Indie Films over Hollywood

“Hollywood is awful. Nothing is original anymore, and they only care about maximizing their profits.” This is a statement you have heard a million times before, and you probably agree with it. I do. It seems like every Hollywood film that comes out nowadays is either a sequel or a remake whose only purpose is to appeal to your nostalgia. In fact, even Hollywood’s current occasional attempts at originality like “Jupiter Ascending” or “Gods of Egypt” usually turns into a giant train wreck. If we’re so sick and tired of Hollywood, why don’t we just abandon it? We can just watch independent films instead.

An independent film is a film that is produced outside of the big studios (Warner Bros., Disney, Columbia, Universal, Paramount and 20th Century Fox), and are produced and distributed by independent entertainment agencies. Even the majority of the major studios’ owners also have smaller independent studios.

This is because there already has been a rise in popular independent films starting in the ‘90s with box office successes including “Pulp Fiction”, “Clerks”, “My Left Foot” and “Dazed and Confused.” These films contain the originality and quality that people want, and it can still be found in indie films like “Birdman”, “Whiplash” or “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” The question is if the quality we are looking for can be found in indie films, why do we still ignore them?

The answer to this question is ease of access. Most independent films have limited releases. They have a small advertising budget and are only released in select theatres. Eventually these films will go on to widescreen releases but still won’t come to smaller cinemas like ours in Huntsville. We really need to change this, and the answers can be found in the original campaign of Paranormal Activity.

While am I not a fan of the Paranormal Activity franchise, I do think we can learn a lot from its marketing campaign. The original film was made and produced independently on a budget of $15,000 before it was eventually acquired by Paramount Studios. They originally gave it a limited release, but what the studio did to advertise the film became one of the greatest marketing campaigns ever.

They launched an advertisement campaign telling viewers to request it at their movie theatre. They received over a million requests and the film was eventually released worldwide making $193.4 million. This also led to the making of all the other awful found footage films. I believe this is the method all cinemas should go with in order to increase the quality of all movies.

We should keep up with smaller independent films, and launch campaigns to get these films to be released nationwide. Doing this and contributing to a massive return at the box office would enable more access to other indie movies.

In addition, Hollywood would see the massive profit in originality and quality, and would want to imitate the indie films to maximize profits. This method has already been proven within TV. Basic cable networks have increased the quality of their shows to compete with Netflix’s and HBO’s shows.

We can improve the quality of all films, we just need to try.

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