05-17-2007 01:51 PM
Studio films have the backing of a major (or minor/affiliated) movie studio, which means more money dumped into production and marketing, which means, in general, a "higher quality" film, produced with the leading edge technology and equipment, actor/director/production talent, wider commercial exposure (buzz) followed by wider release around the country of origin and around the world, more box-office revenue generated to counter-balance money spent on production and marketing.
Indie pics are "film school"-style flicks, home-movies, typically made by buddies fresh-out-of-film-school or still-learning the art and trade of film-making. Generally made on shoestring budget (whatever money is found in the cushions of the sofa that is not first spent on beer and pizza...) which also generally means lower production costs, use of friends rather than 'talent' in key roles in-front-of as well as behind the camera, 8mm or Etch-a-Sketch technology, basically no marketing budget (no buzz, except from The Bud smoked while in production), smaller release and target audience, rarely any hope of turning a profit...
What may be the same is the passion behind the production, which might be evident in the quality of the screenplay, if not in the overall quality of the final product... which I assume is a point tying this discussion back to the club?? That some indy-pics end up being so wonderfully-written and/or powerfully-produced that they garner a greater level of buzz, which gets them noticed by big studios, who then dump more money into mass-marketing a 'sleeper-indy hit' which propels the little-movie-that-could along a path into 'cult-status' if not pushing it into the realm of 'major motion picture achievement'
I don't think many movies are specifically conceptualized as 'indy' or 'mainstream' or 'studio' (I'm sure there are specific exceptions, of course) I think Someone has an idea, Someone writes the idea down, Someone finds some money to capture Someone's idea, pays a Cast and Crew, Someone likes the Product and gets Someone to pay for Marketing and Release of Product, Someone makes Money on the Deal... I don't think the concepts of 'indy' vs 'studio' come into the equation during the Writing Stage, and it shouldn't really matter during the Viewing stage. A sound idea, a Good Story Told, will shine thru, regardless of the production value of the picture, as long as there is any sort of talent or passion infuse into the work along the way...
My DVD collection is full of mainstream studio releases, not so much indy pics (I'm a sucker for the Hollywood Marketing Machine, I guess) But, I would also guess that, should anything I write ever be made public in any way, it might start on the shoestring and go or grow from there, which might inspire my taste for indy-type flicks.
I like to write. The budgetary concerns of producing whatever crap I put to the page don't enter into the equation as I'm concocting my stories.
That's what I think...
05-17-2007 03:14 PM
What's different about studio films versus indie films? What's the same? Which do you like to see more? Which do you like to write more? Go.
I hate to answer a question with a question, but don't you think the line between the two has become considerably blurred in recent years?
To my mind, distribution -- not the type or quality of film -- has always been the Maginot Line between the large studios and the independent filmmakers. However, the large studios (via their boutique labels) seem to have become considerably more involved in the distribution of more independent films in recent years. The growing prominence of independent film festivals such as Sundance is certainly a factor.
The combination of advanced production technologies (digital cameras, low-cost high-end editing software, etc.) and the explosion of the DVD market also seem to have leveled the playing field somewhat.
That's not to say that differences don't remain, but wouldn't the question have been more pertinent, say, 15 years ago?
05-17-2007 06:41 PM
In addition, I would like to add that, once I successfully sell a few screenplays and make my millions and billions of easily-earned payola, I fully intend to try some of that Fillet Maginot Line stuff, as I hear it is absolutely divine grub! MMMMMMMM! Though what that has to do with the line between studio and indy films is beyond my understanding...