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In the film industry, independence in many ways a Holy Grail- a thing which many people strive to achieve but turn out in most cases illusive. Independence in the film industry simply means being free from the matrix of companies that involved in the production and distribution of motion pictures in the United States of America. Such freedom has been a mirage to many and to others, the term independence is relative.
One can recognize the works of an independent director with a simple test, for instance, when a person slams the door and the whole and set shakes. Large budgets always characterize most movies, but an independent director comes up with what we term as independent aesthetic. This constitutes an ensemble of a small cast, making use of an exterior location that is limited, emphasizing on conversation over actions, and use of specific effects that are exciting. This enables an independent director to stay within the lean budget of production. Independent directors seem to conform to a mantra shared amongst them that talk is cheap compared to action which is relatively expensive (Andrew 46). This is informed by the fact that it costs less to film two people having a conversation in a room compared to filming cars chasing each other.
Independent film directors are also keen on how they platform their movies in the entertainment market place. They oversee the proper handling of advertising and promotion in the market. Most independent directors in an effort to minimize expenditures and maximize profits screen their films in small theatres and assume a distance from commercial mainstream that is systematically and industrially maintained (Balio 87).
In the film industry, there are many filmmakers who fit perfectly into the definition of independent filmmaking. In this section, I am going to look at some of the filmmaker's independent in their works. Vincento Natali who directed "Cube", Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ, and Shane Meadows are just but a few examples of independent film makers. Cube, for example, is a proof of independence in the film industry. In this film, Vincenzo Natali manages to use a ordinary concept to make an arresting and an engrossing film. Natali ensembles a small group of people in a confined place, and heavy sinister mystery to probe the darker reaches of human nature. Vicente places his unwitting characters in small chambers of a prison. Moreover, the director utilized free visual effects from Toronto based company which was keen to show support for domestic movie making. The movie results in a tense and terrifying tale which outshines other studio movies with heavy budgets on them.
In my opinion, Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ is another example of independent directed movie. The film despite shot in two dead languages and the controversy it drew saw Mel Gibson's vision pay off. The movie defied the belief held by many that independent movies are not profitable in nature by raking in ungodly amounts of money.
It is suicidal to look at renowned independent directors without mention of Shane Meadows of "Dead Man's Shoes". The film not only owes its success to Shawn Meadows whom I respect coupled with the brilliance of Paddy Considine, the camera man cum co-writer. With its lean budget, it's the finest British films in years. The central character who is an ex-soldier returns home to avenge for his younger brother bullied by strangers. The film is an example of a storyline that many film studios will shy away from tackling.
In conclusion, independent directors make use of lean resources in the production of their works. A movie produced in such a way, tops the box office, and rakes in millions of cash is a success.