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Jun 26 / Truly Free Film

A Total Disruption

“How is the film industry going to learn to support the artists who are willing to take risks, are committed to their own audience and advancing the language of cinema? [...]


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May 19 / Truly Free Film

Take Your Film To Where The Audience Already Is

“Filmmakers, Hollywood, The Industry, rarely know whom their audience is. We do it so ass-backwards: we make a movie and we think it is so wonderful that people all over the world will come to see it. Wouldn’t it be a hell of a lot easier if [...]


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May 12 / Truly Free Film

The Animated Version Of How I Became A Film Producer

Special Thanks to Ondi Timoner and the A Total Disruption team!

There is, of course, a lot more to it than that, but [...]


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Mar 9 / Truly Free Film

Deliver Relationships and Experiences! Not Products.


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Jan 22 / Truly Free Film

The Five Crucial Things We Want From Movies

IMG_9912What are our expectations when we sit down to watch? How strong are they? Are these expectations actually demands? Will we be punished if we don’t fulfill them?

I think there are universal hopes all audiences have for cinema each and every time they sit down to watch.  When we fail to provide them, people start to lose faith in our product. We need to keep this promises front and center when we create new movies. Many do, some don’t. Which side do you want to be on? [...]


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Jan 15 / Truly Free Film

For Film To Work As A Business We Must Give More

Things could be better for the film biz. We can lift it up.  We have the power.

How do we decide what is the best approach? What makes sense in terms of how we should work today?

For me, I start with the premise that everyone has less available time.  We work more and more.  We have more responsibilities and obligations. The less time we have, the more valuable that time becomes. We generally don’t commit our available time frivolously. 

From there, I accept that there is increased competition for our time.  Although we have less leisure time, we have more options on how to spend that time then ever before. 

What does this access to everything mean for us? Generally speaking, the quality of our experiences improve with the increased input we get; that is, the more we consume, the better we are equipped to consider our next move. As we find “better” work to immerse ourselves in, the better work we do. When we have better advisors, our output benefits. As long as we don’t surround ourselves with the wrong people and things, things do get better.

How does our immersion in better things influence us? Overall we expect a better “ROIE”: Return On the Investment of our Engagement. We value time. We know there is plenty of good things to find. Our curiosity grows.

Luckily for us, those of us in the film business have a truly distinct product whose value has generally gone untapped.  Business has taught us to look at film primarily for the revenue it can generate of course.  The audience has been taught to value film based on how much entertainment it delivers.  Yet, as any cinema lover knows, movies are much much more than that.

Movies create a shared emotional response amongst strangers. Good cinema compels us to discuss it afterwards.  A movie can create empathy amongst folks who have only previously felt differences.  How incredibly powerful is that?  Can we unlock that attribute on a regular basis?  Damn straight we can! The transformative power of cinema is its true utility; well, that and its consequent ability to build community around it.

If we highlight these aspects of film, we give the audience a better ROIE.  Give more.

If we give the audience more, they in turn give us more. Isn’t that great?

Time to stop thinking of film as just an entertainment. Movies change people and they can change the world.  Let’s celebrate this utility inherent in our art and business.


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Jan 14 / Truly Free Film

Producing Your First Feature? 5 Insights That Won’t Lead You Far Wrong…

In June 2014, director Alex Lightman produced his first feature film, Tear Me Apart. Here he talks about the major lessons him and his team learnt along the way.

The London Screenwriters’ Festival 2011 was where my career really began. Made to talk to the person next to me by festival creative director Chris Jones, I shook hands with screenwriter Tom Kerevan. A fateful encounter.

We started working together and soon after met cinematographer Ernesto Herrmann on a short film shoot. The three of us have been working together ever since.

In May 2013 we made the somewhat snap decision to take the plunge and produce a feature film ourselves. [...]


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Dec 24 / These Are Those Things

Terry Gilliam’s Christmas Card

via DangerousMinds.net & MCN

[…]


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Dec 18 / My Films & These Are Those Things

Read These Excerpts And You Will Have A Great Holiday Gift Idea

This past week or so, you had a chance to read some new excerpts from my book. If they don’t convince you to get “Hope For Film” as a gift for yourself or any film fan you know, what will?  Check these out:

[…]


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Dec 6 / My Films

If The Art Of The Samurai Is Not Having To Draw One’s Sword…

IMG_9072

Gary Meyer’s blog EatDrinkFilms captures three of life’s great pleasures in a single dose. I am very pleased to have one of my favorite tales from my book excerpted there now.

Picture this: it is the first film you’ve financed yourself. You and your team are in a foreign land. Your money has been cut off and your financier picks […]


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Dec 3 / Issues and Actions

Get Your Next Fix Of More Good And Bad FilmBiz2014

Your cup runneth over.  So much happens you barely can determine if it is half full or half empty.  To capture this abundance, please turn to our friends at Keyframe for ten additional good things, and our pals at Filmmaker Magazine for ten additional bad.

[…]


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Dec 2 / Issues and Actions

The Good And The Bad In FilmBiz2014: Initial Dose

We are trying something a wee bit different this year. Instead of launching with a massive list of either the good and the bad, I’ve teamed up with some partners to help distribute the news.  What’s good or bad in the film biz in 2014? Well check out Film Comment for ten good (complete with swell photo selection) and check […]


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Nov 27 / My Films

Happy Thanksgiving!

"The Ice Storm"

[…]


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Nov 27 / These Are Those Things

Thanks To William Burroughs And Gus Van Sant

[…]


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Nov 25 / Issues and Actions

Add Five Female Characters To Your Script

Less than 30% of all speaking characters in the 100 top-grossing films are female. “If filmmakers just added five female speaking characters to their current slate of projects (without taking away or changing any of the male characters) and repeated the process for four years, we would be at parity.”

[…]


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Nov 21 / My Films

My Greatest Films That No One Has Ever Seen

whathappendposter

Recently Jon Brooks at KQED wrote up a very nice piece on Tom Noonan’s WHAT HAPPENED WAS (1994). That film won multiple awards at Sundance but barely go seen.  Unfortunately it does not sleep alone in my bed of barely seen almost-masterpieces.  As strong as my track record may be, it still holds some flops, misfires, and damn bad luck […]


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