indie filmmaking

These days indie movies are just as viable to be box office successes as big budget studio films. For years, one of the largest differences between studio and independent films was the high quality “look” that came from using a better camera. Thanks to the production of several consumer level HD cameras the novice/aspiring filmmaker can get that polished look and really compete.

According to an article on Wired, the recent use of HD digital single-lens reflex cameras or DSLR’s may close the tech gap between small and big budget films. On one end, the release of such cameras at a retail level could be seen as a huge triumph.

“Effectively, a 35mm Digital Cinema Camera [sic] had become available to the masses,” e-mailed Reverie cinematographer and producer Alles Mist, “[t]o artists who haven’t the benefit of studio funding and giant crews. That alone was enough to thrill me.”

This news lifted the barrier on what the average Joe could get their hands on to produce high quality movies. On the other hand, what about the material that’s being filmed? Is it the actual story or the production that interests the average movie goer?

“It’s not the format, it’s the content,” says independent filmmaker Jon Moritsugu in an e-mail. “I think the ‘YouTube revolution’ … has already unleashed a tsunami of indie and home movies. I don’t feel that a particular type of cheap DSLR camera is gonna really cause that much of a stir.”

This is a game that’s been going on since the beginning of the industry. Every couple of years there’s a new camera or device that’s seen as the bridge between main stream and independent media. For the most part, there are a few valid improvements with the latest devices on the market, but I’m not sure how much of that will draw in viewers.

The average person will want to know what your movie’s about, who’s in it and whether or not it’s a comedy, drama, horror, or sci-fi, flick. So, while the progress is great, the content will always be the main attraction.

What do you think?