Indie Filmmaking Trends – Part 1

Filmmaking Trend
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Filmmaking Trend 1: Self Distribution and the Future of DRM

Once upon a time movies were shown in theaters that were owned by movie studios. End of story. That began to die in the 1950s and the filmmaking trend toward alternative methods of distribution accelerates every year.

The big movie studios of old are out of ideas anyway. Each year they rehash the same tired “comedies” that aren’t funny anymore and lame screen adaptations of comic book heroes. All the interesting films are coming from indie producers. For these indie producers, even when they actually have studio financing, finding distribution ends up being a problem they mostly have to solve on their own.

This filmmaking trend is going to continue to be a frustration for producers, but the good news is that more and more channels continue to open up. The Internet and self-published DVDs are just two examples of methods that are getting more and more real.

While I’m on the subject of distribution I should point out that the movie studios are following in the footsteps of the recording companies by being obsessed with Digital Rights Management (DRM) in a futile attempt to stop piracy and not trying to find more creative, easy ways to sell media to the public that wants it. Apple’s iTunes proved that if you create an easy, reasonably priced way for people to get what they want most of the stealing goes away.

Filmmaking Trend 2: Low Cost Filmmaking

A stunning filmmaking trend that has been happening in the last decade in the indie world is the plummeting cost of movie making equipment. More importantly the rate at which equipment gets cheaper is even accelerating.

Filmmaking is now so inexpensive that almost no one has a monetary excuse for not making a film. Professionals will nearly always opt for the most expensive options but even successful theatrical releases are often being shot with very inexpensive equipment today.

Web movies don’t need the same quality as theatrical releases but we now we have cell phones and point and shoot cameras that can capture very detailed, hi-resolution video. When portability, multiple angles or being inconspicuous is important these tiny cameras are a great choice regardless of budget.

If you’ve been telling yourself you’re going to make a movie someday you’ve run out of excuses.


  1. says

    Hey Prof, thanks for the tips. I actually was motivated to get started film-making by James Rolfe, also known as the Angry Video Game nerd. He has garnered celebrity by his online movies which he wrote, shot and acted in himself. I’m on a tight budget myself , so I put together a few tips on my site to help others too!