Thoughts on why being independent, small budgets and all, is something worth being grateful for.
“The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” – Orson Welles
A huge budget and studio backing of your project does not bring you freedom. With all that money comes accountability to your investors. For the same reason that accepting venture capital as a business startup limits your control, getting financial backing doesn’t free you to do what you wanted to do with your film. It forces you to accommodate the opinions of the people who just bought into your film.
The drive to make your project financially successful can get in the way of taking risks with originality and stifle the art. Working on a small budget, and being forced to solve problems in the production of your film causes creativity to be a necessity. That creativity might just lead you into creating art instead of just entertainment.
(What is ‘Art’? That’s a bigger question. Feel free to sound off in comments.)
Slate has an old article (Neither the Power Nor the Glory, 2005) that goes into the economic differences distinguishing indies from studio films. There is one quote that pretty much sums up why I’m grateful to be involved in indie projects: “Studios…leave originality, and all the joy that comes from it, to the indies.”