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In reviewing my book, Nick DeMartino captures a great deal of what I am feeling these days. I think we can move things forward and build it better together. Nick spots how my love of cinema drew us forward and then how that same love drew me away from a focus on project producing.
“At a certain point, living an independent life, you start to recognize how fragile the whole enterprise is. You can’t afford to ignore the big picture. And you can’t do it alone,” writes Hope, as he shifts gears in the final chapters to share the story of how he left New York and hands-on production to focus on that “reboot,” first in an ill-fated stint at the San Francisco Film Society, and now as CEO of Fandor, an indie-focused streaming video-on-demand service, where he’s busy trying to tackle some of the “141 Problems and Opportunities for the Independent Film World,” which is included in this book as an appendix. [...]
I hope film fans everywhere find my book and dig it. It is so hard to get the word out that I am particularly grateful whenever anyone writes something good about the book. Evidently it makes a huge difference when someone posts a five-star Amazon review. Hopefully those of you who read this blog and recognize how much effort has gone into it over the years, might just want to return the favor and post such a review. Or even better yet, start a blog and post the review there too.
This week brought me some pleasure when two friends who have blogs posted their review. [...]
I hope we never run out of things that we get to do for the first time. Even more, I hope each of them is as exciting as this next one will be for me. I have never given a bookstore reading before, but I am going to do one very soon.
That’s why I write now: to invite you to the first bookstore reading of my first book. It will be on Wednesday, August 27th at 730 PM at Books, Inc. in San Francisco at 2275 Market Street.
I must confess: I am a tad nervous. [...]
Wow. The “lost” episode of WAY USA (Niagra Falls), directed by Peter Lauer, starring Tesco Vee, was one of my first productions ever. Hopefully one day that tape will also surface, but it is great to see the first episode of the show itself has returned to pop history, and even better to be elevated into the realm of “the greatest cult video you’ve probably never seen“. I have long been a fan of Dangerous Minds, but now I am even more so for sourcing this and bringing it to our attention.
The director Peter Lauer was in an incredible batch of original MTV interns that graduated into the director class the subsequent year. If my memory serves it included Mark Pellington, Ted Demme, John Polson and others. I think my first production with Peter was the “Run’s House” video for MTV. In those days, in addition to producing, I also AD’d the shoot. Peter’s concept for the video was to create riots wherever we filmed. I believe we closed down both 125th street and Times Square on the shoot. If memory serves me, if you look closely you can find the 24 year old me caught on camera (kinda akin to a similar moment I have in Jem Cohen’s Fugazi doc INSTRUMENT), but to tell the truth, I can’t find me in when I look through it now.
I did a couple of videos with Peter, including Rob Base’s “It Takes Two“. I remember doing MTV spots with him and some of the original VJ’s, like Alan Hunter. We never did get to make a movie though. In the universe where everything goes as I want, WAY USA would have been a huge hit and an ongoing show, as big as RUN DMC perhaps. But it is a joy for me to go back now.