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Encyclopedia > Independent filmmaker

An Independent film (or indie film) is a film initially produced without financing or distribution from a major movie studio. Creative, business, and technological reasons have all contributed to the growth of the indie film scene in the late 20th and early 21st century. Films are produced by recording actual people and objects with cameras, or by creating them using animation techniques and/or special effects. ... This is a list of Hollywood movie studios. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... In books based on the Demonic Era or Common Era, such as the Gregorian calendar, the 21st century is the current century, as of this writing. ...



The roots of independent film can be traced back to when the early pioneer filmmakers at the turn of the century resisted the control of the Motion Pictures Patents Company, when filmmakers built their own cameras to escape the Edison trusts in order to relocate to Southern California where they laid the foundations of the American film industry as well as the Hollywood studio system. MPPC stands for Motion Picture Patents Company, also known as the Edison Trust, also known as the First Oligopoly. ... Edison is the last name of a famous United States inventor: Thomas Edison Other people known by the name Edison: Charles Edison – son of Thomas Edison and Governor of New Jersey Edison Chen – popular Hong Kong teen idol Edison Carter, character in the television show Max Headroom A number of... Southern California Downtown Los Angeles Skyline Southern California, sometimes abbreviated SoCal, is an informal name for the megalopolis that is the southern one-third of the state of California. ... ...

The studio system took on a life of its own, and became too powerful. Filmmakers once again sought independence as a result. Throughout the decades, independent filmmakers around the world have created a diverse range of filmmaking styles that symbolize their own unique cultures such as Experimental film and Underground film. An experimental film is a film organized neither as narrative fiction nor as non-fiction. ... The first use of the term underground film occurs in a 1957 essay by American film critic Manny Farber, Underground Films. ...

Some independent filmmakers have even broken through technological barriers with the use of digital cinema. Digital cinema refers to the use of digital technology, digital video or HD, to make, distribute and project motion pictures. ...


Until the advent of digital alternatives, the cost of professional film equipment and stock was also a hurdle to being able to produce, direct, or star in a traditional studio film. The cost of 35mm film is outpacing inflation: in 2002 alone, film negative costs were up 23%, according to Variety. Film requires expensive lighting and post-production facilities. Digital film refers to cinema production and performance systems which work by using a digital representation of the brightness and colour of each pixel of the image. ... Simulated 35 mm film with soundtracks _ The outermost strips (on either side) contain the SDDS soundtrack as an image of a digital signal. ... 2002 (MMII) is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Variety is a daily magazine for the entertainment industry. ... Post production is the general term for the last stage of film production in which photographed scenes (also called footage) are put together into a complete film. ...

But the advent of consumer camcorders in 1985, and more importantly, the arrival of high-resolution digital video in the early 1990s, have lowered the technology barrier to movie production significantly. Both production and post-production costs have been significantly lowered; today, the hardware and software for post-production can be installed in a commodity-based personal computer. Technologies such as DVDs, FireWire connections and non-linear editing system pro-level software like the open source Cinelerra or the commercial Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro and consumer level software such as the open source Kino, or the commercial Final Cut Express and iMovie make movie-making relatively inexpensive. Before the camcorder. ... This article is about the year. ... Digital video is a type of video recording system that works by using a digital, rather than analog, representation of the video signal. ... // Events and trends The 1990s are generally classified as having moved slightly away from the more conservative 1980s, but otherwise retaining a similar mindset. ... DVD is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ... A 6-Pin FireWire 400 connector FireWire (also known as i. ... Note: Please see National Latin Examination for the standardized test that is also abbreviated NLE. A non-linear editing system is a video editing or audio editing system that can perform random access on the source material. ... Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ... Cinelerra is a free non-linear video editing system for the GNU/Linux operating system. ... Adobe Premiere Pro, produced by Adobe is a realtime, timeline based video editing software targeted at prosumer video editors. ... Final Cut Pro is a non-linear editing system created by Apple Computer that allows users to edit video. ... Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ... Viktor Tsoi Viktor Tsoi was a famous Russian rock artist and leader of the rock group Kino. ... Final Cut Express is a non linear video editing software created by Apple Computer. ... iMovie is video editing software, created by Apple Computer as part of their iLife suite of applications for the Macintosh, that allows users to edit their own home movies. ...

Popular digital camcorders, mostly semi-professional equipment with 3-CCD technology, include: A specially developed CCD used for ultraviolet imaging in a wire bonded package. ...

