Blogging about all manner of indie films and foreign films, and some Hollywood stuff, since 2006. Special focus on DIY (do-it-yourself)/ultra-indie filmmaking and distribution. Blog by Brooklyn based filmmaker Sujewa Ekanayake (new movie Werewolf Ninja Philosopher now in production, 2018 release).
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Why IFP or similar organizations are important to DIY filmmakers
The entire DIY filmmaking & self-distribution project is, in a way, very broadly speaking, as I see it, kind of like (symbolically speaking, see end of post) creating an elite warrior* or an elite warrior culture (like those dudes in Black Hawk Down - Deltas - able to do alone or in small groups many of the things that require a large number of regular soldiers to do but only better & with less stuff (sometimes) & under more difficult circumstances) or turning yourself into an artist/entrepreneur who can not only make an interesting/unusual/out-of-the-norm movie well but also is able to make it well using fewer people & resources & also market it well, & deliver the product to an audience member who paid for it & also balance the books at the end of the day/end up in the black. If an individual artist is going to break through the many walls (external & internal) that separate him/her from the goal of making & distributing well a feature length film, a significant amount of hard work will be required - over a long period of time, turning the individual into - ultimately - a person skilled in many things, a person able to get many filmmaking & distribution things done well.
However, just like the elite soldiers in the movies are ultimately supported by & connected to the regular army, and benefit from that relationship with a larger group engaged in the same kind of work, DIY filmmakers could (I believe) benefit from membership in & support of a well run large organization with a lot of members - specially when it comes to distribution & marketing, gathering resources & team members for new projects, & perhaps even with managing the stress that comes with leading a relatively unusual lifestyle (making movies & distributing them, on a very low budget, alone or with some help from others, working outside of Hollywood & Indiewood, etc.).
At present, in the US, IFP is one of the few large non-profit independent filmmaking organizations left for DIY filmmakers to turn to. So, even though I am a DIY filmmaker (thus very interested in a filmmaking approach that makes it possible for a single artist to make & distribute a movie - in the same way a painter is able to make a work of art & make it available to interested people without having to go through something like a movie studio), I am also very interested in there being large, well run/well managed & useful organizations for indie/DIY filmmakers - to improve their skills, get support, network/make new work friends, advance their careers, etc.
So is IFP such an org for DIY filmmakers? Not sure, will have to see, I am still exploring it. Even if it isn't now, might it be possible to turn IFP into an org that, while doing the things that it does best now, also assists DIY filmmakers with accomplishing their goals of producing & distributing movies & building careers?
Specially if IFP members interested in such a future/near future scenario do the required work now.
(* also, so that we are very clear on this, i am using items from the military world only as SYMBOLS to clarify certain ideas, not saying that making movies is like war or war is like making movies, because they are not, war appears to be very dangerous & deadly work, & making movies is nowhere near as difficult - but making movies is/can be very difficult work, as far as regular/non-military work goes)
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