Friday, April 28, 2006

Manic and loose and good!

Pims yo,


I am hanging at the PBrew West with D. I am reading "The Cinema of Outsiders".

"Cinema" is a rather academic study of the rise of the Independent film, reaching back as far as Cassavetes and looking forward to even more mega-money monoliths like Miramax that spend millions of dollars on extravagant films and still claim the Indy monicker.

In the beginning of the book several definitions for "Independent Film" are offered.
The one I like the best is offered by Fox Searchlight's Lindsay Law

"the most important thing when a filmmaker says he's an independent, is that somebody can't beat him into a pulp and force him to make a movie that the financier wants. It is a more iconoclastic filmmaking, without the burden of attempting to make $100 million at the box office."

Although Law's definition point toward a prioritization of the director's personal vision, she is astute enough to look passed this to THE MONEY. Too many people in this book point to some nebulous "Personal Vision" of the director as the be-all-end-all of what it means to make an independent film however, if you spend tens of millions of dollars on your "Personal Vision", under all but the most extreme circumstances imaginable, you will be accountable to the financial success or failure of that movie. As soon as you are dealing with enormous budgets, you are involved in a situation where the money threatens the "Vision".

The only way to be "Independent", is to secure money from private sources/yourself and to do your work on a shoestring. Cassavetes was "Independent".


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