Live Those Who Choose The Independent Path In Film Production
It seems like the only films that are being made these days by major
studios are sequels, comic book hero movies, remakes of classic movies and
old television shows that have been turned into movies. Most of the projects of
today’s film industry are chosen by Wall Street executives who could care less
about artistic integrity. They only care about profits. This can be disheartening at times when you are standing in front of an eighteen-plex
movie theater and you want to see an independent film with a story, but there
are none to be found. However, just when you think that creativity is dead in
the movie business a talented independent filmmaker will show up at one of the
big film festivals and remind the big shots in Hollywood that the movie-going
public values them more than they do Wall Street.
The fact of the matter is that the Hollywood film industry is a
business like any other in which the primary goal is to make money. Any
deviation from that concept puts a studio at risk of having a movie that
“bombs”, or in other words loses money.
When you are dealing with major studios
like Warner Bros or Paramount you have shareholders to worry about, and that
makes studio executives nervous. When shareholders get nervous they shine a
bright light on their investment and look for anything or anyone that is not
making them money. It spells disaster for inept executives, and their
heads will roll in the aftermath of shareholder discontent. This is why
executives who green-light film projects always try to cover their behinds with the
safest investments possible. That is why you will not see them taking any chances on
something or someone that has not already been proven to make money. It is quite
hard for creativity to survive in an atmosphere like that.
A big studio is basically defined by the value of their
stock, not the quality of their films. This is why major studios appear to be
creatively bankrupt these days. Decisions about making movies are being made by
financial people instead of creative visionaries like Jack Warner, the
co-founder of Warner Bros. Studios. He understood that filmmaking is a balance
of art and commerce, not just commerce.
are constructed around a host of commercial themes instead of artistic ideas.
That is why you get a whole lot of special effects and very little storyline
with the major studio films. When it comes to the financial bottom line,
explosions and clever product placement in carefully packaged,
multi-million dollar budget movies make more money than independent films with
When you think about how heavily the odds are stacked against the financial success of independent films it is a wonder that
any at all get made. It is a testament to the creative and irrepressible spirit
of independent filmmakers around the world. While filmmaking is first and
foremost a business these days it is still an art form too. This is why creative people are drawn to this industry
despite the odds of success being heavily against them. Film production is and
always will be a form of art no matter how commercialized it becomes. Artists
are drawn to this business because that is what they do; they work with art.
You have to understand when you take on a career in film
production you are rolling the dice with your future success. It is really hard
to break into this field as a major player without connections. This is due to the fact
that there is a great deal of nepotism involved in the hiring process. It is
hard to get a break in Hollywood, but it is not impossible.
The best way for a nobody to become a Player in Hollywood
is to make a big showing at major film festivals like Sundance or Toronto. This
always leads to some good publicity, and it can launch a career into the
stratosphere. One day you are making a low budget independent film in your back
yard, then before you know it you are making a big budget film on a major
Hollywood film studio back lot.
We all remember The Blair Witch Project and El
Mariachi. These were truly independent films made in the late nineties with
budgets of less than
fifty thousand dollars. They crossed over from the film festival circuit to the
major theater circuit and made the filmmakers rich and famous in the process. The were made by artists who put their budget second and
their vision first. Persistence and an undying passion to make independent films was the
fuel that drove them, and it paid off in the end. Big studios bought their
and went on to make millions with them. It does not matter that the big studios made
most of this money with these movies, for the publicity that these filmmakers received was enough
to launch their careers in Hollywood. In both cases the makers of these
went on to create sequels with major studio budgets backing them
financially for the second episodes of their stories. Their exploits on the film
festival circuit in the
world of independent film were a springboard to the big time. It worked out well
It is good to see that every once in a while a really
independent film makes it to the big time. Most films that are entered in
film festivals never get to see the bright lights of the mainstream, but it does
happen every once in a while. This is because passionate and creative artists
will always gravitate to this line of work to tell their stories. No matter how
hard the big studios make it for them to join their money-making party,
independent filmmakers will continue trying to crash it. A truly
great story teller cannot be silenced by nepotism. They will always find a way
to get their story told.
One thing is for sure; when it comes to the movie industry,
the cream always rises to the top. Although the industry has been smothered by
commercialism lately it cannot exist on money and test marketing alone. The main
nutrient it requires to survive is creativity. Even the most heavily laden
special effects movie needs some sort of creativeness to build their explosions
around. Once in a while the big Hollywood studio executives open the doors to
their party and let the creative people who make independent films join them. But... only if their financial
advisors tell them that it is a good idea.
For more information on the topic of this article
CLICK HERE © 2012.