70′s–our really only transformative moment–as a part of the counterculture movement and a response to the vietnam war. then look at what we have now as part of our independent culture–quarter life crises, the urban dissatisfaction of upper middle class twentysomethings who can’t get a date or a book deal.

    among the notable departures from that awful zeitgeist are smart, risky films like “Margin Call”, or “Fish Tank”, “Winter’s Bone”, your own “Martha Marcy May Marlene”, “Bellflower” [we could argue all day about that one, i'm sure] and “Beasts of the Southern Wild”. this small selection represents some of the best filmmaking has to offer right now, and there are many others.

    WE ARE MOST CERTAINLY NOT BEING DENIED THE WORK OF THESE FILMMAKERS.

    the key to vouchsafing the future for all filmmakers–a class to which i account myself–is to KEEP WORKING, work together, and not be empathetic to the spectacle the audience–and by extension, cinema itself–wants, but to the catharsis it needs.

  3. Ted Hope / Nov 13 at 4:00pm

    Only the smallest percentage of artists using the existing film infrastructure will ever profit (financially) from it, and as a result very few can profit from it. In order to preserve the possibility of profit, investors (and the support structure) encourage budgets to drop, further limiting the artist’s approach to the material. Driven by pure passion, great films will always get made, but that same passion will often lead the artists to take a deal that ultimately is very destructive. I have changed what I do because I think this cycle (and several others) are SO destructive, that it was better to use my labor to try to fix it. You can’t just delight in the few morsels of delicious candy you are served. There is the potential of a cornucopia — but you will be denied it because we are not reacting to infrastructure that exploits creators and their supporters. It wasn’t always this way and need not be so.

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