Magazine article Filmmaker

Editor's Letter

Magazine article Filmmaker

Editor's Letter

Article excerpt

A funny thing happened on the way to this annual "25 New Faces" issue of Filmmaker magazine. An essentially optimistic edition, this is where we place our bets on who'll be transforming the independent filmmaking scene of tomorrow. We were busy watching films and DVDs and interviewing filmmakers when a bombshell hit: we learned that the independent film business is gone. Or, on life support. But, in essence, kablooey.

I'm speaking of course about "The Sky is Falling," the indie autopsy The Film Department CEO Mark Gill delivered at the L.A. Film Festival's Financing Conference. The speech has been exceedingly well covered - and is available online at indieWIRE - so I won't recap it here. Suffice to say that I largely agree with most of Gill's points. His survey of financial turmoil in the current specialty film scene is accurate, his foreshadowing of future woe is believable, and his prediction that quality will be what future moviegoers crave is heartening to those of us in the independent film business who believe that we offer a more thoughtful and artistically resonant alternative to Hollywood fare.

But while it's hard to argue with Gill's recommendations - that we make fewer, better movies that we are more passionate about - I do take issue with one of his points: that we should be developing and making movies in "the sweet spot between $15 and $50 million." For Gill, this budget range is needed to "create quality emotional content that has a market" - films that are also pre-sellable for decent numbers to foreign distributors. …

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