Ted Hope

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ted Hope
Born1962 (age 56–57)
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
Alma materNYU Film School, New York University Tisch School of the Arts
OccupationFilm producer, CEO of Fandor, Co-Head of Movies, Amazon Studios
Years active1987—present
Known forGood Machine (1990–2002)
This Is That Productions (2002–2010)
Spouse(s)Vanessa Hope

Ted Hope (born 1962) is an American independent film producer based in New York City. He began work as Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society on September 1, 2012. Currently, he serves as Co-Head of Movies for Amazon Studios.

Hope has produced the first films of such notable filmmakers as Ang Lee, Hal Hartley, Nicole Holofcener, Todd Field, Michel Gondry, Moises Kaufman, and Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, among others. In the early 1990s, Hope co-founded with James Schamus the production/sales company Good Machine, which he and his partners sold to Universal in 2002.[1] That same year he co-founded This is That with his current partner Anne Carey, Good Machine's Head of Business Affairs Diana Victor, and his former assistant, Anthony Bregman.

Among Hope's twenty-three Sundance entries, are three Grand Jury Prize winners: American Splendor (2003), The Brothers McMullen (1995) and What Happened Was... (1994). American Splendor also won the FIPRESCI Award at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, the Critics prize at the 2003 Deauville Film Festival, and was nominated for five Spirit Awards and one Academy Award. Hope has also produced two Sundance Opening Night selections: Nicole Holofcener's Friends with Money (2006) and Moises Kaufman's The Laramie Project (2002), which was nominated for five Emmys.

Hope was instrumental in organizing the successful 2003 antitrust campaign against the MPAA and its ban on screeners, uniting a diverse constituency, strategizing the effort, and ultimately providing in court the oral testimony that helped sway the judgement.[2] Although the MPAA head, Jack Valenti, claimed The Screen Ban was about combating "piracy", it was recognized by the court as stifling competition, particularly that of independent filmmakers against Hollywood.[3] Hope has claimed a double win in the court case, as it is also where he met his wife filmmaker Vanessa Hope.

In 2013, IndieWire named Hope to its inaugural list of Influencers, a list "dedicated to 40 of the people and companies who have captured our attention as we watch them try to figure out what the independent film industry is today and, more importantly, what it will become." [4]

The Hollywood Reporter cited Hope and his partners at This is That among the twenty-five most powerful people in the Independent Film business.[5]

On January 8, 2014, Hope was named CEO of Fandor, a curated online service for independent and international films.[6] He left Fandor at beginning of 2015 to become the head of production for Amazon Original Movies, stating, "To help carry the torch into the feature film world for such an innovative company is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility. Amazon Original Movies will be synonymous with films that amaze, excite, and move our fans, wherever customers watch."[7]

Early years[edit]

Hope transferred into the undergraduate film program at New York University. He met his frequent collaborator and former business partner Anne Carey on his first day there. After graduating, Hope worked as a production assistant for approximately three years, while also working as a script reader for numerous companies including New Line and MGM.

Hope advanced from work as a Production Assistant to Assistant Directing and Production Management. During that time he started to identify projects and filmmakers he wanted to work with. Most notably Hope started working with Hal Hartley in the years prior to their first production. Hope's first productions were Hartley's The Unbelievable Truth and Trust, on which he is credited as First Assistant Director and First Assistant Director and Line Producer, respectively.

The Good Machine years[edit]

In 1990, Hope and James Schamus founded Good Machine, an independent film production company based in New York. They started doing line production for hire for various international auteurs, including Claire Denis, Danny Levy, and Jan Schutte.

At Good Machine, Hope and James Schamus produced Ang Lee's early films including Pushing Hands, The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman (both Academy Award nominees), The Ice Storm, and Ride with the Devil.

Hope produced Todd Solondz's Cannes Critics' Prize-winning Happiness, which Hope and his partners at Good Machine released themselves when its distributor dropped the film. Hope also executive produced Todd Field's In the Bedroom, which earned five Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Hope and Schamus brought David Linde in as a partner to Good Machine, in order to start their foreign sales arm, Good Machine International. In 2000, the Museum of Modern Art honored Good Machine with a retrospective.[8]

In 2001, the partners sold the company to Universal. Schamus and Linde stayed on and merged the international sales company with USA Films to create Focus Features.

This is That[edit]

With fellow Good Machine producers Anne Carey and Anthony Bregman, and Head of Business Affairs Diana Victor, Hope co-founded New York production company This is That in 2002. This is That specialized in unique content and innovative storytelling. This is That has produced seventeen films in the six years since its inception.

