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February 26 at 8:15am

What Am I Doing? Have You Checked Your Mission Lately?

By Ted Hope

I keep trying to define my own personal mission.  Do you?  I think knowing what we want to do, to accomplish, goes a long long way towards maintaining our enthusiasm as to how we use our labor.

Such a definition though is a bit fluid and needs regular check-ups.  It is dependent on our time — both in terms of where we are (the right here, right now variety) and how it is expended (the tick tick tick beating of the eternal clock).

In so many ways I am fortunate.  One of them is being offered projects that others have developed, that writers have slaved over and need someone to help bring them into fruition. Each offer to read something allows me to evaluate where I am and what my choices are.  Have I done the right thing with the my selection as to what to put my labor in service to?

I recently responded to such an offer with this:

“I am taking a hiatus from producing any projects for the time being.  Instead, I am trying to advance an independent film infrastructure that can truly support a diverse and ambitious film — in it’s broadest & most innovative definition — culture, one where the artist and their supporters are direct beneficiaries of the work they generate, where risk is both rewarded & encouraged, & audiences are active participants in the community.  I am running the San Francisco Film Society in hopes I can help the progression move quicker & others may navigate the paradigm shift to abundant, accessible content more smoothly & less painfully.”

That pretty much sums it up for me at this moment.  With the SFIFF on the horizon, I will be checking in on this to see how close it is to reality.  Bringing movies to the people was a crucial innovation 56 years ago when the festival was launched.  Perhaps it is more so today?  Regardless, the festival will force me to constantly evaluate my mission.  I am going to stay tuned to whether I have made the right choice.

What’s your mission?

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