What makes independent films different from mainstream films?
Independent films play a significant role in our society. They allow filmmakers to have a voice that draws discussion and conjures up emotion in their audiences. Independent filmmakers are not contending with large production companies to hold the top spot at the box office. Their objective is to create a distinguishable content with their own style and artistic vision. An independent producer can compete with mainstream film production if it has the necessary funding and distribution.
In order to receive exposure and funding, independent films are often screened at local, national or international film festivals prior to distribution, (theatrical or retail release). Film festivals are a great resource as they are dedicated to helping their presentations build an audience and grow within the industry.
Independent movie-making has evolved throughout the years resulting in the wide-spread popularity of short films and festivals solely devoted to them. Full-length presentations are often showcased at events such as the Sundance Film Festival, the Slamdance Film Festival, the South By Southwest film festival, the Raindance Film Festival, ACE Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival. Independent productions that are nominated for awards from these expositions are more likely to get picked up for distribution by major studios.
Breaking into the Independent Film Business
If you’re reading this article, you’re either interested or you’ve opted to enter the business of independent films. Generally, when you are trying to break into this marketplace, you will need to start at the bottom and work your way up. For starters, you’ll need to get networked. This can be accomplished by engulfing yourself in local and/or national film festivals and by creating a presence on social media. You are now on the radar and it’s time for the next step, execution. Producing a film, whether it’s on a large or small scale, is a huge undertaking. Once you’ve reached that milestone, you will need to plan on how it will be distributed. Booking a cinema and receiving positive publicity will help to build up a substantial fan base. As a result, calls will be coming in from distributors who may not have contacted you previously.
If you want to become an independent filmmaker, you will need to make a lot of sacrifices. It is very taxing and can affect you financially. There will be a lot of compromise and disappointment and in order to succeed, you will need to be persistent and never give up. Follow your dream and when it finally happens for you, it will be an incredibly gratifying achievement.