Have you seen the first movie of the world, a train approaching a station made by the Lumiere Brothers back in 1896? It was the first time human civilization could record footage and then do the post-production to make a cinema, no matter how much longer it was!
Since then, we have witnessed a massive transformation in the film culture around the globe, and now the film is found as an industry, not an art form entirely, yes, we have spaces for debate on this topic, but it is! Whether Hollywood or star-casted movies made in India’s Bollywood, films are money-making machines!
But it was not supposed to be like that. Films were a medium of entertainment, education, and awareness. The magic of the silver screen was known to mesmerize the spectators with its artistic values. Many times in history, films became the language of reformation of society or spoke against the almighty authoritarianism. Film directors from the Golden Era of the French New Wave or the Italian Neo-Realism showed us how to craft cinemas based on social issues and daily-life topics, not just casting superstars to make money to be producers’ pockets!
How Independent Cinema came into the picture?
What does the word ‘independent’ mean? It is freedom from any bracket or dictates, right? As it is in terms of cinema, independence brings liberty to the filmmaker from any mainstream media patterns, stardom, film industry’s rules, producers’ choices, or any such things.
Independent filmmakers, cinematographers, actors, and editors can create pieces without following any ‘industry standard’ or so! For instance, a filmmaker is bounded to use the cast as per the choices made by the people investing in the film, or the film director has to change the plot of the storyline if it does not match the thinking of the people who are going to hold the copyright of the cinema! By doing all these, if the qualitative aspects of the film get affected, nobody cares until the film is bringing money from the box office!
But artists and passionate minds prefer creations over financial statements! So do independent filmmakers. Some film enthusiasts started making their films depending on their own budgets! It was not easy then, and not in the 21st century.
These days, if you are an independent filmmaker or have an idea of filmmaking without a big producer behind your back, you will be aware of the problems that are continuously arising. The late Satyajit Ray, the Lifetime Academy Award-winning film director from India, was working on his legendary film ‘Pather Panchali,’ Due to lack of funds, he had to stop the work several times. Ray took around three years to complete the shooting and post-production works! Still, the film is one of the best cinematic pieces that India has ever produced in history.
It is the magic of cinema, or we must say independent cinema. If you have a story to tell and are enthusiastic enough to make the story a film, nobody in the world can stop you! Yes, you might have a financial crisis and see your crew members suffering greatly due to a lack of capital. Still, with your hard work and determination, the film will be screened one day in front of an audience who are real devotees of the silver screens’ magic.