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A Thousand Phoenix Rising: Ted Hope on the New Truly Free Filmmaking Culture

Posted September 29th, 2008 by ingrid

Super producer and super nice guy Ted Hope gave a keynote address at Film Independent’s Filmmaker Forum in Los Angeles over the weekend. If you need to gird your loins for the challenges and opportunities ahead you should read it because you, dear readers, are the TRULY FREE FILMMAKERS he is talking about, or at least you can be.

A THOUSAND PHOENIX RISING
How The New Truly Free Filmmaking Community Will Rise From Indie’s Ashes

I can’t talk about the “crisis” of the indie film industry. There is no crisis. The country is in crisis. The economy is in crisis. We, the filmmakers, aren’t in crisis.

The business is changing, but for us –us who are called Indie Filmmakers — that’s good that the business is changing. Filmmaking is an incredible privilidge and we need to accept it as such – and accept the full responsibility that comes with that priviledge.

The proclamations of Indie Film’s demise are grossly exaggerated. How can there be a “Death Of Indie” when Indie — real Indie, True Indie — has yet to even live?
Yes, there’s a profound paradigm shift, and that shift is the coming of true independence. The hope of this new independence is being threatened even before it has arrived. Are we going to fight for our independence and can we even shoulder the responsibility that independence requires? That is: will we ban together and work for our communal needs? Are we ready to leave dreams of stardom and wealth behind us?

When someone says “Indie is dead”, they are talking about the state of the Indie Film Business, as opposed to what are actually the films themselves. They can say “The sky is falling” because for the last fifteen years, the existing power base in the film industry has focused on films fit for the existing business model, as opposed to ever truly concentrating on creating a business model for the films that filmmakers want to make.

This is where we are right now: on the verge of a TRULY FREE FILM CULTURE, one that is driven by both the creators and the audiences, pulled down by the audience and not pushed onto them by those that control the apparatus and the supply. We now have the power and the tool for something different, but will we fight to preserve the internet, the tool that offers us our new freedom? Can we banish the the dream of golden distribution deals, and move away from asking others to distribute and market it for us? Can we accept that being a filmmaker means taking responsibility for your films, the primary responsibility, all the way through the process? That is independence and that is freedom…

Read the full transcript on Filmmaker Magazine’s website.

  1. Shooting People: Tools » Blog Archive » Social Media for Filmmakers

    [...] but there are other options out there). I previously wrote about Hope’s Phoenix Rising speech here and his Truly Free Film blog follows on from this with excellent tips for filmmakers. One of his [...]

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