Most of these cost between US$2,000 - $5,000 in 2003, with costs continuing to decline as features are added, and models depreciate. Canon Inc. ... Panasonic is principal sponsor of the Toyota F1 team Panasonic was also the name of a road bicycle racing team and a Finnish electronic music duo. ... Sony Corporation (Japanese katakana: ソニー) (TYO: 6758), NYSE: SNE is a global Japanese consumer electronics corporation based in Tokyo, Japan. ... Sony Corporation (Japanese katakana: ソニー) (TYO: 6758), NYSE: SNE is a global Japanese consumer electronics corporation based in Tokyo, Japan. ... USD redirects here. ... 2003 (MMIII) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Indie vs Major

Creatively, it was becoming increasingly difficult to get studio backing for experimental films. Experimental elements in theme and style are inhibitors for the big studios.

On the business side, the costs of big-budget studio films also leads to conservative choices in cast and crew. The problem is exacerbated by the trend towards co-financing (over two-thirds of the films put out by Warner Bros. in 2000 were joint ventures, up from 10% in 1987). An unproven director is almost never given the opportunity to get his or her big break with the studios unless he or she has significant industry experience in film or television. Films with unknowns, particularly in lead roles, are also rarely produced. The WB Shield used from 2003 to present day Warner Bros. ... This article is about the year 2000. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Another key expense for independent movie makers is the music for the film. The licensing fees for popular songs can range between US$10,000 - $20,000.

Anecdotal evidence for the difference between indie films and studio films abounds. The following example was taken from a guest on David Letterman's talk show in November 2003: Letterman at his desk on The Late Show with David Letterman David Michael Letterman (born April 12, 1947) is an American talk show host, comedian, and television producer. ... A talk show (U.S.) or chat show (Brit. ... 2003 (MMIII) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The scene "Amy opens the window" takes half a day and perhaps ten shots in a big studio production:
Amy walks to the window,
Window itself,
Amy touching the handle,
shot from outside the window, etc.
For independent film makers, that scene is one shot, and done before 9 a.m.

Independent movie-making has resulted in the proliferation of short films and short film festivals. Full-length films are often showcased at film festivals such as Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival, the Slamdance Film Festival or the Cannes Film Festival. Award winners from these exhibitions often get picked up for distribution by major film studios, and go on to worldwide releases. Short subject is an American film industry term that historically has referred to any film in the format of two reels, or approximately 20 minutes running time, or less. ... A film festival is a mostly annual festival showcasing films, usually of a recent date, sometimes with a focus on a specific genre (e. ... Robert Redford Charles Robert Redford Jr. ... The Sundance Film Festival is a film festival in the United States, and ranks amongst the top five events of its type in the world. ... The Slamdance Film Festival takes place each year in Utah at the same time as the Sundance Film Festival, competing with Sundance to provide what its supporters consider a truer representation of independent film-making. ... The Palais des Festivals in which the festival takes place. ...

Indie-producing studios

The following studios are considered to be the most prevalent of the independent studios (as of November 2004): Lions Gate, MGM/UA, Fox Searchlight, Focus Features, Sony Classics, IDP, Warner Independent, Magnolia, Paramount Classics, Fine Line, Dimension, ThinkFilm, 4Kids Productions, and Saban Entertainment. For other uses, see November (disambiguation). ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Lions Gate Films (NYSE: LGF) is a Canadian production-distributor company, a subsidiary of Lions Gate Entertainment, that is currently the largest and most successful independent film distributor-studio in North America. ... The current United Artists logo. ... Fox Searchlight Pictures is the specialty film division of Twentieth Century Fox. ... Focus Features is the specialty films division of Universal Pictures, a division of NBC Universal, the U.S.-based film, television and recreation subsidiary of General Electric. ... Sony Pictures Classics is the specialty films division of Sony Pictures. ... Warner Independent Pictures is the independent film studio division of Warner Brothers Entertainment. ... Magnolia Pictures is an American film distributor, and is a holding of 2929 Entertainment, owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban. ... Paramount Classics is the specialty films division of Paramount Pictures, charged with producing, purchasing, distributing and marketing films, generally those with a more art-house feel than films made and distributed by its parent company. ... Fine Line Features was the speciality films division of New Line Cinema. ... Dimension Films is a motion picture label, formerly used as an alternative for Miramax Films, to produce and release genre films. ... Saban is a dubbing company known for importing and adapting several Japanese series to North American and international markets for syndication, including both animation and live action shows. ...

