4 myths blighting independent film makers
Several years ago there was something of a furore about the independent film industry.
The release of Paranormal Activity created a wave of excitement about independent film makers. Suddenly, people began seriously thinking that they could profit big time from a DIY approach – and judging from the success of that film it was really no surprise why.
However, let’s get one thing straight, this is an exceptionally niche part of the video production industry. As any commercial video production company will tell you, there’s certainly a lot more to this than meets the eye.
Bearing this in mind, let’s now take a look at some of the biggest myths which are blighting independent film makers – and completely distorting their job.
Myth #1 – The Paranormal Activity factor
We’ve already mentioned this movie, so it makes sense to start things off again with it. There’s a lot of talk about Paranormal Activity in the independent film industry and it’s for good reason. This was a movie that was put together on a shoestring budget, whilst also being a movie that reaped in huge amounts of money through the box office.
There’s a minor detail missing with all of this though; there were significant marketing budgets behind it. So while it’s true that the actual production of the film might have been very low, don’t forget that overall the money spent on this movie was huge.
Myth #2 – It’s impossible to get distribution deals
This is one of the stranger misconceptions that is lurking around, for the simple reason that it’s blatantly untrue. While some unsuccessful independent film producers might suggest that it’s impossible to find a distribution, generally if a movie tells a story and follows the standard for a quality screenplay there are plenty of opportunities.
From a statistical viewpoint, the evidence is strong as well. For example, at the 19th Raindance Film Festival, one in three films on offer at the event had an offer. Not only that, but some films had multiple offers each time. To suggest that distribution deals aren’t available is seemingly a figment of the imagination.
Myth #3 – Social media followings alone can make a film
In the age of social media, some might suggest that this is one of those myths that is almost understandable. As understandable as it might be, it’s certainly not accurate though.
Let’s not forget that while initial social media followings can help immensely, movies tend to have millions of dollars of marketing budgets available to them anyway. As such, it doesn’t tend to make an enormous difference.
Even if the marketing budget is low from the independent maker, don’t expect a social media following to be the difference between success and failure. From time to time and average film might make it into the limelight courtesy of a social media following, but this is often shortlived an the success is never sustained.
In other words, you need more in your arsenal than just social media followers.