Guilty as charged? Change passion into a profession.
Creating films in indie world, more often than not, means passion, not profession. You may reach the sky with your creative abilities and hard work, yet the line between passion and profession seems to be impassable. You’re doing everything right, or as right as you’re capable of and still … your passion makes you enough money to buy a beer. Does this sound familiar?
After a while you start to ask yourself questions. Is it because I do not put enough work into marketing? Or maybe was it never ending budget problems? Perhaps it was the film itself, that the audience did not find to their liking? While all of it may be true and often there is no golden answer to those questions, there is one common denominator for most indie film failures. Luck of your support for indie films. Yes, your support – indie filmmaker! What you should be really asking is: why people would pay for my movie, if I don’t spend my money on other indie films?
The only way for indie market to grow is to change the way we all think about indie films. To realize how much money goes to mainstream film production & marketing, and to realize that what we are actually buying on mainstream market differs from indie market. Like with any other mass product we do not buy the mainstream film itself, we buy the idea of the film created in marketing agencies. The very calculated idea that is being tested, modified and re-made until it complies with all the market requirements.
Indie films bring along something entirely different. A devotion and heart. Truth, honesty, creativity and hard, very hard work. As a famous indie horror maker Lloyd Kaufman said:
Independent filmmaking is the last frontier of creative expression available.
This goes for the entire indie neighborhood. Without indie film, indie games, indie music, indie film reviewers, indie magazines, indie writers, all that is left is an entertaining calculation full of filmmakers’ nightmare – the gatekeepers. If you do not stop treating indie film industry as a waiting room before big break into a “real” film industry, nobody will. This break, that you’re waiting for, may come or may not, in huge lot of cases it does not. And you may find yourself in a position, that instead finding your way into the hearts of the audience, you’ve spent all your time, money and energy chasing after something that was never even within your reach. For thousands of reasons and most of the reasons do not even depend on you.
The potential consequences of the further rise of indie movement may go way beyond our imagination. Want examples? Plenty to work with. Ten years ago it was hardly possible for an indie filmmaker to present their film to the worldwide audience. Now, with self distribution platforms anyone can do it. Ten years ago it was impossible to shoot a good quality film without the gear going beyond the wallet size. Now, with the tech revolution in filmmaking, that we have been experiencing for quite a while now, it is very possible.
Where should you start? By giving your support to indie filmmaking industry by every means possible. Here is a list of action you can take right now.
- Find your film news on truly independent news sources. The choice is great here: bloggers, indie magazines, indie websites. And if the blogger, magazine or website decides to write about your project support them not only by saying thank you but by tweeting, re-tweeting, posting wherever you can. This is a two-way street communication here and one way communication will fail you quickly.
- Support other filmmakers and creative talents: by buying directly from filmmakers, game dev, books writers, subscribing to blogger sites but also by rating, reviewing, following, tweeting about projects that you liked and want to support.
- Support direct distribution platforms by subscribing, renting, buying film content directly from filmmakers but also by spreading the word about those platforms, that you had a good experience with.
- Support yourself and your project by doing all the above
Now, we’re not saying that there is no value in “big” cinema. There is lot’s of wonderful movies produced by majors, worth seeing and talking about. What we’re saying is: if one of every four film tickets you buy is a ticket to see an independent film (online, in cinema, whatever), you’re moving the industry you’re working in forward. That small step for you is a huge step for the entire industry.
Is this all too idealistic for you? That may be. But if you don’t start to treat indie film industry seriously – no one will. Let’s make this change together. #supportindiefilm
P.S We deliberately didn’t make any suggestions what is and what isn’t indie, although we know it gets tricky sometimes. We trust your better judgment!