What is an independent film
The meaning of "indie films" may vary greatly. The core idea is that these films are independent of global movie studios, so they may not follow the mainstream and plunge into pure creativity.
Does it mean they are always low-budget? Often, but not necessarily. And again, what to consider "low-budget": several thousands of dollars or several million? In terms of film production, both. But feel the difference.
Also, it is believed that indie movies are shown exclusively at art-house festivals and are not intended for a wide audience. False again. There are representatives of this movement who hit the cinemas and became the best-selling projects the world has ever seen.
Another point: they say, only amateur or novice actors agree to act in indie films. Since the budget is often limited, it’s partly true. But on the other side, for many stars, it’s a great opportunity to try something new and get a feeling that their work really matters.
So, if we want to specify the definition of the genre, it will be just "a film, produced by an independent film studio", that’s it.
Best indie movies
There is a maze of excellent independent films. But let us name a few you have definitely heard of.
One of the best crime comedy films , which has made Uma Thurman and John Travolta high-profile celebrities. It has been quoted from, probably, more than any other indie film, and it ranks among all the tops of best movies.
The Blair Witch Project
The film, shot with the help of amateur cameras and a budget of $60.000, has become one of the scariest horror movies. There are no VFX, computer graphics, or super-star actors. The image is shaking, and the whole story looks like a real student project. And yet this horror keeps you on the edge of your seat till the closing credits.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
A famous indie drama states that it’s love that chooses people, not people who choose whom to love. By the way, if you have thought that famous actors never participate in independent projects — that’s the disproof.
How to make an independent film
An independent film can make you and your actors real celebrities (see the proof above). But to stand out from all the trash produced in, literally, tons every year, you should follow some rules.
Write a script
Choose carefully. Remember that sci-fi or horror movies involve costs you probably can’t afford.
Set a budget
Even if you take the roles of a producer, director, cameraman, and post-production editor, you’ll still need other actors. There are other unavoidable expenses, such as equipment, permits, experienced filmmaking professionals, etc.
If you see that you need more than you have, consider fundraising.
Hire a cast and a crew
As we have already said, even stars are not above indie films: Robert Pattinson, Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey and others. But don’t stick to having a star by all means: sometimes amateur actors perform even better and for sure have more motivation, passion, and free time.
Take care of post-production
If you’re going to take part in international festivals, you’ll have to buy professional software (though there are some free options). If you want to save money and not hire professional cutters, you can have some practice with free video editing tools first and then perform all the work by yourself.
Promote your film
You can post it on various online platforms and get some viewers’ feedback. If you feel your creation is really worthy, apply for indie film festivals.
Don’t fear being independent!