Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Indie Apocalypse

For a particularly bleak outlook for independent film, check out this article, extracts from the diary kept by director John Hillcoat during the making of The Road.   The diary ends with this epilogue:

My own new project – with a much-loved script by Nick Cave and a dream all-star cast – has fallen apart. The finance company that we began The Road with has also fallen apart, having to radically downsize to one remaining staff member. The great divide has begun, with only very low-budget films being made or huge 3-D franchise films – the birth of brand films such as Barbie, Monopoly: The Movie – who knows what’s next, Coca-Cola: The Movie?
I end the year appropriately – gazing into the apocalypse of my own industry.
Nice analysis here of the backstory on Cinemablend.  Further signs that the only indie films will be no-budget this year?  While I do think we shouldn't extrapolate too much from the emotional state of one obviously very tired director, I do believe that it is time for the non-mainstream cinema to embrace change and to embrace its changing audience and new economic circumstances.  The cinematic experience, as it is currently exists, is over a century old and stuck in the past.  Funding/distribution?  Maybe not as old of a model, but rooted in an outdated command and control mentality (I am being extremely polite here) that seems destined for a shake-up, analogous to what the record industry went through during the past decade.

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