"The Independent Genre has given us some very interesting films."

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The Independent Genre is one of my favorite film genres. Independent films, many times referred to as "Indies," are some of the best examples of raw storytelling I've experienced. Because independent films are created well outside the scope of any major motion picture studio, the filmmakers enjoy much more freedom than they would ever have working for a major studio. Even though independent budgets are usually much smaller than the budgets of studio films, the freedom of expression and artistic vision seem to be a much greater advantage.

This has high "cringe potential" for many, but it has to be said in any serious discussion of Indies. One of the best and relatively recent examples of an independent film is The Blair Witch Project (1999). I know this is a movie to be regarded quite harshly in terms of quality on the screen, but if we're talking about indie filmmaking...the producers of this film obtained some of the cameras they used at CIRCUIT CITY...and then RETURNED THEM! That, is truly independent filmmaking, and quality issues as they are, I have to be honest when I say I find it very inspiring. There's a sort of wonderful exhilaration at the thought, "Wow. If they could do THIS, I should be able to do ANYTHING!" (I'm sorry, I guess I'm just in a "cappy" mood.

The history of independent film is pretty interesting. Many things about it surprised me as I researched the ins and outs of how non-studio made pictures came to be. Technology, or more accurately, the AFFORDABILITY of technology has to be one of the strongest promoters of the new filmmaking we enjoy today.

History - The Edison Trust
To truly appreciate the origins of independent filmmaking, starting with a little something called "The Edison Code" makes the most sense. My limited knowledge and memory of Thomas Edison always left me with a warmspot in my heart for a great American in history. I'm by no means implying that Mr. Edison was not a great man, but the history of Thomas (and not the Tank Engine this time) and the early development of filmmaking can easily give one pause.



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