This is That's first release, 21 Grams, received two Academy Award nominations and five BAFTA nominations. The company's second release, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, won an Oscar for best screenplay. In 2009, the company released Adventureland, written and directed by Greg Mottola and starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, and in 2010, the company completed SUPER, written and directed by James Gunn, and starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page and Liv Tyler.

Anthony Bregman left the company to start his own in 2007. The company closed its doors in 2010 after having the No. 1 film at the US box office (The American) and the first film to sell that year at the Toronto International Film Festival (Super).

Hope's production of Oscar-winner Alan Ball's feature film directorial debut Towelhead, starring Aaron Eckhart, Toni Collette, and Maria Bello, opened nationwide in September 2008. Towelhead is Hope's 18th production of a first time feature film director.

Hope had four features released in 2007. One of them, The Savages, directed by Tamara Jenkins and starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, was nominated for two Academy Awards including Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay. The three other releases include Hal Hartley's Fay Grim;, The Ex written by David Guion & Michael Handelman and directed by Jesse Peretz; and The Hawk is Dying, starring Paul Giamatti and directed by Julian Goldberger.

Double Hope Films[edit]

Double Hope Films is a production company founded by independent film producer Ted Hope and his wife Vanessa Hope in 2010. Double Hope's first film, Dark Horse premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2011, and the company's sophomore effort, Starlet, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2012.

San Francisco Film Society directorship[edit]

On August 8, 2012, the San Francisco Film Society named Hope as executive director of SFFS effective September 1.[9] Ted Hope began work at the San Francisco Film Society Mid September 2012. Upon taking the position, Hope stated that it was an offer he could not refuse: “to save Indie Film and build it better than it has been before.” Moving away from project-specific producing, Hope has turned his focus on producing an infrastructure that will sustain and nurture diverse artists, discover and promote fresh talent, and advance the tools and practices that will benefit those that create and appreciate truly ambitious art and entertainment.

Hope announced he would resign as executive director at the end of 2013, citing the challenges of working with a staff of 26 and a board. He said he planned to remain in the San Francisco Bay Area and lead the Film Society's advisory board.[10] In March 2014, Noah Cowen, former director of the Toronto International Film Festival, took over as executive director of the SFFS.

Amazon Studios[edit]

Hope joined Amazon Studios in January 2015 as the head of the Development, Production, and Acquisitions team. Since July 2018 he has served as the Co-Head of Movies for the studio under Jennifer Salke.

Amazon has released 38 films since 2016, notably winning three Academy Awards in the studio’s first year as a distributor for titles Manchester by the Sea and The Salesman.


Boards and Institutions[edit]

Ted Hope is a member of the following boards and institutions:

Not For Profit

  • IFP board member (2000–2005; 2009–2012)
  • Adrienne Shelly Foundation board member
  • Film Collaborative Advisory Board
  • Power To The Pixel Advisory Board
  • Woodstock Film Festival Advisory Board
  • Harmony Institute Advisory Board

For Profit

  • Crowd Play, Co-Founder & Officer, board member
  • Double Hope Films LLC, Co-Founder, Officer, Partner
  • Fandor Advisory Board; Hammer To Nail, Co-Founder & Officer, board member


  • Cinema Research Institute @ NYU, Co-Founder & Board

Beyond Film[edit]

Hope is one of the most influential voices of independent film on social media with many followers on Twitter and other platforms.

He maintains several blogs, including Bowl of Noses (a curated site for children age 6+), These Are Those Things, and Truly Free Film. Consolidated on his website, HopeForFilm, they cover topics including fun things happening in New York City, trends in indie film, and tips for better filmmaking. He also co-founded Hammer To Nail, a film review site focused on Truly Independent Film.

Hope has also published articles in several periodicals, and consults on independent film and media. He is cited in the following books:


  1. ^ Verrier, Richard (May 3, 2002). "Universal Studios to Acquire Good Machine". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  2. ^ The New York Observer
  3. ^ New York magazine
  4. ^ IndieWire Influencers list
  5. ^ Rule makers: THR's Indie Power 50
  6. ^ Deadline.com
  7. ^ Variety.com
  8. ^ "Museum of Modern Art celebrates Good Machine’s 10th anniversary," The Advocate (FEBRUARY 13 2001).
  9. ^ SFFS Press Release (August 8, 2012)
  10. ^ SFgate.com

External links[edit]