Saturday, January 1, 2011

Film 101: Dawn of the Neo-Indie digi-movie

I have seen the future of indie film and I’d like to say we are experiencing the “dawn of the neo-indie digi-movie”. What does that mean exactly? Think a little about my posts last year on Italian neo-realism and early indie film before you ask…First, if you have ‘Hollywood’ or popular TV actors in your movie it’s not really indie, though Sundance, Tribeca and Cannes might say it is indeed ‘indie’. If it’s directed by a Hollywood actor, but stars “no-name’ actors, it’s not really an indie film because of that actor’s attachment to the film (it’s easier for them to acquire talent and resources, etc…). Any Hollywood attachment, whatsoever, disqualifies a film as being ‘indie’ if you ask me--that also goes for indie divisions of Hollywood studios. Hardly anyone is shooting with actual 'film stock' anymore either (everyone’s gone digital), so we’re not really watching films anymore anyway—they are digital movies. So, therefore, the dawn of the neo-indie digi-movie has arrived—shot on digital video, transferred to film for theaters (if you are lucky), but most likely going straight to a digital file on the internet, on-Demand and/or maybe DVD or Blue-ray. I guess the closest we’ve come to this, commercially, is with Paranormal Activity—low budget, shot digitally with ‘no name’ actors and crew but still released, widely in theaters by being transferred to film (then back to digital for DVD, internet etc...). Historically, the horror genre seems to be the only genre to easily transcend this issue whether film, video or digi-movie (think also--Friday 13th, Blair Witch). Recently, the first widely released, dramatic neo-indie digi-movie (shot on a Canon 7D and transferred to film for theaters, but starring no-name actors and crew), dropped and it is called TINY FURNITURE. More about TF, how it was shot and it’s writer/actor/director next time…

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