Ted Hope, the former Co-Head at Amazon Movies, will join Arizona State University as a professor of practice based in the new ASU California Center

Film producer Ted Hope to co-lead new entertainment program at ASU Thunderbird


Jonathan Ward

Ted Hope, the former co-head at Amazon Movies, will join Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management as the marquee professor of practice in the new Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management in the Creative Industries (MGCI). Powered by Thunderbird, the MGCI is a collaborative effort between two ASU colleges, linked together through the Sidney Poitier New American Film School. 

The unique graduate degree program will begin in the 2021 fall semester in downtown Los Angeles at the ASU California Center in the historic Herald Examiner building. The MGCI is designed for learners interested in pursuing global leadership and management careers in entertainment, film/television/new media, music, VR/XR/MR, gaming, design, dance, fashion, theater, sports, themed entertainment and the arts. The program is both for managers who want to learn creative competencies and for creatives seeking management expertise.

As a professor of practice, Hope will share his 30-plus years of experience directly with students, tapping his expertise in development, production and executive stewardship along with a distinct inner-working knowledge of streaming services and the entertainment industry as a whole.

Starting with the 2021 fall semester, Hope will co-teach the leadoff class of the MGCI and will teach experienced professionals in Thunderbird Executive Education courses and in select undergraduate courses in the Sidney Poitier New American Film School, which is part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Additionally, Hope will spearhead a burgeoning ASU Film Spark Global Vision Lab, which is being designed to spur tomorrow's business and content innovations while fostering a more diverse, equitable and inclusive industry workforce.

Hope, whose initial engagement with the university was through ASU Film Spark, was inspired by ASU’s commitment to access and inclusion, reflected in the ASU Charter, and the university’s No. 1 ranking as the most innovative in the nation.

“The evolution of the creative industries continues to move on a seismic scale, requiring new outlooks, practices and processes, and on an increasingly more urgent basis,” Hope said. “The various creative communities I have been fortunate to be part of over these three decades in the film business have guided and mentored me in profound ways, inspiring me to do the same for others. Thunderbird, Herberger Institute, ASU and I share the same mission to not just always be learning and innovating but to make sure we measure ourselves on how inclusive we can be. Big change is coming and we are all going to be better prepared for it. I thought I had big ideas, but Thunderbird’s dwarf mine, yet together I think we will spark a bonfire of opportunity. Watch this space!”

Hope led Amazon’s entry into feature-film production and acquisitions, overseeing Oscar-winning films “Manchester by the Sea” and “The Salesman” as well as this year’s Academy Award-nominated “Sound of Metal” and the documentary “Time.” He is recognized for producing over 70 independent films over the last few decades, and currently has multiple new film releases in production, including “The Tender Bar” starring Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan and Lily Rabe and directed by George Clooney, the documentary “Invisible Nation” directed by Vanessa Hope, and “Cassandro” starring Gael García Bernal and directed by Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams.

The unique graduate degree program will begin in the 2021 fall semester in downtown Los Angeles at the ASU California Center in the historic Herald Examiner building.

The MGCI graduate degree program will begin in the 2021 fall semester in downtown Los Angeles at the ASU California Center in the historic Herald Examiner building.

Hope has long had an interest in education and thought leadership, having served as executive director of the San Francisco Film Society, where he created the Artist to Entrepreneur program, and as a founder of NYU’s Cinema Research Institute. His book, “Hope for Film: A Producer’s Journey Across the Revolutions of Indie Film and Global Streaming,” is a bestseller on college campuses and is in its second edition.

"Ted Hope is a unicorn — a vanguard global entertainment executive, a legend of independent film, and so much more,” said Sanjeev Khagram, Thunderbird director general and dean. “He’ll use his visionary storytelling talents and deep practical and entrepreneurial experience to help us produce a graduate degree like no other in the world while giving our students invaluable insights into 21st-century creative processes and enterprises.

“The MGCI program is based in the global creative capital of the world, Los Angeles, as ASU opens the revitalized Herald Examiner building and a key pillar of Thunderbird’s LA Regional Center of Excellence," Khagram said. "Our students will have access to cutting-edge learning and networking opportunities with thriving enterprises across the multimedia landscape along with expert faculty like Ted Hope to guide them into a future of their imagining."

The collaboration of ASU’s Thunderbird School and the Herberger Institute is designed to provide new, affordable, local options and innovative programs like the MGCI and related Film Spark events, intended to serve global learners and provide greater access to opportunity.

“We are combining the global leadership of Thunderbird with the largest comprehensive design and arts college in America to offer a first-of-its-kind degree — preparing graduates to lead and manage creative teams in one of the fastest-growing, most dynamic global sectors of our economy,” said Steven J. Tepper, dean and director of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. “Ted Hope is an innovator and a perfect fit to help launch this exciting collaboration.”

Apply or get more information on Thunderbird’s MGCI degree.