Sunday, October 01, 2006
Life ain't easy for aging indies
In the Sunday New York Times, John Clark has a rather distressing piece about "the mostly sideways career path followed by many of the generation of independent filmmakers who made a splash in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. When these directors, mostly now in their 40’s and 50’s, got started, the indie business was full of mom-and-pop operations with nickel-and-dime aspirations. Now the corner stores have been edged out by studio specialty divisions with far larger appetites and needs. Geoffrey Gilmore, the director of the Sundance Film Festival, said that in the early 90’s an independent film was considered a hit if it grossed $1 million. Now it’s $25 million." The worst of the bad news: Distributors are increasingly risk-averse, producers of edgy projects need stars to obtain financing, and even established heavyweights like Errol Morris and John Sayles must moonlight to make ends meet.