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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

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Old May 1st, 2005, 01:00 PM   #31
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Freeport, Texas
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Indie or not?

Film as art, semantics, jib, dolly, film, video...... aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Make the movie however you want. Jib shots using broomsticks, rent a jimmyjib, a full blown crane sysyem, get some heliarch lights (if you can find em), make a skateboard dolly, whatever your heart desires. Make it in whatever genre you want. Shoot DV, HD, Super16, 35mm, (even some the newer Pro8 8mm film stock looks relatively good) etc... Keeping all the control is what makes a film independent or not. If you finish the film, and a studio approaches you for distribution rights, then go for it. But, keep control. Once this is lost, your film is no longer an "indie".

I've worked on several shorts, and a few features. all indies. and control was the one thing that kept these films indies. But, sometimes it can come back and bite you in the butt.

There comes a time to "cut the cord". A good friend of mine made a film a few years.... okay, a decade ago. He put a small fortune into it, and never submitted it anywhere. He set up small showings over a period of several months, and then it sat on the shelf. I'm not saying that it was a great film, but, he might have gotten it to go somewhere, or he (or I for that matter) may have been "discovered" and I wouldn't be working at a convenience store at 37 years of age, and still working on no/low budget shorts trying to "get discovered".

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Old May 4th, 2005, 12:11 PM   #32
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Well, the term "indie" seems to be in the eye of the filmmaker in this thread. :-)

Don't want to confuse anyone with the facts, but thought you might find it interesting to see at least one outside definition of "indie", or "independent filmmaker". Here it is at wikipedia.org.

Enjoy dissecting this definition. :-)
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Old May 4th, 2005, 12:57 PM   #33
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The very first thing of that entire "wikipedia" states:

"An independent film (or indie film) is a film produced without the support of a major movie studio or a big budget."

This is exactly what I said in my posting. Indie doesn't mean anything in regards to equipment, creative roles or any of that. It means where is the money coming from...period. If it's funded by a studio (aka BANK) then it's a studio picture. If it's funded by multiple (or a single) INDEPENDENT source(s) then it's an "indie" through and through.

For some reason people have begun to think that how a film is made creatively (dollies, type of camera etc) is what makes it "indie". Also, some people think it's a mish-mash of other types of things. The facts are that "indie" is about funding and always has been. It is 100% about where the money is coming from and where it's going after the film makes money.

There are variations on a theme here...example, an indie film is picked up after it's completed by a major studio. Then it's a hybrid of sorts, but that's such a silly argument to have anyway. The bottom line is how the movie is funded and where the distribution of profits and losses are located.

I worked for an independent film financing company, so I know. They went defunct like a lot of indie companies do. They were called, "Filmtown International" and was headed by Alan Mruvka who was the creator of the E! Channel. The biggest film we did there was "State and Main" by David Mammet. I was there in 2000...the year they went belly up. Before they were Filmtown they were "Ministry of Film" and had quite a good run.
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