Sunday, August 21, 2005

Indie woes

The Fort Worth Star Telegram has a thought for those of you who would make it big in the world of indie filmmaking:

Here's a disquieting cautionary tale for all those would-be filmmakers out there dreaming of becoming the next big indie thing.

On makingYou can have an original, attention-grabbing premise. You can win the support of Hollywood bible Variety and grand pooh-bah critic Roger Ebert. You can make a movie that is disarming, intelligent and consistently surprising -- indeed, one of the very best things to show at the Sundance Film Festival.

But unless you have a big-name star, or perhaps an MTV-ready hip-hop soundtrack, you're still going to have a heck of a time getting your movie into theaters.

"Pretty much everyone said no," says Andrew Wagner, the writer-director of "The Talent Given Us," a strange, but immensely likable hybrid of fact and fiction featuring Wagner's own family members playing themselves. "We had been to Sundance, where the audience response and the critical response were both very enthusiastic. The distributors, both large and small, seemed to very much like the film. In some cases, they liked it a great deal.... But they just weren't willing to take the risk."

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