Keeping it Real is Indie’s Deal

Indie’s unique ability to capture and depict a closer representation of reality is why it’s the perfect place to “offer space” for alternative social, political, and/or ideological perspectives.  The characters in Indie films are not constrained by majors’ constituents and they are not driven on appealing to the masses.  Indie characters possess the ability to organically exist; they are not written into a film to be liked or disliked, but rather to depict a perspective that is a true portrayal of someone’s life.  Indie possesses the ability to account on all realities of life so it makes sense that alternative social, political, and/or ideological perspectives are so entwined with Indie cinema.

Though Indie cinema is able to cover alternative perspectives, it still is limited from becoming a fully radical cinema.  Unless a film finds a way to connect to the audience, whether through a mean of normalcy or controversy, a niche audience cannot be established and if it does not have a niche audience large enough to sustain production then it is unable to thrive or be successful in any cinema economy.

King mentions the movie Happiness and how it is a controversial subject matter, but there is a reason this radical subject matter is successful- it does not appeal to a radically extreme niche.  The niche audience is not pedophiles, but rather a niche audience who find the controversy or portrayal of pedophiles interesting.  For if the movie pertained to only pedophiles, an extremely radical social group niche, the niche would not be large enough to sustain this subject matter.


5 thoughts on “Keeping it Real is Indie’s Deal

  1. I feel like you are completely correct in your discussion of how it must be a large niche audience. Its very important that the movie appeals to many people. I feel that this is why genre works such as horror or western are usually less popular, because they don’t have as much mass appeal. I would pose the question of if you think their is a radical issue that could appeal to the masses and if so what do you think this issue is?

  2. I think that what is considered radical is partially based on perspective, but social ideologies that begin as radical and become more accepted over time is how I think a “radical” topic could appeal to the masses. For example, the acceptance of homosexuality has increasingly grown over the past few decades, and more gay cinema or gay-related films, like Brokeback Mountain, have been accepted by mass culture. However, if a film came out about the pros on terrorism right after 9/11, such a radical stance would be rejected from mass culture.

  3. I agree with your post wholeheartedly! Indie cinema has this ability to give different perspectives, but if the film goes to the extreme, it may even lose the few viewers that are willing to watch this point of view. There seem to be certain morals and lines that the majority of audiences will not cross or are not willing to cross. Is this what prevents the indie filmmakers from going to the extreme, because they fear that their movie will not be watched if it becomes too radical? Speaking to Daniel’s question, do you think that there are specific issues that can never be a part of indie film because they are too radical for the majority of audiences?

  4. I think that anything radical portrayed moderately can be included in Indie cinema. With that said, I do think Indie films, like Hollywood films, have to appeal to an audience, its just a smaller one for Indie.

  5. I think that your view of indie cinema as objective realism does a great job at addressing our political and alternative social hot topics. It would be hard to think of hollywood films being able to effectively “create space” for these various perspectives. Great Post!!

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