With conventional theatrical distribution deals harder to come by, independent filmmakers are increasingly looking towards DIY, or do-it-yourself, releasing strategies for their movies. But the truth is that there is no one, sure-fire way to distribute a movie. Certain platforms accessible to self-distributing filmmakers work beautifully for some movies while being terrible for others. Each film possesses its own specific DNA, and to determine its most appropriate strategy requires an analysis of a film’s goals, assets and realistic potential. For some, a goal will be to recoup investments. For others it will be to get a modicum of renown, and […]
The mixture of risk-taking, cost-cutting and pure enthusiasm that is independent film production can lead to great movies but also, all too frequently, poorly thought-out productions. Here, from producer Maureen A. Ryan (Man on Wire), is a list of 12 mistakes often made by new filmmakers and their producers as well as many who should know better. It originally appeared in our Winter, 2012 issue. 1. Decide to shoot before you have the best script possible. You’re dying to shoot your first feature but don’t start prepping until your script is ready to be shot. It doesn’t matter if your […]
One year ago in this spot I cautiously heralded “signs of life” in the independent film world, citing, among other things, all the independently financed features (Black Swan, Winter’s Bone, The Kids Are All Right) headed for the Oscars. A month after I wrote my piece, Sundance 2011 concluded with a record number of acquisitions, which included films like the tough, defiantly independent Martha Marcy May Marlene and the no-budget Another Earth by none other than Fox Searchlight. And while American independents didn’t sweep the Oscars, they did figure prominently, with a Best Actress win for Natalie Portman. But, as […]
Holly Willis explains what film schools need to explore to stay relevant in the future.
Making a business out of independent film is harder than ever. But still, great films are being made. In this series of short profiles, Filmmaker asked a number of leading independent producers about their producing models and how they’re finding everything from financing to material to office space.
It’s been nearly two years since Canon, Nikon and Panasonic started putting high-definition video technology into some of their medium-priced DSLR cameras. They did this without realizing how useful these new cameras could be to the professional filmmaking community. Tim Smith of Canon USA recently joked in an interview that most of the filmmakers he’d met did not know where to find the still-photograph function on their new cameras. In a way he’s right, but at this year’s NAB it was apparent that it is camera manufacturers who need to figure out how to make videography an even more efficient function on […]