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August 12 at 8:15am

10 Reasons Why I Wrote A Book

By Ted Hope

Officially, my book “Hope for Film” comes out today.  It’s been many years in the making though.  Started and stopped, started and stopped. It was hard to get done and I feel fortunate to have found all the help I needed to get it done.  I hope you like it.

But why did I write it? Here are ten reasons.

  1. I feel one of the main reasons I have been able to make as many movies as I have is that I arrived at a time that the art, artists, and technology had evolved faster than the business or the markets had. We were able to both recognize that and use it to our advantage.  Culturally, we are at a similar moment now. If I can not advantage of that again myself, I might be able to help others to gain perspective to do so now. Looking at what had occurred then and how we responded should enable others to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity before us.
  2. I started making movies at an incredible time in an incredible place: NYC in the late ’80′s. The mix of people, events, politics, and innovations allowed a real scene to occur that inspired and encouraged many of us.  I am not sure we recognized the power that that gave us while it was happening. There are similar things occurring now throughout the world — but truly allow them to catch fire, we need to recognize the opportunity before us. Looking back sometimes allows us to see the present better.
  3. I am blown away by the people I have been able to collaborate with.  Their commitment, vision, and talent is sort of astounding. Their work impresses me to this day. Yet, I think it is really important to see their human side too, and the struggle they have had to be heard.  I think there are numerous interesting voices that have never had a chance and it is easy to think they never will, but learning how we all struggle, make mistakes, and don’t always succeed is something I have always found inspiring.  If it helps me go on, it may do the same for others too. I really believe there are many more talents than we ever discover; they need committed partners to shine.
  4. I love sharing lessons I have learned. I never really had a mentor but I am really appreciative of the folks who have shared their views or processes with me. I never really have done anything on my own and needed teams to get things done. Sometimes those partners weren’t even people I met, but those whose work inspired me. It is so easy to feel alone or ignored. I want to be part of the team that brings the things that I love forward.  Sharing these lessons was a way of doing that. We can connect as never before.
  5. I want to practice what I preach. I want to be the change that I want to see. I encourage filmmakers (and makers in general) to be prolific, ubiquitous, and thus radically collaborative.  I encourage them to try new forms. I am trying to do the same.
  6. I had always wanted to write a book but feared I did not have the bandwidth or concentration to get through it. When Anthony Kaufman, my co-writer suggested we do it together, I immediately agreed because I knew I needed help and that his would be good. If I did not want to lose that opportunity I had to grab it. I had started writing this blog partially because I thought it would be good preparation for writing something more substantial.  When Anthony suggested we collaborate, I had been doing the blog for awhile and felt up to the challenge. Timing is always critical.
  7. Christine Vachon had written two books, and although she has also made more movies than me now, I just can’t let the distance between our output be so great. A little healthy competition can be good fuel. Seriously though, Christine had encouraged me, and I listened to her advice. Find that person whose own work pushes and inspires you.
  8. I get asked for advice quite a bit. I end up telling the same anecdotes over and over. I felt if I got them some of them down, maybe I could move on to new ones and not have to tell the old ones — no matter how good they are — quite so often.  I couldn’t but think if I had a dime for all the people who asked me advice… Well, now maybe a 10th of them will actually buy the book. Maybe I will be able to write a second one.
  9. I wanted to leave a record of my producing life for my son and knew I was growing old.  I never knew my own dad and often when the real desire to know them as an adult comes, the opportunity has passed. Everything is a race against that ticking clock.
  10. I have an incredibly supportive and generous partner in my wife, Vanessa. She gave me encouragement, an ear, and a whole lot more. I would not have gotten it done without her.  When we first were falling in love, she confessed she hoped to direct a movie.  I told her I wanted to write a book.  The day I finished the first pass on the book was the same day she finished the first cut of her feature directing debut.  It took us each ten years and then some.

PS. Amazon named us one of their Editors’ Favorite Books Of 2014!  Woo hoo!!

PSS.  You can read some excerpts here.

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12 Comments

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  1. Jon Michael Miles / Aug 12 at 8:15am

    Congratulations on completing the book. I look forward to reading it.

  2. CourtneyDaniels / Aug 12 at 8:15am

    Just bought it on Amazon and am excited to read it! Thank you for sharing your experiences. Eager to read all about them.

  3. Brian_Padian / Aug 12 at 8:15am

    i’m about 1/2 way through it so far and loving it. it’s almost as good as those 2 C. Vachon books.

  4. Ted Hope / Aug 12 at 8:15am

    “almost”? Dang! I knew I needed more juicy bits!

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