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Independent Film Making

Independent films are finding audiences throughout the world. In 1996, most of the winning Oscar nominations were independent films. Home video distribution has opened up the distribution channels even further. Thanks to video stores, you can study the great films of all time, slow them down, and replay them to study editing and structure. 

Previously, it was very hard to even get film prints to study. Unfortunately, the majority of the titles found in these stores are blockbuster films made by major motion picture studios. Unless an independent film has won praise at one of the major independent film festivals or has been lucky enough to be recognized by a major awards ceremony, the majority of independent films never make it beyond small theater distribution. 

As described in Monica Sullivan's book VideoHounds Independent Film Guide, one of the hottest dates on a weekend night in San Francisco is at any Landmark theatre where nothing but indies are shown. Long lines of avid movie-goers wait patiently to get into any of the packed screening rooms since their first, second, or even third choices may be sold out. Monica's book lists hundreds of independent films, most of which have never been heard of by most people. Some of the movies that are listed will not be found at regular video rental chains, while others are not even currently in print. There are however, several mail order and video outlets that specialize in rare or hard-to-find movies. 

The number of distribution channels for movies in general has increased greatly over the past several years. Cable and PAY-TV systems are growing by leaps and bounds throughout the world. In recent years new cable channels have been launched to satisfy the increasing interest in independent features. Channels such as the Sundance channel, Bravo and the Independent Film Channel are devoted to free spirited independent films and other related features. 

New programming and media forms such as CD-ROM, dvd, and the Internet are just starting to develop as major movie-viewing sources. Some have said that dvd's will be the distribution of choice in the early 2000's, and so far this appears to be correct. Producers working out of their own homes will use the Internet and web pages to transmit video, sound, and text into multimedia forms. No longer will someone have to spend endless hours at a studio to create a visually appealing work to present to others.
Half of the approximately 150 films made in France last year were co-productions with other European or U.S. companies
Much like the audio revolution in the seventies, enjoyed by musicians and composers with their low cost synthesizers, filmmakers will create, market, and distribute their own works. Middlemen distributors may be avoided altogether. CD-ROMs and dvd will carry more information at greater resolution and replace videocassettes as a transportable medium. DVD rentals and sales have already increased greatly over the past 12 months and continue to rise.

There are a lot of opportunities for independent entrepreneurs who have an idea that they can develop themselves. Every year there are new films that are made outside the studio system that catch the majors entirely by surprise. 

Take the blockbuster-smash hit The Blair Witch Project for example. This particular movie was directed by and starred completely unknown individuals. The production budget for the film was approx. $60,000, while the box office gross alone was $140,539,099, the second highest grossing film of its genre of all time. 

That's why studio executives and venture capitalists with open checkbooks flock to Sundance film festivals, multimedia conventions and the Internet. They are looking for projects just like this one; projects with low cost yet high marketability. Although creating one of these projects is like finding a needle in a haystack, it is what distributors are looking for and what producers are striving to create. 
*The FilmMakers Film Fund will finance the production of all future film projects initiated by FilmMakers.com. The projects will be made up of undiscovered screenwriters, directors, producers, actors, cinematographers, music composers, first assistant directors (AD), art directors, costume designers,  production managers (PM), etc.

To make a donation to the FilmMakers Film Fund click on credit card button.  

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