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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Self-Distribution Sub Culture & The 9 Layers of the Indie Film Scene

Yup, a self-distribution sub culture has definitely formed in the indie filmmaking scene. This year was a pretty big year for us. This blog, also Indie Features (ex-Indie Features 06), and Lance Weiler's The Workbook Project, indieWIRE (specially indieLOOP) & GreenCine Daily blog, Hollywood Is Talking blog, & sometimes Filmmaker Magazine blog, DV Guru, The Chutry Experiment are some of the places on the web to learn more about/keep up with this latest development in indie film. Individual filmmakers have self-distributed in the past, focusing for the most part on their own projects, but this year several filmmakers got into self-distribution and most of us know each other & keep in touch from time to time & also, at times, help each other out. The web/e-mail has been very useful in this community coming into existence. Looking forward to seeing where we take things in '07.

I see several layers in the indie filmmaking scene right now: 1) indie filmmakers (filmmakers who make movies outside of Hollywood, ultra low/no budget, no-star movies), 2) indie filmmakers who self-distribute (The Self-Distribution Sub Culture), 3) the film festival sub culture - lead by festival programmers, and indie filmmaking non-profits (IFP, FIND, etc.) & their award ceremonies - there are only a few such organizations & events and what they do or help do: production, publicity, etc., get spread throughout the various layers of the indie film scene, 4) the indie screening venue programmers, 5) indie distributors, 6) indie film media/press - including blogs & professional journalists, reviewers & critics who pay attention to & sometimes go out of their way to champion certain indie projects or indie films in general, 7) Indiewood filmmakers - filmmakers who are in-between indie & Hollywood, or filmmakers with projects that have independent & Hollywood elements - from some of the casts & crews to some or all of the financing to some or all of the distribution, often from project to project (maybe Kevin Smith? maybe Ed Burns? Jim Jarmusch definitely - well, at least on Broken Flowers), and, though the following people exist typically outside of the indie orbit, they become relevant to the indie film industry due to self-distribution: 8) famous art/indie filmmakers who self-distribute (such as David "Inland Empire" Lynch this year, there could be more soon), 9) Hollywood filmmakers who occasionally self-distribute (Gibson, Lucas, etc.). There it is, 9 layers of the indie film scene (this is not counting the fake "indies" - or just low budget Hollywood movies such as Little Miss Sunshine & Sideways). Hopefully I did not leave anyone very relevant out of this break down of the indie film scene, and if I did, let me know through the Comments. Thanks!

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