Tuesday, 26th March 2019

Independent Dilemma

Posted on 15. Dec, 2011 by in Production

Independent Dilemma

Over the years it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between independent productions and “independent” productions, the latter being financed by major studios or large money funds. Some studios went as far as opening entire divisions devoted to “independent” productions e. g. Warner Independent, which would be like trying to express the concept big studio and no studio by using only one title. Even some film festivals, once catering to independent filmmakers, have experienced a radical change from their humble beginnings. In fact in recent years you may ran the risk of sitting in an art house theater in Park City, watching a black and white film competing at Sundance and suddenly on the screen there goes Brad Pitt walking through a door and joining the cast. Fortunately in the case of Sundance most of the time it is still a movie worth watching but certainly not what anyone would have categorized as an independent film in the early 90’s.

It appears no one is to blame for this continue blurring of the line between commerce and art, it is a normally occurring human phenomena. Interest equals money and when people become interested in seeking out and watching independent films the money starts flowing toward what used to be a niche business. There is however one issue in all this which down the line may cost independent filmmakers their much needed exposure. In this newly developed market when you make a film the independent way you find yourself competing for attention with an “independent” film starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts with a two million dollars advertising budget. It may even be possible that our star-studded indie flick was indeed produced outside the studio system and entirely financed by Bill Gates himself which in essence would qualify the film as an independent production but should this film compete for the attention of screening committees on the independent festival circuit? Perhaps since the term independent has been appropriated by the big boys on the block it is time for solitary filmmakers to come up with a new language to define their work in order to retrace the line between millions and thousands.

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