So, you’re kind of a newbie to film genre – that’s okay – let’s bring you up to speed on the ins and outs of different film genres; first off let’s start with independent films, or indie films as us cool people call them.
Indie films are first and foremost the underdogs of the film world; they are not a part of a major film studio (e.g. Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox) meaning they have a considerably lower film budget than a major studio would have, including not having the huge reputation and backing of a big film studio. That also means getting your indie film heard of becomes a heck of a lot more difficult. A good example would be of the very popular indie film ‘Juno’ which only had a £6.5 million budget compared to the Warner Bros. backed film ‘Happy Feet’ having a £100 million budget – see what I mean? One thing to realise however is that big budget does not necessarily mean a good film.
So when and where did indie films originate? The short story is in 1908 in the US a collection of filmmakers decided they didn’t want to be a part of something called ‘The Edison Trust’ or the Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) which was pretty much ‘the man’ trying to control the distribution and exhibition of films in America. Those filmmakers who did not join the trust were then known as ‘independent’. This did not work well for ‘the man’ as independent filmmakers dominated the film industry releasing hundreds of films before big film studios had even released one full length feature and by doing so dominated US television and cinemas.
So how do indie films get noticed? Well, today the platform that independent films have is phenomenal. Most gain attention through the number of film festivals that are held every year all around the world like ‘The Sundance Film Festival’ in the US. The leading ones in the UK are the London Film Festival and the Raindance Film Festival (also the founder of the British Independent Film Awards).
Now that we’ve educated you on what an indie film is, what good indie films are out there?! Here are some good ones to get you started from the last 20 years –
- – Juno – (Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jenifer Garner, Jason Bateman)
- – Lost In Translation – (Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson)
- – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist – (Kat Dennings, Michael Cera)
- – Donnie Darko – (Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze)
- – Pitch Black – (Vin Diesel, Cole Hauser, Keith David)
- – Black Swan – (Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder)