In a World Where Indie Theatrical Filmmaking Went Extinct...
Would ex machina Exist?
INDIE FILMMAKING TIP #2
Conceive and Shoot Theatrical Movies with a Deeper Focus on Artistic Style
This is not good if the goal of a Theatrical Film release is to lure a potential audience away from their home and TV (or iPad, mobile phone, laptop/desktop computer).
One of the ingredients that led to the Neo Golden Age of TV is that the production quality of cable and Network shows achieved another level of quality using the theatrical filmmaking bag of tricks. The look of so many TV Shows now exceeds the look and style of many Indie films that were shot just a few years ago.
This is why I believe one of the most important ways for Indie filmmakers to make the Theatrical marketplace viable again is to raise their game artistically. The Theatrical film format has advantages for Indie filmmakers over creating for TV, but perhaps the biggest one requires an artistic vision that will result in a finished film that is stylistically distinct and memorable. Something that a commerical audience will go to the trouble of seeing in a theatre.
Just so I'm not speaking only in generalities, I will cite one recent Indie Film that perfectly illustrates what the future needs to be about —
For me, this was the Best Film released theatrically in 2015. It's also the movie I would point to first in support of the premise that Indie theatrical filmmaking deserves a future. I examine ex machina in depth for an upcoming book on Professional Screenwriting/Filmmaking. For this post, I will simply point out that the filmmakers behind ex machina draw on every aspect of the craft of professional filmmaking to present a story that was best told with a three-act structure, and a 90-minute screenplay format. And their achievement made the experience of seeing the movie in the theatre special.
After ex machina was over, I asked myself — would this film have been made if Indie Theatrical Filmmaking was to go extinct?