These days it’s hard to find a business that is not suffering in some way. We just live in that kind of economy. Indiewire posted Mark Gill’s talk at the LA Film Festival back in June. The premise is that the Indie Film Market is a tough place to be right now. My thought is what market isn’t a tough place right now? The problem with "indie" films is that most "indie" film companies are owned my major studios. In my mind that immediately puts them out of the indie film genre. Warner Independent has been shut down. Any guesses as to who owned them? Picturehouse has also been shut down and was ultimately a part of Warner Bros. An Indie film by nature should be one that is produced outside of the Hollywood Studio system.
Some interesting facts from the talk are:
5000 movies got made last year. Of those,
603 got released theatrically in the USA. And there’s not room in the
market–as there used to be–for even 400 of those.
The average cost
of a major studio production is $70.8million, and the average marketing
budget in North America alone is $35.9 million. In other words, there’s
an average of more than $100 million at risk every time they get up to
Generally, Hollywood studios believe that you need to put up a lot of money to make a lot of money. But the margins are sometimes low and Hollywood takes a lot of hits. Everyone once in a while a film comes alon glike Juno that was made for 7.5 million and took in 150 million in the US alone. My Big Fat Greek Wedding was made for 5 million and took in over 240 million! It goes to show that you CAN make large profit margins with a relative low budget. You don’t have to throw 100 million at a movie to make it a success. The lower budget films have a disadvantage because usually they have no name actors and at least in this county we are often less likely to see a film if we don’t know who’s in it (unless there is great word of mouth).
Is independent film a tough place to be? Sure. But when hasn’t it been?