Note that many of the above studios are subsidiaries of larger studios -- for example, Sony Classics is owned by Sony Pictures and is designed to develop less commercial, more character driven films. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is the television and film production unit of Japan-based corporate giant Sony. ...

List of Some Significant Independent Films

(this list needs to be revisited)

This article is about the 1959 film. ... John Cassavetes John Nicholas Cassavetes (December 9, 1929 - February 3, 1989) was a Greek American actor, screenwriter, and director. ... See also: 1958 in film 1959 1960 in film 1950s in film 1960s in film years in film film Events The Three Stooges make their 180th and last short film, Sappy Bullfighters. ... Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! original poster The Pussy Cats, ca. ... Russell Albion Russ Meyer (March 21, 1922 (Oakland, California) – September 18, 2004) was an American motion picture director. ... See also: 1964 in film 1965 1966 in film 1960s in film years in film film // Events Top grossing films North America Mary Poppins The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews Goldfinger My Fair Lady Whats New Pussycat? Shenandoah The Sandpiper Father Goose Academy Awards Best Picture: The Sound... 28th Anniversary DVD cover See also Caribbean flamingo. ... Photo of John Waters by Robert Birnbaum John Waters (born April 22, 1946) is an American filmmaker. ... See also: 1971 in film 1972 1973 in film 1970s in film years in film film Top grossing films The Godfather Fiddler on the Roof Diamonds Are Forever Whats Up, Doc?, starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan ONeal Dirty Harry The Last Picture Show A Clockwork Orange Cabaret, starring... Eraserhead (released in France as The Labyrinth Man) is a 1977 film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Jack Nance as a man living in an industrial wasteland of the near future and dealing with an extremely disfigured - perhaps even mutant - baby. ... David Lynch at Cannes in 2001 David Keith Lynch (born January 20, 1946 in Missoula, Montana) is an American filmmaker. ... See also: 1976 in film 1977 1978 in film 1970s in film years in film film // Events In the Academy Awards, Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight win Best Actor and Actress and Supporting Actress awards for Network. ... Return of the Secaucus 7 is a 1980 film which tells the story of seven friends who reunite for the anniversary of their arrest ten years previously, on their way to a political demonstration. ... Photo of John Sayles by Robert Birnbaum John Thomas Sayles (born September 28, 1950 in Schenectady, New York) is a fiercely independent American film director and writer who frequently takes a small part in his own and other indie films. ... See also: 1979 in film 1980 1981 in film 1970s in film 1980s in film years in film film // Events April 30 - The Roger Daltrey film, McVicar, opens in London. ... Shes Gotta Have It (1986) was Spike Lees first feature-length film. ... Shelton Jackson Lee (born March 20, 1957), better known as Spike Lee, is a controversial film director, producer, writer, and actor noted for his many films dealing with social and political issues. ... See also: 1985 in film, other events of 1986, 1987 in film, list of years in film. // Events April 12 - Actor Morgan Mason marries The Go-Gos Belinda Carlisle Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger marries television journalist Maria Shriver. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Steven Soderbergh (born January 14, 1963, Atlanta, Georgia) is an American film director of Swedish descent. ... See also: 1988 in film, other events of 1989, 1990 in film, list of years in film. // Events Actress Kim Basinger and her brother Mick purchase Braselton, Georgia for $20 million. ... Slacker (1991) is an American independent film directed by Richard Linklater. ... Richard Linklater (born July 30, 1960, in Houston, Texas, USA) is an American film director and writer. ... This is a list of film-related events in 1991. ... El Mariachi is a 1992 Robert Rodriguez production. ... Robert Rodriguez (born June 20, 1968) is a Mexican-American film director. ... This is a list of film-related events in 1992. ... Clerks. ... Kevin Smith as Silent Bob Kevin Patrick Smith (Born August 2, 1970) is an American screenwriter, film director, comic book writer, and creator of View Askew. ... This is a list of film-related events in 1994. ... Pulp Fiction is a 1994 film directed by Quentin Tarantino and written by Tarantino and Roger Avary. ... Quentin Tarantino, playing Mr. ... This is a list of film-related events in 1994. ... The Blair Witch Project is a low budget 1999 American horror film. ... See also: 1998 in film, other events of 1999, 2000 in film, list of years in film. Events April 7 - Star Wars fans begin lining up at movie theaters in Westwood and Hollywood to buy tickets for Star Wars, Episode I - The Phantom Menace May 3 - A Durham, North Carolina... Garden State Garden State is a 2004 film written, directed by, and starring Zach Braff. ... Zach Braff in Garden State. ... This is a list of film-related events in 2004. ... Napoleon Dynamite is an American independent film written and directed by Jared Hess. ... This is a list of film-related events in 2004. ... Igby Goes Down DVD cover Igby Goes Down is a 2002 film that follows the life of Igby Slocumb. ... The Royal Tenenbaums is the 2001 Dramedy about three genius siblings who experience great success in youth, and even greater disappointment and failure after their eccentric father leaves them in their adolescent years. ... I ♥ Huckabees (pronounced I Heart Huckabees, or alternatively I Love Huckabees) is a film released in 2004. ...

