Here's a Discount for the Producing Masterclass in NYC with Ted Hope and Christine Vachon

21 Grams. Far from Heaven. In the Bedroom. One Hour Photo. Boys Don't Cry. American Splendor. I'm Not There. Happiness. Adventureland. The Ice Storm. These are just a few of the independent films produced by superproducers Ted Hope and Christine Vachon, and the two of them are banding together to share what they've learned with other producers and aspiring producers on Saturday, November 5, 2011 here in NYC. The masterclass focuses on the important stuff: "get your movie made, make it well, make it great, get it seen, and survive to do it all over again." They've also created a discount code for No Film School readers: "NoFilmSchooler125" will save you $25. For would-be indie producers, this is a must-attend workshop, and you couldn't pick a better pair of producers to learn from. Here are the full details:

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation's oldest and largest not-for-profit advocacy organization for independent filmmakers, has joined forces with indieWIRE, the leading news, information, and networking site for independent-minded filmmakers, to bring NYC the first ever stateside masterclass with Ted Hope and Christine Vachon, focusing on the practical advice and lessons they’ve learned from 25 years and over 100 films in the indie film business.

The veteran indie producers, whose films have won four Sundance Grand Jury Prizes, Critics’ prizes at Cannes, Emmy Awards, and earned loads of Oscar nominations, have previously shared the insights they’ve gained in an ever-changing field with sold out audiences of filmmakers in the UK and Scandinavia. Now they will be offering their knowledge to their hometown NYC filmmaking community. Cantor Film Center (36 E 8th St., New York, NY 10003) on Saturday, November 5 from 10am until 4pm.

Ted and Christine have discovered and nurtured many young directors. They’ve produced the first features of Todd Haynes, Ang Lee, Rose Troche, Mary Harron, Michel Gondry, this year’s Sundance Directing Prize-winner, Sean Durkin and many, many more. Beyond writing/directing talent, they have also mentored and helped build many top producers and executives.

Hope and Vachon will focus on how to get your movie made, how to make it well and make it great, how to get it seen, and how to survive to do it all over again. And again. And again. And again. The Film industry’s creative and business sectors are at an intersection of great possibility – learn how to tap into and exploit these shifting paradigms.

“Traveling the world with Christine discussing the future of film has been a great experience—we’ve gotten to meet and talk to the folks who will be making the good work and leading the industry in the future” says Hope.

“We’ve learned so much from the participants and the response has be been particularly gratifying – even if the sound of Ted’s voice can be grating” adds Vachon.

Hope and Vachon have established themselves as innovative leaders of the independent film industry and community, touring the world discussing the future of film, and engaging directly with audiences via social media. Both teach in New York University’s graduate film program and write extensively on the state of cinema – Vachon is the author of two Los Angeles Times Best Sellers: A Killer Life: How An Independent Producer Survives Deals And Disasters In Hollywood And Beyond (Simon and Schuster, 2006); and Shooting To Kill: How An Independent Producer Blasts Through The Barriers To Make Movies That Matter (Avon, 1998). Hope is the only active filmmaker with a daily column in one of the film industry’s major trade publications, indieWIRE, and he is recognized by leading social media analytics as one of the most influential people in terms of “independent film.”

In the early 90’s, American Independent Film burst on the media scene with the promise of new visions, new stories, and new approaches. Hope and Vachon were among the first producers to emerge from the pack and are two of the very few still delivering vital and exciting work today. They have produced over 100 films combined and have received some of the industry’s most prestigious honors, each having led companies honored with tributes at the Museum of Modern Art.

Link: IFP and indieWIRE present: KILLER/HOPE -- A Masterclass with Ted Hope and Christine Vachon (use code "NoFilmSchooler125" for $25 off)

Your Comment


With all due respect, I think it is not fair to charge indy filmmakers who are struggling to save up nickels and dimes $125... These guys are successful producers (?) - if they really want to help us why don't they just dispense with their "knowledge" for a more affordable price-tag?

