by Ellison Walcott
Remake after remake and reboot after reboot, and yet, the film industry has a lot of doubt about the future of independent filmmaking. The phrase being whispered in Hollywood is: Independent Cinema is dead.
If everyone is saying Hollywood is bankrupt of ideas, then how can independent film be dead? It’s not dead. Entertainment, and filmmaking in particular, is just evolving. Long live the arthouse film. When there’s change in any industry, people in that business start scrambling and uttering phrases, like - It’s the end of an era. It’s all going to shit.
There may be no more sticky floored theatres, with dilapidated, leaning seats, but independent film is thriving and will rise again in this new, technological wave, as makers, watchers, and younger generations catch the independent film buzz.
Change is occurring in every aspect: how it’s made, funded, and distributed. If you can’t keep up, you’re going to get left behind. The days of Akira Kurasowa, Wim Wenders, Hal Hartley and for now, even Kevin Smith, are gone. They will live on, and we will still watch their films and marvel in them, but the landscape is changing.
Independent filmmakers believe that their competing with Marvel and DC Comics and all the Blockbuster production companies. The two industries have been producing films side by side for a long time, and one does not compete with the other. They are two different beings, and there is room enough in the industry for both. They need each other.
If the rumors are true, and Hollywood is drained, then that leaves the door wide open for independent filmmakers. There’s a culture shift occurring, and it is rampant with ideas. Globally, there are countless movies that were made and are still being made about the pandemic. There are films with storylines about Adult Adoption. It’s a real thing.
Audiences crave both genres. No film lover can survive on Blockbusters alone.
We’re long past the idea of the market being saturated with too many distributors and entertainment apps. Consumers spend on average about $3500 per year on TV and movie channels.
The bottom line might feel like the bottom line for an aspiring independent filmmaker, but there are lots of resources out there for new talent. So where can you get the funds to make that passion project? Below are a few suggestions that may be a way to help finance your film.
Distribution has come a long way. There no more huge film reels or clunky plastic VHS tapes. Now, it’s as easy as the click of a mouse. You can email your film to anywhere in the world, including theatres, distributors, and directors. Also, because of the advances in digital technology like DSLR, 3D Screens are not just a movie theater thing anymore either. Many people have them in their homes.
It’s an exciting time in the entertainment world, and for independent projects in particular.
Some of the most popular platforms with current audiences feature primarily independent films. They include:
MUBI is a global curated film streaming platform, production company and film distributor. The platform produces and theatrically distributes films by emerging and established filmmakers, which are exclusively available on its platform.
Shudder is an American over-the-top subscription video on demand service featuring horror, thriller and supernatural fiction title.
Tubi is a streaming service with a full-range of both TV and movie choices of independent and blockbuster films.
The Film Detective | Classic Film Distribution– The Film Detective is a streaming service dedicated to classic films.
Spamflix is a Video on Demand (VoD) streaming platform focused on avant-garde and cult films that are difficult to frame into one precise genre.
IndieFlix contains a great library of contemporary independent films. Subscribers can consume movies on-demand and from seasonal film festivals.
It’s not the end of an art or independent filmmaking. It’s the beginning of a new era. Like the world, filmmaking keeps moving – frame after frame – image after image - whirring by. It will never stop. It will never die.