Further Readings

  • Donald Lyons, Independent Visions: A Critical Introduction to Recent Independent American Film, Ballantine Books 1994
  • Judith Redding, Victoria Brownworth, Film Fatales: Independent Women Directors, Seal Press 1997
  • Emanuel Levy, Cinema of Outsiders: The Rise of American Independent Film, New York University Press 1999
  • Greg Merritt, Celluloid Mavericks: A History of American Independent Film, Thunder's Mouth Press 2001
  • Peter Biskind, Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film, Simon & Schuster 2005

See also

An experimental film is a film organized neither as narrative fiction nor as non-fiction. ... The following is a list of video-related topics 3-D 4:3 601 16:9 A-C Academy Awards Adobe Premier -- real time editing [1] Advanced Authoring Format AAF alpha channel Animation Avid Xpress Pro -- real time editing Avid video editing family B-movie bluescreen/chroma key Bollywood Camcorder... Films are produced by recording actual people and objects with cameras, or by creating them using animation techniques and/or special effects. ... Look up Video on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Video (from Latin, I see) is the technology of processing electronic signals for representing moving pictures. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion, because: it is patent nonsense. ... Origins of motion picture arts and sciences Any overview of the history of cinema would be remiss to fail to at least mention a long history of literature, storytelling, narrative drama, art, mythology, puppetry, shadow play, cave paintings and perhaps even dreams. ... This page indexes the individual year in film pages. ... A silent film is a film which has no accompanying soundtrack. ... A sound film (or talkie) is a motion picture with synchronized sound, as opposed to a silent movie. ... An independent film production company, located in southern California. ...

External links

  • Independent Films Indie Films and Independent Film Festivals.
  • Film Academy - online network and resources for the indie filmmaker
  • Movie Today Examples of independently made student short films by movie buffs.
  • Internet Movie Database Independent Films
  • UKFilmTalk: A growing network of independent film makers based in the UK
  • IndieWire News
  • Elsner Pictures An example of an independent film studio.
  • Independent Feature Project
  • Tapelist (Film Projects, Distributors, Financers)
  • AIVF Organization
  • IndieFlix - working with filmmakers to create a marketplace of independent films on DVD

  Results from FactBites:
IFP.org - About IFP (527 words)
(Independent Feature Project) was founded in 1979 on a belief that a truly vital American cinema must include the personal, idiosyncratic, and sometimes controversial voices of filmmakers working outside of the established studio system.
As a not-for-profit organization, its mission is to foster a more sustainable infrastructure that supports independent filmmaking and ensures that the public has the opportunity to see films that more accurately reflect the full diversity of the American culture.
As the climate for making and releasing independent work gets more challenging, it is imperative that IFP continues to serve as a destination for those seeking to develop, nurture and embrace independent thinking and expression.
Film Financing: Companies that Work to Help Finance Independent Films, 9/00 (1108 words)
Whether or not the "digital revolution" changes the way films are made and distributed in the coming years, it will undoubtedly expand opportunities for independent filmmakers seeking funds for their movies.
Filmmakers submit a description of a project for consideration by investors, while investors register themselves on the site to access a list of projects seeking funding.
They declare their commitment to "giving filmmakers the creative and financial freedom to produce films with high artistic and commercial potential," and they claim they can raise as much as $50 million (although there are no confirmed reports of financing to date).
  More results at FactBites »



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