The Importance of Watching Indie Films
First of all, we should ask ourselves if we really get the term “indie”. Actually, we relation that word with films which are not easy to find in our nearly cinemas, or films with unknown names in credits. However, those ideas are right, but they are far of really include all aspects of this really nice kind of making movies.
Indie cinema started something like 90 years ago, when film producing was under the supervision of Motion Pictures Patents Company, this association made the artists pay half penny for each half centimeter of printed movie. Also, for having right to start shooting any kind of project, they had to transact a creative license for 5000 dollars a year. All these economical restrictions awake that hidden feeling of freedom in a lot of filmmakers –like the Warner Brothers- who suddenly left that strict company and decided once and for all not depend of the MPPC. The rest is history, Indie movies wer born. But, what the hell means indie? Well, I forgot to tell you that the president of the MPPC in that time was Thomas Alva Edison, and he wasn’t very happy because of all those runaway filmmakers and started calling them as “illegal”. Of course, our ancestors did not like this term and preferred naming themselves “Independent”, get it? That’s the origin of the word “Indie”.
Let’s get over this short history lesson and focus our readings in the subject we care about from the title: What’s the importance of watching indie movies? Well, here you have several reasons:
- You can learn how to produce your projects: A lot of indie films have that strange charm of being produced with low budgets and telling instead huge and beautiful stories. This is very important because, if you’re a beginner in this business you’ll start –at least you have already very, very good contacts- with little money and an inexpert crew, including you. Indie films are the living proof you don’t need a lot of economical resources to make an interesting and festivals winner project. Never forget, first be creative, money will come by.
- You will learn how to direct: Indie films are quite a good material to watch how directors overcome creative obstacles, and how they do their best for making actors to give excellent performances. This kind of movies usually have very good actors, young people who maybe we’ll never see again or at least not in big projects, but stay in our memories because of their great effort. Indie techniques to produce audiovisual stuff are also valid for making your first shortcut; there are lots of vivid examples of what I’ve just written. Christopher Nolan started his professional path with DOODLEBUG. In this short film, we can appreciate the madness of the character thanks to the excellent work of Jeremy Theobald, who also was the main character in Nolan’s prima opera: FOLLOWING. We never heard again of Jeremy Theobald, but those materials are enough to prove his talent in front of the camera.
- More you do, more experience you have: Indie films have the advantage of being a huge option of continuous improvement in your filmmaker’s skills. It does not matter your first motion picture isn’t good, what really matters is that you’re not any longer a film talker or a film thinker, you can become now, with any shortcut or small movie production, a FILMMAKER.
- These films teach how to distribute your job: Independent films have another challenge when they’re finished, how to distribute them. Well, the thing is that if you have already made your movie, next task is making as many people watch it. It everything but easy, however it isn’t impossible. Lots of these Indie movies arrived to by isolated reviews in sites like FilmSnobbery or in pages like YouTube. Maybe for the moment you will not earn money for uploading your film, but it is a great opportunity to show it to millions of people, and maybe a distributing house gets interested on it. You never know, it all depends of how much you try to make your movie a public matter.
- Indie films INSPIRE: If we’re illustrious unknown in this business, we may feel once as if transcending was impossible, and it is not. It’s hard, but I can assure you it is possible in deed. If you watch Independent movies you will easily get inspired, because these have a hidden message that tells you producing these materials is easy, without asking big quantities of money your project can be shot and your dusty script could finally see the light after all those years in a box under your bed.
So after reading this, what movie will you watch next?
-Pablo Cuevas (@PabloCuevas_)