Rough diamonds shine brighter
July 8, 2011, 12:01 AM
Ted Hope has been the producer behind some of the most exciting film talents to emerge since the early 1990s. Considered one of the most influential backers of indies around, he has brought innovative filmmakers such as Hal Hartley, Ang Lee and Todd Solondz to wide audiences. Hope was at KVIFF as producer of actor Martin Donovan’s feature debut Collaborator.
You produced the first, or very early, films of a seminal group of directors. What attracts you to emerging talents?
You can spot a diamond in the rough. They shine brighter than the other people. But a lot of times they haven’t learned how to position themselves or their project correctly. Or they don’t know how to take authority for their work or take authority on the set. They need somebody to endorse them. Now that I have a track record, I’ve got something I can lend to them. I can say, “Look, I really respect this person.” Sometimes, because they come from a foreign culture or [because of] a gender bias or social issues, it’s harder for them to get initial support. I love working with first time and second time directors, because I find sometimes they are the most collaborative. They want your ideas and they want to understand things better.
What is the greatest challenge facing young filmmakers?
We have to look at the question of how we, as creators, start to differentiate our work from movies that have already been certified by critics and audiences as masterpieces. I’m a chronic list keeper and I’ve built my own queue of everything I want to see, and I’ve already selected enough movies to keep me fully engaged at my peak consumption rate of about 200 titles a year for five years beyond my life expectancy. I already know what I want to do and what I want to see. So, when somebody makes a new movie, why should I bump a film by somebody I’ve already spotted and know about and which I know is going to be good so that I can watch their little independent movie?
You will find the complete interview in today´s edition of the Festival Daily.
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