This may sound a bit cynical, but I've been to a few of such master-classes and the bottom line is that they all were just "inspirational" b.s. talks about how not to give up and do it again and again until you run of F*&^ing juice or commit suicide. I for one needed very concrete examples of how the indy filmmakers can showcase their film after they had gone through hell of producing it. That is the major question nowadays. Producing a movie might be difficult but it's not magic. Magic is the part where you want to share it and market it. That's when you find out that all the doors are closed and nobody gives a flying F about you or your movie.

At the end of these several-hour-long self-congratulatory odes, where these "moguls" reminisced about their glorious, bohemian past with "bitter-sweetness" I'd ask them directly about the best way to promote the film and show it. Unequivocally, the answer would be - Why, festivals, of course?

But what happens when a regular Joe indy-filmamker send his/her film to a festival? Then the "moguls" would get kind of awkward and admit that no one watches your film. In fact, there is a big pile of shit where your film is being dumped without due consideration. So, unless you have someone at the festival who is vested in your film, don't get your hopes high. That's the sad truth.

Or else, they will tell you that you should work with them. Would they even care to watch your film and help you if they're not your uncle or aunt? Do you even matter to them if you're not in their social circle?

How do these guys really help us? By inspiring us to spend more of our hard-eraned money, spend all of our energy, only to see the doors shut tight?

October 27, 2011 at 12:50PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM



I understand your position, but I think there are a couple misperceptions here. First of all, while $125 may be a lot of money to some... compared to a one month filmmaking class for $4k, Ted and Christine are charging less per day and they are much more qualified than your average instructor. Or any instructor for that matter. Also:

1) Successful indie producers are very often not rich. If you read the NoFilmSchool manifesto I talk about finding revenue streams outside of the film itself, and running a masterclass is a good example of that.

2) Film festivals watch screeners. It's easy to believe otherwise, and I've gotten rejected from my share of festivals, but the belief that festivals dump films without due consideration is not a constructive attitude, nor is it accurate in the case of almost all credible festivals.

If you don't think the $125 is worth it, by all means don't attend. As for "how do these guys really help us," have you seen Ted's blog?

October 27, 2011 at 1:05PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Ryan Koo

i totally agree!!!

October 27, 2011 at 1:09PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Hi Koo,

I've been following Ted's blog for quite a long time, even back when it was an app on iPhone. It was quite an interesting read, but mostly from theoretical perspective on "how things should be and how they are not..." I don't have anything against Ted or anyone else personally. Probably I should have been clearer - I don't like the general atmosphere that exists around film festivals.

Most importantly, I should have clarified that my criticism of film festivals relates to their unwillingness to promote anything truly new. I don't want to create an incentive for a lengthy virtual argument here, but most festivals in the US try to copy the success of Sundance and if you look at Sundance they mostly promote quite shallow products. There have been several (literally) serious film that came out of Sundance - "Ballast" by Lance Hammer, being one of them - however such serious films are extremely rare and prove the general rule.

In any case, I have my, albeit emotional, opinion and I don't advocate pro or against. Mine was rather a rhetorical question.

October 27, 2011 at 7:45PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


hmm...I partly agree with Mastroiani: all the masterclasses focus on some average cases that you may face with during a production or a filming process. $125 is not big money...but...6 hours dude! 6 hours!!! It's absolutely not enough time to tell to a mob of young film makers about some really practically important things or tricks. I'm sure that anybody will notice something really useful for him on this masterclass. But could I explore exactly the same just having read the book? I guess YES)
Anyway, I'd like much more to visit these guys 'in field', watching how they work and explain all the steps of the process. I think it's the best way to learn and to spend your money and time))

October 28, 2011 at 1:00AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Mastrioiani has a partial point- Masterclasses are not enough to give many aspiring filmmakers the info they need to find "How do I get my film seen? Distributed? Turned into a deal of some sort?"

But the point of a masterclass is being a starting point, really, not an end all or be all. Just like masterclasses for singing or acting, this is intent for people in the middle or near the end of the process.

October 30, 2011 at 4:50PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM