Well find here a very good history of the demise of the indie film biz, as we knew it.
But please also keep in mind that 75% of all films released in the US last year were indie films ,and someway they got financed.
Not only that but Indies did pretty well at awards time and Sundance still gets 8000 submissions for 80 slots.
Guess the film makers and audiences didn’t get the message yet.
Telluride my favorite film fest coming up , Dr Media says go to the movies
Why Indie Movies Are An Endangered Species
Up until 2008, it was not easy to finance an independent film but, with the right script, stars, and director, the entire budget could be borrowed from banks on the strength of pre-sale agreements. What had made this business model work then was the likelihood the film had of getting meaningful distribution in the US domestic market (which includes Canada). Most of the better financed indie distributors, such as Miramax, New Line, and Paramount Vantage, were owned by the major studios that had bought these companies for, among other reasons, to expand their DVD shelf spaces at WalMart and other retailers. Their willingness to make commitments to distribute movies domestically had a great advantage overseas: it greatly increased the value of pre-sales, since foreign distributors benefitted from the buzz and publicity from an American opening. Indie producers also could rely on domestic market to get a substantial part of their financing. Prior to 1990, they could get over fifty percent of their movie financed based on the value of the domestic market. Even though the value fell as distributors cut their commitments in the 1990s, the domestic market could provide a producer with 20-30 percent of his budget as late as 2007. And with that keystone in place, a producer could get the balance from foreign pre-sales and government subsidies. This formula was not perfect but it allowed indie producers to make such award winning films as The English Patient, Traffic or Babel. In 2008, however, he value of the American market virtually disappeared for the purpose of financing a movie. As one top producer told me in late 2010 ,”it is now zero.”
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