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Ideas, Inspiration and Legal Resources for Artists, Filmmakers, Producers and Film Students

“Indie” Another Way Of Saying Innovative?

16 mm film reel

Image via Wikipedia

What defines the “Indie” aesthetic? Some say, its an a edginess that eschews mainstream roles and requirements. Others say its a certain purity of purpose that comes from being unsigned and undiscovered. Still others have posited that the word is nothing more than its root definition: independent, original, obscure and wholly lacking dependence on mainstream approval, recognition or even awareness to justify its existence. In striking contrast to the self-ascribed existential nullity, indie pundits can be introverted, self-critical and self-deprecating, characterizing other aspiring indie artists as charlatans exuding “faux-ecclecticism.”

From my perspective, “indie” means innovative. Witness the lengths to which the Factory 25 label goes to distinguish its Art from the rest of the crowd. A recent WSJ piece describes how Factory 25 has elevated content distribution to an art form: The package for Ronald Brownstein’s “Frownland” “is over the top: a gatefold album containing the film’s soundtrack and the DVD; a comic book drawn by actor Mary Bronstein (as her alienated character); printed excerpts from a 70,000-word email exchange between the two lead actors (in character); a poster; and an actual snippet of 16mm film from Mr. Bronstein’s work print.”

Which is all to say that Indie Filmmaking succeeds not simply because of its gritty, pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps ethos. In an environment where excess defines success, Indie filmmaking succeeds by putting innovation ahead of maintaining, or even exceeding, the status quo. It is not “art for art’s sake.” Rather it is creating and meeting a psychological need using collaborative means and focusing on the end-user experience.

Matt Grady, the entrepreneur behind Factory 25, put it best when he said: “I wanted to take these art films and make them into a physical piece of art.”


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