Sunday, October 11, 2009

Endangered species: Indie films

In depressing news this week, Disney has drastically cut the staff of their indie movie production co. Miramax from 70 to 20 people, in what now seems to be a growing trend among big movie studios of downsizing or eliminating their arthouse films divisions. I've always felt that the film industry has destined itself to an agonizing and shallow death, by allowing big business to come in and turn film-making into a corporate, profit-driven, statistics machine. Film studios looking for the almighty dollar will continue to dumb down movies based on what statistically sells (i.e. boobs, explosions, and talking cartoon animals) and intelligent movies designed to trigger your imagination and make you think, will be a thing of the past. It would be better if filmmakers just stop putting their trust in these big profit-driven studios and released their movies under smaller, more art-house driven production companies. They may have less money to work with, but its worth it in the increase of creative control. Miramax might still be a powerhouse, had the Weinsteins not giving in to the lure of financial security under Disney and kept working on their own. Entertainment Weekly has an interesting article about the subject. I hope that independent production companies will find a way to survive outside the reliance of the shallow corporate movie houses.

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