A Declaration for Independent Filmmaking
I realize how hipster this will come off (he writes in his blog spot as he drinks his craft beer and pauses Bob’s Burgers), but if you enjoy a good movie, and haven’t seen an independent movie in the last year, you’re doing it wrong. True, you won’t find the combined 6.24x10 explosions that will be in the new Fast and the Furious and Transformers movies, but what you’ll find is a control of quality of things that money can’t buy. There are plenty of examples of movies out there that you already love that are independent movies (Juno, Friday the 13th, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Rocky, Napoleon Dynamite), but I’m not here to talk about those. The point of independent movies is for a group of artists, with limited time and money, to express themselves to an audience. A hard-to-manage gesture that’s wasted if no patrons are found.
This is not to say that you need to watch every independent movie out there, but for every niche, there’s an artist working to fill it. What’s your preference? Adventure? Try Bigfoot: The Movie. It even has Pittsburgh Dad in it for familiarity. Are you a horror junkie? Lights Out might be your ticket. Don’t know if you’re willing to commit yourself to a whole new world of movies before you know if you’d like it or not? There’s shorts! Not the kind you wear on these unseasonably warm spring days, but the kind where a lot of production value is squeezed out of with $3.50. If you saw the hit movie Lights Out last year which made its way to theaters, you may or may not know that it was all derived from an independent short. The best part about the blockbuster was the fresh and original idea that came from independent filmmakers.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Golly Jarrod, you’ve opened my mind to be more receptive of this artform, but where should I get started?” No better aid than Google. Search for upcoming film festivals. Not only are you sure to find one that specifically suits the genre of your preference, but it’s sure to feature the best of the best. If you’re lucky enough to be reading this in the Pittsburgh area, I’d suggest a trip to the Indie Oaks Film Festival. It’s on Saturday, April 15th, at 7:30 at the Oaks Theater in Oakmont. As a patron of it in the past, I can personally guarantee the quality of the films screened here. If you’re a movie enthusiast and are content with listening to Vin Diesel mumble his lines this weekend, then by all means, please disregard this article. If you’re looking for something more fulfilling to watch in your free time, browse around your Facebook, YouTube, or local paper, there’s independent filmmakers that just want to entertain you.