Independent filmmaking could be considered a rather broad category of filmmaking, from shorts to feature-length films to web series. In fact, in my opinion, anyone who creates a piece of “film” art and wishes for others to see it could be considered an independent filmmaker. Before you run down the hall screaming, waving your arms, and taking my name in vain… I do understand that there is more, technically speaking, to being called an independent filmmaker than what I just described.
Now that we have that out of the way, we can move on to my point of “why independent filmmaking is important.”
We here at TG Geeks have come to really appreciate independent filmmakers in the last year and quite by accident. When we started our blog and webcast, we were primarily reviewing and talking about major studio productions of movies and TV shows, even when we were previously associated with Slice of SciFi, we didn’t really talk about too much independent stuff. Until that fateful day at Phoenix Comicon, when an old friend of mine sent me a message and asked if we would go see his cousin’s short film at the horror film festival. That short was Case of Evil which we wrote a review of (link) and eventually interviewed the filmmakers (link). It was through Neal’s generosity that we were put in contact with a few others that were associated with independent films and began to shift our thinking.
Since that time, we wrote a review (link) of and interviewed Jeff Patton with Origin: Beyond the Impact (link) as well as Marc Biagi, a cast member of BTi (link), and we were invited to the BTi Kickstarter launch party to interview the cast (link part 1) (link part 2) in San Diego.
We attended a film festival on the spur of the moment, here in Phoenix, the Phoenix Loves Sci-Fi Film Festival, where we discovered a lot of great short films by mostly local Phoenix filmmakers. We wrote an article and several reviews for those films (link PLSF). We also attended the Indie AZ Film Fest for its’ inaugural year, where we saw another group of great films produced by local Phoenix Filmmakers and reported on that event (link).
Along the way, we were also introduced to Miguel Rodriguez, who is the founder/coordinator/ jack-of-all-trades for the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival, and interviewed him (link), which helped us take that next step and attend a multi-day film festival of mostly independent films.
Now, having just come back from the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival in San Diego, where we spent almost three days being immersed in independent films and interviewing several of those filmmakers (link episode)(link article), I would say we are definitely supporters of independent film.
In all of the above scenarios, we were treated to an unbelievable amount of talent, vision, and passion for filmmaking. It is very evident when you talk to the filmmakers and then see their work that you begin to appreciate what independent film is all about. I won’t say that we have loved or even liked everything we have seen, but that does not mean that the films were not good or worthy of being made, it is just our taste in the subject matter.
It is our love for science fiction, horror, and genre content that led us to some wonderful filmmakers and films. As these filmmakers are passionate about their subjects, we, too, are passionate about what we talk about. That is why we have a website and webcast, we enjoy talking about our chosen niche. We believe if you feel strongly about something, go do it, with a few exceptions……. 😉
We see the potential in some of these independent filmmakers to make incredible art and want to see them succeed, that is why we write reviews, attend film festivals, and look at web series online. Great art does not only come out of major studios, it is in your hometown, no matter how big or small. We also believe that there is a bright future for independent filmmaking with the advent of crowdfunding. Support your local filmmakers by seeing their films and contributing to Kickstarter or Idiegogo campaigns. Plunge in with an open mind, and who knows what you may discover.